Birds

Conservationists Name Nine New “Biodiversity Hotspots”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 2, 2005   View Article

Today conservationists named nine new “biodiversity hotspots”—areas of mind-boggling species richness that are under constant assault from human activity. The label highlights the regions as priorities for the world’s conservation efforts.

One hotspot is a crucial stopover for migrating monarch butterflies. Another has the highest tree richness of any temperate region on the planet. And yet another is a mountain refuge for vultures, tigers, and wild water buffalo. All the newly named hotspots have lost at least 70 percent of their original natural habitat.

Albatrosses fly Around World After Mating, Tags Reveal

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: January 13, 2005   View Article

It is well known that albatrosses take an 18-month break between mating seasons. Less clear has been where the globe-trotting birds go during their year-and-a-half respite. That is until now.

A new study reveals that some albatrosses fly around the world once. Others twice. Still others—call them relative homebodies—stick closer to their breeding grounds in the southern reaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Birds Eat Birds as Fish Stocks Fall, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 18, 2004   View Article

Off the northeastern coast of Great Britain, fishing boats are swarmed by seabirds gorging on the undersized catch and fishy waste that is routinely discarded overboard. But as the number of discards are declining—partly due to measures to conserve fish stocks—some predatory birds have turned to eating their feathered fellows with more frequency, according to a new study.

As a consequence of this dietary shift, some defenseless bird communities face a threatening decline in their populations, said Stephen Votier, an ornithologist at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach