October 11, 2011

Update from the Falklands

Learning more about island-dwelling scavenging raptors

In the 300 or so years since the last Dodo was killed on the INdian Ocen island of Mauritius, at least 92 bird species have ceased to exist in any living form. only one was a raptor. The Guadelupe Caracara, an island-inhabiting scavenging bird of prey, was lost to shooting and poisoning at the beginning of the 20th Century.

Last year Hawk Mountain began research on the only remaining strictly island-dwelling caracara, the globally near-threatened Striated Caracara or "Johnny Rook" of Tierra del Fuego and the Faulkland Islands. with a global population estimated at fewere than 2,500 individuals, and a tiny geographic range, teh species is intrinsically endangered adn little studied.

In August, Dr. Keith Bildstein, our Sarkis Acopian Director of Conservation Science, continued field studies on the species and you can learn more about his work with this species as well as other scavenging raptors at our blog, The Vulture Chronicles.

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