Stop grouse, hen harrier killing in Britain, petition


This video from Britain says about itself:

Chris Packham: Hen Harrier day 2015

9 August 2015

Chris Packham with a passionate speech about hen harrier persecution and wider environmental issues

From the United Kingdom government and parliament petition site:

Petition Ban driven grouse shooting

Grouse shooting for ‘sport’ depends on intensive habitat management which damages protected wildlife sites, increases water pollution, increases flood risk, increases greenhouse gas emissions and too often leads to the illegal killing of protected wildlife such as Hen Harriers.

More details here.

You can sign this petition here.

British canals wildlife free app


This video from England says about itself:

Foxton Locks Canal Boats and Wildlife on a Summer Day

3 March 2010

Summer day at Foxton Locks, Market Harborough, Leicestershire, England, featuring a mouse slaughtering heron, some fish, ducks, a dragonfly.

From the Gazette in England:

Free app launched to encourage people to monitor canal wildlife

Josh Wright

Friday 14 August 2015

FAMILIES are being asked to visit their local canal to monitor the variety of wildlife which make the waterways their home.

The Great Nature Watch campaign, organised by the Canal & River Trust, is encouraging people to record the wildlife they see using the trust’s free mobile app.

Records that the trust gathers through the use of the eNatureWatch app help the organisation to protect canal-dwelling species and to enhance their habitats.

Mark Robinson, national ecologist for the Canal & River Trust, said: “By taking part in the Great Nature Watch you can help us monitor the numbers of all species living on waterways, which is essential when looking after and maintaining a 200-year part of our industrial heritage.

“With the warmth of the summer sun, canals are now alive with dragonflies, butterflies and bees.

“This is also a plentiful time for birds, with food abound, as the young leave the nest and take to the wing.

“This makes the school break a great opportunity for families to get out and explore their local canal or river, and find out what’s living there.”

The free Great Nature Watch mobile app, eNatureWatch, can be found by searching Canal & River Trust in the Apple App Store/Google Play Store. Anyone can take part and record as many sightings as they like.

The Great Nature Watch remains open until the end of September. For further information on Great Nature Watch visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/great-nature-watch.

Additionally, the trust has created an activity book. The activities included range from making canal collages to spotting wildlife, deciphering bird song and cloud gazing. A sticker sheet allows for challenges to be ‘marked off’ when completed. To receive the free guide, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/summer or text ‘Sunny’ to 70060.

Stop badger killing in Britain


This video from Britain says about itself:

3 August 2015

Steve Backshall‘s view on the badger cull and the badger cull pilots in Gloucestershire and Somerset 2013 to present day.

Tracking one turtle dove could help save its whole species


Titan the turtle dove was fitted with a tracking tag last year, before he began his migration to Africa. Photo: RSPB

From BirdLife:

How tracking one turtle dove could help save its whole species

By Jamie Wyver, Wed, 05/08/2015 – 08:38

In a first for UK science, a European Turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur) has been tracked by satellite tagging as it travelled 11,200km from Suffolk in England to Mali, Africa, and back again.

Flying mostly under the cover of darkness, the bird, named Titan, flew 500-700 kilometres a night across epic landscapes such as the Atlas Mountains of North Africa, Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Cádiz, visiting Senegal, Morocco and Spain en route. His maximum speed was 60km per hour.

Titan was fitted with a small, lightweight satellite tag in Suffolk in summer 2014 by the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science. Since then, Titan is playing a vital role in solving a serious conservation problem: how to prevent the rapid loss of his species from across Europe.

Turtle doves have recently been up listed to ‘Vulnerable’ status on the 2015 European red list, with their population plummeting by 77% across the continent since 1980. In fact, the disappearance of these birds is happening so rapidly that their numbers in the UK are halving every six years. If the decline continues at this rate, the species may be lost as a breeding bird in the UK within the next couple of decades.

In the UK, the number of breeding attempts per turtle dove pair halved between the 1960s and the late 1990s, which on its own can explain the population decline of UK breeding turtle doves. The RSPB is working on the premise that due to changes in agricultural practices, the availability of favoured weed seeds has declined, leading to reduced annual productivity. We are working with farmers to make the most of agri-environment schemes that support provision of hedges and scrub for nesting, and turtle-dove foraging plots: areas sown and managed specifically for the birds.

After being fitted with the tag, Titan remained in Suffolk until the end of September, when he headed through France into Spain and finally into Africa, going from Mauritania to Senegal and settling in Mali, where he spent the winter.

On migration, many turtle doves fly over the Mediterranean, a danger zone because of the hunting of turtle doves here. When Titan first entered this region, the legal hunting seasons in France and Spain were in full swing. Estimates suggest that around one million birds are killed across the western European flyway each autumn.

But this is only one of many challenges migratory birds face, and not all make it. RSPB researchers fitted two turtle doves with satellite tags in 2014. However, only Titan made it successfully to the wintering grounds in Africa and back again.

There are many factors in Africa that could play a part in the alarming decline of turtle doves as well, such as a lack of reliable sources of food and water and limited suitable roosting sites. Africa has seen significant agricultural expansion and intensification, as well as desertification, in recent decades.

Tracking Titan on his journey has given the RSPB Centre for Conservation Science valuable information, including the route taken, resting points and lengths of stays at those points, which will help understand where to target conservation efforts.

To encourage international collaboration on a plan to save turtle doves, the RSPB helped organise a symposium and round table event at the European Ornithologists Union conference this August to bring together academics and conservationists from across the species’ range at a flyway scale. Add to that, BirdLife International launched a new three-year EU LIFE+ funded project in April 2015 to identify the conservation needs of turtle doves (along with another 15 species) and to develop an International Species Action Plan.

There are also widespread efforts to ‘regreen’ the Sahel belt where turtle doves overwinter, which may bring back some of the roosting sites they need.

Titan finally left Mali on 19 May, and made swift progress through Mauritania and Algeria, arriving in Morocco on 24 May. Having just crossed the 2,000 km of the Sahara, he spent about two weeks resting in Morocco before crossing into Europe on 6 June. Passing through Spain and France, he finally returned to the UK, ending his journey very close to the spot he was first tagged a year earlier.