News on the Wing

April 2019 Edition

Property developers row back on netting used to stop birds nesting

Some developers are reviewing their policies after protests from environmentalists

Campaigners remove netting that would stop birds from nesting in hedges and trees in Darlington.

Campaigners remove netting that would stop birds from nesting in hedges and trees in Darlington. Photograph: North News and Pictures

A grassroots uprising is forcing builders and councils to remove netting over trees and hedgerows installed to prevent birds nesting and hindering their developments.

Environmentalists have condemned the practice and say it has exploded in scale this spring. The use of netting to prevent birds nesting in hedgerows and trees allows developers to get around the law that prevents the removal and damage of birds nests, and avoid delays to development caused by the nesting season.

The apparent rise in the use of netting this year has been partly fuelled – experts say – by a 78% increase in housebuilding over the last five years as developers respond to government pressure to build homes as quickly as possible.

But the sight of trees and hedges covered in netting has sparked protests and direct action across the country, with campaigners filming birds and mammals trapped within netting and reporting offences to the police.

David Savage, from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, took down netting thrown over hedgerows near a nature reserve in Wingerworth after discussions with the developer involved, Bellway. The trust also persuaded developers William Davis to remove netting from 600 metres of hedgerow which is due to be torn out for an estate called Skylarks, to the north of Chesterfield.

Read the full article from The Guardian here.

The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts
‘So much of our wildlife has been lost since Kenneth Grahame wrote “The Wind in the Willows”… Of all the characters in the book it is hard to know whose descendants have suffered the most.’ Sir David Attenborough. Help us create a #WilderFuturewtru.st/2CAsUB1

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Insect decline will cause serious ecological harm

Entomologists and ecologists call on the UK’s research establishment to investigate the threat to the stability of nature
Early bumblebee (bombus pratorum) hovering over clover, Yorkshire

‘The loss of pollinators would also adversely affect agriculture, since many crops depend on insects to set seed.’ Photograph: Rebecca Cole/Alamy

Attention has recently been focused on the health of wild nature, first by a report suggesting that diverse UK insect populations are declining at alarming rates (Report, 11 February), and now by one showing pollinators are in trouble (Bees and hoverflies lost from a quarter of British sites, major study finds, 27 March).
While headlines implying that imminent extinction are exaggerated, as entomologists and ecologists we do think there is good evidence that insects are declining, and the ecological consequences may be serious. Insects massively outrank all other animals in diversity, numbers and biomass. Since insects underpin most non-marine food networks, serious declines would threaten the stability of wild nature, leading to reductions in numbers of insectivorous animals and those that eat them. The loss of pollinators would also adversely affect agriculture, since many crops depend on insects to set seed.

Read The Guardian’s full article here.

 

British trees in folklore

Our native trees have been steeped in myth and legend for thousands of years, each having their own magical associations and stories.

Ash

Ash tree. © malerapaso/Getty
Ash tree. © malerapaso/Getty

Ash trees were thought to have healing properties, especially for children. Newborn babies would be given a spoonful of ash sap and sick children would be passed through the cleft of a tree or sapling in the hope that it might cure them.

Hazel

Oval fruits develop into a nut surrounded by a woody shell. © Petr Gross/Getty
Oval fruits develop into a nut surrounded by a woody shell. © Petr Gross/Getty

Hazelnuts were associated with knowledge and wisdom, with an ancient Celtic story telling of nine hazel trees that grew around a sacred pool. The nuts fell into the water and were eaten by salmon, who had the nuts’ wisdom bestowed upon them. The number of bright spots on the salmon was thought to indicate the number of hazelnuts they had eaten.

Aspen

Aspen is sometimes known as quaking aspen. © UGI Premium/Getty
Aspen is sometimes known as quaking aspen. © UGI Premium/Getty

Aspen wood was used to make Celtic shields, not just because it was lightweight, but also because it was believed to have magical properties of protection. For the same reason, it was also frequently planted near houses.

Birch

Downy birch is found on damper soils than silver birch. © James Leynse/Getty
Downy birch is found on damper soils than silver birch. © James Leynse/Getty

The two birch species (downy birch and silvery birch) are among the first trees to come into leaf each year and was therefore connected with fertility and the onset of spring. It was also thought to be a purifier, so bundles of birch twigs were used to sweep away old spirits, cementing its association as the species used to make witches brooms.

Elm

An avenue of elm trees in Hampshire. © Travelpix Ltd/Getty
An avenue of elm trees in Hampshire. © Travelpix Ltd/Getty

To the Celts, elm was associated with elves and the passage to the Underworld. It had similar connotations in Greek mythology, with the first elm tree said to have grown on the spot where Orpheus played his harp after rescuing his wife Eurydice from the Underworld.

Wild cherry

Close-up wild cherry blossom flowers. © Jacky Parker Photographer/Getty
Close-up wild cherry blossom flowers. © Jacky Parker Photographer/Getty

This tree was often connected with the cuckoo, with the belief that the bird could only stopping singing once it had eaten its fill of cherries three times over.

Rowan

Waxwings feeding on rowan berries. © Berndt Fischer/Getty
Waxwings feeding on rowan berries. © Berndt Fischer/Getty

Also known as mountain ash, this tree was thought to be home to faeries due to its white flowers. It was therefore considered to act as protection against witchcraft and enchantment, often being carried around by individuals and hung from cattle.

Yew

Yew trees at Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve. © Paul Mansfield Photography/Getty
Yew trees at Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve. © Paul Mansfield Photography/Getty

The longevity of yew, as well as its toxicity, has seen it associated with death and resurrection in Celtic culture. Some of the oldest individuals, such as The Fortingall Yew in Scotland, could between 3,000 and 9,000 years old.

 

 

Find the original article on British Trees in Folklore here.

The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts
“The decline in UK habitats since Kenneth Grahame’s wonderful tale is truly shocking. I wanted to take part in this film to help inspire people to get involved and bring our nature back” – Alison Steadman (Mole). Watch the film & get involved wildlifetrusts.org/wilder-future #WilderFuture

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  Jonny Ecology – @JonnyEcology

Scotland’s habitats are suitable for Eurasian lynx reintroduction, but appropriate site selection is key to success – new research. sciencedirect.com/science/articl…

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety

Did you know Calliope Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in North America? They’re about 3 inches long and weigh one-tenth of an ounce. ow.ly/x7kq30odHgh

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Two years into the current administration, key parks, public lands, & wildlife agencies are still without confirmed directors. Former

leaders say that’s unprecedented and worrisome—and puts important habitat for birds and other wildlife at risk: ow.ly/4atl30ofpo7

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  SEEDBALL – @seed_ball

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  Grow Wild – @GrowWildUK

Can you guess what all of these incredible #pollinators need to survive? If you guessed #weeds, you’re 100% right!

Sadly, a lot of human behaviour around weeds is threatening the survival of pollinators. Head here to find out why: growwilduk.com/blog/bees-best…

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Plumper birds are better at making babies, according to a recent study. ow.ly/RBAT300YpH1

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  Patrick Barkham – @patrick_barkham
Great letter and campaign. Let forests, seabeds, salt marshes, mangroves but mostly BOGS heal the world.
Let nature heal climate and biodiversity crises, say campaigners
Restoration of forests and coasts can tackle ‘existential crises’ but is being overlooked
theguardian.com
  BirdTrack – @BirdTrack
We are delighted to be working with the

to help monitor upland breeding bird populations using #BirdTrack data. We will be running BirdTrack drop in sessions on the 13th April at Grassington National Park Centre, Skipton. Photo John Harding

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  Defra UK – @DefraGovUK
The Service Animals Bill, known as Finn’s Law, has passed its final stage in

. Congratulations

,

and all its supporters – the bill will now progress to Royal Assent. #FinnsLaw #FabulousFinn. Read more about Finn here: gov.uk/government/new…

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Butterfly Conservation – @savebutterflies
Insects have ‘no place to hide’ from climate change, study warns. butrfli.es/NoPlaceToHide Photo: Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) by Kasia Bednarska

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   BBC Wildlife – @WildlifeMag
Removing invasive species from just 169 islands would benefit over nine per cent of the most endangered species.
Save endangered species by culling invasive animals
Scientists says that the eradication of invasive animals on islands would help slow global rate of extinction.
discoverwildlife.com

We need a cure for plant blindness

Let’s elevate plants from their throwaway status and recognise their vital role in keeping us all alive, argues Robbie Blackhall-Miles.
An African lioness sleeping on a branch in a Sausage Tree above the savannah plain.

