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Environment

  • Wood blemit

    Wood blemit

    The wood blemit is a scarce mushroom that grows under both coniferous and deciduous trees in places such as Buskett, limits of Rabat, and the Simar Nature Reserve in Xemxija. It is a saprophytic species that feeds on the fallen leaves of...

  • Giant guinea pig fought with teeth

    Giant guinea pig fought with teeth

    A ‘guinea pig’ the size of a buffalo that lived three million years ago had a bite as strong as a tiger’s, scientists have learned. Experts believe it may have used its giant rodent teeth in the same way an elephant uses its tusks, to dig for food...

  • Action plan for an organic future

    Action plan for an organic future

    Organic farming is much more than a system of agricultural production whereby pesticides, synthetic fertilisers and genetically modified organisms are not used in favour of sustainability and a better quality of life. Wider benefits of organic...

  • Sustainable energy conference

    Sustainable energy is the theme of the annual conference of the University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy to be held on March 17. The quest for energy, clean water and decent housing could lead to power struggles and conflicts, because these...

  • Comet Lovejoy

    Comet Lovejoy

    Discovered last August by Terry Lovejoy, comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is the object in the sky currently attracting most attention from astro­nomers all over the world. The comet, the fifth discovery of this expert Australian comet hunter, has gotten...

  • Where have the flamingos gone?

    Where have the flamingos gone?

    Last November I wrote an article about a pair of immature flamingos that were released at the Għadira Nature Reserve. The two birds landed in Malta because they were too weak to continue with their journey south with the rest of the flock. They...

  • Snakes date back 167 million years

    Snakes date back 167 million years

    Snakes were learning to slither more than 167 million years ago, 70 million years earlier than pre-viously thought, fossil discoveries have shown. The partial remains of four ancient snakes dating back to the early reign of the dinosaurs are...

  • S. Africa moves 100 rhinos in fight against poaching

    S. Africa moves 100 rhinos in fight against poaching

    South Africa said that it had moved around 100 rhinos to unspecified neighbouring states as part of efforts to stem the illicit slaughter of the animals for their horns. Home to around 80 per cent of the global rhino population, South Africa is at...

  • Goshawk camera shows prey tactics

    Goshawk camera shows prey tactics

    A goshawk with a camera helmet has revealed how eye contact helps the bird home like a missile on to its prey. The bird’s-eye-view from the video camera also showed scientists the evasion tactics employed by pheasants and rabbits to avoid being...

  • Lake Tahoe’s tiny creatures dying off at dramatic rate

    The smallest critters who occupy the bottom of the cold, clear waters of Lake Tahoe are dying off at an alarming rate and scientists are trying to find the cause to protect the fragile ecosystem of the lake high in the Sierra Nevada range. Scuba...

  • Simon’s Hobson’s choice

    Simon’s Hobson’s choice

    Prior to pronouncing himself on the spring hunting referendum, Simon Busuttil must have been in an unenviable position. On one hand, trying to the endear the Nationalist Party to (or at least, not further alienate it from) environmental NGOs,...

  • Malta’s earliest watch tower being restored

    Malta’s earliest watch tower being restored

    Restoration works at the Wignacourt Tower in St Paul’s Bay, which is soon to celebrate its 405th anniversary, are underway. The external walls of the tower are being restored with the support of the European Regional Development Fund. The works...

  • Green Pak certificate

    Green Pak certificate

    Green Pak Coop Society was presented with a certificate by The Malta Records organisation in recognition of the record number of plastic caps collected. The presentation was held during the Citrus Festival in the presence of President Marie-Louise...

  • Rockin’ Robin

    Rockin’ Robin

    The robin is one of the most common birds wintering in the Maltese islands. It is well known and probably easily recognised by everybody. It is also very tame and regularly visits gardens even in the most built-up areas. Up to a couple of decades...

  • India sees dramatic rise in tigers in just few years

    The number of tigers in India has risen dramatically in less than a decade, an official report has revealed. The estimated population of the endangered big cat has increased from 1,411 in 2006 to 2,226 in 2014, according to the report published by...

  • Mexico testing drones to save endangered porpoise

    Mexico testing drones to save endangered porpoise

    Mexico has begun testing unmanned drones that could help save the critically endangered vaquita marina, the world’s smallest porpoise. Fewer than 100 of the shy, elusive porpoises remain, and they are threatened by illegal fishing in the upper Sea...

  • Deadly sea snail’s poison cocktail

    Deadly sea snail’s poison cocktail

    A deadly tropical sea snail uses a super-potent form of insulin to subdue its fish prey, scientists have discovered. The geographic cone snail (conus geographus) uses the chemical to cause a plunge in blood sugar, leaving the fish sluggish and...

  • ‘Compass’ guides sea turtles

    ‘Compass’ guides sea turtles

    An extraordinary internal compass allows sea turtles to seek out the beaches where they hatched across thousands of miles of ocean, a study suggests. The turtles achieve their feat of navigation by sensing unique magnetic signatures that act as...

  • Sanctioning ODZ illegalities

    Sanctioning ODZ illegalities

    As grandiose schemes to officially extend development boundaries hover over the Maltese countryside, the eternal acne of illegal rooms continues to infect our land. Like limpets, from Marsascala to Mellieħa, these constructions cling to existence...

  • Ramblers seek wider horizons, new trails and stunning views

    Ramblers seek wider horizons, new trails and stunning views

    The Maltese countryside, so bare and forbidding in the long hot summer months, changes completely and takes on a stunning new look at this time of the year. Especially in winter it presents a floral paradise, with fields and valleys running riot...

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