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16  Latest News Updates / International Nature News / New Owl Species Discovered in Indonesia Is Unique to One Island on: March 03, 2013, 05:52:47 am

A new owl is the first endemic bird species discovered on the island of Lombok, Indonesia, according to research published February 13 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by an international team headed by George Sangster of the Swedish Museum of Natural History and colleagues from other institutions.

The new species has long been confused with a more widespread Indonesian owl species because of its similar plumage. However, in September 2003, two members of the team independently discovered that the vocalizations of the owls on Lombok were unique and different from all other Indonesian owls.

George Sangster comments, "It was quite a coincidence that two of us identified this new bird species on different parts of the same island, within a few days of being on the island. That is quite a coincidence, especially considering that no-one had noticed anything special about these owls in the previous 100 years."

Because owls are mostly nocturnal, they use songs to communicate and recognize their own species. Thus, when owls have consistently different vocalizations this is generally taken to mean that they are different species. The new owl's song is a whistled note completely unlike that of other owls. Locals on the island recognize the bird and refer to it as "burung pok," an onomatopoeic name reflecting the song note of the bird, which sounds like "pok" or "poook," say the authors.

Based on their field work, comparisons to museum specimens and previous studies, the researchers suggest that the new owl species is unique to this one island. When surveyed, locals on the neighboring island of Sumbawa were unfamiliar with the bird. The researchers say, "With one exception, none of the locals recognized the songs from playback of recordings made on Lombok except for one man, but he was an immigrant from Lombok who knew the song only from Lombok and had never heard it on Sumbawa."

The new species of owl is named Otus jolandae, after the wife of one of the researchers who co-discovered the species in 2003. The authors suggest using the common name Rinjani Scops Owl, after Gunung Rinjani, a volcano on Lombok that is the second highest volcano in Indonesia.
 
Scienceday News
17  Latest News Updates / International Nature News / Large grants available to protect critical ecosystems in Libya and Algeria on: March 03, 2013, 02:41:39 am
In its role as the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) in the Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot, BirdLife International invites Letters of Inquiry from NGOs, community groups, private enterprises, universities and other civil society organisations for large grants to conserve biodiversity in Algeria and Libya.

This is a special call for large grants (between US $20,000 and US $150,000) that will be awarded by CEPF for biodiversity conservation projects in Algeria and Libya only, with a focus on those that help build the capacity of conservation NGOs in these countries.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a global programme designed to safeguard the Earth’s biologically richest and most threatened regions known as biodiversity hotspots. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. There are 35 CEPF recognised hotspots worldwide so far, the second largest being the Mediterranean Basin. Together BirdLife International, including its Middle East division and BirdLife Partners DOPPS (BirdLife in Slovenia) and LPO (BirdLife in France), serve as the RIT for the CEPF Mediterranean Basin Biodiversity Hotspot.

Focus on capacity building in Algeria and Libya
CEPF funds focus on sustainability and creating new partnerships across borders. So by helping NGOs apply for funding and build relationships with other organisations, conservation work implemented during a project is more likely to continue on its own accord following CEPF funding. This is particularly important in countries where capacity for conservation is low. Projects that help build capacity for conservation in Algeria and Libya, for example by providing training for local civil society organisations and by raising public awareness of conservation issues there, will be well supported.

18  Sri Lanka & Indian subcontinent Birds Chat / Birding Site / Gilimale on: February 28, 2013, 04:34:58 am
Encompassing one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the Island, residing adjacent to the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary at the foot of the Sri Pada massif, the Gilimale Nature Reserve is located in the Ratnapura district of the Sabaragamuwa Province. The amazing wildlife diversity in such a small area makes a simple hide for a wide array of creatures that crawl, fly, creep, climb, and swing through the jungle. This is a perfect place not far from the main city, just a three to four hours drive to catch the sheer pleasure of catching the wildlife in action.


