Archive for forests

IUCN Species of the Day: Burnup’s Hunter Slug

Posted in IUCN Species of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2011 by Bush Warriors

 

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)

Burnups Hunter Slug Photo Credit: Dai Hurbert

Photo credit: Dai Hurbert

 

Burnup’s Hunter Slug, Chlamydephorus burnupi, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Continue reading

IUCN Species of the Day: Aquatic Tenrec

Posted in IUCN Species of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2011 by Bush Warriors

 

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)
Aquatic tenerec credit Kevin H Barnes

Photo credit: Kevin H. Barnes

 

The Aquatic Tenre, Limnogale mergulus, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Continue reading

Feathered Extinction: Habitat Loss and Illegal Trade Threaten Doom for Africa’s Parrots, World Parrot Trust Africa to the Rescue!

Posted in Biodiversity, Birds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2011 by drsteveboyes

Originally featured on 17 December, 2011.

Parrots have the largest number of threatened species of all bird families. Over 100 of the 332 known parrot species are threatened with extinction in the wild, and the declines of about 78 of these are being fueled by habitat loss and fragmentation. Roughly 39 are heavily pressured by capture and nest poaching for the wild-caught bird trade.

Photo credit: Chuck Bergman

Cavity-nesting forest specialists, like our African parrots, are particularly sensitive to forest degradation due to their reliance on large hardwood trees for sustenance and nesting opportunities. Deforestation rates in Africa are the second highest world, claiming over four million hectares of forest cover every year. Logging, wildfire, tree felling for use as fuel, the booming charcoal production industry, civil unrest, and conversion of land for agriculture and expansion of the human population are the primary forces driving the rampant destruction of critical African parrot habitat.

Continue reading

Feathered Extinction: Habitat Loss and Illegal Trade Threaten Doom for Africa’s Parrots, World Parrot Trust Africa to the Rescue!

Posted in Birds, World Parrot Trust with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2010 by drsteveboyes

Parrots have the largest number of threatened species of all bird families.  Over 100 of the 332 known parrot species are threatened with extinction in the wild, and the declines of about 78 of these are being fueled by habitat loss and fragmentation.  Roughly 39 are heavily pressured by capture and nest poaching for the wild-caught bird trade.

Photo credit: Chuck Bergman

Cavity-nesting forest specialists, like our African parrots, are particularly sensitive to forest degradation due to their reliance on large hardwood trees for sustenance and nesting opportunities.  Deforestation rates in Africa are the second highest world, claiming over four million hectares of forest cover every year.  Logging, wildfire, tree felling for use as fuel, the booming charcoal production industry, civil unrest, and conversion of land for agriculture and expansion of the human population are the primary forces driving the rampant destruction of critical African parrot habitat.

Deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (photo credit: Daniel Beltra)

A recent review of the Meyer’s Parrot range revealed that 15 of the 18 nations this species inhabits had undergone significant losses in forest cover.  Deforestation rates of 15% and higher were not uncommon and several countries, such as Kenya and Malawi, have less than 1% of their original forested area remaining.  Unfortunately, a lack of records over the last 30-40 years prevents us from being able to assess the effects of deforestation on bird populations.  We simply do not know how well African parrots are adapting to their rapidly changing environment.

Meyer’s Parrot (photo credit: Cyril Laubscher)

The World Parrot Trust Africa seeks to coordinate a continent-wide survey of all African parrot species over the coming years to determine which species are of immediate priority for conservation intervention.  The goal is to secure healthy populations of all African parrot species and sufficient suitable habitat, while also providing them adequate protection.

Photo credit: Steve Boyes   

Unregulated trade in African parrots peaked in the 1980s and ’90s, and still exists today.  This lucrative black market industry is fueled by profiteering middlemen who exploit wild bird populations.  In 2005, the Senegal Parrot was the most traded bird on the CITES Appendix II, with over 45,000 individuals being removed from forests each year.  In Namibia, cross-border trade in wild-caught Ruppell’s Parrots in the 1990s resulted in their disappearance from many parts of this species’ distributional range where they were once abundant. Today, African parrots remain among the most traded in the world.

