Beavers have built a dam on Exmoor for the first time in almost half a millennium. Beavers became extinct in the UK in the 16th century but were reintroduced in Somerset earlier this year. Their natural dam-building behaviour provides numerous ecosystem-wide benefits including improving flood-defences and creating habitat for other species. National Trust project manager Ben Eardly says “As we face into the effects of climate change and more frequent extreme weather events, natural interventions like this need to be part of the solution.”
The winning images from the British Ecological Society’s Annual photography competition, ‘Capturing Ecology’, have been announced, along with a list of 16 other highly commended photographs. Taken by ecologists and students from around the world, these stunning images celebrate the variety and beauty of plants and animals across the globe. The winning image, taken by Finnish PhD student Alwin Hardenbol, features a Dalmatian Pelican, flying over water.
Zebra Finches have been found to have a near-human capacity for recognising the ‘voice’ of a fellow bird, and can memorise the sounds of at least 50 different members of their flock. Research conducted at the University of California, Berkley and published in Science Advances, has found that these boisterous and striking birds can remember unique vocalisations for months, demonstrating that birds’ brains are extremely well adapted for complex social communication.