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
Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.
Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
14.08.2018 | Information Technology
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences
14.08.2018 | Life Sciences