Southern Scotland could once again become a stronghold for this majestic raptor, following over £1 million of funding having now been secured by the initiative from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project seeks to substantially boost their numbers in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, with just three breeding pairs believed to exist in the regions currently. If the plans come to fruition, a further sixteen breeding pairs could be released, reinforcing what is a most precarious population. Continue reading The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project
Back in 1927, Europe’s largest land animal became extinct in the wild following centuries of habitat loss and overhunting. A dozen individuals in captivity were subsequently bred across five zoos in the hope that one day, a viable population could be re-established. Now in 2015, there are over 5500 Wisent – to use their correct European name – of which more than 2700 are in truly wild, free-ranging herds. The magnificently primeval Bialowieza Forest which stretches across the border between Poland and Belarus, is once again a stronghold for them – having been home to 11 of the 12 Wisent removed during the early 20th Century to save the entire species.
Continue reading The Resurgence of the European Bison
So today’s thought of the day is a brief amalgamation of contemplations surrounding the issue of rewilding – an ideology that’s stirred up a lot of mostly healthy debate about how to go about restoring our deficient and degraded ecosystems in Britain.
As an advocate of this cause, having spent countless hours walking through barren habitats devoid of nutrients and any sign of wildness, I’ve been watching the discussions unfold with great interest. My first observation: it’s really captured the imagination of the country and got the masses talking about our wildlife, its conservation and how we can improve it for the future, so that can only be a good thing. But as the commentary gathers pace, I’m increasingly hearing misguided and ill-informed opinion on the matter, including…
Continue reading Reflecting on Rewilding
I had my first afternoon of osprey volunteering a couple of days ago and very interesting it was too. The Tweed Valley Osprey Project is based near my home town of Peebles in the Scottish Borders, and is a partnership between the Forestry Commission Scotland and Kailzie Gardens. Up until last year, it also had operational support from the RSPB. These persecuted raptors became extinct in Britain around 1916, largely due to egg collection. It wasn’t until 1954 that a pair returned naturally to the Highlands from Scandinavia and a further forty years before they were once again seen back in this region after an absence of more than a century.
Continue reading OSPREY WATCH VOLUNTEERING
Kathmandu hosted a five-day international anti-poaching conference last week, and it was a very suitable location given the wildlife haven’s recent track record on preventing poaching. At a time when wildlife crime is proliferating across many Asian countries, incidents of poaching in Nepal are now an extreme rarity. During 2011 no rhinos were killed, and between February 2013 and February 2014, this also applied to rhinos, tigers and elephants. Given the epidemic levels in other countries, that is remarkable, and to put it in some kind of context; 1215 Rhino were poached in South Africa last year alone.
Continue reading NEPAL LEADS THE WAY IN COMBATING WILDLIFE CRIME