Coronavirus is good for wildlife!
Bowdleflode News No. 25 – June 2020
Welcome to the June Bowdle eNews where we share our updates. We hope that you and your families are all well and by now settling into a new normal. Please forward on to any friends and colleagues you think may be interested in receiving our newsletter.
Busy Bees at Bowdle HQ
At Bowdleflode HQ we tend to lean towards vegetarianism and grow our own vegetables and we also keep bees and make our own honey. In the gardens we aim to grow and cultivate bee friendly plants and bushes and in the spring we often have the inevitable swarm. With B being the initial letter of the title Bowdleflodes and the family name being Baker we think of ourselves as the BUZZY BUSY B’s.
When our illustrator, Lauren WhatsApped HELP! – there was a very loud buzzing outside her studio, we had the first swarm of the year. It settled on a nearby apple tree and is now safely in a new hive with its Queen.
The new swarm is gathered together.
The 2020 Bowdleflode beehives.
News from Zoos & Wildlife Safari Parks
At Chester Zoo this month, new Humboldt penguin chicks have hatched and zoo keepers give a new meaning to Clap for Heroes by naming them after notable NHS revolutionists! To keep track of new penguins, conservationists at the zoo select a different naming theme each year. And with the ongoing pandemic at the forefront of everyone’s minds – it seemed fitting there was only one option.
The five chicks have been named Florence (after Florence Nightingale), Thomas (after St Thomas’ Hospital), Bevan (after Aneurin Bevan who founded the NHS), Arrowe (after Arrowe Park Hospital) and Countess (after the zoo’s local hospital – the Countess of Chester).
The chicks, which are a highly threatened species, will spend the first eight weeks of life tucked away in their nests. Of the world’s 17 penguin species, South American Humboldt penguins are among the most at risk.
Coronavirus is good for wildlife!
Well, of course that’s not completely true, but it is a bit.
Overall, the pandemic poses many threats to wildlife across the globe. Conservation programmes are struggling for funding and poachers are making the most of reduced patrols. There are however some instances in which Covid restrictions have been benefitting certain species.
The oceans have certainly been a lot quieter and this is no doubt a good thing for marine life. Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska has certainly seen less vessel traffic generally, but cruises through the reserve have all been cancelled. An ongoing decade-long study of humpback whales in the area has already reported that the lessened “traffic noise” is already having a significant impact on whale calls. Whales are able to spread out more widely, meaning they can communicate over greater distances than they would in a noisy, busier environment. There is evidence that whales do prefer the ocean with less shipping noise – after the 9/11 attacks in 2001 one study concluded that whale’ stress hormone levels fell! Researchers at the bay are hopeful for more improvement from the current situation as the whale population has been falling since 2013, with many individuals disappearing and few calves born.
Bowdleflode of the Month
Created by Priya from Portsmouth High Girls Prep School, Hampshire, UK
Here we feature one of the new Bowdlefodes to join our online Safari Park!
Zog has wings, a tail, a beak and paddle-like paws with webbed toes. Its wings are 1 metre long. They live in rainforests and will eat everything! Mainly pleasant creatures but they will show an angry streak when threatened.
Join the Bowdleflode Wildlife Park
You can now upload your child’s drawing free of charge to the Bowdleflode Online Fantasy Wildlife Park! Once they have completed the Creative Creature worksheets and finalised their masterpiece why not see their animal come to life in our Wildlife Park? Just login with your registration details and follow the steps under our Home Learning tab. It couldn’t be easier!