Environment

  • BBC News Science 2 months 2 days ago
    • The biggest and the smallest of the world's animals are most at risk of dying out, according to a new analysis.
    • Size matters when it comes to extinction risk, with vertebrates in the socalled "Goldilocks zone" not too big and not too small winning out, say scientists.
    • This has prompted efforts to determine the key drivers of extinction risk.
    • Meanwhile, small species at risk such as frogs and shrews receive very little attention.
    • In the study, researchers from the US, UK, Switzerland and Australia compared body mass and extinction risk for more than 25,000 vertebrate species.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 2 days ago
    • A seal captured by volunteers on a beach is recovering at a specialist centre after getting a flying ring trapped around its neck.
    • The animal was first spotted trapped in the ring on Horsey beach in Norfolk six months ago, but previous attempts to capture it and remove the frisbeelike ring failed.
    • BBC News visited the seal at the RSPCA hospital in East Winch, where it was taken by the Friends of Horsey Seals.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 2 days ago
    • Using tagging technology and thermal imaging cameras, the team hopes to help preserve the animal's future.
    • More on this story on BBC London's Inside Out programme on BBC1 on Monday 18 September at 19:30 BST.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 3 days ago
    • Criminal networks smuggling rhino horn out of Africa are turning it into jewellery to evade its detection in airports, an investigation has found.
    • The lead investigator told BBC News the trade in rhino horn was now "morphing" into a market for luxury items.
    • "Because if someone's walking through the airport wearing a necklace made of rhino horn, who is going to stop them?
    • The primary destinations for smuggled rhino horn remain the same; the largest markets are in China and Vietnam.
    • But owning rhino horn particularly for wealthy men in Vietnam is also seen as a status symbol.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 4 days ago
    • The US has insisted it will leave the Paris climate accord, despite reports that it may be softening its stance.
    • Officials who met a White House representative on Saturday said afterwards the US would either stay in the 2015 accord or change its approach.
    • "Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord...
    • The US "stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris Accord, but they [will] try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement," Mr Canete said.
    • The Los Angeles Times said staying in the Paris deal would be "one of the most controversial" reversals of the Trump presidency.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 4 days ago
    • For most fly species, each tick would drag by about four times more slowly.
    • In her "fly lab" at Cambridge University, Dr Paloma GonzalesBellido demonstrates the killer flies' hunting behaviour by releasing fruit fly prey into a special filming box with a female killer fly.
    • With the killer flies and their prey in the filming box, initially the killer fly just sat around motionless, but as one of the fruit flies flew about 7cm above it, there was a flash of movement and suddenly the killer fly was at the bottom of the box chomping into the quivering fruit fly.
    • The carnivorous diet of the killer fly provides the large amounts of energy it needs to power these highenergy cells.
    • Prey flies have been evolving faster vision and reactions to escape predatory flies like the killer fly since they evolved flight.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 5 days ago
    • The Americanled Cassini space mission to Saturn has just come to a spectacular end.
    • Cassini had run out of fuel and Nasa had determined that the probe should not be allowed to simply wander uncontrolled among Saturn and its moons.
    • In its thirteen years at Saturn, Cassini has transformed our understanding of the sixth planet from the Sun.
    • A last look at Enceladus going over the northern limb of Saturn The CassiniHuygens mission is a joint endeavour of Nasa, and the European and Italian space agencies.
    • Artwork: The Cassini spacecraft burnt up about a minute after plunging into the atmosphere Jonathan.AmosINTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos
  • BBC News Science 2 months 6 days ago
    • Could there be life beyond Earth?
    • Nasa believes one of Saturn's moons may be the best place to look for life beyond Earth.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 6 days ago
    • Scientists explain how they discovered a water ocean beneath the ice shell of Saturn's moon Enceladus.
    • The ocean was revealed after Nasa's Cassini spacecraft spotted plumes of waterice erupting from fissures at the moon's south pole.
    • The finding showed that there might be many places in the Solar System where life could get a foothold.
    • There's more about the Cassini mission in a special Horizon programme on BBC Two which will review the mission on Monday 18 September at 21:00 BST.
  • BBC News Science 2 months 6 days ago
    • Has the chilling threat of extinction worn off at last for the longendangered snow leopard?
    • Not exactly but the iconic big cats' conservation status has been improved from "endangered" to "vulnerable".
    • Dr Tom McCarthy, who runs the Snow Leopard Programme at big cat charity Panthera, was one of them.
    • The Snow Leopard Trust, which aims to protect the big cat through community projects, strongly opposes the status change.
    • The number of protected areas within the snow leopards' habitat has also increased significantly in recent decades.