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Invasion of the frankenbees: the danger of building a better bee

October 19, 2018

The long read: Beekeepers are sounding the alarm about the latest developments in genetically modified pollinators The spring of 2008 was brutal for Europes honeybees. In late April and early May, during the corn-planting season, dismayed beekeepers in Germanys upper Rhine valley looked on as whole colonies perished. Millions of bees died. France, the Netherlands […]

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A giant crawling brain: the jaw-dropping world of termites

September 29, 2018

At least half of termite studies used to be about how to kill them. But science is discovering their extraordinary usefulness In July 2008, Irented asmall yellow car in Tucson, Arizona, and drove it south towards Tombstone. My passengers included an entomologist and two microbial geneticists, and Iwas following awhite van with government plates carrying […]

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Eight bird species are first confirmed avian extinctions this decade

September 17, 2018

Most of the extinctions were caused by deforestation in South America, a new study of endangered birds shows Spixs macaw, a brilliant blue species of Brazilian parrot that starred in the childrens animation Rio, has become extinct this century, according to a new assessment of endangered birds. The macaw is one of eight species, including […]

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Belgian nude beach blocked on fears sexual activity could spook wildlife

August 15, 2018

Wildlife agency says subsidiary activities in the dunes would scare off rare lark The Belgian Naturism Federation has come to the defence of its burgeoning membership after the Flemish wildlife agency blocked an application for a second nudist beach in the country on the grounds that bathers subsidiary activities would pose a threat to a […]

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Darwin comes to town: how cities are creating new species

July 31, 2018

From the nut-cracking crows of Sendai to Turdus urbanicus (the new urban blackbird), animals are changing their behaviour and evolution in cities and in dramatic and surprising ways On the eve of the Euro 2016 final between France and Portugal, ground staff at the gigantic Stade de France in Paris had left the stadiums lights […]

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Scientists call for a Paris-style agreement to save life on Earth

July 18, 2018

Conservation scientists believe our current mass extinction crisis requires a far more ambitious agreement, in the style of the Paris Climate Accord. And they argue that the bill shouldnt be handed just to nation states, but corporations too. Lets be honest, the global communitys response to the rising evidence of mass extinction and ecological degradation […]

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Two tarantulas may be on loose after babies found in Derbyshire car park

July 17, 2018

Baby spiders were abandoned in pots and RSPCA says witness saw parents scuttling away Two tarantulas may be on the loose in a village after three of their babies were found abandoned in a car park. The RSPCA said it had rescued the baby Brazilian bird-eating spiders after they were found discarded in pots in […]

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‘Barnacled angels’: the whales of Stellwagen Bank a photo essay

June 30, 2018

Off the tip of Cape Cod, pods of humpbacks return every summer to feed. For the past 18 years, Philip Hoare has been joining them to witness this incredible display Like other rorqual whales, humpbacks throats expand in rubbery pleats reaching down to their navels. Opening their mouths wide, they strain their food using the […]

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More tigers live in US back yards than in the wild. Is this a catastrophe?

June 25, 2018

It is easier to buy a tiger in some states than to adopt a rescue dog and only 6% of the animals are housed in approved facilities. This is bad for the big cats and for humans According to estimates, the population of tigers in peoples back gardens in the US outnumbers those in the […]

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The magical wilderness farm: raising cows among the weeds at Knepp

June 18, 2018

You cant make money from letting cows run wild, right? When Patrick Barkham got access to the sums at a pioneering Sussex farm, he was in for a surprise. Orange tip butterflies jink over grassland and a buzzard mews high on a thermal. Blackthorns burst with bridal white blossom and sallow leaves of peppermint green […]

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