This is a video about young red squirrels playing.
The video was recorded in Henni van der Zanden’s garden in the Netherlands.
This video from the USA about New York City red-tailed hawks says about itself:
Egg in the nest? Rosie and Bobby switching nest duty – March 15th, 2014
15 mrt. 2014
It appears that there is now, at the very least, one egg in the Washington Square Park Hawk nest.
Bobby and Rosie are now regularly taking turns sitting in their nest. A fellow Hawk-watcher informed me that she saw the nest-switching behavior quite clearly yesterday after I had already left the park for the day.
I took this footage of Bobby and Rosie switching nest duty this morning. Also included in the video is footage of Rosie eating and perching in various spots.
You can hear Rosie calling out starting at the 34 second mark.
I cut the audio in a couple of the clips in order to not distract the viewer from having to hear park noise that was occurring during the action.
At least one of Bobby and Rosie’s eggs have hatched – April 18th, 2014
The first hatching was reported by NYU to have happened yesterday morning (April 17th). The egg hatched three days after it was ‘expected’ to which is so in keeping with Rosie and Bobby’s broods.
Their eggs typically hatch two to three days later than the 28-35 days ornithologists have said Red-tailed Hawks eggs usually do. There are many conditions that affect when the eggs hatch (latitude, for example).
Fledging is said to usually occur 42 – 46 days after hatching but interestingly, all of Rosie and Bobby’s offspring in the past fledged at least two days later than ‘expected’.
If all goes well, this first 2014 hatchling should fledge between May 29th – June 2nd.
Six species of sea turtles are found in the waters surrounding the Dutch Caribbean islands with regular nesting activity occurring annually on the sandy beaches of Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. Because sea turtles undertake remarkably long transboundary migrations and because they are slow to reach sexual maturity (20 – 30 years), they require significant international cooperation and long-term monitoring in order to best understand their population trends.
Once amazingly abundant, Caribbean sea turtles have seen a rapid decline since the time of European expansion in the Americas. Scientists estimate that in the 1600s, over 90 million Green Turtles were present the Caribbean seas. Today the number is estimated at a mere 300,000. Hawksbills have plunged 99.7% from 11 million to 30,000. Fishing gear entanglement, illegal harvesting, coastal development, marine pollution and climate change still remain serious threats to the recovery of global sea turtle populations.
Having been involved with sea turtle conservation for more than two decades, Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) has gained important knowledge and understanding not only of sea turtles ecology and biology, but also of best practices for conducting scientific research. STCB staff and volunteers are well-experienced in catching, measuring and weighing the animals while causing the least amount of stress, they know when and where to do beach patrols and they know how best to protect sea turtle nests.
After becoming an established organisation on Bonaire and widely respected within the regional sea turtle conservation community, STCB is actively sharing its knowledge in an attempt to strengthen and support sea turtle monitoring and conservation efforts on the other Dutch Caribbean islands. In addition to leading workshops on Bonaire with several visiting island conservation organisations, STCB recently visited St. Maarten to conduct an assessment of potential sea turtle feeding areas, providing important information to support the St. Maarten Nature Foundation in implementing appropriate and effective in-water monitoring efforts.
On Curaçao, 2013 brought increased sea turtle conservation and protection on the island with the establishment of four new Ramsar sites and the legal ban on destructive gillnet practices, which will come into effect in May 2014. Additionally, a dialogue between STCB and CARMABI began with the idea of developing and implementing a sea turtle nest monitoring programme on Curaçao using Bonaire as a model. In February 2014, Curaçao has officially taken the next step in the protection of the island’s charismatic and threatened sea turtles. Recent discussions between the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles (IAC), the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, STCB, the Curaçaoan Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as CARMABI and Uniek Curaçao have led to a collaborative agreement to develop a monitoring programme to asses the health and status of Curaçao’s sea turtle populations. The aim is to initiate a beach patrol programme to monitor nesting activity of sea turtles on the Shete Boka beaches throughout the nesting season (May – December) and perform head count surveys of feeding sea turtles in one of the key feeding areas on Curaçao – Boka Ascension. The data collected will not only be used to determine the presence and species composition of sea turtles in Curaçao and identify trends over time, but will also contribute to a regional dataset that monitors Caribbean-wide sea turtle population trends and will allow Curaçao to properly manage this precious endangered species.
