Saturday, 24 April 2010
These migratory relatives of the well-known Collared Dove, which breeds in the Zoo grounds, are unfortunately in serious decline as a resident in the UK, having suffered a loss of 69% in the last 30 years, probably mainly as a result of changes in agriculture, although it has probably also suffered from changes to the wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa. The current estimate may be as low as 44,000 pairs in the UK.
Monday, 19 April 2010
http://wildparrotsupclose.co.uk/ ). A very interesting evening was had by all, as Steve had a great presentation of the birds seen on previous trips to one of the South American destinations he takes small groups of people to – in this case Ecuador.
Saturday, 10 April 2010
There are currently at least 17 distinct species and subspecies of ground iguanas recognized, but in reality every small cay (flat coral island) or larger island harbours a local form that can often be identified, at least by DNA work. This is still only a fraction of the diversity that may have formerly existed – as with giant tortoises, human predation combined with introduced pigs, cats, dogs, and mongooses has called local extinctions, especially on small islands. At least one species, the Jamaican Iguana Cyclura collei, was believed extinct until rediscovered in the 1990’s, and despite extensive conservation work still only has a population of perhaps 100 adults in the wild, with few young surviving.
Monday, 5 April 2010
Unfortunately, as a result of the huge diversity of species, there has been little effort to establish breeding programmes for many of the forms currently held in the world’s zoos. Most of those held are widespread species without major threats at present, but there are numerous island endemics which are in a precarious condition and research on their husbandry and ecology is badly needed.