Brazilian endangered parakeet new discovery


This video from Brazil, in Portuguese with English subtitles, is called Grey breasted parakeet Conservation Project – AQUASIS.

From BirdLife:

New population of Critically Endangered Parakeet Found in north-east Brazil

By Martin Fowlie, Tue, 12/08/2014 – 09:29

A team of young conservationists in Ceará state, north-east Brazil, has discovered a small population of five Grey-breasted Parakeet Pyrrhura griseipectus. Less than 200 of these parakeets are known to survive in the wild – all in Ceará state. These rare birds are listed as Critically Endangered by BirdLife on the IUCN Red List and face immediate threats such as trafficking for the pet trade and habitat destruction. The newly discovered birds represent the third remnant population of 15 populations which were previously known to exist – the other two existing in Serra do Baturité and Quixadá.

The team, employed by Brazilian NGO Aquasis, was granted a Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) Future Conservationist Awardin 2012. CLP funding allowed the team to conduct several research expeditions with the aim of finding new populations and improving knowledge about the parakeet’s range.

“Last year, as part of our CLP-funded project we found clues suggesting the presence of this species in an isolated mountain, and it was only in March that we were able to confirm and document the finding”, said Fabio Nunes, project leader. “This discovery could be a new hope to add to the existing conservation efforts led by Aquasis and its partners.

Usually, the Grey-breasted Parakeet lives in tropical forests, nesting inside tree hollows. Yet on this occasion, the five individuals were found in a nest located in a small cavity on top of a rocky mountain, above dry vegetation known locally as Caatinga.

The discovery of new populations is excellent news, but the Grey-breasted Parakeet faces an uphill struggle. Having been left in isolation for so long, the genetic make-up of the new  population may be different enough to suggest that uniting populations may be problematic and risky.

The team is now writing a scientific paper to emphasise the importance of this discovery for the survival of the Grey-breasted Parakeet. Future conservation efforts will focus on environmental education, and direct species and habitat conservation activities led by Aquasis and supported by CLP, BirdLife International and other donors.

Aquasis are also the BirdLife Species Guardian for Araripe Manakin and have been supported by Species Champion Sir David Attenborough through the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) is a partnership between BirdLife InternationalFauna & Flora InternationalConservation International, the Wildlife Conservation Society and BP

All is well, until the last word of this press release: BP. BP, the oil corporation notorious for killing birds and other wildlife by its pollution, uses this laudable program for greenwashing.

Ring-necked parakeets flying and calling


This video is called Rose-ringed [or: ring-necked] parakeets eating mahogany seeds.

Today, a flock of six ring-necked parakeets flying a few metres behind my window, calling.

Photograph a rose-ringed parakeet, get right to name it


Ring-necked parakeet A28 in Leiden with number

Translated from Sleutelstad radio in Leiden, the Netherlands:

Leiden parakeets get names and numbers

Leiden – Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:02

Chris de Waard

Already 85 wild parakeets in Leiden have recently received medals around their necks. Researcher Roland Jonker of the Center for Environmental Sciences of Leiden University wants the ‘Parakeets by numbers‘ project to map how the Leiden parakeet population evolves: “We would really like to know where the birds go, we are also curious about the size of the population and how long the Leiden parakeets live.”

The parakeets’ medals have unique letters and numbers, so the parakeets are easily recognizable. It is estimated that in and around Leiden approximately 850 ring-necked parakeets live. So by now about ten percent have clearly visible badges. Jonker hopes that from now on Leiden people will report back massively parakeets with medals by making pictures of them and posting these to the research project’s Facebook page. As a reward, people who rediscover a parakeet may name that bird.

The medals do not hinder the ring-necked parakeets, according to Jonker. Last year a few parakeets got ‘collars’ and when they were caught again later, it turned out they had not been harmed by them.

“Parakeets by numbers” is a joint project of the Center for Environmental Sciences (CML) of Leiden University and City Parrots in collaboration with the Bird Migration Station and Waarneming.nl.

This research project chose medals, not leg bands, for parakeets; as with the numbers, the birds do not have to be caught again to read letters and numbers, causing less stress for the birds.

Ring-necked parakeets conquer Haarlem city


This video is about ring-necked parakeets in Greece.

Dutch SOVON ornithologists estimate there are now about 10,000 ring-necked parakeets in the Netherlands. Mainly in the big cities The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

However, they are spreading to other cities like Haarlem.

The birds showed up for the first time in Haarlem in 2005. Last winter, 500 parakeets were counted at Haarlem sleeping roosts. In June 2014, 937 individuals were counted.

Save macaws in Peru


This video says about itself:

18 June 2014

THE MACAW PROJECT – Help saving the enigmatic macaws of Peru with the power of media

http://igg.me/at/macawmovie

A scientific research project is being implemented in the Tambopata-Candamo region of the southeastern Peruvian Amazon. Thanks to the voluntary work of researchers, we already have a repository of suitable full-HD footage that would require professional editing to produce the desired documentary. Such editing, or post-production, of the footage would include all activities carried out after filming such as editing, sound mixing, recording voiceovers and creating subtitles.

