Tunisian waterbirds news

This video says about itself:

Migration of Black kites and White Storks at Cap Bon, Tunisia between 24 &30 April 2009 with Bee-eaters, Egyptian vulture & Short-toed eagle.

From Tunis Afrique Presse (Tunis):

Tunisia: New Site On Ramsar List

25 January 2013

Tunis — The Complexe Lac de Tunis, a site covering 2,243 hectares including the Northern and Southern Lakes of the Tunis city, has been put on the Ramsar list as an important new Wetland of International Importance.

This was announced by Tunisia’s General Forests Department and World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Tunisia as part of the project “Wetlands: A Habitat for Men and Nature.”

According to WWF, this site constitutes an ideal nesting ground for several waterbirds and wintering ground for migrating species, such as the Greater Flamingo, and offers a rich flora for several fish species.

Tunisia has 38 Ramsar sites covering 828,285 hectares, and two more sites are waiting to be added to the list in the coming days, according to information posted on “TunWet” website (a network of Tunisian environmental associations endeavouring for the protection of wetlands).

WWF Tunisia and the General Forests Department dedicated this designation to Dr. Luc Hoffmann, WWF co-founder and one of the “Founding Fathers” of the Ramsar Convention, on his 90th birthday (January 23).

Adopted in 1971 in Iran, the Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands of International Importance and to plan for the “wise use,” of sustainable use, of all of the wetlands in their territories.

Waterbirds as an ecological indicator for monitoring wetlands: an application to Tunisia: here.

Species richness patterns of waterbirds wintering in the gulf of Gabès in relation to habitat and anthropogenic features: here.

British birds dying from lead shot

This video from Britain says about itself:

Do birds die from eating lead shot?

This video explains how lead is ingested by waterbirds. We filmed this during one of the many post mortems carried out by WWT on waterbirds over the past few decades.

From Wildlife Extra:

Is lead shot poisoning the UK’s birds?

Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) has welcomed the Government’s announcement to review the progress of the Lead Ammunition Group

January 2013. The Lead Ammunition Group was set up in 2010 in response to urgent concerns about the toxic effects of ammunition made of lead, which is a poisonous substance to all forms of life. Most lead shot misses its target and falls to the ground where it can be ingested by several species of birds including swans, ducks and geese who mistake it for food or the grit they use to grind food.

8% of dead wild birds killed by lead poisoning

WWT research has found that 1 in 3 wild birds sampled suffer from lead poisoning, and that it was the cause of death for 1 in 12 dead wild birds sampled.

Environment Minister Lord De Mauley, answering a written question, told the House of Lords “the (Lead Ammunition) group has agreed to provide a report to Ministers in April 2013 and Defra will review the progress of the group at this stage”.

“Lead is a poison”

WWT Chief Executive Martin Spray said: “Lead is a poison, yet we still allow thousands of tons of it to be spread across our countryside. Thousands of birds suffer and die from ingesting lead shot left on the ground.

“The Lead Ammunition Group’s work is crucial in assessing the damage caused to wildlife and people by lead shot. It was set up in response to an urgent request in 2010 and there is a danger that, with still no sign of a final report, the group could be seen to be moving too slowly while wildlife continues to suffer and die. The group’s commitment to publishing an interim report in April sends a strong signal that it is getting on with the job, and I welcome the Government’s decision to review the group’s progress thereafter”.

Wildlife Extra wonders if birds would be better off if those wielding the guns were better shots?

Gargie Award, thank you SageDoyle!

Gargie award

I was greatly honoured to receive the Gargie Award from SageDoyle.

Thank you so much Sage! All the best with you, your writing of poetry and prose, and your blog!

As with most blog awards, there are rules to follow upon acceptance. The rules are:

1. Display the award badge on your site.

2. Publish a post to inform the world of your great achievement.

3. Nominate some fellow bloggers (who have been outstanding in their field or perhaps whom you admire).

4. Indicate to your nominees that they have received the award… provided you have completed step three.

My awardees are, in no particular order:

1. geaninalisandru

2. Cristian Lisandru

3. MADD Suspicions

4. Le Superkikke

5. The Top 10 of Anything and Everything

6. Photography Art Plus

7. Sketchjay


10 years after Iraq invasion, activists honoured

From the the BRussells Tribunal in Belgium:

Press release: BRussells Awards for Resistance and Solidarity

by BT on 26-01-2013

In the frame of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the BRussells Tribunal decided to organize a prize: The BRussells Awards for Resistance and Solidarity

Uday Al Zaidi - Ayse Berktay

Uday Al Zaidi – Ayse Berktay

Press release                                                                                         BRussells Tribunal

The BRussells Tribunal started as the opening session of the World Tribunal on Iraq, a people’s court in the tradition of the Russell Tribunal on Vietnam. It has become a peace organisation and a network of academics and activists that since 10 years protests against the illegality of the invasion, the crimes of the occupying forces and the US installed regime. The BRussells Awards for Resistance and Solidarity consist of two categories: a Prize for International Solidarity, the defence of justice and international law, to be handed out to an international activist and a Prize for the Defense of Human Rights: the Resistance Award, to be handed out to an Iraqi activist. The ceremony of the handing over of the awards will be held on March 19th in Kaaitheater, a prestigious cultural venue in Brussels, and on March 20th in Ghent, in the “Expeditie”. The BRussells Awards for Resistance and Solidarity are supported by several NGO’s and cultural institutions. After cautious deliberation the BRussells Tribunal has decided to publicize the name of the winners.


