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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine November 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.
in seventh heaven...

As I write this, I have just enjoyed a preview of the first episode of Seven Worlds, One Planet, the new landmark BBC natural-history series. To say I was impressed would be the understatement of the year. Presented by Sir David Attenborough, and some four years in the making, the stories are more intimate, the photography more spellbinding and the dramatic sequences more breathtaking than anything I’ve seen before. If you enjoy our preview this month (p38), don’t miss our next issue, as we’re giving away a free 32-page magazine telling behind-the-scenes stories of how Seven Worlds, One Planet was made. On the subject of freebies, I hope you enjoy this month’s pull-out, celebrating the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Is it just me or are the children catching up with…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

LARS CHITTKA After years of studying bees, professor of behavioural ecology Lars has started writing songs about them, too. “I realised my fascination with bees couldn’t be captured purely in my scientific writings,” he says. See p28 MICHAEL BRIGHT Author and producer Michael takes us behind the scenes of the BBC’s Seven Worlds, One Planet. “With conservation embedded in the body of each episode, this series is very relevant today,” he says. See p38 ANITA SETHI Journalist Anita discusses how class and ethnicity can stop people connecting with nature. “Having grown up in Manchester, I’m aware of the vast discrepancies in who has access to the countryside,” she says . See p48 HILARY MACMILLAN Recently retired from the Vincent Wildlife Trust, Hilary reveals the plight of the greater horseshoe bat. “There is still much to do to…

1 min.
in focus

Polar patrol A lone bear hugs the edge of a sheer glacier on Champ Island, in the remote Russian archipelago of Franz Josef Land – a scattering of 192 islands just 900km from the North Pole. A handful of scientists and military personnel account for the scant human presence here, while tourist numbers barely exceed 1,000 per year. But with Arctic tourism on the rise and sea ice in decline, this frozen realm may look very different in decades to come. The big sit Masai giraffes – the largest species of giraffe – are regularly sighted around Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, but it’s not often you see them taking a proper breather. Ever alert for lions and crocodiles, these lofty herbivores usually remain upright to rest, and have impressively small sleep requirements: a total…

4 min.
wild month

1 | BEECH Autumn colour Thanks to two bestselling books – The Hidden Life of Trees by forester Peter Wohlleben, and Richard Powers’ Pulitzer-winning eco-novel The Overstory – the idea of trees as complex, sentient beings has firmly taken root. We no longer think it outlandish that they send chemical messages to one another. But this notion isn’t new. Trees talk in Enid Blyton’s evergreen classic The Faraway Tree, published almost 80 years ago, and many much older stories celebrate their power. Autumn is a great time to commune with trees – when temperatures fall, the seasonal transformation of our deciduous woodlands can be dramatic. Traditionally, the optimum period for leaf-peeping was October to early November, with displays of gold and bronze beginning in the north then moving south. Climate change means the…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

Watching huge flocks of ducks, geese and swans swirling across wide, open skies, before alighting on the flat, expansive sanctuary of a flooded grazing marsh, has to be among the finest of all early winter British wildlife spectacles. At first glance, these winter wetlands look wild and untouched but, like so many of our habitats, they are another example of human dominion over nature, which has, on this occasion, fortuitously transformed them into vital wildlife refuges. Defined as being pasture land frequently flooded in winter, grazing marsh comes in two distinct forms. Occurring in any flat areas alongside the coast, coastal grazing marshes were historically saltmarsh before then becoming hemmed in behind man-made sea defences. By contrast, inland grazing marshes tend to be located around low-lying rivers and lakes, and would…

1 min.
species to look out for

Whooper swan Slightly smaller than our resident mute swans, but with a long, principally yellow bill, which gives them a ‘Roman-nosed’ appearance, whooper swans spend the breeding season on the Icelandic tundra. Autumn sees the entire population migrating south to pass winter in the flooded fields, grazing marshes and inland lakes of Britain and Ireland. Wigeon The chestnut head, yellow forehead and pink breast make the drake wigeon immediately identifiable. Coming from breeding sites in Scandinavia and northern Russia to the ice-free British coasts for the winter, this avowed vegetarian finds an abundance of plant material on offer at grazing marshes. Snipe Cryptically camouflaged brown, buff and black, the snipe’s obvious distinguishing feature is that long, straight bill used to probe for its invertebrate prey. With British-breeding snipe moving south and south-west in autumn, those…