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 
Phytophthora austrocedrae in Teesdale New fungal disease discovered in threatened juniper
Phytopthera austrocedrus, recently confirmed in Britain, is a fungus infection that is usually fatal to infected trees. It has been confirmed on common juniper in northern England as well as on Lawson’s cypress and Nootka cypress in Scotland.
Council deny abandoned work wiped out mussel colony
Mayo County Council have described as ‘totally false’ claims by the Friends of the Irish Environment that work they carried out on a bridge near Delphi resulted in a rare colony of freshwater pearl mussels being destroyed.
Dormouse discovery at Alton Water is good news
After years of searching and surveying Anglian Water has finally found conclusive evidence of dormice at one of its sites, Alton Water.
Trossachs barn owl numbers boosted by 'vole feast'
A massive increase in the number of field voles in the Trossachs is helping boost the barn owl population in the area, the national park has said.
Hunt for illegal bird shoot gang
Police are hunting a gang of men who were spotted illegally shooting birds in the Lancashire countryside.
Campaign to protect rare beetle starts
A two-year conservation project has been launched to help protect a beetle found only on the banks of the River Ouse.
'Killer whale' sighted off Norfolk coast at Sheringham
Reports that a killer whale has been sighted off the Norfolk coast have been described as "highly reliable" by an expert on mammals.
British Isles
Author attacks 'desecration' as plan to build on Watership Down is approved
The author of Watership Down spoke of the ‘utter desecration of a beautiful piece of countryside’ yesterday after plans were approved to build 2,000 homes on the land which inspired the novel and film.
Plan for Red Moss wind farm
A wind farm could be built on a site of special scientific interest.
Drought fears for Britain prompt water summit
The environment secretary is to meet water companies, farmers and wildlife groups amid fears that parts of Britain may face the worst drought since 1976.
Nature charities benefit from Environment Agency civil sanctions
Nature trusts and charities in East Anglia have benefited from donations made by environmental offenders under a new “civil sanctions” regime.
National Trust aims for nature generation
The National Trust is planning a campaign this year to improve peoples' links with nature and wildlife.
Moorland can thrive without the 'career conservationists'
Most people who live in and around Exmoor can recall the monumental battles that took place there some years ago when the national park committee became locked in bitter conflict with the conservation lobby.
Study begins into wind farm potential on Scilly
A renewable energy group on the Isles of Scilly is to carry out a feasibility study into the islands' suitability for small-scale wind farm.
SSE set to build 'Scotland's first' offshore wind turbine test site
SSE's plan to build a new research centre to test prototypes for the next generation of large offshore wind turbines designed for the harsh conditions of the North Sea has taken a major step forward after the company secured consent for the facility in Scotland.
Global
Koala
Australia delays decision on koala listing
The Australian government has angered koala conservationists by again delaying a decision on whether to add the national icon to the country's endangered species list.
Old and new knowledge combine to protect Fiji's fish
Along the coastline of Fiji, threatened fishing communities have been combining the ancient and the new in their fight to conserve precious marine resources.
Endangered freshwater dolphins to be protected by Bangladesh sanctuaries
The government of Bangladesh has created three new wildlife sanctuaries for the endangered Ganges River and Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins, the last two remaining species of freshwater dolphins in Asia.
Emergency conservation work pays off: Zino’s Petrel bounces back!
Zino’s Petrel was Europe’s rarest seabird even before a ravaging wild fire hit the heart of Madeira’s central massif, where this globally endangered bird breeds.
Productive farms can be 'greener than organic': study
Farms that aim for high food production using environmentally-friendly practices could be better for the environment than both organic and conventional farms.
Making the economic case for business and biodiversity
Is there an economic case for businesses to do something about the continuing loss of biodiversity?
Species choked and blended
The appearance of new ecological niches propels the evolution of species, but the converse can also occur.
Climate
Three-quarters of the Severn Estuary's mudflats could be lost to sea level rises
Sea level rises of between 30-40cm in the Severn Estuary over the next 60 years could cause more than three-quarters of the estuary’s intertidal area to be lost, a new report has warned.
U.S. pushes to cut emissions of some pollutants that hasten climate change
Impatient with the slow pace of international climate change negotiations, a small group of countries led by the United States is starting a program to reduce emissions of common pollutants that contribute to rapid climate change and widespread health problems.
Trouble in the Heartland
Assuming they are substantially authentic, the trove of confidential documents from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Chicago, leaked to the blogosphere on February 14th provide an interesting view of one of Americas more prominent agents of climate-change scepticism.
Hyderabad gets research centre for climate change
The research on the impact of climate change on crop diseases and insect pests will be the focus of an exclusive collaborative institution launched at the International Crop Research Institute for Semi–Arid Tropics (Icrisat).
Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science
The inner workings of a libertarian thinktank working to discredit the established science on climate change have been exposed by a leak of confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising networks.
Extreme summer temperatures occur more frequently
Extreme summer temperatures are already occurring more frequently in the United States, and will become normal by mid-century if the world continues on a business as usual schedule of emitting greenhouse gases.