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 
Police swoop to investigate alleged peregrine persecution
A multiagency operation investigating alleged crimes against peregrine falcons has been launched across four police areas in England and Wales.
Rare birds spark rise in number of visitors
Visitor numbers are on the rise at of the most popular nature reserves in Notts.
Mussels preservation project granted £30,000 lottery funding
A County Antrim conservation scheme trying to save one of Ireland's oldest species has been granted over £30,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Wildlife 'facing a tough summer' with water shortage
Nature experts have warned that this summer could be the worst for wildlife for more than 30 years because of low water levels in the eastern region.
'Big cat' in Gloucestershire ruled out by DNA tests
Scientists have failed to find any evidence that "big cats" killed two roe deer found dead in Gloucestershire.
Minister opposes ban on coursing and claims hares never in any danger
A junior Minister has rejected the banning of live hare coursing, saying the greyhound sector creates jobs and is “part of our way of life” in Ireland.
Thousands of seals saved as new ‘licences to kill’ curb slaughter
New laws protecting seals in Scotland have brought about a tenfold decrease in the number of the animals shot over the past year, latest figures show.
Two men arrested during badger baiting investigation
A 58-year-old man arrested following an investigation into animal cruelty and alleged badger baiting in County Down has been released on bail.
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.
British Isles
Caroline Spelman
Caroline Spelman refuses to deny plans to slash environmental regulations
The environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, has refused to deny that the Cabinet Office is proposing to rip up of thousands of pages of environmental regulations and guidance as part of the government's "red tape challenge".
UK's last wildlife recording course threatened with closure
The natural world is the litmus paper of the health of our environment. But the last course in the UK which teaches people how to identify plants and animals in the field, and so monitor their changes, is threatened with closure.
Mapping is a big step forward for wild land
The John Muir Trust has welcomed new mapping by Scottish Natural Heritage that shows the extent of wild land in Scotland.
18,000 oaks take root in Stapleford Wood
Over 18,000 oak trees have been planted by the Forestry Commission in a long term plan to return Stapleford Wood, near Newark, back to its ancient roots.
Reminder for East of England
As the UK’s first marine plans approach for the East of England, public drop-in sessions are being held along the coast to make sure residents are fully involved.
Ramsar plan to protect wildlife on Jersey's offshore reefs
People using wetlands in Jersey which are protected under an international treaty are being asked to follow codes of conduct.
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.
Global
81 dolphins have died along Cape Cod shore
At least 81 dolphins have died along the Cape Cod shore since early January in a series of unexplained incidents, U.S. officials and wildlife rescuers said.
Atlantic sturgeon's listing as endangered could affect Delaware dredging
It lives at the bottom of the river. It's ancient and ugly - often described as a dinosaur with fins.
'Supergiant' crustacean found in deepest ocean
A huge crustacean has been found lurking 7km down in the waters off the coast of New Zealand.
Seagrass ‘tens of thousands of years old’
Meadows of seagrass found in the Mediterranean Sea are likely to be thousands of years old, a study shows.
Commission to add pharma pollutants to water law
The European Commission is proposing for the first time to regulate pharmaceutical pollutants in surface water, citing their potential health hazards to humans and aquatic life.
Yellow-cedar are dying in Alaska: scientists now know why
Yellow-cedar, a culturally and economically valuable tree in southeastern Alaska and adjacent parts of British Columbia, has been dying off across large expanses of these areas for the past 100 years. But no one could say why -- until now.
Prolific plant hunters provide insight in strategy for collecting undiscovered plant species
Today's alarmingly high rate of plant extinction necessitates an increased understanding of the world's biodiversity.
Treasure trove of wildlife found in Peru park
The Wildlife Conservation Society's (WCS) Peru program announced today the discovery of 365 species previously undocumented in Bahuaja Sonene National Park (BSNP) in southeastern Peru.
'National' parks are national in name only
It is a peculiar twist of logic that we elevate a small handful of Australian actors to be called national treasures, yet our national parks struggle to make even B-grade celebrity status.
Climate
Arctic melting
Arctic scientist warns of dangerous climate change
The future of human kind faces dire consequences due to arguably the first signs of dangerous climate change in the Arctic, says a leading international scientist from The University of Western Australia.
Climate change poses threat to India's water resources
A new survey of the likely effects of climate change on India's water resources released today identifies huge challenges to maintaining adequate supplies in the coming decades.
UK Climate Change Risk Assessment shows the East of England needs to adapt
A ground-breaking study into the implications of climate change, and the threats the country faces, has revealed that the key priorities for the East of England include responding to water availability, flooding and sea level rise.
Start preparing for climate change, Welsh farmers told
North Wales farmers have been told they can help mitigate climate change by adopting new practices without harming profits.
EU climate chief calls for ‘much care’ on biofuels
The European Union's climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, has warned about expanding the use of biofuels as the EU executive finalises an assessment of the potentially damaging effects they may have over the earth's climate. She spoke to EurActiv as part of a wide-ranging exclusive interview on sustainability issues.
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 ...
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.