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A round up of the top countryside, conservation, wildlife and forestry stories as chosen by the CJS Team.


New report links volunteering in nature with better mental health - Wildlife Trusts

Today The Wildlife Trusts (2 October) publish a new report which examines the effects of volunteering in nature on people’s mental health. 

The study was carried out by the University of Essex and found:

95% of participants who were identified as having poor levels of mental health at the start, reported an improvement in 6 weeks, which increased further over 12 weeks

The mental wellbeing of more than two-thirds (69%) of all participants had improved after just 6 weeks.

Improvements were greatest for people new to volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts and those who had poor levels of mental health at the start.

Participants also reported significantly enhanced feelings of positivity, increased general health and pro-environmental behaviour, higher levels of physical activity and more contact with greenspace.

 The study The Health and Wellbeing Impacts of Volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts was the third phase of scientific research carried out by the University of Essex on behalf of The Wildlife Trusts.

Dominic Higgins, Nature and Wellbeing Manager at The Wildlife Trusts says: “The results of this structured research project make a powerful case for nature having a larger role in people’s every-day lives. The evidence is loud and clear – volunteering in wild places while being supported by Wildlife Trust staff has a clear impact on people’s health; it makes people feel better, happier and more connected to other people. Participants also reported increases in their sense of connection to nature. The Department of Health should take note – our findings could help reduce the current burden on the National Health Service because they illustrate a new model of caring for people that does not rely solely on medication and traditional services.”

See here for a 4-page summary pdf of all three phases of the University of Essex’s research for The Wildlife Trusts  and here for the The Health and Wellbeing Impacts of Volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts. The appendix on page 31 describes the projects.


Public has little faith in Government to build ‘right homes in right places’ - CPRE

With Government planning to increase housing numbers in expensive areas, a public poll reveals little public faith in either Government or large developers to meet local housing needs.

A YouGov poll commissioned by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) shows that just 5% of people think that the national Government is doing a ‘good’ job of determining local housing needs. Forty-two percent of respondents, by contrast, believe the Government is doing a ‘bad’ job. 

Of the Conservative voters polled amongst the total sample of 4,931 respondents, just 8% believe the Government is doing a good job. Three percent of Labour voters and 2% of Liberal Democrat voters agree. Twenty-two respondents out of nearly 5,000 rate the Government as doing a ‘very good’ job.

The Government’s recent consultation on housing – Planning for the right homes in the right places – sought to provide a new methodology for local authorities to calculate housing need. One clear intention, publicised by ministers, is to require local councils in expensive areas to set higher housing targets in the hope of improving the affordability of housing in the area.

CPRE is concerned that this process will do little to make sure we are building more of the type and tenure of homes local people actually need, while leading to a further and unnecessary loss of countryside. To many, including CPRE, the reliance on large private developers to build affordable homes in particular has perpetuated the housing crisis. Recent CPRE research has illustrated a death of affordable housing in rural areas, with a forecasted shortfall of 33,000 rural affordable homes over the next five years.


Galloway forests home to rare bat roost  - Forestry Commission Scotland

Galloway Forest Park is the home to Scotland’s second confirmed maternity roost for the rare Leisler’s Bat.  Although widely distributed throughout the British Isles, the Leisler’s bat is not common, especially in Scotland, and to find maternity roosts is very rare. The first ever recorded find of a maternity roost was in Culzean Country Park back in 2012 where 40 adult females were found.  Galloway’s roost has at least 27 adult females. The finding of such a maternity roost is a good sign that Galloway’s plantation forests are playing an important part in allowing this rare bat to flourish.

Gareth Ventress, Environment Forester with Forest Enterprise Scotland said: “Since 2010, a group of bat experts and volunteers have been trying to find out more about the rare Leisler’s Bat in Scotland. At first we knew that bat boxes on the National Forest Estate were being used by Lesisler’s bats in the Cree Valley and Glentrool area of Galloway.  Unfortunately there was no evidence of breeding at all. Over the next few years, research continued but it proved difficult to find any signs of breeding. In 2016 we did find a juvenile male Leisler’s in Galloway which confirmed that there must be a roost nearby.  The team decided to come back again this July and were successful in finding lactating Leisler’s bats with the help of sonic lures and specialist bat nets. We radio-tagged three adult female bats and were able to track them to their maternity roosts. We’re really pleased that our forests are providing a safe haven for this wonderful and rare bat.”


