Wildlife Conservation News

 


Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

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Category: Lifestyle changes can make a difference

  1. Polar bears heading to unusual places as sea ice melts

    Posted on

    I had an interesting email from Polar Bears International (PBI) today.

    They have noticed that polar bears are showing up in odd places.   An exhausted polar bear was seen recently in a village on Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula – and that’s 600 kilometers plus from its home range.

    Their Senior Director of Conservation, Geoff York, thinks this could be that the bear hitched a ride on an ice floe and drifted south, as the ice broke up earlier in the Bering and Chukchi seas this spring. 

    Unusual and fast ice loss this year has displaced polar bears form their preferred hunting areas.   Seals give birth to their pups in spring In snow lairs or on the sea ice surface.  This makes the polar bear’s dinner more abundant and accessible than at any other time of the year.

    However the Russian polar bear was far from this area.

    It was decided to air-lift him back north, to Chukotka in the Russian Arctic.

    But there have been other unusual occurrences in the region over several months.  Some have been far from the sea.   This could be because of unstable ice cover.

    Sustained early sea ice is bad news for polar bears

    Polar Bears International know from other regions that sustained early sea ice break up doesn’t do polar bears any good. 

    • Fewer hunting opportunities
    • Decreased body condition
    • Impacts on reproduction which aren’t good
    • Negative impacts on survival, especially the old and  young

    If there’s less sea ice in the Arctic, it gets more difficult for polar bears to make a living from the frozen ocean.  Of course people living on the Arctic rely on stable ice to get around on, and to gather food.  We all need a frozen Arctic ecosystem to regulate our climate.    So we ALL need the Arctic to be in good health.


    Polar Bears International works in 3 ways:

    Education and outreach.  As more polar bears appear onshore, the charity works to help keep polar bears and people safe, with outreach on best practices for avoiding human-polar bear conflict.   These include getting rid of things such as open garbage dumps and installing bear-proof ones. 

    Research – the charity is studying the effectiveness of using surveillance radar to detect approaching polar bears.  This means alerts can be given before a bear enters town.  PBI help with research on the best deterrants – and that includes putting together a  history of polar bear attacks, and their causes to help avoid future conflicts.

    Climate Action. PBI is one working to solve the climate crisis, sharing their knowledge of polar bears and coming up with solutions.  This includes the Climate Alliance training program for zoo staff members, outreach to motivate citizen involvement, and advocacy to policy makers on the urgent need to act.

    Get involved and help polar bears

     

     

  2. Children take part in air pollution study - pollution affects us all

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    Did you know there’s research being undertaken to find out how badly school children are affected by pollution every day?

    The Daily Mail reports that 250 pupils in schools across London are gathering data for one week.  They are carrying pollution sensors made by Dyson in lightweight backpacks.  The sensors only weigh just over 1kg and take one pocket, so the rest of the space in the backpack can be used for books etc.

    The sensors can measure both particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels and will enable the researchers to gain a better understanding of which pollutions are the most harmful. 

    The study is being run by King’s College London and it’s hoped that the findings will discover at which points and on which routes youngsters are most exposed to toxic pollutants. 

    As I’m so fond of saying, you can’t expect to be healthy if your environment isn’t healthy too. 


    If we can improve the air for people, it will help animals as well. 

     

  3. Blue Planet Live and Blue Planet UK comes to the BBC

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    There’s some fantastic television to watch on the BBC this week (starting Sunday 24 March 2019), with Blue Planet programmes in abundance.

    Pick of the Week, according to The Sunday Times (Culture Section) is Blue Planet Live.   It’s on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings on BBC1 at 8pm. 

    This short series sets out on a mission to explore the health of the oceans.  An aquadynamic team will be broadcasting live from different marine locations during the week.

    Chris Packham examines the well being of whales in Mexico; this includes mother-and-calf arrivals in the largest whale nursery in the world.

    Steve Backshall is in the Bahamas and sees sharks and shipwrecks.

    Liz Bonnin is at the Great Barrier Reef.   She is meeting baby turtles and shearwater chicks and she checks up on the coral itself.

    Visit Blue Planet Live’s website here

    And there’s more!

    Blue Planet UK looks at the UK side of marine life.  There’s reports on Yorkshire seabirds, kayak clean-ups and shark science with Gillian Burke, Steve Brown and Chris Packham.

    Blue Planet UK is on just after 4pm on BBC1 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Don’t miss it! 

    Visit Blue Planet UK’s website here

    Get involved in ocean conservation – tips from the programme’s website

    Blue Planet II Life on Earth No More Plastic
    Blue Planet II
    from Amazon
    Life on Earth
    from Amazon
    No More Plastic
    from Amazon

     

  4. Save the planet - dry your clothes outside and help Brabantia plant a tree with WeForest!

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    There’s nothing like getting into bed with really clean, fresh smelling sheets.  I just love it!

    You can always tell the difference between those sheets which have been dried off in a tumble dryer (boo, that won’t help the environment or your energy bills) and those that have dried off outside in the fresh air.

    I’m so keen to save on my energy bill and to get into bed with the bed linen smelling of fresh air that I actually check the weather forecast to look for the best days to do the bed clothes wash on.  Then I know I can put stuff out on the line, knowing they will dry naturally.

    My favourite reasons to dry my clothes on a line

    1. It saves me money – I can control my electricity bill more closely
    2. It doesn’t matter how much electricity prices go up – the wind and dry weather is free!
    3. My clothes and linen smell fantastically fresh
    4. Actually, the fresh air I get when I put everything on the line is a welcome break from being indoors
    5. I get exercise putting the clothes on the line – bending and stretching
    6. I can hook the clothes off the line to iron as and when they are ready and I find them easier and faster to iron
    7. It helps the planet.  I’m not devouring the earth’s resources for something which isn’t necessary to use.

    I’ve made a conscious choice to make a difference and stopped draining the earth of resources unnecessarily

    Anyway, when we needed a new washing line, we bought a Brabantia.   I love it – it does the job beautifully and I find I can get several wash loads on the line at once.  

    Brabantia Essential Rotary Washing Line and Concrete Anchor Tube, 30 m - Silver - from Amazon

    It’s easy to put up and to clean, and also easy to take down and put away. 

    And as a great added bonus to buying a Brabantia – they’ve teamed up with WeForest.  For each laundry tree that’s sold, WeForest will plant a real tree on behalf of Brabantia!  And that makes washing and drying all the sweeter… 

    For the exciting thing I discovered when I looked at WeForest's website and the information about the partnership between WeForest and Brabantia, is that Brabantia are on a mission to plant trees.  Trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and pump oxygen out for everyone to breathe.  That's a terribly simplified description and I'm sure some scientist will take issue with it but it's my way to explain why trees matter simply. 

    So far, over 1.5 MILLION trees have been planted as a result of Brabantia's efforts.  This is a huge number.   There's a wonderful quote from Brabantia's CEO on WeForest's website, namely:

    “He who plants a tree, plants hope for generations to come. Brabantia aims to plant more than 1,5 million trees.”
     


    Brabantia is helping to make the Burkina Faso and Ethiopia desert a greener place as part of the international "Great Green Wall".  And the company is working to promote the environmental benefits of drying outdoors. 

    Every single one of us who can dry our clothes in the fresh air instead of in a tumble dryer is reducing our drain on the earth’s resources.   Plus it gives us more £££ to spend on other things!!