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...

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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...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

MARK NORTH: Taxonomy Fail


Those of us of a certain age will remember Steve Ignorant, singer with anarchopunks CRASS who you will remember me mentioning occasionally in these pages. It is time for a sad obituary - Oscar, his bull terrier, has died at the ripe old age of 13.

I know what you are going through, mate. It does get better, but it hurts like hell. There is not a day goes by that I don't think of Toby (died 2000) and Biggles (died 2010)

What Steve wrote


Imagine if your favourite wild place was suddenly lost to make a new airport or a power station.

Right now, we are fighting to stop this happening in Kent. An airport is threatening to ruin the tranquillity of RSPB Dungeness nature reserve. This is a precious site for wildlife and we are doing our bit at the Lydd Planning Inquiry to give this special place, loved by so many people, a future.

This is a huge case but it's not the only harmful development we're fighting. Spectacular landscapes and important wildlife sites are regularly threatened by a whole range of proposals that could harm them.

We're currently involved in over 2,000 cases across the UK. Each one involves a special place that is home to wildlife and loved by people like you. Where nature needs us, we won't give up.

Fighting with all we've got

In Scotland, developers are planning to build a huge, polluting, coal-fired power station at Hunterston. We're fighting this plan with all we've got!

Further south, thousands of estuary plants and animals are under threat from energy schemes in the Severn and the Mersey. Tidal power is a huge opportunity but we're determined to reach a solution that doesn't destroy vital places for wildlife.

We do not oppose all development. We appreciate that the UK's energy, housing and other needs are growing. That's why we prefer to work with developers and local and national governments to find solutions that benefit everyone.

A long, hard fight

Each major case involves hundreds of hours of work. Teams of experts research, write responses to planning proposals and, where necessary, put our arguments at public inquiries. A case can last for months or even years, and we desperately need money to fund this work.

When we save special places, though, the long, hard slog is worth it. We fought against a port development at Dibden Bay in Southampton Water that, in 2004, was refused following a long public inquiry. Since then we have worked even more closely with the ports industry to resolve, wherever possible, potential problems early on.

In 2008, a proposal to build a highly damaging 181-turbine wind farm on the Isle of Lewis was refused following years of campaigning by the RSPB. Our work helps to ensure most wind farm proposals pose no significant threat to birds and can help tackle climate change.

If you received a letter and have already donated to this appeal, I'd like to thank you on behalf of the RSPB. If not, please step up for nature and help us to save special places by donating £25 to our Nature Fighting Fund. With your help, we can continue to protect wild landscapes for the future. Nature needs you - please donate today.

Brian Cleary
Head of Casework

To subscribe: If you have received this e-mail from a friend and you would like to receive our e-newsletter and e-mails from the RSPB about our conservation, campaigning and fundraising work, please use our online sign-up form.

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If you have a question or comment please e-mail supportus@rspb.org.uk

The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. UK Headquarters, The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL Tel: 01767 680551

Registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654



OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1589 an arrest warrant was issued for the playwright and spy Christopher Marlow. He was murdered 10 days later in an incident that quite likely was more than it was claimed at the time. If you like reading about Tudor conspiracy theories and spies then this will be of some interest to you:
And now the news:

Tortoise Smuggling in the UK (Via HerpDigest)
Africa's Sea Turtles Need Passports for Protection...
U.S. Reaches a Settlement on Decisions About Endan...
Rescue Turtles Produce Hatchlings (Via HerpDigest)...
Knoxville Zoo's herpetology director, bog turtle a...

Tiny turtle hatchlings heading for the sea (and possibly traumatised by the pointless loud whooping):

DALE DRINNON: The latest updates from the frontiers of zoology, and anthropology

The current FOZ Blog is up with a follow-up paste-up to the Last European Dragons blog including a scale comparison photo paste-up to go with the earlier article. Some of the more bizzare allegations about Tatzelwurms turn out to be early "Chupacabras" stories and the illustration has a hairless fox to show that. Along with that is another note about the Aztec figure for Lizard "Cuetzpalin" which corresponds to some of the reptile-category Chupacabras reports from Mexico, as another related update:

Here is the original article on The Last Dragons of Europe

BTW, Frontiers of Anthropology continues the theme of cultural contact between ancient India and Mexico as started in the earlier article "Pretty Ladies and the Indus Script" and continued in the follow-up Blog posting on "Tlatilco Typology"

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