British butterflies early this spring


This video from Britain is called Wildlife in our garden.

From Wildlife Extra:

Butterflies have had an early spring into action

Small tortoiseshells not only came out of hibernation a couple of weeks early, they were also seen in incredible numbers compared to previous years

April 2014: UK garden wildlife has sprung into action early this year according to the latest figures from the British Trust for Ornithology’s (BTO) garden birdwatch scheme. This scheme monitors the changing fortunes of birds and other garden wildlife through its network of ‘citizen scientists’. Observations collected by BTO Garden BirdWatchers are analysed by BTO researchers and published in leading journals.

Butterflies demonstrated the most dramatic patterns of emergence. Small tortoiseshells not only came out of hibernation a couple of weeks early, they were also seen in incredible numbers compared to previous years, with 23 percent of Garden BirdWatch gardens reporting them. In comparison, their previous highest emergence peak was 12 percent in 2012.

Brimstone butterflies also had a very good start to the year. The first few individuals were not seen much earlier this year than in previous years but the peak emergence in 2013 was just four percent compared to 21 percent of gardens reporting them in March this year.

Hedgehogs were also seen far earlier in the year than is usual, with the first individuals … being reported during late February, almost a month earlier than was the case in 2013, and up to two weeks earlier than in any of the last five years.

In contrast, amphibians, such as common frog and smooth newt, were not seen earlier than usual, but there appeared to be something of a mass emergence, with a surge in reports from participants’ gardens. From early March, both species were seen in more Garden BirdWatch gardens than they have been for the last five years.

Clare Simm, from tBTO’s Garden BirdWatch team, commented: “As you can see, Garden BirdWatch is not just about birds. Our volunteers provide us with vital information on other taxa too, helping us to understand how important gardens are as a habitat for all wildlife. It’s too early to tell how the early emergence of these species will affect them, but it is an exciting contrast to the patterns of emergence that we saw last year.”

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Orchids, dippers and tarantula in Costa Rica


Maxillaria ringens, 19 March 2014

The morning of 19 March 2014 on Costa Rica. There were not only orchids along the mountain road yesterday, but in the cloud forest today as well. Like Maxillaria ringens on the photos.

Maxillaria ringens orchid, 19 March 2014

Flower, 19 March 2014

And other species.

Before we went to the cloud forest, a rufous-collared sparrow singing. Hummingbirds at the feeders.

A flock of three-striped warblers on a bush.

A bright-rumped attila in a tree.

A monarch butterfly on flowers.

Chestnut-capped brush finch, adult, 19 March 2014

Like yesterday, a chestnut-capped brush finch.

Inca dove, 19 March 2014

An Inca dove.

Central American agouti, 19 March 2014

And a Central American agouti.

Tarantula, 19 March 2014

This tarantula is of the Brachypelma genus.

Butterfly, Costa Rica, 19 March 2013

About this butterfly, I don’t even know the genus.

Magenta-throated woodstar, 19 March 2014

A male magenta-throated woodstar hummingbird flying. A species which lives only in Costa Rica and Panama.

In the forest, a ruddy-capped nightingale thrush on a branch.

A spotted woodcreeper climbs up a tree trunk.

A tufted flycatcher in a tree.

An American dipper on a rock in the stream.

A sulphur-bellied flycatcher.

American dipper, 19 March 2014

11:35. Two American dippers on rocks in the stream. Unfortunately, just at a time when the camera was acting up. So, just this one photo.

We left, to the Arenal volcano.

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Scottish forest trees, other wildlife, news


This video from Scotland says about itself:

Ray Mears visits the remaining Caledonian pine forests of Scotland and finds a wide range of wildlife.

From Wildlife Extra:

Scotland’s native Caledonian pine forest to be doubled in size

April 2014: One hundred thousand trees, including birch, aspen, two species of willow and alders, are to be planted … [at] Abernethy forest nature reserve in Speyside, which will almost double the total size of the woodland, and join it up with the fragmented surrounding remnants.

Abernethy hosts some of the rarest and most iconic species in the UK, with around 12 percent of the population of capercaillie, as well as Scottish crossbills, crested tits, wildcats, pine martens, black grouse, golden eagles and many rare mosses, fungi and plants including twinflower.

Managing and reducing the grazing pressure on the reserve from deer over the past quarter century has already enabled the Scots pine trees of Abernethy forest to expand by self-seeded natural regeneration, with more than 800 hectares of new pine saplings now established. However, although the main component of Caledonian pine forest is the native Scots pine, a critical element of ancient pine forests include a broader range of native shrub and broadleaved tree species – such as juniper, birch, rowan, alder and willows – and whilst recovery of the pine element at Abernethy has been successful, some of these other species remain extremely scarce of [sic; or] localised.

