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Bird: 1/25 of 48
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Isobel (Bella) and father Gil Rodrigues. Photo: Sea Shepherd / Simon Ager.

My conversion - from shearwater hunter to protector of birds and ocean

Gil Rodrigues Fortes / Sea Shepherd

23rd November 2014

For nearly 30 years, Gil Fortes was a hunter of Cabo Verde's shearwater chicks, helping to drive the bird to the brink of extinction. But following a life-changing rethink, he and his daughter Isabel (Bella), are now at the forefront of efforts to save the shearwater and rebuild its perilously low numbers. more...
The Golden Oriole is one of the birds set to benefit from the protection of the Aftrica-Eurasia Flyway. Photo: m-idre31 via Flickr.

New protection for migratory birds and their 'flyways'

The Ecologist

14th November 2014

Two new international agreements will help to save migratory birds from hunting, trapping and poisoning, and to protect their long-distance flyways. A key objective is to phase out lead shot within three years, and eliminate the toxic drug diclofenac. more...
The Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) has declined by 88% since 1995, due to multiple causes: habitat loss in Africa; disease in its UK breeding grounds, and hunting between the two. Photo: Alan Shearman via Flickr.

African habitat loss driving migrating birds' decline

The Ecologist

16th October 2014

A new report reveals huge declines in the UK's migratory birds that winter deep in Africa's rainforests. Shorter distance migrants are performing much better, with some recording big population increases. more...
A Raso Island shearwater chick looks out from its nest - a ball of grey fur, but mind the sharp beak! Photo: Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd.

Raso Island, Cape Verde - a jewel in the crown of Africa's wildlife

Simon Ager / Sea Shepherd

22nd October 2014

Shearwater chicks are cute grey furballs with beaks, writes Simon Ager, and they are all too ready to use them on pesky wildlife researchers. But Cape Verde offers abundant compensations to nature lovers - so many that its future surely lies in conserving, not exploiting its biological riches.
more...
Storks are a protected species under the EU's Birds Directive. But that affords them little protection against hunters in Malta, which lies on a key migration route across the Mediterranean. Photo: Tambako The Jaguar via Flickr.

We must defend the Birds Directive against Malta's hunting lobby

Steve Micklewright, Birdlife Malta

2nd October 2014

Shocking events have taken place in Malta as hunters - angered by a temporary closure of the bird-shooting season - attacked bird watchers, writes Steve Micklewright. But with a Maltese politician taking on the role of Environment Commissioner, the real battle lies ahead: the survival of the Birds Directive. more...
Nightingale singing in a hawthorn tree. Photo: John Bridges / rspb-images.com.

Housing against nightingales - no way!

Martin Harper / RSPB

8th September 2014

A 5,000-house development has just won planning permission on a SSSI nature area in Kent which is home to over 1% of the UK's nightingales. It violates government planning policies, and ministers have the power to stop it. But will they? Yes they will, writes Martin Harper - provided enough people show they care! more...
At risk of extinction: the Bearded vulture. Photo: Joachim S Muller.

Europe's vultures face extinction from toxic vet drug

Oliver Tickell

8th September 2014

Vultures have become one of the most threatened families of birds on the planet thanks to poisoning by the veterinary drug diclofenac. Now Birdlife has discovered that it's on sale in Europe - threatening to wipe vultures out and undermine significant EU investments in vulture conservation. more...
Birds and airplanes are a poor mix - but do we need to slaughter quite so many? Photo: Eugene Zemlyanskiy via Flickr.

Airports' global bird slaughter - 100,000s gassed, shot, poisoned

Rose Bridger

18th August 2014

Airports around the world are waging a war on birds, writes Rose Bridger. It's meant to prevent aircraft bird strikes. But in fact, fatal (for people) collisions are rare - and even killing thousands of birds does little to reduce the number of strikes. Best fly less, and keep airports away from birds! more...
Walshaw Moor, near Hebden Bridge, after burning to improve grouse yields. Photo: energyroyd.org.uk/ .

Our uplands: a burning desire for action

Martin Harper

12th August 2014

Today, on the 'Glorious 12th', well-heeled folk take to the hills to shoot grouse. And to be sure there's lots of birds to kill, writes Martin Harper, England's moorlands are burnt with dire impacts on their biodiversity and ability to absorb rainfall. It's high time to end this barbaric practice! more...
Western pygmy possums use tree hollows that take decades to develop in mallee ecosystems. Photo: Lauren Brown.

Over-burning could be damaging Australia's wildlife for 100 years

Dale Nimmo, Andrew Bennett & Michael Clarke

29th August 2014

We know that Australia's dry bush has co-evolved with fire, so that means regular planned burning is a good thing? Up to a point ... some increasingly rare species depend on 'old growth' bush up to 100 years old, and over-frequent burning is putting them under long-term threat. more...
The Somali ostrich is now recognised as a separate species, but it's listed as 'vulnerable' owing to hunting, egg collecting and other threats. Photo: Steve Garvie via Flickr, taken in Kenya's Rift Valley.

A quarter of 361 newly-recognised birds are 'threatened'

The Ecologist

24th July 2014

A global taxonomic review of birds has 'discovered' 361 new species that were previously considered 'races' of existing bird species - but many of them are endangered, forcing a rethink of conservation priorities. more...
Barn swallow chicks (Hirundo rustica) at Arrábida (Quinta do Camalhão), Setúbal, Portugal. This insectivorous species is among those impacted by imidacloprid. Photo: Jose Sousa via Flickr.