A lioness. Or a sausage tree. What do you see first? Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Humanity is suffering from an illness the extent of which is not fully known. The impact of this is being felt across the globe. It renders humankind unable to see the plants in their environment and leaves us deeming the vegetation that surrounds us as nothing more than wallpaper, a nice background for the more important things that enhance our lives.

Take a photograph of a lion in the wild in Africa and ask anyone what they see. The answer you will invariably get is “a lion”. If you are lucky, you may get the answer “a wild lion” or if you are extremely lucky, “a wild lion in Africa”. Generally you won’t get the answer “The African savannah in the dry season with some amazing acacia scrub and a lion lying on a bed of dry red grass (Themeda triandra) in the shade of a really old sausage tree (Kigelia africana)”.

Lion cubs hiding in long grass

Hiding in plain sight: lion cubs amid dry red grass ( Themeda triandra) in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The picture of the lion in the wild in Africa is not just a picture of a lion. It’s a picture of a whole environment and the biodiversity within it; biodiversity that is totally interconnected, and without which the lion cannot survive. I am sure that on some level the lion knows how important that biodiversity is to it.
Humans are in exactly the same position as the lion. However, we have forgotten our need for the biodiversity that surrounds us. Particularly we have forgotten the importance of the plants that provide that stunning William Morris wallpaper for our lives. This inability to see the vegetation that surrounds us has been given a name; plant blindness.
It has a bearing on the gardening world more than anywhere. In most gardens ornamental plants have just become the set dressings for sun loungers, barbeques, sculptures and water features; a required element but no longer the focus. The price most people are willing to pay for plants is reducing all the time. Plants – living things – often become throwaway items used purely for decoration, with little acknowledgment given to their much deeper importance to the human state. The impacts of this are huge.
The people that can “see” the plants and are able to grow them, horticulturists, may be the only people that can save this planet from impending disaster. Yet horticulture is suffering a skills crisis, there are far too few people looking at horticulture as a viable career option. The pay can be low (not always), the work hard (in some cases) and the long term career progression minimal (or so some say). Young people, swayed by the media and a need for greater things, are not interested in being gardeners or botanists (we don’t have a single botany degree left in Britain’s universities and 50% of under 25s see horticulture as a unskilled career); especially when the work is sold to them in the way that it currently is.

Read the full article here.

 

Komodo considers tourist ban to help boost dragon numbers

Indonesian authorities want to protect endangered lizard from smugglers and restock its island food supply

two komodo dragons

Indonesian police say more than 41 Komodos have been sold through Facebook. Photograph: Alamy

Authorities are considering banning tourists from Komodo, the island home of the ancient Komodo dragon, to allow for conservation efforts amid concerns over animal-smuggling.

The island, in Manggarai Barat, Indonesia, is a major tourist destination, with many people making the trip to see the lizard which has a venomous bite, can grow up to three metres long and weigh more than 150kg.

Authorities are considering a temporary closure so they can plant native vegetation and help to restock the dragon’s food supply, thereby increasing the population, reported the Tempo newspaper. Dates for the closure have not been confirmed but earlier discussions have suggested it could last a year.

The talks come amid efforts to tackle the illegal market in endangered species. Police in East Java arrested five people in March accused of smuggling Komodo dragons and other protected animals. Police said the suspects had already sold more than 41 Komodos through Facebook, supposedly for medicinal use. Tempo reported the lizards sold for 500m rupiah (£27,000) each.

It is estimated there are about 5,700 Komodo dragons in the wild and the lizard is listed as both endangered and protected. They are found in the wild, primarily on the eastern Indonesian islands of Komodo, Padar and Rinca.

Komodo is part of the Komodo national park, which also includes two other large land masses, and many smaller islands. The rest of the park will remain open.

Read the full article from The Guardian here.

‘Laws are so weak’: action needed to stop Australia’s animal extinction crisis – senators

Existing legislation requires ‘complete overhaul’ to prevent the decline of species, committee warns

by Lisa Cox – The Guardian
Australia’s corroboree frogs and other species could face extinction without tougher protection laws, a Senate committee has warned.

Australia’s corroboree frogs and other species could face extinction without tougher protection laws, a Senate committee has warned. Photograph: John Lane/Zoos Victoria

A Senate committee examining Australia’s animal extinction crisis has recommended new environment laws to try to halt the decline of threatened species.

The laws, proposed in an interim report by the committee, would include a new, independent national environmental protection authority that would have sufficient powers and funding to enforce compliance with environment law.

“The current laws are so weak with caveats, exemptions, ministerial discretion and loopholes that projects can be given the green light despite destroying or damaging critical habitat, or even wiping out a species entirely,” the Greens senator and inquiry chair, Janet Rice, said.

“Australia’s extinction crisis has only got worse in the 20 years since our environment laws were introduced. It’s absolutely clear they need a complete overhaul.”

Read the full article from The Guardian here.

French campaigners go to EU over hunting and trapping of birds

Official complaint lodged with EU says rules breached on hunting and trapping

Curlew.

Wood pigeons, skylarks, grey geese, and curlew (above) are all fair game for French bird hunters. Quotas are set for different departments, but the LPO says these are often ignored. Photograph: Alamy

Bird protection campaigners are to lodge an official complaint with the European Union accusing France of breaking rules on hunting and trapping and failing to protect endangered species.

The Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) is using the 40th anniversairy of the EU’s “bird directive”, which outlaws the “massive or non-selective” killing of birds to highlight what it deems cruel and illegal methods.

These includes gluesticks covered in adhesive lime and set in trees or bushes to catch birds when they land, traps that crush the birds with heavy stones, and nooses.

Access the full article here.

Butterfly numbers fall by 84% in Netherlands over 130 years – study

European insect populations shrink as farming leaves ‘hardly any room for nature’

A common blue butterfly.

A common blue butterfly. Researchers found dramatic declines in the Netherlands’ 71 native species, 15 of which have become extinct. Photograph: Alamy

Butterflies have declined by at least 84% in the Netherlands over the last 130 years, according to a study, confirming the crisis affecting insect populations in western Europe.

Researchers analysed 120,000 butterflies caught by collectors between 1890 and 1980 as well as more recent scientific data from more than 2 million sightings to identify dramatic declines in the country’s 71 native butterfly species, 15 of which have become extinct over the last century.

“We are quite sure that the real decline must be much larger,” said Chris van Swaay, of Dutch Butterfly Conservation and one of the co-authors of the study.

The research follows warnings of catastrophic insect declines after a global review calculated that the total mass of insects was falling by 2.5% each year, and a German study found average flying insect abundance had declined by 76% over 27 years.

Read the full article here.

