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 
Barn owl
Hundreds of owl nest boxes go up in Somerset
A total of 334 barn owl nest boxes are being put up across Somerset to encourage more breeding pairs and monitor the bird's numbers.
Advisers warned government on badger cull
UK badger culling plans could kill tens of thousands of the animals, worsen the cattle tuberculosis problem, and put the country in breach of a European wildlife treaty, advisers have warned.
Fears 'entire clans' may be wiped out with badger cull
The Government's plan to cull badgers could wipe out "entire clans" of the animals in their heartland in the South West, according to experts.
Campaigners defeat housing threat to red squirrels' last urban sanctuary
A display of people power appears to have protected the future of wildlife at a unique city nature reserve, including England's last remaining urban red squirrel population.
The gloves are off at RSPB reserves
With spring approaching, the brown hares of the UK are starting to ‘box’, and the we're encouraging people to head to our nature reserves to see the opening bouts of these amazing seasonal matches.
New hope for rare butterfly
Work is taking place to make the Malvern Hills a better habitat for an increasingly rare butterfly species.
Forest visitors warned of moth threat to Scots pines
Highland nature lovers have been warned not to remove tree material to help prevent the spread of a giant moth which could destroy Scotland's pine forests.
Plants' natural circadian rhythm genes revealed
A gene that triggers plants to become dormant at night and controls flowering has been discovered by scientists.
Woodlark return to Tunbridge Wells
Woodlark have returned to RSPB Broadwater Warren nature reserve, thanks to the conservation charity’s restoration efforts on the site.
British Isles
Environment Agency:
Drought warning for East Midlands
Drought conditions are highly likely to affect large parts of the East Midlands if dry weather continues, the Environment Agency says.
Safeguarding future of river for angling and wildlife
Wildlife and anglers are to benefit from a project to improve and protect an important wildlife and course fish habitat on the River Nene.
Hundreds of turbines to be built across the Highlands
The most spectacular landscape in Britain, across the Highlands and Islands, is also the best place for wind farms with the number of turbines set to multiply by five times if ambitious plans to make the mountains a centre for generating electricity go ahead.
Burcote Wind plans 10 wind farms in Scotland
Burcote Wind plans to invest £1 billion in 10 wind farms across Scotland, which could create nearly 600 jobs.
'Grave concern' over plans for more turbines in Belford
Villagers face the prospect of 25 massive wind turbines on their doorstep after a second scheme for their area emerged
E.ON reassesses biomass plan as Bristol plant gets green light
E.ON has started revising plans to build a 150MW biomass power station in North Somerset, after the government today granted consent for the green power plant.
£120m project powers ahead
Construction started this week on a £120m plant that will turn waste wood into electricity on the edge of Sheffield, creating a new landmark next to the M1.
Dearne Valley gets new wetland nature reserve
A new nature wetland reserve will be created in a South Yorkshire valley.
RSPB raises concerns over Natural England statement
The RSPB has today (9 March 2012) raised a number of concerns about a Natural England statement which confirms the resolution of a dispute about management practices with Walshaw Moor in the Pennines.
Brecon Beacons National Park bids to becomes Wales’ first International Dark Sky Reserve
The star-filled nights of yesteryear are vanishing in a yellow haze of artificial light across the world – but a Welsh national park is bidding for special protection status to avoid a similar fate.
Global
Hooked albatross
Half the world's seabirds are in decline, says report
The populations of almost half of the world's seabirds are thought to be in decline, according to a study published in Bird Conservation International.
Japan says 'sabotage' hurt whaling hunt
Japan says its whaling fleet ended its annual antarctic hunt with just a third of its target catch of more than 900 whales, and blamed "sabotage" by activists.
Investigation following new evidence against APP
In the space of a week the National Geographic Society (NGS) has publicly broken ties with Asian Pulp and Paper (APP) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has called for an investigation after a Greenpeace report revealed the company was illegally logging protected tree species.
Birds' diverse traits survive Amazon fires
Research in the Amazon has shown that wildfires are less of a threat to the functional diversity of rainforest birds than you might expect.
Carnivores pick meats over sweets
Many meat-eating animals have lost their ability to taste sugars over the course of evolution.
Researchers doubt oilsands-damaged land can be restored to what it was
In a small corner of the vast scrape the oilsands have left on northern Alberta, a small sampling of seeds is gradually warming up in the slow boreal spring.
Task Force suggests underground mining in Western Ghats
A task force, appointed by the steel ministry, is pitching for underground mining in the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats by citing the example of Kiruna Mines in Sweden which boasts of the largest and most modern underground iron ore mine in the world.
Retreating ice leaves glacial species on the rocks
The rapid retreat of glaciers is one of the most visible signs of Earth's changing climate, but the disappearance of the ice is altering far more than physical landscape.
Climate
Poland’s climate veto leaves frustration in its wake
Poland’s decision to veto climate milestones for 2030 and 2040 has angered environmental groups and left policy makers and investors exasperated.
UK opposes 2030 renewable energy target
The UK government wants nuclear power to be given parity with renewables in Europe, in a move that would significantly boost atomic energy in Britain but downgrade investment in renewable generation, according to a leaked document seen by the Guardian.
Aviation firms urge EU to reconsider ETS
Seven leading European aviation companies have written to European political leaders warning about the implications of a recently introduced EU carbon tax, the Financial Times reported today (12 March).
Germany harnesses green power in desolate east
Germany's solution to a large part of its energy dilemma may lie in a muddy field in desolate, windswept flatlands in the northeast.
Greenland ice melt seen at lower temperatures: study
The complete melt of the Greenland ice sheet could occur at lower global temperatures than previously thought, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change showed on Sunday, increasing the threat and severity of a rise in sea level.
Ice on U.S. Great Lakes has decreased by 71 percent since 1973
The average amount of ice covering the U.S. Great Lakes has dropped by 71 percent over the past 40 winters, with ice coverage on the largest of the lakes, Superior, dropping by 79 percent, according to a report from the American Meteorological Society.
Tar sands emit more carbon than previously estimated
Environmentalists have targeted the oil-producing tar sands in Canada in part because its crude comes with heftier carbon emissions than conventional sources.
Global warming threat to coral reefs: can some species adapt?
Coral reefs are among the ecosystems most severely threatened by global warming, but hopeful new evidence has emerged that some coral species may be able to adapt to warmer oceans.
Climate change threatens Seychelles habitat
Bursts of torrential rain lash the idyllic white beaches of the Seychelles, where conservationists fear that rare species such as the giant tortoise are at severe risk from climate change.