Friday, February 26, 2010

What a crazy world we're living in!!

It never fails to amaze me that we live in a world of extremes. As fast as one piece of positive news emerges, another absolute negative then appears!

News came this week that a new site for Long-whiskered Owlet had been found in South America. This was a species only first found in 1976 and one that had not been seen since 2007 at all. Then, within a research area at La Esperanza in Peru a bird was located. A salutary reminder that our knowledge in that area of the world can be extremely poor at best and something which should act as a cautionary note in the face of the continuing onslaught against the rain forest and other habitats in that continent.

A more uplifting announcement involved the British Trust for Ornithology's bird record database receiving its 100 millionth record this week (pride of place being of a Coal Tit in South Wales). A very positive basis upon which practice and policy can be viewed! The collection of survey data first commenced in 1933 and has progressed through a wide variety of topics since that time. Recently with the advent of BirdTrack,in 2004, the ability to collect bird sightings from people of all abilities has come into its own. Such records help to monitor the movements and distribution of birds across the whole of Britain and Ireland.

On both a negative and sad note details have emerged of an illegal consignment of 1000 African Grey Parrots being confiscated in Cameroon, West Africa en route to Kuwait and Bahrain. The species is classed as Near Threatened in the 2009 IUCN Red List ( for details on International Trade in Wildlife Specimens see my post on this Blog for 27th December, 2009.). This threatened status results from the knowledge of it being heavily persecuted for trapping for the world bird trade , an activity that is rife in this area given this is the third seizure in the last three years.

And finally, if you are convinced spring is never to arrive, this week had reports of Hoopoe in SW England, Bitterns having been booming at the London Wetland Centre ( WWT )since January and a Willow Warbler in song on the periphery of this latter site.

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