Conservation News

Encouraging insects back into arable land | Letters

In Sussex scientists have found that insecticide use has stabilised over the past two decades with an associated stabilisation of some insect groups, write Dr Julie Ewald and Prof John Holland of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. Plus Judith Wright says we should let verges grow

It is with great interest that we read about the long-term decline in the biomass of flying insects on German protected areas (Scientists tell of alarm at huge fall in flying insects, 19 October).

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) carries out two long-term surveys of insects on farmland in England – the Sussex Study (1970 to present) and at our demonstration farm in Loddington (1992 to present).

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The week in wildlife – in pictures

Migratory birds, rutting stags and leaping salmon are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Country diary: stalking red deer on the fringes of the city

Big Moor, Derbyshire The stag ignores the passing lorries but isn’t ready for a photographic closeup

Running south from the old Barbrook reservoir, I found myself struggling against the strong south-westerly that had kept temperatures unusually high for several days and delayed wintering thrushes returning to the moors. The arrival of fieldfares and redwings is always sparkling compensation for the gloomy approach of winter but I would have to wait a little longer. At least the sun was out, turning the sprung shoulders of a kestrel to a vibrant caramel as it quartered the brook below me.

Almost as I reached the Baslow road the sunlight picked out a red deer stag standing tall some distance away, antlers raised, breath steaming from its flared nostrils. At the same time I caught sight of another beast advancing towards the stag with an enormous-lensed camera held to his eye.

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World's deepest lake crippled by putrid algae, poaching and pollution

Lake Baikal in Siberia holds one fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, but its precious fish stocks are disappearing

Lake Baikal is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, experts say, as the government bans the catching of a signature fish that has lived in the world’s deepest lake for centuries but is now under threat.

Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, Baikal in Russia’s Siberia is a natural wonder of “exceptional value to evolutionary science” meriting its listing as a world heritage site by Unesco.

Related: 'Parched' Chinese city plans to pump water from Russian lake via 1,000km pipeline

There used to be underwater forests of sponges 15 years ago, now they are all dead

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Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

Related: Share your pictures of insects around the world

Related: Climate change could wipe out a third of parasite species, study finds

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