Monday 30 November 2020

BBC: Brexit: Ministers unveil next steps in England's farming policy



England's countryside will radically change after the Brexit transition period, the government has confirmed.

There will be more trees, meadows and wetlands - and fewer sheep and cows as controversial EU farm subsidies are phased out.

Ministers say it's the most fundamental shift in farm policy for 50 years.

Under the outgoing EU system, farmers got taxpayers' money based on the amount of land they farm. The richer the farmer, the more the grant.

Ministers are designing a new farm subsidy scheme for after the UK stops following the EU's policy when the post-Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

The new system, named Environmental Land Management (ELM), will pay farmers if they prevent floods, plant woods and help wildlife.

Read on...

BBC: Beavers build first Exmoor dam in 400 years


image captionThe beavers were released on to the Holnicote Estate in Exmoor at the end of January

Beavers have built a dam on Exmoor for the first time in more than 400 years.

The rodents were released into the wild in Somerset in January this year as part of a National Trust project to restore streams and reduce flooding.

Beavers became extinct in the UK in the 16th Century due to hunting, but have been successfully reintroduced at a handful of sites in recent years.

The trust said the dam "might look modest, but [it] is incredibly special" and had "created an instant wetland".

Wildlife camera footage shows the beavers gnawing trees and collecting vegetation to build the dam at the Holnicote Estate near Minehead.

Their construction can allow for deep pools of water which offer animals shelter from predators and a place to store food.

Read on...

BBC: Why 2020 has been good for England's beavers


image captionThe Eurasian beaver used to be native to England but was hunted to extinction about 400 years ago

A lot has happened in 2020, but one thing that might have been overlooked is the re-emergence of the beaver in England. A five-year government trial into the reintroduction of beavers into the wild ended, citing a long list of benefits, while new beaver homes have been set up in enclosures around the country. What's so good about the beaver - and why isn't everyone a fan?

Beavers have been dubbed the ultimate environmental engineers, capable of alleviating flooding and sparking new life into barren wildernesses. 

They are perhaps most famous for their dams, and it is these that bring the ecological benefits according to the Beaver Trust, a campaign group that wants to see the rodents reintroduced "in the right places" in England.

With their rudder-shaped tails, webbed feet and goggle-like second eyelids, beavers work best in the water and they only really feel safe and secure in depths of at least 1m (3ft).

Read on...

Sunday 29 November 2020

Uganda Imports Two Tigers from South Africa


“Tigers naturally occur in the wild only in Asia. In Africa, they ... Uganda is home to other big cats including lions, leopards, and cheetahs. “We are yet ...

On the trail of Cornwall's famous farting beavers


They've become renowned for tracking the country's big cat population and there's no doubt, from talking to them of their experiences, that Britain is ...

Saturday 28 November 2020

BBC: Dogs in turmoil as lockdown fuels demand for pets


Two Jack Russells with OAS member of staff DeeIMAGE COPYRIGHTOAS
image captionOxfordshire Animal Sanctuary says dogs develop behavioural problems when they are left alone

We are a nation of dog lovers so, with more of us now working from home, it's unsurprising many are seizing the opportunity to take on a four-legged friend.

But the resulting surge in demand for puppies has brought problems - inflated prices have turned dogs into a commodity, with unscrupulous breeders cashing in and dogs being resold - sometimes several times in the space of a few months.

And it's becoming apparent that many new owners are also ill prepared for the task, as animal behaviourists report a surge in requests to help dogs suffering from separation anxiety and fear-aggression after their lives have been turned upside down.

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BBC: Kaavan, the world's loneliest elephant, is finally going free

Kaavan with a caretaker at Marghazar Zoo in June 2016IMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionKaavan with a caretaker in his enclosure at Marghazar Zoo in June 2016

For decades, the world's loneliest elephant has entertained crowds from his small, barren patch of land in a Pakistani zoo.

The visitors would call for more as he saluted them, prompted by handlers who poked him with nailed bull hooks to make him perform for the money which lined their pockets.

Around him, animals disappeared from their enclosures, rumoured to be bound for the plates of the wealthy, while his only companion died, allegedly of sepsis brought on by those bull-hook nails digging deep into her skin.

And for years, it seemed that no one cared about the elephant's lonely fate. His wounds became infected and the chains around his legs slowly left permanent scars. He drifted slowly into psychosis and obesity.

