Monday, April 06, 2009

The deer cost of condor protection in China

Any environmentally interesting play on words deserves a blog post in my opinion. Was I remiss enough to spell dear incorrectly or is this a strange mammal-bird related story?

Thankfully it is the latter. I am also keen on any story that includes the word "raptor" in context of which there are too few (stories and raptors).

An interesting case of unexpected consequences.

I particularly like the vision of condors putting up two feathers (or indeed flipping the bird) to the wardens who are trying to scare them and eating the deer anyway.

China Pays Deer Price For Condor Protection [PlanetArk]

BEIJING - Chinese conservationists are in a fix over endangered condors eating large numbers of a protected species of deer in a reserve in the north of the country, state media said on Friday.

More than 100 young spotted deer have been eaten by the condors so far this spring at the Luanhe River National Nature Reserve in Hebei province, near Beijing, the official Xinhua news agency said, becoming an "unanticipated" part of the food chain.

Nationally, the condor is considered far more endangered than the deer.

"The raptors are growing in number and threatening to catch larger animals, like elk, in the reserve," it quoted wildlife official Zhou Changhong as saying.

The reserve only has 600 or so deer and just 10 elk, the report added.

"An adult condor has a wingspan of more than two metres, and not even wardens can frighten it," Zhou said.

He added that wardens hoped to organise patrols to stop the condors from eating too many of the deer.