A rare species of jumping spider never recorded in the UK before has been discovered living in a nature reserve in Cheshire, scientists have said.
Conservationists from the Tweed Valley Osprey Project are monitoring the main osprey nest in anticipation of the chicks leaving their nest.
The two chicks, now as large as their parents and fully feathered, were named Tweedledee and Tweedledum by the public in a social media vote, and are filmed by a live camera link.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Tweedledee and Tweedledum ready to take flight in the Scottish Borders | Discover Wildlife
Whether you’re swinging in a hammock in the shade, or stretched out in the summer sunshine, disappear into a great book this summer, with our guide to the latest wildlife books.
Culling by grouse moor managers is being blamed for the drastic decline of mountain hares on eastern Scottish moorlands to less than 1% of the level recorded more than 60 years ago.
Slavc is a wolf. In 2011, he began an epic 2,000 kilometre migration across Europe from Slovenia to Italy via the Austrian Alps
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Incredible journey: one wolf’s migration across Europe | Henry Nicholls | Science | The Guardian
The RSPB have launched the Raptor Persecution Map Hub.
Click here for more information.: Mapping raptor persecution in the UK – Investigations – Our work – The RSPB Community
Common cranes have been an annual sight along the coast of Aberdeenshire for a number of years, during spring passage. However, breeding was only proven in 2012, when a pair nested and fledged one chick. This was the first confirmed breeding attempt of cranes in Scotland for over 400 years!
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Crane-spotting – Scottish Nature Notes – Our work – The RSPB Community
The number of mountain hares on moorland in the eastern Highlands is at less than 1% of their levels in the 1950s according to new research.
Click here to read the rest of the article: Study suggests dramatic decline in mountain hares – BBC News
This paper was first published in the May 2018 issue of British Birds (Vol. 111, p275-290).
Raptor persecution is an important conservation issue and British Birds has therefore made this paper available free of charge. To download it, click below.
Click here to download the article.: Raptor persecution in the Peak District National Park – British Birds
In this study, we investigated the backward free flight of a dragonfly, accelerating in a flight path inclined to the horizontal. The wing and body kinematics were reconstructed from the output of three high-speed cameras using a template-based subdivision surface reconstruction method, and numerical simulations using an immersed boundary flow solver were conducted to compute the forces and visualize the flow features. During backward flight, the dragonfly maintained an upright body posture of approximately 90° relative to the horizon. The upright body posture was used to reorient the stroke plane and the flight force in the global frame; a mechanism known as ‘force vectoring’ which was previously observed in manoeuvres of other flying animals…
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Flying in reverse: kinematics and aerodynamics of a dragonfly in backward free flight | Journal of The Royal Society Interface
What a year it has been! When I wrote Special Black-tailed Godwits last year, I finished by saying, “Imagine how exciting it will be if one of this year’s head-started birds is found breeding in the Nene or Ouse Washes next year”. Amazingly, nine of the 26 head-started birds from 2017 were back this year and two females definitely had nests, with one fledging a chick, and a further two paired together are suspected to have attempted to nest. From data shared with me by Roos Kentie, this return-rate is comparable to wild-breeding Limosa Black-tailed Godwits in her Dutch study-area.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Head-starting success | wadertales
The researchers studied the birds at sewage works where they flock to feed all year round. The worms, maggots and flies at sewage treatment plants have been found to contain many different pharmaceuticals, including Prozac.
The study showed that dilute concentrations of Prozac similar to those measured at sewage works appeared to make female starlings less attractive to the opposite sex.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Male birds sing less to females on antidepressants – News and events, The University of York
Sand dunes across England are set for a golden future following £4.3 million worth of funding to help restore and protect these at risk habitats.
