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 Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?

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Aeglil

Aeglil


Country/State : Toulouse, France
Age : 47
Joined : 2024-05-21
Posts : 100

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptySun Jun 16, 2024 1:41 pm

As a European, I muss confess I feel a bit frustrated.
Our tiny continent has not so much to offer in terms of wildlife.
Apart from a hedgehog, a wild boar, a roe deer, an eagle owl or a red squirrel, a "safari" in our forests won't be so thrilling.

This problem has many causes:
-Europe is only a tiny peninsula, the westernmost extension of the much larger Asian continent.
The Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus mountains are a natural barrier for many species coming from North Africa or West Asia.
-Europe has a temperate climate, the most diverse fauna is usually found under tropical climates.
-We went through several mass extinctions due to overhunting. Species like the moose, the wisent, (maybe even the lion?) were extirpated from western Europe in Ancient times. Gray and northern right whales were also driven to extinction, slow-moving animals that constituted an easy prey for the first whalers. The northeastern Atlantic Ocean used to be important feeding and breeding grounds for these huge cetaceans.

I still wish we had a biodiversity as rich and developed as North America and Asia at more or less the same latitude.
If only we still had our Pleistocene megafauna forever painted in our prehistoric caves.
It must have been exciting to contemplate a landscape full of woolly mammoths and rhinos, reindeer, saiga antelopes, Przewalski horses, aurochs, sabertooth tigers, cave bears, lions and hyenas...

What about you. Where do you come from and are you satisfied with your local fauna ?
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Ana

Ana


Country/State : Utrecht/NL
Age : 37
Joined : 2010-04-01
Posts : 10988

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptyMon Jun 17, 2024 11:34 am

Hi Aeglil,
Welcome to our forum! It's an interesting question you have here!

As a fellow European, born and raised in the Carpathian Mountains, then moved to the lowlands (NL) I can somewhat relate to your frustration. The Carpathian area still has a bit more wildlife than the cityscape of The Netherlands. It felt quite frustrating at times after I moved. In my home area, I could regularly see deer (Roedeer and Red Deer), Fire Salamanders, and hares. Or hear the wolves howling if we spent the night in the mountains. Sightings of Lynx or Bear weren't unheard of either, although I didn't have the luck myself.

I also always wanted to see more of the magnificent nature and imagined how would be to see the herds of Aurochs, Wisents, and wild horses of ancient Europe. So that part of your comment is very relatable! I did have a chance to see several wild elk (moose) up close in the Lapland though, they're so huge! Definitely would classify them under the megafauna too!

We live in a highly urbanized area of the world. Comparing our fauna to that of many other regions, such as the Amazon, or African savanna will always feel like we are missing big time. Also, tropical and hot grassland biomes will probably always get richer biodiversity than temperate forests or taiga of Northern Europe. That's one way to look at it. But, why make the comparison at all?

I feel like the more you learn the more you can appreciate what you do have. For example, I'm only starting to learn about the richness of the avifauna we have in Europe, and I say I always liked birds. I didn't even seriously start with learning about the invertebrates or fish.
Every time I see a Kingfisher my heart beats a bit faster. They are marvelous! And they can be seen in the cities if there is enough fish for them. Or goldfinches, they are so pretty! My dream is to see a Golden Oriole and a Bee-eater.  

And I see you live in France, you have such beautiful wildlife, especially in the Alps! Ibex and Chamois are gorgeous, Alpine marmots adorable, and what about the magnificent Bearded Vultures? You travel more South and you can see Flamingoes and Spoonbills, aren't they amazing?

Also recently a couple of new species gained new territories throughout Europe, such as the African Crested Porcupine, and Golden Jackal. I feel like they enrich our biodiversity too. Smile  

To sum it up, I prefer to think from the perspective of what we do have and try to appreciate it. Try to protect it too, if you have such a possibility. Seeing the good things. Maybe you want to read about the project called Rewilding Europe? I think you'll like it!

_________________
Anna
Horse and Bird studio - Horse sculptures
My model horse collection
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sunny

sunny


Country/State : uk
Age : 34
Joined : 2019-08-09
Posts : 1903

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptyTue Jun 18, 2024 4:24 am

There is a lot to be said for population increases and land disappearing to human needs. In Scotland where I live the countryside is shrinking every year. If I think about this for any longer than it took me type that sentence then a rain cloud would be over my head in despair every day.

..but! I try to focus on what I do have around me, and make the most of that.

Outside my front door is a beautiful and rare thriving enclave of green that supports many local birds as well as migratory birds, bats and wood mice and lots of wonderful little flying creatures and crawling creatures. There are also 1year old squirrels here now.

I have been feeding the birds for many years! and this year I planted over 40 trees and 20 other insect and bird friendly plants in my own re-wilding journey.
I am planting for the years to come, and hopefully all the trees and plants will make it. So that they can provide food and shelter for the insects and birds and squirrels and wood mice. (because I won't be living in this spot for ever, I plan to move somewhere wilder! but I want all my animal friends to be sheltered, safe and fed for when I do leave.)
And I wanted to bring more beauty to this area so that humans will appreciate and value it more.
One of the trees I planted was once a xmas tree in a pot! and now it has very long new branches of fresh bright green! It's very happy here.

