This video from the Canary islands says about itself:
Three wild canaries eating birdseed in my garden in Tenerife.
Saving Macaronesia’s biodiversity, one species at a time
By Tânia Pipa, Mon, 12/10/2015 – 06:10
Macaronesia (no relation to the Micronesia archipelago in the Pacific Ocean), is a collection of four archipelagos in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Europe and Africa. They are the Azores and Madeira islands (Portugal), the Canary islands (Spain) and Cape Verde. BirdLife is one of the few international NGOs working at all these archipelagos, thanks to the work of SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal), SEO (Birdlife in Spain) and Biosfera (Cape Verde).
All four island groups are incredibly rich in biodiversity; despite representing only 0.2% of EU territory, Macaronesia hosts over a quarter of the plant species listed in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. But teeming plant and animal life comes with its own set of problems, from the threat of extinction to invasive alien species and habitat destruction. This is a summary of the work carried out there by SPEA, both on land and in the open seas.
Working in the Laurel Forest
The Laurissilva, also known as the laurel forest, is a subtropical and humid type of forest that only survives in the Maraconesian archipelagos. It is home to an incredible number of endemic species and subspecies, and hosts some of the least-known and more threatened birds in Europe.
SPEA’s work began there in 2002 with a small passerine: the Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina), commonly known as Priolo. This bird, an endemic species which only lives in the Serra da Tronqueira (a Natura 2000 site on the eastern side of São Miguel Island) was Critically Endangered – only 200 breeding pairs existed. After years of conservation efforts and three LIFE Projects, the Bullfinch has been downlisted to Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The population is now estimated to be 1,300 individuals.
Today, SPEA’s work with laurel forest birds continues, and the latest example is the EU funded project LIFE Fura-bardos, which aims to study and protect the rarely seen Macaronesian Sparrowhawk subspecies (present only in Madeira and the Canaries). Using this species as an indicator for the forest’s wider biodiversity, SPEA will identify management measures that can be applied in similar forests.
Saving the seabirds
The Macaronesian islands are vital breeding areas for several species of seabirds, which are one of the most endangered groups of birds in the world. Seabirds are threatened by habitat destruction, invasive mammals, artificial lights, fisheries bycatch, overfishing and marine litter, among other things. In 2008, SPEA (together with SEO) was amongst the first in the EU to publish a detailed inventory of the marine IBA network, leading the way forward in marine conservation.
Both of Madeira’s threatened petrels, the Zino’s petrel (Pterodroma madeira) and the Desertas Petrel (Pterodoma deserta), have been a top priority for SPEA (in collaboration with the Madeiran Natural Park). SPEA has been working to control or eradicate invasive species such as cats, rabbits and mice, which has contributed decisively to the successful recovery of both species of petrel.
On the Azores’ smallest Island, Corvo, the LIFE project Safe Islands for Seabirds evaluated the impact of invasive rodents, feral cats, goats and sheep on one of the most emblematic seabird species in the Azores, Cory’s Shearwater (85% of the world population of Cory’s Shearwater Calonectris borealis breeds on the Azores and Madeira archipelagos).
This project found that cats caused the most harm, destroying 84% of all nests and eggs damaged by predators. Habitat restoration and the construction of Europe’s first predator-proof fence were among the measures used to mitigate the impact on seabirds.
Light pollution – a major threat to juvenile seabirds – is another area where SPEA is taking action in Macaronesia. Over the last 20 years in the Azores and 5 years in Madeira, a huge and successful campaign involving volunteers, local organisations, city halls and SPEA has helped regional governments rescue and release thousands of Cory’s Shearwater juveniles impacted by artificial lights.
This is proof that no conservation measure cannot be successful without local support: allowing local people to explore, be aware and participate in the preservation of natural heritage, which at the same time leads to sustainable development of their communities.
This video says about itself:
15 April 2015
However, ever since the 1970s, their numbers declined.
Recently, some fishermen say the numbers are going up again.
To see whether that is true, some shrimp fishermen will tag sharks which they catch, and release them.
