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English osprey’s autumn migration


This video from the USA is called Osprey Migration: New Hampshire to The Amazon.

From Rutland Ospreys in England:

She’s off – 1000km in two days!

By Tim on September 2, 2014

As Kayleigh reported earlier today, things have been turning distinctly autumnal at Rutland Water in the past few days. One by one the Ospreys have been heading south, and we now know that our satellite-tagged bird, 30(05) is one of them. The latest data from her satellite transmitter shows that at 6am this morning, 30 was in northern Spain, 20 kilometres to the east of San Sebastiàn having set-off from Rutland on Sunday morning.

We don’t know exactly what time 30 left the Rutland Water area on Sunday, but it must have been fairly early because at 10am her transmitter showed that she was in northern Buckinghamshire, midway between Banbury and Milton Keynes, flying purposefully south at an altitude of 550 metres. She made excellent progress over the next four hours, continuing south through Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Hampshire at altitudes of between 500 and 1000 metres. By 2pm she had flown 151 km in four hours and was 1230 metres above the Isle of Wight with the English Channel in her sights. She made light work of the crossing to France and by 6pm GMT she was flying south through Lower Normandy. She eventually settled to roost for the night on the edge of a small wood, 55km west of Le Mans after a day’s flight of at least 520 kilometres.

Next morning 30 was on the move at first light because at 7am local time (6am GMT) she was already 46km south of her overnight roost site, and was flying due south at 31kph. She paused briefly on the edge of a small copse at 8am, but by 9am she was on the wing again, passing over the River Loire soon afterwards. Four hours later she was passing just to the west of La Rochelle at an altitude of 1500 metres. She had already covered 210 kilometres but was showing no signs of letting-up. Using the west coast of France to guide her, 30 flew another 290 kilometres during the afternoon and by 7pm she was just north of the town of Capbreton in the south of France. On Google Earth the area around Capbreton looks good for fishing and by 9pm 30 had settled for the evening in a forested area just north of Ondres having almost certainly caught a fish in one of the nearby lakes. Over the course of the day she had flown another 510 kilometres; another excellent day’s migration.

This morning 30 was on the move early again. Like the previous day, she had already flown another 40km by 7am local time, passing Biarritz and then across the Spanish border. By this evening she may well be close to Madrid. It will be fascinating to see how far she has flown when the next batch of data comes in.

Don’t forget that you can also view 30′s migration on your own version of Google Earth. To find out how, click here.

Ferguson, USA keeps fighting for justice


This video is called Residents of Ferguson march for justice three weeks after fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.

By Gabriel Black in the USA:

New protest in Ferguson, Missouri over police murder

2 September 2014

Nearly a thousand people participated in a march Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri as part of the ongoing protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer on August 9.

Three weeks after the police murder, hundreds of residents marched through heavy rain and high heat carrying signs and chanting slogans. Pictures and YouTube videos of the march show the predominance of young people at the event—many unaccompanied by their parents. On-the-spot reports described the march as being the largest daytime protest so far.

The turnout demonstrates how widespread the anger is over the youth’s slaying and the violent state repression of protests that followed. …

In contrast to previous protests that started later and continued into the night, the march Saturday began early in the day at 10 a.m. Beginning at a parking lot, protesters marched to the site of where police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown. Brown’s family circled around the spot where Michael died and a preacher and a Muslim clergy member gave prayers.

From there, the crowd marched to a park where organizers of the event, which included the Nation of Islam, the NAACP, the Green Party, and the New Black Panther Party, had been given a tent and stage by the St. Louis County Parks Department.

The militarized police forces that descended on Ferguson were notably absent. Days earlier police and army personnel, clad with assault rifles, armored vehicles, and high-tech riot gear, had shot at protesters with flash-bang grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets—arresting hundreds. …

One speaker voiced regret that Obama was not present, saying, “We want him to come here. He remarked that he didn’t have a strategy for ISIS and Syria, but we need a strategy for urban America.”

Akbar Muhammad, a leading assistant to Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, said the “authorities” had “already seen the whole world look at the missteps that they made, how they handled the black community like an army going to war in Iraq.” He went on to suggest, “If they had any sense, they will handle it in a tactful manner.” He concluded with an appeal to Obama, saying, “We expect the federal government, the president, to step in and see what’s happening inside these police departments.”

Another organizer of the event, the No FEAR Coalition, made a statement, leading up to the event that also expressed why they were organizing the event. A leader in the organization, Marsha Coleman-Abedayo, said, “We need the full support of the Attorney General’s office to make sure that Michael Brown is not simply another name added to the anonymous statistics and meaningless deaths of African-Americans at the mercy of a merciless system.”

Save Antillean iguanas


This video is about the Petite-Terre islands near Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. The lesser Antillean iguana, Iguana delicatissima, a threatened lizard species, lives there.

This is another video about that iguana species.

Lesser Antillean iguanas live on St. Eustatius island as well. However, they are threatened there.

The SOS iguana website started today to help save them.

Attacking British civil liberties is not anti-terrorism


This 2009 video about Britain is called Terrorist Threat Exploited to Curb Civil Liberties.

By Paul Donovan in Britain:

More Orwellian powers are not the answer to terror

Tuesday 2nd September 2014

The latest threats to our liberty in the name of fighting Islamist extremism will fail. A new foreign policy is essential, says PAUL DONOVAN

Recent history teaches that taking away basic liberties will not prevent terrorism.

The government seems once again to be conjuring up the fear of terrorism in order to justify further cuts to the most basic liberties of the population.

On Friday, Home Secretary Theresa May announced in true Orwellian tones that the terror threat level was being raised from “substantial” to “severe” with a terror attack “highly likely” but not “imminent.”

