Here are a few interesting nuggets of information from this year’s posters.
According to Kathryn Williams, estimates of breeding populations of birds often undercount due to obscuring vegetation and the fact that not all birds nest at the exact same time.
Invasive species alert!. Tomás Ibarra reports the bird-eating mink (Mustela vison) have made it to formerly “pristine” Navarino Island, off of Cape Horn. In Newfoundland, invasive moose (Alces alces) are dooming the balsam fir, according to Luise Hermanutz. And menacing and ubiquitous invasive shrub Lantana (Lantana camara) shrubs are being made into furniture by Southern Indians, according to Kannan Ramesh.
A mining company has constructed an artificial island for flamingo to nest on behind Kamfers Dam, by Kimberley, South Africa. The birds like hanging out there, but whether they’ll nest there successfully seems to be an open question. (more here from a South African environmental TV programme.)
Yun Fang conducted some of the first observations ever of the “nearly unknown” Sichuan Wood Owl (Strix davidi), in China, by tempting a pair to nest in a specially-built nest box. He recorded their song and watched a male and female call and beg to one another.
Paul Grobler has investigated the problem of black and blue wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou and C. taurinus), which, when brought together by the vagaries of wildlife management, have fertile hybrid offspring. This is apparently distresses managers, who want to keep the populations separate and conserved. Grobler’s attempts to tell genetic lineage with microsatellite analysis of 13 loci worked on the herd level, but not on the individual.
More posters tomorrow…