Weekly round-up: June 27

Ornithologists and conservationists hope a year-long hunting ban on turtle doves in Spain will help slow the dramatic UK decline of the species. The birds, with their distinctive ‘purring’ call and striking mottled wings, have become a rarity on British shores over the past half century, the population falling around 95 per cent from aContinue reading “Weekly round-up: June 27”

Weekly round-up: June 20

Rewilding is an often controversial topic among British farmers, landowners and conservationists, but while the debate continues, Eurasian jays, thrushes, mice and squirrels have been busy regenerating woodland themselves. A study of two abandoned fields in Cambridgeshire revealed rapid growth of woodland over 24 and 59 years, with the presence of seed-caching and berry-eating speciesContinue reading “Weekly round-up: June 20”

Weekly round-up: May 30

Seven Tasmanian devil joeys have been born on mainland Australia, the first such birth in more than 3,000 years. The newborns are part of a project between Re:Wild (formerly Global Wildlife Conservation) and Aussie Ark to re-establish the animals, starting with the introduction of 26 adults into a 400-hectare wild sanctuary last year. “We haveContinue reading “Weekly round-up: May 30”

Weekly round-up: May 23

Swifts are even more swift than scientists thought, with new tracking technology showing the migrating birds cover an average of 570 kilometres (354 miles) per day, 70 kilometres more than previously estimated. New tracking data also recorded one individual travelling 830 kilometres (516 miles) per day over nine days on the journey between Africa andContinue reading “Weekly round-up: May 23”

Weekly round-up: May 16

More than 14,000 sharks are thought to have been caught in an Indian Ocean marine protected area – in which all fishing is banned – between 2010 and 2020. A study led by the University of Exeter recorded evidence of illegal fishing in the British Indian Ocean Territory and conducted interviews with local fishers fromContinue reading “Weekly round-up: May 16”

Weekly round-up: May 9

A species of fanged frog new to science has been “hiding in plain sight” in the Philippines. The Mindoro fanged frog (Limnonectes beloncioi) was previously thought to simply be another population of the Acanth’s fanged frog, a physically identical amphibian on the neighbouring island of Palawan, but genetic analysis has revealed the two are entirelyContinue reading “Weekly round-up: May 9”

Weekly round-up: May 2

Pollination, pest control and a potential cancer treatment – which family of insect offers all three? The much-maligned wasp, which researchers say needs a significant PR overhaul. A study, led by UCL and the University of East Anglia, is calling for wasps to be as highly valued as other insects – especially bees, often similarContinue reading “Weekly round-up: May 2”

Weekly round-up: April 25

While Steven Spielberg may have beachgoers across the globe fearing a great white shark lurks behind every wave, in reality the apex predator is only seen consistently in a handful of locations – and scientists have just discovered one more.  Central California, Guadalupe Island Mexico, South Australia and South Africa have traditionally been the mainContinue reading “Weekly round-up: April 25”

Weekly round-up: April 18

Just 2.8 per cent of the Earth’s land area remains ecologically intact, according to a new study, significantly lower than the 20-40 per cent mapped previously. Researchers measured loss of species instead of habitat intactness and areas free of human development such as roads and settlements – the results estimated a maximum 2.9 per centContinue reading “Weekly round-up: April 18”

Weekly round-up: April 4

The 2020/21 North Atlantic right whale birthing season delivered more calves than the previous three years combined. Survey teams monitoring the critically endangered species recorded 17 newborns during daily flights over coastal waters between North Carolina and Florida from December to the end of March.  “What we are seeing is what we hope will beContinue reading “Weekly round-up: April 4”

Weekly round-up: March 28

African elephants will now be officially identified as two separate species – the African forest elephant and African savanna elephant – following new genetic evidence. Both are at risk of extinction.  As a single species the African elephant was classified as Vulnerable on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List, but divisionContinue reading “Weekly round-up: March 28”

Weekly round-up: March 21

Safeguarding 30 per cent of the world’s seas and oceans would protect almost 80 per cent of marine species and increase catch by eight million metric tonnes – while also preventing the release of one billion tons of carbon dioxide annually due to bottom trawling, reports an international team of scientists and economists. Their study,Continue reading “Weekly round-up: March 21”