Wild birds are sometimes smuggled in plastic bottles.

According to the most conservative estimates, over three million African parrots have been snatched from the wild over the last 25–30 years.  As can be seen in Table 1 (below) there are, several species, such as the African Grey Parrot, have been almost exclusively sourced from the wild over the last few decades.  Immense and insatiable demands from China, Taiwan, Singapore and other parts of Southeast Asia are driving international trade in African parrots.

In South Africa, a legal loophole allows these birds to be legally imported into the country, as long as they have been checked and approved by a South African veterinarian before leaving the source country.  This allows for thousands of wild-caught African Greys to be imported into South Africa every year, from sources like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and West Africa.  Most of these parrots then enter the local market, but the best specimens are re-exported to the fast-growing markets in the Middle East and, especially, in the Far East.

African Greys seized from illegal trade (photo credit: PASA/WPT)

There are three things we need to do to protect all wild populations from the devastating impacts of this trade.  First and foremost, we must minimise the number of African parrots being taken from the wild.  Secondly, we must also support captive breeders that adhere to strict guidelines and standards concerning the animals’ care and well-being.  Finally, it is imperative that we get out into the African forests and determine whether the continued removal of parrots from their habitat poses a serious threat of extinction or if it is, in fact, sustainable.

 

Jardine’s Parrot for sale in west Africa (photo credit: Greg Shaw)

 

Africa’s parrots are charismatic, colourful, and larger than life. They have found their way into the hearts and minds of private collectors, parrot enthusiasts, and aviculturalists around the world.  Most African parrot breeders that I interact with are extremely passionate about these birds and have specialized in raising our Poicephalus parrots, Agapornis lovebirds, and the iconic African Greys.  The connection fostered between bird-keepers and captive birds can be profound, and can provide us with insights that cannot be achieved through field research.

Lillian’s Lovebird (photo credit: Dominique Schreckling)

We need to use this resource to the birds’ advantage and draw on the keepers’ passion for these animals to stimulate positive change for wild populations of African parrots. Bird-keepers and aviculturalists must realize the important role they can play in the conservation and research of the forest icons.  I would like to call upon global birdkeepers to join World Parrot Trust Africa and become part of this constructive movement towards a future that holds healthy African parrot populations in the wild, attained with the support of a well-managed captive community of feathered ambassadors around the globe.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

We, on the African continent and around the world, are the proud custodians of a unique group of parrots native to the forests and savannas of this wild and primordial continent.  We must recognise our responsibilities as stewards of these “forest ambassadors”, and take action to ensure a bright future for them.  Please help World Parrot Trust Africa support them on this rapidly changing continent.

Photo credit: Cyril Laubscher

To join the World Parrot Trust Africa, and for more information on how you can get involved in or contribute to African parrot conservation projects (e.g. Cape Parrot Project), please contact me at: boyes@worldparrottrust.org or PO Box 149, Hogsback, 5721, South Africa.

 

Learn about Bush Warriors’ alliance with World Parrot Trust by clicking here.  Together we are on a mission to raise awareness about the plight of the world’s parrots, with goal of changing the future for these majestic creatures and preventing their extinction!

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Tattoo of the Day

Posted in Tattoo of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by Caroline Thompson

 

Tattoo by Jason Goldberg.

 

The Red Panda is a small, arboreal, omnivorous mammal that is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  It is found in China, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and India.  Sadly, red panda populations are undergoing a significant decline and it’s estimated there are now fewer than 10,000 mature individuals remaining in the wild.

To save the red panda, we must first protect its habitat, as habitat loss is the number one threat to their existence. Logging and other types of deforestation have reduced a great deal of the forests this animal relies on.  These activities have also upset the delicate balance that exists between the forest’s dense root systems and the soil.  In Nepal, the lack of the dense root systems has caused the rich soil to cascade down mountainsides during monsoons, burying communities, destroying habitat, and leaving human and animal death in its wake.

