Making your own wildlife reserve

This video from Britain is called Building Communities – Little Ouse Headwaters Project. It says about itself:

Lying on the border between Norfolk and Suffolk, the Little Ouse Headwaters project has worked tirelessly to re-establish a continuous corridor of wildlife habitat along the headwaters of the Little Ouse River.

The project was awarded £44,993 in Biffa Award funding. They scooped the Rebuilding Biodiversity prize at the Biffa Awards 2011.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

How to set up a nature reserve

Ever dreamed of running your own wildlife reserve? Denso Marston nature reserve is run by the local community; here are tips and advice from the experts about how to do it yourself

Katherine Purvis, Lucy Palmer

Monday 22 September 2014 14.31 BST

15. Denso Marston Nature Reserve

Age: 21 years old

Location: Baildon, West Yorkshire

How many people involved?

Warden Steve Warrillow manages the reserve and has 14 volunteers, who all live locally. On average the reserve has 5,500 visitors a year.

What happens?

The nature reserve hosts a range of events and activities including pond-dipping, moth nights and wildflower exploring, as well as a variety of guided walks to listen to the dawn and evening chorus, and to watch out for bats. Spider Club takes place on the last Saturday of the month and there are 20 people involved: 10 children and 10 adults.

Does the group get funding?

Denso Marston Nature Reserve is partly funded through membership, which costs £6 annually per household. The Friends of Denso Marston Nature Reserve group helps to fund activities, and the local parish council has also chipped. …

What would they like to do next?

“We’ve been cultivating a space behind the education centre for the Spider Club for a while now, putting in raised beds for wildflowers, veggies and fruit,” says Steve. “The beds are all built out of recyclable waste from the Denso factory – I think the only thing we had to buy were the nails, and even those some of the volunteers brought in for us. We even had an old bath donated which we are turning into a pond.” In the future, the reserve would like to carry out more documentation of the various species that live there, especially birds, spiders and other bugs.

What can you do to help?

Visitors are always welcome at the nature reserve ­– the best time to visit is at the weekend. Contact Steve about Spider Club:

Can I set something like this up in my area?

The Wildlife Trusts manage 2,300 nature reserves across the UK, Isle of Man and Alderney. Find a nature reserve near you using the interactive map here. You can also see the Trusts’ range of wildlife-orientated events around the country here.

Anna Guthrie, WT spokeswoman, says: “If you have an area where you can make the most of the land’s potential for wildlife, consider creating a new nature reserve and adding a bit more to our national network of places for wildlife. Size doesn’t matter: whether you have a window box or an entire estate, the principles are the same. By providing food, water, shelter and a place to breed we can help wildlife to thrive.” Some tips:

· Look at how your land links to the wider network of wildlife corridors and important sites for wildlife in the landscape, and consider how your land could function to expand this network.

· Seek expert advice! Your local Wildlife Trust would be a good place to start.

· Survey your site really thoroughly before you do anything to find out what lives there already and how wildlife is already using the site.

· Decide on what species can realistically be attracted to the site and what species already there could have their populations enhanced – they might be common or rare species but important locally.

· Draw up a long-term plan which includes maintaining the site and monitoring it. You might create new areas of habitat, restore existing habitats or perhaps leave some areas wild and untouched.

· Then raise or find the money you need to implement your plan.

· Seek help from volunteers in your community if needed and put your plans for nature into action. Start to have fun!

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust welcomes volunteers at its nine visitor centres, at its Steart site in Somerset, and its headquarters at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire. Click here to find a volunteering opportunity in your area; you can also check out this map from the Conservation Volunteers.

For inspiration seek out the Little Ouse Headwaters Project, which lies between Blo’ Norton in Norfolk and Thelnetham in Suffolk. Run entirely by volunteers, the project has transformed two agriculturally derelict sites over the past 10 years to provide a safer habitat for many rare and localised species. The project has also created 800 metres of new footpaths and a footbridge, allowing the community access to enjoy the site.

The Amateur Entomologists’ Society runs The Bug Club for children interested in insects and creepy crawlies. Members receive a magazine, merchandise and the opportunity to sign up for events and field trips.

The Freshwater Habitats Trust has a variety of resources and factsheets on different kinds of habitats, as well as a comprehensive toolkit for creating your own wildlife pond.

Baby nursehound shark born

Baby nursehound shark

This is a photo of a baby nursehound shark; hatched recently from an egg in the aquarium of Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands (with a stickleback in the background of the photo).