In the evenings I will stand amongst the trees and delight in the bats flying over and around me! There were 6 at one time and it was thrilling. It is always just me and them.
Today as I fed the birds I noticed a movement high up amongst the leafy foliage and sure enough - there was young squirrel enjoying the fresh buds and leaves. Every day since last year I had fed this squirrel and his 2 siblings, so it was such a treat to see him at the very tops of the high trees, healthy and well.
And as I came into my home twice today, I found myself following in a fly each time! The flies both went straight to my windows and I let them safely out. I always telepathically talk to the flies (and all animals), and I told them how to get out safely and I showed them a picture in my mind of the path they should fly. And both went outside right away.

At the end of my road is a long sandy beach and the North Sea. I've seen seals in there! watching me from the water as I walk along the beach. And numerous sea birds that I just adore.


I hope that with all the trees and insect friendly plants I have planted - that they will provide a rich and sustainable eco system for many years to come.


By the way I grew up in the middle of the bush in Africa, and also the Outback of Australia as well as the Highlands of Scotland. Places that have very few people and lots and lots of wild animals!
Growing up with wild animals makes me seek out the company of any animal (any creature!) where ever I am.


I too would love a landscape filled with the Pleistocene creatures. Did you see the Hagerman Horse that I customized on here?
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Aeglil

Aeglil


Country/State : Toulouse, France
Age : 47
Joined : 2024-05-21
Posts : 100

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptyWed Jun 19, 2024 12:11 pm

Ana wrote:
Hi Aeglil,
Welcome to our forum! It's an interesting question you have here!

As a fellow European, born and raised in the Carpathian Mountains, then moved to the lowlands (NL) I can somewhat relate to your frustration. The Carpathian area still has a bit more wildlife than the cityscape of The Netherlands. It felt quite frustrating at times after I moved. In my home area, I could regularly see deer (Roedeer and Red Deer), Fire Salamanders, and hares. Or hear the wolves howling if we spent the night in the mountains. Sightings of Lynx or Bear weren't unheard of either, although I didn't have the luck myself.

I also always wanted to see more of the magnificent nature and imagined how would be to see the herds of Aurochs, Wisents, and wild horses of ancient Europe. So that part of your comment is very relatable! I did have a chance to see several wild elk (moose) up close in the Lapland though, they're so huge! Definitely would classify them under the megafauna too!

We live in a highly urbanized area of the world. Comparing our fauna to that of many other regions, such as the Amazon, or African savanna will always feel like we are missing big time. Also, tropical and hot grassland biomes will probably always get richer biodiversity than temperate forests or taiga of Northern Europe. That's one way to look at it. But, why make the comparison at all?

I feel like the more you learn the more you can appreciate what you do have. For example, I'm only starting to learn about the richness of the avifauna we have in Europe, and I say I always liked birds. I didn't even seriously start with learning about the invertebrates or fish.
Every time I see a Kingfisher my heart beats a bit faster. They are marvelous! And they can be seen in the cities if there is enough fish for them. Or goldfinches, they are so pretty! My dream is to see a Golden Oriole and a Bee-eater.  

And I see you live in France, you have such beautiful wildlife, especially in the Alps! Ibex and Chamois are gorgeous, Alpine marmots adorable, and what about the magnificent Bearded Vultures? You travel more South and you can see Flamingoes and Spoonbills, aren't they amazing?

Also recently a couple of new species gained new territories throughout Europe, such as the African Crested Porcupine, and Golden Jackal. I feel like they enrich our biodiversity too. Smile  

To sum it up, I prefer to think from the perspective of what we do have and try to appreciate it. Try to protect it too, if you have such a possibility. Seeing the good things. Maybe you want to read about the project called Rewilding Europe? I think you'll like it!

I saw many moose this year when I was in Norway. They're thriving due to the lack of natural predators. As a result, they are a common sight when you go to the wilderness.

Another thing I like in the Pyrenees mountains, which are very close to my home, is the diversity when it comes to birds of prey: Golden and Bonelli's eagles, bearded, cinereous, Eurasian griffon and Egyptian vultures.
I wish all those gorgeous raptors had an equivalent in toy form.

I live in the city by my residence is located next to a park which is the property of the local Museum of natural history. The park has limited access to some areas because they are wildlife refuges. I never had the pleasure to observe a kingfisher, a bee-eater or a golden oriole that are present in this park but at least I could spot other colorful birds in my garden such as the European greenfinch and the Eurasian hoopoe.

sunny wrote:
There is a lot to be said for population increases and land disappearing to human needs. In Scotland where I live the countryside is shrinking every year. If I think about this for any longer than it took me type that sentence then a rain cloud would be over my head in despair every day.

..but! I try to focus on what I do have around me, and make the most of that.

Outside my front door is a beautiful and rare thriving enclave of green that supports many local birds as well as migratory birds, bats and wood mice and lots of wonderful little flying creatures and crawling creatures. There are also 1year old squirrels here now.

