Wildlife Roundup: The Good News, October 2009

The view from Balmaha in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park (copyright LLTNPA)

This month’s news about wildlife and wildlife habitat that you can feel good about:

  • Scotland just announced an ambitious plan to create the Great Trossachs Forest by systematically restoring over 24,000 acres of forest, grassland, and wetland habitat in western Scotland. The project will take two centuries to fully realize (they have to grow new forests in many places) and will encompass Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.


  • As I previously mentioned, Canada is pursuing a reintroduction effort of black footed ferrets into the Grasslands National Park.  The first ferrets in the program were just released.
  • The larvae of a rare English marsh moth has been recorded in record numbers at the Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes National Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire, England.  Farther south, an armature naturalist recently found a small Ranunculus moth in her Norfolk county garden.  The species was believed to be extinct in county, having been last recorded in 1913.  The article goes onto to quote Jim Wheeler, “Norfolk recorder of moths” (really? that’s a job?) as saying ““It's been a very good years for moths. Lots of species have appeared that we haven't seen for a while.”
  • Twenty thousand endangered cutthroat trout, the only species of trout native to the Colorado River, have been released in Utah.  The release of the fingerlings into the Colorado is part of ongoing attempts to help recover the fish.
  • Nepal has expanded protected tiger habitat in its Bardia National Park by 900 square kilometers (about 350 square miles).  Nepal also announced that it would beef up of its regulatory and law enforcement efforts aimed at conserving the country’s tiger population.

Image removed.

  • Scientific American’s John Platt reports that rare birds are doing well in Britain these days, which is consistent with some of the good news we’ve been reporting here for the last several months: “Of the 63 rarest U.K. bird species (those with fewer than 1,000 breeding pairs), nearly 60 percent have seen population increases. They include the osprey, corncrake, avocet, cirl bunting and stone-curlew, all of which have enjoyed the benefits of focused conservation programs.” 
  • Gurney’s pitta, an endangered bird found in Thailand and Myanmar (and once thought to be extinct in the wild) is rebounding.  Scientists now believe that there are probably 20,000 breeding pairs of Gourney’s pitta in Myanmar along—double the population previously assessed.
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