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Environment

  • Watch out for jellyfish

    Watch out for jellyfish

    Stephanie Fsadni learns that different jellyfish stings call for different treatments, and that vinegar is not always the best remedy. Here’s where you can find the necessary information. There are about 1,000-1,500 known species of jellyfish in...

  • Mediterranean linseed can become a pest

    Mediterranean linseed can become a pest

    The Mediterranean linseed is an annual plant indigenous to the countries surrounding the Mediterranean but is now found in other areas with a similar climate, including California, parts of Chile and southwestern Australia. In the Maltese islands...

  • Pedestrian streets, back gardens and rodent buffets

    Pedestrian streets, back gardens and rodent buffets

    An inflated sense of entitlement, engendered by ‘minority’ evangelism, seems to be spreading like a virus. Yet another minority group has raised its head, possibly egged on by a rash of interest groups rallying for their dubious ‘rights’ to...

  • Preserving green lungs

    Preserving green lungs

    While careless talk of de-pedestrianising a public open space is of deep concern, a circular on back gardens put out by the planning authority last month has been a welcome piece of news. Back gardens and private open spaces at the back of urban...

  • Cat/rat feeding stations

    Cat/rat feeding stations

    Stray cats in Malta have a string of guardian angels who regularly leave water and leftovers for them outside. Yet it is sad that many people prefer to do this rather than adopt the strays and keep them inside their homes, looking after them...

  • Mauna Loa rumbles back to life

    Mauna Loa rumbles back to life

    In Hawaii, the world’s largest active volcano shows signs of reawakening from its slumber, with the last eruptions happening in 1975 and 1984 Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, has rumbled back to life in Hawaii over the past 13...

  • It’s the ecology, stupid

    It’s the ecology, stupid

    Europe must move from its current linear economic model towards a more circular one. That is exactly what the Green Week, held in Brussels earlier this month, discussed within the theme ‘Circular economy – saving resources, creating jobs...

  • Obama plans largest ocean preserve of all

    Obama plans largest ocean preserve of all

    Barack Obama has announced plans to create the largest ocean preserve in the world by banning drilling, fishing and other activities in a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean in a move to protect fragile marine life. Using presidential authority...

  • Climate change ‘will hit tourism’

    Climate change ‘will hit tourism’

    Beach resorts, skiing holidays, diving and nature-watching trips will all suffer as the £3.5 trillion global tourism trade is hit by climate change, a report warns. The tourism industry, which provides livelihoods for 255 million people worldwide,...

  • Pied flycatcher migrator

    Pied flycatcher migrator

    The European pied flycatcher is a small insectivorous bird that migrates through the Maltese islands in spring and autumn. It is a woodland bird found mostly in oak forests. It does not breed in the Maltese islands because of the lack of...

  • Hands off our seas, Michael!

    Hands off our seas, Michael!

    Up till now, Parliamentary Secretary Michael Falzon has come across as a genteel, approachable and almost affable guy, giving the impression that he is solidly rooted in the domain of moderation and far removed from all sorts of extremism. But...

  • How will history judge us?

    How will history judge us?

    Those advocating a resumption of finch trapping might feel gratified in the short term that their schemes are bearing fruit. The long term, however, is a different kettle of fish, since 10 or 20 years down the line, our children will wonder why...

  • Brazil’s ‘cute’ armadillo under imminent threat

    Brazil’s ‘cute’ armadillo under imminent threat

    The armadillo, mascot of the FIFA World Cup, is threatened with extinction in the wild because of hunting, loss of habitat and even from the soccer tournament itself, scientists said yesterday. Brazilian three-banded arma­dillos defend themselves...

  • Yellow aloe

    Yellow aloe

    The yellow aloe is probably the only plant that is better known by its scientific name, Aloe vera, than by its common name. It is a succulent plant that probably originated in North Africa and no wild indigenous populations can be found anywhere...

  • Spiders use web to get information

    Spiders use web to get information

    Spiders act like guitarists to sound out what is happening in their webs, scientists discovered. They obtain vital information, such as the potentially deadly intentions of a prospective mate, by plucking the fine strands of silk and listening to...

  • How sheep parted company with goats

    How sheep parted company with goats

    A genetic blueprint of sheep shows how they parted company with goats on the path of evolution around four million years ago. The sheep genome could also aid the development of DNA testing to speed up selective breeding programmes for...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    A total of 14 earthquakes struck close to Malta last month; two were approximately 145km west and south of Malta, and 12 quakes originated from the same fault system 40km south of Malta (red stars, inset map). The earthquakes began on May 21 and...

  • Marine geosciences research

    The University of Malta’s Department of Physics is offering Master and PhD students opportunities to conduct research into the environmental, societal and economic implications of numerous marine geological processes. Interested students are...

  • Economic impacts of jellyfish

    The first jellyfish to enter the Mediterranean from the Indian Ocean via Suez Canal was possibly not even noticed at the time. It was 1869 when the canal joining the two bodies of water was completed and opened to sea traffic. Today, native...

  • Tree-planting

    Tree-planting

    A group of schoolchildren from the Maria Regina College Mellieħa Primary School recently helped to plant over 200 oak and pine trees at Rdum tal-Madonna, Mellieħa, sponsored by Bank of Valletta in collaboration with the Environment Ministry. The...

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