BirdGuides – @BirdGuides

The rise and fall of Ring-billed Gull
bit.ly/2OLSXKc Josh Jones looks at the changing status of a familiar transatlantic vagrant across Britain, Ireland and the Western Palearctic.
The rise and fall of Ring-billed Gull
Josh Jones looks at the changing status of a familiar transatlantic vagrant.
birdguides.com
Amer. Birding Assoc. – @ABA
Dr Kaeli Swift knows crows, and she’s seen them do extraordinary things. Hear her stories of corvid cognition and crow funerals on the American Birding Podcast. Also, thoughts on the passing of Bill Thompson III and Fantasy Birding goes big time. bit.ly/2G12Yk7

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The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts
Our wild places are getting smaller and more isolated from each other – meaning the world is shrinking for animals like toads, hedgehogs and water voles. Let’s help put their world back together: wtru.st/2CAsUB1 #WilderFuture

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  People’s Trust for Endangered Species – @PTES
#HedgehogStreet has released a brand new free guide for #developers which includes advice for helping #hedgehogs on your site before, during and after the build. Hedgehog Street is a joint campaign run by

and PTES. hedgehogstreet.org/development/

Hedgehogs and development: free guide for developers – Hedgehog Street
Hedgehogs are disappearing at an alarming rate. The recent State of Britain’s Hedgehogs 2018 report revealed that since the millennium, […]
hedgehogstreet.org

   WildlifeKate – @katemacrae

We have owlets!!!! You’ve seen a taster clip… now catch up with all my other footage from this week’s owlets at #YewView on my latest blog post.

wildlifekate.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/we-…

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
For decades, the Clean Water Act has provided critical defense against the destruction of healthy wetlands, rivers, & streams—places that millions of birds need. Now it’s under attack. Urge the

to strengthen—not weaken—protections for clean water: ow.ly/NknH30o9KF3

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
The Rufous Hummingbird is one of the North American bird species threatened by #climatechange. Learn more: ow.ly/S3qS30ojGJK

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BTO – @_BTO
Spring is truly on the way! The first of our Cuckoos has arrived in Spain. As of this morning, Selborne is somewhere in the Córdoba area after travelling over 1,800 miles in one go. Follow his journey at bto.org/cuckoos! #BTOCuckoos

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The RHS – @The_RHS
It’s thought that the Alice in Wonderland rose garden was inspired by the work of little-known RHS gardener, Henry Bailey. Learn more about Bailey & other forgotten gardeners in ‘The Hidden Horticulturists’ by

, RHS Head of Libraries & Collections. telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/0…

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  Plants Map – @plantsmap

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  SEEDBALL – @seed_ball
Now is the perfect time to scatter seed balls for a summer wildflower wonderland.

seesball.co.uk #seedball #seedballs #garden #wildflowers #wildlifegarden

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Mandy Watson – @MandyCanUDigIt
Celebrating home-grown blooms – why we all need to support Flowers from the Farm.

#gardening #Britishflowers #buybritish #floristry #flowersfarmersbigweekend wp.me/p9ah0A-3kq

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RHS Campaign for School Gardening – @RHSSchools
Together with the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation & Plant Hunter Stewart McPherson, we’ve helped send Hanson Boxes to 10,000 UK primary schools. Received a box? Don’t forgot to send us a picture and enter the

Spectacular Plants competition! schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/Competitions/S…

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How the wild parrots of San Diego arrived in America’s Finest City

Posted: 5:46 PM, Mar 27, 2019
Updated: 5:02 PM, Apr 04, 2019

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Residents in many San Diego neighborhoods get a daily reminder of the odd inhabitants that are not native to the area.

As the sun rises over the region, the squawks can be heard. The wild parrots are awake.

While the sight of emerald, red-headed birds has long been gold for local photographers, what has remained a mystery to many is how they arrived in San Diego.

Parrot origins

All of the wild parrots in San Diego are birds or descendants of birds brought to the area by people, according to Sarah Mansfield with SoCal Parrot, though some have speculated they migrated from Mexico.

Mansfield added the birds weren’t released in the area just once.

“Whether they were released intentionally or accidentally, several ‘micro-releases’ happened over many years,” Mansfield said. “There are five established species of wild parrots in San Diego, and 13 species in Southern California, so it definitely wasn’t just a pair or two that got out long ago.”

It wasn’t illegal to buy wild-caught parrots until 1992, when the Wild Bird Conservation Act was signed into law in order to ensure exotic bird species were not harmed by international trade.

“The birds that were released came from the wild and have remained wild since,” she adds.

University of San Diego professor Janel Ortiz, who started the San Diego Parrot Project to research the parrots’ eating habits and natural behaviors, says parrots may have been here longer than we think.

“No parrots are native to California; there has been evidence of the parrots being here in the 1940s and weren’t well documented until the 1960s,” Ortiz says.

Types of parrots in San Diego

Currently, Mansfield says the main species in San Diego are Mitred Conures, Red-masked Conures, Blue-crowned Conures, Red-crowned Amazons, and Lilac-crowned Amazons.

The Mitreds and Red-masked Conures can commonly be seen flocking together, while both Amazons species also live together.

Residents may also notice both Consures and Amazons together in the same neighborhood at times, but usually they’re not together, Mansfield says.

How they survive here

So how does a bird not native to San Diego find a way to survive?

Find another non-native species. The parrots live off non-native fruiting and flowering trees, according to Mansfield. Ornamental trees, including magnolias, loquats, pines, eucalyptus, coral trees, and pecans, give parrots food and shelter all in one.

“They nest in cavities in the tall palms that line our beach community streets,” Mansfield adds, something residents who aren’t a fan of the birds’ squawks know all too well.

San Diego’s climate makes their habitats all the more comfortable, as the warmth provides the perfect environment for the parrots.

“While they could make a go of surviving in colder weather, they do better with our sunny San Diego temperatures,” Mansfield said.

Ortiz says San Diego may be one of the last locations where these endangered parrots can survive.

“Most of these parrots are endangered in their native ranges, but are thriving here in this new, urban habitat we’ve created,” Ortiz said. “Urban places, like San Diego, may be one of the last locations these endangered parrots may be found if their populations continue to dwindle in their native ranges.”

While the birds are naturalized, meaning they are actively breeding in the area, it’s unclear how successful they are at reproducing, Ortiz says.

So far, the Parrot Project has observed some species-specific differences such as time to roost, or time they get together at night.

Residents can help out by filing out a form online to document parrot sightings.

 Original article posted here.
   Hedgehog Society – @hedgehogsociety
Call for the government to stop this worrying practice being adopted by developers across the UK! Sign the petition and please also share it. Thank you. See petition.parliament.uk/petitions/2442… Pic courtesy of

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Little Green Space – @LGSpace
Plant a wildlife hedge instead of building a fence! It could help hedgehogs, bumblebees, blue tits, small mammals, insects, robins, frogs, bats, toads, dunnocks, butterflies, moths, blackbirds, solitary bees, wrens, hoverflies…

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BirdLife Europe – @BirdLifeEurope
#MagnificentBlackcap: In Cyprus, Blackcaps are the main ‘ingredient’ in their illegal ‘ambelopoulia’ dish, but sadly, this controversial local delicacy can include more than 40 different migratory songbird species. Help us stop the killing #FlightForSurvival
Help them come home – LEARN MORE
flightforsurvival.org
Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
California Condors could soon soar above California’s redwoods again thanks to the Yurok Tribe. ow.ly/PFQh309G5p0

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Avid birder

reflects on the unorthodox path that got him from birding in the Bronx to birding on the screen. He’s the host of a new

YouTube show ‘Birds of North America,’ and his next episode airs this Sunday: ow.ly/xukb30o9u3b

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Mar 22, 2019
Woodland Trust – @WoodlandTrust
The medieval St Edward’s Parish church in Stow-on-the-Wold is flanked by two spectacular yew trees. Rumour has it, this is the door that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Doors of Durin’ that formed the west gate leading to the land of Moria in Middle Earth. #TolkienReadingDay

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  RSPB – @Natures_Voice
Have you had any noisy visitors tapping on your windows? This #blog from Gardening for Wildlife explains why: natu.re/7vbfhZ

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Derbyshire Wildlife Trust – @DerbysWildlife
We want to see the return of a healthy bird of prey population in the Peak District – specifically in the upland areas. Currently they are being illegally persecuted and we need this to stop to have a chance of seeing a wilder Derbyshire #WilderFuture.

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  Amphibian and Reptile Conservation – @ARC_Bytes

Can you help to investigate the mysterious decline in the common toad in Britain? We are asking volunteers to collect genetic samples as part of a PhD research project that has just started

, in partnership with ARC and

. More info at: arc-trust.org/news/investiga…

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BOU – @IBIS_journal
ANNOUNCING | #BOU2020 Restoring bird populations: scaling from species to ecosystems ow.ly/3jFy30obddw #ornithology #restoration #conservation #ecosystems

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  Andrew Fisher Tomlin – @FisherTomlin

I can now reveal the real reason for all my travels recently! Head over to

to find out about the new garden design college we’re launching in Australia today.

