If a high-speed train runs at 185 m/h through little urbanized areas, it is possible that some animals will be surprised in their path. This is the case of birds such as magpies, pigeons, crows or buzzards, whose death due to run over has not been scientifically analyzed or quantified so far. A study has now allowed obtaining the first estimates in Spain.
Inside the crater of a volcano on Graciosa Island in the Azores archipelago, in the Atlantic Ocean, an international team of researchers has discovered the bones of a new extinct species of songbird, a bullfinch which they have named Pyrrhula crassa. The remains were found in a small cavity through which time ago the lava flowed. This bird disappeared a few hundreds of years ago due to human colonization of the islands and the introduction of invasive species.
When the owner of the infrastructure and the train operator companies are both managed by the government, the rail infrastructure fee policy set may prompt unfair competition with other transport modes, such as the bus for short routes or the plane for long distances. This could be the case of the Spain’s state owned transport company, RENFE, and the railway infrastructure owner, ADIF, as an analysis carried out by a European team of researchers has shown. The prices of “AVE” high-speed train tickets, though they have now increased slightly, have been frozen since the 11% drop in 2013.
The European wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) is a bird with a very characteristic song, with an intensity that does not tend to co-exist with low-frequency noise. However, researchers from the University of Salamanca explain in a study that their songs have become more complex in cities.
Farm-reared partridges are the object of a new study at the University of León, which has conducted an experiment to demonstrate whether it is possible to train these animals using adult ‘tutor’ birds to improve their survival in the wild. Their findings suggest that this system of learning is effective against their predators.
The parakeets that have invaded Europe and North America over the last forty to fifty years, creating massive nests in many urban areas, seem to have originated from the same small geographical area in South America. In addition, the invasive populations are genetically identical and are recognised by a relatively rare dominant haplotype in the source population. This has been the conclusion of an international study in which Spanish scientists have participated.
The pollution of waterfowl meat and their poisoning by lead shot has dropped by 50% since this type of munitions was prohibited in wetlands in 2001. This is one of the data in a report from the Hunting Resources Research Institute, which also states that the hunters’ compliance with this mandate has been very high.
It is not uncommon for birds´ dawn choruses to rouse those living in cities´ residential areas. A study conducted by the University of Seville shows that this phenomenon is mutual. That is to say, some urban birds, like the sparrow and the spotless starling, start singing earlier because they are awoken by anthropogenic noise.