OU on the BBC: Saving Species: Series 3, Episode 19

Updated Monday 7th January 2013

This week the Saving Species team look at polar bears, sea ice and salmon populations.

On Monday 7th, Tuesday 8th and Thursday 10th of January 2013 at 9.30pm, BBC 2 presents a series called "The Polar Bear Family and Me", a trio of films following a polar bear family in the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic.

The film highlights the trend of a reduction in sea ice being formed in the winter and the ice that does form is melting earlier than ever before.

Saving Species investigates what the decline in sea ice means for the future of the polar bears in Svalbard. Ellie Williams looks at the National Elephant Corridor Project in India which is redeveloping historical paths used by Asian elephants to travel between habitats.

Many of the corridors have since been obstructed by villages, roads and railway lines so the project requires participation from communities and landowners.

In the 1980s the population of wild salmon in British rivers crashed by an estimated 70%.

Initially the blame for this crash was put on the marine environment; was something affecting the adult fish returning to their spawning grounds?

More recently attention has moved to freshwater rivers and whether the role the spawning and smolt survival plays a bigger influence.

For 40 years the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust have carried out research on the river Frome in Dorset, which now is beginning to provide data which could one day lead to the creation of a model that could predict good and bad years for returning adult salmon adults.

Also in the programme:

  • News from around the world with regular news reporter, Kelvin Boot
  • An update on the activities of the Open University's iSpot. A new iSpot app has been launched, making it possible to photograph wildlife, upload it to iSpot and get help with identifications while you’re still out in the field.

Listen to Saving Species

You can listen to this episode of Saving Species on BBC Radio 4 at 11:00am on Tuesday 8 January 2013. More information and a link to listen again can be found on the Radio 4 website.

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