Saturday, September 3, 2016

"Ratty's" Return

Endangered Species
Biological Diversity
Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler


"Nice?  It's the only thing," said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing," he went on dreamily, "messing--about--in--boats--messing--" 


Image of a water vole from flickr.
--Kenneth Grahame
The Wind in the Willows 


Ratty as he is known to his friends is really a water vole but he may once again mess around in and with water, this time in the wilds of Yorkshire Dales, U. K., as noted in this report from National Public Radio.

Water voles were once common in the Yorkshire Dales but were eradicated by predators and industrialization. While water voles are still found in the U.K., their numbers have been decimated by as much as 80 percent.

The Yorkshire Dales plan is to reintroduce one-hundred water voles at Malham Tarn. They will be left near the edge of the water in large closed cages for three days and then lured out by food -- apples and carrots -- placed on floating rafts. Two days later, the cages will be removed and they will be on their own. 

Wish them well.

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