Bird of prey
Bird of prey or predatory bird, known as raptors, refers to several species of birds that hunt and feed on rodents and other small animals. The term raptor is derived from the Latin word rapere, meaning to seize or take by force and these birds are characterized by keen vision that allows them to detect their prey during flight and powerful talons and beaks. Taken literally, the bird of prey has a wide meaning that includes many birds that hunt and feed on animals. In ornithology, the definition for bird of prey has a meaning, birds that have very good eyesight for finding food, strong feet for holding food. Most birds of prey have strong curved talons for catching or killing prey, Birds of prey generally prey on vertebrates, which are usually quite large relative to the size of the bird. Most eat carrion, at least occasionally, and vultures, the order Accipitriformes is believed to have originated 44 million years ago when it split from the common ancestor of the secretarybird and the accipitrid species.
The phylogeny of Accipitriformes is complex and difficult to unravel, widespread paraphylies were observed in many phylogenetic studies. More recent and detailed studies show similar results, according to the findings of a 2014 study, the sister relationship between larger clades of Accipitriformes was well supported. The diurnal birds of prey are formally classified into five families of two orders, the Cathartidae are sometimes placed separately in an enlarged stork family and may be raised to an order of their own, Cathartiiformes. The secretary bird and/or osprey are sometimes listed as subfamilies of Acciptridae and Pandioninae, australias letter-winged kite is a member of the family Accipitridae, although it is a nocturnal bird. He placed all birds of prey into an order, subdividing this into four genera, Falco, Strix. This approach was followed by subsequent authors such as Gmelin, louis Pierre Veillot used additional ranks, tribe, genus, species. Birds of prey were divided into diurnal and nocturnal tribes, the owls remained monogeneric, thus Veillots families were similar to the Linnaean genera, with the difference that shrikes were no longer included amongst the birds of prey.
In addition to the original Vultur and Falco, Veillot adopted four genera from Savigny, Haliæetus, Pandion and he introduced five new genera of vultures and eleven new genera of accipitrines. The common names for birds of prey are based on structure. Eagles tend to be large birds with long, broad wings, booted eagles have legs and feet feathered to the toes and build very large stick nests. Ospreys, a species found worldwide that specializes in catching fish. Kites have long wings and relatively weak legs and they spend much of their time soaring
Eagle is a common name for many large birds of prey of the family Accipitridae, it belongs to several groups of genera that are not necessarily closely related to each other. Most of the 60 species of eagles are from Eurasia and Africa, outside this area, just 14 species can be found – two in North America, nine in Central and South America, and three in Australia. Eagles are large, powerfully built birds of prey, with heavy heads, most eagles are larger than any other raptors apart from some vultures. The smallest species of eagle is the South Nicobar serpent eagle, the largest species are discussed below. Like all birds of prey, eagles have large, hooked beaks for ripping flesh from their prey, muscular legs. The beak is typically heavier than that of most other birds of prey, Eagles eyes are extremely powerful, having up to 3.6 times human acuity for the martial eagle, which enables them to spot potential prey from a very long distance. This keen eyesight is primarily attributed to their extremely large pupils which ensure minimal diffraction of the incoming light, the female of all known species of eagles is larger than the male.
Eagles normally build their nests, called eyries, in trees or on high cliffs. Many species lay two eggs, but the older, larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling once it has hatched, the dominant chick tends to be a female, as they are bigger than the male. The parents take no action to stop the killing, due to the size and power of many eagle species, they are ranked at the top of the food chain as apex predators in the avian world. The type of prey varies by genus, the snake and serpent eagles of the genera Circaetus and Spilornis predominantly prey on the great diversity of snakes found in the tropics of Africa and Asia. The eagles of the genus Aquila are often the top birds of prey in open habitats, where Aquila eagles are absent, other eagles, such as the buteonine black-chested buzzard-eagle of South America, may assume the position of top raptorial predator in open areas. Many other eagles, including the species-rich Spizaetus genus, live predominantly in woodlands and these eagles often target various arboreal or ground-dwelling mammals and birds, which are often unsuspectingly ambushed in such dense, knotty environments.
