Wildlife Conservation

Final call to save the world from ‘climate catastrophe’

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It’s the final call, say scientists, the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures. Matt McGrath BBC Their dramatic report on keeping that rise under 1.5 degrees C says the world is now completely off track, heading instead towards 3C. Keeping to the preferred target of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels will mean “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society”. It will be hugely expensive – but the window of opportunity remains open. After three years ... Read More »

Britain must reconnect with nature to combat ‘mental health epidemic’, says Caroline Lucas

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Exclusive: Green Party co-leader says government should change planning rules so everyone in UK has access to green space. Josh Gabbatiss Independent Caroline Lucas is urging British people to reconnect with nature to address the “mental health epidemic” facing the country. In a speech lamenting the decline of British wildlife, the Green Party co-leader will call for the government to change planning rules to ensure everyone in the UK has access to green space. While acknowledging environment secretary Michael Gove has taken green issues far more ... Read More »

Wildfires in Mediterranean Europe will increase by 40% at 1.5°C warming, say scientists

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Europe’s Mediterranean regions have strong sunshine, bright blue seas, beautiful beaches, and pretty holiday houses immersed in pine forests that provide welcome shade. Authors: The Conversation It sounds very inviting, but such a scenario is also perfect for severe wildfires such as the ones that killed 99 people this July in the popular holiday resort of Mati, in Greece. Now, new research in Nature Communications suggests that the summer fire season in Mediterranean Europe is going to get worse. Under ... Read More »

Don’t Leave Immigration Out of Our Environmental Laws

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In 2016, for the first time in decades, immigration control took center stage in a populist election. The last few years have been an era of polarization, not only between Republican and Democratic partisans, but between populism and… Julie Axelrod Center for Immigration Studies Those who care about the environment have been lining up on the opposite side of the partisan divide from those who care about immigration control. This divide has been as unfortunate as it is misguided: The ... Read More »

Snailfish: how we found a new species in one of the ocean’s deepest places

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From an unmanned submersible, protected by a casing of stainless steel almost an inch thick and a window made from super strong sapphire crystal, we can observe the life that thrives at our planet’s most extreme and… Authors: The Conversation Thanks to technology and sheer material strength, we can temporarily trespass into this high pressure environment. But in stark contrast to the robust deep sea imaging equipment we rely on, the creatures our camera records look extremely fragile. Four-and-a-half miles ... Read More »

Climate change conflicts are here – and ‘scallop wars’ are just the beginning

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As the planet warms, species are moving further north to climate zones which are closer in temperature to what they originally evolved in. The oceans have absorbed most of this temperature increase, and… Heather Alberro The Conversation In the face of this disruption, legal boundaries for fishing fleets could become increasingly irrelevant. As the fish stocks they once contained move out, conflict is likely to arise between countries exploiting… As a result, the ongoing “scallop war”, which has seen tense ... Read More »

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

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A tribe in the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland gave up their ancient tradition of hunting to protect wildlife. Photographer Sayan Hazra chronicles life in the village years after it banished the practice. BBC At one time, 76-year-old Chaiyievi Zhiinyii was a skilled hunter. But he stopped hunting in 2001. The Khonoma tribe gave up what was an important source of livelihood some 20 years ago in order to create a more stable ecosystem for future generations. For centuries, many ... Read More »

Father and son’s incredible close encounter with ocean giants

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A Victorian father and son have shared an incredible close encounter with some gentle giants of the sea. 9news Drew Woods and his seven-year-old son Ollie were about to head out to paddleboard off the coast of Shoreham, on the Mornington Peninsula, about midday yesterday when something caught their eye in the distance. Mr Woods and Ollie raced out about 500m on the boards to where two southern right whales were swimming. A professional cameraman friend of the family was ... Read More »

Chevron wins Ecuador rainforest ‘oil dumping’ case

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An international tribunal in The Hague has ruled in favour of the US oil company, Chevron, in an environmental dispute with the government of Ecuador. BBC Chevron had been ordered to pay $9.5bn (£7.4bn) compensation to thousands of residents in Ecuador’s Amazon region. They accused the company of dumping toxic waste in local lakes and rivers of the Lago Agrio region for decades. The court said that the 2011 Ecuador Supreme Court ruling had been obtained through fraud, bribery and ... Read More »

Peruvian villagers face murder and intimidation from land traffickers

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Invaders continue to seize land within the Chaparrí ecological reserve, one of Peru’s most biodiverse forests Rajmonda Rexhi and Matthew Weaver in El Mirador, Peru The Guardian hortly after sunset, along an isolated stretch of highway leading out of a dusty hamlet in northern Peru, a band of five weary farmers clad in reflective neon vests and armed with traditional whips made of bull penises set out on a solemn march. The Ronderos – self-governing peasant patrols – are resuming ... Read More »

What the grieving mother orca tells us about how animals experience death

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For many weeks, news of a mother orca carrying her dead infant through the icy waters of the Salish Sea captured the attention of many around the world. Jessica Pierce The Conversation Keeping the infant afloat as best she could, the orca, named Tahlequah, also known as J35 by scientists, persisted for 17 days, before finally dropping the dead calf. This has been one of the most protracted displays of marine mammal grieving. Among scientists, however, there remains a prejudice ... Read More »

Can military-style tactics help save the African rhino?

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These magnificent beasts are facing annihilation from ruthless poachers, but environmentalists hope that military-style operations to move the animals across borders may help save the species. Todd Pitock The Age As the sun drifts down on the rolling hills in the heartland of South Africa, Manie Van Niekerk sits with his fingers clasped in his lap. At 52, he wears his hair cropped, which along with a solid physique gives the impression of a man who cannot be easily shaken. ... Read More »

Trees are made of human breath

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Outside my office window, two skilled workers complete a hard and dirty job. They’re cutting the felled trunk of a tree into small enough pieces to be thrown into the back of a truck with the rest of the chipped remains. Cris Brack The Conversation I know that this act was ultimately for my own safety. I, like tens of thousands of others over the past 50 years, regularly walked beneath the canopy of that tree. But recently it was ... Read More »

Coles caves and will give away free plastic bags indefinitely

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Coles has hoisted a white flag in the face of angry shoppers aggrieved by having to bring their own bags or pay 15¢ for a “reusable” one, and has promised to give plastic bags away for free indefinitely. Patrick Hatch The Sydney Morning Herald The supermarket chain’s decision has raised the ire of environmental campaigners who say it is a return to the “bad old days” where plastic bags were used once and then discarded. Coles and its rival Woolworths removed thin ... Read More »

Grieving whale mother carries her dead calf for days as orcas become more endangered

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A mother killer whale’s grief has left her carrying her dead calf for four days and separated from the rest of her pod. Simon Rushton iNews The calf – born to a Southern Resident orca called J35 – was alive for just a few hours before it became another grim sign of how endangered this whale species is. A research team for the Center for Whale Research sailed to the pair, off the Victoria shoreline in British Columbia, Canada, but ... Read More »

Jaimen Hudson: Wheelchair-bound filmmaker to dive with great whites in new film

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His spectacular videos showcasing the southern coastline of Western Australia and the wildlife that call it home have been devoured on social media. Daile Cross WAtoday Images of dolphins frolicking in pristine waves near Esperance and a stand up paddle boarder getting up close and personal with a majestic whale are among the most well known of the images captured by Jaimen Hudson.  Around 250 million views of his videos is an impressive tally. He uses drones to make his films, ... Read More »