Hyena love life, video


This video says about itself:

Female Dominance Over Male Hyenas – Animals In Love – BBC

3 February 2016

Adult males, within hyenas society, are below every other female. A three week old female cub will be more dominant then a 20 year old male part of the clan. The team set out to observe some of these dominant females…

The video is about spotted hyenas.

Eurasian songbirds’ singing while wintering in Africa


This video shows a great reed warbler singing.

From The American Naturalist in the USA:

Why do migratory birds sing on their tropical wintering grounds?

Migratory songbirds may sing during the winter months to improve their song quality ahead of the springtime mating season

Marjorie C. Sorensen, Claire N. Spottiswoode, and Susanne Jenni-Eiermann

The first notes of bird song signal the arrival of spring as well as the beginning of mate attraction season, and for many songbird species males with the most elaborate songs do best when it comes to attracting females. But why do many migratory songbirds sing during the winter, when they are thousands of kilometers away from their breeding grounds and the prospect of attracting a mate? This was the long-unanswered question tackled by Marjorie Sorensen, Susanne Jenni-Eiermann, and Claire Spottiswoode.

To answer this question, the researchers test three hypotheses to explain why winter singing might benefit long-distance migratory songbirds. First, birds may sing to defend winter feeding territories; second, males may sing during winter to improve the quality of their songs; and third, high testosterone levels during breeding may linger over the winter months and promote singing as a byproduct.

To test these hypotheses, the scientists combine a field study of wintering great reed warblers (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) in Zambia and a comparison across all songbird species that breed in the Palearctic and migrate to sub-Saharan Africa. All the collected evidence points towards great reed warblers singing in winter to improve their song quality, and across species those with the strongest sexual selection for song quality sang most intensely in Africa. This suggests that males with the most to gain from singing complex songs during breeding sing most often in Africa for the purpose of song improvement. This study sheds light on this perplexing behavior and the far-reaching effects of sexual selection throughout the annual cycle.

African wild dogs video


This 20 January 2016 BBC video on African wild dogs is called Partners In Crime – Animals In Love.

Big elephant survey in Africa


This is an African elephant video.

From National Geographic:

Largest Wildlife Census in History Makes Waves in Conservation

The full, data-driven story of Africa’s savanna elephants is now taking shape.

By Paul Steyn, for National Geographic

PUBLISHED January 04, 2016

Early findings from the largest ever aerial survey of African wildlife—the Great Elephant Census (GEC)—are proving that big data can make a big difference when it comes to saving the world’s largest land mammal.

The Africa-wide census, funded by Microsoft billionaire Paul G. Allen, took off in February 2014 with the objective of gaining a better understanding of elephant numbers across the continent.

Since then, 90 researchers from various organizations have joined aerial teams flying survey transects in 18 elephant range countries. From the sparkling desert floodplains of the Okavango Delta to the boundless savannas of Chad, the teams have racked up a combined distance of 285,000 miles (460,000 kilometers).  …

Preliminary results from the census have revealed both good and bad news for African elephants.

One of the most shocking discoveries is a 53 percent free fall in elephant numbers in Tanzania—from an estimated 109,000 animals in 2009 to 51,000 in 2015. A recent study published in the journal Science, showed that for more than a decade Tanzania has been the main source of illegal elephant ivory shipped out of East Africa.  …

Aside from huge declines not only in Tanzania but also Mozambique (which has seen a  48 percent loss of its elephants in just five years), the census has revealed positive stories.

Botswana’s elephant population has remained stable, with an estimated 129,939 recorded in 2014 (similar to 2013). Major strongholds are the Chobe, Savuti, and Okavango areas.

Uganda showed a surprising uptick, from fewer than 1,000 elephants during the 1970s and 1980s, when poaching was rampant, to an estimated 5,000 today.

Overall, Zimbabwe has lost only 6 percent of its elephants since 2001, also surprising considering the country’s economic and political woes. But locally, as in the Sebungwe region in the northwest, the picture has been grim: a 74 percent loss of elephants since 2001.

African moorhen get its own genus


A new genus Paragallinula is established for the lesser moorhen, which was previously assigned to the genus Gallinula. This photograph illustrates two diagnostic character states differentiating the new genus from Gallinula: the orange coloration on the frontal shield does not cover the entire shield, and the lack of a contrasting reddish band on the legs proximal to the ankle joint. Image credit: Mark Tittley

From Sci-News.com:

Paragallinula: Ornithologists Describe New Bird Genus

Jan 2, 2016 by Enrico de Lazaro

An international team of ornithologists from Sweden and New Zealand has described a new genus for a bird species called the lesser moorhen.

The team, headed by Dr George Sangster from Swedish Museum of Natural History, named the new genus Paragallinula.

“The generic name is derived from the Greek para (beside) and the Latin gallinula (a little hen or chicken),” Dr Sangster and co-authors wrote in a paper in the European Journal of Taxonomy.

“It denotes the resemblance of P. angulata to species of Gallinula but highlights that they are independent evolutionary lineages.”

According to the scientists, Paragallinula angulata is found in most of the African continent from Senegal and Gambia to Ethiopia, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

Young Sandwich terns, from Texel island to Africa


This video shows Sandwich terns, during their mating season, 5 May 2014, near Dishoek in Zeeland province in the Netherlands.

In June 2015, over 300 Sandwich tern chicks on Texel island in the Netherlands were provided with colour rings.

People with telescopes can read those rings, making it possible to map the journeys of these young birds.

A few of the ringed Texel Sandwich terns have already been reported from west Africa.

Save African vultures


This video says about itself:

Saving Nature’s Clean Up Crew – BirdLife’s Campaign to conserve African Vultures

13 October 2015

Most vultures are teetering on the brink of extinction across Africa. Considering the vital role they play in preventing the spread of life-threatening diseases, we must do everything we can to save these unsung heroes.

Vultures are misunderstood. They are the bringers of life, not the takers. They are the cleaners of your world.

Vultures are the halters of disease – stopping the spread of anthrax, botulism, rabies and tuberculosis.

Vultures are the sentinels of your skies – they point the way for rangers to find poachers.

For centuries, vultures were revered for they are vital.

But now, vultures are persecuted. They are being poisoned, hunted and exploited.

Vultures are disappearing because they are misunderstood.

Some vulture populations have declined by 98%.

In 2015, BirdLife International declared four African vulture species to be on the edge of extinction.

You are the most powerful species on this planet – use your power to change, use your power to act.

To act now, visit here.

West African Ambassadors endorse BirdLife’s Vulture Campaign: here.