‘Terrorist’ Syrian Kurds, not NATO bombs, stop ISIS

Border crossings between Syria and Turkey

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Syrian Kurdish fighters halt Islamic State advance near Kobani

Isis’s latest attempt to take predominantly Kurdish town close to Turkey repelled with aid of Kurds crossing the border

Reuters in Beirut

Monday 22 September 2014 11.34 BST

Syrian Kurdish fighters have halted an advance by Islamic State (Isis) fighters to the east of a predominantly Kurdish town near the border with Turkey, a spokesman for the main armed Kurdish group said.

“Fierce clashes are still under way but the Isis advance to the east of Kobani has been halted since last night,” Redur Xelil, spokesman for the YPG said via Skype.

He said the eastern front was the scene of the fiercest fighting in the offensive launched by Isis last Tuesday on Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab. More than 100,000 Syrian Kurds have fled its advance, many crossing the border into Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks violence in the Syrian war, said Isis fighters had made no significant advance in the past 24 hours.

The offensive is Isis’s second attempt to take Kobani since June, when it staged a lightning advance across northern Iraq, seizing the city of Mosul and with it Iraqi weapons including US-made hardware that the Syrian Kurds say is being used against them.

The previous attack on Kobani, in July, was fought off with the help of Kurds who crossed the border from Turkey. Xelil said hundreds had crossed the border again to help repel the current offensive.

“There have been no reinforcements apart from some Kurdish youths from Turkey,” he said.

The US has launched air strikes against Isis in Iraq and has said it would not hesitate to attack the group in Syria, but wants allies to join its campaign.

For their supposedly ‘anti-ISIS’ campaign, the United States government wants as allies the governments of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, etc. which contributed much to the rise of ISIS terrorism. They don’t want Syrian Kurds or Turkish Kurds, who are on NATO’s list of so-called ‘terrorists’.

The United Nations said on Sunday the number of Syrian Kurds who had fled into neighbouring Turkey might have topped 100,000 and was likely to go much higher.

Bats at Terschelling island ice rink

This video from the USA is called Bat Biology in Pennsylvania. Part 1 of 2.

And this video is the sequel.

Dutch ecologist Reinier Meijer reports about bats on Terschelling island.

The Dutch Wadden Sea islands are not really good environments for bats, compared to the continental Netherlands, as temperature is often lower and wind is often stronger.

A good place for bats on Terschelling is the Hêdreederplak near Hoorn village. Most of the year, this is a pond. In cold winters, it becomes an ice rink.

Common pipistrelles are a common species at the Hêdreederplak.

Nathusius’ pipistrelles are rather frequent as well.

Serotine bats used to be there as well, but have not been heard by bat detectors there since 2011.

Parti-coloured bats have been recorded since 2012.

Also since 2012, a brown long-eared bat was heard. Probably there was more than one individual, but recording this species is not easy.

Wasp species, new for the Netherlands, discovered

This is a video about a Leucospis dorsigera wasp at a solitary bee‘s nest.

Translated from the Dutch entomologists of EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten:

Monday, September 22, 2014

On July 23, 2014 nature photographer Adrie van Heerden discovered a Leucospis dorsigera wasp in his garden in Pijnacker. This is the first ever discovery of this species in the Netherlands. This Leucospis dorsigera wasp was probably a parasite on the red mason bees which make their nests in the insect hotels in the garden.

Footballer Balotelli attacked by racists

This soccer video is called Mario Balotelli Amazing Skills 2008 – 2014.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Liverpool star racially abused on Twitter

Monday 22nd September 2014

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli was the victim of racial abuse on Twitter yesterday following his reaction to Manchester United’s shock defeat to Leicester.

Balotelli, part of the Reds side which lost 3-1 at West Ham on Saturday, tweeted: “Man Utd…LOL” in response to United’s 5-3 loss at Filbert Way.

His tweet was met by a string of racist messages, including one from an @CraigSainsbury which read: “F*** you Mario you f****** n*****. Got eat some bananas and get ebola you dirty monkey.”

The account from which the tweet was sent subsequently appeared to have been closed.

Balotelli has been singled out for racist abuse in the past.

He was heckled by Italy supporters during a pre-World Cup training camp in May and was on the receiving end of numerous instances of racist abuse during his time at Inter Milan and, more recently, AC Milan.