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The Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a ‘Critically Endangered’ migratory shorebird. The species faces an array of threats in its non-breeding range, making conservation intervention essential. However, conservation efforts are reliant on identifying the species’ key stopover and wintering sites. Using Maximum Entropy models, we predicted Spoon-billed Sandpiper distribution across the non-breeding range, using data from recent field surveys and satellite tracking. Model outputs suggest only a limited number of stopover sites are suitable for migrating birds, with sites in the Yellow Sea and on the Jiangsu coast in China highlighted as particularly important. All the previously known core wintering sites were identified by the model including the Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Nan Thar Island and the Gulf of Mottama. In addition, the model highlighted sites subsequently found to be occupied, and pinpointed potential new sites meriting investigation, notably on Borneo and Sulawesi, and in parts of India and the Philippines. A comparison between the areas identified as most likely to be occupied and protected areas showed that very few locations are covered by conservation designations. Known sites must be managed for conservation as a priority, and potential new sites should be surveyed as soon as is feasible to assess occupancy status. Site protection should take place in concert with conservation interventions including habitat management, discouraging hunting, and fostering alternative livelihoods.
This paper provides an up-to-date review of the problems related to the generation, detection and mitigation of strong electromagnetic pulses created in the interaction of high-power, high-energy laser pulses with different types of solid targets. It includes new experimental data obtained independently at several international laboratories. The mechanisms of electromagnetic field generation are analyzed and considered as a function of the intensity and the spectral range of emissions they produce. The major emphasis is put on the GHz frequency domain, which is the most damaging for electronics and may have important applications. The physics of electromagnetic emissions in other spectral domains, in particular THz and MHz, is also discussed. The theoretical models and numerical simulations are compared with the results of experimental measurements, with special attention to the methodology of measurements and complementary diagnostics. Understanding the underlying physical processes is the basis for developing techniques to mitigate the electromagnetic threat and to harness electromagnetic emissions, which may have promising applications.
We investigate the relationship between the metachronal wavelength of an array of beating cilia and the resulting fluid flow rate through numerical simulations. Our model is based on a hybrid immersed boundary lattice Boltzmann algorithm. Our results suggest that varying the metachronal wavelength of the cilium array affects the fluid flow rate by increasing or decreasing the spread of cilia during their active strokes. We quantify this behaviour by constructing an analytical model of the system and deriving an equation for free area within the cilium array that depends on the metachronal wavelength. We show that there is a strong correlation between free area and fluid flow rate that holds for different values of cilium spacing.
The spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea, a migratory Arctic-breeding shorebird, is one of the rarest birds and its population has declined since the 1970s. We surveyed its most important known wintering area in the Upper Gulf of Mottama in Myanmar to estimate recent (2009–2016) changes in its numbers there. The total number of small shorebirds present in the Upper Gulf was counted and the proportion of them that were spoon-billed sandpipers was estimated from sample scans. These two quantities were multiplied together to give the estimated number of spoon-billed sandpipers in each of 4 years. Total numbers of combined small shorebird species tripled from 21,000 to 63,000 between 2009 and 2016, coincident with efforts to reduce hunting pressure on waterbirds. However, the proportion of small shorebirds that were spoon-billed sandpipers declined and their estimated absolute numbers fell by about half, from 244 to 112 individuals. It is probable that loss of intertidal habitat and shorebird hunting elsewhere on the migration route of the spoon-billed sandpipers wintering at Mottama is causing a continued decline, although this is occurring at a less rapid rate than that recorded from Arctic Russia before 2010. The number of spoon-billed sandpipers wintering on the Upper Gulf of Mottama remains the highest single-site total for this species from any known wintering site. Preventing resurgence of illegal shorebird hunting and ensuring long-term protection of the intertidal feeding habitats and roost sites in the Gulf are high priorities if extinction of this species is to be averted.
