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 
White nose syndrome
US bat killer strikes in Europe
White nose syndrome has been diagnosed in a European bat for the first time. The disease, caused by a fungus, Geomyces destructans, has wiped out millions of bats in the US since it was discovered there in 2006.
Disease eradication costs lives of 11,000 trees
Tens of thousands of trees have been felled in Cardinham Woods near Bodmin to try to prevent the spread of a deadly disease which affects Japanese larch.
Trees in Afan Valley's 'Little Switzerland' felled due to disease
An area known as "Little Switzerland" because of its Alpine-like forestry could lose its nickname because of a tree-killing virus.
Tallest tree in UK declared
Measuring a tree the same height as eight double decker buses is no easy task but not one the National Trust has shied away from.
Lamb is not on the menu
With the lambing season in full swing, the RSPB is reassuring farmers that red kites do not pose any threat to lambs. These spectacular birds are once again making themselves at home in Northern Ireland after an absence of 200 years.
Plymouth model predicts seabird foraging patterns
A computer model which predicts the foraging habits of seabirds could be a vital tool in the quest to protect wildlife along the British coastline.
WDCS calls for Scottish protection for whales
A wildlife charity has asked that a new network of Scottish marine protected areas (MPAs) have specific measures to protect whales and dolphins.
Shipping noise causes major 'stress' in whales
Shipping noise causes chronic stress to whales, a landmark study has concluded.
Opportunity for local communities to comment on badger control licence applications
As part of the badger control licence application process, residents and businesses within and adjacent to the proposed pilot licence areas will be invited to provide information ...
Ladybird decline driven by 'invading' harlequin
Ladybirds native to the UK and other European countries are declining fast as the invasive harlequin species spreads, scientists have shown.
Cold snap drives birds into gardens
Birds have flocked into gardens in the face of the recent harsh weather, the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has said.
Windermere geese cull opposition mounts
Opposition is mounting against plans to shoot 200 geese as part of a cull on Windermere.
British Isles
Funding for wildlife friendly farming takes another hit
Following today’s Budget Bill debate, Vicki Swales, Head of Land Use Policy at RSPB Scotland said: “It’s extremely disappointing that pleas for Mr Swinney to reverse cuts to schemes that encourage wildlife friendly farming seem to have fallen on deaf ears."
RSPB asks for safeguarding of funding to deliver sustainable farming
The RSPB believes that Northern Ireland’s farmers are well placed to lead the way in delivering the European Commission’s priorities of ‘Sustainable management of natural resources and climate action’.
A co-operative battle to save wild birds
A new study which is investigating the benefits of supplementary feeding during the leanest months of winter could mean that farmers will be paid to feed their starving farmland birds in future.
Thinking of the wildlife
Wildlife has been put under the spotlight – by industrialists who are planning the future of the Tees Valley.
Barra fishermen march on Holyrood in conservation row
Islanders who claim new conservation rules could put their economic future under threat have held a protest at the Scottish Parliament.
Offshore renewable energy planning system to be streamlined
The planning system for offshore renewable energy projects in Scottish waters is to be streamlined.
Wave Hub in Cornwall gets first energy device
A wave energy firm has agreed to install the first device at the Wave Hub off the north Cornwall coast.
GM food banned in Monsanto canteen
Monsanto, the biggest promoter of genetically modified food, was hoist with its own petard when it was disclosed that it has a staff canteen in which GM produce is banned.
MoD objects to Bempton wind turbine plan
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has objected to proposals to erect a wind turbine at Bempton in East Yorkshire.
Meadows have Leicester's 'most extensive' area of wildlife
Nature experts have named Aylestone Meadows as the "best and most extensive" area of wildlife in Leicester.
Lincolnshire farmer given grant to plant 175m of hedgerows
A woodland grant scheme will enable a third generation farmer to plant 175m of leafy hedgerows ...
Volunteers work Weymouth woodland
Volunteers and countryside rangers have been working together to expand Teddy Bear Woods in Weymouth.
