Climate Week North East is running from the 12-21st March. They’ve got a range of events planned with many focussing on biodiversity and land management. Attending could be a great way to make some friendly connections and ask any questions you have about the conservation industry! We’ve attached the brochure so have a look and see if anything takes your fancy!
CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS
We’re excited to announce the (official) opening of our annual photography competition! We know some of you take some incredible photographs so we want to celebrate the talent with this competition. We have 3 main entry categories:
1. Best of British: We have the most amazing landscapes and wildlife right on our doorsteps so if you’ve ventured way up into the Highlands of Scotland or down to the unique coast of Southern England, or anywhere in between – we want your best wildlife or landscape snaps from the British Isles.
2. International Admiration: Whether you’ve moved to Scotland from your own stunning country, or you’ve headed off somewhere brilliant on holiday or expedition – we want your most vibrant shots from around the globe.
3. Macro: The little things in life are important, and some of the world’s most impressive creatures are the wee ones. It takes a lot of skill to master macro photography so our final category will celebrate the tiniest of marvels the natural world has to offer.
Send in any entries to our email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, date the photo was taken and any story behind the snap! Remember that anyone who’s sent in #wildlifefromhome photos throughout the year will also be automatically entered.
Your photos don’t need to be from the past year, we’ve had entries from as far back as the 1970s! You can only enter once per category but as many categories as you like. A winner and runner up for each category will be chosen by our trusty committee, and there’ll be a prize for each category! Each year the winning photo’s are printed on canvases and displayed in the Graham Kerr building as well as representing our society on all our newsletters and membership cards.
We’ll be closing the competition the last week of the semester! Good luck!!
A great excuse to get out and about this weekend! GUEST are running a biodiversity challenge; record as many species as possible using iNaturalist and win a Locavore voucher!
(sign up as a user, then join the project), or send your observations to GUEST’s biodiversity promoter (email@example.com) by 12.00 next Wednesday!
This weeks #FactFriday is looking into the great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) you can see these birds along the river Clyde and Kelvin where they overwinter along the coast.
These large birds live in freshwater and marine environments. They have a primitive appearance, looking almost reptillian. While their feathers may look black, they actually have a blue/green sheen. Their beak has a sharp hook on the end used for catching fish.
Cormorants are sociable birds and can be spotted in groups resting on rocks together. They have been reported to form colonies of up to 20,000 birds! They hunt in flocks where they will dive up to 10m in pursuit of fish.
Their average lifespan is 11-20 years and are 1 of only 2 species which have been trained by Japanese fisherman to help catch fish.
Cormorants are sometimes confused with shags. They can be differentiated, however, by the more prominent yellow around their face and bigger beak. Shags are also usually only found solitary along the coast while cormorants can be found on the coast or inland and usually stick in groups.
Tara from the Marine Conservation Society will be joining us to talk about their current campaigns and projects. Some of their current campaigns include protecting UK sharks, saving seagrass and say no to red rated fish.
The Marine Conservation Society is the UK’s leading charity for the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. For over thirty years MCS has been the voice for the sea for all the fascinating creatures that live beneath the waves, for our breath-taking coastal environment, for all those who make a sustainable living from the sea and for everyone who simply enjoys visiting the beach and our glorious coastline.
! 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 message at firstname.lastname@example.org for the zoom information!
This weeks #FactFriday is focusing on the European sturgeon, Acipenser sturio.
This fish species is classed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to overfishing, poaching, water pollution and destruction of their habitat.
The sturgeon is a large fish with an elongated body and flattened snout with recognisable plates along it’s body. They can grow up to 6 metres and weigh a whopping 400kg, part of their reason for decline is due to their long juvenile phase, they don’t reach sexual maturity until 20 years and can live for over 100 years.
They are found along most European coastlines, and being anadromous, migrate to inland rivers to breed. However, despite this being their distribution, there is only 1 freshwater river left in which they are known to spawn – the Garonne river basin in France.
They feed on molluscs and crustaceans and locate them using barbells on the front of their mouths
Interesting fact: sturgeons are the only species that have diamond shaped pupils!
Tune in tomorrow to hear Anthony from Butterfly Conservation Scotland give a talk on ‘Butterflies & how we can help them?’.
There will also be potential volunteering opportunities discussed in advance of the new butterfly recording season!! 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 message at email@example.com for the zoom information!
See you then to hear some amazing facts about butterflies!
This week, for #FactFriday we are looking at the Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) !
This bird is Europe’s largest wader and is instantly recognizable by it’s mottled brown upperparts, long legs and a long, downcurved bill. It’s also known as the “whaup” in Scots.
The diet of the Eurasian curlew consists of worms, shellfish and other invertebrates. In the summer they can most commonly be found in upland moors, bogs and wet grassland.
They have high site fidelity, meaning curlew pairs will return to the same area to breed every year. At the end of their breeding season they then head towards the coast and large estuaries where they overwinter.
The UK population of this wader accounts for over one quarter of the global breeding population. However the UK has seen declines of 65% in our national population since the 1970’s and it is now classified as near threatened. Low productivity (chicks don’t hatch/ survive to fledge) is thought to be main cause of UK decline which has been attributed to predation and a reduction in quality of breeding habitat. For this reason the Eurasian curlew is now widely acknowledged to be the UK’s highest bird conservation priority.
They have THE best call of all the waders- definitely worth a listen on YouTube!
We’ll be hosting several recent Glasgow MFB/ Zoology graduates to hear about their current jobs in the field, and their advice on finding jobs after graduating! Some of their roles include;
- Marine biologist on a coral reef restoration project in Kenya
- Coordinator at the Atlantic Whale and Dolphin Foundation in Tenerife
- Project manager at a conservation centre in Thailand
- Head marine biologist for COMO hotel group, Maldives
- MSc Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology student at Glasgow
There’ll be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and pick some brains! Most of the grads also took part in Exploration Society expeditions, so if any students have an interest in those, then they can find out more info and ask any questions.
It’s sure to be a really interesting talk so we’re hoping to see students from all year groups attending! More info can be found on our Facebook – Glasgow University Sea Society, or University of Glasgow Zoological Society
The Zoom link for the talks can be accessed here:
Topic: Sea Society Graduate Talk 2021
Meeting ID: 581 833 8669
This #factfriday we are fueling your insect knowledge with facts about the comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album).
Once only found in the south of England, this butterfly has colonised huge areas of the UK over the past 50 years and now breeds right up to central Scotland.
Their wings are scalloped and are commonly referred to as anglewing butterflies. They have brownish-orange wings with black marks when unfolded. When folded, they resemble a dead leaf and have a white curve on the underside which looks like a comma, hence their name.
Comma caterpillars are camouflaged to resemble bird droppings and are designed to keep predators away.
They have a flexible life cycle and, depending on the weather, some spring and early summer caterpillars develop into butterflies that go straight into hibernation. Others become adults that breed straight away and give rise to a new generation in the autumn.