The Danube at Journey’s End

After many hours of driving from our home in Armenis, we (my good self, Danne, Astarte and Sebastian) arrived at Tulcea: a small but thriving city on the banks of the river Danube. From here, in less than half an hour, we would begin kayaking downstream, firstly steering our way past the heavy barges stacked with containers and the cruise boats blaring traditional Romanian music … Continue reading The Danube at Journey’s End

Can bison fly?

Over a month has passed since we returned home from our visit to Vanatori-Neamt National Park. And much has changed. The hazy summer days and hot nights, enlivened with butterflies dancing and crickets screaming, have long since faded away. Cold winds have blow in and the forest is no longer green but golden; dropping its leaves with the fruit of the fruit trees onto the … Continue reading Can bison fly?

‘Shooting’ bison

I hope you’ll forgive the dramatic title; the shots described herein do not involve bullets.. A few days ago, I described how we went in search for the bison to study their behaviour but were largely greeted with fleeing backsides and trees waving in response to our efforts. As such, the day after we changed tactic, finding the bison but then waiting for them to … Continue reading ‘Shooting’ bison

Lunch with the bison

We had been tracking the bison for almost an hour; pursuing their footprints through the mud and retracing our steps where their tracks run out into nothingness and leaves. Signs of them were everywhere: from debarked trees stems to huge pits where these land-loving equivalents of hippos wallowed in the hot dust.   And then we heard them: a low growling moan long before we … Continue reading Lunch with the bison

Thinking like a bison

‘If you want to change something, or stop something, you can’t just dam the river. Rather, you have to work with the river and slowly reshape it,’ says Catalin Gavrila; local expert of this area whose role is, in his own words, ‘to give us knowledge and keep us alive’. Two weeks ago, we visited Semenic-Caraş Gorge National Park a few hours’ drive from where … Continue reading Thinking like a bison

A new adventure

Thunder rolls and lightning strikes as I cross the border into Romania. Headlights are switched on and the streaming cars and buses form a snake glowing and flickering in the falling rain. Thirty-two cramped and tiring hours on a Flixbus coach (a choice due to madness, thriftiness or eco-warrior charm?) have brought me to an incredible country: a country of contrasts, from haystacks and horses … Continue reading A new adventure

Message in a bottle: our plastic seas

Once a blessing, plastic is now a curse. For the children who grow up near toxic waste dumps. For the Laysan albatross chick whose majestic soaring flight never begins. And for the adult turtle who, in its brief lifetime, saw off so many perils: diving seabirds and scuttling crabs. But in the end dies drowning, ensnared in a fishing net: a similar fate bringing the end … Continue reading Message in a bottle: our plastic seas

Can we afford to protect nature?

Nature conservation is a diverse exercise, with efforts spanning captive breeding programs, population monitoring, threat mitigation, habitat restoration and public engagement. The common goal of these efforts is to create a planet where the long-term future of all life can be sustained by healthier and better connected ecosystems: a future which sees the tide of biodiversity loss turn, a future without a sixth mass extinction. … Continue reading Can we afford to protect nature?

The ideal diet for conservation success

Current diets in developed countries of the western world are a recipe for ecological disaster. Every year, the average westerner consumes their bodyweight in fish, chicken, pork or beef. And every year, these meat diets are satisfied by clearing swathes of tropical forests and grasslands at the cost of both our human and non-human relatives. And with burgeoning wealth, developing countries like Brazil and China … Continue reading The ideal diet for conservation success

Mother Nature: how much are you worth?

In the last blog post, I stated the well-known obvious that ecosystems provide us with a range of services crucial to our lives; in short, that nature is our life-support system. But the natural world is under huge threat and at our hand. If this were the treatment of a child to a mother, we might feel impelled to cry out and implore the child … Continue reading Mother Nature: how much are you worth?