Views sought on reward and return schemes for drinks containers - defra

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has launched a call for evidence on how the littering of plastic, metal and glass drinks containers could be reduced

The government today (2/10)  invited views on how reward and return schemes for drinks containers could work in England by issuing a call for evidence.

More than eight million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the world’s oceans each year, putting marine wildlife under serious threat.  Up to 80% of this is estimated to have been originally lost or discarded on land before washing out to sea, and plastic bottles are a particular concern - with figures showing just 57% of those sold in the UK in 2016 collected for recycling.  This compares to a record 90% of deposit-marked cans and bottles that were returned to dedicated recycling facilities in Denmark, and a return rate of almost 80% of beverage containers in South Australia, both of which have a form of deposit return scheme.

To improve these numbers and increase recycling, Environment Secretary Michael Gove has asked organisations and individuals to share their views with the government on the advantages and disadvantages of different types of reward and return schemes for plastic, metal and glass drinks containers that could help reduce the number of bottles entering our waterways.

The call for evidence opens today for four weeks and ministers have asked the Voluntary and Economic Incentives Working Group, set up as part of the Litter Strategy, to accelerate its work and report back early in the New Year.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: "We must protect our oceans and marine life from plastic waste if we are to be the first generation to leave our environment in a better state than we found it. That means tackling the rise in plastic bottles entering our waters by making it simpler and easier to recycle and dispose of them appropriately.

Today we are launching a call for evidence to help us understand how reward and return schemes for plastic bottles and other drinks containers could work in England." 

Take part in the consultation:  Call for evidence on voluntary and economic incentives to reduce littering of drinks containers and promote recycling

Consultation closes 30 October 2017


The country hawk and the city hawk - RSPB

Scientists have found that city sparrowhawks in Scotland are more successful than their country cousins, in a first of its kind study on these raptors.

Researchers from RSPB Scotland and the Scottish Raptor Study Group examined differences between populations of the birds in Edinburgh and in the Ayrshire countryside over four years from 2009 to 2012.

They found that territories in the urban environment (Edinburgh) were occupied far more frequently than those in the rural study area (Ayrshire) and that the city hawks also had significantly higher breeding success than the country hawks.

Of the twenty breeding attempts that failed, only two were recorded in the urban study area, the rest in the rural. The number of nest desertions was also much higher in the latter. It was this complete failure of numerous nests that caused lower breeding success in the rural sparrowhawk population.

In total, 195 sparrowhawk pairs were located in the two study areas across 117 separate sites or ‘territories’. The paper has been published in the journal Écoscience.

Michael Thornton, lead author of the paper and member of the Lothian & Borders Raptor Study Group, said: "This study clearly shows that urban green spaces, such as parks, gardens and golf courses provide both suitable nest sites and an abundance of prey species to support high breeding success in this charismatic predator, and it is important that we protect these areas for urban wildlife and for our own health and wellbeing."


Boost for Knapdale beavers – Scottish Wildlife Trust

The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), the lead partners of the successful Scottish Beaver Trial, have been granted a species licence to reinforce the population of Eurasian beavers in Knapdale Forest, mid-Argyll.

Beaver swimming on Buic © Philip PriceUp to 28 beavers will be released into lochans on land managed by Forest Enterprise Scotland at Knapdale over the next three years. The idea behind the project is to give the small Knapdale beaver population the best possible chance of thriving in the long-term and to increase the genetic diversity of the population.

Beaver swimming on Buic © Philip Price

The beavers will be sourced from a variety of locations. All beavers will be screened to ensure that they are healthy and free from disease before their release into the wild.

The reinforcement will be carried out by Scottish Beavers, a new partnership between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and RZSS created to continue the work of the Scottish Beaver Trial, under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage.

Sarah Robinson, Head of Conservation Programmes and Science for RZSS, said: “We are delighted that Scottish Natural Heritage have granted us a licence to continue the important work that we started with the Scottish Beaver Trial.”


Urban Buzzing Birmingham Success – Buglife

Birmingham has been buzzing for the past 21 months with Urban Buzz providing a variety of new feeding image: Buglifeand nesting opportunities for a number of different pollinators throughout the city. Working closely with many different volunteer groups from ‘Friends of Groups’ to regeneration trusts and scouts, as well as partnering with the Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country and Birmingham City Council Urban Buzz has been in prime position to help drive the pollinator agenda further to forefront of local people, facilitating workshops and training events making people aware of how important bees, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators are to us, and what people can do in their garden or local open space to help conserve them.

image: Buglife

Urban Buzz created 115 buzzing hotspots throughout the city consisting mainly of vibrant wildflower patches and meadows bursting with pollen and nectar, with other key sites including plug planting in young woodlands, wetland planting along brooks and streams, bee bank creation in nature reserves and honeycomb planted planters in Birmingham’s business district.


