The Genetic Dimension of Eco-restoration

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restoration genetics (3)
modified from Koch 2007

Restoration practitioners sometimes pioneer into new unchartered territory where they may face unexpected difficulties. One such area is the genome of species they work with and the way this underpins ecology.

What is the role of genetics in ecological restoration?

Luis Mijangos introduces the story.

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Poland’s got new islands. Let the birds know!

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photo 3 Z-20120602_001_WilkTGood news for terns and gulls in Southern Poland. Several new islands are inviting them to breed! A short update and photos from Tomasz Wilk, the OTOP/BirdLife Poland coordinator behind this project in Partnership with Górażdże Group. Read the rest of this entry »

Islands for living in Górażdże quarries

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Photo 1 Z-20150403_013_WilkT
Photo 1. Clearings of bushes and small trees performed on island in Malerzowice quarry have made the place much more attractive for birds. Black-headed gulls Larus ridibundus already begin to occupy the island and the Common Terns should appear soon.

Mining sites of Górażdże company are important breeding places for many waterbirds. The group especially rich in endangered and conservation dependent taxa are those inhabiting islands.

In Górażdże mining sites at least 3 species threatened at the EU level are breeding on islands, i.e. Common Tern, Little Tern, Mediterranean Gull together with some other important species like Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Little Ringed Plover. But the accessibility of islands for birds is often restricted, because of limited number of islands or their unfavorable structure, caused for example by overgrowing vegetation. Read the rest of this entry »

Bitterns and construction industry booming in harmony at Ouse Fen nature reserve

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LPO_Botste 023Building materials company Hanson and RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) work together to create a large wetland reserve a few kilometers from bustling Cambridge. A heaven for bitterns and other rare wildlife is shaping up amidst intensive farmland, thanks to creative restoration work following extraction of gravel.

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Whooper Swans tracked from Germany to Siberia and back

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IMG_4792 Axel SchonertTwo years ago we started a small project to study the fascinating migrations of the whooper swan, with the help of satellite transmitters. Nico Stenschke, the man behind the receiver, sent us a short note to report on progress this winter. And wow, look at these Whoopers! Read the rest of this entry »

Is biodiversity loss admissable and justifiable with alleged gain of ecosystem services?

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Danubian loess steppes Rossen TzonevThe Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel draws our attention to the continuous loss of grassland biodiversity caused by ill targeted public spending and refutes this possibility.

The Northern Negev loess plains and steppe shrublands are two of the rarest and most threatened habitats in Israel. An SPNI report and petition signed by respected scientists put together the case for their conservation. The report explains that, these habitats are underrepresented in nature reserves and national parks (only 4% are protected), and yet support unique biodiversity including threatened Red List species (e.g. Coleman Garlic, Allium kollmannianum), and endemic species (e.g. Beersheba Fringe-fingered Lizard, Acanthodactylus beershebensis and Dark – Brown Iris, Iris atrofusca). Read the rest of this entry »

Birds adapt to new habitats created by sand and gravel extraction

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Little ringed plover (c) Tomasz Wilk
Little ringed plover (c) Tomasz Wilk

With minimal extra care by the operators, many bird species can profit from the activities of mineral extraction and the novel habitats created at sand and gravel pits.

new partnership project will improve the habitats for breeding birds at three mining sites in Southern Poland. Conservationists hope to boost the regional populations of several rare species.

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