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natural world: 25/50 of 879
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Transformed! An early summer riot of Ox-eye Daisies, Red Clover and Meadow Buttercups. Photo: Jo Cartmell.

Nearby wild - how I turned my lawn into a mini-meadow

Jo Cartmell

27th April 2015

Decades of regular mowing left my front lawn looking bare and sterile, writes Jo Cartmell. But in fact, the exhausted, infertile soil made it the perfect place for a host of wild flowers to take up residence - some from planted seed, others blown-in, or from long buried seed lying dormant in the soil. And after that, the butterflies ... more...
Recovering marine life within the Lamlash Bay 'no take zone'. Photo: Howard Wood / COAST.

Strong marine protection works for fisheries and wildlife!

Bryce Stewart & Leigh Howarth

20th April 2015

The strongly protected marine reserve in Lamlash Bay, Arran, has been a huge success, write Bryce Stewart & Leigh Howarth, with abandant life returning to the once denuded waters. The government's refusal to expand such protections represents a huge wasted opportunity for both fishing and the marine environment. more...
Lake Baikal at Irkutskiy Raion, Irkutsk Oblast, Russia. Photo: Fedor Stroganov via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Lake Baikal: World Heritage ecosystems at risk from Mongolian dam

Anson Mackay

19th April 2015

Russia's Lake Baikal is under threat by a massive dam and pipeline on the main river that feeds into it, that would supply mines with power and water, writes Anson Mackay. In line to fund the project? The World Bank. more...
Small fishing boats at Lyme Regis, Dorset, where England's first big marine Protected Area was designated. Photo: Sue Hasker via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

To protect our seas, first we must reclaim them from 'Big Fishing'

Horatio Morpurgo

10th April 2015

There's strong public support for protecting marine wildlife, writes Horatio Morpurgo - so why aren't politicians championing the cause? Labour and Tories alike fear to challenge the big fishing companies that have come to believe they own Britain's offshore waters and seabed. Now it's up to use to prove they're wrong. more...
A large hammerhead shark in the officially protected waters off Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Photo: Barry Peters via Flickr (CC BY).

Shark-counting divers off Costa Rica show marine reserves need active protection

Julia Baum & Easton R. White

24th April 2014

A Pacific island paradise 340 miles from Costa Rica's coast should be the ideal place for marine conservation, write Julia Baum & Easton R. White. But while its waters are indeed teeming with life, steep population declines in key shark and ray species show that stronger protection is badly needed. more...
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexipus) caterpillar feeding on butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa), a relative of milkweed. Photo: Martin LaBar via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Neonicotinoid link to Monarch butterfly decline

Jonathan Latham

9th April 2015

Monarch caterpillars are vulnerable to neonicotinoid toxicity at concentrations as low as 1 part per billion, writes Jonathan Latham, and that makes them vulnerable to residues from commercial crops - and even more so from horticultural use in plant nurseries! more...
Howard Wood and colleagues in COAST, with the Lamlash Bay 'no take zone' in the background. Photo: COAST.

Saving Lamlash Bay - and over-exploited seas everywhere

Howard Wood

20th April 2015

A coveted award has put the campaign to protect and recover marine life in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, into the international limelight. Goldman Prize winner Howard Wood explains how Arran Islanders' efforts to keep scallop dredgers out of Lamlash Bay has brought life, and fish, back to the sea. more...
Free range, grass fed cattle in the Derbyshire uplands. Photo: John Bennett via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)

The scientific case for badger culling - an organic farmer writes

Charles Mann

9th April 2015

Organic farmer Charles Mann, aroused by The Ecologist's anti-cull stance, makes an evidence-based case for culling badgers in areas of high TB incidence - together with other measures including enhanced testing in apparently 'low risk' areas that present a high risk of disease spread. more...
Will walruses (Odobenus r. rosmarus) be stranded by melting ice in the Arctic? A herd of young males resting on a small patch of drifting ice at 80° North, off Moffen Island, Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Allan Hopkins via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Ice melt endangers Arctic mammals

Tim Radford

2nd April 2015

A survey of threatened Arctic mammals highlights melting sea ice as a prime threat to eleven keystone species, writes Tim Radford - meaning that efforts to conserve them may be doomed to failure unless we also tackle the causes of climate change. more...
Lewis Pugh swimming 500m in water with a temperature of 0°C off the coast of Peter I Island in the Bellinghausen Sea - one of 13 seas which surround Antarctica. Photo: lewispugh.com.

