Second beaver lodge on Tiengemeten island

This video is called How Beavers Build a Lodge – BBC Animals.

Dutch conservation organisation Natuurmonumenten reports that this year, beavers have built a second lodge on Tiengemeten, an island which is a nature reserve.

Last year, beavers built their first lodge on Tiengemeten.

Beavers had become extinct in the Netherlands in 1826. In 1988, they were reintroduced.

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Squirrel ‘shares’ food, video

This video shows a red squirrel, feeding on sunflower seeds from a squirrel-shaped feeder.

Jan Duijneveld from the Netherlands made the video.

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Beaver and lapwings, video

This is a video about a beaver in Biesbosch nature reserve in the Netherlands; featuring some sleepy northern lapwings.

Marco Valk made the video.

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Wild beavers back in England after 200 years

This video from England says about itself:

Beaver in Devon

30 sep. 2013

Beavers are a vital missing link in the UK’s ecosystem and the wetland environment is suffering from the loss of beaver activity. In principle we support the EU’s call for governments to reintroduce lost endemic species and note that England is one of the few remaining countries not to reintroduce beavers.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wild beavers spotted in Devon

European beavers are back in the wild

February 2014: After an absence of more than 200 years a small population of European beavers, Castor fiber, has been seen wild in the English countryside. A family group of three were filmed by Tom Buckley on the River Otter in East Devon. They are believed to be the result of an escape or unsanctioned release.

It is highly significant because it strongly suggests that a small breeding population of beavers now exists outside of captivity. This would be the first time since the 18th century that European beavers had been breeding in the wild in England. Beavers were finally hunted to extinction during the 18th century as a result of being highly valued fur, medicinal value and meat, not because they were viewed as a nuisance species.

“We believe that releases of European beavers should be properly planned. We do not support unlicensed releases of any animals or plants, said Devon Wildlife Trust in a statement.

“However, now that a small European beaver population has established itself in East Devon we believe that they should be left alone and observed, using a rigorous monitoring programme. This group of beavers provides us with a unique opportunity to learn lessons about their behaviour and their impact on the local landscape.

“We believe that, given the right conditions, the return of the European beaver, a formerly native mammal, will be of overall benefit to river and wetland habitats in the UK.”

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Red squirrel video

This is a video about a red squirrel in a garden in the Netherlands.

Corry van Erp made the video.

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Blind mice blind no more?

This music video is called 3D Animation: Three Blind Mice, English Nursery Rhyme for children, with lyrics.

From the New Scientist:

Blind mice see the light after simple drug therapy

19 February 2014 by Colin Barras

If it’s beyond repair, you find something else to do its job. This could soon apply to rods and cones, the light-sensitive cells in our eyes that can wither with age, causing blindness. A drug has been found that coaxes neighbours of ailing cells to do their work for them.

In 2012, Richard Kramer at the University of California, Berkeley, discovered that injecting a certain chemical into the eyes of blind mice made normally light-insensitive ganglion cells respond to light. These cells ferry optical signals from the rods and cones to the brain, so the mice regained some ability to see light.

But it only worked with ultraviolet light. Now, Kramer’s team has found a different drug that does the same with visible light. Just 6 hours after they were injected, blind mice could learn to respond to light in the same way as sighted mice – although Kramer says he doesn’t know whether they regained vision or just light sensitivity.

Selective effect

When the researchers studied the drug’s impact on retinal cells in more detail, they realised it had had no effect on healthy cells. “That’s what’s particularly remarkable and hopeful about this,” says Kramer. “It’s possible that if you put this drug in a partially damaged eye it would restore vision to the damaged regions and leave the healthy areas unaffected – although we haven’t done the experiments to test that.”

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Beaver feeding, video

This video is about a beaver feeding near Almere in the Netherlands.

P. Wegener made this video.

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Scottish rats and Manx shearwaters, new research

This video from the Azores says about itself:

Releasing juvenile Manx Shearwaters in Corvo

26 Aug 2009

Some juvenile seabirds are attracted by artificial lights and fall in the village of Corvo during their first flights. We caught them, ringed them and released them the next morning.

From Wildlife Extra:

Rat tagged on Scottish isle

February 2014: In one of the first projects of its kind a rat on the Isle of Rum has been tagged and its travels round the island logged via satellite.

Researchers on Rum National Nature Reserve (NNR) hope the results (due at the end of this month) will help them understand the impact of brown rat behaviour on nearby colonies of the Manx shearwater seabird.

From April until September the Rum Cuillin come alive after dark with the sound of these amazing birds, no bigger than pigeons, returning to their breeding burrows after spending the winter off the east coast of South America. On Rum, they nest in burrows high in the mountains, fishing by day and returning to their nests at night.

Brown rats are recent colonists to the island and probably arrived on boats. As on all offshore islands where rats have jumped ship, they have an adverse effect on native species.

Understanding rat behaviour is vital to assess their likely impacts on Manx shearwaters and other species, as Lesley Watt, the SNH Rum reserve officer, explained.

“Rats are thought to be responsible for numerous global seabird population declines through predation on eggs, chicks and adult birds, though historically they have not been thought to have an impact on the Rum Cuillin colony,” she said.

“But we are concerned that rat numbers and predation may increase in the future. So we need to know more about the ecology of the rats to inform our future management policy for this globally import Manx shearwater breeding site.

“We are all intrigued about what we’ll find out when our roaming rat data is analysed and we view the results.”

The rat-related work is part of a three-year Magnus Magnusson PhD studentship, funded by SNH and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). Anglia Ruskin University is carrying out the work with the National Wildlife Management Centre, part of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA).

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What Texel island barn owls eat

This video from Britain is called Slow-Motion Barn Owl in Flight – Unexpected Wilderness – BBC.

On 2 January 2014, children, their parents and grandparents went to Ecomare museum on Texel island in the Netherlands. There, they helped biologists doing research on owl pellets.

Owl pellets show clues about what owls have eaten. The 2 January research was about pellets of a barn owl couple near Oosterend village.

Surprisingly, a child discovered frog bones in one pellet. Barn owls hunt in the dark, seeing the body heat of their prey with infrared light. Frogs, being cold-blooded, don’t show body heat; making it hard for owls to find them. The owl may have found the frog accidentally.

As for mammals: the barn owls had caught 172 greater white-toothed shrews, 43 root voles, 10 wood mice, 2 house mice, 6 brown rats, and one bank vole.

Fifteen bird bones were found. Owls don’t often eat birds. Maybe more bird bones than usually there, because of the cold 2013 spring?

Texel common frogs: here.

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Red squirrel, Mammal of the Year 2014

This video says about itself:

This cute, funny Eurasian red squirrel sits on a tree and eats a walnut.

The Dutch mammalogy society have proclaimed 2014 as the year of the red squirrel.

The red squirrel succeeds the stone marten aka beech marten, which was, and still is till New Year, Mammal of the Year in 2013.

Red squirrel photos: here.

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