Work begins on multimillion pound Green Infrastructure projects - Scottish Natural Heritage

Close to £20 million will be spent transforming urban green spaces, says Scottish Natural Heritage

Work has begun on one of seven major urban greenspace projects that have been awarded Green Infrastructure Funds (GIF) by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). SNH is delivering this funding on behalf of Scottish Government, using money from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Aberdeen City Council project is in one of Scotland’s most disadvantaged urban areas and, along with six other proposals, will benefit from a total investment of just under £20 million, including £5.8 million of ERDF awarded through the GIF.

The GIF aims to enhance the lives of those living in urban areas by improving the quality, accessibility and quantity of green infrastructure in major towns and cities, especially in areas with a deficit of greenspace for community use. As well as the development of derelict sites into natural spaces, the project will improve entrance points, paths, viewpoints and signage to enhance community access.

Mike Cantlay, Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage, said: “The impact of a robust green infrastructure on a community can be revolutionary, from improving physical and mental health, attracting business to an area, to reducing flood risk and improving biodiversity. The Green Infrastructure Fund provides a unique opportunity to create better places for people and wildlife on an unprecedented scale across urban Scotland. It is inspiring to see work begin on these exciting projects today in areas where this type of transformation is most needed.”

Click through for more on some of the projects receiving funding. 


Pheasant roadkill peaks in autumn and late winter - University of Exeter

Chickens’ motives for crossing the road are often questioned – but pheasants should probably avoid it altogether, new research suggests. 

Researchers from the universities of Exeter and Cardiff compared roadkill figures from the 1960s and 2010s – before and after the start of mass release programmes of pheasants for shooting – and found pheasants remain disproportionately likely to be run over compared to other birds.

“There may be a number of reasons why pheasants are so commonly killed on the roads, including their short flight distances and relatively small brains,” said Dr Joah Madden, of the University of Exeter. “Our research shows that large-scale release of pheasants has not changed their likelihood of being killed, but it has changed the times of year when they are being killed.” 

dead pheasant (photo Bev Milne)Pheasants are commonly roadkill, but the recent increase in their artificial rearing and release has changed the time of year when most fatalities occur (photo Bev Milne)

The peak times of year for pheasant roadkill have changed from early summer in the 1960s to autumn and late winter now.  These twin peaks coincide with times in the year when captive-bred pheasants are released from pens, and when supplementary feeding ceases following the end of the shooting season.

Dr Madden added “Roadkill first peaks in September-November as pheasants disperse from release pens. It then declines over winter, but when supplementary feeding ceases in February, we see a second peak. Captive-bred pheasants may be at risk after release from pens because they have not learned survival skills.  Being raised in the absence of parents, they simply lack the opportunity to learn.” 

Access the paper: Joah R. Madden, Sarah E. Perkins.  Why did the pheasant cross the road? Long-term road mortality patterns in relation to management changes R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 170617; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170617.


Ghost hunters leave Woodland Trust in bad spirits - Woodland Trust

Ghost hunters and vandals at a Kent wood have forced the Woodland Trust to stump up nearly £50,000 in security and clean-up costs.

Dering Wood litter (Photo: WTML/ Clive Steward)Over the last three years, the conservation charity has spent just under £41,000 employing a security firm at Dering Wood in Pluckley, near Ashford, which has a reputation as one of Britain’s most haunted hotspots due to screams heard in the night.  Between 2012 and 2016 the Trust has also spent £6,070 on regular litter picks, clearing away rubbish and cleaning or replacing vandalised signs. 

Dering Wood litter (Photo: WTML/ Clive Steward)

Site manager Clive Steward said: “Dering has always attracted ghost hunters due to the noises that come out of the woods but the screams they hear are nothing more than amorous foxes. The damage being caused by these overnight visits is unsustainable. We have to employ security guards to evict people from the wood after dark and then we have to break up camps and deal with the damage caused by fires or vandalism. We want people to enjoy the woods, but to consider other users and treat the site with the care it deserves.”

Dering Wood is an ancient, semi-natural woodland. It harbours an amazing array of plants as well as wonderful wildlife, such as nightingales, dormice and many species of butterfly – but no ghosts.


