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By: jkr (offline) on Sunday, January 10 2010 @ 05:59 PM EST (Read 14355 times)  

This is an area to discuss recent News articles on any conservation topic.


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By: Pat B (offline) on Sunday, January 24 2010 @ 03:25 PM EST  
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Rare warbler found in Afghanistan
By Matt McGrath
BBC News

The breeding area of the Large Billed Reed Warbler, one of the world's rarest birds, has been discovered in the remote and rugged Pamir Mountains in war torn Afghanistan, a New York based conservation group announced!

The warbler is said to prefer a secluded lifestyle.
Scientists say they have for the first time discovered a breeding site for the world's least-known bird species.

Little is known about the large-billed reed warbler, but researchers have found a thriving flock of the birds in a remote corner of Afghanistan.

Robert Timmins from the US based Wildlife Conservation Society discovered them when he was conducting a survey in the area.

The tiny brown bird, first spotted in 1867, has not been seen since 2006.

Full Article Here


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By: Pat B (offline) on Tuesday, January 26 2010 @ 02:32 PM EST  
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Project to improve salmon habitat In a Devon river

Page last updated at 15:36 GMT, Tuesday, 26 January 2010

A series of panels costing 180,000 are to be installed in a Devon river to help fish swim upstream to spawn.

The Environment Agency is installing three types of panels to allow various species to bypass a large weir on the River Culm at Silverton near Exeter.

Structures are being incorporated into the river to interrupt the current and slow it down to enable salmon and sea trout to swim upstream in stages.

Panels are being added to help eels and lampreys access the upper river too.

'Environmental gains'

Special plastic panels with bumps on their surface are being added around the edge of the water to assist eels while the addition of stainless steel plates will help lampreys navigate the weir using their sucker-shaped mouths.

Coarse fish such as perch, roach and chub are also expected to benefit from the structures to reach new spawning grounds upstream.

Kevin Woodley, from the Environment Agency, said: "This scheme will open up previously inaccessible stretches of the River Culm to a wide range of fish species and should achieve some major environmental gains and benefits.

"We are hoping to see a significant rise in the fish population as species colonise new areas and have greater breeding success."

The work is being funded by Defra and supported by the National Trust which owns Silverton Mill and the adjoining weir.

Article Link


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By: Pat B (offline) on Thursday, February 04 2010 @ 10:27 AM EST  
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Rare duck drops in to Slimbridge

Page last updated at 18:43 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

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The ring-necked duck is common in North America where it breeds and then each winter migrates south

A duck has been sighted at a wildlife centre in Gloucestershire for only the fourth time in the past 50 years.

Experts at the Slimbridge Wetland Centre believe the female ring-necked duck may have been blown off course during its migration across America.

The first recorded sighting of a ring-necked duck in Europe was made in 1955 by Lady Scott, who died last month.

It was spotted late on Sunday evening by wardens at Slimbridge and is said to be in good health.

'Mating display'

Martin McGill, senior reserve warden, said it was always exciting to see a rare visitor at Slimbridge.

"This time it has added significance for us here because of the link with Lady Scott - the wife of the late Sir Peter Scott who founded the Slimbridge facility.

"She made a remarkable discovery in 1955 - not many people can say they have discovered a first wildlife sighting for Europe.

"The name can seem a little misleading as only the males have a ring around their necks and even this is only seen during their mating displays," Mr McGill added.

The duck is common in North America where it breeds.

Each winter it migrates south, sometimes as far as Central and South America.

This one is believed to have lost its way in the strong south westerly winds seen in November.

The original find in 1955 was significant because it was the first species to prove conclusively that birds did journey across the Atlantic.

BBC Article Here


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By: Pat B (offline) on Saturday, February 20 2010 @ 09:47 AM EST  
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Eagle's broken beak fixed by dentist

A bald eagle has had its broken beak fixed with a filling by a dentist.
Published: 9:14AM GMT 16 Feb 2010

The team there had never seen an injury like it and contacted local dentist Kirk Johnson. He used the type of putty he'd use for a temporary crown in humans, then coloured it with a yellow highlighter Photo: CATERS

Click on the photo

Cyrano the bald eagle lost almost all of his beak after catching it in heavy duty fishing line somewhere off the Alaskan coast. He was rescued and taken to the Bird Treatment and Learning Centre in Anchorage... Photo: CATERS
In a first of its kind operation a dentist applied putty used to fill holes in human teeth to repair Cyrano the eagle's top beak.

The bird of prey had lost almost all of it after catching it in heavy duty fishing line somewhere off the Alaskan coast.

With the circulation cut off and the grinding effect of the line a massive hole developed which had stopped him from hunting.

In a few weeks vets suspected further wear would have snapped off the beak completely leading to certain death in the wild.

Cyrano was rescued and taken to the Bird Treatment and Learning Centre (BTLC), in Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

The team there had never seen an injury like it and contacted local dentist Kirk Johnson to ask his advice.

As these remarkable pictures show the result was a brand new beak for Cyrano who has become the world's first bird to receive a 'filling'.

Despite most of his patients not having a two-and-half metre wingspan dentist Kirk said the principles of the procedure were similar to his human patients.

He said: ""This was just a big tooth for a different individual - a very different individual.

"When they asked me if I had an interest in helping to repair a damaged bird's beak I thought why not. "Then I saw it was a bald eagle's beak, that is a big bird.
I had the idea of using a similar technique as used on humans, using the product they use when they make temporary crowns.
It blends right in with the angle of his beak and covers up all the defectiveness we have in there.

