German militarism destroys wildlife


This 13 September 2018 from Germany says about itself (translated):

The German Armed Forces [Bundeswehr] are unable to control the moor fire on their test site in Meppen and have now asked for assistance from the German Technical Relief Agency (THW). …

According to the Bundeswehr, this affects about six hectares of land. …

The moor fire had been triggered in a shooting war game with air-to-ground missiles. “Especially with an extreme drought like this summer, something like that can happen”, said a spokesman.

The Emsland Conservation League criticizes that the Bundeswehr has tested ammunition in such dry soil conditions. Small animals such as lizards, snakes and insects were bound to be killed by the resulting conflagration. In addition, the atmospheric aerosol particles pollution caused by the fire should not be underestimated.

The Bundeswehr admitted errors this week. Like, this time no aerial firefighting helicopter had been present. We underestimated the danger, said a spokesman. In addition, a special vehicle broke down. To make matters worse, a moorland fire is a special situation for the emergency services. Because the fire can eat deep into the lower layers of the bog. It was “a smoldering, a cooking of the vegetation”, a Bundeswehr spokesman formulated. …

The effects of the fire have been felt in recent days due to strong south-westerly winds, even at a greater distance. After initially people in Oldenburg had complained of smoke smell, the smoke has been smelled in the meantime also in Bremen and in 230 kilometers away Hamburg. On Tuesday afternoon, citizens in both Hanseatic cities had reported smoke smell to the control centers, the fire brigades reported.

Today, 18 September, it is five days later. No more ‘six hectares’ now: five hundred hectares, five square kilometers. Dutch NOS TV reports today (translated):

German peat fire caused by missile test difficult to fight

In a nature reserve near the German town Meppen, just across the Dutch border at Emmen, firefighters have been working for almost two weeks to extinguish a wildfire that has arisen during a missile test.

During the war game, soldiers fired missiles from a helicopter. The caterpillar vehicle that had to extinguish the resulting fire after the exercise broke down, while the replacement vehicle was in the workshop for repair. This allowed the smoldering fire to spread. …

From regional politics there is criticism of the military exercise in the area. “While civilians are told not to throw cigarette butts away during a dry period, the military is having weapons tests that cause wildfires“, said Christian Meyer, former minister of agriculture and current Vice President of the Green party in Lower Saxony.

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Common blue butterflies mating, video


This 18 September 2018 video shows three common blue butterfly couples mating.

Recorded by, respectively, Anne Baauw, Pieter Kole and Madeleine Vrolings from the Netherlands.

Thirty beautiful singing birds, video


This video from the Netherlands is about thirty beautiful birds singing:

1. BLUETHROAT
2. BEARDED TIT
3. BULLFINCH
4. GOLDEN ORIOLE
5. BOHEMIAN WAXWING (wrongly called CEDAR WAXWING in the video)
6. KINGFISHER
7. GOLDFINCH
8. HAWFINCH
9. ICTERINE WARBLER
10. LONG-TAILED TIT
11. MARSH TIT
12. COMMON REDPOLL
13. GREENFINCH
14. CRESTED TIT
15. COMMON CHAFFINCH
16. WREN
17. BLUE TIT
18. GREAT TIT
19. FIRECREST
20. ROBIN
21. NIGHTINGALE
22. RED-BACKED SHRIKE
23. COMMON LINNET
24. SISKIN
25. RED CROSSBILL
26. BRAMBLING
27. REDSTART
28. BEE-EATER
29. PENDULINE TIT
30. JAY

Much wildlife in United States Marine National Monument


This video from the USA says about itself:

An (Animated) Tour of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts

25 October 2017

Join NRDC senior oceans scientist Lisa Suatoni on an animated submersible tour of the weird, wonderful, and imperiled underwater world of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts National Monument. The ocean floor off the east coast of the United States is carved with canyons deeper than the Grand Canyon, and, beyond those, extinct volcanoes. President Obama made almost 5,000 miles of this unique area a national monument, but the Trump administration is interested in revoking its monument status to open this pristine area with 4,000-year-old corals to industrial fishing, mining, and drilling. Not many people get to explore these incredible depths—but once you see what’s down there, you’ll never be the same!

Take Action: here.

From the New England Aquarium in the USA:

Aerial survey reveals great diversity and abundance in NE Canyons Marine National Monument

Protected resource status of monument is under review by Trump administration

September 14, 2018

Airborne marine biologists were amazed by the sheer abundance and diversity of large marine wildlife in their recent aerial survey of the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, the only marine national monument on the East Coast, about 150 southeast of Cape Cod. Scientists with the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the New England Aquarium documented more than 600 animal sightings in just four hours, including a “superpod” of about 250 common dolphins and a rare sighting of a giant manta ray.

The researchers, aboard a small, four-seat airplane, saw the equivalent of three animal sightings every minute. They also spotted hundreds of Risso’s dolphins, some rarely-seen beaked whales, pods of bottlenose dolphins, and the bizarre-looking giant ocean sunfish, also known as the Mola mola. The 605-total seen during the September survey nearly doubles the survey team’s previous sighting record of 339 animals in April 2018.

“This was an amazing number of animals to see in such a short period of time and the highest count we’ve seen so far in our surveys”, said Dr. Ester Quintana, head of the survey team. “The marine monument is known as the ‘Serengeti of the sea’ for a reason.”

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument is a critical hotspot of biodiversity on the edge of the continental shelf where the shallow seas off of New England drop sharply into the deep waters of the northwestern Atlantic. On September 16, the monument will celebrate its two year anniversary. In 2016, President Obama designated three underwater canyons that are deeper than the Grand Canyon, and four seamounts as tall as the Rockies, as the first American marine national monument in Atlantic waters. At the moment, is still the most strongly protected area in U.S. Atlantic waters. However, in 2017, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended to President Trump has recommended weakening the area’s protections.

“It’s simply impossible to overstate the uniqueness of this habitat and its value as the most protected region in the U.S. Atlantic”, said Vikki Spruill, President and CEO of the New England Aquarium. “And let’s be clear about what it protects: Us. Our way of life. Our values. Our future. The monument should be here to stay.”

Given the great distance offshore, documenting the marine life in the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts is a challenge. During the 4-hour aerial survey, the team spotted 335 common dolphins, 30 bottlenose dolphins, 2 beaked whales, 3 ocean sunfish (Mola mola), and a giant manta ray. The manta was an especially unexpected sight because the species is very rarely seen this far north. All of the dolphin groups included many calves and juveniles, reinforcing observations that the monument is a nursery area for several species.

This was the fourth in a series of aerial surveys of the monument that began in summer 2017, and the number of sightings by the scientists during this survey was higher than any other, nearly double the number of animals observed last fall.