Hibernating is when warm blooded animals slow their heart rate and lower their temperature to conserve energy during the winter months. Brumation is very similar to hibernation but for cold blooded animals. Estivation is when animals are dormant because weather conditions are very hot and dry. In the UK only 3 types of animal actually hibernate - Hedgehogs, Bats and Dormice.
Biodiversity is all the different kinds of life you'll find in one area—the variety of animals, plants, fungi, and microorganisms that make up our natural world. Each of these species work together in ecosystems that maintain balance and support life. When we cause habitat loss through the products we buy and lifestyles we lead this can reduce biodiversity and cause imbalance.
Temperatures are increasing due to human activities, specifically emissions of greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide (eg. burning fossil fuels for flights) and methane (eg. cows burping for beef and dairy production). Earth's global average surface temperature in 2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, according to an analysis by NASA.
Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes. It takes 500+ years for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill. Plastic doesn't break down completely but instead photo-degrades, becoming microplastics that absorb toxins and continue to pollute the environment.
Badgers are most at home in woodlands or large hedgerows with access to water and open meadow. Badgers have been the British Isles for at least 250,000 years. They dig extensive burrows, often in hedge banks, with sleeping chambers called ‘setts’.
Bees are extremely important for ecosystems to function. Bees allow plants to reproduce through pollination. Virus yellows disease affects sugar beet and a pesticide Neonicotinoid thiamethoxam can be used to tackle this. It also kills bees and is banned in the EU. This pesticide has just been approved for use in the UK causing debate between those with conflicting views on priorities.
Some birds have a magnetic compass in their right eye which some scientists believe allows them to sense the direction of the Earth's magnetic field, so they can navigate when all other landmarks are obscured. Researchers have discovered a small spot on the beak of some birds that contains magnetite. Magnetite is a magnetized rock, which may act as a tiny GPS unit by giving it information about its position relative to Earth’s poles
Protecting Nature may seem daunting at times, but every little helps. If we all make small changes it can add up to having a BIG impact. What will YOU do for Nature this week? Bike/walk rather than drive? Try a vegan meal? Share your one small commitment each week to earn even more points!
As Nature's Racers our primary aims are to appreciate, care for and protect Nature. Litter picking is a great way to help. To earn extra points upload a photo each week of any litter you collect and dispose of responsibily.
Love SPORT? Love Nature? You can earn extra points simply by getting out and noticing the natural world around you (wherever you are!). Share photos / map routes or whatever you like to demonstrate positives you feel you've gained through exercise this week.
Love ART? Love Nature? Share your observations. You can earn bonus points simply by getting out and noticing the natural world around you (wherever you are!). Upload your photos / artwork / poem and stories to share what you've enjoyed seeing this week.