I have been feeding the birds for many years! and this year I planted over 40 trees and 20 other insect and bird friendly plants in my own re-wilding journey.
I am planting for the years to come, and hopefully all the trees and plants will make it. So that they can provide food and shelter for the insects and birds and squirrels and wood mice. (because I won't be living in this spot for ever, I plan to move somewhere wilder! but I want all my animal friends to be sheltered, safe and fed for when I do leave.)
And I wanted to bring more beauty to this area so that humans will appreciate and value it more.
One of the trees I planted was once a xmas tree in a pot! and now it has very long new branches of fresh bright green! It's very happy here.

In the evenings I will stand amongst the trees and delight in the bats flying over and around me! There were 6 at one time and it was thrilling. It is always just me and them.
Today as I fed the birds I noticed a movement high up amongst the leafy foliage and sure enough - there was young squirrel enjoying the fresh buds and leaves. Every day since last year I had fed this squirrel and his 2 siblings, so it was such a treat to see him at the very tops of the high trees, healthy and well.
And as I came into my home twice today, I found myself following in a fly each time! The flies both went straight to my windows and I let them safely out. I always telepathically talk to the flies (and all animals), and I told them how to get out safely and I showed them a picture in my mind of the path they should fly. And both went outside right away.

At the end of my road is a long sandy beach and the North Sea. I've seen seals in there! watching me from the water as I walk along the beach. And numerous sea birds that I just adore.


I hope that with all the trees and insect friendly plants I have planted - that they will provide a rich and sustainable eco system for many years to come.


By the way I grew up in the middle of the bush in Africa, and also the Outback of Australia as well as the Highlands of Scotland. Places that have very few people and lots and lots of wild animals!
Growing up with wild animals makes me seek out the company of any animal (any creature!) where ever I am.


I too would love a landscape filled with the Pleistocene creatures. Did you see the Hagerman Horse that I customized on here?

Wow! You lived in many different places! Which one was your favorite one?
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sunny

sunny


Country/State : uk
Age : 34
Joined : 2019-08-09
Posts : 1903

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptyFri Jun 21, 2024 5:22 am

Thank you Aeglil! They are all my favourite. I have many special memories in each place interacting and being with the animals that I call all these places my home. Being surrounded by animals and nature keeps me very happy.

I have spent time in the Pyrenees! I went for a walk thru a beautiful forest by a small river. Not far from there was a sign about the local wildlife - including bears Very Happy It was an exciting walk!
I drove there from France, up and over the mountains to Spain. There was a very steep and windy road going up for miles into the sky! (that's what it felt like) and at the top were ponies on the flat plateau amongst the snow patches. The road was incredibly steep and the cliffs were so sheer, yet I cannot remember it's name. Crazily, I happen to be afraid of heights, and there I was driving up the right hand side of a mountain face on a right hand side road.
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Aeglil

Aeglil


Country/State : Toulouse, France
Age : 47
Joined : 2024-05-21
Posts : 100

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptyFri Jun 21, 2024 4:39 pm

sunny wrote:
Thank you Aeglil! They are all my favourite. I have many special memories in each place interacting and being with the animals that I call all these places my home. Being surrounded by animals and nature keeps me very happy.

I have spent time in the Pyrenees! I went for a walk thru a beautiful forest by a small river. Not far from there was a sign about the local wildlife - including bears Very Happy It was an exciting walk!
I drove there from France, up and over the mountains to Spain. There was a very steep and windy road going up for miles into the sky! (that's what it felt like) and at the top were ponies on the flat plateau amongst the snow patches. The road was incredibly steep and the cliffs were so sheer, yet I cannot remember it's name. Crazily, I happen to be afraid of heights, and there I was driving up the right hand side of a mountain face on a right hand side road.

I live not far away from the Pyrenees. Sadly, the local brown bear population is almost extinct. Many bears had to be imported all the way from Slovenia.

In 2004, Canelle, one of the last native and purebred females, was killed by a hunter while she was protecting her cub, Canellito, who survived her.

Here are her stuffed remains, as displayed in the museum of natural history in my city. Crying or Very sad

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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sunny

sunny


Country/State : uk
Age : 34
Joined : 2019-08-09
Posts : 1903

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptySat Jun 22, 2024 12:20 am

it's good that they have introduced bears to the area though! Does Canellito live wild in the mountains? Perhaps he will be starting his own family soon?


And would you know that steep road that I was talking about? It went thru many ski resort areas in France before heading vertically into the clouds Very Happy ?
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Aeglil

Aeglil


Country/State : Toulouse, France
Age : 47
Joined : 2024-05-21
Posts : 100

Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ?   Are you happy with your country's biodiversity ? EmptySat Jun 22, 2024 1:32 pm

As far as I know, Canellito is still alive and a fully grown adult now.

I would love to know where that steep road is located. The highest peaks are usually on the eastern side of the mountain range. But brown bears mostly live in the western part.
I'm traveling back to Central Asia in August, the Altai, Tian Shan and Pamir area, the land of the markhor and the snow leopard. But I definitely need to explore the Pyrenees some day
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