Zwazo issue No. 19 is out. Zwazo is produced bi-annually by Nature Seychelles and distributed in hard copy. Issue No. 19 focuses on people, birds and small islands. In its editorial titled "the Birds and the Buzz", we tell you why there's been so much "buzz" about the birds of Seychelles. We tell you how "the little brown job", the Seychelles Warbler, saved from extinction through conservation action on Cousin Island, became the rallying point for rescuing other species and helped save seabirds, lizards, sea turtles and coral fish.
Cousin Island Special Reserve celebrated 40 years of conservation success in 2008. In this issue we tell you
thecomprehensive "coconuts to conservation" story - the first ecosystem level conservation success story in the entire region of Africa and the Indian Ocean. We also bring you stories from people who have been associated with the Reserve since its purchase by International Commission for Protection of Birds, now BirdLife International, in 1968. Prof. Tony Diamond of the University of New Brunswick lived on Cousin in the mid-1970s. Read his "Birds and the Bush: Bird responses to vegetation changes on Cousin Island, 1970s – 2008" where he talks about the restoration of native forest on Cousin Island; "an interesting, and potentially instructive, ecological experiment".
Away from Cousin Island, there has been plenty of "Buzz" about the successful fledgling of a Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher chick outside of La Digue Island in 60 years. Read Rachel Bristol's account of the efforts to establish a Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher population on Denis Island and how this will contribute to efforts to save the Critically Endangered bird. Professor Massimo Pandolfi and Dr. Michele Barilari from Urbino University –Italy, which has an MOU with Nature Seychelles, have for the last couple of years been conducting research on Seychelles Kestrel (Katiti). In this issue they give a sneak preview of their findings exploring the diverse myths on this unique bird of prey. David Richardson of the University of East Anglia and the Seychelles Warbler Group have been looking at matters of cooperative breeding within the Warbler. See what he says about relying on family to help out!
Did David Andrews spot two types of Petrels not seen recently on Cousin Island? We wait for a verdict from the Seychelles Bird Committee, but Andrews tells us in his own words how he made the startling discovery.
In a two-part story called "Predator vs Bird", Nirmal Shah describes how recovery of Seychelles' avifauna has depended on predator eradication as well as the restoration of whole island ecosystems. And did you know that researchers studying the West Nile virus say that more diverse bird populations can help to buffer people against infection? Nirmal Shah tells us how this could be a valuable tool for public health and safety plans. Anecdotal evidence suggests there is competition between the moorhen - whose population is growing - and the Seychelles Magpie robin on Cousin Island. An article titled of "Moorhens and Magpie robins" by Liz Mwambui investigates whether there is more to this anecdotal evidence based on monitoring being carried out on Cousin Island.
The issue also showcases some of the achievements of Nature Seychelles in the period.
Click this link to read and download Zwazo 19. http://issuu.com/natureseychelles/docs/zwazono.19
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