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WILDLIFE

The unusual soil-spects

First global atlas of soil bacteria reveals a small minority of species have dominated world soils
War and conservation have a complicated relationship, with two studies undertaken in Africa showing significantly different responses to conflict and the impact on natural environments
Threatened Californian owls are suffering from digesting rat poison administered to the state’s thousands of marijuana farms
Narwhals show a complex response to interaction with humans and it may be putting them at risk
A global campaign is underway to turn a huge area of the seas around Antarctica into the world’s largest wildlife sanctuary
Warm and humid conditions are found to be the trigger for a mysterious die-off of saiga antelopes
Overfishing and climate change are edging seabirds such as the Black-legged Kittiwake and Cape Gannet ever closer to extinction

Sofa conservation

How many elephants can you see? How many orang-utans are in that tree? New conservation projects are hoping the answers to these questions can help protect endangered species around the world
While it was the impact on civilian populations that generated most of the headlines during the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa, humans weren’t the only species devastated by Ebola – the region’s ape colonies are desperately struggling to recover
Baltic seals and fish-eating bird populations are increasing and could be putting a strain on fish stocks
The world’s most endangered marine mammal has just been thrown a long overdue lifeline
Nature reserves and protected areas in Germany have lost 76 per cent of flying insect biomass since 1989
The rapid spread of Asian hornets is likely to make them a regular sighting in the UK over the coming years
Over a two-year period, a new species of plant or animal was identified every other day
As part of New Zealand’s plan to cull millions of predators, scientists are consulting the public about controversial gene technology
Dismay as a Spanish baby dolphin becomes the latest victim of the quest for ‘the perfect selfie’
Despite their high profiles, most of the world’s national animal symbols are lacking in protection, with a significant proportion now revealed to be experiencing population decline
It’s not just the bees that are disappearing. Insects across the board are showing dramatic drops in population levels, leading to a serious knock-on effect for ecosystems everywhere

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DOSSIERS

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