Over the next ten years, with the help of schoolchildren in Strathspey, volunteers from across Scotland and local contractors, the conservation charity will plant close to 100,000 trees at the reserve, including birch, aspen, two species of willow and alders. It is hoped that at least 40,000 of the planted saplings will survive grazing pressure from hares and other herbivores to reach maturity, leaving the full range of species and ensuring the forest’s continuity.

Jeremy Roberts, the Senior Site Manager at Abernethy, said: “We have conducted some of the most comprehensive surveys of regeneration in Britain, and this has shown that the recovery of broadleaves has been extremely slow and localised compared to the pine element at Abernethy. Few broadleaves remain to provide the vital seed source, and of those that do are highly immobile and restricted.

“To give the forest a helping hand we are restoring these species, with the welcome help of local schools and volunteers to assist with the planting of these under-represented broadleaved trees. As these small groups mature they will themselves provide the seed source, inoculating the forest edge and providing a locus for these species to regenerate more widely, and restoring the forest to its diverse and species-rich former glory.

“It may well be that the children and grandchildren of the school children who have been assisting with the planting will be the ones who see the difference rather than us. However, it is enormously satisfying to know that this is this generation that is creating this legacy.”

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Orchids, armadillos, monkeys and birds in Costa Rica


This video is about national parks in Costa Rica.

18 March 2014.

Costa Rica; after earlier in the afternoon, still near Parque Nacional Juan Castro Blanco.

Bandera española, 18 March 2014

Walking down the mountain road, not only long-tailed silky flycatchers, but also flowers. This orchid species is called bandera española, Spanish flag, in Costa Rica. This is because it has the same red and yellow colours as that flag.

Bandera española, on 18 March 2014

Two nine-banded long-nosed armadillos close to the road.

More mammals: mantled howler monkeys with a youngster.

Clay-coloured thrush, 18 March 2014

A clay-coloured thrush.

Slate-throated redstart, 18 March 2014

We are back. A slate-throated redstart on a branch.

Chestnut-capped brush finch, adult, 18 March 2014

On the other side of the stream, chestnut-capped brush finches.

Chestnut-capped brush finch, adult, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Chestnut-capped brush finch, juvenile, 18 March 2014

Both adults and juveniles, with duller colours, are present.

Central American agouti, 18 March 2014

Also on that side, a Central American agouti.

A black guan flies, while calling.

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Hummingbirds and coati in Costa Rica


Magnificent hummingbird male, 18 March 2014

After the golden-browed chlorophonias and other wildlife in the morning of 18 March in Costa Rica, now a blog post mainly about hummingbirds again. Like this male magnificent hummingbird.

A monarch butterfly.

Green-crowned brilliant male, 18 March 2014

2pm. The feeders were temporarily replaced by flowers. A bit unusual for the hummingbirds; still, they kept coming. Like this male green-crowned brilliant.

Green-crowned brilliant male, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Male violet sabrewing, 18 March 2014

And this violet sabrewing male.

Violet sabrewing male, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Violet sabrewing male, in Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Green hermit female, 18 March 2014

And this green hermit female.

Green hermit female, Costa Rica, 18 March 2014

Purple-throated mountain-gem and green-crowned brilliant, 18 March 2014

Here, a female purple-throated mountain-gem waits on a stem, while a male green-crowned brilliant hovers.

White-nosed coati, 18 March 2014

Some twenty minutes later: a white-nosed coati on the other side of the stream.

Ten minutes later: a green spiny lizard.

We went away, higher up the mountains.

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Lioness, wounded by buffalo, saved


This video from Kenya says about itself:

9 April 2014

Early on 4th April, a call was received from Governor’s Camp in the Maasai Mara about an injured lioness. She had a deep, open wound on her lower left flank, the result of an encounter with a buffalo.

The DSWT immediately launched its SkyVets Initiative; collecting a Kenya Wildlife Service Veterinarian and flying from Nairobi to the Mara. Once on the scene, the vet set about darting the lioness, whose wound was extensive.

In an operation that lasted 1 1/2 hrs, throughout which the rest of the pride were kept a safe distance, the vet thoroughly cleaned the wound before suturing it closed. Long lasting anti-biotic drugs were administered, as well as packing the wound with green clay, to speed the healing process. With that, Siena the lioness could rejoin the pride and her cubs.

Working together effectively and efficiently, the DSWT, KWS, Narok County Council and Governor’s Camp were able to help this lioness and with that, ensure the return of a mother to her cubs.

