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Xmas Eve Conserv@tion headlines (1 Viewer)


peter hayes

Breeders back GM review

Plant breeders have criticised a newspaper report that said a government-funded review of GM crops will ignore Britain’s field trials. The review, by chief scientific adviser David King, will be critical to the government's decision over whether to allow GM crops to be grown in Britain, said The Guardian. But results from field scale evaluation trials will not be part of that review, because they will emerge after it is completed. Although the trials are the only scientific study of what happens when GM crops are grown here, breeders have pointed out that the review is more wide-ranging.
More information - FWi

Spain may face court action in Irish fisheries row

The Government is prepared to take Spain to the European Court if its fishermen try to catch stocks off the Irish coast, Marine Minister Dermot Ahern warned yesterday. Following an acrimonious deal brokered in Brussels last week, there is confusion over whether a 12 square mile area off the coast, known as the Irish Box, will be out of bounds for foreign trawlers. Mr Ahern said he received legal opinion to suggest foreign trawlers will not be allowed into this area, but Spanish fishermen have disagreed. Irish fishermen are now warning that they will marshal hundreds of boats to protect their livelihoods, which have already been hit by 5% cut in quotas next year.
More information -
Irish Examiner
Irish Newspapers

Scots seek strict legal controls to prevent another 'Prestige' disaster

Fears of an environmental disaster like that caused by the Prestige sinking off the Spanish coast have prompted calls for tighter controls over ships passing through the narrow channel separating the Western Isles from mainland Scotland. The Minch is one of the richest and most diverse marine wildlife areas in Britain. Its waters are used by several dolphin, porpoise and whale species and is of international importance to many types of birds and a large number of common and grey seals.
More information - Independent

Hercules fights to stop Channel oil spill

Under the watchful eye of Hans van Rooij, five divers have braved stormy seas to begin the salvage operation to raise the stricken Tricolor. The genial Dutchman, known as “the Red Adair of the sea” after the American oil-well firefighter, is managing director of Smit, the world’s largest maritime salvage business. Mr van Rooij’s team must stop 2,000 tonnes of oil spilling into the Channel. Then the company is likely to have the herculean task of removing the 50,000-tonne wreck and her cargo of 2,862 BMWs, Volvos and Saabs from the world’s busiest shipping lane.
More information - Times

Defra maps out environmental farming pilots

Boundary details of the four areas where Defra's new Entry Level agri-environment scheme is to be piloted were released today. Environment Minister Michael Meacher announced on 14 November the four areas in England which will host the pilots over the next two years. The Government's Strategy for Sustainable Farming and Food, published last week, endorsed this key Curry Commission recommendation, and subject to successful pilots the Entry Level scheme, aimed at delivering more environmentally-friendly farming, will be available to farmers across England from 2005.
More information - DEFRA

Biosphere unaffected by geoengineering schemes

Using models that simulate the interaction between global climate and land ecosystems, atmospheric scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have shown that compensating for the carbon dioxide “greenhouse effect” by decreasing the amount of sunlight reaching the planet (geoengineering) could create a more vigorous ecosystem while helping to curb global warming. The study suggests that planetary-scale engineering projects to lessen the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface will likely do little to prevent the effects of increased greenhouse gases on the terrestrial biosphere. In fact, plants could experience growth spurts.
More information - Lawrence Livermore

BTO appoint new House Sparrow Officer
The British Trust for Ornithology is boosting its research into the decline of the House Sparrow by appointing Rosie Cleary as their new House Sparrow Officer. She will work with thousands of volunteer sparrow counters across the country to try to ascertain the reasons for major declines of this red-listed species of conservation concern. The appointment of Rosie Cleary as the BTO’s first House Sparrow Officer will greatly increase the capacity of the Trust to look at what is happening to sparrows across the country. Rosie is keen to recruit volunteers to help her. She needs information from: Gardens where there are now fewer House Sparrows than there were. Gardens where (for the moment) there are still flocks of sparrows.
More information - The British Trust for Ornithology

Birds killed by mystery oil spill

A mysterious oil spill is killing seabirds off the coast of north and east Kent, according to local wildlife groups. Jean Hendry, of The Seabird Network, has received reports of oil-covered birds flying around Folkestone harbour, oil on rocks along the beach and oil-covered birds sitting on the rocks. There have also been reports of several dead Gillimot and Razor Bills birds on the shore from Whitstable to Dungeness. Gulls and Black Headed Gulls have been found covered in oil. "We know there's oil out there somewhere," said Mrs Hendry. "But we don't know where it's coming from. Some of the affected birds are deep sea birds who do not usually come ashore here, so we have no way of knowing where they've caught the oil."
More information - Kent Online

Man pleads guilty to stealing wild hawk

A 37-year-old Huyton man pleaded guilty to stealing rare birds from the wild. Leonard O'Connor, of St Anne's Road, could face six months in jail after being found with a live Goshawk in his home in February. He pleaded guilty to taking two Goshawks chicks from a nest in Derbyshire, in 2000, and also to possessing parts of a Goshawks tail as well as producing false documents to try and get the Goshawks onto a legal register. The court heard yesterday (Monday, December 16) O'Connor had taken the chicks and kept one of them as a pet and police had found a diary in his home detailing how he had reared the birds including notes on its first kill.
More information - icLiverpool

Racecourse plan given the bird

A plan to plant 24,000 trees to protect a colony of herons has been dismissed as a bid to "soften up'' residents protesting about a planned racecourse. The £85m leisure complex, called Salford Forest Park, would have a racecourse at its heart, an equestrian centre, 6,000-seat grandstand and an eco village of about 60 chalets, plus camping facilities and a golf course. Protesters say the Peel Holdings development would ruin 2,000 acres of unspoilt greenbelt which is home to rare species of birds and wildlife. Peel has agreed to submit revised plans including the tree-planting which it says would help conserve the treetop colony of grey herons at Botany Bay Wood in Worsley.
More information - ManchesterOnline

Noisy bats distinguish themselves

Groundbreaking technology that can identify animal species from song, the flutter of a wing, or even characteristic noises made whilst eating, promises to revolutionize species identification and assessment of biodiversity, predicts entomologist-cum-electronics expert, David Chesmore. Advances in signal processing and computer technology have enabled the development of a gadget that can be trained to learn and reliably recognize animals according to the wide array of sounds that they make, claims Chesmore from the University of York, who unveiled his invention at this week's annual meeting of the British Ecological Society in York.

More information - BioMedNet

£50,000 to save Uist hedgehogs

In a remarkable act of Christmas charity, animal-lovers have raised £50,000 to save 5,000 hedgehogs condemned to death on the Scottish island of Uist - but it is still not enough. The animals are due to be culled early in the New Year on the orders of Scottish National Heritage because they eat the eggs of ground-nesting birds but so far, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society has raised £50,000 to relocate them to the mainland. But, said the society in a statement at the weekend, although the appeal was successful "we need more to relocate as many hedgehogs as possible."
More information -

Planting saplings for hedge of the future

Local residents and volunteers hedged their bets during the latest phase of conservation for Orton community parkland at Carsa Braw. Following a Local Heritage Initiative grant from the Countryside Agency, 1,000 native tree saplings, including hawthorn, blackthorn, crab apple, hazel, holly, field maple and rowan, have been planted to form a new hedge by residents of Orton and local farmers. The species have been chosen as ones that naturally occur in and around Orton. In addition, six oak saplings have also been planted to replace older trees on the site as they die out due to old age.
More information - Cumberland News
I found this very interesting to read and wanted to thank you for this..We do not get this kind of info on this side of the pond.. we watch BBC world news but that is not always real news... not of the type that has any serious depth to it in any case,
We have a large problem here with Aboriginals netting salmon when they spawn.. and from the decree that they can now whale up to 4 whales a year.. we also have people inside our water limits fishing our stocks.. on the Pacific coast and on the east coast it is now nightmare stages!
We have virgin forests that big business wants to log and we have toxic waste wanting a place to be buried and NOT in my community is a huge factor here.
My province is against the Kyoto agreement and we are now battling with the US Governemt over some of the richest Cariboo mating grounds.. as we do not want it disturbed for drilling purposes... it is also on our northern borders.
WE have people coming to our country slaughtering our bears for the bladders so some one somewhere can be amourous.. God Give me strength.. when we come across a carcass that has been left we are sickened. the purpatrators of these crimes get a slap on the wrist here.. and that my friend is another serious issue on the world wide stage; our ridiculously flimsy damn laws!Poachers are rampant.. canola is becoming a weed here, we have your house sparrows thank you and we can and will willingly send most of them back anytime you want them...my friend in the next valley breeds Hedgehogs and it is a good business for he and his family...
but if we all do a small part and it is the BEST we can do and we continue to tech our youngsters the right way to live then maybe just maybe we will survive our own madnesses.
Thanks Gaye

It's always interesting to read about the issues/probels in other parts of the world. I totally agree with your sentiments, though. Let's hope the next generation look after the planet better than we did!
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