09 de diciembre de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

Argentine biologist offers hope for endangered Chaco eagle

By Pablo Ramon Ochoa

By Pablo Ramon Ochoa

Buenos Aires, Jul 20 (efe-epa).- The course of Jose Sarasola's life changed 19 years ago when he first came across a Chaco eagle - one that had been killed by a rancher and hung from a railing as a warning to other birds.

The studies he has carried out since then on that endangered raptor made him one of the recipients of the United Kingdom's prestigious Whitley Awards this year.

But Sarasola told EFE in an interview that he is most satisfied at having played a part in changing community perceptions about this large South American bird of prey.

"It's been very gratifying because when we started working with the eagle there was practically no awareness about it," Sarasola said two months after receiving his so-called "Green Oscar" - and a 40,000-pound ($49,640) cash prize - from Princess Anne at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

Sarasola was recognized there for his nearly two decades of conservation efforts, including going door to door and trying to show the modern day gauchos (ranchers) of central-western Argentina why that bird (Buteogallus coronatus), which is also found in parts of Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay, should be protected.

The dead eagle he found those many years ago had been placed on a railing by a rancher in La Pampa province as a warning to other birds, who were believed to attack young livestock.

It turned out, however, that the perception of that rancher and many others was false: the gray Chaco eagle, also known as the crowned solitary eagle due to its large occipital crest, hunts around 600 different types of prey but all of them are wild animals.

Local inhabitants, however, thought those birds predated livestock, and that belief persisted - and was passed down by word of mouth from one generation to the next - due to a lack of scientific studies.

Sheep were raised in that region instead of cattle many years ago, "and probably in a given moment of that history eagles hunted newborn sheep," Sarasola said.

Nowadays, many ranchers in La Pampa see conservation as a serious issue and help preserve the eagle, said Sarasola, a native of the provincial capital of Santa Rosa.

Ranchers have stopped shooting the Chaco eagle thanks to the biologist's awareness-raising efforts, with no such deaths registered since 2013.

The main square of Santa Rosa features a sculpture of a Chaco eagle, while that bird serves as the mascot for a local sporting competition. Sarasola said he also learned that a boy scouts club has taken the name Crowned Eagle.

Chaco eagles, however face two other major threats: drowning in tanks that ranchers use to store water in that vast semi-arid region and electrocution on power lines.

"With the money from the prize, we're working with the regional energy administration to change the location of 90 power pylons that represent 20 percent of the electrocution deaths over a 150-kilometer stretch," said Sarasola, a biologist with Argentina's National Scientific and Technical Research Council.

"It's difficult to convince the power companies," Sarasola said, though adding that it is "quite economical" for those firms to make changes such as switching cables or using safer materials.

"We hope the prize helps raise this awareness that doesn't exist yet. In Spain, a company is hit with a huge fine if an eagle dies," said Sarasola, who earned his doctorate at the Doñana Biological Station in the southern part of that Iberian nation. EFE-EPA

pro/mc

Histórico de noticias
Trump warns Kim he will lose everything if he takes hostile action

Washington, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday that the latter will lose "everything" if he acts in a...

Beekeeping, alternative to unemployment and social crisis in Nicaragua

By Martha Delgado

Artists give rhythm to Colombia protests with 6-hr music concert in Bogota

By Ares Biescas Rue

Dragon Spacecraft delivers cargo to International Space Station

Miami, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- A Dragon cargo spacecraft belonging to private space services company SpaceX delivered its payload on Sunday to the International...

Art Basel Miami Beach banana ends up where it should

Miami, Dec 8 (efe-epa).- "The Comedian," the controversial work of art by Italy's Maurizio Cattelan consisting of a banana fastened to a wall with duct tape...

PETA asks Nordstrom chain to stop selling garments made from animal hides

New York, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organization on Thursday staged a "bloody" protest in front of a...

Heroes, villains and Hollywood stars, face to face in Brazil

By Nayara Batschke

Argentine President-elect Fernandez's law students discuss him as a teacher

By Carmen Herranz

Pelosi takes offense at reporter's question about whether she hates Trump

Washington, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday took offense at a reporter's question about whether she hates President Donald Trump, a...

Pelosi takes offense at reporter's question about whether she hates Trump

Washington, Dec 5 (efe-epa).- The speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, on Thursday formally instructed the Judiciary...

US urges countries to suspend digital taxes, calls for OECD talks on issue

Washington, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday urged countries to "suspend" their individual digital services taxes and to...

Santa Claus taxi driver collects toys for poor kids in Mexico

By Manuel Lopez

Trio of legal scholars tell Congress Trump abused his power re Ukraine

Washington, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Three prominent experts on constitutional law, called to testify by Democrats before Congress on Wednesday, told the House...

US proposes tariffs on France after Paris imposes digital tax

By Alex Segura Lozano

Barcelona's Messi wins his 6th Ballon d'Or

Paris, Dec 2 (efe-epa).- Argentine striker Lionel Messi won his record sixth Ballon d'Or in Paris on Monday, pulling ahead of Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo,...

LatAm seeking non-traditional methods for managing data traffic

By Giovanna Ferullo

Indignation, fear in Paraisopolis, the Brazilian shantytown where 9 died

By Alba Santandreu

Brazil party ends in tragedy with 9 trampled to death

Sao Paulo, Dec 1 (efe-epa).- A huge party in the Sao Paulo shantytown - or "favela" - of Paraisopolis ended in tragedy on Sunday when at least nine people...

Guelfenbein: All my novels are feminist but I couldn't say so before

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Trump celebrates Thanksgiving with troops during surprise Afghanistan visit

Washington, Nov 28 (EFE).- US President Donald Trump on Thursday celebrated Thanksgiving with troops stationed in Afghanistan, saying during his surprise...

Chilean central bank to sell $20 bn to try and halt peso's fall

Santiago, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- The Chilean Central Bank on Thursday announced that it will intervene in the currency market by selling up to $20 billion in...

People with eye injuries in Chile protests announce complaint against Piñera

Santiago, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- A group of people who have received eye injuries from shotgun pellets fired by Chilean security forces on Thursday announced...

New Yorkers turn out for Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade

New York, Nov 28 (efe-epa).- "Hey Astronaut Snoopy, we are clear for take-off!"

Brazil court hikes 2nd sentence for Lula to 17 years

Sao Paulo, Nov 27 (efe-epa).- A Brazilian court on Wednesday added five years to a 12-year prison sentence for corruption and money laundering handed down...