Trevor Beebee

Natterjack Toads and landscape history: a window on the past

Natterjack Toads are rare in the British Isles, but they were previously far more widespread. By examining the changing fortunes of the Natterjack, it is possible to gain a fascinating insight into the ways in which our countryside has changed over the past few hundred years. Trevor Beebee explores the reasons behind the decline of

The Great Crested Newt: an ongoing conservation dilemma

Great Crested Newts declined substantially in Britain as a result of post-war agricultural intensification and were granted legal protection in 1981. Because they remain widespread, however, conflict between development and conservation has continued and an effective strategy for securing the long-term future of this species remains elusive.  It was one of those unforgettable childhood days.

Ireland’s Lusitanian wildlife: unravelling a mystery

Ireland is host to a number of terrestrial species found in Iberia and other parts of the European mainland, but nowhere in Britain. How did they make the jump? Genetic and geological studies may help to provide the answer. 

Comment: British wildlife and human numbers: the ultimate conservation issue

Interest in wildlife during the latter part of the 20th century was, in Britain as elsewhere in the world, increasingly dominated by concerns about its future. This and many other journals have reflected the appearance of conservation biology as a scientific discipline in its own right, albeit an enterprise born of crisis and one that

Trying to Save the Natterjack Toad – a case study in amphibian conservation

Amphibians are very much in the news these days. At a recent well-publicised meeting in the United States, concern about the worldwide declines of these animals prompted the establishment of a special working group by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to try and find out the true extent of the problem.

Identification – Britain’s Biggest Water Beetles

Everyone who, at some time in their lives, has 'gone netting' in ponds or ditches will surely have made the aquaintance of at least one of our largest and most impressive insects. Although about as many species of water beetles as of birds have been recorded in the UK, only a handful of these several

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