Friday, 28 January 2011
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Sunday, 16 January 2011
http://www.ramblers.org.uk/forestrysales). Some collections of conifers (grown essentially as a 'crop') are rather boring but it is not a good idea to make it harder for people on this crowded island to walk in woodlands and to appreciate the natural world around them. It also appears that builders are taking an interest in some of the locations on offer. Increasing urbanisation is a serious issue for what remains of wild life.
- January 16, 2011
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2011/jan/11/worlds-most-important-corals). This is a serious problem as much of the ocean's biodiversity is located within coral reefs (much of this life is of great economic importance- quite apart from being photogenic and a powerful ecotourism pull factor). In deed, it has also be claimed that reefs per se may cease to exist by 2100. Specifying in years is a way of generating an impactful headline (and perhaps generating funding) but it is not an exact science.
- January 12, 2011
Monday, 10 January 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/09/egg-farmers-crisis-talks-europe ). The main concern expressed by UK farmers appears to be that the new caging is very expensive and they claim that, although they will adopt the new standards, competitors in some other EU countries may cheat to under-cut them on price. I personally feel that this is a difficult argument to maintain. Enrichment (a difficult term but one attempting to provide a more complex and naturalistic environment for the animals), done sensibly and based on science (rather than anthropocentric considerations) is a humane and appropriate action. You can hardly argue that it should not be done because others may not follow the legislation. That would really be chickening out!
- January 10, 2011
Sunday, 9 January 2011
Friday, 7 January 2011
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-12134772 ). It seems that this fungus-like agent is rather unspecific about the kinds of trees that it infects. Larch are, of course, an important crop in managed woodlands.
- January 07, 2011
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/05/kittiwakes-wintering-breeding-success). Breeders simply sit out in the Atlantic. This is a nice demonstration of how energetics influences animal behaviour and how dependent they can be on 'trade-offs' (in this case procreation versus migration).
- January 05, 2011
Tuesday, 4 January 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/03/bumblebees-study-us-decline?INTCMP=SRCH ). The species affected show a very high level of infection with the pathogen Nosema bombi (imported from Europe) but other factors such as the use of pesticides and changes in land management may be involved in the losses. These bees, along with hoverflies (also in decline), are incredibly important in the fertilisation of crop plants.
Monday, 3 January 2011
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1343413/Thousands-blackbirds-literally-drop-dead-sky-Arkansas-city.html ). There is much speculation about what might have caused the fatalities (including lightening strikes and hail stones at altitude) but one suggestion is that they were scared to death by celebratory fireworks.
- January 03, 2011
A UN spokeswoman on biodiversity has claimed that humans, by continuing to cause mass extinctions (just like a giant meteor hit), 'ri...
A combination of night rain and day-time sun has resulted in more Bynea blooms. The Southern marsh orchid ( Dactylorhiza praetermissa...
The fuss about allegedly suspect data emanating from the East Anglia University Climatic Research Unit and the 'theft' of emails fr...
Workers in Montreal have shown that adding boiling water to a single plastic tea-bag releases almost 15 billion micro and nano particles ...