Young herring, lots of them, video


This video is about many young Atlantic herring, swimming in Grevelingen lake in the Netherlands on 23 January 2015.

Diver Peter van Rodijnen made the video. Before seeing the herring, Peter and his two companions had seen a male common dragonet, and a Galathea strigosa squat lobster.

New moth species in the Netherlands


Bloxworth snout

On 24 January 2015, biologists looking for wintering bats in an old World War II bunker in Staelduinse Bos nature reserve, found three wintering moths. These turned out to be Bloxworth snout; a new species for the Netherlands.

Octopus camouflage on coral reef, video


This video says about itself:

Amazing moment marine creature camouflages itself against a reef is captured on video

4 February 2015

Octopus shocks diver with its amazing camouflage skills

A diver was shocked to see an octopus emerge from the rocks during a dive in the Caribbean. Its amazing camouflage abilities meant it was barely visible before revealing itself.

Spot the octopus!

Don’t forget wildlife at Dutch elections


This is a video about a singing nightingale; one of wildlife species in Zuid-Holland province in the Netherlands.

Dutch conservationists in Zuid-Holland province have made a petition to the political parties about wildlife in the province.

The petition is here.

On 18 March 2015, there will be elections for all provincial authorities in the Netherlands (these, in turn, elect the Senate); and for water management boards as well.

The conservationists say there are many problems for wildlife in densely populated Zuid-Holland. However, areas in the province, managed by provincial conservation organisations, have proven that it is possible to stop, and even to invert, the decline of wildlife.

So, the petition asks that politicians should make conservation a priority.

They especially point at fifteen Zuid-Holland wildlife species: otter, black-tailed godwit, white-tailed eagle, beaver, Atlantic salmon, nightingale, northern wheatear, harbour seal, tawny owl, bee, wall brown butterfly, pine marten, the flowering plant Caltha palustris subsp. araneosa, shoveler duck and purple heron.

See also, for all provinces, here.

Bears, ants and flowers in Colorado, USA


This video from North America is called DISCOVERING THE BLACK BEAR.

From Wildlife Extra:

The bear, the ant and the yellow flower – scientist discovers an odd relationship

For a huge Black Bear, a very small ant would hardly seem to make a meal but in numbers these tiny insects are protein-packed.

Not only that, but the fact that bears eat ants is a crucial part of a complicated food chain that has wide-reaching benefits for wildlife in the US.

In a paper published in Ecology Letters, Florida State University researcher Josh Grinath examines the close relationship between bears, ants and rabbitbrush — a golden-flowered shrub that grows in the meadows of Colorado and often serves as shelter for birds.

Scientists know that plant and animal species don’t exist in a vacuum. However, tracing and understanding their complex interactions can be a challenge.

Grinath, working with Associate Professors Nora Underwood and Brian Inouye, has spent several years monitoring ant nests in a mountain meadow in Almont, Colorado.

On one visit, he discovered that bears disturbed the nests, which led him to wonder exactly how this disturbance might affect other plants and animals in the meadow.

From 2009 to 2012, Grinath, Underwood and Inouye collected data on bear damage to ant nests. In the course of this they noticed that rabbitbrush, a dominant plant in the area, was growing better and reproducing more near to the damaged nests.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Rabbitbrush-Nectar Source for Butterflies

18 September 2012

Rubber Rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauswosa) is in bloom now; most all other flowering plants have already gone to seed. Adult butterflies still on the wing that nectar visit these shrubs; at times several lep[idopteran] species can be found at these shrubs. Featured are: West Coast Lady, Hoary Comma, Juba Skipper, and Red Admiral.

The Wildlife Extra article continues:

The reason why was an insect called a treehopper, a tiny cicada-like arthropod that sucks sap out of plants such as rabbitbrush, which damages the plant.

Previous studies had established that ants and treehoppers have a mutualistic relationship, meaning they benefit from one another.

So the team began a series of controlled field experiments to see what would happen to treehoppers, first if there were more ants around and then if there were fewer.