With Africa’s lions are under serious threat, with less than 35,000 remaining today, our ability to help this dominant pride member and her cubs is critically important.

Read the full account of the Siena’s treatment on our website, where you can also choose to support our SkyVets Initiative, here.

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Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, new film


Wildlife Extra writes about this video:

Rwanda’s mountain gorillas star in new documentary – watch it here

April 2014: Mountain gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park are the subject of a new 15 minute documentary entitled Hope which you can watch [above here]. The short film revisits the mountain gorillas at the park, nearly 47 years after Dian Fossey began her work in the region, and explores the extreme, intensive and sometimes dangerous methods employed to protect the great apes.

The film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, takes a historical look back to 1967 when Dian Fossey began her work. Fewer than 300 mountain gorillas remained at the time, their population ravaged by poachers, who for years targeted the gorillas to make money, selling infant gorillas to zoos or the hands and heads of the adults as trophies to wealthy tourists.

Dian Fossey was murdered in 1985, her original research centre destroyed, rebuilt and then destroyed again during the civil war in Rwanda in the 1990s. However, despite adversity, the work never stopped. Today the Karisoke Research Center has a new home where 120 people continue Dian’s work, as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

The charity employs teams of trackers who follow the gorillas every day. They monitor each gorilla, ensuring its safety and health, risking their lives in a region that is still plagued by violence.

“The number of mountain gorillas had become so depleted in Rwanda by the late 1960s that extreme measures were needed to protect the remaining population and allow it to increase,” said David Attenborough. “The work at the Volcanoes National Park by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International absolutely must continue, if we are to protect this species of great ape, which is still critically endangered. The film Hope will once again bring to light the fragile existence of the mountain gorillas and the work that goes into protecting them. By watching and sharing this very important film you will be helping the people saving the gorillas.”

Ugandan mountain gorilla photos:here.

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Heron island in England bought by conservationists


This video is called Little Egret and Red Deer in the marshes, UK.

From Wildlife Extra:

Heron island bought by RSPB

April 2014: An island in the River Ouse has been bought by the RSPB for £47,500 reports BBC News. Hook Island, near Goole, East Yorkshire, is a 19-acre (8-hectare) Site of Special Scientific Interest that is home to a wealth of wetland birds including herons.

In spring, grey herons raise their chicks on the 19 acre site, while in the winter months hundreds of golden plovers and lapwings roost there after spending the day feeding on the mudflats of the Humber Estuary. Little egrets – a rare type of heron – are sometimes seen on the island and the RSPB hopes they may eventually form a breeding colony.

Pete Short, RSPB’s Humber Sites Manager, said: “The Humber Estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and one of our most important places for wildlife but it’s under serious threat from inappropriate development and recreational disturbance. Through buying Hook Island, which is part of this Site, we can help protect this special place and make it an even better home for nature.”

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Wolves back in Denmark


This video from 2013 is called Danish wolf is back.

From Wildlife Extra:

First wolf family heard in Denmark for 200 years

April 2014: It is suspected by a group of wolf enthusiasts in Denmark that the country probably has its first resident wolf family for over 200 years, reports Rewilding Europe. Ulvetracking Danmark has gone to great lengths to register the sounds of the Danish wolves, recorded in Jutland in January. Holly Root-Gutteridge, an English wolf expert and PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, believes that these howls stem from an entire wolf family. This means that these could be the first wolf pups born in the wild of Denmark for well since the early 19th century.

“This is the biggest fauna sensation we have had for many years,” said Mogens Trolle, zoologist in the Nature Science Museum at the University of Copenhagen.

“There’s at least two adults there,” said Root-Gutteridge. “One with a nice deep howl, which is almost a baseline to the chorus, is probably the male and father of the pups, as it’s rare to have unrelated males in the same pack. There are possibly three adults, but I need more analysis of the recording to be sure. There are also pups on there. Considering the recording was made in January, they might be wolves that are eight to 10 months of age, with not quite fully developed howls.”

Listen to the two recordings in Jutland by clicking this link and scrolling down.

That possibility is strengthened by the fact that two different sets of wolf tracks were found on 30 January 2013 in the same area in Jutland where the howls were recorded. Once the world’s most widely distributed mammal, the grey wolf declined across Europe as a result of relentless persecution over centuries. Ultimately, by the 1970s, it was confined to only a few areas in the south and the northeast of the continent. However, with increasing public acceptance and legal protection, combined with an increase in wild ungulate numbers, the wolf has been able to begin to regain more and more of its former territory.

Petitioning The Danish Government. The Danish Government: Please protect Danish Wolves: here.

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