To learn more about or get involved with sea turtle conservation on Curaçao, contact the Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature, CARMABI or Uniek Curaçao.
This video is about two bugs mating in the Netherlands.
John Rothuis made the video.
This video is called Vicious Beauties – The Secret World Of The Jelly Fish.
From daily The Independent in Britain:
According to reports the Prime Minister ignored warnings from locals after they spotted a number of the stinging marine animals at the island’s Arrieta beach.
The Daily Mirror reported that tourists saw him suddenly run from the water rubbing his arm and yelling: “Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!”
Tourists told the newspaper that Mr Cameron came running out of the water immediately in his blue swimming trunks and rubbing his arm.
Local ex-pat Wendy, 59, told the newspaper that one of her friends warned Mr Cameron the sea was full of jellyfish.
“Everyone got out of the water and his kids walked back with their minders around the pier,” she said.
“But then he decided to get back in then suddenly came out shouting in pain after getting stung.”
This is a video about a white stork couple walking together in the Netherlands, while busy traffic passes.
Fadime Uzun made the video.
This video from the USA is called Gulf Oil Spill Birds – Don’t Let Kids Watch.
Scientists fear BP blowout killed far more birds than officially reported
By Bob Marshall, Staff writer
April 15, 2014 2:43pm
Almost from the start, wildlife advocates described the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as a war on the Gulf ecosystem. Few quibbled with that analogy as a record 210 million gallons spewed into the Gulf just 50 miles from one of the world’s most productive coastal estuaries.
Yet four years later, wildlife workers, especially those concerned about birds, are skeptical of one metric commonly used to assess wars of any kind: the official body count.
For example, the official count of brown pelicans killed by BP’s oil stands at 577, which doesn’t seem like a big hit on a population estimated in the neighborhood of 85,000. Similarly, the total of 6,381 for all birds killed in the Gulf from populations numbering in the hundreds of thousands would seem insignificant.
But wildlife specialists say those numbers are likely low by a factor of at least 10 — and no one should think the worst is over for the pelicans and a host of other less heralded bird species in the northern Gulf.
Accurate counts of wildlife deaths in spills are always difficult because stricken animals frequently crawl away to die or sink to the bottom of a water body, while others make easy targets for predators, said Melanie Driscoll, the National Audubon Society’s director of bird conservation for the Gulf Coast.
To compensate for those factors, spill specialists use multipliers supplied by computer models.
In the Exxon Valdez event — a smaller spill in a smaller area than the Deepwater Horizon — scientists put the number of dead birds at 225,000, a figure arrived at after applying multipliers ranging from 10 to 30 to the total number carcasses of various species that were actually recovered.
“In some cases the multiplier can be 12 or 5 or even 20,” said Driscoll. “I’ve seen a number as high as 50 by one group for dolphins and whales in this spill. So that would mean if 20 dead dolphins were collected, you multiply that number by 50, and you get 1,000 – which would be much closer to the actual damage done.
“In this spill I would expect the multipliers for birds to be huge.”
That’s because recovery operations during the Deepwater Horizon disaster faced additional complications. The spill occurred at the beginning of the five-month nesting season for pelicans and other birds, and it covered a much larger area than the Exxon Valdez — 68,000 square miles compared to 11,000.
“The decision was made not try to recover dead birds from the nesting islands to avoid causing even more deaths,” said Driscoll. “That meant most of those sites were not searched until late August or early September at the earliest” — months after the disaster struck, in April.
The delay meant adult pelicans, their eggs and then their young were being contaminated as long as BP’s oil was in Barataria Bay. Plastic and cloth booms placed around the islands to collect the oil provided only marginal protection because the pelicans’ daily food searches took them into the oil-fouled waters beyond the booms.
Less fortunate adults were completely soaked in oil, and the heart-breaking photos of their struggles soon became iconic images of the disaster.
Pairs returning to their nests with oil on their feathers smeared the toxic substance on porous eggs they were incubating. And when the surviving young were old enough, they walked and swam through the weathered oil around the booms.
Driscoll said by the time search teams entered the islands, many birds that had died from oil contamination likely had decomposed or had been eaten by scavengers. Nor could there ever be an accurate count of the eggs that failed to hatch due to the oil.
