Within properly functioning ecosystems, deer play an important role by maintaining open areas, which can enhance the biodiversity and habitat quality of a woodland. However, without numbers being correctly controlled, large deer populations can have a devastating effect on their environment.
Bank Holiday weekends are different for most people. Some like to get away, some spend time with friends and family, while some like to make the most of the time off to be at home. Mine was a mixture of all three.
The Owl Box Initiative focuses predominantly on the conservation of the barn owl (Tyto alba), and as an inspirational flagship species, aims to inspire people to engage in more wildlife-friendly farming. However, the UK supports five species of owl and last week, as I heard the distinctive ‘hooo, hu, huhuhuhooo’ of a male tawny owl (Stix aluco) on the site of the GWCT’s headquarters, I wanted to learn more.
I try to write about something that is connected to the month, or a species that I either know about or one that I’d like to know more about, but this month it is more the case that this species is something that has caught my eye and does a little display if you know how to encourage it.
Over the last few months, I have heard more and more about an owl that I have never seen, so it has become my latest quest to catch sight of our elusive long-eared owl (Asio otus). Said to be our most nocturnal owl, the long-eared owl is seldomly seen hunting during daylight hours.
Although it is widely thought that the little owl is a native species, it is not, having been introduced to Britain from the continent in the 1800s. From then they quickly spread, and by the 1920s they could be found in Scotland and Wales.
Barnacle geese are one of our smallest geese, with a wingspan of around 1.3m, weighing 1.7kg and an average lifespan of around 14 years.