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 

Biggest fox
'Britain's biggest fox' killed

The huge specimen was bagged by Alan Hepworth near his home in Aberdeenshire and weighed 38lb 1oz.
Ant identification boosts blue butterflies
Scientists have developed a fast, cheap and reliable technique that vastly improves the chances of successfully reintroducing the endangered large blue butterfly to the UK.
Standing still in running water: lotic dragon and damselfly species less able to adapt to climate change
A study published online in Biology Letters throws light on the capability of individual dragonfly species to track climate change.
Cliff-face cameras to view Bempton Cliffs seabirds
Two CCTV cameras have been installed on the cliff-face at a seabird centre on Bempton Cliffs near Bridlington.
Bird feeding proves recession-proof
While people are tightening their belts, it seems that garden birds are not having to do the same, with sales of bird food expanding amidst the cold conditions.
Illegal eel trap drowns protected otter
The Environment Agency is urging anglers to report illegal fishing activity after an otter died in an illegally set trap to capture eels.
Sperm whale washes ashore at Skegness Beach
A dead sperm whale, 35 feet in length, weighing an estimated 30 tonnes, washed ashore at Skegness Beach.
Dartmoor ponies to go on the pill
A pioneering project to put Dartmoor's wild ponies on the pill is to begin in Devon later this year.
Deer culls aggressive Scottish Gamekeepers Association says
Deer culls in the name of conservation are "aggressive" and harm populations that support sporting estates, a gamekeepers body has said.
Chepstow badger deaths inquiry launched by Gwent Police
Gwent Police have launched an investigation after two dead badgers were found in Chepstow.
British Isles
Two hundred ancient woodlands at threat from development
More than 200 ancient woodlands are currently under threat from development, and many more could be at risk without changes to the proposed planning reforms, campaigners are warning.
Talla and Gameshope estate purchase bid
Two conservation charities hope to raise more than £1m to buy "wild land" in southern Scotland once roamed by William Wallace and the Border Reivers.
Turbine group mourns wild land
Windfarm protesters held a symbolic “wake” outside Eden Court Theatre in Inverness on Saturday to highlight their concerns about developments on wild land.
Power plant threat to birds’ beach home
A battle is looming over plans to turn protected sandflats into an industrial zone.
Northern Isles - New woodland creation options
Land owners and managers across the Northern Isles are urged to take advantage of a new Scottish Government grant that aims to boost efforts to expand native woodland cover.
Government boost for Thames Estuary
An area of Essex, Kent and east London, bigger than the Caribbean Island of Barbados, is set to benefit from a half- a-million pound cash injection.
WWF & AEF: Heathrow doesn’t need more capacity
WWF and the Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) today questioned the calls by BAA and others for increased capacity at London Heathrow.
Bay granted special status
Projects supporting wildlife and agriculture around Morecambe Bay have been given a £600,000 investment.
Where the rain went and what it could mean
recent scientific paper (reported here on Eurekalert) publishes research suggesting a link between decreasing Arctic sea ice and increased snow in the northern hemisphere.
We must plant a rural community revival
Last weekend, as I was heading into the hills, I walked through what can only be described as a devastated landscape more reminiscent of a scene from the trenches of Flanders or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road than the Scottish countryside in the 21st century.
Global
Up to 900 tropical bird species could 'go extinct'
Up to 900 species of tropical land birds around the world could become extinct by 2100, researchers say.
UN team examines mining threat to Great Barrier Reef
A UN team has arrived in Australia to investigate possible damage to the Great Barrier Reef by the mining industry.
Sawfish snout senses, swipes and stabs
The spectacular snouts of sawfish are revealed as complete hunting weapons, sensing prey and killing them.
Sea Shepherd finds key whaling ship
After a marathon pursuit, Sea Shepherd says it has found and shut down Japan's key whaling factory ship, Nisshin Maru, deep inside Australian Antarctic waters.
Staniford turns attention to Norway
Maverick anti-salmon farm campaigner Don Staniford has apparently moved to Norway “to slay the dragon in its own lair.”
Is seaweed the future of biofuel?
As scientists continue the hunt for energy sources that are safer, cleaner alternatives to fossil fuel, an ever-increasing amount of valuable farmland is being used to produce bioethanol, a source of transportation fuel.
SA cycads 'are facing extinction'
While rhino poaching is increasing at an alarming rate, four species of cycads found only in South Africa are on the brink of extinction due to poaching.
Alarm in Paraguay at settlement plans for Ñacunday National Park
Paraguayan environmental organizations including Guyra Paraguay (BirdLife in Paraguay) are alarmed at the recent decision of the national government to actively promote the settlement of small-scale farmers (‘campesinos’) within the Ñacunday National Park.
India, other developing nations block exclusion of Rio Principles' references from UNEP decisions
India and other developing countries successfully resisted a move by the United States to exclude references of the Rio Principles from the decisions of the United Nations Environment Programme taken at the Nairobi meet.
Chitral sees drastic drop in migratory birds
The current hunting season of Siberian ducks proved to be a wild-goose chase for the hunters, as negligible number of migratory birds came to Chitral this season compared to past.
Climate
Nuclear? Wind?
Controversial green energy report 'very, very poor', says government economist
The government and renewable energy businesses have slammed the findings of a controversial report that claimed 2020 carbon reduction targets could be achieved more cost effectively by building nuclear and gas-fired power stations instead of wind farms.
First chuffs from the Durban climate train
Last week, we heard the first tiny sounds of a train leaving the Durban Platform.
Scotland to fit carbon capture at existing coal plants by 2025
The Scottish government plans to fitcarbon capture and storage at all coal plants by 2025 and said demonstrating the technology could generate 3.5 billion pounds ($5.6 billion) in the next decade.
IMO set to collide with EU over vessel CO2 emissions
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is making little headway on market-based measures to curb carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping, putting it on a policy collision course with the European Union, observers said.
Economic slowdown means UK can phase out more fossil energy
The economic slowdown means the UK could retire old coal, oil and nuclear power plants without risking black-outs between 2015 and 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Death threats, intimidation and abuse
The scientist who has borne the full brunt of attacks by climate change deniers, including death threats and accusations of misappropriating funds, is set to hit back.
Obama warns on "false choice" between growth, environment
President Barack Obama, defending himself against election-year attacks over his energy policies, said on Friday that his critics were trying to set up a "false choice" between protecting the environment and boosting the economy.
Helping protect vulnerable birds from impacts of climate change
Scientists from PRBO Conservation Science and the Department of Fish and Game have completed an innovative study on the effects of climate change on bird species of greatest concern.