Old and new natural history books


Alexander Reeuwijk, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

This photo shows author Alexander Reeuwijk behind a table with old natural history books in Naturalis museum in Leiden, the Netherlands. Like the other photos of this blog post, this is a cellphone photograph, of 19 October 2014.

On that day, as this blog already noted, Remco Daalder, Amsterdam city ecologist, was awarded the Jan Wolkers Prize. This prize is named after famous Dutch artist and author Jan Wolkers. Natural history was one of his subjects. The Jan Wolkers Prize is for the best natural history book of the year in the Netherlands. Remco Daalder’s book is about swifts.

Remco Daalder’s book had been nominated for the prize shortlist along with four other books. One of them was Alexander Reeuwijk’s book about nineteenth century British naturalist and evolution theorist Alfred Russel Wallace and his travels in Indonesia.

The three other nominations were for Mathijs Deen, for a book on the Wadden Sea region; Bibi Dumon Tak for her children’s book on common animals; and various authors for a book on Planken Wambuis nature reserve.

Back to Alexander Reeuwijk. He presented his ten favourite natural history books from the Naturalis collections. These books were from the sixteenth till the twentieth centuries.

Pierre Belon's book, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

The oldest of Alexander’s ten books was from 1553. It was by Pierre Belon from France, about fish. Belon is often seen as the first ichthyologist. In Belon‘s time, fishes were not differentiated from aquatic mammals, aquatic invertebrates, etc. The book discussed over a 100 species for the first time ever.

The copy in Leiden is of De aquatilibus; the Latin translation of the French original.

Pierre Belon's book on sharks, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

The book contains many woodcut pictures, including of hammerheads and other sharks.

Alexander Reeuwijk’s next book was from five years later, from 1558. It was by Conrad Gessner from Switzerland.

Lobster, in Gessner's book, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

Gessner’s Historiae animalium was the first attempt to describe all the animals known. Including the lobster pictured here on a woodcut in the book.

Lobster, watercolour, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

The original watercolour depiction of the lobster, used for the woodcut, is also present in Naturalis.

Mark Catesby, parrots, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

The next book was based on two books, originally in English. Mark Catesby died in 1749. He wrote Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, published 1729-1747. George Edwards wrote A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, published 1743-1764. Catesby’s and Edwards’ books contain many pictures of birds considered as ‘exotic’ by eighteenth century Europeans, like parrots in North America and the Caribbean.

Mark Catesby's and Edwards' Dutch translation, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

Catesby’s and Edwards’ books were translated into Dutch by M. Houttuyn, and published as Verzameling uitlandsche en zeldzaame vogelen in 1772-1781.

Spotted sandpiper, Naturalis, 19 October 2014

This picture in the Dutch translation depicts, below, a spotted sandpiper from the Americas.

Alexander’s fourth book was Nederlandsche Vogelen, about Dutch birds, by Nozeman and Sepp, published in various volumes 1770-1829.

Book number five was Histoire Naturelle des plus Rares Curiosoitez de la Mer des Indes. By Louis Renard, about marine life in Indonesia. The Leiden copy was published in 1782, after the author’s death.

Next, a book about plants in the Netherlands: the Flora Batava. Jan Kops wrote the first volume, published in 1800.

Then, Histoire naturelle générale des pigeons et des gallinacés (1808). Written by Coenraad Temminck; about pigeons. With pictures by Pauline de Courcelles Knip.

Mauritius blue pigeon

One of Ms de Courcelles Knip’s pictures for the book shows a Mauritius blue pigeon; now extinct.

The next book was about kingfishers. It was A monograph of the Alcedinidae: or, family of kingfishers, 1868-1871, by Richard Bowdler Sharpe. John Keulemans made the pictures.

Then, a book from the USA, by Sherman Foote Denton. It was As Nature Shows Them : Moths and Butterflies of the United States, East of the Rocky Mountains; from 1898.

Finally, another book on birds in the Netherlands: Ornithologia Neerlandica, de vogels van Nederland, 1922-1935. Eduard Daniel van Oort wrote it. Marinus Koekkoek painted the pictures.

First eco-aqueduct for Dutch wildlife


This video from the Netherlands is about the start of building the new eco-aqueduct near Rouveen.

Translated from RTV Oost in the Netherlands, 22 October 2014:

The first eco-aqueduct for animals opens in Overijssel today. The crossover is between Rouveen and Zwartsluis and is intended for otters, snakes, frogs and fish.

Animals that use the crossing, first go through a water bridge across the Conrad canal. …

Then the passage goes underneath the Conradweg road. Also land animals can cross under the road through a dry passage.

Will marine area in Myanmar be protected?


This video says about itself:

Reef Life of the Andaman (full marine biology documentary)

“Reef Life of the Andaman” is a documentary of the marine life of Thailand and Burma (Myanmar).

