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Survey reveals 44% decline in rare Tricolored Blackbirds Findings show steep drop in California species that was already of great concern to conservationists.

 By Jerry Ting, Published: Jun 18, 2014 San Francisco, CA – For more information, or if you need photographs or video, please call Daniela Ogden at (415) 644-4606. 

A comprehensive survey of Tricolored Blackbirds in California has confirmed that the population of the rare species has declined 44 percent since 2011. The 2014 survey – led by UC Davis, in partnership with Audubon California, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service — counted 145,000 Tricolored Blackbirds, down from 260,000 in 2011.

The Tricolored Blackbird, which once numbered in the millions, lives almost entirely in California, and has long been of concern to conservationists. Habitat loss and breeding colony disruption are considered to be the main causes of its decline.

“It’s disheartening to witness this bird struggling to survive in California,” said Monica Iglecia, conservation project director with Audubon California. “This year’s drought reduced the amount of wetland habitat in the spring and summer, which is when Tricolored Blackbirds are nesting and when they need it most. This presents a serious danger for a population this small.”

The 2014 survey was completed with the help of more than 143 volunteers. Surveys were conducted at 801 sites across 41 counties. Members from several Audubon chapters took part.

The survey confirmed that Tricolored Blackbirds continue to reside primarily in the southern portion of the Central Valley but that number is rapidly decreasing. Their numbers also plummeted in Kern and Merced counties. Only six birds were found in Fresno County, and no birds were observed in Kings, Santa Clara or Sonoma counties. Relatively greater percentages of the birds were seen in Amador, El Dorado and Sacramento counties than in recent surveys.

“It’s California’s blackbird,” said UC Davis staff researcher Robert Meese, who led the survey. “If we as Californians don’t care about the species, we can’t rely on any other state to come in and bail us out. It’s our responsibility because it’s our bird.”

Tricolored Blackbirds historically nested in vast wetlands of the Central Valley, but for decades the birds have established large nesting colonies in triticale, the plant that dairymen feed their cows. Unfortunately, harvest season coincides with the birds’ nesting season. When these fields are harvested before young birds have fledged, thousands of eggs and nestlings are lost.

In recent years, Audubon California has partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to strike agreements with farmers to delay harvests to allow the young birds to fledge. These agreements with dairy farmers have saved many thousands of blackbirds.

“Results from the survey show a disturbing trend and reinforce the need for quick conservation action from a range of partners in California to stem the Tricolored Blackbird’s decline,” said Robert H. Doster, with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

An Earth Science Institute World Project.https://sites.google.com/site/earthscienceinstituteworld/cspb/news/News%20of%20the%20Ocean.jpg

#OrcaAvengers Honor the Orcas, dive in. An Earth Science Institute World Project: #CaptivityFree 

Working in partnership with: Captivity free, #PandorasJourney We speak for the Cetaceans of the World. 
Titan Exploration Industries: Wildlife campaigners of the World. 
Want a tweet embedded on our site? Tweet us a mention @OrcaAvengers @VidarOceans or @TitanExplores & it’s done!

Large group of rare crane species found in northern Myanmar

Large group of rare crane species found in northern Myanmar Posted on: 19.06.14 (Last edited) 20 June 2014 Conservationists excited by unusual sighting of a large number of sarus cranes in Indawgyi Lake.

Ornithologists from Fauna & Flora International (FFI) were excited to find a large sarus crane population in the wetlands surrounding Indawgyi Lake in Kachin State, Myanmar, while undertaking a recent water bird census.

“First we just saw their charismatic red heads sticking out of the tall green grass, but through our telescopes we soon spotted the amazing number of nine individuals,” recalls Ngwe Lwin, counting wetland birds together with his team of FFI ornithologists and Win Zaw Lun, a ranger of Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary.

A large flock of sarus crane has been spotted in Indawgyi Lake in northern Myanmar. Credit: © http://www.bjornolesen.com A large flock of sarus crane has been spotted in Indawgyi Lake in northern Myanmar. Credit: © http://www.bjornolesen.com

This species, which at a height of up to 1.8 metres is the tallest of the flying birds, has been frequently recorded in in Rakhine State and the Irrawaddy delta, but is very rare in northern Myanmar.

