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Nature in the news

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We regret that due to a lack of resources, we are unable to continue adding new content to this website and it will probably be taken offline soon. However, we will endeavour to add more biodiversity-related news to the main ALTER-Net website. Contact the News and Views manager.


Nature and Biodiversity News & Views provides a selection of nature-related news items published elsewhere on the web. Links take you to the full story and in some cases we provide comment panels and polls where you can share your views.

Badger cull expansion abandoned after trial failure
BBC, 03/04/2014 -- The government has abandoned its planned expansion of badger culling to reduce TB in cattle. The environment department's original plan was to announce up to 10 new cull areas in South West England each year. Defra's own independent assessment shows that culls in two pilot areas were not effective, and raised questions about their humaneness.
Local communities aid conservation of Olive Ridley sea turtles
IPS, 27/03/2014 -- Despite cheek-by-jowl proximity with over 6,000 people in three fishing villages, the Rushikulya river mouth rookery in eastern India’s Odisha state has become a steady favourite of the nesting Olive Ridley sea turtle.Community conservation efforts are being credited for the increasing mass nesting.
Scientists to tackle burden of cattle disease on UK farms
CEH, 03/03/2014 -- Researchers from the University of Liverpool are leading a new campaign to tackle a disease in cattle that costs the UK economy £300m each year. The £1 million project, which involves the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), will look at how to improve the detection and control of liver fluke, a disease that is transmitted by the dwarf pond snail and is found on over 75% of UK dairy farms. As part of the project, the team will create a system to categorise snail habitats that can be used alongside satellite imagery for individual farms.
Atlantic Seabird Tragedy
RSPB, 04/03/2014 -- Winter storms have killed at least 28,000 seabirds in the north east Atlantic. During February more than 1,000 dead seabirds were found around the coasts of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset in south west England. Birds also washed up on beaches elsewhere around the UK and the Channel Islands. Massive seabird mortality has also been reported along the coast of south west France. Guillemots, razorbills and puffins have been the worst affected.
Climate change exacerbates European hay fever risk
NERC Planet Earth Online, 27/02/2014 -- The highly allergenic plant ragweed is set to become more widespread throughout Northern Europe as the climate changes, according to a new study.
Ancient woodland losses 'not accounted for', say campaigners
BBC, 25/02/2014 -- The scale of ancient woodland being lost to development in Britain is being made worse because of a lack of accurate data. The Woodland Trust says that systems are so poor, the government cannot say how much ancient forest has disappeared in the last 10 years. However, a new report from the Forestry Commission says that the UK's tree cover has increased significantly. They say the amount of forest has more than doubled in the last 100 years.
UK nature reserves to provide bioenergy
The Information Daily, 29/01/2014 -- Conservationists in the UK are working with the government to investigate how to create energy from the waste produced at nature reserves. The Department of Energy and Climate Change, in collaboration with conservation charities such as the RSPB and Natural England, is funding a competition, which is being trialed on nature reserves across the country.
Growing demand for cropland threatens environment, UN agency reports
Islands Business, 27/01/2014 -- If demand for new land on which to grow food continues at the current rate, by 2050, high-end estimates are that an area nearly the size of Brazil could be ruined, with vital forests, savannahs and grassland lost, the United Nations today warned in a new report.
Dwindling jaguar population facing extinction
ABC Science, 28/01/2014 -- The jaguar could soon become extinct in Brazil's tropical Atlantic forest, threatening the shrinking primitive forest itself, Brazilian scientists warn. A study by the Brazilian conservation authority Cenap indicates the adult jaguar population in the region may have fallen to just 250, "an 80 per cent slide over the past 15 years."
Brazil dolphin is first new river species since 1918
BBC, 23/01/2014 -- Scientists in Brazil have discovered the first new river dolphin species since the end of World War One. Named after the Araguaia river where it was found, the species is only the fifth known of its kind in the world.

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The decline in bee populations is a big concern. Does it concern you? Answer our Poll below and also check out the Big Bumblebee Discovery (Summer 2014)!
Quickpoll 9
How concerned are you about declining bee populations?
63.68% 135 (63.68%)
14.62% 31 (14.62%)
21.70% 46 (21.70%)
Votes : 212

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  • Conservationists are removing the invasive mink from Scottish waterways (see BBC News). How do you feel about the mink eradication programme?
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