Friday, 1 January 2016

Predictions for 2016

At this time of year I usually do a video mash up of things that have gone on over the last 12 months, but this time round I have decided to look forwards instead of back.  Partly because I don't think wildlife had a particular good year in 2015.

So this time round I thought I would offer a few of my thoughts/predictions for the coming year 2016. So in no particular order:

Wildlife/Conservation NGOs
I think it's going to be a tough year for wildlife/conservation organisations, as getting money will be harder than ever. NGOs will probably find themselves needing to work closer together to try and make things happen through more shared projects. One thing for sure is that technology and citizen science work really well and conservation volunteers will become more important than ever.

Social Media
Social media will be absolutely massive, but video and live streamed messages will be used so much more and become more important as video does engage people more than text.  There are already several tools to stream live video messaging such as Twitter's Periscope. Imagine receiving live streamed video of protests, rare birds, more weasel peckers, promoting special science, evidence of an actual wildlife crime happening, Hen Harrier day, NGO conferences, speeches - the list is endless. The really great thing about live streaming is it's not from one person to another, it's from one person to potentially thousands ...... instantly.  It would be really nice to have a live video message from the CEOs of the main NGOs every month or so. No pressure though CEOs!

Media Coverage of Wildlife
Wildlife will be even less in the news, as its not seen by the media or by politicians as high up the "action required" list. Massive cuts to The BBC and the loss of the interactive red button will put pressure on new and existing natural history programmes.

Springwatch/Autumnwatch/Winter Watch could very easily disappear next year.  Seems impossible to believe as a nature lover, but is it too expensive to run for just a few days every year? For me some of the best bits are the live cameras on the red button and this will all go for sure.

Media Coverage of Climate
Climate will feature more in the news and 2016 will be the warmest on record.  (Will all this wet/mild weather affect the birds breeding season; for some probably yes). After the Paris Climate change talks where 200 nations agreed a plan, I think the countries will just carry on just as they were regardless, as who's monitoring who and what they said they would do? We all need to remind them and I will continue to push the "think 500 years ahead not 5 years ahead" campaign.

Europe (2017)
Did 2015 go quick for you? It did for me and 2016 will be even faster (not really) but everybody tells me as you get older the years go quicker. Anyway, before you know it, 2016 will be gone and you will be making a choice on whether we are "in" or "out" of Europe. So I guess we better get thinking about it. What happens to any wildlife laws if we come out of Europe? I've no idea, but does that give those in power the chance to start a fresh and make new laws? If so, will they be thinking 500 years ahead?

Hen Harriers
I think the awareness message will continue to build strongly in 2016. Next year will see the highest numbers of raptors satellite tagged thanks to more business funding from companies like Lush and Ecotricity, but it is always the public awareness that will make a big difference, so imagine the awareness levels if we can all track the progress of all of 2016's fledglings.

These are just a few predictions from me and I will be revisiting many of these themes in my blog during 2016. But over to you now, what are your predictions for 2016?


  1. Some good predictions there Findlay.
    Personally, I think wildlife, nature, the environment, is going to have a tough time in 2016. The peoples voices are going to have to shout loud if they are going to be heard. Sadly the current government doesn't seem to care about anything other than themselves, and money.

    A slightly different thought ........... the recent floodings around the country have had a devastating effect on wildlife in those areas, but nothing seems to have been done to help. That is what really saddens me.

  2. Nice writing. Findlay, have a beautiful new year in 2016.

  3. I would love to be a little more optimistic about 2016, who knows maybe eyes will be opened to how closely linked the environment and looking after wildlife habitats are. Grouse moors could be forced into changing their ways. I know it's a big hope but let's stay positive.

  4. Thankyou Findlay if only more people cared as much as you do.
    More extreme weather
    Ever increasing human population
    More of Natures home stolen as a result
    The natural environment will continue to come under pressure across the globe
    The only real solution will come when People realise they have to share the planet with other life for mutual futures not just exploit it.Which means halting increased human populations
    Actually my largest feeling of optimism comes from the the younger generation of environmentalists willing to fight for the environment and the wildlife that lives there.
    Reverse the absence of environmental awareness in education
    I do think that grouse shooting and shooting in general is on borrowed time and this will be come more apparent in 2016
    We will need to fight even harder and be even more persuasive in 2016 to make wildlife and the environment "matter"
    Maybe some are hopes rather than predictions but lets be believe we can improve things next year.

  5. I too are going and hoping for a more positive note. The video streaming of live events/protests/criminal activity peaked my interests and a great way to get to a bigger audience. Though will NGO's work closer in 2016,sceptical but I fear they will not, for example in 2015 mine (and Mark's) local wildlife trust and the rspb of all organisations have failed to engage and work closely on Hen Harrier Day. I'm aware of certain individuals in the rspb did but where was/is the mobilisation of its many members?
    I think recent weather events have had an impact on people's mind, people know but will politicians act?
    All we can do is keep plugging away and hope people listen.
    I also believe even though the Red button service is going I don't believe it will effect Springwatch in fact I reckon it could improve the programme itself. I agree I spend hours watching them cameras and will miss them, but how about instead of hours watching live feeds on TV people decide to install their own=more people engaging directly with nature rather than hands off approach. Also if there is issues/topics the main programme has left to the red button to cover those issues/topics can get a wider airing on the main programme. One thing the Beeb is famous for is it's natural world programming only second to selling to a worldwide audience by Top Gear so the beeb would be mad to cut it's natural history programming...I hope

  6. Hi there - thoughtful post. I can only hope that the floods finally ring the bell that there is a firm connection between the land and our ability to live on it. If we protect habitats, we protect ourselves - its may be an argument based on self interest , but it happens to be true.

    Hope the New Year is starting well.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne