Traffic accidents with wildlife
Juhan Javoiš takes a look at the statistics and essence of traffic accidents involving animals. He points out that it is possible to improve the situation. Statistically, in 2007 there were 2400 reports of accidents involving (killing or injuring) large wildlife. The high point of wildlife-involved accident begins around dusk and lasts until about midnight. Seasonally, most accidents happen in autumn, when big game animals, such as deer and elks are experiencing oestrum, and at the same time, days are getting darker and drivers often have to cope with poor visibility. The most dangerous places are woods and forest edges, as well as moist areas and surroundings of rivers. The accidents involving wildlife are increasing rapidly; therefore it is high time to take some measures to protect our wildlife.
Focal Point: mammal protection on the Kose-Mäo road section
Juhan Javoiš attended a meeting where zoologists gave advice to the designers and project managers of the new section of the Tallinn–Tartu road. The modern road will pass through many natural forested landscapes. The challenge lies in finding good solutions both for big mammals as well as small animals, which need different types of passes. Fortunately, there are people with know-how who are currently working on the road project.
Amphibians on roads
Piret Pappel looks for measures to help frogs cross roads safely. Amphibians only cross the big roads in certain locations which involve their migration routes. The migration takes place in spring, during certain warm periods.
Estonian Nature enquires
Tuuli Rasso writes about the activities of the State Audit Office in protecting the environment.
Maris Laja gives a short overview of the planning of the new house of the Estonian Natural Museum.
A known polar researcher, but an unknown person – Eduard von Toll 150
Erki Tammiksaar recalls the Estonian-born researcher of the Sannikov’s Land and takes a glance into his rather colorful private life. Having studied zoology in the University of Tartu, he took his interest in polar areas from Alexander Middendorff, a family friend. He specialized in researching the New-Siberian Islands. The family lived in Germany and in Russia, but resettled in Tartu since 1896, when Toll started writing his MSc thesis. Von Toll’s dream was to find the Sannikov’s Land. The article views the research trip, filled with conflicts between von Toll and the captain of the ship. Von Toll died in 1901 while probably passing an unfrozen patch of water between polar islands.
The petrified spines of vertebrates
Oive Tinn introduces Nautiloids, members of Chephalopoda: of once a numerous group of animals, only the order of Nautiloids with its few species has survived till today. These invertebrates flourished during the early Paleozoic (Ordovician) era, stretching from abut 20 centimetres to about 10 metres. They constituted the main predatory animals of the time, and developed an extraordinary diversity of shell shapes and forms. Their shell was usually large, with specific inner features, such as internal chambers, siphuncle and the sutures of the shell. The numerous pictures of the fossils help us to understand the structure of this Paleozoic invertebrates.
Practical tips: Our mushrooms: Boletes III
Vello Liiv’s third picture series focuses on next five species, all rare in Estonia.
Estonian rarities: The conquest of the Red Riding Hood in Estonia
Riho Kinks observes the broadening of the distribution area of the Middle Spotted Woodpecker in Estonia during the last decade and calls people to inform about meeting this bird. The Middle Spotted Woodpecker is a European bird and it started to expand its distribution area from the south of us – from Latvia. In 2000, the first known nestlings of the species were hatched in Räpina. Last year it reached North-Estonia and is likely to become an ordinary bird everywhere in Estonia.
Interview: From a birdsong-fan and a fish trailer captain to a submarine researcher
Toomas Jüriado has interviewed Vello Mäss, a scientist of the Marine Museum, and a sea captain.
Hiking trail: A seaside trail from Kiideva to Puise
Katre Palo advises to take a hike in the deciduous forests and wooded meadows of the northern coast of the Matsalu Bay. The trail is suitable for hikers of all levels. The journey from Kiideva to Puise and back is about 7 km, or even more, if the hiker wants to reach the top of the peninsula. In old times, the main activity of the local people was fishing, but agriculture – mostly cattle-herding on wooded meadows and coastal meadows – has been practiced as well. Most of the hiking trail runs along the forest edge, between the forest and the sea. You can’t reach the sea, however, since it is continuously bordered with thick reed bed.
The case of the Vetla hydro power station
Toomas Kukk investigates the effects of the hydro power station of the Jägala River on the nature and private ownership as well as the details of business. The power station was restored and reopened in 2003, and the first problems arose immediately: the lands upstream were flooded. The author describes the problems with different legal attributes, such as permissions and regulations. It is likely that the Chancellor of Justice will have to interfere in the case.
Where do the secret rivers of the Tuhala-Nabala region flow?
Heiki Potter mapped the underground river beds of the unique karst area on the European scale. The area is largely covered by the Tuhala landscape protection area, but as the study of the underground water network mapping showed, the valuable karst landscape involves a much larger area. In order to map the underground karst rivers, a new technology – geobiological sensing with topographic survey measures – was used as a test. The underground karst rivers are 4 m wide on the average, and located at the depth of about 5-8 m between limestone layers. The maps of the underground river network are included.