This video shows how that happened.
See also here.
This video shows how that happened.
See also here.
This is a harvest mouse video from the Netherlands.
Berco Hoegen made the video.
This video from Ireland says about itself:
A video on the carnivorous plants that can be found at the IPCC headquarters, the Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare. Visit the centre to experience our greenhouse full of venus flytraps, pitcher plants, sundew, butterwort and cobra lillies.
Our uplands: a burning desire for action
7 March 2014 6:23 AM
I live and work in the flatlands of Eastern England but I love walking in the hills. I have walked large stretches of the long distance footpaths of England, and in recent years, I have been lucky to go and see some of the work that we do in the uplands – working with others such as United Utilities to restore fabulous places like Dove Stone in the Peak District and with our tenant farmer at Geltsdale in the North Pennines. For me, alongside the inspiration that comes from being in wild places, it has always been the wildlife associated with the spongy wonders of peat bogs that hold me in thrall. Getting up close and personal with Sphagnum mosses and carnivorous sundews should not be limited to those that visit botanic gardens.
The walkers amongst you will know that our peatlands are not in great condition. You can see for yourself the scale and extent of damage to peatlands from afforestation, drainage, overgrazing and burning. This was documented by the Adaptation Sub-Committee last year (see Figure 4.5 here). And, as I wrote in my first blog of the year (here), just 10.5% of the 162,000 ha of blanket bog designated as SSSI are in favourable condition in England.
In the late 1990s, the RSPB with many others successfully campaigned to end the extraction of peat from lowland raised bog SSSIs and to get trees off the internationally important bogs in the Flow Country. Today, we should be applying the same urgency to restore internationally important peatlands in the hills. This would not only help wildlife, but also fulfil our legal obligations to restore these sites whilst safeguarding nature’s free services that well-managed peatlands provide – such as locking up carbon, providing clear drinking water, and keeping water for longer on the hill to prevent downstream flooding.
But restoration will not happen if we keep burning our peatlands. In May 2013, Natural England completed its review of evidence of the impact of upland management practices including burning (see here). In short, they concluded that burning vegetation on deep peat soils is preventing the recovery of the habitat and the species our protected sites are intended to look after. For those communities, like those at Hebden Bridge, living in the foothills of intensively managed moors there are more pressing reasons why they cry “Ban the Burn“.
Today, we reveal the scale of burning on our internationally protected peatlands (see here). There are at least 127 separate historic agreements or consents allowing burning of blanket bog on sites internationally important for birds and deep peatland habitats. Defra has confirmed that all of these consents take place on grouse moors where burning is designed to provide optimum conditions for red grouse. We have compiled this information following our investigation into the management agreement that was struck between Natural England and Walshaw Moor Estate in 2012 (which I first aired here).
We have decided to put this information into the public domain for three reasons…
…first, we are encouraging Natural England to act on their evidence review and produce guidelines which bring an end to burning on our protected upland peatlands
…second, any public money that flows up the hill to support land management in the hills (especially finite agri-environment money) must be made to work harder for wildlife and protect nature’s free services. Future agri-environment agreements which allow burning on deep peat would be a waste of tax-payers’ money
…third, we want to invite all landowners to end burning on deep peat and contribute to a national campaign for peatland restoration
We have also, this week, contacted Natural England for an update on any restoration that has taken place at Walshaw since the management agreement was struck in 2012. I think it is in all our interests, especially those taxpayers that walk through Walshaw Moor on the Pennine Way, to find out what progress has been made to block drains and improve the habitat on this internationally protected site.
If you would like to find out more about the detail of the Walshaw case and the wider concerns about burning on peatlands, please do visit our dedicated web pages here.
And do let me know what you think about the continued burning on peatland protected sites.
It would be great to hear your views.
A comment on this blog post, by ‘redkite’, says:
Absolutely right Martin. For too long owners of big tracks of uplands, especially grouse moors have had things too much their way. It is high time our upland peatlands are no longer subjected to burning, plantation forestry and other detrimental management just for the sake of a few more grouse to shoot.The value to the general public, yes in money terms, because of the ability of these peatlands to absorb large amounts of rain water, to provide much better quality drinking water and to “lock up” vast amounts of carbon, all free of charge, must, far, far out weigh the value of a few extra grouse for the shooters.
When in good condition, peatlands are also, of course, marvellous havens for wildlife including hen harriers when they are not illegally shot out the sky. Sound and sensible economics now needs to be applied to our uplands on behalf of everyone, and not for a few parties with particular interests, and to let nature heal the damage done. The general public and nature has been taken for “a bit of a ride” for a long time now and this now needs to be stopped.
