Orphan baby otters found at last


This video is about otters in Friesland province in the Netherlands.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

Foresters of the Forestry Commission and Natuurmonumenten are relieved: two young otters have been found in Hasselt. The otter mother was killed two weeks ago on the N331 road between Hasselt and Zwartsluis.

The rangers knew the female otter had pups, because milk came from the nipples of the dead animal. They did everything to find the orphaned animals. …

The Forestry Commission says on its website that the pups are about three months old and still cannot survive independently. It is, therefore, considered to be special that they survived the past 10 days. The baby otters have been brought to a shelter in Ureterp, near Leeuwarden.

Good cirl bunting news from Cornwall


This video is about a cirl bunting singing.

From Wildlife Extra:

Cirl Bunting numbers on the rise in Cornwall

Cornwall’s re-introduced population of Cirl Buntings has had its best year yet with 39 pairs producing more than 100 fledglings at the Roseland site. Cirl Bunting numbers have been steadily increasing in Cornwall, since 2006 when the first hand-reared birds were released.

“These are encouraging signs that the population is on its way to becoming self-sustaining, and as the first passerine reintroduction to take place in Europe, the project can be considered a huge success,” said Cath Jeffs, RSPB Cirl Bunting Project Manager.

Next year, it is predicted that the population will exceed the milestone of 50 pairs, which would be a great achievement. The key to the future of this project is ensuring that the right habitat is provided through the delivery of agri-environment schemes. If the habitat is there, the birds will continue to flourish.

“The success of this reintroduction represents a fantastic example of collaborative working. A partnership project, the RSPB works with local farmers along with the National Trust to increase the amount of suitable habitat for the birds, and a farmland advisor works with landowners to secure further habitat for the wider, natural spread of birds through Natural England’s agri-environment schemes,” said Cath Jeffs.

The project has been jointly funded by the RSPB and Natural England, as well as receiving £173,670 from SITA Trust and £5,000 from BBC Wildlife Fund.

‘Don’t kill chickens, vaccinate them against bird flu’


This video says about itself:

FLU FACTORIES

1 January 2012

Crowding pigs into factory farms likely led to the emergence of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. So far, millions of people have been infected and thousands have died. Learn the inside story on the origins of swine flu and ways we can help prevent flu pandemics in the future.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands today:

But now also a chicken business in Ter Aar turns out to be infected [by bird flu]. Again, tens of thousands of chickens will be killed. Is that really the best way to fight the disease?

Just this week it was announced that vaccination is possible. Dutch researchers are the first scientists who have succeeded in developing a vaccine that can be administered on a large scale. One of the researchers, Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmaceutics Erik Frijlink, explains that vaccination is a better way to prevent outbreaks of bird flu.

The vaccine has been developed on the basis of H5N1, but the technique is also applicable for H5N8, the ‘Hekendorp‘ virus.

Koalas told apart by their noses


This video from Asustralia says about itself:

A heart breaking story – In the eucalypt forests of east coast Australia lives one the world’s most loved animals, the koala. Join Jenny Brockie as she observes a year in the life of Arnie (King Koala) and his group of females and offspring. Arnie, Lulu and Marie must fight off threats from rival males, goannas, snakes and feral dogs in order to maintain the group and Arnie’s ascendancy.

From Wildlife Extra:

Individual Koalas can be told apart by their noses

Individual Koala Bears can be identified by their nose says new research, as each Koala has a unique ‘noseprint’, just like a human fingerprint.

Janine Duffy from the wildlife tour operator Echidna Walkabout, which carried out the research, said: “A few years ago I was looking up at one Koala thinking, ‘Gee, I wish I could tell you guys apart’ and I just looked at the nose through my binoculars and I thought ‘Oh my God! They’re all different.’ I knew this could be important because I’d found a way of learning about Koalas without having to touch them.

“Up until then, Koalas could only be monitored by catching them and releasing them with a GPS collar. They are animals that get stressed easily, and wild ones like to keep their distance from humans. Catching and dragging them out of a tree to do research can be very harsh.”

