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Micronesian imperial pigeon
Micronesian imperial pigeon

There are 34 species of birds that have been recorded living in the wild on Nauru, a small atoll in the Pacific Ocean with an equatorial climate. One species is endemic to the island, two were introduced by humans, and one, the zebra finch, is now locally extinct on Nauru. Out of the 25 species of birds that have been confirmed to occur natively on Nauru, 18 are non-breeding visitors. Only two land birds, the Micronesian imperial pigeon (example pictured) and the Nauru reed warbler, breed on Nauru. The island's environment has been described as one of the world's most modified due to surface mining for phosphate, bombing during World War II, and rapid urbanisation. Habitat destruction has most likely caused a decline in the numbers of some species, such as the Micronesian imperial pigeon and the black noddy. (Full list...)

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A ha-ha is a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. The design includes a turfed incline that slopes downward to a sharply vertical face, typically a masonry retaining wall. Ha-has are used in landscape design to prevent access to a garden, such as by grazing livestock, without obstructing views. In security design, they are used to deter vehicular access to a site while minimizing visual obstruction. The name ha-ha is thought to have stemmed from the exclamations of surprise by those coming across them, as the walls were intentionally designed so as not to be visible on the plane of the landscape. This picture shows a ha-ha at Hopetoun House in West Lothian, Scotland, which keeps animals off the lawn while remaining unseen from the main house, visible here in the background. The wall disappears from view as it curves away to the left of the photograph.

Photograph credit: Andrew Shiva

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