The funding – awarded to a partnership led by Natural England as part of the European Union’s LIFE programme – will help deliver a major conservation project to explore how to re-establish the natural movement within dunes and create the conditions that some of our rarest wildlife relies upon.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Threatened sand dunes given a new lease of LIFE – GOV.UK
Few four-legged animals cut figures as distinctive as giraffes. And new research suggests they do things differently, too. Animals form groups for a variety of reasons but, as a general rule, the greater the risk from predators, the bigger the group.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Giraffes surprise scientists with their group sizing | Discover Wildlife
Only 12 hours after Sir David Attenborough explained the personal and scientific benefits of Big Butterfly Count to the watching nation, I was standing under a tree in the pouring rain…
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Drought and butterflies
The Mammal Society have produced an app to monitor mammals:
Most wild mammals, including rabbits and iconic species like hedgehogs and mountain hares, are very poorly monitored. This makes it difficult to know which regions or habitats are most important, or to detect changes in their population sizes. The Mammal Mapper is designed to record information on the location and number of animals spotted on walks or bicycle rides.
Click here for more information.
Listen up everyone!!! Big Wasp Survey 2018 is launching…see link below. Last year we caught zero queens (so impact on wasp populations) and our limited bycatch has gone to other studies. So become a wasp sampler please! Some very exciting data in 2017 and we need more this year
Normally, any news relating to hen harriers is bad news. For the past few years they have been on the brink of extinction as a breeding bird in England. Last season there were only three successful nests in the whole of England, all of which were in Northumberland. 2016 told a similarly dismal story.
But now there’s a small chink of light; the tiniest ray of light perhaps signalling hope. As we reported earlier in the week, this season there has been a threefold increase with nine successful nests this year, fledging a total of 34 chicks, and across a much wider geographical area, with four counties in England hosting hen harrier nests.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Good news for a Friday: better breeding season for hen harriers – Martin Harper’s blog – Our work – The RSPB Community
New BTO research uses information collected by bird ringers to investigate large-scale differences and flexibility in the timing of feather moult across 15 passerine species that breed in the UK. Different moult strategies were found between migrant and resident species, alongside within-species regional variation in moulting schedules.
Discover the amazing wildlife and nature events happening around the UK this month!
In this series for Lush Times, Charlie Moores and Dr Rob Sheldon look at recent conservation or environmental stories discussed on social media through the lens of ‘shifting baselines’, the accepted thresholds for environmental conditions which are typically being lowered as we forget or are unaware of historical conditions – the ‘new normal’ in other words.In this episode, Charlie And Rob discuss ‘shifting baselines’ in bird and insect populations with the help of an example from naturalist and campaigner Chris Packham.Photo: Turtle Dove, ©trebol_a, via Flickr Creative Commons.
In his second blog on the subject, our Chief Executive Brian Eversham discusses the long-term effects the long hot summer could have on our wildlife.
The third Bedfordshire Natural History Society Insect Conference will be held on Saturday 17th November 2018. The programme of speakers comprises:
- Craneflies – John Kramer
- Dolichopodidae – Long-legged flies or ‘Dollies’ – Martin Drake
- Sciomyzidae – Snail-killing flies – Stuart Ball
- Ladybirds – Peter Brown
- Scarabaeids – Scarab Beetles – Darren Mann
- Ichneumons – Gavin Broad
- Scale Insects and Mealy Bugs – Chris Malumphy
Venue: The Forest Centre, Millenium Country Park, Marston Moretaine, MK43 0PR
Fee: £20 for BNHS & Bird Club members, £25 for non-members.
Entrance by ticket only. To book please complete and return this form:.docx .pdf
It’s usually a good day if you see a Spotted Redshank in Britain or Ireland. How about a flock of 60?
On 27 July 1975, I was fortunate to be part of a Wash Wader Ringing Groupcannon-netting team that caught 60 Spotted Redshanks at Terrington, on the Lincolnshire border of Norfolk. When we fired the nets, we knew that there were some Spotted Redshanks in the catching area but, as these birds were part of a mixed catch of 414, most of which were Redshank and Dunlin, the total number of these elegant ‘shanks came as a very welcome surprise. Why so many, what did we learn about Spotted Redshanks and what do we know now?
As part of the IUCN SSC Species Monitoring Specialist Group’s work to improve species monitoring for conservation (Stephenson 2018; Oryx 52: 412-413), and parallel efforts to improve the monitoring of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs), we are conducting a global audit of biodiversity monitoring to identify gaps in data, coverage and capacity in long-term species monitoring. This project is funded by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) Collaborative Fund, and involves partners and collaborators from around the world.
