If you tuned into Simon Mayo's radio 2 drivetime show yesterday afternoon, you may have heard a little homage to the short-haired bumblebee reintroduction (partnership) project which was launched yesterday.
Every day Simon (I have been listening to him for so long, I feel like I know him personally) asks for requests related to a particular theme. Yesterday, in honour of the bumblebee reintroduction, he was asking for requests for songs with a bee theme. This included the "Buzz buzz-a-diddle-it" by Matchbox. I think it is time to listen again to hear the other selections.
Reintroductions are always a last resort - the last tool conservationists pull out of their toolbox. But when they work, as I am sure this one will, they give great hope to those who believe we can restore lost biodiversity to our landscapes. Ambition to say that we can, and great expertise to show that it's possible.
As the Biodiversity Minister, Richard Benyon MP, said, "bringing back this species of bumblebee after it's been absent from the UK for 12 years is wonderful news. I hope it will thrive and in time, spread to new areas."
Much to my disappointment, I was unable to attend yesterday's launch, but I do plan to visit Dungeness soon to get an update on progress.
We need a lot more of these initiatives to meet the 2020 Biodiversity target. And we also need to avert extinction where we can by investing in costed comprehensive species recovery plans (eg for hen harriers) before it's too late. The last thing we want is to be distracted by wrong-headed research projects designed to prevent protected native species eating non-native species (eg buzzards on pheasants).
For the latest on buzzards, do read a guest blog here from Robin Prytherch who has been studying this species for over 30 years or read this rather plain-speaking leading article here from the Independent published today.
Here's hoping the u-turn on the pasty tax and caravan tax is swiftly followed by the scrapping of the buzzard research project.
Which song would you choose to celebrate the return of the short-haired bumblebee? Which species would you most like to see return to our countryside? And have you written to your MP yet about the buzzard research?
It would be great to hear your views.
I'm genuinely concerned at what might happen if the proposals to control Buzzards go ahead. Basically I just have no confidence in the scheme proceeding without advantage being taken to "conveniently" control other species. See my Blog of yesterday ( www.birdingodyssey.blogspot.com Buzzard control.........an excuse by any other name. ) The track record from the game management sector, as far as persecution is concerned, is hardly unblemished and I feel little comfort in such a system being self-regulated!! Besides being badly thought through, the money involved is scandalous set against other pressing conservation requirements. I may be accused of making rash assumptions, but with "control" via shooting , trapping and poisoning having occurred previously, and all against the law, this convenient "peg of opportunity" will see all sorts of "trophies" hung upon it in my opinion.