LGE 2018Chairman of the A Partnership for National Unity coalition (APNU), President David Granger, has confirmed that discussions are ongoing with coalition partners as they prepare to campaign and contest the constitutionally due Local Government Elections (LGE) which are slated for year-end.The five parties include the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Justice For All Party (JFAP), Guyana Action Party (GAP), and the National Front Alliance (NFA).“As you know, I belong to a five-party partnership. The (Alliance For Change) AFCAPNU Chairman David Grangeris one party in the coalition but I have to consult with my five parties and that consultation process has started,” he said.The Head of State explained that the APNU has not reengaged the AFC as yet but they are aware of the comments that are being made in the media of working together for the LGE.“And we are still consulting with our partners to ensure that we come up with a way forward. “What I’m happy to say is all six partners are committed to coalition politics and this is the face we will present to the electorate at Local Government Elections later this year. So that is our objective and it is just a matter of working out the modalities,” he added.The President has also confirmed receiving a letter from the AFC, which speaks to the elections. This comes against the backdrop of recent comments made by AFC Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan, who said on April 5 that the party has decided to contest the election under one ticket.“We have made a decision that we are going as a coalition. We have to thrash out a number of issues preferably in relation to candidacy candidates, and number of other things,” he told the press, while noting that the AFC has noticed some unfortunate development in the Georgetown municipality.Ramjattan was referring to the attitude of APNU Councillors, including Town Clerk Royston King towards AFC members, which he claimed is “bothering us.” The AFC Chairman indicated that statements in this regard have been made and will be officially raised through communication with APNU officials.In mid-January, Trotman had announced the possibility of the party breaking away from the APNU for this year’s elections. The AFC leader went as far as to reveal that there was a strong opinion of body within the party that the AFC should go alone, which may have been prompted over delays with reviewing the Cummingsburg Accord.The AFC has, of recent, come under fire for the perceived submissive role it played when it joined forces with APNU. In 2017 top leadership of the AFC had decided to revise its governing agreement with APNU.Days later, General Secretary of the People’s National Congress (PNC), the leading party in the APNU coalition, Amna Ally, said the APNU is prepared to contest the LGE without the AFC. However, the President had hinted that contesting LGE as a coalition would have been the best option.Meanwhile, despite several infightings among coalition members, especially at the level of the City Council, Ramjattan sought to defend both parties when he was asked to comment on the issue. He claimed that the relationship particularly at the Central Government level is cordial. “We have tremendously cordial relationship at that highest level. I have a very good relationship with President Granger and his entire team and it’s not reflective of any kind of relationship at the bottom there as had happened in the municipality,” he explained to the media. The Minister admitted that the AFC’s Opposition to the controversial parking meter project might have resulted in APNU controlling both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor positions. Only recently, the PNC-dominated Council voted to replace AFC member Lionel Jaikarran as Deputy Mayor.
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.