Diamond spider presumed extinct discovered for the first time in almost 50 years - National Trust

A spider presumed extinct in Britain for almost half a century has made a remarkable comeback thanks to habitat restoration.

Two National Trust volunteers were astonished to find the rare Diamond spider (Thanatus formicinus) while searching for arachnids in heathland at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire.

Diamond spider (image: © Lucy Stockton via National Trust)Diamond spider (image: © Lucy Stockton via National Trust)

The spider has only been recorded in the UK on three occasions, all of them in the South of England, and not since 1969. The discovery was made by volunteer rangers as part of ongoing ecological monitoring of the park.

Lucy Stockton, who made the discovery with fellow volunteer Trevor Harris, says, “The spider ran away from me twice but with persistence and some luck I caught it; at the time I had no idea that it would turn out to be such a rare find. Upon closer inspection our spider had a conspicuous ‘cardiac mark’, a black diamond shape on its abdomen, edged with white that helped us to identify it. We were thrilled to have discovered this new resident of Clumber Park and to prove that this species is definitely not extinct in the UK.”


Campaign for National Parks raises significant concerns about proposals for the Welsh National Parks - Campaign for National Parks

Campaign for National Parks has responded to Welsh Government proposals which could have significant implications for National Parks.

In a response to the Welsh Government’s proposals on sustainable management of natural resources, Campaign for National Parks has raised worrying issues for the future of Wales’ three National Parks. The response recognises that National Parks have a key role to play in the sustainable management of natural resources, but argues that their existing protections must be maintained and strengthened if they are to do this effectively.

Key points in our response include:

  • A call for the Sandford Principle to be maintained. This principle ensures that priority is given to the conservation of National Parks where there are irreconcilable conflicts between the purposes.
  • That there is insufficient evidence to justify amending the purposes of designated landscapes.
  • That there is much that could be achieved by building on existing structures and mechanisms such as National Park Management Plans.
  • A recommendation that there should be a stronger requirement on all relevant organisations to contribute to National Park purposes when undertaking activities which affect these areas.

Read the full response from CNP here (PDF)


UK takes world stage in fight against marine plastic – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Today Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey is at the Our Ocean conference in Malta.

Copyright: Natural EnglandEnvironment Minister Thérèse Coffey has set out how the UK is taking action to tackle marine litter and protect oceans from the effects of climate change at today’s ‘Our Ocean’ conference in Malta.

Coral (image: © Natural England)

Speaking in front of heads of state, ministers and NGOs from around the world, the Environment Minister pledged her support to help small island developing states with marine science, research and conservation projects – alongside setting out how the government is continuing the fight at home against the eight million tonnes of plastic that make their way into oceans each year.

The UK’s ban on microbeads has been lauded as one of the toughest in the world and nine billion fewer plastic bags have been distributed since the government introduced a 5p charge. This week the government also issued a call for evidence on the benefits of reward and return schemes for plastic bottles in a bid to clean up our oceans.

Speaking from Malta, Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: "Around the world our oceans are suffering from the blight of plastic pollution and the impacts of climate change. The UK continues to be a global leader in protecting oceans and marine life – our 5p plastic bag charge has taken nine billion bags out of circulation, our microbeads ban is one of the toughest in the world, and we are now exploring what more we can do to reduce the impact of plastic bottles. But there is always more we can do – which is why I am meeting with my counterparts in Malta today to pledge my continued support for marine conservation and discuss how we can work together to protect our precious oceans and marine life for future generations."

The Our Ocean Conference, held in Malta from 5-6 October, brings together heads of state, governments, industry and NGOs to discuss marine conservation and agree actions to protect seas and oceans around the world.


Portuguese man o' war found washed up on Dorset beaches – Dorset Wildlife Trust

Portuguese Man O’War (image: Sarah-Hodgson)Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) has received sightings of the Portuguese man o’ war being found washed up on Chesil, Kimmeridge and Charmouth beaches this week.

Portuguese Man O’War (image: Sarah-Hodgson)

This follows sightings of the same creatures in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset recently.  They are thought to have arrived on the South Coast via the Gulf Stream, due to the strong south westerly winds that have been pounding our coastlines recently, bringing with them an influx of marine wildlife usually found in the open Atlantic Ocean.

Whilst swarms of these beautiful creatures in Dorset are unusual, the Portuguese man o’ war has appeared before.  The largest swarm was recorded in August & September 2008, with reports spanning Charmouth to Swanage.  A much smaller swarm was recorded the same time the following year and in 2012.  Until now, there have been no known Portuguese man o’ war in Dorset.  However, each year DWT do frequently record individuals from seven other oceanic jellyfish species in Dorset.

