A recent report shows an interesting consequence of global warming. The higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes more plant growth where other factors such as moisture allow. However, in natural conditions without the application of fertilisers, this excess growth is lower in nutrients. The study found that grasshopper numbers on a Kansas prairie have declined dramatically in the past twenty years due to lack of nutrition despite grass growth having increased by over 30%. Scientists warn of an insect apocalypse if this finding is replicated across the planet.
Virtual Open Farm Sunday
Open Farm Sunday, organised by LEAF each year, aims to get the general public out onto farms. Last year over 230,000 people visited farms across the country. Due to be held on 7th June this year, the event has now been postponed to 20th September due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, from 8am to 8pm on 7th June, famers will be posting virtual farm tours on the LOFS Facebook channel.
Conservation Funding Shortfall
Many conservation projects across the world face closure as funding dries up. From the Maasai Mara in Kenya to the coral of the Seychelles, projects to protect and enhance endangered species and rare habitats rely on tourism to provide essential funds. With leisure travel now almost non-existent, that work is under serious threat.
The summer of 2019 was a bumper year for butterflies. Most of the 59 species that are regularly seen in this country increased in numbers with some, such as the Brimstone and Marbled White having their best year on record. Now reports have come in of numerous sightings of the Large Tortoiseshell this spring. It has been virtually extinct in this country since the 1960s but appears to be making a comeback.