Friday, 29 April 2011
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2011/04/29/the-ladybird-is-our-best-loved-bug-115875-23093268/). Personally, I quite like this Ichneumon fly (Netelia testaceus) that strayed into my kitchen last night.
Thursday, 28 April 2011
http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/r/redkite/index.aspx) to substantial populations also in England and Scotland. One should note that the 'recovery' was at least partially 'fuelled' by introducing birds from Scandinavia (aliens?). The most interesting aspect of this story is that the recovery is largely a consequence of changing attitudes to the bird. When the birds were actively shot and poisoned people blamed them for everything including the demise of song and game birds and even the killing of lambs! The Red kite is clearly more of a vulture-like scavenger of dead animals than a powerful eagle-like bird of prey. I don't think the change in attitude really reflects improve understanding of the bird's nature. It seems more likely that 'birds of prey' have become more popular with the general populace.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/26/invasive-species-killer-shrimps-parrots?INTCMP=SRCH) that the GB Non-native Species Secretariat has targeted a number of 'alien' species for eradication from our borders. These include the 'killer shrimp' (Dikerogammarus villosus) now lurking in Cardiff Bay in the freshwater development as well as the better known examples of the breeding colonies of Ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri) and Monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus). One could add to the list species such as the Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) as well as a whole array of plants including Japanese knotweed and Rhododendron. There are good reasons for attempting to limit the impact of some of these species but the 'black-listing' is somewhat arbitrary. Some species have made their own way to the UK in the fashion of animals and plants that arrived earlier. Other have been inadvertently or deliberately released by gardeners, pet owners and land owners who wanted something a little different (e.g. grey rather than red squirrels). Very little of the UK's flora and fauna can be regarded as pristine. There is a danger that humans attempt to micro-manage environments on the basis of personal preferences or enthusiasms.
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Monday, 25 April 2011
Sunday, 24 April 2011
Friday, 22 April 2011
Thursday, 21 April 2011
Yet another example of the tension between people and conservation is seen in the recent responses of people in rural Romania to a hunti...
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It is always sad to hear of problems occurring at places you have used for teaching and the outbreak of h5n8 avian influenza at Abbot...