Britain-Nepal 200: celebrating Nepal’s success stories in biodiversity conservation

The rich biodiversity of Nepal is a tribute to its diverse climate, altitudinal variation and geography. In total 118 ecosystems have been identified, and the country is home to some of the world’s most remarkable plant and animal species. Over the past 40 years the government of Nepal has been at the forefront of conservation […]

What is the future for beavers in Britain?

Could beavers be successfully re-established in Britain and what affect would they have on local biodiversity? Beavers are ecosystem engineers which, by building dams and channels, create and maintain wetlands. Through these activities, beavers have the potential to increase local biodiversity, reduce downstream flooding, and improve water quality. In Britain, beavers were hunted to extinction […]

Wings of change

Long-term insect surveillance initiatives, such as the Rothamsted Insect Survey and the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, allow ongoing assessments of the conservation status of large numbers of insect species against a background of increasing environmental change. This meeting will highlight the key findings from long-term insect surveys, including a 50-year monitoring project for British moths and butterflies.

Looking at mountains from a bird’s point of view

Emma Brown finds that mountains may not be the shapes we thought they were – when considering wildlife habitat – and this may be good news

Health and disease in translocated wild animals

Over the last 50 years, an increasing number of wild animal translocations have been undertaken for conservation purposes. This two-day symposium will review the impact of disease on species restoration through translocation, and consider lessons learned to guide effective planning and implementation of future translocation projects.

Authors for Animals – Andrew Motion ‘Consider the Seahorse’

Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion considers the seahorse – a creature with a rich mythical history, whose existence is beautiful, mysterious, and yet precarious. The event will also feature a ZSL aquarist talking about seahorse habits and husbandry and a ZSL conservationist working on Project Seahorse supporting species and marine habitats worldwide.

The conservation science/policy interface: challenges and opportunities

Good communication between policy makers and scientists is a crucial requirement for developing policies that cost-effectively achieve measurable outcomes in conservation. Yet science and other forms of knowledge are not used effectively in policymaking; and policymakers do not always effectively inform scientists about their needs for scientific knowledge. Why is this so?
This event will bring together ecologists, conservation practitioners and policy-makers to discuss case-studies showing how science – policy interactions work in practice.

Are economic growth and biodiversity conservation compatible?

Economic growth has undoubtedly improved human livelihoods yet has equally convincingly had negative effects on the environment. Scientists are considering introducing a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene, to capture humanity’s impact on Earth’s ecosystems. . This debate will bridge developmental and ecological economics with political and environmental science to explore how humanity can manage economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Global land-use change: causes and consequences for biodiversity

Anthropogenic environmental changes, such as global land use and land cover change, driven by rapid human population growth and increasing demand for agricultural and forest products, are impacting the balance of the Earth system. This meeting will highlight the causes of land use and land cover change, investigate the impacts on biodiversity loss, ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services, and explore how non-market and public benefits, including wildlife conservation, can be incorporated into land-use planning.

Wild hope: Conservation successes

Our little blue planet is dying. For decades scientists have been warning of the potentially fatal affects of pollution, global warming and deforestation. Yet, we all continue to consume unsustainable quantities of …

Poor risk communication is tree-mendously worrying

I was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, and although I couldn’t wait to leave the place when I headed off to University, I have since come to love it in its own way. While Ipswich itself is a fairly bland place, my memories of the countryside around the town are pretty idyllic. I spent my 18th […]

Science Behind the Photo #46

Andean Flamingos Pink bodied and yellow legged, these Andean Flamingos sift through shallow silt at sunset in the Atacama desert. Flamingos are filter-feeders, mainly eating microscopic algae that they filter from the water with their uniquely structured upside-down beak. Unlike most other birds, the flamingo has a narrower top beak than bottom, and its top […]

Skiing’s Dirty Secret

With the summer coming to a close, your mind might be starting to wander onto more wintery thoughts. For some, this will mean deciding on where to take your next skiing holiday! However, I doubt that when booking your trip, the environmental policy of the resort will have crossed your mind. Whilst conservation may not […]

The Thames: Back from the Dead?

Dead fish after an overflow event. Image: Thames Anglers Conservancy. There once was a time when the Thames was teeming with life. Otters, eels, and even salmon were abundant. But time has not been kind to the river, and it has been subjected to the worst consequences of human development. The use and abuse of […]

Residents Lead the Way

Residents lead the way in restoring the River Wandle Bright and early on a June weekend morning, volunteers in a park in South London are pulling on waders, grabbing litter pickers, and slipping their hands into protective gloves. It’s time to clean up the River Wandle. The River Wandle starts in Croydon, runs through South […]

Conservation Canines: Update #2

Update #2 from science documentary filmmakers Jade Hoffman and Noah Baker, who are filming dogs that track whales in the Pacific Northwest. Looks like they’re having pretty good weather out there, which must be good for filming. We held back from posting this until the rain stopped, in case you spat coffee at your screen […]

Conservation Canines: Update #1

Last week Noah Baker and Jade Hoffman, documentary filmmakers from Imperial College London, left for the Pacific Northwest in the US to start making a film about dogs that track whales. The Conservation Canines project, run out of the University of Washington, Seattle, uses highly-trained sniffer dogs – similar to those used by customs officials […]

When the Familiar Vanishes

Adonis Blue This article is taken from the Winter 2011 issue of I, Science. Are we in a post-butterfly era? Kevin Edge explores the role amateur contributions could play in saving the British butterfly population. Mid-winter, many like to recall warm summer days when meadow, wood and cliff walks are alive with countless flowers, bees […]

Is Palm Oil So Evil?

Palm oil is indigenous to the tropical belt area but has only recently spread across the world in an industrial context. The industry reputation suffers damage as a result of the necessary destruction it causes to tropical forest, in order to clear land for plantations. Environmental standards have been introduced to improve the sustainability of […]

Safe Serengeti?

There will not be a highway through the Serengeti according to the government of Tanzania last Wednesday. But if that’s the case why aren’t all the conservationists celebrating the victory? The reason is because no-one seems to be entirely sure about what the government have conceded. The plan to build a motorway straight through the […]