« Return to eBulletin Archive
eBulletin - Conservation News from the World Land Trust World Land Trust - UK based conservation charity
Find out more about the World Land Trust: www.worldlandtrust.org

Make a donation:
Help us protect wilderness - donate online now

Donate regularly and become a WLT Partner

Other ways of supporting the WLT:
Leave a Legacy
Give an acre as a gift
Save big trees for peanuts
Recycle your printer cartridges
Volunteer Internships

Authors, Artists and Publishers: Support the WLT through Green Ink

Make a free donation via the Ecology Fund - paid for by adverts on the site.

Earn interest and save rainforests with the Stafford Railway Building Society

The World Land Trust eBulletin Issue 18, May 2004

Please send your comments on the eBulletin to Helena on
Spread the word: Forward this email to your friends!
If you received this news bulletin from a friend, join our eBulletin mailing list here: http://www.worldlandtrust.org/news/newsletters/ebulletin

In this issue:
Burrowing Parrots Under Threat in Patagonia
WLT to Support Reforestation Programme in Majorca
Patagonia Wildlife Refuge gets 'Recycled' Greenhouse
Books For Conservation – Helping NGO's Worldwide

Burrowing Parrots Under Threat in Patagonia 

Burrowing parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus)
Burrowing Parrot. From A Guide to the Birds and Mammals of Coastal Patagonia © Graham Harris/ Princeton University Press
Human disturbance due to unsympathetic tourism development threatens the world's most important colony of Burrowing Parrots.

The Burrowing Parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus) is a beautiful South American bird, found on the World Land Trust’s Ranch of Hope wildlife refuge in Patagonia. The reserve’s relatively small colony of parrots, nesting in the cliffs along the shoreline, are undisturbed and doing well, but there is a real threat to other colonies of Burrowing Parrot found along the Patagonian coast.

The largest and most important Burrowing Parrot colony in the world is located near the mouth of the Rio Negro, not far from the WLT reserve. Here, the species is in serious decline.

The neighbouring village of El Cóndor is an expanding holiday resort with 10,000 tourists present in the area during the height of the season. It is the increase in human disturbance, including the development of holiday houses and access of four-wheel-drive vehicles to beaches near the parrot colony, that is putting pressure on the Burrowing Parrots. The presence of humans causes the adult birds to stay away from the nests, leaving chicks vulnerable to starvation, predators and nest destruction.

Many other coastal birds found at the mouth of the Rio Negro are also affected: Frequently their breeding and nesting grounds are being destroyed by sand dune erosion and the burning of vegetation to discourage mosquitos that are not welcome on the holiday resort.

This is an example of the threat of unsympathetic tourism development and highlights the importance to protect as much of the Patagonian Coast as possible. The good news for the Rio Negro colony is that as a direct consequence of research conducted by German scientists on these parrots, the area is now considered a ‘Priority Important Bird Area’ as well as being a candidate for a national park.

For more information on the Rio Negro colony of Burrowing Parrots visit the following websites:

Patagonia-Argentina.com: Burrowing Parrot colony

Breeding success in Burrowing Parrots

WLT to Support Reforestation Programme in Majorca

WLT will assist Majorcan conservation organisation Grup Ornitologic Balear with publicity, volunteer recruitment and fundraising.

John Burton, WLT Chief Executive, recently met with conservation charity Grup Ornitologic Balear (GOB) in Majorca. The meeting was initiated and funded by one of the WLT’s long time supporters, Chris Ellwood, who recently moved to Majorca and founded the plant company Viva Verde.

The Grup Ornitologic Balear with around 7000 members, is an important conservation force in the Balearics (the islands of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera). This size membership represents almost the same ratio to the population as the RSPB does in the UK – a remarkable achievement.

Example of Majorcan drystone wall. From The Walking Society Issue 1: Majorca, SPN. 2001.

