Friday, 2 November 2012

Threat to Ash Trees

The threat posed to Britain's Ash trees by the  deadly Ash dieback Chalara fraxinea disease has implications for much of our native biodiversity. This includes Barn Owls which often nest and roost within the natural cavities found in the Ash.

This video helps to identify the sympyoms of this catastrophic disease:

Chinese Lanterns

The RSPCA advise against the use of Chinese lanterns and recommend the use of harmless alternatives instead.

What harm can be caused by a Chinese lantern?
Chinese lanterns can cause injury, suffering, and even death, through:

  • ingestion,
  • entanglement,
  • entrapment.

Livestock (e.g. cattle) can eat or become caught in lantern debris in grazing vegetation, or eat lantern parts that have been accidentally chopped into animal feed during harvest.

If an animal eats sharp lantern parts, these can tear and puncture the throat, stomach or internal organs causing internal bleeding or, in worst cases, death.

An animal that has become trapped or entangled in a fallen lantern can suffer from injury, stress and panic as itl struggles to free itself.

A wild animal that cannot free itself may eventually die from starvation.

There is the added risk of fire caused by lanterns that fall to the ground whilst still alight - this can destroy habitats and set fire to animal housing, feed and bedding.

Evidence of the dangers of Chinese lanterns

This barn owl was found dead after becoming trapped in, or colliding with, a lantern.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘biodegradable’ lanterns are safe! Bamboo can take decades to degrade and the sharp parts can cause injury to animals, plus they still pose a fire risk.