CGO Ecology Director & Principal Ecologist Chris Gleed-Owen will be away from the UK from 7-23 May 2013, on honeymoon in Trinidad & Tobago. Please forgive any lack of service in the meantime.
CGO Ecology is currently carrying out a reptile capture and translocation exercise in a large china clay quarry complex on the edge of Dartmoor. For centuries, china clay has been quarried in this corner of Devon, within a few miles of Plymouth, and the modern excavations are on a huge scale. China clay from Headon Quarry and neighbouring sites in the Cornwood area is renown for its quality, and has entered products as diverse as paper and protective tiles for NASA space shuttles.
CGO Ecology has just completed a couple of large contracts on behalf of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC), and Natural England respectively. January to March has become increasingly busy in the last couple of years, with projects involving pre-season surveys, reporting, and policy-based work.
Several news sources are reporting that North American signal crayfish have been detected in the Eden River catchment in Cumbria, considered a UK stronghold of the native white-clawed crayfish. This is very bad news indeed.
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.
So here we are with yet another case of unexpected great crested newts (UXGCNs) turning up on a development site, far too late in the day, and leaving all concerned bemused and wondering where to point the finger.
CGO Ecology has been awarded a contract by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) to pilot a revised Common Standards Monitoring (CSM) methodology for herpetofauna interest features on English SSSIs. The project runs from January to March 2013, and will involve visits to 17 SSSIs and 9 SACs across England.