Friday, 6 March 2015

Recent wildlife news.

Hello and welcome to my latest blog. I hope you are all well and are having a good week so far and have had some great wildlife encounters. Recently I was privileged enough to see a particularly fearless rook mobbing a pair of  buzzards. Although the action occurred a fair distance away the bird of preys irritation was clear, regularly turning to expose its talons towards the corvid. Despite the risks, the harassment only ended once the rook was satisfied the threat had diminished. It was a fleeting yet fascinating glimpse  into the challenges faced by both predators and prey. As always I hope you enjoy reading the blog and any feedback is welcome !
Amazing Owls.

I recently watched Natural World Super -Powered Owls. If you have not already done so I would highly recommend giving this a watch. The images captured are quite simply stunning and a pleasure to watch !

Wildlife News.

Jerdon's  babbler rediscovered. 

A recent report has emerged which reveals the previously thought extinct Jerdon's babbler is in fact alive and well despite having not been sighted in Myanmar since 1941. The discovery was made by a team consisting of members from Myanmar's Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division and the National University of Singapore.
The find took place in  Mynamar during the early summer of 2014 while scientists where surveying an area around a now abandoned agricultural station. Also present in this area was a moderately sized patch of grassland, a favored habitat in years gone by for the species. Having heard the species call, the team then played back a recording and were soon presented with a sighting of an adult Jerdon's babbler. Over the next two days, many more individuals were discovered in the near area. This presented successful opportunities to obtain blood samples and photographs and brought to an end the belief this species had fallen victim to extinction.  
Wildlife Conservation Society. "'Extinct' bird rediscovered: Last seen in 1941." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2015.

New research on ocean debris continues to produce shocking results.
Almost seven hundred species have now been recorded to have come across man- made debris. This resulted  in a total of 44,000 animals and organisms around the world  either becoming entangled or swallowing waste say researchers from Plymouth University. Of all reported cases plastic was responsible for ninety two percent. Incidents were most frequently  reported off North America's north and east coasts, Australia and Europe. 
Of all entanglements recorded, plastic rope and netting were the main culprits with species most affected being northern fulmars, northern right whales and green, loggerhead and hawksill turtles. In reported cases of ingestion, plastic was again found to be at the forefront of the problem. Green turtles and northern fulmars again were high on the list of worst affected species.  Other species seriously suffering as a result included the greater shearwater, Californian sea lion,  Atlantic puffin, and Laysan albatross.

Findings shed new light on fearsome predators. 

Crocodilians have a playful side research by Vladimir Dinets has revealed. Dinets who has studied crocodiles and alligators for ten years has discovered they have fun engaging in playful behavior with objects, other crocodiles and other species. His results came as a result of his own observations and those of others conducted through informal surveys. 
Of the different categories of play; play with objects, locomotive play and social play play with objects was the most frequently recorded. This included playing with wooden balls, ceramic items and prey items. Locomotive prey included crocodiles surfing waves and young alligators repeatedly sliding down mud banks. Examples of social play included a crocodile giving its lifelong mate a piggyback and baby alligators riding on the backs of adults. Dinet also observed a young alligator playing with a river otter.
 Odour based camouflage.
The harlequin filefish lives and feeds on acropora coral and consequently smells so similar to it the scent acts as a camouflage against predators. The smell of the filefish is so convincing, it has also been found to smell like home for crabs used to inhabiting the acropora coral. This is the first occurrence of diet based camouflage being utilised
BBC Wildlife March 2015 
Justice at last.

Over a six year period he became implicated in the slaughter of nineteen rhinos now after two years on the run Rajkumar Praja has been captured the WWF has stated. After having an Interpol arrest warrant put on him he was tracked down in Malaysia and extradited to his native Nepal. He know looks likely to face a fifteen year prison sentence for the rhino poaching  and trafficking rhino horns.

So some good news to finish which is very nice! I will nether even come close to being able to understand  the sheer barbarity required to conduct these obscene crimes. Thank goodness in this case at least a main perpetrator has been brought to justice. That concludes my publication for this occasion and thank you once again for reading !
All the best, 
George Wykes
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