Dr Tamas Szekely from the University of Bath says that the announcement from the Great Bustard Group comes a year earlier than predicted, and shows that the project is making good progress.
The Great Bustard is the world’s largest flying bird and although it was hunted as a trophy until it became extinct in the UK in the 1830s, it still lives in stable populations in eastern Europe.
Since 2004, the Great Bustard Group has released more than 60 Great Bustard chicks, all hatched from eggs salvaged from nests destroyed by cultivation.
Due to fears of egg thieves and disturbance from bird watchers, the announcement that eggs had been laid in the UK was delayed. The eggs were incubated for a time by the female but were then abandoned. After examination they were found to be infertile.
“Males need to be four to five years old before they can breed, so the fact that the eggs were infertile was not a big surprise,” said Dr Szekely who is the project’s scientific adviser.
“What is encouraging is that the eggs were laid in the first place; unhappy birds do not produce eggs.
“The males have a spectacular courtship display which was seen in this country for the first time in over 175 years this year.
“This is a very exciting time for the project, and marks an important step towards a breeding population of Great Bustards in the UK.”
Male Great Bustards stand around 90-105 cm (about 3 ft) tall and can weigh up to 20 kilos (3 stones). Females tend to be much smaller.
“Great Bustards are a magnificent species and birdwatchers have it as one of their top species to see,” said Dr Szekely, from the University’s Department of Biology & Biochemistry.
“They are shy and easily disturbed, so it is encouraging to see these developments.
"They next step is to see the first Great Bustard chicks hatch, and we very much hope that will happen within the next two years.”
Andrew McLaughlin | alfa
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences