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 
Pygmy shrew
Smallest Irish mammal 'may vanish'
Ireland’s smallest mammal, the protected pygmy shrew, has “completely vanished” in some areas due to the introduction of new species.
Deadly crayfish close in on rare pearl mussels
They have dwelt in Scotland’s waterways since the last Ice Age and were, according to Roman historians, the reason why Julius Caesar invaded Britain.
Rare shark caught off coast of Galway
A rare deepwater shark and a “monster” mackerel have been landed by two Irish fishing vessels into Rossaveal, Co Galway.
Cirencester farmer Mark Tufnell wins owl conservation award
A farmer in Gloucestershire has become the first in the UK to receive an award for barn owl conservation, as part of a sustainable farming project.
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.
British Isles
Drought summit as rivers in England dry up
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has hosted a drought summit as parts of England struggle with groundwater levels lower than in 1976.
MPs demand Britannia rules the wave power sector
The government will today be called on to increase its support for wave and tidal power in a new report from MPs warning the UK is at risk of repeating mistakes which allowed the country to lose its early lead in the developing wind power industry.
Sallachy wind farm would be a blow to the heart of Assynt
The John Muir Trust has objected to a 22-turbine wind development on the Sallachy and Duchally Estates near Lairg in Sutherland due to the impact it would have on some of Scotland’s finest wild land.
New £6m Scottish Land Fund launched by government
A new fund backed with £6m from the Scottish government has been set up to help pay for community buy-outs.
Grants to bring woods back to Western Isles
They are windswept islands renowned for their treeless landscapes – but it hasn’t always been this way.
Prince Charles forced to rethink plans for Poundbury
The Prince of Wales has been forced to adapt his latest plans to expand Poundbury because of sewage effluent as fears grow across the country about river pollution in the coming drought.
Objections to Beara salmon farm
It was standing room only at the Caha Community Hall in Adrigole last Saturday night as the local community turned out in force to voice their concerns at the proposed new 300-acre salmon farm in Bantry Bay.
Global
Canada threatens trade war with EU over tar sands
Canada has threatened a trade war with European Union over the bloc's plan to label oil from Alberta's vast tar sands as highly polluting, the Guardian can reveal, before a key vote in Brussels on 23 February.
France asks EU to suspend Monsanto GM corn approval
France asked the European Commission on Monday to suspend authorization to plant Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) MON810 corn, the environment ministry said, as the country seeks to keep a ban on GM crops despite losing court rulings.
Environmental factors must be included in GDP, say scientists
Countries must move beyond tracking economic growth using measures of gross domestic product (GDP) and incorporate environmental and social dimensions into a new measure of wealth if they are to avoid an escalating series of climate, biodiversity and poverty crises.
‘Mobile’ marine reserves needed to protect far-ranging species
U.S. scientists say the creation of “mobile” marine reserves reflecting the migratory nature of far-ranging species will be needed to prevent the extinction of some vulnerable species.
Ancient plants back to life after 30,000 frozen years
Scientists in Russia have grown plants from fruit stored away in permafrost by squirrels over 30,000 years ago.
'Geo-Wiki' to improve land use data
Researchers in Austria say a new Web-based interactive tool will improve the accuracy and extent of global land use and forest cover information.
Climate
EU flag
EU nations split on climate goals
European Union governments remain split on whether to support a pathway to long-term climate goals drafted by the bloc’s regulator that some investors say could bolster carbon prices, according to an EU document.
FAO expert: Adopt ‘climate smart’ agriculture to ensure food security, adaptation
An expert from the Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) is pitching calls for the adoption of “climate-smart agriculture” to address the twin challenges of achieving food security and climate change.
Yosemite's alpine chipmunks take genetic hit from climate change
Global warming has forced alpine chipmunks in Yosemite to higher ground, prompting a startling decline in the species' genetic diversity, according to a new study by researchers ...
NASA photo shows shrinking lake in the southern Sahara desert
A new photo taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station shows the extent to which Lake Fitri, a terminal lake in the southern Sahara Desert in Chad, has diminished as a consequence of climate change.
New study casts doubt on climate credentials and sustainability of US wood
A major increase in imports of wood fuel to Europe from the US could do more harm than good for our environment, a new report has revealed.
Snowdon getting 'warmer and wetter'
Wales' tallest mountain is being changed by rising temperatures, pollution and land management, a survey has revealed.