The 110 million-year-old fossil of a nodosaur preserves the animal’s armor, skin, and what may have been its final meal.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: This Is the Best Dinosaur Fossil of Its Kind Ever Found
The 110 million-year-old fossil of a nodosaur preserves the animal’s armor, skin, and what may have been its final meal.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: This Is the Best Dinosaur Fossil of Its Kind Ever Found
What are ichneumonids?
Ichneumonids are wasps (order Hymenoptera, superfamily Ichneumonoidea) with a very narrow wasp waist between the middle (mesosoma, roughly equivalent to the thorax on other insects) and hind (metasoma, roughly equivalent to the abdomen on other insects) body parts. They have powerful chewing mandibles, two pairs of usually transparent membranous wings with complex venation and long antennae with 18 or more segments. They are invertebrates, so don’t have a backbone.
You can download the guide here.
It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Arctic stronghold of world’s seeds flooded after permafrost melts | Environment | The Guardian
Entomologists have been assessing diversity and abundance across western Germany and have found that between 1989 and 2013 the biomass of invertebrates caught had fallen by nearly 80%
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Where have all the insects gone? | Hugh Warwick | Opinion | The Guardian
Imagine that the way flies and butterflies drink nectar and other fluids can be imitated for use in medicine, potentially to deliver life-saving drugs to the body—and also how this method can save their own lives in times of drought.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Unraveling mysteries of mouthparts of butterflies
This Field Studies Council course at Juniper Hall (Mickleham) is an introduction to the identification of moths for people who have never looked at them before, or who feel they are improving their knowledge.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Surrey: Beginners Moth Identification Course
Taking photos of the bees you see is a really useful thing to do – in particular, it is a great way to confirm your sightings, especially with scarcer species that you are less familiar with.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Using photographs | Bumblebee Conservation Trust
The Large Blue Maculinea arion is the UKs rarest butterfly and is globally endangered.
The Polden Hills supports nearly 80% of the Large Blue populations in Britain. The aim of this landscape-scale project is to help secure the Large Blue butterfly in the Polden Hills network by increasing its population and distribution following a programme of habitat management.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Securing the Large Blue Landscape in the Polden Hills
Our bees are in trouble – can you help? Join Friends of the Earth’s Great British Bee Count from 19 May to 30 June 2017, and our free app will get you off to a flying start in identifying and recording different species.
Kimberley’s Bardi Jawi rangers record Australia’s first sightings of the extinct dodo’s closest living relative.
Click on the link for more information: Aboriginal rangers discover dodo relative in Kimberley
British hedgehogs have suffered a rapid population decline. Here are 10 ways you can save these adorable mammals.
Click on the link for more information: How you can help hedgehogs | Discover Wildlife
A previously undetected decapod has been discovered using DNA techniques.
Click on the link for more information: New non-native shrimp found in UK | Discover Wildlife
Female dragonflies use an extreme tactic to get rid of unwanted suitors: they drop out the sky and then pretend to be dead.
Citizen scientists are being called upon to report their sightings of wall lizards.
Click on the link for more information: Researchers ask for lizard records | Discover Wildlife
The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 The International Day for Biological Diversity (IDB) to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.
Click on the link for more information: International Day for Biological Diversity – 22 May
Early Morning Warbler Walk.
07:30am start from Centre.
Friends and family welcome, £2:00 per adult.
Leader Andy Harding.
Followed by Open Sunday.
Nature-lovers are being urged to go to Loch Leven in Fife to see an unusually large swarm of midges that have emerged from the ground.
Experts said it was an “amazing” natural spectacle that would only last for a few days.
The non-biting midges or chironomids do not feed as adults and so are only mating while in the swarm.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Experts rush to huge midge swarm at Loch Leven – BBC News
NASA discovers star system similar to ours, right on our galactic doorstep
Click on the link for more information: NASA discovers star system similar to ours, right on our galactic doorstep | Alphr
Click on the link for more information: Mexican wolf born using frozen sperm offers new hope for endangered species
Study finds pigeons share this supposedly uniquely human trait
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Think only humans can build on the knowledge of previous generations? Meet these pigeons | Science | AAAS
Roadsides are often littered with rubbish and weeds but they are havens for rare flowers.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Road verges ‘last refuge’ for plants – conservation charity – BBC News
Members assembled at Linford Wood on Tuesday 2nd May 2017 at 7.00pm off Breckland, by the north-west entrance to the wood. Mike LeRoy gave a brief description of the history and ecology of the Wood, which was set out more fully in a handout that also had a map of the whole wood. They then walked together to near the centre of the wood. From here, five groups dispersed to note sightings of different species which they could submit for environmental records. Areas covered were largely in the north, east and centre of the wood.
