Six friends are Stepping up for nature and cycling the length of Wales in just 24 hours this weekend. The six friends taking part in this challenge are Cellan Michael, James Byrne, Alex Pollard, Owen Thomas, Scott Hazeldine and Leigh Simmonds. The bike ride will start at RSPB South Stack on Anglesey on Saturday 30 June at 12 midnight and finish at Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve in south Wales at 8pm on Sunday 1 July. If you’d like to sponsor the team and help them raise some much needed funds for conservation here in Wales go to http://www.justgiving.com/Cellan-Michael or https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ridewales
A baby buzzard, who probably fell out of his nest in a high wind, has been successfully smuggled into another buzzard family’s nest to be brought up as one of their own. Buzzard Lightyear (Buzz for short) was less than two weeks old when he was discovered at the foot of an enormously tall Scots pine on the wooded slopes of the RSPB nature reserve at Lake Vyrnwy on the Welsh/Shropshire border. For more info visit the RSPCA website http://www.rspca.org.uk/media/news/story/-/article/EM_Rescued_buzzard_chick_accepted_by_new_foster_family_Jun12
Last week, Peter Davies - Wales’ Commissioner for Sustainable Futures visited Tijuca National Park in Rio de Jeneiro, along with Birdlife partner SAVE Brasil. Peter Davies is over in Rio for the Rio +20 conference along with the Welsh Government delegation and took time out of his busy schedule for the visit.
Tijuca National Park is a restored remnant of Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest. Tijuca and the surrounding forest was cut down before the nineteenth century, principally for agricultural expansion, particularly for coffee and sugar. As a consequence of the deforestation, Rio de Janeiro's water supply began to dry up. However, it was decided to try and restore the supply and in order to do this many thousands of native trees were planted in a restoration project that lasted a decade. Rio’s water supply was safeguarded and this ecological function continues today.
Tropical forests and other healthy ecosystems also perform at a global scale, forests provide invaluable functions in perpetuating nutrient cycles, temperature stabilisation, terrestrial precipitations patterns, and of course the locking away of billions of tonnes of carbon. The complex web of life in Tijuca forest, its biodiversity, is integral to its proper functioning. Its restoration has seen the reinstatement of hundreds of species of plants and animals many threatened by extinction, found only in the Atlantic Rainforest. Atlantic forests have evolved into a complex ecosystem with exceptionally high numbers of species found nowhere else (70% of the tree species, 85% of the primates and 39% of other mammals). Some noteworthy species are Jaguars, Ocelots, Bush dog, La Plata Otter, 20 species of bat and various species of endangered primate, notably Muriqui and Brown Howler Monkeys. The newly discovered Black-faced Lion Tamarin is unique (endemic) to the area. The avifauna is very diverse, with 350 recorded species. There are about 199 species of birds considered endemic to this forest of which 124 are entirely dependent on the forest and a total of 45 are listed as threatened or endangered. The area is an important breeding ground for Harpy Eagle, Red-tailed Amazon Parrot and Black-fronted Piping Guan, among many others.
Stewart Stevenson, Scottish Minister for the Environment & Climate Change; Jaqueline Goerk, Director of SAVE Brasil; Peter Davies, Wales’ Commissioner for Sustainable Futures