Burning heather on a rotation of 7-20 years is part of the industrialisation of the upland landscape of parts of the UK. The main reason for doing it is to produce totally unnaturally high densities of Red Grouse which can then be shot in autumn for sport. It’s a quaint, particularly British, tradition: here.
This video is called Great White Shark Living Legend Documentary.
By Alyssa Danigelis, Discovery News:
Great White Shark On Historic Marathon Migration
March 07, 2014 10:03am ET
Lydia is being monitored by the marine nonprofit Ocearch as part of its ongoing project to help researchers and scientists gather previously unattainable data on shark movement, biology and health. The 14-foot-6-inch great white has migrated more than 19,000 miles since being tagged, and is about to cross the mid-Atlantic ridge — closer to Europe than the United States.
Over time, Ocearch has collaborated with over 50 researchers from more than 20 institutions. The team that tagged Lydia included Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries senior scientist Greg Skomal. Tracking helps the scientists learn more about great white shark biology, he told me last summer. And that could mean providing beach managers with better information to keep both the sharks and the public safe.
The Ocearch team uses two different kinds of electronic tags, Skomal explained. One is a pop-up satellite tag that can archive data such as depth and light levels. The tag can be programmed to release from the shark and then float on the water surface to transmit data back to the scientists.
Another is a real-time satellite tag, which connects to a satellite whenever the shark comes to the surface, providing data about the shark’s movements so scientists — and the public — can follow a shark’s migration patterns over a long time. This is what Lydia has.
In order to tag a great white shark, the team first had to lure it to a smaller boat — no easy task — then catch the shark safely and transfer it to the main Ocearch vessel via hydraulic lift. The team only had 15 minutes to attach tracking tech, do scans, take a small sample and then release the shark. In August, they successfully tagged a 14-foot-2-inch great white named Katharine and followed her progress from Cape Cod to Daytona Beach, Florida.
In the future, an underwater robot could even track tagged great white sharks. Skomal, a Shark Week veteran (video), has been working on an autonomous underwater shark tracking robot that can compete with the robots that West Coast shark trackers Chris Lowe and Chris Clark are developing. “For science purposes it’s great to know everything you possibly can about all the animals on Earth. White sharks are no exception,” Skomal said.
This video from the USA is called Birds of New York, Central Park.
From the New York City Rare Bird Alert in the USA:
Greetings. This is the New York Rare Bird Alert for Friday, March 7th 2014 at 7pm. The highlights of today’s tape are PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, ROSS’S GOOSE, BARNACLE GOOSE, GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, CACKLING GOOSE, TUNDRA SWAN, BARROW’S GOLDENEYE, Eurasian form of GREEN-WINGED TEAL, THICK-BILLED MURRE, NORTHERN SHRIKE and more plus a petition needing your signature.
A nice collection of geese on eastern Long Island last weekend included two PINK-FOOTEDS seen together in a large Canada flock spread over fields east of Roanoke Avenue and north of Reeves Avenue near the Buffalo Farm north of Riverhead. The presence of two PINK-FOOTEDS had been suspected earlier but was confirmed on Saturday and those gathering at these fields were also treated to single ROSS’S and GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE as well as a couple of CACKLING GEESE.
As more and more fields opened up during the week in that area the goose flocks became more spread out and the PINK-FOOTEDS and ROSS’S both eluded searchers from Monday on. One of the PINK-FOOTEDS though was again on Merritt’s Pond in Riverhead today. Also on Saturday a BARNACLE GOOSE was found in fields off Daniel’s Lane in Sagaponack where it was joined by two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE these were not reported after Saturday. Continuing with the waterfowl, HARLEQUIN DUCKS were around the Jones Beach West End jetty today, a female KING EIDER was in Fire Island inlet Wednesday across from Robert Moses State Park field 2, the drake BARROW’S GOLDENEYE was still present Thursday morning at the south end of Lake Montauk spotted in the southwest corner of the lake best viewed from South Lake Drive and two TUNDRA SWANS continue on Hook Pond in East Hampton. A drake COMMON TEAL, the Eurasian sub-species of GREEN-WINGED TEAL (at least considered so in our country), was uncovered among American GREEN-WINGEDS Saturday at Brookville Park in Queens this north of 147th Avenue and west of Brookville Boulevard. The EURASIAN WIGEON was still around Coney Island Creek last weekend.
