Red-breasted geese research


This video from Sweden is called Colorful birds visit! Red breasted goose (Branta ruficollis) Rödhalsad gås.

From BirdLife:

Red-breasted Geese to be monitored using GPS for the first time

Thu, Jan 27, 2011

A project aiming to monitor the behaviour and movements of the endangered Red-breasted Goose, Branta ruficollis, has received a boost.

Ornithologists from the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB/BirdLife in Bulgaria) and the Trust for Waterfowl and Wetlands (WWT) have successfully captured, banded and attached miniature GPS transmitters to six individual Red-breasted Geese, which were caught along with 30 Greater White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons. BSBP is the first group in the world to study this species using GPS, which has proved succesful in monitoring species with similar behaviour and migration patterns.

Data will be recorded by satellite as the birds move around their traditional wintering sites near the Shabla and Durankulak lakes, as part of the project ‘Conservation of the wintering population of the Red-breasted Goose’, funded by Life + Programme of the EU. Through the project it is hoped that scientists will learn much more about this species, enabling them to set out appropriate conservation measures.

In addition, the satellite data gained may contribute to the establishment of agro-environmental schemes for farmers in the region.

To date, BSPB teams carrying out coastal area monitoring in Dobruja have counted the winter arrival of 6,000 Red-breasted Geese and 80,000 Greater White-fronted Geese. With a coming cold spell BSPS expect that this number will increase significantly, with Red-breasted Geese numbers predicted to enter the tens of thousands.

YouTube video — Grey Geese ID workshop: here.

September 2011: The first of tens of thousands of wintering geese have started to arrive back in Scotland as part of their annual migration. More than 1,000 pink-footed geese were recorded at RSPB Scotland’s Loch of Strathbeg nature reserve in Aberdeenshire so far: here.

Pink-footed geese appear to be avoiding new offshore wind farms when returning to the UK, a study has suggested: here.

Sociable lapwing Erzhan wintering in Sudan


This is called Sociable Lapwing Tracking – RSPB Video.

From BirdLife:

Ace navigator Erzhan emerges in Sudan for a fourth consecutive winter

Thu, Jan 27, 2011

After an absence of any firm location data since early October, Erzhan – our most experienced traveller – has just popped up on our radar again. For the fourth year running we can confirm he is now back in a wintering flock in Sudan.

The variability in the destinations of individual Sociable Lapwings returning to breed or winter each year is fascinating. This year Erzhan is in an area much further north than he has wintered before. Currently he is located in northern Sudan about 200k north of Dagash, and quite near to the Egyptian border whereas previously he has wintered to the south, much closer to Ethiopia.

This last migration, Erzhan’s journey began back in the central Kazakhstan steppes where he summered near Lake Tengiz until at least late August. Almost certainly the oldest and most experienced of our tagged birds, Erzhan set off ahead of the others pushing south west. By mid September he was north of the Caspian Sea and following a now familiar path towards the big staging sites he helped discover in Turkey back in 2007. In early October we learnt he had passed right through south western Russia and Georgia and had arrived safely, as expected, in eastern Turkey. Despite a slightly tense period with no transmissions for three months, news of his rediscovery in Sudan completes yet another amazing journey he has undertaken safely. To read more about Erzhan’s previous exploits follow this link.

Five of our satellite-tagged birds are still transmitting regularly. Right now we know Erzhan is in northern Sudan, Abaj is near Tabak in Saudi Arabia and Dinara is still just west of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India. Raushan, last positively located in Northern Pakistan, might still be present there but is probably at least a little further south and Tatyana – who wast last tracked to either Central Iraq or northern Saudi Arabia, close to the border with Jordan – is still sending out infrequent signals that are too sporadic to pin down.

Representatives of 186 civil society associations gathered outside the Turkish Parliament on Monday in protests against Turkey’s contradictory and worrying Nature and Biodiversity Conservation draft law: here.

Largest Flock of Sociable Lapwings Ever Reported in Oman: here.

Conservation scientists and government officials from fourteen countries spanning three continents are meeting in Syria today to plan collaborative conservation action that aims to prevent the extinction of the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing. Countries which have sent representatives include, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Russia, Saudia Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey and United Kingdom: here.

Sociable lapwing in the Netherlands: here.

