World Bird News November 2015

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'Slipgate': The Naked Truth

Yesterday morning, LPO/BirdLife France volunteers and journalists were physically assaulted by a man with a shovel after they attempted to remove illegal poaching traps in a village in south-east France. Each year, thousands of protected birds are illegally caught in France in the name of tradition. LPO was attempting to uncover this illegal practice, which is tolerated by authorities.

Put an end to the illegal killing birds in France: sign LPO/BirdLife France’s Avaaz petition.

The group of volunteers, accompanied by LPO's director Allain Bougrain Dubourg, arrived in the village of Audon with the intention of documenting the illegal killing of finches in the Landes region. Birds there are captured to attract other birds, illegally killed and served as ‘delicacies’ or sold to the black market.

The volunteers arrived in the field at dawn and began freeing Chaffinches and bramblings from their cages. Volunteers found that many of the birds were injured and they were taken to a nearby animal care centre. Unfortunately, some of the birds had already died from stress.

Volunteers reported that poachers had even killed Goldfinches that had come to feed and had fallen on the traps by mistake.

The use of cages is illegal and the decoy finch below is a protected species
. Each year, the LPO files formal complaints, but the French government continues to cover-up these criminal activities.


The capture and manipulation of protected birds is illegal

The capture and manipulation of protected birds is illegal, but the ‘exception’ given by the French government to trap skylarks serves as an alibi to tolerate the capture of other small birds.
Tell the French authorities that illegal trapping is unacceptable. Sign LPO/BirdLife France’s Avaaz petition.

BirdLife in France to publish atlas of 357 species of French birds

BirdLife in France to publish atlas of 357 species of French birds

An ‘atlas’ of birds – which shows the status and distribution of species according to their breeding, wintering and migration across a city, region, country or continent – is important, not only as a catalogue for further scientific research, but also to show the decline in biodiversity over the years.

This is why France has had two national atlases of bird species, one published in 1975 and the second in 1989. But since then, bird species distribution in France has significantly changed.

To present the state of bird populations as well as the places of their evolution since the last atlas, especially in a time when the EU is grappling with its 2020 biodiversity strategy, a new edition of the French bird atlas will be published on November 12.

The atlas was developed by LPO (BirdLife in France) and SEOF (The Ornithological Society of Studies of France) with the scientific collaboration of the National Natural History Museum, Paris. The Atlas sums up 357 contemporary detailed monographs and three sub-species that breed or winter in France in 1.400 pages spread over two volumes. They are illustrated by over 700 photographs of birds and 1.500 maps of historical and current distributions, and abundance.

The task wasn’t easy. The atlas is based on six years of research efforts on birds’ distribution, reproductive status and abundance by the ornithological community, and the mobilisation of thousands of observers, volunteers and employees, who collected information on nesting birds for four springs.

To make sure the atlas covered the whole country and its maps were as detailed as possible, the territory was divided into a grid of nearly 6,000 squares of 10 x 10 km. Each square was then surveyed by birdwatchers and scientists.

Today, this French Bird Atlas could be a great tool for the protection of species and biodiversity. You can access it online here

Record breeding success for Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibis

The Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita has had an eventful and turbulent relationship with humans that has resulted in a graph of its population decline that matches its iconic red down-curved beak.

But latest breeding successes resulting from work of BirdLife Partners and the Government of Morocco gives hope for a harmonious relationship again in the future.

The large glossy-black bird once had an extensive range that spread across North Africa, the Middle East and Europe and has been idolised by humans as a symbol of fertility and virtue [More: The Hieroglyph]. Yet ironically human pressures have caused it to struggle breeding, and its dramatic range-reduction renders it classified today as Critically Endangered: reaching an all-time low at the end of the 20th Century with only 50 breeding pairs remaining. Today, 99% of the remaining wild birds are found in Morocco.

With that in mind, it is a great pleasure to announce that colonies in Morocco have had record reproductive success this year - the symbol of fertility now managing to live up to its tradition!

For the third year in a row, the colonies at Souss-Massa National Park and nearby Tamri, both Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas in south-west Morocco, formed a record number of breeding pairs, reaching 116 pairs in 2015.

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | World Bird News | World Bird News 2015 |  World Bird News November 2015

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