Stop bird crime in Hungary

This video is called Tata Wild Goose Festival, Hungary (Tatai Vadlúd Sokadalom).

MME/BirdLife in Hungary, in cooperation with 8 other conservation organisations just launched a 5 years LIFE+ project that will aim to find effective and alternative solutions to crimes toward birds in Hungary, with a special focus on the conservation of the Eastern Imperial Eagle: here.

The latest monitoring results in Cyprus show that bird trapping with mist nets and limesticks continues to rise, threatening many migrants travelling through the Eastern Mediterranean Island: here.

Birds and frogs of Montserrat

This video says about itself:

19 aug 2010

Alien-like” scenes of tadpoles feasting on eggs emerging from their mother have been caught on camera.

The footage marks the success of a captive breeding programme for the critically endangered mountain chicken frog, one of the world’s largest frogs.

In April, 50 of the amphibian giants were airlifted from Montserrat after a deadly fungus swept through the island, devastating the population.

Now several breeding programmes are under way to save the frogs.

Once numbers have been boosted in captivity, researchers hope to reintroduce the frogs back into the wild within the next two years.

Bizarre sight

The remarkable footage was recorded at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, in Jersey, which took in 12 of the rescued frogs. Twenty-six others went to Parken Zoo in Sweden, and 12 are now housed in ZSL London Zoo.

From BirdLife:

Monitoring birds in Montserrat’s Centre Hills

Mon, Apr 16, 2012

Forestry staff from Montserrat’s Department of Environment are currently in the field conducting the annual bird monitoring exercise to determine the bird populations in the island’s Centre Hills Important Bird Area.

The exercise consists of two teams visiting 87 predetermined sites, located on 11 monitoring routes that encompass wet, moist and dry forest types. The number and species of bird are recorded both by visual observation and by sound.

Prior to 2011 each site was visited once, but in an effort to strengthen the integrity of the statistical data, all 87 points will be visited three times over a 4-week period. This will give a better estimate of the number and distribution of birds in the Centre Hills, enabling the Department of Environment to make informed decisions regarding conservation of the birds and their habitat.

Accompanying the foresters in the field is Dr. Steffen Oppel, Senior Conservation Scientist with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB, BirdLife in the UK). Dr. Oppel is particularly interested in analyzing the data for the globally threatened Montserrat Oriole Icterus oberi (Critically Endangered) and the Forest Thrush Turdus lherminieri (Vulnerable). Ms. Sorrel Jones, a volunteer from the RSPB, is also involved in the monitoring exercise.

Montserrat (a UK Overseas Territory) is home to 12 restricted-range bird species, including the endemic Montserrat Oriole. A number of environmental impacts, such as habitat degradation, invasive species, volcanic eruptions and hurricanes, may negatively affect the island’s bird populations. Therefore, the annual bird monitoring exercise acts as an early warning system that will help equip conservation managers take appropriate action in a timely manner.

Gerard A L Gray

Director of Environment

Encouraging signs of survival for Montserrat’s mountain chickens: here.

More CIA assassinations in Yemen

This video is called Drones in Yemen: ‘CIA has become a paramilitary force’.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

CIA seeks to widen assassination campaign in Yemen

20 April 2012

The US Central Intelligence Agency is seeking to expand its authority to carry out remote-control assassinations in Yemen, according to a report Thursday in the Washington Post. CIA Director David Petraeus has made the request to the White House and the National Security Council is now discussing it, the newspaper said.

Petraeus is seeking permission to engage in “signature strikes,” using drone-fired missiles to attack targets identified “solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior,” the Post reported, without knowing exactly who was being targeted for extermination.

For all practical purposes, this means turning large parts of Yemen, a sovereign country whose government has a military alliance with the United States, into a free-fire zone, in which US missiles could be fired at virtually any gathering of men thought to be armed. The country is awash in weapons, particularly in the rural areas where tribal sheiks, rather than the central government, hold sway.

The request marks a significant escalation of the US operations in Yemen, which are conducted both by the CIA and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command. Both agencies use remote-controlled missiles as their primary weapons, selecting targets based on satellite intelligence and reports from on-the-ground spotters. According to published estimates, US agencies have conducted at least 27 strikes against Yemeni targets in the last three years, killing some 250 people.

Petraeus greatly increased the role of special forces in Afghanistan during his year as the commander of US military forces there, and he has continued this focus on covert paramilitary operations since becoming CIA director in 2011. “Signature strikes” have been a staple of CIA operations in the tribal regions of Pakistan, and now Petraeus wants to extend these methods into Yemen.

See also here.

Yemeni president announces cosmetic changes to military: here.

Save Lake Junin in Peru

Lake Junin in Peru

From BirdLife:

Reactivation of Junin Lake Management Committee gives hope to threatened species

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Association of Andean Ecosystems-ECOAN and National Service of Protected Areas of Peru joined forces to reactivate the Management Committee of Lake Junin. Lake Junin or Chinchaycocha is located in the Peruvian Central Andes, more than 4,100 meters above sea level. This ecosystem has unique and threatened endemic bird species worldwide such as Lake Junin Giant Frog Batrachophrynus macrostomus (EN), Junin Grebe Podiceps taczanowskii (CR) and Junin Rail Laterallus tuerosi (EN) and it is an important stopover site for migratory species.

Of course, the Lake Junin Giant Frog is an endemic amphibian species, not an endemic bird species.