28 November 2007The United Nations Security Council today welcomed efforts to bring lasting peace to Burundi, calling for a consolidation of progress in the country, which is rebuilding after being torn apart by 13 years of armed conflict. In a statement to the press, Ambassador Marty Natalegawa of Indonesia, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month, called on the last major rebel hold-out group, the Palipehutu-FNL, “to return to the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM) without delay or preconditions and called on both parties to refrain from any action that might lead to a resumption of hostilities.”The statement followed a briefing to the Council by Charles Nqakula, South Africa’s Minister of Safety and Security, who is the Facilitator of the peace process in Burundi.Voicing it support for Mr. Nqakula’s work, the Council also expressed its appreciation of the work of the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which was set up last year to help prevent countries emerging from conflict from slipping back into violence. Along with Sierra Leone, Burundi became the first focus of the Commission.The Council also welcomed the Government’s strides towards fostering dialogue, national reconciliation and social harmony in the small Great Lakes region nation.The statement urged “all political stakeholders there to maintain the spirit of consensus-building and inclusiveness that had enabled them to achieve a successful transition in their country.”
The devil is in the detail: small-scale sexual segregation despite large-scale spatial overlap in the wandering albatross
Sexual segregation in foraging habitat occurs in many marine predators and is usually attributed to competitive exclusion, different parental roles of each sex or niche specialisation associated with sexual size dimorphism. However, relatively few studies have attempted to understand the patterns and underlying drivers of local-scale sexual segregation in marine predators. We studied habitat use, diet and feeding ecology of female and male wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, fitted with GPS and stomach-temperature loggers during the chick-rearing period (austral winter) at South Georgia in 2009. During this period, when oceanographic conditions were anomalous and prey availability was low in waters near the breeding colony, the tracked wandering albatrosses showed high consistency in their foraging areas at a large spatial scale, and both males and females targeted sub-Antarctic and subtropical waters. Despite consistency in large-scale habitat use, males and females showed different foraging behaviours in response to oceanographic conditions at a smaller scale. Males appeared to be more opportunistic, scavenging for offal or non-target fish discarded by fishing vessels in less productive, oceanic waters. They exhibited sinuous movements, feeding mostly on large prey and consuming similar amounts of food during the outbound and return parts of the foraging trip. In contrast, females targeted natural productivity hotspots, and fed on a wide variety of fish and cephalopods. They commuted directly to these areas; most prey were ingested on the outbound part of the trip, and they often started their return after ingesting large prey at the farthest point from the colony. Together, these results indicate that sexual segregation in core foraging areas of wandering albatrosses is driven by sex-specific habitat selection due to the low availability of prey in local Antarctic waters. This segregation results in different feeding behaviour at local scales which may be explained by differing breeding roles and degree of parental investment by each sex, with females investing more than males in reproduction. Further investigations are necessary to confirm the existence of this pattern through time under contrasting environmental conditions and to identify the drivers responsible for local-scale sexual segregation in wandering albatrosses.