Friday, December 2, 2011

Photographers convicted for White-tailed Eagle disturbance

[public domain photo/myspaceraptorcenterla]White-tailed Eagle- photo license public domain RSPB: Photographers convicted for White-tailed Eagle disturbance "Two photographers have been found guilty of disturbing a pair of nesting White-tailed Eagles on the Isle of Mull. Yuli Panayotov, 32, from London, and Ivaylo Takev, 36, from Norwich, were charged at Oban Sheriff Court with disturbing the breeding birds of prey near Killechronan in May 2010. The pair were fined a combined total of £1100. The court heard how police were alerted to the pair after a number of witnesses had spotted both the adult birds circling over the nest and alarm-calling. It later emerged Panayotov and Takev had erected a photography hide a short distance from the nest. Speaking following the conviction, Sheriff Douglas Small remarked that the pair had disregarded warnings from RSPB Mull Officer Dave Sexton and local holidaymakers. White-tailed Eagles have been the subject of a successful reintroduction to Scotland, having become extinct early in the 20th century. Their presence on Mull is a significant tourist attraction, bringing £5m to the local economy every year. The species is afforded the highest level of protection of any British bird, due to both its rarity and also its sensitivity to disturbance, particularly during the breeding season. Speaking following today's conviction Bob Elliot, Head of Investigations at RSPB Scotland, said: "We welcome this result as it sends out a clear signal that wildlife crime will not be tolerated and we thank the Procurator Fiscal and Strathclyde Police for their work on this important case." Dave Sexton, RSPB Scotland's Mull Officer, added: "Mull's economy depends to a large extent on wildlife tourism and we welcome thousands of responsible, law-abiding visitors who respect and enjoy the wildlife they've come to see.; but unacceptable behaviour from people who think they are above the law and choose to disturb protected wildlife like the eagles will not be tolerated — wildlife photographers in particular need to take note." RSPB Wednesday 30th November 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Octopus walking up on land: really cool video

This video shows an octopus as it walks onto land and proceeds to walk a significant distance (for an octopus) apparently to a crab it either saw (how could it see it from under the water a distance away?) or smelled (I looked it up and they can smell, but again how would it do that from under the water?). This neat event was caught on video by a family that was visiting Fitzgeral Marine Reserve where it took place--though accounts indicate that it is not rare for an octopus that live near shore to walk on land it is just uncommonly observed and they were at the right place at the right time and with their video camera rolling. There is an interesting discussion with an expert here on the Scientific American blog. SeEtta