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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Saturday, September 24, 2011


If orthodox zoology is to be believed the Pine Marten is supposed to have been extinct in the New Forest for about 100 years ( please correct me if I`m wrong). In February 2009 there was a conversation on the Wild About Britain Forum (which I featured in my recent blogs about a very large fox in Surrey) about the Pine Marten in Southern England.

The post immediately before the one that broke the news about Pine Martens in the New Forest was as follows:

Re: Pine Martens in southern England?

James,like you, I`d love to think that pine martens could thrive in the New Forest or in Breckland. I don`t have the knowledge to form my own opinion. But you have not addressed the VWT`s [Vincent Wildlife Trust`s-R] main issue – the surviving populations in England and Wales. You need to answer questions 1,2 & 3 on page 6 [probably a VWT document-R] and not least meet international guidelines……….What makes the New Forest any better than the current relict areas like Kielder or Shropshire where the martens are struggling?

The VWT seems negative, but all they are saying is that we need to answer these questions first. Those who proposed the re-introduction (PTES) prefer to pretend the relict populations don`t exist. Isn`t that shameful? Surely we must not refuse to help or study the rarest native mammal in England or Wales just because it suits our aims for a high profile re-introduction.

Then more than 2 years later:

Deepest blue
Re: Pine Martens in southern England?

Pine martens alive and well in the New Forest, sighted march 2011 got a good view of one along side of a ride in the forest,( isolated spot) I have found scent marking pooh in the middle of a track unsure if its PM or Badger but from the info I can find its PM

Re: Pine Martens in southern England?

How about Thetford Forest? It’s the largest lowland Pine forest in Britain. Which is the best area to find Red Squirrels in Thetford Forest?

Re: Pine Martens in southern England?

Welcome deepest_blue and congrats on the sighting. If you haven`t already , you might want to contact the VWT to report your sighting. It seems very hard to ID PM scats accurately. Most common seems to be confusing Fox for PM……………….According to their reports there were 5 good quality PM sightings in the S Hants area between 2000-2005 , so perhaps there`s little doubt there are some present in the New Forest. The question is how did they get there? The report shows a captive collection near to the New Forest. DNA research will give evidence about the origins of the different groups around the British Isles, but it seems the picture is still emerging. At least its good news that one was confirmed in Grizedale.

So there we are, the New Forest Pine Martens.

HAUNTED SKIES: Press cuttings from April 1968


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 2008 Swiss inventor Yves Rossy successfully flew across the English Channel using a jetpack of his own design. The flight took 9 minutes and 7 seconds and reached speeds of 186 miles per hour.
And now the news:

Maldives government complains of spoof atlas omiss...
"Frog Crossing" Signs Leave Taxpayers Hopping Mad ...
Online Dating Saves Endangered Frogs (Via HerpDige...
As Diamondback Terrapin nesting declines, center e...
How Todd Bairstow survived a crocodile attack (Via...
San Mateo Woman pleads not guilty in lizard stabbi...
UF study names new ancient crocodile relative from...

Footage of Rossy flying his stunning winged jetpack set to some quite apt music:

CFZ NEW ZEALAND: Its a funny old world we live in...



From The Canadian Sea Turtle Network We have a chance to win part of $100,000 to support our sea turtle work in Canada. The Canadian Sea Turtle Network is currently in second place in a voting competition sponsored by Jamieson Vitamins. We need your help for sea turtles to win. There are only a few days left, and we're the smallest group in the contest by far.But . . . although the other organizations may have bigger staffs and budgets, they don't have the folks on the HerpDigest list. We are hoping you will prove to be our winning card.

The link to vote is: www.facebook.com/jamiesonvitamins

(You don't need Facebook to vote, and you will not receive emails from Jamieson Vitamins afterward.)

You can vote once a day. Please also ask your colleagues, friends and family to vote for the Canadian Sea Turtle Network. Tweets, RTs and Facebook posts welcome, too.

The contest ends Sunday.

Thank you for your help. We really appreciate it.

Kathleen Martin
Executive Director
Canadian Sea Turtle Network

Invasive Amphibians, Reptiles in Florida Outnumber World, Study Finds

(Paper available For a copy of the paper contact:Kenney Krysko at FLMNH, Univ. Florida http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/directory/cvs/kenneyk_cv.htm. Chief Author of Paper or Louis Somma )

ScienceDaily (Sep. 17, 2011) - Florida has the world's worst invasive amphibian and reptile problem, and a new 20-year study led by a University of Florida researcher verifies the pet trade as the No. 1 cause of the species' introductions.

From 1863 through 2010, 137 non-native amphibian and reptile species were introduced to Florida, with about 25 percent of those traced to one animal importer. The findings appear online September 15 in Zootaxa.

"Most people in Florida don't realize when they see an animal if it's native or non-native and unfortunately, quite a few of them don't belong here and can cause harm," said lead author Kenneth Krysko, herpetology collection manager at the Florida Museum of Natural History on the UF campus. "No other area in the world has a problem like we do, and today's laws simply cannot be enforced to stop current trends."

