Is the Vendace, Britain’s rarest freshwater fish, on the brink of extinction?

The Vendace is an enigmatic species of fish, and few people are aware of its existence. In the UK, this ice-age relict survives at only two natural sites, both in the Lake District. Although the Vendace population has recently increased at these sites, the species faces numerous threats to its survival. It is hoped, however,

Duck decoys: stars of the pond landscape

Since the nineteenth century, disturbance, drainage and changing attitudes have seen a steady decline in active decoys. Three working decoys now remain, catching birds for ringing. Others form features of scheduled monuments, parks, country parks and SSSIs. The author sets out the results of a study of their present condition, revealing that two-thirds of the

Lowland oligotrophic lakes in England – an examination of these English rarities

Lakes (waterbodies larger than 1ha) are some of the most iconic but, in conservation terms, overlooked habitats of the English landscape. Whilst other areas of the UK may have more lakes, England's varied geology supports a wide range of different types of lake, including a group of lakes that are very rare across the whole of

Comment – A trial reintroduction of the European Beaver

Since asking why the Scottish Executive was still holding up a decision on whether European Beavers Castor fiber should be release in Knapdale Forest, mid Argyll (Woodroffe 2005), I have received correspondence from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT). 

Conserving Scotland’s Slavonian Grebes

Sadly, most people have either never heard of the Slavonian Grebe Podiceps auritus or know it only as a rather dumpy, nondescript bird bobbing around on a choppy winter sea. 

Can fish determine the conservation value of shallow lakes in the UK?

Wildlife myth states that everybody knows what a nutrient-rich lake looks like – pea-green water, few water plants and a simplified animal community. Conversely, lakes with moderate amounts of nutrients have relatively clear water, an abundance of water plants and a wide variety of animals. In George Orwell's Animal Farm this situation could be described as: mesotrophic

Waterfowl and Recreational Disturbance on Inland Waters

Most of the larger waterbodies in lowland England are flooded mineral workings or reservoirs which have been created this century. Although the total area increases each year, there are still conflicts between bird conservation and recreational use, as demand for the latter also continues to grow. 

Turloughs – Ireland’s vanishing lakes

Turloughs are temporary wetland ecosystems which are often said to be unique to the limestone of Ireland. They flood in autumn to create many ponds and lakes, which dot the winter landscape, and then drain in spring, mostly to leave grassland and little trace of their presence. 

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