Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

Search This Blog



In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Monday, March 14, 2011

OLL'S MODEL WELS - a work in progress

Oliver is making a model wels catfish for the museum. I was rather impressed by the work in progress and decided to share it.

Anyway, the sight of Oliver in his demon barber outfit was worth a giggle....

LIZ CLANCY: Mole Madness

I'm a bit late with this one, but apparently back in February Durham County Council insisted upon a risk assessment before pest control experts could rid two cemeteries of moles. Rookhope and Cowshill had been plagued by the little blighters for some time but when Councillor John Shuttleworth asked for something to be done he was told via email that the traps had been ordered but he would have to wait a week for a health and safety officer to assess the area before the trapping could be done.

The risk assessment will cost £47 before any moles have even been trapped, whereas before the area was taken over by Durham County Council, a local mole-catcher would usually charge £30 maximum, without the need for any fannying about and form-filling beforehand. But the council reckon that the previous chap wasn't qualified enough. In the meantime, the problem got worse.


Bizarrely, I was reading about the Flow Country in a book by Bill Drummond last night. Then this arrives.

Hello again!

When I last e-mailed you things were looking quite bleak for parts of the Flow Country - ill-placed conifers were damaging the precious habitat and threatening to overwhelm the native plants and wildlife of this special place.

However, thanks to our amazing supporters, we've raised over £500,000 for our Flow Country appeal.

This generosity means we can now start removing the damaging trees, but we've still got a long way to go. Your support is still needed to help us restore the land to natural bog and peatland.

Just for you

I love the beautiful wilderness of the Flow Country and its unique wildlife and plants - it's a place that once seen will stay with your forever. But don't just take my word for it. Exclusively for you, our film 'The undiscovered country' is now available to watch online and captures perfectly the beauty and magic of this landscape.

So find a comfy chair, press play, and be amazed by one of Europe's last unspoilt wild places.

Best wishes

Norrie Russell
Forsinard Flows nature reserve Site Manager

PS Feel free to share the beauty of this amazing place with others.

Linking the Distribution of an Invasive Amphibian (Rana catesbeiana) to Habitat Conditions in a Managed River System in Northern California

Linking the Distribution of an Invasive Amphibian (Rana catesbeiana) to Habitat Conditions in a Managed River System in Northern California
Terra E. Fuller1,2,*, Karen L. Pope1, Donald T. Ashton1, Hartwell H. Welsh Jr.1
Article first published online: 14 JUL 2010
2010 Society for Ecological Restoration International. Published 2010. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA
Restoration Ecology, Volume 19, Issue 201, Pages 204-213 March 2011
How to Cite
Fuller, T. E., Pope, K. L., Ashton, D. T. and Welsh, H. H. (2011), Linking the Distribution of an Invasive Amphibian (Rana catesbeiana) to Habitat Conditions in a Managed River System in Northern California. Restoration Ecology, 19: 204-213. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00708.x
Author Information
1 USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Experiment Station, Redwood Sciences Laboratory, 1700 Bayview Dr., Arcata, CA 95521, U.S.A.
2 Department of Wildlife, Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA 95521, U.S.A.
*Correspondence: Terra E. Fuller,
*Correspondence: T. E. Fuller, email tfuller@dfg.ca.gov
Publication History
Issue published online: 2 MAR 2011
Article first published online: 14 JUL 2010

Extensive modifications of river systems have left floodplains some of the most endangered ecosystems in the world and made restoration of these systems a priority. Modified river ecosystems frequently support invasive species to the detriment of native species. Rana catesbeiana (American bullfrog) is an invasive amphibian that thrives in modified aquatic habitats. In 2004-2005 we studied the distribution of bullfrogs along a 98-km reach of the Trinity River below the Lewiston Dam to identify habitat characteristics associated with bullfrogs and to recommend actions to reduce their prevalence in the system. We also examined native amphibian distributions relative to bullfrogs and disturbance regimes. We used regression techniques to model the distribution of bullfrogs in relation to environmental conditions. Models assessing breeding habitat outperformed models assessing bullfrog presence. Top-ranked predictor variables of bullfrog distribution included water depth, percent !
rooted floating vegetation, and river km. Most breeding sites of bullfrogs were relict mine tailing ponds or inactive side channels created during restoration activities in the 1990s. Native species were more common in the lower reach where habitats were less modified, in contrast to the distribution of bullfrogs that dominated the upper, more modified reach. To control bullfrogs along a managed river, we suggest reducing the suitability of breeding sites by decreasing depth or reducing hydroperiod and increasing connection with the active river channel. Current management goals of restoring salmonid habitat and returning the river to a more natural hydrologic condition should aid in control of bullfrogs and improve conditions for native amphibians.


I thought I should mention that in the companion blog I have just started a series dealing with evidence a giant asteroid or comet struck the Earth at the end of the ice age and is associated with the mass extinction event at the time.

Since it also counts as an influence on zoology and possibly Fortean, it might be a good idea if you should make mention of that one as well.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1943 film director David Cronenberg was born. Cronenberg is best known for his science-fiction thrillers like Videodrome and eXistenZ.
And now, the news:

Alligator Found Guarding Southern California Pot F...
Bizarre Bird Maimings in Huntington Beach: A Vast ...
Woman injured when dolphin jumps into boat in Flor...
How man 'lost his penile spines'
University archaeologists to dig for Tregaron elep...

Elephants painting at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand:

DALE DRINNON: More on Giant Anacondas