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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine January 2020

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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
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
happy new year!

New year, new start and all that. And where better to kick off than with a heartwarming tale of a couple that have dedicated their time to rehousing orphaned chimps in Liberia (p46)? These victims of the bush-meat trade deserve a new lease of life and a safe sanctuary. Closer to home, I’m planning a few changes this year. Confession time: I’m often guilty of overlooking plants in my search for animals. So, this year, I’m resolving to spot and learn about as many of the plants we feature in our Wild Month section (p10) as possible. Meanwhile, Liz Bonnin’s feature about the impact of meat production on our planet provides additional food for thought (p54). But mostly, I’m planning to spend as much of 2020 as I can enjoying nature for…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

LIZ BONNIN The extent of deforestation caused by the beef industry was revealed to TV presenter Liz, during a trip to the Amazon rainforest. “The natural world is bowing under the pressure of meat production.” she says. See p54 AMY-JANE BEER Wildlife writer Amy examines the relationship between sparrows and humans. “The association goes way back, beginning with the birth of farming in Eurasia,” she says. See p58 MEERA SULAIMAN Turning her lens to trumpeter swans in North America, photographer Meera is pleased the species is making a comeback. “Human encroachment around the Great Lakes all but eliminated overwintering grounds for trumpeters,” she says. See p64 MICHEL D’OULTREMONT Spending time in Norway during freezing winter conditions left photographer Michel in awe of musk oxen. “They are wonderful animals, straight from another age,” he says. See p66…

1 min.
in focus

Whistle blowers The life of an alpine marmot can be rather stressful. These lively rodents are on constant alert for potential danger, such as birds of prey. Older family members stand sentinel and, upon spotting a predator, warn their companions with high-pitched whistles. However, the marmots pictured here are not so nervy around humans. Used to the presence of people in Austria’s Hohe Tauern National Park, they’re not shy in giving photographer Robert Haasmann a closer inspection. Mini marine life A master of camouflage and less than 2cm in size, it’s no wonder the Denise’s pygmy seahorse wasn’t identified as a species until 2003. Found in the tropical waters of the western Pacific, this dinky fish spends its days blending in beautifully with surrounding sea fans – in both coloration and body ornamentation.…

4 min.
wild month

1 | SNOW BUNTING Tough as they come Inuit peoples have 100 words for the white stuff, so the old saw goes, but there were once almost as many in the British Isles. The nature writer Robert Macfarlane has researched several pages’ worth, including numerous Shetland terms that precisely describe different types of falling snow: feevl, flukra, moorie-caavie and skalva. Snow buntings, arguably the toughest small birds on Earth, have seen them all. In Britain, the only place these blizzard-lovers nest is the high tops of the Cairngorms, particularly exposed corries that remain snowbound much of the year. Further north, their main circumpolar breeding range encompasses windswept tundra and boulder fields. Scottish poet Kathleen Jamie, in her luminous new book Surfacing, describes how, as the polar winter arrives, these hardy little birds are…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

The sight of a large raft of sea ducks bobbing about on the open water, flanked by a generous smattering of divers and grebes, is a fine display, but one which surprisingly few naturalists find the time to track down. However, with a combination of insider knowledge, timing and patience, there should be no excuses for missing out on this under-watched, and much underrated, winter wildlife spectacle. With our rich coastal waters bathed by the warming influence of the gulf stream, it is perhaps unsurprising that sea ducks, divers and grebes from breeding locations right across the northern hemisphere will choose to ring in the new year in the seas surrounding Old Blighty. This means a visit to the Moray Firth in January, for example, could see birds with Canadian, Icelandic…

1 min.
choice locations

1 Gruinard Bay, Ross and Chromarty, in West Scotland consists of a large expanse of sheltered sea with numerous rocky inlets and sandy bays, which is superb for divers and grebes throughout winter and up to early May. 2 Rose Isle on the Moray coast in northeast Scotland is a great location to catch up with both common and velvet scoter, in addition to long-tailed duck. The tops of the dunes in the Forestry Commission car park offer good views. 3 Filey Bay in North Yorkshire, is located just south of the Brigg and, at high tide, it is possible to see all three species of diver. Even rarities, such as king eider and surf scoter, have been known to turn up. 4 Pagham Harbour in Chichester is now managed by the RSPB.…