My passion for wildlife was stimulated in my teenage years, mainly thanks to my Mum (a biology teacher) who made me look at the world differently and being inspired by writers such as Paul Colinvaux. This early interest developed into biological research in my 20s, when I did practical conservation work in places such as the Comores and Mongolia.
Today, any free time I have I spend pottering around the flatlands of East Anglia or escaping to our hut on the Northumberland coast looking for wildlife and castles with my wife and children.
I studied Biological Sciences at Oxford and Conservation at UCL, and worked at Wildlife and Countryside Link before spending five years as Conservation Director at Plantlife.
I joined the RSPB as Head of Government Affairs in 2004, became Head of Sustainable Development in 2006, before becoming Conservation Director in 2011.
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.
"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:
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.