Thursday, 29 December 2011
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/27/malaysia-borneo-sumatran-rhino-extinction). It is never easy to breed 'difficult' animals in captivity and any offspring would have a) limited genetic diversity and b) probable difficulties in adapting to a wild existence. Given that the number of such rhinoceros in the wild are estimated to be around 40 individuals, it is likely they will be extinct within a decade. Even the Southern white rhinoceros (illustrated), which is in a far better state population-wise, is far from safe.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/dec/27/spending-cuts-scotland-endangered-species). Many initiatives such as those concerning the encouragement of the Red squirrel European beaver and the Osprey and those directed at the eradication of the Signal crayfish, Rhododendron and Japanese knotweed will have to be curtailed. Such issues were formerly protected from cuts in Scotland but major percentages of the former spending (around 20%) are being 'redirected'.
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2011/dec/26/lawyers-crack-case-unlawful-eggs). This seems to have been a drafting glitch that has been seized upon by collectors. Changes are needed as it is difficult to defend retrospective alternations to the law.
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
Thursday, 15 December 2011
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16138206). This is said to be largely the result of an influx of humans to the island who challenge the earlier tradition of the islanders that the lemurs are representative of human ancestors (and hence there was a taboo in terms of eating them). Decimation of the lemurs in their unique stronghold would greatly impoverish the biota. Strange how 'free meat' can have that effect.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/dec/12/frozen-planet-polar-bear-bbc?newsfeed=true). I must admit to being less than surprised about this section of the programme. Many 'natural history' films involve quite a lot of artifice - how did that convenient prey insect just land there as the cameras roll? I have argued that one could, by selection of footage, make even an erroneous tale seem convincing. The BBC did detail the origins of the cub shots in a brief item on their web (more than you get in many instances) and I don't think the actual sequence misinforms about what usually happens. Perhaps Sir David's crime is to irritate sections of the media with his observations on climate change?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2011/dec/12/durban-climate-change-conference-2011-global-climate-talks) but the finally documented item does appear a bit on the feeble side. Clearly having widespread economic problems at the same time as recognising a need to reduce human impact on the atmosphere is not an ideal combination. I will be surprised if very much that is positive for limiting climate change actually happens. It has been suggested that solar panels in the desert could supply 'green electricity' but preventing the devices being etched or covered in sand by winds might be problematic.
Monday, 12 December 2011
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/16112188 ) has, however, confirmed that these birds, like the rest of the Aves, actually use lymph in this process. This suggests that the mechanism evolved early in this vertebrate Class.
Friday, 9 December 2011
http://www.swan.ac.uk/aptbioscience/). This EU-funded programme aims to develop and deliver modules to help with Continuing Professional Development of bioscience workers in small and medium-sized enterprises in most of Wales. Four modules ('Pest control', 'Wild plant identification', 'Invasive plant species' and 'Laboratory skills') have been successfully delivered to enthusiatic acclaim from the participants. It is obvious, even from this initial list, that the modules are intended for both field and laboratory workers. It is also hoped that their provision will enhance employment prospects of recent graduates (they provide practical skills that can be lacking from degree programmes).
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00zj39j). It appears that the rate of ice loss at both poles is accelerating and this is likely to have a dramatic effect on sea levels. It is particularly striking that the decline in ice at the north pole has made it much easier to extract oil and gas which, when burned, is likely to further increase global warming. The 'freeing' of the north-west passage from ice would also increase marine traffic between the Atlantic and the Pacific (furthering the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere). I must admit that Attenborough's graphic presentation of evidence is likely to be compelling to the lay viewer (in spite of the fact that much of the global warming debate has, apparently, failed to convince). His notes that some polar animals have 'adapted' to the changes (mainly by altering their location) but this would not seem to be an option for many human populations.
Saturday, 3 December 2011
There are some impressively bright lichens on the wooden bridge in Bynea.
A combination of night rain and day-time sun has resulted in more Bynea blooms. The Southern marsh orchid ( Dactylorhiza praetermissa...
A study ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/01/special-spit-is-the-secret-of-uniquely-sticky-frog-tongues-study-reveals ) has...
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...