Wildlife Conservation

Russia fines ‘whale jail’ company White Whale

A Russian company that runs a so-called “whale jail” in the east of the country has been fined 28.1 million rubles ($433,000; £430,000). BBC White Whale is one of four firms holding killer and beluga whales in small enclosures on the Sea of Japan, which they say is legal. But a Vladivostok court on Friday ruled the company broke fishing rules. Cases against the other three companies are expected before the courts in the next week. Although Russia allows the ... Read More »

‘Why replace dolphins with oil drilling?’: the battle for Greece’s marine life

From sperm whales to dolphins, marine mammals in the eastern Mediterranean face a lethal threat from oil and gas exploration Helena Smith The Guardian Before the giants of oil and gas joined the litany of threats facing Greek sperm whales, the plight of the world’s largest-toothed animal was little known. Like the Hellenic trench, which was discovered only two decades ago and is the habitat most associated with the species, the mammals were once the preserve of dedicated oceanographers. Now ... Read More »

Many plant species at risk of extinction – and we’re blind to danger this poses to life on Earth

Up to a million species may go extinct due to human activity according to a recent report, some within decades. Authors: The Conversation We all know the mammals in trouble – polar bears, giant pandas and snow leopards – but how many of us could name an endangered plant? A 2019 report assessed 28,000 plant species and concluded that about half of them were threatened with extinction. This failure to notice and appreciate plants has been termed “plant blindness”, and ... Read More »

World Environment Day: How we can reduce air pollution

This year the theme for World Environment Day, June 5, is #BeatAirPollution. Air pollution not only impacts our health – about 6.5 million people worldwide die prematurely from air pollution every year – but also causes global warming. Mudgee Guardian The UN estimates that if we reduce emissions from air pollutants, we could slow global warming by up to 0.5 degrees celcius over the next few decades. According to UN Environment, over half of the world’s population live in urban ... Read More »

‘Death blow’: Corals, algae don’t acclimatise to more acidic seas

Coral and algae species subjected to more acidic seawater showed no acclimatisation to the new conditions for over a year, a new study has found, suggesting that vulnerable reefs may not be able adapt fast enough to cope with… Peter Hannam WAtoday With oceans absorbing about 22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere a day, seas have already become about 30 per cent more acidic over the past two centuries. Shell-forming creatures from oysters to types of plankton are ... Read More »

‘I’m not Tony Abbott’: Albanese offers to work with Morrison on climate, Uluru Statement

Anthony Albanese has offered to work with the Coalition government on the constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians and a bipartisan approach to climate change in his first major outing as incoming federal Labor leader. Michael Koziol Brisbane Times The offer came as Mr Albanese’s incoming deputy, Richard Marles, made a mea culpa over his role in tarnishing Labor’s brand in coal-rich Queensland through “tone deaf” remarks welcoming the demise of the coal industry. Mr Albanese vowed to hold the re-elected Coalition ... Read More »

Coast Guard wages battle against illegal fishing boats

Out at sea, this border battle is fought in boats HARLINGEN — In the sun-blasted, wind-riven waters between the South Padre Island jetties and the mouth of the Rio Grande, a different kind of border crossing crisis is playing out. Rick Kelley Valley Morning Star Source: U.S. Coast Guard One side has spotter aircraft, radar and fully crewed patrol craft loaded with the latest technology. The other employs simple 20- to 30-foot boats with outboard motors, capitalizing on speed and ... Read More »

2040: hope and action in the climate crisis

It was framed as “the climate election”, but last week Australia returned a government with climate policies that make the task of building a zero-emissions, safe climate Australia even harder. John Wiseman The Conversation This result comes at a time when international studies are raising the real and imminent spectre of a mass extinction crisis and many communities are already struggling with the consequences of the climate emergency now unfolding around us. Amid the growing strength of movements like Extinction ... Read More »

Australian artworks on climate change to feature in international exhibition

Global warming is a big concept that can be hard to grasp, and it is easy to glaze over when confronted with a raft of scientific statistics about temperatures and predicted sea level rises. Emma Siossian ABC Art, however, is a medium that is often more likely to engage people on an emotional level and international art exhibitions are increasingly focussing on environmental themes and climate change. One of the latest is an art-science exhibition called ‘Equilibrium’, which will be ... Read More »

Tragic tale of a ‘man-eating’ tigress tells us so much about the climate crisis

The way that we live on Earth is causing an unprecedented acceleration in species extinction. Now, more than half a million species “have insufficient habitat for long-term survival” and are likely to go extinct unless their natural environments… Nayanika Mathur The Conversation But we are already seeing major problems from this intrusion, not least through an increase in human-animal conflict. A case in evidence is that of Avni, a “man-eating” Indian tigress who achieved something close to global recognition at ... Read More »

Alarm after Discovery of Plastic Fish!

After a study carried out recently by Nefertiti Sibaja, a student of biological sciences of the National University of Costa Rica (UNA), serious remains of plastic waste were found in the fish of our coast. MENAFN – The Costa Rica News It is a circumstance that, once again, ignites the alarms of the authorities. Prior to this research, UNA has been emphatic in developing a series of activities and research where a large amount of micro-plastic has been found in ... Read More »

How is climate change affecting fishes? There are clues inside their ears

Climate change affects all life on Earth, but it poses unique challenges for aquatic species. Karin Limburg The Conversation For example, as water warms it holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler water. As a result, the world’s oceans, coastal seas, estuaries, rivers and lakes are undergoing a process known as “deoxygenation.” When dissolved oxygen levels fall to about 2 milligrams per liter – compared to a normal range of roughly 5 to 10 mg/L – many aquatic organisms become severely ... Read More »

Ireland becomes second country to declare ‘climate emergency’

Ireland has become the second country in the world to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency. Cristina Abellan Matamoros euronews It happened after the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) report on Climate Action was accepted by the government and opposition parties without a vote. Ireland followed in the footsteps of the United Kingdom, which declared a climate emergency earlier this month after 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed MPs urging more climate action and… The development was applauded by the chair ... Read More »

Australia is a global leader in species extinctions

Australia is unfortunately a global leader when it comes to extinction, with 29 mammal species becoming extinct since the arrival of Europeans — that’s a third of the world’s total mammal extinctions in that time. By Linda Mottram on PM ABC Now scientists say a further 1,800 species are at risk of extinction from a range of threats. Martine Maron, a Professor in the University of Queensland’s school of Earth and Environmental Sciences, told PM that the biggest threat to ... Read More »

‘Revolutionary change’ needed to stop unprecedented global extinction crisis

We are witnessing the loss of biodiversity at rates never before seen in human history. Michelle Lim The Conversation Nearly a million species face extinction if we do not fundamentally change our relationship with the natural world, according to the world’s largest assessment of biodiversity. Last week, in the culmination of a process involving 500 biodiversity experts from over 50 countries, and 134 governments negotiated the final form of the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform for Biodiversity and… ... Read More »

UN report: Nature is going downhill. Fast.

“Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history—and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.” Dawn Stover Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists That’s the 10-alarm message from a global assessment report released today by the International Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an… While scientists have long been warning that a mass extinction is under way, this is the most comprehensive report on global biodiversity to date, ... Read More »