Two iconic birds make a striking comeback, but much work remains

first_imgBirdLife International has revised the information for the conservation status of more than 2,300 bird species this year.Overall, 31 species of birds were moved to lower threat categories, while 58 species were uplisted to higher threat categories.The pink pigeon, which has been downlisted to vulnerable from endangered, and the northern bald ibis, which has been downlisted to endangered from critically endangered, have shown some of the most dramatic improvements. The pink pigeon, found only on the island of Mauritius, was once nearly declared extinct. Another bird, the northern bald ibis, underwent catastrophic declines across much of its habitat in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.But now, both species are on the path to recovery, according to the latest assessment of the world’s birds by BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organizations.In 2018, BirdLife, which serves as the official Red List Authority for birds for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, revised information on more than 2,300 bird species, based on information gathered by professional and citizen scientists, NGO staff, and birdwatchers from around the world. The assessed birds represent about 22 percent of all the world’s bird species.“These updates have varied from minor amendments to the text or map for certain species, to comprehensive revisions of the factsheets for species where new information has become available, especially in cases where the species’ threat status has changed so much that they have now been reclassified to a different Red List category,” Ian Burfield, global science coordinator at BirdLife International, told Mongabay.Overall, in this year’s assessment, BirdLife International moved 31 species of birds to less dire threat categories. (The categories range, in ascending order of threat, from “vulnerable” to “endangered” to “critically endangered.”) Of these, the pink pigeon and the northern bald ibis showed some of the most dramatic improvements.Red-headed woodpecker. Image by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren.Pink pigeonThe pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri) could have met the same fate as another Mauritian pigeon, the dodo, now extinct. But targeted conservation actions over the past 40 years have brought the species back from the brink of extinction.In the 1970s, there were only about 12 to 20 pink pigeons left on Mauritius. The bird faced a range of threats: rapid loss of forest cover; the introduction to their island of non-native predators like rats, cats, mongoose and crab-eating monkeys; and the introduction of non-native birds, which brought new pathogens and diseases into the pink pigeon population. By the 1990s, the pink pigeon was down to just nine or 10 individuals.Today, there are around 400 wild individuals, thanks to efforts like captive breeding and intensive management of the bird’s reintroduced populations and habitats. This number has remained relatively stable over the last 10 years, and the species, which was downlisted from critically endangered to endangered in 2000, has been downlisted once again, to vulnerable.“We are thrilled that this has happened,” said Vikash Tatayah, conservation director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF), an NGO that works closely with the country’s National Parks and Conservation Service and several international partners to protect the pink pigeon. “It took 43 years of work to get to this point, so it’s not happened overnight. This just goes to show that getting species to recover, especially in places where the ecosystem has been badly damaged, will take many, many years.”A pair of pink pigeons. Image by Mauritian Wildlife Foundation.The downlisting shows that conservation actions must continue, Tatayah said. And MWF has already set lofty goals: it wants to bring the pink pigeon population up to at least 600 individuals over the next decade. To achieve this, the MWF team has been reintroducing birds into privately held sites, in addition to other conservation efforts. Most of the previously reintroduced populations are inside government-designated protected areas.“In Mauritius there are more forests in private hands than in government hands, so we need to find ways to work with the private sector as an equal partner in restoring species,” Tatayah said.The genetic diversity of the wild birds is also currently “regrettably low,” he added. Researchers are working to resolve this issue by tapping into the captive population of pink pigeons in zoos and wildlife parks across Europe that are known to harbor greater genetic variation than the Mauritian wild population.Northern bald ibisThe northern bald ibis (Geronticus eremita), too, was driven to the brink, teetering at just 59 pairs in the 1990s due to habitat loss, pesticides and hunting. Today, the species, once revered as a holy bird in ancient Egypt, has disappeared from most of its known range. The only ibis population that’s shown evidence of improvement is in Morocco.In fact, northern bald ibis numbers in Morocco have risen to 147 breeding pairs, a modern-day record, with the discovery of new breeding sites, according to BirdLife International. In the latest assessment, the northern bald ibis has been downlisted from critically endangered to endangered on the IUCN Red List.“Since my first involvement working on this extraordinary species in the early 1990s, when the trends were a series of local extinctions and overall decline, it’s an immense source of pride that the sustained but gradual increase in Morocco means that downlisting is needed,” Chris Bowden, coordinator of the AEWA Northern Bald Ibis International Working Group, said in an email. “This has been the result of the sustained efforts of the Souss-Massa National Park, the locally trained wardens, fishermen recruited from nearby villages, and the BirdLife Partners involved (GREPOM, SEO and RSPB).”A northern bald ibis. Image by D. Faulder.But it hasn’t been all good news for the bird. A tiny population of northern bald ibis in Syria has declined from three pairs in 2002 and is likely extinct now, researchers say. In fact, Morocco might be the last home to the species in the wild. The bird’s overall numbers are also still low, which means conservation efforts need to be sustained.