Nature Snippets

Nature Snippets

A round-up of environmental news that’s been overlooked recently.

By Colin Serjent

More problems from human noise

A natural ocean soundscape is being drowned out by an increasingly loud cacophony of noise from human activities.

The damage caused by noise is as harmful as overfishing, pollution and the climate crisis.

Marine animals can hear over much longer distances than they can see or smell, making sound crucial to many aspects of their lives.

More mammals at risk of extinction

A quarter of Britain’s native mammal species, including red squirrels, wildcats, beavers and water voles are at risk of extinction.

They are in a precarious state for a number of reasons, including historical persecution to the use of chemicals, a loss of habitat and the introduction of non-native species.

Hedgehogs, hazel dormice, mountain hares and harvest mice are also considered to be at risk.

The wonder of wasps

There are over 33,000 species of wasps and researchers have concluded they are the most unfairly maligned insects.

Wasps deserve to be just as highly valued as bees, because they play key roles not just as predators of pest species but also as pollinators.

They can be particularly valuable in agriculture, keeping down populations of aphids and caterpillars that damage crops.

Don’t buy aerosols!

Shoppers should stop buying spray cans of deodorants and air fresheners because they are a major source of toxic pollution, scientists have warned.

Aerosol products now account for over 6% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emission in the UK, more than the UK’s massive fleet of cars.

Global warming will wipe out endemic species

Scores of plants and animals from some of the world’s most biodiverse regions will be wiped out by global warming of more than 3%.

They will be vulnerable in a warming world, with a third of those living on land and half of those living in water facing extinction if the earth warms by this amount.

Two million kangaroos butchered each year

More than two million kangaroos are killed each year to make sports shoes.

Nike, Adidas, Puma, Umbro and Copa all use so-called K-leather in their products.

Campaigners are urging consumers not to buy shoes that have been made from the animal’s skin.

The kangaroo industry is the largest land-based commercial wildlife slaughter in the world.

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