The Yellow Sea region is of high global importance for waterbird populations, but recent systematic bird count data enabling identification of the most important sites are relatively sparse for some areas. Surveys of waterbirds at three sites on the coast of southern Jiangsu Province, China, in 2014 and 2015 produced peak counts of international importance for 24 species, including seven globally threatened and six Near Threatened species. The area is of particular global importance for the ‘Critically Endangered’ Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea (peak count across all three study sites: 62 in spring  and 225 in autumn  and ‘Endangered’ Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer (peak count across all three study sites: 210 in spring  and 1,110 in autumn ). The southern Jiangsu coast is therefore currently the most important migratory stopover area in the world, in both spring and autumn, for both species. Several serious and acute threats to waterbirds were recorded at these study sites. Paramount is the threat of large-scale land claim which would completely destroy intertidal mudflats of critical importance to waterbirds. Degradation of intertidal mudflat habitats through the spread of invasive Spartina, and mortality of waterbirds by entrapment in nets or deliberate poisoning are also real and present serious threats here. Collisions with, and displacement by, wind turbines and other structures, and industrial chemical pollution may represent additional potential threats. We recommend the rapid establishment of effective protected areas for waterbirds in the study area, maintaining large areas of open intertidal mudflat, and the urgent removal of all serious threats currently faced by waterbirds here.
The spoon-billed sandpiper Calidris pygmaea is a Critically Endangered shorebird that breeds in the Russian arctic and winters in coastal and estuarine habitats in South-east Asia. We report the first formal estimate of its global population size, combining a mark–resighting estimate of the number of leg-flagged individuals alive in autumn 2014 with an estimate of the proportion of birds with flags from scan surveys conducted during the same period at a migration stop-over site on the Jiangsu coast of China. We estimate that the world breeding population of spoon-billed sandpipers in 2014 was 210–228 pairs and the post-breeding population of all age classes combined was 661–718 individuals. This and related methods have considerable potential for surveillance of the population size of other globally threatened species, especially widely dispersed long-distance migrants.
Declines in populations of the Critically Endangered Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaeus have been rapid, with the breeding population now perhaps numbering fewer than 120 pairs. The reasons for this decline remain unresolved. Whilst there is evidence that hunting in wintering areas is an important factor, loss of suitable habitat on passage and wintering areas is also of concern. While some key sites for the species are already documented, many of their wintering locations are described here for the first time. Their wintering range primarily stretches from Bangladesh to China. Comprehensive surveys of potential Spoon-billed Sandpiper wintering sites from 2005 to 2013 showed a wide distribution with three key concentrations in Myanmar and Bangladesh, but also regular sites in China, Vietnam and Thailand. The identification of all important non-breeding sites remains of high priority for the conservation of the species. Here, we present the results of field surveys of wintering Spoon-billed Sandpipers that took place in six countries between 2005 and 2013 and present species distribution models which map the potential wintering areas. These include known and currently unrecognised wintering locations. Our maximum entropy model did not identify any new extensive candidate areas within the winter distribution, suggesting that most key sites are already known, but it did identify small sites on the coast of eastern Bangladesh, western Myanmar, and the Guangxi and Guangdong regions of China that may merit further investigation. As no extensive areas of new potential habitat were identified, we suggest that the priorities for the conservation of this species are habitat protection in important wintering and passage areas and reducing hunting pressure on birds at these sites.
We investigate the effect of nanoparticles on polymer structure, polymer dimensions and topological constraints (entanglements) in polymer melts for nanoparticle loading above percolation threshold as high as 40.9% using stochastic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. We show unambiguously that short polymer chains are not disturbed by the presence of repulsive nanoparticles. In contrast entangled polymer chains can be perturbed by the presence of attractive nanoparticles when the polymer radius of gyration is larger than the nanoparticle radius. They can expand under the presence of attractive nanoparticles even at low nanoparticle loadings of very small nanoparticle size. We observe an increase in the number of entanglements (decrease of Ne with 40.9% volume fraction of nanoparticles dispersed in the polymer matrix) in the nanocomposites as evidenced by larger contour lengths of the primitive paths. Attraction between polymers and nanoparticles affects the entanglements in the nanocomposites and alters the primitive path.
The Presidential Address relates events which occurred during significant years in the life of the President with matters relevant to the Institute, past, present and still to come, and with what was written by previous Presidents. It considers actuarial education, and specially its links with universities, and then comments on the President's career as a life actuary.
The role of the Appointed Actuary is discussed, and also what an actuary is and does. The international actuarial perspective is covered through a description of the Groupe Consultatif and of the President's other international involvement, especially with Africa. Other subjects covered include with-profits contracts, the dispersion of actuaries throughout England and Wales, the role of the actuary in today's changing world, the relationship between the Institute and the Faculty, and the role of the President. Finally, the President looks forward to what actuaries might be and do in the future.
