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‘The de­cline of pho­to­genic par­rots and seabirds has been well doc­u­mented, but it’s the dis­ap­pear­ance of “ev­ery­day” birds that re­veals the scale of the avian cri­sis,’ says Mark Rowe ( page 16). ‘Spar­rows, star­lings are all un­der pres­sure. We don’t pay at­ten­tion when we see two rather than three robins in the gar­den, it’s only when we don’t see them at all that we no­tice they’re not there.’

‘In a place associated too of­ten with fight­ing there is some­thing about rid­ing a bi­cy­cle that breaks through to the heart of a peo­ple and the ge­og­ra­phy of a painful con­flict,’ says Ju­lian Sa­yarer ( page

56). Pales­tini­ans and Is­raeli cy­clists talked to me about rid­ing past mil­i­tary check­points and set­tle­ment-build­ing, but also past olive groves – as if to show the world we’ve got, but also the one we could have.’

‘To un­der­stand the risks of div­ing for gold in the Philip­pines, I fol­lowed the min­ers with equally sparse gear to a depth of about 15 me­tres,’ says Clau­dio Sieber ( page 26). ‘Not sur­pris­ingly I ended up drink­ing a fair lot of sea wa­ter, as­cend­ing way too fast and bleed­ing out of my nose. The min­ers won my re­spect for de­feat­ing this daily chal­lenge, all to main­tain the well­be­ing of their fam­i­lies.’

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