Monthly Archives: September 2012

Badger vaccination scheme challenges government cull

BBC News – Badger vaccination scheme challenges government cull.

Huge support for badger petition

I was delighted to read that over 100,000 people have signed a petition against the badger cull, which means the issue could now be debated in Parliament.

The e-petition was launched last week by the Queen guitarist, Brian May, as part of the Team Badger campaign, after the first licence to kill the protected wild animal was issued for a pilot cull in Gloucestershire.

There is widespread anger over the Government’s decision to push ahead with the cull, which campaigners say will be of little use in reducing bovine TB, and could even make it worse in some areas.

Supporters of the cull claim the move is necessary in order to tackle TB in cattle because badgers spread the disease to livestock. But Team Badger is angry that over 70% of the badger population will be killed in large areas of the country and  is calling on the Government to implement a vaccination programme, along with improved testing.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust is leading the way. They have started vaccinating badgers against TB and hope their  five-year scheme will show that vaccination is a more effective and humane way of controlling bovine TB.

Gazprom to delay drilling in the Arctic

Good news! Gazprom has announced they are going to delay the start of their oil extraction in the Prirazlomnoye field, in the Arctic Ocean. This comes just a few days after Shell announced they wouldn’t drill in Alaska this year.

Last month Greenpeace activists climbed the side of Prirazlomnaya, Gazprom’s floating oil platform in the Pechora Sea, to protest about oil drilling in the Arctic.

Both Gazprom and Shell will try to start drilling again next year, so ask your family and friends to sign the Save the Arctic petition. 

Food for Thought on Badgers…

MrE Science Blog

If watching the above video makes you feel strongly about the issues discussed then you may wish to sign the petition here.

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BREAKING: Greenpeace News …

Great news from Greenpeace

Be a Seed for Change

Shell stops Arcticoil drilling for this year

For over six months, huge numbers of us have been pressuring Shell to stay out of the Arctic.

Well this morning, company bosses announced they were scrapping their oil drilling program for this year. photo from Los Angeles Times

Latest UPDATES : Click on link below

It’s a huge victory for people power.

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RSPB and Crossrail to restore ancient wetland

Otter

Otters will thrive in the new reserve. FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The biggest man-made nature reserve in Europe will be created on Wallasea Island, using almost five tonnes of earth taken from London’s Crossrail project.

The soil, excavated from the construction of two 21km rail tunnels under the Capital, will transform 670 hectares of farmland on Wallasea Island, Essex, into a labyrinth of salt marshes, mudflats, lagoons.

RSPB  hopes that the Wallasea Island Wild Coast project will see the return of spoonbills and Kentish plovers, as well as  avocet, dunlin, redshank, spoonbills and lapwing to the area. Otters, saltwater fish, including bass, herring and flounder, are expected to use the wetland as a nursery, and plants, such as sapphire, sea lavender and sea aster, are expected to thrive.

The aim of this project is to combat the threats from climate change and coastal flooding by recreating the ancient wetland landscape of mudflats and saltmarsh, lagoons and pasture. It will also help to compensate for the loss of such tidal habitats elsewhere in England.

It is believed the island was first reclaimed from the sea by Dutch engineers centuries ago, but it was bulldozed flat 20 years ago to allow wheat and rape-growing. Four centuries ago there were 30,000 hectares of tidal salt marsh along the Essex coast, but today just 2,500 hectares remain. The Essex estuaries are among the most important coastal wetlands in the UK and are protected by national and European law.

Although the reserve will be in development until around 2019, visitors are welcome to come along and view the progress as each phase comes to life and the marshland naturally regenerates.

Shell threatens Arctic, Greenpeace protests

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This is a Dutch video about Greenpeace in the Netherlands, protesting against Shell drilling for oil in the vulnerable Arctic.

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MOVIE: a night with bears

Spotted this great film about Arjen’s memorable night with some polar bears.

Natureview photography

Back to the Arctic. As I already wrote in this post we spent a really nice night in Heleysundet, Spitsbergen. Spending a night on one of the most beautiful ships in the Arctic looking out over a mother Polar Bear with two cubs is a real privilege. The advantage of the Noorderlicht is that she has a shallow draft, so we can come quite close to the shore. Fortunately the bears picked the spot the closest to the vessel, so we all had first rang views on them. After taking pictures for a while, I started filming as well. Here the results, for me the nicest Polar Bear footage I’ve made so far. I hope you like it!

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“London won gold medal for its sustainability efforts”

Green Liberationist

London won the gold medal its sustainability efforts, during the recent Summer Olympic Games. The facilities facilities- from the Olympic Park to the Velodrome to the main Stadium – make wide use of recycled materials and follow waste management guidelines. All purchases inside the Olympic Park and all packaging are 100% recyclable while the disposable products are green and made in Italy.

The London Paralympic Games (parallel to the Olympics), now in progress, are taking place, for the most part, in the same facilities as the Olympics, with a diverse group of athletes competing.[…]

The flag of sustainability flies over the Paralympic facilities as it did during the XXX Games of the modern era, starting with the industrial area of Stratford, covering an area equal to 297 football fields, that was completely reclaimed. The terrain contained tar, oil, solvents, lead and arsenic. The London Olympics were also the first games to…

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Butterfly numbers decline following wettest summer

Watching butterflies flutter around our flowerbeds is one of the quintessential sights of summer, but there is new evidence that many of our garden favourites, including the Red Admiral and Holly Blue, are in sharp decline.

The Big Butterfly Count 2012 has revealed that 11 common types have decreased by more than a third compared with last year, as a result of the wettest summer in 100 years. Heavy rain, strong winds and low temperatures have sadly taken their toll, putting many already threatened species at risk.

Speckled Wood dropped substantially by 65%, Brimstone by 53% and Common Blues by 50%. The Red Admiral, which was abundant last summer, fell sharply, with numbers down by 72%. The Holly Blue (42% down) and common whites (each down by at least 33%) have also suffered.

Some butterfly species have increased, with Meadow Brown counts up by 186% to become Britain’s most abundant species. The study, run annually by Butterfly Conservation, is the biggest of its kind in the world.