|Vol 22 No. 2 - December 2010|
Comment: New clean-water ponds - a way to protect freshwater biodiversity
Penny Williams, Jeremy Biggs and Pascale Nicolet
Clean water is now a rare habitat across much of Britain, yet 80% of our most threatened freshwater plants and animals rely on clean water. This article reviews the state of our freshwaters, discussing the value of ponds and arguing that the creation of new clean-water ponds can help to restore these rich wildlife habitats.
Reserve Focus: Isle of May National Nature Reserve, Fife
The Isle of May, with its bird observatory and field station, has enabled extensive research into migrating birds and seal populations, while the island reserve provides a safe haven for breeding Grey Seals and Eider Ducks, for wintering Purple Sandpipers and Ruddy Turnstones, and also for a wealth of other birds, insects and plants.
Living with the enemy: insects and their pathogens
Helen E Roy, Helen Hesketh, Morag McCracken, Richard Comont, Gabriele Rondoni, Remy Poland, Grant Stentiford and Rosemary S Hails
Pathogens that cause disease in insects, known as entomopathogens, have life histories that defy imagination, and the dramatic way in which they affect their hosts is contrary to their size. This article considers the role of pathogens as natural enemies of insects, including those of conservation value, their relationship with their hosts and how they may regulate insect populations (particularly butterflies, moths and ladybirds).
Increasing the resilience of our lowland dry heaths and acid grasslands
Malcolm Ausden, Martin Allison, Peter Bradley, Mike Coates, Mel Kemp and Nick Phillips
Lowland heathland is one of our habitats recently highlighted by the Lawton Review as being of particular global importance. This article describes the practicalities of increasing the extent and connectivity of lowland heathlands and associated dry acid grasslands, focusing on techniques used to re-create these habitats on what was arable land, and on former heathland and acid grassland that have been planted with conifers.
Reflections on a tern colony - The Long Nanny Little Tern colony over 30 years
This sand spit on the Northumberland coast is home to a Little Tern colony. David Woodfall, warden of the site in the 1970s, traces the population fluctuations of the colony over the years, and outlines the conservation measures taken to ensure its future.