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 
Culex modestus
Continental mosquito found breeding in UK after 60 year absence
A species of mosquito not seen in the UK since 1945 has been discovered breeding in the country.
For the first time, we can see spring coming from 4,000 miles away
Very early signs of spring are among the most uplifting markers of the turning world, not least because they occur when the Earth is in lockdown – grey and cold, especially now in this first full week of February.
Dormice transfer to zoo a great success
Two dormice, which were saved and taken to HART Wildlife Rescue after their nest was wrecked by a cat, have been successfully transferred to Paignton Zoo.
Peak time for spotting common seals in rivers
Don't be surprised if you see common seals gliding up the Ouse or the Cuckmere at this time of year.
Munching moth is threat to trees
Rare insects have been discovered munching their way through – and killing – trees at a nature reserve.
Concern for wildlife in Voluntary Initiative surveys
Farmers want to help wildlife and the vast majority believe that wildlife conservation is an integral part of their farming system, according to two surveys conducted by the Voluntary Initiative.
Call for snares to be banned
Wildlife sanctuary boss Caroline Gould has launched a campaign to have snares banned. It follows the discovery of a badger that had been horrifically injured by one.
Badger Trust gives DEFRA notice of legal challenge
The Badger Trust has sent a letter to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs giving them notice of the grounds of challenge which the Badger Trust intends to pursue if DEFRA does not set aside its decision to kill badgers in its measures to eradicate bovine tuberculosis.
British Isles
Ed Davey throws weight behind green energy by opening giant UK windfarm
The new energy secretary, Lib Dem MP Ed Davey, will face down the growing army of renewable power critics inside the coalition by making his first major outing a visit to a wind project.
Grant for marine education scheme on the South coast
Two wildlife trusts on the South coast have been awarded a grant of £412,400 to educate the public about the diversity of natural marine habitats.
Marram grass grown at North Burlingham is heading north to Tyneside dunes
About 268,000 hardy grass plants cultivated outside Norwich will soon be replanted 300 miles away to help bolster coastal dunes on Tyneside.
Crackdown planned on illegal gorse fires
A major crackdown on illegal gorse and scrub fires is planned after damage to thousands of acres of land in Co Cork last year.
Report reveals huge benefits of community farming schemes
An impact assessment of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in England has found the pioneering farming schemes are providing huge benefits not only to thousands of members, but also their communities, local economies and the environment.
Funding for wildlife friendly farming takes another hit
“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.
Global
Orcas
Whales not slaves because they are not people
A US federal judge has thrown out an animal rights group's lawsuit accusing SeaWorld of enslaving captive killer whales, ruling that orcas have no standing to seek the same constitutional rights as people.
Greens call for whaling spy boat
A federal government vessel would be sent to spy on foreign whaling ships that enter Australian waters, under a private bill from Greens leader Bob Brown.
Rare slender-billed vulture sighted in Terai
A slender-billed vulture, which is on the verge of extinction, has been sighted by ornithologists in Terai area of Kheri.
Rare bird species spotted in Manipur
Bird watchers have spotted rare water bird Glossy Ibis and sea gulls in group in Manipur’s wetlands in the recent time.
Slash-and-burn `improves tropical forest biodiversity`
Slash-and-burn agricultural practices, banned by governments because of the risk of uncontrolled fires, provide better growing conditions for valuable new trees than more modern methods of forest clearance, a study suggests.
Zebra stripes evolved to keep biting flies at bay
Why zebras evolved their characteristic black-and-white stripes has been the subject of decades of debate among scientists.
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 ... denounces the European Commission for blocking efforts to protect threatened and endangered sharks and rays in the Mediterranean Sea, under the Barcelona Convention.
Climate
UK wants sustained cuts to solar panel tariffs
The UK government on Thursday recommended slashing subsidies for solar panels on homes from July 1 after a boom in installations last year nearly exhausted its support budget.
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.
Melting glaciers on the Himalayas not contributing to sea level rise
The Himalayas has lost no significant ice over the past decade, according to a new study, that found melting ice from glaciers is having a much smaller effect on sea levels than previously thought.
Don't despair - still time to reverse climate change
Australia's carbon price is due to come into effect in a few months. When the economic catastrophe prophesied by its opponents fails to materialise we may perhaps see a rational debate about the costs and benefits of measures to stabilise the planet's climate.
'I Feel Duped on Climate Change'
Will reduced solar activity counteract global warming in the coming decades?
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?