To make this project we have 2 main collaborators:

- Rainforest Expeditions (www.perunature.com) is a Peruvian eco-tourism company that operates 3 award-winning lodges in our research area.
– Filmjungle.eu Society (www.filmjungle.eu) is an NGO funded in 1996 by independent filmmakers. By now the Budapest-based Filmjungle.eu had become the most productive production unit for wildlife films and conservation documentaries in Hungary. Its award winning list of films include titles as Wolfwatching, Invisible Wildlife Photographer, Sharks in my Viewfinder and Budapest Wild.

Nowadays most scientific research [is] only available for a very narrow academic audience by publishing in scientific journals. Often the reality of the field-based research, which underpins these journal articles, is most interesting part and is worth to be communicated to a much broader audience by this kind of documentary. Public awareness is an important goal of any conservation research, and documentary films are great tools to accomplish this — not only by conveying our conservation message to many people around the world, but more crucially revealing truths based on scientific evidence.

You can find more detailed information about the research project at this site.

Read more here.

Ecuador amazon parrots, new study


This video is called Parrot Clay Lick at Yasuni National Park, Amazon, Ecuador.

From the BBC:

23 May 2014 Last updated at 16:44 GMT

Study offers snapshot of rare Ecuador Amazon parrot

By Mark Kinver Environment reporter, BBC News

UK researchers that headed to South America to learn more about one of the world’s rarest parrots have returned with “more questions than answers”.

A team from Chester Zoo spent three weeks studying Ecuador Amazon parrots.

The parrot was only reclassified as a species in its own right in December, before which it was deemed to be a subspecies of a common group of birds.

Only 600 individuals are estimated to remain in the wild, prompting the new species to be listed as Endangered.

“The truth is that we came back with far more questions than answers,” explained expedition leader Mark Pilgrim, director general of Chester Zoo.

“Suddenly, there are a whole number of things that we didn’t expect and we now have questions about.”

One example was how the birds chose their roosting sites amid the mangroves of Cerro Blanco, located along the coast of western Ecuador.

“We knew from literature from our previous visit that the parrots roosted in the mangroves and flew to the dry forests to feed,” Dr Pilgrim told BBC News.

“The assumption was that they did that to protect themselves from predators that were not found on the mangrove islands, but they fly very far out into the mangroves.

“Shrimp farms use bird scaring devices, which are designed to frighten the herons and shore birds and stop them eating the farms’ stock.

“So is this affecting [the parrots'] behaviour? We don’t know.”

Lovesick parrots?

The study also raised questions about the birds’ breeding behaviour.

Based on data from earlier surveys and literature, the researchers assumed that they would be monitoring the parrots during the breeding season.

“However, we did not find any proof that they were breeding at that time,” explained Dr Pilgrim.

The team monitored the daily flights made by the parrots from the mangroves to the dry forests, and the return journey at the end of each day.

“One of the methods used to assess how many of the birds are breeding was to count how many single birds were making the flight.

Although the birds fly in large groups, Dr Pilgrim said it was relatively easy to spot pairs within the group. During the breeding season, it had been assumed that females did not leave their nests in the dry forests because they were incubating eggs or feeding chicks.

“So during the breeding season, you get a higher proportion of single birds travelling back to the mangroves than you do during the non-breeding season,” he suggested.

However, the team only recorded 11% of the birds in flight as “singles”.

“That could suggest that as few as 11% of the population were reproducing, which seems very low,” he observed.

However, Dr Pilgrim said that there was not 100% certainty that when the female is on the eggs in nests within the forest that the male still travels back to the mangroves.

“Maybe not all of them do travel back; maybe some of them stay in the forests in close proximity or share the nest with the female,” he said.

“So while there is some concern, there is still a lot to do before we can make clear and bold statements about what is happening there.”

Double-edged sword

But he added that there were some clearly positive aspects, as far as the remaining habitat was concerned.

“The dry forest area of Cerro Blanco appears to be extremely well protected; there is certainly a lot of ranger activity,” he said.

“All the time we were in the forest, we did not come across a lot of people who could be potentially poaching or tree felling.

“In that sense, it is very reassuring that the area appears to be well protected.”

Although a vast majority of the nation’s mangrove habitat was destroyed in the past to clear the way for shrimp farms, Dr Pilgrim said that the remaining sites were very well protected.

However, he added: “The estimated total population for this species is about 600. But the sub-populations are less than 250 birds. So, based on our findings, the IUCN is now classifying the birds as an endangered species.”

He acknowledged that the classification could be considered as a double-edged sword.

Although its continuing existence on the planet was uncertain, it did mean the species would be considered as a conservation priority, attracting resources.

Before the Ecuador Amazon parrot (Amazona lilacina) was recognised as an individual species, it was considered to be a subspecies of the four-strong Amazona autumnalis group that had a combined population of about five million, meaning it was not deemed to be a conservation priority.

