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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field

"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.

Found 5 entries matching your request:

Cambodia: Grey-headed Fish Eagle Project, Part 2

Ruth Tingay — in Asia-Pacific

It’s dark, cold and raining by the time I reach Heathrow. I expect most of my fellow-travellers are pleased to be leaving it all behind in their New Year’s get-away but January is one of my favourite months to be in the UK. I know many people find this hard to comprehend but I’m not a sun worshipper and if I had the choice I’d happily spend a month of cosy fireside hibernation instead of a sweat-ridden endurance test in the sauna of the tropics. For someone with these preferences, it’s quite ironic that over the years most of my fieldwork has taken place close to the equator!

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Cambodia: Grey-headed Fish Eagle Project, Part 1

Ruth Tingay — in Asia-Pacific

It’s January 1st and it’s an unusual start to the New Year for me. Instead of being out partying last night, I was at home, packing. It’s a familiar task and one I always look forward to as it signals the end of a long period of pre-fieldwork planning and preparation. The funding proposals had been written, submitted, and accepted; the research permit from the host country’s government applied for and received; this year’s field team selected and briefed; the field transport and accommodation booked; the fieldwork schedule planned; the budget checked and revised; immunisations updated; medical insurance updated; emergency evacuation procedure planned; flights researched, booked and confirmed; visa procedures confirmed; specialist sampling equipment procured; export and import permit restrictions for shipping biological samples from one country to another read and (grudgingly) understood; currency exchanged; passport found.

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Quest for the Simeulue Serpent Eagle

Rick Watson — in Asia-Pacific

I landed at Medan international airport on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, not knowing what to expect, but knowing I would be in for an adventure no matter what. I am on a quest to find the Simeulue Serpent Eagle. Depending on which taxonomic opinion you accept, it is either a race of the Crested Serpent Eagle, or a unique species in its own right. Either way, it occurs only on one island, Simeulue, about 120 km west of Sumatra. Simeulue is the northern-most of a chain of islands along Sumatra’s west coast that starts with Mentawai in the south; the chain continues beyond Indonesia northwards to the Nicobar and Andaman islands off the coast of Burma. The chain is geologically older than Sumatra, and is thought to have species with a unique evolutionary history, which gives rise to the idea that the islands’ Serpent Eagles may be separate species with their own unique lineages. The Simeulue Serpent Eagle is smaller than the Crested Serpent Eagle, and has different detail in the plumage (darker hindneck, richer purplish-brown upperparts, narrower tail-band, more barred underparts) which adds to the argument that it is different. If the Simeulue Serpent Eagle is a species then it may be at risk of extinction as the island’s forests are cleared for plantations of oil and coconut palm, cloves and other agriculture, and establishing protection for the species might protect some of the other species found only on this small island.

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In search of Chinese Sparrowhawks wintering in southern Papua, Indonesian New Guinea

Rick Watson — in Asia-Pacific

Editor’s Note: Wallacea is a region located almost entirely within the borders of Indonesia in southeast Asia, and includes the large island of Sulawesi, the Moluccas (Spice islands), Banda islands and the Lesser Sundas. The Lesser Sundas are located south of Sulawesi, and include Bali, Lombok, Sumba, Sumbawa, Flores and Timor. The Moluccas includes several hundred islands in the north-east of the Wallacea region, the largest being Seram and Halmahera.

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A Rare Glimpse of a Papua New Guinea Harpy Eagle

Martin Gilbert — in Asia-Pacific

The cloud forests of Papua New Guinea are rather ‘other worldly’ at the best of times, yet at 4 am they seem infinitely more alien. Cunningly, I had slept in my clothes, thus avoiding one of the hurdles of rising in the cold and dew of pre-dawn! In the blackness I fumbled at the laces of my dank boots and tried not to wake my snoring companions curled beneath their blankets. The forest was strangely silent, far removed from the choral strains of the frogs and insects that had sung me to sleep. Even the winking fire flies had snuffed out their lanterns and seemed to have vanished. A light mist was falling, adding a new layer of dampness to my skin as I stepped out from the shelter of our bush camp tarpaulin.

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