Thursday, 23 October 2008

Melting ice caps affect migrating birds

Dr Roy Armstrong today has warned that millions of migrating birds may be facing extinction due to the melting polar ice caps. Turtle Doves, Cuckoos, Yellow Wagtails are among the species of birds whom migrate to West Africa each year facing the threat. Shrinking Polar ice caps mean that there is likely to be droughts due to less rainfall in places such as Gambria and Chad. Dr Armstrong said that statstics have shown that the last three decades have seen declines in many British bird species with Turtle Doves numbers falling by 88%, Yellow Wagtails by 70%, Spotted Flycatchers by 87% and Tree Pipits by 83%. These are huge decreases and the situation is said to be 'extremely serious'.

Dr Armstrong believes eco-tourism could be a happy solution to the problem, "It seems as if the only way we could look after the problem there is by encouraging investment in eco-tourism. The kind of savannah environment that tourists like would be ideal for our migrant birds as well".

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

On another note...

On the subject of sharks, I just wanted to post this up to question whether it is real?

Posts like this do not really help the reputation of shrks, particularly Bull Sharks and the Great White; 2 more aggressive species.

The front of the 'newspaper' shows a photograph of a man being bitten in half by a Great White shark.

According to the front, he lives.
Photoshop? or for real? Sadly, I cant find any information on this picture so for now it will remain a mystery!

One thing to remember about Shark attacks is that most surfers and divers who suffer from shark attacks and live, go back in the water. Why? Because they know that statistics for shark attacks are actually very low and have been over hyped by the media. Sharks only attack due to a natural respose and while we don't know for sure why sharks attack humans, many believe it is a case of mistaken identity as it is rare that sharks will continuously attack a human being for food. In most cases, the sharks bites, realises it's mistake and then leaves well alone.

Interested in shark attacks? Check out these websites, but beware, not for the faint hearted!

Sharkie and George...

It's Shark week this week and a chance for the Shark Trust to fight their cause.
The Shark Trust works for sustainable fishing and shark management - to help prevent finning and shark bycatch. Thye especially work on three projects: Whale sharks, Basking Shark and Egg cases. Whale Sharks and Basking Sharks are the most harmless of all the shark family, and both species are in danger due to bycatch, fishing nets, habitat destruction and human exploitation - mainly through finning.
This year's shark week mainly focuses on the Shark Trusts petition which calims that:
-The UK is one of five EU member states to allow fishermen to remove shark fins at sea under an exception to the EU finning ban.
-At least 30 species of sharks can be found in British waters, over half these species are threatened with extinction.
-An EU Shark Plan is in its final stages; your support is key to protecting sharks in Europe and beyond.
So sign up today to help protect our sharks.
Please visit their website:

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Deep sea debates

'Beyond the Abyss' - an exciting blog spot as part of Planet Earth online.

'NERC-funded researchers have travelled to the Pacific to search for life in the deepest parts of the ocean, known as the Hadal zone.'

Picture shows a Dumbo Octopus....or a ghostie from Pacman.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Oiled birds across coastline

Just a quick message from Trevor from BMDLR about reports of oiled birds washing up along the coast near middlesborough. The email follows:

Dear BDMLR Supporter,

Over the past 4 days we have received several reports of oiled sea birds being washed up beachs around the country. Two main areas seem to be affected - Caithness and Northumberland to Middlebrough.

We are not setting up any formal patrols or anything but would like to make anyone spending time on the coast aware and to keep an eye open for oiled birds. If you find an oiled bird please report it to the RSPCA on 0300-1234-999 or SSPCA on 03000-999-999.

Please see this link.

BDMLR medics have been involved with the RSPB and SSPCA checking sections of the coast around Caithness and medics in the NE England have also been involved with the RSPCA and local vets in dealing with oiled birds too.

Please remember that if you find an oiled bird please do not take it home and start washing it. It is very important that it receives medication internally as soon as possible and only experienced people should do this. Please call the RSPCA,/SSPCA, local wildlife rescue centre or local wildlife friendly vet if you need help with an oiled bird.

Trevor WeeksNational Co-ordinatorBritish Divers Marine Life RescueReg Charity

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Whistle, Click, Whistle, Clap.

Cetacea numbers are dropping rapidly due to human interference. In the last blog I posted about whales, now it's the turn of the Dolphin. The dolphin is often the face of the marine world, cute, friendly and an animal that enjoys to frolic with humans, but like many other of the seas creatures and resources, humans are exhausting them.

One way in which dolphins suffer is for our entertainment. Dolphins are often caught and bred into captivity. Captive dolphins often die through bad treatment, care and lack of space but the stories rarely make the headlines as they are covered up. The following report states many case studies of bad treatment and death: Many people will flock to see dolphins in large public aquariums such as Orlando and Sea world and, like Free Willy, the film Flipper has not helped.

The biggest killer of dolphins however seems to be human accident and misjudgement - nets and noise pollution cause the most deaths. A recent study by Exeter University claim that industrial fishing is the main suspect for our dolphins dying, and that since 2000, 100 - 250 dolphins each yearhave been stranded due to being caught in nets and at least 61% of this number were thought to be bycatch by fishermen.

Recent mass strandings have finally been raising awareness to the problems that our cetaceans face. 26 dolphins were stranded near Falmouth, Cornwall back in June, it was the biggest stranding in UK history. It is thought that a pod of around 76 dolphins were in the area at the time. Scientists have not been able to confirm a definate reason for the strandings but the finger is being pointed at the Navy. The MOD released a statment saying they were using Sonar in the area at the time and this can play havoc with dolphin communication. It must be said though that at currentm, post mortem results are still not available, it cannot be confirmed that the Navy were to blame.

One of the last problems dolphins face is the same as the whales; murder for meat. In Japan, dolphin and whaling for meat is a big profitable industry. The dolphins and whales are herded into coves and killed using harpoons - it is the biggest massacre in the world. They have their bellies slit open, their heads cut off and many suffer slow, painful, distressing deaths. Campaigners have been trying to put a stop to the killings, but the situation is the same as that of the whales; currently hopeless.

So another sad blog about the destruction we're causing to our marine creatures and another call for people to try and help out with what they can: join a protest, a campaign, sign a website or simply care for your seas better.

Check out these campaign websites:

Just a last note on dolphins and their behaviour that I found interesting and slightly scary at the same time, Dolphins are as sexually explorative as humans and engage in homosexuality, bisexuality, rape, gang rape and beastiality. Interestingly enough, many of their acts of beastiality seem to be attempts at rape with humans, these two website gives examples and stories:

So watch out!