Creation of water reservoirs contributing to population increase of Spur-winged Lapwing in Cyprus
The Spur-winged Lapwing, an Afro-tropical bird occurring in Sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt, southeast Europe and the Middle East, was first recorded in Cyprus in 1820. Up until the 1990s it was a common migrant, with few overwintering and one breeding record. While recent data indicated it had become a regular winter visitor and breeding bird, no island-wide assessment of the distribution and population size of this species had ever been carried out despite the relatively small size of Cyprus (9,250 km2 in area).
Endangered Purple Gallinule in Anzali wetland, Iran
Negin Nourani Najafi
Purple Gallinule Porphyrio porphyrio is a resident waterbird and seasonal breeder in Iran. Its habitats are wetlands with vast reedbeds and the verge of lakes with thick vegetation. There are two subspecies of Purple Gallinules in Iran. One is the P. p. seistanicus extending to the south and the east of Iran and another subspecies is P. p. caspius extending to northwest Iran. In recent years, due to destruction of reedbeds of their habitats and hunting, their population is extremely reduced.
Migratory vulture’s crisis continues in Bikaner, Rajasthan, India
Population of three Gyps vultures in South Asia decreased by about 95% in 1990s. A major contributing factor in declining populations of vultures is believed to be the widespread use of drugs such as Diclofenac, once commonly-used as a livestock anti-inflammatory drug. Use of Diclofenac is now banned in India. During the last 3 years, vulture’s death cases are increasing not only in Rajasthan but also in other parts of the India. The IUCN Red Data Book has listed this bird as ‘critically endangered’.
This Halloween: Bats Beware
Contrary to creepy Halloween images of witches, ghosts and ghouls, one of the traditional icons of the season -- the bat -- deserves to be a star. For centuries, Chinese cultures regarded bats as the harbinger of good fortune and health, and in Chinese art a depiction of five bats is called "Five blessings," long life, ease, wealth, joy and a natural death. We may lose these blessings soon because bats are disappearing at an alarming rate. They are persecuted, hunted for food and medicine by the hundreds of thousands, and their habitats are being destroyed. To make matters worse, a new disease named white nose syndrome, possibly introduced from Europe, has killed millions of bats in the U.S., wiped out entire colonies in the east and has now spread from New England to Canada and across the Mississippi.
Pesticide harm California condors
Scientists have unraveled a mystery about why rare condors in the coastal redwood forests of central California are having problems reproducing. The culprit appears to be the long-ago banned pesticide DDT that lingers in our environment.
Fire Salamanders in the Netherlands Wiped Out by Newly Discovered Fungus
Five years ago the Netherlands was home to a small but healthy population of fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra terrestris). That is no longer the case. The first dead salamanders, their bodies lacking any visible signs of injuries, turned up in 2008. More mysteriously dead salamanders appeared in the following years, while field surveys found fewer and fewer live animals. By 2011 the number of fire salamanders in the country had dropped by an astonishing 96 percent.