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The animal on the cover of High Performance Browser Networking is a Madagascar harrier (Circus macrosceles). The harrier is primarily found on the Comoro Islands and Madagascar, though due to various threats, including habitat loss and degradation, populations are declining. Recently found to be rarer than previously thought, this bird’s broad distribution occurs at low densities with a total population estimated in the range of 250–500 mature individuals.

Associated with the wetlands of Madagascar, the harrier’s favored hunting grounds are primarily vegetation-lined lakes, marshes, coastal wetlands, and rice paddies. The harrier hunts small invertebrates and insects, including small birds, snakes, lizards, rodents, and domestic chickens. Its appetite for domestic chickens (accounting for only 1% of the species' prey) is cause for persecution of the species by the local people.

During the dry season—late August and September—the harrier begins its mating season. By the start of the rainy season, incubation (~32–34 days) has passed and nestlings fledge at around 42–45 days. However, the harrier reproduction rates remain low, averaging at 0.9 young fledged per breeding attempt and a success rate of three-quarter of nests. This poor nesting success—owing partly to egg-hunting and nest destruction by local people—can also be attributed to regular and comprehensive burning of grasslands and marshes for the purposes of fresh grazing and land clearing, which often coincides with the species' breeding season. Populations continue to dwindle as interests conflict: the harrier requiring undisturbed and unaltered savannah, and increasing human land-use activities in many areas of Madagascar.

Several conservation actions proposed include performing further surveys to confirm the size of the total population; studying the population’s dynamics; obtaining more accurate information regarding nesting success; reducing burning at key sites, especially during breeding season; and identifying and establishing protected areas of key nesting sites.

The cover image is from Histoire Naturelle, Ornithologie, Bernard Direxit. The cover font is Adobe ITC Garamond. The text font is Adobe Minion Pro; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is Dalton Maag’s Ubuntu Mono.