Previously only very small groups of 2 – 3 individuals have been spotted in Indawgyi, but never before has such a large group been seen.

Ngwe Lwin, Fauna & Flora International’s Terrestrial Conservation Programme Coordinator said, “Finding this large group of sarus crane in Indawgyi area has shown us that this species, which is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, is still safe in the Indawgyi area. We hope to see more in the future.”




https://twitter.com/RichardOBarryThe latest from Richard O’Barry (@RichardOBarry) From twitter.com – August 31, 2013 12:55 AM The latest from Richard O’Barry (@RichardOBarry). The Cove on DVD, blood Dolphin$ on Animal Planet @Dolphin_Project @SJDolphins @LincolnOBarry. On a plane flying somewhere. 
ALL KOREAN CAPTIVE DOLPHINS BACK WITH THEIR FAMILIES August 7, 2013 by Ric O’Barry, Earth Island Institute.

The Korean rehabilitation and release project, of which I was an advisor and the Korean Animal Welfare Association (KAWA) an integral part, can be officially declared a roaring success!


Here is a video of the moment of the release from the sea pen, on July 18. The net was lowered and the dolphins Jedol and Chunsam swam out from the sea pen and into the open ocean: By Ric O’Barry, Director at the Dolphin ProjectEarth Island Institute.

New Caledonia Just Established The World’s Largest Protected Area For Marine Life.


From www.thedodo.com – May 6, 4:05 PM

By Stephen Messenger

There’s a chance you’ve never heard of New Caledonia, a small island territory in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, but it’s just made a huge step towards protecting the marine life beyond its shores..

In a monumental move announced last week, New Caledonia has officially created the world’s largest protected area — a 1.3 million square kilometer marine reserve. The park covers the county’s entire exclusive economic zone which stretches for hundreds of miles beyond its shores, an area more than three times the size of Germany.

New Caledonia’s human population is rather small, with just over 250 thousand inhabitants, but the waters surrounding it are teeming with biodiversity. According to Conservation International, the newly established Natural Park of the Coral Sea is home to 48 shark species, 25 types of marine mammals, 19 bird varieties, as well as 4,500 square kilometers of fragile coral reefs.

Planners from the organization Global Ocean Legacy, which worked with the government to establish the park, say that managing the protected area will focus on sustainability in terms of both tourism and the local fishing economy, serving as a model for other island nations throughout the world to follow.

“This decree brings us one step closer to ensuring that New Caledonia’s ecologically important marine habitat and the life it holds will remain healthy for the long-term,” says the group’s project director Christophe Chevillon.

“Within New Caledonia’s waters are unique areas deserving of the highest level of protection. As the management plan is developed, we are advocating for these special places to be safeguarded from fishing and other extractive activities to ensure they remain healthy and continue to deliver eco-tourism and environmental benefits.”

Salaries of Charity Executives: Jobs that Pay More Than 400k a Year.

From voices.yahoo.com – November 25, 2013 3:34 PM

Want a job that pays over $400,000 a year? Perhaps you should strive to become the CEO of a charity. Here are some nonprofit CEO’s who earn more than 400k a year. Keep in mind that these salaries do not include perks and benefits. This article is a supplement to “Charity CEO Salaries: Jobs that Pay Over 500k a Year” and “Nonprofit CEO Salaries: Jobs that Pay Well Over 300k a Year.” 

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife’s Fund overall goal is to conserve nature. This includes helping endangered species, promoting efficient use of resources and much more. As of June 2008, the CEO, Carter S. Roberts earned a salary of $439,327 / year. Is this reasonable? Many would argue it is not, considering the salary of a forest ecologist is only between $30,000 -$45.000. (See payscale.com for more details.) If this CEO were earning an average salary of a family practice doctor at around $130,000, there would be alot of donated money left over to help the environment.


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