A deadly “salamander-eating” fungus that is already causing havoc for European amphibians is rife in the pet trade, prompting fears it could spread to the UK’s vulnerable newts, report the Independent.
In a study partly funded by the British government, scientists found that seven of the 11 private amphibian collections tested from Western Europe were positive for the “Bsal” infection.
The disease is caused by Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, a fungus that has spread like wildfire from Asia and killed 99 per cent of fire salamanders in the Netherlands.
Experts are concerned some of the UK’s newts, which are already teetering on the edge of extinction thanks to habitat loss and intensive farming, could be the next victims of this plague.
Thank you to everyone that visited the Friends of Normandy Wildlife stall at the Normandy Village Fete.
We had our display boards showing photos of wildlife in Normandy, and information about our past and future talks and key updates about Normandy wildlife. We brought nature to the fete by displaying skulls and nests which people may not have seen before – all species which can be found in Normandy.
We also had a competition for our younger visitors. Inspired by the real nests made by birds, they made nests of their own from clay, moss, feathers and more. Here you can see our two winning nests: the above by Vinny, and the one below a joint effort by neighbours Sara and Brooke. The young winners all received natural history books as their prize.
We had a wonderful day meeting you all and we hope you enjoyed our stall too.
The Telegraph reported on an encounter between a wheatear and a sparrowhawk which ended in the bird of prey hitting a window. A perfectly timed photograph see the wheatear briefly landing on the knocked out hunter before flying to freedom.