The critically endangered Regent honeyeater may have new hope

This critically endangered species of honeyeater has a renewed hope of survival. They have become so rare, that the juveniles have started mimicking other bird species, because they hear the sounds of their own species so rarely.

The new speck of hope comes from the fact that captive birds have bred after being released.

There are an estimated 2200 species in Australia which are in some way endangered. This species is endangered for the same reason that many of these are – loss of habitat. Agricultural land, forest clearing, logging and the expansion of coal seam gas drilling was predicted to wipe out this bird, but thankfully they have survived.

Around 140 birds have been released to help bolster the population and have been shown to have bred with wild birds. With just 300 wild birds left, every extra breeding bird can make a large difference.

Rishi Sunak continuing to face pressure over plans to max out North Sea Oil

I wrote a month ago, about Rishi Sunak and the foolish plans of the UK government to try to max out oil production from the North Sea. The governments argument was that it would help bring down costs for UK people.

This is an image from a youtube video suggesting that Rishi Sunak has investments that will benefit from this move. Whether this is true or not, he will be remembered as a prime minister who locked the UK into oil and gas at a time where the best financial move, as well as climate move is to divest fast. Should you wish to see this video yourself, Click here I would argue a fascinating subject, but beyond the scope of this site.

Unfortunately, this argument bares no water, as the extracted fossil fuels would be sold on the open market, and there would be no discount at all in the UK. As such, this will do nothing to help the UK people save money, merely give some fossil fuel companies some money, and potentially some tax revenue for the UK government, though whether this is worth the costs that will have to be paid is the future is being questioned increasingly loudly.

What is unfortunately clear, is that the things that are going to be best for the UK public is additional insulation in houses, and renewable energy. Unfortunately these are two projects which the government is increasingly eager to turn its back on.

The green housing grants, during Covid, were aimed at improving the housing stock of the UK, and it did, but only for around 1% of the houses that need to be dealt with. Furthermore, this was really a boost for the building firms, rather than the green housing grants in particular – they charged as much as possible, and the work did not really continue after the end of the period in question.

Why politicians keep spouting information that is so easily destroyed is hard to understand. It seems hard to believe that a man with the amount of money that Rishi Sunak and his wife has, would be influenced by the performance of his investment, however, given where we are going, I would argue that investing in fossil fuel extraction is a foolish move – whether in the next decade or further ahead, the fossil fuel industry must die, and it is likely to happen fast when it truly starts. Rishi Sunak has been accused of dodging scrutiny on this subject by failing to appoint a climate change committee chair (for over 18 months since Lord Deben retired) – and now the independent watchdogs chief executive has resigned in frustration. Given this position was there to keep the government to account on climate change and changes that will limit its effect

What is Rishi Sunak afraid of? Either he is attempting to avoid scrutiny, or he is incompetent – which is it?

A species back from extinction? A species of pine tree thought extinct for 2 million years has been found in Australia

Known as the Wollemi pine, the species evolved 91 million years ago, and was thought to have gone extinct 2 million years ago. However, in the blue mountains, west of Sydney a stand of 90 of these trees have been found. They were found in 1994, but their discovery has been kept quiet till now, while the national parks service of Australia has been planting small clumps of this tree in many other locations, in order to avoid this tree being lost in an accident.

This is a rare positive bit of news in a world where literally millions of species are considered endangered, from species of plant that you might never have heard of, to animals like the lion. We do not have time to celebrate for long, we must make sure as many others as possible will survive into the future.

It is sad to think that it is far harder to find animals or birds that are in a similar situation. This would be the equivalent of some dinosaur being found somewhere. What else is waiting to be found?

Mink have been eradicated from East Anglia, now the country?

Mink are an invasive species, which have arrived in the UK for fur farms and then either escaped, or been released by so called ‘animal lovers’.

While I do not approve of mink farms, this is a very foolish behaviour. The American mink, not surprisingly, is not a native of the UK, and while there is a European mink, it has never been present in the UK.

So, why are they problematic? Well, like any invasive species, they tend to hunt in different ways to native species, and can rapidly eradicate species that have always lived here,

In the UK, the species that is most at risk is the water vole! Since the arrival of the mink, it has been lost from most of the UK. They are essential for healthy rivers and as such mink cause damage (they also take many water birds).

The wildlife recovery trust, set up a defensive wall of traps, around this county, and used scent from the minks own glands to tempt in the species. This has been incredibly successful, and they have been declared extinct in the county (once caught they are shot).

Conservationists are now planning to extend this method to the rest of the UK. Thankfully, a second line of defence is reappearing – the otter. Reduced to near extinction by pollutants in the waterways, they have recovered over the last 20 years, and generally push mink out, fast, when they return to a waterway.

For the first time, there is hope that we might eradicate this animal that has done so much damage to the UK waterways environment.

More than 20 indigenous groups have called on the Australian government to stop culling Dingoes

For indigenous communities, killing dingoes are a cultural icon, and for them killing them is tantamount to killing a family member.

This has been raised more forcefully, after recent surveys showed that the Australian dingo is actually genetically very pure.

Given their classification of being native species, they should not be culled.

It is true that there is some question as to when the dingo arrived in Australia, and whether it arrived with early humans, however that would still mean that they arrived 50,000 years ago, which would definitely make them native in almost any regular description.

Swearing parrots

Obviously not the first place in the world to have this problem, but Lincolnshire wildlife park has 8 grey parrots and they have started swearing.

The zoo has in the past, isolated the bird, in the hopes of this behaviour not spreading. Now they are trying a different tack, by putting the rude birds in with many more, in the hopes that these birds will learn some more polite words from the rest of the bird flock

This video shows them using a swear word almost instantly.

As you can see, the parrot will mimic any language, and so this is not the first time, and wont be the last.

Electric two wheelers are cutting carbon emissions by 1 million barrels of oil a day

There are a variety of different industries which need to stop using carbon. The hardest, is transport. While electrifying aircraft is incredibly hard, we have already worked out everything we need to electrify the worlds roads.

An electric scooter uses around 1/10 of the electricity of an efficient small electric car, so every person who switches from car to e-scooter will save a lot of energy each year.

Worldwide, it has been calculated, that at the current time, e-scooters are cutting carbon emissions 4 times faster than electric cars.

This makes it clear, that we need to electrify all forms of transport.

The end of Whaling in Iceland, end of an era, or sensible financial move

Whaling went on for centuries, in many parts of the world. One of these was Iceland, where due to the latitude, it is often hard to grow much food. Iceland did not end whaling when it was banned by the international community, and since then have hunted and killed around 1800. They returned to hunting fin whales last year, but what is clear, is that not only do the Icelandic people not want to eat the whale meat, but there is little hunger for it elsewhere in the world. Indeed, whaling is incredibly expensive, and has only stayed afloat through government support.

Whales are essential to the worlds oceans, both through their fertilization through their waste, and the vast amounts of carbon that they sequester over their lives. For the foreseeable time we need every living whale we can have, in the fight against the damage which humans are doing to the planet.

Golden Jackal found in France for the first time

Golden jackals are not native to France, probably as a result of of the presence of wolves. Unfortunately, wolf populations have dropped so low, that their presence is not stopping the spread of animals like this.

In this instance, the female was too young to have arrived on its own, suggesting that not only are golden jackals present, but they are breeding.

We will have to watch this space, and see what is happening. Will the recovering wolf population stop the spread, or are golden jackals going to become a permanent part of west Europe’s fauna?

To read more about golden jackals visit our golden jackal page here

See Animals Wild