Biodiversity News

Beetle survey!

The Peoples Trust for Endangered Species and Royal Holloway have a launched a new beetle survey to look for rare Noble Chafer Beetles. The survey involves harmlessly trapping using a specific lure and marking any Noble Chafers that are caught. The aim of this project is to expand the knowledge of this beetle’s range which can be used for future conservation initiatives.

Small animal shift

A study has predicted that there will be a worldwide move towards small birds and mammals over the next 100 years. It is forecast that smaller animals who are generally fast-lived, highly-fertile and insect eating will be able to thrive in a wide variety of habitats. Example ‘winners’ include the Dwarf Gerbil and ‘losers’ include Black Rhinoceros.

Antarctic biodiversity hotspots

Researchers have identified that seal and penguin poo is a major driver of Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity on land. According to Dr. Stef Bokhorst “What we see is that the poo produced by seals and penguins partly evaporates as ammonia. Then, the ammonia gets picked up by the wind and is blown inland, and this makes its way into the soil and provides the nitrogen that primary producers need in order to survive in this landscape.”

M4 Relief Road Scrapped

The M4 relief road plans have been scrapped after over 2 years of consultations and inquiries, for reasons of costs and environmental impact. The proposed road would have been 14 miles long and built over a biodiversity hotspot – the Gwent Levels. British Wildlife published an editorial written by Ian Rappel in August 2017 highlighting the huge potential environmental impacts of these plans.

 

Donation of ibis gives Middle East’s rarest bird renewed hope of survival

Northern Bald Ibis Geronticus eremita

Andy Hultberg; www.rarebirdsyearbook.com

News from BirdLife International

Until recently it was thought that this bird, so significant that it was once represented by its own heiroglyph, was extinct in the wild.

Then in 2002 a population was found in Syria – but last year that amounted to only three individuals raising one juvenile.

Now a unique effort is being made to bring this fascinating species back from the brink…

Read the full story at BirdLife International

Follow the progress of the birds at www.rspb.org.uk

New BirdLife International publication: Important Bird Areas of the Americas available to order from NHBS