Wildlife Conservation News



 
Wildlife and our last remaining wild places are being destroyed because of human action or inaction and because of our own short –term greed.

Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa


 

 RSS Feed

Category: Wildlife Friendly Gardens

  1. World Wetlands Day is 2 February

    Posted on

    Back in 1971 on 2 February, the Convention on Wetlands was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar which sits on the shores of the Caspian Sea

    Today, the 2nd February is a really important day for people and wildlife, because it’s a chance to highlight how important wetlands are to us all. They are where land meets sea.  The 2nd February is World Wetlands Day. 

    This year, the theme is “Wetlands and Biodiversity”, is an opportunity to highlight the importance of wetland biodiversity conservation.

    Where are wetlands?

    Wetlands cover areas such as shores, estuaries, mudflats, floodplains, coastal marshes, local ponds, the bog and pond in your garden, mangrove swamps, seagrass beds, and rivers.  They cover a very small of the earth’s surface – and yet they are one of the most important habitats on our planet. 


    "If rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then wetlands are the lifeblood.  As much as we need air to breathe, we need water to live.   The conservation of our wetlands is essential to all life on earth.”  WWT

    Why wetlands matter to people:

    • They provide us with drinking water
    • They store a third of the world’s carbon emissions
    • They buffer us from floods and droughts
    • They are important for our health and wellbeing

    Why do wetlands matter to wildlife?

    40% of all plant and animal species live or breed here.

    They are vital breeding and feeding grounds for migratory birds – stopover points, if you like. Banc d’Arguin National Park (Mauritania) is one of the most important zones in the world for nesting birds and Palearctic migratory waders, Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) (China).  These birds use wetlands such as our coastlines to stop, moult, rest, winter or nest.  

    Pantanal Conservation Area (Brazil) is one of the world's largest freshwater wetland ecosystems.

    Sundarbans National Park (India) is formed of tidal rivers, creeks and canals and supports species such as the single largest population of tiger, and aquatic mammals such as the Irrawaddy and Ganges River dolphins, all under threat.

    So what’s happening to wetlands in our changing world?

     A recent global IPBES assessment identified wetlands as the most threatened ecosystem. This impacts 40% of the world’s plant and animal species that live or breed in wetlands.

    Our wetlands are threatened by:

    • Pollution
    • Climate change
    • Dams
    • Over-exploitation

    Beavering away to address these problems are organisations such as the World Heritage Centre. An example of its work is the Okavango Delta which has incredible biodiversity but is threatened thanks to development pressure.  It’s home to indigenous peoples and wildlife such as the cheetah, white rhinos, black rhinos, lion and the African  wild dog.  In 2019, the State Parties of Namibia, Botswana and Angola agreed a roadmap to explore the boundary extension of the World Heritage Site here to protect the river basin and the unique wetland system.

    In the UK, there’s the WWT –Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust but of course its work extends well beyond the UK.

    WWT say that:

    Between 1970 and 2014, populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptile species declined by a dreadful 60%

    In the last 400 years, England has lost 90% of her wetlands

    30% of known fish species, many at risk amphibians and reptiles, migratory and resident water birds,, and thousands of plant species life here.

    However, the WWT is working hard to create, protect and restore – it believes we can reverse the decline and bring wetlands back to life. Its conservation projects strengthen the link between wetlands, wildlife and people, both in the UK and further afield.  Find out more about their plans for 2020

     At their Llanelli wetland centre, they created new islands, nest boxes, rafts, scrapes and pools.  This gave waterbirds such as the lapwing somewhere to breed.  Find out more here



    At Slimbridge, they have just had two spoon-billed sandpipers have just hatched (after 8 years of trying)!   This is really good news – breeding pairs worldwide are under 200.  The chicks are the size of bumblebees, so that gives you an idea of how small the birds are!

    So what can we all do to help wetland conservation?

     WWT can create new wetlands in a few months and years – so your support can really make a difference quickly.  But there’s something we can all do to help and you’ll find more links and further resources further down. 

    • Create a pond in your garden, local area or school
    • Visit a wetland close to you and spend time there.   Use your senses while you visit.  Listen to the sounds you can hear; look at the sights, smell the scents.
    • Support the conservation work of your local wetlands charity
    • Volunteer for local wetland charities
    • Donate to wetland charities – look out for their appeals
    • Become a member and find out more
    • Spread the word about wetlands and follow #WetlandBiodiversityMatters to see what’s happening
    • Adopt an animal as a gift – you can adopt a swan, duck, crane from the WWT




    Further Resources

    World Wetland Network – a collection of NGOs and Civil Society Groups all working for wetland conservation

    Wetland Link International – a support network for wetland education centres which deliver engagement activities on site.  The WWT in the UK lead it; it has 350 members over 6 continents!

    RAMSAR –  The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. 

    World Wetlands Day – held every year on 2 February to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands and how we can all help

    WWT – the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the UK.   Visit one of their 10 sites around the UK and/or visit their website to see how you can get involved.

