Bats

Devon wildlife threatened by Extinction

At the recent Extinction Rebellion protest in Moretonhamstead as reported in the last edition of The Moorlander, one of the flyers the group were handing out brought attention to the worrying decline in Devon’s wildlife. A 90% decline in Greater Horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) has been seen, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost since the 1930s, Nightingales (Luscinia megarhynchos) no longer breed in Devon; the last pair was recorded in 1993.

Als niets wordt ondernomen tegen bestrijdingsmiddelen, verdwijnen insecten binnen een eeuw van de planeet

De globale insectenpopulatie is op weg richting een totale uitroeiing als de trend van de afgelopen dertig jaar zich voortzet. Binnen enkele decennia dreigt er geen enkel insect meer te zijn op onze planeet. De gevolgen zullen catastrofaal zijn voor de “natuurlijke ecosystemen”, maar ook voor “de overlevingskansen van de mensheid”. Dat stellen twee wetenschappers, onder wie een Belg, in de eerste wereldwijde studie over het onderwerp.

The drivers of worldwide insect decline

Pesticide use is driving an “alarming” decline in the world’s insects that could have a “catastrophic” impact on nature’s ecosystems, researchers have warned. More than 40 per cent of insect species are at risk of extinction with decades, with climate change and pollution also to blame, according to a global scientific review. Their numbers are plummeting so precipitously that almost all insects could vanish within a century, the study found.

Nineteenth-century poet John Clare was essentially foretelling the dire environmental state we see today

Nineteenth-century poet John Clare wove together “descriptions of the environment and accounts of human life,” making no distinction between human and natural history. The anthropologists Richard D.G. Irvine and Mina Gorji argue that this makes him in some ways a poet of our current age, the Anthropocene. He drew connections between the reduction of insect life and the corresponding diminishment of the birds and mammals further up the food chain, essentially foretelling the dire environmental state we see today. Clare recognized an inherent value in land unconnected to human use.

Without Birds, Lizards, and Other Vertebrate Pollinators, Plant Reproduction Could Decline by Two-Thirds

Bees tend to get the most attention as pollinators critical to the survival of plant species. But lizards, mice, bats, and other vertebrates also act as important pollinators. A new study finds that fruit and seed production drops an average 63 percent when vertebrates, but not insects, are kept away from plants.

Michael McCarthy: We’ve lost half our wildlife. Now’s the time to shout about it

Most Britons remain blithely unaware that since the Beatles broke up, we have wiped out half our wildlife. Yet we are not alone. Last week, the French woke up in a dramatic way to the fact that their own farmland birds, their skylarks and partridges and meadow pipits, were rapidly disappearing: Le Monde, the most sober of national journals, splashed the fact across the top of its front page.

Protecting our butterflies is vital to the environment

The State of the Nations Butterfly report which is published every five years shows long term and ten year trends – and it’s waving a danger flag. The most recent report published in 2015 indicates that overall a staggering 76 percent of our butterflies declined in abundance and occurrence over the past 40 years.

Four species of butterfly have become extinct over the past 150 years and the rest face an uncertain future. Our moths are doing no better as the total number over the past 40 years has declined overall by 28 percent, even as low as 40 percent in southern areas.

Chytridiomycosis: A Key Example of the Global Phenomenon of Wildlife Emerging Infectious Diseases

During the latter half of the 20th century, it was noticed that global amphibian populations had entered a state of unusually rapid decline. Hundreds of species have since become categorized as “missing” or “lost,” a growing number of which are now believed extinct. Amphibians are often regarded as environmental indicator species because of their highly permeable skin and biphasic life cycles, during which most species inhabit aquatic zones as larvae and as adults become semi or wholly terrestrial. This means their overall health is closely tied to that of the landscape.