Conservation News

Activists sue ministers over release of game birds for shooting

Wild Justice accuses UK government of breaching duty to protect conservation sites

Conservationists are suing the UK government over the release of millions of game birds on to land that is home to rare and threatened species.

The campaign group Wild Justice has accused ministers of breaching their legal duties to protect sites of high conservation value in England by failing to control the use of large areas of countryside to shoot pheasant and red-legged partridge for sport.

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'Shocking': wilderness the size of Mexico lost worldwide in just 13 years, study finds

Researchers say loss of 1.9m square kilometres of intact ecosystems will have ‘profound implications’ for biodiversity

Wilderness across the planet is disappearing on a huge scale, according to a new study that found human activities had converted an area the size of Mexico from virtually intact natural landscapes to heavily modified ones in just 13 years.

The loss of 1.9m square kilometres (735,000 sq miles) of intact ecosystems would have “profound implications” for the planet’s biodiversity, the study’s authors said.

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Cleaning volunteers asked to record plastic PPE found on UK beaches

Beach clean organiser wants to assess amount of masks and gloves discarded during coronavirus crisis

Volunteers in this year’s Great British Beach Clean are being asked to record the personal protective equipment (PPE) they find, to get a clearer picture of the volume of plastic masks and gloves discarded during the coronavirus pandemic and their impact on the environment.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS), which organises the annual September event, is urging people to organise their own surveys with smaller groups of friends, family and “bubbles”, in line with government guidance.

Related: Monopoly houses, toy soldiers and Lego: the museum of plastic lost at sea

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NSW government ordered to revisit world heritage assessments for Warragamba Dam expansion

A leaked report has found WaterNSW did not adequately assess how the project could affect iconic species such as the platypus and echidna

The New South Wales government has been ordered to redo world heritage assessments for its proposed raising of the Warragamba Dam wall after a federal analysis found it had failed to consider the impact on iconic species including the platypus.

A leaked report by federal environment bureaucrats found government agency WaterNSW did not adequately assess how its plan to raise the dam wall by 17m could affect the world heritage values of the Blue Mountains.

Related: 'Mud and dead trees': the dire environmental effects of raising Warragamba dam wall

A recently renamed species of perch, known as the Blue Mountains or Hawkesbury perch.

Aquatic macro-invertebrate populations, which are significant in feeding habitat for the platypus, Blue Mountains perch and other species.

Related: 'So much that will be lost': concerns grow over plan to raise Warragamba dam wall

The views over the world heritage area. The department noted the assessment focused only on the two most frequently visited lookouts and “numerous” less-visited look-out points were omitted. There had also been no assessment of visual impacts from the air for both sight-seeing and commercial flights.

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'Unfathomable destruction': thousands of rare wildflowers wiped out in Nevada

About 40% of the Tiehm’s buckwheat population destroyed, amid fierce dispute over proposed lithium and boron mine nearby

Nestled among the slopes of Nevada’s Silver Peak Range are six patches of Tiehm’s buckwheat, a rare flowering plant found nowhere else in the world. Only an estimated 42,000 plants remain on 10 acres. But over the weekend, conservationists discovered that 40% of the total population had been destroyed.

Related: Chinese fishing armada plundered waters around Galápagos, data shows

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