Hello to all of our lovely members! Since we can’t meet each other inside, how about we meet each other outside!
If you fill out this form, we will compile a list of ZooSoc members living near you and give you their email addresses. Then you are free to choose who you want to contact and meet up with! You can contact multiple people but not meet more than one other household at a time, following current guidelines in Glasgow. Your meetups can be as frequent as you want, or as long as you want – it’s up to you! We encourage taking a walk/ride to a green space near you and getting to know your buddy, maybe picking some litter (we are figuring out a way to provide gloves/bin bags) or having some lunch at the same time.
It’s #factfriday and this week we are catching a glimpse at the elusive Scottish wildcat (Felis silvestris)!
Due to hunting and more recently, hybridisation with domestic cats, this highly endangered species has estimates of 35 true wildcat individuals left.
They are extremely rare to spot in the wild and are now only found in the Scottish Highlands, living and hunting in dense woodland. They are most active at dawn and dusk.
The wildcat is stockier and more muscular than the domestic tabby. It has longer legs and a larger, flatter head with ears that stick out to the side. Spots, broken stripes or white fur are all indications of hybridisation with domestic cats.
Some mammal experts believe that the Scottish wildcat should be regarded as its own subspecies, Felis silvestris grampia. They argue that Britain’s wildcats are larger when compared to their European relatives. Other scientists disagree, however, and write off the Scottish wildcat as nothing more than an isolated population of European wildcats.
Ben Harris from Froglife will be leading this talk as part of the Discovering Reptiles Project. Froglife are a national wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles and this project aims to improve participant’s knowledge of reptiles and their national recording throughout the UK. Ben has a number of years’ experience running reptile surveys and ecology talks whilst working as a ranger and project officer.The talk will cover common and widespread UK reptiles with an overview of their identification, and where and how to look for them. It will be suitable for all audiences, and will especially appeal to anyone interested in wildlife and conservation. This course particularly suits those who:
• Wish to improve their identification skills of UK reptiles • Is looking to gain knowledge on how to survey for reptiles – whether in their own garden or a public green space • Looking for experience in the environmental sector • Wish to learn about the importance of recording our reptile species and how doing so can make a real differenceJoin Zoom Meeting
Small and furry, this weeks #factfriday is all about the great yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus).
Historically, this bee was found through most of the UK but now it can only be seen in the far North of Scotland and a few areas of Western Ireland.
They are distinguished by their mustard-yellow bodies with a wide black band inbetween the wings.
The Great yellow bumblebee emerges late in comparison to other bee species. Queens are usually seen from mid-June and will feed onnectar before searching for a suitable nest.
Queens will use old mouse nests, rabbit burrows and other holes under grass tussocks as nest sites. Nest density is estimated to be no more than 1 to 2 nests for every square kilometre of suitable habitat.
This week’s #FactFriday is all about the Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus).
The Hen Harrier is one of the UK’s most threatened raptors due to declines in their habitat and persecution from gamekeepers as a crucial part of their diet comes from grouse chicks.
Males are a blue-grey colour with a pale underside and black tips to their wings. Females are a mottled brown colour and are often called ‘ringtails’ due to the distinctive banding on their long tails. They have a large wingspan of up to 1-1.2 metres and feed mainly on vertebrates such as voles and small birds.
They can be found on upland heather moorlands of Scotland, including many of the Hebridean islands, Wales, Northern Ireland, Northern England, and the Isle of Man.
During the 19th century, Hen Harriers were eradicated on Scotland’s mainland due to the popularity of game hunting estates, but in recent years there has been greater protection of these magnificent birds of prey. However, not enough is being done to protect these birds and numbers are continuing to decline.
The Hen Harrier is currently included on the Red List meaning that they are of the highest conservation priority.
Join us on zoom for a night of quizzes, games and general spooky fun!We will start off by doing a quiz and some games just to get to know each other a bit better in break out rooms.Bring a drink or three!
Join us for this talk from Ian Redmond OBE, who will talk about the different roles within Born Free and the projects they work on as well as touching on his experiences as a ‘reluctant conservationist’.
This weeks #factfriday we’re getting slimy and introducing the slow worm (Anguis fragilis)!
While slow worms may look exactly like a snake, they are in fact legless lizards through which convergent evolution has acted, making them look so similar! They can be identified as lizards through the ability to shed their tails and blink.
These reptiles can live up to 20 years and are found in heathland, tussocky grassland and woodland edges.
Slow worms are smaller than snakes and have smooth, golden-grey skin. Males are paler in colour and sometimes have blue spots, while females are larger, with dark sides and a dark stripe down the back.
Come join us to learn about getting involved with Love the Oceans! Love The Oceans is a non-profit marine conservation organisation in Guinjata Bay, Mozambique. We use research, education and diving to drive action towards a more sustainable future. We offer a cutting edge volunteer program that gives individuals the chance to work alongside our marine biologists and the local community helping with conservation and research.Volunteers gain experience through our research and community outreach over the space of 2 – 6 weeks (plus an optional extra week including 5 nights in the world famous Greater Kruger Natural Ecosystem!).
As a volunteer, you form an essential part of our team. You will rotate around our principal activities of: – Fisheries data collection – Megafauna surveys – Coral reef surveys – Teaching and painting at the local schools – Teaching swimming lessons to local children and adults
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that will not only give you hands on practical experience that you will not get elsewhere, but also a leg up in the world of conservation careers!Visit the website to learn more before the talk! lovetheoceans.org
Is it a bird? Is it a butterfly? No its a six-spot burnet moth for this weeks #factfriday !
These little guys are part of a group of many burnets including the five spot burnet and the new forest burnet which look very similar, however, they are the only British burnet with 6 spots. They are more rarely found with yellow spots.
They are common in Scotland and you can spot them in the daytime when the sun is out, in grasslands or meadows, feeding on flowers like thistles, knapweeds and scabious
They may look pretty but the red spots on the burnets wings signal to predators that these moths mean damage. When attacked they release hydrogen cyanide