• Experience: I was attacked by a dog while climbing a volcano

    Experience: I was attacked by a dog while climbing a volcano
    He came back and sunk his teeth in again. The pain took my breath away as I felt his fangs in my fleshI was backpacking in Panama over Christmas in 2018, and planned to climb Volcán Barú. At 3,474m, it is the highest peak in the country and one of the only places on earth from where you can see the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans at the same time. It is an active volcano, but last erupted around 1550.I set off before sunrise. It was a little chilly, so I had pulled on tights under
  • Recycled regatta: world heritage site highlights plastic pollution crisis

    Recycled regatta: world heritage site highlights plastic pollution crisis
    When environmentalists on a Seychelles atoll decided to race boats made from ocean litter, they had 500 tonnes to pick from• Photographs: Anna Koester/Seychelles Islands FoundationRed Lion is the kind of boat you would not see in most regattas. Its frame is made of bamboo, sourced from washed-up fishing equipment, and it uses two old oil drums for buoyancy.Equally strange is Rasta Rocket – made from old plastic drain pipes, washed-up floats and fishing buoys. Continue reading...
  • Living with sheep it is clear that they have sheep hopes and dreams – they also have sheep ideas | First Dog on the Moon

    Living with sheep it is clear that they have sheep hopes and dreams – they also have sheep ideas | First Dog on the Moon
    One time they escaped and took off down the road into town. We turned them around with a ute and a bucket of oatsSign up here to get an email whenever First Dog cartoons are publishedGet all your needs met at the First Dog shop if what you need is First Dog merchandise and prints Continue reading...
  • Elle magazine to stop using fur in editorial and advertising content worldwide

    Elle magazine to stop using fur in editorial and advertising content worldwide
    Magazine becomes the first major publication to ban fur content across all of its pages, saying it is rejecting animal crueltyElle magazine has announced it will stop using fur in all its editorial and advertising content worldwide, becoming the first major publication to do so.The monthly lifestyle magazine, which originated in France and is owned by French media group Lagardère, has 45 editions around the world. It has about 33 million readers from Mexico to Japan, with 100 million mont
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  • Dingoes in Australia howl like roosters – video

    Dingoes in Australia howl like roosters – video
    Could you listen to these dingoes sing all day? Ballarat Wildlife park doesn't have any roosters, but it does have a dingo family who like to exercise their vocal cords. Park staff say the dingoes can be set off by all sorts of things, like sirens and barking dogs. Esky and Luna live at Ballarat Wildlife park in Victoria, Australia, with their four legged children Banjo, Kosciuszko and Snowy. 
    ► Subscribe to Guardian Australia on YouTubeTaronga zoo lyrebird perfectly mimics the e
  • It’s the law, so why are people still not wearing masks? | Brief letters

    It’s the law, so why are people still not wearing masks? | Brief letters
    Anti-maskers | Animal socks | Customs charges | Covid score | VariantsSix men in the queue for papers on Wednesday morning; four had no face coverings (Let’s not pretend the anti-mask babies would have lasted a minute in the blitz, 30 November). As I collected my Guardian, I faced the queue and in a loud, penetrating voice (I’m a retired head of a comprehensive) I said: “Where are your masks?” They all looked sheepish while I said: “You’re all in detention ton
  • In Australia’s wet weather ‘tis the season for spiders, mozzies, mice and mould

    In Australia’s wet weather ‘tis the season for spiders, mozzies, mice and mould
    La Niña brings more than just rain to eastern states, as some unwanted visitors begin venturing into people’s homesGet our free news app; get our morning email briefingA surge in mosquitoes, spiders, termites, rodents – and mould – has hit eastern Australia, in what appears to be a fitting end to 2021.The wet weather caused by the latest La Niña event has helped flush out creatures that may typically burrow or live underground into the open and inside people&rsquo
  • Country diary: ’Tis the season to spot the bramblings

