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FenTygerOffline
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PostPosted: 25-07-2013 19:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="hunck"]Not so little - upwards of 6" I reckon.

The turtle we saw was maybe slightly larger than your average pet tortoise, so what, about 8-10 inches across the shell?
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 30-07-2013 16:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

North Berwick drivers warned over hidden puffins

Motorists in an East Lothian town have been asked to check for disorientated young puffins - known as pufflings - hiding under their vehicles.
The Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick said pufflings regularly wander into the town by mistake after leaving their burrows for the first time.
They often settle underneath cars after searching for somewhere dark to hide.

North Berwick lies on the coast of the Firth of Forth, which houses large puffin colonies on its islands.
Staff at the seabird centre said puffins around Scotland's coastline are due to leave their breeding burrows and return to the sea over the next few weeks.

However, some pufflings become disorientated by the lights from neighbouring towns.
The Seabird Centre has, in previous years, been alerted to numerous lost pufflings - including one that was found wandering along a corridor in North Berwick's Marine Hotel.
"Where's the bar?!" Cool

Another was found hiding under a vehicle in the local supermarket car park.

The centre's chief executive, Tom Brock appealed for drivers in North Berwick and the surrounding area to be vigilant and to contact the Seabird Centre or the Scottish SPCA if they discover a lost puffling.
Mr Brock said: "This is a key time of year for our puffins as they head out to sea after the breeding season. However, as pufflings literally fly the nest, their parents leave for sea without them. The young can become disorientated and head into town.

"My request to people along in and around North Berwick to look under your car - you may find a cute young puffin. Puffins are wonderful seabirds and an important part of our marine ecology. They are also very popular and an important part of Scotland's growing wildlife tourism economy."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-23493852
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 07-08-2013 23:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Wolf found in Netherlands is no joke, scientists say
August 7th, 2013 in Biology / Plants & Animals

A stuffed wolf is displayed on August 7, 2013 in Naarden, The Netherlands, during a press conference

A stuffed wolf is displayed on August 7, 2013 in Naarden, Netherlands, during a press conference. A female wolf's body was found by the roadside near the tiny village of Luttelgeest in the north of the country in July. The first wolf found in the Netherlands in over 140 years walked there freely from eastern Europe, scientists said Wednesday, dismissing allegations it was a joke.

A stuffed wolf is displayed on August 7, 2013 in Naarden, Netherlands, during a press conference. A female wolf's body was found by the roadside near the tiny village of Luttelgeest in the north of the country in July. The first wolf found in the Netherlands in over 140 years walked there freely from eastern Europe, scientists said Wednesday, dismissing allegations it was a joke.

The first wolf found in the Netherlands in over 140 years walked there freely from eastern Europe, scientists said Wednesday, dismissing allegations its body had been dumped as joke.

The female wolf has mystified the Netherlands since its body was found by the roadside near the tiny village of Luttelgeest in the north of the country in July.

Some had even suggested that eastern European agricultural workers employed in the Netherlands had brought the wolf from their home country in order to confound the Dutch.

But now a bevvy of Dutch scientific and wildlife groups have come together to establish the truth.

The Dutch Wildlife Health Centre (DWHC) said in a statement after a press conference that "the wolf died from a heavy blow to the head, apparently from being hit by a car."

The wolf was in good health, around one and a half years old and had just eaten some young beaver, the DWHC said in a joint statement with the Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, the Alterra research institute and WolvenInNederland (Wolves in the Netherlands).

The wolf apparently originally came from "eastern Europe, near the Russian border," Naturalis and Alterra said.

It seemingly entered the Netherlands "by natural means" and lived here for some time before being run over, WolvenInNederland and Alterra said.

However, more research needs to be done to be more precise, the groups said.

"In any case the body showed no signs of having been transported to the Netherlands. There were no signs it had been frozen.

"Furthermore there were no signs of wear on the fur, paws or claws that would suggest captivity."

Wolf droppings have also been found in the area, although they did not necessarily come from the dead wolf, the statement said.

