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The Large Blue Butterfly makes a comeback

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A rare and enigmatic species, the large blue butterfly is one of two insects to be awarded European Protected Species status in the UK. The large blue has always been elusive, and even disappeared from UK shores in the late 1970s. However, the species was successfully reintroduced in a number of sites in south-west England and it is steadily increasing as reported in The State of the UK’s Butterfly 2015 report, published by the charity Butterfly Conservation. Read More

An unlikely ally

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

In the constant battle of survival that dominates the natural world an unlikely ally has come to the aid of the red squirrel - the pine marten. Pine martens are native to the UK and most of Europe, hunting both on the ground and in the trees. However, due to extensive woodland clearance and human persecution, the range of the pine marten has been dramatically reduced. Apart from small populations in Wales and northern England, the Scottish Highlands is their last real stronghold in the UK.  Read More

Snap happy!

Monday, January 23, 2017

With the miniaturisation of electronics the camera trap has become an excellent survey technique, a 24 hour night or day recording service that can be used in its own right as a survey method or to supplement survey techniques in a variety of situations. The ultimate aim is to improve the accuracy of biological recording on a site in one, or multiple locations.  Read More

Discovering dormice

Monday, January 16, 2017

The third weekend in November marked the last dormouse nestbox checks of the year for the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme (NDMP). As the nights drew in and the frosts appeared, dormice, along with many other animals, started to hibernate. The NDMP will begin again in March with a spring clean of the nesting boxes.  Read More

Capturing my imagination

Thursday, December 15, 2016

I like being connected to the news. Most days I listen on my way into work and on my way home, and am attentive to all of the analysis and opinions. However, my interest in this connection has waned. I can feel the anger in the world weighing me down, letting the negativity seep through my mind. The darkness from our surroundings compounds this effect and I feel a little depressed about what the future holds.  Read More

Beavers are back

Monday, November 28, 2016

Last week the Scottish Government formally announced that the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is to be officially recognised as a native species 400 years after being hunted to extinction.  Read More

Watching briefs should not be left until the last minute!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Watching briefs are an integral aspect of ecology site work and should be planned for in advance to ensure that ecologists with the necessary competencies will be available. For example, an ecologist with a great crested newt licence, or a bat licence, may be needed.  Read More

Winter singing of blackcaps

Friday, October 21, 2016

In a recent (October 2016) edition of British Birds a letter was published discussing winter singing by blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) in Britain and Ireland (Greenwood, 2016). Blackcaps are relatively large warblers with beautiful and complex songs. These songs sometimes include mimicry of other species and there is much individual variation, and in fact an old dialect name for the species was northern nightingale.  Read More

Badgers - the basics!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Forever immortalised within popular literature such as Wind in the Willows and The Animals of Farthing Wood, the badger (Meles meles) is a highly social mammal, and one of the largest members of the Mustelid family. In celebration of National Badger Day on the 6th October 2016 this article will provide a brief overview of the ecology of badgers and their legal protection.  Read More

Barn owl recommendations

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Like most wild birds, the barn owl is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA) 1981, as amended. This makes it an offence to kill, injure or take a barn owl; take, damage or destroy the nest while that nest is in use or being built; and to take or destroy an egg.  Read More