For IUCN, whose core business is saving biodiversity, there is some very welcome news that awareness of biodiversity is growing worldwide.
Posts Tagged ‘good’
28 February 2013
This month, detailed pond survey work will be carried out as part of a major project to develop robust evidence around the distribution of great crested newts (GCN) across England, creating a high-resolution model capable of accurately predicting their population levels in different habitats.
Great crested newt © Peter Wakely / Natural England
It is hoped that this investment in science will ultimately enable GCN issues to be addressed earlier and more flexibly in the planning process, minimising the costs and delays which developments can sometimes face, when one-off newt surveys need to be carried out and subsequent mitigation measures developed. The improved evidence base will also create benefits to help conserve this special, highly-protected species.
Hyder-Cresswell consultancies has been awarded the contract for the first phase of the GCN Evidence Enhancement Project, which involves collection of extensive habitat suitability and water quality data from ponds across seven pilot areas in Dorset, Kent, Gloucestershire, Milton Keynes, Epping Forest, Lincolnshire and Cheshire. Using Land Registry and Ordnance Survey data to locate ponds and identify their owners, ecological consultants have now contacted landowners across these areas, requesting permission to access. This been carried out in liaison with the NFU and CLA.
Britain is a stronghold for GCNs, but their population, although widespread and locally common, is generally declining. Habitat loss – particularly of the ponds that adult newts require for breeding – and intensive agriculture are the key threats to their conservation.
Great crested newts are fully protected under domestic and European law, making it an offence to capture, kill, injure or disturb them or to damage key elements of their habitat. Despite the high level of protection afforded to GCNs, their continued decline indicates that current conservation approaches are not sufficiently effective. Natural England believes that a deeper understanding of their habits will allow more effective maintenance of their favourable conservation status across the country, providing the opportunity to more proportionately address some of the impacts they can have on developments.
This project forms part of our work with Government and others to consider some of the wider challenges associated with the Habitats Directives and improve how we deliver our role as an adviser and regulator, when interpreting laws which protect European Protected Species. Subsequent phases of the project will see suitable ponds surveyed for the presence or absence of GCNs.
Five Good Reasons to Visit Panama City Beach for National Go Green Week
1. Camping in St. Andrews State Park
Camp out by the sugary sands and emerald waters whilst keeping your carbon footprint to a minimum, even when swimming, snorkeling, fishing, boating and exploring the wildlife trails.
2. St. Andrews Waterfront Market
Support the local market that is host to St. Andrews Community Garden, together they work to promote the local agriculture, inspire healthy living and improve the regional economy.
3. Panama City Beach Conservation Park
Panama City Beach Conservation Park is a twitchers paradise; recycling 18 million gallons of water daily it improves the ecosystem and animal habitats, attracting birds to the rehydrated wetlands.
4. Paddle Boarding in Ecofina Creek
Stand up and paddle board in Ecofina Creek. The 41,000-acre Ecofina Creek Water Management Recreation Area is popular with paddlers, campers, hikers, and nature lovers alike.
5. Leave No Trace!
Leave it and lose it! To protect its wildlife and maintain its beaches, Panama City Beach issued a ‘Leave No Trace’ ordinance in 2012 which states that all personal items will be removed and disposed of if left on the beach after hours.
7 Nights in Panama City Beach, Florida from £999 per person
Fly from London with Virgin Atlantic on 4th March 2013 and spend 7 nights at the Wyndham Bay Point Resort. This package costs £999 per person based on two people sharing and includes return flights from London, accommodation on a room only basis and car hire with a free Sat Nav. For more information or to book visit www.travelplanners.co.uk or call 0800 350 359.
*Camping at St. Andrews State Park costs from $ 28 per night.
For further information on Panama City Beach: www.visitpanamacitybeach.com
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1 February 2013
Licensed bat surveyors will no longer be driven batty by paperwork, as Natural England unveils a new series of licences designed to reduce administrative burdens.
Lesser horseshoe bat © John Black/Natural England
The new licences will also allow Natural England to focus more time and resource on high-risk casework for major developments.
The move – which forms part of Natural England’s ongoing commitment to simplifying and improving the regulatory system – has involved wide consultation with stakeholders to ensure that the best possible service is provided.
Developed in liaison with the Bat Conservation Trust, the bat class licences represent a ‘middle way’ between individual licences – which are judged on a case by case basis – and general licences, which can be used by a wide range of people and have standard sets of terms. Under the new system, surveyors or Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors will only need to register once, after which their licence will automatically renew each year – once they have submitted their licence return (or notified us that they wish to remain registered). Annual reports form a vital part of many of the class licences and they must be returned as a condition of the licence, to help us meet reporting requirements to Europe.
