Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Last hope for Cambodia’s parachuting bird

16.08.2007
One of the world’s rarest birds is to be championed at an event in Britain this weekend in a last ditch attempt to save it from extinction.

The Bengal florican – the rarest of the globe’s 27 bustards - is amongst 189 critically endangered birds being targeted by an initiative to find companies and individuals who will highlight each species’ plight and contribute funds towards helping them.

There are fewer than 1,000 Bengal florican’s left in Cambodia, India and Nepal, and conservationists have given the bird just five years if the destruction of its grassland habitat continues.

Three other birds - the Belding’s yellowthroat of Mexico, the Djibouti francolin and Brazil’s restinga antwren are also being championed at Birdfair, when the RSPB partner, BirdLife International, will launch its initiative, Preventing Extinctions: Saving the World's Critically Endangered Birds. Birdfair starts tomorrow (August 17) at Rutland Water and is co-organised by the RSPB and the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust.

Ian Barber, the RSPB’s South Asia officer, said: “The Bengal florican is now hanging on in only three countries and is under huge pressure in all three.

“It is only eight years since the bird’s rediscovery in Cambodia and already it is facing oblivion. Even in protected sites in Nepal, land is being taken for agriculture leaving no room for the bird. This initiative may be its last hope.”

Fewer than 700 Bengal florican’s – which resemble small ostriches - remain on the floodplain of the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. Numbers there have fallen from 3,000 in ten years.

The Nepalese population, which is legally protected, has dropped by more than 50 per cent in 25 years to fewer than 60 birds. In India, only about 250 are left.

The Birdfair is targeting the Cambodian population and money raised will boost a government-backed scheme encouraging farmers on designated sites to resume traditional grazing and scrub clearance on grasslands instead of switching to dry-season rice growing.

Government official, Seng Kim Hout, has seen how crucial the project is to the bird. “These grasslands are disappearing before our eye,” he said. “On revisiting many of our survey sites, we found the landscape unrecognisable from previous years, squeezing the floricans into a shrinking landscape in which they cannot survive. I even once saw a male florican displaying on a dam wall because all the grassland had been converted to irrigated rice.”

Bengal floricans were rediscovered in Cambodia in 1999 and are named after the region of Bengal where the species was first identified. They depend on traditionally managed grasslands for food and for males to perform their elaborate parachuting courtship display.

Martin Davies, the RSPB’s Birdfair Co-organiser, said: “It is still possible to save the florican and all of the other critically endangered birds. What we need is more of the right initiatives in the right places. We are not talking about ridiculous amounts of money to make this happen and coming to support and enjoy the Birdfair this weekend is the most straightforward thing anyone can do to help.”

Cath Harris | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rspb.org.uk

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>