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  RSPB – @Natures_Voice

Be the builder’s mate and help nesting birds by leaving out dry grass, moss and pet fur for them to collect. Read more about how to create a wildlife friendly garden in March: natu.re/UWWTcj

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BirdGuides – @BirdGuides
Lesser Moorhen in Cape Verde, March 2019 bit.ly/2NRfyoq The occurrence of this extreme WP vagrant represents a new species for the islands – read the full story here.
Lesser Moorhen in Cape Verde, March 2019
The occurrence of this extreme WP vagrant represents a new species for the archipelago – read the full story here.
birdguides.com
The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts

Why not take the time today to clean your bird feeders? It’s important to help keep your garden birds safe from disease
#LoveWildlife

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  BatConservationTrust – @_BCT_

Bats are fascinating animals – the only true flying mammal. There are over 1,300 species of bats in the world, and more are still being discovered. Bats account for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and around 20% of all mammal species worldwide.

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Derbyshire Wildlife Trust – @DerbysWildlife

 

Leave patches of your garden wild – It is an excellent way to help wildlife and a great way to take some time off and put your feet up.

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BBCT – @BumblebeeTrust

Nearly 700 reasons to #beekind to #bumblebees in your garden, including the ‘super’ plants! Take a look here to score your garden to see if you are #bee friendly: ow.ly/slsz50lWAvt

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  BirdGuides – @BirdGuides
Three Bald Eagles – two males and a female – have recently started nesting together for the second year running

Bald Eagle love triangle bucks the trend
The threesome has nested together in Illinois for the second year running.
birdguides.com

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust – @DerbysWildlife

Why not build some nest boxes in your garden to help out local birds? You might get some new neighbours move in!

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  RSPB – @Natures_Voic
Discover more about Scotland’s barn owls and the challenges these much-loved birds face during the winter months in

‘s latest #blog: natu.re/ys2dDA

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  CBCSundayEdition – @CBCSunday

“There were only 69 birds left in North America … We came so close to losing them all. But we didn’t.” How a small band of dedicated people brought the #Trumpeterswan back from the brink of extinction.

doc

A great honking joy! How the majestic trumpeter swan was rescued from extinction | CBC Radio

When swan lover Beverly Kingdon and biologist Harry Lumsden joined forces, good things happened. The woman who loved swans and the Ontario wildlife scientist with a cause have worked tirelessly to… cbc.ca 
Click here to listen to the full interview.

American Bird Conservancy – @ABCbirds

“Feral cat removal is critical to protect #Kauai’s #endangered #seabirds. But we all have a role to play by preventing cats from becoming feral and keeping our own cats safely contained,” says ABC’s

, Director of #InvasiveSpecies.

Hope for endangered seabirds – The Garden Island
HANAMAULU — During the four-day annual meeting of the Pacific Seabird Group last week at the Aqua Kauai Beach Hotel near Lihue, 10 researchers detailed the results of programs aimed at reducing the…
thegardenisland.com

  BBC News (UK) – @BBCNews

Fire damages Shetland’s Fair Isle Bird Observatory roof
Fire destroys Shetland bird observatory
Fire crews were flown in to tackle the blaze at the Fair Isle Bird Observatory in Shetland.
bbc.com

  Woodland Trust – @WoodlandTrust

What are the ideal UK native #trees to grow? Here’s our top 14 best trees to plant to bring colour, interest, and #wildlife to your #garden woodlandtru.st/PlSUN

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Native plants beat even the best bird feeder. Here’s what to grow in your garden so your backyard birds can feast: ow.ly/RDeO308TGAM #PlantsForBirds

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  BBC Wildlife – @WildlifeMag

How to make a nesting bundle Encourage birds to set up home in your garden by providing simple building materials:
How to make a nesting bundle
Encourage birds to set up home in your garden by providing simple building materials.
discoverwildlife.com
  Plantlife – @Love_plants
From #Exmoor to the west coast of Scotland, globally rare temperate rainforests full of special lichens and mosses are found on Britain’s mild, damp Atlantic coastline. bit.ly/2FsMYEd

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Badger Trust – @BadgerTrust

Read the heartwarming story of how a Greenskeeper incorporated the local #badgers into a golf course! The #article can be found here: ht.ly/O2BI30nX8we on our community hub, #Brockbase #LoveBadgers #Wildlife #News #BritishWildlife

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  James Common – @CommonByNature

Super thrilled to announce the launch of the March-April edition of,

Featuring @B_Strawbridge , bitterns, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, plastic art and the impact of streetlights, this issue is a real gem! Download for free here

bit.ly/2tZf32s

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  Little Green Space – @LGSpace
3 reasons plastic straws suck – and 3 ways to stop sucking plastic, from

#NoPlasticStraws #plasticfree

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  The English Garden – @TEGmagazine

Need to prepare your garden for spring but not sure where to start? Here are some helpful tips: bit.ly/2I6Dhli #SundayMotivation #gardening

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  Craken MacCraic – @Craken_MacCraic

Also 90% of the scientists featured were probably Bill Nye
Quote Tweet

Media Matters

@mmfa

·

When broadcast news does talk about climate change, it is usually with white men. Of the 112 people featured in the networks’ climate segments, 102 were white. Ninety-one of the 112 people featured were men.
Show this thread
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The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts

Is it a bee? Is it a beetle? Meet the bee beetle

Quote Tweet

Lincs Wildlife Trust – @LincsWildlife

·

This wonderful Bee Beetle was the first of its kind to be recorded in Lincolnshire last year. Look for the adults (photographed) feeding on pollen in the summer months.

Thanks Leslie for the photo! #WednesdayWisdom

Show this thread

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  RSPB News – @RSPBNews

Massive news: Treasury says they will support local

call to cover the long-term costs of protecting 100% of their rich waters as the Atlantic’s largest marine reserve. #SpringStatement

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Little Green Space – @LGSpace
Say no to the mow this spring and leave a patch of grass to flower for pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths and hoverflies! Pic via

#savethebees #nature

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  British Birds – @britishbirds
March’s BB Newsletter is out Friday – sign up for free at eepurl.com/bnwRAT

– Book of the month – News & comment –

Rarities roundup – Join the conversation – Young birders in action – Next month in BB Sponsored by

#ornithology

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BBO Wildlife Trust – @BBOWT
BREAKING NEWS: today the High Court has accepted our claim against the government regarding the #OxCamExpressway. We can now look forward to a full hearing for our claim that the govt broke EU law in the Expressway proposal. We will not stop speaking up for wildlife

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BirdGuides – @BirdGuides
Hailstorm kills and injures thousands of falcons in South Africa – but rescue team manages to save hundreds More on this extraordinary story

bit.ly/2EZYTed #conservation

Hailstorm kills and injures thousands of falcons
The surviving birds, mainly Amur Falcons, were subsequently rehabilitated and released.
birdguides.com

  WildlifeKate – @katemacrae

Amazed to see a squirrel spend a considerable time inside the nest box with my tawny this week…. just incredible to watch…..

