Two adult Harpies and one five-week old nestling were discovered in November, when Belizean technicians were patrolling the Bladen Nature Reserve in the Mayan Mountains of Belize. The area is rugged and remote, but scientists have searched for signs of the bird there since 2005, when an adult was first spotted.
Harpy Eagles are known as the most powerful raptor in the Americas, weighing up to 20 pounds and reaching a seven-foot wingspan. They hunt prey as large as monkeys and sloths for food. However, due to deforestation and hunting, Harpy Eagles are typically missing from most of Central America's rainforests, where they once freely ranged. They are designated as "Near Threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and considered "Critically Endangered" in Belize.
It's currently unclear how or why the birds managed to nest in the area. According to Rotenberg, the active nesting site is a sign that the reserve is functioning to keep wildlife safe from dangers associated with human interference.
"Biologically, the presence of the Harpy pair and chick signifies an in-tact eco-system that extends to the highest predator," Rotenberg says.
Following the spotting in 2005, BFREE, in conjunction with Rotenberg, submitted a grant proposal to The Nature Conservancy Belize Program, proposing an innovative science-based program that would focus on avian conservation and awareness. Funded in 2006, the Integrated Community-Based Harpy Eagle and Avian Conservation Program links Belizeans to the protected areas of land adjacent to their homes through specific environmental awareness projects. Belize is a small, English-speaking country about the size of Massachusetts, with approximately 40 percent of its lands protected in reserves and parks.
Recently, the program has grown to include collaboration with The Institute for Bird Populations in California, BioDiversity Research Institute in Maine, and York University in Canada. Rotenberg has taken approximately 50 UNC Wilmington students to Belize to work with BFREE as part of the study abroad program he offers. Undertaking undergraduate internships as well as master's level projects, students have worked closely with the bird study site and the community awareness program.
For more information, please visit www.bfreebz.org/ and sites.google.com/site/rotenbergj/homeMedia contact:
Dana Fischetti | Newswise Science News
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences