Save European seabirds


This video from Britain is called BBC Natural World – Saving Our Seabirds – Full Documentary.

From BirdLife:

Troubled waters for our seabirds

By Marguerite Tarzia, Fri, 26/06/2015 – 16:03

Did you know that we have 82 species of seabird in Europe? You probably recognise the most charismatic ones, like the clown faced Atlantic Puffin and sharp blue-eyed Northern Gannet. But there are many other species you may not know because they actually spend nearly their entire lives out at sea and so are rarely seen, only coming to our shores to breed before flying off again into the deep blue. Many of these species are in trouble, facing declines and possible extinction based on the latest scientific information. The current situation is clear: urgent action is needed so they don’t disappear from Europe forever.

Why is the fate of our seabirds so grim today? They have been facing multiple threats: climate change, which amongst other impacts can make it more difficult for seabirds to find food; they often risk being caught and killed accidentally in fishing gear; they are losing breeding and feeding habitat because of infrastructure on land and at sea; they are being preyed on by invasive rats, cats and foxes; and poisoned or choked by marine litter and oil pollution.

Across the European region, which extends from the Arctic to the Mediterranean and Black Sea, 15 seabird species are facing threats so severe that their populations are declining and could be on a slippery slope towards extinction. Another 9 seabirds are waiting in the wings, and although their risk of extinction from the region is a bit lower, they are edging dangerously close to the higher risk categories. In the EU this number is even more alarming, as 21 seabird species are considered to be facing a higher risk of extinction. How do we know this? Well, BirdLife Europe just completed a European-wide assessment for all bird species and produced the European Red List of Birds, the benchmark for identifying species most at risk of extinction from the continent.

Across Northern Europe many seabird breeding colonies which once held hundreds of thousands of birds are merely a sad shadow of their former selves. In some places, such as the island of Runde in Norway, vast cliffs which were once full of breeding Northern Fulmar have seen the species vanish entirely. Across Europe the Northern Fulmar, Atlantic Puffin and Black-legged Kittiwake are all in decline, and are now considered ‘Endangered’ either within the EU and/or across Europe. Seaducks, such as the Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter, Common Eider and Common and Yellow-billed Loon are also faring poorly, ranked as ‘Vulnerable’ across Europe – with huge declines in the Baltic Sea. These seabirds dive below the waters surface to feed on prey along the sea floor and so are particularly susceptible of getting helplessly entangled in fishing nets.  The Balearic Shearwater is one of Europe’s most threatened birds and their accidental capture in fishing gear has been contributing to driving numbers down to the extent that scientists predict that the species could be extinct within 60 years.

Before it’s too late for our seabirds, we must use the tools that we have to save them, including the EU Nature Directives and EU marine policies. Probably the most important, yet underutilized tool is the Natura 2000 network. This network of protected sites extends across the EU, yet up till now, very few sites have been designated at sea, and even fewer specifically for seabirds. EU countries are not doing enough for seabirds. Only 1% of our seas are currently protecting them.  Also, whilst protecting a seabird during breeding is crucial, it’s only half the story, as most seabirds migrate and travel large distances during the year away from where they have their young. You can read about BirdLife’s assessment of each EU country’s progress here, and see for yourself how your country is doing.

Lines on maps will not bring seabirds back on their own, but with careful and effective management we can give European seabirds a fighting chance to claw, peck and soar their way back up that slippery slope away from extinction. Until then, BirdLife’s mantra on identifying, designating and managing Natura 2000 sites will continue.

Helping Dutch wall lizards


This is a wall lizard video from Switzerland.

Wall lizards are very rare in the Netherlands. They only live at old military forts around Maastricht city.

‘Development’ plans in Maastricht threaten the animals.

However, the Dutch RAVON herpetologists have managed to change the plans in ways favourable to the Maastricht wall lizards.

The Belvédèreberg hill, formerly a landfill, has been reconstructed for the wall lizards and slow worms.

Also, wildlife tunnels will be built to help the reptiles.

Pine marten eats peanut butter, video


This video shows a pine marten eating peanut butter, left by birds and red squirrels at a feeder.

Anne G. Drentje made this video in a garden in Drenthe province in the Netherlands.

Ants transporting dead beetle, video


This video is about ants transporting a dead beetle on a sidewalk in the Netherlands, while meeting obstacles.

Everdien van der Bijl made this video.

New Dutch wildlife film, trailer


The makers of Dutch wildlife film De Nieuwe Wildernis have made a new film, about wildlife in the south-west of the Netherlands: Holland – Natuur in de Delta. This 26 June 2015 video is the trailer.

The new film will start in the cinemas on 24 September 2015.

Stop wild boar killing in Dutch Veluwe region


This 29 June 2015 from the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

Holiday time, en masse in early July the tourists come back to the Veluwe to look for wildlife …. but also en masse from July 1 hobby hunters will make the woods unsafe again with their firing at wild boar. The holiday feeling for the animals will be over then and they will become nocturnal animals instead of diurnal animals.

About 80% of healthy wild boar will be shot, so sows will again be ready for mating and will again get many piglets because nature wants to restore the equilibrium. It is very difficult for sows to give birth every year to a large litter of piglets and they are literally sucked dry by the piglets. The result is that the sows are skinny and lose much of their health resistance. This is clearly a form of animal abuse. Hobby hunters want only one thing and that’s shooting! They pay for it gladly and therefore they want their money’s worth. This method of control is very unnatural and inhumane. Animals are not TOYS so …. STOP THE HOBBY HUNTING!!!

Australian bittern in Victoria


This video is called Australasian Bittern.

From Birdline Victoria in Australia:

Tuesday 30 June

Australian Bittern

Western Treatment Plant (Werribee)–Western Lagoons

Thanks to Paul Newman who spotted the bird, the bird spent most of the time in the drain on the left hand side as you enter Western Lagoons via Gate 2. It did, however, move around the centre ponds as well. Time was about 4pm.

Bernie OKeefe