Squirrel-magpie conflict about nuts, video


This is a video about a conflict between a red squirrel and a magpie about nuts.

The video is by Jos Bleyweert in Genk in Belgium.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Red squirrel startled by great tit, video


In this video, a great tit startles a feeding red squirrel.

Albert van den Tweel in the Netherlands made the video.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wild mice like wheel running


This video is called A house mouse using a running wheel.

From Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences:

Wheel running in the wild

Johanna H. Meijer and Yuri Robbers

Abstract

The importance of exercise for health and neurogenesis is becoming increasingly clear. Wheel running is often used in the laboratory for triggering enhanced activity levels, despite the common objection that this behaviour is an artefact of captivity and merely signifies neurosis or stereotypy. If wheel running is indeed caused by captive housing, wild mice are not expected to use a running wheel in nature. This however, to our knowledge, has never been tested.

Here, we show that when running wheels are placed in nature, they are frequently used by wild mice, also when no extrinsic reward is provided. Bout lengths of running wheel behaviour in the wild match those for captive mice. This finding falsifies one criterion for stereotypic behaviour, and suggests that running wheel activity is an elective behaviour. In a time when lifestyle in general and lack of exercise in particular are a major cause of disease in the modern world, research into physical activity is of utmost importance. Our findings may help alleviate the main concern regarding the use of running wheels in research on exercise. …

2. Observations in nature

We observed wheel running both in the urban area (1011 observations in the first 24 months, of which 734 were of mice) and in the dunes (254 observations in 20 months, of which 232 were of mice). Wheel movement not caused by mice was caused by shrews, rats, snails, slugs or frogs (figure 2 and the electronic supplementary material, movie clips). Of these, only the snails caused haphazard rather than directional movement of the wheel and were therefore excluded from the analysis. Cases where animals set the wheel in motion from the outside were also not considered proper wheel running and were therefore excluded.

The observations showed that feral mice ran in the wheels year-round, steadily increasing in late spring and peaking in summer in the green urban area, while increasing in mid-to-late summer in the dunes, reaching a peak late in autumn (see the electronic supplementary material, figure S1a,b). Some animals seem to use the wheel unintentionally, but mice and some shrews, rats and frogs were seen to leave the wheel and then enter it again within minutes in order to continue wheel running. This observation indicates that wheel running may well be intentional rather than unintentional for these animals. Video recordings show that the wheel running mice were primarily juveniles, possibly explaining the higher incidence of wheel running around the summer.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wildlife recovering on Caribbean Dog Island


This video is called Connecting the Caribbean with Seabird Conservaton.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife recovering on rat-free Caribbean island

Bird numbers and other wildlife populations are starting to recover on Dog Island in Anguilla in the Caribbean, following an intensive five-month programme to eradicate black rats and two years of careful monitoring.

Covering 207 hectares, the island is the largest Caribbean island to be successfully cleared of non-native rats to protect the island’s threatened wildlife.

Dog Island is an internationally-recognised Important Bird Area, with over 100,000 pairs of nesting seabirds. It also supports lizards found nowhere else on earth and endangered sea turtles, which nest on the island’s white sandy beaches.

However prior to November 2011 the island was also infested with thousands of invasive, non-native black rats, which caused severe damage by suppressing native flora and preying on eggs, chicks, and other animals.

The eradication took place between November 2011 and March 2012 and was a collaborative initiative among the Anguilla National Trust, the Government of Anguilla (Department of Environment), Fauna & Flora International, the RSPB, and the island’s owner– the Anguilla Development Company.

“The volunteer team and I spent eleven weeks camping on Dog Island to complete the black rat eradication, working long hours in hot and difficult conditions. As I am sure all of the volunteers will agree, one of the worst parts of the project was having to cut tracks through nearly 30 hectares of manchineel,” said Elizabeth (Biz) Bell, Senior Ecologist from Wildlife Management International Ltd. “Despite this, it was fantastic to live and work amongst the native species such as ground and tree lizards, frigatebirds, boobies and tropicbirds that the project was working to protect. It was a real pleasure to return to the island this February to confirm that the project was a success and see species beginning to recover already.”

The last rat was removed on 18th March 2012. However it is international practice only to declare an island rat-free after two years have elapsed since the last rat was detected.

See also here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Good Dutch little owl news


This is a video about little owls.

The Dutch ornithologists of SOVON report that this year seems to be a good year so far for rodents in some regions of the Netherlands.

That means also a good year for birds eating rodents.

Researchers at nest boxes for little owls in the Achterhoek region of the eastern Netherlands find many more rodents at the nests than in earlier years. So far, 2007 was the year with the highest figure: 197 rodents.

This year, the counting is not finished yet, but already 486 rodents were found. 253 of these were wood mice. 145 were common voles. Bank voles: 73. House mice: 8. Water voles: 6. And one young brown rat.

Barn owls can catch enough food as well this year.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wood mouse drinks from teacup, video


This video is about a wood mouse drinking from a teacup in the Netherlands.

Elise Xhaflaire made the video.

Enhanced by Zemanta

South American giant rodent on English golf course


This video from England says about itself:

World’s biggest rodent caught on UK golf course

5 May 2014

A bunch of golfers have recorded footage of the world’s biggest rodent, a Capybara, running loose on a UK golf course, a long way away from its usual home in South America.

World’s biggest rodent seen on loose on Essex golf course

Golf players film a 4ft long rodent usually found in South America sniffing around their course in Essex

First there was the runaway rhea seen roaming a Hertfordshire golf course. Now, it seems that putting greens and fairways have proved tempting refuge for another animal fugitive: a capybara.

The creature — the world’s largest rodent species — was filmed ambling around near the 8th tee at the North Weald Golf Club in Essex after apparently escaping from a fenced enclosure at nearby Ashlyns Farm Shop.

Like the rhea, the capybara is a native of South America — but unlike the 6ft bird, which is reputedly capable of disembowelling a man with a flick of its claws, the runaway rodent is not believed to be dangerous.

Described by bemused golfers as looking “like a cross between a beaver and a bear”, capybaras are in fact most closely related to the guinea pig, but dwarf them, growing to as long as four feet.

The creature was spotted at the Essex course on March 16 when, according to the club, “golfers approaching the 8th tee stumbled across something that looked quite out of place on the course”.

“Kevin & Barbara Walters and John & Pat Miles were about to play their tee shots when Kevin saw what he thought was a wild boar meandering around the pond. After a quick phone call to the clubhouse, Angus and Hamish arrived at the scene with cameras at the ready to capture the rare sight,” the club said in a statement on its website.

Another club member, Stefan Freeman was “next up on the tee” and identified it as a capybara.

Rob Dixon, manager at Ashlyns Farm Shop, confirmed it was “missing a capybara”.

He said the solitary male animal had been sighted since but attempts to catch it had so far proved unsuccessful. “We keep on trying to catch it, but as soon as we try and catch it, it’s moved on or it jumps in the river and shoots off. Next time we’ve got to get a vet out and try and tranquillise it,” he said.

“They run away from humans — they’re quite shy,” he added. “They’re not like a rat, they’re almost like a big hamster.”

Capybara owners in the UK include Lady McAlpine, who wrote last year that a capybara had gone missing from her Fawley Hill estate in Henley-on-Thames and “gone to swim in the Thames”.

Lady McAlpine, whose capybara has since returned, said that they were “tremendous escapologists”.

See also here.

A South American [rhea] giant bird that has been patrolling the fairways and greens of a golf club in Hertfordshire for the last month has been shot dead and will now be made into gourmet sausages: here.

Enhanced by Zemanta