American flying squirrels flying, video

This video from the USA says about itself:

16 June 2016

Amazing nocturnal Southern Flying Squirrels make nightly BASE Jumps off of our deck in their little “squirrel suits”. Various camera angles show these amazingly cute little rodents gliding and then rapidly scampering upward to gain height and then glide again. They may be flying squirrels, but they are still squirrels and crazy for sunflower seeds and actually quite friendly little things – Enjoy! Much more to come from my new favorite mammal.

Australian rodent extinct by climate change

This video says about itself:

First Mammal Extinction from Climate Change

14 June 2016

The Bramble Cay Melomys, a small rodent that lived on a tiny island off the coast of Queensland, Australia, has officially become the first mammal in the world to become extinct as result of human-made climate change. Scientists have concluded that the “root cause” of the extension was sea-level rise resulting in the destruction of their habitat. The Torres Strait sea level has risen at almost twice the global average rate between 1993 and 2014.

Many scientists believe that we have entered the sixth mass extinction as one sixth of the world’s species are currently facing extinction due to climate change. Joya Mia Italiano, Nik Zecevic and Elliot Hill discuss the extinction of the Bramble Cay Melomys and what this means for animals around the world on the Lip News.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Mankind just killed off its first species of mammal because of climate change

By 2050, up to 37 per cent of the world’s species could become committed to extinction due to climate change

Emma Henderson

15 June 2016

The first species of mammal has been wiped out because of human-caused climate change.

The Bramble Cay melomys was an endemic species to the Great Barrier Reef and lived on a tiny island in the eastern Torres Strait off the coast of Queensland. Scientists from the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government led a survey in March 2014 that failed to find any evidence of the Bramble Cay melomys in their last known environment. The animals were last seen in 2009, according to records.

The study, first reported by the Guardian, concluded the habitat was destroyed following rising sea levels, resulting in the loss of 97 per cent of the animals’ habitat.

Climate change plays a huge role in the possible extinction of certain species of animals.

See also here.

American flying squirrel feeding in garden

This video from the USA says about itself:

Cute Flying Squirrel In A Saucer

5 June 2016

One of the smallest and cutest squirrels in North America pays a visit to the deck and enjoys some sunflower seeds in a teacup saucer. Weighing only 2 ounces southern flying squirrels could easily sit in the palm of one hand. Rarely seen by humans because they are strictly nocturnal (thus those big eyes) and tend to live in dense mixed forest. My next goal will be to get some video of these little ones “flying” from tree to tree!

New Zealand rat control and wildlife conservation

This video is about New Zealand wildlife.

From BirdLife:

Battle against expected rat explosion funded by New Zealand Goverment but core conservation funding cut

By Mike Britton, 30 May 2016

The Department of Conservation in New Zealand (DOC) has been allocated an extra $20.7 million to help fight back against an expected pest population boom caused by a heavy forest seeding, or mast. This autumn around a million tonnes of beech seed will drop to the forest floor, providing a bonanza of food for rats and causing their population to boom. As rats increase due to the readily-available food source, so will the number of stoats which feed on rats. Once the seeds germinate and the food source disappears in early spring, the plague of millions of starving rats and tens of thousands of hungry stoats will turn on native wildlife, bringing disaster if nothing is done. This is the second mast year in a row and places whole populations of endangered species at risk.

This occurrence is a worldwide phenomenon but in New Zealand it is particularly significant given the ability of the invasive predators to prey on New Zealand’s indigenous species. Previous mast years have led to massive decreases in populations of previously widespread birds like mōhua.

The so called `Battle for our Birds’ this year will see DOC ramp up pest control by 500,000 hectares, to cover more than 800,000 hectares of land. Aerial 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) operations will be backed by on-going trapping and ground control programmes. Pilot projects will also be run to test the effectiveness of using self-resetting traps to keep pests permanently out of an area following a 1080 operation.

Priority will be to vulnerable great spotted, brown and tokoeka kiwi, kaka, kea, whio/blue duck, mohua/yellowhead, kakariki/orange-fronted parakeet, rock wren, long and short tailed bats and giant snails. Research from DOC’s 2014 Battle for our Birds programme showed breeding success rates in areas treated with 1080 were far greater than in areas with no control. An example is the rock wren which raised three times more chicks than birds in an untreated area in 2014-15 and five times more chicks when the birds bred again a year later.

This is a victory for the advocacy of BirdLife New Zealand partner, Forest & Bird, which predicted this threat last year and advocated strongly for the response which has now been agreed.

But regrettably the hand that gives has also taken away. In the New Zealand budget announced this week, the allocation to the Department of Conservation, which looks after almost a third of the land area of New Zealand, has been cut – up to 9% according to some commentators.

Since its establishment DOC has faced a number of restructurings and significant budget cuts – and it is badly stretched. Large areas of the protected lands and national parks are receiving no pest or weed control and all the time people pressure on New Zealand’s natural areas is increasing. Tourism is growing exponentially and is now New Zealand’s biggest industry. And they all come to enjoy the beauty and nature of the country. Trying to cope with visitors is further reducing the Department’s ability to adequately look after the plants and animals and special places that so define New Zealand.

Forest & Bird is at the front line of advocating for the proper management and protection of nature in New Zealand.

Water vole in garden, video

Carla van de Pol made this 30 May 2016 video in her garden in the Netherlands. It shows a European water vole feeding on ferns.

Young red squirrel on video

This video shows a young red squirrel, investigating the surroundings of its nest, on 21 May 2016 near Ede in Gelderland province, the Netherlands.

Michael de Vries made this video.

Eastern chipmunks in the USA, video

This video from the USA says about itself:

21 May 2016

Chipmunks acting like prairie dogs and some great birds’ songs too! Eastern Chipmunks are a variety of ground squirrel – although we usually don’t think of them that way. High in the Great Smoky Mountains surrounded by thousands of acres of dense wood chipmunks are seldom seen well out in the open, but they are nothing if not motivated, hardworking and adaptable.

Watching me feed the birds in an open meadow next to the edge of their forest homes they quickly excavated an access/escape tunnel to reach the seed feeding area and escape if need be since they would be easy targets for predators like hawks, owls and foxes. Watching Chipmunks out in the open more like prairie dogs is quite entertaining! More on this in the future!