In Bhutan, this critter is hunted for its fur, which is used to make hats.  In China, Red Panda pelts can be found in many local markets and poaching pressures have furthered population decines, and has even led to extinction in some areas.  Red Pandas are protected in all of the countries where they are found, with the exception of Myanmar.  In China, the species fortunately receives increased protection where it occurs within Giant Panda reserves.

 

Remember: Tattoos are forever… and so is extinction.  To see all of the FANTASTIC art featured on Bush Warriors Tattoo of the Day, and to learn more about this initiative, please click here.  You can also share photos of your own wildlife tattoos and enjoy others’ at our Facebook group, Bush Warriors Inked Nation for Conservation.

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Happy Birthday Bush Warriors!

Posted in About, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by Dori G

Note: Please play this MUST SEE video and enjoy.  This is what is at stake!

 

 

A year ago on November 13th, Bush Warriors was first launched into to the world.  This was my attempt to put the truth out there of what is really going on with our world’s wildlife.  Everyone loves nature and wildlife.  We all love lions, tigers, bears and dolphins.  We even love sharks, though we were taught to be afraid of them.  Wildlife and nature is gaining more popularity than ever, everywhere you look “a green lifestyle” is the new trend.  ‘Organic’ and ‘nature’ are buzz words surrounding corporate board rooms, the way we live,  and the food we eat.  It’s all about ‘going back to nature’.

The sad and unfortunate reality is that we are just about as far from nature as we can get.  In fact, we, as humans, are getting further from it by the minute.  Despite the growing popularity of the ‘green revolution’, species continue to be lost at unprecedented rates.  The fight to save species is not small or easy.  Many challenges block the path to success, including corruption, economics (both poverty and wealth), overconsumption of our natural resources, consumerist demand, and societal values.

Photo by Takeshi Igarashi

We live in a world where biodiversity is given due attention only when it is deemed profitable or there is some underlying financial interest in saving it.  Some even say, “What is the point in spending well needed funds on animals we know will be extinct from their natural habitat in a generation or two?”

If we truly open our eyes to see what has happened to the world around us, we will not be able to live with ourselves and the destruction of our planet that we cause on a daily basis.  Plastic bags that help us carry food from stores are killing our sea turtles, as they  are being mistaken for jellyfish.  Palm oil, as harmless as it sounds, is a real killer to many of our earth’s forests and all that inhabit them.  Yet it is widely used to give our foods a longer shelf life, so that we may enjoy our microwave popcorn.  The cost of palm oil is not just the cost of cheap, processed foods.  It is also costing us majestic creatures, like orangutans.  Valuable components of an ecosystem that also display many similar emotional and social behavior as us humans.  Now they slip into the brink of extinction and are being used, abused and slaughtered, while their natural habitat is replaced by palm oil plantations.

Rhinos and elephants, animal icons that we love so much, are systematically being murdered for their horns and tusks. In fact is its estimated that 102 elephants are being killed a day. That is almost a kilometer (over half a mile) of dead elephants on a daily basis.

Photo Credit: Michael Nicols

Since 1997, 353 new species have been discovered in the Himalayas, 1,220 in the Amazon and 1,231 in the Mekong region.  Our world has such a rich biodiversity,  and yet, with all of our knowledge and growing understanding of how fragile our ecosystems are, we are losing species before they are even discovered.

We citizens of the world must unite in a unified global voice saying, “Enough is enough.”  We must put a stop to the war taking place on our wildlife and natural world.  If we don’t, it will be lost for good and we will also lose ourselves in the process.

We need your help is educating and spreading the word. Please join our growing Bush Warriors global tribe in spreading the message.  We have created the Bush Warriors Ambassadors program that gives you tools for five second online advocacy.  All you need to do is paste our blurbs and links on your Facebook, Myspace, email, or any other social platform, and you are done. By doing this you have become an ambassador for change.

We have already grown so much in our first year, and plan to push harder and reach more people in our coming years.  Join us in our efforts and step up to be a voice for wildlife today!

Asante Sana

Dori & The Bush Warriors Clan