Alterra researcher Geert Groot Bruinderink told state broadcaster NOS that "there's a big possibility" that wolves are present in the Netherlands.
"If one is found then there are more," he said.

The last sighting of a wolf in the Netherlands was in 1869, but in the southeast of the country near Germany, national news agency ANP reported.

Changing conservation policies since the 1990s have allowed wolf populations to increase in western Europe, including in France, Germany and Italy.

© 2013 AFP

"Wolf found in Netherlands is no joke, scientists say." August 7th, 2013. http://phys.org/news/2013-08-wolf-netherlands-scientists.html
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PostPosted: 08-08-2013 01:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is my understanding that Wolves have made a slow but steady return to Western Europe since the fall of the Iron Curtain. If they are in what once was Western Germany (and they certainly are), then there is now reason to believe they can't make it to the Netherlands.
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 14-08-2013 13:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Invasive ants: 'Stowaway' insects spreading around world
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23684879
By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC World Service

Argentine ants have spread across Europe, but there are many more alien species

The problem of invasive ants may be far worse than previously thought.

A Spanish team of scientists has found that larger than expected numbers of the insects are being unwittingly shipped around the world.

The researchers warn that many of these species are establishing colonies in their new habitats that could pose a threat to the environment, infrastructure and human health.

The research is published in the journal Royal Society Biology Letters.

Lead author Veronica Miravete, from the University of Gerona in Spain, said: "Due to their small size, most ants are transported involuntarily in containers and other boxes, together with soil, wood, ornamental plants and fruits etc, on ships or airplanes."

Tiny globetrotters

The research team looked at the numbers of exotic ants in the Netherlands, the United States and New Zealand.

Fire ant
Fire ants, with their painful stings, have been an unwelcome invasive species
They found far more of these accidental stowaways than had previously been reported.

Extrapolating from this data, they estimate that 768 exotic ant species could have been introduced around the world through trade routes.

Of these, they believe that more than 600 species could have established new colonies.

Dr Miravete said: "The number of ants arriving is very large and 85% of the introduced species are able to establish successfully. This indicates that there are many introduced species that are living around us as of yet undetected."

While not all animals that move to a new region pose a threat, some can wreak havoc - and invasive ants are some of the worst alien offenders.

In Europe, aggressive Argentine ants have been building mega-colonies, and they are out-competing local ant populations, which has sent ripples through the ecosystem.

And in the US, the invasion of South America's Rasberry crazy ants has caused a host of problems as the insects swarm inside electrical equipment.

The spread of fire ants has also been unwelcome because of their painful sting.

The researchers said that more needed to be done to halt the spread of these pests.

Dr Miravete said: "Once exotic ants establish a new region it is very difficult eradicate them.

"There are different methods to prevent alien species, such as pre-border risk assessments, black lists and quarantine inspections. But especially, we have to observe shipping routes from the regions with the highest probability of leading to introductions."
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 03-09-2013 12:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Five-foot shark swims up river in Essex countryside
Footage of a five-foot shark swimming in a river in the Essex countryside has emerged after a man spotted a fin sticking up out of the water during a walk.
[video]
By Alice Philipson
11:12AM BST 03 Sep 2013

Jody Gibbons was enjoying a stroll along the banks of the River Stour with his father Gary on Sunday when he spotted the creature.
The marketing executive said he wanted to make sure he filmed the Essex shark because he feared his friends would not believe what he had seen in the little village of Cattawade.

The sighting comes after one of the biggest sharks ever seen in British waters was caught off the Isle of Wight last week. Measuring 14 feet and weighing 550 pounds, the Threasher shark was spotted about a mile south of St Catherine's Point.

Mr Gibbons, of Lawford, Essex, spent more than an hour with his college lecturer father watching the shark, filming footage in which the shark can clearly be seen swimming past in shallow water.
Experts who have looked at the footage said they believed it could be a Starry Smooth-hound.

