Kos island, Greece, arrival 18 April


This 2016 video says about itself:

Approach & landing runway 32 Kos airport (KGS LGKO)

Kos Island International Airport, “Hippocrates”, or Κρατικός Αερολιμένας Κω, Ιπποκράτης in Greek, is an airport serving the island of Kos, Greece. The airport is located near to Andimachia village. The airport was opened on 4 April 1964. In 1974 the runway was extended to 2,390m. With the increased traffic at the airport in 1980 a new terminal building was built. In 1997, the terminal building was renovated and expanded. In this film you can enjoy an approach from the north of Kos Island. We had to perform the full procedure since we where number 3 in the approach towards the airport. All ATC and conversations are from this flight. Enjoy the view and movie! Greetings, MightyMKL.

This 2017 German language video is about Kos airport as well.

On 18 April 2019, we arrived at the airport of Kos island in Greece.

We continued to the ferry harbour.

Along the road, magpies and hooded crows.

House sparrows near the harbour.

A barn swallow flies over an area where there are archaeological digs on Kos classical antiquity.

Yellow-legged gulls flying over the harbour.

Stay tuned, as there will be much more on Greece on this blog!

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Snow leopards, video


This 5 April 2019 video says about itself:

Snow Leopards 101 | Nat Geo Wild

Snow leopards are one of the world’s most elusive cats. Learn how these “mountain ghosts” are perfectly equipped to thrive in extreme, high-elevation habitats, and how they expertly hunt agile prey.

Great white sharks scared of killer whales


This video says about itself:

This Is The Biggest Great White Shark Ever Caught On Camera

Great white sharks are… big. Obviously. But a few years ago, divers met up with Deep Blue, probably the biggest great white shark ever caught on camera. So what do we know about the massive great white?

From the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the USA:

White sharks flee feeding areas when orcas present

Electronic tag data reveals white sharks do not return until following season; elephant seals benefit

April 16, 2019

Summary: New research challenges the notion that great white sharks are the most formidable predators in the ocean. The research team documented encounters between white sharks and orcas at Southeast Farallon Island off California. In every case examined by the researchers, white sharks fled the island when orcas arrived and didn’t return there until the following season. Elephant seal colonies in the Farallones also indirectly benefited from the interactions.

New research from Monterey Bay Aquarium and partner institutions published today in Nature Scientific Reports challenges the notion that great white sharks are the most formidable predators in the ocean. The study “Killer Whales Redistribute White Shark Foraging Pressure On Seals” shows how the great white hunter becomes the hunted, and the elephant seal, the common prey of sharks and orcas, emerges as the winner.

“When confronted by orcas, white sharks will immediately vacate their preferred hunting ground and will not return for up to a year, even though the orcas are only passing through,” said Dr. Salvador Jorgensen, senior research scientist at Monterey Bay Aquarium and lead author of the study.

The research team — which included Jorgensen and Monterey Bay Aquarium scientist Scot Anderson, and research partners from Stanford University, Point Blue Conservation Science and Montana State University — documented four encounters between the top predators at Southeast Farallon Island in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, off San Francisco, California. The scientists analyzed the interactions using data from 165 white sharks tagged between 2006 and 2013, and compiled 27 years of seal, orca and shark surveys at the Farallones.

“The research in this paper combines two really robust data sources,” said Jim Tietz, co-author of the study and Farallon Program Biologist at Point Blue Conservation Science. “By supplementing the Aquarium’s new shark tagging data with Point Blue’s long-term monitoring of wildlife at the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, we were able to conclusively show how white sharks clear out of the area when the orcas show up.”

In every case examined by the researchers, white sharks fled the island when orcas arrived and didn’t return there until the following season.

Elephant seal colonies in the Farallones also indirectly benefited from the interactions. The data revealed four to seven times fewer predation events on elephant seals in the years white sharks left.

“On average we document around 40 elephant seal predation events by white sharks at Southeast Farallon Island each season,” Anderson said. “After orcas show up, we don’t see a single shark and there are no more kills.”

Each fall between September and December white sharks gather at the Farallones to hunt for young elephant seals, typically spending more than a month circling Southeast Farallon Island. Transient orcas also feed on elephant seals, but only show up occasionally at the island.

To determine when orcas and sharks co-occurred in the area, researchers compared data from the electronic shark tags with field observations of orca sightings. This made it possible to demonstrate the outcome on the rare instances when the predators encountered each other.

Electronic tags showed all white sharks began vacating the area within minutes following brief visits from orcas. Sometimes the orcas were only present for less than an hour. The tags then found the white sharks either crowded together at other elephant seal colonies farther along the coast or headed offshore.

“These are huge white sharks. Some are over 18 feet long (5.5 meters), and they usually rule the roost here,” Anderson said. “We’ve been observing some of these sharks for the past 15 to 20 years — and a few of them even longer than that.”

The study’s findings highlight the importance of interactions between top predators, which aren’t well-documented in the ocean.

“We don’t typically think about how fear and risk aversion might play a role in shaping where large predators hunt and how that influences ocean ecosystems,” Jorgensen said. “It turns out these risk effects are very strong even for large predators like white sharks — strong enough to redirect their hunting activity to less preferred but safer areas.”

