Archive for December, 2016:

Cheetahs heading for extinction, study says

Urgent action is needed to stop the cheetah – the world’s fastest land animal – becoming extinct, scientists say. A study published by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States estimates that there are only around 7,000 now in the wild across Africa and in a small area of Iran. Matt McGrath reports.

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Bumblebee numbers hit by ‘unsettled decade’

Image caption The number of bumblebees in parts of Somerset dropped by 85% Bumblebees and butterflies have seen their numbers plummet after another year of unsettled weather, according to a National Trust study. The 10th annual wildlife report from the trust said mild winters and bad weather in summer created bad conditions for small plants.

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Vera Rubin, pioneering astronomer, dies at 88

Image caption Rubin discovered that the stars at the edges of galaxies moved faster than expected Astronomer Vera Rubin, whose pioneering work on galaxy rotation rates led to the theory of dark matter, has died at the age of 88, her son says. Allan Rubin said she died on Sunday of natural causes, AP reported.

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Ash tree genome sequenced for first time

Image caption The issue of biosecurity is set to become increasingly important to prevent alien invasive pathogens entering the UK habitat The genome of the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) has been sequenced for the first time – an important step in the battle against ash dieback disease. Researchers, writing in Nature, found UK ash trees

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Cheetahs heading towards extinction as population crashes

Image copyright ZSL Image caption Protected parks and reserves for cheetahs are not sufficient as the animal ranges far beyond these areas The sleek, speedy cheetah is rapidly heading towards extinction according to a new study into declining numbers. The report estimates that there are just 7,100 of the world’s fastest mammals now left in

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Baby gorilla moves in with new mother at Bristol Zoo

A hand-reared baby gorilla which was born 10 months ago has moved in with a surrogate mother. Afia, a Western lowland gorilla, was left fighting for her life after being born by emergency caesarean and had to be cared for by Bristol Zoo staff. Her reintroduction to the gorillas began in October when Afia started

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Baby orangutans rescued from Thai taxi

22 December 2016 Last updated at 18:54 GMT Two baby orangutans have been rescued from the back of a taxi in Thailand. Article source:

When will our electricity come from the sea?

Image copyright Getty Images If you’ve ever struggled to walk across the deck of a boat as it rolls in a choppy sea, or tried to stand up against breaking waves at the beach, you’ll have felt the might of the ocean. It feels like there’s a lot of power there too, so getting energy

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UK designer launches 30-year Christmas jumper

Image copyright T.Cridland Image caption The 30-year Christmas sweatshirt is guaranteed to keep its wearer in festive cheer for three decades The Christmas jumper has now become a staple of festive activities – from boozy office parties to essential wear when carving the turkey on the big day. While the designs are naff and the

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Piers Sellers: UK-born astronaut dies aged 61

Image copyright AP Image caption Nasa praised Piers Sellers for his “curiosity and drive to uncover new knowledge” British-born astronaut Piers Sellers has died of pancreatic cancer, aged 61, Nasa has said. Born in Crowborough, East Sussex, Dr Sellers began working for the US space agency as a scientist in 1982 before joining its astronaut

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© Warren Fyfe