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Elephants!

The African elephant. The world’s largest land mammal. Getting on the wrong side on one of those magnificent beasts would be a bad idea!! Even though the adult bulls (males)  can reach about 6 tons, they can actually run at a surprising 25 mph! That’ll be hard to outrun! 


The African elephant is classed as vulnerable but it’s numbers are slowly increasing! Their tusks are prised for their precious ivory and were and still are persistently hunted by illegal poachers! Even wildlife reserves can’t keep them completely safe! Unfortunately, these savannah beauties can also unintentionally get caught in traps intended for other animals, such as snares, which can get caught around an elephants leg or trunk and get infected or worse. This elephant was spotted in time to be saved; the blue stuff is antiseptic spray:


There are some elephants (mature bulls usually) who are particularly vulnerable to poaching: super tuskers, who as the name suggests, have HUGE tusks; up to about 2 or 3 metres long! That’s longer than most cars!! Imagine carrying all of that around on your face! There are only about 21 left due to poaching.


Asian elephants (the ones with the smaller ears) are also vulnerable but, worryingly, their numbers are still decreasing. This is mainly due to poaching (AGAIN damn you poachers!) and habitat loss. Nearly 100,000 Asian elephants were around at the beginning of the 20th century, but their numbers have dropped by about 50% and their habitat is about 15%of the size that it used to and should be.  

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For Cod’s Sake!

You may or may not be aware that usually your fish and chips from the local Chippy is made of a vulnerable species of fish (the chips are made from potatoes though!). Atlantic Cod (the most commonly eaten fish in the UK) is under threat from overfishing in many countries including the UK, Canada, North America and most other ‘Atlantic’ countries (hence the name Atlantic Cod). 

Left-Adult Atlantic Cod which have an average weight of around 53kg!!!

Top Right- Cod overfishing 

Cod is very popular ind is eaten with many things and cooked in different ways. But are we thinking about the amount of fish left in the ocean after the last catch? I’ll guess probably not (I don’t blame you)! In fact in the Irish Sea, cod numbers have had a concerning and drastic decrease in the past few years. Fishery Improvement Programmes are helping with the situation and the population in the North Sea slowly rising again. However there are still worries about the instability of the numbers and what the future of this (in my opinion) quite pretty fish is. 

I’m not saying that nobody should eat Cod ever again because it is really tasty! There are many alternatives to this lovely fish which taste pretty much the same. Some of these include haddock (although this is also a vulnerable species), pollock, hake and lots more! (Sorry if that last bit sounds like a cheesy toy shop advert or something!) 

Left-Haddock

Top Right-Pollock

Bottom right-Hake

 

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Spring!!

I know that you are probably expecting me to comment on how cute the hare is ( it is VERY cute), but I have a bit of an eco-warrior streak. So the message of this post is: ” Is spring coming earlier because of global warming? Or is it just coincidence??” I certainly know what my opinion is!! The temperature of spring in the U.K. has risen by a staggering 1 degree centigrade in the last 45ish years, which might not seem much, but trust me, it is! This is an article in my April 2017 BBC Wildlife magazine that caught my attention…

Just imagine that you are an Arctic Hare, and the snow has melted, but you can’t moult on command, so you are left as a vulnerable, pure white spec against a browny coloured landscape. Imagine how it feels. We humans are contributing to global warming on a huge scale! Yes, cows emit greenhouse gasses, but WE are the ones farming the cows!! I’m not saying: ” EVERYONE STOP FARMING COWS ITS TOO BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT!!!!” But I’m just asking you to think. You could walk or cycle to school or work instead of driving. Even taking the bus instead of the car helps! I hope I’ve got my message out there!!