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The need for species conservation has never been greater. Despite notable successes in improving the fortunes of a number of bird species, more are being forced onto the list of those that need attention, both globally and in the UK. If we want to have a
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Ascension - breakout time
Rarely has a morning been so exciting - we learned yesterday that one of the Ascension Island frigatebird eggs is hatching! While not out of the wood yet (the chick still needs to survive to fledging), this will be the first time in 180 years that the species has been able to breed successfully on...
17 Jan 2013
Ascension - sooty terns back and ready to breed
[Viv Booth updates us on her work with the Ascension Island Government Conservation Department] Three weeks on Ascension Island and I’ve seen my first sooty tern at last! When I arrived, I was disappointed to learn that the terns had departed just days before. Five key species are monitored...
24 Aug 2012
Ascension Island - update on the decoys
Latest news from Nathan and Dane on Ascension Island... At the end of last year we installed two sets of Ascension Island frigatebird decoys on the main island to see if we could attract breeding birds back (read more here ). Just in today, juvenile birds have been seen landing among out plastic friends...
17 Jan 2012
Ascension - results from Rocky
As promised, a brief update now that we have downloaded some of the tracking data. Liz, Richard and Catherine managed an amazing 15 out of 15 retrievals with the data loggers! After a long afternoon and evening re-trapping our masked boobies, they had a night walk back out from Letterbox and arrived...
12 Dec 2011
Ascension Island - plant restoration
I'm on my way home today, so I asked Catherine Supple to provide us with some details of the OTEP (Overseas Territories Environment Programme) project that is studying restoration of native and endemic plant communities on Ascension Island. Catherine has only been here a few weeks, and will be on...
1 Dec 2011
Ascension Island - home alone
The problem with understanding databases is that you end up being the one left in the office to sort them out while everyone else is in the field having fun. So here I am staring at the computer again. Stedson Stroud, the boss, is showing the new Island Administrator around some of the key conservation...
1 Dec 2011
Ascension Island – data logging masked boobies
Today we went back down to Letterbox to attach data loggers to masked boobies to find out where they go when not sitting on their eggs – we have very little idea where they forage, or how far afield they travel. (In case you are wondering, the area is called Letterbox because, well, there is a...
29 Nov 2011
Ascension Island – tropicbirds, brown boobies and fairy terns
A less strenuous weekend, Saturday we met Drew, a volunteer from the American Air Base, and headed out to North West Point. In a landscape of tortured lava, yellow-billed tropicbirds make their scrapes in protected cracks near the sea, while brown boobies have turned the offshore islets white with guano...
28 Nov 2011
Ascension Island - decoys deployed!
(Written yesterday, but I managed to lock up the computer by forgetting the password - not that smart!) We're back from Letterbox and a successful deployment of the first batch of frigatebirds. What looks like a great tan is really a layer of Ascension Island dust, stuck fast with suntan lotion...
26 Nov 2011
Ascension Island - meeting Sally Lightfoot
The pilot announced our descent into Ascension and all I could see out of either window was ocean all the way to the horizon. Were the white-caps ripples on a calm ocean, or the tips of angry rollers? There was no frame of reference, and then suddenly we were over land and down. My first thought on arrival...
24 Nov 2011
Ascension Island - seabirds and devious decoys
Just below the Equator, Ascension Island is a tiny dot on the map halfway between Africa and South America. At 11pm tonight, I'm setting off with colleague Liz and volunteer Richard for a nine hour flight to one of the longest runways in the world. While the military passengers have a quick cuppa...
23 Nov 2011
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