This 23 July 2018 video from Namibia says about itself:
Fearless honey badger
This video is called Leopard Documentary – National Geographic Eye of the Leopard.
By Forschungsverbund Berlin in Germany:
Leopard meals: Females go for diversity
Female leopards have a much wider spectrum of prey species than males
May 8, 2018
Leopards, top predators of the African savannah, are known to feed on a variety of prey species. These include smaller and medium-sized mammals such as impala, gemsbok, kudus and warthogs but they can also target relatively small “appetizers” such as hares.
It has been largely unknown, however, whether they specialise in certain prey animals and which factors might influence prey preferences. Christian Voigt and his colleagues from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) in Berlin investigated these questions by studying the diet of leopards on commercial farmland in central Namibia.
Leopards avoid humans and it is difficult to observe them when they catch their prey. The team of scientists, therefore, chose an indirect method: they measured the composition of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in leopard whiskers. The tissue of prey animals consists of specific isotopes of an element which is characteristic for that prey species. Once leopards consumed their prey, the isotope composition of the prey is assimilated into the leopard‘s body, including their whiskers, according to the relative abundance in the overall diet. This allows conclusions about the main diet of each leopard and the variety of items it might have consumed.
While the leopards were sedated to facilitate GPS collaring and examination of their health, the researchers cut off one whisker from each of the 18 adult female and 18 male animals. Back in the laboratory the hair was then cut into 5 mm segments and analyzed on stable isotope ratios. As the whiskers of leopards grow at a rate of approximately 0.65 mm per day, each segment therefore corresponds to a period of approximately eight days. The 8 to 10 cm long whiskers allowed the scientists to look back on approximately 150 days of the “feeding history” of each animal.
Voigt, the lead author of the study, and his colleagues identified prey groups with similar isotopic composition based on the ratio of the rare and common stable isotopes of the elements carbon and nitrogen (?13C and ?15N). “The females used a significantly wider isotope food niche than males”, explains Voigt, head of the stable isotope laboratory at Leibniz-IZW. The scientists suggest that one of the reasons for this result lies in the size differences between the sexes: female leopards, at 34 kg on average, are substantially smaller and weigh less than their male counterparts at up to 58 kg. Females need less energy owing to their lower body weight, but are also restricted in their movements when rearing young cubs, which they do on their own. “The females cannot specialize on certain prey species because the abundance of these prey species would decrease over time and access to them would become more difficult in their restricted home range when rearing cubs. They therefore need to feed on a wider range of, by necessity then smaller, prey species”, says Jörg Melzheimer, ecologist at the Leibniz-IZW and initiator of the study. The males, on the contrary, have large home ranges, thus more options and specialize on a relatively small number of prey species.
In central Namibia leopards are currently spreading and increase in numbers on commercial farmland. At the same time the local population of cheetahs is apparently declining. “Whether there is a correlation between these two trends is currently unknown. However, it is known that lions, spotted hyenas and also leopards sometimes chase cheetahs away when encountered or even kill them”, explains Bettina Wachter, lead scientist of the cheetah research project of the Leibniz-IZW.
The current study is based on a previous study of the cheetah research project. “In cheetahs, we also documented a high specialization in certain prey groups, but no difference in the diet between the sexes”, Voigt explains. Unlike leopards, cheetah females are quite similar in body size to males.
The expansion of leopards in central Namibia might lead to new conflicts with local farmers. They are likely to persecute these charismatic big cats if they lose an increasing number of their livestock. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the diet of leopards and to develop solutions for potential conflicts in close cooperation with farmers.
This video, recorded in Namibia, says about itself:
Antlion Cone Death Trap – The Hunt – BBC Earth
19 July 2017
In the Namib desert where the sands can reach a scorching 70 degrees centigrade, very little is able to survive, but the Hotrod Ant can amazingly thrive and even forage for food. In this tense encounter an unsuspecting Hotrod Ant has strayed in antlion territory and faces the ultimate test of survival.
This video says about itself:
World’s Largest Albatross Colony – Blue Planet – BBC Earth
30 January 2017
22 June 2017
How we’re saving the kings of the ocean
By Stephanie Winnard
It has been another busy year for the Albatross Task Force, and our teams have made good progress in reducing the bycatch of vulnerable seabirds in some of the world’s most deadly fisheries. We sum up one year of successes below and in our full annual report.
