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The Red List 2008 is Coming

Wildlife News

Birdlife International


“Reassessing the status of 10,000 species has been a massive undertaking" —Dr Stuart Butchart, BirdLife's Global Research Coordinator


May 19 will see the release of the 2008 IUCN Red List for birds. Occurring every four years, this full update is a global assessment of every bird species on earth: a complete inventory of the conservation status of the world’s avifauna.

For birds, the Red List is maintained by BirdLife International for IUCN, and with one in eight of the world’s 10,000 species at risk of extinction, compiling an accurate and fully documented list is time consuming but vital for planning conservation action. But what goes into a Red List update?

“BirdLife staff have had to assimilate and sift through a huge amount of data. These assessments cite a total of 12,500 references, and include information from 2,800 new published sources as well as from 3,000 unpublished reports”, says Jez Bird, BirdLife’s Global Species Officer.

“We have also received input from a huge number of scientists, conservationists and birdwatchers, both in the BirdLife Partnership and a broader network of collaborating organisations and IUCN specialist groups, with 1,400 reviews received from over 1,000 species experts”, Jez adds.

To read the rest of this article, please visit the link below:

The Red List is Coming

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Hummingbird Articles

Wildlife NewsFor those of you interested in humming birds (and who speak Spanish), our member jwnix tells us of an announcement by Sociedad de Ornitologia Neotropial:

The contents of Ornitologia Neotropical vol. 1-13 (2002) are now
available online as pdf files free of charge!
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Colossal Squid to come out of the Freezer

Interest in the dissection from the wider scientific community, never mind the public, is likely to be huge. The thawing and subsequent dissection will feature in a live webcast.

Technicians in New Zealand have postponed until Monday the delicate process of defrosting a colossal squid caught in Antarctic waters last year.

The Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni specimen, caught in February in Antarctic waters, is 10m (33ft) long and weighs over half a tonne.
The riddle for technicians at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa centre has been how to thaw the squid without any parts of its body starting to rot.

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Over 100 Contaminants Found in Maine Birds

Wildlife News

Overall, eagles carried the greatest contaminant load and, for many contaminants, had levels multiple times higher than other species

From: Main Environmental News  March 27, 2008


The BioDiversity Research Institute recently released a new report documenting that over 100 harmful contaminants were found in Maine bird eggs.

Flame retardants (PBDEs), industrial stain and water repellants (PFCs), transformer coolants (PCBs), pesticides (OCs), and mercury were found in all 23 species of birds tested. The bird species studied live in a variety of habitats: on Maine’s ocean, salt marshes, rivers, lakes and uplands.

“This is the most extensive study of its kind to date and the first time industrial stain and water repellants were discovered in Maine birds,” says the report’s author, senior research biologist Wing Goodale.

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Robson Bight update: Good News

Planet EarthApril 19, 2008

Robson Bight update:
Good news!

Hello everyone,

We have good news. Yesterday, British Columbia’s Environment Minister Barry Penner announced that Canada’s federal government will cooperate with the province in removing the diesel fuel tanker now lying underwater in the Ecological Reserve at Robson Bight. Though no definite timing was stated, subsequent comments by Minister Penner clearly indicated that officials are aware that the northern resident orcas are expected to return by early summer.

The decision represents real progress on an issue that should have impelled immediate action of the part of governments. The aftermath of the August 20th accident saw a smoke & mirrors dance (“no problem”) that delayed inspection of the wreckage, and then, once the dire situation had been dramatically revealed in underwater imagery, we were treated with stalling instead of planning. It took considerable effort from the public side to convince our governments to do an underwater inspection of the wreckage in the first instance, and then even more effort to convince them to do what was obvious from the outset. Now, finally, we have a decision, but is it in time?


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