13 07, 2020

Random species reintroductions?

July 13th, 2020|1 Comment

The use of reintroduction techniques to restore extirpated native species is a fantastic conservation tool.  In my mind, that we have to resort to reintroductions is a consequence of past failures to look after our biodiversity, but we live and we learn. The UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world [...]

16 06, 2020

AEWA, Sociable Lapwings and 25 years of international waterbird conservation

June 16th, 2020|0 Comments

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Waterbird Conservation, known as AEWA, was signed on 16 June 1995 in The Hague, the Netherlands. AEWA is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to conserving migratory waterbirds across Africa and Eurasia encompassing 119 countries of which 80 are currently Contracting Parties. It is the largest legally binding instrument [...]

15 05, 2020

Competing visions for the UK uplands

May 15th, 2020|0 Comments

The way the uplands of the UK are managed has been an ongoing discussion for decades but never before has the spotlight been so bright. Should the emphasis be on farming, forestry, renewable energy, carbon storage, flood protection, biodiversity, outdoor recreation/tourism or intensive sporting management (primarily driven grouse shooting)? Arguably, and without looking up [...]

3 05, 2020

International Dawn Chorus Day

May 3rd, 2020|0 Comments

Today is International Dawn Chorus Day – it is the first Sunday of May each year. My perception is that there’s been a lot more promotion of Dawn Chorus Day this year than I previously remember? I’m usually an early riser and tend to get out on the local patch at first light, which [...]

24 04, 2020

Langholm Moor – a glimpse of the future of our uplands?

April 24th, 2020|0 Comments

Langholm Moor will be known to many people as a place where some clever research was done to look at Hen Harriers and grouse moor management. There has been lots written about this, but for further reading the project website is a good starting point: Langholm Moor Demonstration Project, neatly summed up by Dr Mark [...]

17 04, 2020

Lapwing memories

April 17th, 2020|0 Comments

Rather spookily I’ve been reminded of my PhD twice in the last few hours. This morning, whilst looking up a reference, I came across an old paper* of mine in Wader Study Group Bulletin (now Wader Study) and then over lunch there was a Tweet on my Twitter feed from Georgie Bray who is [...]

16 04, 2020

The Sociable Lapwing: migration strategy and site fidelity

April 16th, 2020|0 Comments

I’ve been hugely fortunate to have worked on the Critically Endangered Sociable Lapwing for the last 15 years, not just because it is a fabulous study species that has taken me to some wonderful places, but also because I’ve had the privilege of working with many great colleagues (indeed friends). A significant component of [...]

15 04, 2020

Accounting for birds and carbon: #ABC2020 February & March

April 15th, 2020|0 Comments

At the turn of the year I decided to keep a record of my UK birding trips and calculate the amount of carbon they generate. During the month of January my UK birding resulted in 0.139 tonnes of carbon and 114 bird species recorded. February was a relatively quiet month for birding in the [...]

27 02, 2020

Bangladesh part 2: Saving the Spoon-billed Sandpipers of Sonadia

February 27th, 2020|0 Comments

I used to be a conservation optimist but I’m increasingly pessimistic about our chances of saving species from extinction and habitats from continued destruction and degradation. There is no doubt we have the tools and knowledge but I just don’t see the political will and global leadership. However, whenever I visit Sonadia Island in [...]

13 02, 2020

Bangladesh part 1: Living with eagles

February 13th, 2020|0 Comments

Pallas’s Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus is classified as Endangered by the BirdLife/IUCN Red-List of threatened birds. According to the BirdLife International datazone there are likely to be less than 2500 mature individuals (1000-2499), and this is possibly an overestimate. My colleagues in Bangladesh who are working on this species estimate the national population at [...]