Sorbus minima, Least Whitebeam
Sorbus minima is a very rare Welsh tree, endemic to the Llangattock escarpment in the Brecon Beacons. It was first found by Augustin Ley in 1893 ‘in great abundance’ at Craig y Cilau, where 744 trees were counted in 2002, and also at Blaen Onneu where it appears to have been destroyed by quarrying. One tree is also known at Craig y Castell and 27 at Cwm Claisfer. Quarrying of the Llangattock Quarries has probably also reduced the Craig y Cilau population markedly; populations on the quarried areas are c. 40% of those on intact cliffs. None-the-less it is regenerating and spreading back, and with time may recover its former population size. It is believed to have arisen as a cross between Mountain Ash (S. aucuparia) and possibly the Rock Whitebeam (S. rupicola). It is poorly fertile.
Download publication: http://archive.bsbi.org.uk/25_4_WelshSorbus.pdf
the wwf’s living planet report 2014, which discovered that we’ve lost half of all the world’s wildlife in the past fourty years, showed more specifically that the population of common dormice dropped by 43 percent between 1993 and 2010.
not only are dormice vulnerable to habitat loss, but they’re hesitant to cross open fields, and the grubbing out of hedgerows in recent decades has removed the wildlife corridors between woods that has allowed the dormice to move more freely to new habitat.
dormice have very specialized diets of berries and nuts, and with less habitat they are unable to seek out enough food to fatten up before their six month hibernation (which was featured in these two posts).
photos by (click pic) andrea zampatti, richard austin x, miroslav hlávko, bengt lundberg, david kjaer and ingo ardnt