    Country diary: ’Tis the season to spot the bramblings
    Marshwood Vale, Dorset: These winter visitors from Scandinavia are as plump and round as knitted Christmas tree decorationsIt’s the hour before sunset and the last chance to feed before the cold night ahead. There are hundreds of small birds in the field, attracted by a mix of seeding plants sown in the spring to provide winter food for finches and other seed-eaters, including yellowhammers and corn buntings.A flock of bramblings (Fringilla montifringilla) makes swirling forays, their redd
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  • Six Australian birds you may never have heard of … and may not be heard from again

    Six Australian birds you may never have heard of … and may not be heard from again
    A landmark study has found one in six Australian birds are now threatened. Here are some of the species most likely to be headed to a museum, unless more is doneThere seems to be a perversity to human nature, in that we don’t really care about wild creatures until there are so few left that we can put a name to them. Think Martha, the last passenger pigeon, or the haunting images of Benjamin the last thylacine, pacing around its cage at Hobart zoo in 1936.The Action Plan for Australian Bir
  • When wild animals escape: could the exotic pet trade be our downfall? – video

    When wild animals escape: could the exotic pet trade be our downfall? – video
    Exotic pet ownership in the UK has grown 60% since 2000, according to the wildlife charity Born Free. But escaped wild animals are also a growing concern for their potential to spread disease, and the impact an invasive species might have on nature. The Guardian visits BeastWatch, an organisation of volunteers that specialises in the safe retrieval of exotic pets, and Bristol Zoo to see how wild animals are kept in captivity and ask if new laws can address some of the issues Watch more epis
  • Essex mega-prisons pose threat to rare wildlife, warn environmentalists

    Essex mega-prisons pose threat to rare wildlife, warn environmentalists
    Government accused of reneging on environmental pledges with plan to build on old airfield near BraintreeCampaigners have criticised plans to develop two mega-prisons on the site of a rare bird and amphibian habitat in England.The government has been accused of reneging on commitments in the Environment Act to stop the decline of wildlife by proposing the development on the old Wethersfield airfield, which has become an important space for nature near Braintree, Essex. Continue reading...
  • Rescue me: why Britain’s beautiful lockdown pets are being abandoned

    Rescue me: why Britain’s beautiful lockdown pets are being abandoned
    The cats and dogs that helped us through the pandemic are increasingly being dumped in the street or handed over to charities – and shelters are dealing with the fallout
    On a cold, steely grey day in a farmyard in Essex I meet Spike. Thick-set, broad-chested, narrow-eyed, he has a look that says “don’t mess with me”, and he has tiny, pointed ears that have been cut to make him look more intimidating.Spike is an XL bully; bully stands for American bulldog, XL means bred to
  • Swifts and house martins join UK red list of endangered birds

    Swifts and house martins join UK red list of endangered birds
    RSPB warns wildlife is in freefall with 70 of Britain’s 245 bird species now seriously at riskThe red list of Britain’s most endangered birds has increased to 70 species with the swift, house martin, greenfinch and Bewick’s swan added to the latest assessment.The red list now accounts for more than a quarter of Britain’s 245 bird species, almost double the 36 species given the status of “highest conservation concern” in the first review 25 years ago. Continue
  • Gene-edited livestock: robust rules needed before approval, say ethicists

    Gene-edited livestock: robust rules needed before approval, say ethicists
    Techniques could help make farm animals resistant to disease but there are fears welfare standards could dropRobust regulations must be put in place to protect the welfare of farmed animals before genome-editing procedures are approved for commercial livestock, ethicists have warned.Powerful gene-editing techniques have the potential to improve modern farming by making animals resistant to heat and disease, reducing methane emissions and increasing productivity, but the same approaches could als
  • Country diary: The unenviable life of the noon fly

    Country diary: The unenviable life of the noon fly
    Wolsingham, Weardale: These beautiful and important insects spend their formative days in semi-liquid bovine excrementA month ago, we took a detour from this footpath, wide around a bull and his harem that were sheltering under the trees. The beasts have moved to pastures new, but they’ve left two legacies: lush tufts of new grass, fertilised by decaying cowpats, and scores of noon flies (Mesembrina meridiana). They are basking on fence posts in the afternoon sun on another unseasonably mi
  • One in six Australian birds are now threatened, landmark action plan finds

    One in six Australian birds are now threatened, landmark action plan finds
    Once-in-a-decade study finds 216 out of 1,299 species are in danger – up from 195 in 2011Get our free news app; get our morning email briefingOne in six Australian birds are now threatened, according to a once-in-a-decade study that finds the climate emergency is pushing species closer to extinction.The action plan for birds is a major scientific study led by Stephen Garnett of Charles Darwin University, with input from more than 300 bird experts.Sign up to receive an email with the top s
  • Roaming peacocks plague California city: ‘They’re a nuisance, but they’re beautiful’

    Roaming peacocks plague California city: ‘They’re a nuisance, but they’re beautiful’
    Multiplying birds have become an issue in the city of Tracy, wailing loudly and unleashing poop ‘like soft serve’. Now residents want to relocate themDozens of feral peacocks and peahens are roaming the streets and leaping from the rooftops of Tracy, California. They claw at shingles and defecate on porches. Their calls, especially in mating season, echo through the community. They have no fear of pets nor people.Errant peafowl have milled around the city’s Redbridge neighborho
  • Reduced meat diet has many advantages

    Which diet is better: moderately reduce meat consumption and eat more fruit, vegetables and wholegrain products or eating more fish and seafood? Or even switch completely to a vegan diet? A new study shows that the answer to these questions is not as clear-cut as one might think -- depending on which impacts one closely looks.
  • Diversity of the gut microbiome in gorillas

    A new study sheds light on the gut microbiome of gorillas, moving researchers closer to developing tools that can use the microbiome to diagnose potential health challenges for gorillas in human care. Specifically, the study found significant diversity among gorilla microbiomes, suggesting that what constitutes a 'healthy' microbiome can vary between individuals.
  • Researchers model circadian clock neurons in a day-active animal

    It's no secret that jet lag and night-shift work can wreak havoc on the way our body's internal clock syncs up our daily wake-sleep cycle, known as circadian rhythm, but now researchers say they are a step closer to understanding how the brain creates behavioral rhythms optimized for diurnal, rather than nocturnal, life.
  • Satellites reveal Ethiopian elephants under threat

    Tens of thousands of illegal human settlements pose a real threat to the continued existence of an endangered elephant population, according to satellite analysis of the Babile Elephant Sanctuary in eastern Ethiopia.
  • Extinct swordfish-shaped marine reptile discovered

    Researchers have discovered a new marine reptile. The specimen, a stunningly preserved meter-long skull, is one of the last surviving ichthyosaurs -- ancient animals that look eerily like living swordfish.
  • Snow monkeys go fishing to survive harsh Japanese winters

    Snow monkeys living in one of the world's coldest regions survive by 'going fishing' -- scooping live animals, including brown trout, out of Japanese rivers and eating them to stay alive, a new study reveals.
  • Nibbling prehistoric herbivore sheds new light on Triassic diversity

    A Triassic herbivore, known for its supposed similarities to a modern-day ostrich, has been revealed to have entirely different approach to feeding from previously thought.
  • A star in subtropical Japan: A new species of parasitoid wasp constructs unique cocoon masses hanging on 1-meter-long strings

    A new species of parasitoid wasp that constructs remarkable star-shaped cocoon masses is reported from the biodiversity hot spot Ryukyu Islands. Researchers observed how the wasps construct 'stars' after making their way out of the moth larvae they inhabit during their own larval stage.
  • White rhinos flown from South Africa to Rwanda in largest single translocation

    White rhinos flown from South Africa to Rwanda in largest single translocation
    In a bid to secure the future of the near threatened species, 30 animals have been driven, flown and finally rehomed in Akagera national parkGetting stuck into the in-flight wine wasn’t an option for the 30 passengers flying overnight from South Africa to Rwanda. Crew members instead worked to keep the first-time air travellers placid and problem-free. The last thing anyone wanted was a 1.5-ton rhino on the rampage aboard a Boeing 747.“All the rhinos were slightly sedated to keep the
  • Every good dog deserves a musical tribute

