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Tag: bird

Bird flu ‘spills over’ to otters and foxes in UK

Bird flu ‘spills over’ to otters and foxes in UK

Science
BBC/Tim NicholsonBy Claire Marshall & Malcolm PriorBBC News Rural Affairs teamThe largest ever outbreak of bird flu is spilling over into mammals, including otters and foxes in the UK.Figures released to the BBC show the virus has led to the death of about 208 million birds around the world and at least 200 recorded cases in mammals.Public health bosses warn the mutation in mammals could see a jump to humans but the risk to the public is very low.There will now be more targeted surveillance and testing of animals and humans exposed to the virus in the UK.The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) still advises that avian flu is primarily a disease of birds, but experts across the globe are looking at the risks of it spilling over into other species.Worldwide, the virus has been found in a r...
Bird charity warns of harm from new wind farm

Bird charity warns of harm from new wind farm

Science
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Glue bird traps: Macron suspends use amid EU row

Glue bird traps: Macron suspends use amid EU row

Science
French President Emmanuel Macron has ordered hunters in southern France to stop the controversial practice of trapping birds on glue-covered twigs.The suspension follows a warning to France from the European Commission that it could face legal action at EU level if the practice continued.France is unusual in Europe for still tolerating the glue method, used to catch thrushes and blackbirds.The hunting method is limited to five regions around Marseille and Nice.President Macron's decision came when he and Minister for Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili met the head of the French hunting lobby, Willy Schraen, at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Wednesday.It is a suspension of the practice for this year, pending a legal opinion from...
‘Surge’ in illegal bird of prey killings since lockdown

‘Surge’ in illegal bird of prey killings since lockdown

Science
The wildlife charity the RSPB says it has been "overrun" by reports of birds of prey being illegally killed since the lockdown started six weeks ago.Species of raptors (birds of prey) that had been targeted include hen harriers, peregrine falcons, red kites, goshawks, buzzards and a barn owl.The wildlife charity described the crimes as "orchestrated".It said the "vast majority" had connections with shooting estates, or land managed for shooting.Some raptors are known to feed on pheasant and grouse chicks.The head of the RSPB's investigations unit, Mark Thomas, told the BBC it was like "the Wild West" out in the countryside. He said people who wanted to kill birds of prey had been "emboldened" by the absence of walkers and hikers....
Arctic bird turns down immune system to conserve energy in winter

Arctic bird turns down immune system to conserve energy in winter

Science
April 28 (UPI) -- To survive the Arctic's frigid temperatures, animals must use their energy efficiently. According to a new study, one Arctic bird species, the Svalbard rock ptarmigan, utilizes a previously unknown energy-saving method. No bird lives closer to the North Pole than the the Svalbard rock ptarmigan. To better understand how the bird species survives the extreme conditions, researchers analyzed changes in the bird's immune system during the winter and late spring. "We have discovered that the birds reduce how much they spend on keeping their own immune defense system up and running during the five months of the year when it is dark around the clock, probably to save energy," Andreas Nord, researcher at Lund University in Sweden, said in a news release. "Instead, they use tho...