Saving Species - Series 3 - 24. Rarities and Recordings
In the last episode of the current series, Brett Westwood looks at a bird on the edge of extinction - the slender-billed curlew - plus the declining levels of UK moths.
In this week's programme species conservation stories reveal the importance of recording both the rarity and the commonplace. The Slender-billed curlew is on the edge of extinction, no official confirmed records of its existence have occurred since 2001 although there have been sightings of it in 2010 but photographic evidence was not taken. Horatio Clare, a writer and journalist, is on a quest, to follow the route of the bird's migration route from its Siberian breeding grounds to the area around the Mediterranean Basin, to hopefully find evidence that it still exists.
Kelvin Boot finds out about the threat facing many species of moths in the southern part of the UK, the recent "State of Britain's Larger Moths Report 2013" with data accumulated over the last 40 years has shown that there has been a 28% decline overall in abundance of larger moth species and in some areas like southern England, the figure is as high as 40%.
While moths have to be trapped and counted, the satellite transmitters attached to the BTO cuckoos allows their movements to be monitored via computer - Kelvin Jones of the BTO in Wales gives the latest movement of the cuckoos still sending signals back from Central Africa as they gear up to begin their migration back to the UK. David is the last Welsh cuckoo that information is still being received from and hopefully too the Saving Species cuckoo, Chris.
The OU and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology report on the value and legacy of wildlife records being received from everyone. iSpot and other methods of collecting information from a broad base of amateur and professional naturalists based all over the country, are amassing a vital valuable amount of data which is aiding other record centres and recording schemes to gain a better picture of the fortunes of many species and groups of animals.
Producer: Sheena Duncan Presenter: Brett Westwood.