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Environment

  • Bird experts highlight deforestation rates in important wildlife sites worldwide

    An area of forest almost the size of Scotland has been lost from important wildlife sites worldwide in just over a decade, research suggests. Satellite imagery was used to assess the loss of forests from 7,279 “important bird and biodiversity...

  • Would Angelina be impressed by Victor Borg’s Ta’ Ċenċ proposal?

    Would Angelina be impressed by Victor Borg’s Ta’ Ċenċ proposal?

    The Malta Environment and Planning Authority rightly imposed stringent conditions on those responsible for the filming of By the Sea at Mġarr ix-Xini to ensure the film set was an entirely temporary and did not leave any ecological scars behind.

  • Freeport and its effect on (not so) Pretty Bay

    Freeport and its effect on (not so) Pretty Bay

    The Freeport in Birżebbuġa has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is encouraging trade between countries. As Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean it is convenient for trading companies to deposit containers in Malta to...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    The Mediterranean region is a seismically active region characterised by a northward convergence of the African tectonic plate towards the Eurasian plate. The crust of the African plate is moving at a rate of between four and 10mm per year under...

  • ‘Teddy bears with eight legs’

    It is big, hairy and, if one sinks its fangs in you it will burn, burn, burn like a ring of fire. Scientists have named a new species of tarantula after country music legend Johnny Cash. Aphonopelma johnnycashi was discovered in California near...

  • Maltese painted frog

    Maltese painted frog

    The painted frog inhabits several Mediterranean countries but the species found locally is only present in Malta and Sicily. This species has not been well studied locally and there is little, if any, information on population trends. However,...

  • Melting permafrost and the sliding future of ski tourism

    Melting permafrost and the sliding future of ski tourism

    Tagged as the warmest and wettest year so far globally, 2015 closed with traditionally chilly regions of Siberia and the US Eastern seaboard sizzling right through Christmas. Then the weather see-sawed, with last weekend’s mega-blizzard crippling...

  • Planetary parade

    Planetary parade

    Out of the eight planets in our solar system (maybe nine), only five are easily visible to the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Since prehistoric times, man has watched in awe these wandering stars, because these five planets...

  • Students set to plant hundreds of trees

    Students set to plant hundreds of trees

    Throughout this week, students will sow hundreds of seeds of indigenous trees and participate in other activities at Xrobb l-Għaġin Park and Sustainable Development Centre as part of the Education for Sustainable Development Programme organised by...

  • Talk on the invasion of the Mediterranean by marine aliens

    ‘Alien invaders: marine edition’ is the title of a talk to be given by Prof. Patrick Schembri on Wednesday at 7.30pm at St James Cavalier Cinema Room, Valletta, organised by NGO Cafe Scientifique. The invasion of the Mediterranean Sea by species...

  • Ramblers enjoy scenic treks

    Ramblers enjoy scenic treks

    The February walks programme of the Ramblers’ Association focuses primarily on Malta’s unique archaeological, military and scenic cornucopia. Of particular interest is the line of fortifications known as the Victoria Lines stretching from Baħar...

  • Wagtails come home to roost

    Wagtails come home to roost

    We often read negative press about birds being shot down or trapped every year. Admittedly, this is justified as birds are dwindling at an alarming rate, which is why most species are today protected by law. Welcome news is that a particular...

  • History repeating itself at Munxar

    History repeating itself at Munxar

    The project description statement (PDS) of a proposed development at Munxar is written in such a way that it ticks all the right boxes, giving the impression that the project will have minimal environmental im­pact and will actually improve the...

  • Research projects presented at University biology symposium

    Research projects presented at University biology symposium

    Thirteen research projects on topics such as genetics, floral and faunal biodiversity, marine pollution, terrestrial and marine ecology and the influence of anthropogenic activities on marine life were presented at the annual symposium of the...

  • A hidden natural gem

    A hidden natural gem

    The Simar Nature Reserve is a hidden natural gem. Not many people know about it which is a pity as it could make for a relaxing Sunday outing. Simar is one of a small number of wetland areas left in the Maltese islands. It is a habitat for several...

  • Saving bees to feed the world

    Saving bees to feed the world

    Bees and other insects and animals, such as wasps and bats, pollinate flowers on a daily basis, in a process that is vital to produce fruit and many other foods. In fact, bees and other creatures help pollinate 87 per cent of plant species that...

  • Exceptional shooting range guidelines

    Exceptional shooting range guidelines

    No less than six planning policies and guidelines are up for public consultation this month. Among them is a draft aimed at steering a demand for shooting ranges. It is not only the shooting fraternity who have been waiting long years for clear...

  • Ramblers’ winter walks start

    Ramblers’ winter walks start

    It is a great pleasure to see the impressive upsurge in environ­mental awareness of the younger generation. People are realising that our beloved country would be a very dismal place if it were to be deprived of its countryside and coastal areas,...

  • Ducks of a common feather

    Ducks of a common feather

    The mallard is the most common and best known duck in the world. It is found in Europe, North Africa, Asia and in temperate and subtropical America. It has also been introduced in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and in parts of South...

  • Praying mantises use 3D vision to hunt

    Praying mantises use 3D vision to hunt

    Scientists have fitted praying mantises with tiny 3D glasses in experiments which could help visual perception in robots. Most studies about 3D vision involve vertebrates but a team from Newcastle University has shown that mantises, which are...

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