Centuries-old trees in Leiden botanical garden


This 15 May 2019 video, in Dutch with English subtitles, is about centuries-old trees in Leiden botanical garden in the Netherlands.

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Flowers, elephants and herons of Tilos, Greece


This video is called Tilos 2014.

After 8 May 2019 on Tilos island in Greece came 9 May.

Early in the morning, bee-eater sound.

Wild carrot, 9 May 2019

Along a road near Megalo Chorio village, this wild carrot flower.

Wild carrot, on 9 May 2019

And this other wild carrot flower.

Elephants, 9 May 2019

Back in Megalo Chorio, this supermarket, where you can buy elephants …

Food, 9 May 2019

… and various food items.

We walked to Agios Antonios.

A clouded yellow butterfly.

A sling-tailed agama on its usual wall.

Flowers, 9 May 2019

Along the road, these flowers.

Flowers, on 9 May 2019

And these flowers.

Holy orchid with snail, 9 May 2019

And this holy orchid with snail.

A house martin flies past.

A hoopoe calls.

In Agios Antonios, two squacco herons fly along the coast.

Agios Antonios, 9 May 2019

These trees grow there.

Just past the harbour, a gull on a rock. This time not a (common) yellow-legged gull, but a rarer Audoin’s gull.

This 11 July 2017 video says about itself:

Always carry a camera! Audouin’s gull – Port de Pollença, Espana

Birds, flowers of Tilos in Greece


This March 2017 video is about Tilos island in Greece.

After 1 May on Tilos came 2 May.

Early in the morning, golden oriole and bee-eater sounds.

At Agios Antonios harbour, a yellow-legged gull flies.

Along the path back to Megalo Chorio, a clouded yellow butterfly flies.

Field bindweed, 2 May 2019

These field bindweed flowers grow there.

Hawkweed, 2 May 2019

As do these flowers of one of the many hawkweed species of Tilos.

White flowers, 2 May 2019

And these white flowers.

Urban plants, animals in the USA


This February 2018 video says about itself:

Wildlife in the City – Short Documentary\

This short documentary is about the awareness of animal and plant wildlife conservation in urban cities. Directed and produced by MarLu Films.

From the California Academy of Sciences in the USA:

US cities host more regionally unique species than previously thought

Citizen science data offers novel comparison of flora and fauna between metropolitan areas

April 30, 2019

Scientists are analyzing a rare snapshot in time of urban plants and animals. To better understand whether rapidly growing cities are hosting the same species, a concept known as urban homogenization, a team from the California Academy of Sciences analyzed an immense volume of data gathered by citizen scientists during the four-day global City Nature Challenge. The 14 U.S. cities included in the study amassed more than 65,0000 wildlife observations identified to species level through the mobile app iNaturalist. Study findings suggest that despite similarities across cities, urban biodiversity still strongly reflects the species that are native to a region. However, observations of shared “cosmopolitan” species like pigeons, white-tailed deer, and dandelions were more numerous than locally occurring species. The study, published today in the journal PeerJ: Life & Environment, highlights the value of citizen science data in addressing complex questions about rapid changes in urban ecology.

“We found that the best predictor for the composition of a city’s plant and animal community is the surrounding region,” says Dr. Misha Leong, lead author and postdoctoral researcher. “This is reassuring in many ways because it tells us that urban biodiversity is not converging at the pace some predicted.”

Previously, multi-city studies examining urban homogenization were limited to simple species lists, but data gathered from the 2016 — 2018 City Nature Challenges allowed researchers to compare relative species abundance as well. Over 5000 species were documented in the 14 U.S. cities involved in the study. Of those documented, only 100 species occurred in half of the participating cities. Even though the proportion of cosmopolitan species to native species is small, cosmopolitan species are more abundant — leaving researchers to investigate why.

“We’re seeing a greater abundance of common city species like crows and white-tailed deer versus native species in part because they probably actually are more abundant in cities, but also we have to consider the bias of the observer,” says Dr. Michelle Trautwein, co-author and curator of entomology. “Widespread cosmopolitan species are more recognizable. Citizens may be more inclined to take pictures of familiar wildlife rather than cryptic, native species.”

In addition to making comparisons between cities, the study also compared plants and animals within a city. The team analyzed each city across five levels of urban intensification ranging from natural areas to dense city centers. They found that community composition for any given land use type is most strongly predicted by its regional flora and fauna.

“It’s encouraging that in some cases, the species we expect to see in a region’s natural landscapes are still making a living in densely urban areas as well,” says Trautwein. “However, when comparing across land use types, we did see that dense city centers are the least regionally specific — likely because they host more species that thrive in cities all over the country.”

The rapid growth of human populations across the globe has facilitated the spread of certain species, like rats and fruit flies, that thrive off human-created habitats. As a result, dense city centers host a greater abundance of human-adapted plants and animals. Species that are closely associated with humans tend to be generalists as opposed to specialists. According to the study team, their success is something that warrants further investigation through more collection of citizen science data.

“Up until this point, a major limitation for analyzing urban biodiversity was collecting enough data from different cities in the same experiment,” says Leong. “With the City Nature Challenge we can ask new questions and analyze data that have been captured as a snapshot in time. We also have the rare opportunity of gathering data from both public and private property.”

The City Nature Challenge is an annual event organized by the California Academy of Sciences and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The 2019 Challenge runs April 24 — May 5 and involves over 150 cities around the globe. Observations are now being identified with results announced on May 6. Participants can contribute observations any time of the year — advancing scientific studies like this one — by downloading the free mobile app iNaturalist and documenting nature in their neighborhood.

Lizards, shag, bee-eaters, flowers of Tilos


This is an August 2013 video about Tilos.

After 24 April 2019 on Tilos came 25 April.

In the morning, a dozen bee-eaters fly above Megalo Chorio.

A golden oriole sings.

As we walk towards Eristos beach, on the edge of the village a sling-tailed agama lizard.

Flowers, 25 April 2019

We pass fields with common poppies and other flowers.

A clouded yellow butterfly.

Sardinian warbler, 25 April 2019

A Sardinian warbler.

Holy orchids growing along the footpath.

At Eristos beach: searocket flowers, tamarisk trees.

A shag lands and swims in Eristos bay.

Stones, 25 April 2019

Stones in many colours in the sea.

Stones, on 25 April 2019

As we walk back, a male golden oriole.

Poppies, 25 April 2019

Common poppies and other flowers on a hill.

Flowers, on 25 April 2019

Gull, 25 April 2019

A yellow-legged gull on a rock in the sea.

Searocket, 25 April 2019

Again, searocket flowers.

In the evening, back in Megalo Chorio, a scops owl calls.

Flowers and birds of Tilos, Greece


This is a 17 July 2014 video showing Tilos island in Greece from a passenger aircraft.

After 22 April 2019 came 23 April on Tilos.

We went by bus from Megalo Chorio to Livadia, the harbour village.

Near Eristos beach, a male golden oriole on his spring migration flying.

In Livadia we walked along the coastal boulevard, named after the late local leftist doctor and mayor Tasos Aliferis.

Protea, 23 April 2019 Protea, 23 April 2019

There were various Protea flowers, originally from South Africa.

Proteas, 23 April 2019

Some of these proteas grew in gardens, other, feral, ones on the upper part of the beach.

Proteas, on 23 April 2019

Searocket, 23 April 2019

Also autochthonous wild flowers on the beach: these European searocket flowers. Between tamarisk trees.

Searocket, on 23 April 2019

A yellow-legged gull flies over the sea.

Hooded crows and house sparrows on buildings.