Weekly round-up: March 14

Birds that live in groups and receive help raising their young live longer than those parenting alone, and boast an eight per cent higher annual survival rate than their frazzled counterparts. A study from Lund and Oxford universities reviewed data for 23 species of bird which vary in rearing habits, including the long-tailed tit, sociableContinue reading “Weekly round-up: March 14”

Weekly round-up: March 7

A brown marmorated stink bug has been trapped in Britain for the first time, with fears the fruit-loving insect could become established across the nation – causing millions of pounds of damage to crops. The insect, which as its name suggests releases a strong odour when threatened, originated in south-east Asia, but has spread intoContinue reading “Weekly round-up: March 7”

Weekly round-up: February 28

Ten orangutans were released in the Borneo rainforest earlier this month as part of ongoing conservation efforts – but only after testing negative for Covid-19. Operations by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation have been hampered by the global pandemic since March last year, with rehabilitation centres closed to visitors, volunteers and researchers, and releases onContinue reading “Weekly round-up: February 28”

Weekly round-up: February 21

Climate change is altering the composition of wintering bird communities in Europe and North America faster than that of breeding populations, according to new research. The study, led by the University of Helsinki, found that while warming temperatures are affecting both communities, the higher proportion of migratory species in the wintering areas revealed a moreContinue reading “Weekly round-up: February 21”

Weekly round-up: February 7

Noise pollution from human activities in the ocean is causing significant harm to marine fauna, affecting their behaviour, physiology and reproduction – in some cases resulting in death – according to a new study. Sound is vital to marine animals, including for communication, navigation and hunting. Since the Industrial Revolution however, the ocean soundscape hasContinue reading “Weekly round-up: February 7”

Weekly round-up: January 31

Longline fishery fleets in Namibia have reduced seabird bycatch by 98 per cent following the introduction of mandatory mitigation measures, saving the lives of an estimated 22,000 birds per year. Accidental death resulting from fishing activity is one of the biggest threats to seabirds, including petrels and albatrosses. Namibia’s hake trawl and longline fisheries wereContinue reading “Weekly round-up: January 31”

Weekly round-up: January 3

The 12th horizon scan has identified 15 emerging global biodiversity conservation issues, including deoxygenation and coral health, increased logging in response to fires and the use of seabirds to locate fishing boats operating illegally. Published annually, the horizon scan searches for early signs of hazards and opportunities across the natural world, focusing on those thatContinue reading “Weekly round-up: January 3”

Weekly round-up: December 13

European bison are no longer classified as Vulnerable following long-term conservation efforts according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – but the organisation’s latest update also reclassifies 31 species as Extinct, including three species of South American tree frog and 17 freshwater fish species in the Philippines. It also revealed everyContinue reading “Weekly round-up: December 13”

Weekly round-up: November 8

DNA analysis has proven Australia’s greater glider population is formed of three distinct species, not one. The greater glider, a nocturnal possum-sized marsupial capable of gliding up to 100m, is found the length of Australia’s eastern seaboard, from the Great Dividing Range in Queensland to the national parks of Victoria. For years two subspecies ofContinue reading “Weekly round-up: November 8”

Weekly round-up: November 1

The rediscovery of two species was announced this week, the Voeltzkow’s chameleon and giant fox-spider, not seen since 1913 and 1993 respectively. A number of Voeltzkow’s chameleons were found on an expedition in northwestern Madagascar, where the reptile was last seen more than a hundred years ago. The team’s study, published this week following theirContinue reading “Weekly round-up: November 1”

Weekly round-up: October 25

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has launched an initiative in south-east Asia to help protect four species of endangered gibbon.  Announced on International Gibbon Day, October 24, the €460,000 IUCN Save Our Species support fund will focus on the Cao Vit and Northern white-cheeked gibbon, both critically endangered, and the Northern yellow-cheekedContinue reading “Weekly round-up: October 25”

Weekly round-up: September 27

A study by scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture Forestry Service have predicted that planting new trees in understocked forests could increase the nation’s annual carbon sequestration capacity by 20 per cent. At present, approximately one per cent of understocked federal woodland is reforested annually.Publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences TheContinue reading “Weekly round-up: September 27”

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