The birds group, led by Harry Appleyard, saw or heard 18 species: Great-spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, Robin, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Jackdaw, Blackbird, Jay, Green Woodpecker, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Kestrel, Chaffinch, Song Thrush, Pied Wagtail, Wren and Stock Dove. These were submitted as sightings to the Buckinghamshire Bird Club website. They also heard Noctule bats in an Ash tree Fraxinus excelsior.
The mosses group, led by Frances Higgs, found nine bryophyte species, which she is submitting to the Buckinghamshire County Recorder for Bryophytes:
• Metzgeria furcata Forked Veilwort
• Radula complanata Even Scalewort.
• Atrichum undulatum Common Smoothcap/Catherine’s Moss
• Thamnobryum alopecurum Fox-tail Feather Moss
• Hypnum cupressiforme Cypress-leaved Plait-moss
• Kindbergia praelonga Common Feather-moss
• Brachythecium rutabulum Rough-stalked Feather-moss
• Orthotrichum affine Wood Bristle-moss
• Orthotrichum diaphanum White-tipped Bristle-moss.
Another group, led by Martin Kincaid, counted the number of stems of Orchis mascula Early Purple Orchid, which they found in four sites across the north of the wood, with a total of 143 stems. A further site with an additional 25 stems was located later, giving a total of 168 stems observed within the wood. Their report with locations and numbers of stems will be submitted to the Buckinghamshire Vice-County Botanical Recorder as potential records to be held by the County Environmental Records Centre BMERC and will also be held by The Parks Trust, the owner of Linford Wood.
The ferns group, led by Mary Sarre, found: Dryopteris filix-mas Male Fern at five sites and Dryopteris carthusiana Narrow Buckler Fern at a single site. They also found Carex sylvatica Wood-sedge and areas of Paris quadrifolia Herb Paris which is in several clusters across the wood.
Other flora noted included:
• Lysimachia nummularia Creeping-Jenny
• Ranunculus ficaria Lesser Celandine
• Filipendula ulmaria Meadowsweet
• Dactylorhiza fuchsii Common Spotted-orchid
• Epilobium hirsutum Great Willowherb
• Cardamine pratensis Cuckooflower(Lady’s Smock)
• Circaea lutetiana Enchanter’s-nightshade
• Ajuga reptans Bugle
• Crataegus laevigata Midland Hawthorn
• Anthriscus sylvestris Cow Parsley
• Urtica dioica Common Nettle
• Heracleum sphondylium Hogweed
• Mercurialis perennis Dog’s Mercury
• Galium aparine Cleavers (Goosegrass)
• Fragaria vesca Wild Strawberry
• Orchis mascula Early-purple Orchid
• Ranunculus repens Creeping Buttercup
• Cirsium arvense Creeping Thistle
• Potentilla sp. Cinquefoil
• Hypericum tetrapterum Square-stalked St John’s Wort
• Vicia sepum Bush Vetch
• Deschampsia caespitosa Tufted Hair-grass
• Brachipodium sylvaticum False Brome
• Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail.
There were also many swathes of Hyacinthoides non-scripta Bluebell and Anemone nemorosa Wood Anemone, the latter nearing the end of flowering.
8th May 2017
Photos by Peter Hassett
With ever more intriguing worlds found in the sun’s neighborhood, the search for extraterrestrials is set to take some bold new steps.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: New Planet Discoveries Signal a Shift in the Hunt for Alien Life
Butterfly Conservation have published the April 2017 edition of Moths Count.
Scientists have been listening to newborn humpback whales and their mothers.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Whales ‘whisper’ to stay safe | Discover Wildlife
We’ve been sifting through around half a million people’s Big Garden Birdwatch sightings – a total of over 8 million birds. And finally, the results are in.
The WILDside project covers Northamptonshire and runs until the end of 2018. The project will encourage new biological recorders, and support and train existing ones. This will take place through workshops and follow up sessions with the opportunity to survey local wildlife sites.
Click on this link to find out more about this project.
