Bowerbird bowers inspire artist


This video is called Life – The Vogelkop Bowerbird: Nature’s Great Seducer – BBC One.

From Audubon Magazine in the USA:

Incredibly Elaborate Homes of Bowerbirds Inspire New Art Exhibit

Janelle Iglesias reimagines the birds’ creations with a mix of locally sourced natural and recycled materials.

Todd Petty

Published: 03/26/2014

The male Vogelkop bowerbird goes to incredible lengths to attract a mate. With the creativity of an artist and the industry of an architect, he collects both natural and manmade materials found nearby to create an elaborate nest. He’ll incorporate everything from twigs and grasses to bottle caps and string into his masterpiece, all in the hopes of wooing a lady. Now, art is imitating this incredible behavior seen in life.

The remarkable bird inspired New York-based artist Janelle Iglesias’s new exhibit, In High Feather, at the University at Buffalo. The immersive, two-story bower in the style of the Vogelkop bowerbird, isn’t intended to be an exact replica of the bird’s home, Iglesias says, but rather an artistic reimagining.

Iglesias recently visited the Arfak Mountains in Indonesia in search of what she calls “the most advanced avian architecture on earth.” Her trip was made possible with the help of a Jerome Foundation travel and study grant.

Iglesias says that the kinship she felt for the Vogelkop bowerbird extends beyond an appreciation for their constructions. She and the birds use locally sourced material, often repurposing discarded items, she says. “I felt like I needed to make some decisions about my practice that would align my [environmental and political] philosophies,” she explains.

The bowerbird uses the space they create for seduction, luring females to visit and check out what they’ve created, in much the same way an artist seeks an audience. In fact, Iglesias invited the public to watch her build the exhibit, which opened February 27.

The two-story installation in the Lightwell Gallery will also include images and field recordings from her trip, as well as discarded items she picked up, including Christmas trees and cereal boxes. Just like the bowerbirds’ creations, her invention is a wonder to behold.

In High Feather runs until May 10.

This video says about itself:

Documentation of Janelle Iglesias’ installation at BCA Firehouse Gallery, “Draw Back the Bow (or Kill Your Darlings),” 2010. Video & music by Jin Kim.

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Leopard discovery in Java, Indonesia


This video is about leopards.

From Antara news agency in Indonesia:

Leopard detected in conservation forests in East Java

Tue, February 4 2014 23:33

Tulungagung, E Java – The East Java chapter of the Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) has detected Javanese leopards (Panthera pardus melas) in four conservation forests in the region, stated its head, Hartoyo.

He released the statement here on Tuesday, in response to a declaration on saving the endangered Javanese leopard issued at a Javanese leopard conservation conference in Bogor, West Java, on January 29-30, 2014.

“So far, we have come to know about it, based on the reports indicating the existence of the wild animal and also from some eye witnesses,” he remarked during a telephonic conversation, when asked to give confirmation about the existence of the Javanese leopard.

He admitted that the existence of the Javanese leopard was not properly documented as it is not included as species whose protection must be prioritized based on the ministerial regulation.

The Javanese bull (Bos javanicus), Javanese eagle (Nisaetus bartelsi), and cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) have been identified by the ministry as three rare species and their monitoring has been prioritized.

The Javanese leopard is not included in the BKSDAs monitoring priority list as it is not included in the list of protected animals, although its existence in the forests is almost extinct.

“We are awaiting a legal decision to declare the Javanese leopard as a protected animal before we can make any protection plans,” he emphasized.

He explained that the existence of the big cat has been threatened by the loss of habitat due to deforestation as well as conflict with humans and diseases.

In the past five years, the Javanese leopard has been spotted in the Ijen (Bondowoso), Sempu (Malang), Sigoho, and Picis (Ponorogo) forests, he claimed.

However, their existence had yet to be confirmed based on the research and scientific monitoring data, he added.

“Now, confirmation of its existence is based on an ocular analysis and general information obtained from the witnesses. There has been no direct contact between the BKSDA officials and the animal, except in Ijen, some time ago,” he stated.

Leopard observer Hendra Gunawan pointed out that the Javanese leopard is the only big cat that still exists in Java after the Javanese tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) was declared extinct in the 1980s.

“Thus, unless serious efforts are made to protect the leopard, the fate of this big cat will also follow suit,” he remarked at the conference in Bogor.

The Javanese leopard has been categorized as critically endangered species and put in the list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature under the category Appendix I in CITES.

No exact data is available on the exact numbers of the Javanese leopard existing in the forests of Java.

“Since mapping was conducted four years ago, the animal was mostly found in Halimun-Salak or Pangrango Mountain (West Java),” Hendra reported.

Reporting by Slamet Agus Sudarmojo

February 2014: Two men have been arrested in Malaysia by wildlife authorities following the discovery of a leopard carcass and a mouse deer at a bus stop near the town of Karak, in the state of Pahang, on the east coast of the country. Markings on the leopard’s foreleg indicate that a snare was used, a practice which is widespread among poachers in South-East Asia: here.

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Namibian, Indonesian wildlife news


This video from Namibia is called Bwabwata National Park.

From Wildlife Extra:

Two new Ramsar sites

January 2014: Two new Ramsar wetland sites have been designated in January; Bwabwata in Okavango, Namibia, which will be the country’s fifth, and Tanjung Puting National Park in Indonesia, the country’s seventh.

Situated in Bwabwata National Park, the site covers the lower Okavango River, part of the Okavango Delta Panhandle and permanently or temporarily flooded marshes and floodplains bordered by riparian forest and open woodland. It supports IUCN Red-Listed species, including the vulnerable African elephant, hippopotamus, lion, slaty egret and the endangered grey crowned crane. The site supports one of the highest diversities of species in the Zambezian Flooded Savannas ecoregion. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded, the highest number of any site in Namibia.

While Tanjung Puting National Park is one of the most important conservation areas in Central Kalimantan, acting as a water reservoir and representing one of the largest remaining habitats of the endangered Kalimantan Orangutan Pongo pygmaeus. The site consists of seven different types of swamp, including peat swamp forests, lowland tropical rainforest, freshwater swamp forests and as well as mangroves and coastal forest. It supports large numbers of endemic species of flora and fauna adapted to the predominant acidic peat swamp environment.

Sites are recognised by the Ramsar Convention Secretariat as a Wetland of International Importance and that the country’s comitment [sic] to maintain the ecological character of them.

This video from Indonesia is called Orangutan Odysseys Tanjung Puting National Park tour.

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