A new study from Dr Elbroch, in the Chacabuco Valley of southern Chile, shows that cougars in the Patagonia region made nearly 50% more kills and fed less on these kills than cougars living in other regions of the Americas. Doing so,  they provide three times the food to their local communities than do wolves in Yellowstone National Park.

It also shows how the condors would frequently be harassing cougars feeding on kills.
It is quite interesting to see how scavengers like the condor can influence predator-prey interactions.

For more info, you can read the article in Science.

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Early morning in the Ecuadorian Cloud forest, near Mindo. A short hike uphill to the lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-rock, one of the most famous birds of the Andes.

After waiting for a little while, we hear the loud calls of the males. Unmistakable! To see them is much harder. And to photography them is challenge, especially when there’s almost no light.

But what a unique bird!

Andean-Cock-of-the-rock-Ecuador-2013_0098 as Smart Object-1

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Below is the result of setting up  a camera trap on a single « colpa » salt lick, in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon, for 4 weeks…

As expected, the area is now targeted by loggers, miners, and other developers.

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Amazing project showing all the 39 species of Birds-of-Paradise living in New Guinea, a few surrounding islands, and a small part of adjacent Australia. In eight years, they have made 18 expeditions to 51 different field camps, climbed hundreds of trees, built dozens of blinds, recorded thousands of video and audio recordings, spent more than a year and a half of cumulative time in the field, and taken more than 39,000 photos.

Check out their Introduction video:


For more info about it, look at their website, Birds-of-Paradise Project.

The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Ecuadorian National park Yasuni is one of the most biodiverse place on Earth and home of the voluntary isolated tribe Taromenane. But that’s not what oil companies and loggers appreciate about it. It is estimated to contain approximately 846 million barrels of crude oil, approximately 20% of the country’s proven oil reserves. That represents a lot of money, for both the Oil companies and the government of Ecuador.

So what can you do when you have to find money to finance the « Revolucion Ciudadana », but you are also committed to protect the environment of your country? Well, Correa managed to find a solution: the government of Ecuador proposed a permanent ban on oil production inside the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini (ITT) oil field in exchange for 50% of the value of the reserves, or $3.6 billion over 13 years to be raised from public and private contributions from the international community. This is the Yasuni-ITT initiative, officially launched in 2010.

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Amazing photographer Vincent Munier is currently in the Peruvian Amazon. I’m curious to see what he’s going to come back with…

His website.

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La masiva matanza de pingüinos de Humboldt en la isla « Pájaros niños » ubicada en Algarrobo, provocó el completo rechazo tanto de las autoridades como de los residentes de la zona.

« Nuestro municipio ya presentó una querella en contra de quienes resulten responsables », indicó a Emol el alcalde de Algarrobo, Jaime Gálvez. El edil argumentó que este hecho lo vienen denunciando desde hace ocho meses, ante evidencias del maltrato hacia estas aves en peligro de extinción. Debido a una protesta que realizaron hace unos días para expresar su repudio, la situación cobró relevancia pública. Gálvez, señaló además que « existe una declaración anónima realizada ante Sernapesca, la cual denunció la matanza ante la Fiscalía. En ella se sindica como posible responsable a la empresa Náutica del Pacífico ». Asimismo, hay también denuncias emitidas por particulares que han sido testigos de cómo se mata a los pingüinos y sus polluelos. « Aunque como municipio desconocemos qué personas las habrán hecho », aclaró el alcalde.

La confesión: « eliminar a patadas »

Un funcionario de la empresa a la que se responsabiliza de la matanza -que declinó a entregar su identidad- declaró al canal de televisión 24H que se les daba la instrucción de « quebrar los huevos de los nidos. Sabemos que el lugar es un santuario de la naturaleza, pero uno recibe órdenes y las ejecuta ». El argumento para tal actuar era « el mal olor que provocaban los pingüinos en el lugar ». De igual modo, sostuvo que a los pichones los eliminaban « de una patada o pegándoles con un palo ». El caso está en manos de la Policía de Investigaciones.