Same old story and frightening to think that ‘human pressure’ alone can seek out and render to ‘extinct’ things that should inhabit niche habitat every square mile. But farmers strive to take over and render uniform anything known as landscape, their abhorence of anything non-uniform and non-industrial in scale knows no bounds, their plough renders useless …. and really for what n’th purpose?
Streams, brooks, burns, ditches, puddles and ponds always interested me, I look back over my childhood and mostly it was starved of such things but luckily the village I moved to age seven had a flooded quarry and so there was a wee chance of pretendy fishing once I got to know about it. To get excited for this topic google image for such as … diatoms, radiolarians, dinoflagellates, testate rhizopods, all are easily found by the amateur microscopist and something i think seemingly never included in anything by David Attenborough – I hope to be corrected as I don’t watch tv. The former ie diatoms I think is responsible for 20% of the worlds CO2 to O conversion but no-one has ever seen one with the naked eye and also important for Oceanic cloud/weather systems; likewise it is burning ancient diatomaceous oil that has led to a) their demise and b) our own inevitable decline as a species. A pre-war copy of Strasburgers ‘Botany’ has a wonderful section ‘Cryptogams’ ie hidden things (microscopic) well worth seeking out, but it must be pre-war when the engravings were so fascinating, latter day editions are cold and useless.
I subscribe to E360 from Yale and its a very good source of quality information. Todays article is heartening but also sad in that aquarium keepers are providing a very key and important role in keeping alive species of freshwater fish that are endangered or possibly extinct. Thinking about it, could we not create more bye-waters and secluded runnels that could acccomodate such fish? And thinking about it, in the west here generally there seems zero interaction between inhabitants and their environment; unless of course its some sort of (usually short-lived) volunteer group or funding initiative, the kind we see photographed in our local free papers. You can tell I’m not impressed. But wheres the staying power, inter-generational involvement or handing on of knowledge and experience … guess what… its the 21st century and theres next to none. Progress huh … bah humbug. All my own work has been at zero cost other than time and application, two dozen species at the pit-heap and activity elsewhere, note the three big patches of yellow flag iris when heading south over the local bridge here and the so-called wild flower area at H Park all volunter ‘group’ activity will be much eclipsed by my own unaided effort (other than drive and insight) a hundred yards further on.
I quote from this excellent E360 article …
The GWG maintains several species that are extinct in the wild and has boosted the fortunes of some. For example, the finescale splitfin (Allodontichthys polylepis) was only scientifically described in 1988. By 2010 it was thought to be extinct in the wild and there were only eight individuals left in captivity in Europe, in a Dutch hobbyist’s tank. Koeck brought these to the Vienna bunker “ark” and began a studbook-based breeding program to retain genetic diversity. There are now about 350 individual finescale splitfins being cared for by various GWG members, and in 2016 a GWG field trip rediscovered a wild population in a Mexican river. unquote.
Well worth subscribing, always interesting.