Species of the week #109 – Ibex

About 200 years ago, the forester Josef Zumstein and the naturalist Albert Girtanner were able to celebrate a great conservation success. They had achieved that the last 100 ibex in the Italian Alps were placed under protection. Fortunately, because except for these 100 animals, the stone deer in the Alps had been completely wiped out. […]

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Species of the week #108 – Middle lace border

A caterpillar with the smell of cough syrup? It is unmistakably the caterpillar of the Middle lace border moth. This caterpillar feeds exclusively on thyme throughout the summer. It prefers to eat the rare sand thyme. The adult moth only sucks nectar, but is also tied to the presence of thyme. Its attractively patterned wings […]

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Species of the week #104 – Brown bear

Do you still remember poor Bruno? Declared a “problem bear” by the Bavarian government, he was shot a few weeks after his appearance in Germany. After the last wild brown bear had been shot in 1835, Bruno was the first brown bear to appear on German territory in 170 years. At present, another bear, presumably […]

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Species of the week #101 – Mud loach

“Stormfarter” is a somewhat disrespectful nickname for the Mud loach, which is also called weatherfish. These names refer to a very special characteristic – accessory intestinal respiration. The mud loach stretches its mouth above the water surface and swallows air. It can absorb oxygen through its intestinal mucosa, which has a strong blood supply. The […]

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species of the week #99 – Northern Shoveler

One of the few animals that benefit from the ubiquitous over-fertilisation of water bodies is the Northern Shoveler. It finds more nutrient-rich plant remains in over-fertilised waters and therefore also breeds today in smaller lakes and ponds along the Rhine and Moselle. In southern Germany, however, it is still rather rare, whereas in the Netherlands, […]

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