A recent paper in Science magazine ‘Recovery of large carnivores in Europe’s modern human-dominated landscapes’ shows that large carnivores in Europe can share the same landscape as humans. The paper, published in December 2014 and authored by 76 researchers from 26 countries is not the first to show that large carnivores can co-exist with people, however their results show that the land-sharing model, in contrast to wilderness and national park strategies elsewhere in the world, can be successful on a continental scale.
Michael Williams - MCIEEM BSc (Hons)
The Large Blue butterfly reintroduction is one of the conservation success stories of recent times. Declared extinct in 1979, it has been successfully reintroduced to a number of sites in the south-west of England.
As a teenager I used to hear older naturalists comment frequently that there used to be a lot more glow-worms back in their day. Nowadays I find myself saying the same thing.
Alongside the footpaths, back lanes and disused railway lines of north Devon I would often pass the green glow of the females in the grassland and low scrub.
While some invertebrates are generalists, and feed on or live in a wide variety of trees, many can only be found on certain species, or a very small number of species. Sometimes the name is a dead giveaway – oak apple gall wasps, the blue willow beetle etc. But some can be somewhat inaccurate – for instance the oak eggar moth does not feed on oaks, but gets its name due to the cocoon resembling an acorn.
Under the Bark
The Ranavirus, first reported in the UK in the 1980s, is responsible for killing thousands of frogs, toads and newts in the UK every year. The cause of the spread of the disease is as yet unknown, however some populations have recovered following an outbreak. The second disease is the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which was first discovered in the UK in 2004 and is thought to be the main threat to amphibian populations worldwide and can destroy entire populations of amphibians.