She said the real toll on all birds in the northern Gulf could reach six figures because the delay in counting could mean “thousands, tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of carcasses just disappeared.”
The location of this spill would only add to the multiplier, she said. In the sub-tropical Gulf, predation takes place 24/7, 365, which means anything of food value doesn’t last long.
“It’s an incredibly productive system so that means there is also an incredible number of predators,” Driscoll said. “And this was spread over a really huge area, which complicated the collection as well.”
The difficulty of coming up with an accurate number has been compounded by the paucity of post-spill research on birds in the impacted area, Driscoll said.
“Of the $500 million BP set aside for research on Deepwater Horizon impacts, dozens and dozens of studies have been done on oysters and fish, and I know of just two that have been started on birds,” she said.
“I understand the studies on oysters and fish; everybody needs to know what’s happening in the food chain. But we are four years removed from the spill, and we don’t have answers to questions like what the long-term impacts could be.”
Research by government agencies as part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment has been kept from the public. That’s because monetizing the damage done to fish, wildlife and habitat plays out like a personal-injury lawsuit, with opposing sides reluctant to tip off the other to their findings.
One study in Minnesota on the breeding success of white pelicans, winter residents of coastal Louisiana, is a cause for concern. October arrivals in Gulf waters, the whites would have missed most of the surface oil, but they spent the next six months feeding on fish in bays polluted by the disaster. The researchers collected 200 eggs that didn’t hatch and looked for evidence of oil contamination.
“The study is still under way, but of the first 30 un-hatched eggs they looked at, 90 percent had the chemical signature of Deepwater Horizon oil,” Driscoll said, “and 80 percent had the signature of the dispersant Corexit, which was widely used during the spill.
“Now there may have been other reasons why these eggs didn’t hatch. But what they found is significant — and it’s the kind of research we should be doing on many other species here in the Gulf, but we aren’t.”
One clue to the long-term impact of the spill on Louisiana brown pelicans could arrive this summer as many of the birds born during the disaster enter their first spawning season.
But while Louisiana residents are understandably focused on their state bird — which ironically was taken off the endangered list five months before the spill — Driscoll said the ornithological community has graver concerns about other species.
“Pelicans got a lot of attention, and deservedly so, but the reality is their populations have been doing quite well with all the help they’ve received from humans over the last 40 years,” she said.
“They have a fairly large population with as many as 70,000 to 80,000 in Louisiana alone, and many more in other states. But there are only 6,000 Wilson’s plovers in the entire Gulf, so losing even a small number of that species could be a real problem.”
In fact, the official list of birds killed by the spill shows only two Wilson’s plover carcasses collected. But that doesn’t assure Driscoll that the plover population escaped major damage.
“A body count in these spills is just that — a count of the carcasses that were found, not an accurate picture of how many were really killed,” said Driscoll. “What’s been so frustrating in our community is the lack of information.
“We just don’t know yet, and we might not for a long, long time.”
This video from England is called Dorset Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves.
From Wildlife Extra:
1,500 acres of wildlife-rich land purchased in Dorset
April 2014: Nearly 1,500 acres of outstanding wildlife habitat has been bought by Dorset Wildlife Trust and its partners as part of a new conservation project in east Dorset, Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch, called ‘The Great Heath Living Landscape’.
The areas purchased include: Lytchett Bay, Upton Heath, Holes Bay, Parley Common and Ferndown Common. These sites provide habitats for many rare and threatened species, including the Dartford Warbler and all six UK reptiles, including the nationally rare smooth snake and sand lizard. This purchase mean two outstanding areas of natural heritage; the New Forest National Park and the Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area can be linked together.
DWT’s Director of Operations, Brian Bleese said: “The purchase of this land is a real investment in the future of Dorset’s heritage, and will make a huge contribution to the quality of our natural environment for decades to come. We are very excited about taking the project into the next phase to help local people and communities benefit from the wealth of wildlife around them.”
The Great Heath Living Landscape is a partnership of Dorset Wildlife Trust, the Erica Trust, Poole Harbour Commissioners, Borough of Poole, Dorset County Council Countryside Service and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust. The project is supported by Bournemouth Borough Council. Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council and Natural England.