Capercaillie is endangered, let’s protect its habitats
Ene Viht features Capercaillie, a majestic fowl species of our forests. This big bird species is as an ambassador of primeval nature. The fewer the old forests, the smaller the numbers of Capercaillie. Therefore, a thorough overview of the species was needed. The article outlines the biology, characteristics of behavior and habitats, distribution, numerousness and changes in distribution in Estonia and elsewhere. Capercaillie has many subspecies that can be distinguished on the basis of their song. The song is perhaps the most outstanding feature that the bird is known for in general public. Ene Viht explains the exciting elements of these song-games and also describes the phenomenon of “crazy capercaillie” – mad-looking birds that are not afraid of people and can eve attack them. Capercaillie is mostly endangered by deterioration fragmentation and loss of habitats.
Eesti Loodus enquires
Andres Kalamees writes about the view of Estonian Council of Environmental NGO-s on establishing the direct connection to the Island of Saaremaa.
Mihkel Pukk portrays the activities of the Nabala Enviromental Protection Society.
Tree of the Year: Willow trees – it’s simple!
Tõnu Ploompuu convinces the readers of the simplicity of identifying willow species. The results are the best when trees are identified both in spring and summer. In this article, a lesson about recognizing 11 most common willows in springtime is given. Each species is well-described and colourful photographs facilitate in noticing the differences.
Practical tips: Which willow tree grows behind my garden?
Ülle Reier shares some tips about getting a better overview of willows by herborizing the specimens. She points out when, where and how to cut the branches, and how to process the specimens further.
Astrobiology looks for springs of life
Evelin Verš and Ivar Puura introduce a young, fast developing discipline with its main focus on the genesis of life, both on Earth and other planets. The NASA guide of astrobiology has presented seven issues of interest to astrobiology as a discipline. These seven issues, as well as some research examples from the latest astrobiology journal are described in the article.
Hino landscape protection area
Piret Kiristaja takes us to Võrumaa, to Misso rural municipality. The Hino protected area includes picturesque Hino Lake as well as old-growth forest. In addition, Siksäla village is the site of discovery of a burial mound from ancient times and Middle Ages, with main use during 11th-15th centuries.
Interview: the actuator of mills.
Toomas Jüriado has interviewed Sirje Aher, a biologist and board member of NGO “Hared” – Center for Training and Development.
Practical tips: how to collect fossils
Oive Tinn and Tõnu Meidla help those interested in geology to create a fossil collection of scientific value. The first rule is sustainability and respect to nature. Also, one has to very careful with fossils not to break them. Some fossils are under protection and must not be collected. The authors give guidance about important data that has to be stored about the fossil, as well as tips of how to remove fossil from stone.
The biota-rich habitats under electric power lines and between forest compartments
Ants-Johannes Martin and Anne Martin view the seemingly useless habitats as a suitable biotope for a number of species. The main idea is to remove brushwood from these areas, and create stripes of open grasslands, favourable inhabitants for many useful pollinating insects. In addition, there would be other advantages, like better access to power lines, more diverse feeding habitats in stripes between forest compartments, smaller danger of fire spread etc.
Sven Začek with his beautiful, even unexpected photographs calls to discover new views of everyday home landscapes. People often desire to see the grandiose, but instead, miracles can be found next to your house, if you know how to look. Moreover, home landscapes provide the opportunity to act fast, when there is extraordinary light or you notice lightening on the way – you just grab you camera and ready you are!
Essay: Of settled place, weedy trails and foreign nature by Hannes Palang.
Jaanus Aua writes about the biology of Lapwing.