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A warm welcome? The wildlife visitors warning of climate disaster

02.01.2020
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Britain's milder weather is attracting exotic guests. While we may celebrate their arrival now it should also alert us to what's ahead Mediterranean egrets balancing on the backs of cows, multicoloured moths the size of a human hand, and impossibly exotic bee-eaters hawking for insects under English skies. All are here as a direct consequence of the climate crisis, which has allowed continental European species to extend their ranges northwards, and then make the leap across the Channel to gain a foothold in southern Britain.Whenever I take a walk along the disused railway line across the Avalon marshes, near my Somerset home, I can't help noticing these new arrivals. Tall and elegant, great white egrets first arrived here from France just a few years ago; now I encounter them every time I visit. Down the road, at the Somerset Wildlife Trust's reserve at Catcott Lows, flocks of cattle egrets - the same species we see in wildlife films from Africa - gather to feed, perched appropriately on the backs of cattle. Elsewhere on the marshes, secretive night herons and little bitterns have also bred in recent years. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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