Egels

One of Britain's best-loved animals, the hedgehog, is in steep decline

Exeter University biologist Fiona Mathews is leading a national drive to count the hedgehog to try to find out how many survive and why their numbers have dropped so dramatically. Dr Mathews, Associate Professor in Mammalian Biology, who rescued a blind hedgehog she has named Prickole Kidman, urged members of the public to take part in a country-wide count of hedgehogs they have spotted this year, both dead and alive. Matthews, Chairman of the Mammals Society, is appealing for help with a new survey to shed light on where they are most scarce, and where they could be thriving.

Rural hedgehog populations down by a half, and urban populations down by a third since 2000

In my last piece I covered the ‘State of Nature’ report, including its findings that much of our wildlife is declining at an alarming rate. To illustrate this here is a closer look at a once familiar animal – the hedgehog. I often used to see hedgehogs, both here in West Bromwich, and elsewhere, but now I can’t remember when I last saw one. In 2011 the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) estimated that the population had reduced by a quarter since the year 2000.

Neonics kill insects and break the food chain - UK species now on the brink of extinction

High brown Fritillary butterfly - Once widespread it is now reduced to around 50 sites and threatened with extinction; Great Crested Newt – a sharp decline with only around 75,000 existing across the country; Hen Harrier – One of Britain’s most threatened birds of prey with only around 600 breeding pairs left; Hazel Dormouse – declined by one third in recent years and it is not extinct in 17 counties; Barbastelle Bat – widespread decline and fewer than 5,000 remaining; Ringed plover – only 5,600 breeding pairs remaining; Water vole – populations have dropped by 90 per cent in recent years;

In Deutschland gibt es immer weniger Insekten

In Deutschland gibt es immer weniger Bienen, immer weniger Hummeln, immer weniger Schmetterlinge. Überhaupt gibt es immer weniger Insekten! Das haben Forscher aus Krefeld herausgefunden. Das ist eine Stadt im Bundesland Nordrhein-Westfalen. 25 Jahre lang haben die Forscher an bestimmten Orten Insekten gesammelt, ihre Art bestimmt und die Tiere gewogen. Das Ergebnis der Forscher: In dieser Zeit stellten sie einen Rückgang an Insekten von bis zu 80 Prozent fest. Gesammelt haben die Forscher vor allem in Nordrhein-Westfalen.

England's wildlife is destroyed by neonicotinoid insecticides

Much of England’s best-loved wildlife remains in serious decline, according to the latest official assessment from the government. Birds and butterflies on farmland have continued their long term downward trend and 75% of over 200 “priority” species across the country – including hedgehogs, dormice and moths – are falling in number. The Natural Environment Indicators for England also showed that water quality has fallen in the last five years, with just one in five rivers and lakes having high or good status, and the amount of time given by conservation volunteers has also fallen.

Artensterben im Landkreis Ebersberg

Eidechsen, Mauersegler, Schwalben, Fledermäuse und verschiedene Schmetterlingsarten sind nur ein Teil der Tiere, die im Landkreis Ebersberg immer seltener anzutreffen sind und irgendwann, wenn nichts dagegen unternommen wird, vielleicht gar nicht mehr. Inzwischen ist es etwas Besonderes, wenn Tagpfauenaugen und Distelfalter durch den Garten flattern. Der Sommerflieder, auf den sich in den letzten Jahren immer mehrere Exemplare niederließen, lockt nach heutigen Zählungen höchstens einen Schmetterling am Tag an. Auch Hummeln werden immer seltenere Gäste.

Britain's wildlife is in dire straits

Britain’s wildlife is facing a “crisis” with more than 120 species at risk of extinction due to intensive farming, a report will warn. Hundreds of the country’s best-known animals - including types of woodpecker and butterfly - will have an uncertain future with some disappearing completely as their numbers decline rapidly, the State of Nature 2016 report will say. Sir David Attenborough, writing in a foreword for the report, is expected to label the drastic changes a “crisis”.

The evidence that neonics are damaging our ecosystem is growing – and so is the case for organic food

Traditional farming and gardening has long taken a straightforward approach: if an unwanted plant or animal interferes, it is to be killed. We even developed a special vocabulary to help justify our actions: the animals were “vermin” and the plants were “weeds”. And, in the case of one hen-house plunderer, we came up with the elaborate ritual that is fox hunting, complete with a special ‘language of avoidance’ that anthropologists have found in cultures around the world (the fox is a “dog”, its face is a “mask”, its tail is a “brush”, the dogs are “hounds”).

Pestizideinsatz ließ Bienenbestände in Großbritannien seit 2002 massiv schrumpfen

Pflanzenschutzmittel aus der Gruppe der Neonicotinoide können nicht nur Honigbienen, sondern auch Wildbienen und Schmetterlinge gefährden. Das zeigen einmal mehr aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse britischer, US-amerikanischer und deutscher Wissenschafter. Für ihre Untersuchung analysierten Forscher um den Entomologen Ben Woodcock, wie sich der großflächige Einsatz von Neonicotinoiden auf 62 Wildbienen-Arten in Großbritannien von 1994 bis 2011 auswirkte. 2002 waren die Pestizide dort erstmals zugelassen worden.