Grass-Carrying Wasp, Isodontia mexicana (de Saussure), is recorded as new to Britain. Morphological characters are given, and illustrated, to establish its identity and a key is provided to distinguish it from other British Sphecidae. Notes are provided on bionomics, the circumstances of its arrival and its status in Britain.
The black bee-fly, known scientifically as Anthrax anthrax, has been found and photographed for the first time in the UK near Cambridge by Buglife member Rob Mills.
This species of bee-fly is found in many parts of Europe, including France and Germany, and was thought to have been in the UK for some time. The photograph of the black bee-fly, on a bee hotel, is the first positive proof of its presence here.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Fly species found in UK for first time | Discover Wildlife
Do you have difficulty telling the difference between those white butterflies? This handy guide by Butterfly Conservation will help.
Evening Warbler Walk at Linford Lakes NR on Wednesday 10th May 2017.
Start 7pm from Centre.
Friends and family welcome, £2:00 per adult.
Leader Chris Coppock.
Martin Harvey has worked in biological recording for over 15 years, with the Open University’s iSpot project, the national Biological Records Centre, Wildlife Trusts, and local records centres.
He carries out entomological surveys, and as a volunteer runs two insect recording schemes. He is a qualified tutor, and has led many workshops on wildlife identification and recording for FSC and other organisations.
Click here to view courses that Martin will be leading.
Plantlife produce a number of interesting guides to wildflowers.
There have been a number of scientific papers published in recent years discussing the possibility of building miniature flying robots to replace bees and pollinate crops. Clumsy prototypes have been tested, and seem to crudely work. If crops could be pollinated this way, farmers wouldn’t have to worry about harming bees with their insecticides. With wild bee populations in decline, perhaps these tiny robots are the answer?
A species of duck, decimated by one of the worst oil spills in shipping history over 20 years ago, is making a ‘remarkable’ recovery, Natural Resources Wales has reported.
Common scoters were the worst affected casualties when the Sea Empress tanker floundered off the Pembrokeshire coast, spilling 72,000 tonnes of crude oil in the process.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: LandLove – News – Once decimated species makes ‘remarkable’ recovery
Work Sunday at Linford Lakes NR7 May 2017 10:00-13:00hrs.
Scientists find live specimens of the giant shipworm, described as “rare and enigmatic”.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Live, long and black giant shipworm found in Philippines – BBC News
A new study reveals how puffins that stay near each other while migrating produce more chicks.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Puffin pairs travel close for breeding success | Discover Wildlife
Five non-native damselfly and eight non-native dragonfly species have been recorded in Britain as a result of accidental introductions, either as eggs or larvae in imported aquatic plants. Most have been found in the greenhouses of importers of tropical pondweeds. However, at least one species (Ischnura senegalensis) has been discovered at a garden pond, to which it was probably moved with recently imported pondweed. Although unlikely, there is a possibility that these or other dragonfly species could be encountered, particularly near commercial aquatic greenhouses. Some may also emerge from domestic indoor aquaria after sale. As the species concerned have originated in hot climates, it is unlikely – although not impossible – that successful establishment could occur in the wild, as happened with Oriental Scarlet (Crocothemis servilia, pictured right) in Florida, USA.
New research led by the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology has revealed for the first time that flower-rich habitats are key to enhancing the survival of bumblebee families between years.The results, which come from the largest ever study of its kind on wild bumblebee populations, will help farmers and policy makers manage the countryside more effectively to provide for these vital but declining pollinators.
Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Mistle Thrushes were all recorded in good numbers during BTO’s Garden BirdWatch in 2016, but some species fared poorly.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: BTO: Thrushes prosper in British gardens
Researchers at the San Diego Natural History Museum, along with experts from Mexico and Brazil, have described a new species of large cave-dwelling spider, the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider (Califorctenus cacachilensis). Related to the notoriously venomous Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera), the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider was first discovered on a collaborative research expedition in 2013 into a small mountain range outside of La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Four years later, after careful documentation and peer-review, the species and genus was deemed new to science and the discovery was published in Zootaxa on March 2, 2017.
UK butterflies suffered their fourth worst year on record in 2016 with the majority of species experiencing a decline in numbers, a study has revealed.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Butterflies crash in fourth worst year on record
Over half the world’s population of these iconic wildflowers grow in the UK. Help us to find out where they are.
Be part of our most accurate bluebell survey ever. Your records will help to monitor the status of the UK’s bluebells over time and will help us to secure the future of native bluebells and their woodland home.