Click on the photo

Of course the putty was not the same colour as Cyrano's original beak so we had to find something that was going to be yellow.

I was looking around the office there and saw a yellow high lighter pen and thought, well that's sort of Alaska style. Let's get a yellow highlighter and paint this bird beak yellow.
The Alaska spirit is kind of like duct tape, if you have a problem, there's always a solution.

While the putty sets in place at least this proud bird will have a yellow beak too until we find a more permanent solution."

It took Kirk and the team of vets more than an hour to complete the initial operation on Cyrano.

Cindy Palmatier, manager of the BTLC, said Cyrano was named after the famous French character 'Cyrano de Bergerac' - renowned for his big nose.

She said: "We decided to call him Cyrano, It seemed appropriate somehow given his nose issues.

"The best theory we had was that he got some fishing line wrapped around that and over time, it just slowly cut in and cut in and cut in.

"It's hard to imagine the damage getting any worse, so we had a tricky problem to solve.

"You know, it sounds very bizarre to say an eagle has been treated by a dentist and we're holding all of his beak on with filling putty -- but that was really, truly what we were doing."

"I think Kirk did an excellent job of coming up with this type of material to make the beak out of."

Cindy said Cyrano will remain at the Bird Treatment and Learning Centre, which is based in the Alaskan state capital Anchorage, for the foreseeable future.

She said: "We are unsure wether he will be able to return to the wild because of the nature of his injury, but he has been saved from death.

"It likely Cyrano will become an educational bird to teach local people about these magnificent creatures and make them aware of how we must take care of them.

"Although he will be able to eat whole fish soon, at the moment Cyrano is being given chopped up food to make sure his new beak stays in place."

Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac was actually a real French nobleman in the 1600s who was later made world famous in a series of books dramatising his life.

His fame after his death owed much to the books, published nearly 200 years later, making reference to a physical characteristic he had in life - an overly large nose.

Article HERE


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By: Debs (offline) on Sunday, March 07 2010 @ 07:51 PM EST  

Pat great article; thank you.

March 7 2010

Over 1000 fish died in a creek near Burnaby BC here is the link to the story ... -fish.html

Enjoy the gifts that surround you; let your spirit soar


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By: MaryF (offline) on Tuesday, March 09 2010 @ 12:22 AM EST  

Sea lions killed for sake of salmon
Death sentences issued after deterrents fail
A sea lion catches a Chinook salmon migrating up the Columbia River just below the spillway at Bonneville Dam, Wash.

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updated 2:25 p.m. CT, Mon., March. 8, 2010
PORTLAND, Ore. - Wildlife officials have tried everything to keep sea lions from eating endangered salmon, including dropping bombs that explode under water and firing rubber bullets and bean bags from shotguns and boats. Now they are resorting to issuing death sentences to the most chronic offenders.

A California sea lion last week became the first salmon predator to be euthanized this year under a program that has been denounced by those who say there are far greater dangers to salmon including the series of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia.



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By: Pat B (offline) on Wednesday, March 17 2010 @ 09:41 AM EDT  
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'Extremely rare' white puffin caught on camera
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:24 PM on 15th March 2010


This extremely rare white Atlantic Puffin has stunned bird experts after it was spotted playing with its more common black-feathered friends off the British coast.
At first glance the remarkable bird looks like an albino but it has orange eyes and bill and black edges on a few feathers.
It actually has a colouring which is called leucism and is so unusual it was considered mythical by sailors in the 17th Century.

Click on the Photo
All white: This rare white puffin was pictured off the Isles of Scilly by wildlife photographer Barbara Fryer

Albinism is a genetic mutation that prevents the strong black pigment called melanin from forming. With leucism, colour pigments form but are diluted.
Photographer Barbara Fryer, from Umberleigh, Devon, snapped the puffin from a boat that was bobbing around the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast.
She said: 'I love puffins - they are stunning birds and this white one is even more beautiful than most.
'I've seen many puffin colonies across the UK over the past ten years and have never seen a white one before. Nobody I know has ever seen a white one either.
'We had been out every day that week taking photos of puffins and we saw the white one on the last day.
'It was lovely to see it swimming underwater and I am thrilled to have got the shots I wanted in quite difficult conditions.

Click on the photo
Play time: Pictured alongside one of its more common black-feathered friends

'The white puffin was sitting on the water as we were floating near rocks, watching adults return to their nests to feed their young.
'It played around with the other puffins for about 15 minutes before flying away. They didn't seem to mind it's unusual colour and treated it like a good friend.
'Sadly, once it flew off we never saw it again.' Bird expert Peter Robinson, who has worked on the BBC Springwatch programme and for the RSPB for 25 years, said the white puffin was extemely rare.
He said: 'I lived on the Isles of Scilly for 12 years and worked ringing puffins in Scotland for a season and have never even heard of a white puffin let alone seen one.
'It's a stunning photograph and wonderful bird. The contrast between the orange bill and white feathers is particularly amazing.
'I imagine it looks splendid in full flight.' Atlantic Puffins, or Fratercula arctica, measure 12.5 inches long, have a wingspan of 21 inches and weigh around 13 ounces.
They are widely distributed across the North Atlantic for most of the year and only come ashore to breed.
During this time the plumage changes so they have dusky cheeks and smaller darker bills.
The colourful plates are lost after breeding and only regrow as spring approaches.
They eat fish and flap their wings up to 400 times per minute.

To see more Photos by Barbara Fryer - Click Here


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