New Australian flower discovered


From Australian Geographic journal:

New species of lily has weird perfume

By: Alexandra Back | January-27-2011

A NEW SPECIES OF desert lily that smells like a burnt-out electrical motor has been discovered in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

Conservation geneticist Dr Matthew Barrett of Kings Park and Botanic Garden, in Perth, discovered the new native near Kununurra and has dubbed it “nano-arum” (Typhonium spp) because of its small size. At between five and ten centimetres tall, it is half the size of the average arum lily and is among the world’s smallest.

Based on his previous research of other arum species, Matthew says the unusual perfume is likely volatile chemical amines released by the plant. “The burnt-out electrics smell is the plant trying to attract a specific type of pollinator beetle, called the rove beetle,” he says.

Some of the new plants were found with the beetles still inside the flower. He says the size and elongated abdomen of the rove beetle make it better equipped to pollinate the trumpet-shaped flower of the nano-arum.

Putrid attraction

Some Australian arum lilies attract pollinators such as dung beetles by looking or smelling like rotting meat or dung which is mimicked in their dark red colouring. The new arum lily is unusual in that it is green. Matthew says the different colour has something to do with the rove beetle pollinators and their attraction to rotting plant matter.

Matthew was surveying the area for a different species when he came upon the nano-arum and says the discovery of new species is not such a rare thing. “It’s not unusual for us to find one new species per day on wet season trips,” he says.

The discovery showed how many more plants were still to be discovered in Western Australia’s north, he says, particularly those like the nano-arum, which flowers for only two days in the wet season.

The environment minister of Western Australia, Bill Marmion, says that it is unusual to find a new species so close to a major town.

Coastal plants of Schoorl, the Netherlands: here.

John Pilger, Truthout: “When you fly over the earth’s oldest land mass, Australia, the view can be shocking. Scars as long as European countries are the result of erosion. Salt pans shimmer where native vegetation once grew. This change is almost impossible to reverse. The first species to die are those that are most vulnerable. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Australia’s devastation of its natural environment has caused more mammal extinction than in any other country”: here.

Grappling with the unthinkable: Small mammal extinctions spreading to northern Australia: here.

A review of the freshwater fishes of the Kimberley region of Western Australia: here.

May 2011: Hundreds of wallabies stranded on two small islands in Western Australia have been successfully rescued. Western Australia’s Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) rescued the marooned agile and nailtail wallabies, which had become stranded on two small temporary islands at Lake Argyle in the east Kimberley: here.

Ugandan gay activist murdered


This video from the USA is called Rachel Maddow Vs Anti-Gay Ugandan MP David Bahati – Part 1.

From AFP news agency:

Uganda gay rights activist murdered

KAMPALA — A Ugandan gay rights activist who late last year was pictured and named in a homophobic tabloid has been murdered at his home outside Kampala, his lawyer told AFP Thursday.

David Kato was an activist with Sexual Minorities Uganda, who was pictured and named by the anti-gay tabloid Rolling Stone in a story that called on readers to “hang” gay rights advocates.

“This happened yesterday (Wednesday) at about 13:00,” said lawyer John Francis Onyango, referring to Kato’s killing.

Onyango said initial reports indicate a man entered Kato’s home and struck him on the head before fleeing and that police were focusing on two potential suspects.

Human Rights Watch said in a statment that Kato died on his way to a local hospital.

The New York-based rights group called on Uganda’s police to “urgently and impartially investigate the killing.”

“The government should ensure that members of Uganda’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender community have adequate protection from violence and take prompt action against all threats or hate speech likely to incite violence,” HRW further said.

After being identified in the tabloid article, which accused gay rights leaders of “recruiting” Uganda’s youth into homosexuality, Kato and two others successfully sued the paper for damages and secured a high court injuction blocking all media from outing gays.

See also here.

Gay Hero Murdered in Uganda — It’s Time for the U.S. to Act: here.

Rights Groups Demand Impartial Probe Into Ugandan Activist’s Death: here.

Jodi Jacobson, RHRealityCheck: “Human rights advocates and the United States Department of State are calling for an investigation of the murder of a prominent Ugandan human rights advocate. David Kato, the advocacy officer for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), fought for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons. He was brutally murdered in his home yesterday by an unknown assailant”: here.

Ugandan gay activist murdered, another’s life hangs in the balance: here.

Uganda gay advocate murdered while U.S. extremists export hate. Add your name in protest: here.

UK preparing to put asylum seeking Ugandan lesbian “in real danger”: here.