Monthly Archives: January 2007

Meadow Birds Declining In Holland

The number of meadow birds in the Netherlands continues to decrease. Birds like Godwits and Lapwings are found less and less in the wet areas of Holland. Swans and geese, on the other hand, are doing very well.

The figures were published last week by Wetlands International. According to the foundation, the situation in the Netherlands is worrisome, but not as grave as in other parts of the world. The decline of meadow birds is occurring in more places, but a definitive cause is not known. Without knowing the cause of the decline, the group has difficulty proposing solutions.

It is possible that an increased use of pesticides has decimated the insect population enough to affect the bird population. Geese and swans live on grass and other vegetation, which thrives when pesticides are used.

Globally the numbers of water fowl are not as promising. The global waterfowl population has decreased 44% in the last five years. The situation is especially grim in Asia, where the number of protected areas is declining. Fowl numbers there have decreased by two-thirds.

Weidevogels lijden, zwanen en ganzen profiteren
World’s waterbirds in decline, study warns

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Lost Hornbill Found In Belgium

An animal protection agency in Belgium has found a lost hornbill in the city of Deurne last weekend. Experts believe the bird was brought to Europe during storms which brought strong winds to the region earlier this month.

It is probable that an aviary was damaged during the storms and the bird was able to escape. Since it is illegal to keep this type of bird captive in Europe, tracing the original owner will be difficult if not impossible.

It is expected that the Dutch Hornbill Foundation will bring the bird back to a natural habitat. Hornbills typically live in Africa south of the Sahara and throughout Asia.

Source: Neushoornvogels de weg kwijt

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U.S. Navy Proposes Airfield By Wildlife Refuge

Record numbers of ducks and geese have been spotted at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina this winter. The U.S. Navy wants to build a landing field nearby, a plan opposed by naturalists.

The lakes are located about 5 miles from the site that the Navy wants to use for the landing strip. Environmentalists believe the proximity of the landing strip to the Refuge will harm wildlife and increase potential for collisions between aircraft and birds.

Read more about the proposed airfield.

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Posted in Aside, North America | 1 Comment

Duck, Thought Extinct, Found In Madagascar

The last Madagascar Pochard, a diving duck, was seen in 1991. This month a group of conservationists discovered a group of at least 25 pochards while searching for a rare hawk on the island.

Most ornithologists believed the duck, Aythya innotata, to be extinct. The living colony of pochards were found by a steep-sided volcanic lake, a different environment than the marshy lakes they were believed to prefer.

Read more about the rediscovered ducks.

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Posted in Africa, Aside, Endangered, Extinct | Leave a comment

Netherlands Wildfowl Illegally Shot

Approximately 25 waterfowl on the Dinkel in Twente, the Netherlands, were found illegally shot last week. The majority of corpses found were those of geese, all of which had been filleted after being shot.

On Monday 15 January, hikers found the cadavers spread over a kilometer along the banks of the Dinkel. The geese and ducks were killed with shot. The killers filleted the birds for their meat and dumped the decimated corpses in or next to the water. The police are seeking witnesses.

Source: Stropers schieten tientallen watervogels in Twente

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EU To Ban Wild Bird Trade Permanently

“The EU Commission has announced that the ban on imports of birds caught in the wild is to be made permanent throughout the European Union later this year.”

“The move comes after a temporary ban was imposed within the EU in October 2005, after birds in a UK quarantine centre were found to have avian influenza.

The ban is to take effect from the 1 July 2007.”

Read more about the ban.

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Mild Winters Increase Kingfisher Numbers

Kingfishers in the Netherlands are doing exceptionally well due to the recent mild winters. In the Dutch language they are called ijsvogels, which means ice birds. Despite that name, the birds do not fare well in cold winters.

Ten years ago the population of Kingfishers in the Netherlands consisted of only 150 breeding pairs. Today there are several hundred.

Source: IJsvogel rukt op dankzij zachte winters

Kingfisher, Mere Sands Wood, July 2009
Kingfisher, Mere Sands Wood, July 2009 by Gidzy, Creative Commons on Flickr

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Gull Causes Amsterdam Traffic Chaos

A low-flying gull caused chaos on the A28 highway in the Netherlands last weekend. A 34-year-old motorist from Amsterdam swerved to avoid the animal, causing a traffic accident.

The swerving driver drove into the ditch resulting in the car becoming a total loss. The driver suffered head wounds.

The gull did not survive the incident.

Source: Overvliegende meeuw veroorzaakt ravage

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Albatrosses Logging Important Data

Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses fitted with GPS tracking devices have been gathering important information about their habits and habitats. The devices measure temperature as well as track the movements of the birds with a ten meter margin of error.

Both species of albatross are listed as either Vulnerable or Endangered. They are fitted with the devices on Hawaii’s Tern Island and Guadalupe Island, Mexico. The data will be shared with fishery commissions in order to inform them where they are most likely to have bycatch (birds caught during fishing operations) and what they can do to reduce it.

Read more about the Albatross tracking program.

Visit BirdLife International’s Save the Albatross website.

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