    The Global Wetland Outlook – take a look, it’s fascinating reading

     

  2. RHS Hampton Court Flower Show runs from 2 to 7 July 2019

    Posted on

    The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show Festival takes place from 2 to 7 July 2019 and there are some very exciting new features in it.

    As well as talks and demos to learn from, live music to listen to and stalls to explore, there are a lot of gardens you can take a look at and be inspired by.


    One of these has been designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, who has worked with Andree Davies and Adam White, to create their garden.

    One of these new features is called the Global Impact Gardens.  Believe in Tomorrow, On the Brink and The Forest Will See You Now are all designed to make us think. 

    The Forest Will See You Now has been designed to challenge us and to encourage us to change our attitudes and behaviours.  We need forests, there’s no doubt about that. 

    On The Brink draws attention to our plastic blindness, the garden represents the oceans being on the brink of a manmade ecological disaster.  Clusters of new growth emerging suggest it isn’t too late, after all.

    Believe in Tomorrow aims to help reconnect children with nature.  The walk-through garden is part-oasis, part playgrouand and part-classroom and it looks to inspire and educate children about the natural world. Local children have grown some of the plants – and built boats for the pond!

    There are lots of beautiful gardens to be inspired by at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

    Another exiting garden is the BBC Springwatch Garden, which I think is sending a really important message.   Private gardens in Britain now cover an area larger than all of the country’s nature reserves put together;  so they are very important when it comes to helping wildlife.   The garden at RHS Hampton Court shows 3 gardens belonging to 3 different neighbours and each with their own characters and features which attract wildlife.  The overall effect is to show how neighbours can really work towards a common cause with their gardening and help the wider world i.e. wildlife.

    Find out more about RHS Hampton Court Flower Show!  Don’t miss it – it’s a great event!  You can buy tickets online from the RHS website.

     

  3. Support the PTES's Garden Wildlife Appeal

    Posted on

    The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) says that the biggest challenge for wild animals today is finding safe places to live.

    • Cities are expanding
    • Farming is intensifying
    • Green spaces are rapidly disappearing

    And so animals have fewer places to live. 

    However, gardens have an important top play in providing havens for wildlife – in giving them food and shelter. 

    The more wildlife friendly we can make our gardens, the better a chance wildlife will have.

    There’s plenty we can all do to help, such as making a feeding station for hedgehogs – we’ve put a hedgehog hotel in our garden.  You can build a small pond for amphibians, or create a log pile for insects.  Pretty much all the flowers in our garden are wildlife friendly and it gives us huge pleasure to watch the wildlife enjoying them. 

    Make your garden wildlife friendly

    It’s easy to do.  

    And the good news is that PTES have put a kit together to help you make your garden more wildlife friendly!

    All you need to do is to donate £5 and you can receive your special Wildlife Friendly Garden Kit, with everything you need to turn your garden into a wildlife haven.

    Kits include:

    • garden wildlife guide on the importance of your garden to wildlife and the species you’re likely to see.
    • garden wildlife planner of monthly wildlife friendly activities all year round.
    • garden wildlife poster with 12 top tips to make your garden more wildlife-friendly.
    • PTES supporter booklet introducing PTES and their vital conservation work.

    Donate to the PTES Garden Wildlife Appeal and receive this kit

    Donate now to the PTES Garden Wildlife Appeal

     

  4. Make a bird feeder at home to help wildlife

    Posted on

    If you're looking for activities for the kids to do which get them closer to wildlife, take a look at the Woodland Trust's blog.

    They have three wonderful ways you can help wildlife, including making your own bird feeder.  No baking is required, either! 

    Make a bird feeder for wildlife at home 
    ©Woodland Trust

    As well as listing the ingredients to include, the blog helpfully includes things to avoid, and also the method of making your feeder.

    As well as getting messy and making your own homemade bird feeder, you can then watch the visitors coming to your garden to enjoy the feast you've left them!   Get the kids to see how many they can spot and identify - it's a great way to get them close to nature.

    Also on the blog you'll find a way to turn used carton into seed holders. 

    Visit the Woodland Trust's blog here

     

  5. Fill your garden with 20% off plants, seeds and bulbs from Thompson & Morgan on this special offer

    Posted on

    If you've been wanting to fill your garden with colour or fill gaps which haven't got anything in them, then this could be a good time to do it.

    Online retailers Thompson & Morgan have a great offer on this weekend with 20% off their plants, bulbs and seeds.   

    20% off all plants, bulbs and seeds at Thompson & Morgan this weekend (18 Jan 2019 to 23:59:59 on Monday 21 Jan 2019)

    From Friday 18th January 2019 at 00:00:01 ending on Monday 21st January 2019 at 23:59:59, you can enjoy 20% off your order from them.   You just click through to activate your discount.

    If that doesn't work, apply TM_TN510W into the promotion order code box within your shopping basket.

    This offer excludes all products within their Tool Shed, Outdoor Living, Buildings & Fencing and Wild Birdfood categories.  And it cannot be used in conjunction with promotional vouchers or any other offer including all reader & advert offers. Plus it's applicable to UK postcodes only.

    Go shopping at Thompson & Morgan and fill your garden with beauty!