World War Ebooks Catalog
The arrival of new invasives in the near future is a very real threat for almost 50 island species. There is particular concern for bird species in Micronesia. The brown tree snake has already caused severe ecological, economic and health problems on Guam since it was accidentally introduced shortly after World War II (including the local and global extinction of several native bird, bat, and lizard species).
Leafbirds are well-represented in art, with the Chinese depicting them since at least the fifteenth century. Many other varieties of this family have been prized as well for their beauty and were shipped commercially in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Before World War II, India was the largest supplier of these birds. By the 1950s and 1960s, Thailand, and then Indonesia were major sources. By the 1990s, China exported them until a ban was imposed on caged birds in 2001. Indonesia then played the key role in their export. Their tendency to fight with other birds has made them unsuitable for mixed groups of species.
Appreciation for the beauty of members of the genus Chloropsis is centuries old. Leafbirds have appeared in Chinese art as early as the fifteenth century. The London Zoo obtained an orange-bellied leafbird as early as 1879, and by its centennial, in 1927, had exhibited two other species. In the twentieth century, various leafbirds (traditionally called fruit-suckers) arrived in large commercial shipments to Europe and America. Prior to the Second World War, India was the major source, succeeded by Thailand in the 1950s and 1960s, then by Indonesia and the People's Republic of China in the 1990s. China imposed an export ban on cage birds in 2001, making, for the time being, Indonesia the only commercial source. Due to their pugnacious behavior, they had a justified reputation as being unsuited for small mixed aviaries, and were traditionally kept as pets in small cages.
Farmland has always been by far the most extensive habitat in the counties since records began. According to the 19th century classification, Leicestershire was (and is) a grazing county with relatively little arable land. The area of grassland in the two counties increased from around 50 in the early 1870s to over 70 by the 1930s. However, since the Second World War (when landowners were encouraged to 'dig for victory') the proportion of arable land has increased, especially in the east. The north-west of Leicestershire is predominantly an area of grass farming, the south-east predominantly arable and the remainder of Leicestershire and Rutland an area of mixed farming. Hickling noted that prior to 1974 there were 400,000 acres under cultivation in Leicestershire out of a total of over 530,000 acres, and that the 97,000 acres of Rutland were almost all agricultural. In 2006 in Leicestershire and Rutland there were 6,450 people working as farmers, managers and farm labourers on 2,719...
Browne described this species as resident and generally distributed in Leicestershire during the 19th century, whilst in Rutland Haines declared that the Jay was 'surprisingly common still for a bird so conspicuous, so noisy and so detested by gamekeepers.' There is little data on the status and distribution of this species in the first 40 years of the 20 th century, although it is known that nationally Jays steadily decreased during the 19 th century, mainly due to persecution (hence the words of Haines), but then began to increase gradually from 1900 onwards. LROS Annual Reports during the 1940s reflected this, consistently referring to an increase in numbers and a spreading out of the population from the traditional strongholds in the counties. Increased tree planting and woodland management during the Second World War, along with the cessation of gamekeeping activities, meant that the population of Jays probably reached a peak in the counties at this time or shortly afterwards.
From 1955 an alarming national reduction began due to the effects of organochlorine pesticides by 1961, two-thirds of the pre-Second World War British population had disappeared. This was reflected locally, with records in only 11 of the 27 years from 1955 to 1981, involving just 16 individuals. There were long periods with no records, such as from October 1956 to February 1962, June 1968 to November 1973 and September 1977 to January 1981. All records from 1956 to 1981 are as follows
A favourite of many, the status of the Barn Owl in the counties has fluctuated somewhat over the years. Browne described it as resident and generally distributed, whilst Haines made the comment that it 'does not seem to have ever been very uncommon'. Blaker (1934) considered it to have been in a steady decline since at least the First World War and his population estimate for the counties was 245 pairs.
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