They found that ants didn’t prey on the treehoppers or the rabbitbrush. Rather, they scared away other insects that typically prey on treehoppers.

In a situation where bears disturbed and ate ants, other bugs were free to prey on the treehoppers and the rabbitbrush thrived.

The study also highlighted how a modern phenomenon could end up causing more than just a nuisance.

Bears’ diets are being changed by their proximity to human habitation, and many populations are now eating human rubbish regularly instead of ants and other traditional food sources.

“Bears have an effect on everything else because they have an effect on this one important species — ants,” Grinath says.

“If bears are eating trash instead of ants, that could compromise the benefits the plants are receiving. These indirect effects are an important consideration in conservation.”

British government sabotages marine life conservation


This video says about itself:

Seaham Dive Survey: marine life near Seaham

11 December 2009

A video of marine life near Seaham, North East England, by members of the Seaham Sub Aqua Club (narrated by diver and Marine Biologist Yvonne Townsend).

From Wildlife Extra:

Marine life at risk as number of new Marine Conservation Zones are cut

The Spiny Seahorse is one of the marine creatures that is in need of protection

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), the UK’s leading marine charity, has expressed great disappointment in the latest round of Marine Conservation Zone designation in English waters.

Thirty seven sites had been proposed to go forward to a second public consultation on Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), all identified by Government’s scientific advisers as vital to plugging “major gaps” that currently exist in the development of a UK network.

However, only 23 sites have made the final list when the consultation was launched on Friday 30th January.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is supported in its criticism by the National Trust, which owns 750 miles of England’s coastline.

The Trust says the underwater landscape of England’s coastline must be protected in the same way the visible land is and the protection must be put in place now before it’s too late.

MCS says sound scientific advice has once again been ignored with 14 important sites not included in the consultation.

The charity says this tranche had been promoted as one to fill in major gaps, but instead appears to have slowed the MCZ process right down.

“We are alarmed that these proposed MCZs have been shelved, at least for the time being,” says MCS Biodiversity and Fisheries Programme Manager, Dr Peter Richardson.

“We believe all of the sites are necessary to achieve the Government’s stated commitment to deliver a full network. Delaying 14 sites means that a number of the UK’s iconic marine places and habitats are still not adequately protected.”

Simon Pryor, Natural Environment Director at the National Trust, said: “Steady progress is being made to have a good network of Marine Conservation Zones around the coast of England.

“However, it’s disappointing that we’re not even half way to the original target of 127 that the Government outlined just two years ago.

“With good stakeholder buy-in to the original network of 127 MCZs, we believe the Government should have the courage to bring forward the consultation on controversial sites, in order to work through any difficulties.

“Protecting the seas around the English coast must be a priority as they face unprecedented pressure. Without the protection that they deserve marine wildlife and the quality of our seas will suffer.”

Both groups say that important sites missing from the consultation will leave huge gaps in the network. Studland, Bembridge, Norris to Ryde, and Yarmouth to Cowes have all been dropped, putting at risk the future of the spiny seahorse, mantis shrimps and large seagrass meadows.

MCS says that all the 23 sites that have made it to the consultation stage must be designated. These include well-known Cromer Shoals Chalk Beds referred by many as the “great barrier reef of Norfolk”, Farnes East which hosts an array of seabed life such as sea pens, and Newquay and The Gannel known for its crawfish, pink sea fans and migrating eels and salmon.

Last year, NGOs delivered a petition of over 350,000 signatures to the Prime Minister calling for a network of marine protected areas.

Over 150 cross-party MPs have signed a Marine Charter calling for an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.

Recently, the Natural Capital Committee, an independent advisory group, told the Government that England’s natural environment decline is damaging the economy.

MCS and the National Trust are urging their supporters and the wider public to take part in the public consultation by going to www.mcsuk.org/mpa.

A boy discovers wildlife in his own backyard, video


This 28 january 2015 Dutch video is about a thirteen-year-old boy, Lau, who discovers all sorts of invertebrate animals, like insects or spiders, in his own backyard.