Dolphins living off the coast of Wales that have developed their own ‘Welsh accent’

Bottlenose dolphins photo by Gregory “Slobirdr” Smith under creative commons

The Mail Online reports dolphins living off the coast of Wales that have developed their own ‘Welsh accent’ whistle at higher frequencies than those recorded anywhere else in the world, scientists say. Frequency of clicks used by dolphins are also faster than anywhere else in world. 

Biodiversity loss risks ‘ecological meltdown’ – scientists

BBC News reports the UK is one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries – in the bottom 10% globally and last among the G7 group of nations, new data shows. It has an average of about half its biodiversity left, far below the global average of 75%, a study has found. A figure of 90% is considered the “safe limit” to prevent the world from tipping into an “ecological meltdown”, according to researchers.

The assessment was released on the eve of the UN Biodiversity Conference, COP 15, hosted by China, a mega-diverse country with nearly 10% of plant species and 14% of animals on Earth. 

Number of butterflies in the UK at a record low, survey finds

Freshly emerged male silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) on cross-leaved heath, Ash Ranges. 5 June 2020. This butterfly is a U.K. BAP Priority Species.

The Guardian reports Butterfly Conservation, which counted butterflies and moths between 16 July and 8 August, said the results, released on Thursday, marked the lowest numbers since the Big Butterfly Count started 12 years ago and called for urgent action to be taken.

It is the latest warning sign for butterflies – which, as well as forming a vital part of the food chain, are considered significant indicators of the health of the environment – after decades of decline. Since 1976, 76% of butterflies have declined either in abundance or distribution. 

Wolves ‘must be reintroduced to UK to fight climate crisis even if farmers lose sheep’

European Wolf photo by Lawria under creative commons

The Mirror reports wolves should be reintroduced into Britain to help fight the climate crisis, according to one of Britain’s leading conservationists. Without Roy Dennis’s efforts, there would be fewer red squirrels, no beavers and no osprey or red kite introductory programmes. And the 81-year-old is showing no signs of retiring.

He explained how we must see the benefit to the whole of society by sharing the countryside with large carnivores again, even if it means farmers could lose the odd sheep, and explained how the extinction crisis can only be addressed with “bigness.” 

Half a million acres in Highlands to be ‘left to nature’

The BBC report a major new project aims to rewild an area of more than 500,000 acres (202,343ha) in the Highlands. Over a period of 30 years, mountains, hills, glens and forests would be left to natural processes. The area could stretch from Loch Ness, across the central Highlands to Kintail on the north west Highlands coast.

Moray-based charity Trees for Life is working with Rewilding Europe, along with 20 landowners and six organisations on the project. The charity said the initiative followed three years of consultation and its work was continuing towards bring more landowners and communities on board.