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.
Ok so it's a rhetorical question, but it raises an important point: there are undoubtedly some alien invasives here that we don't know about yet. Non-native invasive species are here, and here to stay; so we need to be pragmatic about how to deal with them.
The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has published a series of 'average population density' maps on its website, showing the number of individuals per square kilometre for 49 common species of bird.
According to web sources, Richard Benyon MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs has communicated the Government's intention to legislate against the sale of 'blacklisted' non-native invasive species. This follows a lengthy consultation period.
This is the Australian landhopper or woodhopper Arcitalitrus dorrieni (an amphipod crustacean). It is not native to the UK, but has become increasingly established over the last century or so. It lives in deciduous or mixed leaf litter, and can be confused with native springtails. There are no native terrestrial amphipods in Britain; only aquatic species such as Gammarus pulex.
We're engaged in lots of non-marine mollusc work at the moment; some of it relating to professional projects; some of it simply in the name of voluntary biological recording. Winter is a time for compiling all those species records collected throughout the year, and sending them off to the relevant Local Records Centres (LRCs).
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).