Man on an Antarctic mission - taking a plunge for the Ross Sea

Yannic Rack

1st April 2015

How to campaign for the world's biggest marine protected area in Antarctica's freezing seas? If you're Lewis Pugh, the answer's a simple one: swim there! And before your hands have even recovered from the frostbite, fly off to Moscow to persuade the Kremlin to back the idea. Yannic Rack met the intrepid swimmer in a cosy London pub ... more...
A rare red squirrel that has survived the depradations of the invasive North American grey squirrel, near Aviemore in the Scotland's Cairngorm mountains. Photo: Peter G W Jones via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

EU turns fire on invasive species already costing €12 billion a year

Yannic Rack

25th March 2015

A new EU Regulation aims to limit the spread of invasive species through 'pathway controls' and bans on possession, transport and trade, writes Yannic Rack. But will it be up to the most important task - keeping the most hazardous aliens out, before they ever get the chance to become a nuisance? more...
Glen Canyon beneath the dam, 2008. Photo: Jim Trodel via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Lake Powell is dead! Long live Glen Canyon!

Grant A. Mincy

28th March 2015

Drought is returning Lake Powell, impounded behind the Glen Canyon dam on the Colorado river, back to desert, writes Grant A. Mincy - and a fine thing too! As nature turns billions of dollars of infrastructural abomination to junk, this creates the chance to reclaim our commons and recreate ravaged ecosystems. more...

natural world: 25/50 of 879
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Lions being transported for a canned hunt. Photo: Campaign Against Canned Hunting.

Canned hunting is not protecting wild lions!

Dominic Dyer

25th March 2015

Two thirds of Africa's lions have been lost in 35 years, and would-be hunters are increasingly shooting captive, farmed and often tame lions in 'canned hunts'. Claims are that this helps to preserve wild lion populations - but Dominic Dyer fears the reverse is the case. more...
Wood lizard of the Ecuadorian cloud forest, Enyalioides rubrigularis. Photo: Santiago Ron via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Letter from Ecuador - where defending nature and community is a crime

Carlos Zorrilla

25th March 2015

Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, has personally attacked eco-defender Carlos Zorrilla in TV broadcasts for resisting a vast new copper mine in a precious area of pristine cloud forest, and opposing the advance of oil exploration into the Amazon. Fearful for his life, Zorilla is now seeking international support for his, and his community's, battle for land, water and the natural world. more...
Pitcairn, one of four islands in the Pitcairn Islands British Overseas Territory, is to be become the centre of a vast marine protected areas protecting 830,000 sq.km of ocean. Photo: doublecnz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

World's greatest marine reserve around Pitcairn Islands

The Ecologist

19th March 2014

The UK is to create a fully protected marine in the South Pacific more than three times bigger than the UK itself, covering some 830,000 square kilometres. The move may herald further huge designations in the UK's 'overseas territories' which encompass over 6 million square kilometres of ocean. more...
The voice of the people? Protester on the People's Assembly March Against Austerity 2014. Photo: The Weekly Bull via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Will the badger cull cost the Tories the election? It certainly should!

Dominic Dyer

16th March 2015

David Cameron has called the badger cull is 'probably the most unpopular policy for which I am responsible', writes Dominic Dyer. But unable to break his pledge to landowners and the NFU, he has left Environment Secretary Liz Truss to fudge the issue until election time. Electorally fatal? So events may prove. more...
Cowslips (Primula veris). Photo: Donna JW via Flickr (CC BY).

