Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cuba opens Cuban Bird Banding Centre

On July 17th, 2010, the Johann Christoph Gundlach Cuban Bird Banding Centre (CBBC) was officially opened. The banding centre was opened in commemoration of the Johann Christoph Gundlach bicentenary, a German naturalist regarded as the third discoverer of Cuba ,

The CBBC is located at the Siboney-Jutic¡ Ecological Reserve, managed by the Eastern Centre of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (BIOECO) in Santiago de Cuba .

The main goals of this permanent banding centre are to study Cuban birds moult patterns, postnatal dispersion, sex ratios and life expectancy, to obtain survival estimates and to assess the importance of Cuban habitats for bird migration. We also aim at creating a data base that could help ornithologists and conservationists from Cuba , the Caribbean basin and North America to better preserve this key resource we share: birds.

This initiative is part of the Cuban efforts to implement the Caribbean Biological Corridor together with Haiti and the Dominican Republic , and we expect that in the future the CBBC serves as a training facility for young ornithologists and conservationists from the region. The rings used at the CBBC are the first labelled rings used in Cuba with the name of a Cuban institution (BIOECO) and the name of the country ( CUBA ).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Feeders & Breeders

In a surprise, extra birdfeed produces fewer chicks.

From Conservation Magazine: That tube of seed in your backyard may not necessarily be helping prop up bird populations. In an unexpected result, British researchers found that feeding some birds through the breeding season actually reduced reproduction rates. The finding could have implications for efforts to aid endangered species by supplementing their diet.

Researchers have been studying the impact of bird feeding on wild populations for decades. Few studies, however, have looked at how long-term feeding affects reproduction. To find out, a team led by S. James Reynolds of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom decided to offer free food to birds living in the Chaddesley Woods National Nature Reserve, a 101-hectare woodland in Worcestershire.

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