Click here to take part in the survey: Global Audit of Biodiversity Monitoring Survey
The photographer who took the pictures says it is “very exciting” to have the birds nesting in Hoy.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: New pictures show Orkney’s sea eagle chicks in the nest – BBC News
Conserving and making such data accessible is vitally important. The Centre for Ecology & Hydrology is the custodian of a wealth of ecological datasets. In some cases, these date back to the days of the Nature Conservancy in the 1950s and 1960s. Thanks to the efforts of our Environmental Informatics Liaison scientists, with a bit of help from CEH Fellows, many of these historic datasets are now being saved for long term re-use in the NERC Environmental Information Data Centre.
International photographic competition, which runs in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, awards special prize for the best close-up images
Click here for some amazing photos: Garden photographer of the year: macro winners – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian
The Angus Glens’ wildlife is “impoverished” according to a leading animal charity investigator.
Ian Thomson, RSPB head of investigations, made the claim after seeing the Angus Glens Moorland Group’s #WeHaveWildlife campaign.
He said it “sticks in the craw” as he has seen a “disproportionate” number of tagged birds going missing in the area.
A strong argument can be made that the European Union has the most rigorous regulatory system for pesticides in the world, and that modern pesticide use poses fewer environmental threats than older regimes. Nevertheless, the impacts of pesticides on bees and other non-target organisms are much debated in Europe as elsewhere. Here we document changing patterns of pesticide use in arable and horticultural crops in Great Britain from 1990 to 2015. The weight of pesticides used has approximately halved over this period, but in contrast the number of applications per field nearly doubled. The total potential kill of honeybees (the total number of LD50 doses applied to the 4.6 million hectares of arable farmland in Great Britain each year) increased six-fold to approximately 3 × 1016 bees, the result of the increasing use of neonicotinoids from 1994 onwards which more than offset the effect of declining organophosphate use. It is important to stress that this does not mean that this number of bees will be killed, and also to acknowledge that our simple analysis does not take into account many factors such as differences in persistence, and timing and mode of application of pesticides, which will affect actual exposure of non-target organisms. Nonetheless, all else being equal, these data suggest that the risk posed by pesticides to non-target insects such as bees, other pollinators and natural enemies of pests, has increased considerably in the last 26 years.
Almost one in five of British mammal species face a high risk of extinction, according to the first comprehensive review of their populations for more than 20 years launched today by The Mammal Society and Natural England.The red squirrel, wildcat and the grey long-eared bat are all listed as facing severe threats to their survival.The review – commissioned by Natural England working
Click on the link for more information: British mammals’ fight for survival – The Mammal Society
Following on from the very successful BTO Owl Appeal this year will be the start of our Project Owl research. With new surveys starting from autumn 2018, we need your help to learn more about our nation’s fascinating but often mysterious owl species.
Click on the link for more information: Project Owl | BTO – British Trust for Ornithology
Open Sunday at Linford Lakes NR 10:00-16:00hrs.
A special cricket and grasshopper event will take place this Sunday.
Tea and coffee, home-made cakes available.
Second-hand books on sale as well as crafts and bird seed.
Great views through the Centre’s windows and balcony
Plenty to see: ducklings, dragonflies, butterflies, the first returning migrant birds.
Bring friends and family to enjoy the reserve.
A wealth of wildlife can be found and experienced in our parks and green spaces across Milton Keynes. The land in our care includes ancient woodlands and recent plantations; old hedgerows and ‘veteran’ trees; grazing pastures and hay meadows; areas of scrubland; ponds, lakes, rivers and streams.
Click here to find out more and to download the Parks Trust Biodiversity Action Plan
There’s concern that birds of prey are being targeted in Dorset after two were found dead
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Wessex FM – News – Dead birds of prey found in Dorset
It’s more important than ever to protect sharks and rays, says Global FinPrint’s lead principal investigator, Dr. Demian Chapman.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: There’s Still Time To Save Sharks and Rays | Paul Allen
Researchers studying silk moths have found that the shape of their hindwings contributes to their survival.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Bat off! Larger hindwings and longer tails have evolved to help moths evade capture by bats. | Discover Wildlife
Satellite imagery shows hundreds of glaciers shrinking as average annual temperature rises 3.6C in 70 years
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Canada’s high Arctic glaciers at risk of disappearing completely, study finds | World news | The Guardian
The researchers are studying factors affecting the presence and absence of the European hedgehog in gardens across the UK.
