Current Vultures News and Events

Current Vultures News and Events, Vultures News Articles.
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Bats on the rise
Bats carried aloft to almost 2,000 metres by air currents (2021-02-09)

Are vultures spreaders of microbes that put human health at risk?
A new analysis published in IBIS examines whether bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that are present in wild vultures cause disease in the birds, and whether vultures play a role in spreading or preventing infectious diseases to humans and other animal species. (2020-08-05)

Herbivores, not predators, most at risk of extinction
One million years ago, the extinction of large-bodied plant-eaters changed the trajectory of life on Earth. The disappearance of these large herbivores reshaped plant life, altered fire regimes across Earth's landscapes, and modified biogeochemical cycling in such a way that Earth's climate became slightly colder. (2020-08-05)

UMD addresses African vulture poisoning with global disease and biodiversity implications
In a new paper published in Global Ecology and Conservation, University of Maryland researchers collaborated with international leaders in wildlife conservation to produce recommendations for vulture poisoning control in Southern Africa. Vultures act as nature's most critical scavengers, working as ecosystem garbage disposals and disinfectors to maintain animal, environmental, and human health. Findings highlight the issue from a conservation and criminology perspective, recommending a more coordinated and holistic approach to regulation, education, and enforcement. (2020-07-23)

Six million-year-old bird skeleton points to arid past of Tibetan plateau
Researchers from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have found a new species of sandgrouse in six to nine million-year-old rocks in Gansu Province in western China. The newly discovered species points to dry, arid habitats near the edge of the Tibetan Plateau as it rose to its current extreme altitude. (2020-04-01)

How the development of skulls and beaks made Darwin's finches one of the most diverse species
Darwin's finches are among the most celebrated examples of adaptive radiation in the evolution of modern vertebrates and now a new study, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has provided fresh insights into their rapid development and evolutionary success. (2020-02-03)

Falcons see prey at speed of Formula 1 car
Extremely acute vision and the ability to rapidly process different visual impressions -- these 2 factors are crucial when a peregrine falcon bears down on its prey at a speed that easily matches that of a Formula 1 racing car: Over 350 kilometers per hour. (2019-12-20)

CNIO researchers discover that the rate of telomere shortening predicts species lifespan
Comparison of telomeres of goats, dolphins, gulls, reindeer, vultures, flamingos, elephants, mice and humans reveals that species whose telomeres shorten faster have shorter lives. 'We have found a universal pattern, a phenomenon that explains the lifespans of the species,' says Maria Blasco, senior author of the study. The results are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2019-07-08)

Changes in rat size reveal habitat of 'Hobbit' hominin
A study of rat body sizes shifting over time gives a glimpse into the habitat of the mysterious hominin Homo floresiensis -- nicknamed the 'Hobbit' due to its diminutive stature. (2019-03-13)

Study shows how vultures evesdrop to gather vital flight information
A new study has shown vultures use their very own social networks to take advantage of thermal updrafts which help them fly vast distances. A team from Swansea University examined how the vultures seemed to make risky but efficient choices when it came to their flight patterns by observing other birds in the network. (2018-11-07)

Hand-drawn maps imitating the printed maps in the 1st days of Hispano-American cartography
From the start of the colonisation, the Spanish Crown needed to know and represent the overseas territories under its control. In the last third of the sixteenth century, surveys were carried on to get to know this territories. Among these documents, the researchers have found a set of maps that are characterised by a peculiar style, as they try to imitate the style of maps that were drawn up in Europe in this period. (2018-10-02)

Scientists stunned by decline of birds during epic Southern African roadtrip
A two year project repeating a famous bird survey by driving over 20, 000km in a 4x4 across Botswana has confirmed researchers' fears: many birds of prey are fast disappearing from one of Africa's last great wilderness areas. Reported sightings of iconic species of eagle and vulture declined by as much as 80% compared with the previous survey, while some migrant species recorded last time have vanished, according to the study published this week in the international scientific journal Biological Conservation. (2018-06-06)

Details that look sharp to people may be blurry to their pets
Blind as a bat or eagle-eyed? Scientists compared hundreds of species by the sharpness of their sight. They found a 10,000-fold difference between the most sharp-sighted and the most blurry-eyed species, with humans ranking near the top. The researchers also created a series of images showing how different scenes might appear to animals with different acuities. The images reveal patterns that, while easy for some species to see, may be imperceptible to others. (2018-05-30)

