The UK's smallest and rarest swan has suffered an "alarming crash in numbers", the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has said. According to the Slimbridge-based charity, more than a third of Bewick's swans have disappeared since 1995, when the total population peaked at 29,000. The latest figures show that, by 2010, there were just 18,000 left.
Scientists believe illegal hunting, power lines and lead poisoning have contributed to the drop in numbers. WWT fears the next census, due this winter, will reveal a "further, more worrying decline".
Allotments are the best habitat for bees according to the results of the first Great British Bee Count this summer. More bees were seen on allotments than on any other habitat, including parks, gardens and the countryside during the twelve-week survey from June to August.
The invasive non-native Quagga mussel has been recorded in the UK for the first time according to the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust (WWT). The discovery was made at Wraysbury Reservoir near Heathrow Airport, which is upstream from the WWT's London Wetlands Centre. Further investigation has revealed that the species is also present in a number of other locations including parts of the Lee Valley.
Rivers all across Essex are in desperate need of regular monitoring and we are in great need of as much data as possible to help us to understand how best to manage these rivers.
This is why the river warden's scheme has been put into place.This scheme allows volunteers to get involved by regularly walking a stretch of river. Whilst doing this the river warden's are asked to do the following:
Essex Wildlife Trust Biological Records Centre has been awarded funding from the NBN Trust to digitise the data from the Environment Agency on riverine habitats in Essex. This funding is part of a larger bid to the Government's Release of Data Fund, which aims to tackle the so called "Data - Deficit Disorder" whereby lack of knowledge about the natural world leads to undervaluing of natural resources, and bad decision making when considering ecological impacts.