Click here for more information.: Students are asking the public to record the presence (or absence) of hedgehogs | Discover Wildlife
By resurrecting a proposal to allow trophy hunters to shoot 250 hippos annually, Zambia stirs controversy.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: How many hippos are too many? Proposed cull raises questions | Environment | The Guardian
Plantlife produce a number of interesting guides to wildflowers.
New research has identified the species of shark currently found in hotter parts of the world that could migrate to UK waters by 2050 as the oceans warm
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Ten species of shark coming to the UK as waters warm – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian
Small, spiky and seriously endangered, the hedgehog is a much-loved mammal in Britain, and further afield. Four hundred years ago, however, things were very different
Click here to read the rest of the article.: BBC Radio 4 – Radio 4 in Four – Nine things you didn’t know about hedgehogs
Twelve custom-made insects will be taking over 13 shopping centres around the UK until September 2019, in an effort to reconnect people with nature.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Why you could spot a giant insect next time you go shopping! | Discover Wildlife
Be part of this nationwide survey and help take the pulse of nature. Butterfly declines reveal the poor health of the environment. We need your sightings
Click here for more information.: big butterfly count
It seems a shame to mention the autumn whilst we are enjoying an amazing summer but autumn migration is gathering pace already. All of the BTO satellite tagged Cuckoos had left the UK by the end of June but since leaving some of them have had a rapid migration south; five have already successfully crossed the Sahara
Click here to read the rest of the article.
Bristol University has discovered how spiders fly thousands of miles
Click here for more information.: Here’s how wingless spiders fly – BBC News
From the nut-cracking crows of Sendai to ‘Turdus urbanicus’ (the new urban blackbird), animals are changing their behaviour and evolution in cities – and in dramatic and surprising ways
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Darwin comes to town: how cities are creating new species | Cities | The Guardian
Our planning and preparation for the second year of Poole Harbour Osprey Project, a partnership between the Foundation, Birds of Poole Harbour and Wildlife Windows, started at the end of winter when we checked nests that looked fragile the previous year, and others that had been damaged by winter storms. In early March 2018 we […]
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Poole Harbour translocation – year two – Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation
Insects are the most diverse animals on the planet. But why are they so successful?
Click here for more information.: BBC Radio 4 – The Infinite Monkey Cage, Series 16, Will insects inherit the earth? – Twelve reasons why insects rule
Butterflies are benefitting from environmental action to increase their habitats, scientists have argued following a pioneering government report.
Research published today by Defra on the ability of butterflies to move around the countryside shows butterflies, including much-loved species like the Speckled Wood butterfly, have recovered significantly since a worrying decline at the end of the last millennium.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: First ever habitat connectivity report using species data shows positive impact of policies on butterflies
The northern bald ibis is critically endangered, with fewer than 1,000 existing in the wild. But a German group is reintroducing these birds in Europe, where they once thrived, and is using ultralight aircraft to lead them on migrations south toward the Mediterranean.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: After a 400-Year Absence, A Rare Ibis Returns to European Skies – Yale E360
Ambitious conservation project underway to save England’s forgotten farmland flowers and wildlife.
The poppy, one of the nation’s favourite wildflowers, is as iconic as the Brown Hare, Harvest Mouse and Skylark – endearing species we associate with England’s golden cornfields in summer. But did you know colourful cornfield flowers that characterised our farmland abundantly 100 years ago, are now the fastest declining group of wildflowers in the country and risk disappearing altogether if urgent action isn’t taken?
