Lauwersmeer sea eaglet ringed


This is a Dutch video about the ringing of the Lauwersmeer sea eaglet today. In the video, a warden says that the eagle chick has been eating carp, bream, tench, rudd, wigeon, and coot.

In a later interview, zander as food was mentioned as well.

Translated from Dagblad van het Noorden daily in the Netherlands of today:

Lauwersoog – The eaglet in the Lauwersmeer nature reserve today has been ringed, weighed and measured. It turns out to be a healthy male weighing 3.6 kilogram. He is probably about five weeks old. As far as is known, this is the first time ever in the Northern Netherlands that a sea eagle has been born.

After the failed breeding attempt last year, there was much joy among employees of Forestry and SOVON Bird Research in the Netherlands that this young eagle is in good condition.

Britain: Wildlife experts ringed rare peregrine falcon chicks today amid fears that poor weather and poaching have taken their toll: here.

July 2011: Sixteen white-tailed sea eagle chicks, gifted to Scotland from Norway as part of a major reintroduction project, have been settling into their temporary home at a secret location in Fife, Scotland: here.

Kermadec islands’ marine discoveries


This video is called New Zealand’s remote Kermadec Islands reveal underwater secrets.

From Wildlife Extra:

Voyage of discovery: Kermadecs expedition finds several new species

‘Every dive holds the possibility of seeing new creatures’

May 2011: New Zealand’s largest scientific expedition ever to explore the inshore coastal waters of the Kermadecs, has been discovering several new species.

Auckland Museum marine curator Dr Tom Trnski says he believes two of the species collected on the expedition to date are probably new to science while a handful of animals are brand new records for New Zealand.

‘We have almost certainly already collected new species but we just don’t know it yet,’ he said.

‘The other night we found an eel that none of the fish experts on the boat can identify – so it could possibly be a new species but we won’t know that until we get back from the expedition and can send it to an eel expert to confirm its identity.

Several species new to New Zealand

‘Every dive we make has the possibility of finding creatures new to the Kermadecs, new to New Zealand and even new to science.

‘We have two species that I’m pretty confident are new to science – a little left-eye flounder and a pipe fish.

‘We suspect the flounder doesn’t grow very big as the largest one we have collected is just 10cm long. Probably the most exciting find is the pipe fish – again it’s small, 10cm long, with a white body with striking orange spots. Pipe fish are related to sea horses, and are really just like a sea horse that has been straightened out.’

The new species records for New Zealand include a shark, a zebra lionfish, a tropical banded eel, a blackspot sergeant and a tropical goatfish. Final confirmation of these species records won’t be made until after the expedition return at the end of this month.

Yellow saddle goatfish work together to catch their dinner, according to scientists: here.

New Spanish beetle species discovered


Hydraena diazi female specimen, located in the Val Daran

From Wildlife Extra:

Two new beetles discovered in Spain

Two new endemic beetles discovered in Iberian Peninsula

June 2011. A European research team, with Spanish participation, has described two new beetle species measuring just two millimetres in length. The beetles were found in streams in the Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees mountains and in the Sierra de la Demanda mountains. Experts had previously thought that they belonged to another European species.

“These species, which have a restricted range, had been confused with another European species with a more extensive distribution (Hydraena saga) and so their independent evolutionary history was unknown” said Ignacio Ribera, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF) in Barcelona.

Hydraena diazi, one of the two new beetle species, was found in the Montseny Natural Park in Barcelona. Measuring between 2.2 and 2.4 millimetres in length, the insect also inhabits the Pyrenees.

Second new species

The study, which has been published recently in the journal Zootaxa, also confirms the existence of another new species, Hydraena fosterorum, discovered in another mountain chain, the Sierra de la Demanda (Burgos).

Individuals of this species, which are also found in the north of the Sistema Ibérico mountains (Sierra del Moncayo), measure between 2.15 and 2.30 millimetres. According to Ribera, the two species “are exclusive to well-conserved streams”, and are similar to the insects in the Pyrenees.

Britain: June 2011: A nationally rare beetle has been discovered in good numbers at a Worcestershire nature reserve. The leaf-rolling weevil has been found at the Wildlife Trust’s Trench Wood nature reserve between Droitwich and Worcester and its presence is testament to the management work the trust has been doing to benefit this and other insect species: here.

The ages of most North American insects can be deduced by applying a little knowledge of the species in question and by looking at the calendar: here.

More antelope in South African nature reserve


From Wildlife Extra:

More antelope released onto Umphafa Private Nature Reserve

Antelope species released onto Colchester Zoo‘s South African Private Nature Reserve

June 2011. Action for the Wild, Colchester Zoo’s charity, is thrilled to report on the release of several antelope species at the Umphafa Private Nature Reserve in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

In total 7 impala, 21 red hartebeest and 22 blue wildebeest were introduced to the reserve in April and have settled in very well. It is hoped that the introduction will increase the future breeding populations of antelope species at the reserve. Antelope are important for providing a prey base for carnivorous species, like the cheetah, but are threatened by the spread of human settlements, increased farming and increased demand for meat.

White impala spotted on South African reserve: here.

Genetic structure of the common impala in South Africa: phylogeography and implications for conservation: here.

Bagram torture prison population growing


This video is called U S Torture at Afghanistan Bagram Army Base Pt1.

And this is Part 2.

From Salon.com in the USA:

Saturday, Jun 4, 2011 11:01 ET

The Gitmo no one talks about

By Justin Elliott

President Obama has presided over a threefold increase in the number of detainees being held at the controversial military detention center at Bagram Air Base, the Afghan cousin of the notorious prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. It’s the latest piece of news that almost certainly would be getting more attention — especially from Democrats — if George W. Bush were still president.

There are currently more than 1,700 detainees at Bagram, up from over 600 at the end of the Bush administration.

The situation at Bagram, especially the legal process that determines whether detainees are released, is the subject of a new report by Human Rights First. It finds that the current system of hearings for detainees “falls short of the requirements of international law” because they are not given “an adequate opportunity to defend themselves against charges that they are collaborating with insurgents and present a threat to U.S. forces.” Human Rights First also argues that cases of unjustified imprisonment are damaging the broader war effort by undermining Afghans’ trust in the military.

I spoke to the author of the report, Daphne Eviatar, a senior associate in the law and security program at Human Rights First who traveled to Bagram to observe the situation first-hand. The following transcript of our conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

The [British] government has let a man languish in Bagram detention centre for seven years without charge because it claims it would be “politically embarrassing” and “futile” to ask for his release: here.

United States: Yemenis cleared for release held in Guantanamo for years: here.

Torture Accountability After All? Stephen Soldz, Truthout: “Over the last few years, as one avenue of accountability after another was closed, it looked as if the torture program would be protected as carefully by the Obama administration as it was by the Bush administration. The result, many feared, was that torture would remain an available tool of the state, to be dragged out by future administrations who could cite the lack of accountability for Bush torture by a Democratic administration as evidence of a bipartisan consensus that torture really isn’t that bad. Many human rights experts have argued that future courts, too, could view the current lack of accountability as a legal precedent, potentially further shielding future torturers. The one avenue for accountability that wasn’t closed by the Obama administration was the investigation by Department of Justice prosecutor John Durham. Durham, readers may recall, was the federal prosecutor originally tasked to investigate the destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes in apparent violation of a court order. In 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder expanded Durham’s mandate to include investigating incidents of detainee treatment that went beyond even those actions approved under the so-called ‘torture memos’ of the Bush Justice Department”: here.