The European Christmas Bird Count

10,000 Birds

These globally threatened raptors breed from Ukraine eastward through Siberia and only a few come to overwinter here. Several poachers were waiting in ever thickening darkness (Serbian legislation forbids night hunting). I remember studying the map of countries participating in the i nternational mid-winter w aterbird c ensus, where the USA wasn’t marked.

2019 66

We are Just Money Grubbers

10,000 Birds

This species’ population is suspected to have decreased rapidly, owing to levels of hunting on the staging and wintering grounds, and habitat deterioration (largely as a result of land cultivation). Illegal spring hunting and round-ups of moulting birds are taking place on the Russian breeding grounds and illegal shooting continues in Norway. In the Western Palearctic at least 20-30% of the population are shot each year, often accidentally during hunting of other species.”

2016 67

Critically Endangered: Sociable Lapwing

10,000 Birds

Reasons for their decline include steppes being turned into arable fields – the reason they disappeared from Ukraine and European Russia, on migration they are hunted with guns and falcons, and on their wintering grounds natural habitat is dwindling in the absence of once large herds of wild ungulates (one should try to see these animals as gardeners of a well-kept landscape). Gujarat, December 2010. Target for today: critically endangered Sociable Lapwing ( Vanellus gregarius ).

2014 80

Book Review: Spillover – Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

10,000 Birds

My parents are in England, should I be worried about the conflict on the other side of Europe in the Ukraine?” Hunting, the bush meat trade, habitat loss, population increases, they all have a part to play in this story. It’s six weeks to the day till I go to Africa, and of late conversations about the subject have taken a reliable and predictable detour. “Aren’t I worried about Ebola?” ” To which I reply “No, not personally.”

2014 62