December 2019 News

This unlucky tawny owl (Strix aluco) was found in December tangled in netting in Lasham. He had probably been trapped overnight and was cold and wet.

After some rest, fluids and food, the owl was found to be perfectly healthy and was released back into his territory a few days later!

This beautiful swan was brought into HART with an injured leg, having been attacked by a dog, and stayed for a couple of weeks while recovering from her wounds. Swans can take quite a while to get back on their feet after a leg injury but she progressed well, especially after devourig almost all the specialist swan feed!

News from the Hospital

As winter starts to take hold, the hospital is gearing up to send many of its underweight hedgehogs out to foster homes for the winter. Using foster homes allows the hospital to make space for injured and sick animals by allowing underweight but otherwise healthy animals out to hibernate in the safety of trained volunteers' homes.

The hospital usually has around 100 hedgehogs overwintered by volunteers – so this makes a huge difference to the space available for new patients throughout the winter. Overwintering hedgehogs is rewarding and exciting with lots of volunteers returning year on year to help these animals out.

The hospital is currently looking after 80 hedgehogs which wouldn’t be possible without our amazing foster carers – a HUGE thank you to all of you who help our animals out in this way. We are not currently taking on new foster carers for this year but please do let us know if you would be interested next year.

 

UK Wildlife News

The invertebrate apocalypse and why we should care

A new report, commissioned by an alliance of wildlife trusts in the South West has found drastic declines in insect numbers, which will have far-reaching consequences further up the food chain. Insect Declines and Why They Matter by Dave Goulson, Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex explains the detrimental effect to birds, bats and fish as one of their main sources of food disappears:  “Insects are integral to the functioning of terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems, performing vital roles such as pollination, seed dispersal and nutrient cycling. They are also food for numerous larger animals, including birds, bats, fish, amphibians and lizards. If we don’t stop the decline of our insects there will be profound consequences for all life on Earth.”

The main causes of decline are habitat loss and fragmentation; and the overuse of pesticides. Wild insects are having to deal with being exposed to toxins which can weaken or kill them. If you would like to find out how you can help these little unsung heroes, please visit insectspledge.e-activist.com to sign up for two easy guides.