The Guardian reports animals are getting some peace and people are reconnecting with nature, but wildlife crimes may be going unnoticed. Moles are daring to clamber above ground to hunt for worms, oystercatchers are nesting on deserted beaches, and overlooked plants such as ivy-leaved toadflax are gaining new friends.
The shutdown of modern life as we know it is liberating British wildlife to enjoy newly depopulated landscapes. But conservationists say the impact is not all positive, with wildlife crimes going unreported and vital work including monitoring impossible to carry out.
Mole photo by Link576 under creative commons.
The BBC report. At a loss to know what to do with your self-isolation time? Well, why not get on the computer and help with a giant weather digitisation effort? The UK has rainfall records dating back 200 years or so, but the vast majority of these are in handwritten form and can’t easily be used to analyse past periods of flooding and drought.
The Rainfall Rescue Project is seeking volunteers to transfer all the data into online spreadsheets. You’re not required to rummage through old bound volumes; the Met Office has already scanned the necessary documents – all 65,000 sheets. You simply have to visit a website, read the scribbled rainfall amounts and enter the numbers into a series of boxes.
Photo by Alison Day under creative commons.
The SUNDAY TIMES reports as he approaches his 94th birthday, Attenborough finds himself on a very different planet to the one he grew up on. We need to reconnect with nature, he tells Nick Rufford, for our own health – as well as the Earth’s.
After a lifetime of bringing nature into our living rooms, David Attenborough wants us to get out of our armchairs and help save the natural world we’ve enjoyed watching on television. Decades of relentless industrialisation, urbanisation and intensive farming have driven a wedge between us and our animal ancestors, he warns, and the disconnection between modern families and nature is getting worse.
Sir David Attenborough photo by ukhouseoflords under Creative Commons.
THE GUARDIAN reports we may be stuck indoors but the skies are a source of ornithological wonder. Experts reveal what’s out there, where to look – and how to get competitive about it.
Some of us have always scrutinised the skies above our homes and gardens but the Covid-19 crisis has turned this activity into something of a movement, sparked by Matteo Toller of Udine in north-east Italy who recently se up #BWKM0 (birdwatching at zero km) on Twitter to help people record their sightings, share knowledge and show solidarity during the country’s lockdown.
Matteo himself recorded 51 species from his windows in 12 hours earlier this month, including brambling, black stork, goshawk and the first house martins migrating north.
The BBC reports a new study that looks at lifespan in wild mammals shows that females live substantially longer than males. The research finds that, on average, females live 18.6% longer than males from the same species. This is much larger than the well-studied difference between men and women, which is around 8%.
The BBC reports researchers are investigating how many hedgehogs are killed on our roads in a bid to help the UK’s declining population. A Nottingham Trent University team will also study whether tunnels under roads could reduce the number of deaths. Experts believe the animals are struggling with lost habitats, increased competition and traffic. Researchers hope this study could help stop the creatures’ decline and provide guidance for planners and developers.