    Every good dog deserves a musical tribute
    Hector, dog of dogs, is the most glorious companion. Simon Tiffin reveals how he came to commission a piece of music that would evoke his spirit when he finally departs this worldOne of the earliest signs of spring in my garden is a ring of snowdrops and winter acconites that encircles the trunk of a medlar tree outside the greenhouse. This yellow-and-white display was planted to complement a collection of elegantly engraved, moss-covered mini-headstones that mark the resting places of the previ
  • Country diary: I think it’s an earthquake – but it’s not coming from below

    Country diary: I think it’s an earthquake – but it’s not coming from below
    Slingsby Bank, North Yorkshire: Some walks you enjoy and forget. Some walks stay with you foreverI’ve collected four boys from school today – my son and three playmates. Intending to eke out an afternoon of delicious sunshine, I drive us and the dog to the high point of Slingsby Bank, where there are woods and long views of the North York Moors.Boys and dog high-tail ahead of me, jostling and scuffling fiery-hued leaf litter. They reach the edge of the wood when the day fun
  • Separation anxiety: how to manage your pet’s mental health as post-lockdown routines resume

    Separation anxiety: how to manage your pet’s mental health as post-lockdown routines resume
    Experts say demand for wellness and calming products for animal companions have surged since Australia’s restrictions lifted Get our free news app; get our morning email briefingWhen Melburnian Anni O’Donnell used to arrive home from work, her sausage dog, Ziggy, would be excited to see her. Since lockdown, though, “he cries and wiggles his body for a good five minutes”.“He even does it for short periods of time, like a five-minute pop to the shops,” O’D
  • Great British bark-off: my Dog Slot show was a forerunner of Dog TV | Letters

    Great British bark-off: my Dog Slot show was a forerunner of Dog TV | Letters
    Peter Lewis recalls launching a TV programme for pets in the 1970s, while Professor Michael C Jackson says he will be upgrading his dog’s phone for ChristmasReading Tim Dowling (We are way past peak puppy – it’s time to end the great British dog obsession, 22 November) took me back to 1973, when I was launching a small local cable TV station, Bristol Channel. To grab some publicity, in the Sunday evening “God slot”, I launched Dog Slot, a programme for and by pets.
  • Curlews have moved to the North York Moors | Briefs

    Curlews have moved to the North York Moors | Briefs
    Welsh curlews | Royal Mail | Boris Johnson | Shortbread I think the Welsh curlews must have moved to North Yorkshire (New initiative aims to save curlew from extinction in Wales, 22 November). I live at the northern edge of the North York Moors and noted an increase in their numbers on my daily dog walks this year.
    Dr John Davies
    Kirkby-in-Cleveland, North Yorkshire• Here in Scotland, our curlews are still many and noisy. The highlight of my walk each morning (with Dougal) is the whaup of t
  • Rare mouflon sheep on Italian island of Giglio at centre of culling row

    Rare mouflon sheep on Italian island of Giglio at centre of culling row
    Activists threaten legal action over mouflon hunting on Tuscan island as part of EU-funded biodiversity projectAnimal rights activists have threatened legal action against the national park that runs a group of islands off Italy’s Tuscan coast as controversy intensifies over the culling of rare mouflon sheep on the tiny island of Giglio.Hunters arrived on Giglio this week and have so far killed four mouflons, a wild sheep native to the Caspian region that is thought to be an ancestor of do
  • Campaigners criticise European zoo proposals to cull adult male gorillas

    Campaigners criticise European zoo proposals to cull adult male gorillas
    Overcrowding of western lowland gorillas in zoos has led regulatory body to consider drastic measuresCampaigners are hitting back at zoo proposals to cull adult male gorillas, arguing they should be returned to the wild instead.Overcrowding of critically endangered western lowland gorillas in zoos has led the influential European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza) to consider killing adult males of the species. Eaza is the body that regulates most of the zoos in Europe.Western lowland gorill
  • Campaigners criticise European zoo plans to cull adult male gorillas

