Posts tagged ‘Biology’
There are times when I feel that in this tough economic climate, conservation falls off the scale of a lot of people, or might it be that they just had no interest in the first place.
Whilst visiting family, and taking in the annual Wildphoto’s event, I experienced quite opposite extremes of this, which sort of brought me to the conclusion, that conservation matters to some whilst with others it is of little importance.
Oxford street in London, is to a person who lives in the highlands an experience in its self. Now you have to understand I was feeling quite upbeat on the number of conservation success stories, which have seemed to have been around this year. Though I know there is still much to do, I thought that we are becoming more educated, and responding in a positive manner, putting wrong back to right.
So I find my self climbing the stairs into Oxford Street from the tube station. As I reached the top step the wind from my sails was just taken away in an instance. I could see no pavement in fact I could see very little except people. So many people that I couldn’t even get my bearings.
A policeman’s helmet offered a friendly opportunity to get information. He was stood on the curb-side though I could not possibly have known this at the time. We pushed our way through the sea of bodies, and asked for directions to our chosen destination. he duly obliged. As I looked onto the street, all I could see were large engined cars, all going nowhere. Some drivers were venting anger and frustration by shouting abuse out of windows, others seemed to want to show the world their car had an audible warning device. The whole experience just seemed like as a species we had lost our way, and that the only thing mattered was to buy something else, which in all probability did little to enhance one’s life.
Moving inside to the RGS and wild-photos brought a degree a of sanity back. Here was a room full of delegates, all viewing the work of a number of conservation photographers. This was a reminder of how beautiful and diverse our planet is. Reports on conservation successes, and of work being undertaken by a band of dedicated people for the good of us all. In other words stuff that should be the concern of us all.
One talk however stood head and shoulders above the rest, again there was shame felt by all who sat in that room, as Britta Jaschinski from Germany showed her pictures of animal suffering at the hands of man. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.
If nothing else I think I learnt two things from time in our capital
Firstly imagery still has the power to change attitudes, create emotions and turn wrongs into rights. Photographs and film have in the past changed the way we think and still do so today. However given my Oxford street experience, there is still much work to be done, and to my mind many of us still need to get a perspective on whats really important in life.
Britta’s images are to be used to bring the animals plight to the attention of the chinese government. You can see here work at www.brittphotography.com
Most people interested in nature be it birds, mammals, or just the great outdoors are members of one society or another. All of these groups promote the environment and whatever your interest is, for the benefit of said species or activity. There are literally hundreds of these groups. But just stop to think for a moment, any chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and although not much love goes the way of insects, they are a great indicator of the larger environment’s health.
We all know that insects however small, ugly or creepy play an important role in the cycle of life. One insect to buck the ugly trend is the butterfly, and the people at butterfly conservation are asking for your help. This work is extremely important as they are a good indicator on how things are under the surface as it were, and all it takes is 15 minutes of you time.
What is being asked is for you to pick a 15 minute slot between now and the 5th of August and recorded your sightings. they even provide a downloadable sheet so all you have to do is tick boxes, nothing could be easier. It can be anywhere, in your garden, park, woodland, or even a regular walk. Just add the location to the information. Then fill in the online form. Job done, it’s that easy.
More information and the download sheet is available at http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/about
Remember you have until the 5th of August and you can do as many counts, in as many different places as you like. even over your morning coffee in the garden. The more entries they receive the better scientific picture will be created, every submission counts, and if every body does just one count, then wow that would be amazing, and whats more you get to sit and watch nature for 15 minutes all in the name science. It might even get you out of doing the washing up!
Science and indeed biology plays a part in all our lives. My love of the subject has always driven me to find out more, often resulting in the answer, posing another question. The more you delve the more you realise we still have so much to learn.
As a newly elected affiliate member of the Society of Biology, I now receive the quarterly magazine in which their was a report of a study on the connections between a child’s well-being, and the great outdoors.
In this study it has been found that children now play outside exactly half the time kids did in 1990, and that because of this, not only are they missing out on nature, but their health is suffering as exercise levels have dropped to an all time low.
Now here is not the time to delve to deep, but the point being made is it is not just health that suffers. Discovery, sport, competition, interaction, happiness, imagination, improvisation, communication, decision-making, are all part of a child’s outdoor life, and more importantly shape them into the person that they become. All of these things not only make a healthier child, both in mind and body, but they are important in making the connection to nature, and the role it plays in all our lives.
As a result outdoor learning is again now in the spotlight, it has been found that kids are not making that connection to nature.
In an effort to rectify this The National Trust, Wildlife Trusts, and R.S.P.B are among a number of organisations promoting outdoor learning. This is of extreme importance because kids have a natural curiosity when it comes nature, and as the magazine put it, I wonder how many if any of them kindled of love of science, whilst playing a xbox.
My guess, not many!