Dinosaur of the week: Upland Goose

upland goose

This flock of Chloephaga picta was strolling along a beach on Carcass Island, Falklands a handful of years back. The white one isĀ  the male, the others are females. The birds are monogamous and their numbers are in decline.

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Dinosaur of the week: Egyptian Vulture

Egyptian Vulture

Neophron percnopterus is an endangered species. Oman, where I saw this individual, seems to be the only place where the birds are not dropping in their numbers (yet).

The list of dangers is incredibly long and includes poisoning, antibiotics in lifestock, electrocution, collisions with wind turbines, reduced food availability and habitat loss.

For more info, head to http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22695180/0.

Dinosaur of the week: Little Owl

owl

I’ve rarely spotted any wild owls throughout the years, and although Athene noctua has been quite audible since we came to Algeria we only saw them first late this summer.

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22689328/0 lists the major threats to the species:

  • habitat changes, including the loss of suitable nest-sites
  • the use of pesticides
  • a reduction of prey items such as voles and earthworms through industrialised farming practices
  • agricultural intensification
  • ground clearance
  • excessive use of toxic chemicals
  • road traffic deaths
  • loss of nest holes from the felling of old hollow trees and the restoration of old buildings
  • severe winters

Algeria – World Cleanup Day

We were not an official team for World Cleanup Day because the person I had contacted, well, didn’t seem to care much about cleaning away all the rubbish or to actually be involved. So my husband, some friends and I went out into the forest next to where we live to do our bit (which we do pretty much every weekend anyway).

We spent about two hours cleaning away plastic bottles and bottle tops, wrappers, wet wipes and vast quantities of styrofoam. We were seven to begin with, but some members of the public decided to join us on the spot and helped to collect rubbish and to carry it out of the forest.

The photos are maybe a bit odd because it was overcast, late in the afternoon and I wore gloves. But anyway, we had fun and did something good.

Dinosaur of the week: Wandering Albatross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Diomedea exulans has one of the biggest wingspans of all flying birds, up to 3.5 meters. The Southern Royal Albatross can apparently be even larger. I saw this Wandering Albatross when crossing the Drake passage on my return from a trip to Antarctica.

All species of albatross are in danger, mostly because of fishing methods and plastic.

Here’s a recent account by Ben Lecomte who is swimming across the Pacific:

That was amazing to be in the water with four wild birds of that size just a few feet away from me. I got a fist-beck bump with two of them. Brian jumped in the water with a GoPro and started filming the when one of them went for a red piece of plastic and tried to eat it. Brian reached out and retrieved a small red plastic basket. A couple of minutes later I spotted two of them going after a white small plastic pouch. I quickly got to it, grabbed it and passed it on to Mark in the dinghy.

I can now better understand why so many albatrosses are found dead with their stomach full of plastic debris. A piece of plastic at the surface of the water stands out and easily get their attention. http://benlecomte.com/day-94-albatrosses-and-plastic/