Conservation News April 2002
Long-line fishing and Asian logging still threaten birds? …but the British Bustard and the Californian Condor may make a comeback!Albatrosses get orange makeover?Over 16,000 albatrosses have been sprayed bright orange in Steeple Jason Island as part of the Falkland Islands conservation programme to halt declining numbers, which have dropped by 85,000 to 150,000 pairs since 1995! The paint (which is harmless) has been chosen as the colour easiest to see against the colour of the sea. As the birds leave their nests in the next few weeks people across the southern oceans are being asked to log sightings. Commercial long-line fishing is still thought to be the main cause but proof is needed as there maybe other factors involved such as denuded fish stocks. 5 staff of the charity Falklands Conservation took two days to sail to the colony.Asian birds` extinction likely to be caused if logging continues?As Asian forests continue due to be logged and forest cleared for farming Wildlife an extinction crisis is facing many bird species. BirdLife International says demand for exotic timber and palm oil plantations are also harming the survival chances of 76% of Asia`s 323 threatened birds. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will urgently discus steps to combat the problem.British Bustards?TheGreat Bustard Group is seeking a licence to import 25 great bustards to Britain each year for five years. They will be released on Salisbury Plain where they had their last UK stronghold until the 1820`s when they were shot out. This is not the first time an attempt has been made to re-introduce the Bustards but recent research has suggested better techniques to support the re-introduction. It could all happen next year and is increasingly important because the Hungarian and Russian populations are coming under increasing pressure from agricultural development. David Waters, the group`s chairman, said: This has been our goal for four years and I feel tremendously excited that we are about to complete a major stage towards fulfilling it.Californian CondorsCalifornia condors have bred in the wild for the first time for 18 years. The chick was hatched in a high sandstone cave deep in the Los Padres National Forest. Hopes are high that this breakthrough marks the start of recovery for the species.
4th July 2014