H a b i t a t - the sea, the land and the life          
                                     Wildlife and environment news from the British Isles


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Wildlife 
Water vole
Water voles found high on a hillside in Wester Ross
Rare water voles have been found thriving on a patch of grassland not much bigger than the size of a dining table 700m (2.296ft) up a hillside.
Seal of approval
According to the Scottish Government, measures introduced in 2011 to protect seals – which included the introduction of a strict licensing system for shootings these mammals – appear to be working well.
Windermere's 'polluting' Canada geese to be culled
About 200 Canada geese are to be culled in the Lake District.
Ecologist searches for new shrimp species in Guernsey
An ecologist hopes to find previously undiscovered fresh water creatures in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
Rare plants to be reintroduced to Somerset
Two species of rare plant are to be reintroduced to wetland nature reserves on the Somerset Levels.
Three arrests over badger baiting
Three people have been arrested on suspicion of hunting with dogs and badger baiting.
Terry Pratchett warns Britain's hedgehogs and sparrows are dying out
Sir Terry Pratchett, the author, has warned that Britain's hedgehogs and sparrows are in danger of dying out after being "orphaned by traffic, hurt by pollution and forced out of their natural habitat".
Plotting bird paths and easing personal heartache
A group of volunteers working in the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve (NNR) have ringed more than 1,000 wild birds in a year.
British Isles
Landowners seek doubled offer to stop cutting turf on protected lands
Landowners are demanding double the compensation on offer for ceasing turf cutting on protected lands.
Last chance to stop Barra SAC
The Sound of Barra marine Special Area of Conservation (SAC) consultation period has now ended, but local opposition to the proposal remains considerable.
Policy aims to give true value to our environment
A new way of valuing our landscapes, seas and wildlife — and the "services" they provide — has been outlined by the Welsh Government.
Could underground cables save our countryside from march of the pylons?
Some of Britain’s famous landscapes could be saved from pylons after a new study for the National Grid found underground cables are less expensive than previously thought.
Call to halt turbines over MoD fears
Senior planners are calling for a moratorium on the development of wind turbines in rural Buchan because of Ministry of Defence concerns that renewable energy schemes are interfering with vital defence surveillance systems.
Villagers to have say on 10-turbine wind farm plan in Lincolnshire
Residents can have their say on plans to build a wind farm near the countryside village of Hemswell Cliff.
Expert's bid to restore Surrey's ancient forests for timber harvest
Ancient forests and abandoned coppices in Surrey could become productive woodland again with the appointment of a key expert.
Environment Agency report issues stark warning over East Anglia’s future water supplies
The water shortages already threatening East Anglia’s parched countryside could worsen drastically in future ...
Global
Elephants
Trumpets of outrage in the outback
An Australian biology professor is causing a rumble in the academic jungle by suggesting that his country should import elephants and other foreign species into its wild interior.
Endangered monkey helped in China
China says its population of white-headed langurs, one of the world's rarest monkeys, has grown in the last decade with conservation efforts.
20 tons of cadmium poisoning vital Chinese river
Twenty tons of the cancer-causing metal cadmium have been discharged into a river in southern China in one of the worst chemical spills of its kind that could affect up to 4 million people.
India’s air the world’s unhealthiest, study says
India’s has the worst air pollution in the entire world, beating China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, according to a study released during this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos.
Road runoff spurring spotted salamander evolution
Spotted salamanders exposed to contaminated roadside ponds are adapting to their toxic environments, according to a Yale paper in Scientific Reports.
Are nuisance jellyfish really taking over the world's oceans?
In recent years, media reports of jellyfish blooms and some scientific publications have fueled the idea that jellyfish and other gelatinous floating creatures are becoming more common and may dominate the seas in coming decades.
Massive die-off of fish in Philippines
Philippine officials say climate change is to blame for 49 tons of fish found floating dead in a lake in the country's South Cotabato province.
Climate
Householders 'could be forced to green their home' when building extensions
The government yesterday set out proposals for an overhaul of building regulations that would make new "zero-carbon homes" commonplace by 2016 and require property owners to install measures to improve their building's energy efficiency when they carry out renovations.
U.K. said to plan cuts to solar subsidy at predictable intervals
The U.K. government will announce as early as next week plans to reduce subsidies for solar energy at routine intervals as part of an effort to curb a boom in installations, a person familiar with the plan said.
Climate change report shows UK opportunities
DEFRA has published its Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) highlighting the challenges as well as opportunities for the UK economy including agriculture.
Humberside hopes rise for carbon capture and storage
A crucial step has been taken in the development of what may be the UK's first large scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project ...
Wall Street Journal rapped over climate change stance
The Wall Street Journal has received a dressing down from a large group of leading scientists for promoting retrograde and out-of-date views on climate change.
China quietly shelves new diesel emission standards
It ought to have been a centrepiece of China's efforts to reduce smog, but the government has quietly postponed plans to clean the fumes from truck and bus exhaust pipes.
Poland says EU CO2 goal conditional, has doubts on cost study
A potential European Union move to a stricter emissions-reduction goal is conditional on efforts by non-EU nations to cut greenhouse gases, a Polish government official said.