The Vanishing: Europe’s farmland birds


The Head of Conservation for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia explains how intensive agriculture has made farmland birds one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe: 

‘Once upon a time, they were all around us,’ laments Iván Ramírez  – ‘sights and sounds as familiar as the dusky skies their flocks danced in or the wind whistling through the fields.  They were the tiny flashes of colour caught by the corner of your eye as you strolled in the countryside. They were the chirps, chatter, coos and caws making music in the hedgerows and the long meadow grasses. But that was before we destroyed their homes. Now, our common farmland birds are not so common…’ Read the full article here

In next month’s ‘Practical Reptile Keeping’ – The case of the hidden manuscript, James Bond & reptiles


Visit the Practical Reptile Keeping Facebook page to find out more. (Every month, Practical Reptile Keeping is packed with snakes, lizards, tortoises, amphibians and bugs. As well as stunning photographs, each issue features technical help, product information and health care advice to keep your pet in tip top condition).

To any herpetologist who was alive in the 1950s or 1960s the name Maxwell Knight will need no introduction. For all others: he was a founder member of the British Herpetological Society, author of numerous natural history titles (including How to Keep a Gorilla) and a popular BBC broadcaster appearing on Nature Parliament, Country Questions and The Naturalist. Herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) was his specialty, and he skilfully conveyed his advice and knowledge in his books and broadcasts.

It is the contrast between his life as a spycatcher and early environmentalist that intrigues. He lived two very separate, but equally influential, lives. His MI5 work reached the ears of Winston Churchill during the second world war, whilst later in life he had the respect of his naturalist peers, which included the professional zoo community and wildlife charities in addition to being given a platform by the BBC to broadcast to the nation.

His filing cabinet was left in the safekeeping of Professor John E. Cooper, who in his youth knew Knight very well. Their friendship was strong enough for him to consider Knight as his mentor, and they remained good friends until Knight’s death in 1968.

About World Wildlife Day 2017

Half of world’s #wildlife was lost in past 40 years. Habit loss, over-exploitation, poaching & trafficking are main threats #YouthVoices #WWD2017


“The UN World Wildlife Day (WWD) is the global celebration of the many beautiful and varied forms of wild animals and plants on our planet as well as an occasion to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that conservation provides to both wildlife and people and the plight of many threatened or endangered species. World Wildlife Day is celebrated annually on 3rd March, the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973.

The theme of this year’s celebration is ‘Listen to the Young Voices’, with a focus on connecting young people around the world to explore what wildlife conservation and protection mean to them and instil a responsibility in them to take action for the future of both wild animals and plants.


WWD2017 will be celebrated around the world, with the main events at the UN Headquarters in New York. The social media component aims to involve the global community by raising awareness of the issues surrounding wildlife conservation and protection around the world; imparting a duty on young citizens to engage with conservation issues, as they will be the decision makers of tomorrow; and encouraging all citizens to consider how they can help conservation efforts locally for impacts at a global scale. We call on youth around world as well as all citizens to do one thing on this World Wildlife Day, and beyond, to help protect the world’s wildlife.”

See to find out more about WWD.

Half of world’s #wildlife was lost in past 40 years. Habit loss, over-exploitation, poaching & trafficking are main threats #YouthVoices #WWD2017