A THICK-BILLED MURRE found on a boat and released in New York Bay on Wednesday was presumably the one noted from Veteran’s Memorial Pier in Bay Ridge Brooklyn that afternoon.
The NORTHERN SHRIKE at Jones Beach West End was still present this week seen west of the swale off the West End 2 parking lot.
SNOWY OWLS also continue at selected locations with 5 noted at Jones Beach West End on Wednesday.
A good number of RED-NECKED GREBES remain in the area with 9 counted in Brooklyn Wednesday and 4 in Hempstead Harbor off Port Washington last Sunday these among 8 noted in that area.
Single SHORT-EARED OWLS were at [Staley] Beach in Bayville last Sunday and Floyd Bennett Field on Saturday.
RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS continue at Green-wood Cemetery and Dyker Beach Park in Brooklyn and Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx where 3 were noted last Sunday.
In Central Park the 2 BALTIMORE ORIOLES and a PINE WARBLER remain in the Ramble near the feeders and other park visitors have included WOOD DUCK, AMERICAN WOODCOCK and RUSTY BLACKBIRD.
If you have not yet signed a petition on the Internet to restore the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to its pre Sandy condition please do so. This will help. A link to the petition is as follows. We do appreciate your involvement.
To phone in reports on Long Island, call Tony Lauro at (631) 734-4126, but during the day except Sunday call Tom Burke at (212) 372-1483.
This video is called Wonders of Australia’s National Parks, 1 of 3: Riches of Deserts and Wetlands.
However, while the Japanese Abe administration recently at least proclaimed one new national park, Abbott looks like he wants to out-Abe Abe in a race ever more to the extreme right.
From Wildlife Extra:
Australian PM outrages with anti national parks stance
March 2014: The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declared he will not support the creation of any new national parks in Australia and that the country has quite enough, despite the fact that they cover just four per cent of Australia.
“We have quite enough national parks. We have quite enough locked up forests already. Why should we lock up as some sort of World Heritage sanctuary, country that has been logged, degraded or planted for timber?”
Abbott also reaffirmed his commitment to removing part of Tasmania‘s forest from World Heritage listing, made under the forest peace deal. This is the first time a government has ever sought to delist a World Heritage area when its heritage values are still intact. The forest is home to areas, like the Weld, Styx and Upper Florentine Valleys, and the World Heritage Committee has already rigorously assessed these places as being of Outstanding Universal Value to all of us who inhabit the planet.
“Getting that 74,000 hectares out of World Heritage Listing, it’s still going to leave half of Tasmania protected forever,” said Abbott. “But that will be an important sign to you, to Tasmanians, to the world, that we support the timber industry.”
His attack has not surprisingly provoked anger among conservationists.
“Tony Abbott has blown it with that call,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University and director of ALERT, the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers and Thinkers. “Australia has some of the world’s most desperately endangered ecosystems and species, which direly need better protection.“
As an example, the scientists cite the mountain ash forests of Victoria, which have been devastated by over-logging and fires, with just 1.2 per cent of the old-growth forest remaining. “The Leadbeater’s possum relies entirely on these old-growth forests and is critically endangered,” said Corey Bradshaw, a professor at the University of Adelaide. “There’s a dire need to create a new national park for this iconic species and ecosystem.”
The scientists say the Prime Minister’s actions will hurt Australia’s reputation. “Australia is hosting the World Park Congress this year,” said Laurance. “If a relatively wealthy country like Australia won’t protect its environment, what kind of message does that send globally?”
This video is called Flying Snakes – The Physics Of Snakes That Fly.
From Wildlife Extra:
Flying snakes intrigue scientists
They glide through the air with the greatest of ease…
March 2014: Forget Snakes on a Plane, there are some species of snakes in the world that are at home in the air. Three species of snake in the genus Chrysopelea are known to glide, and one, Chrysopelea paradisi, has even been seen turning in mid-air. They can travel as far as 100ft through the air, jumping off tree branches and rotating their ribs to flatten their bodies and move from side to side.
Animal flight behaviour is an exciting frontier for engineers to both apply knowledge of aerodynamics and to learn from nature’s solutions to operating in the air. Flying snakes are particularly intriguing to researchers because they lack wings or any other features that remotely resemble flight apparatus.
Before you envision flying snakes raining down from the sky, the ones involved in this study are small — about 1m in length and the width of your thumb — and live in the lowland tropical forests of Asia and Southeast Asia.