Many centuries back, Gilimale was 
a village in the trail that led to the 
Sri Pada Peak. The first historical mention about “Gilimale” dates back to the reign of King Sri Sanghabodhi Vijayabahu (1065-1119 AD), who had dedicated this village to thousands of pilgrims – who came to worship the sacred footprint of Lord Buddha on the Sri Pada peak – 
as a resting place before the difficult journey uphill. Stone inscriptions found from Gilimale and Ambagamuwa confirms this chronicle. Buddhist pilgrims who climb Sri Pada Peak, for thousands of years have considered “God Sumana Saman” as the protector of the “Sri Pada adaviya” or the area of the Sacred Foot Print. One of the oldest statues of the God and the stone inscriptions can still be found in the Rankoth Rajamaha Viharaya of Gilimale.

sun’s rays seep its way through the canopy to the forest floor, your ears are filled with the loud melodious tunes of birds... one cannot resist to stare in amazement at what’s in store in this jungle

It is a low-land tropical rain forest surrounded by hills and valleys, 
lush vegetation, and also accommodates one of the main rivers – the Kalu river. The forest is the main catchment area to the Induru river, one of the main branches of the Kalu river. The pristine waters comes all the way from the springs of the Sri Pada massif, and if you are a waterfall lover this is the ideal place to watch, or just take a dip in the cold waters that gush their way past the jungle and cascades into several locations. The famous “Mapalana Falls”, the fourth highest in the Island reaching 141 metres high and the “Dumpus Falls”, are undoubtedly the most mesmerising and lively waterfalls that are found at Gilimale. The trails are harsh and wind through the wilderness, and upon seeing these waterfalls you’re finally rewarded with simple ecstasy. For a photographer, the panoramic views seen from here are simply breathtaking.


Walking through the path inside the forest and opening your eyes to a misty morning, where the sun’s rays seep its way through the canopy to the forest floor, your ears are filled with loud melodious tunes of birds that fly in flocks just above you, and the endless hoots and chatters one cannot resist to stare in amazement at what’s in store in this jungle. For bird enthusiasts, Gilimale is an ideal location to see most of the endemics found in the tropical forests in Sri Lanka such as the Ceylon Blue Magpie, Crested Drongo, Rufus Babbler, Jungle Fowl, and the Spur Owl without much hassle. It’s true that every part of a tree, even a fallen leaf on the moist ground, provides a place for millions of creatures. From leaf insects perfectly camouflaged to look like a dry leaf, to owls like the Frogmouth and the amazing mechanisms of poisonous creatures – scorpions to snakes – each one of them goes through a struggle to survive a never ending battle in the jungle.


The beauty, majesty and the timelessness of the Gilimale rainforest 
is indescribable. Giant trees with sprawling roots soaring to the canopy, their branches draped with orchids such as the endemic “Wesak orchid”, and blooms of the rare “Binara”, lilac petals with bright yellow centres are a common sight if one visits in the correct season. The jungle springs out with life with the roars of the Purple faced leaf monkeys chasing each other, swinging from one branch to another, and the squeals of the giant squirrels. But Gilimale is home to a special kind, a species endemic and very rare scientifically called Aneuretus simoni (Sri Lankan relic ant).


At night it’s a different world in there. Learning the secrets of the nights in the jungle is an art that has to be mastered. The flashes of light reflects the stares of tree climbing primates like the Red Slender Loris or of a Golden Palm Civer with its glowing red and golden eyes; both animals are endemic to the island. Just after rains at night the forests will be filled with the endless chirping of the crickets, croaks of the amphibians, and the high pitched vocalisations of owls. One would be fascinated by the unusual similarity of a high pitched vocalisation of a rather opposing duo; one an owl and the other a frog both having similar sounds, they are the Serendib Scops Owls , and the Ramanella’s Nagao. 
It was in the rainy season, one night some years back when we first encountered the Ranwella’s horned 
tree frog from its unusual croaks. 
Later described, the species has never been sighted anywhere else in the Island. Mere chance and luck on another occasion, on a moonless night, and we witnessed a very rare event of a duo embraced in love, sighted for the first and the only time.


The locals of Gilimale lead a simple life. Although there simple homes have now become modernised with time, most houses have crops that are commercially viable or forest garden products like banana, pepper, malabar tamarind or goraka in Sinhala, coffee, wild nut megs, and fishtail palms sustain their livelihood. The hospitality of the villagers and the quiet surroundings all blend so well with the wilderness that one would feel there is no place so close to paradise than Gilimale!



Serendib Article,
19  Sri Lanka & Indian subcontinent Birds Chat / Birding Site / Cruising the Wintering Grounds of Kalametiya on: February 28, 2013, 04:25:00 am
While Bundala National Park is the renowned wintering grounds in the deep south, we were eager to discover the unknown. Beyond Tangalle town, in the Hambantota District lies Kalametiya. Our journey led us down an alternate route instead of the designated turn off to Kalametiya from the main road. This gravel road fell across open landscapes and we soon found ourselves traversing the peripheries of the Kalametiya reserve.