It's not just the bees! 'Neonic' pesticides linked to bird declines

Helen Thompson

17th July 2014

A study published today in Nature shows a strong correlation between concentrations of a popular neonicotinoid pesticide in water, and bird declines, writes Helen Thompson. Regulators are under pressure to tighten up, but the industry still claims there's 'no substantiated evidence'. more...

Bird: 1/25 of 48
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Wildfowl hunting in California, where a state-wide ban on lead will come into force. Photo: Diana via Flickr.

Hunting for Truth - we respond to the NRA's retraction demand

The Ecologist

11th July 2014

The National Rifle Association has demanded that The Ecologist retract important elements of a story we ran about the threat to condors from ingesting spent lead ammunition, and the NRA's opposition to a lead ban. We publish our response. more...
Condors at the Grand Canyon. Photo: Derek Bruff via Flickr.

Eat lead! Condor survival versus National Rifle Association

Dawn Starin

7th July 2014

Ample peer-reviewed science says that the number one threat to condor survival is lead poisoning from eating bullets and pellets in carcasses, reports Dawn Starin. But the powerful NRA is fighting hard against bans on lead ammunition. more...
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) in Russia's Altai Mountains. Photo: Sergey Yeliseev via Flickr.

The grouse shooting industry is out of control - it must be regulated

Martin Harper / RSPB

27th June 2014

Intensive grouse shooting on England's uplands is doing huge damage to fragile ecosystems, writes Martin Harper - and to the 'protected' hen harrier. It's high time to bring this industry under control with a new licencing system. more...
A buzzard in flight, photographed by Tambako The Jaguar. Via Flickr.com.

Buzzard 'control' licences must be refused

Martin Harper

2nd June 2014

An application has been made to kill ten buzzards to protect pheasant poults at a game shoot. With buzzards only slowly returning to the UK after decades of persecution, writes Martin Harper, this and all similar applications must be rejected. more...
White storks nesting at Coto Doñana, Spain. Photo: Ian Keith via Flickr.

Thanks to EU laws and money, Coto Doñana rises from disaster

Laurence Rose

4th June 2014

Spain's Coto Doñana shows the value of EU conservation law, writes Laurence Rose, as the UK tries to get rid of the Birds and Habitats Directives. Both have proved essential to the protection and restoration of one of Europe's greatest wetlands. more...
Common nightingale (luscinia megarhynchos). Photo: gynti_46 via Flickr.com.

Celebrate 'National Nightingale Night' on May 18th

Chris Rose

13th May 2014

Britain's nightingales are in decline - not least because of intensive farming, and our insistence on building over their last refuges. But their song is as unforgettable as ever, writes Chris Rose, and that will surely be the key to valuing them more ... more...
European Dipper (Cinclus cinclus) near a waterfall in the Carpathian mountains. Photo: Irene Mei via Flickr.

Meet the dipper - our canary in the coal mine for polluted rivers

Steve Ormerod

21st May 2014

Hormone-disrupting pollutants in the urban rivers of South Wales are having adverse effects on the health and development of wild birds such as dippers, writes Steve Ormerod. Could this humble bird be the 'new canary' for environmental toxins? more...
Flooding on the Somerset Levels and Moors. Watercolour by Lord Otter via Flickr.com.

Somerset Levels - the real battle is getting the Government to pay

Oliver Tickell

9th February 2014

Right wing media and politicians have chosen the Somerset Levels as their battle field for fighting the 'green' agenda. There is just one problem - the facts. On the Levels themselves, there is a remarkable consensus about the way forward - and the future is Green. more...
Many of the Somerset Levels's rarest species inhabit the ditches or 'rhynes' that thread the landscape. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr.com.

Somerset Levels - a vision for 2030

Somerset Levels and Moors Task Force

8th February 2014

As fierce public debate rages over how to manage the Somerset Levels, a Task Force of farmers, wildlife groups, official Agencies and Councils has agreed a new 'Vision 2030' for the Levels - one the mainstream media have entirely missed ... more...
A British barn owl in the wild. Photo: Barn Owl Trust.

Save our Barn owls!

David Ramsden

6th February 2014

Britain's barn owls are in trouble, their number 70% down on historic levels. A big reason for the dramatic decline is the growing use of toxic rodenticides to kill farm rats, writes David Ramsden, who urges us to join the campaign to limit their use. more...
Why did the pheasant cross the road? Photo: johndal via Flickr.com.

Roadkill pheasant and dumplings

Annie Levy

11th February 2014

Roadkill pheasant, quail and dumplings ... Annie Levy embarks on a culinary trip down memory lane to the raw sounds of Bonnie Prince Billy. more...
Magellanic penguins, Rio Negro, Argentina. Photo: S-t-v via Flickr.com.

Argentina: unseasonal storms imperil Magellanic penguins

Tim Radford

4th February 2014

Scientists have identified climate change as the direct cause of rising mortality among penguin chicks hatched in Argentina, as unseasonal storms hit a once arid coastal region. more...
A bird egg collection (this one doubtless legitimate). Photo: thekirbster via Flickr.com.

Sweden: 3 wild egg collectors convicted after UK investigation

The Ecologist

3rd February 2014

An enquiry which started in the UK in 2009 involving the collecting and trading of wild birds' eggs, has led to the conviction of three Swedish egg collectors - and reveals the international scope of the wild egg trade. more...

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