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Science
HOME PLANET
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PROGRAMME INFO
Tuesday 15:00-15:30
Richard Daniel chairs the interactive environmental programme in which he and his guests deal with listener's questions and concerns.
Call 03700 100 400
home.planet@bbc.co.uk
Home Planet, PO Box 3096, Brighton BN1 1PL
LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 1 July
PRESENTER
RICHARD DANIEL
Richard Daniel
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 1 July 2003
Earth ©NASA

Panel

Professor Jacquie Burgess
University College London

Emeritus Professor Philip Stott
University of London

Derek Moore OBE
Chief Executive, Wildlife Trusts of South & West Wales

Discussion topics

Why is birds' mess so damaging and what can be done to stop it?
Birds' mess is a mixture of faeces, urates and liquid urine and is essentially very acid. It will react with alkalines, in particular the paints used on cars. Waxing of cars will help to prevent damage. The droppings of our domestic birds are not very useful to man. In fact, in large quantities, they can cause a health hazard. However, guano, the droppings of fish-eating birds has historically been used as fertiliser.

19th century guano ships
Pigeon nuisance
Yeasts found in bird droppings
British Trust for Ornithology
RSPB
Health & Safety Executive
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland

What are the environmental effects of modern warfare?

Richard Daniel spoke to Professor Andrew Goudie, Oxford University, who is one of the leading physical geographers in the UK. He specialises in the geomorphology of deserts and spoke of what we know about the impact of modern conflict in the Gulf.

Birdlife International sent a team of biologists to Iraq to assess the impact of the recent conflict on key bird habitats.

Jay E Austin, Carl E. Bruch (eds)
The Environmental Consequences of War Legal, Economic, and Scientific Perspectives
Cambridge University Press, October 2000

What is the scientific value of public wildlife surveys?

A listener from North Devon is concerned that by involving members of the public in national wildlife surveys may well reduce the scientific value of the results that we get. Richard Daniel spoke to Mark Avery, Director of Conservation, RSPB, and the person who leads the annual Garden Birdwatch in which 300,000 people took part in 2003.

The Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University has a research programme called BioWatch UK which asks why members of the public should be involved in the assessment of monitoring and assessment of biodiversity. It is lead by Home Planet panellist Dr Anna Lawrence.

Are swallows, house martins and swifts late this year - and if so why?

The team discussed the cyclical nature of bird migration and the problems these particular birds face on route. These range from loss of feeding habitat (likened to closing service stations on busy motorways) to climatic conditions and the activities of man (shooting in particular).

The British Trust for Ornithology migration watch site
RSPB migration info
BBC migration info
Swallows
House martins
Swifts

Contact Home Planet

Send your comments and questions for future programmes to:

Home Planet
BBC Radio 4
PO Box 3096
Brighton BN1 1PL

Or email the programme: home.planet@bbc.co.uk

Or telephone the Audience Line 03700 100 400

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