BirdLife: The Magazine June 2017 - Page 66

53 YOU CAN FIND OUR PRODUCTS AT EXCLUSIVE SPECIALIST RETAILERS AND ONLINE AT WWW.SWAROVSKIOPTIK.COM Bird Conservation International cambridge.org/bci Rockfowl benefits from protection in Sierra Leone The Gola Forest National Park in Sierra Leone was established in 2011, and is home to several threatened bird species, includ- ing the White-necked Rockfowl Picathartes gymnocephalus. This charismatic species, which nests colonially on bare rock faces, is threatened by forest loss. A team including RSPB staff studied the impact of forest protection on breeding colonies inside and out- side the Gola Rainforest. Colonies within the protected area were more likely to be occupied and, unlike those outside the protected area, did not significantly decline in size. However, colonies in the sur- rounding landscape remain impor- tant, and protecting these colonies from disturbance is recommended to conserve the species. BTX TOUR 2017 94 Volunteer survey effort has diverse conservation benefits Published for BirdLife International by Cambridge University Press INTRODUCTION The latest issue of BCI highlights bird conservation in China, a country which plays a particularly important role in global waterbird conservation, having an array of internationally important wetland sites. A team including staff from BirdLife International and the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (BirdLife in Hong Kong) have assessed the importance of waterbird sites in China and compiled a list of 422 sites of high conservation significance, over half of which are not currently formally protected. Meanwhile, an analysis of waterbird populations in the middle and lower Yangtze River floodplain reveals long-term declines, and a study of the Siberian Crane Leucogeranus leucogeranus (Critically Endangered) finds that a change in its feeding behaviour prompted by flooding could further harm population numbers. More information at www.birdlife.org/BCI ALSO IN THIS ISSUE Formulating a list of sites of waterbird conservation significance to contribute to China’s Ecological Protection Red Line › Wintering waterbirds in the middle and lower Yangtze River floodplain: changes in abundance and distribution › Novel foraging by wintering Siberian Cranes Leucogeranus leucogeranus at China’s Poyang Lake indicates broader changes in the ecosystem and raises new challenges for a Critically Endangered species › Ruddy-headed Goose Chloephaga rubidiceps: former plague and present protected species on the edge of extinction › Habitat suitability and impacts of climate change on the distribution of wintering population of Asian Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis macqueenii in Iran › Conservation value of human-modified forests for birds in mountainous regions of south-west China If you wish to subscribe to the journal, please visit www.cambridge.org/bci/subscribe The last irrefutable sighting of Slender-billed Curlew Numenius tenuirostris was in 1995. The only known nests of this Critically Endangered species were found in its wintering grounds in Siberian Russia. Between 2009 and 2011, volunteers made intensive efforts to rediscover the species, carrying out surveys in 31 countries and at more than 680 sites. No definite records of the Slender-billed Curlew were made, but this effort was far from fruitless. More than 500,000 birds of over 400 species were observed, new Important Bird & Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) were identified, and the threats facing them were documented. The v