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Butterfly Conservation – @savebutterflies
Butterflies conjure up images of sunshine, flowery meadows, and summer gardens teaming with life but three-quarters of British butterflies are in decline. #LearnAboutButterfliesDay Discover why they are important: butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies

Purple Emperor (A. iris) by Adam Gor

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BirdGuides – @BirdGuides
Huge swathe of Andean cloudforest afforded protection in Peru: bit.ly/2J4AJEx #conservation
Peruvian government protects 17,600 hectares
A huge area of cloudforest and páramo in the Peruvian Andes has been secured.
birdguides.com
Woodland Trust – @WoodlandTrust
What’s the difference between a hare and a #rabbit? How can you identify them? Find out in our latest blog: woodlandtru.st/szLW1

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The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts

Farmers growing oats for

maintain grass margins along hedgerows. These can provide nesting habitat for grey partridge and are often abundant with wildflowers which are a source of nectar and pollen for bees and pollinators. wtru.st/2BEDMhf

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  Rewilding Britain – @RewildingB

“Gardens cover ½ a million hectares of the UK, and if managed in a way that is sympathetic for wildlife they could form a vast patchwork of tiny nature reserves.” Insect life is under threat – Prof

shows how each of us can help revive it

Fantastic mini-beasts (and how to revive them) – Rewilding Britain
Insect populations are crashing around the world, with potentially profound consequences for life as we know it. What can we do?
rewildingbritain.org.uk

   Wildlife Articles – @wildlife_posts

White Stoats in Yorkshire
White Stoats in Yorkshire – Wildlife Articles
One of the things I love about watching wildlife is its wonderful unpredictability. You can wait on high alert for hours in a bird hide, surrounded by telescope-toting experts scanning every square…
wildlifearticles.co.uk
Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Have you seen small birds form mixed flocks when the weather gets colder? There’s a reason for this behavior. ow.ly/NjX930mvxWN

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  BirdLife International – @BirdLife_News
It may not be the most glamorous of birds, but we still think the Giant Ibis is phenomenal! Unfortunately, it’s Critically Endangered. To help protect it proceeds from this year’s Bird Fair will go to safeguarding its home in Western Siem Pang in Cambodia. birdlife.org/worldwide/news…

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   Gardeners’ World Mag – @GWmag

#wildlifegardening is increasing in popularity, as more gardeners realise the importance of giving wild species a helping hand. We reveal six essential features of a wildlife garden: bit.ly/2ONgrSK

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   RSPB Birders – @RSPBbirders
Very strong and welcomed words from the one individual with arguably the greatest chance of bringing change in England. We are right behind you.
Quote Tweet

 Nick Lyall

@SuptNickLyall


Time for change….
nicklyallraptorppdg.home.blog/2019/03/19/tim…

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  Woodland Trust – @WoodlandTrust
The #WaterVole (Arvicola amphibious) is the largest vole in the UK. It has suffered serious population declines, and lives around rivers, streams, and ponds woodlandtru.st/IwIh1

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  Little Green Space – @LGSpace
Got space for one of these? Swifts have suffered a big decline in the UK, with nesting site losses a major culprit.

wants to get 1,000 nestboxes put up by end April, before swifts return for the summer. More info at bit.ly/2J8x0G3. RT to spread the word!

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Choosing coffee that’s good for birds and other wildlife can be confusing. Here’s what you should consider the next time you’re out for caffeine.
How to Choose a Bird-Friendly Coffee
When it comes to caffeinating responsibly, selecting the right brew can be confusing. This guide should help.
audubon.org
Little Green Space – @LGSpace
Plastic detox – a few ways to deplastify your life! Graphic via

#pollution #BeatPollution #plasticfree

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  Plantlife – @Love_plants
Yay

survey season begins this Weds, 1st day of spring 🙂 Which #wildflowers are growing in our woodlands, meadows & bogs? Help us find out! Become a #NPMSvolunteer & help

&

monitor the health of UK habitats

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   The English Garden – @TEGmagazine
Experts give advice, for #NationalFragranceWeek on fragrant flowers Find out how to get your garden smelling gorgeous here: bit.ly/2Y9PiKI #haiku #TEGku

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  Little Green Space – @LGSpace

The UK’s struggling hedgehogs have large territories – so you can help them by creating a hedgehog fence hole! #gardens #wildlife

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  Kew Gardens – @kewgardens

Did you know…? There’s over 25,000 species of orchid on earth!

Colombia is the richest in the world, with nearly 4,270 known species. #KewOrchids

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Little Green Space – @LGSpace

The UK has eradicated many orchards, and now imports 70% of its apples, with traditional and local varieties disappearing. Please plant apple trees in your garden or community if you can: they can cut food miles, soak up CO2, help wildlife, and cheer up our towns & landscapes

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12:23 PM · Mar 9, 2019 · Twitter for iPad

 

  Little Green Space – @LGSpace

Want to know what to do if you find a baby bird out of its nest? See this easy guide from

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  Kew Gardens – @kewgardens


All plants were once wild and weedy

So why is it different now and what values to weeds have on our ecosystem?

investigates: goo.gl/z2wzHJ

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  SEEDBALL – @seed_ball

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Soil Association – @SoilAssociation
Pollinating insects are vital to the productivity of many crops & wild flowers.

@NatureComms ’s research is a stark warning that the UK must do more to support our #pollinator populations, with more support from Government for #agroecological practices ow.ly/GkTn50ogOtl

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Are nets to stop swallows nesting any way to treat the natural world?

Tesco caused an outcry when it tried to prevent the birds making a trolley park messy at a store in Norwich

Five baby barn swallows peer out from their nest

‘This wasn’t just a matter of inconvenience for the swallows. These beautiful birds return to the same breeding sites year after year.’ Photograph: Amy Sancetta/AP

Our swallows are now returning in the UK after completing their 5,000-mile migratory flight from southern Africa, where they spend the winter. This year some faced a very inhospitable welcome with their traditional nesting areas netted over.

Tesco destroyed a successful swallow breeding site in the eaves above a trolley park in Norwich after complaints from customers about bird droppings. The supermarket washed the nests away with power hoses, and then pest-control workers fitted extensive netting, making the birds’ summer home for many years completely inaccessible.

This wasn’t just a matter of inconvenience for the swallows. These beautiful birds, with their long, elegantly forked tails, return to the same breeding sites year after year, so could easily become trapped in netting trying to reach their usual places to nest and as a result, would fail to lay any eggs. This would be tragic for a species that has faced declines of between 20% and 50% across Europe since the 1970s.

Read this important article in full here.

Sage grouse saga: Trump opens habitat to drilling as activists condemn plan

By Associated Press

Environmentalists say changes will make it harder to stop the long-term decline of the species

Sage grouse once numbered in the millions, but their populations have greatly dwindled.

Sage grouse once numbered in the millions, but their populations have greatly dwindled. Photograph: Handout/Reuters

The Trump administration on Friday finalized changes to sweeping federal land use plans for the west, easing restrictions on energy companies and other industries in a way officials said would still protect a struggling bird species.

But environmentalists said the widely-anticipated move will undermine protections for the chicken-sized grouse. It would allow more oil and gas drilling, mining and other activities that can disrupt grouse breeding grounds.

Tracy Stone Manning of the National Wildlife Federation said the Trump administration has focused “not on conserving the species across the landscape but instead on supporting more energy development”, which is a main threat to the sage grouse.

“We’re concerned that years of work is going to come undone, and we’re concerned these plans have now set up a dynamic where the states are going to have to do the hard work of ensuring that the bird doesn’t get listed [under the Endangered Species Act]”, she said.

The changes by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will guide future efforts to conserve greater sage grouse, ground-dwelling birds that range across portions of 11 western states.

Read the full article here.

Bees: Many British pollinating insects in decline, study shows

Bees

Steven Falk.  There are winners (left – ashy mining bee) and losers (right – red-shanked carder bee)

A third of British wild bees and hoverflies are in decline, according to a new study.

If current trends continue, some species will be lost from Britain altogether, the scientists say.

The study found “winners” and “losers” among hundreds of wild bees and hoverflies, which pollinate food crops and other plants.

Common species are winning out at the expense of rarer ones, with an overall picture of biodiversity being lost.

Scientists warn that the loss of nature could create problems in years to come, including the ability to grow food crops.

Read the BBCs full article here.

 

Cull invasive mammals to save island species, experts urge

Move ‘would save 10% of all endangered birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles’

Tristan albatross birds on Gough Island in the south Atlantic Ocean.

Tristan albatross birds on Gough Island in the south Atlantic Ocean, where house mice introduced by 19th-century seal-hunters have evolved to twice their normal size and eat seabird chicks alive. Photograph: Andy Schofield/RSPB/PA

Nearly 10% of the world’s bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile species currently on the brink of extinction could be saved by killing invasive mammals such as cats and rats on 169 islands, according to a new study.

Islands comprise just 5.3% of the Earth’s landmass yet have experienced 75% of known bird, mammal, amphibian and reptile extinctions since 1500. More than a third of species currently classified as “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List are found on islands, with many particularly vulnerable to just eight species – including feral pigs, dogs, goats and mongooses – introduced by humans.

