Tag Archives: wildlife

Ants

28 Mar

Have you noticed a rise in ant  numbers in your house in the last few weeks? Yes, so have we. Usually we think of ants coming out in vast armies in the summer, and we prepare accordingly. But at this time of year they come out of dormancy, and tend to start putting in an appearance, generally outside. As it’s been so cold this winter, they’re coming indoors, albeit in smaller numbers than in the summer, but they’re there.

We need the ants to aerate our soil and help keep down certain pest populations, so don’t reach for the ant powder too hastily. Better, keep the areas where you don’t want them clean so they can’t scavenge there. But if you find you have an infestation, we can help.

 

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Clement the Cuckoo and his trip to Cameroon

26 Mar

I was browsing through various stories this morning and this one amused me – yes, I am easily amused.  Apparently, Clement the Cuckoo is missing.  So what I hear and who is Clement the CuckooImage?

Clement was one of 5 cuckoos that were tagged in 2011 in Norfolk by the British Trust for Ornithology and Clement seemed to have been flying around Cameroon very happily when he dropped off the radar.The other 4 cuckoos have generally appeared at a later date when they have lost their way, but Clement is feared dead; RIP Clement.

The reason behind tagging cuckoos was to trace their migratory habits as they are in decline in the UK.  Clement was the first cuckoo in history to take a western migration route from Europe to Africa via Spain rather than the normal route via Italy.  He then made his way from Senegal to The Congo where he joined his four friends in the rainforest.

Sadly, cuckoos are not the only bird that is in decline, others include the nightingale, yellow wagtail and turtle dove, but there is an urgency with the cuckoo as their numbers are declining rapidly.

Have you heard a cuckoo in recent years? I’m not sure that I have.

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More about badger culling; update

20 Jan

Well, the badger culling pilot has been given the green light.  The first areas will be west Gloucestershire and west Somerset and is likely to start in August for a period of 6 weeks.  This will just be a start and is likely to progress to other areas and the aim is to reduce badger populations inside the cull zones by at least 70%.  Defra anticipates allowing 10 new cull zones each year.

Why has this been given the go-ahead?  The aim is to reduce tuberculosis in cattle and there have been strong debates for and against culling; Brian May of Queen has been particularly vociferous as a voice against badger culling.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says that “culling in highly affected areas can constrain a disease that is costing about £100m per year and necessitates the death of tens of thousands of cattle”.  However, opponents, including scientists who spent a decade researching the issue, argue that culling cannot be a cost-effective way of tackling the disease and that it may destroy the badgers’ social structure so that they may move to other areas thus spreading the tuberculosis bacterium to other farms.

I wonder if we are just a bit sentimental about the badger, perhaps more so than deer or moles and if that alters our judgement.  I am going to sit on the fence in my blog about my opinion on culling, but my opinion is based on the effect on wildlife and whether I feel any cull would be effective anyway.Image