Murray-Darling Basin's water birds in dramatic decline, study shows

New research has found a dramatic decline in water birds in the Murray-Darling Basin, with numbers down about 70 per cent in the past three decades. A University of New South Wales team found the alarming drop after crunching 32 years of data. The study has been published today in the Global Change Biology journal. Director of the UNSW Centre for Ecosystem Science, Richard Kingsford, who surveys up to 2,000 wetlands around Australia annually, headed up the research.

West Kalimantan’s storm’s stork at risk of extinction

The Storm's stork (Ciconia stormi) is a medium-sized stork species that occurs primarily in lowland tropical forests of Indonesia, Malaysia and southern Thailand. A recent survey conducted along the coastal areas of Kubu, West Kalimantan, shows an alarming rate of population decline among this local bird, raising concerns about the condition of the local mangrove forest ecosystem. The bird, found throughout Borneo, was classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1994.

Negative impacts of neonicotinoids in aquatic environments are a reality

Recent monitoring studies in several countries have revealed a world-wide contamination of creeks, rivers and lakes with neonicotinoid insecticides, with residue levels in the low μg/L (ppb) range. At least two main areas of concern can be identified: reduced capacity for decomposition of organic debris by aquatic organisms and starvation of insectivores and other vertebrate fauna that depend on invertebrates as a major or only food source.

Declining numbers of Blue-tailed bee-eater worry conservationists

Once sighted in the thousands, the Blue-tailed bee-eater is a sparsely spotted bird these days. Bird watchers and photographers say their numbers have significantly declined from thousands to a few hundreds in the last five years. In South India, the tiny beauty is endemic to Chandagala, a village on the banks of River Cauvery and close to the historic town of Srirangapatna in Mandya district. The Blue-tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus) is migratory by nature. The bird is found in peninsular parts of the country.

Curlew numbers fall by two thirds over past 12 years in New Forest National Park

Curlew (Numenius arquata) numbers in one of the birds' strongholds in southern England have experienced a "shocking decline", conservationists have said. Figures released by Wild New Forest (WNF) show a two-thirds decline in breeding pairs in the national park over the past 12 years. In 2004, about 100 breeding pairs were identified, compared with 40 recorded by volunteers in 2016. The curlew, with its long down-curved bill, is Europe's largest wading bird and it typically nests in open areas of heath and bog at ground level.

The Numeniini bird family faces extinction

For Numeniini, a family of birds that includes Curlews and Godwits, new research indicates that these birds are at risk. A recent study by Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds (BirdLife in the UK), British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), and the International Wader Study Group suggests they could actually be one of the most threatened families of birds on earth. The study consulted over 100 experts who assessed the threats to Numeniini throughout their migratory regions and found that seven of the thirteen species are threatened with extinction.

Kordate kleine zwaan minder gezien op winterakkers

Nog niet zo lang geleden overwinterden in Nederland 10.000 kleine zwanen, ongeveer de helft van de wereldpopulatie. Vorig jaar telden vrijwilligers tijdens de maandelijkse ganzen- en zwanentellingen 5500 kleine zwanen. Naar verwachting ligt het aantal in 2017 nog lager. Kleine zwanen fourageren vaak samen met wilde zwanen. Kleine zwanen (Cygnus columbianus bewickii) broeden op de toendra's van Noord-Siberië en op de eilanden in de Barentszzee, waaronder Nova Zembla. Sneeuwval en vorst dwingen de witte vogels in de herfst naar het zuiden te trekken.

Assam's white-winged wood duck is threatened

“I am Assam’s State bird Deo hah. My current status is threatened. Please do not kill us, nor collect our ducklings or eggs” – reads a new campaign poster of wildlife NGO Aaranyak, starkly describing the current status of the State bird, the white-winged wood duck (Asarcornis scutulata). As the rhino continues to be the focus of wildlife conservation in the State, the numbers of the white-winged wood duck are dwindling slowly and silently with little or no attention coming from the State Government.

South Florida wading bird nesting falls to lowest level in a decade

The number of nesting wading birds in South Florida, a key measure of Everglades health, sunk to a decade-long low last year, according to a South Florida Water Management District report released this week, the latest in a 22-year tally. Just over 26,000 nesting birds were counted across the Everglades and in Lake Okeechobee last year, well below the 10-year annual average of about 42,000.

Pollution of Vembanad Lake

Pesticide residue from rice polders and nutrient discharge from urban settlements are aggravating the pollution of Vembanad Lake, playing havoc with the fragile wetland ecosystem and jeopardising its tourism potential. A study conducted by the Regional Agricultural Research Station (RARS), Kumarakom, under Kerala Agricultural University (KAU), has reported a high level of eutrophication of the lake, a Ramsar site and the hub of backwater tourism in Kerala. Data collected by the environmental surveillance centre at RARS indicate that the organic pollution of the lake is getting worse.