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Good news for Nepal's wildlife after another year of no poaching
March 5, 2014 08:05 AM - Hannah Mulvany, ARKive.org
After Nepal making a commitment to protect the future of its magnificent and highly endangered species, it has once again succeeded and between February 2013 and February 2014, no rhino, tigers or elephants were poached in the country. Nepal has a history of success in the prevention of poaching, and another poaching-free year occurred in 2011.
Four in five children are not 'connected to nature'
October 18, 2013 10:31 AM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
The ground-breaking study, led by the RSPB, marks the first time that connectivity between children and nature has been studied in the UK. Following 3 years of research, the project concluded that only 21% of children between the ages of 8 and 12 were 'connected to nature' at a level which is considered to be both realistic and achievable for all young people. The report stems from growing concerns over the distinct lack of contact with and experience of nature among modern children, which some have argued is having a negative impact on their education, health and behaviour. In addition, this disconnection is viewed as being a very real threat to the future of UK wildlife.
Key European Wildlife Populations Make a Comeback
September 26, 2013 08:52 AM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
Populations of some of Europe's key animals have increased over the past 50 years, according to recent research. Through studying a total of 18 mammal and 19 bird species found across Europe, researchers found that key species, including grey wolves, brown bears and eagles, have increased in number in recent decades. This is welcome news for conservationists, as European animals have not always fared so well over the course of the last few centuries, with habitat loss, pollution and hunting all contributing to the decline of some of the continent’s most charismatic species.
Blobfish claims landslide victory as world's ugliest animal
September 13, 2013 03:15 PM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
Its grouchy face and slimy, gelatinous body have won the blobfish the honour of becoming the official mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, as well as the unofficial title of world's ugliest animal. First taking form as a science-themed comedy night, the society launched a campaign urging members of the public to vote for its mascot from a pool of 'aesthetically challenged' threatened species. The main aim of the campaign, which was run in conjunction with the National Science and Engineering Competition, was to draw attention to the threats facing these bizarre and often ignored creatures.
Invasive species threaten Europe's towns and cities
September 6, 2013 06:00 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
Europe's towns and cities are particularly vulnerable to the threats posed by invasive alien species, and experts say that action needs to be taken to control them. Invasive alien species are plants or animals that are not native to an area and which therefore lack natural predators, meaning they are able to spread rapidly. Urban areas are at high risk from invasive species because of their large number of transport links, with many non-native animals and plants arriving accidentally at ports and airports. Some species also arrive through the plant and pet trades.
Sea otter return providing lifeline for dwindling seagrass in California
August 28, 2013 08:54 AM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
A significant improvement in the health of seagrass in a central Californian estuary is due to the return of sea otters, according to recent research. Seagrass has been suffering drastic declines worldwide, and coastal California is no exception. Urbanisation has led to a massive increase in nutrient pollution along the state's coast, with run-off from fields treated with nitrogen-rich fertilisers being blamed for the reduction in seagrass beds in the region. However, new research has revealed that the return of sea otter populations to the area may be enabling seagrass levels to recover.
Iraq creates first National Park
August 2, 2013 08:48 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
Iraq's Council of Ministers has approved the designation of the country's first national park, in the Mesopotamian Marshes of southern Iraq. Once the third largest wetland in the world, the Mesopotamian Marshes are widely thought to be the original 'Garden of Eden'. However, they were nearly destroyed during the Gulf War in the 1990s, when Iraq's president, Saddam Hussein, drained the area and reduced the marshland to less than ten percent of its original extent.
Snow leopard under threat from cashmere trade
July 24, 2013 09:00 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
A rising global demand for cashmere is putting the snow leopard and other native wildlife in Central Asia under threat, according to a new study. Domestic cashmere goats are raised in many parts of Central Asia for their luxurious fur coats. Although cashmere production is not new, the global demand for this product has increased dramatically, and goat numbers have almost tripled in some areas in the last 20 years. The new study, published in the journal Conservation Biology, reports that the increasing goat population is encroaching on the habitat of the snow leopard and its prey.
IUCN Red List reports decline in world’s oldest and largest species
July 2, 2013 08:49 AM - Kathryn Pintus, ARKive.org
The latest update to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species highlights a worrying decline in many economically and medicinally valuable species, from small freshwater shrimps and cone snails to gargantuan conifers, some of the world's oldest and largest organisms. An impressive 4,807 species have been added to the IUCN Red List this year, bringing the total number of assessed species to 70,294, of which 20,934 are threatened with extinction.
In the News: First crane egg in the western UK in four centuries
May 21, 2013 08:59 AM - Liz Shaw, ARKive.org
The first common crane egg in the western United Kingdom in over 400 years has been laid at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire, England. A round-the-clock guard has been set up to protect the egg from collectors, as despite egg collecting being illegal in the UK it is still practiced by an unscrupulous minority. Video cameras are in place to allow the public to view the nest, as well as to provide important footage for conservation scientists. Lucky visitors can also view the nest from the centre’s bird hides.