Here’s a roundup of the latest bird news. In chronological order below are the 10 most important stories that we followed over the past two weeks. Follow us on Twitter.
1. New protections for over-loved parrot: Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted to prohibit international commercial trade of the African Grey Parrot. The species is one of the most popular pet birds and one of the most traded of all CITES-listed parrots. October 2
2. First in Quebec: Banders at Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, on the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, caught, photographed, and measured a Western Wood-Pewee. The record was the first for the species in the province. October 1
3. Seabirds decline in UK: Populations of Arctic Skua, Black-legged Kittiwake, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, European Shag, and Northern Fulmar that breed in the UK declined more than 30 percent between 2000 and 2015. Razorbills, Northern Gannets, and Black-headed Gulls increased over the same period. September 30
4. Greenhouse gas increases: Scientists at Mauna Loa Observatory announced that our atmosphere now holds 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas behind human-induced climate change. “Brief excursions toward lower values are still possible,” said the director of the CO2-monitoring program, “but it already seems safe to conclude that we won’t be seeing a monthly value below 400 ppm this year — or ever again for the indefinite future.” September 29
5. Seabird listed as endangered: The government added Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, a small seabird, to the list of federally endangered species. The species breeds on islands in the warmer parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, including the Galapagos. The Hawaiian population of the seabird has dwindled to only 240 pairs. September 28
6. Damage from oil spill permanent: The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused widespread erosion in the salt marshes along the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, permanently marring one of the Gulf shore’s most important ecosystems. Researchers wrote in Scientific Reports that there’s a chance the marshes might never grow back completely. September 27
7. Three new breeders in Wisconsin: During the second year of Wisconsin’s second Breeding Bird Atlas, birders identified 239 species that were possible breeders and 220 that were confirmed breeders. Three new species were confirmed — Mississippi Kite, Blue Grosbeak, and Canvasback. September 26
8. Listing proposed for iconic honeycreeper: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the ‘I’iwi, a bright red honeycreeper unique to Hawaii, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The bird was once common in forests on Hawaiian islands, but avian malaria and habitat loss have caused its population to plummet. More than 40 bird species in the Pacific Islands are endangered or threatened. At least 32 bird species have gone extinct in Hawaii since 1778. September 19
9. Least ice ever: Arctic sea ice shrank to its second-lowest level since scientists began satellite monitoring, another ominous signal of global warming. The sea ice reached its summer low point on September 17 — extending 1.6 million square miles, less than the mark set in 2012, 1.31 million square miles. September 19
10. First for Illinois: A Common Ringed Plover delighted birders in Iroquois County, in northeastern Illinois. The sighting was the first in the state and only the seventh in the continental U.S. September 13
— Chuck Hagner, Editor
Important bird news from the beginning of September.
The most important bird news from the end of August.
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