Kaavan stands under the cover of a shed at Marghazar Zoo in MayIMAGE COPYRIGHTGETTY IMAGES
image captionKaavan standing under the cover of a shed in his enclosure

But on Sunday, the world's loneliest elephant will finally leave behind his desolate enclosure for a new life on the other side of the continent, thanks to the determination of a coalition of determined volunteers and, somewhat unexpectedly, the American pop icon Cher.

This is the story of Kaavan. It begins with a prayer and ends in a song.

Read on...

BBC: Surprise discovery of rare plant at Norfolk 'ghost pond'


image captionThe plant has pinkish-white flowers in summer

A rare plant has reappeared after more than a century in hiding.

The pinkish-flowered plant, known as grass-poly, was found growing on the banks of an old farmland pond in Norfolk. 

The mystery species "came back from the dead" after seeds submerged in the mud were disturbed during work to restore the pond.

And scientists say conservation efforts could lead to the return of other long-forgotten botanical gems.

Carl Sayer, a professor at University College London (UCL), stumbled on the plant when he went to survey the pond at Heydon shortly after the first national lockdown ended.

Having never seen anything like it before, he quickly snapped a picture, which he sent to local botanist Dr Jo Parmenter.

She identified it as grass-poly, one of the rarest plants in the UK.

"It's really quite beautiful," says Prof Sayer. "We only found a handful of these plants in the pond but we're hoping to cultivate this population and keep it going and expand it now we know it's there."

Read on...

Sunday 22 November 2020

NOVATAXA: A New Amazonian Species of the Diminutive Frog Genus Adelophryne


[Herpetology • 2020] Adelophryne amapaensis • A New Amazonian Species of the Diminutive Frog Genus Adelophryne (Anura: Brachycephaloidea: Eleutherodactylidae) from the State of Amapá, Northern Brazil

Adelophryne amapaensis
Taucce, Costa-Campos, Haddad & de Carvalho, 2020

During recent field expeditions to an Amazonian region in eastern Guiana Shield (Serra do Navio, state of Amapá, northern Brazil), we collected and recorded calls of a species of Adelophryne, a diminutive leaf-litter-dwelling, direct-developing frog genus. After a careful integrative taxonomic evaluation using morphological, molecular, and bioacoustic data, we concluded that the series of specimens collected represent a new taxon, which we describe herein. The new species of Adelophryne is distinguished from all ten congeners by the following combination of character states: (1) male SVL = 12.5 mm; female SVL = 13.0–14.4 mm; (2) tympanic membrane present; (3) tympanic annulus present, incomplete; (4) vomerine teeth absent; (5) finger terminal discs absent; (6) tips of Fingers I–IV mucronate; (7) finger pads present (formula 1–1–2–1); (8) three phalanges in Finger IV; (9) dorsum smooth; (10) cloacal flap absent; (11) multi-note advertisement call composed of non-pulsed notes; (12) the call dominant frequency (4,802–5,706 Hz) coincides with the fundamental harmonic. Our study describes the eleventh species of Adelophryne, and, despite the increase in taxonomic knowledge within the past few years, there are still some species in the genus lacking a formal taxonomic description.

 the holotype of Adelophryne amapaensis (CFBH 43257; SVL = 12.5 mm) in life.

Adelophryne amapaensis, new species

Etymology.—The species is named after the Brazilian state of Amapá, from which all known specimens come. The specific epithet is used here as a noun in apposition.

NOVATAXA: A New Genus of Neotropical Ant-like Spider


[Arachnida • 2020] Sympolymnia gen. nov. • A New Genus of Neotropical Ant-like Spider (Araneae, Salticidae, Simonellini), with Description of Two New Species and Indirect Evidence for Transformational Mimicry

Figure 8. Live habitus of Sympolymnia spp. and potential ant models. Please note the ontogenetic shift of shine and abdomen shape in the spiders.
 Sympolymnia shinahota sp. nov.: A. Juvenile female, Villa Tunari, Cochabamba Dept. (please note the shiny, pointed abdomen); B, C. Adult females, same location; D. Holotype female, Buena Vista, Santa Cruz Dept.;
 E. Pseudomyrmex ethicus, Villa Tunari, Cochabamba Dept.; 
F. Crematogaster sp., Villa Tunari, Cochabamba Dept.; 
G. Camponotus sanctaefidei, La Guardia, Santa Cruz Dept.; 
H. C. latangulus, Buena Vista, Santa Cruz Dept.

