While banded birds are sometimes seen in the area where they were originally released, it is very rare to see them so far from a release site.
The observation was made by WCS biologists Dr. Steve Zack and Joe Liebezeit.
“It’s extremely unusual to find a banded bird that has flown literally thousands of miles from where it was released,” said Steve Zack. “While we know that birds from all over the world come to the Arctic to breed, to see a living example first hand is a powerful reminder of the importance of this region.”
Zack and Liebezeit also sighted a banded dunlin and semipalmated sandpiper both of which were originally marked and released by WCS scientists three years ago in nearby Prudhoe Bay, Alaska for a study testing to see if birds that winter in Asia are carrying highly pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza to North America. Semipalmated sandpipers migrate from South America, and dunlins migrate from Asia. So far, shorebirds have not been detected to carry H5N1 into North America.
“These sightings represent direct examples of the importance of Arctic Alaska as an international gathering place for migratory birds,” said Jodi Hilty, Director of WCS’s North America Programs.
“Birds from every continent and every ocean come to Arctic Alaska to breed during the short summer,” said Zack “The immense wetlands of western Arctic Alaska, encompassed almost entirely by the National Petroleum Reserve, are particularly important to migratory birds and worth conserving.”
Zack and Liebezeit have been conducting studies of breeding birds in the Arctic since 2002 for WCS.
“We have worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, governmental agencies in the Republic of Korea, and with WCS Global Health staff in capturing shorebirds in Arctic Alaska and in the Republic of Korea to test for the presence of avian flu” said Liebezeit. “It was exciting to see birds we captured three years ago again in the Arctic. Knowing that they have made six long flights back and forth during that time really makes you appreciate their incredible life history.”
Migratory shorebirds of many species are in decline. Both climate change and expanding energy development are affecting these birds, as are habitat loss and other changes to their wintering wetland habitats around the world. The Wildlife Conservation Society is working to understand how best to conserve these international migrants in changing times. There is also a need to create more protection of key wildlife areas in advance of oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve and a need for funding to help highlight and understand those areas.
“Shorebirds like bar-tailed godwits from Australia, dunlin from Asia, and semipalmated sandpipers from South America are affected by different threats in their wintering and summering grounds,” says Zack. “The conservation of this highly migratory group of birds is truly a challenging worldwide issue.”
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
Stephen Sautner | Newswise Science News
Two Group A Streptococcus genes linked to 'flesh-eating' bacterial infections
25.09.2017 | University of Maryland
Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity
22.09.2017 | DFG-Forschungszentrum für Regenerative Therapien TU Dresden
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
25.09.2017 | Trade Fair News
25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy