Conservation News

Flightless bird provides 'spark of hope' amid environmental crisis

Ten species with improved numbers in IUCN red list unveiled amid call for more biodiversity focus at COP25

The Guam rail, a flightless bird typically about 30cm long, usually dull brown in colour and adorned with black and white stripes, has become a rare success story in the recent history of conservation.

Previously extinct in the wild, the bird has been saved by captive breeding programmes and on Tuesday its status was updated on the IUCN red list of threatened species to critically endangered, along with nine others whose numbers have recently improved.

Biodiversity loss in numbers

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World Bank urged to rethink investment in one of Brazil's big beef companies

UN experts say it is impossible to rule out that cattle raised on illegally deforested land end up in supply chain of Minerva

The World Bank should reconsider its investment in one of Brazil’s biggest beef producers because of the industry’s links to deforestation and the climate crisis, according to two UN-appointed experts.

Minerva is Brazil’s second largest beef exporter, and some of its product is supplied, both directly and indirectly, by cattle farmers based in the Amazon rainforest.

Related: The climate crisis is the most urgent threat of our time. Help us fight it | Katharine Viner

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Revealed: fires three times more common in Amazon beef farming zones

Investigation reveals 70% of Nasa fire alerts were in the estimated buying zones of beef companies, some of which export to UK

Fires were three times more common in beef-producing zones than in the rest of the Amazon this summer, according to a new analysis.

The findings once again draw attention to the links between Brazil’s powerful beef industry and the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, just as the world debates climate change at COP25.

Related: The climate crisis is the most urgent threat of our time. Help us fight it | Katharine Viner

It can't be the responsibility of a consumer to ensure the products on European shelves are sustainably produced

Related: Revealed: rampant deforestation of Amazon driven by global greed for meat

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Scottish wildlife at risk after £100m funding cut, say charities

Analysis shows ‘staggering’ 40% reduction in government spending in a decade

Public funding for environment bodies in Scotland has plummeted by 40% in a decade, placing already declining wildlife at risk, according to analysis of government budgets.

Scottish Environment Link, a coalition of more than 35 wildlife, environment and countryside charities, including the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, WWF and the Scottish Wildlife Trust, estimates almost £100m has been slashed from the budgets of public agencies in Scotland between 2010-11 and 2019-20.

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What Langholm teaches us about management of grouse moors | Letter

Despite being run by a coalition of fieldsport organisations, the study was unable to make the moor profitable without the illegal shooting, trapping and poisoning of raptors, writes Alan Carter

Your article on grouse moors (Close grouse moors to help environment, report urges, 9 December) mentions the Langholm moor project, in which “the correct management techniques led to higher curlew, snipe and golden plover populations, and hen harriers”. This is true, but hides the real lesson of the project. Despite being run by a coalition of fieldsport organisations, the study was unable to make the moor profitable without the illegal shooting, trapping and poisoning of raptors, which tracking studies show are widespread on grouse moors, and the landowner is now selling the moor. If “correct” management is not profitable, what is happening elsewhere? I should also point out that the list of birds that benefit is cherry-picked from the longer list of wildlife that declines or is actively persecuted.
Alan Carter
Aberdeen

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