Mammal work in the Middle East

In spring we completed some mammal work in the Middle East. Small mammal surveys produced some exciting species such as Tristram's Jird Meriones tristrami and Eastern Spiny Mouse Acomys dimidiatus whilst bat surveys produced an excellent range of arid species including Hemprich's Long-eared Bat Otonycteris hemprichii and Egyptian Tomb Bat Taphozous perforatus. More pictures of the mammals we recorded can be found at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/biomeecology/

 

Tristram's Jird

Tristram's Jird

Small mammal surveys in eastern Bulgaria

Back in early April 2017 we completed some small mammal survey work in eastern Bulgaria. The country had obviously only recently come out of the grip of winter and very few early spring flowers were in evidence. Whilst obviously not the greatest time for small mammal abundance, evidence was very obvious and setting traps proved much easier than in high summer or early autumn, and equally fruitful.

Our small mammal work yielded a number of interesting species, some of which we were seeing for the first time, including Balkan Short-tailed Field Mouse Mus macedonicus, Sibling Vole Microtus levis, Steppe Mouse Mus spicilegus, Common Pine Vole Microtus subterraneus, and Pygmy White-toothed Shrew Suncus etruscus (the second smallest mammal in the world – quite a sight to watch it foraging amongst sparse grass).

See more images from this trip on our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/biomeecology/

Sibling Vole

Sibling Vole

BiOME Nature Reserve Management

We are approaching the best time of year to visit #Estonia. Bird migration will soon been in full swing with tens of thousands of Cranes, wildfowl arriving and huge movements of passerines. Mammals also become easier to see as the vegetation cover reduces and this years young swell the population.

In preparation for this time of year we recently completed a week of maintenance work at our reserve, located near Matsalu Bay in the west of the country. If you are heading to Estonia, why not spend a night or two in our hide which provides complete seclusion in the wilds of Estonia, sleeping four, and offers the chance to see a wide array of mammals and birds in comfort. 

Information is available here: https://www.biomenature.com or email richard@biomeconsulting.com

Trends, management, and the potential solutions to biodiversity loss

Managing ecosystems is of extreme importance for the sake of humanity's survival. It is estimated that the world's population will increase by 12 billion by the end of the century, and the skyrocketing per capita consumption of resources has led to the argument that we have indeed entered the era of the Anthropocene. Over the past few years, species have become extinct, and human activities still continue to drive biodiversity losses as well as alter the formation of ecosystems all over the world.

It is because of the rapid changes in biodiversity that a call for managing it better was made. Managing ecosystems means providing solutions that can bring about tremendous economic rewards.

One of the most recent solutions that scientists have come up with to provide food for both humans and animals was to grow several types of rice in the Yunnan Province of China. The solution was a success, which not only increased the yield of harvested rice per year but also the crops' resistance to fungal pathogens. The solution, which should provide long-term yields, is thanks to an array of ecosystem services, which are believed to be valued around $50 trillion per year.

The costs for ecosystem services may be huge but it is of extreme importance. According to experts, the funding for such services is partly down to the millennials' outlook toward ethical investing. According to financial website FXCM, many millennials have been credited with having an entrepreneurial spirit, and this feature can be a blessing in the sense that it helps spur competition and innovation. The ethical investment market, while consisting of only a small number of participants in the global market, is rapidly rising with strong interest from not only investors but consumers working in ethical companies as well. People are becoming more aware of business practices and their impacts on society, which has led to a demand for more responsible processes.

Experts foresee that the future of ecology has great risks involved but it is still not too late to change the dynamics. Thanks to the actions of investors, consumers, and ecosystem services, bad practices and negative changes to biodiversity are getting reversed. Re-wildling, for example, was such a major challenge for conversation since it involves the introduction of locally extinct species although with careful assessment and consideration it can be done. However, where a species has become globally extinct, one of the best answers scientists have come up with in terms of the preservation of biodiversity was introducing equivalent species.

Our ability to fight the negative impact of human actions upon biodiversity isn't as weak as the general public thinks. It will take better control on resource exploitation, strict conservation of ecosystems especially ones that are already endangered, and widening the resources that we invest in the management of nature.