Spider, a domestic animal
Mart Meriste introduces exciting domestic animals who don’t need to be kept in cages; instead, they can exist on their own. The article features 4 species of common house spiders and a fifth species that is likely to become more common in future. Although many people are afraid of spiders, there are no poisonous spiders in Europe or North America. The article, provided with close-up photographs of each species, is written with warm sympathy for these animals of hidden lifestyle.
A new international nature key book on the way
Tiina Randlane writes that fauna key books are moving to Internet, where they are easy to use by everyone. Such an initiative has been lead by Italy and it is hoped to become a powerful tool in nature education. In Estonia, too, the interactive key books are currently being tested.
Estonian Nature enquires
Rita Annus, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of the Environment, explains why the creation of the Suurupi nature protection area has been such a long process.
Golden algae, indicator species of oligotrophic lakes
Aimar Rakko takes a look at the systematics and ecology of the little-known, but important group of protests – the Chrysophytes, or the golden algae. Although being common species in the plankton of our lakes and ponds, not much is known about these tiny species, invisible for human eye. The species of golden algae are very diverse, numbering to about 1200 species, and are mostly fresh-water species. In Estonia there are about 60 species of golden algae. The article gives a thorough overview of the biology, regeneration and distribution of the Chrysophyte genera.
Ash tree in Estonian forests
Lembit Maamets presents the distribution and habitat preferences of ash tree, the tree of the year. The ash forests in Estonia occupy about 0.5% of all forest area, and the mixed stands including ash comprise 5.2% of all stands. The species is more common in West-Estonia and the islands, preferring damp fertile soils, but it also grows on drier soils.
Ura landscape protection area
Murel Merivee describes a little-known place in Pärnu County, favoured by local mermaids. The protected area aims to protect species-rich mires and semi-natural communities as well as the habitats and feeding areas of several protected species. It is also a karst area with ancient human history.
The updated red list of European mammals
Tiit Maran introduces the first results of an enormous task to describe the status of threatened species in Europe. It is estimated that 15% of the European mammal species are threatened. The article also features the 5 most threatened species in Europe and their status.
Interview: Learning about plant ecology is a promising field
Toomas Kukk has interviewed Kristjan Zobel, Professor of evolutionary plant ecology.
Hiking trail in the Luua forest
Vello Keppart introduces a hiking trail, which has served as part of forest education for decades. The updated trail was opened in 2003 and the 4,6 km-long trail has 30 points of interest. All the points are equipped with rather technical information about the forest spot. There are also several key habitats along the trail. The description of the trail is also available on the Internet.
The living landscapes of forgotten Irboska-land
Tapio Vares travels around in a forgotten land, which is still „a little bit of Estonia”. He rediscovers the limestone denudations and geological strata of this limestone land. Most of the former quarries have been abandoned and most open landscapes are disappearing. The author brings forward interesting parallels from the past and compares these with the current situation. No doubt, the lost land around Irboska is an exciting place, nothing like Estonia, but at the same time, memories and reminders of the past “Estonian times” are still there.
Estonian Nature enquires
Juhani Püttsepp writes about Green Gate, a monthly paper issue and an internet portal.
The autumn school of teriology
Juhan Javoiš and Uudo Timm share the news and impressions of a meeting of Estonian mammal researchers in Järvselja by summarizing the main presentations.