The GOB reserve in La Trapa, in the south-west of Majorca, includes some spectacular coastline. Following a devastating fire 10 years ago, The GOB has used the restoration of the damaged areas as a demonstration site, to show local farmers and landowners best practice in tree planting and habitat regeneration. Feral goats are a serious problem, but they do at least provide food for the island’s endangered vulture population, as well as eagles, ravens and other scavengers. With grant-aid from the Majorcan Government, GOB is restoring a Trappist monastery to provide accommodation for visitors, as well as an interpretation centre and offices for the reserve managers. The restoration is also helping maintain the traditional Majorcan drystone walling skills.

The main reason for the visit was to discuss ways the WLT might work with GOB. In particular the WLT will be assisting with publicising the activities of GOB with website links. In addition, we will raise funds to help with the reforestation programme. The Trust will also be helping to recruit volunteers who wish to go to Majorca and work on their reserves. With airlines offering return fares as low as £50, it is an inexpensive way of doing something useful, in a wonderful climate, and seeing some exciting wildlife.

We will keep you posted with further details on this new alliance. For more information about GOB, visit:

Grup Balear d'Ornitologia i Defensa de la Naturalesa

Patagonia Wildlife Refuge gets 'Recycled' Greenhouse 

Plastic bottles reused to create greenhouse for reserve wardens.

Greenhouse built from recycled plastic bottles
Volunteers with the nearly finished greenhouse built using plastic bottles.

Students recruited from Puerto Madryn University, and other volunteers, have built an interesting greenhouse on the WLT’s Patagonia reserve – out of empty plastic bottles. Wind is a major factor in Patagonia, and the thick walls created by using the bottles help insulate the contents, while the mixture of green and clear bottles helps reduce glare from the sky. On the down side is the fact that many plastics are now biodegradable in bright sunlight – a good thing if they litter the countryside, but not so useful in greenhouse building. Of course, the labour involved in building such a greenhouse was considerable so it would hardly be an economic proposition, but everyone involved enjoyed the fun of building it – and it does mean that the wardens on the reserve can now grow lettuce and other fresh vegetables.

Read about WLT's project in Patagonia

Books For Conservation – Helping NGO's Worldwide

“We are extremely thankful to your organisation for this gift and appreciate very much your help in obtaining the books. Finding foreign scientific literature is a real problem in the countries of the former USSR.”

The Working Group on Waders of the Commonwealth of Independent States

Books donated to the World Land Trust provide much needed reference material for conservation NGO's around the world.

The 'Books for Conservation' Project was established in 2002 when the Natural History Book Service (NHBS) started donating natural history books to the World Land Trust. This generous donation led to a surplus in the WLT’s office and so John Burton placed an announcement on the Species Survival Commission mailing list (SSC/IUCN). This notice was directed at conservation non-government organisations (NGOs) and educational institutions in countries that have difficulty in obtaining natural history reference material.

From this initial mailing, the word got around and has resulted in many NGOs from across the globe receiving invaluable reference material in order to facilitate their important conservation efforts.

While we have some limited funds (thanks to the Leach 14th Trust) for the cost of mailing (up to 10kg per donation) we are able to supply more books if they can be collected in the UK – or even more if collected from the WLT office.

If you know or are involved with a conservation NGO that you think could benefit from the Books for Conservation Project, please email the WLT at .

The World Land Trust is a UK based conservation charity no.1001291 concerned with the protection of threatened habitats world wide.
- Any comments/queries/suggestions about the eBulletin? email Helena on
- To unsubscribe, or if you received the eBulletin in error, please reply to this email with “unsubscribe me” in the subject line.
- Displayed all garbled? request a simpler version of the eBulletin by replying with “Plain Text” in the subject line.
- If you know someone who would like to receive the eBulletin, please forward this issue to them.

Blyth House
Bridge Street
IP19 8AB
Tel (UK only): 0845 054 4422 (charged at local rate)
Tel (international callers): +44 (0) 1986 874422
Fax:+44 (0) 1986 874425

© World Land Trust 2004
« Return to eBulletin Archive