 Perger & Rubio, 2020 

Sympolymnia, a new genus of myrmecomorph jumping spider belonging to the tribe Simonellini Peckham, Peckham & Wheeler, 1889, is described. It comprises five species: the type species, Sympolymnia lucasi (Taczanowski, 1871), comb. nov.Sympolymnia lauretta (Peckham & Peckham, 1892), comb. nov.Sympolymnia edwardsi (Cutler, 1985), comb. nov. and Sympolymnia shinahota sp. nov. and S. cutleri sp. nov. Sympolymnia lauretta (Peckham & Peckham, 1892) is recorded from Bolivia for the first time. Ontogenetic shifts of ant-resemblance are observed: Juveniles of S. cutleri sp. nov. and S. lauretta mimic black ants of the genus Crematogaster Lund, 1831, but those of S. shinahota sp. nov. most closely resemble Pseudomyrmex ethicus (Forel, 1911). Adults of S. cutleri sp. nov., S. lauretta and S. shinahota sp. nov. resemble the ant Camponotus sanctaefidei Dalla Torre, 1892 and orange adults of S. shinahota sp. nov. are putative mimics of Camponotus latangulus Roger, 1863.

Key Words: Bolivia, jumping spider, mimicry complex, myrmecomorph, polymorphism, South America

Tribe Simonellini Peckham, Peckham & Wheeler, 1889

Sympolymnia gen. nov.
 Type species: Janus lucasii Taczanowski, 1871
 (by original designation)

Diagnosis: This genus can be distinguished from the other four genera of Simonellini (Cylistella Simon, 1901, Erica Peckham & Peckham, 1892, Fluda Peckham & Peckham, 1892 and Synemosyna) by the presence of two translucent white patches between the cephalic and thoracic areas (Figs 4 and 10B) and the presence of large, lung-shaped spermathecae (Fig. 6B, G). Additional characters to separate Sympolymnia gen. nov. from Erica, Fluda or Synemosyna are shown in Table 1.

NOVATAXA: A New Species of Snailfish (Cottiformes: Liparidae)


[Ichthyology • 2020] Careproctus ambustus • A New Species of Snailfish (Cottiformes: Liparidae) Closely Related to Careproctus melanurus of the Eastern North Pacific


Careproctus ambustus Orr

in Orr, Pitruk, Manning, et al., 2020.

A new species, Careproctus ambustus, is described from 64 specimens based on evidence from morphological and molecular data. Specimens of Careproctus ambustus, new species, have been historically misidentified as the common Blacktail Snailfish, C. melanurus. The new species is distinguished from C. melanurus by its higher numbers of vertebrae (62–66 vs. 56–62 in C. melanurus), dorsal-fin rays (57–63 vs. 53–58), and anal-fin rays (51–55 vs. 46–51), and longer pelvic disc (14.1–21.2 vs. 12.6–20.7 % HL). In addition, the new species differs from C. melanurus by seven base pairs within a 492-base-pair region of the cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 region, a 1.4% sequence divergence. Careproctus ambustus, new species, is found at depths of 58–1,172 m and ranges from Japan, through Alaska, to the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where its distribution overlaps with C. melanurus, which ranges from southern Alaska and British Columbia to Baja California.

Read on...

Anomaly Archives Streamathon Fundraiser Series Starts Tomorrow


Anomaly Archives eNews
Week of November 20th, 2020
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The Anomaly Archives Weekly Email Newsletter

November 20th, 2020 - Austin, Texas

The Anomaly Archives presents...
Emergency Fundraiser Event Series

@ our YouTube channel   and
@ our Facebook page


IT'S FINALLY HERE... the Anomaly Archives is launching a marathon series of FREE streaming "Virtual-Conference" fundraisers Beginning Tomorrow Afternoon, Saturday, November 21st, at 1pm CST. This FREE STREAMATHON EVENT SERIES will be held every Saturday until the end of 2020. We are raising funds (our $20k annual budget) to ensure our continued survival and residence at our current location, into 2021 and beyond. We're drawing together researchers from all corners of the Esoterica realms: Anomalistics, Cryptozoology, Forteana, Parapsychology, and Ufology. We'll be streaming many hours of great content covering these and other fields of inquiry. We'll be sharing a sort of "Fabulous Fortean Film Festival" evening, Plus Music and MORE! All in an effort to raise funds for our 501(c)3 nonprofit community organization to survive the circumstances created by this terrible Covid-Crisis.

You can watch this FREE FUNDRAISER content 
@ our YouTube channel and @ our Facebook page

See all the details at our website: 

In this edition of the weekly Anomaly Archives eNewsletter, we have information on tomorrow's Saturday-Streamathon Event-Schedule and Speaker-Bios and MORE! 

Please Consider Supporting the Anomaly Archives with a

Recurring Monthly Donation or One-Time Donation

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