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Care Across the Continents



There is an Indian legend, which says:

When a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into a higher realm.
At the head of that bridge waits every animal the human encountered during his or her lifetime. The animals, based upon what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge ... and which are turned away.

Welcome to VeggieGlobal's Local Wildlife Care Across the Continents site.
We will be constantly adding to this site as area-specific information becomes available from all corners of the world.

The UK and Ireland section is full of useful information and resources. Much of the information found in the UK section is relevant to many temperate regions of the world, so you may find plenty of information useful to your local environment.
Explore the UK and Ireland section ...

Since this section of VeggieGlobal and Looking-Glass was set up in 2000, we are pleased to know that many individuals and groups have made use of it and have established their own wildlife friendly gardens. This also includes schools and guesthouses. We would like to thank all of you who have written to tell us about your subsequent wildlife friendly garden successes.

The mission of this VeggieGlobal mini-site:

Since humans continue to destroy so much wildlife and natural environments, it is the duty of every citizen with a conscience to supplement the habitat and diet of the world's dwindling wildlife population ... starting with the visitors to your own back yard.
For example, in the United Kingdom & much of Europe the bird population has decreased by 60%, whilst the world's amphibian population is rapidly declining by 2% per year.

Global Warming is also contributing to the decline of wildlife. The northern latitudes of Canada, Russia and Scandinavia, where warming is predicted to be most rapid, up to 70 percent of habitat could be lost. Russia, Canada, Kyrgystan, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Uruguay, Bhutan and Mongolia are likely to loose 45 per cent or more of current habitat while many coastal and island species will be at risk from the combined threat of warming oceans, rising sea-levels and range shifts.
Of course, you can find more information about the global decline of earth's wildlife and natural environments on many areas of VeggieGlobal and Looking-Glass ... but instead of just reading about it, find out here how you can help to do something about it yourself.

We aim to provide you with concisely researched advice on what foods, habitats and garden environments will most suit the wildlife in your area. With this information and your action we hope to revive local wildlife environments, and with it the visitors to your garden.

A Note about Wildlife Protection in your Country

Before you embark on a mission to make your garden the perfect wildlife habitat, always check what species are protected by law in your country. It can be illegal to move a plant or animal, even from one habitat to a newly developed wildlife area. For example in the UK, the Dormouse, Barn Owl, Water Vole, Bats and the Great Crested Newt are just some of the species protected by law - in fact you even need a licence to handle them (although you can carefully remove a bat if it has flown into your living / working area). With flora, the bluebells growing in your local wood are likely to be protected too.

Some cases where the protection law can create an adverse effect are closer to home than you may think. For example - again in the UK or the EU - an individual wishing to help encourage the regeneration of a protected amphibian endangered by habitat loss is not allowed to collect their spawn / eggs to introduce into a new wildlife area without first applying for a licence. Therefore, even if you are a competent, law-abiding member of the public who is simply trying to help regenerate and encourage wildlife to thrive in a new habitat, you would be actually committing an offence even through you would be helping to save a species! So although a common-sense action of distributing a measured amount of eggs from one garden pond to a friend's new wildlife pond could greatly help to increase their numbers, the law says you can't do it. Well certainly not that easily.

Wildlife protection laws are primarily designed to stop building developers from destroying habitats of rare species - and secondly to curb the trade in rare animals. The topic of building development restrictions is a contentious one. Often in the UK, the only discouragement a building company might have to leave protected habitats alone is a fine of around 2000 GBP for each animal that is killed. Since it's almost impossible to monitor the whereabouts of a tiny amphibian like a newt or even a dormouse on an active building site full of digging machinery, this meagre fining system is a ludicrously ineffective attempt to discourage rich building industries from destroying our rare wildlife. A 2000 GBP fine is nothing compared to the huge profits gained by property building - and who knows how many "back-handers" are passed between builders and unscrupulous council employees, asked to turn a blind eye on the numbers of animals destroyed throughout these potentially corruptable application processes?
The irony is that authorities are quick to act against public protesters of who are actually trying to save wildlife habitats from the desolation caused by new roads and buildings - but as more and more green land gets swallowed up by housing estates, who is watching the authorities and their relationship with the building conglomerates?