Research published in the journal Plos One identifies the disproportionate impact programmes to remove non-native species from islands can have in slowing the global rate of extinction.

“Eradicating invasive mammals from islands is a powerful way to remove a key threat to island species and prevent extinctions and conserve biodiversity,” said lead author Dr Nick Holmes of Island Conservation

Read the full article here.
Little Green Space – @LGSpace
If say 1,000 people give wildflowers a chance by leaving areas of their gardens uncut this year, it’d really help struggling pollinators like bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies and bats! RT if you’re on board for saving time, effort and wildlife by mowing less

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4:37 AM · Mar 27, 2019 · Twitter for iPad

 

  Butterfly Conservation – @savebutterflies

Take a look at some of the amazing details on these moth wings photographed by Mark Horton. #MothsMatter Here you can see the many minute scales that cover the surface of the wing and help to create the marvelous patterns.

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  RSPB Birders – @RSPBbirders
No to nets, please sign this petition. We are as shocked as everyone else to see hedges and trees covered in nets to prevent birds from nesting. Birds and wildlife is in real trouble, this is the last thing they need.
Petition: Make ‘netting’ hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting a criminal offence.
Developers, and other interested parties are circumventing laws protecting birds by ‘netting’ hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting. This facilitates the uprooting of hedgerows which aid biodiver…
petition.parliament.uk
5:07 AM · Mar 27, 2019 · Twitter for iPhone

  Woodland Trust – @WoodlandTrust
Duncliffe Wood in #Dorset is one of most beautiful #bluebell woods in England. You’ll also find other #wildflower species there including moschatel, yellow archangel, and wood speedwell woodlandtru.st/OvdYV

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BTO – @_BTO
Can you help us learn more about waders in Northern Ireland?

is looking for volunteers for the Northern Ireland Lowland Breeding Wader Survey, running between mid-April and mid-June. Learn more and sign up at bit.ly/NILBWSurvey

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
As billions of birds migrate north in the spring, the majority flying at night, many will die after becoming disoriented by city lights. It’s time to go lights-out: ow.ly/Vai630jhg2o

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  BBC Springwatch – @BBCSpringwatch

🐍

Grass snakes are harmless, as they are non-venomous. They are easily predated but will try and avoid capture by either feigning death, lying limp with their mouth wide open, or by producing a foul smelling odour

We think they are AWESOME reptiles! #FOTD

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  RSPB – @Natures_Voice

A short forked tail and the crescent shaped wings are some of the easiest ways to identify swifts, do you know your swifts from your swallows? #WingComing #Swifts natu.re/2Yvlub

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National Garden Scheme – @NGSOpenGardens
Your visits to our gardens help change lives. Today we donated £3 million to our incredible beneficiary charities – all from funds raised in our gardens in 2018.

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Widespread losses of pollinating insects revealed across Britain

Environment editor – The Guardian (link to full article here)

Wild bees and hoverflies lost from a quarter of the places they were found in 1980, study shows

A hoverfly

The study was based on more than 700,000 sightings of bee and hoverfly species from 1980 to 2013. Photograph: Lucy Hulmes/CEH/PA

A widespread loss of pollinating insects in recent decades has been revealed by the first national survey in Britain, which scientists say “highlights a fundamental deterioration” in nature.

The analysis of 353 wild bee and hoverfly species found the insects have been lost from a quarter of the places they were found in 1980. A third of the species now occupy smaller ranges, with just one in 10 expanding their extent, and the average number of species found in a square kilometre fell by 11.

‘A double-edged sword’: Mumbai pollution ‘perfect’ for flamingos

Payal Mohta in Mumba – The Guardian (read the full article here)

Flamingos at NRI colony in Navi Mumbai, India.

Flamingos at NRI colony in Navi Mumbai, India. Photograph: Vidyasagar Hariharan

The flamingo population of India’s largest city has tripled. Is it thanks to sewage boosting the blue-green algae they feed on?

There is an air of anxious excitement among the urban professionals and tourists on board our 24-seater motorboat as we enter Thane Creek.

A chorus of “oohs” and “aahs” breaks out as we spot the visions in pink we came to see – hundreds of flamingos listlessly bobbing in the murky green water – followed by the furious clicking of cameras.

Then, almost as one, the birds skim the water and take off in sync. “They always stay together,” says Prathamesh Desai, who has been organising birding excursions in the city for seven years. “They are an extremely gregarious species.”

These birds have begun congregating in India’s largest city in astonishing numbers. A count in January this year found 120,000 flamingos in the city – three times their highest population in at least four decades.

“Flamingos began migrating to Mumbai in the 1980s and 1990s,” says Rahul Khot, assistant director of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), one of the oldest scientific institutions in India. “Records show that since then their numbers have hovered between 30,000 and 40,000 each season.”

  British Nature Guide – @Britnatureguide

A short message about Dandelions from our families & children e-magazine. And a request. Please leave space for them in your gardens. #Wildflowerhour britishnatureguide.com/magazine-famil…

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  BBC Earth – @BBCEarth

The house sparrow is the most widely distributed wild bird in the world, found on every continent except Antarctica
How humans shaped the evolution of the world’s most common bird
Their populations are declining, but the house sparrow is the most widely distributed bird in the world. Find out how humans have impacted this little bird.
bbcearth.com
Little Green Space – @LGSpace

Happy #WorldWildlifeDay! Help wildlife this year by ensuring your garden or community has some of these:

  • Nectar-rich flowers, wildflowers
  • Pond
  • Bug hotel, wild area, long grass
  • Fruit tree
  • Native tree, hedgerow
  • Veg bed, compost
  • Birdfeeder, birdbath, nestbox

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BBCT – @BumblebeeTrust
Of the 24 species of #bumblebee, 18 are social bumblebees which make a nest with one queen and between forty to four hundred workers, depending on their species and the remaining 6 species are known as cuckoo #bees. Photo: Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) by John Haughton

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
“All species are savable.” Read an expert’s take on how to prevent the next extinction: ow.ly/NXFT30iIONI #WorldWildlifeDay

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  BatConservationTrust – @_BCT_

Bats are fascinating animals – the only true flying mammal. There are over 1,300 species of bats in the world, and more are still being discovered. Bats account for more than a quarter of mammal species in the UK and around 20% of all mammal species worldwide. #WorldWildlifeDay

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  Little Green Space – @LGSpace

Britain has lost over half its breeding swifts in just 20 years. The reasons for the birds’ decline are unclear, but we know their nesting sites are vanishing. Jamie Wyver of

explains what you can do to help this spectacular summer visitor.

How to help our swifts
Britain has lost over half of its breeding Common Swifts in just 20 years. The RSPB’s Jamie Wyver explains what you can do to benefit this charismatic summer migrant.
birdguides.com
  BBC Earth – @BBCEarth
Eight of Africa’s vulture species have declined by an average of 62 per cent in the past 30 years
The race to save Africa’s vultures
Eight of Africa’s vulture species have declined by an average of 62 per cent in the past 30 years, for some species that number is as high as 80 per cent; the threats facing these creatures are…
bbcearth.com
  London Wildlife Trust – @WildLondon
On this #LifeBelowWater #WorldWildlifeDay it’s important to remember that London is also a marine city in need of our protection wildlifeday.org #WWD2019 (

📸

1: Paul Naylor

📸

2: Amy Lewis)

Bird extinctions ‘driven’ by global food trade

The European turtle dove: Numbers are in decline

GETTY IMAGES.  The European turtle dove: Numbers are in decline

About 100 bird species are predicted to become extinct based on current farming and forestry practices, according to a new global analysis.

This number has increased by 7% over the first ten years of this century alone, say scientists.

They say the biggest factor is cattle farming, but the impact of oil seed crops like palm and soy is growing fast.

By comparison, an estimated 140 birds have been lost over the past 400 years.

International researchers used bird extinction as a measure of the loss of biodiversity – the variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat – linked with international trade in food and timber.

Five key things about the extinction crisisWhy we may soon have no bananas (again)Mass extinctions ‘offer cautionary tale’
The research, published in the journal, Nature Ecology & Evolution, shows that international trade can drive threats to animal species far from the countries where the goods are consumed.