Vultures reveal critical Old World flyways
Identifying bottlenecks -- i.e. places where birds concentrate on migration -- helps bird conservationists know what areas to focus on and get the most bang for their buck, since a large percentage of a species' population can pass through these small areas. (2018-04-30)

Vampire bats' bloody teamwork
Vampire bats are the only mammals that feed exclusively on blood. The way they manage to do that offers us some remarkable insights into hologentics and evolution. (2018-04-10)

Fanged friends: World's most vilified and dangerous animals may be humankind's best ally
An international review led by the University of Queensland and WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) says that many native carnivores that live in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate - spelling bad news for humans who indirectly rely on them for a variety of beneficial services. (2018-01-18)

Reviled animals could be our powerful allies
Animal carnivores living in and around human habitation are declining at an unprecedented rate -- but they may provide crucial benefits to human societies. An international review led by University of Queensland researchers has revealed that predators and scavengers ranging from bats to leopards and vultures are valuable to human health and well-being. (2018-01-18)

Could condors return to northern California?
In 2003, Northern California's Yurok Tribe initiated efforts to reintroduce California condors on their lands. While wild condors have not existed in the region for more than a hundred years, a new study from The Condor: Ornithological Applications suggests that hunters transitioning from lead to non-lead ammunition may allow these apex scavengers to succeed there once again. (2017-09-20)

Ornithologists at Yelabuga Institute share details of their latest work
Bird Protection and Monitoring Lab was established at the Yelabuga Institute in 2014. Its head is Rinur Bekmansurov, member of the Russian Bird Conservation Union, coordinator of the ringing of raptors at the Russian Raptor Research and Conservation Network, member of the Tatarstan Red Book Commission. (2017-09-12)

Jackdaws flap their wings to save energy
For the first time, researchers have observed that birds that fly actively and flap their wings save energy. Biologists at Lund University in Sweden have now shown that jackdaws minimize their energy consumption when they lift off and fly, because the feathers on their wing tips create several small vortices instead of a single large one. The discovery could potentially be applied within the aeronautical industry. (2017-08-11)

Size matters, and so do temperature and habitat, to scavengers and the carcasses they eat
Size matters in the carrion world, and so do habitat and temperature. New research has shed fresh light on the largely understudied area of vertebrate scavenging ecology. (2017-08-01)

Deaths of migrating wildebeests key to Serengeti's vibrant ecosystem
Wildebeest carcasses, casualties of the world's largest overland animal migration, pile up annually on the banks of the Mara River in Africa and play a crucial role in vibrant ecosystem of the Serengeti plains, a new Yale-led study has found. (2017-06-19)

Wildebeest feast: Mass drownings fuel the Mara River ecosystem
Each year, more than a million wildebeest migrate through Africa's Serengeti Mara Ecosystem. While crossing the Kenyan reach of the Mara River, thousands perish. A new study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to reveal how wildebeest drownings impact the ecology of the iconic river. (2017-06-19)

A badger can bury a cow by itself
While studying scavenger behavior in Utah's Great Basin Desert, University of Utah biologists observed an American badger do something that no other scientists had documented before: bury an entire calf carcass by itself. (2017-03-31)

Making a scavenger -- the meat-thieving traits that have stood the test of time
Any animal -- living or dead -- can be placed on a 'scavenging scale' based on variations in a few key biological traits and the environment at hand. This scale suggests that long-extinct Tyrannosaurs and death-eater bats have a lot more in common with hyenas and albatrosses than meets the eye. (2017-02-07)

Skillful cockatoos filmed making the same tool from different materials
Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna and the University of Oxford have shown that Goffin's cockatoos can make and use elongated tools of appropriate shape and length out of different materials, suggesting that the birds can anticipate how the tools will be used. (2016-11-15)

Migration ranges of flying birds depend on body size and flight style
The decades-long tracking of flying birds reveals that body size and flight styles determine the scale of birds' migration, as predicted by the aerodynamic theory of bird flight. (2016-10-18)