In order to simplify the process for users, the new class licences are separated into two areas and clearly set out exactly what each licence permits, helping licence holders to act within the law. Conservation licences will be used chiefly by registered Volunteer Bat Roost Visitors undertaking official duties under Natural England’s Bat Advice contract and survey licences will be used for science, education, and research purposes.
A class licence for registered ecological consultants, allowing disturbance and damage or destruction of bat roosts of low conservation significance in certain situations is also being developed. A trial of this licence will take place before it is rolled out more widely.
€161,250 funding approved under the Rural Development Programme for Kilcummin Looking Good
Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government announced today (24 October 2012) that he has given sanction for North & East Kerry Development (NEKD) to approve funding of €161,250 to Kilcummin Looking Good for village enhancement actions under the Village Renewal & Development measure of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013.
Announcing the funding Minister Hogan said:
“This project will be of immense benefit to Kilcummin with it’s total project costs of €215,000 I know it will improve the quality of life and will strengthen the social and economic fabric for all the areas inhabitants.”
The LEADER elements of the Programme offer many challenges and opportunities in terms of addressing the needs of improving the quality of life in rural areas and providing greater opportunities for farm diversification. It is focused on the development of micro-enterprises, rural services, rural recreation and rural tourism. It is hoped that, by focusing on these services, the Programme will lead to sustainable development, which in turn will ensure prosperity for the rural areas.
The Minister added “the project will now go back to the Board of North & East Kerry Development (NEKD) for the final approval on the project. This is in line with the EU’s “bottom-up” approach to rural development.”
(PRWEB) October 06, 2012
Obtaining insurance has become an essential task for both individuals and families in modern society. The rising costs of health care, auto repair and home insurance policies place uninsured persons at a significant disadvantage.
Autolnsure, click here to visit, has been created to address these issues. The focus of this website is facilitating the comparison of various insurance policies. This website has been created specifically for assisting people in their search for a suitable insurance policy.
The proper application of online search engines and the usage of insurance company websites is one way to seek out a new insurance policy. However, this method of searching can quickly become repetitive and complicated. This newly created website vastly simplifies the process of determining which insurance company is the most appropriate for anyone seeking insurance coverage.
For example, anyone searching for car insurance can enter this website and save a great deal of time and effort in their search for insurance coverage. Upon accessing the website, a user can select car insurance as their desired coverage. When they input this information, the website focuses exclusively on car insurance.
Upon selecting car insurance as they type of coverage desired, the user can then input their zip code into the website’s search feature. By using each user’s zip code, this website provides the user with all applicable car insurance companies within the user’s local area.
The user can then search through the list of available insurance providers. They can click on a link provided by this website and they will be directed to further information regarding the insurance company they selected. This information can provide valuable insight into a particular insurance company’s policies, rates and coverage requirements.
In this way, this newly created website delivers information directly, rather than searchers having to comb through thousands of results on a search engine. This is important because obtaining information about an insurance company is not accomplished as it was in the past. People used to call a company or visit the company office in person to obtain any information regarding that company.
Those days are long gone, however, and this new website has replaced the old way of getting things accomplished. This website’s search capabilities are entirely free of charge, which is a great advantage compared to driving to each individual company office or running up phone bill charges by calling each company.
All the user needs to do is access this website, input their desired type of insurance coverage and then input their zip code, and they will instantly be presented with a display of all the local insurance companies. In this way, they can compare and contrast each company’s policies from the comfort of their own home. Click here to learn more.
19 September 2012
Natural England welcomes the launch of Phase 2 of the Million Ponds project, which was celebrated in the House of Lords yesterday (18 September).
Wildlife charity Pond Conservation has announced, with Natural England and other partners, Phase 2 in its national Million Ponds Project, which aims to create 30,000 clean water ponds over the next 7 years, up to 2020.
Natural England has been working with Pond Conservation since the start of the project, contributing expertise and match-funding to help turn things around for pond life. New clean water ponds will be made at locations throughout England and Wales, with the first projects in the New Forest, Oxfordshire, Leicestershire, and Sussex. The work will provide new habitat for endangered freshwater plants and animals, building out from existing refuges, and extending clean water across whole landscapes. When completed we will see a landscape with the equivalent of a new clean water pond every couple of miles across the countryside.
Phase 1 of Million Ponds received major financial support from Biffa Award, who directly funded the construction of more than 1,000 ponds for many of the most endangered freshwater species in Britain. The new ponds have been created everywhere from the Lizard to Northumberland and the west of Wales to the Norfolk Broads. Ponds are already being colonised by endangered species such as tassel stonewort, great crested newt, shining ram’s-horn, Norfolk hawker dragonfly and grass-poly. The project also trained around 1,500 people from conservation organisations across England and Wales.
