Sunday 17 June 2012

The size of a marabou

Using contrasts in your composition, is sometimes a good tool to help you tell a story with your image. Contrasts can be used to enforce your punchline in the images as well. In these images taken in Ethiopia, I use different bird species (which actually are not that small) to give a scale that helps the spectatour to understand how big the marabou really is. It's one of the largest bird species on this planet. The upper one shows marabou and white-faced ducks, and the lower one is of a black-winged stilt and the marabou. The variation within the bird fauna never stops to amaze me.


Sunday 3 June 2012

45 deaths per hour!

At this time of the year, about 2 millions of these animals are released into the wild Norwegian mountains without virtually any supervision. About 130 000 of them will never arrive home after the free ranging grazing season ends around September some time. That means that 45 sheep dies pr hour in the Norwegian nature during the 4 months ahead!

Norwegian sheep farmers blame the large predators like wolf, wolverine, brown bear, lynx and golden eagle for their big losses, but the thruth is rather different. The fact is that in 2010, about 35 000 sheep and lambs were economically compensated as killed by a predator by Norwegian authorities. Only about 2500 (1,9% of total loss) of these were actually documented killed by a predator. The rest is killed by deseases, broken legs, infections, rock slides, fly larvae invasions, plant poisoning etc other words - a lot of slow deaths and animal suffering!

Even though Norwegian government and nature management authorities (Directorate of Nature Management) acts like big predators are the main problem for Norwegian sheep farming, the reality is very different. Isn't it time that sheep farmers look at their real problem, and stop hiding what is really going on in their industry? At the same time, it is time for nature management authoroties in Norway to start mange their wildlife population based on biology and ecology and not purely out of a sheep farming industry false perspective. Large predators are not the reason why sheep farming in Norway is decreasing!