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Environment

  • Solid as a rock

    Solid as a rock

    In a few localities around the Maltese islands it is possible to find what look like mounds of reddish-brown soil with stones and pebbles embedded in them. On close inspection one realises that they are actually a solid structure as hard as the...

  • A big comeback for giant tortoise

    A big comeback for giant tortoise

    A giant tortoise subspecies that once teetered on the brink of extinction has made a big comeback on its Galapagos island home. In the 1960s only 15 of the tortoises, which can weigh over 225 kilos, remained on the island of Espanola. They came...

  • Deadly threat to Maltese beehives

    Deadly threat to Maltese beehives

    Keepers of honey bees in Europe are on the alert as a deadly threat to beehives in the form of a small beetle is on the rampage and spreading. For a species that is of extreme importance to both humans and the environment, this is a coffin nail...

  • EU strikes compromise to set new climate target

    EU strikes compromise to set new climate target

    EU leaders struck a deal on a new target to cut carbon emissions out to 2030, calling it a new global standard but leaving critics warning that compromises had undermined the fight against climate change. Talks in Brussels stretched into the small...

  • The common grass eggar

    The common grass eggar

    The grass eggar is a common moth which can be seen from October to November, especially where low-growing grasses and plants of the pea family grow. In Maltese it is known as baħrija tas-silla. The grass eggar belongs to a family of moths known as...

  • Majjistral Park to launch mobile app during open day

    The Majjistral Nature and History Park in the northwest of Malta (hence the name) is the country’s first natural national park. Stretching from Golden Bay to il-Prajjet and ix-Xagħra l-Ħamra, it is home to many species of flora and fauna and thus...

  • Fossil fuel ‘toxic triangle’ plea

    Fossil fuel ‘toxic triangle’ plea

    People around the world are trapped by a ‘toxic triangle’ of fossil fuel companies, investors and governments which is driving climate change, Oxfam has warned. The aid agency said 400 million people would be at risk of hunger and drought by 2060...

  • Marine booklet launched by Majjistral Nature Park

    Marine booklet launched by Majjistral Nature Park

    Majjistral Nature and History Park has published a booklet highlighting aspects of the underwater biodiversity that inhabits the Rdum Majjiesa Marine Protected Area. The multilingual booklet will help identify marine species that can be...

  • New lizard parasite species discovered

    New lizard parasite species discovered

    A parasitic species new to science – the Sardinian Wall Lizard Chigger (Lacertacus sardiniensis) has been discovered by a group of Russian, Hungarian and Maltese researchers. The parasite lives on the endemic Tyrrhenian Wall Lizard. One of the...

  • Shallow-water pebble beds unexpectedly teem with life

    Shallow-water pebble beds unexpectedly teem with life

    Research undertaken by Julian Evans as part of his doctoral studies challenges the view that the biological diversity of pebble beds is impoverished. Interest in this habitat was sparked by the rediscovery in pebble beds of the Maltese Topshell, a...

  • Don’t rule out wind completely

    Don’t rule out wind completely

    The grapevine has it that government has completely discounted wind power, especially of the offshore type, and is instead favouring solar power. The Malta Environment and Planning Authority is drafting a policy on solar farms which is expected to...

  • ‘Too heavy to hop’

    ‘Too heavy to hop’

    A giant extinct kangaroo that lived in the Australian outback 100,000 years ago would have walked rather than hopped, research has shown. Scientists said the 2.7-metre-tall creature, which had a round rabbit-like face, would have been an unnerving...

  • Fall in migratory bird populations

    Migratory birds which travel thousands of miles to Africa each winter have seen populations tumble in the last few decades, conservationists have warned. The latest annual assessment of UK birds has revealed that species which nest in the UK in...

  • Digging their way out of soil

    Digging their way out of soil

    Autumn marks the appearance of large numbers of fairly large, brown beetles with a noticeable horn like that of a rhinoceros on their head. Beetles appear after sunset and disappear before dawn. In some areas these insects concentrate in such...

  • Eagle reveals secret against turbulence

    Eagle reveals secret against turbulence

    An eagle fitted with its own ‘black box’ flight recorder has revealed the soaring bird’s secret weapon against turbulence. By rapidly collapsing its wings when encountering strong gusts of wind, the captive steppe eagle named Cossack was able to...

  • Flies ‘could help detect explosives’

    A fly’s sense of smell could be used in new technology to detect drugs and bombs, according to research. Brain scientist Professor Thomas Nowotny, who works at the University of Sussex, was surprised to find that the “nose” of a fruit fly can...

  • Floods force action on climate

    Floods force action on climate

    Extreme weather conditions such as floods and heatwaves are pushing countries across Europe into taking action to adapt to a changing climate, a study has found. The report questioned 30 European countries, including Malta, about action to cope...

  • US military lays out plan for coping with climate change

    The US Department of Defence has laid out its plan to respond to climate change, arguing that rising temperatures and more frequent destructive weather around the globe pose “immediate risks to US national security”. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel...

  • Caving in to development

    Caving in to development

    Development pressures sit jealously, side by side with nature, eating into the very fabric of the Maltese islands. Where else but in Malta could you find, metres from the beach, a historic cave filled with water – enough to kayak in – all at the...

  • Exploring our scenic paths

    Exploring our scenic paths

    The Ramblers’ Association has launched its Autumn Walk Programme (October to December) with over 25 walks to be held mainly on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The walks are led by experienced and knowledgeable walk leaders. The treks include...

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