HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
Radar is game changer in saving endangered birds

msnbc.com

1161 days ago   Article ID# 1508647
Original URL

 

American Bird Conservancy

REDMOND, WASHINGTON (msnbc.com) - A portable radar system combined with night vision goggles and thermal imaging cameras are helping scientists find and protect a rare bird in the Caribbean, a conservation group explained Monday.

While none of these technologies are new, they are now inexpensive enough to do more than track airplanes and find thugs hiding behind enemy lines.

In the case of the Black-capped petrel, the tools are helping researchers pinpoint nesting grounds on Hispanola, the island shared between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

"These birds spend almost all of their time at sea and then they nest in cliff tops far into densely wooded areas," Jessica Hardesty Norris, the seabird program director for the American Bird Conservancy, told me.

The nests only four of which have ever been found are burrowed about five feet into the ground.

Locating the nests is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, the researchers said. The process is complicated by the fact that the birds don't make verbal noise as they fly, and that they fly at night.

But if they can find the nests, they can begin to figure out what's hindering Black-capped petrel breeding success and devise strategies to protect them.

"Are the trees being cut down? Are there introduced predators that are eating the chicks?" Adam Brown, a senior biologist with Environmental Protection in the Caribbean, told me.

"Until we find where the nesting is taking place, we can't get at those questions. So, the radar has really given us the foundation to begin conservation of the bird," he added.

The radar system is mounted on a truck and able to pick up individual birds as they fly in from the sea and head towards their breeding grounds.

This January, the scientists parked their pickup truck on the coast and caught birds as they came in from the ocean. They then moved further inland, and caught them circling above nesting grounds.

Over consecutive nights, Brown explained, they team devised a system where the radar techs would locate a bird, then radio to lookouts who used night vision goggles and thermal imaging cameras to watch as the birds flew to nesting areas.

While night vision goggles and thermal imaging are fairly common tools to find nocturnal birds, "the radar really changes the game," Norris said.

Now that team has tested out the tools on known nesting regions for the rare birds, they plan to start looking for birds in other regions, hopefully establishing a wider range and pinpointing nests for further study.

Brown, who has used radar previously to study the marbled murlett, an endangered seabird, in northern California, said he expects radar the technology to become more widespread among biologists.

It could be useful, for example, to study insects and bats. More sophisticated radar systems, such as those used by the National Weather Service, he noted, could even be used to monitor bird migrations.

"They'll be able to figure out when are thousands and millions of birds migrating over the Gulf of Mexico, for instance," he said. "And we'll be able to monitor it all remotely."

Copyright 2015 msnbc.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1161 days ago   Article ID# 1508647

American Bird Conservancy    View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More American Bird Conservancy News

Critically endangered bird gets new addition to its reserve

88 days ago From news.mongabay.com 

MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ...

Protected Habitat Doubles for Magnificent and Endangered Blue-throated Macaw

494 days ago From Surfbirds News 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Several organizations and individuals teamed up to achieve this historic conservation result: American Bird Conservancy, Patricia and David ...

Cerulean Warbler To Benefit From Acquisition Of Key Colombian Habitat

853 days ago From The Chattanoogan 

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE - The Cerulean Warbler, a bird whose population has declined by about 70 ... two-year effort by American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and Fundaci=F3n ProAves to ...

U.S. tree-nesting sea bird said in decline

884 days ago From UPI.com 

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - "This study confirms the fears that many conservationists have held for years," Steve Holmer, a policy analyst for the American Bird Conservancy, said. ...

Imperiled Birds To Benefit From Land Purchase In Key Peruvian National Reserve

905 days ago From The Chattanoogan 

CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE - ... Mishana National Reserve by ProNaturaleza (a leading Peruvian conservation organization) in collaboration with American Bird Conservancy (ABC). ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  Next >> 

<< Return To Animal News

Action Center

Stable ice cover in Southern Antarctic peninsula thawing fast

Action: Climate Change

After the recent reports of Larsen C ice shelf melting and showing signs of weakness, new research paper has suggested that g ...

Tell top Obama officials to meet with the tribes over grizzly protection

Action: Wildlife Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to push to end federal protection for grizzlies that live in and around Yellowst ...

These forests are about to start disappearing

Action: Stop Deforestation

Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organisation believes the bulk of global deforestation ...

Keep California's rivers clean and clear of mining

Action: Stop Pollution

Suction dredge mining has been a scourge in California for years. This form of mining peppers rivers and streams with platoon ...

Stop the Navy's plan to bomb a pacific paradise

Action: Save Our Oceans

As part of a larger move to expand war training in American waters and territories throughout the world, the U.S. Navy is pla ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright The Charity Vault All rights reserved.