News in Brief
Stories in this news in brief: South Africa WOW’s delegates; Commercial fishing estimated to kill millions of Sea Turtles; Rockhopper penguin boost; New spring hunting season in Malta; CLP celebrates 25 years
South Africa WOW’s delegates - A Wings Over Wetlands (WOW) Project Team and Steering Committee Meeting took place recently in Wakkerstroom. With the WOW project currently in its final year of implementation, the two meetings brought together key international staff involved in the project and gave participants the opportunity to present the many achievements made in the context of this unique international flyway conservation initiative to date. Read the full details of the meeting here.
Commercial fishing estimated to kill millions of Sea Turtles - It's not just seabirds which are accidently killed in commercial fisheries. The number of sea turtles accidently snared by commercial fishing gear over the past 20 years may reach into the millions, according to the first peer-reviewed study to compile sea turtle bycatch data from gillnet, trawl and longline fisheries worldwide. Six of the world’s seven species of sea turtles are currently listed as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. “Direct onboard observations and interviews with fishermen indicate that about 85,000 turtles were caught between 1990 and 2008”, said Bryan Wallace, lead author of the new paper. “But because these reports cover less than one percent of all fleets, with little or no information from small-scale fisheries around the world, we conservatively estimate that the true total is at least two orders of magnitude higher”. To read more, please click here.
Rockhopper penguin boost – Argentina has created a new marine protected area to protect Vulnerable Southern Rockhopper Penguin. The announcement was made by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) who said Parque Marino Isla Pingüino - which translates to "Penguin Island Marine Park" - will safeguard one of the country's most unique seascapes for both people and wildlife: including the only colony of Southern Rockhopper Penguin on Argentina’s 3,000-mile coastline. The new park will protect more than 1,700 square kilometres of coastal waters and represents a joint effort by the Government of Santa Cruz and Argentina's National Parks Service and is the result of years of study and conservation work by WCS. To read more, please click here.
New spring hunting season in Malta - The shameful decision by the Maltese Government to open the spring hunting season in 2010 is a set back for nature conservation, which is particularly disturbing as 2010 is supposed to be the ‘International Year of Biodiversity’. “The EU just missed its target of halting the decline of biodiversity but the Maltese Government seems more interested in appeasing its domestic hunting lobby than in safeguarding one of Europe’s major migration highways”, commented Ariel Brunner, BirdLife Europe’s Head of EU Policy. BirdLife International believes that the decision contravenes EU legislation and stresses that Malta has already been condemned by the European Court of Justice for allowing spring hunting in the past. To read more, please click here.
CLP celebrates 25 years - The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) recently hosted a special evening to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. This event took place in Cambridge, UK, which is where the programme was conceived and initiated by BirdLife International back in 1985. From humble beginnings, the CLP has gone on to support 2,500 conservationists and fund over 480 projects. The stars of the evening were three CLP award winners, Gao Yufang, Haitham Ibrahim and Blanca Huertas who gave first-hand accounts of how the CLP has made a difference for them and for conservation in their home countries. Robyn Dalzen, CLP Executive Manager said, "It's amazing to see how the programme has grown. Here's to 25 more successful years!" To find out more about CLP click here.
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