Albatrosses are one of the most threatened groups of birds in the world, with 15 of 22 species currently at risk of extinction. One of the major causes of their decline is being caught accidentally as bycatch on baited longline hooks or struck by trawl cables and dragged under the water.
Horrifyingly it’s estimated that around 100,000 albatross die every year in longline and trawl fisheries around the globe. For birds that are long-lived yet slow to breed, these deaths have lead to huge population declines with some colonies having halved in size since the 1990’s.
To combat these needless deaths the Albatross Task Force was set up in 2006 to find solutions to this problem, and work with fisheries and governments to save the albatross. Over the last 12 months the team has made good progress towards saving vulnerable seabirds in some of the world’s most deadly fisheries, the details of which are in our new report.
8/10 of our high priority fisheries now have regulations in place to protect seabirds, following an announcement from Argentina that seabird regulations are to be introduced by May 2018 that will require trawlers to use bird-scaring lines.
The benefit for seabirds in Argentina will be huge, as the main trawl fleet is responsible for the death of 13,500 black-browed albatross per year, an impact we expect to reduce by over 85% based on our experimental results.
Across the Atlantic in Namibia, since seabird regulations came into force there, 100% of trawl and demersal longline vessels have now been provisioned with bird-scaring lines, constructed through our collaboration with a local women’s group, Meme Itumbapo.
By next year we hope to show that Namibia has achieved significant bycatch reductions similar to South Africa where we documented a 99% reduction in albatross deaths in the trawl fishery following the introduction of bird-scaring lines. This will be a major win for albatross, as our estimates for the two Namibian fleets suggest in excess of 25,000 seabirds were previously killed annually.
Our work in small scale fisheries has also leapt forward over the last 12 months; in Chile we have shown that modifications to purse-seine net design has the potential to reduce shearwater bycatch massively, and in Peru trials of net lights have virtually eliminated bycatch of not just seabirds, but also turtles and marine mammals.
This is all hugely exciting as no mitigation measures previously existed for these types of fisheries.
All of these successes have only been possible due to the collaborative efforts between our in country partners, the RSPB and BirdLife International, plus generous funding from RSPB membership, external sponsors and many kind individual donations.
We are extremely thankful for the continued support we receive, without which we wouldn’t be able to keep up the fight to save the albatross.
This video says about itself:
From the BBC:
Herero and Nama groups sue Germany over Namibia genocide
6 January 2017
Representatives of two indigenous groups in Namibia, the Herero and Nama peoples, have filed a class-action lawsuit against Germany in New York.
They are seeking reparations for what former colonial power Germany acknowledges was genocide.
The plaintiffs are seeking reparations and the right to representation at talks between Germany and Namibia.
Some 100,000 people are believed to have been killed when Germany crushed an uprising, beginning in 1904.
Namibia and Germany have been in talks about a joint declaration on the massacres, which Germany has recently admitted were genocide, but Herero and Nama descendants have been excluded from the talks.
Unlike with the victims of World War Two atrocities, Germany has also refused to pay reparations to victims, saying it pays millions of dollars of development aid to the country instead.
The dispute relates to a period in the late 19th and early 20th Century, when Germany was the colonial power in Namibia, then called South West Africa.
The suit claims damages on the basis that, as it states:
from 1885 to 1903, about a quarter of Herero and Nama lands were taken without compensation by settlers with official oversight – German descendants still farm some of that land today
colonial authorities ignored rapes of Herero and Nama women and girls as well as indigenous forced labour
as many as 100,000 Herero and Nama people died after they rebelled in 1904 in a campaign led by Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha
Studies also suggest that colonial rulers placed captives in concentration camps, and shipped off thousands of heads belonging to the dead to Berlin in an attempt to prove the inferiority of the defeated Africans in now discredited medical experiments.
The plaintiffs say Germany’s insistence it is making amends by paying development aid is unsatisfactory.
“There is no assurance that any of the proposed foreign aid by Germany will actually reach or assist the minority indigenous communities that were directly harmed,” the plaintiffs’ lawyer Ken McCallion said in an email to Reuters news agency.
“There can be no negotiations or settlement about them that is made without them.”
The case was lodged with the US District Court in Manhattan under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1979 law often invoked in human rights cases.
Germany repatriates Namibian massacre victims’ remains: here.
