The endangered Taita birds of Kenya

Across the expansive Taita Plains in Southern Eastern Kenya, rises a majestic densely forested hilly outcrops straddling the skyline near the historic town of Voi. These hilly outcrops, famously known as the Taita Hills occupy an area of about 250 square kilometers. In addition to being an important biodiversity hotspot and water tower, the densely forested hills form an important ecosystem consisting of a number of forests, home to various animals and rare bird species.

Capercaillie broods in pristine boreal forest in northwestern Russia: the importance of insects and cover in habitat selection

Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus L., 1758), the largest and most size-dimorphic species of grouse, is decreasing in number throughout its man-modified range in the boreal forests of the Palaearctic. Poor reproduction owing to direct and indirect effects of commercial forestry is considered a main cause of the decline. We studied brood habitats in a pristine forest in northwestern Russia to identify key elements in habitat selection in the natural environment of this species.

Dramatischer Rückgang der Auerhuhnpopulation im Schwarzwald

Das Auerhuhn (Tetrao urogallus) gilt als Indikator artenreicher, lichter, von Nadelbäumen dominierter Wälder und besiedelt weltweit noch ein großes Areal. In West- und Mitteleuropa sind allerdings viele Verbreitungsgebiete isoliert und meist auf (Mittel-) Gebirgszüge begrenzt, viele Populationen sind bereits verschwunden oder stark zurückgegangen. Im Schwarzwald, Südwest-Deutschland, wurde die Auerhuhn-Population erstmals 1971 mittels flächendeckender Balzplatzzählungen geschätzt. Seit 1983 wurden diese Zählungen jährlich durchgeführt und dokumentiert.

Not all smiles on annual bird count in Starved Rock State Park

Steve Gillam, Starved Rock volunteer Tom Williams and Starved Rock State Park natural resource coordinator Lisa Sons exchanged jokes and friendly chitchat as they trudged over a muddy path along a field edge, wetland and woods at Matthiessen State Park. They were not seeing many birds, despite sunny, breezy conditions and diverse habitat, during their after-lunch hike over their territory in the Starved Rock Audubon Society Christmas bird count. And they said they had not seen many birds in the morning among the oak trees and canyons in the Matthiessen Dells area.

North American birds declined by 29% since 1970

A recent study concludes that the birds of Canada and the United States have taken a substantial hit in the last 49 years. Researchers from several institutions in the U.S. and Canada, including the American Bird Conservancy, the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, joined forces for the study.

Devon wildlife threatened by Extinction

At the recent Extinction Rebellion protest in Moretonhamstead as reported in the last edition of The Moorlander, one of the flyers the group were handing out brought attention to the worrying decline in Devon’s wildlife. A 90% decline in Greater Horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) has been seen, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s, Nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos) no longer breed in Devon; the last pair was recorded in 1993.

Viele insektenfressende Vögel sterben

Ob Bachstelze (Motacilla alba), Kiebitz (Vanellus vanellus) oder Rauchschwalbe (Hirundo rustica): Die Zahl der insektenfressenden Vögel ist in den vergangenen 25 Jahren europaweit deutlich zurückgegangen. Durchschnittlich um 13 Prozent sank die Zahl dieser Vögel einer im Fachjournal Conservation Biology veröffentlichten Studie zufolge. Bei den insektenfressenden Ackerland-Vögeln sei der Rückgang sehr viel stärker als bei den insektenfressenden Waldvögeln.

Study Suggests Drastic Decline of Insects in Rain Forests

The researchers measured the forest’s insects and other invertebrates, including spiders and centipedes by using trap methods with sticky plates and nets in the canopy. They collected the critters and larvae that crawled through the vegetation and examined the density of population. Each technique revealed that the dry weight of the captured insects were very less when compared to 1976. The researchers observed that there has been a significant decline in the population of insects of all species since 1976.