badger

Gas the badgers says Princess Anne

Once again the British royal family have shown their love of killing or maiming wildlife. This time it is Princess Anne who in an interview set to be broadcast on BBC Countryfile thinks that badgers should be culled by gassing. While the public consistently supports non-lethal methods of TB control in badgers and wildlife the…
eygptian vulture

Vultures under threat – Europe ignores Asian lessons

Europe has failed to take notice of the Asian experience with the cattle drug Diclofenac as it becomes more widely available on the continent. Used to treat animals for inflammation and other diseases vultures are unable to break down the chemical and die from renal failure. The impact of the drug was quick and devastating…
rice paddy field

Traditional rice farmers join forces to stop bio-piracy

100 small-scale farmers have launched a network to keep traditional crop varieties in common use and to try to prevent the varieties from being grabbed by large agricultural companies who could try and cover the genes of the plants with intellectual property rights. The farmers from 15 states in India have launched the National Seed…
badger

New badger study offers hope for vaccination

A new badger movement study – the largest ever undertaken – could offer valuable clues as to the best way to use vaccination as an affordable and workable solution to bovine Tb. The 4 year study based in Ireland and involving Irish and Canadian researchers looked at rare occurrences of long-distance migration that badgers sometimes…
yellowhammer

Conservation Grade beats Organic for helping birds

Shoppers who want to help farmland birds when buying their Christmas vegetables this year should look out for Conservation Grade produce rather than organic. A new study by University of Southampton has shown that farms awarded Conservation Grade status are better for farmland birds than fully organic farms. The study shows that threatened farmland birds…
lough neagh

Bird numbers crash at Lough Neagh due to greener agriculture

Britain and Ireland’s largest freshwater lake, Lough Neagh has seen over-wintering bird numbers crash by more that 75% over the last 10 years. Ironically one of the main reasons for the crash is farm conservation measures to protect water quality. The result is that the productivity of Lough Neagh has dropped to more normal and historic levels resulting in less…
badger by tree

Stable badger populations help reduce spread of TB

A new paper published in the current issue of Current Biology seems to show that vaccination is probably the most effective way of tackling TB in badger populations. The paper shows that the social networks of badgers have a major impact on the spread of the disease. THe research was carried out by the University of…
bee

Air pollution impacts on bees ability to find food

Diesel fumes from modern transport and agricultural equipment could be preventing honeybees from finding their food flowers according to scientists. The researchers from Southampton have discovered that air pollution can mask the odour of flowers. By masking the floral smells of different species the honey bees are unable to find their preferred source of food.…
Melanie Sønderup at trial site for crush concrete filter bed.

Can building waste reduce water pollution?

Freshwater ecosystems such as lakes and rivers can often be affected by pollution from run-off. One of the biggest problems is phosphorous which is often used as a fertiliser. When it gets into rivers and lakes it can cause algal blooms which can kill other wildlife. But old concrete could help solve this problem. A team…
Prof Edward Cocking

Breakthrough in eco-farming technology

Intensive agriculture is essential in the production of affordable food but it comes with a wider cost of environmental pollution. It’s not just the pesticides and herbicides that cause pollution. With intensive farming comes the needs for adding fertilizers. These nitrogen additives, essential to make crops grow, are also major polluters – especially of waterways.…
bee

Fungicides implicated in honey bee parasite susceptability

A study just publishes seems to show that honey bees can be exposed to sub-lethal levels of widely used fungicides which will make them more at risk from the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. The team of researchers in the United States pollen in beehives across a wide range of crops that required pollination. The researchers examined the…
badger

Badger lovers to find sanctuary at Asda, Waitrose and M&S

People who are against the badger cull have three options of buying their milk if they want to ensure they are not buying from farms that may be part of the governments badger trial. Three supermarkets have confirmed that they do not source their own-brand milk from Gloucestershire or Somerset. Wildlife charity Care for the…
orangutan

Palm oil rush comes to an end in East Kalimantan

The provincial administration of East Kalimantan in Indonesia has announced that they will be issuing a moratorium on new palm oil plantations later this year. While no date has been set the administration has said that with less than half of the permitted plantations actually planted and under cultivation no new permits will be issued…
pygmy elephant

Insecticides suspected as pygmy elephants deaths hit 14

Another pygmy elephant has been found dead in Sabah, Borneo bringing the total to 14. Officials believe that insecticides may be the culprit. The Head of Sabah Wildlife Department, Laurentius Ambu, has explained that it will be another two weeks before the final lab tests come through to determine if the deaths were from chemical poisoning…
badger

New evidence to support use of vaccines in badgers

The need for large-scale badger culling across England to control bovineTB seems to be reducing as new evidence from government-funded vaccine trials show that badger vaccines can be even more effective than previously thought. The vaccine trials were carried out by the Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) agencies the  Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories…
badger

All I want for Christmas is a…. badger

A charity single is hoping to hit the top slot for the Christmas number 1 this year. The single is taking a shot at the badger cull and hopes to raise money for the Badger Trust. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll see Sir David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Michael “there’s no hurricane” Fish featuring in…