It’s time to announce the winners of this years photography competition!!
Next we have the International Admiration winner, congratulations Pippa on your incredible Walrus shot taken in Torellneset, Svalbard.
On the edge of a large polar desert island in the Svalbard Archipelago lies a common haul out site for the large arctic beast; the Walrus. Resting in large herds, huddled together, occasionally lifting a head, or rolling over to a more comfortable position. (16/08/19)
We’re announcing the winners of each category today but don’t forget to vote for the people’s choice too! You can find the album on our facebook page, each like = a vote.
This week for #FactFriday we are introducing the hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)
The hummingbird hawk-moth is a small, day-flying hawk-moth. It is a summer visitor from May to September in the UK, migrating from Southern Europe in variable numbers each year. Adult hummingbird hawk-moths live for around 7 months.
The hummingbird hawk-moth has greyish-brown forewings, bright orange hindwings, and a greyish body with a broad, black-and-white ‘tail’. it hovers during flight, fluttering its wings so quickly that it can appear orange and makes an audible hum.
The similarity between the hummingbird hawk-moth and hummingbirds is believed to be a result of convergent evolution wherein two species belong to separate families and having no apparent relation with each other develop to be very similar. This is called homoplasy, when a trait has been gained or lost independently in separate lineages over the course of evolution.
This weeks #FactFriday we’re introducing the common lizard (Zootoca vivipara)!
These reptiles are the most common species of lizard found in the UK. They live for 5-6 years and are found in a variety of colours; brown, grey, olive and black.
They are unusual in that they incubate their eggs inside their body and “give birth” to live young, giving them their viviparity. This is due to it being the northernmost distributed reptile and therefore having to incubate young in these cooler temperature.
When escaping from a predator, the common lizard will shed it’s tail to act as a decoy, letting the lizard escape (in 2 pieces).
This weeks #FactFriday we are introducing the european pine marten (Martes martes)
Pine martens belong to the mustelid family and are characterised by their cream/ yellow “bib” on their throat. They are the only mustelids with semiretractable claws, allowing them to spend much of their time in the trees. They are mostly active at twilight and night.
Once heavily persecuted, these animals have been making a recovery in Scotland. A study in 2012 found that martens have spread into Sutherland and Caithness and into Moray, Aberdeenshire, Perthshire, Tayside, and Stirlingshire, with some in the Central Belt, on the Kintyre and Cowal peninsulas and on Skye and Mull. Their population expansion has been linked to the reducing numbers of grey squirrels. Grey squirrel numbers decline in areas where they overlap with pine marten populations, allowing red squirrel numbers to increase. This is thought to be due to grey squirrels not having the same danger response to pine martens as red squirrels, and being bigger and less agile, allowing them to be caught more easily.
This #FactFriday we are delving into the life of the hooded crow (Corvus cornix)!
These birds are closely related to the carrion crow and have recently been distinguished from one another. In areas where the species’ overlap, they can form a hybrid species. Hooded crows are found in North and West Scotland and Ireland where there are around 260,000 breeding pairs.
They are omnivorous and will feed on dead animals, stolen eggs, crustaceans, nuts, small birds and mammals. These birds often congregate together in a group known as a “murder”
The Corvid family are among some of the most intelligent birds on Earth and the hooded crow is no exception. These birds have been documented using bread crumbs to catch fish in Israel and similarly, in Norway and Sweden, dragging fishing lines out of water to eat the hooked fish!
Tonight we have Simon from Wildlife ACT giving us a talk. Wildlife ACT Fund is a non-profit trust on a mission to save our planets’ endangered wildlife and wild places from extinction. Passionate, experienced, on-the ground conservationists doing critical work where it’s needed most. Delivering time and expertise, implementing anti-poaching measures, finding and funding equipment, and educating local communities.
They also offer some of the most unique African wildlife research opportunities and practical learning environments in South Africa for those wishing to gather research data for undergraduate degrees. Monitor Africa’s iconic species and the habitats in which they live.
The zoom link for this event is posted in the facebook group. If you can’t access facebook, not a problem. Just shoot us a quick message at firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom information!