A newly discovered bandy bandy snake species, jumping sweetfish and baby tarantulas in Derbyshire are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world
Click here to read the rest of the article.: The week in wildlife – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian
A photographer in Minnesota recently captured an adorable shot of a Common Merganser followed by dozens of fuzzy babies.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Here’s Why This Mama Merganser Has More Than 50 Ducklings | Audubon
The evidence of negative impacts of agricultural pesticides on non-target organisms is constantly growing. One of the most widely used group of pesticides are neonicotinoids, used in treatments of various plants, e.g. oilseed crops, corn and apples, to prevent crop damage by agricultural insect pests. Treatment effects have been found to spill over to non-target insects, such as bees, and more recently also to other animal groups, among them pas- serine birds. Very little is known, however, on the presence of neonicotinoids in other wild species at higher tro- phic levels. We present results on the presence of neonicotinoid residues in blood samples of a long-distant migratory food-specialist raptor, the European honey buzzard. Further, we investigate the spatial relationship be- tween neonicotinoid residue prevalence in honey buzzards with that of crop fields where neonicotinoids are typ- ically used. A majority of all blood samples contained neonicotinoids, thiacloprid accounting for most of the prevalence. While neonicotinoid residues were detected in both adults and nestlings, the methodological limit of quantification was exceeded only in nestlings. Neonicotinoids were present in all sampled nests. Neonicotinoid presence in honey buzzard nestlings’ blood matched spatially with the presence of oilseed plant fields. These are the first observations of neonicotinoids in a diurnal raptor. For better understanding the potential negative sub- lethal of neonicotinoids in wild vertebrates, new (experimental) studies are needed.
Click here to read the rest of the article.
Click on the play button to watch the video
Join Chris Packham on 22nd September in central London for the first People’s Walk for Wildlife.
Click here for more information.
Today the Government has published a revised version of its National Planning Policy Framework which now includes some reinstated protection for Local Wildlife Sites following a campaign supported by 25,000 people.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Some protection reinstated for at-risk Local Wildlife Sites | The Wildlife Trusts
Model predicts population of UK’s tallest bird could double within 50 years after its return to the east of England following a 400-year absence
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Common cranes ‘here to stay’ after recolonising eastern England | Environment | The Guardian
Use this link if you would like to take part in the sirvey: lizziejones | Online questionnaire
Deadly heatwaves could continue for weeks, and possibly months, across much of the northern hemisphere, meteorologists predicted this week
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Warming Arctic could be behind heatwave sweeping northern hemisphere | New Scientist
An introduction to the UK Biodiversity Indicators 2018 publication, and the UK suite of headline indicators
Click here for more information.: UK Biodiversity Indicators 2018
Whether you’re swinging in a hammock in the shade, or stretched out in the summer sunshine, disappear into a great book this summer, with our guide to the latest wildlife books.
Click here for more information.: Wild reading – books for the summer | Discover Wildlife
Hope is that dams built by pair of beavers help hold back water and improve biodiversity
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Beavers released in Forest of Dean as solution to flooding | Environment | The Guardian
The long-term use of the pesticides for killing parasites is damaging the populations of these important insects.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Dung beetle populations are being killed off by cattle medication | Discover Wildlife
A Yellow-spotted Emerald Dragonfly has been seen for the first time ever in Britain.
The dazzling insect was recently photographed at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust Carlton Marshes nature reserve
Click here to read the rest of the article.: New Dragonfly Species for Britain | british-dragonflies.org.uk
Radiocarbon dating of ‘antique’ ivory being sold in European countries reveals that many are not antique at all.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: The legal sale of ivory is actually the trade of illegal and poached ivory as well | Discover Wildlife
Facts that will keep you busy
Click here to read the rest of the article.: BBC Radio 4 – Radio 4 in Four – Seven things you didn’t know about bees
We have been colour ringing black-tailed godwits at the Nene and Ouse Washes to help us understand more about the birds’ movements in the breeding and non-breeding season. Godwits are known to undertake long and often complex migratory journeys, and the marking of individual birds provides valuable information about the remarkable journeys these birds undertake.
Click here for more information.: Report a sighting – Project Godwit
English sea wall flood defences support an important grassland habitat for bumblebees (Bombus spp.). However, annual cutting in midsummer (July-August) could negatively affect them. The mowing regime was then changed to a ‘late’ cut (September) on a sea wall and compared with an adjacent sea wall cut ‘normally’ (midsummer).
