Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has announced its intention to a carry out a survey of freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) across Scotland. It is currently seeking tenders from suitably-qualified contractors, to perform the survey in 2013 and 2014.
The Southeast England regional meeting of the Amphibian and Reptile Groups of the United Kingdom (ARGUK) held at Marwell Wildlife, Hampshire, on Saturday 17 November 2012 was a great success.
Work by Russia researcher Andrey Reshetnikov has shown that an invasive fish - the rotan, Perccottus glenii - can severely affect European amphibian populations. Rotan effectively deplete amphibian larvae in their breeding ponds, except for the noxious common toad (Bufo bufo).
Australian researchers have shown for the first time that the advanced stages of chytridiomicosis in amphibians can be completely cured using fungicide and electrolyte therapy.
IEEM - the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management - has announced that it is on track to gain the royal seal of approval. The Institute has applied for Royal Charter status which would improve its professional standing, and add weight to the credentials of its members.
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) has announced a six-year contract to enhance biological recording in the UK.
The following news is taken from the Fera website.
The European Food Safety Authority has recently published an opinion http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/2552.htm evaluating a Spanish pest risk analysis on Pomacea insularum, the island apple snail [an invasive South American freshwater snail]. The PRA had been prepared in response to the presence of the snail in the Ebro delta of Spain, where it has been causing damage to rice production and the natural environment. As the snail can currently be imported, bred and traded freely, there is the possibility of release into the environment, either intentionally, or accidentally from outdoor aquaria and breeding sites etc.
CGO Ecology has won a contract with Caledonian Conservation Ltd to provide mollusc surveys of four Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Scotland.
The national furore over the planned badger cull is gaining momentum, and there are serious concerns on all sides that peaceful protest and objection might spill over into violent confrontation. While all this is happening, another cull is quietly going ahead: that of 100 wild boar in the Forest of Dean.
CGO Ecology has been instructed by Scottish environmental consultancy IKM Consulting Ltd (Grangemouth, Stirlingshire) to perform a reptile survey of the Waverley Line (Borders Rail) project in September 2012.