Last weekend saw yet another excellent Herpetofauna Workers' Meeting, this time at Bristol Zoo Gardens. Thanks to ARC and ARGUK for organising it.
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.
The following from Sergé Bogaerts:
A deadly skin-eating fungus is threatening Belgian Fire Salamander populations. Amphibians are already globally threatened by dramatic population declines, which are in part driven by infectious diseases. Despite the well-known occurrence of several infectious amphibian diseases in Belgium, hitherto they appear not to have significantly affected native amphibian assemblages. However, a novel deadly fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, was discovered in 2012 and almost wiped out the fire salamander in the Netherlands. This fungus now has been found in a dying fire salamander in Eupen, Belgium, by researchers at Ghent University.
Hottentot fig is an increasingly-common sight on British coastlines, and a rather attractive one. The problem is that it outcompetes native coastal vegetation, displacing rare species like the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis), and could even be adding to coastal erosion in some places.
The following is an open letter from CGO Ecology's Chris Gleed-Owen to Bournemouth Borough Council:
A taskforce of hardworking team of volunteers from the amphibian and reptile group network ARG-UK has just returned from a habitat-management taskforce to the Sefton Coast of Merseyside. The group, funded by a grant from ARG-UK's 100% Fund and conservation NGO Habitat Aid, carried out urgent scrub clearance to help save a sand lizard population from extinction.
The most visited article on the CGO Ecology website is this one: "Ecology reports needed for all planning applications." It was written in August 2010, at a time when local authorities in Dorset were becoming more rigorous in their demands for ecological assessment prior to developments, however small.
We receive lots of letters and CVs from graduates looking for ecological consultancy jobs. In a competitive job market, your CV needs to stand out from the rest by having lots of practical experience, rather than just three years of theoretical classroom learning. Yesterday we tweeted some tips on making your CV stand out. Here is what we said.
CGO Ecology has teamed up with Bournemouth University to carry out a research project into the occurrence and possible impacts of a tiny invertebrate animal from the southern hemisphere. The Australian landhopper (Arcitalitrus dorrieni) is an amphipod crustacean, in the same family (Talitridae) as our freshwater shrimps. They live in leaf litter, usually beneath trees.