Doco shows moment fire destroys endangered bird habitat

 
07 July 2017

published by https://thewest.com.au


Australia - In 2015, Department of Parks and Wildlife officers dedicated to protecting WA’s critically endangered western ground parrot watched in horror as a bushfire ravaged Cape Arid National Park, destroying 90 per cent of one of the last remaining habitats for the parrot.

The moment was captured on camera by veteran wildlife documentary maker Jennene Riggs in her latest film, Secrets at Sunrise.

“There was genuine drama unfolding right before my eyes,” Riggs said.

Making a wildlife doco usually means filming said wildlife but that gets a little complicated when the subject is the western ground parrot, one of the rarest birds on the planet.

Experts believe there are fewer than 150 of these critically endangered birds in existence, so Riggs and her husband and collaborator, Dave, knew a different approach was required.

“Originally, I thought it was going to be more focused on the animal but I soon realised it was more of a people story,” Jennene Riggs said. So, for three years, the couple followed DPaW officers to Cape Arid, filming their tireless efforts to protect the birds from feral cats and the aforementioned bushfire, all the while hoping to catch a glimpse of this famously reclusive bird.

“I heard them a lot, calling in the distance, but they are so secretive and well camouflaged,” she said.

The western ground parrot has a distinctive call and is active in the hour before sunrise and sunset, which inspired the name of the doco.

Luckily, Riggs was able to film the relocation of a captive population of birds from a secret aviary in the State’s south to the Perth Zoo, where a breeding program is under way.

This footage provides a world-first look at the behaviour of the species.

After sellout screenings in Esperance and Albany, Secrets at Sunrise has its Perth premiere at the Revelation Perth International Film Festival on Sunday.

That screening has also sold out but you can catch it at Rev on Monday and Wednesday.

It’s a must-see for those who appreciate what a special State we live in.

It's been a fairly wet spring and summer this year, but when it gets dry for weeks at a time, the New York State Forest Rangers keep a close watch on forest fire danger in the Adirondacks.

In the early 1900s, fires ravaged thousands of acres of forest land in the Adirondack Park, particularly along railroad corridors. It caused alarm in Albany. The old system, created when the Forest Preserve was formed in 1885, wasn't working.

A new approach was needed, so the New York Legislature enacted new laws in 1909 to fight fires in the Adirondacks and Catskills. It was a game-changing moment, one that would lead to the establishment of the Forest Ranger Division in 1912 and the construction of more than 100 fire towers.

It's been a fairly wet spring and summer this year, but when it gets dry for weeks at a time, the New York State Forest Rangers keep a close watch on forest fire danger in the Adirondacks. In the early 1900s, fires ravaged thousands of acres of forest land in the Adirondack Park, particularly along railroad corridors. It caused alarm in Albany. The old system, created when the Forest Preserve was formed in 1885, wasn't working. A new approach was needed, so the New York Legislature enacted new laws in 1909 to fight fires in the Adirondacks and Catskills. It was a game-changing moment, one that would lead to the establishment of the Forest Ranger Division in 1912 and the construction of more than 100 fire towers.

It's been a fairly wet spring and summer this year, but when it gets dry for weeks at a time, the New York State Forest Rangers keep a close watch on forest fire danger in the Adirondacks.

In the early 1900s, fires ravaged thousands of acres of forest land in the Adirondack Park, particularly along railroad corridors. It caused alarm in Albany. The old system, created when the Forest Preserve was formed in 1885, wasn't working.

A new approach was needed, so the New York Legislature enacted new laws in 1909 to fight fires in the Adirondacks and Catskills. It was a game-changing moment, one that would lead to the establishment of the Forest Ranger Division in 1912 and the construction of more than 100 fire towers.

It's been a fairly wet spring and summer this year, but when it gets dry for weeks at a time, the New York State Forest Rangers keep a close watch on forest fire danger in the Adirondacks. In the early 1900s, fires ravaged thousands of acres of forest land in the Adirondack Park, particularly along railroad corridors. It caused alarm in Albany. The old system, created when the Forest Preserve was formed in 1885, wasn't working. A new approach was needed, so the New York Legislature enacted new laws in 1909 to fight fires in the Adirondacks and Catskills. It was a game-changing moment, one that would lead to the establishment of the Forest Ranger Division in 1912 and the construction of more than 100 fire towers.

The forest fire, which started on the night of June 24 and still smoldering in Spain's southwestern region of Huelva, burned a total of 8,486 hectares, the Andalusian Regional Government said on Wednesday. Environmental spokesman for Andalusia, Jose Fiscal, confirmed the damage on his Twitter account. Over 2,000 people had had to be evacuated from hotels and campsites on the perimeter of the fire, he said. He added that the perimeter established around the fire was actually 10,900 hectares, but within that perimeter, 2,414 hectares of woodland were still intact. The fire damaged two protected areas: 6,761 hectares of Donana National Park, which has UNESCO protected status and is home to around 400 different species such as the threatened Iberian Lynx and Iberian Eagle, and 17 hectares of Laguna de Palos y Madres Nature Park. The Andalusian government believed that had it not been for the work of fire fighters, who at the height of the blaze numbered around 500, the damage would have been far worse for the 43,225 hectares of woods and scrubland. According to the regional government, temperatures were around 40 degrees Celsius when the fire began, with a wind-speed of between 30 and 40 km per hour (km/h) and gusts of up to 90 km/h at night, which helped propagate the flames and made it impossible to use aircraft or helicopters to fight the fire. A total of 50 firemen remain in the zone to continue the work of damping down and to ensure there are no flare ups, while investigations continue into the cause of the blaze. Authorities have not ruled out a human cause.
Read full text at: http://eng.belta.by/society/view/spanish-forest-fire-burns-over-8400-hectares-in-and-around-national-park-102857-2017/
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Tropical peat swamp forests, which once occupied large swaths of Southeast Asia and other areas, provided a significant "sink" that helped remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But such forests have been disappearing fast due to clear-cutting and drainage projects making way for plantations. Now, research shows peatlands face another threat, as climate change alters rainfall patterns, potentially destroying even forested peatlands that remain undrained.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-peatlands-dwindling-losses.html#jCp
Tropical peat swamp forests, which once occupied large swaths of Southeast Asia and other areas, provided a significant "sink" that helped remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But such forests have been disappearing fast due to clear-cutting and drainage projects making way for plantations. Now, research shows peatlands face another threat, as climate change alters rainfall patterns, potentially destroying even forested peatlands that remain undrained.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-06-peatlands-dwindling-losses.html#jCp