Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
More proof. A walk-in-the-park really can boost our feelings of well-being - especially when there are wild birds to sing to us along the way! Researchers.
It's not exactly "news" that spending time in nature benefits human health and well-being. But an experiment conducted by social scientists along some mountain trails in Colorado shows - it's not just the wind in our faces or the grandeur of the scenery we need to thank.
by Larry Powell
|A PinP photo.|
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Massacre on Cyprus. Researchers call for a crack down on poachers who lure millions of birds to their deaths on the Mediterranean island with recordings of their own songs.
By Larry Powell
|The Sardinian warbler (Curruca melanocephala), common to the Mediterranean region. Photo by Andreas Trepte. |
Billions of birds like the Sardinian warbler (above) and the Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) have been migrating through the region for a long time. And, each year for many years, poachers on Cyprus have been trapping and killing them illegally. The slaughter is now said to have reached "industrial levels."
Conservationists found 155 different bird species in trappers' nets in 2018. These included 82 listed as "conservation priority species;" Among them, the Cyprus warbler, a protected species which is a "short-distance" migrator but breeds only on the island.
A study just published by The Royal Society takes aim at the devious methods the poachers use. They lure their unsuspecting prey to their deaths by playing recordings of the birds' own songs.
But it has not been widely known just how well that practise works - until now.
The researchers set up an experiment that would emulate the poachers methods.
(In an email, the study's lead author, Dr. Alexander N. G. Kirschel of the University of Cyprus, tells PinP how it was done. "We caught birds in mist nets, banded them and released them.")
What they found confirmed their worst fears.
The lures worked so well, they were able to trap eleven times more of the targeted species with the birdsong recordings than without. Not only that, they attracted a higher number of "bycatch" species which the trappers would presumably not want and just throw away. And these may include species "of conservation concern."
In the words of the study, "Targeting tape lures would be a significant step in the battle against poaching. Our study has serious implications for conservation and will aid conservation practitioners in their fight to protect migrating birds from the annual massacre in Cyprus."
Monday, August 10, 2020
Popular insecticides harm birds in the United States
Overall tree swallow populations declined by 49% between 1966 and 2014, according
to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. A PinP photo.
Bird biodiversity is declining at a marked rate. Bird populations in the United States have decreased by 29% since 1970, which has been attributed to various factors including the increased use of pesticides in agricultural production. Nicotine-based pesticides — known as neonicotinoids — have been used increasingly in the United States over recent decades. Previous research has shown that neonicotinoids are potentially toxic to birds and other non-target species. However, the impact of these pesticides on bird diversity in the United States is unclear.
Thursday, July 19, 2018
Mercury linked to dramatic decline of migratory songbirds: study
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Even familiar birds at risk of extinction, new study finds
A White-crowned sparrow. Photo by Wolfgang Wander
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Song diversity hints at thrushes' evolutionary past
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Audubon's Birds & Climate Change Report
Shrinking & shifting ranges could imperil nearly half of North American birds within this century. Story here.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Big Farm Groups Adopt the "Ostrich Approach" to Major Environmental Issues.
I reported on new research showing that insecticides, widely used on crops in this province and elsewhere, were associated with declines in populations of birds which eat insects. The chemicals, members of the "neonicotinoid" family, are the same ones which have, for some time, also been linked to large and significant declines in populations of pollinators, especially honeybees.
Purple Martins. Among the "insectivorious"
birds on the decline. Larry Powell - PinP photo.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
New Studies Show Farm Chemicals Are Affecting More Than Bees. Bird Populations are Declining, Too.
Another insectivorous species in decline, the purple
martin. Are they becoming "neonic" victims, too?
|The barn swallow, now in rapid decline. A PinP photo.|
“We all want to have food that we consume and enjoy. But, at what cost? Is that the cost of having no more birds around? Of having no more butterflies? Having no bees? People are thinking about that now.”
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Gas Flare in Atlantic Canada Draws Thousands of Birds to Their Deaths, and Ignites Questions
Full story here.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Help Coming for the Greater sage-grouse
It took nearly two years of legal wrangling, but it looks like the federal government is finally prepared to introduce emergency protections for Canada’s endangered Greater sage-grouse.
The announcement, made this morning, is a welcome breath of fresh air to a case that’s been mired in secrecy, delays and procedural roadblocks. In fact, our efforts may well have helped set another important legal precedent. To our knowledge, this is the first time Ottawa has explicitly stated its intention to introduce emergency protections for an endangered species.
Thank you. None of this would have been possible without you.
Thanks to your support, we were able to bring forward a series of legal challenges that have forced the federal government to act. But as I told CBC’s The National (10 p.m. local), we know all too well that the devil will be in the details and that our work is far from done.
We’re still waiting to learn when the emergency order will be implemented and what it will include.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Toronto's Glass Towers Take Awful Toll on Precious Bird Life
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Study Predicts a Bleak Future for Many Birds
DDT Pollution Dumped off Los Angeles Coast Has Not Broken Down Decades Later, Scientists Find
Eco Watch The pollution is even worse than earlier feared. Story here. RELATED: Research Suggests Our Past, Prolific Use Of The Insecticid...
Winnipeg Free Press - By: Mike De Souza - 18/11/2010 Scrapped without Senate hearings, debate... =========== TAKE ACTION: Tell MPs and th...
Larry Powell I'm a veteran, award-winning journalist based in Shoal Lake, Manitoba, Canada. I specialize in stories about agriculture an...
A massive die-off of fish in Shoal Lake, in western Manitoba, has raised the possibility of a huge cleanup ahead.by Larry Powell Countless dead fish litter the shores. The magnitude of the die-off has emerged over the past few days, with spri...