BirdLife News Round-up: August 2008
Continuing the theme for a second consecutive month…..
August saw what were undoubtedly the most spectacular Olympic Games ever staged, with China providing a breathtaking and memorable event. BirdLife hosted its own successful games with competitors using their knowledge of birds to vie for copies of Rare Birds Yearbook (www.rarebirdsyearbook.com), by competing in a number of ‘events’.
From a conservation perspective, a number of Champions stepped up to the podium during August (Birdfair finds Spoon-billed champion) and at the British Birdwatching Fair, it was announced that Sir David Attenborough would be supporting the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme by becoming a Species Champion for Araripe Manakin (Sir David Attenborough champions BirdLife International's work to halt extinctions).
The month also saw India high in the “medals’ table” with conservation getting a boost with two separate announcements designed to help save Critically Endangered birds (Canal diverted to save Jerdon's Courser, Drugs firms told to do more to prevent vulture extinctions).
Argentinean seabirds were a winner too, as the country’s Federal Fisheries Council passed a resolution to adopt the use of mitigation measures that reduce the seabird bycatch in all vessels that operate longlines in Argentinean waters (Argentinean albatross and petrels get boost).
However, there were losers too. A BirdLife report indicated that Peru’s seabirds were being threatened by coastal development and disturbance, and urgently need better protection (Peru’s spectacular seabirds seeking sanctuary) and a study of trawl fishing in South Africa suggested that around 18,000 seabirds may be killed annually in this fishery ('Net losses' for South African seabirds)
Another seabird, the Critically Endangered Fiji Petrel, still remains elusive as an expedition to find it had to be aborted (Search continues for Fiji Petrel…) Known from only a handful of specimens the feeding grounds remain undiscovered.
At the Olympics a love of sport and competition is what unites all countries and the launch of a universal language for conservation will hopefully unite conservation biologists (Conservation gets a common language).
The BirdLife Partnership will unite this month at the BirdLife World Conservation Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Over the six days of talks, workshops and debates the conference will showcase BirdLife's work, and provide an exceptional opportunity for individuals from all over the world to come together to celebrate birds and biodiversity and to learn from each other in order to further the conservation work of the Partnership.