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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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...

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Building a Backyard to Attract Herps

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Releases Booklet on Building a Backyard to Attract Herps
November 11, 2011

(The Editor of Herp Digest notes that: "Information usable in not just NC, but NY to CA, wherever herps are, sometimes you just a little tinkering to make it work".)

A backyard water garden can attract a variety of animals.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has released "Reptiles and Amphibians in Your Backyard," a color, 8-page publication that offers tips on creating habitat suitable for the more than 160 species of native frogs, toads, lizards and snakes that reside in the state.
Produced by biologists from North Carolina State University, the Wildlife Commission, N.C. Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, the book offers habitat tips such as adding a water garden, planting and maintaining vegetation native to the area, creating hides with rock piles, logs, and brush piles, and limiting the use of chemicals and pesticides to ensure there are no adverse affects on the animals that are attracted to the backyard habitat.

The book also offers a history of the diverse nature of herps in the state, their importance to the ecology, along with color pictures of some of the native herps, their biological makeup, how they reproduce, what they eat, where they are most often found in urban and suburban areas, as well as requirements specific to the animals in order for them to thrive in a backyard environment.

There is also detailed information on actions that threaten the reptiles and amphibians, including topics such as sedimentation and pollution, traffic issues, and habitat loss. To round out the book, information is presented on what communities can do to protect existing ecological areas, including tips on how to reduce roadkill, protect streamside vegetation and wetlands during construction, and minimize sedimentation.

The publication, available in Adobe's PDF format, can be downloaded from:

APPEAL: The caves of Meghalaya

During the 2010 expedition to India, the boys visited the caves at Meghalaya. We therefore print this appeal, in the hope that some of you out in bloggoland will be interested...

The caves of Meghalaya are under threat from the mining lobby. Each day, millions of years of nature's labour of love are reduced to rubble filled into bags and sent off somewhere around the world to build some concrete monstrosity that won't even last 200 years. To highlight this tragedy, I am working on a "countdown" calendar for the year 2012, to showcase the exquisite beauty of the caves in the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills of Meghalaya in the hope that people will rally together to preserve and protect them.

This call goes out to spelunkers, (cave explorers), adventurers, explorers, scientists, photographers, geo-palenteologists, naturalists or photographers. to contribute to this effort by sending me photographs to use in high resolution of these caves along with a brief description. Any photographs used in the calendar will have the mugshot of the photographer, a 50-word profile and the picture credit. Geo-tags if available too will be most appreciated. Please come forward and contribute from your collection towards this campaign that aims at saving another precious natural treasure from biting the dust!

Read on...
But be warned you may have to sign in to Facebook in order to do this.

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 1951.02.13.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1872 the Mary Celeste was found floating, abandoned, in the middle of the ocean with no apparent signs of struggle or foul play.
And now the news:

They Call It 'Guppy Love': Biologists Solve an Evo...
Kent's marine life 'threatened by Carpet Sea Squi...
Liquid-living worms survive space
Baltic seaduck take a dive
Tiger bone wine auction in China a disgrace
Biologists studying endangered Brazil dolphins fin...

This reconstruction of the Mary Celeste incident offers a more prosaic explanation than the more ‘fun’ “ghosts/aliens/sea-monsters did it” theories:

CFZ PEOPLE: Kithra has a hard time

Life conspires against me - once more

KARL SHUKER: The best moa book


DALE DRINNON: Capture of the Cuero

This might have come on a better day for advertising, but as it is breaking news now I thought to get the link to you ASAP. Contains a CFZ reprint.


FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE SPOTIFY, guess who is now on there?

Jon Downes and the Amphibians from Outer Space

They did say that Contractual Obligations came out in 2010, when in fact it was 1996, but I am unreasonably pleased to see it up there. For those of you who ever wondered what the opening music to On the Track is, check out track one...