A Bee-eater poised on a fragile branch and a Pond Heron in the grassy wetland came within our sights. The road fell by a lagoon waterway visible through the thickly bordering mangrove roots and we caught sight of a Whistling Duck nestled on the banks. It was an inkling of what was to come on our journey ahead.

The road however ended and we found our way to the regular route to Kalametiya farther up from the main road. It was down the winded routes that we happened upon a lake by the road. At the bank across the waters an invasion of what appeared to be brown clusters drew our attention. It was a large host of Whistling Ducks busily going about their daily ablutions. We watched these flocks who had come in search of breeding and feeding grounds that the mangroves and the waterlogged marshes provided. The flock seemed all too settled to move away from their favoured spot and we hadn’t yet reached our destination. We wondered where an entrance to the reserve would finally appear. However this was not to be. At another dead end that only allowed us a view of the grounds with no access way, we began to wonder if Kalametiya was simply unexplored terrain. Luck came our way however in the form of a cyclist who promptly revealed that the only mode of traversing Kalametiya sanctuary was across the waterways by raft! A few quick calls to arrange for the boatman and we were soon on our way to the banks of Kalametiya lagoon.

Painted a vivid sky blue, the rafts were parked on the banks of the lagoon. Judging by its spacious seating, the humble raft could easily accommodate up to six people while two rowers sit in the parallel catamaran hulls and navigate the waters. Our resourceful boatman, Gayan, provided bird watching gear that included a guide book, binoculars and bottles of water on a detachable round table at the rafts centre. Before us stretched the vast body of the lagoon, its placid surface interrupted here and there with clusters of mangrove islands. We set off without much effort perched comfortably upon the raft ‘benches’ with unimpeded views of our surroundings.

An elegant Grey Heron in the refuge of a tree, a Brahminy Kite surveying the waters from the skies above, the comical Purple Swamphens rising out of the greenery in ungainly flight and a Jacana striding across the marshlands were among many notable sightings that the lagoon environs yielded. Traversing the waters proved a hefty task to the rowers as the muddy sand bed rose up in the shallow waters from time to time. About a kilometre stretch into the lagoon we soon spotted the winter migrants in large flocks. Their great numbers meant that even from a distance away we could hear them before we could see them. The incessant squawking and quacking punctured the air while we, the silent onlookers, sailed past the feathery commotion. There appeared to be mixed flocks and first within our sights came Terns of various types – a cloudy layer of white and grey. Farther along was a mixed flock of Godwits and Black Winged Stilts masking the lagoon waters with a patchwork of hues. These winter migrants had arrived in large numbers seeking wintering grounds in the warmer climes. The season for these visitors lasts only through December and January and we felt fortunate to have made a timely visit. We watched for many minutes enthralled by the great numbers of migrants, however our boatmen urged us on as the more populated sightings promised to appear ahead.

The incessant squawking and quacking punctured the air while we, the silent onlookers, sailed past the feathery commotion

Although careening across the lagoon on a manpowered raft was a slow business, it was without a doubt ideal to get lost in the balmy atmosphere and soak up the lagoon’s enchantment. The lagoon itself was an unfathomable expanse of 650ha. The mangroves primarily consist of Kirala, a mangrove plant known for its fruit from which locales obtain a delicious and healthful drink.

Every which way there were in abundance, the mangrove forests and their distinctive roots emerged upright from the water’s surface. It painted a pretty picture of little fenced-in islands scattered across the glassy surface.

We had coursed the waterway for a good two hours and had ventured nearly 2.5 km when we came to our next point of interest. While more winter migrants flocked a ‘hot spot’ at the water’s edge of an ‘island’, the high branches of nearby mangrove trees were home to much larger feathered members. We watched transfixed as the branches heaved with a congregation of Asian Openbill and their nests. The larger adults stood sentinel, while parents fed their young and together they made quite a ruckus, partly we guessed in their anxiety to ward off crows hovering nearby.

The raft floated aimlessly while we drank in our surroundings, we had not been offered an opportunity such as this to observe flocks in such numbers elsewhere. We were the only human trespassers here and the isolation was part of the charm it held. While our tireless boatsmen finally rested their oars, we were more than happy to linger along the lagoon waters – a single bright blue raft cast amidst the lush mangroves, serene waters, and endless hours of bird watching while the sun began to descend into the horizon.



