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 
Goldfinch
Goldfinches wooed from farmland to British gardens
The bright red face and yellow wing patches of the goldfinch are nearly five times more likely to be seen in British gardens than they were in the mid-1990s, according to the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
Delight as threatened black grouse numbers take flight
There have been dramatic increases in the numbers of one of Scotland’s most threatened and iconic birds over the past year, new figures reveal.
Mild winter sees swallows avoiding the long flight back to Africa
The swallow’s return has long been regarded as an indication of the end of winter and the emergence of the first signs of spring.
Mild winter sees cathedral's birds of prey mating earlier than ever before
Peregrine falcons, nesting on the side of Derby Cathedral, have started mating earlier than ever before.
Turning the tide for seabirds
On the second anniversary of Scotland’s pioneering laws to conserve the seas, Scots are showing a groundswell of support for Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
Calf of Man rodent-cull to preserve Manx Shearwaters
The population of brown rats on the Calf of Man islet is to be "eradicated" under plans to establish "safe breeding" for Manx Shearwater birds.
Windermere Canada geese cull to go ahead
A cull of 200 Canada geese is to go ahead in the Lake District, despite more than 2,500 people signing a petition against the move.
Cameras in bid to protect birds
Rare birds are to have their nests protected around the clock by high-tech motion-sensitive cameras after a spate of poisonings, a police force has said.
Red Owl about it!
Twitchers have been flocking to the Forestry Commission’s Hicks Lodge National Forest Cycle Centre, near Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, to spot rare feathered visitors.
'Frog conference' tackles toad and frog road threat
The threat to frogs and toads, many of which die crossing roads to mating sites, is to be discussed in a European conference hosted in Cambridgeshire.
Seal killing: A vital part of preserving Scottish salmon
The number of seals shot around Scotland’s coastline is decreasing, but hundreds were still killed last year, often by fish farms protecting their stocks.
British Isles
UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows
As many as 12 of Britain's 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change, according to an unpublished government analysis obtained by the Guardian.
Fault causes Sizewell B nuclear reactor to shutdown
A fault has caused Sizewell B power station's nuclear reactor to shut down, halting electricity generation.
Council dashes hopes for new ‘clean’ coal-fired power station
A council has removed its support for a new coal-fired power station in Ayrshire.
Waun Garno wind farm plan refused by Powys councillors
Plans for 11 wind turbines near Newtown have been refused after planners said the scheme would have a "significant impact" on roads.
Cable: put offshore wind "success story" at heart of UK industrial policy
Offshore wind is one of the British industrial success stories business secretary Vince Cable has urged the government to get behind as part of creating "a compelling vision of where the country is heading".
Government announces measures to defuse row over turf-cutting ban
The government has doubled the compensation payable to bog-owners in the first year after they agree to stop cutting turf in environmentally sensitive areas.
Green Party accuses London mayor of £44m climate budget underspend
The mayor of London has been accused of failing to deliver on a range of climate change policies during his four-year term in office, as new figures reveal he has spent just half of an £84m green budget.
Coveney plan on sheep density rates criticised
A plan to encourage farmers to increase stocking rates for sheep in remote areas will have a devastating effect on the environment, it has been claimed.
Natural England and Conservation Grade to collaborate in farmland biodiversity drive
A landmark agreement has been reached between Natural England, the government’s advisor on the natural environment, and the Conservation Grade Nature Friendly Farming scheme.
Ex-fish farm on Anglesey Selonda UK fined £50,000
The former owner of an Anglesey fish farm has been fined £50,000 after a protected coastline was polluted.
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.
Global
Cheetah struggling to reproduce due to climate change
The world's fastest animal, the African cheetah, is losing its ability to reproduce because of climate change, according to Kenyan researchers.
Project to protect rare Burmese monkey gets new funding
A conservation project to help protect the rare Burmese snub-nosed monkey is one of 33 to get a share of UK Government funding.
Rare monkeys in China to be protected
China says a new research center will be built to protect the country's rare golden monkeys.
Bats in northern Australian town prompt disease warning
A town in northern Australia has been invaded by more than 250,000 bats, prompting warnings of a potentially fatal disease related to rabies.
Wolf creek: spiders spinning out of control as waters rise
People are not the only ones trying to escape rising flood waters, spiders have also had to evacuate their homes.
EU-funded study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity
With its 1.7 billion square kilometres, an area equivalent to 5 times the size of Germany, the Congo Basin forest is the world's second largest tropical forest.
Farmers face tough choice on ways to fight new strains of weeds
OK, so this story is about weeds and weedkillers, neither of which is ever the hero of a story, but stay with me for a second: It's also about plants with superpowers.
Commonly used herbicides seen as threat to endangered butterflies
A Washington State University toxicologist has found that three commonly used herbicides can dramatically reduce butterfly populations.
Carp dominate crayfish in invasive species battleground
Louisiana red swamp crayfish and common carp are two of the most invasive species on the planet yet how they interact has only recently been revealed by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.
EU installed wind power slowed in 2011
The EU-27 installation rate of wind power slowed 5.9% in 2011 with just under 9.4 GW of new capacity, compared with nearly 10 GW in 2010 ...
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.
Climate
Kiribati
Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat
The low-lying Pacific nation of Kiribati is negotiating to buy land in Fiji so it can relocate islanders under threat from rising sea levels.
Poland warns EU on climate policy
Coal-dependent Poland has warned fellow European Union member states against “gambling with the European economy’s future” as it seeks to thwart a campaign to deepen the bloc’s cuts in greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.
EU ministers want to spur low-carbon energy: draft
Environment ministers meeting in Brussels on Friday are likely to urge the EU's executive to look at practical ways to drive green investment, but to stop short of calling for intervention to prop up carbon permits that have lost much of their value.
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.