“There is still a lot to do, including resisting development pressures in the two main Moroccan sites and maintaining all the ongoing efforts highlighted in the recently updated International Single Species Action Plan,” Bowden said. “It’s crucial that the downlisting doesn’t reduce the priority in achieving all of this, but we should congratulate in particular the Moroccan Government, and specifically the Ministry of Water and Forests [in their fight against] desertification, on this downlisting, which is a momentous endorsement of their success.”Hope for birdsOf the 31 species downlisted this year, some have moved out of the threatened or near-threatened categories altogether and are now classified as being of “least concern” — that is, they are no longer at immediate risk of extinction. These include the red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) and Henslow’s sparrow (Passerculus henslowii), both native to North America and previously listed as “near threatened” (more dire than “least concern” but not yet in the threatened category of “vulnerable”). Henslow’s sparrow, for instance, declined due to loss of its grassland habitat over the decades. But the bird gained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers to “remove environmentally sensitive land from cultivation and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality.”“Such examples are currently rarer, because the species involved are not necessarily as rare, localised or iconic, and because reversing their declines often requires changes to be made over much larger areas and to land or water or sea uses controlled by powerful policy mechanisms,” Burfield said.A Henslow’s sparrow. Image by Andy Reago and Chrissy McClarren.Other highly threatened species remain listed as critically endangered or endangered. But this isn’t necessarily bad news because it could mean that conservation actions have successfully kept them from going extinct.Overall, the downlisting of species to a lower threat category sends a hopeful message that conservation actions can work, even though they might take several decades to bear fruit. But does downlisting affect funding if the species are no longer seen as threatened as before?“There is always a risk that when you downlist a species you lose funders because funders might say that this species is now vulnerable so let’s go and protect another species that is critically endangered,” Tatayah said. “But funders should be looking to be associated with success. Downlisting is a sign of success.”Many battles remainSuccesses have been few and far between. Many of the world’s birds face a growing risk of extinction: the latest assessment moves 58 species to a higher threat categories than before. Seven hornbill species, for instance, including the great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) and rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros), which have both been moved from near threatened to vulnerable, are under severe threat of extinction.The straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), uplisted from endangered to critically endangered, is being pushed to extinction by the songbird trade in Indonesia, as is the Java sparrow (Lonchura oryzivora), a popular cagebird in Southeast Asia that’s now been uplisted from vulnerable to endangered.“We, the conservation community, know very well what needs to be done to save threatened birds, and can demonstrate that with numerous examples,” Burfield said. “What we need now is a massive upscaling in resources and capacity to match the scale of the biodiversity crisis and allow us to save even more species.“And that requires political will and money.”A great hornbill. Image by Angadachappa. Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Protected Areas, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Wenger regrets Burnley outburst

first_img“My view is that honestly I did not see that it was a penalty,” Wenger told the BBC when asked about the penalty. “I will have to watch it on the video. Francis told me that he ran into him.”“Myself, I should have shut up and I apologise for not having done that,” he said. “It was nothing malicious. I should have kept my control, even if it was in a hectic time.”Wenger appeared to resist the fourth official’s attempts to have him head up the tunnel by pushing the official’s arms away.“I didn’t see any penalty from outside, but I should have shut up and I apologise, even if I was frustrated.”However, Wenger ended the day happy after Alexis Sanchez restored their one-point lead at the Emirates Stadium with a penalty of their own to claim a 2-1 win.“We finally got the win, but of course it was very difficult for us. We couldn’t get the second goal [earlier], we played with 10 men and they played well as well. In the end we got the three points we wanted,” Wenger said.Burnley manager Sean Dyche also had words for the officials, saying he thought Laurent Koscielny was offside for the Gunners in the lead up to Ben Mee’s foul on him that drew the final penalty.“It’s a tough day for us in the end,” Dyche said. “To lose a game in that fashion, with an offside not given is tough, particularly when you come to tough places like this.”Former Premier League chief Keith Hackett said that the Football Association (FA) needs to hand Wenger a stern sanction.“For the sake of every official at every level of the game the FA must throw the book at Arsene Wenger after his disgraceful behaviour on Sunday,” Hackett wrote in the Telegraph.“They need to send out a strong, clear message: Officials are sacrosanct and if you lay hands on them you will pay a heavy price.”“A one or two match touchline ban just won’t cut it on this occasion … an absolute minimum is a six-game ban.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is told by fourth official Andrew Taylor to head up the stands after being sent off in an English Premier League match against Burnley on Jan 22, 2017. PHOTO/AFPLONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 23- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted that he should have kept his emotions in check after being removed from the sideline by the fourth official in the closing stages of their game against Burnley.Arsenal — already down to 10 men — conceded a late penalty that was converted by Andre Gray when referee Jon Moss penalised Francis Coquelin for a foul on Ashley Barnes, prompting an outburst from Wenger.last_img read more