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Reindeer body clock switched off

Wildlife News


Reindeer have to survive the light polar summer and dark polar winter

Reindeer have no internal body clock, according to scientists.

Researchers found that the animals are missing a "circadian clock" that influences processes including the sleep-wake cycle and metabolism.

This enables them to better cope with the extreme Arctic seasons of polar day, when the sun is stays up all day, and polar night, when it does not rise.

The team from the universities of Manchester and Tromso report their study in Current Biology journal.

The body clock, or circadian clock, is the internal mechanism that drives hormone release on a rhythmic 24-hour cycle.

Light also influences these hormonal rhythms, but in most mammals, this "circuit" also involves the circadian clock, which can influence the release of hormones without the influence of light.

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Bald Eagle Nesting Season -- a Review of Dates and Events

Bald Eagle Biology

Recap of Bald Eagle Nest Sequence:  territory defence, egg laying, hatching & fledging.

Bald eagles occupy almost the entire calendar year with their breeding cycle.  This cycle covers 10 to 11 months from territory occupancy or re-occupancy, territory defense, nest repair and building, egg laying, incubation and feeding of young through fledging, to also include a short   ... for more ....


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Early History of the Sidney Nest Cameras

Victoria/Sidney Nest

Hancock Wildlife's most prolific and best known eagle pair, mom and pop Sidney, started out as the fall-back pair for our 2006 nesting season. The Hornby Island eagle nest camera had drawn huge numbers of viewers; far more than either David or I had expected. We were expecting maybe 100 researchers and students at universities around the world to be interested. Instead the numbers grew to the point where we had to stop letting more concurrent sessions watch - at 40,000 simultaneous viewers.

As the time of hatching came closer, then crept hourly past his first estimates, David Hancock grew more and more fearful that the eggs would fail - and he started the process of finding another nest we could all watch.

As it happened, he knew of this Sidney nest and knew that chicks had already hatched, literally the day the eggs at Hornby were to hatch. He contacted the property owners, got their blessing and then arranged for an old truck-mounted crane to be donated to the cause. We could not climb the tree to install a camera - that has to be done when the eagles are not in the area, during their Fall trip to the salmon spawning grounds after the chicks fledge. The good thing about this tree was that there had been people working in the field close-by it all the while they were re-building, laying, incubating, and now raising their chicks. There was every indication that us going in and putting a crane 50 feet from the tree would not cause them any major angst.

I was given the task of organizing the install from the hardware point of view. We had arranged with the owners to get access to a telephone line in their office building about 1000 feet away from the nest tree. Telus supplied us with an internet feed there, and I installed a computer with video encoder card in it. Bob Chappel, our Victoria-based video camera expert, supplied us with a pair of power/video adapters that would drive power to the tree and return video and audio through a single piece of cable. All I had to do was bury the cable from the office, half-way to the tree across a cultivated field. The other half of the distance is native brush and blackberries so the cable could sit on the surface.

Did I mention it was hot? Spring of 2006 was excellent - unless you were out in the sun in the middle of a field, digging a trench and trying to strap a weather-proofed video camera and pan-tilt-zoom head to the top of a crane boom. It took several days to get things finally in place, tested and working. By this time the Hornby watchers were pretty sure the eggs had failed; one of them after the chick was seen pecking at the shell - disaster.

We quickly cut over to the new Sidney camera with the images of its two 10 day old chicks and the world breathed a sigh of relief. They again had something to watch and listen to and were able to forget the failure of the Hornby eggs.

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“State of the Birds” Report: Climate Change Threatens Hundreds of Species

Wildlife News

News Release

March 11, 2010

 Secretary Salazar Releases New Report
“State of the Birds” Report Showing
Climate Change Threatens Hundreds of Species

Austin, TX–Climate change threatens to further imperil hundreds of species of migratory birds, already under stress from habitat loss, invasive species and other environmental threats, a new report released today by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar concludes.  



The State of the Birds: 2010 Report on Climate Change, follows a comprehensive report released a year ago showing that that nearly a third of the nation's 800 bird species are endangered, threatened or in significant decline.

“For well over a century, migratory birds have faced stresses such as commercial hunting, loss of forests,  the use of DDT and other pesticides, a loss of wetlands and other key habitat, the introduction of invasive species, and other impacts of human development,” Salazar said. “Now they are facing a new threat--climate change--that could dramatically alter their habitat and food supply and push many species towards extinction.”

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The Heat is On: Desert Tortoises and Survival

Conservation & Preservation

This release can be found in the USGS Newsroom at:


USGS main page

News Release

March 8, 2010
Karen Phillips 916-278-9491
Kara Capelli 703-648-5086

 Though the Mojave Desert tortoise has thrived in the southwestern United States for thousands of years, its population has severely declined over the last four decades. A new USGS documentary, titled The Heat is On: Desert Tortoises and Survival, explains why this important indicator of desert ecosystem health is declining and what scientists are doing to save them.

Mojave tortoises were first listed as a threatened species in 1990. Widespread and rapid declines in tortoise numbers have made them a top priority for federal research and are driving efforts to recover the species. The desert tortoise will not be removed from the endangered species list until its population stabilizes or increases over 25 years.



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