Posts Tagged ‘Pigeons’

Animal lovers battle Venice over piazza pigeons

June 9, 2008

The pigeons are hungry.

They march single-mindedly, beaks thrust forward, across the stones of St. Mark’s Square, dive-bombing at the first hint of a piece of bread or a chip. Soot-gray, with spindly coral-colored legs and claws, many just pace, pecking at stone in the hopes it will yield a crumb.

This fabled city’s plan to starve away the pigeons seems to be working – unless Venetian pirates come to the rescue.

A band of animal lovers armed with skull-and-crossbones flags zips over the choppy Venice lagoon in speedboats. They dock at the palace-lined piazza, lug out 20-pound sacks of birdseed and scatter the food for all to eat.

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PHOTOS: The Animal Kingdom’s Odd Couples

May 22, 2008

A little macaque nestles its head on a pigeon that responds peacefully on Neilingding Island, China. Three months ago, the macaque was born on the island, but strayed from its mother. Luckily, it was taken in by work staff in the protective station and made the acquaintance of the pigeon. More than 2,000 macaques live on the island.

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Seed Dispersal In Mauritius — Dead As A Dodo?

May 12, 2008

Walking through the last rainforests on the volcanic island of Mauritius, located some 800 km east of Madagascar, one is surrounded by ghosts. Since human colonisation in the 17th century, the island has lost most of its unique animals. The litany includes the famous flightless dodo, giant tortoises, parrots, pigeons, fruitbats, and giant lizards. It is comparatively easy to notice the los­­s of a species, but much more difficult to realise how many interactions have been lost as a result.

Recent work has highlighted how it is not species diversity per se, which breathes life into ecosystems, but rather the networks of interactions between organisms. Thus, the real ghosts in Mauritius are not as much the extinct animals themselves, but more importantly the extinct networks of interactions between the species.

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Australia decrees national cane-toad killing day

April 4, 2008

Why are the cute animals always the ones that suck at mating, while vermin like pigeons, rats, and bacteria are breeding their brains out? To rectify the situation, many eager citizens have illegally taken matters into their own hands. But in Australia, where the poisonous, invasive cane toads that plague the country have evolved longer legs to expedite their conquering of the outback—lawmakers themselves are getting into the spirit of things.

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