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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine July 2019

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.
one giant leap...

Any parent understands the basic, primal urge to protect their young, and it’s no different in the animal kingdom. Which is why Suzi Eszterhas’s photos of a mother leopard and her cubs are so precious. The level of trust that Suzi built up with the leopard, who allowed her to spend a year photographing her leap, is most unusual, and we’re privileged to be able to bring you their story from page 28. How well we humans are protecting our own young is the subject of much debate, not least thanks to the school strike movement, sparked last year by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg. So, we thought we’d ask one of Britain’s school strikers – and her father – to tell us about the movement and why it’s gathering such momentum…

4 min.
wild month

1 | ROE DEER Hitching a lift Magpies perch on the haunches of a roe deer, which has paused to look at the photographer while strolling through a Sussex hay meadow awash with buttercups and wild grasses. It’s a poignant scene reminiscent of oxpeckers riding piggyback on zebras and antelopes in the African savannah – poignant because Britain has long since lost virtually all of its wild megafauna. Much like oxpeckers, these piebald corvids perform a useful service for the deer, by removing troublesome ticks. Unlike them, however, there is no evidence to show that magpies also take advantage of their host by opening wounds to sip blood. Ageing roes on sight can be tricky, but deer expert Alastair Ward of the University of Hull reckons this one’s a beauty. Well-developed tines (points) on…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

Let’s be honest, given our size and geographical position, the UK appears low down on any global list that ranks countries according to their levels of biodiversity and endemism. However, with ‘Old Blighty’ hosting up to eight million seabirds throughout the summer months, this is one wildlife grouping where we can confidently compete on the world stage. So, why does our assorted collection of islands hold internationally important numbers of seabirds? Well, firstly, and perhaps most obviously, the UK’s long and convoluted coastlines have an abundance of maritime cliffs. Secondly, our coastal waters have a wide range of depths, and strong surface currents, both ensuring high levels of zooplankton productivity, which in turn drives healthy fish stocks. Also, with commercial fishing still a key industry in many coastal towns, a whole…

1 min.
species to look out for

Guillemot With its chocolate-brown back, white front and long, dark bill, the guillemot ( below ) can equally be recognised by its upright posture while on the ledge, or duck-like appearance out at sea. With no nest, incubation of the single, pear-shaped egg, and the subsequent feeding of the chick, are duties shared by both parents. Razorbill Slightly smaller and darker-backed than a guillemot, the proportionally thicker neck, larger head and snub-nosed bill should differentiate this closely related member of the auk family. July will see the flightless chicks take a leap of faith, as they leave the colony to join their dads in the water below. Kittiwake Marginally larger than a black-headed gull, the kittiwake also has a ‘kinder’ face, black legs and distinctive ink-black wingtips when seen in flight. Its ‘kitti-waaa-k’ call is…

1 min.
choice locations

1 Handa is an island situated just off Scotland’s north-west coast and is managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The towering sandstone cliffs are home to internationally important numbers of guillemots, razorbills and great skuas. 2 Bempton Cliffs is an RSPB reserve on the Yorkshire coast. Its towering chalk cliffs host about half a million seabirds during the summer months – England’s largest population. 3 Skomer is located off the Pembrokeshire coast and is managed by the Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales. The island is famous for about 6,000 pairs of puffins and about half the world’s population of Manx shearwaters. 4 South Stack Cliffs on Holy Island, Anglesey, north Wales, are iconic cliffs, with fascinating geological folds. They’re managed by the RSPB and contain a huge range of seabirds, in…

3 min.
hidden britain

NICK BAKER Reveals a fascinating world of wildlife that we often overlook. Folk call it many names: devil’s hair, love vine, devil’s ringlets, angel hair, wizard’s net, strangleweed, witch’s hair and devil’s guts, to name a few. Scientists call it Cuscuta epithymum, but you may know it as common dodder – and it’s as good or as bad as all these names might suggest. Over the summer, this strange plant can be found draping itself over clumps of vegetation in many of the UK’s heath habitats. A weird capillaceous mass, it looks and behaves in a very un-plant-like manner; especially since it is lacking a major defining characteristic of most plants, and that is verdure or, for that matter, anything that even resembles a leaf (these are present but only as vestigial…