As you may have noticed, I am now working in the field of conservation (and loving it!). This weekend I am engaged in some exciting fieldwork! I am travelling over to Belgium to work with a highly endangered British species called Dancus Morrisus.
This unusual creature has been seen all over the world but is indigenous to the UK. However, sub-species have been identified in America, Canada, New Zealand and as far south as Antarctica (though the Antarctic sub-species is now known to be extinct). They are fairly easy to identify as they are extremely colourful, and the variants such as the Black Face, Rapper and Molly are all very distinctive.
The conservation team are heading over to Dranouter with the highly endangered 'Morrisus Albionus' - this is not an attempt at species bolstering through cross-fertlisation with the local Dancus Contradancus, but an opportunity to introduce the British variants to a more diverse food (and in particular beer) supply.
It is hoped that the trip will put some new life into this fascinating, if slightly weird, flock and either prove that the Dancus Morrisus Albionus is still viably sustainable or, which is the conservationists fear, heading for extinction. Despite some integration with a regional but quite robust variant (Dancus Morrisus Brightonian) we are still fearful that it may go the way of the now extinct 'Dansus Sloshus' and 'Dancus Charleston'.
So - wish me luck! I will be using my technical expertise (and my complex field equipment - a bass guitar and amp) to provide a suitable background environment to make the Dancus Morrisus Albionus feel right at home. Oh, and a few beers are certainly going to help!
For more information on Morrisus Dancus, visit The Morris Ring
For information on the sub-species Albionus, visit Albion Morris