Mr Gibbons, 27, said: "As we walked past and saw a big fin sticking up out of the water and thought 'that must be a big fish'.
"That thought quickly became 'that's a massive fish' and then I realised it was a shark. I really could not believe what I was seeing.
"We have walked along there so many times before but never had I seen anything like that before."

He has given a "conservative" estimate that the Essex Shark was at least four-feet long but thinks it may have been as long as five foot.
He added: "It was an amazing sight to see and I knew I had to film it, otherwise my friends would not have believed a word I was saying.
"The water was quite shallow where we saw it and its fin was sticking out of the water – it was like a scene from Jaws.
"You do get people fishing here and there is a beach further up the river but it's surprising to find a shark."

Mr Gibbons, who works for Fred Olsen travel agents, informed the Environment Agency and the RSPCA of his sighting.
"We got really close to it and could see it was as long as some metal railings in the water so we had a good gauge to work out how big it was," he said.
"I really was shocked and amazed – I did not for one minute expect to see something like that in the river.
"It was just fascinating watching it swimming around."

The Smooth-hound Shark is more commonly found in coastal waters around the country and is not usually known for swimming further up rivers.
David Warner, commodore from the nearby Stour Sailing Club, said: "We have had sharks in the lowest point of the river before but not up where it was seen."

According to the Shark Trust there are 35 species of shark that can be found around the coastal waters of Britain.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/10282891/Five-foot-shark-swims-up-river-in-Essex-countryside.html

I know that river! I've sailed a small boat as far up as Manningtree, and hired a row boat a couple of times up at Dedham, but my total shark count is nil! Sad I've often anchored a big sailing craft further downstream, near Harwich, and even allowed swimming from the boat, but again we never spied so much as a fin, but this shark must have passed that way to get upriver.
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PostPosted: 07-09-2013 16:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rare triggerfish caught off Falmouth
12:00pm Saturday 7th September 2013 in News .

The dish of the day for one Falmouth chef was to be savoured this week, after he speared a rare fish not usually seen in UK waters.
Patrick Weeks, head chef at the Gylly Beach Cafe, caught a triggerfish while spear gun fishing off the reef in the bay, around 20 metres from shore.
Initially he thought it was a bream, only to take a closer look and discover his catch was rather more unusual.

Triggerfish are native to California and have only been spotted in UK waters since 2009.
They tend to only be seen at the end of a hot summer, when the water is warmer.
Patrick said: “I was quite worried it was going to be some endangered species but it’s not, just rare to here. This is the rarest fish I’ve ever caught.”

No chef could resist trying out a new ingredient and Patrick had plans to enjoy his catch at the dinner table, adding: “They’re supposed to be really good eating, so I’m looking forward to it.”

It proved to be a lucky day of fishing for Patrick, who also caught a bass and a John Dory on the same trip Cool

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10652641.Rare_triggerfish_caught_off_Falmouth/?ref=mr
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PostPosted: 09-09-2013 06:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welsh fishing catch sparks rare sturgeon alert

Fishery officials say sea anglers need to be on the lookout for the rare sturgeon fish, after one was hooked off the Pembrokeshire coast.
The fish was caught by two boys fishing off Hobbs Point near Pembroke Dock.

It is only the second time in the last decade that a sturgeon has been spotted in UK waters - the last time also in Wales near Port Talbot in 2004.
As a protected species, officials say if other sturgeon are caught they must be released immediately.

"We are sure from the only photograph taken of the fish at Pembroke Dock that it was a sturgeon and that it may be the forerunner of others arriving here." said Steve Colclough, of the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM).
"Where it came from is at present a mystery."

The IFM said it was releasing the picture of the fish caught in Pembrokeshire to raise awareness among the angling and commercial fishing communities.

Famed for caviar, Mr Colclough said it is illegal to keep a sturgeon and anybody catching one should return it quickly unharmed and alive to the water and then report it.
"Before putting it back they should note as many facts as possible - its length, overall condition, signs of damage or disease, the data on any tag attached to it and take a good photo.

"A yellow tag would show the fish had probably migrated from the Gironde river in France where the European sturgeon is now being bred and released."
The fish would normally stay in the Gironde until they were about 10 years old and they might then migrate to the open sea.
"If they came to Wales they would most likely be caught in estuaries and still be juvenile fish. Normally they would live 50 or 60 years and grow up to three-metres long (about 10ft)," added the IFM expert.

The IFM said if anyone did see another sturgeon off either the Welsh of English coast, it should be reported to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-24007739
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PostPosted: 12-09-2013 07:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rare leatherback turtle chomps jellyfish in Falmouth Bay: PICTURES
12:00pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Falmouth/Penryn .

Wildlife watchers in Falmouth Bay were treated to a rare sight last week, a giant leatherback turtle plodding through the water hunting for jellyfish.
The turtle species is the largest in the oceans with the one spotted measuring close to four feet in diameter and six feet in length.

The pictures were taken by Laura Richardson on a trip out with AK Wildlife Cruises on board the Free Spirit on September 4 and by staff from Orca Sea Safaris onboard Seaquest.

Amanda, from AK Wildlife Cruises said: “We have had an incredible amount of wildlife over the last two weeks; we just wish the summer was longer.”

Caroline from Orca said: “What an incredible sight in our waters, the sea state was like a mirror, from a distance we were expecting an encounter with a Basking Shark. To our amazement the Leatherback Turtle surfaced.
Its shell was at least two metres. It spent some time swimming gracefully alongside Seaquest of Falmouth feeding on the abundance of jellyfish. A breathtaking experience for all onboard."

The rare sighting in the wild was described as an “enormous privilege” by Matt Slater, the marine awareness officer at Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
“It is very exciting when we get a sighting.
There are only a few sighted each year and there have not been any in this area, they are normally seen off Land's End o[r] the Isles of Scilly.
“They are brought in by their food source, jelly fish, and the warmer temperatures at this time of year.”

He added that they are unique in that they can raise their own body temperatures, allowing them to hunt in colder water, making them the only sea turtle off the UK coast. Leatherbacks are the largest of all living turtles and can be easily distinguished from other sea turtles by its lack of a bony shell. Instead, its carapace is covered by skin and oily flesh.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/fpfalmouth/10667245.Rare_leatherback_turtle_chomps_jellyfish_in_Falmouth_Bay__PICTURES/
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PostPosted: 21-10-2013 16:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay troopers, on me. Drop whatever you're doing because I know you're going to want to see this.

Now, in all our time together we've seen some photos, but this, I think you'll agree, this is something special.

I'm not going to give any details because I don't want to spoil anything for you - but this is not a trick, or rude in any way, and perfectly okay to open at work.

So, brace yourself, muster up a mental drumroll, hit the following link and scroll down to the second photo.

Click here and prepare to be astounded!!!

Edit: To avoid disappointment, I should maybe point out to those who don't know me very well that the above post may contain traces of sarcasm - I've included a 'might' in that statement in order to retain an element of suspense.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 21-10-2013 17:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spookdaddy wrote:
...

So, brace yourself, muster up a mental drumroll, hit the following link and scroll down to the second photo.

Click here and prepare to be astounded!!!

...

It's quite clearly a dodo.
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ramonmercadoOnline
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PostPosted: 21-10-2013 17:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

A miniature T-Rex.
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PostPosted: 23-10-2013 08:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Search for 'stroppy' ostrich type bird loose in the countryside near Truro
4:20pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News

A search for a 'very aggressive' ostrich type bird has been stood down after a search by police, the RSPCA and its owner came to nothing this morning.
Police first received a report of the bird between Tregony and Ruanlanihorne after a report from a motorist just after 8am this morning.
Police cars were sent out from Truro to hunt for the bird, with the advice to keep it penned in if at all possible.

The report said that when approched it "got stroppy and ran off into a field".
Local vets were contacted about their ability to help deal with the creature, should it be caught, however police were told that none locally had the equipment to help.

The RSPCA were called and efforts were made to find out if any ostrich farms were in the area, and whether they were missing a bird. While one was found, it reported that none of his animals wree missing.

The onwer was eventually traced and police and the RSPCA met up in a nearby industrial estate to plan the best way forward shortly after 9am.
By 10am the owner had arriived and confirmed the creature was a Rhea, that had made good its escape from a its enclosure in Tregony

The owner told police that the animal was probably more scared of people that the other way round. And that if not recaptured it would probably starve.
Shortly after the search was called off as it was thought that the bird had "gone to ground" in the countryside.

Anyone who spots the creature should contact police on 101 quoting ref 137 of 22/10/2013.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10754449.Search_for__stroppy__ostrich_type_bird_loose_in_the_countryside_near_Truro/?ref=mr
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PostPosted: 23-10-2013 12:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Emerald ash borer beetle on the march across Europe
By Mark Kinver
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24612322
Environment reporter, BBC News
Adult emerald ash borer (Image: SPL)

The arrival of EAB from the US has raised fears about the future of ash trees in Europe

An invasive species of beetle that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in North America could "spread unhindered" across Europe, researchers have warned.

The emerald ash borer, first recorded in the Moscow area in 2007, has become established in surrounding broadleaved woodlands, they observed.

The pest, which is expected to cost the US economy $10bn, has spread up to 25 miles each year, the team estimated.

The findings of the survey have been published in the journal Forestry.

The team of two UK and two Russian scientists found that the emerald ash borer (EAB) population had spread 146 miles (235km) west of Moscow and 137 miles (220 km) south of the Russian capital city.

In their paper, the team described EAB (Agrilus planipennis) as a "major threat to Fraxinus excelsior (European ash), and south of Moscow, where the beetle has become established in natural broadleaved woodlands in which F. excelsior is a major component, many of the ash trees are suffering severe dieback and mortality".

They added: "The abundance and almost continuous distribution of F. excelsior in these woodlands means that A. planipennis now has the opportunity to spread unhindered on a broad front to other countries in Europe."

Enemy within

The beetle is native to north-east China, the Korean peninsula, Japan, Taiwan, Mongolia and the Russian Far East.

Continue reading the main story
In detail: Emerald ash borer

EAB larva being extracted from an infected ash tree (Image: AP)
Native to eastern Asia
Scientific name: Agrilus planipennis
Adults, with metallic emerald wings, measure 7.5mm to 13.5mm, while the larvae reach up to 32mm in length
The EAB generally has a one-year life cycle but there have been recorded cases of two years
Larvae feed on the upper layers of the wood of ash trees for several weeks, creating S-shaped galleries
Signs of an infected ash tree include wilting foliage, canopy thinning and D-shaped exit holes
Only known to feed on ash trees
(Source: USDA)

The beetles' larvae feed on the surface layers of the wood of a tree, cutting off vital supplies of nutrients and water, causing branches and eventually the whole tree to die.

Although the adult beetles only live for a matter of weeks, an individual female can lay in excess of 200 eggs during their short lives but the average is estimated to be in the region of 30-60 eggs.

While native Asian ash trees appear to have co-evolved resistance to the EAB, US native ash species, such as the green ash (F. pennsylvanica) and white ash (F. americana) have no such resilience, resulting in devastating consequences.

Since the first recorded case of an EAB infestation in Michigan back in 2002, the invasive alien species has spread rapidly through 19 US states and two Canadian provinces, leaving a trail of devastation in its trail.

The researchers wrote: "The beetle has killed tens of millions of trees over the past 10 years and has raised concerns over the future of ash in North America.

"The cost to the US economy over the 10-year period from 2009 to 2019 - in terms of tree removal and replacement alone - is expected to exceed $10bn."

Whether a similar fate awaits European ash trees remained uncertain at this stage, explained co-author David Williams, an entomologist from Forest Research, the scientific arm of the UK Forestry Commission.

During the summer, Dr Williams and colleague Dr Nigel Straw spent two weeks in and around Moscow to assess the impact and spread of EAB in the area.

Dr Williams told BBC News that previous research suggested that an individual beetle would not fly more than six miles (10km) during its lifetime.

Tree showing symptoms of ash dieback (Image: PA)
Europe's ash trees are already reeling from the impact of ash dieback
Yet the team, in their assessment, found evidence that EAB was spreading by up to four times that distance.

"There is evidence that the species is riding on vehicles, which is why it is moving long distances," Dr Williams observed.

"If it is travelling long distances, it is dependent on a host tree being available for it to jump on to."

"To the south of the city, European ash is a component of the natural woodlands. Now that it is established in these woodlands, it is difficult to judge how quickly it is likely to move."

He added that it was difficult to quantify the size of the emerald ash borer population that had become established in the woodlands south of Moscow.

"Trying to find signs and symptoms of EAB damage is unbelievably difficult in the early stages," Dr Williams explained.

"It does seem to be from our observations that it [is] much harder to spot signs and symptoms of EAB damage in European ash than in North American species of ash.

"So the fact that it has reached this almost continuous forest of ash into Europe through Belarus and Ukraine is going to [make it] difficult to track its movement."

Touch wood

The UK is more than 1,500 miles from Moscow, and the Forestry Commission predicts that it is likely to be "many years" before the pest reaches these shores under its own steam.

Continue reading the main story
UK's EAB biosecurity measures

Illegal to bring ash logs with bark attached into the UK from areas that are known to have EAB
Sawn ashwood coming from nations known to have EAB must either be certified to have been sourced from a part of the country known to be clear of EAB
If it cannot be certified then the wood must be "squared", meaning that the outer layer in which EAB is found has to be removed
Wood packaging, such as crates and pallets, from EAB countries must comply with the International Standard for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM). Heat treatment or fumigation needs to be carried out in the exporting nation
(Source: UK Forestry Commission)

However, a spokesman added: "Regulations are in place to minimise the risk of its accidental introduction in trade and transport, and we are assessing whether more needs to be done to further reduce these risks."

He added that the UK and the EU were currently drafting Pest Risk Analyses on EAB.

In addition, tree health experts were developing a contingency plan in case there was an EAB outbreak in the UK.

The spokesman said that it would follow the same approach used to tackle an outbreak of Asian longhorned beetle in Kent in 2012.

And there was a Europe-wide network, known as Fraxback, that allowed scientists across the continent to share their research and findings.

Although its efforts were focused on tackling ash dieback, it could provide information that could be used in terms of slowing or halting the spread of EAB.

Dr Williams said that during his time in the Russian woodlands, there were signs that some trees may have a degree of resistance to EAB infestations.

"European ash is supposed to be much more closely related to Asian ash species than North American species, so that resistance that Asian ash species has to EAB could well be part of genetic make-up of European ash," he suggested.

"There was certainly some evidence within Moscow itself. We did not find many European ash but when we did find them, half were looking perfectly healthy.

"Perhaps more interestingly, when we moved south into the forests where European ash is much more common, there was a much higher degree of variability in the trees' canopy condition.

"This is the opposite of what you find in North American species of ash. When it is attacked by EAB, the dieback is so obvious it is startling.

He added: "This suggests that it is perhaps not as susceptible to the beetle as North American species."
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PostPosted: 08-11-2013 14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Roaming London wallaby dies after foot operation
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-24871616

Wallaby at Highgate Cemetery

The wallaby was first spotted on Hampstead Heath
A wallaby that was roaming around north London before being captured on a tennis court has died.

After the animal was caught in the Dartmouth Park area last week, it was taken to a centre near Heathrow where it was found to have a broken foot.

The RSPCA said after the operation to fix it, the wallaby could not be revived from the anaesthesia.

The wallaby was first spotted on Hampstead Heath last month but was later seen in Highgate Cemetery.

In a statement, the animal charity said: "Surgery always comes with risks, especially for wallabies, but it was necessary in this instance.

"Despite this, we are of course saddened that the wallaby did not survive."
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