The number of Stone Curlews breeding in Britain has risen in the last few years, with a record number of at least 300 pairs recorded last year.
The success is due partly to the RSPB joining up with farmers in Southern England to create appealing habitats for the picky birds to nest. Government grants and EU subsidies reward farmers for creating and protecting the habitats.
Read more about the Stone Curlew in Britain.
A ‘safe harbor’ agreement is being offered to Hawaiian landowners in an effort to save five endangered species of birds endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.
Financial and technical help will be available for landowners who sign up for the agreement. Future land use restrictions will not be imposed by the government. In exchange, landowners need to provide some management to benefit five endangered birds: Hawaiian goose, Hawaiian duck, Hawaiian moorhen, Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian stilt.
Read more about the plan.
A fishing vessel in the Kermadec islands has reportedly killed 51 albatrosses on a single fishing trip by using the longline fishing method. 19 of the world’s 21 different albatross species are threatened with extinction.
New Zealand’s Fisheries Minister proposed a temporary ban on longline fishing following the incident. Most of the albatrosses killed in this incident were Antipodean Albatross.
Read the full story at BirdLife International.
Researchers recently rediscovered the Madagascar Pochard, a duck that was previously considered extinct. The biologists were working for the Peregrine Fund and conducting a survey in the northern part of Madagascar when they found nine adult and four juvenile pochards. The last known sighting of the duck was in 1991. Read the full article.
The migratory path of the European Red Knot brings it to the Wadden Sea flats in the northern part of the Netherlands each year. There, the birds feed on cockles before continuing their migration, which can be up to 16,000 kilometers in distance. The flats are protected by two different acts, yet suction dredging was sanctioned by the Dutch authorities until 2004. As a result, the cockles’ meat has diminished significantly, causing a quarter of the Red Knot population to have died out. Read more about the Red Knots at New Scientist.
“Estimates suggest that 100,000 albatrosses are inadvertently killed each year by long-line fishing boats, particularly from boats in the Southern Ocean catching highly-prized species like tuna, toothfish and swordfish.” Speaking at a premiere for the film ‘Race to Save the Albatross’, the Prince of Wales spoke of his support for BirdLife International’s campaign to save albatrosses from extinction. Read the full story.
Parsis, a religious minority group living in Mumbai, India, are facing a crisis. The group is suffering declining numbers worldwide: there are an estimated 130,000 left in the world, 43,000 of whom live in Mumbai. And now an important part of their religious faith is being questioned – the way they dispose of their dead. Their age-old tradition calls for corpses to be left as carrion for vultures. In Mumbai, corpses are brought to the Towers of Silence, but today they are left to rot as the vulture population on the subcontinent has been in decline for years. In Mumbai, vultures are virtually extinct, which means that the Parsi corpses are taking months to decompose as they are left out to the elements. Read more about the controversy at the BBC.
Leighton Moss, a nature park in Lancashire, has seen its most successful breeding summer for the rare Bearded Tit in recent years. About 30 pairs of birds nested in the park this year, rearing about 80 chicks. Wardens at the park have distributed grit and erected wigwams in order to entice the British rarities to make the park their home. Read the full story Rare birds thrive at nature park at the BBC.
bearded tit by Mostly Dans, Creative Commons on Flickr
Experts say the recent decline of the Monal bird in India is due to indiscriminate hunting. The Monal, the state bird of Himchal Pradesh, is prized by hunters because its feathers are in demand for use in the fashion industry. The bird’s meat is also popular. Read more in New Kerala.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has identified the migratory Red Knot as a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The proposal was initiated by a petition submitted by the Northeast Pennsylvania Audubon Society in 2004. The proposal is currently deferred while the Service works on other species which are at greater risk. Read more about the Red Knot proposal in Migratory bird named candidate for Endangered Species Act protection.
Red Knot by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Northeast Region, Creative Commons on Flickr