Today, 28 August 2015, was supposed to be the start of this. However, the young school shark caught today was too small to tag, so it was freed without having been tagged.
As this photo shows, Spanish authorities on Gran Canaria island, two days ago, transported sick African refugees in a garbage truck. I know that pigs, cattle and other animals are sometimes transported in horrible ways, with overcrowding, dirt, etc. However, so far I have not read about pigs or cattle being transported in a garbage truck.
These African refugees were ill. Transporting them in a garbage truck exposed them to pollution and worse illness.
Two migrants die as Morocco unleashes crackdown on behalf of Spain and the European Union: here.
This video says about itself:
19 March 2011
They spend their whole life on the sea and they are fascinating flying artists.
Every year lots of the Cory´s shearwaters, mostly the young, meet with an accident. During the last six years Bruno Dittrich helped about 100 of them to regain their strength.
From Twitter today:
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.”
Texel island jellyfish: here.
This is a video of a Canary islands blue chaffinch.
Wild fires threaten biodiversity hotspot on Canary Islands
Wed, Aug 15, 2012
Wildfires in themselves are natural disasters.
However, like other natural disasters, they become much worse by human economic, social and political causes. In Texas and elsewhere in the USA, cuts in the fire services by conservative politicians have made wildfires worse. Austerity policies in Greece have the same effect. And I would not be surprised at all if the Rajoy government’s austerity in Spain has contributed to the fire disasters in the Canary islands and elsewhere. As Mr Rajoy prefers spending money on his “bankster” friends, on the royal family, and on wars.
pose a serious hazard to people, their property and livelihoods and affect key sectors including agriculture, livestock and tourism. The forest of La Gomera is an important pillar in the local economy due to tourism (especially nature tourism).
SEO/BirdLife, (Spanish Partner) is concerned about the serious environmental damage caused by the fires in Garajonay National Park – one of Europe’s biodiversity hotspots.
The fires have already destroyed more than 700 ha of the National Park and are still spreading, which could endanger some populations of species that are unique to the island. The park has the largest continuous expanse of laurel forest on the Canary Islands, located in the central area of La Gomera. Other habitats include heath, scrub and exotic coniferous woodland.
In the Teno Rural Park, located in the northwest of Tenerife, the fires have been intensive but seem to be under control for now. The habitat in this protected area is one of the best preserved laurel forests in the archipelago.
The National Parks are strongholds for typical laurel forest bird species, such as the Dark- and Light- tailed Laurel Pigeon Columba bollii and C. junoniae respectively, which are both endemic to the Canary Islands. Smaller Canary Island species like the Island Canary Serinus canaria, and on Tenerife the Blue Chaffinch Fringilla teydea, may also be affected.
The bird species richness and uniqueness means these areas have been declared Special Protection Areas for Birds (SPAs) by the Spanish government and the European Union and are inventoried as Important Bird Areas (IBAs) by SEO/BirdLife.
SEO/BirdLife expresses sympathy to the victims and gratitude to all the people and institutions working to extinguish the fires on the Canary Islands.
Britain: ‘PUBLIC AND FIREFIGHTERS’ SAFETY NEEDLESSLY PUT AT RISK’ says East Sussex FBU: here.
USA: Severe weather conditions led to a string of massive wildfires late last week, primarily in the Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, all of which are adjacent to the Los Angeles area. Strong winds, low humidity, high temperatures and a build-up of old vegetation resulted in the scorching of over 30,000 acres of land: here.
- Canary Islands join Andalusia in expropriation plan for empty homes (elpais.com)
- Giant wasps’ nest found in Canary Islands (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
- 22-Foot Wasp Nest Discovered Inside of Home in the Canary Islands (americanlivewire.com)
- Mother Of All Wasp Nests Discovered In Canary Islands (youviewed.com)
- Canary Birds Were Named After the Canary Islands, Not the Other Way Around (todayifoundout.com)
- About The Canary Islands (amyscorner22.wordpress.com)