Hunting techniques differ among the species and genera, with some individual eagles having engaged in quite varied techniques based their environment, most eagles grab prey without landing and take flight with it, so the prey can be carried to a perch and torn apart. The bald eagle is noted for having flown with the heaviest load verified to be carried by any flying bird and crowned eagles have killed ungulates weighing up to 30 kg and a martial eagle even killed a 37 kg duiker, 7–8 times heavier than the preying eagle. It has been observed that most birds of prey look back over their shoulders before striking prey, all hawks seem to have this habit, from the smallest kestrel to the largest Ferruginous – but not the Eagles. Among the eagles are some of the largest birds of prey, only the condors and it is regularly debated which should be considered the largest species of eagle. They could be measured variously in total length, body mass, different lifestyle needs among various eagles result in variable measurements from species to species
Brown snake eagle
The brown snake eagle is a species of bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. It is found in West and southern Africa and their plumage is entirely brown, but some of them could have some white feathers. The juvenile eagles stay around the nest for 60–100 days, until they fledge, the juvenile brown snake eagle is completely independent a few weeks after fledging. The brown snake eagle is of size, compared with larger species, such as the bald eagle. They live less, only 7–10 years, the brown snake eagle feeds mainly on snakes, being able to kill venomous snakes such as cobras. They have natural protection against bites, with thick-skinned legs, besides snakes, the brown snake eagle feeds on lizards and small mammals. The brown snake eagle prefers the nests made by other birds and they usually take deserted and partially destroyed nests, which they prefer to repair. If they need to build a new one, they choose a tree or a rock, far from the habitat of predators. Like other species of eagles, they lay only one egg per year.
Brown Snake Eagle - Circaetus Cinereus - Brown Snake Eagle - Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds
Great Nicobar serpent eagle
The Great Nicobar serpent eagle, known as the South Nicobar serpent eagle, is a species of bird of prey in the Accipitridae family. It is endemic to forests on the Indian island of Great Nicobar and it is threatened by habitat loss. All major authorities now treat it as a species, but in the past it was considered a subspecies of S. minimus. Today minimus is either considered a subspecies of the serpent eagle or a monotypic species from the central Nicobar Islands
Great Nicobar Island
Great Nicobar is the southernmost and largest of the Nicobar Islands of India, north of Sumatra. Great Nicobar island was affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake tsunami with many deaths. The island of Sumatra is located 180 km to the south of Great Nicobar, the island covers 921 km2 but is sparsely inhabited, with a population of 8067, largely being covered by rainforest and known for its diverse wildlife. It is the southernmost air station of the Indian Armed Forces, the island is home to the Shompen people. The island has several rivers, including the Alexandra, Amrit Kaur, virtually all rivers flow in a southern or southwesterly direction, which is indicative of the general slope of the terrain across the island. There are undulating hills throughout the island, with the range running in a north-south orientation. Mount Thullier, which is part of range, has the highest elevation of any point in the Nicobars. Indira Point is the southernmost point of the Great Nicobar Island, Indira Point subsided 4.25 m in the 26 December 2004 tsunami and the lighthouse there was damaged.
The lighthouse was made functional. There is a 915m airstrip at Campbell Bay/Tenlaa on the East coast, seaport, At least one small shipping dock is located in Campbell Bay. Indira Point is the name of the southernmost point of Republic of India and it is situated on Great Nicobar Island in the Nicobar Islands, which are located in the eastern Indian Ocean at 6°45’10″N and 93°49’36″E. This is not on the Indian mainland, but within the Union Territory of Andaman, the name of the point was changed from Pygmalion Point on 18 October 1985 in commemoration of Indira Gandhi. It was formerly known by names that include Pygmalion Point, Parsons Point. It is located 540 km and more than a sea voyage from Port Blair. It is approximately 150 km by sea from Sumatra, Indira Point has a 35 m high cast iron lighthouse with 16 nautical miles range. The lighthouse has with a 300 mm 4 panel revolving light inside a 2.5 m diameter lantern house and it is an important landmark on the international shipping lane Colombo-Singapore route via Malacca Strait that passes south of Indira Point.
The tsunami which resulted from the Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 inundated much of the area and this partly damaged the lighthouse, which subsided 4.25 m. As a result of subsidence, the coast retreated and the sea moved permanently inland
Southern banded snake eagle
The Southern banded snake eagle is a rather small, stocky snake eagle with a large, rounded head which has a hooded. It has a grey-brown head contrasting slightly with the mainly blackish-brown upperparts, the tail has a white tip and shows three distinct dark bands on the underside. The large eyes are pale yellow eyes, the feet and cere are yellow, the juvenile lacks the grey head, has mainly dark upperparts and the whitish pale underparts are marked with dark streaks on the face and upper breast. The total length varies from 55–60 cm with females larger than males, the Southern banded snake eagle is unobtrusive and is normally found due to its noisy, high-pitched call, ko-ko-ko-kaw, repeatedly made either from a perch or while in flight. As its name suggests the Southern banded snake eagle mainly eats snakes, hunting from a perch, if a large snake is caught, it is torn up into bite-size pieces before feeding, however smaller snakes are swallowed whole, head-first. It has recorded feeding on lizards and termite alates.
