This video says about itself:
In the south of Scotland, there is Caerlaverock Wetland Centre.
They report today on Twitter:
This video says about itself:
In the south of Scotland, there is Caerlaverock Wetland Centre.
They report today on Twitter:
This video is called The making of wildlife documentary Last of the Scottish Wildcats.
By Peter Frost in Britain:
Highland tigers – the rarest animals on Earth?
Friday 16th January 2015
They call them Highland tigers — it’s a good name for one of the world’s most endangered animals.
So what are we talking about? The beast in question is the Scottish wildcat — Felis silvestris grampia — the only wild member of the cat family to have survived in Britain and now critically threatened.
Compared to other wild cats worldwide, the Scottish wild species is small. However, it is larger than the usual domesticated housecat.
The wildcat is similar in appearance to a striped tabby cat, but has relatively longer legs, a more robust build, and a bigger skull to hold its larger brain.
The most obvious way to identify the animal is its magnificent tail — very thick and clublike with big bold distinct rings around it.
That tail is long, more than half of the animal’s body length. Ears are moderate in length, and broad at the base. Eyes are large, with vertical irises.
Males measure 43 to 91cm (17 to 36in) in body length, add to that a 23 to 40cm (9.1 to 15.7in) tail. Its normal weight is 5 to 8kg (11 to 18lb). Females are slightly smaller, body measuring 40 to 77cm (16 to 30in) the tail adding 18 to 35cm (7.1 to 13.8in). Females weigh 3 to 5kg (6.6 to 11lb).
Both sexes possess scent glands around the anal opening and along the tail. In males these play a significant role in reproduction and territorial marking.
The cats have good night vision and an acute sense of smell — that allows then to detect meat at 200m.
I’m on my tiger hunt on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Lochaber, in the Scottish Highlands.
At the end of the peninsula a 118 ft (36m) lighthouse looks out from British mainland’s most westerly headland — Ardnamurchan point. You reach the Point by a single track road that runs the length of the peninsula.
The entire peninsula is the last and most important home of the true Scottish wildcat. Best estimates indicate that there are only three dozen or so left with perhaps another 150 that are crosses between true wildcats and feral cats.
This interbreeding is the biggest threat to the survival of the species.
A charity, The Wildcat Haven Project, aims to protect the species by catching and neutering feral and hybrid wildcats to prevent them breeding with pure wildcats.
Geneticist Paul O’Donoghue, the scientific adviser to the project since 2012, explains the strategy: “Feral cats are the biggest danger to the future of the Scottish wildcat. They interbreed and you end up with hybrids of varying degrees.”
His aim is to reduce and eventually totally remove the feral cat population from this area.
Eventually the wildcat population will become purer as feral animals and crossbreeds die out.
Wildcats, feral cats and crossbred animals are cought in traps baited with mackerel and fish oil. When feral cats or crosses are cought, they are neutered and released. If it looks like a pure wildcat, its DNA will be recorded to test just how pure-bred it is.
Today the Scottish wildcat is one of if not the most endangered animal, not just in Scotland but on the planet. It needs all the protection we can offer particularly in the Ardnamurchan peninsula.
There are many reasons why the 300 square miles of the Ardnamurchan peninsula is worth a visit for those who love the countryside.
You will see seabirds, marine mammals, pine martens, golden eagles, and white-tailed sea eagles all against a background of beautiful, untouched wild Highland country.
From Wildlife Extra:
A gamekeeper, found guilty at Aberdeen Sheriff Court in December of illegally killing a goshawk, illegal use of a trap, and illegally taking away another goshawk and a buzzard, has been jailed for four months.
George Mutch is believed to be the first gamekeeper in Scotland to be given a custodial sentence for wildlife crimes.
Mutch was caught on footage taken by hidden cameras between August and September 2012.
These had been set up by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to monitor how traps were being used on the Kildrummy Estate in Aberdeenshire, where Mutch was the gamekeeper.
In the film Mutch was seen killing a young goshawk by removing it from the trap and hitting it with a stick. He was also filmed putting a buzzard and a goshawk into white sacks and walking out of view.
Mutch claimed the traps were for catching small birds to stop them from eating food scattered on the ground for young pheasants. However, some of the footage showed him taking a wood pigeon out of a trap and releasing it.
Duncan Orr Ewing, head of species and land management at RSPB Scotland, said: “We would like to thank the Crown Office, Scottish SPCA and Police Scotland for helping to bring this case to a successful conviction, as well as the exemplary work of the RSPB Scotland investigations team.
“This penalty should be a turning point, sending a clear message to those determined to flout our laws that wildlife crime will not be tolerated but instead will be treated with the seriousness that it deserves.
“Wildlife criminals must expect no sympathy from now on.”
Sara Shaw, the Scottish Procurator Fiscal for wildlife and environment, issued a statement: “Birds of prey are given strict protection by our law.
“Goshawks in particular are rare birds: the court heard evidence in this case that there are only about 150 nesting pairs in Scotland.
“It is highly important to preserve Scotland’s natural heritage, including the wildlife that forms part of it. Our environmental laws exist to provide this protection.
“This case involved serious contraventions of those laws. The conviction of Mr Mutch and the severity of the sentence given by the court highlights that message.”
The Scottish Gamekeepers Association has expelled Mutch from its membership.
This military video from the USA is called Japanese Americans in WWII.
Again, from the Independent series about US American activists:
In the Second World War, a notice was suddenly posted throughout Japanese neighbourhoods: “All persons of Japanese ancestry will be evacuated from the above designated area by 12 o’clock noon”.
There was nothing in the evacuation order or in any public law that allowed the United States government to keep Americans within any restricted area. But the War Relocation Authority, by pure executive fiat, detained us under their jurisdiction and sent us to camps. The military, without imposing martial law, was ordering the civilian to do something. In my opinion, that’s the way dictatorships are formed.
And if I, as an American citizen, stood still for this, I would be derogating the rights of all citizens. I had to stand up and say, “That’s wrong”. I refused to report for evacuation. Sure enough, within the week, I got a telephone call saying, “We’re coming to get you”. I can still see them. The lieutenant was in a saloon car. A jeep followed with four military policemen. I was thrown into the North Portland Livestock Pavilion, where Japanese-Americans had been put. In stalls where horses and cows were kept, people now lived. It was sweltering, but we had no way to escape it. They wouldn’t let us outside.
In September, they started moving us into desert camps. You were surrounded with barbed-wire fences, armed guards, searchlights, and machine-gun nests. We wondered how long we were going to be interned. What was going to happen? By then, we had heard rumours of forced labour camps in Germany. Were they, as [the journalist] Westbrook Pegler and others were suggesting, going to castrate the men and ship them back to Japan? These things were in the papers constantly: make them suffer. Make them hurt. And I kept on thinking, “What did I do?”
One of the most vocal advocates of this putting into concentration camps of people just because of their ancestry, was US politician Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson.
Before we go to Scotland today, first some more United States political history.
In the twentieth century, there was the late United States senator and failed presidential candidate Henry ‘Scoop’ Jackson. Mr Jackson was corrupt, Jackson’s nickname was “the gentleman from Boeing“. Boeing being a military contractor getting lots of taxpayers’ money for killing and torturing people. Jackson was also a major supporter of wars, like in Vietnam.
Jackson was a strong supporter of the racist internment of US citizens of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps because of their ethnicity during World War II.
The 21st century ‘Henry Jackson Society’ seems to have substituted Muslims for Japanese-Americans. This society includes hard-line politicians from the USA. And from Britain: right-wing Conservatives, like David Cameron’s now-sacked education secretary Michael Gove. And right-wing ‘new’ Labour Blairites. Like Denis MacShane, convicted for, and kicked out of the Labour party for, corruption. So, really similar to Henry Jackson. Also similar in being a warmonger, supporting war in Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever.
Unfortunately, Denis MacShane is not unique within Labour in Britain.
By Malcolm Burns in Scotland:
Murphy linked to hard-right think tank
Monday 5th January 2015
Labour leader advised anti-immigration group
SCOTTISH Labour leader Jim Murphy yesterday faced a storm of protest from across the political spectrum over his role as an adviser to a hard-right think tank.
The SNP, Scottish Greens and Communist Party of Britain — as well as human rights experts and left-wing Labour activists — all demanded Murphy’s resignation from the Henry Jackson Society, named after an anti-communist US senator.
Mr Murphy sits on the neoconservative society’s political advisory council.
The group includes “two cheers for capitalism” in its founding principles — witholding a third cheer out of a concern for environmental damage that does not extend to workers’ welfare.
Mr Murphy’s link to the group was called into question at the weekend by Amnesty International advocate Niall McCluskey, who said his association gave “the wrong kind of message for someone in his position.”
And Communist Party Scottish secretary Tommy Morrison told the Morning Star: “At his core this shows Jim Murphy is a hard right winger — despite some of his rhetoric in the recent Labour leadership election.
“It was a tribute to Neil Findlay that his principled leadership campaign moved the Scottish Labour agenda to the left and Murphy had to respond to that, but the lesson for us is we shouldn’t be conned about Murphy.
“It also shows the job the wider labour movement has to do in Scotland. These links will not endear Jim Murphy or Scottish Labour to the Scottish people.”
A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “Anyone who claims Jim Murphy is anti-Islamic or supports anti-Islamic views is making a pathetic political attack which says more about them than Mr Murphy.”
But Scottish Labour leftwinger Vince Mills, chair of the grassroots Campaign for Socialism, also called on Murphy sever his links with the body.
“He should resign from it immediately, given the reactionary stand it has taken on issues like immigration and international policy.
“Instead he should be focusing on efforts to reduce tension, like supporting international recognition for Palestine.”
SNP MSP for Glasgow Sandra White said yesterday that it was “an extraordinary role for a Labour leader in Scotland to be in, and a huge embarrassment to his party.”
If Mr Murphy won’t dissociate himself from this society named after a corrupt, racist and warmongering United States senator; and if Labour in Scotland will not condemn that; then, the Scottish Labour party will be doomed to be much smaller than the Scottish National Party for a very, very long time. After having been the biggest party in Scotland for many decades.
Scottish Labour leader deletes YouTube video after getting NHS stats wrong. Jim Murphy deletes video and tweet after making false claims about cancelled hospital operations in Scotland based on misread figures: here.
Jim Murphy is ominously noncommittal when it comes to backing collective bargaining and workers’ representation, writes GRAHAME SMITH: here.
This video from India is called Rare Eurasian Lynx in Ladakh.
From the BBC:
29 December 2014 Last updated at 13:00 GMT
he Scottish Wildlife Trust has called for the reintroduction of the lynx to Scotland.
The charity said there was a “moral and ecological” case for the return of the once native Eurasian lynx.
The animal was hunted to extinction in the UK hundreds of years ago.
The wildlife trust believes the reintroduction of predators like the lynx would help restore balance in Scotland’s natural ecosystems.
It can currently be found in the forests of western Europe, Russia and central Asia.
Jonny Hughes, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s chief executive, said: “The Scottish Wildlife Trust has experience in bringing keystone species back to Scotland, having been a lead partner in the ground-breaking Scottish Beaver Trial, a trial reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver to Argyll.
“We believe that lynx should also be considered for reintroduction and in many ways could be a flagship for the restoration of native habitats, particularly woodlands, into the future.”
He added: “Finding the right locations will be one of the major challenges for a potential lynx project and there will be a range of stakeholders who will need to work in partnership to ensure the best chance of success and support, as has been the case in the Scottish Beaver Trial.
“It is important that we all understand the potential benefits of bringing back the lynx to our woodland ecosystems, but also to our forestry and tourism industries.
“At the same time we should understand the challenges that this beautiful once-native cat will bring with it.”
Earlier this year, conservation charity Trees for Life and writer George Monbiot promoted the reinstatement of the Eurasian lynx to Scotland.
This video from Scotland says about itself:
20 February 2012
Redpolls at the (woodland setting) feeders of SWT Reserve Loch of the Lowes were a big surprise on our visit. We had never seen them there before. Had to have some fun with the video captures to celebrate :-)
On the fence to the left of the tree, two wood pigeons kissing each other. Minutes later, they were cleaning their feathers.
By Luke James in Britain:
Female party chiefs unite in anti-austerity election pact
Tuesday 16th December 2014
BRITAIN’S three female party leaders united yesterday to launch an alliance against Westminster austerity — but ruled out speaking for each other in TV election debates.
Ms Sturgeon — dubbed the most powerful woman in British politics — was in London to meet Tory PM David Cameron for the first time since taking the reins from Alex Salmond.
Polls suggest that her party’s post-referendum surge could see the nationalist and Green group grow to more than 30 MPs after the election.
The trio made clear that the cost of their support for any minority Labour government would be an end to austerity and Trident nuclear weapons.
Slamming Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, Ms Sturgeon said it was possible to balance the books without reducing spending to levels last seen in the 1930s.
“I lead a government that has for the past seven years balanced its books every year,” she told a joint press conference.
“But the Tories have slipped over from responsible management of the deficit and debt to an ideological cutting of the state and I don’t accept that is the right way to go.”
Green leader Ms Bennett said Britain’s economic debate urgently needed a “human dimension” that focused on the “extreme misery” caused by Con-Dem cuts.
Ms Wood too earlier told the BBC’s Daily Politics show that their alliance presented an “alternative to the four shades of Westminster grey.”
She said it was a “matter of democracy” that their views were heard in the pre-election TV debates.
But Ms Sturgeon rejected a suggestion that one of the trio could represent the views of all three in the debates.
She also appeared to rule out the trio presenting Labour with a joint list of demands should Ed Miliband’s party fall short of an overall majority.
“Leanne and I are very close politically and our parties have been for a long time but we don’t share the same views on everything,” said Ms Sturgeon.
“I don’t anticipate us negotiating as a bloc but we’ll seek to make common cause where we can.”
See also here.