Iceland 1-Portuguese favourites 1, celebration with birds


This football video is about Icelandic footballer Bjarnason’s goal in the Portugal vs Iceland 1-1 match at the Euro 2016 – 14/05/2016.

And it stayed one goal each. A success for Iceland, for the first time ever at European championships!

To celebrate, here this video about birds in Iceland.

The video says about itself:

Diverse bird habitats make Northeast Iceland the richest birding area in Iceland, in terms of number of species and abundance of birds. Nearly the entire European population of Barrow’s Goldeneye breeds here and nowhere else will you find higher density of the Gyr Falcon. The Northeast has the bulk of the Icelandic population of many species, such as Gadwall, Harlequin Duck, Common Scoter, Slavonian Grebe and Rock Ptarmigan.

And this video about birds in Portugal.

Homophobic misogynist Portuguese president sabotages parliament


This video says about itself:

Women on waves sailed to Portugal in 2004 but was stopped by the minister of defence who send a warship as he claimed it was a threat to national security.

Women on waves can help women outside territorial waters of countries where abortion is illegal with a safe and legal medical abortion.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Portugal: President vetoes reform of abortion and adoption law

Tuesday 26th January 2016

CONSERVATIVE President Anibal Cavaco Silva vetoed parliamentary Bills yesterday that would have granted full adoption rights to same-sex couples and removed abortion restrictions.

The president insisted that recently passed legislation granting gay couples the same adoption rights as heterosexuals is a radical change requiring broader public consultation.

He says that parliament has failed to demonstrate that it is in the best interest of children.

The head of state is also blocking parliament’s decision to waive mandatory counselling for women seeking an abortion, claiming that such counselling is a common requirement in other European countries and eliminating it would diminish the right to information.

Presidential vetoes can be overturned by a two-thirds majority in parliament, but it is not immediately clear whether the Bills’ backers could muster that many votes.

Mr Cavaco Silva is coming to the end of his mandate and will be replaced by fellow rightwinger Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who romped home in Sunday’s presidential election, collecting more than half the votes against nine rivals.

The president-elect warned that he would use the largely ceremonial post to disrupt the Socialist Party government’s economic plans.

He will take up his duties in March, replacing Mr Cavaco Silva, who has served the maximum of two five-year terms.

The president has no executive power, but he has the power to dissolve parliament if he feels the country is going off track.

The Socialist minority government, which has pledged to reverse capitalist austerity, runs Portugal with the backing of the Communist Party and Left Bloc.

New bird atlas for Portugal


This is a video about sanderlings in Portugal.

From BirdLife:

BirdLife in Portugal publishes atlas of national seabirds

By Sanya Khetani-Shah, Tue, 17/11/2015 – 17:27

Compiling data from eight years of boat-based surveys, five years of coastal censuses, the national coastal bird count and a citizen science project, the Atlas of Marine Birds of Portugal is finally here to guide us through Portuguese waters, roughly one quarter of the European seas.

The atlas, prepared by SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal) and its partners, covers the entire national territory and the status of 65 marine species. For 50 ‘main’ species, the atlas gathers detailed factsheets on their distribution, movements and phenology, abundance and population trends, ecology and habitat and threats, and conservation through more than 500 modelling species distribution maps or by time of year and geographic region. Both the Madeira and Azores archipelagos are included in the maps.

This book also compiles information about the historical aspects of marine ornithology in Portugal and bird conservation, and presents a broad outline of the composition and dynamics of seabird communities and their breeding colonies in Portuguese territory.

This atlas is thus the most comprehensive compilation to date of data on the distribution and abundance of seabirds and shorebirds that use Portuguese waters. It is a considerable leap forward in our knowledge of European seabirds and helps plug our information gaps on life in our seas.

The whole interactive atlas is available online here. It’s also available for free download in two versions: high resolution and low resolution, although currently, it is only available in Portuguese.

Saving Atlantic islands birds


This video from the Canary islands says about itself:

Three wild canaries eating birdseed in my garden in Tenerife.

From BirdLife:

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.