In 2011, about a third of biodiversity impacts in Central and South America, and a quarter in Africa were driven by the consumption of goods in other parts of the world, says the team.

The issue of biodiversity loss cannot be addressed without adding remote responsibility, i.e. people taking responsibility for the goods they buy at the supermarket, said co-researcher, Prof Henrique Pereira of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) in Leipzig, Germany.

“We have to provide more information for consumers on that – so that they know what they are buying,” he told BBC News.

Co-researcher Alexandra Marques added: “We must address unsustainable patterns of consumption driven by economic growth. Our choices here will have consequences elsewhere.

“The researchers estimated the number of bird species at risk of extinction due to the conversion of natural habitat to land for agriculture and forestry between 2000 and 2011.

The spix macaw is believed extinct in the wild due mainly to deforestation

GETTY IMAGES.  The spix macaw is believed extinct in the wild due mainly to deforestation

Read the full article here.

Audubon Society – @audubonsociety

The Arctic Refuge is the nesting ground for vast numbers of birds, including Tundra Swans—but the administration has released plans to open the refuge for oil drilling. Take action now to
#ProtectTheArctic: ow.ly/OHDC30n51mg

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BTO – @_BTO
Can you help us? We’re looking to learn more about birds colonising planted farm woods across England. Sign up to the English Farm Woodland Bird Survey to request a square near you and tell us which birds you find: bit.ly/EFWBSurvey

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C’wallWildlifeTrust – @CwallWildlife

Wondering what to give up for Lent? How about single-use plastic!

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  BBC Wildlife – @WildlifeMag

Jaguar are the largest cat in the Americas and have a powerful bite to match. For their size, they are the strongest of any cat, allowing them to dispatch monstrous prey – even caiman crocodiles! View our cats of the world gallery: ow.ly/3qj530nSUhn

📷

Paul Williams

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   BatConservationTrust – @_BCT_

Bats are misunderstood and undervalued although they play a critical role in the environment. They face a range of threats from persecution to habitat loss. Thanks to your support we are working to secure the future of bats in our changing world. bats.org.uk/support-bats

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  Irish Wildlife Trust – @Irishwildlife
Minister @creedcnw has issued a warning to farmers regarding the removal of hedgerows and trees agriculture.gov.ie/press/pressrel…

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American Bird Conservancy – @ABCbirds

 

New #ornithology research found that #balloons are the single biggest plastic-related threat to #seabirds, accounting for 5% of plastic items ingested, but causing more than 40% of mortalities. Let’s find other ways of to celebrate! HT

usnews.com/news/health-ne…

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   Hedgehog Society – @hedgehogsociety

We are looking for people to create a poster display for
#hedgehogweek (5th – 11th May). Do you have access to a noticeboard that could offer space for a display ? Perhaps at work, a local shop or library? If you’d like a poster set please email – info@britishhedgehogs.org.uk

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   YellowstoneNPS – @YellowstoneNPS
The alpha pair bond is the foundation of wolf social structure–it defines the identity of the pack. Wolves in Yellowstone generally breed in mid-February, but may breed into March. Wolf restoration in Yellowstone has provided >20 years of observations of wild wolf behavior.

Two wolves stand in profile in a field of white snow. Black wolf on the left, grey wolf on the right. Their shadows rise up behind them in unbroken snow.

Discover the Forest – @DiscoverForest
National Parks and

provide some of the best wildlife habitat in the country. Learn how they work together to support key species: ow.ly/syKQ30nWxz3

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The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts
Definitely the cutest thing you’ll see today

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  Kenn Kaufman – @KennKaufman
Gotta love a country that names their money after a bird. Guatemala’s national bird is the Resplendent Quetzal, and here’s a picture of it on the 5-quetzales bill. No kidding. #travel #birding #Guatemala

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Yorks Wildlife Trust – @YorksWildlife
Hedgehogs are starting to emerge from their winter hibernation

🦔

🦔🦔

Do be careful if you’re starting to do work in your garden – check carefully for hoggies before doing any strimming or cutting back!

📷

Tom Marshall

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Derbyshire Wildlife Trust – @DerbysWildlife
We are ambitious with our goals for a #WilderDerbyshire. We want to see the reintroduction of species that were once found across Derbyshire – such as red squirrels, beavers, pine martens and golden eagles. What do you think? #WilderFuture.

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Cigarette butts are everywhere, and many experts think a ban on cigarette filters is the only way to end this pervasive form of litter—which also poses a threat to birds. ow.ly/MlnW30nXI31

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Butterfly Conservation – @savebutterflies
The environment gets very little coverage on the news, in politics and even in our day-to-day conversations. It is time for that to change. #BeHeardDay RT if you want government and business to take more notice of our wildlife and the struggles they face. butrfli.es/BeKindToNature

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Every year between February & April, hundreds of thousands of Sandhill Cranes descend onto Nebraska’s Platte River basin during their migration back north to their breeding grounds. You can see it in person: ow.ly/iV7K30nIyl1

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   Little Green Space

🐝

@LGSpace

Peat is an ally against #climatechange and a wildlife haven. But our peatlands are being lost. The UK allows peatland burning to create landscapes for grouse-shooting, and peat to be dug up for garden compost or burned as fuel. Help protect wild peatlands!

Add your voice to protect our wild peatlands
Add your name to our call for peat to be protected. Peat is a natural ally against climate change and an important wildlife haven.
act.friendsoftheearth.uk
  BirdGuides – @BirdGuides
Read the full story behind the Shetland Tengmalm’s Owl

The story of the Shetland Tengmalm’s Owl
Jackie and Erik Moar didn’t recognise a small owl perched outside their bedroom window in Shetland’s west mainland, but John Coutts was on hand to confirm the identification and set a major twitch in…
birdguides.com

  BBC Earth – @BBCEarth

The secret to living forever
The jellyfish that never dies
This week in the BBC Earth Podcast we tell the tale of the jellyfish that never dies. Read on to find out more.
bbcearth.com
Butterfly Conservation
@savebutterflies
Make space in your garden this spring for just one square metre of pollinator-friendly plants and provide the nectar butterflies and moths need to survive. #PlantPowerDay Foodplants for caterpillars are important too, find a list on our website: butrfli.es/Gardening

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
Sandhill Cranes make remarkable journeys across the United States each year. See how 14-year-old photographer Arrow Myers documents the birds as they stop near his Colorado home.

#BirdsNeedWater

The San Luis Valley Crane Migration
Every year, Sandhill Cranes make remarkable journeys from southern parts of the United States all the way to the Arctic Circle. The subspecies I know best, the Greater Sandhill Crane, follows a route
rockies.audubon.org

  RSPB – @Natures_Voice

New #blog from Edward Meyer. Discover a story of increasing success for swifts in Europe: natu.re/Uav5hK

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   Jo Cartmell – @WaterVole
Since the start of the 2nd World War and the 1990’s we have lost 75,000 miles of hedgerow, including thousands of trees in these hedgerows (majority of them oaks). So many are flailed. Hedgerow habitats are vital and must not be destroyed in any way.

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Worcester Birding

@WorcsBirding

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Yet another hedgerow destroyed by @TaylorWimpey, this time at #Powick, #Worcester. Netted on Wednesday, removed yesterday, right at start of nesting season. Had been home to generations of House Sparrows, but no more. Makes no sense as development is almost complete

😡

#madness

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Irish Wildlife Trust – @Irishwildlife
The public is being invited to participate in a survey seeking to determine the latest distribution of red and grey squirrels and the pine marten in Ireland
Survey of numbers of squirrel, pine marten
The public is being invited to participate in a survey seeking to determine the latest distribution of red and grey squirrels and the pine marten in Ireland.
rte.ie

The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts

What would a ‘no deal’ Brexit mean for our environment?

explains the effects it could have on the natural world. wildlifetrusts.org/blog/explainer…

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‘Almost certain extinction’: 1,200 species under severe threat across world

Scientists map out threats faced by thousands of species of birds, mammals and amphibians

by Lisa Cox – The Guardian

West Kalimantan province on Borneo island

The top five countries most affected by threats were all found to be in south-east Asia. Malaysia was the most affected, followed by Brunei and Singapore. Photograph: Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

More than 1,200 species globally face threats to their survival in more than 90% of their habitat and “will almost certainly face extinction” without conservation intervention, according to new research.

