Friday, March 09, 2007

What Can We Do?

Yesterday's Independent reported on the rather alarming news that after one of the mildest winters on record many of our familiar and favourite mammals, birds and insects have been thrown into utter confusion. Breeding has started early and the babies of animals like hedgehogs and squirrels are dying or are being found in distress when the weather suddenly gets colder - or rather back to normal for the time of year. The cold weather either kills the young animals or sends them back into hibernation and they never wake up again because they are low on energy due to low fat reserves.

Apparently Tiggywinkles who would normally see just a handful of hedgehogs in the January to March period has seen a 40% increase in cases this year. Also affected are toads, newts, grass snakes and pipistrelle bats.

I find this all rather sad and confusing as I can't imagine not having these species around. Like a lot of people I have a soft spot for hedgehogs and squirrels and love seeing them around the garden. I know some people see them as vermin and would probably welcome their gradual demise but that isn't the issue here. The Government's Climate Change Bill is to be published next week so what proposals or solutions will it hold to address this specific problem? More importantly what on earth can we do in the meantime to help these lovely creatures survive?


  1. Well, you could send them to Northern Illinois for a winter. It is supposedly the third worst one in the last century!
    They don't believe in global warming, here in rural farm country when it's -30°!!
    it's cold!!

  2. I have just learned that hedgehogs prefer cat food to milk, so will try to leave food for the few who live in our garden.

    Is global warming really the effect of modern living, or ,as reported in the Guardian, it could be a natural process from the rays of the sun?

    PM Spalding

  3. oh, sissy - I can't imagine how cold that must be, it must be a real struggle to get through such winters - good news about your new career :)

    Well, hello, Mrs. P.M. - nice to see you here :-) I asked the oracle about it being more the effect of the sun's rays and I think he agreed that it was but as you can imagine the answer was so scientific my brain became befuddled!!