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Planet Earth Under Threat

Entry from Tessa McGregor presenter of Wild Arabia

  • Jody Bourton
  • 30 Aug 07, 03:17 PM


Tessa sent us an entry about her trip to the middle east as part of the series Wild Arabia, the final programme is on Monday at 9pm, (it will also be on our podcast) over to Tessa...

Syria Bald Ibis
Watching Northern,Bald Ibis feed in the Palmyra desert is a rare privilege and my heart soars as I watch them fly back to the colony at mid day. I’m spending the day with experts; local ranger, Mahmoud Abdullah, and Lubomir Peske, bird catcher and tagger ‘extraordinaire’. The tiny transmitters fitted to 4 adults last year unlocked the mystery of their migration route. – all the way from their summer breeding grounds in Syria to their winter feeding grounds in Ethiopia, crossing the Middle East and Arabia on their way, but where the young birds spend the winter is still a mystery. Catching adult birds was difficult enough, but catching a young bird is the Herculean task facing Lubomir now.

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Wild Arabia 2: Blood On The Sand

  • Alasdair Cross
  • 26 Aug 07, 12:51 PM

BBC Radio Four Monday 27th August 2100


The destruction of Arabia's large mammals was accomplished with startling efficiency. As soon as four-wheel drive vehicles and accurate rifles arrived in the region they were doomed. Arabian Lion, Cheetah, Wild Ass and Saudi Gazelle disappeared forever. Arabian Tahr, Arabian Oryx, Sand and Mountain Gazelle and Arabian Leopard were restricted to the highest mountains or private reserves.

In the second edition of 'Wild Arabia' Tessa McGregor hears how Arabic hunting culture, urban development and regular conflict have combined to push so much wildlife over the edge.

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Wild Arabia 1: Three Continents Clash

  • Alasdair Cross
  • 17 Aug 07, 11:24 AM

BBC Radio Four: Monday 20th August 2100
Wild Arabia kicks off at nine o'clock on Monday 20th August with an in-depth look at the ways that wildlife adapts to survive in some of the harshes conditions on earth. From the depths of the Dead Sea to the edge of the Empty Quarter biologist, Tessa McGregor will be travelling throughout the region in search of some of the most elusive animals on Earth.

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Stunning Photos From the Iraqi Marshes

  • Alasdair Cross
  • 15 Aug 07, 12:46 PM

When we suggested a trip to the Mesopotamian marshes for 'Wild Arabia' the BBC's safety advisors were not amused. Not only would we have to attend a 'hostile environment' course (a week in a conference centre being shouted at by ex-SAS officers) but we wouldn't be allowed to move without a posse of armed guards.

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The Birth of the Big Orange

  • Sheena Duncan
  • 13 Aug 07, 03:57 PM

It's funny where programme ideas come from. Whilst researching the life and times of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, the author of "Jock of the Bushveld", for a half hour feature programme I was making called "Percy and Jock: One Man and His Dog", I discovered that amongst his many talents, Fitzpatrick had played a key role in the development of the citrus industry in South Africa. More interestingly, I discovered that in 1922 he'd been presented by a very important tree stump from California. I was started to trace back the story of this tree to find out why it was so important - it was referred to as the Parent Washington Navel Orange Tree..and on Sunday 19th August at 2.45pm you can listen to the fascinating and charming history of "The Birth of the Big Orange".

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Desert Oasis, Israel

  • Alasdair Cross
  • 7 Aug 07, 01:05 PM

High above the Dead Sea sits the field school at Ein Gedi. Run by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) the school educates young Israelis on the richness of the desert environment. Four springs feed Ein Gedi, a beautiful oasis in the Judean Desert, irresistible to wildlife. Tessa stayed at the school whilst recording interviews for 'Wild Arabia'.

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West Bank Despatch from Tessa McGregor

  • Alasdair Cross
  • 6 Aug 07, 10:08 AM

The presenter of 'Wild Arabia', Tessa McGregor has been travelling through Israel, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinian Territories. Today she reports from Ein Gedi at the southern tip of the Dead Sea, romantic location from the 'Song of Songs' ("My beloved is unto me as a cluster of henna flowers in the vineyards of Ein Gedi") and wildlife hotspot....

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