Florida law prohibits the release of non-native species without a state permit, but offenders cannot be prosecuted unless they are caught in the act. To date, no one in Florida has been prosecuted for the establishment of a non-indigenous animal. Researchers urge lawmakers to create enforceable policies before more species reproduce and become established. The study names 56 established species: 43 lizards, five snakes, four turtles, three frogs and a caiman, a close relative of the American alligator.

"The invasion of lizards is pretty drastic considering we only have 16 native species," Krysko said. "Lizards can cause just as much damage as a python. They are quicker than snakes, can travel far, and are always moving around looking for the next meal."

Defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as organisms "whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health," invasive species are a growing concern for residents and policymakers. Only three species were intercepted before reaching the wild and researchers documented 137 introductions. The study also shows no established, non-native amphibian or reptile species has been eradicated.

Floridians have experienced some of the damage these animals can cause, from iguanas that destroy cement walls to Burmese pythons released in the Everglades that eat protected species. While the impact of many of the introduced species has not been determined, the study provides new information about how, why and when they entered the state.

The first introduction in 1863 was of the greenhouse frog, native to the West Indies. One of the most easily recognized species is the brown anole, the first introduced lizard, which reached Florida from Cuba via cargo ships in 1887. Until about 1940, nearly all non-native species arrived through this accidental cargo pathway, but the boom in popularity of exotic terrarium animals in the 1970s and 1980s led to the pet trade being accountable for 84 percent of the introductions, Krysko said.

"It's like some mad scientist has thrown these species together from all around the world and said, 'hey let's put them all together and see what happens,' " Krysko said. "It could take decades before we actually know the long-term effects these species will have."

Other pathways include biological control, in which an animal is intentionally released to control a pest species, and accidental introduction through the zoo or plant trade. The study will serve as a baseline for establishing effective policies for control or eradication, said Fred Kraus, a vertebrate biologist at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu who helped establish policies for invasive amphibians and reptiles in Hawaii.

"This paper by Kenney and company I think is a good example of the approach that needs to be taken, providing the detail and being rather cautious in making immediate claims that things are established until there is evidence for it," Kraus said. "There is a lot more work going on now, but for years it was just ignored. For years, climate change was ignored, too. You know, humans just tend to ignore bad news until you can't ignore it anymore."

One of the greatest obstacles pet owners face is how to feed and house an exotic animal that has become too large or difficult to handle, Krysko said.

"The biggest example is the Burmese python," Krysko said. "It's a large constrictor and has definitely shown impact on native species, some you just can't even find anymore."

The study uses fieldwork data from 12 co-authors throughout the state and research primarily using specimens in the Florida Museum of Natural History collections.

"This is a global problem and to think Florida is an exception to the rule is silly," Krysko said. "The Fish and Wildlife Commission can't do it alone -- they need help and we have to have partners in this with every agency and the general public. Everyone has to be on board; it's a very serious issue."

Story Source:
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Florida.

Journal Reference:
Kenneth L. Krysko, Joseph P. Burgess, Michael R. Rochford, Christopher R. Gillette, Daniel Cueva, Kevin M. Enge, Louis A. Somma, Jennifer L. Stabile, Dustin C. Smith, Joseph A. Wasilewski, Guy N. Kieckhefer Iii, Michael C. Granatosky & Stuart V. Nielsen. Verified non-indigenous amphibians and reptiles in Florida from 1863 through 2010: Outlining the invasion process and identifying invasion pathways and stages. Zootaxa, 2011; 3028: 1-64 [link]

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:

University of Florida (2011, September 17). Invasive amphibians, reptiles in Florida outnumber world, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/09/110915131604.htm

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

LINDSAY SELBY: Frank Searle in colour

For those who have never seen Frank Searle or his display ,there was a programme on BBC2 at 7pm tonight showing old films of the highlands. About 5 minutes before the end Frank appears and you see his set up as it was. It looks very clean in the film, cleaner than I remember it, but then memory is fallible lol.

The episode is on BBCi player, link below:http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b012znnw/On_Film_Highlands_on_Film/


HAUNTED SKIES: UFO REPORT 18.4.1968 Birmingham


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1951 the Actor Mark Hamill was born. You might remember him from such films as Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. You won't remember him from Star Wars: The Holiday Special because that was PAINFULLY bad, so bad George Lucas spent vast swathes of his personal fortune buying up all the copies of it he could to limit the amount of people who would get to see it.
And now the news:

Accidental Sea Turtle Deaths Drop 90 Percent in U....
Monkeys Also Reason Through Analogy
Scientists might have explained promiscuous behavi...
Philippines eats, sells biodiversity riches
Hebrides' successful mink project gets three-year ...
American Sandhill crane st RSPB Strathbeg

Oh George, you missed one (this is so bad it's good):