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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine October 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.

As I write this, Megan, our Editorial Assistant, has been reading out an online news item about an Asian hornet having been spotted in Cornwall. It may be a coincidence, or a matter of our senses being attuned to the subject, but hornets are the stars of an article in this issue (p78) written by ecologist Helen Roy and illustrated with some amazing images by photographer Stephen Powles. It is mostly about our native hornets but included is a section about the invading Asian species which has been slowly making its way across Europe and could pose a threat to our biodiversity if it gains a foothold. Thinking of invading creatures, our Talking Point this issue (p28) raises the knotty problem of how a nature lover deals with animals that are…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

CHRIS HOWARD Chris is the series producer of BBC Two’s Autumnwatch . “It’s the hardest season to film,” he says, “and this year we’ve upped the ante: we’re coming live from New England with the most famous autumn on Earth.” See p18 RICHARD SMYTH “I’m fascinated by wildlife that’s not where it’s ‘supposed’ to be,” says Richard. “When controversy erupted recently over the urban kittiwake colony on the Tyne in Newcastle, I had to get to the bottom of it.” See p32 MARGO PIERCE “Sea turtles are barometers of the health of our oceans,” says science writer Margo. “Knowing about their lives and habitats can inform our stewardship of our shared environment.” See p70 HELEN ROY Ecologist Helen enjoys delving into the diverse behaviours of insects. “Watching Britain’s largest social insect, the hornet, my captivation was matched…

4 min.
wild month

1 | SHORT-EARED OWL Angels of the north With long wings beating slowly, these owls bring to mind large, pale moths. Seemingly without any effort, they fly low over rough grassland or saltmarsh, patiently tacking back and forth as they search for voles. In her recent book Owl Sense (Guardian Faber), Miriam Darlington coined the term ‘earsight’ to describe the way in which owls such as these hunt using 3D mental maps built entirely from sound. When a ‘shortie’ finally hears the faint rustle of tiny paws, it twists suddenly, then drops like a stone to snatch its hidden prey. Its talons may grip fur before it even sees the meal. Around 1,400 pairs of short-eared owls nest in Britain, mostly in Scotland and northern England, though numbers fluctuate naturally according to the…

1 min.
african wildlife foundation and the illegal wildlife trade

In October 2018, the UK Government will host the latest in a series of international conferences aimed at combating the illegal wildlife trade, so devastating to Africa’s wildlife. At this conference, the African Wildlife Foundation will showcase its Canines for Conservation Programme – an initiative which teams up man’s best friend with dedicated handlers from African wildlife authorities – to sniff out rhino horn, ivory and other wildlife products all for a KONG toy rubber reward. Dogs noses are extraordinary. With 50 times more olfactory receptors than human noses, they don’t lie and they can’t be corrupted, and they can detect wildlife products even in sealed shipping containers. The results are remarkable. When able to fully access search areas, bust rates soar. AWF is the sector leader in the use of…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

Whether it be a new bird in the garden, a first for your local patch, or even a species you’ve never before seen in Britain, it’s time to admit there is probably a little bit of the ‘twitcher’ in all of us. For those with a penchant for tracking down rare and unexpected birds, October is the month when millions of our feathered friends relocate from their breeding to wintering grounds – with some getting lost along the way. During this time of mass avian movement across the northern hemisphere, the best locations to catch up with more unusual species are on points, headlands and islands on or around our coast. It is the location of these migration hotspots that puts them in the perfect spot to offer respite for any…

1 min.
species to look out for

Red-backed shrike This was once a breeding bird in Britain. Most that turn up along Britain’s east coast are juveniles, with brown-barred upper parts and pale bellies adorned with crescent marks along each flank. Yellow-browed warbler Small and paler than a chiffchaff, and with a conspicuous pale stripe over the eye and a dark line below, this tiny warbler breeds in eastern Russia and China. Around 300 are recorded each autumn on Britain’s east coast. Barred warbler A little bigger than a house sparrow, and with a long tail and large head, most individuals spotted in eastern Britain are young birds approaching their first winter, with distinctive buff fringes to their wing feathers. Breeding in eastern Europe, about 150 are recorded annually along our east coast, en route to East Africa. Red-breasted flycatcher No larger than a…