Virginia Tech Assistant Professor Jake Socha, renowned for his work with flying snakes, recently teamed with Boston University and George Washington University researchers to explore the snakes’ lift and wakes using computer simulations.
Previously, experiments in a wind tunnel had returned an unexpected finding: the snake’s shape is not only good at generating a force of lift, but it also gets an extra boost of lift when facing the air flow at a certain angle.
“After experiments uncovered this, we decided to use computer simulations to try to explain it,” says Lorena Barba, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the George Washington University.
So much of the aerodynamics of animal flight — especially that of flying snakes — remain a mystery. Scale is important, but also the manner in which flight is achieved.
“Rather than fixed wings, animal fliers have flapping wings,” explains Barba. “In the case of gliders, their small scale means they’re always in a flurry of whirling winds. By understanding how they can be graceful and efficient under these conditions, we can in turn use that knowledge to create small flying machines that are equally graceful.”
Whirls of wind can be particularly useful: these little vortices “can give flying snakes an extra lift,” notes Barba. “The shape of the snakes in flight — which is a flattened version of its shape at rest — gets help from little vortices around it.”
Next, the researchers would like to include more elements of the snake’s real gliding conditions into their computer simulations, such as its full body forming an S-shape, rather than working with just a section.
“This will be more difficult to do in a computer model, but it will probably reveal more about the complicated flow patterns snakes take advantage of to be such gifted gliders,” Barba says.
This video is called Humpback Whales – BBC documentary excerpt.
From Wildlife Extra:
Japan saves humpback breeding grounds
March 2014: It’s good news for humpbacks as Japan has designated the Kerama Islands and surrounding waters in Okinawa Prefecture as the country’s 31st national park and the first in three decades. These waters are also famed as a breeding ground for whales, including humpbacks who migrate to the tropical waters for mating between December and April every year.
The designated area includes 30 islets and reefs, and covers 3,520 hectares of dry land and 94,750 hectares of ocean. It lies 35 kilometres west of Okinawa Main Island and is famous for its rich aquatic environment. It is home to 248 species of coral.
A report in the Japan Times says that the ministry will also designate surrounding waters shallower than 30 metres as a marine park and will strictly restrict development within them, such as the extraction of sand. It also plans to build coral restoration facilities to counter the damage done in the past.
Blue whales and many other marine animals will receive important new safeguards by Chile’s declaration of two new marine protected areas (MPAs) along its southern coast: here.
March 2014: The future of Japan’s whaling activities in the Antarctic could be reviewed as the International Court of Justice in The Hague has announced that it will deliver its preliminary judgment in the case between Australia and Japan at the end of the month: here.
This video from England says about itself:
21 August 2013
From Wildlife Extra:
Lost cuckoo makes dramatic reappearance
March 2014: One of the migrating cuckoos being tracked by the British Trust for Ornithology on its migration to and from sub-Saharan Africa has been located after a three-month silence. Tor, the cuckoo that was fitted with its tracking device in Dartmoor National Park last May had ‘gone dark’ and was feared dead.
Tor’s satellite signal, that transmits for 10 hours every couple of days to reveal the location of the bird and, occasionally, its body heat measurement, was last received on 4 December, at which time he was on the Gabon/Congo border. It is not unknown for the transmitters’ batteries to degrade or for the birds to be under dense cover for extended periods which prevents the devices’ solar panels from charging them up, but usually there is only a period of a week or two before they spring into life again.
In this case, Tor stayed under the radar for an unprecedented amount of time until he resurfaced in early March in the Central African Republic.
The BTO has been satellite-tracking cuckoos on their migration since 2011 in order to find out their important stop-over sites and wintering destinations to and from Africa and so discover why we have lost more than half of our breeding cuckoos in the past 25 years. Last spring 15 cuckoos were tagged, most of which are now on their way back to the UK. Information from the project will help to form conservation strategies and initiate action.
To find out more about the project and follow the progress of this year’s cuckoos as they return to the UK, visit here.
You can also sponsor a cuckoo and help finance the research here.
Thids is a black-tailed godwit video from England.
Yesterday, 7 March 2014, again to the “Baillon’s crake reserve”.
Two great cormorants resting on the windmill’s sails.
In the next canal, a tufted duck group. A male teal. A coot. Mallards.
In the southern lake, a great crested grebe.
In the northern lake, on the island, a lesser black-backed gull. Scores of northern lapwings.
Two shelducks and scores of shovelers swimming.