BirdLife: The Magazine Jan-Mar 2018 - Page 61

The Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita (Critically Endangered), has undergone a long-term decline and now has just two small and isolated remaining wild populations – a growing western population in Morocco, and a tiny eastern population. The latter comprises a few individuals in Syria (which are probably now extinct) and a semi-wild population in southern Turkey, which lives freely during the breeding season but is taken into captivity in winter for protection. A new study by BirdLife Partners in Turkey (Doğa Derneği) and the UK (RSPB) found that birds which fed on some types of cultivated land, such as mint crops, had higher breeding success. This knowledge will help to guide the siting of a future second breeding colony near habitats that give it the greatest chance of success. n From plate to prosecution DNA barcoding breakthrough for tackling illegal bird killing in Cyprus E very year, around two million birds are killed illegally in Cyprus – trapped by lime-sticks or nets, then often sold to restaurants for consumption. The reliable identification of birds p repared in restaurants may be extremely difficult, but is often crucial for the successful prosecution of individuals who sell poached birds. By using DNA barcoding, a technique that allows a species to be identified from small fragments of DNA, a team including staff from BirdLife Cyprus has provided the Cypriot authorities with the genetic fingerprints of 80 bird species. This means that the authorities are now equipped to reliably identify many of the birds served in restaurants, and thus better able to enforce the law against illegal poaching in Cyprus. n ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: Song-count surveys and population estimates reveal the recovery of the endangered Amami Thrush Zoothera dauma major, which is endemic to Amami-Oshima Island in southwestern Japan / Effectiveness of direct payments to increase reproductive success of sandbar-nesting river birds in Cambodia / Climate-based prioritization of data collection for monitoring wintering birds in Latin America / Characteristics of home range areas used by Saker Falcons Falco cherrug wintering onthe Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau / Habitat preferences of breeding Yellow Buntings Emberiza sulphurata in hilly rural areas following rice field abandonment in northern Japan / Do Corncrakes Crex crex benefit from unmown refuge strips? / Nest site selection patterns of a local Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus population in Turkey / The edge also matters: human threats in a rare Mediterranean habitat for Cantabrian Capercaillie / On the brink: status and breeding ecology of Eleonora’s Falcon Falco eleonorae in Algeria IF YOU WISH TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE JOURNAL, PLEASE VISIT WWW.CAMBRIDGE.ORG/BCI/SUBSCRIBE NEW official BirdLife clothing! Check out our designs at Jan-Mar 2018 • birdlife 61 Feeding habitats of threatened Northern Bald Ibis revealed