There were significantly more queens nest-searching in May compared to April. Sward height and the number of queens nest-searching were significantly higher on the normal cut sea wall than on the late cut one. No correlation between queen abundance and forage availability was significant. The nesting habitat therefore seems more important than forage abundance for queens.
The summer studies revealed the workers’ higher abundance on the late cut wall. However, this new spring study of queens reveals their preference for the normal cut wall. Having a mosaic of habitats seems the key to conserving sea wall grassland bumblebees.
Click here to download the PDF file.
For European starlings, the presence of aromatic herbs in the nest leads to some improved parenting behaviors, according to a new study. Specifically, birds whose nests incorporate herbs along with dried grasses were more likely to attend their nests, exhibited better incubation behavior for their eggs, and became active earlier in the day.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Aromatic herbs lead to better parenting in starlings — ScienceDaily
Sweden worst hit as hot, dry summer sparks unusual number of fires, with at least 11 in the far north
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Wildfires rage in Arctic Circle as Sweden calls for help | World news | The Guardian
With Britain experiencing a sustained heatwave, our Chief Executive, Brian Eversham, looks at the effect warm summers have on Britain’s insect populations.
Nature experts tell us which species are benefiting and which are suffering in this never-ending hot weather
Click here for more information.: How the hot weather is dividing Nature into winners and losers
Dinosaurs are often depicted as fierce creatures, baring their teeth, with tongues wildly stretching from their mouths like giant, deranged lizards. But new research reveals a major problem with this classic image: Dinosaurs couldn’t stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: T. Rex couldn’t stick out its tongue — ScienceDaily
Another year, another incredible—and incredibly hard—selection of images to choose from.
Click here to view the winners: The 2018 Audubon Photography Awards Winners | Audubon
Eight out of 14 critically endangered black rhinos have died after being moved to a reserve in southern Kenya, wildlife officials have revealed, in what one conservationist described as “a complete disaster”.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Eight of 14 rhinos die after move to Kenyan national park | World news | The Guardian
We need to encourage people to spend more time noting what they see and hear so we can build up a much clearer picture of exactly how wildlife is affected by changes in climate and land use etc.
Over the past few years I’ve posted several pieces about how colleagues, students and myself have been monitoring one aspect of the environmental impact of the University of Northampton’…
Click here to read the rest of the article.: The impact of building a new university campus on urban bird diversity and abundance: a seven-year study | Jeff Ollerton’s Biodiversity Blog
Our team at UEA (University of East Anglia) is studying how we might rank the importance of individual sites within ecological networks. To help us, we are examining how conservation and land management professionals emphasise various ‘criteria’ that could be used to prioritise sites for funding or management.
We would value your contribution to this survey – survey completion should take no more than 10 minutes.
Click here for more information.
A couple of weeks ago farmer David Corrie-Close wowed an audience of politicians, fellow farmers and NGOs with the inspirational story of his and his wife Bekka’s commitment to farming with n…
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Farming with nature – a farmer’s perspective | National Trust Places
The nature conservation agencies have a duty under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 as amended, to notify any area of land which in their opinion is ‘of special interest by reason of any of its flora, fauna, or geological or physiographical features. Such areas are known as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). In 1989 the then Nature Conservancy Council published guidelines for the selection of biological SSSIs. Since 1991 the Joint Nature Conservation Committee has been the focus for the production and revision of the guidelines.
Click here for more information.: Guidelines for selection of biological SSSIs
Species such as wild strawberry, ragged robin and harebell are in decline across the UK. This decrease in wildflowers has a knock-on effect for other wildlife, including butterflies, bees and beetles.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Wildflower favourites are in danger due to devastation of grasslands and meadows | Discover Wildlife
National Moth Week (NMW) invites moth enthusiasts, a.k.a. “moth-ers,” of all ages and abilities to participate in this worldwide citizen science project that shines a light on moths, their beauty, ecological diversity and critical role in the natural world as pollinators. Online registration is in full swing with events already registered in 10 countries and 17 U.S. states as of mid-May.
Click here for more information.
