Stories in this BirdLife News-Byte: Kamfers Flamingo-cam; Looking out for Vulnerable gulls; Kenyan bird guides get new optics; Audubon Chair joins Obama administration; Birds of the Wadden Sea Under Threat; Falcon flies south; New Tana website
Kamfers Flamingo-cam - The whole world now has an opportunity to watch the breeding antics of 20,000 Lesser Flamingos! A state-of-the-art webcam was recently installed on Kamfers Dam’s famous flamingo breeding island, and the images are now broadcast to the world via Africam. To visit the webcam, please click here.
Looking out for Vulnerable gulls - In early December 2008, Aves Argentinas (BirdLife in Argentina) colour-ringed (banded) 600 fledgling Olrog's Gulls Larus atlanticus. The birds were ringed at Bahia Blanca, in the far south of Buenos Aires province. This species is classified as Vulnerable and birdwatchers are now being asked to report sightings of any ringed individuals in an attempt to understand movements of young birds. This information will help identify sites utilised by birds for feeding and roosting. Observers should note the three-letter codes of the plastic ring and send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenyan bird guides get new optics - Heatherlea Birdwatching in Scotland were so enamoured with the skill and enthusiasm of two Kenyan guides they met during a trip to Lake Baringo, that they have sent two pairs of binoculars and a new telescope to help them in their work. “Julius and Cliff had two pairs of broken binoculars, each with just a tiny part of one lens working”, said Kevin Shaw of Heatherlea Birdwatching. “We resolved to help them - with proper equipment they could do even better, and so chances of increasing their earnings and caring for wildlife would be even greater”. The optical equipment was presented to the guides by Daniel Kathurima of NatureKenya (BirdLife in Kenya).
Audubon Chair joins Obama administration - Carol Browner, Chair of the Board of the National Audubon Society (BirdLife in the USA), has been named to the position of "Climate Czar" by US President Obama. She will lead the new administration's policies on climate change and energy. Carol Browner has been a member of the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society since December, 2001, and has served as Chair of the Board since December, 2003. "Carol Browner is an outstanding choice to direct the integration of energy and environmental policy and to reposition the U.S. as a leader in addressing global warming”, said John Flicker, President of Audubon.
Birds of the Wadden Sea Under Threat - NABU (BirdLife in Germany) has demanded an action plan for the threatened Wadden Sea. ‘If the course of preserving the Wadden Sea is not changed as fast as possible, this unique habitat and central hub for bird migration in Europe will be lost,’ said NABU Chief Executive Leif Miller. NABU believes that the report confirms that losses caused by progressive climate change are imminent for the Wadden Sea and will threaten its globally unique ecosystem. The flats of the North and Baltic Sea are the most significant area of congregation of migratory birds in Europe, and Germany has an important international responsibility to protect these habitats.
Falcon flies south - A Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo has been satellite tracked from Germany to Zimbabwe. German raptor specialists Bernd Meyburg and Klaus Fiuczynski fitted the adult female birds with a 5 g solar satellite transmitter to follow the bird during the 7,500 km migration. Before arriving in Zimbabwe, the bird spent long time in southern Angola. To find out more about the research, please click here.
New Tana website - The Tana River Delta is amongst the top three of Kenya's largest and most important freshwater wetland systems, with a significant local community of cattle herders and others dependent on it. A new website - hosted by A Rocha - outlines the threats to the Tana River Delta by a proposed sugar and biofuel project. To view the website and get more information on the Tana River Delta please click here.
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