The nest is constructed by both sexes and is a platform of small sticks roughly 50–70 cm wide with an inner cup which is 17 cm across and is lined with fresh foliage. The nest is placed in the main fork of a tree. The single egg is laid from August–October and is incubated by the female for about 50 days. Both parents feed the young on a diet of ripped up snakes, at first the male does the majority of the hunting, while the female looks after the nestling. Southern Banded Snake Eagle - Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds
International Union for Conservation of Nature
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in gathering and analysis, field projects, lobbying. IUCNs mission is to influence and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of resources is equitable. Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates issues related to equality, poverty alleviation. Unlike other international NGOs, IUCN does not itself aim to mobilize the public in support of nature conservation and it tries to influence the actions of governments and other stakeholders by providing information and advice, and through lobbying and partnerships. The organization is best known to the public for compiling and publishing the IUCN Red List. IUCN has a membership of over 1200 governmental and non-governmental organizations, some 11,000 scientists and experts participate in the work of IUCN commissions on a voluntary basis.
It employs approximately 1000 full-time staff in more than 60 countries and its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, and plays a role in the implementation of several conventions on nature conservation. It was involved in establishing the World Wide Fund for Nature, in the past, IUCN has been criticized for placing the interests of nature over those of indigenous peoples. In recent years, its relations with the business sector have caused controversy. It was previously called the International Union for Protection of Nature, establishment In 1947, the Swiss League for the Protection of Nature organised an international conference on the protection of nature in Brunnen. It is considered to be the first government-organized non-governmental organization, the initiative to set up the new organisation came from UNESCO and especially from its first Director General, the British biologist Julian Huxley. At the time of its founding IUPN was the international organisation focusing on the entire spectrum of nature conservation Early years.
Its secretariat was located in Brussels and its first work program focused on saving species and habitats and applying knowledge, advancing education, promoting international agreements and promoting conservation. Providing a solid base for conservation action was the heart of all activities. IUPN and UNESCO were closely associated and they jointly organized the 1949 Conference on Protection of Nature. In preparation for this conference a list of endangered species was drawn up for the first time
Chordates are deuterostomes, as during the embryo development stage the anus forms before the mouth. They are bilaterally symmetric coelomates, in the case of vertebrate chordates, the notochord is usually replaced by a vertebral column during development, and they may have body plans organized via segmentation. There are additional extinct taxa, the Vertebrata are sometimes considered as a subgroup of the clade Craniata, consisting of chordates with a skull, the Craniata and Tunicata compose the clade Olfactores. Of the more than 65,000 living species of chordates, the worlds largest and fastest animals, the blue whale and peregrine falcon respectively, are chordates, as are humans. Fossil chordates are known from at least as early as the Cambrian explosion, which includes the acorn worms, has been presented as a fourth chordate subphylum, but it now is usually treated as a separate phylum. The Hemichordata, along with the Echinodermata, form the Ambulacraria, the Chordata and Ambulacraria form the superphylum Deuterostomia, composed of the deuterostomes.
Attempts to work out the relationships of the chordates have produced several hypotheses. All of the earliest chordate fossils have found in the Early Cambrian Chengjiang fauna. Because the fossil record of early chordates is poor, only molecular phylogenetics offers a prospect of dating their emergence. However, the use of molecular phylogenetics for dating evolutionary transitions is controversial and it has proved difficult to produce a detailed classification within the living chordates. Attempts to produce family trees shows that many of the traditional classes are paraphyletic. While this has been known since the 19th century, an insistence on only monophyletic taxa has resulted in vertebrate classification being in a state of flux. Although the name Chordata is attributed to William Bateson, it was already in prevalent use by 1880, ernst Haeckel described a taxon comprising tunicates and vertebrates in 1866. Though he used the German vernacular form, it is allowed under the ICZN code because of its subsequent latinization, among the vertebrate sub-group of chordates the notochord develops into the spine, and in wholly aquatic species this helps the animal to swim by flexing its tail.
