While we humans are helping to make mincemeat of other species at a worrisome rate, it’s heartening to remember that there are new ones constantly being discovered.
Although it’s a slippery number to confirm, scientists believe there are some 10 million species yet to be discovered, five times more than have already been identified. In 2015 alone, 18,000 new species were named during the course of the year.
For the first time, researchers have found calcium phosphate in the structure of plants – in this case, used to harden the needle-like hairs used to defend against predators.
Revenge of the plants? It’s hard for the mind not to wander into B-movie territory when considering what researchers from Bonn University recently discovered: The first plants found to have calcium phosphate as a structural biomineral.
Calcium phosphate is widely found in the animal kingdom; it’s a hard mineral substance of which bones and teeth are largely comprised. Now the researchers have confirmed its presence in the stinging hairs of rock nettles (Loasaceae), a “well-defended” plant native to the South American Andes.
Successive governments have made popular pledges to plant large numbers of new trees. But do these trees ever actually get planted and, where they do, does it ever achieve anything useful?
Woodlands have a vital role to play in our landscape. As well as being a valuable source of homegrown timber, trees store carbon, provide an essential home for wildlife, absorb air pollution, and are important spaces for pleasure and leisure.
his is the concept that by adding native plants and eliminating chemical use in our properties (and by extension our ecosystems), we can seamlessly introduce habitat restoration to our communities. And the concept goes further- there is rich natural history in this country with almost all of our favorite native plants, the same ones used in a wildlife garden, these native plants have been successfully used medicinally for many generations.
... A bigger problem than all of this direct destruction are the nonnative plants, insects and animals that are being transported by human beings all across the globe. Each and every island that we are trying to protect is failing. They are all being invaded by nonnative invasives and we don’t seem to be getting it. Intact ecosystems seem to do okay in battling the invaders, but all it takes is an “in” for them….a tornado….a hiker carrying in seeds on her shoes……a tree dying and a bird dropping a seed. ...
Photographer Patrick Brown spent 10 years documenting the illegal trade in endangered animals in Asia.
On 14 February, the UK government is hosting an international conference on the illegal trade in wildlife, at which it hopes to obtain high-level political commitment from governments around the world to fight the issue.
According to the government, the illegal wildlife industry is worth more than £6bn each year, and it is growing. Rhino horns can sell for up to £40,000 ($65,000) per kg, making it more expensive than gold. According to Cites - the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species - more than 22,000 elephants were slaughtered for their tusks in 2012.
For decades the Woodland Trust has championed the value of Scotland’s native-woodlands to the Scottish Government, the Forestry Commission, councils, landowners, and agencies such as Scottish Natural Heritage. To their credit, many of them did not take much persuading, but this week no-one in Scotland can be in any doubt as to the importance of native woodland to the country.
This comes with the unveiling of the final analysis of the Native Woodland Survey of Scotland after more than seven years of comprehensive fieldwork led by the Forestry Commission to establish an “authoritative picture of Scotland’s native woodlands” covering, location, type, extent, composition and condition; and the results are fascinating.
Antibiotics used to protect them from bacterial illnesses ravaging hives are making them die from commonly used pesticides, some of which are used to ward-off bee-killing parasites. Matthew Thompson reports.
Antibiotics widely used in the bee industry, such as oxytetracycline, are preventing bees from effectively excreting widely used pesticides.
Honey bees are trapped in a Catch 22 where antibiotics used to protect them from bacterial illnesses ravaging hives are making them die from commonly used pesticides, some of which are used to ward-off bee-killing parasites.
Recent flooding has highlighted the importance of land use in either contributing to or mitigating flood risk. In particular the suggestion that trees might play an important role in helping reduce flood risk.
Reports from the Woodland Trust on water and farming and water in towns provide a review of the evidence for the role of trees. Forest Research has also undertaken a significant amount of work looking at the role of trees in delivering better water quality as well as modelling the impacts of increased tree cover on flood risk. These show that trees can make an important contribution both to mitigating flooding and improving water quality.
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — A conservation group says it is capturing and relocating elephants in Ivory Coast to stave off future conflicts with villagers and townspeople in the first such operation attempted in Africa's forests.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare this week began tranquilizing up to a dozen forest elephants outside the western town of Daloa and transporting them to Assagny National Park on the southern coast.
Like an insect version of a barn raising, green ants (also called weaver ants) work together with incredible cooperation to pull leaves together and stitch them into place to create nests high in the trees. Linking their tiny bodies together to form chains from one leaf to another, their efforts are nothing short of Herculean!
A spectacular bearded vulture, believed to be the first recorded in the UK, has been spotted soaring over the Severn estuary and moorland in Devon.
If it is confirmed that the vulture, also known as the lammergeier or ossifrage, is a wild bird, it will be the first of its species to be found in Britain and the sightings have already caused ornithologists to rush to the west country hoping for a glimpse.
One in five of the world’s plant species is threatened with extinction, according to the first global assessment of flora, putting supplies of food and medicines at risk. But the report also found that 2,000 new species of plant are discovered every year, raising hopes of new sources of food that are resilient to disease and climate change.
The State of the World’s Plants report, by experts at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, reveals that there are currently 390,000 species of known plants, with more than 30,000 used by people.
Wildlife gardening medicine may just be the future trend needed to turn the tides on the environmental crisis. If people want to have as many native plants growing on their property as possible to ensure there are enough stock plants for their family’s medicinal use harvesting (ie, if people believe there’s something in it for them), then maybe our beloved native plants, even the obscure ones would finally become less marginalized in the landscape.
Poison Ivy is quite a beautiful plant. Just look at its scarlet leaves in the first photograph. This is the scarlet of spring, with leaves that are often very shiny, whether scarlet in spring, or green in summer. As spring turns to summer, the plant puts out flowers. Large clusters of soft, pale green, with brilliant school bus yellow centers.
A xeriscape is a water-saving garden designed for a dry region and is especially useful in the western half of North America, where little rain falls in summer and gardeners depend heavily on irrigation. Learn the basic principles of making a drought-resistant landscape.
With the demand for fresh local produce on a upward spiral, so is the demand for growing space. And that, in turn, inspires innovation and invention. A good example of this forward-thinking approach is the Urban Garden at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. On the mezzanine level of one of the busiest airports in the world, travelers will find a 928-square-foot organic oasis that features nearly 50 kinds of vegetables and herbs. The technique that makes the indoor garden possible is aeroponics, a method of cultivating plants without soil but with a nutrient-rich solution that is misted onto their roots.
We can all do more (or less) to manage our landscapes for pollinators. Resist the urge to clean up your landscape; instead, leave natural items such as plant stems, logs, dead trees and leaves. Pollinators need undisturbed, pesticide-free, habitat-rich, plant diverse landscapes in order to thrive. Here are some ways we can all improve pollinator habitat in our own yards:
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