H a b i t a t - the sea, the land and the life          
Wildlife and environment news from the British Isles - books too!


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Wildlife 
Mallard
Wildlife crisis as mallard numbers plummet
One of Scotland’s most familiar birds has seen its population halved in the past 30 years, according to a new report.
Seal pups help deliver more visitors to Donna Nook nature reserve
Crowds are already flocking to a nature reserve to see the newly born grey seal pups at Donna Nook.
Pregnancy is a drag for bottlenose dolphins
Lumbering around during the final weeks before delivery is tough for any pregnant mum.
How bats 'hear' objects in their path
By placing real and virtual objects in the flight paths of bats, scientists at the Universities of Bristol and Munich have shed new light on how echolocation works.
Two men accused of laying snares for mountain hares
Two men have been accused of laying snares to trap mountain hares on land near Grantown-on-Spey in April.
Balmy November extends window on wildlife
The clocks might have gone back and Christmas shopping started but in the garden at least, people are still seeing signs of summer according to the RSPB.
Zebra mussel and 'killer shrimp' threat to Isle of Man
Manx rivers and reservoirs are under threat from an invasive species of mussel, the government has warned.
Otters return to once-polluted River Mersey
Otters have returned to the River Mersey, which was once one of the most polluted areas of water in Europe.
Deer most recognised Scottish animal, survey finds
Deer are the type of wildlife the public associate most with Scotland ...
Bird of prey rescued from mine shaft in Gloucestershire
A bird of prey that was trapped down a disused mine shaft in the Forest of Dean has been rescued by firefighters.
Just 30 pairs of barn owls left in Northern Ireland
The number of barn owls in Northern Ireland has dropped by nearly 90% over the last 80 years, with just 30 breeding pairs estimated to be left here.
Beavers released in Machynlleth enclosure
Beavers have been extinct in the wild in Wales for probably 400 years.
British Isles
State could be fined millions if more turf is cut
Ireland faces a multimillion-euro fines and daily sanctions of €20,000 from next year if turf cutting continues on protected bogs.
Thames Tunnel report branded 'illogical'
A commission report which suggests alternatives to the proposed Thames Tunnel ... has been strongly rejected by environmental, wildlife and amenity groups.
Oil spill into River Lark
A spill of around 5000 gallons of oil into a surface water system has polluted 2.5km of the River Lark through Bury St Edmunds.
Pylon routes from new Cumbria nuclear site revealed
Plans showing six possible routes of pylons and cabling from a new nuclear facility in Cumbria have been revealed.
Kiln Meadow in Ipswich 'no longer for sale'
An Ipswich meadow, home to a large population of toads, will not be put up for sale again for housing ...
Open spaces become city’s first two nature reserves
It may be best-known for its popular fishing lake, but more than 100 acres at Noddle Hill ... is now officially one of the city’s first two nature reserves.
Work done enhances natural beauty of Howardian Hills
Schemes worth £545,000 have been carried out to boost the economy and environment of the picturesque Howardian Hills.
Trust welcomes independent Mar Lodge report
The Scottish Wildlife Trust today welcomed the publication of the report of the Mar Lodge Independent Review Panel.
Latest survey of major lakes in the English Lake District
The Lakes Tour is a long-term survey of the water quality and ecology of the 20 major lakes in the English Lake District.
RES submits application for Solwaybank windfarm
Revised plans for a proposed Solwaybank windfarm in Annandale have been submitted to the council.
Cadbury medals awarded
Two individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to nature conservation have each received a prestigious award from The Wildlife Trusts.
UK adds 13 marine sites to Natura 2000 list
The UK has added 13 marine sites to its Natura 2000 list as part of a major update by sixteen EU Member States.
UK government announces £30 million offshore fund
The UK government has announced the creation two funds totalling a £30 million to go to companies developing innovations for the offshore wind sector.
Global
UN overhaul required to govern planet's life support system: Experts
Reducing the risk of potential global environmental disaster requires a "constitutional moment" comparable in scale and importance to the reform of international governance that followed World War II ...
'Alarming decline' in European aquatic life
Biodiversity in Europe's lakes and rivers is shrinking. Pollution, overfishing, habitat loss and the introduction of invasive species threaten a large number of fish, mollusks, snails and plants, according to a new European Commission report.
Shrinkage of Humboldt squid puzzles scientists
A mysterious force has stunted the growth of Humboldt squid in the Sea of Cortez, and marine biologists suspect a change in the weather is to blame.
Oil palms and conservation - do they mix?
Conservation science can help protect the variety of living things in tropical landscapes even if they are being turned into oil palm plantations, new research argues.
New butterfly species identified in Yucatan peninsula
About 160,000 species of butterflies and moths are already known, but scientists believe that a similar number still remain undiscovered.
Environmentalists want Ottawa to save Alberta’s sage grouse
Twelve environmental groups are calling on the federal government to protect Alberta’s few surviving sage grouse, birds they say have been pushed out of their natural habitat by oil and gas development in the southeast corner of the province.
WWF says sustainability of palm oil sources improving
Supermarkets and food companies are improving how they source palm oil, a key ingredient in half of all packaged foods – but not fast enough to prevent further environmental damage, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
Governments and NGOs review actions on power line threats to migratory birds
Two new international reports on the conflict between migratory birds and power lines in the African-Eurasian region are being presented to delegates at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), in Bergen, Norway.
Europe expands protected areas but biodiversity battered
Europe's natural biodiversity heritage is showing "an alarming decline," according to new research published today by the European Red List, a part of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
EU proposes outright ban on shark finning
The EU has finally proposed an outright ban on shark finning ...
Climate
Chris Huhne
Huhne eyes £14 billion investment for new energy plan
The government hopes to start up 14 billion pounds of private investment by 2020 to insulate draughty homes and reduce energy bills that have seen fuel poverty rates more than double since the start of the last decade.
Hacked emails do not subvert climate science, says university
The university at the centre of the "Climategate" email-hacking controversy moved swiftly yesterday to play down the significance of a new batch of messages between global-warming researchers released this week on the eve of a major UN climate conference.
Co-op shale gas report questions carbon footprint cost
Using shale gas could stop the UK from reducing its carbon footprint, a report for the Co-operative group claimed.
UK wants global climate pact '"operational" by 2020
Britain wants a new globally binding climate deal to be "operational" by 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep world temperature rises to a limit of 2 degrees Celsius, the UK's minister for energy and climate change said.
UN chief slams rich nations' plans to delay climate change treaty
The United Nations' environment chief has slammed plans by the world's richest nations to put off a global treaty on climate change to 2020, saying the proposals were "very high risk".
Carbon emissions divide 'can be bridged'
The gap between where greenhouse gas emissions are headed and where they need to be for climate targets can be bridged cheaply, says a UN report.
Japan lures Toshiba, Marubeni to help curb carbon outside Kyoto
Japan is planning a series of bilateral technology-transfer agreements to offset itsgreenhouse gases, another step away from the international treaty signed in 1997 to limit emissions worldwide.
China outlines cuts in carbon emissions
With global climate talks set to begin next week, China on Tuesday issued the most comprehensive document yet on its plans and negotiating positions on emissions.
Chris Huhne launches public counter-attack on Lord Lawson
Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, has launched a public counter-attack on Lord Lawson ...