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 Post subject: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: December 19th, 2008, 8:32 pm 
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Rare Turkish bird haven under threat

By Sarah Rainsford
North-eastern Turkey

(Video to watch at this article link)

The birdwatchers at Kuyucuk lake rise with the sun.
Image

The water stretched out before them is covered with black dots that suddenly come alive as flocks of birds open their wings and soar into the early morning sky.

"I've never seen such a congregation of wildfowl in my life, it's phenomenal!" enthuses Glen, binoculars glued to his eyes - a spotter who has come to Turkey from Britain.

"The number of birds is overwhelming. It's awe-inspiring. I don't know where to look."

Kuyucuk lake, close to Turkey's border with Armenia, lies at a critical spot on the bird migration path between eastern Europe and Africa.

Almost 200 species stop here to feed, breed or rest en route, and the spotters have recorded 14 species that are globally endangered.

Ten rare white-headed duck are regular visitors to Kuyucuk and the orange-bodied ruddy shelduck, rarely seen in the wild in Europe, is in abundance here.

(Continued)

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: December 19th, 2008, 9:10 pm 
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Grass greener

A small team of conservationists now work at the lake, documenting its rich population and battling to keep the birds' habitat intact.

For years, nearby villagers have led their cattle to graze by the water. They have chomped the tall reeds that once lined the shore to the roots, leaving little space for the birds to nest or breed in.

The conservationists have fenced off small zones to encourage re-growth.

But the wire has been cut in several places by local shepherds, convinced the grass on the forbidden side must be greener.

"People here say they are proud of the lake and support us," explains Dr Cagan Sekercioglu, who heads the lake conservation project for the KuzeyDoga Association.

"But if a shepherd's out here alone and he sees the nice green grass and reeds in our enclosure, he'll let the animals in. It's too tempting."

Trucker 'magnet'

Now a new threat to the lake is looming.

The Turkish-Armenian border lies just 30km (19 miles) from Kuyucuk, but it was closed in the 1990s when Turkey sided with Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia. Diplomatic relations were frozen.

But there are talks now about re-opening the border and re-establishing official ties.

Many locals support that and the surge in trade it is sure to bring. Ornithologists fear disaster.

A branch of the old road to Armenia already bisects the lake, but it is rarely used.

"That road would definitely be expanded if the border opens, then the whole lake area would be a magnet for truckers," Dr Sekercioglu says.

He worries the area will be developed - until hotels, shops and recreation facilities crowd the shoreline.

Legally, there is nothing to stop that.

(Continued)

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: December 19th, 2008, 9:12 pm 
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Rare wetland

"The birds come here to rest," Dr Sekercioglu says. "They can't afford to waste valuable migration energy, fleeing from visitors. If they're constantly disturbed they can't stay here."

Almost 60% of Turkey's wetlands have disappeared in the past five decades - a result of irresponsible irrigation combined with climate change. That has made the struggle to save Kuyucuk for the birds more urgent.

Every so often a huge truck rumbles by loaded with construction materials for a new dam being built nearby.

The prospect of irrigation is encouraging villagers to plan more intensive farming, using fertilisers for the first time. If that happens, those chemicals are sure to contaminate the lake.

But on its shore the protection work goes on, to the constant honk of hundreds of shelduck.

Every hour, volunteers untangle birds from huge nets strung at various points on the lakeside. They weigh and measure them, then release them into the wild with a metal leg-ring to track their progress.

"We want to see where they go, what the trends are and how global warming is affecting things," explains Alan Brooks, a volunteer from South Africa, who is dressed in shorts despite the biting cold.

"Tens of thousands of birds use this place. It's one of the few wetlands of its type left. We must preserve it. It's very important," Mr Brooks believes.

Dangerous time

The volunteers are true enthusiasts, able to swap bird stories non-stop and never tire.

But the team knows they need to infect the local villagers with some of their passion to have any chance of protecting Kuyucuk for the future.

"For now, people talk the talk, but they don't walk the walk," Dr Sekercioglu explains.
Officials are considering granting the lake limited protection status

"Conservation is still seen as a luxury in Turkey," he says, though in Kuyucuk awareness is improving - encouraged by talk of eco-tourism and a potential income for the villagers.