From beautiful ancient woods to your back garden, look out for bluebells and put your sightings on the map.
Click on the link for more information : The Big Bluebell Watch – Woodland Trust
Hello everyone, I hope you wont mind me contacting you but the National Trust, who survey for the Duke on their land at Ivinghoe, would like us to do the same on Pitstone Hill in the coming late spring and early summer.
As you are probably aware the Duke is now extinct in Oxfordshire. Reduced to perhaps a single site in Berkshire (it wasn’t reported at all in 2016) and is hanging on in three sites in Bucks.. By far the largest of the three extant colonies is at Ivinghoe and the National Trust have not only been caring for it there but also managing Pitstone Hill so that it’s condition becomes suitable for the species to spread. This is essential if we are to make a successful job of saving the Duke. It must expand from its relatively small breeding areas into new patches of suitable habitat. The Natioanl Trust’s own volunteers will be surveying the large expanse of the Ivinghoe complex for the species but they feel that they cant adequately survey Pitstone Hill as well.
I plan to hold an initial meeting at Pitstone Hill at 11.00 on Thursday 25th May. (OS ref. SP955148 , Nearest postcode: LU7 9EN
We will take a walk to see the areas where the Duke is most likely to set up a new colony and with luck see the butterfly, its eggs and maybe even a larvae. Even if we don’t have any luck I shall show you images of the butterfly, egg, larvae and the type of feeding damage the larvae causes on leaves, which are readily spotted and make surveying for the Duke fairly straightforward. This meeting will last about 2 hours and after that you will be able to go back and survey at times to suit yourself, and we can also agree on two further search dates, to resurvey as a group if you would prefer to search with others.
This is a chance to take part in a very worthwhile exercise. It would be brilliant to discover a new colony of the Duke, the first for decades. Even if we don’t succeed this year, we will establish a group to return each year, because eventually the Duke will make it the 500 m or so from the edge of the Ivinghoe colony to the slopes of Pitstone Hill.
There is also a previous event at NT Bradenham estate (meeting point to be decided, probably the cricket ground), this initial visit will be 17th May.
If you think you might be able to help with this work, even only making a single visit; please email me (Nick Bowles <email@example.com> ) so that I can add your name to my list of those receiving updates. Thank you.
best wishes Nick Bowles
Chair, Upper Thames branch / BC
Butterfly Conservation will never swap, sell or rent your details to anyone. We will always follow the strict code of conduct set out by the Fundraising Standards Board. You can change how you hear from us or unsubscribe from our mailing lists at any time, just let us know.
Save Our Magnificent Meadows is the UK’s largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife.
They have produced some useful guides:
Click on the link to view the guides: Magnificent Meadows
Free admission (but all donations are very gratefully received) and you are free to explore all of the wood for the day.
Nearest free parking in Prospect Place.
REMEMBER: PARKING IN THE WOOD MUST BE PRE-BOOKED – see http://www.hollingtonwood.com/product/car-parking/
View the Hollington Wood website for more information.
There have been only a handful of occasions in my professional life when I’ve been sent a manuscript to review that has caused my jaw to hit the floor with amazement. The last time it occurred was July 2016 when I received a request to review a study that claimed to have found a fossil flower in amber, with an associated pollinator. Not only that, but the flower appeared to belong to a species of asclepiad (Apocynaceae subfamily Asclepiadoideae) – the plant group on which I have focused a good deal of my attention over the years.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: A fossilised flower in amber – with its pollinator! | Jeff Ollerton’s Biodiversity Blog
This handy tool helps you identify bumblebees by filtering photos based on the colour of the bumblebee.
Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 30th April to 6th May 2017 and hedgehoggy events are being organised all around the country already!
Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and takes place every year. It aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them.
Click on the link for more information: Hedgehog Awareness Week 2017 – The British Hedgehog Preservation Society
Estimates suggest that perhaps a quarter of a billion birds are killed by traffic annually across the world. This is surprising because birds have been shown to learn speed limits.
Birds have also been shown to adapt to the direction of traffic and lane use, and this apparently results in reduced risks of fatal traffic accidents. Such behavioural differences suggest that individual birds that are not killed in traffic should have larger brains for their body size.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Brain size in birds is related to traffic accidents | Open Science
We have combined the previous Projects and Links menus into a single menu called Reference.
Links is now called Natural History Websites.
Why not explore the new links and see the new sections of the website. Enjoy!
