by Nils Bouillard, Barbastella Echology
What exactly is International Bat Night?
International Bat Night takes place on the last full weekend of August, it’s an event that’s pure outreach so that means it’s all about the general public, not just the bat crazy people.
Getting the larger community involved in bat work isn’t easy. It’s definitely not as easy as asking people to count birds at their garden feeders in the winter or butterflies in their flower boxes. Bat work often requires expensive equipment and skills to be able to correctly identify and interpret the behaviour of free-flying bats.
So International Bat Night has been, since its inception, an opportunity for many people, across Europe (and beyond) to discover the world of bats. Having one day a year where people learn to expect events near them greatly helps reach more people - it’s a unified call from the whole world, instead of just your local bat group shouting on social media.
by Dr Kayleigh Fawcett Williams, Wildlifetek's Founder.
It’s no secret that there are huge issues for many humans who have chosen to follow a wildlife career path, though our work is incredibly valuable. Almost every day I read about how members of the wildlife community are exploited trying to do the work they are so passionate about. But just because this is the way it is right now, does not mean it has to continue on this way.
Change is needed at multiple levels. Whilst there is no doubt that systemic change is needed, change can also come from us as individuals, catalysing a ripple effect through the world of our profession. As an individual, there are things you can do to be valued and appropriately remunerated as a wildlife professional.
I’m not talking about being paid what you’re worth, because let's face it, that’s not possible. Your worth as a human being cannot be attributed to any financial benchmark or professional accolade. I’m...
Are you trying to get your foot in the door to your wildlife career? Over the past year I’ve seen so many painful stories from would-be wildlife professionals who despite their efforts just can’t seem to get a full time paid role.
Does that sound like you?
The struggle is real.
I hear you!
Wildlife work is a highly competitive field. There is a wealth of well qualified candidates for a limited amount of paid roles. Now with the added complications of Covid-19, it is even tougher. Funding is tight for organisations around the world, including key employers for wildlife roles.
Even before the pandemic, the wildlife career path was not an easy one for another reason: exploitation. The army of amazing people out there working for wildlife is incredible. Unfortunately, many of them are exploited in their quest for their dream wildlife job. I’ve witnessed this in the wildlife community, along with the damage it does to individuals and their wildlife careers.
by Juliana Andrea Berner
The ocean – an image of vast tranquility and serenity. Despite this, the ocean can be quite a noisy place!
Coral reefs make up less than one percent of the ocean floor. However, coral reefs include a plethora of species with about 25 percent of all marine life calling this place home. The biodiversity is believed to be more immense compared to even the biodiversity in rainforests . From this erupts a symphony of sound! From the crackling of snapping shrimp to the parrotfish scraping for food or even just the movement of crustaceans over the reef. Creating an enchanting and quite noisy paradise .
The animal in question
The main star of these coral reefs are the corals themselves. Corals are sessile animals – in other words, they are stationary animals when in their adult stage. While in larval form the coral can swim by moving the cilia on the surface of their bodies. However, these larvae are not the strongest of swimmers, so they more or...
by Juliana Berner
In one form or another, we know about salmon. Salmon are ray-finned fish in the Salmonidea family and are indigenous to the two largest oceans – the Atlantic and the Pacific. The Atlantic Ocean only has one species the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), while the Pacific Ocean have six indigenous species, Pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), Chum (O. keta), Sockeye (O. nerka), Coho (O. kisutch), Chinook (O. tschawytscha) and Cherry (O. masu) . However, the overall lifecycles of both the Atlantic and the Pacific salmons are highly similar.
Quick lifecycle of the salmon
Salmon are anadromous fish meaning they transition between multiple habitats throughout their lifetime – in this case – between fresh and saltwater . The life cycle of the salmon includes six stages:
by Juliana Andrea Berner
Let’s get one thing straight! What a true eel is and what a fake eel is. Despite its misleading name, the electric eel is in fact not an eel but a knifefish and a member of the Gymnotiformes order, meaning they are closely related to carp and catfish rather than actual eel . However, unlike true eels, electric eels are solely found in the freshwaters of South America. A further distinction between the two orders is that electric eels are air-breathers needing to surface to breathe compared to true eels that breathe underwater using gills . The reason for the electric eels’ name is – you guessed it – they are electric while looking like an eel .
Who is this so-called true eel?
Eels are an underrated creature of the sea. Not much is known – but this slimy snake-like fish belongs to the Anguilliformes order with 15 families and over 800 species including moray, conger and freshwater eels. These critters are found at almost...
by Sophie Bell
Extensive experience of volunteering and working with wildlife is usually a huge advantage in the conservation industry. Unfortunately, the costs, availability and location of these opportunities can alienate large groups of people, resulting in a biased skew of more privileged industry professionals. This is a huge shame, as conservation is improved massively by having varied opinions from different backgrounds and cultures. It also means that people with the biggest passion for wildlife, and potentially amazing talents that could achieve wonders for the industry, end up never getting into it.
Sadly, there are also a number of volunteering programmes which take advantage of people desperate to care for wildlife. Personally, I have fallen into a tourist trap whilst volunteering abroad, which could have been avoided if I had the resources and knowledge to complete the proper research beforehand. I didn’t realise until a while afterwards that I had paid an...
by Lucía Caldas
As you may have noticed, drones are becoming extremely popular mainly due to the advances in technology that have made them much more affordable for the general public. As a result, the variety of drones on offer can become somewhat overwhelming. I have wanted my own drone for quite some time, but... which one should I get?
These quadcopters can be quite pricey and some of them require substantial knowledge to get the most out of them, so it’s important to have as much information as possible before spending a lot of money on a device that might not be right for you. With this in mind, there are some key aspects you should carefully consider before buying your first drone.
1. What is the law regarding drones where you live/plan on flying?
It would be very frustrating to find out that you are not allowed to fly where you wanted to after spending a considerable amount of money on your drone, so do your research (as easy as typing “where can I fly my...
by Sophie Bell
How does sustainability affect me - a wildlife worker?
As a conservationist myself, I never really thought about sustainability as a subject related to my field, or something I needed to worry about. I could focus on conserving the species and others could focus on sustainability. However, recently I have come to the realisation that practising sustainability is actually an important part of conservation which I can implement into my daily life (it can also be relatively easy). Looking at the bigger picture, in order to conserve the biodiversity of our planet, we need to conserve the environment it resides in. This is where sustainability comes in. As an individual, you have the power to make a difference with minimal effort. Of course, there are more extreme ways to reduce your carbon footprint and waste, but I wanted to share a few minimum effort ways that you can do this which I have found impactful (and fun!).
Shop with small, local & ethical brands ...
by Lucía Caldas
How cool would it be to gather reliable data on a great number of species while tackling some of the bigger issues that researchers face when carrying out their surveys?
Problems like the cost of labour, logistics and equipment, access to remote areas and the disturbance of wildlife could all be a thing of the past with the use of drones for wildlife research!1
Drones are proving to be highly effective in avoiding these issues, and can help research a variety of topics such as tracking tagged individuals, identifying elusive marine mammals and evaluating their health, determining sex ratios in mating areas, investigating population densities, or offering guidance for agricultural and forestry practices.
Let’s fly over some examples of what drones can do!
Lost & Found
Imagine investing valuable time and resources in tagging individuals to never see or hear from them again. Frustrating, right? Fortunately, with advancements in modern technology this no...