After the initial discovery, Janine and her team have recorded the nose patterns of 108 wild koalas over 16 years, and identified that not one has changed substantially in that time.

Their research has led to important discoveries about Koala behaviour, and Janine believes it could play a major step in helping the species survive.

“I’d love to see a national online koala database, with tourists and locals contributing photographs to help identify Koalas and track their movements and behaviour,” she said. “It’s part of my grand dream that every Koala in Australia would be known.”

Southern right whales get satelitte tags for first time


This video is called Breeding Southern Right Whales – Attenborough – Life of Mammals – BBC.

From Wildlife Extra:

Right Whales tagged for first time to help solve mystery

For the first time satellite tags are being used to remotely track Southern Right Whales from their breeding/calving grounds in the sheltered bays of Península Valdés, Argentina, to unknown feeding grounds somewhere in the western South Atlantic.

It is hoped the results from the study will help solve why more than 400 Southern Right Whale calves have died between 2003-2011.

Different hypotheses put forward for this mortality include disease, certain types of contaminant, and harassment and wounding by kelp gulls, a frequent occurrence in Península Valdés.

Over the past month, a team of top scientists from a range of organisations, including the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Aqualie Institute of Brazil and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have succeeded in affixing satellite transmitters to five Southern Right Whales in Golfo Nuevo.

This area is one of the two protected gulfs of Península Valdés and an important breeding ground for southern right whales. The team selected calving females and solitary juveniles so they can glean insights into habitat use and migratory movements for different sex and age groups.

“Over the last several centuries, and as recent as the 1960s, southern right whales were hunted, at times close to the verge of extinction. But they have now managed to rebound in numbers thanks to protected refuges such as Península Valdés,” said Dr. Martín Mendez, Assistant Director of WCS’s Latin America and the Caribbean Program.

“The recent increase in mortality is being caused by something that remains unsolved. Determining where the whales go to feed may offer clues to solving this complex question.”

So far the data received shows that two of the five whales have remained in the waters of Golfo Nuevo, while the other three have already left the bay. One of the animals is currently in deep waters of the South Atlantic, one has been spending its time over the continental shelf, and another has moved into deep offshore waters, but has returned to the continental shelf break.

“As the tags continue to transmit, we hope our whales lead us to new insights about their lives in the vastness of the South Atlantic and provide possible clues related to the die-off,” said Dr. Howard Rosenbaum of WCS’s Ocean Giants Program.

Which North American warbler should artist paint?


This video from the USA says about itself:

Bird Watching: Spring Warblers in Central Park, New York City

During their spring migration many beautiful birds pass through Central Park. Shown are just 18 of the colorful migrating Warblers with their stunning plumage: Palm, Prairie, Yellow, Worm-eating, Magnolia, a graceful American Redstart, Hooded, Black-throated Blue, Northern Parula, Blackpoll, Bay-breasted, Ovenbird, Black-and-white, a Northern Waterthrush singing and foraging, Canada, Common Yellowthroat, a Yellow-rumped bathing and a Black-throated Green Warbler preening and drying off after a bath. Filmed April 12 – May 26, 2014 in Central Park, New York City.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

Dear Friend of the Cornell Lab,

As the Cornell Lab of Ornithology heads into its centennial year, artist Jane Kim has begun painting an epic mural of birds, celebrating 375 million years of avian evolution and diversity around the world.

By the time Jane finishes a year from now, the mural, “From So Simple a Beginning,” will trace the diversity of birds through the ages, featuring life-size portraits of species from all 231 extant bird families. We need your help, though, to decide on one more species to join this ambitious mural: Which warbler should Jane paint to represent this brightly colored songbird family?

Warblers are one of the main attractions of spring birding in North America—they’re brilliant little jewels that come in a great variety—so we’ve created a fun and easy way for you to cast votes on which warbler best suits our beautiful bird mural.

The winning warbler will be one of the mural’s 250-plus portraits reminding us every day of the diversity of the world’s birds and the need to protect them today and in the century ahead.

Pick Our Warbler

We’ll announce the winning warbler in our Thanksgiving eCard.