European farmers are suggesting that wolves have recovered too much, is that true?

There is heavy pressure to end wolf protection in the EU because farmers are suggesting that they have recovered to too great a degree.

With intelligent animals like wolves, deterrents are often more successful than defence. The deep bark of dogs make wolves think that the are really big, and that it is too much of a risk to attack
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Serbian wildlife crime a potential threat to its continual survival in the country

Due to the low numbers of all of the large mammals that live in the country, poaching could rapidly threaten the survival in the country.

Might this sight become a part of history in serbia. It is better for the country if this does not happen.

Currently, about 500 wolves survive, 50-60 bears and perhaps only 30 of the Balkan lynx (the Balkan lynx only has around 120 members spread across the whole Balkans).

According to SWIPE (Successful wildlife prosecution in Europe)

“While compiling the Report, a total of 165 cases were collected and analyzed, 110 of which were misdemeanors and 55 were criminal offenses. In 75% of initiated misdemeanor proceedings, the accused was found guilty, while that percentage is lower in criminal proceedings – about 57% of them ended in a conviction.

In this report, the wild species most often targeted include song-birds and after this the bear. There was issues with captive animals that came between (I find this repugnant, but this website is to do with wildlife primarily) and then came targeting of bears.

Now, given there are only 50-60 left in the country, a poaching level of just 5-10 bears a year could threaten the countries population to extinction within the next decade. It is true that the Serbian bear population, like the wolf and the Balkan Lynx is part of a transboundary population which is more healthy. Never-the-less, local extinctions is almost always how extinction starts.

Indeed, wildlife tourism has the capacity to lift more people out of poverty, than hunting of the animals that would otherwise be photographed. Currently, world wildlife tourism is thought to be worth $156 billion, and this often goes to little places where there is little work. It seems quite conceivable for Serbia to seize a sizable portion of the wildlife tourism for Europe.

Off on our annual holiday

We are off, traveling in Europe. By the time you read this, we should be deep in the wilds of the northern Italian Alps, and with any luck will have spotted some bears or wolves.

We will be back in about 12 days when things will continue. Hopefully with plenty of stories to tell

NB if your going somewhere wild on our, do post your sightings

We have live sightings maps for many of the largest reserves in Africa, as well as the Alps and the Carpathians in Europe.

We are keen to slowly build this site up as a resource for wild study and are keen to operate as a place to put together sighting data. While all maps are currently live, we are keeping an eye on poaching and will remove animals that are in danger from showing up. In the future some of this information may well disappear into the members area, but for the time being – ENJOY

A study finds that England’s housing strategy will blow the whole carbon budget, what can we do

The UK, and England in particular has a continual growing population. At the current time, and for much of the last few decades, this population growth is mostly as a result of immigration.

The government has laid out plans to build 300,000 new homes a year in order to handle the growing population. The problem with this plan, is the fact that house building is a carbon intensive activity, which means that we would use up all of the current carbon budget (in order to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

What does this mean? Well, frankly, there are 2 choices. Either we do not build the houses, or we need to cut our emissions elsewhere, so that we can have the carbon budget for this.

I would like to see the transportation industry and electricity generation to move to green sources faster. Another thing that is essential, is to increasingly build ground based thermal and other expensive carbon neutral heating systems, and then send this heat into peoples homes.

Finally, the government needs to increase the rules on new build homes, so that they are as close to carbon neutral as is possible.

As if to underline this issue, the British high court has recently ruled that the UK government has acted unlawful in its climate strategy. The case was brought by ClientEarth, Friends of the Earth and Good Law Project, The chief judge (Mr Justice Holgate) finds that the Net zero Strategy which sets out plans to decarbonize the economy, does not meet the governments obligations under the Climate Change Act. This will require the government to update its plans. During the court proceedings, it was discovered that calculations showed that it would fall 5% short from what was promised. While 5% does not sound big, in actual fact this is 75 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Will the government correct this? we all need to be writing to our MPs on this matter.

Update and Rainbow sea-slug found in rock pool

Sorry for the quiet over the last week, we have been working hard on improving various sides of the website. Firstly, you should find that the menu is easier to use, whether on mobile or a desktop computer. Secondly, a lot of work has gone into the species watch tab. Now all currently listed animals has a page associated, we still need to find more people to help with visitors, but progress is being made.

Do consider joining us, the task is huge.

this creature, more commonly found around Portugal, was found in a farnmouth rock pool Photograph: Vicky Barlow Ltd/Vicky Barlow / @thehidephotography

This creature has been seen off the coast of the UK by divers and snorkelers, but it is thought to be the first time that one was found in a UK rock pool. This is just more signs of our warming planet.

The occasional visitor may not do damage, but it is very possible that if the seas continue to warm enough might arrive to start damaging the prospects of other native wildlife.

UK electric car sales continue to gain in UK, now bigger than diesel

Last year the number of cars sold in the UK dropped by 2%. Never the less, electric car sales continue to grow, now accounting for 17% of new cars in the UK (a little more than 1 in 6). Now quite rightly, some would argue “why are we celebrating 1 in 6 cars being electric, particularly as that only accounts for around 2% of cars currently on the UK roads. I would argue that this is something to celebrate for 2 reasons. For the first, look at the graph below:

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UK government backsliding on environment? two clues and an how is Australia doing

The government of the UK has been talking the talk for a significant period of time. At times they have suggested some policies that should move in the right direction, unfortunately they have often reversed these relatively quickly.

An example of this is the governments green housing grants – advertised as intending to improve the UK housing to work more efficiency. Unfortunately, it was cut too soon, had perhaps 1% of the investment needed to get the whole job done, and proved to merely be a handout to building companies.

So what has caught my eye this time?

  1. A suggestion that oil and gas can be part of the UK net zero strategy? No carbon capture scheme (CCS) has ever worked large scale, and furthermore, none have captured all of the pollution. Far from moving away to fossil fuels, the UK intends to create a new wave of oil and gas exploration – and trying to justify this by suggesting that all the carbon will be caught. Of 13 CCS projects carried out recently, a study found that – 1 was cancelled before start, 2 failed, 7 underperformed, which leaves only 3 to have succeeded. A success rate of 23%. Looking back, out of the 39 million tonnes of carbon dioxide caught worldwide through CCS, more than 70% was used for Enhanced Oil Recovery – in other words of the 3 projects that performed, less than 1 of them would have actually helped to reduce carbon emissions. SO ARE WE ACTUALLY TRYING TO CUT EMISSION IN THE UK?
  2. The UK has just scrapped a top climate diplomatic role. As roles like this are one of the simple ways that a country shows what its priorities- countries who are paying attention will be saying this means that the UK is no longer concentrating on global warming. The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) said the climate crisis remained of “utmost importance” – while this may be true ?!? it certainly sends the wrong signal.

How is Australia doing?

We need to start reducing emissions at some point – this seems self evident, if we are to meet any of our carbon reduction goals. In Australia the labour and Greens have done a deal that might actually improve policy covering Australia’s biggest polluters.

While the new ideas is complicated, it changes the safeguard mechanism to take the country closer to meeting the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

While Australia’s government has been talking the right talk recently, the Australian newspapers have published fear mongering by the fossil fuel companies – forcing up prices, put domestic gas supply at risk, destroy jobs and “kill foreign investment” in the coal industry, The Daily Telegraph published a story which claimed the changes to the safeguard mechanism would risk $96 billion of energy projects – and that should be seen as “coal hard facts”.

One coal boss told the Australian that the changes to the safeguard mechanism were built on a political objective to push a “base demonisation of fossil fuels” that would threaten Australias role as a “Reliable energy exporter” for the region. This is so completely illiterate of the science as to be laughable (if it was not for the fact that many people will listen).

A former editor of the Australian Chris Mitchel wrote that Environmental journalists and the “left media” were “in a frenzy” over the most recent release from the UNs climate panel – he claimed that they are missing the elephant in the room, that climate change has failed to arrive.

Despite what many in the fossil fuel industry wish to claim, it is not hard to see climate change, indeed it is all around us. Mitchell claimed that the world would not, and could not do without fossil fuels – though if you don’t believe that the climate has been effected, then this is an easier position to reach.

What is clear, is that while the voices against doing what i needed to leave a world we wish to for future generations, have not shut up, in most instances they are not winning.

Scientists have found a cost-effective way of harvesting lithium from seawater – why is it necessary

it is thought that the worlds oceans hold 2.6 x10^11 tonnes of lithium. that works out at 325 tonnes of lithium for every person on the planet. Even if every vehicle on the planet went electric we would still have probably 95% of it left.

Ah, you say, but we have not found a way to extract it.

That is the news: despite being 0.2 parts per million in the ocean, a team at King Abdullah university of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia have found a way of extracting lithium at far lower prices. While the ocean contains 5000 times more lithium than on land, it is still a very small fraction. They found by using a very carefully designed electrochemical cell containing a ceramic membrane made from lithium lanthanum titanium oxide. When this and several other processes have occurred, the lithium reaches concentrations of more than 9000 parts per million. By then adjusting the ph of this solution, solid lithium phosphates containing only trace other elements are formed. these are pure enough for battery manufacturers to take over.

Incredibly, this method would only take $5 of electricity to create 1 kg of lithium (and the hydrogen and chlorine that are by-products are already worth this amount. One kg of lithium is currently worth about $35, making this a very profitable venture.

Carbon credits to save rainforests not currently fit for purpose

In the last few months I have read 3 articles from the Guardian (one of the few UK “broadsheets” which put a significant amount of money into its environmental journalism (I would argue that this is concerning, given the large number of threats that are currently future problems for humanity).

The carbon credits idea is incredibly simple. By paying for a rainforest to not get cut down, or something similar, you cancel a load of carbon emissions somewhere else, thereby offsetting your emissions
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