European nightjar | Bbc Nature
Bioacoustic recorders could provide us with vital additional information to help us protect rare and endangered birds such as the European nightjar, new research has shown.
The study, led by Newcastle University, found that newly developed remote survey techniques were twice as effective at detecting rare birds as conventional survey methods.
Using automated equipment to record the nightjars at dawn and dusk, when the birds are most active, the team found a 217% increased detection rate of the nightjar over those carried out by specialist ornithologists. Continue reading
Kakapo, Strigops habroptilus
Dr Catherine Davis, who graduated last week with a PhD in Cell and Molecular Bioscience, undertook ground-breaking research into the unique reproductive approach of the Kākāpō, which is thought to be linked to the masting, or abundant fruiting, of native foods such as rimu and beech trees.
Dr Davis extracted the DNA of tissue samples from multiple Kākāpō, supplied by the Department of Conservation (DoC) and other researchers, determined the structures of certain proteins and compared them with the DNA of other birds such as chickens. She found that the sequences in New Zealand parrots were, in fact, different. Continue reading
A safe-for-birds pesticide may help wild finches threatened by an invasive species of nest fly, researchers say.
Endangered wild finches in the Galapagos Islands are weaving cotton balls laced with pesticide into their nests, left by biologists hoping to kill a parasitic fly threatening the species.
“We are trying to help birds help themselves,” says biologist Dale Clayton, who visited Galapagos recently with colleagues from the University of Utah.
Using a pesticide called permethrin, the researchers say this method of self-fumigation is the only way of controlling the nest fly Philornis downsi, whose maggots hatch to eat eggs in the nest. Continue reading
Ring Ouzel (turdus torquatus) female. Picture: Contributed
THE SURVIVAL of one of the UK’s rare and endangered upland birds may hinge on important research carried out in the Scottish hillsides.
Scotland is home to two thirds of the UK’s ring ouzels, popularly known as mountain blackbirds, but numbers have dropped by a massive 36 per cent in the past 15 years. Continue reading
Prince Fahd bin Sultan was accused of killing almost 2,000 houbara bustards over the course of 21 days of hunting
A Saudi prince reportedly hunted and killed about 2,000 houbara bustards — birds that are considered to be on the brink of extinction — during a safari in Pakistan earlier this year.
Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud hunted a total of 1,977 birds, which are globally protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, Dawn News reports. An additional 123 bustards were killed by local representatives, bringing the hunt’s death total to 2,100. Continue reading
Fifteen species of birds seen in India have been declared critically endangered by the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN) for 2013. The endangered birds, including the Great Indian Bustard, Siberian Crane, White backed Vulture and Red-headed Vulture, are on the decline, said a report of IUCN updated till December 2013. Continue reading