The yellow or greenish-yellow feet of the little egret are characteristic of this small heron, the coloration developing while the young are still in the nest.
Little egrets usually feed in fairly shallow water, moving forward with slow and deliberate steps, interspersed with frequent halts.
To help people we have produced a list of recommended Identification Guides covering:
Fungi and Lichen
Millipedes and Centipedes
Reptiles and Amphibians
Slugs and Snails
Spiders and Harvestmen
You can find the new pages under the menu.
We will put our new found knowledge into practice by recording our sightings in our outdoor meetings which you can view here.
The new discoveries suggest Cape York Peninsula could be a hotspot for spider diversity in Australia.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: More than 50 new spider species discovered in northern Queensland – Australian Geographic
It might look like a frozen wasteland, but beneath the inhospitable surface of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, life could be thriving in warm underground seas, scientists believe.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Nasa announces alien life could be thriving on Saturn’s moon Enceladus
On 23 January 2017 Milton Keynes was 50 years old. There are celebrations throughout the year to celebrate.
MKNHS is joining in the celebrations and we’ve added the MK50 page to the website covering:
Ian Saunders has produced another of his excellent guides for the Wildlife SItes section of the website.
This time he describes Tattenhoe. Click here to visit the page in the Wildlife Sites section of this website.
But that’s not all. Ian’s guide is based on an extensive description of the site with wonderful photos produced by local naturalist Harry Appleyard. Harry has also produced a self-guided walk for this must see park.
View Harry’s extensive description of the site here.
View Harry’s self-guided walk here.
The amount of new woodland created in England last year amounts to under 700 hectares, an area little bigger than London’s Olympic Park.
This falls far short of yearly targets needed to plant 11 million trees by 2020 and raise woodland cover from 10 to 12% by 2060, say MPs.
Majority of UK butterfly species are declining despite 2016’s warm summer.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterflies suffer fourth worst year on record | Discover Wildlife
A conservation charity wants to reintroduce beavers to the northwest Highlands.
Findhorn-based Trees for Life said it has been working for more than 25 years on a plan to bring back the once native species to parts of Scotland.
A proposed project in the Caribbean could wipe out the remaining population of the world’s rarest snake.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Racer snakes may face development threat | Discover Wildlife
Source: Wildlife Watch – Spotting sheets
Europe’s largest wader is a high conservation priority.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Curlew at risk of global extinction | Discover Wildlife
Location: Map ref TL 195 629, at W edge of Little Paxton, just off the A1 N of St.Neots
Postcode: PE19 6ET (Google map)
75 hectares of lakes, meadow, grassland, scrub and woodland next to the river Great Ouse, near St.Neots. A visit at this time of year to this particular location is all about Nightingales – hence the early start! Leader TBD. The café and toilets open after 10am.
Time: 08.30 am
See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information
New evolution hypothesis re-evaluates how species were related to each other
Most of 2016 was warmer than average, but this didn’t mean that life was always easy for birds. Mild temperatures over the 2015/16 winter probably resulted in good over-winter survival of small garden birds, and numbers of Wrens, Coal Tits and Goldcrests were all high in gardens during the early part of the year. However, although birds escaped severe freezes, they were battered by storms and wet weather.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: GBW Annual Results 2016 | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology
European honey bee population threatened by spread of pathogens.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Human activity key driver of honeybee decline | Discover Wildlife
Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered a 100-million-year-old insect preserved in amber with a triangular head, almost-alien and “E.T.-like” appearance and features so unusual that it has been placed in its own scientific “order” – an incredibly rare event.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Ancient, scary and alien-looking specimen forms a rarity in the insect world – a new order | News and Research Communications | Oregon State University
Natural England and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have launched a new online database and analytical tool called Pantheon, which helps us better understand conservation status and habitat-related traits of invertebrates.
Click on the link for more information: Online analytical tool launched to aid invertebrate conservation – GOV.UK
Have you seen a Red Admiral? Please record it!
The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) is a migratory butterfly colonising Central and Northern Europe every year from the South. In autumn, the offspring of these spring arrivals migrate southwards.
We investigate the migration of the Red Admiral by the help of citizen science. Thanks to the more than 40 citizen science portals across Europe that share their data with us, we are now able to study Red Admiral occurrence in an unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution.