Dr Pete Brotherton, Head of Profession for Biodiversity at Natural England, who is speaking at the Phase 2 launch said: “Ponds are fantastic little biodiversity hot spots. They are key habitats for about 10% of England’s priority species and they also provide important links across England’s fragmented landscapes, helping species to cope with climate change. We’ve been strong supporters of the Million Ponds Project – pond creation provides a practical and cost-effective way of restoring nature, and we look forward to working with Pond Conservation to make Phase 2 a success.”
Natural England seconded two staff to the project over a two year period. This allowed for knowledge sharing between the two organisations and a wide range of other partners, and helped link our Higher Level Stewardship work with Pond Conservation staff – over 600 HLS agreements have been involved with the creation of new ponds. Our staff time and the provision of office space for the Northern Million Pond project officer provided much needed match funding and helped release funds from Tubney, Esmee Fairburn and Biffaward.
Dawn Isaac, who was seconded to the Million Ponds project said: “It was great to work with the charity’s passionate and committed staff and be part of the development of this important project. The project has made great progress and I hope that it realises its 50 year vision for a million ponds.”
Shelby Township, MI (PRWEB) August 29, 2012
Free Range Eco Naturals Dog Treats, specializing in dog chews and treats with only 1 or 2 ingredients, has expanded it’s offering to cat lovers.
Free Range Eco Naturals Dog Treats Inc., makes sure to keep it’s products in their purest and most simple form. Their team has been involved in the pet industry since before pig ears came over from Europe as dog chews, and has been focusing on the body parts category (Angus beef cattle, pork, lamb, and wild hare/rabbit that is!) ever since. Today there are a plethera of different “body part” chews available on the average pet store shelf from achilles tendons and trachea to pizzles and weasand. The chews already tend to be high in nutritional value, so Free Range Eco Naturals doesn’t feel the need to add anything to what nature has provided. Their theory is that, “Nature Doesn’t Need Any Help!” It just came naturally that using the same “Back to Basics” concept could help in the development of a cat toy.
With the introduction of “Everything but the HipHop!”, a new line of dog treats and chews, from wild, non-domesticated hare/rabbit from Argentina, the fluffy tails and feet seemed like a natural fit for a Hare Foot Chaser as a cat toy. Remember elementary school when it was cool to carry a “lucky rabbit’s foot” on a key ring, even though you didn’t have any keys to put on it? Well Free Range Eco Naturals took a piece of real bamboo, added a natural organic cotton string and tied on the rabbit’s foot for hours of fun and frolic for lucky cats. They can also chase a fluffy wild rabbit/hare tail on the end of the string. Both can be seen on the corporate website at http://www.FreeRangeEcoNaturals.com
Doesn’t your pet deserve natural? Of course, so call or click today!
About Free Range Eco Naturals:
Free Range Eco Naturals Dog Treats Inc. provides natural dog chews and treats with only one or two ingredients. The company sources it’s products from Argentina, where livestock are humanely raised, grass-fed and pasture finished with no added hormones, steroids, preservatives, antibiotics, or animal by-products.
Phoenix, AZ (PRWEB) June 15, 2012
The experts at Good Housekeeping pack over 125 years of home solutions experience into all products they create. Currently, consumers are looking for many features when selecting blinds and shades for their homes. In the summertime, energy efficiency is high on the priority list of features. Good Housekeeping has created custom blinds and shades that offer energy efficient features that filter or blackout light and offer UV protection from the damaging rays of the sun. Energy efficient blinds and shades block heat generated by the sun to windows, keeping the house temperatures cooler, and preventing the fading of carpets and furniture. With the right window coverings, air conditioners do not have to work as hard to cool the house, translating to significant energy savings for the home owner.
Safety is another important feature when choosing blinds and shades. The U.S. Product Safety Commission has reported 200 deaths of infants and young children related to accidental strangulation in window blind cords since 1990. Consumers with young children should be aware of the potential danger and purchase window blinds or shade products with cordless safety features. In addition to a large selection of cordless blinds and shade products available now at Select Blinds.com, the new Good Housekeeping custom window coverings also offer many cordless options.
Versatility is also an important feature in any window covering purchase. Every house is different, and not all windows are the same size. Window blinds and window shades must be customizable to allow for a perfect fit on any window. The new Good Housekeeping custom blinds and shades collection offers many products that are versatile and customizable for any consumer. Purchasing window products online can be a daunting task as many consumers do not feel confident in their ability to measure windows for proper fitting blinds, or in their ability to install them correctly once they are delivered. Select Blinds has made this process easy with How to measure, and how to install guides and videos on the website. Consumers can save significant money off retail store prices by purchasing blinds online from SelectBlinds.com.
