June 11, 2022

‘Forever chemicals’ are killing whales – and harming us | Ella Al-Shamahi

Their use is linked to the rise in whale strandings on British beaches, but partial bans keeps letting industry off the hookIn the aftermath of 9/11, scientists noticed a curious impact on the stress hormones of North Atlantic right whales. Ships are ubiquitous in our oceans but, for a brief window, immediately after the planes flew into the twin towers, there was a dramatic drop in traffic along the North Atlantic eastern seaboard, reducing underwater noise. While the world above ground was reeling, our underwater neighbours were thriving.So often we think of the golden age of whaling as being over. Japanese and Icelandic whaling ships are now pariahs in the international community. But too often, out of sight is out of mind, and it remains easy to ignore the impact of our actions above ground on marine life. However, whales are increasingly forcing us to take note, as more of them than ever are beaching on our shores. Continue reading...
June 4, 2022

Saint-Denis convention undermined by chaos at Champions League final

The irony of France’s public commitment to safety will not be lost on anyone affected by the shambolic organisation in ParisThe European Championship quarter-final between Iceland and France was not the only notable event held at the Stade de France on 3 July 2016. The Council of Europe also staged an opening ceremony that day for signatories to a new convention designed to provide “a safe, secure and welcoming environment at football matches and other sports events”.France was one of the member states who signed up and the legally binding international treaty took its name from the location of the ceremony. The Saint-Denis convention was born. The irony of France’s public commitment and the convention’s name will not be lost on anyone affected by the chaos outside the Stade de France before, during and after Saturday’s Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid. Continue reading...
June 3, 2022

The week in wildlife – in pictures

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including a rock goby, a fox-chasing crow and a frolicking Icelandic horse Continue reading...
June 2, 2022

Geese, skuas, cranes and even foxes: avian flu takes growing toll on wildlife

One ecologist counted 160 dead wild birds while walking round a Scottish loch, and figures from other countries are just as worryingAs he walked along the shoreline of a Highland loch on a fine May evening, ecologist and wildlife photographer Peter Stronach could hardly believe what he was seeing. The beach was littered with dead and dying birds: male eider ducks, several species of gulls, a gannet, a puffin and no fewer than 26 pink-footed geese, which should by now have been on the way back to their Icelandic breeding grounds.In all, Stronach recorded 72 individual birds of 17 species at Loch Fleet national nature reserve on the east coast of Scotland on that one day, plus many more in the following days. Continue reading...
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