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Jane Louise

Observations Of Nature Through The Seasons.

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Conservationists in Myanmar brought the Burmese star tortoise back from being functionally extinct

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The Burmese star tortoise was almost history.

By the early 2000s, the natives of central Myanmar’s deserts had dwindled to such low counts in the wild that ecologists declared them functionally extinct. About the size of a football when mature, the animals sported yellow polygon patterns across their shells that helped them camouflage in dry grasses but also made them attractive as exotic pets, smuggled for thousands of dollars to the United States, Europe and other parts of Asia.

Now, it appears that an eleventh-hour effort has pulled the species from the edge of extinction, according to a recent paper in the journal Herpetological Review. Steven Platt, a herpetologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society, and his collaborators outlined how setting up captive-bred assurance colonies in Myanmar has boosted the tortoise’s prospects. Starting with fewer than 200 tortoises in 2004, the assurance colonies now number about 14,000 captive tortoises, and around 1,000 animals have already been reintroduced into the wild, according to Dr. Platt.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/04/science/burmese-star-tortoise-myanmar.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur

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The synchrony of swans is amazing. No signs of cygnets for this pair though.

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1 hour ago, ciel said:

The synchrony of swans is amazing. No signs of cygnets for this pair though.

59d6604f8f284_swanslot3.thumb.jpg.bf3b6c39596d91e00dfce14df4d525ec.jpg

Isn't it just. There are sixteen on the local lake and I've spent hours watching them interact, both in groups and just a couple. The mating ritual is fascinating but for some reason there were no cygnets this year.

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Very annoying this morning. A young Cormorant arrived down at the lake taking me by surprise and I only had time to take a quick out of focus snap before it nipped off fishing in other parts .

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, knocker said:

Very annoying this morning. A young Cormorant arrived down at the lake taking me by surprise and I only had time to take a quick out of focus snap before it nipped off fishing in other parts .

59d774ac54e28_corm2.thumb.jpg.d841e4ea0ceb7603642f6e66fa1d468f.jpg

Nothing beats a quick snap, eh!

Edited by Polar Maritime

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A Little Grebe this morning. Apparently there has been a couple of Ospreys down at Devoran the last few days. Presumably a pit stop on the way south. Would loved to have seen them

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Weevils with appetite for waterway-smothering salvinia weed welcomed in Top End

Weevils might be better known for attacking pantry shelves than combatting weeds.

But in Kakadu National Park these little bugs are proving a critical weapon in combatting a salvinia weed outbreak.

Kakadu is Australia's largest terrestrial national park and is home to more than one-third of Australia's bird species and one-quarter of its freshwater and estuarine fish species.

But Kakadu's waterways are under threat from a huge outbreak of salvinia weed.

Lou Elliott, a scientist with the NT Weed Management Branch, said it was regarded as one of the worst weeds in the country because it was highly invasive and had dire economic and environmental impacts.

"It's in waterways across the Top End and also down the east coast of Australia and it causes terrible impacts where it occurs," he said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-08/weevils-fighting-salvinia-weed-in-nt-kakudu-national-park/9023768

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'Voluntary restraint' on hare culls isn't working

Friday 13th October 2017, 9:19am


 

A coalition of ten environmental and outdoor organisations have repeated their appeal to the Scottish Government to introduce urgent safeguards for mountain hare populations.

The group is asking for a temporary ban on all mountain hare culling on grouse moors until measures are put in place to ensure their numbers can remain at acceptable, sustainable levels.

More info here: https://www.mountaineering.scot/news/voluntary-restraint-on-hare-culls-isnt-working

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With my acrophobia I have great trouble watching this

 

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Acorn boom risks rise in Lyme disease

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If you go down to the woods today you might not find any bears, nor traces of their picnic, unless you are foraging for acorns, in which case you might find a feast spread out on the forest floor.

Britain’s oak trees appear to be in the midst of what is known as a “mast year”, when they produce a bumper crop of nuts, after a series of lean seasons.

But although the crop is good news for rodents, which feed on them, the bad news is that they can increase Lyme disease.

If more mice survive the winter they infect more ticks in the spring, which can go on to bite humans. Up to 3,000 people a year are now infected with the disease according to the NHS, up from 268 cases in 2001.

Symptoms include a rash that looks like a bullseye at or near the bite site, as well as flu-like symptoms, fever and problems with the nervous system. Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics but some people go on to develop chronic, incurable symptoms that are not fully understood.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/acorn-boom-risks-rise-in-lyme-disease-5tv9frhh7

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Aye, aye, what was that?

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Edited by knocker
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Eastern quolls will soon be reintroduced to Australian mainland after being wiped out by foxes

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The eastern quoll will be reintroduced to the Australian mainland more than 50 years after the species was wiped out by foxes.

Over the next three years, 100 of the spotted, carnivorous marsupials will be released in Booderee National Park in Jervis Bay, New South Wales.

The project is a collaboration by Parks Australia, Rewilding Australia, the Australian National University, Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council and the World Wildlife Fund.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-16/rewilding-australia-eastern-quoll-to-booderee-park-nsw/9049306?pfmredir=sm

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Been watching a couple of thieving grey squirrels nick most of my good crop of chestnuts. They are planted all over the garden. 

This afternoon a Magpie dug up some of the prized results of the thieving from the lawn. Then they were buried in one of the borders. A few minutes later up pops a squirrel. Digs up the chestnuts in the border and puts them back in the lawn. Laugh. 

Doing some repotting as I get ready for the winter. Found a pile nuts stuffed the pots. 

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Decided next year I will leave a several nice boxes of compost near to the tree so a good hiding place for the squirrels.  I will then be able to easily harvest the nuts. Job done. Why do a job if you have someone else to do it for you for nothing?

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