The Portuguese man o’ war is not a true jellyfish, but floating colonies formed by coral-like hydroids living joined together to create venom filled stinging tentacles reaching 10-30m long - perfectly adapted for capturing prey fish.  These tentacles hang from a large gas-filled iridescent float capable of angling itself to catch the wind on the seas surface.  Records state this float can measure up to 30 cm long and 10 cm wide.  Whilst they can cause a very painful sting, they are rarely serious, and only fatal in a few rare cases.

Marine Conservation Officer, Emma Rance said, “Whilst they have been described as ‘invading’ our beaches, so far, only a handful have actually been sighted in Dorset this Autumn.  If you find one, we advise that you do not touch them, as they can sting even when dead.  These are fascinating and beautiful creatures and are only seen in very rare cases on our seashores, so Dorset Wildlife Trust is really keen to hear about any sightings in Dorset.”


Overeating animal products is devastating wildlife - WWF

  • Biggest environmental impact of a meat-based diet comes from growing the livestock’s crop-based feed
  • An area 1.5 times the size of the European Union would be saved from agricultural production if the amount of animal products eaten globally was reduced to meet nutritional requirements
  • Intensive animal farming also results in less nutritious food: six intensively reared chickens today have the same amount of omega-3 as found in just one chicken in the 1970s

Diets rich in animal protein are having dire effects on the environment, with the largest impact from producing crops, such as soy, to feed livestock. This puts an enormous strain on natural resources and drives wide scale wildlife loss.

A new WWF report ‘Appetite for Destruction’, launched today at the Extinction and Livestock Conference, highlights the vast amount of land that is needed to grow the crops used for animal feed, including in some of the planet’s most vulnerable areas such as the Amazon, Congo Basin and the Himalayas. Protein-rich soy is now produced in such huge quantities that the average European consumes approximately 61kg each year, largely indirectly through animal products like chicken, pork, salmon, cheese, milk and eggs. In 2010, the British livestock industry needed an area the size of Yorkshire to produce the soy used in feed. If the global demand for animal products grows as expected, it’s estimated that soy production would need to increase by nearly 80% by 2050.

With 23 billion chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks and guinea fowl on the planet – more than three per person - the biggest user of crop-based feed globally is poultry. The second largest feed crop consumer, with 30% of the world’s feed in 2009, is the pig industry. In the UK, pork is the second favourite meat after chicken, with each person eating on average 25kg a year in 2015 – nearly the whole recommended yearly intake for all meats.  Fish is also contributing to environmental issues on land. The global appetite for fish has almost doubled in 50 years, from 9.9kg in the 1960s to 19.7kg in 2013, and is projected to continue to rise. With wild fish stocks already under pressure, an ever-increasing amount of seafood is now farmed.


Make great memories in England’s National Parks - National Parks England 

England’s National Parks are delighted to have been awarded £1m from the Discover England Fund, complemented by £400k in match funding, to introduce a collection of National Park experiences designed to inspire overseas visitors from Australia and Germany. 

Make Great Memories in England’s National Parks is one of a number of successful projects to receive funding from the UK Government’s £40 million Discover England Fund. The Fund is administered by VisitEngland which will be working on a programme of activity to ensure that England stays competitive in the rapidly growing global tourism industry, by offering world-class English tourism products to the right customers at the right time. The Fund is a central government funded programme of activity, supported by match funding partners in the public and private sectors. 

The project “Make great memories in England’s National Parks” is a two year collaboration that will deliver a joined up, branded collection of signature experiences and a business support and trade marketing strategy to develop bookable tourism product across all the English National Parks. The core elements of this exciting project include: 

  • Development of an overarching experiential brand in England’s National Parks, designed to align the proposition and engage the, Australian and German visitors via the travel trade;
  • Development of a framework to engage local businesses and enhance the overall visitor experience;
  • Development of a travel trade strategy to stimulate partnerships that successfully connect the brand and product with our targeted overseas markets;
  • Creation and delivery of a range of compelling world-class experiences within the English National Parks highlighting the distinctive nature and assets of each national park.

The new product collection will be marketed to travel trade partners and through co-operative marketing activities including a range of trade missions and travel shows.   


New survey improves our understanding of bats in southern Scotland - Scottish Natural Heritage

Support from 275 volunteers – in one of the largest-ever volunteer-based surveys in Scotland – is giving a clearer picture of bat populations in Southern Scotland.