Guidance aims to help save Scotland’s designed landscapes
Environment & Climate Change Minister, Stewart Stevenson, today visited Dunkeld’s storm damaged Cathedral Grove ...
Global
Tuna and mackerel populations have reduced by 60% in the last century
A study shows that the impact of fishing for tuna and similar species during the last 50 years has lessened the abundance of all these populations by an average of 60%.
European Union failing threatened Mediterranean sharks
Oceana, the international marine conservation organisation, denounces the European Commission for blocking efforts to protect threatened and endangered sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea, under the Barcelona Convention.
Majority of protected tropical forests "empty" due to hunting
Protected areas in the world's tropical rainforests are absolutely essential, but one cannot simply set up a new refuge and believe the work is done, according to a new paper in the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
SeaWorld sued over 'enslaved' killer whales
Five killer whales have been named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit which argues they deserve the same constitutional protection from slavery as humans.
EU pledges strong support for earth summit
European leaders have mapped out a bold agenda ahead of the Rio summit, vowing to transform development aid, help provide renewable electricity to the world’s neediest people, and bulk up the United Nations environment body.
Rising temperatures at Fukushima raise questions over stability of nuclear plant
Workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant say they are regaining control of a reactor after its temperature rose dramatically this week, casting doubt on government claims that the facility has been stabilised.
Campaigners clash over industry claims of rise in GM crops
Pro- and anti-GM organisations clashed on Tuesday over the accuracy of industry figures which suggested a rise internationally of 8% in the acreage of GM crops in 2011, a 16th straight rise since they were first sold in 1996.
Modified crops tap a wellspring of protest
Silent in flannel shirts and ponytails, farmers from Saskatchewan and South Dakota, Mississippi and Massachusetts lined the walls of a packed federal courtroom in Manhattan last week, as their lawyers told a judge that they were no longer able to keep genetically modified crops from their fields.
New rainforest and indigenous reserve established in Peru
On February 4th, the Peruvian government and a small indigenous group created a new Amazon reserve, dubbed the Maijuna Reserve.
A smarter and greener EU Budget would contribute to employment
A coalition of Environmental Groups launches a major study by GHK Consultants on “the contribution a green EU Budget could make to job creation and the economy”.
Climate
Himalaya
The Himalayas and nearby peaks have lost no ice in past 10 years
The world's greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.
Scientists melt mystery over icecaps and sea levels
U.S. scientists using satellite data have established a more accurate figure of the amount of annual sea level rise from melting glaciers and ice caps which should aid studies on how quickly coastal areas may flood as global warming gathers pace.
Latest studies throw light on causes of climate change
Is the chemical reaction involving radical-molecule complexes responsible for climate changes?
Carbon capture to net €1bn of infrastructure funds
Experimental technology to capture, store and bury carbon emissions in geological formations is in line to receive a payout of as much as €1.37 billion from the EU’s energy infrastructure package, EurActiv has learned.
EU energy chief opposes increase in biofuels target
EU energy chief Günther Oettinger is opposing proposals to increase the EU's target of 10% biofuels by 2020 due to environmental concerns.
British greenhouse gases rise for first time since 2003
There was a significant increase in UK greenhouse gases in 2010 for the first time in several years, Government figures confirmed yesterday.
Louisiana report urges state to brace for 3 feet of sea level rise
A new report released by the administration of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal projects that the state’s already vulnerable coastline could face 3 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century.
UK greenhouse gas rise exceeds expectations on 2010 recovery
The UK has been pumping out more greenhouses gases (GHG) than previously thought, according to new government figures confirming emissions rose 3.1 per cent between 2009 and 2010.
How the 'wind farms increase climate change' myth was born
Such is the viral nature of information flow on the internet, we can sometimes see myths and memes developing before our very eyes.
Nearly half of electricity at UK businesses wasted during off hours
A UK report says that nearly half of the electricity consumed by British businesses is wasted when employees are not at work.
KPMG refuses to publish controversial green energy report
KPMG is refusing to publish the full findings of a controversial study examining the cost of the government's green energy policies ...