    Campaigners criticise European zoo plans to cull adult male gorillas
    Overcrowding of western lowland gorillas in zoos has led regulatory body to consider drastic measuresCampaigners are hitting back at zoo proposals to cull adult male gorillas, arguing they should be returned to the wild instead.Overcrowding of critically endangered western lowland gorillas in zoos has led the influential European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza) to consider killing adult males of the species. Eaza is the body that regulates most of the zoos in Europe.Western lowland gorill
  • The need to trespass: let people in to protect nature, says guerrilla botanist

    The need to trespass: let people in to protect nature, says guerrilla botanist
    Naturalist and campaigner Dave Bangs says limiting access to the countryside makes it harder to save our ancient landscapesIn a prehistoric bog where iguanodons once roamed and the early Britons first smelted ore into iron, what looks like a tiny orange candle peeps through the mire. It sends my companion into a paroxysm of joy.“That’s good! That’s new!” Continue reading...
  • Are you a psychopath for not liking fairy bread? The Guardian’s only furry agony aunt is back | First Dog on the Moon

    Are you a psychopath for not liking fairy bread? The Guardian’s only furry agony aunt is back | First Dog on the Moon
    Civilisation is in a death spiral but you can’t get the lid off the goddamn jar of salsa!Sign up here to get an email whenever First Dog cartoons are publishedGet all your needs met at the First Dog shop if what you need is First Dog merchandise and prints Continue reading...
  • Scientists discover gut bacteria that improve memory in bees

    An international research team have discovered a specific type of gut bacteria in bees that can improve memory.
  • Loss of ancient grazers triggered a global rise in fires

    From 50,000 years to 6,000 years ago, many of the world's largest animals, including such iconic grassland grazers as the woolly mammoth, giant bison, and ancient horses, went extinct. The loss of these grazing species triggered a dramatic increase in fire activity in the world's grasslands, according to a new study.
  • National Trust bans trail hunting on its land amid illegal foxhunt concerns

    National Trust bans trail hunting on its land amid illegal foxhunt concerns
    Ban on practice, which critics say can be smokescreen for foxhunting, follows similar move by Natural Resources WalesThe National Trust has banned trail hunting on its land, almost a year after temporary suspending such activity amid concern from critics that the practice serves as a smokescreen for illegal foxhunting.In a landslide vote at its annual meeting in October, the trust – one of the UK’s largest landowners – voted overwhelmingly to ask the trustees to ban this form o
  • Find vet before buying pets for Christmas, Britons warned

    Find vet before buying pets for Christmas, Britons warned
    Increase in dog and cat ownership in lockdown and Brexit standards issues have led to vet shortagePeople who are considering buying dogs and cats for Christmas are being asked to check if they have access to a vet before they buy due to shortages caused by Brexit and Covid.The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging caution after a rise in demand for vets due to the increase in pet ownership in lockdown and the new legal requirement for Brexit health checks on food exports to the EU. Cont
  • Find vet before buying pet for Christmas, shoppers warned

    Find vet before buying pet for Christmas, shoppers warned
    Increase in dog and cat ownership in lockdown and Brexit food standards legalities have led to vet shortagePeople who are considering buying dog and cats for Christmas are being asked to check if they have access to a vet before they buy due to shortages caused by Brexit and Covid.The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is urging caution after a rise in demand for vets due to the increase in pet ownership in lockdown and the new legal requirement for Brexit health checks on food exports to the
  • Sales of eco-friendly pet food soar as owners become aware of impact

    Sales of eco-friendly pet food soar as owners become aware of impact
    Number of products in UK containing MSC-certified sustainable seafood has grown by 57% in last five yearsEco-friendly pet food is on the rise as dog and cat owners become more aware of the impact of their beloved pet’s diet. New figures released exclusively to the Guardian show that the number of pet food products containing Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified sustainable seafood has grown by 57% in the UK during the last five years, from 49 to 77. In the last year alone consumers b
  • Carl, Kenosha’s ‘outlaw’ turkey, raises spirits in Wisconsin