2016 AOU Brewster Medal awarded to Dr. Patricia Parker
The William Brewster Memorial Award, bestowed each year by the American Ornithologists' Union to the author of an exceptional body of work on the birds of the Western Hemisphere, is one of the most prestigious awards an ornithologist can receive. The society is pleased to announce that the Brewster Award winner for 2016 is Dr. Patricia Parker of the University of Missouri-Saint Louis and the Saint Louis Zoo. (2016-08-20)

Contamination from marine mammals may hamper recovery of California condors
Biologists have discovered high levels of pesticides and other contaminants from marine mammals in the tissues of endangered California condors living near the coast that they say could complicate recovery efforts for the largest land bird in North America. (2016-08-08)

Scavenger crows provide public service, research shows
Crows are performing a useful function and keeping our environment free from rotting carcasses, research carried out at the University of Exeter in Cornwall has discovered. (2016-07-12)

Why vultures matter -- and what we lose if they're gone
The primary threat to vultures is the presence of toxins in the carrion they consume. Losses of vultures can allow other scavengers to flourish. And proliferation of such scavengers could bring bacteria and viruses from carcasses into human cities. (2016-05-05)

Flexible soaring style keeps vultures aloft longer
New research in The Auk: Ornithological Advances shows how vultures use small-scale turbulence to stay aloft even when weather conditions don't favor the formation of thermals. The mechanism and purpose of this behavior, which researchers have dubbed 'contorted soaring,' are explained for the first time in the forthcoming article. (2015-12-23)

In an urban environment, not all vultures are created equal
Not being picky about your food means you can live just about anywhere, and some vultures are good at adapting to landscape fragmentation caused by humans, but new research forthcoming in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows that different vulture species use city environments in different ways. (2015-10-21)

The vulture's scavenging secrets -- an ironclad stomach and a strong immune system
Vultures have a unique genetic make-up allowing them to digest carcasses and guard themselves against constant exposure to pathogens in their diet, according to the first Eurasian vulture genome published in the open-access journal Genome Biology. The study also finds that this species of Asian vulture is more closely related to the North American bald eagle than previously thought. (2015-10-20)

From hummingbird to owl: New research decodes bird family tree
A study published in the journal Nature in coordination with Yale University resolved the bird family tree, something that has never been accomplished by scientists. It shows that all land birds diverged early on from a group that includes vultures and hawks, and indeed that all birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs that included the Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor. (2015-10-12)

Mad cow disease changed the diet of the Galician wolf
The Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease crisis in Europe was a turning point for the diet of the Galician wolf in Spain, which until the year 2000 had primarily fed on the carrion of domestic animals. A new study shows that, after European health regulations made it illegal to abandon dead livestock, wolves started to consume more wild boars, roe deer and wild ponies, but also began to attack more cattle ranches when faced with food shortages in certain areas. (2015-10-07)

Almost 80 species scavenge hunting remains worldwide
Human activities such as livestock farming, fishing or hunting yearly waste tons of food into natural ecosystems. A large part of this anthropogenic food is provided as carrion and subsidizes a wide range of vertebrate species. Spanish scientists have described for the first time the general structure of scavenger communities worldwide, which consist mainly of birds (66 percent) and mammals (34 percent). (2015-08-04)

Study of birds' sense of smell reveals important clues for behavior and adaptation
A large comparative genomic study of the olfactory genes tied to a bird's sense of smell has revealed important differences that correlate with their ecological niches and specific behaviors. (2015-07-29)

Griffon vultures are exposed to high concentrations of lead in their diets
Because of their position on the food chain and their dietary habits, Griffon vultures from the Iberian Peninsula are exposed to accumulation of heavy metals in their tissues. A study benefiting from the participation of the Autonomous University of Barcelona reveals that, due to their diets, wild populations of Griffon vultures in Catalonia show the presence of a high amount of lead, which affects their immune systems and reproductive function. (2015-05-19)

Satellite telemetry tracks bearded vultures
The Pyrenees are home to continental Europe's only wild population of bearded vultures, a species classified as endangered in Spain. A study compiled by Spanish researchers reveals -- in a level of detail hitherto unseen -- the size of the home range of this bird species using satellite tracking technologies. (2015-01-16)

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