‘It’s scary’: wildlife selfies harming animals, experts warn

Concern in New Zealand that trend of taking photographs with penguins and other creatures is having impact on feeding, breeding and birth rates At the International Penguin Conference in New Zealand, the experts were worried. Among sobering discussions about the perils of the climate crisis and habitat loss, the unlikely issue of wildlife selfies photobombed the agenda, with increasing concern that the celebrity-fuelled search for that perfect shot is affecting animal behaviour. Professor Philip Seddon, the director of Otago Universitys wildlife management programme, said: Were losing respect for wildlife, we dont understand the wild at all. Seddon told the global convention held in Dunedin last week that the normalisation of wildlife selfies was scary and was harming animals, including causing …

Boar wars: how wild hogs are trashing European cities

The long read: They have become a menace in European cities. In Barcelona, where wild boar are jostling tourists and raiding rubbish bins, the fightback has begun Collserola Natural Park looms over Wildlife Services, a division of the US Department of Agriculture, who often does the shooting. But cheap on a per-pig basis. Because weve got so many pigs! The only thing to put a crimp in his kill rate was the recent federal government shutdown. We lost a month of flying, said Bodenchuk, which put them behind their kill targets. Barcelona takes a different approach. Shortly after the calamitous 2013 police shooting, the city hired a team of veterinary scientists from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). The vets …

After 30 years, Japan prepares to resume commercial whaling

Fishermen in remote Pacific port plan to depart for hunt on Monday, despite global outcry On Monday morning, after a short ceremony to pray for a bountiful catch and safety at sea, five ships will slip out of a port in northern whaling programme since the late 1980s, but to coastal waters, six months after the country voted down its proposal to resume the commercial hunting of species whose stocks Japanese officials say have recovered. The vessels imminent departure from Kushiro, on the northern island of Hokkaido, to kill minke, sei and Brydes whales, drew condemnation as Japan and its pro-whaling prime minister, Shinzo Abe, prepared to host G20 leaders in Osaka. In a conservation groups and celebrities including Stephen …

‘They are amazed’: New York City sees extraordinary leap in whale sightings

A total of 272 whales were spotted last year, compared with five in 2011, thanks to legislation mopping up pollution, experts say For most New Yorkers, wildlife spotting is confined to squirrels, the odd raccoon and anguished encounters with rats. But in the waters surrounding the city a very different animal experience is quietly booming: sightings of whales. A total of 272 whales were spotted in New York City waters last year, according to the citizen science group Gotham, a whale that entered New York harbour in 2016 and carried on up the Hudson, startling people looking down from apartments on the Upper West Side. A separate whale was environmental disruption. Scientists are yet to see a full picture of …

‘It was like Woodstock’: inside the town hit by super bloom mania

An influx of visitors, eager for Instagram fodder, prompted Lake Elsinores mayor to shut down access to a flower-covered canyon The town of Lake Elsinore sits at the edge of a canyon newly bursting with color. Fields of poppies, lupins and other wildflowers spill across hillsides usually covered with brown, scrubby plants as though poured from a bucket of paint. In the last few weeks, large swaths of southern California have been transformed into a colorful canvas of flowers. This type of super bloom has happened before, but this year is especially intense an unusually wet winter following years of drought, combined with the aftermath of a brutal wildfire season, has set the stage for what many predicted has become …

Stella McCartney leverages star power to save the rainforests

Oprah Winfrey and Drew Barrymore among famous names supporting eco-friendly project at Paris fashion week The catwalk for Stella McCartneys latest collection ran through the Paris Opera on Monday morning, below a majestic canopy of chandeliers. But McCartneys focus this season is on a beautiful environment of a very different nature: the ancient and endangered at-risk Sumatran orangutan, as well as to vegetation, which is an important source of oxygen. McCartney is leveraging her star power to kickstart a campaign encouraging social media users to dedicate trees, and to donate to the nonprofit organisation Canopy. From left: Oprah Winfrey, Stella McCartney, Lewis Hamilton and Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief of British Vogue. Photograph: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty The actors Drew Barrymore and …