Good Housekeeping custom blinds and shades sold by Select Blinds include a large collection of cellular shades, roller shades, roman shades, panel tracks, wood blinds, and faux wood blinds. The window coverings come in a variety of colors, sizes and features. A popular feature offered on many of the products is the No Holes Privacy option. Select Blinds is dedicated to offering blinds and shades with all the safety, and efficiency features consumers need at prices far below competitors. All products sold by Select Blinds come with a 90 day satisfaction guarantee. This weekend, consumers can get additional Father’s day savings with Buy 3 get 1 free + 30% off on all products sold on SelectBlinds.com.
Headquartered in Gilbert, AZ, Select Shops owns the leading online destinations for ready-to-install and custom-made home decor, including SelectBlinds.com, SelectRugs.com and Bedding.com. Select Blinds is focused on providing a large selection of blinds, window shades and other windows coverings to its customers. All of Select Shops Web sites offer competitive pricing, security and convenience, online shopping, live assistance, customer satisfaction guarantees, and strong warranty programs on all of its products. For more information, please visit http://www.selectblinds.com.
Crops genetically modified to poison pests can deliver significant environmental benefits, according to a study spanning two decades and 1.5m square kilometres. The benefits extended to non-GM crops in neighbouring fields, researchers found.
Plants engineered to produce a bacterial toxin lethal to some insects but harmless to people were grown across more than 66m hectares around the world in 2011.
Bt cotton is one type and now makes up 95% of China‘s vast plantations. Since its introduction in 1997, pesticide use has halved and the study showed this led to a doubling of natural insect predators such as ladybirds, lacewings and spiders. These killed pests not targeted by the Bt cotton, in cotton fields, but also in conventional corn, soybean and peanut fields.
“Insecticide use usually kills the natural enemies of pests and weakens the biocontrol services that they provide,” said Professor Kongming Wu at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, who led the research team. “Transgenic crops reduce insecticide use and promote the population increase of natural enemies. Therefore, we think that this is a general principle.”
Professor Guy Poppy, an ecologist at the University of Southampton, said the scale of the work gave “robust” results that ended a long-running debate pitting plant scientists against ecologists. “The argument was that, with Bt crops needing no pesticide spraying, other pests would go crazy so you would subsequently have to spray lots more pesticide,” he said. But the study shows this did not happen for aphids, a major pest. “This is also the first time it has been shown comprehensively that the surrounding fields benefited from being next to GM crops.”
With the global population rising quickly towards an expected 9bn in 2050, food demand is rising fast. Poppy said: “The research demonstrates that, when managed properly, GM crops can enable you to intensify agriculture sustainably.” But he noted: “GM crops are neither all good nor all bad and GM is not going to feed the world overnight. But it is a very powerful tool and should be kept in the tool box.”
Previous work by Wu had shown that one pest, the mirid bug, has increased since Bt cotton was introduced, one reason why pesticide use has not dropped further than 50%.
The new research, published in the journal Nature, monitored both insect pests and predators between 1990 and 2011, during which time Bt cotton swept aside traditional GM cotton. It examined 36 sites across six big cotton-growing provinces in northern China, where about 2.6m hectares of cotton and 33m hectares of other crops – notably maize, peanut and soybean – are grown each year, by more than 10 million small-scale farmers.
The Bt cotton is designed to kill cotton bollworms and does so very effectively: it is virtually absent in cotton fields. But it does not harm aphids, which are also a major pest for cotton and other crops. Nevertheless, the researchers found that, despite the large reduction in pesticide use, aphid populations plummeted by two-thirds after Bt cotton was introduced. This was due to a doubling of natural predators, which eat a wide range of pests.
“As one of the measures for pest management, transgenic crops have a great advantage,” said Wu. He noted that predators usually disperse widely and can attack a range of pests: “Not only can they synchronously attack different insect pests in one field, but they can also colonise different habitats in different seasons.”
The scientists concluded: “Broadly speaking, the deployment of Bt crops may favour biocontrol services and enhance economic benefits not only in Bt crop fields but also in the whole agricultural landscape.” The team also state that, while difficult to conduct, further large scale and long term studies are needed to determine the effect of other types of GM crops on wildlife.
“We should take encouragement from this research,” said Professor John Pickett, the leader of a GM wheat trial at the Rothamsted research institute which required police protection against protesters in May. “It shows the technology works to control pests, reduces pesticide use – which is why it is so popular in China and the US – and has the added benefit of looking after the predators that could have been killed by the pesticides.”
He said: “GM cotton is actually quite a crude use of genetic engineering, but it was a first use this technology – developed 30 years ago with government funding. It is a prelude to our own second generation crops, which will actively use the predator insects, not just help them.” The wheat in Pickett’s trial is being developed to produce a pheromone used by aphids as a chemical alarm signal, because the pheromone also attracts the predators of those aphids. There are billions of tiny parasitic wasps naturally present, Pickett said, but currently they do not arrive early enough at the crop to stop the aphid causing economic damage.”