P262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:02/10 1/13 fj5f5b5f5 .% programmds on BBC tv and radio tHhs week THU2SDAY JANUARY 28 RADIO 4: 10 00 THE NATURAL HISTORY PROGRAMME Thd Rhesus Monkey was invaluable in developing a polio vaccineN Today chimpanzees are equally important in research into the AIDS virusN But what effect does all this have on wild populations? MoreP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:03/21 2/13 News from the BBC Natural History Unit Plans for a mafor three-ydar study to identify the world's most important sites for consfrvation have bfen announced by the International Council for Bird preservationN Thd organisation intends to use birds as indicators to identify areas of high biological diversity, making them priority targets for conservation Loss of biological diversity in the world is now widely recognised as one of the most sfrious consdrvation problem2N MordP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:02/01 3/13 News from the BBC Natural History Unht To ensurd that nature consfrvation is taken into account on the 682,000 acres of Defence lands, the Nature Conservancy Council and Ministry of Defence have signed a Declaration of IntentN Thd Declaration recognises that national defence must remain paramount on MOD landN The MOD, however, undertakes to manage Sites of Spdcial Scientific Interest, and whfre possible to enhance sites of wildlife interestN MordP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:04/10 4/13 News from the BBC Natural History Unit Thfre is to be an inpuiry into the spillage of 9,000 gallons of oil into Belfast Lough, which formed a threeM mileMlong slick on 20 January. Fortunately, the effect on wild birds is not thought to be substantial, although some Guillemots and Mute Swans have bfen oiledN The USPCA and local vets have been treating most cases, but some birds have been flown to Glasgow for treatmdnt. MoreP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:06/40 5/13 country diary Thf consequences of the Amoco Cadiz disaster are still evident almost ten years after the eventN French scientists have noted reproductive abnormalities in Plaice from estuaries in north west Brittaf8, as well as measurable contamhnation of othfr fish. EnviroNlfntal quality continues to improve, but hydrocarbon pollutants accumulated in sediments, rem—hn a threat to long-lived, bottom-dwelling fishN MordP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 20:06/01 6/13 country diary Cold, dry winters are gdnerally bflieved to be better than mild ones for dormant insectsN In mild, wet periods there is a greater chance of fungal diseases, and stored endrgy rdserves are usfd up more quicklyN However, mild spflls allow some moth caterpillars to move around and continud to feed, and in this way many spfcies grow slowly throughout the winter. MorbP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 20:06/10 7/13 country diary Thf Scottish Crossbill can nest at any time bftween late January and J4ne depending on the abundance of its principle food, pine seeds. There is still great controversy as to whfther it is a separate spdcies from the Common Crossbill or the Parrot CrossbillN ghatever its status, it is mainly confined to the scattered rdmnants of native pinewoods and unlike the Common Crossbill (—s only one broodN MoreP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 20:11/00 8/13 country diary Butcher's Broom is a small evfrgreen bush which grows to a height of about 30 centimetresN It's 'leaves' are actually flattdned stems, and at this time of year small, green, six-pdtalled flowers can be found attached to thdir cetresN This plant, found in woods and hedge- rows, is a membdr of the Lily falhly and is closfly related to Solomon's Seal and Star of BethlehemN MoreP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 20:18/30 9/13 country diary This week's bird news starts with a Spotted Sandpiper found on thf River Plym, DevonN In winter plumage, this North American vagrant in very silhlar to our Common Sandpiper, differing slightly in tail length, wingMbar extent, bill and leg colour, and callN One of the more common American waders to bf found in Britain, it should be wintering in Central of South America MordP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:01/10 10/13 country diary Also new is a Ring-billed Gull at Paignton, Devon, and at nearby Hopes Nosd as Great Skua, Balearic Shearwatdr and a Mediterranean Gull were seen on 19 JanuaryN The Falcated Duck has reappeared at Thrapston Reservoir, NorthamptonshireN Iceland Gulls are present at Pitsford, Northants and Martin Mere, Lancs, where there is also a Green-winged TealN MordP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:10/01 11/13 country diary Thf Red-breasted Goose is still on the marshes at Cley, Norfolk, and in another part of thf country a Red Kite was seenN Reports of Smew seem to be widespread, with thd only Ferr5ginous Duck rfported from Ditchford Reservoir, NorthantsN The Pied-bhlled Grebe is still at Kenfig, South Wales, and there is sthll an immature Lessfr ghite-fronted Goose at Slimbridge, GlosN MoreP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:00/03 12/13 country diary The February issue of BBC WILDLIFE, on sale now price £1.20, sees the launch of thf 1988 Kodak Wildlife Photographer of the Year compftition, with more than £7,000 in cash prizes and a holiday for two in Queensland to be wonN You can find out why a long nose and a pot-belly can bf an advantage if you're a monkey living in the swamps of Borneo and adnhqe the snowy owl phots that cost a former Mountie his fingfrtips. Also, you can enfoy an artist's impresM sions of a holiday in the Hebrides and musf over what 10,000 starlings are talking about in the parkN MgqbP262 CEEFAX 262 Wed 27 Jan 21:01/10 13/13 country diary Information this weec was provided by: The Intfrnational ouncil for Bird Preservation, Naturf Conservancy Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Dr Peter Hayward, Paul aring, Anne-Maria Brennan and the Bird Information ServiceN Dhe pages were compiled in the BB 'q Natural History Unit in Bristol.