European birds, and Asian plants exhibition


This video is about the exhibition Crown Jewels from Asia, which is at present in the botanical garden in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The exhibition celebrates the bicentenary of the botanical garden in Bogor, Indonesia, the Kebun Raya.

We went to that exhibition on 25 June.

As we walked to the botanical garden, two great spotted woodpeckers, a youngster and its mother. Sometimes they sat on the trees along the canal; sometimes on a home’s balcony.

A bit further in that canal, a great crested grebe couple building their nest. A few meters further, a coot nest with a youngster and its parents. Still about fifty meters further, another coot nest; in the part of the canal inside the botanical garden.

Near the garden entrance, information signs on the Crown Jewels from Asia exhibition. Especially about seventeenth century naturalist Rumphius, who wrote the first book on plants in Indonesia (more specifically Ambon island); work which inspired the later Bogor botanical garden.

In a hothouse, another sign about Rumphius at Nepenthes carnivorous plants. Rumphius knew that insects die in Nepenthes pitchers; he did not know yet that the plants digest them as food. Even to Charles Darwin in the nineteenth century, discovering carnivory in plants was surprising.

In the hothouse, the big Australian stick insects were still present.

In the Victoria amazonica hothouse, there was a Crown Jewels from Asia sign as well. Though these giant water lilies are from South America, not Asia. That was because in the nineteenth century there were experiments in cultivating Victoria plants in the Bogor garden before they arrived in the Leiden garden.

Outside, greenfinch and ring-necked parakeet sounds.

Eurasian bird news


This 2015 video is about puffins and other seabirds of the Farne Islands, England.

From BirdLife:

16 June 2017

The Bird Bulletin – Vol. 11

By Gui-Xi Young

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘The Bird Bulletin’ – our weekly news brief. Every Friday morning, we bring you bite-sized updates from across Europe & Central Asia – kick start your weekend with “what a little bird told me!”

ANCHORS AWEIGH! Read BirdLife’s new marine blog ‘Journey to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge’ in which Marguerite Tarzia chronicles her month-long voyage across the high seas in search of whales and seabirds aboard the research vessel RRS Discovery! Read now…

Squid pro quoDr Vladimir Laptikhovsky – expert in all things cephalopod (octopus, squid, cuttlefish, etc.) – takes us down into the depths of the wild open ocean in search of food for hungry seabirds. Read more…

Nature vs. pesticides – A bittersweet victory: On Wednesday a whopping 363 MEPs voted against a proposed ban on the use of pesticides on ‘safe havens’ for farmland nature – just 13 votes shy of the needed overall majority. Nature may have ruled the day, but what was supposed to be a ‘no brainer’ vote, turned out to be a very close call. Read more…

Turkish delight! Doğa Derneği (BirdLife Turkey) is celebrating a major victory for conservation. This week, the Parliament withdrew a draft proposal that would allow building development in the protected olive pastures of Anatolia. Read more…

Well that’s all for today’s ‘Bird Bulletin’ – tune in next week for more cheeps, chirps and chatter.

Bye bye birdies!

Gui-Xi Young, Editor & Campaigns Officer – BirdLife Europe & Central Asia

Pollution killing millions of Europeans, Asians


This video says about itself:

27 September 2016

WHO Reports Pollution is Killing Millions Of People – 6.5 million people are dying every year because of air pollution-related illnesses.

6.5 million people die from air pollution each year. Their causes: strokes, heart diseases and cancer, according to a study by the World Health Organization.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Pollution kills 14m in Europe and central Asia a year

Thursday 15th June 2017

UN HEALTH experts meeting in the Czech Republic have warned that 1.4 million people across Europe and central Asia die prematurely every year from pollution.

About half of those deaths — 620,000 — were from air pollution, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

Experts and ministers from across the WHO’s European region — stretching from Iceland in the north-west to Tajikistan in the south-east — are currently meeting in Ostrava, Czech Republic, to discuss the health effects of a dirty environment.

The WHO said that other things such as chemical pollution, occupational risks and unsafe water and sanitation add to the death toll. And another 85,000 people a year are killed in car crashes.

WHO Europe regional director Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab said that “we can prevent the 1.4 million environment-related deaths by making health a political choice.

“We have enough evidence. We have solutions at hand. What we need is action,” said Olga Algayerova, the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.

Much like the fight to stop planet-wrecking climate change, the scientists said the steps to take weren’t a mystery — it was just a case of getting on with a job that governments have put off for far too long, risking a catastrophe.

And many of the solutions are the same — replacing polluting power stations and transport with proven clean methods.

But government inaction remains the big hold up. In Britain, for example, the government has undermined renewable energy in favour of dirty fracking, encouraged greater use of polluting cars by spending over £15 billion on new roads and been repeatedly condemned by judges for refusing to publish effective plans to tackle air pollution.

A new study of 60 million Americans — about 97 percent of people age 65 and older in the United States — shows that long-term exposure to airborne fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone increases the risk of premature death, even when that exposure is at levels below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards: here.

Greenish warbler video


This is a greenish warbler video.

These birds live in eastern Europe and Asia.

Snowfinch on video


This is a snowfinch video.

These birds live in Europe and Asia.