Explore Lanka Article,
20  General Chat / Equipments / Elite15-45x 60mm scope on: February 27, 2013, 03:49:15 am

60mm and 70mm scopes feature PC-3® phase- corrected BaK-4 roof prisms with fully multi-coated optics for extra-sharp, extra-bright and brilliant color resolution at the longest ranges. Utilizing the latest Bushnell® technology these scopes deliver a clear, bright image regardless of weather conditions. Ideal for traveling, birders, backpackers and big-game hunters, the compact Elite® spotting scopes offer full-featured performance in an easy to handle, 100% waterproof / fogproof / shockproof package.

Most rugged and robust spotting scopes. Compact size for greater versatility.
•   PC-3® Phase Coating
•   BaK-4 prisms
•   RainGuard® HD
•   100% waterproof/fogproof
•   Rubber armored
•   Zoom eyepiece
•   Protective case



15-45x 60mm Technical Specification

Magnification: 15-45x
Objective      :60
Prism Glass   :BaK-4
Lens Coating:Fully Multi
Field of View :125/42@15x 65/22@45x
Exit Pupil(mm) :4@15x 1.3@45x
Close Focus:30 ft.
Weight(oz. / g): 26.5/750
Length(in / mm): 12.2/310
Waterproof / Fogproof : Yes

Coated Optics
Coatings on lens surfaces reduce light loss and glare due to reflection for a brighter, higher-contrast image with reduced eyestrain. Bushnell® riflescopes are coated with a microscopic film of magnesium fluoride. More coatings lead to better light transmission.
 
Exit Pupil
The size of the column of light that leaves the eyepiece of a scope. The larger the exit pupil, the brighter the image. To determine the size, divide the objective lens diameter by the power (a 4x32 model has an exit pupil of 8mm).
 
Eye Relief
The distance a spotting scope can be positioned away from the eye and still present the full field-of-view. Extended or long eye relief reduces eyestrain and is ideal for eyeglass wearers.
 
Field-of-View (F.O.V.)
Field-of-view is the side-to-side measurement of the circular viewing field or subject area. It is defined by the width in feet or meters of the area visible at 1000 yards or meters. A wide field-of-view is better for following fast-moving action or scanning for wildlife. Generally, the higher the magnification, the narrower the field-of-view.
 
Magnification (Power)
Spotting scopes are often referred to by numbers separated by an "x". For example: 15–45x60. The first number(s) indicate the power or magnification of the spotting scope. With a 15–45x60 variable power spotting scope, the object being viewed appears to be 15–45 times closer than you would see it with the unaided eye.
 
Multi-Position Eyepiece
Bushnell's exclusive multi-position eyepiece is available on our 787360 Spacemaster® model. This revolutionary eyepiece features an infinite number of viewing positions between straight-thru and 90 degrees – providing flexibility for viewing comfortably in any situation.
 
Near or Close Focus
The closest you can be to an object and maintain visual clarity.
 
Objective Lens Size
The number after the "x" in the formula: (15–45x60) is the diameter of the objective or front lens. The larger the objective lens, the more light that enters the spotting scope and the brighter the image.
 
RainGuard® HD
Bushnell's permanent, patented, hydrophobic (water-repellant) lens coating prevents fogging by causing condensation from rain, sleet, snow or even your own breath to bead up into much smaller droplets than on standard coatings. Smaller droplets scatter less light which results in a clearer, brighter view. Now the hunter won't miss the shot of a lifetime because of rain or accidentally breathing on his eyepiece.
 
Porro Prism System
The objective or front lens is offset from the eyepiece. Porro prism scopes provide high performance and generally offer a wider field-of-view.
 
Digiscoping
The use of a spotting scope for long range wildlife photography. This is typically done by mounting a compact digital camera behind the scope's eyepiece with a bracket or other accessory, but an SLR camera body may be used instead via a dedicated mounting system (if the scope offers that option).
 
Prism Glass
Most optical prisms are made from borosilicate (BK-7) glass or barium crown (BaK-4) glass. BaK-4 is the higher quality glass yielding brighter images and high edge-to-edge sharpness.
 
Prism Systems
The prism system turns what would otherwise be an upside-down image right-side-up.
 
Resolution
Resolution, or definition, is the ability of a scope to distinguish fine detail and retain clarity.
 
Roof Prism System
The prisms overlap closely, allowing the objective lenses to line up directly with the eyepiece. The result is a slim, streamlined shape in which the lenses and prisms that magnify and correct the image are in a straight line.
 
Folded Light Path
A special optical configuration using a combination of lenses and mirrors to create a total scope length much shorter than the total focal length of the system. This provides a compact design yielding long focal length performance.
 
