Author Archives: acbwildlife
Since the beginning of May, you may have noticed that a number of brightly coloured elephants have appeared around the streets of London. As well as being an interesting attraction for tourists and commuters, the elephants are there to raise an important issue – the future of the endangered Asian elephants.
As one of the world’s largest mammals, Asian elephants understandably need lots of room to roam. There are over 30,000 Asian elephants left in the wild and their habitats are getting smaller and sparser. With the worlds’ population increasing rapidly, the elephants’ habitat is slowly disappearing and this is causing hostility between elephants and local communities.
This is the fourth, annual elephant parade and also the largest. The first parade in Rotterdam in 2007 showcased 50 elephants, seventy appeared in Antwerp the year after, over 100 elephants graced the streets of Amsterdam in 2009 and this year, running simultaneously with the London parade, is one in Dierenpark Emmen in the Netherlands.
The London Elephant Parade has been organised by the charity, Elephant Family to raise both awareness and money for the cause. Organisers hope to raise around £2million from the 260 elephants, which have been designed by artists and celebrities, and will be sold individually at auction.
For those of us who are unable to house an elephant ourselves, we are able to purchase mini elephants from the Elephant Parade Online Shop. (http://www.elephantparadewebshop.com/)
You can get involved in lots of other ways too, by signing the petition, donating money on the website, buying mini (or life size…) elephants, texting ‘elephant’ to 83118 and more!
The money raised goes towards securing ‘corridors’, ancient migratory routes that the elephants and other herds use to find new forests and fresh supplies of food and also moving entire villages out of the elephants’ way.
On May 22nd, the artists behind the eye-catching elephants will be standing proudly beside their elephants between 10am and 1pm to answer your questions and discuss their inspiration for the designs.
The elephants are in London until July 4th so get up to London, download the map from the website and get elephant spotting! It is such a worthwhile cause and even the smallest donation can help to make a big difference.
If you’d like to find out more about Indian elephants, check out our fantastic Field Guide to Indian Mammals
Post by Laura Skerritt
I recently spent a weekend walking in Scotland on the island of Skye and discovered that the Scottish highlands is home to some of Britain’s most interesting wildlife…
My personal favourite were the highland cattle
The landscape was breathtaking and it was a great place for walking and enjoying the outdoors. Dolphins, porpoises, seals, otters and puffins can be seen in the water.
However, one of the most exciting things is the range of birds of prey that you can see- if you’re lucky. Golden eagles, white-tailed eagles, kestrels and buzzards can be spotted and there are several places that offer wildlife-spotting boat trips. I went out on one of these boats and they took us to see a white-tailed eagles nest which had two chicks inside and then threw fish off the boat so that the eagle swooped down to the water to catch the fish and we got a fantastic close-up view. It was really breathtaking to see as they are huge and magnificent birds with an enormous wing span.
To find out more about Scottish wildlife check out a couple of our RSPB books:
RSPB Handbook of Scottish Birds
RSPB Where to Discover Nature
A&C Black are offering 25% off everything on our website, including hundreds of natural history books – visit http://www.acblack.com/christmas/ for details.
Well, there’s only one story in town, and a First for Britain to boot. The South Shields Eastern Crowned Warbler wowed the (vast) crowds, BBC News had a full report, and even the Sun devoted a page to discussion of the twitch – including a photo of the poor, lost, wind-battered little bird, which right now should be sunning itself in a forest in South-east Asia but is instead shivering amidst the gloom of a disused Tyneside slate quarry.
Its been an astounding month for megas – where will the madness end? Highlights included a Sandhill Crane that set off south from Orkney before vanishing somewhere over eastern Scotland – I was convinced it would pitch up somewhere handy like Rainham Marshes – and an obliging Brown Shrike. This little Siberian beauty picked a superb transport hub to hang out at – right beside the M25 and slap-bang next to Heathrow Terminal 5. I had to go and have a look – what a bird. When I was there a Sparrowhawk was soaring overhead, keeping a beady eye on events below. This may all end in tears yet.
Find out where these birds are supposed to be in Birds of East Asia