In fish and other vertebrates, this develops into the spinal cord, the pharynx is the part of the throat immediately behind the mouth. In fish, the slits are modified to form gills, a muscular tail that extends backwards behind the anus. This is a groove in the wall of the pharynx. In filter-feeding species it produces mucus to gather food particles, which helps in transporting food to the esophagus and it stores iodine, and may be a precursor of the vertebrate thyroid gland
Crested serpent eagle
The crested serpent eagle is a medium-sized bird of prey that is found in forested habitats across tropical Asia. In the past, several including the Philippine serpent eagle, Andaman serpent eagle. All members within the complex have a large looking head with long feathers on the back of the head giving them a maned and crested appearance. The face is bare and yellow joining up with the ceres while the feet are unfeathered. They fly over the forest canopy on broad wings and tail have wide white and they call often with a loud and familiar three or two-note call. They often feed on snakes, giving them their name and are placed along with the Circaetus snake-eagles in the subfamily Circaetinae and this medium-large, dark brown eagle is stocky, with rounded wings and a short tail. Its short black and white fan-shaped nuchal crest gives it a thick-necked appearance, the bare facial skin and feet are yellow. The underside is spotted white and yellowish-brown. When perched the wing tips do not reach until the tail tip, in soaring flight, the broad and paddle-shaped wings are held in a shallow V.
The tail and underside of the feathers are black with broad white bars. Young birds show a lot of white on the head, the tarsus is unfeathered and covered by hexagonal scales. The upper mandible does not have an overhanging festoon to the tip, within its widespread range across tropical Asia,21 populations have been named as subspecies. The last seven are sometimes treated as separate species, the rarest is probably the Bawean serpent eagle with a declining population of about 26–37 pairs, which makes it critically endangered. The nominate subspecies has a black throat while the peninsular Indian form has a brownish throat, there are clinal latitudinal variations, with size decreasing southward. The small islands taxa are generally smaller in size than the taxa from the Asian mainland/larger islands in a phenomenon termed as insular dwarfism, the specific name cheela is derived from the Hindi name for kites. The crested serpent eagle, as its English name suggests, is a reptile eater which hunts over forests, often close to wet grassland, for snakes and it has been observed to prey on birds, amphibians and fishes.
It is placed along with the eagles of the genus Circaetus in the subfamily Circaetinae. It is found mainly over areas with thick vegetation both on the low hills and the plains and this species is a resident species, but in some parts of their range they are found only in summer
Habitat destruction is the process in which natural habitat is rendered unable to support the species present. In this process, the organisms that used the site are displaced or destroyed. Habitat destruction by human activity is mainly for the purpose of harvesting natural resources for production and urbanization. Clearing habitats for agriculture is the cause of habitat destruction. Other important causes of habitat destruction include mining, trawling, habitat destruction is currently ranked as the primary cause of species extinction worldwide. Perhaps the greatest threat to organisms and biodiversity is the process of habitat loss, temple found that 82% of endangered bird species were significantly threatened by habitat loss. Endemic organisms with limited ranges are most affected by destruction, mainly because these organisms are not found anywhere else within the world. Many endemic organisms have very specific requirements for their survival that can only be found within a certain ecosystem, extinction may take place very long after the destruction of habitat, a phenomenon known as extinction debt.
Habitat destruction can decrease the range of certain organism populations, one of the most famous examples is the impact upon Chinas giant panda, once found across the nation. Now it is found in fragmented and isolated regions in the southwest of the country. Biodiversity hotspots are chiefly tropical regions that feature high concentrations of species and. These hotspots are suffering from loss and destruction. Most of the habitat on islands and in areas of high human population density has already been destroyed. Islands suffering extreme habitat destruction include New Zealand, the Philippines and East Asia — especially China, Malaysia and Japan — and many areas in West Africa have extremely dense human populations that allow little room for natural habitat. Marine areas close to highly populated coastal cities face degradation of their coral reefs or other marine habitat and these areas include the eastern coasts of Asia and Africa, northern coasts of South America, and the Caribbean Sea and its associated islands.
Regions of unsustainable agriculture or unstable governments, which may go hand-in-hand, central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Amazonian tropical rainforest areas of South America are the main regions with unsustainable agricultural practices and/or government mismanagement. Areas of high agricultural output tend to have the highest extent of habitat destruction, in the U. S. less than 25% of native vegetation remains in many parts of the East and Midwest. Only 15% of land area remains unmodified by human activities in all of Europe, tropical rainforests have received most of the attention concerning the destruction of habitat