Harbour porpoises studied in England


This video from England says about itself:

Thames Timelapse

2 April 2014

R/V Song of the Whale travels up the River Thames, in search of harbour porpoises.

From Wildlife Extra:

Whale research vessel begins porpoise survey in the Thames Estuary

A research team on board the unique, non-invasive whale research vessel Song of the Whale will carry out the first ever comprehensive scientific study to assess the population of Harbour Porpoises (the UK’s smallest cetacean) in the Thames Estuary between March 5 and 14.

In all, the survey will cover the area from Ipswich, travelling up the Thames through central London to Tower Bridge, the Thames Barrier, Teddington Lock and the Outer Estuary.

Marine Conservation Research International (MCR), which owns and operates the boat, will carry out acoustic and visual surveys using underwater microphones (hydrophones) and visual techniques, funded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and with help from conservationists from the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

The aim is to find out more about where this shy species is located in the tidal Thames and the threats porpoises face from human activities such as man-made underwater noise and litter.

This essential information can help in efforts to conserve the species.

An open day for members of the public to visit the boat will be held on Sunday March 8 at the Hermitage Community Moorings, Hermitage Wharf, Wapping.

The survey events will be as follow: March 5, when there is a training day in Ipswich; March 6, departure from Ipswich to Southend; March 7, Southend to Tower Bridge (day) and Tower Bridge to the Thames Barrier (night); March 8, 1-4pm, open afternoon for public, media and politicians; March 9, surveying Outer Estuary and Tower Bridge to Teddington Lock; March 10-14, further surveying of Outer Estuary and return to Ipswich.

Shore-based surveys involving members of the public will also take place at Rainham Marshes and Thameside Nature Park in Essex from 10am-4pm on Saturday March 7. These will be coordinated with assistance from the RSPB, Essex Wildlife Trust, Kent Mammal Group and ORCA.

For more information visit www.marineconservationresearch.org.

Unique bowhead whale swims near Cornwall


This video is called Bowhead Whale of the Arctic (Nature Documentary).

From ITV in Britain:

Bowhead whale spotted in Cornish waters

A whale never before seen in European waters has been sighted off the Cornish coast.

The Bowhead whale is usually found in the Arctic. The Sea Watch Foundation made this extraordinary discovery after mysterious pictures were sent in showing an animal whose head shape and jaw line didn’t match with descriptions of any of the expected whale species.

The pictures were sent in by Anna Cawthray, taken on a friend’s mobile phone. They showed the 25 ft long whale that she’d encountered off Par Beach on the island of St Martin’s.

Sea Watch’s Sightings Officer, Kathy James, sent the photos to other experts who confirmed the sighting as a bowhead whale. They say its “extraordinary” to see a bowhead in these waters.

Last updated Sat 28 Feb 2015

BBC – Earth – Do whales have graveyards where they prefer to die? Here.

Red squirrel in tawny owls’ nestbox, video


Before the tawny owl couple of my earlier blog post started nesting in their nestbox in Oisterwijk in the Netherlands, a red squirrel visited that box; as seen in the video here.

Nesting tawny owl gets food, video


This is a video of a female tawny owl, nesting in a nestbox in Oisterwijk nature reserve in the Netherlands in February 2015. Regularly, the male comes to bring her food.

Giant panda news update


This video is called Life of Giant Pandas – Full Documentary.

From Associated Press today:

China’s latest survey finds increase in wild giant pandas

BEIJING — Wild giant pandas in China are doing well.

The latest census by China’s State Forestry Administration shows the panda population has grown by 268 to a total of 1,864 since the last survey ending in 2003.

Nearly three quarters of the pandas live in the southwestern province of Sichuan. The remaining pandas have been found in the neighboring Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

“The rise in the population of wild giant pandas is a victory for conservation and definitely one to celebrate,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation for World Wildlife Fund.

Hemley credited efforts by the Chinese government for the increase. The survey shows 1,246 wild giant pandas live within nature reserves. There are 67 panda reserves in China, an increase of 27 since the last survey.

“The survey result demonstrates the effectiveness of nature reserves in boosting wild giant panda numbers,” said Xiaohai Liu, executive program director for WWF-China.

But the survey also points to economic development as a main threat to the rare animal. It says 319 hydropower stations and 1,339 kilometers (832 miles) of roads have been built in the giant panda’s habitat.

WWF said it is the first time that large-scale infrastructure projects such as mining and railroads get referenced in the survey. Traditional threats such as poaching are on the decline, WWF noted.

China began surveying its giant pandas in the 1970s. The latest census began in 2011 and took three years to complete.

The number of giant pandas in captivity grew by 211, more than double the previous survey figure, according to the census released Saturday.

Rare ring-necked duck in Spain


This video from the USA says about itself:

10 March 2011

A flock of Ring-necked ducks hung around the Palace Lagoon at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

From Rare Birds in Spain, on Twitter:

27.2.2015 Aythya collaris. 1 male La Massona, PN AIguamolls Empordà, Girona.

Aythya collaris means ring-necked duck. They are rare in Europe, not so rare in their northern North American homeland.

Birds in the Netherlands, video


This is a video about BirdLife in the Netherlands.