Sheet web spider European spider of the year 2014

Linyphia triangularis, female

The sheet web spider (Linyphia triangularis) will be the European spider of the year 2014.

This species is rather common in northern Europe; less so in the south.

Restrict exotic pet keeping, veterinarians say

This video from the USA says about itself:

Exotic Animals Being Kept as Pets

20 Oct 2011

Thousands of dangerous animals are raised illegally in homes across the U.S. For more, click here.

From Wildlife Extra:

The keeping of exotic animals as pets should be restricted say vets

November 2013: The keeping of exotic animals as pets needs to be restricted says the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE), which represents veterinary surgeons from 38 countries, and have called upon the governments of European nations to take action.

Whilst dogs and domestic cats may be the most conventional and numerous companion animals, or ‘pets’, wild animals, such as snakes and lizards, parrots and even meerkats and monkeys, are increasingly in demand across homes in Europe. Wild in nature and often unpredictable, these animals not only require specialised care, but they are potentially dangerous to people, can inflict severe physical injury and transmit harmful diseases.

If abandoned, or if they escape, they can pose a threat to the natural environment. Concerned by the growing demand for exotic animals as pets and the risks to both animals and the public, as well as the increasing demand placed on the veterinary profession to diagnose and treat exotic illnesses, the FVE is advocating the establishment of ‘Animal Lists’ that restrict and in certain cases, prohibit the keeping of some animal species.

Christophe Buhot, President of the FVE says: “Veterinarians in Europe are increasingly concerned about the surge in wild and exotic species being kept in the homes of European citizens. People are buying these animals, often without a thought given to their biology, behaviour or living requirements and, unsurprisingly, some of these animals soon become ill, or even die.

“In addition, some of these animals might even pose a health or safety risk to their keepers. The expectation on veterinary professionals to provide species-specific information and advice accordingly, is high, but, some of these animals are simply not suitable to be kept. In order to avert the suffering of animals, and these very real threats to the welfare of the public, our members are calling for limitations in exotic animal keeping as the most viable solution.”

Vets are dedicated to actively promoting health and welfare for animals and humans and FVE strongly wishes to collaboratively work with all stakeholders and EU Institutions towards those objectives. Belgium and the Netherlands, have already established a ‘positive list’ of mammals, clarifying which animal species are permitted to be kept by private individuals.

Daniel Turner from Born Free, said, “The position taken by European veterinarians today could not be clearer: exotic animals such as monkeys and meerkats, parrots and snakes must be restricted and in some cases, prohibited. Europe is one of the largest international markets for wild animals and annual records indicate that legal imports include approximately 1.5 billion ornamental fish; 10 million live reptiles; millions of captive-bred birds and small mammals (such as prairie dogs and meerkats); and increasing numbers of non-human primates. The establishment of positive species lists, like those used in Belgium and the Netherlands, will not only protect the animals and the public, but further, the sustainability of biodiversity and natural habitats around the world.”

Subalpine Warbler split into three different species


Subalpine warblers … bringing back good memories

Originally posted on North African Birds:

Svensson, L. 2013. A taxonomic revision of the Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillansBulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 133: 240-248.

In this new paper, prominent ornithologist Lars Svensson summarised the recent research on the taxonomy of the Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans) and recommended the split of the complex into three separate species:

- Western Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia inornata), with two subspecies: inornata and iberiae (a new subspecies described in the paper for the birds breeding in the Iberian Peninsula, southern France and extreme north-west Italy),

- Eastern Subalpine Warbler (Sylvia cantillans), with two subspecies: cantillans and albistriata, and

- Moltoni’s Warbler (Sylvia subalpina, monotypic).

The taxon cantillans, historically associated with western birds (i.e. from Iberia), is now one of the subspecies of the Eastern Subalpine Warbler because the type specimen of cantillans is a bird collected from Italy and…

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The ring-necked parakeet


This ring-necked parakeet is at a feeder. The originally African and Asian bird species is becoming widespread in Europe.

Originally posted on NatureBase:

View original

Crossbills and white-fronted geese at EuroBirdwatch 2013

This video is called EuroBirdwatch 2012: 17000 Barnacle Geese in Joutseno, Finland.

And now, EuroBirdwatch 2013.

Here are the results of counting (migratory) birds all over the Netherlnds on 5 October 2013:

TOP 10 – 2013
Total: 241.924
Number of bird species: 181

1. White-fronted goose 68,515

2. Starling 44,092

3. Chaffinch 35,114

4. Black-headed gull 9,918

5. Meadow pipit 9,200

6. Grey lag goose 8,989

7. Northern lapwing 8, 957

8. Common gull 4,520

9. Herring gull 3,155

10. Crossbill 2,482

Never before had white-fronted geese been on number one. And never before had crossbills made the top ten.

Unusual species included: two ospreys, two ravens, 13 glossy ibis, 2 Cetti’s warblers, 4 water rails, 1 white-tailed eagle, 1 cuckoo, 1 red kite, 1 ruddy shelduck, 2 purple herons, four ring ouzels, and 40 snow buntings (in one flock).