Amur Falcons Falco amurensis are incredible long-distance migrants. During their travels from their breeding grounds in north-east Asia, hundreds of thousands of them cross the Indian Subcontinent and the Indian Ocean to their wintering grounds in southern Africa. However, in November 2012, an estimated 100,000 falcons didn’t make it past Nagaland, a state in north-east India.
This year Bird Life International is launching an innovative new programme that uses satellite technology and a mobile phone app to help local people, such as these Papua New Guineans, monitor their forest homes,
Rocky mountain peaks push up out of a lush green carpet of forest, shaded by scuttling clouds. Many of these mountains were born from fire, breaking into the world as volcanoes, but now their appearance couldn’t be more tranquil. This is the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot, a site of incredible importance for over 10,000 species of animal and plant – almost a third of which are endemic to this one area.
These last ten years have seen a significant increase in the movement of infectious agents and risk of pandemics: global expansion of bird flu since 2003, H1N1 in 2009, to cite just a few examples. These recent outbreaks highlight the increasing globalization of health risks and the importance of the human-animal-ecosystem interface in evolution and the emergence of pathogens.
As the Spring Alive season in Africa draws to a close, we can bask in the glow of a job well done. This year, we’ve thought outside the box to come up with innovative ways of getting children to really engage with the birds they share their day-to-day lives with. These have included our first ever children’s story book, a Spring Alive cuddly toy, and even a bird fact “advent calendar”. Here are three projects whose success has encapsulated this season’s achievements:
(1) 30 Days of Spring
(2) Children’s book release
(3) Conservation Club workshops
The Mediterranean Basin is the second largest “biodiversity hotspot” in the world, supporting 10% of the world’s plants (about 25,000 species), almost 300 mammal species (38 terrestrial endemics), 534 bird species (63 endemic species), 622 freshwater fish species, and 308 reptile species (almost 40% being endemic).
The Afrikaans name for the Cape Gannet Morus capensis is “Malgas”, meaning “mad goose”. This makes sense when you see this large seabird on the ground. Their ungainly waddle, coupled with the difficulty they have in taking off when there isn’t any wind, does appear quite comical. But at sea and they are different birds entirely. When feeding, they plunge into the water like arrows, to depths of up to 20 metres.
Eight Greater spotted Eagles tagged in southern Belarus started their autumn migration in September. Belarus, after Russia, is the second most important country in the world for Greater spotted eagles with some 120-160 pairs.
ABC has received a request for help from the Nigerian Atlas organisers as follows:
As the day drew to a close, the orange light reflecting from the Atlantic seemed to soften the texture of the sun-baked Moroccan cliffs. The Northern Bald Ibis were perched on a couple of sloping, sandstone ledges, an entire colony of about 20 settling in for the night, low squawks and rustles heard above the scouring waves only a few metres below.