It is the most miraculous bird, the ultimate winged messenger, exploring our globe, spending its life on the breeze. Sickle-shaped wings silhouetted against the sky, the swift (Apus apus) is the fastest of all birds in level flight and remains entirely airborne for 10 months, or more, feeding, sleeping and mating on the wing. These long-lived creatures can clock up 4 million miles, commuting between English summers and African winters.But this bird is in freefall.
Scientists with the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph and Environment and Climate Change Canada examined the livers of 40 wild turkeys in southern Ontario and found nine had detectable levels of neonicotinoids, a group of insecticides that coat the seeds of cash crops such as corn and soy beans to protect them from pests. The insecticide is taken up by the plant and distributed through its tissue as it grows.
Once a land of indigenous and migratory birds, Bangladesh is witnessing rapid decline in the number of birds in recent years, conservationists say. In the country’s coastal belt and Sonadia island in particular, the population of birds, as suggested by their movement, came down to a half in a year. Countrywide, the number of birds as counted by their presence here and there, declined by 40,000 this year compared to a year before, according to a census.
Since European settlement, over 100 species have been lost here. These include plants and animals that are extinct and extirpated, and species that are considered historic (no one has seen them in Canada for a long time). The number of lost species varies between different regions of the country. In the Great Lakes region of southern Ontario, there are extinct species (passenger pigeon), extirpated species (paddlefish) and historic species (Eskimo curlew). There are also species that have vanished from this landscape but still exist elsewhere in Canada.
Food sources for the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) on its annual journey to Alaska have been depleted, but researchers have devised a plan to keep them fed. Godwits travel 17,000 km from the southern hemisphere to the north, and back every year. After leaving New Zealand in March, thousands of godwits have made it to China‘s Yalu Jiang National Nature reserve. However, after experiencing the coldest winter in almost half a century, clams at the mudflat have been dying off.
Recognisable by its black plumage and striking red beak, the Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) is found in low numbers all over the planet. European populations migrate to Sub-Saharan Africa in the winter and during the summer an estimated 470 pairs can be found in Spain, a large proportion of which are found in the north of Extremadura. They are threatened.
A two year project to repeat a famous bird survey by driving over 20, 000km in a 4x4 across Botswana has confirmed researchers' fears: many birds of prey are fast disappearing from one of Africa's last great wilderness areas. Reported sightings of iconic species of eagle and vulture declined by as much as 80% compared with the previous survey, while some migrant species recorded last time have vanished, according to the study published this week in the international scientific journal Biological Conservation.
We present results on the presence of neonicotinoid residues in blood samples of a long-distant migratory food-specialist raptor, the European honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus). Further, we investigate the spatial relationship between neonicotinoid residue prevalence in honey buzzards with that of crop fields where neonicotinoids are typically used. A majority of all blood samples contained neonicotinoids, thiacloprid accounting for most of the prevalence.
Exposure patterns in ecotoxicological experiments often do not match the exposure profiles for which a risk assessment needs to be performed. This limitation can be overcome by using toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic (TKTD) models for the prediction of effects under time-variable exposure. For the use of TKTD models in the environmental risk assessment of chemicals, it is required to calibrate and validate the model for specific compound–species combinations.
Frogs are one of the oldest vertebrates on this planet. They have survived four mass extinctions, but currently they face rapid decline mostly due to habitat loss, pollution, pesticide use, over harvesting for food, collection for dissection and experimentation, disease, shrinking water sources, lack of conservation awareness and so forth. This has caused the extinction of hundreds of species worldwide.