Types of Coatings
Coated – A single layer on at least one lens surface.
Fully Coated – A single layer on all air-to-glass surfaces.
Multi-Coated – Multiple layers on at least one lens surface.
Fully Multi-Coated – Multiple layers on all air-to-glass surfaces.
 
Waterproof/Fogproof
Some scopes are sealed with O-rings and nitrogen-purged for waterproof and fogproof protection. These models are able to withstand complete immersion and remain dry inside.

21  Latest News Updates / International Nature News / First nest ever discovered of one of the world's most endangered birds on: February 26, 2013, 11:56:54 am

Stresemann's Bristlefront nest discovered in Brazil
The first known nest of one of the world's rarest birds - the Critically Endangered Stresemann's Bristlefront - has been discovered in Brazil. Of perhaps equal significance is that strong evidence of active nestlings was also found.

Rediscovered in 1995 - May be just 15 birds alive
The Stresemann's Bristlefront is one of the world's most threatened bird species - unrecorded for 50 years until it was rediscovered in 1995 near Una, Bahia, in Brazil's Atlantic Forest region. The world population estimate is fewer than 15 individuals. Its population is declining owing to fires, logging, and the clearance of humid valley-floor forest for cattle ranching and agriculture.

Nest tunnel
On October 30, 2012, Dimas Pioli and Gustavo Malacco, two Brazilian researchers visiting Fundação Biodiversitas' Mata do Passarinho Reserve discovered the bird's nesting tunnel entrance, a tennis ball sized hole, located about three feet from the ground in an exposed dirt vertical edge that contained overhanging vegetation. Nesting tunnels are typical for the ground dwelling Tapaculo family, to which the Bristlefront belongs. The hole is estimated to be approximately six feet deep. It was surveyed and filmed with a micro-camera and further data should be published shortly in an ornithological journal.

Probable chicks
"This is the discovery of a lifetime made all the more gratifying by the fact that not only have we found live adult birds, but we have also found strong evidence of several chicks as well," said Alexandre Enout, the Reserve's Manager. "It is urgent that we protect more of the natural Atlantic Forest in this area and reforest areas where forest has been lost. The best way to save this species is by increasing its potential habitat."


Stresemann's Bristlefront
The 8-inch long, medium-sized, long-tailed bird has distinctive, long, pointed forehead bristles and a slender dark bill. The female is cinnamon-brown above, with duskier tail and is a bright cinnamon-rufous below.

Atlantic forest reserve protects Critically Endangered yellow-breasted capuchin
American Bird Conservancy is working closely with its in-country partner Fundação Biodiversitas to protect and acquire land in and around the 1,500-acre Mata do Passarinho Reserve in northeast Brazil. This reserve protects a key fragment of Atlantic Forest which provides the environment required by the bird. About 245 bird species have been recorded in the reserve, 37 of which are endemic to Brazil. In addition to being the only know site for the Stresemann's Bristlefront, it is a critically important site for the Endangered Banded Cotinga and the Critically Endangered yellow-breasted capuchin monkey.

The Atlantic Forest is one of the most endangered forests in the world. Over 500 years ago it extended along the coast of Brazil into Paraguay and northern Argentina. Forest coverage has now been reduced to less than 10 percent of the original area due to logging and conversion to agriculture and pasture.

92% of amphibians are endemic
Despite so little forest remaining, the Atlantic Forest remains extraordinarily lush and is a treasury of biodiversity and endemic species. The forest harbours around 20,000 species of plants, with almost 450 tree species being found in just one hectare in some areas. Approximately 40 percent of its vascular plants - 52 percent of the trees - and up 60 percent of its vertebrates, including 92 percent of amphibians are endemic species, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world. The Atlantic Forest has spectacular bird diversity, with over 930 species, about 15 percent of which are found nowhere else. Because most of the region's forests have been cleared during 500 years of exploitation, many species are now threatened with extinction and, sadly, many others have already been lost. Nearly 250 species of amphibians, birds, and mammals have become extinct due to the result of human activity in the past 400 years and more than 11,000 species of plants and animals are considered threatened in the Atlantic Forest today.

Wildlifw Extra News
22  General Chat / Equipments / Bushnell Elite 8x 42mm - 628042ED (Bino) on: February 26, 2013, 05:02:16 am
Already a 60+ year masterwork of ruggedness, clarity and light transmission, the Elite® gets a significant performance upgrade this year with the addition of ED Prime glass. Fully multi-coated and featuring XTR technology, our Advanced Fusion Hybrid Lens system delivers 99.7% light transmission per lens. The result is unmatched edge-to-edge clarity, contrast and color-true imagery – now pushed to the highest levels with the use of ED Prime Glass. RainGuard HD coating eliminates lens fogging, boosts brightness and scatters moisture even faster than original RainGuard. Elite binoculars are also 100% waterproof,* fogproof and built around a tough, lightweight magnesium chassis for reliability in the most extreme conditions.
A versatile choice for steady viewing with extended eye relief and a wider field of view.



•   Advanced Fusion Hybrid Lens System
•   PC-3® phase coating
•   Twist-up eyecups
•   Fully multi-coated including ED Prime Glass
•   BaK-4 roof or porro prisms
•   O-ring sealed 100% waterproof/fogproof/dustproof construction
•   Long eye relief
•   Rugged, yet light rubber-armored magnesium chassis with scratch-resistant powder coat
•   Locking center diopter adjustment dial
•   Comfort neck strap and custom-molded case included


More Info
http://www.bushnell.com/wildlife/binoculars/elite/628042ed#

23  Latest News Updates / International Nature News / Birds in Asia May Need a Hand to Weather Climate Change on: February 26, 2013, 03:35:24 am

 Birds in Asia may need a helping hand to adapt to climate change, according to scientists.

A new study led by Durham University and BirdLife International, shows that many bird species are likely to suffer under future climate change, and will require enhanced protection of important sites, better management of the wider countryside, and in some of the most extreme cases may need to be physically moved to climatically suitable areas to help them survive.

The priority, the researchers say, is for stronger protection and effective management of networks of important sites for conservation which currently support priority species and could offer new habitat for birds forced to shift their distribution in future.

The research, published in the journal Global Change Biology, examined the potential future distributions of suitable climate within conservation sites (Important Bird Areas) for 370 Asian bird species of conservation concern across the Eastern Himalaya and Lower Mekong regions.

According to the scientists, the findings demonstrate how climate change could affect birdlife and conservation policy across the globe. The researchers say that adapting the way that conservation sites are managed, and facilitating the movement of species to suitable areas, will be critical to future conservation.

Projections show that at least 45% and possibly up to 88% of the 370 species studied will experience declines in suitable climate, leading to changing species composition at individual sites.

The study considered almost 500 scenarios of each bird species' response to future climate change and showed, for the first time, that despite uncertainty in future climate projections, it was extremely likely that these changes in bird communities would occur. However, the site network as a whole is still likely to retain suitable climate for all species in future, meaning that current conservation efforts should be strengthened, but also adapted.

Co-lead author, Dr Robert Bagchi, a Research Fellow at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Zurich, who conducted the analysis while at Durham University, said: "It is striking that despite big differences among these scenarios, they agree on the final outcome. Even under the least extreme scenarios of climate change, most species we examined will have to shift their ranges in order to find suitable areas in the future."

The regions studied by the research team include the countries of, Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as parts of Nepal and India.

Co-lead author, Dr Stephen Willis, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, said: "As climate changes, we may have to assist birds to move to more suitable locations to help them survive. Although many birds will adjust their distributions, and will find new habitats with suitable climate, we need to manage the countryside to help them disperse, or even relocate birds in the most extreme cases.

"We expect there to be 24 times as many 'losers' as 'winners' in terms of bird species losing or gaining habitat in the future."

The researchers explored climate change impacts on birds in the biodiversity hotspots of the Eastern Himalaya and the Lower Mekong. They then forecasted the likelihood of the IBA (Important Bird Area) network to maintain suitable climate for species of conservation concern.

Co-author, Dr Stuart Butchart, Head of Science at BirdLife International, said: "Overall, while these important sites will continue to sustain bird species of conservation concern, climate change will modify which species each site will be suitable for.

"We therefore need to adapt our conservation management. The good news, however, is that protecting natural habitats benefits people too, helping communities to adapt to climate change. Healthy ecosystems enhance resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change and reduce the vulnerability of people."

The results show that IBAs in the Lower Mekong region were affected more negatively than those in the Eastern Himalaya. Many parts of these regions will experience significant turnover of bird species (the rate of birds newly colonising or becoming locally extinct) over time.

The study draws upon the work of thousands of experts and organisations, in particular the Partners that form BirdLife International, who contributed to defining species of conservation concern (through the IUCN Red List), mapping their distributions, and identifying Important Bird Areas. The work was funded by a MacArthur Foundation grant to BirdLife International and Dr Willis at Durham University.