Now we need you to help our project! Please report any records of Red Admirals
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Red Admiral migration | Insect Migration & Ecology Lab
Garden bird enthusiasts might be surprised – shocked even – to discover the goings on in their own back gardens. Between the well-kept flowerbeds and over neatly-trimmed lawns, nesting garden birds flit to and fro, their endeavours to rear their young a shining example of what hard-working, faithful couples can achieve. Or so, until relatively recently, it was presumed.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Who’s the daddy? | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology
Learn the most familiar of our birdsong from the comfort of your garden and enrich your experience of that morning cuppa. Encourage more birds by planting trees and expand your knowledge of the soundscape.
4th May 2017 sees the release of Royal Mail’s stunning new Songbird stamps.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: As Royal Mail’s new Songbird stamps hit the right note with collectors, BBC’s Chris Packham signs for Westminster… | The Westminster Collection
Citizen science website Zooniverse is asking people to look through images online that have been taken on the westernmost Aleutian Islands and classify them.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Discover how you can help sealions | Discover Wildlife
The assessment has created Global Tree Search, the first complete database of tree species and country distributions, published in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: We share the planet with 60,000 tree species | Discover Wildlife
The main theme of The State of the UK’s Birds report (SUKB) 2016 is the latest Birds of Conservation Concern 4 list – BoCC4 published in 2015 – and the species whose status has changed. The increase in the Red list by 15 species is due to problems in all habitats including farmland, woodland and coasts but most notably in uplands with five new upland species moving onto the red list. One of these is Curlew.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: State of UK Birds 2016 | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology
Researchers have found that coffee and timber plantations in Ethiopia encouraged more butterfly species diversity than cropland when compared to numbers in natural forests.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: How does coffee help butterflies? | Discover Wildlife
Europe’s first ever cave fish discovered
No green Brexit: why the implications look sinister for wildlife
Ann Biggins ( the Reserve Warden) and Jenny Mercer will be leading a walk at Pilch Field Nature Reserve on Easter Monday 17 April 2017 at 2:30 pm
Buckinghamshire Fungus Group (BFG) are hosting a Fungi walk in Rushbeds Wood 17 April 2017.
Please note that, if you are not a member of BFG, you are asked to contact Penny Cullington if you would like to attend any meetings.
The mangrove finch has been a focus of captive-rearing efforts for the past three years in the Galápagos Islands and it looks like all this work has been successful.
A captive-reared male mangrove finch has been observed singing in the wild, representing the first released bird to have been seen exhibiting this breeding behaviour.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Singing bird provides hope in Galápagos | Discover Wildlife
Bumblebee Identification and Field Techniques with Ivan Wright. 30 April 2017, 10am – 4pm.
A welcome into the wonderful world of bumblebees! There are approximately 24 species of Bumbleebee in the UK and they are fascinating creatures, but under-recorded.
This training day will mostly deal with the accurate identification of bumblebees for recording purposes. It will also be covering what is – and is not – possible in the field with a pragmatic understanding of recording some difficult species e.g. transect work. The workshop will also include hands-on survey and specimen preparation experience – including a chance to practice field and bench techniques.
Click on the link for more information: TVERC training courses: Bumblebee identification 30 April 2017 | Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre
Open Sunday at Linford Lakes NR 16 April 2017 10:00-16:00hrs.
Bring friends and family and explore the reserve.
There will be a nature hunt for families to take part in,
With rewards on completion for the younger family members.
Come along and see the herons on their nests.
Refreshments, home-made cakes and facilities available
Crafts, second-hand books and bird seed for sale.
A Red Kite has been shot dead near Toddington.
The world’s spiders eat 400-800m tonnes of insects every year – as much meat and fish as humans consume over the same period, a study said Tuesday.
In the first analysis of its kind, researchers used data from 65 previous studies to estimate that a total of 25m metric tonnes of spiders exist on Earth.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: World’s spiders devour 400-800m metric tons of insects yearly – experts | Environment | The Guardian
Butterfly Conservation has today strongly welcomed the sentencing of a collector found guilty of illegally catching and killing the UK’s rarest butterfly.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Butterfly Conservation – Legal history made as butterfly collector sentenced
38 Degrees are running a petition to the ban on bee-killing pesticides.
Britain’s bees are in danger. Powerful lobbyists want to spray toxic pesticides that kill bees all over our fields this summer. These pesticides are so deadly that there’s a ban on using them – so the lobbyists must convince the Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom to lift the ban.