Due to Dr Sekercioglu's tireless campaigning, Turkey's environment ministry has been considering granting the lake area limited protection status.

However, there are signs it may be faltering - and Dr Sekercioglu is worried.

"We've lost so many important conservation sites almost overnight in Turkey - and ones with far stricter protection than what's being considered for Kuyucuk," he says.

"Anything could happen here."
---------------------------
End of Article - go to the link at the top to view the video

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: December 19th, 2008, 9:13 pm 
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See Also:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3620970.stm

Turkish birdlovers fear for delta
By Alex Kirby
BBC News Online environment correspondent

A wetland in Turkey that shelters many thousands of waterbirds could disappear soon, local conservationists believe.
They say pressure to build a harbour in the Gediz delta, near the western city of Izmir, may before long bear fruit.

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: September 26th, 2009, 8:50 am 
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Nesting Turtles Get Military Protection(from National Geographic)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... eo-ap.html

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: September 26th, 2009, 9:01 am 
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This reminded me I saw turtle nests on Crete Island this summer. Turtles come out of the sea and lay their eggs in the night and have no idea those places are very crowded at the day time.
Protected sea turtle nests on public beaches:

Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2009, 11:30 pm 
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Juta
those pictures really help to illustrate how difficult it can be to see the whole picture -- poor little turtles have no idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2009, 11:32 pm 
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Here is a positive story on the return of Black-footed ferrets to a wider part of their range.

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2009 ... eased.html


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: October 19th, 2009, 6:00 am 
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Disturbing stories about the hunters on Malta. Once again, they are shooting migrating birds, including black storks, and the government is doing nothing. Malta lies along a major bird migratory route between Europe and Africa.

These stories are disturbing, but should be read.

Protected birds killed in Malta
21 September 009
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8266902.stm

The bodies of 150 protected birds - including falcons, marsh harriers, night herons, honey buzzards and a nightingale - have been found hidden in small stashes under stones and woodland scrub since Sunday, conservationists said.

While many were clearly killed some time ago, others had reportedly been shot as recently as the weekend.

Malta bird massacre condemned
21 September 2009
http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=1753

Fight against Malta's bird hunt
17 October 2009
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8308711.stm

" ... the previous morning we had uncovered the bodies of 201 protected birds in the Mizieb woodland. We then failed to protect two black storks."


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: October 19th, 2009, 9:14 pm 
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Thanks for bringing that sad news here, Bociany.

Publicity of any kind will work in the birds'favour, eventually.


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 1st, 2009, 9:42 am 
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Caption - "Fashion Conscious". Photographer's comment - "Right after the dive, the collar stays up and just catches the eye."

Image

Caption - "Fashion Conscious 2". Photographer's comment - "A moment later the collar is down ... happens every time the bird dives for food (Must be annoying)"

Image

Caption - "Can You Do Like This?"

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 5th, 2009, 12:26 am 
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oh Bociany, these news from Malta are awful...this is like in Middle Ages, killing animals for entertainment and for amusing the shooters( i prefer not to call these peole hunters) :shock:
in the middle of Europe, in the 21st century...WHY??
i know there are always people who say that who cares of birds or animals - people are dying in poor conditions...help them!
but, there should be compassion for all living creatures...people, birds and animals
something is very, very wrong with education...starting from homes

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 5th, 2009, 12:51 am 
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I agree. Such an attitude belongs to a barbaric middle ages population.


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 5th, 2009, 6:16 am 
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Kuremari wrote:
oh Bociany, these news from Malta are awful...this is like in Middle Ages, killing animals for entertainment and for amusing the shooters( i prefer not to call these peole hunters) :shock:
in the middle of Europe, in the 21st century...WHY??


the shooters on Malta are sickening. I found another article about how a rare visitor - a Lesser Spotted Eagle - was chased by people in trucks, communicating on radios, until they tracked the bird down and killed it. It seems that no matter how much some people protest, the actions of these shooters is never stopped because the government there takes no action.

