The British Herpetological Society has announced production of 'Amphibian Gullypot Ladders'. Finally an elegant way to prevent avoidable amphibian deaths has come onto the market, and the BHS is welcoming pre-orders from local authorities, conservation NGOs, ecological consultancies, and anyone else who might be interested.
The Great Crested Newt (GCN) Task Force is an initiative instigated by Defra a couple of years ago, with the aim of improving intelligence on GCN status in the UK, whilst supporting the sustainable development agenda. There are several parallel workstreams, each involving a committee to deliberate and progress aspects of policy and capacity that need improvement. One workstream is defining Favourable Reference Values (FRVs) for example, so that we know what conservation goals we should be aiming for, nationally and locally.
We came across this interesting European agricultural nugget on CIEEM's ePolicy update this week: "Communicating biodiversity to farmers: developing the right tools."
World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for the Protection of Animals) has been in the press in the past week. They published a report revealing the extent of wildlife crime in the UK – from badger baiting, bats and birds being disturbed, to the illegal trade of endangered species. The report includes recommendations for how UK Government could better support the enforcement agencies working to tackle these crimes.
Yesterday a range of news sources reported that a Dorset badger cull is "looking increasingly likely", paraphrasing the words of Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill. The BBC, the Daily Telegraph, the Dorset Echo were among those reporting the story.
CGO Ecology has been busy lately. A recent highlight was visiting the Caribbean islands of Trinidad & Tobago, where we were honoured to be guests of sea turtle conservation charity SOS Tobago - Save Our Sea Turtles Tobago. Program Manager Giancarlo Lalsingh took us to see their excellent monitoring and guardian work first-hand, all achieved on limited means. We saw five giant nesting female leatherbacks that night - a moving experience, and an impressive spectacle.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced that neonicotinoid pesticides are dangerous to honey bees, and should not be used on crops that are attractive to them. The Parliament UK website quoted the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Joan Walley MP, as saying:
According to a press release by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), around 146 beavers are now established in about 40 family groups in the Tayside region of Scotland. They originated from accidental escapes or deliberate releases around 2006.
Ireland's National Biodiversity Data Centre has announced a new red list of Irish maflies, produced in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Ireland Environment Agency. It assessed threats to all 33 species of Irish mayflies. Six are categorised as under threat of extinction, and two are near threatened.