A surprising thing - part 2

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Martin Harper's blog

I’ve been the RSPB’s Conservation Director since May 2011. As I settle into the job, I’ll be blogging on all the big conservation topics and providing an inside view of our conservation projects. I hope you enjoy reading it and feel inspired to join in t

A surprising thing - part 2

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This week I posed the question - which are the 5% of vertebrates that you cannot find on the current RSPB nature reserve network?  And, thanks to my colleague, Mark Gurney, here is the answer:

Pool frog, Silver Bream, Common Sturgeon, Bleak, Allis Shad, Stone Loach, Barbel, Vendace, Gwyniad, Houting, Gudgeon, Burbot, Grayling, Lesser White-toothed Shrew, Brandt's Bat, Nathusis' Pipistrelle, and Myotis alcathoe.

Mark elaborates...

"The figures do not include marine species (either for RSPB reserves or for Britain), so there are no cetaceans or turtles in them, but they do include both resident seals because they breed on land.  Of the native land and freshwater vertebrates we have:

  • All 6 reptiles.
  • 6 amphibians.  We are missing Pool Frog, which became extinct in Britain but has been released at a few sites.
  • All 3 jawless fish.
  • 30 of 42 native fish.  We are missing Silver Bream, Common Sturgeon, Bleak, Allis Shad, Stone Loach, Barbel, Vendace, Gwyniad, Houting, Gudgeon, Burbot, and Grayling.  Some of these are widespread and probably occur on our reserves, but most of our fish records are from electrofishing at reedbed sites; we have few fish records from other sites.
  • 41 of the 45 terrestrial native mammals.  We are missing Lesser White-toothed Shrew, which is found only on Scilly, where we have no reserves; Brandt's Bat and Nathusis' Pipistrelle, which are both quite widespread but hard to identify and they have not been confirmed from RSPB reserves; and Myotis alcathoe, which is so cryptic that it was added to the British list only a couple of years ago.
  • All the regular birds (about 300)."

So now you know!

  • Oh dear caught out there Martin but he probably would have most of the answers.

  • Thanks Sooty.  The Mark I am referring to is one of our ecologists, but yes, it wouldn't surprise me if Mark Avery knew the answer as well!

  • Mark's knowledge knows no bound,what a hard act for you to follow and well done for a different style of blogging,think there must always be a temptation to follow previous persons style but it would never work because Mark is a one off in my opinion.Very few people with such knowledge and strong views have his ability to listen to what others think.If he happens to read this he will probably be surprised.