On the real Watership Down, rabbits are hard to come by

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 1:00am

Numbers may be at an all time low as a new adaptation of the novel hits our TV screens

The real Watership Down is not hard to find.

In the introduction to his book, Richard Adams helpfully gives the Ordnance Survey map reference – sheet 174. Once located on paper, long-remembered names jump from the map: Nuthanger Farm, Ashley Warren and Honeycomb are all there. It was the multitude of rabbits found on this little square of England that inspired Adams to write Watership Down.

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Categories: Environment

Scott Pruitt never gave up EPA plans to debate climate science, records show

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/22 - 12:00am
  • White House denied administrator’s ‘red team, blue team’ idea
  • Emails: staff considered questioning greenhouse gases finding

In Scott Pruitt’s final weeks as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, his political advisers were still considering ways to formally raise doubts about climate change science, agency records show.

Related: Deadly weather: the human cost of 2018's climate disasters – visual guide

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Categories: Environment

World's first no-kill eggs go on sale in Berlin

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/21 - 10:00pm

Scientists can now quickly determine a chick’s gender before it hatches, potentially ending the need to cull billions of male chicks worldwide

The world’s first ever no-kill eggs are now on sale in Berlin after German scientists found an easy way to determine a chick’s gender before it hatches, in a breakthrough that could put an end to the annual live shredding of billions of male chicks worldwide.

The patented “Seleggt” process can determine the sex of a chick just nine days after an egg has been fertilised. Male eggs are processed into animal feed, leaving only female chicks to hatch at the end of a 21-day incubation period.

“If you can determine the sex of a hatching egg you can entirely dispense with the culling of live male chicks,” said Seleggt managing director Dr Ludger Breloh, who spearheaded the four-year programme by German supermarket Rewe Group to make its own-brand eggs more sustainable.

“It’s not about winning or losing,” he added of the worldwide race to find a marketable solution. “We all have the same goal, which is to end the culling of chicks in the supply chain. Of course, there’s competition, but it’s positive in that it keeps us all focused on that goal.”

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Categories: Environment

National parks facing chaos and confused visitors as shutdown looms

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/21 - 2:18pm

Conservation group says it will keep the parks ‘as accessible as possible’ as thousands prepare to go on winter holidays

Chaos may reign for the thousands of visitors planning to take snow hikes, rock climbing trips and sightseeing visits to US national parks over the winter holidays, if the government shutdown goes forward at midnight on Friday.

Park conservation groups say it is likely to mirror past shutdowns – with confusion about which parks are open, closed facilities, a lack of protections for guests and wildlife, and many disappointed visitors.

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Categories: Environment

Judge fines Thames Water £2m over river pollution

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/21 - 9:57am

Utilities firm breached environmental regulations over raw sewage flowing into a brook in the Cotswolds

Thames Water has been handed a £2m fine for a “reckless failure” that led to the polluting of a tributary of the Thames with raw sewage.

The £2bn-turnover utilities firm admitted breaching environmental regulations in relation to untreated sewage flowing into a brook near Milton-under-Wychwood, near Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds, in August 2015.

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Categories: Environment

Fears over poaching threat as rare albino orangutan released into Borneo forest

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/21 - 9:24am

Experts concerned for safety of Alba, world’s only known albino orangutan, in country where poverty drives illegal hunting

Fears have arisen for the world’s only known albino orangutan, Alba, who has been released into a protected forest more than a year after being discovered bloodied and emaciated in a remote Indonesian village.

The blue-eyed, white-haired great ape is “very strong” after undergoing intensive rehabilitation with the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF), which nursed the primate back to health after finding her caged and weighing just 8kg in April 2017.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/21 - 8:21am

Bounding blackbucks, a hungry baby bear, an albino orangutan and more

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Categories: Environment

Lucianne Walkowicz: Should We Be Using Mars As A Backup Planet?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2018/12/21 - 7:23am

Lucianne Walkowicz is all for space exploration, but says we shouldn't expect Mars to save us from a damaged Earth. She warns us not to lose sight of preserving the home we already have.

(Image credit: James Duncan Davidson/TED)

Categories: Environment

BBC's London HQ put on lockdown over climate change protest

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2018/12/21 - 7:20am

Extinction Rebellion group calls for environment to be made ‘top editorial issue’

The BBC’s central London headquarters has been put on lockdown due to a protest by climate change campaigners who are demanding it uses its status as national broadcaster to declare a “climate and ecological emergency”.

Extinction Rebellion, a direct action group that has recently shut down key London roads, has demand the BBC makes the environment its “top editorial issue”.

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Categories: Environment

'We are at war': New York's rat crisis made worse by climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2018/12/20 - 11:00pm

Rat-related callouts rise as experts say warming temperatures are helping New York’s rats feed and mate longer into the year

The discarded slices of pizza that litter New York’s streets have long fuelled its sizeable population of rats, but now the city’s growing swarm has a new reason to enjoy their home – warming temperatures.

Related: Man v rat: could the long war soon be over? | Jordan Kisner

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Categories: Environment
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