Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Film: The Endangered Giant Sable Antelope
From 1968 to 1970 Runi and Dick Estes studied the sable antelope, starting in Kenya and visiting subspecies and populations from Kenya to Namibia, followed by a year in central Angola observing the endangered giant sable. This was the first study attempted during the rainy as well as the dry season. At that time there were an estimated 1000-2000 giant sable in the two reserves set aside for Angola's totem animal. Dick has continued to be involved in its conservation since then, including visits to Angola in 1982 and several times since 2001, most recently in 2011. Angola's parks and reserves were unprotected during the civil war that began in 1975 and continued to 2004. Occupation by Government and Savimbi armies, postwar poaching and prospecting for diamonds in the two giant sable reserves have reduced the sable populations to apparently less than 200. The Portuguese-Angolan Pedro Vas Pinto, who undertook to save the giant sable, managed to gain funding from Government and Anglo-American oil companies to establish a large fenced enclosure inside the smaller reserve, capture by helicopter the nine surviving females there, and then airlift a bull from the other reserve, to restart breeding. The film produced by an Angolan cinematographer is all about this extraordinary conservation effort. Dr. Estes is a well-known authority on the behavioral ecology of African mammals. An Associate of the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Research Associate of the Smithsonian Conservation and Research Center, he is also a member and former chairman of the World Conservation Union's Antelope Specialists' Group. Free and open to all.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Of Mallards and Men: Woodrow Wilson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and The Migratory Bird Treaty
A century ago, conservationists faced a crisis--the birds of America were under assault! They rallied behind a series of laws designed to protect birds from hunting, but each was defeated. Finally, they turned to diplomacy and negotiated a treaty with Canada to protect birds in North America. With support from famous leaders like Woodrow Wilson and Oliver Wendell Holmes, conservationists won the day and preserved the nation's birds. In this illustrated talk, birder and historian Kurk Dorsey will explain the origins of a law that is still saving our birds after nearly a century. Kurk Dorsey, a native of Cincinnati, received his PhD in History from Yale University in 1994. He has taught at UNH since then. He lives in Durham with his wife, Professor Molly Dorsey, and their two sons. Free and open to all. Co-sponsored by the Harris Center for Environmental Education.