News

Black falcon near extinct

CARNIVORE: The Black Falcon is 45–55 cm in length, uniformly dark brown to sooty black, with a pale throat and an indistinct black streak below each eye.
CARNIVORE: The Black Falcon is 45–55 cm in length, uniformly dark brown to sooty black, with a pale throat and an indistinct black streak below each eye. Dean Ingwersen

IT IS an elusive and rare bird few people have heard or seen, but the black falcon (Falco subniger) is an occasional visitor to the Northern Rivers and it is in the process of being listed as a vulnerable species.

The black falcon is widely distributed but uncommon through inland NSW, and is usually found in open woodlands, along tree-lined creeks and grasslands.

There are, however, a few records of the black falcon on the Northern Rivers: "One west of Byron and a couple near Grafton," according to Andrew McIntyre, manager of Biodiversity Assessment and Conservation at the Office of Environment and Heritage.

"When there are good seasons in inland NSW, like over the past couple of years, numbers build up and some birds move around more than usual, which may explain the rare sighting of the birds on the North Coast," he said.

The Threatened Species Conservation Act established a scientific committee chaired by Associate Professor Michelle Leishman.

The committee's report states that the "main threats to black falcons are thought to be the clearing of habitat in the semi-arid zone and the degradation of habitat by overgrazing, with likely effects on the black falcon's foraging habitat, nest sites and food supply."

"The black falcon may also be threatened by human disturbance to nest sites, pesticide accumulation, and collisions with power lines and wind turbines. A potential threat to the falcon's breeding productivity in the agricultural zone is competition for, and interference at nests by over- abundant ravens and cockatoos," the report says.

A third and new potential threat for the birds is "an outbreak of Newcastle disease (paramyxovirus) in domestic and feral pigeons, which is killing some bird-eating raptors in Victoria".



Where the "who's who” in biz will be this weekend

TIME TO SHINE: Patrons at the launch of the 2016 BEATS awards at Babalou, Kingscliff.

The theme is sequins and sparkles; the guest list Tweed's top crop

Patients being treated but no access to medical records

Doctors have returned to their rooms at the Kingscliff Family Medical Services Clinic but remain in dispute over business records.

Kingscliff doctors return to rooms to treat patients

Council's $200k woes: what cops are doing about it

NSW police at coffs harbour boat ramp, arrest , gun, shots, handcuffs

Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Thieves consider Tweed Council to be a "soft target"

Latest deals and offers

Rob Kardashian 'neglected' by Blac Chyna

Friends say they are now 'back in love'

Isla Fisher: I don't like talking about my private life

Isla Fisher shut down TV hosts when they asked about her husband

Mariah Carey: I 'can't believe' Prince has gone

'Prince was one of the best people I've met'

Joe Jonas' 'tough' pals

Joe Jonas' pals are 'tough' with his potential partners

The Bachelor wash up: bacon, plank offs and that white rose

Richie Strahan, second from left, with bachelorettes Eliza, Faith, Noni and Janey in a scene from episode one of the fourth season of The Bachelor.

RICHIE Strahan meets some beautiful, and colourful, bachelorettes.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started