Accidental discovery that scallops love ‘disco’ lights leads to new fishing technique | Environment

An unusual technique for catching scallops that was stumbled upon accidentally by scientists could potentially reduce some of the damage caused to our seabeds by fishing. The marine scientist Dr Rob Enever and his team at Fishtek Marine, a fisheries consultancy based in Devon, designed small underwater “potlights” to help protect fish stocks by replacing … Read more

Iceland urged to ban ‘blood farms’ that extract hormone from pregnant horses | Environment

Iceland is under pressure to ban the production of a hormone extracted from pregnant horses, a practice that has been described as “cruel” and “animal abuse”. The hormone is used by farmers across the UK and Europe to increase reproduction in pigs, cows and other female farm animals. Pregnant Mare Serum Gonadotropin (PMSG) is extracted … Read more

Danish farmers turn their backs on mink after Covid mutation cull | Environment

Danish mink breeders have turned their backs on the industry en masse after being forced to cull their animals over fears a Covid-19 mutation could pose a risk to human health. In November 2020, Denmark, at that point the world’s largest mink producer, controversially announced it would cull approximately 15 million animals due to fears … Read more

Birdwatch: the ruff – which was named first, the collar or the bird? | Environment

Sporting the splendid feathery collars that give the ruff its name, they reminded me of the foppish, preening courtiers of Tudor times. This trio of male ruffs, along with a much smaller female (known as a reeve) were frantically feeding at the RSPB’s Ham Wall reserve. This is one of their favored stopover points on … Read more

Vaquita porpoise could survive… but only if illegal fishing stops immediately | Environment

Scientists studying the DNA of the world smallest cetacean and rarest marine mammal, the vaquita porpoise, have made a surprising and bittersweet discovery. A vaquita porpoise thought to have died in an illegal gillnet. Photograph: Omar Vidal / WWF / AFP / Getty With a tiny population of fewer than 10 individuals left, the mammal … Read more

Country diary: Just me, a cuckoo and a misty moor | Environment

or dense, early morning fog blanketed the moorland valley. From my garden I could just make out submerged shapes of scattered stone buildings, soft silhouettes of trees skirting the hillside, the pale disc of the rising sun like a pill dissolving in the mist. I stood and waited, listening hard for the sound that had … Read more

Swine dining: crocodiles are thriving in the NT and it could be because of feral pigs | Environment

The exponential increase in saltwater crocodile populations in the Northern Territory in recent decades may be partly a result of them preying on feral pigs, new research suggests. Scientists who have analyzed the diets of saltwater crocodiles in the Territory believe the reptiles have shifted from marine prey to predominantly terrestrial food sources in the … Read more

Dorset ospreys produce egg for first time in 200 years | Environment

A pair of ospreys have made the first breeding attempt in southern England for almost 200 years. Conservationists are delighted that a pair of birds at Poole Harbor, Dorset, have produced an egg, which they are guarding at a nest in a secret location. Thanks to nest cameras, viewers can watch the female osprey incubate … Read more

Country diary: A mass hatching rises from the river | Environment

The arboreal corridor around the River Wharfe is bright with the sharp, tangy colors of April: the fresh lemon-and-lime fuzz of hawthorn budburst; the icy white of wood anemones; the acidic yellow of willow catkins. There is a gauzy delicacy to it all, with the sunlight diffused through a sheet of high cloud. Much of … Read more

Second chance: 80 critically endangered spotted tree frogs to be released into Kosciuszko national park | Environment

Two years after the 2019-20 summer bushfires nearly wiped out the species, 80 critically endangered spotted tree frogs are jumping back into the wild in NSW. “Releasing these 80 spotted tree frogs back into the wild, despite all the setbacks this species has faced, is a reminder to have optimism about the conservation work we’re … Read more