The researchers drew no conclusions about whether orcas are targeting white sharks as prey or are bullying the competition for the calorie-rich elephant seals.

“I think this demonstrates how food chains are not always linear,” Jorgensen said. “So-called lateral interactions between top predators are fairly well known on land but are much harder to document in the ocean. And because this one happens so infrequently, it may take us a while longer to fully understand the dynamics.”

Climate change theatens North American sparrows


This 24 June 2011 video from the USA says about itself:

Seaside Sparrows in Connecticut Saltmarsh. ©JimZipp2011; following New Moon high tides that flooded out all nests.

From Oxford University Press USA:

Climate change threatens endangered sparrows

April 16, 2019

A new study in The Condor: Ornithological Applications finds that some sparrow species will go extinct within the century due to climate change.

Seaside (Ammospiza maritima) and saltmarsh (A. caudacuta) sparrows are closely related species and among only five bird species that are almost completely restricted to coastal salt marshes for their entire life. These sparrows’ nests are predominantly destroyed by predators or flooding.

Salt marshes are globally limited to about 30,000 square miles (45,000 square km), with one-third of the total on North American coasts. Of the 25 species or subspecies limited to tidal wetlands worldwide, 15 are restricted to the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Given rapid climate changes and other threats to salt marsh ecosystems, many of these species are in serious danger.

The global breeding range of the saltmarsh sparrow extends from Virginia to Maine, with a population estimate of 60,000 birds. Sea-level rise can negatively impact breeding seaside and saltmarsh sparrows by reducing the amount of available habitat, and by increasing nest flooding rates. Furthermore, the high human population densities of Mid-Atlantic states also make it difficult for sparrows to thrive in the region.

This study aimed to estimate population trajectories for seaside and saltmarsh sparrows within Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey, identify the primary drivers of those trajectories, and explore potential management strategies to prevent declines.

The researchers found that seaside sparrows persisted under a 1 ft (0.35 m) rise in sea level scenario and also under a sea level rise of almost 2.5 ft (0.75 m). Saltmarsh sparrows survived in neither scenario. With a 1 ft rise in sea level, the seaside sparrow population experienced a compound decline of .35% a year. Under the 2.5 ft sea level rise scenario, this decline increased to .56% a year. The saltmarsh sparrow median time to quasi-extinction was 20 years under both scenarios.

The results indicated that seaside sparrows are likely to persist, while saltmarsh sparrows are likely to become locally extinct in the next 30 years.

“Given the projected increases in sea level over the next few decades and threats from predators, we will need to implement timely and creative actions to avoid extinction of saltmarsh sparrows,” said the paper’s lead author, Samuel Griffith Roberts.

Carnivorous mammals in United States cities


This 2012 video from the USA says about itself:

Bobcat Prey | Wild Mississippi

A bobcat sneaks up on a hungry rabbit emerging from its burrow.

Now, about not so wild areas.

From North Carolina State University in the USA:

Can multiple carnivores coexist in cities?

Bobcats, coyotes, foxes seek green spaces in the suburbs

April 16, 2019

Summary: A new citizen science study shows how urbanization may affect interactions between carnivores in small suburban forest patches, using camera trap images from Raleigh, N.C., and Washington, D.C.

As growth makes neighborhoods more crowded for humans, it’s also concentrating carnivores like bobcats and coyotes into the remaining green spaces, leading them to interact with each other more frequently than they do in wild areas, according to research in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

The citizen science study looks at how carnivores interact with each other when they’re sharing space in small suburban forest patches. With the help of 557 volunteers and 1,260 remote cameras set up in suburban, exurban, rural and wild areas, the researchers documented 6,413 carnivores among nearly 43,000 images of wildlife. Carnivore species included bobcats and coyotes along with smaller gray and red foxes.

“We found a lot of animal activity in the suburbs, but it was really concentrated in the remaining green space. We think carnivores are trying to avoid people, so they are moving through the strips of remaining forest, where they are more likely to interact with each other,” says lead author Arielle Parsons, researcher with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University.

“What we discovered was that preserving green space in our cities is important not only for humans but also for wildlife species. Green space provides cover, it provides food and it’s a good way for carnivores to navigate without being in any danger from people.”

In general, the smaller carnivores steer clear of the larger ones. Some have theorized that smaller carnivores might stay closer to people, using them as “human shields” from larger predators. But that wasn’t borne out by the study.

“We found, on the contrary, that gray foxes and coyotes especially — our smallest species and our largest species — actually tended to use the same sites,” Parsons says. “In other words, they didn’t avoid each other, which was pretty surprising.”

For those who are wary about having carnivores in their midst, Parsons says it’s actually a good thing, given the key role they play in the ecosystem.

“Our study is showing that carnivores are trying to stay away from people by using forested areas,” Parsons says. “If we give them the opportunity to do that through preservation of green space and green space corridors through our urban areas, carnivores are going to continue to live nearby, which is actually a good thing for the ecology of our cities.”

“Just like roadways and sidewalks focus human movement and increase the potential for interaction, we find the high use of strips of remaining green space by carnivores increases their level of interaction,” says study co-author Roland Kays, a zoologist with NC State and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. “This shows how urban planning can affect the ecology of animals that share cities with people.”