Posted by ardeidae on December 12, 2005

  • Alliance for Zero Extinction researchers compile list of sites where animals and plants face imminent extinction. The list contains 595 sites, some costing less than $1,000 year to protect. "Safeguarding this suite of sites is not the only thing we need to do; but if we don't protect them, these are guaranteed extinctions," said Stuart Butchart, global species programme co-ordinator with BirdLife International, one of the groups comprising the AZE.
  • Female eagle released at Caledon Natural Area in Virginia. The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) was found with an infected elbow six months ago and treated at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. She was originally thought to be in her teens, but the band on her leg revealed that she was born in a captive breeding program more than 28 years ago. Eagles in captivity can live upwards of 35 years, but in the wild the average age is only around 20.
  • Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) rescued at Rec Park in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Nancy Dalbec was on a walk with her dog when they spotted the owl pop out from under a tree. After being dive-bombed by crows and ravens, she picked it up and went for help. At first it was assumed that it had a broken wing, but it turns out that it was actually starving to death. "They come down out of Canada when they haven't got enough food," rehabilitator Bob Brooks said. "If they canít find it here, they'll just sit and starve themselves to death." The owl's food source, the lemming population in the Arctic, has crashed, resulting in an unusually high number of Snowy Owls looking for food in the United States.
  • Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) rescued in Quitman, Arkansas. The bird quickly ate five hamsters as soon as it was fed. This could be another visitor looking for food since its main food supply in the Arctic is low. The Snowy Owl has only been seen in Arkansas three times; the last sighting was in the 1950s.
  • Chinese scientists using satellites to track migration routes of the endangered Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis). In China, the crane can be seen only in remote areas of northwest China's Qinghai, southwest China's Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Tibet.
  • Conservationists on a mission to revive the Red-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) population in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The bird, which has been decimated by pesticides, is invaluable to farmers since it feeds on the ticks from cattle. The Mpongo Private Game Reserve is working to reintroduce the oxpecker into the greater East London area.
  • Residential communities planned on Florida's Lake-Sumter county line could threaten a prime breeding ground for the endangered Whooping Crane (Grus americana). Builders are planning on converting 6,000 acres into two residential communities. "It's kind of heartbreaking," said Steve Nesbitt, a crane expert with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who said people may assume the cranes will go somewhere else when development encroaches on them. "Sooner or later there is nowhere else, and we're almost at that point." The population of Whooping Cranes is slowly rising, but as of the end of last year, only 468 remain, with 213 in the wild.





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