An encouraging finding was that Leisler’s and noctule bats were found to be more abundant than previously thought, although they are still among the five scarcest species of bat in Scotland.

A report commissioned by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), and published today, demonstrates the power of the volunteers in helping to better understand the distribution of rare and vulnerable species. Coordinated on behalf of SNH by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), the survey was carried out across southern Scotland and had huge support from enthusiastic volunteers throughout the area collecting data in the summer of 2016.

The collective effort generated over 1,500 complete nights of recording in just under 1,500 different recording locations. Almost 670,000 recording were collected which included just under 400,000 bat recordings.  In total, the survey collected data across 715 one-kilometre squares in southern Scotland – an area of more than 20,000 km² – making it one of the largest-scale volunteer-based surveys in the country.

The study focused on the distribution and abundance of three bat species – Leisler’s bat, noctule and Nathusius’ pipistrelle – because their preferred habitat and hunting styles make them particularly vulnerable to wind farms. It was found that the previous population estimate of about 250 bats per species can now be increased to thousands.

Access the SNH Commissioned Report 1008: A survey of high risk bat species across southern Scotland


myForest supports landscape-scale deer management - Sylva Foundation and the Deer Initiative

Thanks to new online technology, landowners and managers will have the ability to create deer management plans and collect and share data more easily to manage and monitor deer population impacts across the landscape, helping to improve the environmental condition of woodlands.

Sylva Foundation has been working with the Deer Initiative to allow landowners and managers to create Deer Management Plans and collate annual monitoring data using the myForest Service.  The project has been jointly funded by Forestry Commission England and Natural England.

All six species of deer in Britain have increased in density and range over the last 40 years. As deer populations have increased, their impact on ground flora and the structure of woods is greater than ever before.

Collaborative management of deer populations at a landscape-scale is seen as critically important in helping to address issues arising from high deer populations in woodlands. Under this joint initiative, five priority areas have been identified in England where deer are having a damaging impact on important sites, such as woodlands designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In these priority areas landowners can receive additional support from the Deer Initiative to organise collaborative action across landscapes.

Operations and Research Director for the Deer Initiative, Alastair Ward, said: “The launch of these new online tools are an important step forward in managing deer collaboratively. The ability for users to share data (should they wish to) will also allow data to flow quickly and easily providing contemporary information on the impact of deer populations on the landscape.”

Read more about the deer management functions and sign up for a myForest account online.


And finally -  

CJ goes home!

For many years CJS sponsored a tiny snail, that we nicknamed CJ, at Durrell, read more about him and when Niall actually met our little CJ.

Slow and steady wins the conservation race - ZSL 

Dispersing Partula snails on tree trunk on Moorea in French Polynesia (image: ©ZSL)Dispersing Partula snails on tree trunk on Moorea in French Polynesia (image: ©ZSL)

Conservationists are celebrating the successful reintroduction of thousands of tiny endangered tree snails to their former home in French Polynesia, thanks to a global breeding programme coordinated by ZSL London Zoo.

The release is the result of the international Partula snail conservation breeding initiative, an international collaborative conservation programme between zoos and collections across the world, including Bristol Zoo, Chester Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and ZSL London Zoo in the UK.

Following three dedicated decades of joint work at 15 institutions, last month conservationists from ZSL supervised the release of more than 2000 snails on the islands of Moorea and Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean. These new arrivals follow hot on the snail trail of a group released in 2016, which the team have confirmed are showing promising signs of becoming established.


Scientific Publications

Manu E. Saunders, Meghan A. Duffy, Stephen B. Heard, Margaret Kosmala, Simon R. Leather, Terrence P. McGlynn, Jeff Ollerton, Amy L. Parachnowitsch Bringing ecology blogging into the scientific fold: measuring reach and impact of science community blogs  R. Soc. open sci. 2017 4 170957; DOI: 10.1098/rsos.170957.


Carboneras, C. et al (2017) A prioritised list of invasive alien species to assist the effective implementation of EU legislation. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12997


Phillip P. A. Staniczenko, Owen T. Lewis, Jason M. Tylianakis, Matthias Albrecht, Valérie Coudrain, Alexandra-Maria Klein & Felix Reed-Tsochas. Predicting the effect of habitat modification on networks of interacting species. Nature Communications 8, Article number: 792 (2017)  doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00913-w


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Disclaimer: the views expressed in these news pages do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CJS.