Record Number Migratory Birds In Kashmir

Over 500,000 migratory birds have arrived in the Kashmir Valley in India this winter. Low temperatures in nearby, usual bird wintering areas have driven the birds to seek new places to spend the coldest months.

Wildlife officials expect a record number of winged visitors this season. The valley has long attracted migratory birds from Siberia, China, Europe, Central Asia and even South America. The extra bird life in the area has also meant more birders are coming to view the spectacle. State authorities are scrambling to take advantage of an increase in tourism.

Read more about birding in Kashmir.

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Opposition To Proposed Scottish Golf Mega-Resort

Donald Trump has big plans to build a two course golf resort in the northeast of Scotland. The plan is opposed by various environmental groups, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

The area near Balmedie is home to thousands of seabirds, ducks and divers. A wide range of invertebrates, plants and breeding birds inhabit the coastal sand dunes, and the RSPB is determined to protect the environment from Trump’s development, estimated to cost over 300 million pounds.

Read the full story in The Scotsman.

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Cats Unwelcome In New UK Neighborhood

Developers building 50,000 homes in the heaths of Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire have proposed to force future homeowners to sign an agreement never to own a cat. Cats kill approximately 55 million birds in the UK each year.

Imposing a cat ban for homeowners is the only way real estate developers would be allowed to build the homes close to the nesting areas in the heathland. The plan is designed to protect such birds as the Dartford Warbler, Nightjars and Woodlarks. The RSPB is backing the plan, though they are skeptical that a ban on cat ownership would remove a threat to the nesting birds.

Read the full story in This Is London.

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Dutch Youth Sentenced For Cormorant Abuse

The juvenile court in Lelystad, the Netherlands, has sentenced three youths to public service for the abuse of two cormorants.

The youths, all younger than 21, dragged the birds behind motorized bikes and threw stones at them.

Two of the youths must perform 25 hours of pubic service. The third youth, who already had a record with the court, was given a sentence of 80 hours. A fourth suspect, an adult, is still to be tried. The birds were targeted because they depleted the fish population in the canals of Urk.

Source: Jongeren veroordeeld voor mishandeling aalscholvers

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Dutch Environment Groups Request More Money For Birds

Various environmental groups in the Netherlands have called on the Dutch parliament to invest money in bird protection. Last week Natuurmonumenten and the Dutch partner of BirdLife International, together with five other agencies, sent the strong message to the Minister of Landscape, Nature and Food Quality.

The number of meadow birds in the Netherlands is declining dramatically. The Meadow Bird Alliance (Weidevogelverbond) was created to slow or reverse this trend. On 15 June this year, various parties involved in the well-being of these birds created an action plan. Groups in attendance included forest rangers, land-management groups, volunteer groups and government agencies. The alliance’s plan hopes to halt the decline of meadow birds by 2010.

Public support for protecting the birds is great, in large part due to successful information campaigns conducted by various environmental groups over the years. The Netherlands is a great breeding ground for many migratory birds and therefore does have a regional and global responsibility to take care of the birds that breed and raise their young in Holland.

Source: Eensgezinde oproep aan Kamer: investeer in weidevogelbeheer

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51 New Zealand Albatross Killed By Longline

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.

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Game Warden Arrested For Illegally Moving Pheasants

A 62-year-old game warden from Assen, the Netherlands, was arrested last week for having 40 pheasants in his car. The police were conducting a routine ‘control’ (random traffic stops) when an officer noticed moving gunnysacks in the backseat of the perpetrator’s car.

Ten sacks each held four living birds. The man was arrested for transporting the birds without having rings and not in proper cages. The warden was in possession of the birds for some days before being caught. It is thought that he planned to slaughter the birds for consumption or resell them.

The man risks losing his hunting license.

Source: Jachtopzichter rijdt rond met levende fazanten

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Conservation Groups Sue U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Two conservation groups in Wyoming are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service for refusing to protect the Mountain Plover under the Endangered Species Act. The two groups, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and Forest Guardians, claim that the Fish and Wildlife Service rejected expert advice on the threat to the Mountain Plover population. The groups claim politics are to blame in the denial of protection for the plovers. Read more about the lawsuit.

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Arctic Gull Spotted In California, Attracts Birders

A Ross’ Gull sighting earlier this month in California attracted about 150 birders hoping to get a glimpse of the bird normally not seen south of Alaska. The bird was spotted in the Salton Sea, a lake located between Imperial and Riverside counties. It marks the first sighting of the gull, which normally breeds in Siberia or Greenland, in California. Read more about the Ross’ Gull’s southern visit.

Ross's Gull (Rhodostethia rosea)
Ross’s Gull (Rhodostethia rosea) by dominic sherony, Creative Commons on Flickr

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Track Dutch Geese Via www.Goosetrack.nl

Each year approximately 1.5 million geese overwinter in the Netherlands. The mild weather and abundance of meadows and fields make the birds feel at home. With such a large migratory goose population, the country has some responsibility in their welfare. Through an extensive ringing program, questions about the origins and habits of the geese can be answered.

The geese are ringed either around a leg or the neck. The markings are clear enough to be read through binoculars at a distance, to avoid the need to re-catch the same individuals multiple times.

The Goosetrack program will allow the public to contribute to the welfare of the Dutch geese by taking part via SMS and the Internet. Ring data can be sent to Goosetrack via SMS in the field. The site will open in the fall of 2006 and offer information about geese as well as the tracking information.

Source: Nederland is ganzenland

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