"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 26 October 2012

Moth and Badger Update

The number of moths caught is now really dropping with lower night time temperatures

Saturday, 20th October

Minimum Temperature 2.4 degrees centigrade

6.00 p.m. until dawn

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Lunar Underwing (Omphaloscelis lunosa) x 1

There were 2 other moths which I was unable to identify as both escaped before I could pot them, one an Epirrita sp (there are 4 species and its difficult anyway to distinguish between them) and a possible Spruce Carpet (I only noticed this as I was putting the moth trap away and it flew off before I could get a pot. I really must check my trap initially more carefully!!!).

Wednesday, 24th October

Minimum Temperature 11.4 degrees centigrade

15w Actinic Skinner Trap

6.00 - 10.30 p.m.

Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) x 1

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

Sorry for lack of italics am still unable insert links or get Blogger to use italics, bold or underline!!!

The Garden Moth Scheme finishes on 2nd November so I will continue to put the trap out for a few more weeks. Still hoping for the "Holy Grail" - a Merveille du Jour!

Badger Update

I promised in one of my comments to keep Chris from "Las Aventuras" - see link on the right - up to date with the badger situation in England.

Earlier this week the Environment Secretary announced a postponement of the badger cull in England until next summer because farmers had run out of time to shoot badgers - the animals spend far more time in their setts during cold weather. It has to be remembered though that this is just a temporary reprieve for badgers as the Government is still committed to the badger culling policy.

The e-petition against the badger cull had attracted over 100,000 signatures (it now stands at 163,865 signatures) which led to a parliamentary debate on the issue yesterday. MP's voted against the culling policy by 147 votes to 28 calling instead for improved testing of cattle and biosecurity and vaccination. However, this vote is not legally binding as the motion was tabled by backbenchers.

Hopefully, in the intervening months between now and next summer the Government can be persuaded to drop this ill conceived, unscientific, inhumane, uneconomic idea. Whilst I have every sympathy for farmers who have to slaughter cattle due to bTB, culling badgers is not the answer to the problem. The main cause of bTB is cattle to cattle transmission. If the cull were to go ahead it would at best lead to a 16% reduction in 9 years leaving 84% of the problem. It has to be remembered that the methodology to be used i.e. free shooting of badgers has never been tried before and may not even result in a 16% reduction.


Dartford Warbler said...

I am hoping against hope that a new, more humane plan, based on good science, will emerge during the year`s postponement of the badger cull.

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - I couldn't agree more. Government really do need to stop pandering to farmers and seek alternative, scientific, humane answers. I could have wittered on in my post for ever and a day about it all!!!!

Rohrerbot said...

This human plan is stupidity. Truly. The culling cannot happen. The country is wiping out their wildlife populations with development. The birds, butterflies,and critters are taking a major hit. I'm glad that there seems to be a pro movement now. Hopefully that will allow for more rational thought and dialogue for those that would kill off a good percentage of badgers. When it's hunting because of an overpopulation, I think that's different because people are eating the food and reducing the huge numbers. But when it's culling, that's a completely separate thing. Thanks for the follow up on those conversations. Crossing my fingers for a positive resolution.

Jerry said...

It's especially frustrating as they seem to be working on a hunch rather than proven science. It's all a bit 'suck it and see' plus a huge waste of money. It reminds me off the shooting of Ruddy Ducks costing literally millions with no guarantees!

Ragged Robin said...

Rohrerbot - Thanks for all your support Chris. Ever so sorry I think I have managed to accidentally delete your first comment. Not sure how it happened but its gone to my comment box and I can't find an option to publish.

It will make it very difficult for our government to criticise other countries over their animal welfare/animal conservation actions when we are culling a protected species!

Hopefully everyone in the pro movement, including many eminent scientists, conservationists and NGO's will keep up the pressure and the plan will be abandoned.

Jerry - Totally agree with your comments. Wasn't happy with the Ruddy Duck cull either - someone told me recently the Govt "had given up" culling them. Not sure how true that is but I only see occasional understandably vague references to local sightings.

Jerry said...

My local birding pals run a 'local patch' blog. When we were alerted that the cullers google Ruddy Duck sightings to find out where they are, we decided to do what quite a few birders do, and not report them on our web sightings page.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline, I know you already know my views on the cull and of course agree with all you say here so I'll just say I hope you get to see a Merveille du Jour soon, I have seen it on a few other blogs and it is attractive. Hopefully, if you don't see one this year you will next :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Jerry - Unbelievable what the cullers get up to :( I haven't seen one for some years but wouldn't have mentioned where if I had seen one but now I definitely won't!! Thanks for the "warning".

ShySongbird - Hi Jan Am just hoping Govt see sense re: badger cull before next summer otherwise we are going to have to go through it all again :( Thanks so much for the good wishes re: Merveille du Jour. Probably only got one more chance this year but as you say there is always next! Haven't trapped one in the last 4 years but hopefully one day....