Friday, August 21, 2009

21st August, 2009.

Well I've just spent what has resulted in two whole days organizing survey work, talking on conservation issues and similar matters without having had any opportunity for fieldwork. Sometimes the preparatory arrangements or follow up work required far outstrips the actual time spent achieving the objectives!! It's a mad world!!

Today , at Rutland Water in Leicestershire the British BirdFair commenced for three days. The proceeds this year will go towards the Preventing Extinctions Programme being administered by BirdLife. It is expected that over 20,000 birdwatchers will attend the event over the three days. One element of the above programme is that BirdLife are to initiate enquiries into 47 bird species not seen within living memory , some of which for up to 184 years. Whilst this may seem a little strange, the locations and habitats of most of these are predominantly in remote, little visited , hostile environments, some of which are isolated islands. The thinking behind this initiative acknowledges the need to publicise losses and extinctions, about which there is ample evidence, but that it would also be irresponsible to allow some of these little known small and fragile populations to possibly slip into extinction without first being sure nothing can be done to retain their presence, whatever their numbers. Some stories we are all familiar with , but if efforts are made they sometimes can bring about extraordinary success , as with the Seychelles Magpie Robin, which in many respects was in precisely the same situation until action was taken.

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