100 Acre Wood
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100 Acre Wood
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Success Reported in Safeguarding a Butterfly Habitat - New York Times

Success Reported in Safeguarding a Butterfly Habitat - New York Times | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Illegal logging has been practically eliminated in the western Mexico wintering grounds of the monarch butterfly, according to a research report released Wednesday, and Mexican officials now hope to use the successful program of antilogging patrols and payments to rural residents to resolve other forestry conflicts.


The government, environmental groups and private donors have spent millions to get forest communities in the butterfly reserve to plant trees and start ecotourism businesses to benefit from the interest in the monarchs’ yearly multigenerational migration through Canada, the United States and Mexico. They hope a similar solution can work in areas where illegal logging has caused deadly armed conflicts.

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Meadow Gone Wild: Habitat Restoration Creates a Wildlife Oasis at Botanical ... - Knoxville Metro Pulse

Meadow Gone Wild: Habitat Restoration Creates a Wildlife Oasis at Botanical ... - Knoxville Metro Pulse | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

With a razor-thin budget and just two employees, Brian Campbell, director of horticulture, was struggling to mow and maintain the 50 acres that comprise the Knoxville Botanical Garden and Arboretum.

 

That, coupled with an idea he’d been kicking around to have a natural wild area, spurred him to make a radical move. He deliberately stopped mowing an isolated corner of the grounds, about 15 acres.

 

When he tested a 10-by-10 plot of the field for invasive plants, he found that it was only 35 percent native.

 

“What I am doing is really prairie restoration,” Campbell says. “If we were to allow it to go truly native it would revert back to a forest, that’s the natural state around here. The meadow is artificial in a way because we are suppressing trees.”

 

Campbell says since the rewilding experiment, the wildlife population has shot up. He has a well-established family of red foxes, deer, turkey, field mice, rabbits, black snakes, and hawks. The hawks are good at keeping the stray cat problem down, says Campbell, owner of three pet cats himself.

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Bubbles bind beetles underwater

Bubbles bind beetles underwater | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Air pockets in bristled feet allow wet-weather walking.

 

Beetles have an impressive ability to walk underwater. It is all down to tiny bubbles trapped between hair-like structures on their feet.


Inspired by the beetles, the researchers developed a polymer structure covered in bristles that mimic the beetles' feet. Attached to small objects — such as the treads of a toy bulldozer — it successfully stuck them to vertical surfaces underwater

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The Nature Games

The Nature Games | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Wildlife charity gives hope to sports fans suffering withdrawal symptoms with news of some amazing, natural athletes going for Gold...

 

As the summer of sport comes to a spectacular end, we're reminding people that the natural world offers its own games – and some of the animal athletes that compete would knock socks off their human counterparts.


Here is our team selection, made up of animals found in Great Britain that are unfortunately under threat.

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Ethical living: how can I become more self-sufficient?

Ethical living: how can I become more self-sufficient? | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
What changes can be made at home towards a greener life?I love to flick through the 1970s green-living classic Self-Sufficiency, by John Seymour, hero of the back-to-the-land movement.

 

Windowfarms (windowfarms.org) is an online indoor farming community with almost 36,000 members busily growing salad, peppers, chillies and flowers using a vertical hydroponics system invented by American Britta Riley for her tiny New York flat. You can buy a kit including an electric pump online, or source the components and make your own for about £20.

 

It's too early to give information on windowfarm yields, but soil-free farming doesn't work for more substantial veg. For that you need to follow another urban homesteading craze and get up on to the roof. Food from the Sky (foodfromthesky.org.uk) is a food-growing project on the roof of a north London supermarket. It runs courses and workshops and its website includes a useful "growing tips" section.

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How To Achieve A Beautiful Organic Garden | Garden Design Blogs

How To Achieve A Beautiful Organic Garden | Garden Design Blogs | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Growing your own organic fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money and adopt a healthier diet, but it also requires efforts from you. You also have a large variety of seeds you can choose from as well. With the following steps, you can make sure that you get exactly what you need for your organic garden to grow properly.

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Connecting With Nature Requires Public Access to the Natural World

Connecting With Nature Requires Public Access to the Natural World | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

People in the United States have a slowly eroding relationship with nature, but we could help reverse this trend with a combination of small, easy -- and some perhaps not so easy -- changes. Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods suggests that Americans, particularly our children, are increasingly afflicted with what he calls "nature deficit disorder." He recommends we should, from time to time, commit to walking away from our work and electronic devises and spend more time in the outdoors experiencing pure nature.

 

Renowned landscape painter Clyde Aspevig agrees and suggests we spend much more "aimless" time in nature engaged in what he calls land snorkeling. To land snorkel is to wander in nature with an attitude of wonder and curiosity. All good advice, but a prerequisite is easy and abundant access to nature and that opportunity, as a whole, is slipping away in many parts of this country.

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Country diary: Blackwater Carr, Norfolk: The lost paradise of gathering wild flowers

Country diary: Blackwater Carr, Norfolk: The lost paradise of gathering wild flowers | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Alas, we live in such an age of hands-off environmental anxiety and in a landscape of such intense environmental impoverishment that the practice of gathering wild flowers is now a lost paradise for most of us. Plantlife, the environmental charity devoted to our national flora, suggests that we now have more flower-rich roadside verge than we do wild flower meadows.

 

... It says so much about our national culture: that plants sown, tended and owned by us are somehow so much more engaging than native blooms which spring up spontaneously without our leave.

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What to Plant? Taking Cues From Local Prairie Plant Communities

What to Plant? Taking Cues From Local Prairie Plant Communities | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

As I wrote in an earlier post about woodland plant communities, the easiest way to create a successful native landscape is to replicate your local plant community.


If you’re unfamiliar with the plant communities in your area, plan a visit to a local park or remnant toobserve what is growing together and in what conditions.

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This weekend...catch a performance from the masters of the night sky - Notes on nature - Wildlife - The RSPB Community

This weekend...catch a performance from the masters of the night sky - Notes on nature - Wildlife - The RSPB Community | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

To see bats, you generally don't have to venture too far from home. I've spend many a pleasant summer evening in my garden watching bats flit around above my head. They can also be spotted hanging around strong light sources, such as streetlamps, taking advantage of the bounty of moths that these features attract.

 

Most people will see pipistrelles, but there are 18 different bats to see in the UK. If you can get your hands on a bat detector then this nifty bit of equipment can be used to listen in on the usually hidden world of high frequency calls bats use to 'picture' their surroundings. And as each bat has their own set of unique calls, you can tell them apart.

 

Bats also have distinctive flight paths that can be used to tell them apart. Check out this handy guide (opens as a PDF) from the Bat Conservation Trust to learn more.

 

UK bat populations have declined dramatically during the past century. The reasons are many and varied, but include the destruction of roosting sites and feeding grounds to make way for buildings and roads.

 

But by doing our little bit, we can help. So here's my top tips to help bats:-

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20 Incredible Rare and Newly Discovered Species

20 Incredible Rare and Newly Discovered Species | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Twenty years of field studies have resulted in the discovery of many new species and more information on rare species. Conservation International's (CI) Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) has done hundreds of expeditions to far-flung and little known areas of the world and found 1,300 new or rare species during their assessments.

 

To mark the 20-year milestone, Still Counting…, edited by Leanne Alonso, is a new book that celebrates the work done so far and the work that continues to be done by RAP. CI has chosen 20 species that are biologically unique, threatened or rare, designating them as "RAP Stars" to mark the 20 years of field work. Let's take a look at them!

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Hogging the limelight: Why hedgehogs need a path through our gardens

Hogging the limelight: Why hedgehogs need a path through our gardens | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

It's thought hedgehogs travel on average a mile a night to forage for food. A journey broken by fences forces them out on to the road, where they have to negotiate concrete, pedestrians and cars just so they can enter another garden two doors down. By simply making a small hole under your fence on either side of your plot you will enable hedgehogs to safely travel through the neighbourhood, and make life so much easier for them in the process.

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Birds sniff out their relatives

Birds sniff out their relatives | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Seabirds recognise their relatives from their scent and rely on their sense of smell to avoid "accidentally inbreeding", say scientists.

 

Seabirds are able to pick out their relatives from smell alone, according to scientists.

In a "recognition test", European storm petrels chose to avoid the scent of a relative in favour of approaching the smell of an unrelated bird.

 

The researchers think this behaviour prevents the birds from "accidentally inbreeding".

The study is the first evidence that birds are able to sniff out a suitable mate.

It is published in the journal Animal Behaviour.

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10 Tips for Attracting Butterflies to Your Backyard

10 Tips for Attracting Butterflies to Your Backyard | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Thinking of turning your yard into a butterfly habitat? Here are 10 tips to help you attract the most butterflies to your backyard.

 

Butterflies are the ultimate sun worshipers. If you've spent any time observing butterflies at all, you know they spend some of their time basking in the sunshine. Like all insects, butterflies are ectotherms, meaning they can't regulate their body temperatures internally. Instead, they rely on the sun's energy to warm their bodies so they can function. This is especially important on cooler days, because butterflies can't fly when the temperatures dip below about 55° Fahrenheit. You'll see a butterfly perched on a rock or leaf in a sunny spot, with its wings extended, warming up its flight muscles. When you're planning your butterfly habitat, think about providing good basking spots in the sunniest areas of your yard.

 

In addition, most good nectar plants require partial to full sun. Plant your butterfly garden in an area that gets a solid 6 hours or more of sunshine every day. Pay attention to the seasonal changes, too. The best site for a butterfly garden will get lots of sun from early spring to late fall, not just in the summer months.

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Nature reserves can no longer save world's at-risk species, warn experts - Scotsman

Nature reserves can no longer save world's at-risk species, warn experts - Scotsman | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Many of the world’s tropical protected habitats are failing to provide an adequate safe haven for plants and animals, Scottish researchers have warned.

 

Nature reserves in the tropics are increasingly important refuges for threatened species and ecosystems as illegal logging and hunting destroys the landscape.

 

But a new study has revealed that numerous parks surrounded by problems such as illegal mining are suffering the consequences of those threats within their boundaries.

 

In addition, “insidious” threats like disease and invasive species are making it even harder for protected areas to sustain biodiversity.

 

An international team of more than 200 scientists studied more than 30 different categories of species within protected areas across the tropical Americas, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

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For Birds Whose Odor Conveys Fear, No Tweets Necessary

For Birds Whose Odor Conveys Fear, No Tweets Necessary | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
New findings about birds’ olfactory powers add to evidence that many animals signal their alarm with scent.

 

Deseada Parejo, a biologist at the Arid Zones Experimental Research Station in Almería, Spain, was studying family dynamics behavior in Eurasian rollers— spectacular jay-size birds with long, slender tails and the Cray-Pas colors of parakeets. On removing one of the nestlings for a standard check of size and weight, she practically jumped at its horror-film response: The tiny chick gaped its mouth wide and vomited up a big dose of sticky orange liquid, enough to fill half a teaspoon.

 

Dr. Parejo touched a second chick, a third, a sixth, and got the same expulsory retort. “I have worked with many other bird species,” she said, “but I never found anything similar to this vomiting behavior before.” Not only that: The fluid had a distinctive, evolving odor.

 

“It’s like orange juice at first,” she said. “Then it begins to smell like insects, like the prey the parents provide.” ...

 

Injured plants also release alarm signals through air and soil that can be construed as evidence of vegetal despair, or at least a reminder that no life form likes being eaten, even by vegans.

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Climate may boost frog disease

Climate may boost frog disease | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
More changeable temperatures, a consequence of global warming, may be helping to abet the impact of a lethal fungal disease.

 

Scientists found that when temperatures vary unpredictably, frogs succumb faster to chytridiomycosis, which is killing amphibians around the world.

 

The animals' immune systems appear to lose potency during unpredictable temperature shifts.

The research is published in Nature Climate Change journal.

 

Chytridiomycosis, caused by the parasitic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), was identified only in 1998.

 

It affects frogs and their amphibian relatives - salamanders, and the worm-like caecilians - and has caused a number of species extinctions.

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Beekeepers are abuzz over climate change and mounting bee losses

Beekeepers are abuzz over climate change and mounting bee losses | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

First it was birds and now it is bees that are finding their numbers under increasing pressure from sources as diverse as habitat loss, insecticide use and changing weather patterns.


While many in the bird world are convinced that climate change is a major culprit for altering flowering times and therefore the relative abundance or lack of food sources, in the somewhat fustier apiarian world, the jury is out. Many, though, are willing to allow that climate change is likely to be a factor.

 

Honeybee colony losses have been 30 to 40 percent in the United Kingdom in the recent past and more than 60 percent in the United States.

 

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Secrets of sticky feet revealed

Secrets of sticky feet revealed | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Sure-footed lizards and beetles keep their feet dry to secure their grip, according to scientists.

Previous studies have attributed both species' remarkable 'sticking power' to microscopic hairs on their feet.

 

These hairs are attracted to surfaces by the forces between molecules, creating a strong footing.

 

Two studies now suggest that the animals 'walk on air' to overcome wet surfaces, trapping bubbles between these tiny hairs.

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Monarch butterfly population at risk as habitat declines due to climate

Monarch butterfly population at risk as habitat declines due to climate | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

  The migrating insects face decreased habitats in the Michoacan Mountains, a small mountainous area of central Mexico where they spend their winters. The mountainous habitats are decreasing due to deforestation ...

 

The migrating patterns of the butterflies are also changing. Monarchs made it to Edmonton this year, which is the furthest North West they’ve been in recorded history. Efforts in the city are a little more ad hoc. Local butterfly enthusiasts are planting milkweed and flowers to help them move through their life cycle, and prepare to head south again in the fall.

 

“The flower part is easy,” said John Acorn, University of Alberta professor and butterfly expert. “The real trick for the ones that come this far north and west is for them to find milkweed plants for the larvae to develop on.”

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Nature: Beautiful moths are in abundance - Houston Chronicle

Nature: Beautiful moths are in abundance - Houston Chronicle | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

"Butterflies of the night" is what the late, great Texas naturalist John Tveten called moths, and I've never heard a better description.

 

Unfortunately, most people pay scant attention to moths as they flit around street lamps or porch lights. Some even see them as an annoyance. Hence, the first National Moth Week will be held Monday through July 29 to focus our attention on moths.

 

Moths are in the same Lepidoptera order as butterflies. But moths have threadlike antenna while butterflies have clubbed antenna. Moths - except for a few diurnal moths - fly by night, whereas butterflies fly by day. ...

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Snail Problems in the Garden

Snail Problems in the Garden | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Snails can be more damaging than slugs! They like the juicy leaves of lush plants and can consume many times there own weight in green matter from your favorite plants.
The only thing snails do not do slowly is eat at a snails pace!

 

Snail problems and treatments for snails and slugs:-

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It Just Stinks…or Does It?

It Just Stinks…or Does It? | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
Are garden stink bugs a good thing? or a bad thing?

 

Meet the stinkbugs, a rather diverse group of members of Suborder Heteroptera a.k.a. true bugs.

 

... Last but not least, we have the Florida Predatory Stink Bug (Euthyrhynchus floridanus), which surprisingly is one species you’ll want to have around. They are beneficial because they prey on a variety of plant-damaging bugs, beetles, and caterpillars, including the pest stinkbugs. The nymphs are highly gregarious and can gang up on larger prey. Of all the stinkbugs, they also are the most attractive.

 

At any rate, I don’t recommend handling any of these stinkers. They live up to their common name because when disturbed they secrete a defensive chemical with a disagreeable smell.

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Ideas To Try In Your Organic Garden | Garden Design Blogs

Ideas To Try In Your Organic Garden | Garden Design Blogs | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it

Anyone can enjoy the relaxing activity of organic gardening. But, if you’re just getting started, the various challenges of gardening can seem insurmountable. Are you interested in cultivating green gardens and earning that green thumb? Well, reading through the tips in this article is a start.

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Starling population crashes across Europe

Starling population crashes across Europe | 100 Acre Wood | Scoop.it
With its cheeky nature and chirpy, chattering song, the starling is one of our most recognisable birds, but figures show that 40 million starlings have disappeared from the European Union, including the UK, since 1980.

 

Working in Somerset and Gloucestershire, RSPB researchers will be working with farmers to examine whether there is sufficient food and nesting sites for starlings in livestock areas. Starlings feed by probing lawns and pastures with their longish bills, looking for soil invertebrates, including leatherjackets. These leatherjackets – cranefly larvae - are widely regarded as pests, so starlings provide a good service for farmers and gardeners. Part of the study will examine the food supply of these pastures to assess whether starlings can find sufficient food.

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