Scuba diving more than 1000 times from the coral reefs and underwater pinnacles of Thailand‘s Similan Islands, Phuket, Phi Phi Island and Hin Daeng, to Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago and Burma Banks, I encountered everything from manta rays to seahorses, whale sharks to shipwrecks. The 116-minute film features descriptions of 213 different marine species including more than 100 tropical fish, along with sharks, rays, moray eels, crabs, lobsters, shrimps, sea slugs, cuttlefish, squid, octopus, turtles, sea snakes, starfish, sea cucumbers, corals, worms etc..

From Wildlife Extra:

New Marine Protected Area for Myanmar

A new, possible Marine Protected Area in Myanmar’s Myeik archipelago is under consideration by the country’s government, Flora and Fauna International have reported.

Situated in the north-eastern Andaman Sea the archipelago comprises over 800 islands of white sandy beaches and coral reefs teeming with a diverse array of marine life.

Scientific surveys of the area have revealed around 287 species of coral and 365 reef fish species, as well as reefs rich in echinoderms, crustaceans, molluscs and sponges.

The MPA has been proposed in a bid to conserve this unique biodiversity from the serious threats it faces, such as overfishing, destructive fishing methods, and to support sustainable fisheries.

Frank Momberg, FFI Myanmar Programme Director said, “Myanmar’s fisheries resources have declined dramatically over the last decade. However, by establishing a marine protected area network Myanmar will protect important nursery grounds for fish, coral reef and mangrove areas critical to maintaining the livelihood of coastal fishing communities and the fishing industry.”

Shark feeding frenzy in North Carolina


This video says about itself:

Rare Shark Feeding Frenzy in North Carolina

On Thursday, October 9 [2014] at around noon, while at a retreat at Cape Lookout National Seashore off the coast of North Carolina, the leaders of One Harbor Church witnessed a shark feeding frenzy. The men were out fishing for the evening’s dinner when they stumbled across more than 100 sharks attacking a school of bluefish. As seagulls and pelicans joined in on the meal, the men began to cast into the surf, catching fish without the use of bait. For more than five minutes, the sharks were observed swimming in and out of the surf, some of which became beached in the fury.

eNature Blog in the USA writes about this:

Amazing Video Shows Shark Feeding Frenzy In The Surf Off North Carolina Beach

Posted on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 by eNature

Several species of shark, including the popular blacktip that frequents the coastal waters of Virginia and the Carolinas during the summer, can be clearly seen literally on the beach in a feeding frenzy video posted to YouTube last week.

The video, posted by user Brian Recker, shows sharks feasting on a school of smaller fish, most likely bluefish, in shallow water at North Carolina’s Cape Lookout National Seashore.

While it’s not uncommon on East Coast beaches to find schools of small fish in the surf when they are chased up on the beach by predators, most observers encounter bluefish chasing smaller fish such as herring or mullet. It IS uncommon to see bluefish as the prey being chased—and sharks so exposed on the beach.

Here is another video on this.

Brook lamprey returns to Dutch stream


This is a brook lamprey video.

The Dutch ichthyologists of RAVON report about the brook lamprey today.

This species needs clean streams. Pollution killed many brook lampreys during the twentieth century in the Dutch province Noord-Brabant.

Recently, water quality improved in many places. This autumn, brook lampreys were reintroduced to the Reusel brook.

New conservation Internet site


This video from Jamaica says about itself:

Protecting Pedro – Building Conservation Capacity

24 July 2012

Starting in 2005, The Nature Conservancy in partnership with the Government of Jamaica, has been working on the Pedro Bank to develop conservation solutions; including thorough environmental and social assessments, a management plan and the establishment of a fish sanctuary surrounding Southwest Cay (Bird Cay).

From BirdLife:

New online resource to help meet global conservation challenges

By Martin Fowlie, Tue, 30/09/2014 – 20:45

A new online resource, capacityforconservation.org has been launched that aims to support and strengthen conservation organisations and help them to achieve – and sustain – their conservation and organisational development goals.

The free online tool, created collaboratively by BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International (FFI), the Tropical Biology Association and the University of Cambridge, will help conservation organisations to build and expand on existing knowledge and skills, ultimately helping them to better accomplish their conservation goals.

Capacityforconservation.org already contains tools, resources and case studies gathered by the world’s leading conservation NGOs from around the world. It encourages users to upload their own practical tools, resources and case studies covering various aspects of strategic conservation planning, from finance management, fundraising and communications to organisational governance and project development. These tools allow users to learn from best practice, while sharing their own examples so conservationists around the world can learn from each other, ultimately helping to address the complex conservation challenges faced today.

Dr Hazell Shokellu Thompson, BirdLife International’s Interim Chief Executive said, “many organisations within the BirdLife Partnership are seeking to become an even stronger force for nature conservation, both nationally and internationally. I believe that capacityforconservation.org is a fantastic platform to help BirdLife Partners to continue to develop and grow, and achieve their organisational goals.”

Two hundred and forty people have already registered on the website, logging on from 103 countries, from Antigua to Zimbabwe. Resources are available in 18 languages, with more being added by users, and work is underway to translate the site into Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

Capacityforconservation.org was created by with support from the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a unique collaboration between the University of Cambridge and leading internationally-focussed biodiversity conservation organisations clustered in and around Cambridge, UK.