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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine September 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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United Kingdom
Immediate Media Company London Limited
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Thanks to all of you who stopped to say hello at our stands at Countryfile Live and Birdfair in August. It’s always a pleasure for the editorial team to get to speak to readers. It stops us working in a bubble, hoping we’re giving people what they want to read. It’s nice to hear we are, but it’s also good to know what else might be of interest. We’ll have another opportunity to meet and greet when we take our stand to the Wildlife and Safari Travel Show at the Harrogate Convention Centre on September 29 and 30. I’m going to be moderating a talk on the Saturday night between wildlife photographer Sue Flood and natural history TV presenters Lucy Cooke and Miranda Krestovnikoff and I’m hoping we’ll come back with…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

TESSA BOASE Historian Tessa has researched the forgotten female founders of the RSPB. “It started as a women’s campaign against feathered hats,” she says. “They built the society with astonishing speed – then the men took over.” See p26 JO PRICE Deputy editor Jo saw the world’s rarest kiwi on her honeymoon in New Zealand. “The country has an ambitious plan to save this important national icon from the brink of extinction, and it’s working,” she says. See p32 LOUISE TICKLE Wildlife journalist Louise went swimming in the Arctic Circle in search of sea eagles. “It was worth plunging into icy water twice a day to see marine wildlife in its own environment – I think!” she says. See p66 PIOTR NASRECKI Entomologist Piotr travelled to Costa Rica to photograph insects. “They're beautiful and ecologically important organisms,”…

4 min.
wild month

1 | BLACK DARTER Sleeping dragon Daylight hours are steadily dwindling. By the autumn equinox, which this year falls on 23 September, day and night will be roughly equal. For a sun-loving insect like the black darter, one of our last dragonflies to emerge, this has profound implications. Not only is the black darter on the wing until well into autumn, but its British distribution is skewed to the cooler, damper north and west due to its preference for shallow peaty pools on moors and bogs. So this small, stocky dragonfly often has to contend with unfavourable weather. The male’s unusually dark coloration serves a vital function: it helps the insect to warm up fast whenever the clouds part. At night, the black darter rests among reeds or sedges. Photographer Andrew Fusek Peters dreamed…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

A serendipitous combination of our geographical location, varied marine habitats and rich wildlife-watching heritage makes island Britain one of the finest places in northern Europe to catch up with whales, dolphins and basking sharks. In fact, an astonishing 29 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises, or a third of the world’s species, have been recorded inhabiting anywhere from shallow coastal waters to the deeper waters either beyond the continental shelf or in various channels or trenches. While, in theory, marine mammals and basking sharks could be spotted at any point along our 31,368km of convoluted coastline, in practice few locations will deliver regular sightings during the April to October spotting season. The peninsulas, points, heads, bays and islands, which are considered marine wildlife hotspots, do tend to be well-known among the wildlife-watching…

1 min.
species to look out for

Bottlenose dolphin This is the archetypal dolphin (pictured below and right), which can reach close to 4m in length with blue-grey coloration, a distinct beak and a prominent hooked (or falcate) dorsal fin. The bottlenose is a sociable cetacean that is mostly a coastal species around the UK. It adores bow-riding, lobtailing and breaching. Short-beaked common dolphin Only occasionally reaching beyond a couple of metres in length, this diminutive dolphin has an hourglass pattern, intermingling with a yellowish patch along its flanks and a white underside. Often encountered in large pods, these entertaining dolphins are acrobatic, energetic and fast-swimming. Harbour porpoise The only porpoise in British waters, this petite species rarely shows more than a brief glimpse of its dark back and a low triangular dorsal fin before slipping back below the surface in a characteristic…

1 min.
choice locations

The UK’s varied coastline offers plenty of opportunities for boat trips to observe sharks and cetaceans, from the southernmost tip of Cornwall, to Scotland’s Inner Hebrides. 1 Tobermory, Isle of Mull in West Scotland is the perfect place from which to explore ‘The Minch’, the shark and cetacean-rich waters situated between the Inner and Outer Hebrides. 2 Cromarty, Moray Firth will give you a fine opportunity to get close to the resident pod of bottlenose dolphins calling this corner of Scotland home. 3 Whitby, North Yorkshire is a historic whaling town with boat trips into the North Sea, and offers a great opportunity to spot harbour porpoises and minke whales. 4 Penzance Harbour offers a variety of trips of different lengths taking you to well-known marine hotspots off Cornwall’s Lizard Point and Land’s End. 5…