The government of Grenada is continuing with plans to sell the Mount Hartman National Park to the Four Seasons Hotel Group despite growing pressure from conservationists from around the world.
The National Park, which is locally called the ‘Dove Sanctuary’, is home to 22% of the world population of the Grenada Dove, a critically endangered species.
The website www.grenadadovecampaign.com has been set up to offer advice and information about the proposed sale.
Read more at BirdLife International.
A remote colony of about 100 Slender-Billed Vultures was discovered earlier this month by the Wildlife Conservation Society Cambodia. The birds are critically endangered.
A dramatic decline in vulture numbers is due to the use of diclofenac in cattle, a pain reliever used for livestock. Vultures that subsequently fed on carcasses that had been treated with diclofenac later died from the drug.
Read more about the discovery.
“All 18 endangered young whooping cranes that were led south from Wisconsin last fall as part of a project to create a second migratory flock of the birds were killed in storms in Florida, a spokesman said.”
“The cranes were being kept in an enclosure at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge near Crystal River, Florida, when violent storms moved in Thursday night, said Joe Duff, co-founder of Operation Migration, the organization coordinating the project.”
Read the full article on CNN.com.
The results of parallel surveys run in the same part of West Africa in 1971 and again in 2004 show an alarming decline in the large bird populations there.
Birds like Arabian Bustards and Lappet-faced Vultures were once numerous in the West African Sahel region, but are virtually extinct today. The ostrich used to be widespread in this area but now is extinct in Africa west of Chad.
The dramatic decline in vultures can be in part attributed to the near extinction of wild antelopes and gazelles in the region, as well as poisoning of predators and intensified use of farmed cattle.
The report which accompanies the survey urges immediate actions including reintroduction of the Ostrich to the area.
Read more about the decline of bird life in West Africa.
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
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.
A new study claims that ski resorts across Europe are having devastating impact on native bird species.
“Italian ecologists say that slopes situated above the tree line have fewer birds in their vicinity compared to natural grasslands at similar altitudes.”
Read more about the study.
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.
The Grenada Dove, an endangered bird with a global population of 180 birds, is seriously threatened as the government of Grenada is planning to sell off the Mount Hartman National Park to developers.
The national park, also known as ‘The Dove Sanctuary’, is home to about 20 pairs of the Grenada Dove, which is about 22% of the entire population.
The resort development is proposed by the Four Seasons group.
Read more about Grenada’s poor decision-making.
There were less than 20 Whooping Cranes in 1941. Today, the U.S. population exceeds 500 birds.
The comeback of the Whooping Crane is due to a coordinated conservation effort. A recent survey counted 237 individuals over-wintering in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas.
The large birds reach a height of 5 feed and their wingspan can be up to 7 feet.
Read more about the comeback of the Whooping Crane.