Sunday, June 7, 2009

Urban Fringe

I have been contemplating becoming an artist of the urban fringe, studying the edges of our society and examining the flows of energy through our environment. My basic misunderstanding of physics, chemistry, ecology and photography may make this a challenge...so don't worry I won't give up my day job.

A couple of great web resources I have found recently are the National Radios archive of the "Our Changing World" series and the New Zealand Wildlife Management Forum.

I sat down this morning and listened to a few interviews with some great New Zealand scientists - Matt McGlone on climate change and conservation - Graeme Elliot and Kath Walker on Wandering Albatross...while on the other site I found out about the reintroduction to Great Britain of the Bumblebee!!...

After being last seen in the south of England in 1998, and declared extinct in 2000, the short-haired bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus) is going to be reintroduced, from stocks reimported from New Zealand. The project hopes to see the first bees released into the wild in 2010 or 2011, conservation group Natural England says:

The short-haired bumblebee was originally exported to New Zealand in the late 1800s to pollinate red clover (also imported), which was used as cattle feed. Now the plan is to recreate enough wildflower habitat to support the bees in their native land—England has seen a loss of 98% of its wildflower meadows in the past 70 years.

Initially about 100 bees will be collected in New Zealand and then flown back in cool boxes. A captive breeding program will be developed to support the population before reintroduction.

I found that loss of wildflower habitat staggering, 98%. Hopefully when the day comes that they want mustelids returned we may have managed to wipe them out.

2 comments:

Bob McKerrow said...

Most mountaineers live on the fringe. Look at your father and father in Law. Urban misfits. Don't pretend you are any different Jamie. You are one of "the breed of men who don'y fit in. "

Take care. Bob

Jamie said...

Haha, hey Bob,

You're probably not far off the mark on that one mate. It seems to be a pretty small circle of people who do fit in these days though...thats probably a good thing!