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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine June 2018

BBC Wildlife Magazine is a celebration of the natural world, featuring all the latest discoveries, news and views on wildlife, conservation and environmental issues. With strong broadcasting links, authoritative journalism and award-winning photography, BBC Wildlife Magazine is essential reading for anyone with a passion for wildlife who wants to understand, experience and enjoy nature more.

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Immediate Media Company London Limited
Frequency:
Monthly
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
welcome...

SPRINGWATCH IS BACK, BUT IT’S THE END OF AN ERA AS CHRIS TAKES A BREAK FROM HIS REGULAR BBC WILDLIFE COLUMN. Long-standing member of the Springwatch team, Chris Packham and his colleagues are back this month, giving us our daily fix of amazing British wildlife. Chris has been a part of the BBC Wildlife team for many years, too, encouraging us to think about the natural world in a different way, take pleasure from and care for it. His column over the past year has been intensely personal and you have responded to that sharing of his inner thoughts with appreciation and emotion. Now, for the time being, Chris has decided to take a break from his regular slot. His passion and unique insight into nature will be much missed on our…

1 min.
contributors

ANNA LEVIN Anna writes about Scotland’s wildlife. “I wouldn’t have thought my first encounter with water voles – one of the UK’s most endangered mammals – would be in an inner city park in Glasgow,” she says. See p22 GILLIAN BURKE BBC presenter Gillian dived in to freezing Cornish waters to see the European spiny lobster. She says, “I joined the survey team on the seabed – it was true front line conservation work.” See p38 HELEN SCALES Marine biologist Helen discovered lemon sharks have personalities. “We know more about the lives of these sharks than almost any other shark species, but there’s a question over their future survival,” she says. See p66…

1 min.
britain in bloom

“ NOT ONLY DO FLOWERY VERGES BRIGHTEN OUR JOURNEYS, THEY ARE VITAL HABITATS, TOO.” Brimming with colour and buzzing with pollinators, road verges are a daily delight in early summer. A survey for the charity Plantlife found that they collectively host more than 720 species of wildflower, almost a hundred of which are at risk or near-threatened in Britain. With so much agricultural land farmed intensively and many woodlands in poor condition, the nation’s verges have become important refuges. Unfortunately, many verges are themselves badly maintained nowadays, either mown too early and frequently or swamped by dense growth of nettles and brambles. One of the causes is a worrying lack of botanical knowhow among the general population. Widespread ‘plant blindness’ leads us to undervalue the wild strips of grassland by roads and…

3 min.
uk highlights

• ROSE CHAFER BASKING BEETLES Glittering in warm June sunshine, these metallic-green beetles love to bask on garden roses and hedgerow dog roses. You may spot them on other flowers too, much to the chagrin of gardeners who can’t forgive their leaf munching. Chafers make heavy work of flying and after dark often buzz around porch and security lights. Unlike most beetles, they fly with their wing-cases lying flat – the flight wings flick out from underneath. TOP TIP Download a free beetles ID guide: www.discoverwildlife.com/id-beetles • TREE BUMBLEBEE SUMMER SWARMS You won’t find the tree bumblebee in old British field guides: it only arrived in 2001. But it’s already one of the most common bumblebees in England and Wales, and since 2013 has been spreading in Scotland. The combination of pure white tail and black abdomen…

1 min.
also look out for…

BABY BATS Many female bats will be giving birth to their tiny single pups this month. The size and location of nursery roosts depend on species, but include hollow trees, roof spaces and crevices in stone structures such as bridges. Adult male bats usually roost separately. HUMMER SUMMER? June 2017 was a record for migratory hummingbird hawkmoths in UK gardens, according to the BTO Garden BirdWatch survey. During warm weather and a southerly airflow, keep an eye out for these day-flying moths hovering next to flowers. Buddleia and red valerian are favourites. TOUSLED BLOOMS June is peak season for ragged robin, a bright pink wildflower of damp grassland that sports uniquely shredded, messy-looking petals, like a bad case of ‘morning hair’. It is a nectar source for many butterflies, from rarities like the swallowtail (opposite)…

3 min.
hidden britain

The ‘Monarch of the Glen’ looks most handsome when about to begin the autumn rut. But it is now, in early summer, that a red deer stag arguably is at his most impressive. One of nature’s miracles is happening during the summer, and it’s occurring right there between his ears. Antlers are unique to deer – a pair of deciduous, cranial appendages whose primary function is to make the owner look impressive to females and strike fear in his sexual competition. They also serve as tools in duels of strength with closely matched rivals. Unlike horns, which are permanent and consist of a bony core within a sheath made of keratin, antlers are entirely bone and grown in time for the short mating season and then shed again the following year. Most…