The joys and sufferings of plants as sentient beings

Martin Spray

10th April 2015

Is it 'morally reprehensible' to arbitrarily decapitate roadside flowers? Yes it is, writes Martin Spray - at least in Switzerland. And now we know that plants have both senses and physiology, why not awareness and emotions too? Even legal standing to have their rights defended in court - at least if they are trees? more...
Packers Roost, Glacier National Park, Montana, USA. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Saving the wild Rockies

Jeffrey St. Clair

26th July 2015

In the battle to save America's real wild west of unlogged forests, grizzly bears, mountain goats, Bull trout, free flowing streams and roadless wilderness, a single person stands out, writes Jeffrey St Clair, for her dedication, courage and remarkable success: Arlene Montgomery of Friends of the Wild Swan, Montana. more...
Real farming is all about sustaining healthy and abundant soil life - and applying compost is an important way to revitalise depleted soils. Photo: normanack via Flickr (CC BY).

The roots of life and health: Elaine Ingham's theory of the living soil

Lynda Brown / Sustainable Food Trust

31st March 2015

Modern agriculture - even among organic farmers - is often seen as a matter of soil chemistry, writes Lynda Brown. But an alternative view is gaining ground: that it's really about soil life. Nurture your soil-dwelling micro-organisms, and your crops look after themselves. more...
The Tetcott Hunt is now required to stay well clear of foxes and other wildlife. A future Labour government will keep it that way. Photo: Rob Franksdad via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Wildlife protection depends on enforcement

Angus Nurse

10th March 2015

The Labour Party has launched a new manifesto for wildlife protection, writes Angus Nurse - and a good thing too! But turning the tide for nature will take more than stricter laws and penalties. Ultimately it's about enforcement. And that means prioritising wildlife crime, committing expert officers, and providing resources. more...
Beaver dam above Lundy Lake, California. Photo: Fred Moore via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).

Beavers are saving California’s wild salmon

Miria Finn / onEarth

1st March 2015

With California's wild Coho salmon populations down to 1% of their former numbers, there's growing evidence that beavers - long reviled as a pest of the waterways - are essential to restore the species, writes Maria Finn. In the process, they raise water tables, recharge aquifers and improve water quality. What's not to love? more...
The Welsh government's plans for the M4 'bypass' around Newport across the Gwent Levels SSSIs represent a £1 billion orgy of destruction. Photo: FoE Cymru.

Legal challenge to SSSI wetland-bashing M4 bypass begins

The Ecologist

10th March 2015

A Friends of the Earth Cymru legal challenge to the Welsh Government's 'irrational' plan to drive a new branch of the M4 motorway across the highly protected Gwent Levels wetlands begins in the High Court today. more...
A Coral Cod (Cephalopholis miniata) at Lighthouse Bommie, Ribbon Reef #10, Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Richard Ling via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

US tax dollars must not finance $1bn Great Barrier Reef destruction!

The Ecologist

20th February 2015

A powerful call has gone out the the US Export-Import Bank not to finance a massive coal mine, railway, port terminal and dredged 'canal' through Australia's Great Barrier Reef with $1 billion in loans and guarantees. more...
The motor of a USFWS boat encrusted with quagga mussels on Lake Mead, Nevada. Photo: USFWS via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Don't move a mussel - a tiny invader is threatening our water and wildlife

Yannic Rack

18th February 2015

The zebra and quagga mussels, exotic invaders from the Caspian, are already causing huge damage in North America by 'biofouling' and disrupting native ecosystems, writes Yannic Rack. And now Britain is having to gear up for an impending invasion that threatens a costly meltdown of our aquatic biodiversity. more...
A seal caught up in plastic pollution near Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Photo: Nels Israelson via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Five to 12 million tonnes of plastic are going into the ocean each year

Britta Denise Hardesty & Chris Wilcox

4th April 2015

An unimaginably large volume of plastic debris is reaching the world's oceans every year, write Britta Denise Hardesty & Chris Wilcox - and it's set for a ten-fold increase over the next decade, adding to the already terrible toll on marine life from turtles to seals, sea birds and fish. The solution must be to give waste plastic value - if we can find a way. more...

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