The research was led by Durham University and BirdLife International (including BirdLife International in Indochina) with research partners including Bird Conservation Nepal, Bombay Natural History Society and Conservation International

ScienceDay News
24  Latest News Updates / International Nature News / Urgent International support sought for Azores Bullfinch on: February 25, 2013, 11:48:38 am
Since 2003, the Globally Threatened Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina, has benefitted considerably from a highly successful conservation project, initiated and run by SPEA - BirdLife’s Portuguese Partner and its official Species Guardian. Their award-winning project tackles complicated habitat restoration and provides a boost to the local Azorean economy through sustainable ecotourism and employment, benefiting native islanders’ livelihoods.

Azores Bullfinch, or Priolo as it is known locally, is endemic to the island of São Miguel and is totally reliant on its natural laurel forest habitat which is under extreme pressure from non-native invasive plant species.


Australian Cheesewood is one of the exotic plants that needs removing (SPEA)
SPEA’s long-term conservation project has already recovered more than 250 hectares of natural forest with 150,000 native saplings re-planted. As a result, the population of  Azores Bullfinch has been stabilised, at least for now, and its threat level has been down-listed from Critically Endangered to Endangered. But the Priolo remains one of Europe’s most threatened species and its precarious future still hangs in the balance. More work is needed to ensure population gains can be maintained and that the species’ long-term future can be secured.

The priority is continued forest restoration and maintenance but keeping invasive plants under control in montane habitat is both challenging and costly.

Over the last ten years support for the project has been provided from several international sources including BirdLife Species Champions’ Birdwatch Magazine and the British Birdwatching Fair through the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme. However, the main funding has been provided by the Azorean Government and the EU Commission via two substantial LIFE + grants. Now these grants have come to an end and with severe European economic constraints threatening future investment from both local Azorean and national Portuguese government, finding the money required to keep this flagship project running is again an urgent priority.




Bird Life News
Wikipidia Pic
25  Sri Lanka & Indian subcontinent Birds Chat / Birds Chat / The migrant Indian Paradise Flycatcher on: February 25, 2013, 02:49:20 am

Everybody knows or at some time or another has seen the Ceylon Paradise Flycatcher or 'Gini-Hora', but there would be many who may have not seen its white brother, the Indian Paradise Flycatcher. And of the two the latter is the more striking.
What is the difference between the two? In India there is a legend which tells you why the adult Flycatcher there drops its chestnut colour and adopts a white plumage. Among our villagers too, there is a belief that the white-phase bird ('Kiri Hora') is a rare resident which annually sheds its long tail streamers and goes into hiding in the heart of the jungle until a new tail is grown.

The fact is that the white-phase Flycatcher is purely a migrant bird arriving here from the Indian mainland in winter and going there back again next spring to breed.

Anyone who is looking at a white Paradise Flycatcher for the first time is liable to take it for granted that it was born like that. It is not so. Irrespective of sex, the juveniles of both the Indian and Lankan races are generally chestnut, with blue-black head and whitish under-parts. After the first annual molt, the tail of the male begins to lengthen and grows to a length of about 12 to 15 inches with the second molt. In the third annual molt the male of the Indian race gradually changes from chestnut to white plumage, and by the fourth molt it becomes completely white, except in the head, neck and chest, which remain glossy blue-black.

The male of the Lankan race and female of both the races continue in the chestnut phase, throughout their life. However, females do not carry long tail streamers like the males. The male of the Lankan race is known very occasionally to sport white tail streamers.

The Paradise Flycatcher, Tchitrea paradisi is found in Turkistan, Afghanistan and Baluchistan, through the greater part of India to Burma, and still further eastwards. Three forms are described from the Indian region out of which the typical race paradisi occurs in the hills and dales of peninsula India and visits Sri Lanka during the north-east monsoon. The race leucogaster which differs from the first mentioned in size and detail of colouration inhabits Afghanistan, Turkistan, Kashmir and through the Himalayas to East Nepal. The other nicobarica, which has the head, neck and breast ashy-grey with only the cap and crest black, is found in Assam, migrating to the Nicobar and Andaman Islands in winter. The race ceylonensis is endemic to the island.

Within its breeding range the Paradise Flycatcher moves about a great deal. Thus, with different localities in India it holds different status. In one it's a 'summer migrant', a 'passage migrant' in another, and still in another locality it is considered a 'scarce winter visitor'.

This seasonal movement is evident even with the Lankan race. For instance, in the northeast monsoon period, the resident Paradise Flycatchers disperse all over the wet and the dry zones and in the hills to a height of at least 3,700 feet. Then about March to April they begin to move out again and concentrate in the forest tracts of the drier areas where they pair and breed during May to June.

