Vleermuizen

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.

Staatssekretär Andre Baumann warnt in Schabenhausen vor den Folgen des Insektensterbens

Die Eröffnung der Wanderaustellung „Blühender Naturpark Südschwarzwald“ war sehr gut besucht. Überaus informativ und nachdenklich stimmend verlief der Abend in Weißers Floraparadies. Im Mittelpunkt des Abends stand neben der Ausstellungseröffnung ein Vortrag von Andre Baumann, Staatssekretär im Ministerium für Umwelt, Klima und Energiewirtschaft. Der stellte unter dem Leitmotiv „Wir müssen erhalten, was uns erhält“ die Naturschutzstrategie 2020 in Baden Württemberg vor. Baumann bezeichnete diese als deutschlandweit bestes Programm für den Arten- und Naturschutz.

De baardvleermuizen overwinteren niet meer in Westerbork

De aardappelkelder van voormalig Kamp Westerbork was tot voor kort de belangrijkste winterverblijfplaats voor baardvleermuizen in (Noord-)Nederland. Sinds 2012 loopt het aantal overwinterende vleermuizen echter sterk terug. Waar in 2012 zo’n duizend individuen werden geteld, waren er dat deze winter nog maar 81. De Baardvleermuis is een vleermuissoort van kleinschalig landschap en bossen. Zij jaagt in en langs bossen, in rivier- en beekdalen en ook wel boven weilanden. De soort komt verspreid in vrijwel geheel Nederland voor, maar niet in grote aantallen.

Vleermuizen kunnen de hitte niet aan

De hittegolf in Australië eist zijn tol. Met name vleermuizen vallen gewoon uit de bomen omdat ze de hoge temperaturen niet meer aankunnen, melden de lokale media. Reddingswerkers en vrijwilligers probeerden de diertjes te redden, maar vaak tevergeefs. Vooral jonge vliegende honden hebben het lastig bij temperaturen die vlot oplopen tot meer dan 40 graden Celsius. ‘Ze worden gewoon gekookt’, zegt een medewerker. Er zijn al honderden dode dieren geteld, maar gevreesd wordt dat de uiteindelijke dodentol zal oplopen tot in de duizenden.

Vleermuizen staan bloot aan neonicotinoïde insecticiden

De ingekorven vleermuis (Myotis emarginatus) heeft vaste vliegroutes en foerageert een substantieel deel van de tijd in veestallen maar jaagt ook vlak boven het bladerdak van bomen. De soort jaagt op spinnen en op kleine insecten, voornamelijk tweevleugeligen als vliegen en muggen, maar ook op nachtvlinders, rupsen, gaasvliegen en kevers. Op drie kraamkamerlocaties in Limburg (Lilbosch, Maria Hoop en Eijsden) zijn in de periode 2013-2015 dode individuen en mest verzameld.

A deadly fungus is infecting snake species seemingly at random

A deadly fungal disease that’s infecting snakes in the eastern and midwestern United States doesn’t appear to discriminate by species, size or habitat, researchers report online December 20 in Science Advances. The infection, caused by the fungal pathogen Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, can cover snakes’ bodies with lesions that make it hard for the reptiles to do normal snake things like slither and eat. Many eventually die from the infection. Fungal spores hang around in the soil and can spread to snakes that pick the particles up.