Columbus’ Santa Maria ship discovered?


This video says about itself:

Is ColumbusSanta Maria ship found?

13 May 2014

Explorer Barry Clifford says he discovered the wreckage of Columbus’ Santa Maria ship off Haiti. Miguel Marquez reports.

See also here.
See also here.

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Endangered black-capped petrels, new study


This video says about itself:

12 January 2012

The Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) is an endangered species. These are the very first chick photos obtained in Haiti.

From Clemson University in the USA:

Researchers help track mysterious, endangered ‘little devil’

May 1, 2014

Clemson University’s South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit joined with Grupo Jaragua and the American Bird Conservancy to lead the first-ever effort to track via satellite the black-capped petrel, an endangered North Atlantic seabird known for its haunting call and mysterious nighttime habits.

There are only 13 known breeding colonies and an estimated 600 to 2,000 breeding pairs, all located in the remote areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

The birds, which come to land only to breed, are known in their home range as “daiblotin” or “little devil” because of their eerie call and the sound produced by air moving over their wings during nocturnal flights.

Researchers recently affixed small solar-powered satellite transmitters to three birds raising chicks in the isolated mountains along the border region of Haiti and Dominican Republic.

The three birds have now headed out to sea in search of food. Their travels can be followed at black-capped petrel journeys.

Black-capped petrels are known to visit waters off the U.S. East Coast and have been seen in the Southeast as far north as Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

“We are already seeing unique, real-time data that is adding to our understanding of the ecology of this species,” said Patrick Jodice, leader of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and professor in Clemson’s School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences. “The satellite transmitters are allowing us to document 24-hour flights of 400 to 500 miles, and they are foraging in parts of the southern Caribbean Sea that were somewhat unexpected.”

Black-capped petrel nests are under threat by Haitian communities dependent on land for farming and wood for cooking. The species is also believed to be threatened by losses from collisions with power lines and communications towers, wildfires and invasive predators, such as rats and cats.

Data from the satellite transmitters will deepen scientists’ understanding of the birds’ ecology at sea and help determine how best to improve the species’ conservation status.

“This is a pioneering effort for this species that will yield unique information about the petrels’ travel routes and foraging locations while breeding, the rate at which the birds feed their chicks over the course of the breeding season and, we hope, their dispersal following breeding,” Jodice said.

The South Carolina Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit is is supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Clemson University and the Wildlife Management Institute.

The satellite tagging project is supported by American Bird Conservancy, Mohamed bin Zayed Fund for Species Conservation, Cary and David Paynter through the H. Smith Richardson Jr. Charitable Lead Annuity Trust, Jeff Russinow, South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Stuart and Lynn White.

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Save the black-capped petrel


This video says about itself:

The Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) is an endangered species. These are the very first chick photos obtained in Haiti. For more info: http://www.grupojaragua.org.do/diablotin_english.htm

From BirdLife:

Black-capped Petrel may warrant protection under the endangered species act

Wed, Jun 20, 2012

A nocturnal seabird, the black-capped petrel, may warrant federal protection as a threatened or endangered species.

Endangered means the species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range; threatened means the species is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

The black-capped petrel is found in North America and the Caribbean, and is known by several common names: “black-capped petrel,” “capped petrel,” and “West Indian petrel” in North America and on English-speaking islands. In the Greater and Lesser Antilles, the bird is known as “diablotín” (little devil). In Cuba, the bird also is referred to as “bruja” (witch).

This decision, commonly known as a 90-day finding, is based on scientific information about the species presented by WildEarth Guardians in a petition to list the species and designate critical habitat, as well as information found in Service files at the time the petition was received. The Service will now conduct a thorough status review of the species to determine whether the species warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (Act).

“This finding does not mean that the Service has decided it is appropriate to list the black-capped petrel,” said Edwin Muñiz, Field Supervisor for the Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office. “The 90-day finding is the first step in a process that triggers a more thorough review of all the biological information available.”

”We are encouraging the public to submit any relevant information about the black-capped petrel and its habitat to us for consideration in the comprehensive review,” Muñiz said.

The black-capped petrel has a grey-brown back and wings, with a white nape and rump. The seabird’s underparts are mainly white apart from a black cap and some dark underwing markings. It picks food items such as squid from the ocean surface. The seabird nests in colonies on islands and are found at sea when not breeding.

Currently, there are only 13 known breeding colonies and an estimated 600 to 2,000 breeding pairs. While historically the black-capped petrel had breeding colonies throughout the Caribbean region, current breeding populations are known only on the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic), and possibly Dominica and Martinique. The non-breeding range of the black-capped petrel is along the coast between North Carolina and Florida.

The black-capped petrel faces many potential threats to its continued existence, including human encroachment, deforestation, agricultural modification, offshore oil exploration and development, overuse from subsistence hunting, predation by introduced species, pollution, mercury bioaccumulation and inadequate regulatory mechanisms.

Predation by introduced species, such as Indian mongoose, Virginia opossum, feral cats, dogs, pigs, and rats also contributed to the decline and possible elimination of the species from multiple locations in the West Indies. Pollution, bioaccumulation of heavy metals, and oil spills potentially threaten the existence of the petrel as researchers have noted that the species has a mercury concentration seven to nine times higher than other similar seabirds.

Additionally, impacts specific to the black-capped petrels could include changes in habitat suitability, loss of nesting burrows washed out by rain or flooding, increased petrel strandings inland during storm events, and increased risk from animal-borne disease.

North Atlantic Seabirds – Multimedia Identification Guide to Pterodroma Petrels: here.