"The nest is a beautiful little cup, composed of fine fibres, bast etc, bound around with cobweb, and decorated on the sides with spider's egg-cocoons. It is placed on a downward-hanging, more or less bare branch or liana, or in a fork of a slender bough, generally with no attempt at concealment. "(Henry 1955).



by K. G. H. Munidasa
Wikipidia Pic
26  Latest News Updates / International Nature News / Hushed Hoarders and Prying Pilferers on: February 24, 2013, 12:02:27 pm



In order to prevent other birds from stealing the food they are storing for later, Eurasian jays, a type of corvid, minimizes any auditory hints a potential pilferer may use to steal their cache (food that is buried for later use). The new research was published December 5,


Corvids are prolific cachers (or hoarders), burying food such as acorns in several thousand locations over the course of a year. When food becomes scarce during winter and spring, they remember where they buried their caches and retrieve the food items. However, pilfering of caches is commonplace. As a result, they are often trying to minimize other birds stealing their food and maximize the food that they steal.

In the first experiment, the researchers gave the jays options to hide food in substrates which varied in the amount of noise they made (a tray containing noisy gravel and a tray containing quiet sand). The birds' preferences for using these different substrates were tested when they were alone, when they had another bird that could see and hear them and when there was another bird that could hear but could not see them.

The researchers found that if a Eurasian jay is caching and hears but does not see another bird nearby it will hide its cache in the less noisy substrate (for this study, sand rather than gravel). This is presumably done to avoid drawing unwanted attention from potential thieves that might then try to view the location of the cache.

In the second experiment, the scientists measured how many times the subjects vocalised depending on whether they were watching another jay caching, another jay stealing caches that the subject had made themselves, another jay that was not caching or stealing, or an empty compartment that contained no jay.

They found that pilfering birds vocalise less when spying on another bird caching compared to when they are alone. The researchers believe that the jays are quieter in order to prevent their presence becoming known to the caching bird that might otherwise hide their cache elsewhere or stop hiding food.

Rachael Shaw, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge and co-author of the paper, said: "As humans, we understand that other people can hear what we are doing, but there is only limited evidence for this ability in other animals. Our study of Eurasian jays is the first to report that a member of the crow family will suppress acoustic information by vocalising less when spying on another individual that is caching."

ScienceDay News
27  Latest News Updates / Local Nature News / A Bay-backed Shrike at Uda Walawa National Park - CBC.News on: February 24, 2013, 07:28:48 am
Ceylon Bird Club News,

On the 2nd of February 2013, a Bay-backed Shrike Lanius vittatus was reported by member Kithsiri Gunawardena from ‘Mau Ara” road at Uda Walawa National Park. He was accompanied by K G Saman Kumara of the Department of Wildlife Conservation DWC.
This bird had been first observed ion the park by K G Lionel Gunatilleka of DWC but was identified as a Rufous-rumped Shrike.




It is smallish shrike at 17 cm, maroon-brown above with a pale rump and long black tail with white edges. The underparts are white, but with buff flanks.[2] The crown and nape are grey, with a typical shrike black bandit mask through the eye. There is a small white wing patch, and the bill and legs are dark grey.

Sexes are similar, but young birds are washed-out versions of the adults


Habits and habitat
Bay-backed Shrike has a characteristic upright "shrike" attitude perched on a bush, from which it sallies after lizards, large insects, small birds and rodents.

Prey may be impaled upon a sharp point, such as a thorn. Thus secured they can be ripped with the strong hooked bill, but its feet are not suited for tearing.
It is a widespread resident breeder in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, and has recently been recorded from Sri Lanka. It nests in bushes in scrubby areas and cultivation, laying 3-5 eggs

Referance and Pic
WikiPidia,
28  Sri Lanka & Indian subcontinent Birds Chat / Birds Chat / Re: Cooper's Hawk I took through the glass or it would have flown away. Cool anyway on: February 22, 2013, 08:47:30 am
Wonder Fish,,,,,Keep it up,,,
29  Sri Lanka & Indian subcontinent Birds Chat / Birds Chat / Re: Trumpeter Swans mirror image on Pond during feeze up December on: February 22, 2013, 08:43:50 am
 Smiley U make this place grate...
30  Sri Lanka & Indian subcontinent Birds Chat / Birds Chat / Re: Mallard Drakes walking on the ice. on: February 22, 2013, 08:41:43 am
Wow it's Really nice fish,,,,
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