Monday, 30 May 2011

Destinations: Varanger Fjord - Norway

Varanger Fjord lies at the very northern tip of mainland Europe, in the Finnmark region of Norway. It is a famous wildlife and birdwatching destination. It is a sparsely populated land of uplands, glaciers and tundra with a rich and accessible Arctic birdlife. It can be a harsh place but in spring large numbers of sea-duck gather along the coast, including beautiful Steller's Eiders and King Eiders as well as skuas and gulls. Gyr Falcon is another key bird here and there are grouse on the tundra. Mammals include Arctic Fox and various cetaceans in the waters of the fjord. But luck with the weather is always needed here. Varanger is also an area where the 'Northern Lights' can be watched.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Wildlife: European Pond Terrapin

The European Pond Terrapin Emys orbicularis occurs across most of southern and eastern Europe and as far north as Latvia. It has however declined in many areas. Males reach 12cm in length and can live for 40 years. Photo of several in typical basking poses taken by Nigel Sprowell in Croatia.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Wildlife: Rhesus Macaque

The Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta is a common primate found in Asia (in China, India, Bhutan, Laos, Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Pakistan, Afghanistan). The only other primate with a wider distribution is the human! Macaques are often rather confiding (sometimes decidedly pushy) and easy to photograph.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Books: Wildlife & Conservation Volunteering

The full title of this original book by Peter Lynch is Wildlife & Conservation Volunteering: The Complete Guide, and it is just that. It details over 50 conservation organisations and companies, includes accounts from actual volunteers, tips on how to raise funds and obtain permits and all kinds of advice on where to go and which projects to join. A must for anyone who wants to get involved in wildlife conservation. Published by Bradt.