Dinosaur of the week: Himalayan Griffon Vulture

himalayan griffon

I encountered this Gyps himalayensis on the internet while classifying images taken by motion-activated camera-traps for the Camera CATalogue (part of Panthera) in the Zooniverse, a citizen science platform. That means, I didn’t take the photo and the rights are with the researchers who work on the project.

But I was so impressed by the bird and the picture I just had to learn a bit more. These vultures are among the biggest birds in the Himalayas and they are threatened by dead livestock which had been treated with diclofenac (an anti-inflammatory drug) when still alive. On top of that, they are being poisoned by pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and their habitat is shrinking.

Here’s to hoping that one day I’ll see a real one and take my own photo.

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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: Greater Flamingo

flamingo

A few weeks ago I spent a handful of days in the south of France. This Phoenicopterus roseus and its hundreds of kin were foraging in the Parc Ornithologique Pont de Gau near Montpellier. The species is threatened by pollution in the water and shriking wetlands.

I think Half-Earth is such a wonderful idea. Homo sapiens should stay in restricted areas and be limited in numbers (birthcontrol), and all the millions of other species get back their space.

Dinosaur of the week: Black-browed Albatross

black-browed albatross

Thalassarche melanophris lives circumpolar in the southern oceans. I saw these two and their colony on West Point Island in the Falklands.

The numbers of the black-browed mollymawk are decreasing, and the species is labelled Nearly Threatened. Longline fishing kills the birds as does trawl fishing, and of course plastic intake kills too.