Then the rush to bring in more anti-terror measures, like stopping people who had been involved in foreign conflicts coming home.

The Labour Party, which gave up on civil liberties long ago, appeared to move further to the right of the government calling for the re-imposition of control orders.

Control orders were first introduced by the Blair government when the courts ruled that they could not just lock people up on the basis of untried and untested intelligence information. They amounted though to a form of house arrest that enabled people to still be effectively detained outside of proper judicial oversight.

Control orders were replaced in 2011 by terrorism prevention and investigation measures, which are effectively watered-down control orders with a few more qualifications in place like time limits.

The first question really must be why the sudden panic, other than that the government wants to be seen doing something rather than simply drifting with international events.

The populist mantra appears to go that British citizens have gone to fight in Syria and Iraq, as part of the Islamic State. They have been radicalised, so will come back and seek to commit terror acts in Britain.

The logic here is difficult to fathom. These individuals went to fight President Assad in Syria. The same Assad whom Britain together with other Western governments have been actively opposing over recent years. Indeed, a year ago, it was being suggested that the rebels should be armed and Assad bombed by the West.

In Iraq the conflict has involved the Islamic State and Iraqi government and Kurdish forces. There may of course be some friction here given the recent past in Iraq.

But the basis for thinking that having fought in this Middle East cauldron, individuals will come back here to start trouble seems dubious.

If this assertion is believed then anti-terror laws that take away the liberties of citizens on the basis of security are not the answer. The history of recent anti-terror measures from the conflict in Northern Ireland to the most recent “war on terror” show that denying liberties has done nothing to prevent terrorism.

In the case of the Irish conflict, successive Prevention of Terrorism Acts simply resulted in more innocent people going to prison and the creation of a suspect community out of the whole Irish population of Britain. This in turn probably gave real cover to terrorists.

Lessons were not learned though, with even more draconian anti-terror measures being created in the gap between the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 and the September 11 attacks. Post September 11, more liberties were taken away and the Muslim population replaced the Irish as the suspect community. There were similar results.

Anti-terror legislation does not stop terrorism — it simply results in the reduction of the liberties of all and in many cases the incarceration of innocent people. It also increases the powers of the security state over citizens’ lives.

Police, security services and politicians of most political persuasions have increasingly rushed to call for these measures on the basis that they can keep people safe from terrorism.

It is not true. Indeed it is worth recalling here the words of the late chief constable of Devon and Cornwall John Alderson that the call to give up your liberties in return for security has been the call of dictators down the ages.

The only way to stop terrorism at home is to stop interfering abroad. Britain was involved in both US military ventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both have become fulcrums of instability.

Britain sits with the US arming the Israelis and standing by while they slaughter thousands of Palestinians in Gaza.

This is not a way to ensure that people across the world love us.

It is noticeable that over the past decade or so countries like Norway, Italy and Sweden that have not become embroiled in these conflicts have endured no Islamist terrorist threat at home. We suffer terrorist threats because of our international actions usually as a result of playing the role of lapdog to the US.

Instead of seeking to deny liberties to British citizens on the basis of wholly counter-productive anti-terror measures, the government should look at its international role. It should stop interfering in countries in the Middle East, and most importantly stop pouring arms into conflict regions. …

It should stop posturing in a way that is about 200 years out of date — Britain no longer has an empire and needs to adjust to its role as a minor player in world affairs.

It will be these types of moves addressing the causes of conflict that will prevent terrorism on our streets, not taking away every citizen’s most basic liberties.

Read more articles by Paul Donovan at www.paulfdonovan.blogspot.com

First colour-ringing of Greater Flamingo in Tunisia: 45 chicks ringed in the lagoon of Korba (Cap Bon)


petrel41:

This is a video about greater flamingos in France.

I have been privileged to see these beautiful birds; eg, in Portugal.

First breeding of Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) in Cap Bon (Tunisia): here.

Originally posted on North African Birds:

The Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux” (AAO), BirdLife partner in Tunisia, in collaboration with local and international partners have colour-ringed 45 chicks of Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) in August 2014 in the lagoon of Korba, Cap Bon, Tunisia. This is the first colour-ringing of the species in Tunisia. The colour ring used is a white ring with a 4-letters black code, the code start with the letter K (for Korba). See pictures 2 and 3. For the press release of the Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux” (AAO) about the ringing operation, please see the last 2 photographs.

Colour-ringed Greater Flamingo chicks, lagoon of Korba, Cap Bon (Tunisia), 10 August 2014. Photo: Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux" (AAO)

Colour-ringed Greater Flamingo chicks, lagoon of Korba, Cap Bon (Tunisia), 10 August 2014. Photo: Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux” (AAO)

The code of the colour ring starts with the letter K (for Korba lagoon). Photo: Association "Les Amis des Oiseaux" (AAO)

The code of the colour ring starts with the letter K (for Korba lagoon). Photo: Association “Les Amis des Oiseaux” (AAO)

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Dutch endangered species news


This video is about red deer in Veluwezoom National Park, The Netherlands.

The Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics writes about research about 1771 wildlife species in the Netherlands.

From 1950-1995, many species became endangered or even extinct.

The CBS writes this destructive trend did not continue in 1995-2013 because of pro-environment measures then.

Translated:

The percentage of endangered species [as part of total species] was in 2005 slightly higher than in 1995, but it was actually lower in 2013. Progress is strongest in dragonflies and mammals; these species were already progressing from 1995 on. Since 2005, we see slight improvements in higher plants, reptiles and breeding birds. In butterflies and amphibians, however, little or no recovery was found.