Tuesday, April 28, 2009

125 Kakapos - Rangers Reserves Winding Down

With 125 Kakapo Parrots now in existence, and the 2009 breeding season complete, the reserve Kakapo Rangers are heading home, with happy memories of a fantastic year. 34 chicks brought the total up from 91 to 125, a rise of well over 30%! It's been a season we will long remember.
While the kakapo population climbs the 'people' population declines, on the island that is. The current total count for kakapo is 125 while the people on the island have dwindled to 9 and this looks set to decrease to just 6 this week! That said, those of us on the mainland, plus many extra reserves called in, are working almost 24 hours round the clock to hand raise the 26 baby kakapo removed to Invercargill for handrearing. All's not quiet on the island though......
The Kakapo Recovery Programme website has the rest of this latest Ranger Diary.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Back from Vacation

I've just returned from vacation, so normal service will resume shortly.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Last Chance To See - The Radio Series *UPDATED*

The BBC Last Chance To See "Radio" page has been updated again to include the full radio episode "A Man-Eating, Evil-Smelling Dragon". This episode features Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine in their search for the Komodo Dragon, and completes the series on the website.

The radio series episode guide in David Haddock's "The Story of Last Chance To See" has been updated with the link to all of the episodes, but here's the complete list anyway...

Last Chance to See – Radio Episode Guide
Prelude: Natural Selection: In Search of the Aye-Aye [Aye-Aye Lemurs - 01/11/1985]
  1. Ralph, The Fragrant Parrot Of Codfish Island [Kakapo Parrot - 04/10/1989]
  2. Gone Fishing! [Yangtze River Dolphin - 11/10/1989]
  3. Animal, Vegetable Or Mineral? [Amazonian Manatee - 18/10/1989]
  4. The Answer Is Blowing In The Wind [Rodrigues Fruit Bat - 25/10/1989]
  5. A Man-Eating, Evil-Smelling Dragon [Komodo Dragon - 01/11/1989]
  6. The Sultan Of Juan Fernandez [Fur Seal - 08/11/1989]

NOTE: This material is only available to UK users due to copyright restrictions.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Kakapo Breeding Season - Video Report

Here's a video report from the middle of last month covering the tremendous Kakapo breeding season we've been having.


TV Series Filming Complete

Well that looks to be that. Stephen Fry has Twittered his final reports from the Komodo Dragon expedition, and the team are on their way back to London. I'm sure Stephen and Mark will have some voice-over work to do, but its now really all down to the producers and editors to whittle the footage down to about six hours worth of TV, ready for the autumn broadcast on BBC2.
Catching flight to Labuhan Bajo - thence a boat to Komodo. Airline not on EC approved list. Heigh ho...

Komodo Dragons seen. Scary drooling monsters of minimal cuteness, but most impressive.

Last day's filming. Labuan Bajo-Denpasar-Singapore tonight. S'pore-London tomorrow.

Back in Labuan Bajo. Mosquito bitten, sunburnt but very happy. Lots of travelling to do.

Sweltering into a flesh soup at Labuan Bajo airport awaiting flight to Denpasar. Can't believe Last Chance To See filming over. 12/07-4/09
Safe trip everyone.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Silverback Gorilla Who Had One Too Many...

Here's some pictures from the Daily Mail of a 30 stone Silverback Kwitonda who has too much alcoholic sap from his bamboo shoot dinner. Oh my.
'It was not exactly Gorillas In The Mist, more like gorillas who were p*****,' said [Andy] Rouse, 43, who was on his fourth trip to see the animals in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, Central Africa.

'I had heard they sometimes get like this, but I had never actually seen it. It was just like any family party when one or two members have a little bit too much to drink.

'The boss of the group, a huge silverback called Kwitonda, and some of the younger males were completely out of it.