Scientists working with Australia’s University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society have mapped threats faced by 5,457 species of birds, mammals and amphibians to determine which parts of a species’ habitat range are most affected by known drivers of biodiversity loss.

The project is from the same team of researchers that found just five countries are responsible for 70% of the world’s remaining wilderness.

The new research, published in PLOS Biology, maps “hotspots” where species are most affected by threats such as agriculture, urbanisation, night lighting, roads, rail, waterways and population density, and “coolspots” that provide refuge from these threats.

Read The Guardian’s full article here.

 

   Brigit Strawbridge Howard – @B_Strawbridge

 

‘Developers ordered to remove nets from Guildford trees’ Excellent news!
Developers ordered to remove nets from Guildford trees
The nets caused outrage on social media.
eagleradio.co.uk
Butterfly Conservation – @savebutterflies
If you’re out and about this March, look out for these butterflies and moths! #MothsMatter Sign up to our monthly E-newsletter to discover more species to look out for with tips on how you can attract them to your garden. butterfly-conservation.org/enews

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The Wildlife Trusts – @WildlifeTrusts
Today we’re launching our Wild About Gardens challenge with

: Big or small, ponds for all! Gardeners across the UK urged to make a splash for wildlife… #WildAboutPonds wildlifetrusts.org/news/big-or-sm…

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Audubon Society – @audubonsociety
“Noticing birds means you’re just a short step away from admiring them; not because they’re so exotic but precisely because they’re not.”

Perspective | I never meant to be a birder. But the birds didn’t give me any choice.
Nature won me over, one warbler at a time.
washingtonpost.com

  BBC Wildlife – @WildlifeMag

How to make a bee hotel

How to make a bee hotel
Help solitary bees by putting a bee hotel in your garden – it’s simple to make and offers vital nesting space.
discoverwildlife.com
  SGD – @The_SGD

 

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new ecological design award as part of The SGD Awards 2020, in honour of visionary plantswoman, garden designer and author, Beth Chatto. To find out about The Beth Chatto Eco Garden Award visit sgdawards.com

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  RHS Garden Wisley – @RHSWisley
Discover Bonsai: Immerse yourself in the fascinating art form of Bonsai at this bookable workshop on 22 March. Practise the cultivation techniques which produce these wonderful miniature trees and learn how to style and look after your own. Find out more: rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley…

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Plains-wanderer hatchlings snuggle up to feather duster ‘father’ – video

Watch this adorable video here.

The captive population of Australia’s most unique critically endangered bird has doubled thanks to a plan hatched by Werribee open range zoo in Victoria. Last week, nine plains-wanderer chicks came into the world within 24 hours of each other. One of the clutches was hatched in an incubator and raised under the paternal care of a feather duster after one of the fathers, a four-month-old who was daunted at raising his first chicks, stopped sitting on them.

Within four days, the zoo director Glen Holland said, the chicks were eating crickets ‘the size of beans’ and zooming around their enclosure ‘like bumblebees’.

‘They have been snuggling up to the feather duster, pushing up into the feathers,’ Holland said.

Get your garden and its wildlife off to a good start this spring

The seasons seem topsy-turvy, but this is still a time of new beginnings. Here’s how to help your flowerbeds and veg plots thrive

hedgehog
Hedgehogs come out of hibernation in spring. Photograph: Getty Images

Flower power

As soil warms, it’s time to plant perennials, but don’t just impulse-buy the first thing you see that promises pretty flowers on the label. If your garden got frazzled by the weather last summer, put drought-resistant plants that double as pollinator magnets to the top of your list. For sunny spots, hylotelephiums (aka sedums), verbascums, achilleas, eryngiums and osteospermums are among the best, while pulmonarias, bergenias, Japanese anemones, lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and lamiums (deadnettles) will thrive in shadier borders.

Sea holly.

Sea holly. Photograph: Alamy

Annual flowers such as honeywort (Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’), California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) and poached egg plant (Limnanthes douglasii) can be sown in pots or trays now, or direct into borders or containers from next month. It pays to water them until they are established if the weather is dry, but they should romp away without any extra help from the hose.

Read the full article here.

Night parrot study retracted after inquiry into whether sightings were staged

Questions have been raised over the credibility of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s research about finding traces of rare bird

By Lisa Cox – The Guardian

A drawing of night parrots.

A drawing of night parrots. Photograph: Alamy

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy has had to retract research it published about the endangered night parrot after an investigation into whether sightings of the parrot were staged.

An independent panel investigated evidence that was used to support reports published by the conservation group that claimed to have found traces of the elusive bird at Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary in South Australia and Diamantina National Park in Queensland.

The reports were underpinned by fieldwork by ecologist John Young, whose work on the night parrot has been called into question, including by Penny Olsen, an associate professor at the Australian National University.

Young was employed by the AWC in 2016 and resigned last year when concerns were raised.

Read The Guardian’s full article here.

 

 

 

 

March 2019 Edition

Naturalists concerned for early-emerging spring species in UK

by Patrick Barkham – The Guardian

A cold, wet March could prove problematic for animals now out of hibernation

 

A barn swallow in flight.

A barn swallow in flight. Photograph: Alamy

Spring is arriving early with swallows, frogspawn and unexpected perfume as temperatures soar up to 20C above this time last year when Britain was blasted by the “beast from the east”.

Rooks are nesting, ladybirds are mating and dozens of migratory swallows have been spotted along the south-west coast – more than a month ahead of their normal arrival.

The 121-year-old record February temperature in Scotland was broken on Thursday with a new high of 18.3C recorded at Aboyne in the Highlands. British springs appear to be leaping ahead of climate change: Met Office data shows mean spring temperatures have risen from 7.1C between 1961 and 1990 to 8.1C between 2008 and 2017.

“We’re in a synoptic sweet spot,” said Grahame Madge of the Met Office. “We’ve got this dome of high pressure sat across continental Europe which is giving us settled conditions. The high pressure is shielding us from the worst of the low pressure but encouraging a flow of warm air from the low pressures.”

Daytime maximums of -3C were commonplace in the Midlands and Severn Valley during last year’s “beast from the east”, while temperatures this weekend are expected to reach 18C.

Read the full article here.

We’ve had an apocalyptic warning: now will we care about biodiversity?

 

A UN report on shrinking species turns the focus away from bumblebees and on to us. It’s time for humanity to take notice.

Field being sprayed with pesticide

‘Crop fields are being sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which leaches the soil and kills off vital pollinators such as bees, birds, and bats.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

 

For a global hazard to really get respect these days, it has to threaten Armageddon. Climate change, for instance, is the stuff of apocalyptic movies: it is about flooding, fire and famine.

The loss of biodiversity, on the other hand – the shrinking spread of species on the planet – ranks further down the scale. This is about dying bumblebees in Poland, or fewer species of fish in the Red Sea, or red squirrels being kicked out by grey ones. It is not the stuff of films starring Dennis Quaid as a divorced scientist who was right all along, and tends to reach headlines as a worry mostly for the bees and squirrels involved (with perhaps a line or two from experts about the knock-on effects). It does not seem to threaten the rest of us.

That perspective is changing. The first UN study into the natural systems propping up the human diet has found that shrinking biodiversity is affecting the Earth’s capacity to produce food. Our food, it says, is now under “severe threat”. The report finds that 20% of the Earth’s vegetated surface has become less productive, and what is growing on it is one notch away from being wiped out. The report mentions the Irish potato famine, and cereal crop failures in the US in the 20th century, and asks us to expect more of that in the future.

How have we created this situation? Well, primarily, because of our desperate attempts to produce food in the first place. Forests are being cut down to make space for crop fields, and crop fields are being sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which leaches the soil and kills off vital pollinators such as bees, birds and bats. Cutting down trees and big plants increases the risk of flooding.