Dr Pilgrim said that plans were in place to repeat the Cerro Blanco survey every third year in order to build up a long-term dataset that would allow researchers to monitor the parrots’ population dynamics.

He observed: “The forest is protected, the mangrove is protected, there does not appear to be a huge amount of nest predation from people, so – in that sense – there is nothing drastic going on that is threatening them right now.”

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Conservation awards for 2014


This video is called Blue-throated Macaws in the Barba Azul Nature Reserve, Bolivia.

From BirdLife:

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 09/04/2014 – 09:37

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) has announced this year’s conservation team awards. Twenty six grants have been awarded in 16 different countries worth a total of $450,000.

This year’s projects form another extremely diverse group ranging from conservation of Slender-snouted Crocodile in Gabon, to surveying and assessing three Red Listed tree species in the Western Ghats of India. This year, for the first time, the CLP will be supporting a project from Antigua and Barbuda.

“These awards have identified 110 young conservation leaders from developing countries early in their careers. They join a global network of more than 2,500 conservationists in the CLP alumni. These people are committed to conservation and improving the state of nature globally”, said Kiragu Mwangi, BirdLife’s CLP Programme Manager.

Bird species that will be the focus of some of this year’s projects include the Critically Endangered Blue-throated Macaw, Sociable Lapwing, Black-breasted Puffleg and Siberian Crane. A further two projects will focus on the Serra do Urubu Important Bird and Biodiversity Area in north-eastern Brazil and the Inter-Andean Slopes and Chocó Endemic Bird Areas in Colombia.

In addition to funding all participating team members will get the chance to access a wealth of conservation expertise and receive training from within the CLP Partnership.

All award-winning team members will become part of the CLP alumni network that supports approximately 2,500 conservation leaders. The Alumni Network provides ongoing professional development to our emerging leaders and positions them to multiply their impact in the conservation sector.

“Through this programme, we invest in ongoing professional development and mentoring to further build skills and knowledge”, said Kiragu.

Alumni members also receive access to additional grants, mentoring from CLP staff and training. A representative from each award-winning team will also take part in CLP’s two-week Conservation Leadership & Management Training Workshop in June 2014 at a remote ecological research station in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.

Four of the 2014 award winning teams will be mentored by BirdLife Partners – Asociacion Armonia (Bolivia), SAVE Brasil (Brazil), Aves y Conservación (Ecuador) and Nigerian Conservation Foundation.

The CLP has supported over 554 projects since the programme’s start in 1985.

The CLP is a unique partnership between BirdLife International, Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International and Wildlife Conservation Society. The mission of the CLP is to advance biodiversity conservation globally by building the leadership capabilities of early-career conservation professionals working in places with limited capacity to address high-priority conservation issues.


Full Project List

Future Conservationist Awards (up to $15,000)

  • Assessing Extinction Risk of Kenya’s Exploited Coral Reef Fish
  • Conservation Assessment of Ibadan Malimbe in South-Western Nigeria
  • Combining Research and Local Community Involvement to Save Lemur in Madagascar
  • Conservation Beyond Breeding Grounds: Tracking Sociable Lapwing in Eritrea
  • Conservation of Slender-Snouted Crocodile in the Lake Region of Gabon
  • Toward Sustainable Logging in São Tomé, São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Conserving Endangered Silvery-Brown Tamarin in Highly Degraded Forests, Colombia
  • Monitoring Harlequin Frogs in Sierra Nevada, Colombia
  • Conservation Status Assessment of Salamanders in Santander, Colombia
  • Unravelling the Occupancy Patterns of Guiana Dolphin in Southeastern Brazil
  • River Dolphin Population Assessment in Yarinacocha Lagoon, Peru
  • Promoting Local Participation in Habitat Conservation of Black-breasted Puffleg, Ecuador
  • Status Surveys of Focal Species in the Magdalena Medio, Colombia
  • Baird´s Tapir Conservation in Nombre De Dios National Park, Honduras
  • Conserving West Indian Whistling Duck on Antigua and Barbuda’s Offshore-Islands
  • Preventing Extinction of the Critically Endangered Blue-Throated Macaw, Bolivia
  • Tackling Invasive Alien Species in the Western Ghats Hotspot, India
  • Conservation of Otter Habitat Through Stakeholder Participation, India
  • Survey and Assessment of Threatened Trees in Western Ghats, India
  • Effect of Landscape Change on Mammals in Eastern Ghats, India
  • Protecting Horseshoe Bats of Romania

Follow-up Awards ($25,000)

  • Promoting Conservation of Threatened Birds in Western Colombia
  • Promoting Conservation Through Ecotourism and Education in Serra Do Urubu Important Bird Area, Brazil
  • Conserving Siberian Cranes in China Through Sustainable Water Management
  • Conserving Livelihoods and Semnopithecus Ajax: Resolving Conflicts Around Khajiar-Kalatop Sanctuary-Chamba

Leadership Awards ($50,000)

  • Dugongs for Life: Engaging Malagasy Communities in Marine Ecosystem Stewardship
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