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BBC Wildlife Magazine

BBC Wildlife Magazine Spring 2020

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

2 min.
spring forward...

Times like these can bring out the best in all of us, and I couldn’t be prouder of the team here at BBC Wildlife Magazine, who have pulled out all the stops to bring you these 124 pages. Don’t get me wrong. We love what we do, and feel very lucky that we get to do it for a living. But at the same time, getting this issue out has been something of a challenge – to put it mildly! We spend months planning each issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine. We debate and discuss every element before it goes into production. Then, our passionate and talented team spends around four weeks lovingly crafting each page before sending it all off to be printed, packaged and delivered. It’s quite an operation at…

1 min.
the people behind our stories

JAVIER AZNAR GONZÁLEZ DE RUEDA Documenting treehoppers was a joy for photographer Javier. “I want to reveal the hidden world of creatures that crawl below the horizon of most people,” he says. See p66 SIMON BIRCH Can carbon offsetting work? Journalist Simon set to find out. “More of us are now coming to the uncomfortable conclusion that if we’re to save the world from climate meltdown we’ve got to curb our flying habits,” he says. See p76 JAMES FAIR The badger cull debate has raged for half a century. Journalist James provides an overview, following the latest government announcement. “This is just the latest in a long line of plans and strategies,” he says. See p56 SUSANNE MASTERS Ethnobotanist Susanne dives into the fascinating world of marine bioprospecting. “In our constant search for new cures and treatments…

1 min.
tropical treasure

The jewel grouper enjoys the balmy waters and rich feeding grounds of tropical reefs. This polka-dot beauty was photographed in Egypt’s Red Sea, where it tends to favour shady areas of the reef. In the dim light, the bright markings of this ambush hunter provide it with surprisingly good camouflage as it waits for unsuspecting prey to swim past. This stout, almond-shaped fish forms harems of one male and several females, each of which has her individual territory within their home range to keep a close eye on.…

4 min.
wild month

1 WOOD ANEMONE Rays of light Sometimes a flower is more than just a flower. The wood anemone, which brings to mind a beautiful white buttercup (it belongs to the same family), can tell us a lot about the land. In early spring, before trees are in full leaf and block out the light, it blooms in sunny woodlands throughout Britain and Ireland. But not just any woodland. If you see an impressive display of anemones carpeting a clearing like a constellation of blinking stars, the chances are you’re in an ancient wood, at least 400 years old. Wood anemones also grow out in the open on banks and verges, or at the edges of fields: here too, they may serve as historical clues. Their presence in an apparently odd location often points…

3 min.
mike dilger’s wildlife watching

Few people outside conservation or ecology circles have heard of dry acid grasslands. But they’re among the best British habitats around. More or less confined to the warm southern lowlands, these are open, expansive places. They tend to be confined to nutrient-poor, free-draining soils lying above sandstone or sand and gravel deposits. As these substrates create an acidic environment, the soil pH plummets to between 4 and 5.5, driving the development of a specialised flora and fauna. Acid grassland is frequently found alongside or mixed in with another special lowland habitat – heathland – but what defines the former is its historic use. Most acid grasslands were formed by the heavy grazing of domestic livestock, a practice that in some locations may well date back to Mesolithic times. All that incessant…

1 min.
species to look out for

Stone curlew A startling sandy-coloured wader with long yellow legs, large yellow staring eyes and short, black-tipped bill, the stone curlew cannot be confused with any other British bird. It underwent a long-term decline, but conservation efforts are finally paying dividends, with the breeding population now over 350 pairs. Woodlark Slightly smaller than its more celebrated cousin, the woodlark also has a shorter tail, less-obvious crest and a clear-cut black-and-white patch at the bend of the wing when perched. More than 3,000 pairs now nest in Britain. Listen out for the males’ sweetly musical song, which incorporates a series of fluty ‘lu-lu-lu’ notes. Adder Britain’s only venomous snake is a stocky beast, with a dark zigzag running along its back. The species has disappeared from many of its previous haunts, but having said that, can…