British military destruction of nature stopped

This video is called Sand lizard sunbathes.

From The Times in England (owned by arch-warmonger Rupert Murdoch):

March 12, 2010

British Army meets its match as German nature lovers halt training

They have faced improvised bombs, been ambushed by guerrillas and shot at by al-Qaeda. Now, British troops training for their next battle with Afghan insurgents have been foiled by German nature lovers.

Plans to erect mock Afghan villages in the heathland of Gütersloh, northwest Germany, to prepare the Army for close-contact warfare were put on hold this week after a German court ruled in favour of the rare sand lizard and the even rarer blue-winged grasshopper.

Oedipoda caerulescens, blue-winged grasshopper

They are among those species said to be threatened by the multimillion-pound project which could now be put on hold for a year while environmentalists carry out tests on water, noise levels and air quality, as well as on the potential impacts on flora and wildlife.

Gütersloh councillors approved the plans to build two mock communities and to renovate an existing Potemkin village on February 19.

Army workers had already cleared a large area of undergrowth when the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (Nabu) went to court in Minden, Germany, on Monday in an attempt to halt construction for at least 12 months. “Protected biotopes have already been destroyed,” said Josef Tumbrinck, the chairman of the local Nabu branch.

“In our view the decision to allow this building to go ahead was illegal in the first place. I am glad that pressure has led to a stop so far. …”

The Military Training Area Senne — a sweeping 220 square kilometre tract of heath, moorland and fir tree forests — has been classified by the Europarc nature organisation as fulfilling all of the criteria needed to be designated a national park in its own right.

The European Commission has confirmed its protected status.

The Army uses roughly half of the area for warfare practice. The range is home to 40 species of mammals, 111 species of breeding birds, 12 species of fish, 15 species of amphibians, 1,150 species of butterflies, 1,500 species of beetles, 47 species of dragonflies, 23 species of locusts, 800 species of ferns, 1,200 species of mushrooms and 313 different types of moss.

The meadow pipit is one of the birds on the endangered list, the wood lark another. The sand lizard and the blue-winged grasshopper are both threatened while the dune tiger beetle is approaching the danger zone.

Their plight has alarmed environmentalists far beyond Germany’s shores. The World Habitat Society has called for “international protests” on its website, claiming: “The British Army is on the way to destroy one of Europe’s most valuable nature reserves.”

It said that planned roads would “seal off” wildlife and threaten already endangered species.

Senior army commanders in Germany and London are infuriated by the court action, which could severely hamper training plans for the 5,000 British troops stationed around the Senne area.

4 thoughts on “British military destruction of nature stopped

  1. From the USA:

    Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

    The military-industrial complex has a well-oiled message machine. Just look at our latest video: despite killing more civilians in Marjah, Afghanistan, than the insurgents, the Pentagon is furiously spinning Operation Moshtarak as a move to “protect the people.”

    We’re working to counteract their message machine every day, especially when it comes to the bloody, costly Afghanistan war. But, we need your help. Can you forward this video to three of your friends?

    On Facebook, we’re taking the Pentagon on directly. Right now, the Defense Department has 22,157 fans. We have 14,440. We’re throwing down the gauntlet: we want to beat them. If you’re on Facebook, please become our fan and suggest us to your friends.

    As we move closer to this year’s fight on war funding, we need all of you with us. Bring your friends.

    Derrick Crowe, Robert Greenwald
    and the Brave New Foundation team

    P.S. Thank you so much for subscribing to our email list. Your activism will be essential to bringing this war to a close, and we’re glad to have you with us.


  2. From the USA:

    Coyotes, cars killing desert tortoises moved from Fort Irwin

    Submitted by SHNS on Fri, 03/12/2010 – 15:28

    * By DAVID DANELSKI, The Press-Enterprise

    Government scientists tracking 158 desert tortoises relocated nearly two years ago from the Army’s Fort Irwin in California to make way for military maneuvers say that nearly half of the animals have died, mostly from coyote attacks.

    The death rate, disclosed at a scientific symposium last weekend, raises concern about relocating tortoises, a species threatened with extinction.

    The success or failure of the effort is important because more relocations are expected as companies develop wind and solar energy on public land in the Mojave Desert. In addition, the Army intends to move as many as 1,200 more to protect them from artillery fire, tanks and other dangers, and has invested millions of dollars in the effort.

    The Army has not decided whether to go forward with another round of relocations that had been planned this spring. The military wants to make way for expanded live-fire exercises at Fort Irwin, where troops train in preparation for deployment to the Middle East.

    In spring 2008, in a much-publicized undertaking, the Army moved 556 tortoises to public land a few miles from the base. Many of the animals were outfitted with radio transmitters, and three teams of scientists each tracked a group.

    Ecologist Tim Gowan and biologist Kristin Berry, both with the U.S. Geological Survey, followed the fates of 158 tortoises outfitted with radio transmitters. Of those, 70 — 44 percent — have died; another 20 cannot be located.

    The death rates among the other two tortoise groups, one tracked by an Army contractor and the other by a different USGS team, have not been released.


  3. Pingback: Arab absolute monarchies, British support | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: More German taxpayers’ money for militarism | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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