As we have said, the main purpose of protection laws are to "deter" developers from destroying and building on land inhabited by rare species. That part of the law's ruling makes perfect sense but as we have mentioned, its potential ineffectiveness, due to a paltry fining system, gives nature no effective protection in real terms.
But contention also looms from the aspect of animal compassion, because the legal binding of these laws can be so constricted that they can potentially have a detrimental effect on the species they are supposed to protect.
VeggieGlobal will never knowingly encourage anyone to break the country's laws of our site visitors, (however flawed some of its protection rules may be) so always take the diplomatic route if you want the powers that be to slowly-but-surely consider your concerns more seriously. For example, to help encourage the re-growth of rare wildlife we suggest that you contact your local wildlife organization to enquire what procedures may be taken to help populate your wildlife area with a protected species. If you are in the UK you will be directed to English Nature (Natural England) where you can apply for a licence which may, for example entitle you to distribute the eggs of a protected amphibian to a new wildlife habitat.
But there is a Catch 22.
To be successful with your licence application you need to already be well experienced in dealing with the subject at hand. But if your application is successful, you will actually be helping to make your own wildlife environment become a new protected area ... and the more of these the better. If your application is rejected, don't give up like most people will do. Instead, pester the controlling body in question and argue why it is so difficult to get permission to help increase the chances of a species survival (for example spreading the eggs of a rare newt to newly founded wildlife ponds). Argue until a solution is found, because your persistence, along with others, could eventually encourage controlling bodies to change rulings to help make it easier for rare wildlife in the gardens and ponds of private house-owners to flourish again.
Also, if you feel that the red tape of some protection laws can potentially have an adverse effect on the species they are actually supposed to protect, then why not write to the local member of parliament in your country? Ask how protection laws can be revised for the better so that they don't inadvertently suppress the regeneration of species because of over-complex procedures or badly-worded rulings. Lobby to make it easier for responsible members of the public to help bring back rare wildlife to their local environment.

Finally, many garden ponds and other wildlife habitats are disappearing, and these are the most common reasons:

  • New house owners transforming once greener gardens into sterile, ornamental areas with decking, architectural stone, alien shrubs and wildlife-unfriendly water features.
  • Old ponds being filled in instead of being made child-safe by lazy or overprotective parents.
  • House-owners selling off parts of their gardens for additional housing development.
  • Pretentious "architectural" gardening trends means the loss of naturally growing native trees and shrubs - and along with it bird nesting and roosting habitats

If you know of potential threats to any remaining garden ponds in your area, you should contact your local wildlife protection organization and explain the circumstances. Even though there are laws preventing the handling or destruction of some species of amphibians, small garden ponds may well be the last remaining homes to some of them; and it's these ponds that slip past the legal quagmire - as most house-owners destroy the evidence regardless of laws that may protect the inhabitants of these important ecosystems. In fact, if you know of a garden area with a pond which is home to Great Crested Newts then the UK law says that the surrounding area up to a distance of 500 metres must be carefully monitored and basically untouched. So be vigilant ... if you want to help protect the green or wild areas of your neighbourhood - which includes your neighbours gardens - then keep an eye on local building development activities.
For more about managing a wildlife pond with frogs, toads and newts see
How To Make A Wildlife Pond at Part 2 of the UK and Ireland section)

(For an example of how the delicate wildlife ecosystem of a garden can fall victim of mindless house-owners see here)

The UK and Ireland section is full of useful information and resources. Much of the information found in the UK section is relevant to many temperate regions of the world, so you may find plenty of information useful to your local environment.

Please choose an area closest to your country using the countries / continent menu.

Local Wildlife Care Across the Continents

UK and Ireland
Australia and NZ
Central / South America

Volunteer Help Required
If you are a wildlife organization or even a knowledgeable individual with useful information about caring for wildlife in your own country we would greatly appreciate your help as we compile this area of VeggieGlobal. You will of course be fully credited for your contribution. Please get in touch via the contacts page if you can help. Thank you.

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