Sunday, 29 July 2012

First 2012 turtle hatchlings reach the sea at Zakynthos

The turtle hatching season has begun once more in Greece, with Sekania beach being the first to produce hatchlings. On the night of July 24th 2011, Archelon ( volunteers spotted five baby turtles beginning their precarious life journey.
After an incubation period of 49 days, the first five female hatchlings emerged and two more nests on the same beach followed suit the next day. The remaining nests will continue to hatch until the end of October.

Every year, hundreds of baby turtles begin the journey to the sea, but it is estimated that only one in a thousand will manage to survive and return as an adult back to her birthplace after 25 to 30 years. During hatching season it is very important that no artificial lights exist at the back of the beach, because baby turtles become disoriented and crawl away from the sea and dying. People should also resist going onto nesting beaches at night, as there is a good chance that baby turtles will be accidentally trampled and killed.

Indian tiger numbers down from 100,000 to 1,700 in a century

The number of India’s tigers has shrunk alarmingly in recent decades. A 2011 census counted only 1,700 tigers left in the wild, compared to 100,000 a century ago. Poaching and human-wildlife conflicts between tigers and people living in and on the periphery of tiger reserves are the biggest threat.

A landmark ruling, this month, by India’s Supreme Court has ordered a ban on tourism in "core zones" of more than 40 of the country’s central government-run tiger reserves.

The ruling seeks to protect the core zones of the tiger reserves, but tourists will still be able to visit buffer areas, up to a distance of 10km from the core areas. However, court fines of 10,000 rupees (£115) on states not complying with its earlier tiger protection directives seem unlikely to be a major deterrent.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Saving the Whale in Brighton

30 years ago today the International Whaling Commission met at the Brighton Hilton Metropole on 23 July 1982 and made the decision to ban whaling. This year, the world’s leading whale charities and whale watching businesses are returning to the same location to join forces on behalf of whales worldwide.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Help save our seas during The Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week

To mark the start of National Marine Week 2012 - from Saturday 28 July to Sunday 12 August, The Wildlife Trusts are recruiting ‘Friends of Marine Conservation Zones’. 

The UK’s seas host some of our most fascinating wildlife – and some of the most diverse animals and plants in Europe – but they are in serious decline from overfishing, pollution and other harmful human activity.

To help restore and protect this vitally important habitat, 127 Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) in English and offshore Welsh waters have been recommended to the Government for protection, following consultation with more than a million stakeholders. 

However, there are indications that only a small proportion of these will actually be designated.  To put pressure on the Government to designate the full suite of 127 recommended sites, The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging people to become ‘friends’ of their local MCZ.  Only by designating all the recommended MCZs can we provide protection to the full range of habitats in our waters, ensuring that species are able to move between protected habitats. 

To help inspire people about the amazing diversity of our seas, and to encourage them to befriend their local MCZ, The Wildlife Trusts are hosting more than 80 exciting events around the country for National Marine Week 2012.

With your local Wildlife Trust you can really make the most of the UK seaside this summer – enjoy an educational ‘Shark, Skate and Ray Day’ in Cornwall, ‘Lunch and Limpets’ in Sussex, trips to the shore in Yorkshire, sea dipping in Norfolk, or a rock pool ramble in Durham.

In addition to the events, The Wildlife Trusts are also providing online details of locations, species and habitats for all 127 recommended MCZs.  People can also help to save our seas by signing our ‘Petition Fish’, which is calling for the creation of an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas.
Click here for a full list of The Wildlife Trusts’ National Marine Week events:

To read more about befriending your local MCZ, see here: