Read me

The April edition of Wild Travel (with a cute tree frog on the cover) will soon be replaced by the May one (with the rhinos (one of which is quite cute) on the cover).  I really enjoy writing for Wild Travel as I get to write about biology without any politics in it, and, I hope, in an interesting way.

My April column is about camouflage and peppered moths and the May column is about time travel in Northamptonshire.

There is almost always an article about somewhere I have been (in the April issue it was Yellowstone where I am glad to say I ‘got’ the ‘big 5’ when I visited two years ago) and somewhere I would really like to go (Costa Rica, with its cute tree frogs and sustainable government policies) .

I’m even more pleased to be  writing their only regular column as Wild Travel is now monthly rather than six times a year.  More pleasurable work!

I have an article in British Wildlife‘s most recent issue too.  It’s about the omni-shambles that is the UK government’s approach to biodiversity in the UK Overseas Territories.  The last white paper on the subject had lots of fine words but the UK’s approach is rather grubby – we act as though we are more interested in the fisheries, oil and gas and military importance of the UKOTs than their inhabitants – human or wildlife.

And I pop up in May’s Birdwatch too.  I sometimes feel a bit guilty coming back so often to raptor persecution but it’s a boil that needs lancing.  I give a plug to John Armitage’s e-petition on licencing grouse moors in my current column.

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3 Replies to “Read me”

  1. On raptors, over the weekend I was interested to read the continuing saga between the Charity Commission and the RSPCA and the more I thought about it the more amazed and alarmed I became. The CC is trying to get at RSPCA over their private prosecution of the Heythrop hunt, opposition to the Badger cull and to live sheep exports, on the basis that RSPCA are acting politically and/or wasting members donations.

    I was left wondering that, far from RSPCA acting politically, why it was that it was they who had to take a case on hunting as flouting of the law became more and more blatant ? And surely they are allowed to speak out on the Badger cull when the serious scientific evidence says its a waste of time ? Who is acting politically here ? It looks more like the Charity Commission than the RSPCA - which brings us back to raptors because, on this basis, how long is it before the CC will start harrassing RSPB over its raptor campaigns ? Remember, RSPB has a very specific clause in its charter about not getting involved infield sports (and also remember that when Mark calls for a ban on grouse shooting he no longer works for RSPB !) but whilst the death of Bowland Betty may be connected to shooting, what the RSPB is campaigning about is right there at the heart of its mission: to prevent any species of native wild bird being persecuted to extinction.

  2. Am I right in saying that Costa Rica voted with Japan to support them whaling in Antarctica?
    If so, I wonder whether we should go there; in the same way as I would not visit Malta or Cyprus!
    Each to his own of course, and maybe it does no good, who knows!

  3. I just read your article in 'protect' that was a pretty big debate on grouse moor management - one fairly anti shooter up against one very anti shooter. The sparks were really flying there Mark!


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