    Carl, Kenosha’s ‘outlaw’ turkey, raises spirits in Wisconsin
    The rambunctious bird has inspired charity events, Halloween outfits and even been awarded a local celebrity prizeA Wisconsin city has been buoyed by a “rebel” wild turkey, residents say, with the bird inspiring charity events and Halloween outfits and even being awarded a local celebrity prize.The turkey, named Carl, has charmed locals in Kenosha ever since his arrival more than two years ago, and has since garnered a huge following. A Facebook group dedicated to the turkey, who sta
  • Do lobsters have feelings? – podcast

    Do lobsters have feelings? – podcast
    Last week the UK government confirmed it would be extending its Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill to include decapods (such as crabs, lobsters and crayfish), and cephalopods (such as octopuses, squid and cuttlefish). The move followed a government-commissioned review of the scientific evidence, which found strong evidence that cephalopods and decapods do have feelings. Madeleine Finlay spoke to Dr Jonathan Birch, who led the review, to ask what it means for lobsters to have feelings, and what diff
  • Australia’s most expensive goat – a ‘very stylish buck’ – sells for record $21,000

    Australia’s most expensive goat – a ‘very stylish buck’ – sells for record $21,000
    Sold at auction in western NSW, Marrakesh has orders from his new owners to ‘go forth and multiply’Get our free news app; get our morning email briefingThe owner of Australia’s most expensive goat has described his new acquisition as a “very stylish buck”.Andrew Mosely knew he would have to break the $12,000 Australian record to buy Marrakesh, a goat that went on sale in the western New South Wales town of Cobar on Wednesday. But he did not expect he would have to p
  • Himalayan bats are functionally less diverse at high than at lower elevations, but show the same evolutionary diversity

    Million years of evolution have produced a dazzling variety of species, each uniquely adapted to its environment. A straightforward way to measuring biodiversity is by the number of species (taxonomic diversity). Recently, there is growing emphasis to quantify diversity also in other ways: a) functional diversity, which is the diversity of phenotypic traits that allow organisms to perform their ecological functions and b) phylogenetic diversity, meaning the variation in the branches in the tree
  • Endangered deer's prion gene could protect it from chronic wasting disease

    China's Père David's deer was nearly gone in the late 1800s. Just 18 deer -- the very last of their kind -- were brought into captivity after the rest had been hunted to extinction. When 11 of the deer reproduced, the species had a chance. Today, after centuries of reintroductions and breeding under human care, the population sits at around 3,000. It's a success story. But that success could come crashing down if chronic wasting disease (CWD) were to infect the population.
  • Atlantic fishing nations agree to ban catches of mako, world’s fastest sharks

    Atlantic fishing nations agree to ban catches of mako, world’s fastest sharks
    Conservationists hail move as ‘critical breakthrough’ to protect endangered shortfin mako, prized for meat, fins and sportfishingNorth Atlantic fishing nations have pledged to ban catches of the shortfin mako, the world’s fastest shark, in an attempt to save the endangered species.Conservationists, who have for years sought to better protect the mako, said the ban was a “critical breakthrough”. The effort to ensure agreement between fishing nations was led by the UK
  • Putting a price on chicken | Letter

    Putting a price on chicken | Letter
    Too many of us are governed by knowing the cost of everything and the value of nothing, writes Les BrightIt is a sad commentary on the economics and practices of the food industry that free-range or organic chicken is considered to be outside the reach of so many consumers, even though it reflects price inflation of the past 50 years (The £3 chicken: how much should we actually be paying for the nation’s favourite meat?, 24 November). While it seems there is growing interest in anima
  • The swine bomb: is 2021 the year wild hogs take over the world?

    The swine bomb: is 2021 the year wild hogs take over the world?
    They are running rampant through the US and Europe: stealing a nudist’s laptop, rifling through rubbish and upsetting Shakira. Just how worried should we be?Name: The swine bomb.Status: Ongoing and escalating. Continue reading...

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