Some of you might remember Moksha’s high vis orange paint job for Expedition 360, and the names of hundreds of individual supporters printed either side of the hull.
That was then. Now for our #GB360 series of expeditions officially starting around Wales next week, we’ll be working with artists we meet along the way on a graphic series entitled “Fading from View.” The project aims to highlight lesser known animal and plant species indigenous to the UK that are literally fading from existence due to the overbearing pressure of just one species – our own.
We’ll be discussing why these organisms are important, both to overall biodiversity and our own ability to survive longterm as a species. Ultimately it is the little things that run the world, fragile lifeforms to which our own fate is inextricably linked.
Over the last week we got to work with wildlife artist @Eilbhe Donovan from @sevenheadsstudio on the first round of threatened species celebrated on Moksha’s hull.
The Grey Long-Eared Bat (Plecotus austriacus) is one of the UK’s rarest mammals. They are intelligent animals that hunt for moths and other insects by night over wildflower meadows along the south coast of England. They are long-lived and social, the females giving birth to their single babies in maternity roosts. But there could be as few as 1,000 of these bats left, and we know their numbers are still falling.
Why are they endangered?
Due to industrial farming practises, the grassland these bats need has been lost from most of our countryside in the last century, making it difficult for them to find safe routes between their roosts and the places where they can find food.
Why are they important?
Bats eat flies, moths and other insects and thereby control insect populations very effectively. Some bats also serve as pollinators and help distribute the seeds of important plants, so they can reproduce and create more fruit for us humans to eat and enjoy. Without pollinating and seed-dispersing bats, many ecosystems would gradually die.
Want to help?
The Back from the Brink project, led by the Bat Conservation Trust, is working with landowners to retain precious habitat. You can volunteer to help monitor the Grey Long-eared Bats in your local area to ensure they have the habitat they desperately need.