Why not join the Society’s moth evening on 21 July 2018. See our programme page for more information.
The autumn squill, Scilla autumnalis, has bright bluebell-coloured starry flowers. It is rare in the British Isles. It is also tiny, so small that most people could easily clodhop straight over it without noticing how lovely it is. I nearly did just that when I went looking for it in Surrey last summer until a kindly local botanist helped me find it flowering away on a grass verge.
I went home pleased to have met such a minutely pretty wild flower. But a few days later, the kindly local botanist got in touch again, distraught. The local council had strimmed the verge where the autumn squills grew, and they were no more. He had even told them that they should leave this patch of grass until later in the year so that the tiny squills could set seed, but someone had cut them down all the same.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Save us from the council verge neat-freaks | The Spectator
MPs demand legislation to ensure the government delivers on post-Brexit air pollution promises
Find out how to make a bee hotel.
What is really, truly happening to wildlife across the UK? Is wildlife disappearing, or are the reports of disappearing insects, road-verge dwelling wildflowers being mown to destruction, and swift…
A pink house sparrow has been filmed visiting a garden near Glasgow to feast on bird food
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Pink sparrow surprises with garden visit – BBC News
Click on the play button to watch the video
A new study has discovered that archerfish suffer from social inhibition.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Do fish suffer from stage fright? | Discover Wildlife
Icelandic whalers out hunting fin whales for the first time in three years appear to have killed a rare, protected blue whale (or blue/fin hybrid) by mistake.
Images documenting the slaughter of what is an iconic symbol of the natural world have deeply concerned international whale experts and confirm the indiscriminate and cruel nature of whale hunting.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Icelandic whalers breach international law and kill iconic, protected whale by mistake – WDC
Click here to read a statement issued by ORCA
Creation of the world’s largest marine reserve comes a step closer as major companies add support
A project to restore an areas of chalky grassland on campus will help rare plants and creatures to thrive.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Grassland project to create a living lab on campus : News and events : Evolution, behaviour and environment : School of Life Sciences : University of Sussex
New research suggests that large fenced reserves could be the answer to wolf reintroduction in Scotland.
Click on the link to read the rest of the article: Bring back the wolves – but build a fence | Discover Wildlife
Buglife have produceda guide to Ruby-tailed wasps.
Click here for more information.: Ruby-tailed wasp | Buglife
Visit a UK meadow this summer to enjoy beautiful wildflowers.
Click on the link for more information: 6 types of meadow and where to see them | Discover Wildlife
If you’re keen to get into Astronomy, you’re participating in one of the oldest human traditions.
Depictions of the cosmos range back far into human history, and almost certainly even into pre-history.
People from the Greeks to the Chinese to the Mayans looked up at the night sky and derived forms of meaning from it.
Click here to read the rest of the article
Britain has seen the catastrophic destruction of its once widespread wildflower meadows, as intensive farming has gradually replaced them. Experts say 97 per cent of the nation’s meadows have been eradicated since the 1930s, with popular species like wild strawberry, ragged robin and harebell facing steep declines.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Nearly all British wildflower meadows have been eradicated, prompting calls for urgent government action | The Independent
Urbanization represents a rapidly growing driver of land-use change. While it is clear that urbanization impacts species abundance and diversity, direct effects of urban land use on animal reproductive success are rarely documented. Here, we show that urban land use is linked to long-term colony reproductive output in a key pollinator. We reared colonies from wild-caught bumblebee ( Bombus terrestris ) queens, placed them at sites characterized by varying degrees of urbanization from inner city to rural farmland and monitored the production of sexual offspring across the entire colony cycle . Our land-use cluster analysis identified three site categories, and this categorization was a strong predictor of colony performance. Crucially, colonies in the two clusters characterized by urban development produced more sexual offspring than those in the cluster dominated by agricultural land. These colonies also reached higher peak size, had more food stores, encountered fewer parasite invasions and survived for longer. Our results show a link between urbanization and bumblebee colony reproductive success, supporting the theory that urban areas provide a refuge for pollinator populations in an otherwise barren agricultural landscape.
Click here to read the rest of the article.: Urbanisation linked to bumblebee fitness | Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences