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Environment

  • Newly-recognised bird species ‘face extinction’

    Newly-recognised bird species ‘face extinction’

    Dozens of newly-recognised bird species have been listed as threatened with extinction, a report has revealed. A review of the classification of “non-passerine” birds such as birds of prey, seabirds, waterbirds and owls has recognised 361 new...

  • Experts warn over insects’ decline

    Numbers of insects and other invertebrates such as spiders, crustaceans and worms have nearly halved in 35 years as the human population doubled, a study warned. The decline in invertebrate numbers mirrors similar reductions in the abundance of...

  • Globe’s on a hot streak

    Globe’s on a hot streak

    The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record last month for the second month in a row. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said last month’s average global temperature was 16.2˚C, which is 0.7˚C higher than the 20th...

  • Antarctic sea ice ‘error’ claimed

    Antarctic sea ice may not be expanding as rapidly previously thought – with much of the increase potentially down to a data error, scientists have said. While Arctic sea ice has been melting significantly in recent years, satellite observations...

  • The humped crab spider

    The humped crab spider

    The humped crab spider is common on the Maltese islands. It is widely distributed and can be found throughout most of Europe, except for the northern parts, and in Africa. Its range extends east as far as Siberia. Crab spiders got their name from...

  • Elephants’ sense of smell superior to other mammals’

    Elephants’ sense of smell superior to other mammals’

    Elephants have been revealed to have the most sophisticated sense of smell in a league table of mammals compiled by scientists. Researchers who examined olfactory receptors, the proteins involved in detecting smell, found that African elephants...

  • Up in the clouds with chemtrails

    Up in the clouds with chemtrails

    In a cloudless sky a trail hangs long after a passing plane has flown by. Sometimes a grid of white trails can be seen criss-crossing overhead. These are contrails, simple trails of aircraft exhaust made visible by condensation. Smoking gun to...

  • Learning to help dolphins and turtles

    Learning to help dolphins and turtles

    Training sessions are being held for the volunteers in the LifePlus project Migrate which aims to protect and conserve the bottlenose dolphin and the loggerhead turtle. Participants will learn how to recognise the different species of cetaceans...

  • Programme helps school save water

    St Margaret College Primary School A, Żabbar, has installed a plumbing and water tank system to use secondary water for cleaning and flushing from an underlying reservoir. This was done with the help of the HSBC water programme Catch the Drop...

  • Environmental programmes participation growing

    Ninety-seven students from 20 schools received awards for their contributions in two education for sustainable development programmes run by Nature Trust Malta – Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) and Learning about Forests (Leaf). The...

  • Australia scraps carbon tax

    Australia scraps carbon tax

    The Australian Senate yesterday voted to scrap the country’s carbon tax and plans for emissions trading, a major victory for conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott that leaves uncertainty about how the country will meet its carbon reduction...

  • Long-horned general

    Long-horned general

    The long-horned general is a European species of soldier fly. Soldier flies make up a large family of about 1,500 species, about 140 of which are found in Europe and about four on the Maltese islands. The long-horned general is known in Maltese as...

  • Rare pandas born

    Rare pandas born

    A female red panda named Mulan gave birth to twins at Drusillas Park in Alfriston, East Sussex, England. The twins, a boy and a girl, are the first of their kind to be born at a zoo. Female red pandas are fertile for just one day a year and can...

  • No place for a sand castle

    No place for a sand castle

    A family trip to the seaside, and specifically to a sandy beach, with all the experiences this entails, such as building sand castles, younger children wearing arm bands and the applying generous dollops of sunscreen cream, is perhaps one of the...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    During June the Mediterranean region experienced earthquakes that are considered typical for this part of the world. Many of the earthquakes took place beneath Greece, Crete, Cyprus and Turkey (yellow circles on large map). Despite the daily...

  • Award for research presented at Eurogeo

    Award for research presented at Eurogeo

    ‘Neogeography and perception of seismic risk: a comparison between two case studies: Calabria (South Italy) and Malta’ is the title of a collaborative research project involving the University of Calabria and the University of Malta. A chart...

  • A long flight in vain

    A long flight in vain

    An adult female honey buzzard from Finland, which last year managed to raise two young and spent a night in Malta in October, has just completed a 25,000-kilometre round trip from Finland to South Africa and back... in vain. The bird arrived in...

  • Pesticides tied to bird decline

    Pesticides tied to bird decline

    Controversial pesticides blamed for the loss of bee colonies may also be having much wider environmental effects and damaging wild bird populations, research has shown. Scientists in the Netherlands linked declines in farmland bird species, such...

  • The greater flamingo

    The greater flamingo

    Some weeks ago, a flamingo made news by visiting the Salina salt pans and remaining there for several days. It left during the night after three weeks. Last week, another flamingo, which could be the same one, landed at the Għadira Nature Reserve...

  • Amazon rainforest grew after climate change 2,000 years ago

    Swathes of the Amazon may have been grassland until a natural shift to a wetter climate about 2,000 years ago let the rainforests form, according to a study that challenges common belief that the world’s biggest tropical forest is far older. The...

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