Conservation News

Bolsonaro government thanked Johnson for Amazon fire support

UK prime minister’s refusal to criticise Amazon fires and sharp rise in deforestation praised by Brazilian ambassador

Boris Johnson was personally thanked by the Brazilian government for refusing to support European action over the Amazon fires, according to documents obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

As the rainforest burned last summer – fuelled by a sharp rise in deforestation that critics blame partly on President Jair Bolsonaro’s agenda – Johnson criticised a threat by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to block the EU’s Mercosur trade deal with Brazil.

Related: 'Chaos, chaos, chaos': a journey through Bolsonaro's Amazon inferno

Related: Leading burger supplier sourced from Amazon farmer using deforested land

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Endangered sea turtles hatch on Brazil's deserted beaches

Coronavirus keeps crowds that usually greet hatching of hawksbill turtles away

Nearly 100 critically endangered sea turtles have hatched on a deserted beach in Brazil, their first steps going almost unnoticed because of coronavirus restrictions that prohibit people from gathering on the region’s sands.

The 97 hawksbill sea turtles, or tartarugas-de-pente as they are known in Brazil, hatched last Sunday in Paulista, a town in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco.

Related: Bolsonaro threatens to sack health minister over coronavirus criticism

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UK wildlife enjoys humans' lockdown but concerns raised over conservation

Animals are getting some peace and people are reconnecting with nature, but wildlife crimes may be going unnoticed

Moles are daring to clamber above ground to hunt for worms, oystercatchers are nesting on deserted beaches, and overlooked plants such as ivy-leaved toadflax are gaining new friends.

The shutdown of modern life as we know it is liberating British wildlife to enjoy newly depopulated landscapes. But conservationists say the impact is not all positive, with wildlife crimes going unreported and vital work including monitoring impossible to carry out.

Social distancing day 3: went birding around @uniofeastanglia campus and stumbled across this mole foraging above ground! Very cool to witness.

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The future is in our hands: drive to save traditional skills

A new campaign hopes to revive ‘critically endangered’ ancient techniques

Clay pipe making, wainwrighting, tanning and making spinning wheels – all are skills of the past that can offer us a sustainable future. This is the message behind a drive, launched this spring, to preserve endangered traditional crafts in Britain.

With a new award of £3,000 available, together with fresh support from outdoor pursuits company Farlows, the Heritage Crafts Association is calling for a renewed effort to save old skills and pass them down to the next generation.

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Wildlife rescue centres struggle to treat endangered species in coronavirus outbreak

Shortages in funds, medicines and masks threaten charity work around the world

Last Thursday morning Louisa Baillie drove down the five-kilometre dirt track that connects her jungle home in the Amazon rainforest to the main road. At the junction, she parked, hiking the rest of the way into Mera, a town of about 8,000 people.

After filling her backpack with fruit and vegetables from local sellers, she grabbed some leaves and set about plucking termites off trees along the roadside, stuffing them into a bucket containing small fragments of the insects’ nests. Baillie works as a veterinarian at Merazonia, a wildlife rescue centre in Ecuador. The termites were dinner for Andy the anteater, a baby recently confiscated at a police checkpoint.

Related: 'Tip of the iceberg': is our destruction of nature responsible for Covid-19?

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