Low pressure near Sri Lanka develops into a depression

Showers or thundershowers will occur most parts of the island. The low pressure area in the vicinity of Sri Lanka has developed in to a depression and is expected to develop further and move away from the island along the southern coast.Heavy rains, strong winds and rough seas can be expected further in the deep and shallow sea areas around the island and heavy rains and gusty strong winds (about 60-70) kmph over the island, the Department of Meteorology said this evening. Heavy falls (above 100 mm) can be expected at some places elsewhere.There may be temporary localized strong winds during thundershowers. (Colombo Gazette) Very heavy falls (above 150mm) can be expected at some places in the Southern, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Western and Uva provinces. read more

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Farmers welcome documents showing sea eagles do kill healthy lambs

sea eagle Mr McCornick said that while sea eagles had brought tourism benefits to some in the Highlands, farmers and crofters were paying the price.He added: “With numbers expected to grow exponentially over the coming decades, potentially into the thousands when combining adult and juvenile birds, the impact on sheep producers will expand far wider than the current hotspots as they follow available food sources east and south.”A number of measures are being used to try to prevent the eagles taking lambs, including helium balloons, lasers and diversionary feeding.According to research commissioned by RSPB Scotland, sea eagles are worth £5 million to tourism on the Isle of Mull alone. SNH’s “white-tailed eagle action plan” was produced following an agreement between SNH and NFU Scotland in 2014 to work together to find ways of limiting the impacts of the birds on sheep farming. Farmers have welcomed an “admission” by Scotland’s conservation agency that white-tailed sea eagles are killing large numbers of healthy lambs and sheep.The giant raptors, Britain’s biggest bird of prey, have been successfully reintroduced across the country but are controversial with farmers and crofters because of predation on livestock.The population is said to have been growing exponentially since a series of releases of young Scandinavian birds, which began in the 1970s, and could reach nearly 1,000 breeding pairs within 20 years.Scottish Natural Heritage has published a series of documents on the management of the birds, nicknamed “flying barn doors”, which NFU Scotland said recognised the growing impact on sheep on the west coast.According to the documents, one farm monitored by SNH lost an extra 181 lambs between 2012 and 2018.Post-mortem examination of a small sample of lambs killed by the sea eagles found most were fit and healthy when attacked, while conservationists have often claimed the birds usually take dead or weak animals. There are currently thought to be around 130 breeding pairs, with many more juvenile birds as they do not pair up until they are five or six years old.Andrew McCornick, president of the farmers’ union in Scotland, welcomed the publication and called for enhanced efforts to protect livestock as the numbers rise.He added: “For some of our farming and crofting members on the west coast of Scotland, predation by white-tailed eagles of lambs and, in some cases, adult sheep, is an unwelcome threat to their future viability.”For a long time, the impression has been given that only weak or dead lambs are subject to white tailed eagle predation.”Recognition that predation includes healthy sheep and lambs vindicates what many farmers and crofters affected by white tailed eagles have been saying for some considerable time.”It is clear to me that [this] predation could have a serious impact on the sustainability of hefted hill flocks on some farms and crofts.” sea eagle The incident was captured by an amateur photographerCredit:Douglas Currie/Deadline News A sea eagle in the Inner HebridesCredit:Ray Cooperman He said the papers also showed that where there is a lack of alternative prey for the eagles they carry on preying on sheep beyond the lambing period in spring and present a threat to adult sheep throughout the year. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

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