Andrea Leadsom is fairly new to the job – and this is the first time she’s had the fate of our bees in her hands. But so far, the only people she’s heard from are lobbyists. Together, we can change that. A huge petition, delivered straight to her, would prove that the public expect her to protect our bees – and keep the ban in place
Please can you sign the petition right now and demand that the ban on bee-killing pesticides stays in place? It takes less than a minute to add your name:
Location: Cruck Barn, City Discovery Centre, Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes
Postcode: MK13 9AP (Google map)
Andy, the Bucks Bird Recorder for the last 28 years, also leads overseas natural history tours. He’ll draw on all of his experience to take us on a virtual tour of this spectacular landscape where traditional farming and herding practices allow biodiversity to thrive. Birds, flowers, butterflies and moths … and maybe a bear!
Time: Doors open 7.15 pm for a prompt 7.45 pm start
Price: Group members £2.50, Non-Group members £3.50, Children £1
See the RSPB North Bucks Local Group website for more information
Why aren’t there more green butterflies?
Click here for the answer: Why aren’t there more green butterflies? | Discover Wildlife
On a moonless night, light levels can by more than 100m times dimmer than in bright daylight. Yet while we are nearly blind and quite helpless in the dark, cats are out stalking prey, and moths are flying agilely between flowers on our balconies.
While we sleep, millions of other animals rely on their visual systems to survive. The same is true of animals who inhabit the eternal darkness of the deep sea. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the world’s animals are primarily active in dim light. How is their formidable visual performance possible, especially in insects, with tiny eyes and brains less than the size of a grain of rice? What optical and neural strategies have they evolved to allow them to see so well in dim light?
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: How do animals see in the dark?
Butterfly Conservation’s Upper Thames Branch, which covers Berks, Bucks and Oxon, is holding its annual Members’ Day on
Saturday 28th October 2017, 10.00 – 17.00,
Amersham Community Centre, Chiltern Avenue, Amersham, Bucks.
We are opening the event to members of other wildlife and conservation organisations. It is an all-day event with illustrated talks, displays, a members’ photo competition and a stall selling butterfly books. An excellent buffet lunch is served. We have some good speakers coming this year. It is a great opportunity for you to find out about the butterflies and moths in our area and to chat to people who are involved in their conservation. The programme, directions and map will be on the events page of our web-site
The event is free, although a donation of £5 to cover the cost of the lunch would be appreciated. Numbers are limited so, if you would like to join us for all or part of the day, please book with
Brenda Mobbs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01494 712486 before 11th October.
If you are already a Butterfly Conservation member you do not need to book.
The Buckinghamshire Recorders Seminar will be on
Saturday 29th April at The Coach House, at Green Park, Aston Clinton, HP22 5NE.
In attachment you will find the programme. If you would like to attend (and also if you’d like to have a display on the day) and you haven’t already informed us, please send a completed booking form (also in attachment) or an email to:
Environmental Records Centre email@example.com or
Bernardini, Claudia firstname.lastname@example.org
Any problems or queries please do not hesitate to contact us
Dr Claudia Bernardini
Environmental Records Officer
Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Environmental Records Centre
Transport Economy Environment
Tel: 01296 382431
Buckinghamshire County Council, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury. Bucks. HP20 1UY
Due to continued problems with unauthorised access to the BBOWT reserve at Foxcote Reservoir and occasions in the last few weeks where both gates have been found unlocked and open, it has been decided to replace the combination locks and to introduce new access codes. We do not believe that the problem is a result of permit holders forgetting to close the gate when they leave, but by unwanted visitors who have learned the codes by some means.
The lock will be replaced with a new code around midday on Wednesday 5th April.
As a reminder, all visitors to this reserve should be in possession of a valid permit issued by BBOWT HQ. This is not to restrict the number of visitors to the reserve – it is a condition of the lease and access agreement that BBOWT has with Anglian Water.
You can obtain a permit free of charge by contacting BBOWT HQ on 01865 775476. Current permit holders will also need to contact the same number to obtain the new code (available from tomorrow, Tuesday 4th April 2017). Please do not contact me for the new code.
We regret the inconvenience that this will cause some visitors but hope you understand the need for making the change.
If anyone does see any signs of unwelcome visitors at Foxcote, please contact myself or BBOWT HQ and we will inform local police; they have agreed to include both Foxcote Reservoir and Calvert Reserve on their regular patrols.
Volunteer Reserve Manager, Foxcote Reservoir
View the winning and shortlisted images from The Mammal Society annual photo contest.