2017 marks the second year of the EAZA, Ecsite and BGCI Let It Grow Campaign. Just like last year, we hope to continue raising awareness about biodiversity. We also hope to continue creating ‘left spaces’ for native species to recover and thrive.
In early 2016, Let It Grow participant Copenhagen Zoo, set aside 3 patches of land for native species to grow. One was specially for weeds, one for grass and one for meadow flowers. These spaces have done beautifully over the year. Watch at the animation below to see the meadow flowers grow!
Happy World Animal Day! And what better way to celebrate than by the discovery of a very rare black dormouse in the UK. Dormice in general are in trouble in Britain. For the past 25 years a national monitoring programme has been collecting data on these mice and never before a such a rare animal been found. The black dormouse’s dark fur is most likely due to a recessive gene and is not a new species, but simply a very special individual. Until now black dormice have only been seen in Germany. It’s wonderful to see that well known and studied local species can also still surprise us. Read more on the black dormouse here.
Photo by Björn Schulz CC
14 September 2016 marks the publication date of the State of Nature Report. Working together, over 50 different organisations have contributed to the analysis of the current state of affairs in UK wildlife. Unfortunately the report reveals some worrying statistics: approximately 56 per cent of the species studied have declined over recent decades and more than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing altogether.
Luckily it’s not just bad news. The report also provides examples of successes in targeted conservation, proving that all is not yet lost. This goes to show that any and every initiative for the Let It Grow campaign is welcome and can make a difference. A fantastic overview of the State of Nature results can be found here.
As a widespread European campaign, Let It Grow also aims to cooperate with other conservation initiatives to encourage awareness for biodiversity worldwide. #NatureForAll is a global movement aiming to inspire a new generation of thinkers and doers across all sectors of society to connect with nature and take action to support its conservation. The campaign launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawai’i on 2 September 2016. We are proud to have both EAZA and BGCI as partners of #NatureForAll and to showcase Let It Grow as an initiative!
Find out more about #NatureForAll here.
Last week Friday, we started a new item on the Let It Grow Facebook page – Fascinating Facts Friday. This item consists of trivia and facts about a specific species found in Europe. The aim is to show people that the species they might overlook on a daily basis are actually really interesting and to astonish them with the natural world. Hopefully this will lead to increased awareness of local biodiversity and to positive actions.
So please feel free to share these posts! Suggestions for fascinating facts are very welcome, you can send these to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and Let It Grow!
Photo by S. Shepherd
Hurrah! We are delighted to announce that the Let It Grow campaign now has over 150 participants! The campaign is steadily growing with over 100 EAZA participants, more than 10 BGCI institutions; almost 20 Ecsite members; and even nine participants from outside the three organisations. Thank you to all those who have signed up for the campaign and we are looking forward to welcoming more.
Between April 15th and 17th, 2016, the Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona, in partnership with the Ecology, Urban Planning and Mobility Area of Barcelona Council and the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona hosted the seventh edition of BioBlitzBcn. Nearly 1000 scientists, naturalists and volunteers, raced against clock to identify as many species as possible at the Montjuïc Hill and the adjacent Botanical Garden in Barcelona. By the end of the blitz, 249 species were identified, excluding most insects that need to be identified at the laboratory. What a great succes!
Let It Grow aims to run a pan-European biodiversity measurement at participating zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and science centres on May 22, 2016; the International Day for Biological Diversity. Care to join us?
The Natural Sciences Museum of Barcelona has shared a report on the resources page about BioBlitzBcn. There are also BioBlitz guidelines available in the communication elements of the campaign resources.
We would love to hear of anything you are organising, please feel free to get in touch via email@example.com.
Great news! The Let It Grow page on Facebook has reached the 500 likes milestone today. It’s wonderful to see the interest in the campaign grow. With the campaign kick-off for the BGCI and Ecsite participants coming up on May 22, we expect to see the interest increase even more. Let It Grow!
In Copenhagen Zoo they have started the first activity of the Let It Grow campaign. They have created an exhibition on what the zoo visitors can do to attract biodiversity at home, whether they have a garden, roof top terrace or court yard. Three different patches have also been set aside for local biodiversity; one where they will let the grass grow; one with weeds and one with meadow flowers.
The exhibition appears to be a hit, as they have already documented the first visitor. Way to Grow!
EAZA members launched their campaign activities at the weekend, and one of the biggest success stories so far comes from Helsinki zoo. Over the Easter holiday, staff and visitors at the zoo constructed over 400 bird houses as part of both Let It Grow and BirdLife Finland’s One Million Bird Houses initiative. The city of Helsinki has graciously allowed participants in the campaign to place their bird houses in any tree in the city, and local people are also busy fixing up spaces for birds at homes within the city and further afield.
Coverage in Helsinki media