Thursday, 29 April 2010
International Year of Biodiversity
The recently issued Mammals set of stamps for 2010 which has been designated the International Year of Diversity. These are creatures under pressure from another mammal, man, or loss of habitat or predation of non-native species. Nearly 500 species have died out in England alone since 1800. One extinction every 20 years. There are less than 400 wildcats left in the highlands of Scotland.
The Water Vole has disappeared from 90% of the places it used to inhabit but there was some good news in last years waterways survey as its numbers were found to be increased. Our planet is teeming with life and its health is seen in the diversity of its species, which in some places are under pressure. If you were to study your garden in minute detail it is highly possible that you would find an unknown species for there is still much that the biologists do not know or have yet todiscover. A bat species was identified recently, the Alcothoe, which brings our native bat species up to 17. A new micro moth was discovered by an amateur naturalist living in an oak tree in Devon because he had noticed some unusual caterpillars. It is black and white with a wingspan of 6mm and has been named after its discoverer.
There is a rather nice audio slide-show of the stamps and the animals portrayed (who can resist a cute dormouse) on the BBC site here.