Conservation awards, 2015


This video is about greater adjutant storks in India.

From BirdLife:

Conservation Leadership Programme awards 2015

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 15/04/2015 – 13:34

In this, its 30th anniversary year, the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) has announced the winners of the 2015 team Conservation Awards.  It is granting 22 awards this year worth a total of $300,480 including 19 Future Conservationist Awards, 2 Conservation Follow-Up Awards and 1 Conservation Leadership Award.

Upon hearing the news of the award, new grantee Purnima Devi Barman from India wrote, “I think no news than this can be better in my life. Thanks a lot to you and entire CLP team for supporting our future works through this leadership project.”

Purnima’s project focuses on promoting the coexistence of people and the Endangered Greater Adjutant stork in India. It is the third grant for the project with it now being granted a Conservation Leadership award.

“This is an incredible CLP project that has broken through complicated societal barriers using the language of conservation. The respect now bestowed to these quirky birds is testament to how effectively the team promoted within all parts of the community”, said Kiragu Mwangi, Conservation Leadership Programme Manager.

Many congratulations to all of the awarded teams. One member from each team will be invited to attend the CLP International Training Course in Canada later this year. This two week course is a fantastic opportunity for conservationists from around the world to receive training in high priority topics and create a peer to peer network. Winning a CLP award also gives a team access to the CLP alumni network which offers more opportunities for funding, training and learning exchanges.

For more information visit www.conservationleadershipprogramme.org and follow us on Facebook

The awarded projects are as follows:

Future Conservationist Awards

Conservation Follow-Up Awards

  • Conserving Angolan scarp forests: a holistic approach for Kumbira Forest
  • Reducing human-snow leopard conflict in Upper Spiti Valley, India.

Conservation Leadership Award

  • Enabling the coexistence of people and greater adjutant in India

The CLP is a unique partnership between BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International and Wildlife Conservation Society. The mission of the CLP is to advance biodiversity conservation globally by building the leadership capabilities of early-career conservation professionals working in places with limited capacity to address high-priority conservation issues.

New lizard species discovery in India


Hyderabad-based herpetologist Aditya Srinivasulu found called Cnemaspis adii, a new species of gecko, in the ruins of Hampi in Karnataka in India

From Wildlife Extra:

New species of gecko lizard found at Indian World Heritage Site

A new type of gecko, a lizard found in warm climates, has been identified having been found in the ruins of Hampi, the World Heritage Site in Karnataka, India, reports The Hindu.

The lizard has been named Cnemaspis adii after Aditya Srinivasulu, a young herpetology researcher from Hyderabad who was involved in the discovery.

The animal belongs to the family of day geckos which are distinguished by the round pupils in their eyes which differ from the vertical pupils found in more common geckos.

Zoologists have identified the area around Hampi as having great potential for a rich biodiversity and more new species of smaller vertebrate and invertebrates.

“The discovery is significant because other species of day geckos have been, so far, reported only from the Western Ghats and southern Eastern Ghats in peninsular India,” says lead author Dr Chelmala Srinivasulu.

“This is the first time that day geckos have been found in the central regions of peninsular India between Eastern and Western Ghats.”

Dr Srinivasulu, along with G Chethan Kumar and Bhargavi Srinivasulu, all from the zoology wing of Osmania University in Hyderabad, published their findings in the journal Zootaxa.

This new day gecko species was first discovered by Dr Bhargavi Srinivasulu in 2012 while doing research on bats in the Hampi complex.

This latest team of zoologists studied photographs of live animals and researched on known species of day geckos reported from other parts of India. It is this work that has led to the current confirmation of the new species.

Amur falcon spring migration starts in South Africa


This video from India says about itself:

26 July 2014

THE VIDEO IS SHOT IN NAGALAND INDIA. THE CONSERVATION OF AMUR FALCON. NAGALAND HAS BEEN DECLARED AS “FALCON CAPITAL OF WORLD”. COMMUNITIES, NGOS FOREST DEPARTMENT HAVE PARTICIPATED IN CONSERVATION OF AMUR FALCON. THE FILM IS SHOT BY NATURAL NAGAS AND DEPARTMENT OF FORESTS, ECOLOGY, ENVIRONMENT AND WILDLIFE.

From daily The Independent in South Africa:

When birds of a feather flock together

March 30 2015 at 05:30pm

By Tony Carnie

Most of us know that summer is coming to an end and winter will soon be upon us.

But what was the peculiar “telepathic” signal from nature that seems to have echoed through the bush of southern Africa last Thursday.

That’s the question bird watchers are asking after seeing thousands of tiny falcons beginning to flock together in preparation for a remarkable journey to the other side of the world.

Just after 7.20am on Thursday, Ian Macdonald of Kube Yini Private Game Reserve near Mkuze took careful note as a group of nine Amur Falcons took off from a power line and flew off towards the west. As they gained altitude they changed direction sharply to the north.

Later that same afternoon, hundreds of the species were noticed by Annette Gerber gathered on power lines along the eastern shores of Lake St Lucia. “There were so many of them that I stopped my car to watch. And then, whoosh… they suddenly took off as one – as if a switch had been flicked. The air was full of falcons flying northwards,” she said.

Gerber said a group of visitors from Cape Vidal stopped next to her and reported they had also seen a group of about 300 Amur falcons flying north.

What they were witnessing was the start of one of the longest migrations in the world by a raptor species – an amazing 15 000km journey from Africa to northern China and south-eastern Siberia.

David Allan, the curator of birds at the Durban Natural Science Museum, said there were quite a few bird species that gathered in large numbers, often quite vocally, before migration.

While the precise triggering mechanisms remained a mystery, Allan said there seemed to be a social element of group decision-making before migration.

“You don’t want to be the first to leave in case you get your timing wrong. So maybe they think it is better to ‘follow the herd’.”

Allan said one of the critical cues seemed to be the shorter hours of daylight as [southern hemisphere] winter approached, rather than a sudden change in temperature.

However, weather conditions were also likely to play a part as the birds would try to avoid flying into strong headwinds. After leaving South Africa, the falcons fly northwards along the east coast of Africa to Somalia. From there they turn sharply east to cross the ocean between Africa and India. On this stage they have to fly non-stop for two to three days without rest.

Allan said some researchers had suggested that their migration coincided with a similar migration by dragonflies – allowing the falcons to snatch a bit of “padkos” en route.

Allan said Belgian bird expert Marc Herrimans had studied red-backed shrikes in Botswana several years ago and noticed that more than 90% of these birds departed on one particular night, a remarkable observation as shrikes were not a social species.

While the journey from South Africa to China can take two to three weeks, with short feeding stops along the way, German bird researcher Prof Bernd Meyburg has also reported the case of a satellite-tagged Amur falcon female that flew non-stop from Somalia to Mongolia in five days.

Indian house sparrow wedding for bird conservation


This video from the USa is called House Sparrow Feeding Babys.

From the Times of India:

Chunmun the sparrow comes on a horse to wed Gauriya

Ishita Mishra, TNN | Mar 21, 2015, 10.25PM IST

Agra: Villages in India, away from the pamphlets and press conferences of NGO activism, have always done their bit for the environment — in their unique, rustic but effective ways.

Mohanpur village in Banda district of UP, for instance, organised a rather grand wedding for Chunmun and Gauriya, with people in thousands attending the merry event. Chunmun even rode a horse like a dulha. Just that because he is a sparrow someone had to hold him fast in the palm of the hand and put him atop the horse, and hold him fast to his seat.

Residents of Mohanpur, who are known in these dusty parts of UP‘s Bundelkhand for their love of both flora and fauna, say that in the union of Chunmun and Gauriya lies a larger message about the depleting number of sparrows and the need for their protection. The tiny birds, in fact, have almost disappeared from India’s cities.

Lunar eclipse, 4 April


This video says about itself:

Total Lunar Eclipse on April 4 – Shortest Eclipse of Century

4 March 2015

The total eclipse of the full moon on April 4, 2015 will last less than five minutes, making it the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

The total lunar eclipse will be visible from western North America, eastern Asia, the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. At North American time zones, that means the greatest eclipse happens before sunrise on April 4 – the morning of April 4, not the evening.

From the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia – the greatest eclipse takes place after sunset April 4.

Read more here.

From ZeeNews in India:

Total lunar eclipse on April 4, to be visible in North East of India

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 – 17:11

Indore: Star gazers can gear up for another celestial treat – a total lunar eclipse, next weekend.

The total lunar eclipse will take place from 3:45:04 PM to 7:15:2 PM (IST), will be visible in the North East of India on April 4.

According to Dr Rajendraprakash Gupt, Superintendent of Ujjain Jiwaji Observatory, the celestial event will last for about three and a half hours.

The astronomical event will be at its peak at 5:30:30 PM when the earth’s shadow will block the moon completely.

A magnificent viewing of the event is expected in the North East where dusk falls early in India, the superintendent of the two-century-old observatory said.

A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the Sun and Moon and forms a straight line. The Earth blocks any direct sunlight from reaching the Moon, he added.

Unlike a solar eclipse which lasts for a few minutes at any given place due to the smaller size of the Moon’s shadow, a lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours.

Also unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.

Habitat use and distribution of the Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) in the wetland complex of Oued Righ, Algerian Sahara


Originally posted on North African Birds:

Nouidjem, Y., Saheb, M., Bensaci, E., Bouzegag, A., Guergueb, E.-Y. & Houhamdi, M. (2015). Habitat use and distribution of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea in the wetland complex of Oued Righ (Algerian Sahara). Zoology and Ecology 25(1): 26–33. doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.997995
PDF in ResearchGate.net

Abstract:

Our study conducted from August 2007 to May 2011 in the main wetlands of the Oued Righ complex (Eastern Sahara of Algeria) aimed to study the habitat use and distribution pattern of the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea. As the species was recorded breeding at most sites of the wetland complex, it was given the resident breeder status, which differs from the one it had previously. The maximum number of Ruddy Shelducks (284 individuals) was recorded each year during the winter season (second half of December). The Ruddy Shelduck (60% of population) shows preference for shallow middle-sized salt ponds with a high proportion of open…

View original 54 more words

Two lion subspecies in Africa, new research


This video is called Lions Documentary National Geographic – The Kingdom of Lion.

Translated from Leiden University in the Netherlands:

African lion has two subspecies

The traditional separation of lions in an African and an Asian subspecies is unjustified, says biologist Laura Bertola. In Africa two subspecies live. PhD defence on March 18th.

Unique position

Lions are found in virtually all of Africa and a small part of India. Until now, they were divided into two groups: an African subspecies, Panthera leo leo, and an Asian subspecies, Panthera leo persica. This format is not correct according to Laura Bertola. They examined the DNA of lions in Africa and India. The animals in West and Central Africa are more like the Asiatic lions than like other African lions. Bertola: “They are clearly different from the lions in the rest of Africa. You can speak of two African subspecies. The unique position of the lions from West and Central Africa calls for even better protection. Especially because these populations are under great pressure. ”

Separated by rainforest and desert

Changes in the African climate over the last 300,000 years separated certain populations,” says Bertola. “The expansion of dense rainforest and dry desert formed a barrier to the lions. The historical isolation which arose so, is still visible in the DNA. From the DNA we can deduce what groups recently have been contacted and which groups have long been separated in their mutual evolution.”