This video says about itself:
Tenth Anniversary: BirdLife’s Albatross Task Force
8 June 2016
The Albatross Task Force (ATF) is a joint sea conservation action between the RSPB and BirdLife International to reduce albatross deaths on fishing longlines. Here is an update on the work of the ATF after 10 years collaborating with fisheries to save the albatross.
The man saving 30.000 seabirds
By Shaun Hurrell, 15 Nov 2016
With his dreadlocks and smile, Clemens is the kind of charming guy you instantly get on with. A real ‘high-seas hero’ who coordinates the ATF in Namibia, where his work has led to the government recently passing regulations to stop seabird bycatch. Spending weeks at sea, he has spent the last year befriending and convincing fishermen to help save seabirds, and seems to have charmed a bird as well…
Tell us about the situation in Namibia.
Namibia was a very destructive fishery in terms of bycatch, with 30,000 seabirds a year killed. It’s really sad to see a drowned bird, especially the big ones because you know their long life cycle, that they might have chicks waiting for them on nests, and that it can be avoided by simple measures. It got a lot of attention of the ‘people upstairs’, if I can say it that way. The regulations have now been implemented so we’re hoping to reduce the numbers by 85-90%. Now when I go out on a trip on a longline vessel where they’ve taken up the measures I actually have no dead birds to record.
So some fishing vessels adopted the measures before the regulations were in place?
Yes, the Hake Association opted to do it voluntarily. It was at a time we were doing a lot of workshops, a lot of port visits and outreach in between fishermen docking and being very busy – we were quite annoying! [laughs] And we started going on the vessels and showing the fishermen and fishing managers how to use the bird scaring lines, how easy and cheap it is and that the measures aren’t going to interfere with their daily fishing practices. That’s when they said “Okay, come on, we’re going to do this.” It was a quite an achievement.
What do you do out on the fishing boats?
We go with the crew, we monitor, which includes recording bycatch data, up to 12 days at a time. They are always curious [laughs] when they see us sitting on top of the gantry counting birds, they ask: “There are so many behind the boat why do we need to protect them?” So I explain to them the situation, the life cycles of the birds, breeding, and they are amazed the albatrosses live for 60 years. I haven’t had a bad experience, they want to save the birds when they understand. On the vessels, I think the best way to build a relationship is when you don’t just talk about the work that you’re doing, but when you ask and try to understand their point of view. You tell them a story, they tell you a story and then later you just become friends, and that friendship brings the trust. You bump into them at a bar, we talk about English football quite a lot – they’re impressed I went to England so now I have stories to tell them!
What’s your most memorable story?
One of the funniest things that happened to me was when I was on the front of the vessel and the fishermen called me over to see some dolphins they’d spotted. I was just turning around when a Skua landed on my head! I thought it was going to poke my eye or something so I moved away and it flew, and then came straight back and landed on my head again! I guess it’s my hair… The captain was in tears laughing. They called me ‘Bird Man’ after that.
How was your first trip?
So, I go out on the vessel in the evening and the guys ask me if I get sick and I tell them “I don’t know, I think I’m fine with it…” When they started serving dinner, they fed me a lot of food because they knew what was coming… I held it for a good two hours but then was sick for two days straight. They laughed saying “How is the sea life?!” but they treated me well, coming to motivate me, give me water.
So you’re a seabird conservation instructor who gets seasick…?
It’s worth it. You forget about the days of seasickness. If someone tells you you’ve saved 30,000 birds, that is “wow” [laughs] – it’s quite an achievement. But I would also congratulate the Namibian government and the chief of fisheries for taking this issue so seriously and pushing the regulations. And sometimes the fishermen are really interested in the birds too, helping me take pictures and calling me up saying “Is this the Yellow-nosed Albatross”? (They were right).
The Albatross Task Force is an initiative led by the RSPB for the BirdLife International Partnership and is a major part of the BirdLife International Global Marine Programme. The initiative involves work on the ground in eight countries including Argentina (hosted by Aves Argentinas), Brazil (Projeto Albatroz), Chile (CODEFF), Ecuador until 2013 (Aves y Conservación), Namibia (Namibia Nature Foundation), Peru (ProDelphinus), South Africa (BirdLife South Africa) and Uruguay (Proyecto Albatros y Petreles de Uruguay).
This video is called Sandwich Terns Love Dance.
Other Ameland Sandwich terns were in France and Spain.