Twenty-four out of 240 fishes caught by bottom lines at 366–3333 m had something in their stomachs. Stomach contents included parts of cephalopods, fish, cetaceans and bottom-living invertebrates, thin rubber sheet and terrestrial mammal bones. The material provides evidence that four species of cephalopod are at least partially demersal and suggests a means by which the tapeworm Phyllobothrium could pass from its secondary to its primary host.
During the five biological cruises of R.R.S. ‘Discovery’ between 1967 and 1971 a total of 31 bottom lines with 1483 hooks were fished in depths of water between 366 and 3333 m. The stomachs of the 240 fish caught were examined and 216 (90%) proved to be empty. The high incidence of empty stomachs is thought to be due to frequent loss of food during the ascent from great depths and accounts for our poor knowledge of the feeding habits of demersal fish living at depths exceeding 400 m.
The present collection of food from 25 stomachs (24 from ‘Discovery’ collections and one from a fish caught by Mr G. R. Forster from R. V. ‘Sarsia’) of fish belonging to 11 species (Table 1) probably gives little indication of the usual diet of the fish concerned, but its nature prompts some useful speculation and the rarity of such observations justifies placing them on record (Bigelow & Schroeder, 1948; Marshall, 1954).
All the fish were caught on lines which lay on the bottom for several hours and it is our firm belief that they were hooked while on or very near the bottom.
Background: It is well known that the global population is aging and that those over the age of 80 are the fastest growing part of this expansion. Also known is that prevalence of hypertension and cognitive decline both increase with increasing age.
Method: The Hypertension in the Very Elderly Trial (HYVET) was a double blind placebo-controlled trial of antihypertensive treatment (indapamide SR 1.5 mg ± perindopril 2–4 mg) and recruited only those hypertensives who were aged 80 or over and were without a diagnosis of dementia at baseline. Systolic blood pressure had to be in the range 160–199 mmHg and diastolic pressure <110 mmHg. Cognitive function was assessed at baseline using the Mini-mental State Examination prior to randomization into the trial. Also collected at baseline was information relating to sociodemographic, clinical, cardiovascular and biochemical factors which may impact upon cognitive function. This paper reports on the baseline cognitive function data from the HYVET trial and its relationship to these factors.
Results: The mean age of the 3763 HYVET participants who had full cognitive function data at baseline was 83.6 years; 60 percent were female. The median MMSE score at baseline was 26 and, in multivariate analyses, higher at younger age, with male gender, higher educational level, having higher creatinine, higher total cholesterol and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Conclusions: This is the first such study to examine a large number of very elderly hypertensives and it shows some similar patterns to those seen in younger elderly groups.
It has been suggested that people with psychopathic disorders lack
empathy because they have deficits in processing distress cues (e.g.
fearful facial expressions).
To investigate brain function when individuals with psychopathy and a
control group process facial emotion.
Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging we compared six
people scoring ⩾25 on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist–Revised and nine
non-psychopathic healthy volunteers during an implicit emotion processing
task using fearful, happy and neutral faces.
The psychopathy group showed significantly less activation than the
control group in fusiform and extrastriate cortices when processing both
facial emotions. However, emotion type affected response pattern. Both
groups increased fusiform and extrastriate cortex activation when
processing happy faces compared with neutral faces, but this increase was
significantly smaller in the psychopathy group. In contrast, when
processing fearful faces compared with neutral faces, the control group
showed increased activation but the psychopathy group decreased
activation in the fusiform gyrus.
People with psychopathy have biological differences from controls when
processing facial emotion, and the pattern of response differs according
to emotion type.
We model a novel process for obtaining controlled morphologies in polymer blends. Particles of one type of polymer are allowed to dissolve in a matrix of a dissimilar polymer. Prior to complete dissolution the blend is quenched into the two phase region, such that phase separation takes place. The combination of the incomplete dissolution and the wavelength selection process associated with phase separation results in particles that during the ‘intermediate’ stages have a core that is significantly rich in the matrix material. The concept is extended to consider the effect of phase separation on an inhomogeneous surface chemically patterned with regions which are more attractive to one component of the blend.
The ANTIQUITY paper by Neeley & Barton (1994) — hereafter ‘N&B'— prompted responses published in the June number last year: Fellner (1995) and Kaufman (1995). Here are more (all shorter than the full versions received), together with a response from Barton & Neeley (B&N) that rounds off the present discussion. The debaters have seen others’ contributions, so there is some cross-comment within them. The questions and the issues are old fundamentals of lithic research and analsis, which one cannot expect to end with this debate.
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