This article has a disturbing photo - so be warned before you click on it:
September 9, 2009
Lesser spotted eagle shot in Malta as illegal bird hunt continues
http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/ma ... le.html#cr

Can you imagine how we would feel if that bird was "our" Spot?


UNP: sorry to bracket your interesting pictures with sorry news! The pictures of the swans are excellent - but those collars must indeed be annoying!


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 5th, 2009, 7:07 am 
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Is it possible that we (the rest of the world) can put pressure on Malta? Could we suggest that tourists be discouraged from supporting their economy or something? Surely the government must care a little about the rest of the world's view.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Malta
Wikipedia says tourism is a big deal -- I suspect bird poaching brings in money but if they cleaned up their act I am sure birding tourists would bring in much more money. -- For a carrot and a stick approach.


I just read the article http://www.looduskalender.ee/en/node/5650 Kluti in Latvia and looked again at all three of the photos in the WTE forum and seeing our Kluti doing well made me imagine poor little Spot shot in Malta -- it makes me so sad -- there are tears running down my cheeks.

viewtopic.php?p=50391#p50391
is a link to the photos in the WTE forum.


I think it is MUCH worse than medieval (as a medievalist I would), but in the middle ages they did not have cars or phones or guns with sights.


I started to watch the video with the wounded egret and then I just couldn't. :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 8th, 2009, 5:54 am 
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alice44 wrote:
Is it possible that we (the rest of the world) can put pressure on Malta? Could we suggest that tourists be discouraged from supporting their economy or something? Surely the government must care a little about the rest of the world's view.


sorry to be so slow to respond, Alice.

From what I have read, and been told, the government there does not care very much - the most recent court case resulted in a very small fine - not even a slap on the hand. I have been told that the most powerful group, and the one to support, is the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

http://www.komitee.de/en/index.php?aboutus

ALSO, check these links:

You can support the protest against the slaughter in Malta - or assist with other Proact operations - by lending your signature by mail to our campaigns. Join hundreds of others around the globe in the PROACT TEAM
http://proaction.tripod.com/malta/

The International Animal Rescue group is very active, the key person is Max Ferrugia
http://www.internationalanimalrescue.org/malta/

http://www.internationalanimalrescue.or ... 9-26.shtml


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 8th, 2009, 11:48 am 
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I cannot help but think we can somehow apply more pressure on Malta -- but I am signing up and posting about the slaughter and joining against it elsewhere. It is just so unfair -- and Malta's behaviour puts to waste all the work done in the many countries of Europe (not completely, but really it isn't enough to protect nesting sites and then allow the migration route to be more dangerous than necessary) it just not to be tolerated.


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 8th, 2009, 3:36 pm 
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:puzzled: what about using more these modern social networking possibilities like Twitter, Facebook etc.
there are so many people envolved there, so the news could spread...
this is an alternative to official ways...
to be honest i am not familiar with these sites, but i am sure many of our members are, so they could act!

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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: November 8th, 2009, 5:58 pm 
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alice44 wrote:
I cannot help but think we can somehow apply more pressure on Malta -- but I am signing up and posting about the slaughter and joining against it elsewhere. It is just so unfair -- and Malta's behaviour puts to waste all the work done in the many countries of Europe (not completely, but really it isn't enough to protect nesting sites and then allow the migration route to be more dangerous than necessary) it just not to be tolerated.

I agree, Alice, and there do seem to be groups trying to do just that (bring pressure on Malta). Where are you signing up? If you find more active groups, please post them here so I can follow along.


Kuremari wrote:
Quote:
what about using more these modern social networking possibilities like Twitter, Facebook etc.
there are so many people envolved there, so the news could spread...

I am fairly new to Facebook myself. So far, I have found the International Animal Rescue group there and they have some of the news articles about Malta, but I have not found a specific group protesting the slaughter.


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 Post subject: Re: Conservation - Preservation
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 8:07 am 
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I signed up on the group you posted and (I posted about the problem) I thought I would look elsewhere for more pressure. I found an interesting looking group but they work in the Americas north and south. Still looking for a better pressure point.


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