Author: Charlie

European Eels – slipping towards extinction?

How did a fish that was once so abundant and so familiar become listed in 2008 by the IUCN as Critically Endangered (the highest threat level), leading to headlines in the media this week which included “Man found guilty of smuggling £50m worth of live eels out of UK”? Unfortunately, writes Charlie Moores, it’s down to a combination of human-related causes that have impacted so much of the world’s wildlife: widespread habitat change, agricultural and industrial pollution, and exploitation and wildlife crime.

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Bumblebees – canaries in the countryside?

A headline in the UK’s The Guardian this week, stated that “Bumblebees’ decline points to mass extinction”. It was triggered by a report in the journal Science which analysed long-term data for 66 bumblebee species across both North America and Europe and concluded that “increasing frequencies of temperatures that exceed historically observed tolerances help explain widespread bumblebee species decline”. Should that matter, writes Charlie Moores, to us?

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Birds of Poole Harbour

This week the Birds of Poole Harbour (BoPH) team made the quick walk along Poole harbourfront to Lush’s Dolphin Quays offices to talk about the charity and the (surprisingly) numerous projects they’re all working on. BoPH founder Paul Morton and Liaison Officers Liv Cooper and Joe Parker gave an entertaining and zippy three-part presentation, explaining in an energised hour everything from how the group was founded and the local habitats and sites it has helped restore, to the launch of its ‘Engagement HQ’ and its flagship translocation Osprey Project.

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Countering the persecution of Peregrines

The Peregrine is the world’s fastest bird, reaching huge speeds as it stoops down on its prey – prey which includes racing pigeons and so-called ‘gamebirds. All of which, writes Charlie Moores, has made this supremely well-adapted falcon, protected in law for decades, a target for hobbyists and shooters. But the public are taking these spectacular birds to their hearts.

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Justice for Hen Harriers | Crowdfund appeal

Mark Avery, Feb 2020: “Back in 2018 nearly 1000 people supported a legal challenge I brought against Natural England’s decision to license a highly controversial scheme that involved the chicks of the rare and threatened Hen Harrier being taken away from grouse moors in the uplands of England so as to make life easier for grouse shooting. Yes, it’s a daft idea, no Hen Harrier would vote for it and my lawyers and I considered it to be illegal.”

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Hen Harrier poisoned by pheasant shoot

Oh, the irony. In the week, writes Charlie Moores, that shooting launched its new green vision to persuade us all that it cares desperately about wildlife by declaring – nearly seventy years after laws came into force protecting them – a ‘zero tolerance’ to the illegal killing of birds of prey, look what turns up next to a pheasant shoot: yet another dead Hen Harrier.

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