Muntadher Al Zaidi, while throwing his shoes at Bush and Maliki

Uday Al Zaidi

Muntadher Al Zaidi, while throwing his shoes at Bush and Maliki, and Uday Al Zaidi

The Award for Resistance goes to Uday Al Zaidi. He is the brother of Munthader Al Zaidi and the president of The Popular Movement to Save Iraq. He is one of the organizers of the protests against the occupation that have been taken place since January 2011 in almost all of the 18 provinces in Iraq. On 31 December 2011, the Popular Movement to Save Iraq, released a statement that called for a new front “to resist the second face of the occupation.” It goes: “The youth will remain in the streets calling for the departure of every last American soldier, under whatever terms or form that the occupation government might adopt.” The statement further called on the Iraqi people “to prepare to open up a new front to resist the second face of the occupation represented by its sectarian government and its divisive constitution…”

Uday Al Zaidi, he himself a Shia, insists on the non-sectarian character of the protests. And therefore he represents the will of the Iraqi people to unite in order to regain its full sovereignty. That is why the BRussells Tribunal decided to give its Award for Resistance to him, as a representative of the Iraqi people in resistance against 10 years of inhuman and illegal occupation. The massive protests, which started after the invasion in 2003 and expanded with the Arab spring, are reaching a climax now. People have already coined it ‘Tawhra’, the Iraqi revolution.

On 25 January 2013 Uday Al-Zaidi and several of his colleagues were arrested in Basra. They had been there for the past 10 days to organise demonstrations and they would attend the big Friday 25th demonstration. Uday has been released, but his arrested friends seem to have disappeared. The BRussells Tribunal and the other organizations of the International Anti-Occupation Network (IAON) are seriously alarmed by this information and very concerned for their safety and wellbeing, given the horrendous situation in the Iraqi prisons, where torture, rape and assassinations are endemic.

We demand their immediate release.


Ayse Berktay Hacimĭrzaoğlu

The Award for International Solidarity goes to Ayse Berktay Hacimĭrzaoğlu, translator and political activist. Ayse Berktay was one of the co-founders of the World Tribunal on Iraq, the first serious attempt to condemn the illegality and the illegitimacy of the invasion. She was there from the first hour and was one of the main organizers of the culminating session of the World Tribunal in Istanbul, held in the Topkapi Palace in June 2005. Without Ayse Berktay, this worldwide action, with 24 sessions all over the planet, might never have come into existence, or at least not in the same way. She incarnated so to speak the World Tribunal on Iraq.

In October 2011 Ayse was arrested in Turkey and has been held in pre-trial detention ever since on charges of terrorism because of her solidarity with the Kurdish people. She was apprehended in the frame of the so-called KCK operations, in which already some 10.000 people have been arrested. Her activities and multiple international travels for the World Tribunal on Iraq are cited in the indictment as proof of her allegedly illegal activities. With this award we want to protest this Kafkaesque accusation. We request a fair trial, for her and the thousands of Kurdish people in jail. We demand her immediate release, following the examples of Professor Busra Ersanli’s and Ragip Zarakolu’s release from prison during the course of the KCK trials. We hope that Ayse Berktay will be able to come to Brussels in March and collect the award in person.

About Uday Al-Zaidi
An appeal by Uday Al Zaidi to the people in Southern Iraq
About Ayse Berktay
Letter From Istanbul Bakirkoy Women’s Prison
summary and proposals
lawyers statement
contact: brussellsprize@brussellstribunal.org   Lieven De Cauter: + 32 477 617 420
Enhanced by Zemanta

Zambian lioness Lady Liuwa update

This video from Zambia says about itself:

The Last Lioness (Full Documentary) HD

Dec 11, 2011

A haunting call echoes across the Liuwa Plain. There is no answer, there hasn’t been for years. She has no pride, no support – she alone must safeguard her own survival. Her name is Lady Liuwa, and she is the Last Lioness. Isolated by a scourge of illegal trophy hunting that wiped out the rest of her species in the region, Lady Liuwa is the only known resident lion surviving on Zambia’s Liuwa Plain. For four years, cameraman Herbert Brauer watched her lonely life unfold, until, in her solitude, she reached out to him for companionship.

All rights belong to The National Geographic Society.

From Wildlife Extra:

Lady Liuwa update – Surviving lions have formed a small pride

Male and young lioness mating regularly

January 2013. After the younger of the 2 new lionesses was killed in a snare in June 2012, the second new lioness left the park and headed towards Angola. She was captured just before she crossed the border, and a decision was taken to put Lady Liuwa and the young lioness in a holding boma for several weeks. The decision proved to have been a wise one, and the two lionesses were released in October having bonded together well.

The lioness bonded well, and Lady was quick to establish her dominance over the young lioness (who in turn has shown appropriate submission) but has been tolerant, allowing the youngster to share wildebeest carcasses with her. Apart from a few growls at meal times, there has thankfully been no real aggression.

Wandering males leads to a lion death

On an unfortunate note, the two males (introduced into Liuwa in 2009) wandered north-west out of the park, with satellite tracking of the one collared male showing that he strayed 40 kilometres into Angola before doing a U-turn and hurrying back to the park. The second male did not return to the park and subsequent reports from local communities indicated that he had been killed in Angola after straying close to a village. The coalition of these two magnificent males was a stirring sight on the Liuwa plain and the loss is tragic.


Happier news ensued as the remaining male teamed up with Lady Liuwa and the young lioness, and the three have been co-existing as a unit ever since. The male and young lioness have been seen mating in November and there are hopes for cubs in 2013.

Liuwa National Park is managed by African Parks. African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. African Parks currently manages seven parks in six African countries – Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Zambia. The total area under management covers 4.1 million hectares, an area as large as The Netherlands.