Cuckoo Hennah wins Africa-Britain race


This video from England says about itself:

Cuckoos On Dartmoor

21 August 2013

Discover more about the story of cuckoos on Dartmoor and hear about an exciting project that will be tracking their migration to Africa.

From Wildlife Extra:

The Great Cuckoo Race is won – but not by Dudley!

We have a winner! First back to Britain after his long migration from sub-Saharan Africa was Hennah, who was satellite tagged in the New Forest last May and was named after First Lieutenant William Hennah who was on HMS Mars in the Battle of Trafalgar.

Bookmakers William Hill has been betting on the inaugural Great Cuckoo Race, involving the migration of 17 tagged cuckoos, with the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) tracking their progress from Africa to the UK.

Dudley had become the odds-on favourite after extending a commanding lead and touching down in France while all the other cuckoos were still in Africa. But Hennah came through at 25/1, arriving on 15 April after making fast progress on the final leg.

Hennah was last picked up on radar on the 9th February in Sierra Leone, but just as hope was fading that he was even alive, a faint signal was picked up from the New Forest, which steadily grew as the sunny weather charged his solar-powered tagging device.

BTO scientist in charge of the project, Chris Hewson, explained that the lack of signals over the desert, when we might expect there to be good exposure to the sun, could be down to Sahara dust on the solar panels which meant the tag was unable to charge and send a signal. Exposure to rain later would have washed this off and allowed the tag to transmit the cuckoo’s recent location.

William Hill gave a free £500 charity bet to BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham on the race, but his namesake Chris is still south of the Sahara and nowhere near the finish line – so William Hill instead will be doubling the amount and donating £1000 to the British Trust for Ornithology.

The bookmakers have made Dudley 2/1 favourite to win the race next year, with Hennah offered at 3/1 to repeat his success.

William Hill’s pioneering partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology was set up to raise awareness about the decline of the cuckoo, as populations have been in serious decline over the past century. Further details can be found at www.bto.org/cuckoos.

British Prince William’s sister-in-law eats whale meat


This video from Australia says about itself:

Swimming with Dwarf minke whales on board Eye to Eye Marine Encounters

From Wildlife Extra:

Pippa Middleton admits eating whale meat in newspaper column

Pippa Middleton has recieved criticism from conservationists across the world for eating whale meat on a trip to Norway, which she recounted in her column for the Daily Telegraph.

In the piece she said: ”We dined on smoked whale carpaccio (which tastes similar to smoked salmon but looks more like venison carpaccio).”

Despite strong international pressure and commercial whaling being banned since 1986 Norway is still one of three countries (the other two are Japan, and Iceland) that still allows whaling and in 2014 had a record year when more than 700 were killed.

“This is really disappointing news, particularly as Pippa is so high-profile, and given how active her brother-in-law, William [Duke of Cambridge], is on speaking out against poaching and wildlife crime. Commercial whale hunting is banned, the UK government backs the ban and for good reason. Killing whales is cruel, there is no humane way to kill them and many are slaughtered using brutal harpoon grenades. Last season, 731 minke whales suffered an agonising death at the hand of Norwegian whalers.”

Pippa does not say what type whale meat she ate but the most likely one is minke, the second smallest baleen whale.

Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “It’s likely that Pippa Middleton wasn’t aware of the horrific suffering caused by commercial whaling nor the devastating damage that it causes to whale populations.  By eating whale meat, she is unwittingly setting a bad example that may encourage other tourists to do likewise. We would hope she acknowledges her mistake and will promote whale watching true to the slogan: meet us, don’t eat us.”

From Celebitchy.com:

“Pippa is not known for common sense or compassion, but it still beggars belief that anyone, let alone someone from a country like ours, where whale meat has long been banned, could be oblivious to the uproar over Norway’s slaughter of these gentle giants,” Elisa Allen, associate director of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.K., said Thursday in an exclusive statement to E! News. “Does she think or read? What’s next, a panda steak or an elephant canapé? These whales are harpooned and bled to death before they’re gutted. If Pippa is looking for a culinary experience, some of the best high-end vegan food—recently named by Forbes magazine as a top food trend—can be found in Norway, and it’s good for the heart, an organ Pippa seems to lack.”

Stop British governmental badger killing, Internet game


This video, from the Network for Animals in Britain, says about itself:

14 April 2015

It’s time to get those pesky Tories out of Number 10! Join the #ToryCull movement and sign the pledge to vote on May 7th but NOT for the Conservative party!

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Animal rights groups turn guns on Tories in online cull

Thursday 16th April 2015

ANIMAL rights campaigners turned the guns on top Tories yesterday, launching an online game that allows users to “cull” the nasty party’s MPs from Parliament.

Gamers win points by clicking on Tory ministers’ heads as they pop up from behind hedges — but must be careful to avoid the badgers.

Animal lovers can get their own back on virtual versions of Prime Minister David ­Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, Environment Secretary Liz Truss and her predecessor Owen Paterson.

The game website is also home to an animated film depicting the hunting and culling of leading Conservatives.

They are part of a satirical campaign by the Network for Animals to highlight how badgers and foxes will keep being killed if the Tories retain power.

“The only way to save thousands of innocent badgers‘ lives is to vote out the Conservatives at the 2015 general election,” said chief operating officer Paul Herring.

The Internet game is here.

Cuckoos flying back from Africa to Britain


This video series from Britain is called Cuckoo Tracking.

From Wildlife Extra:

Bookmakers lay odds on arrival of tagged cuckoos

Bookmakers William Hill has teamed up with naturalist and Springwatch presenter, Chris Packham, and the British Trust For Ornithology (BTO) to offer odds on the arrival of the first cuckoo to migrate back to the UK from Africa to breed.

The joint project is called ‘The Great Cuckoo Race 2015’, and followers can get updates on the live tracking system they can find on the BTO website – www.bto.org/cuckoos.

Altogether there are 17 birds to watch, each carrying a high tech satellite tracking device to monitor their progress.

The furious flapping contest is building to a climax with Dudley, a 20/1 outsider from Sherwood Forest at the start of the race, in a commanding lead.

The goal of the cuckoo tagging project is to help raise awareness about the iconic birds and their plight.

Since tracking started in 2011, 17 cuckoos that have been tagged are still active, but 33 have either perished or been lost.

“Dudley was a real outsider to be the first bird back, but he’s soared into a strong lead and he will take some catching,” says William Hill spokesman Jon Ivan-Duke.

The latest signal from Dudley’s tracker put him on the border between Spain and France, just south of Bordeaux, while all of his rivals are still in Africa. ‘Chris the Cuckoo’ who is named after Chris Packham is unfortunately trailing behind at this stage.

“Chris the Cuckoo would need to fly like a superhero to win the race now,” says Ivan-Duke.

Cuckoos fly from West Africa, crossing over jungle, the Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean Sea, continental Europe and the English Channel before making it back to the UK.

Dudley is now the odds-on 1/5 favourite to be the first cuckoo home.

Latest William Hill odds on The Great Cuckoo Race 2015 are: 1/5 Dudley; 10/1 Stanley; 10/1 David; 12/1 Derek; 12/1 Emsworthy; 20/1 Ash; 20/1 Hennah; 25/1 Chris; 33/1 Livingstone; 33/1 Jake; 50/1 Chester; 50/1 Fred; 100/1 BB; 100/1 Peter; 100/1 Skinner; 100/1 Waller; 100/1 Whortle.