Our Planet
The silvery wash of the moon illuminates the invaders in our garden
Marine conservation is about proper management not numbers
Lion killed California intern with one swipe of its paw, coroner reveals
Deer cull would threaten thousands of jobs, say furious gamekeepers
We must kill Bambi: why culling deer is a no-brainer
Five shark species win protection against finning trade
Pangolins under threat as black market trade grows
Should we learn to love eating insects?
Rare Sumatran tiger kills farmer in Indonesia
Where screeching, scarlet macaws enjoy raucous celebrity status
Summer's early birds risk their return from wintering grounds
Mexican monarch butterfly numbers at record low, scientists say
Military three-step as birds drill for food through the late winter snow
Beachcombers to hunt out 'mermaid's purses' to help protect sharks
French troops return to the heart of D-day operations
A landscape bathed in cold brilliance
Birdwatch: Pied-billed grebe
National Wildlife Crime Unit left in funding doubt
86 elephants killed in Chad poaching massacre
Polar bear hunting and migration 'hit by warming climate'
Cloning extinct animals: to hell with frogs!
Spring is in the air and Zoroastrians and hares and pagans. And me
When the icy wind drops, the first hint of warmth can be felt in the sun
Don't let good zoos go extinct
  Stricken seabirds wash up along south coast of England
Hundreds more dead and distressed birds have been found washed up along the south coast. The birds mostly guillemots but also a smaller number of razorbills and puffins have been found covered in a sticky, oily substance on beaches across Cornwall, Devon and Dorset.

The Devon Wildlife Trust said that the proportion of dead birds among those washed up has increased, with hundreds of stricken seabirds found on beaches around Looe over the weekend.

Cat Andrews, a warden at the Wembury Marine Centre, near Plymouth, said: "We were expecting to find only dead birds now, after seeing so many on the beach yesterday.

"But this morning, someone has brought a live guillemot into the centre. It's so distressing to see a living creature in such a terrible state, especially as there are no facilities here to ease its suffering."

Around 30 dead birds were found at Wembury last Monday morning, including one puffin.

The current pollution appears to be the same type of chemical that affected more than 300 birds earlier this year along a 200-mile stretch of coast.

Staff at the RSPCA's West Hatch centre in Taunton first tried to clean the birds with soapy water, which was not successful. They found cleaning them with margarine was more effective.

Experts at Plymouth University found the mystery substance was almost certain to be polyisobutene, an oil additive known as PIB which has a chemical mixture ranging from oils to solids.

But the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it had been unable to trace the source of the spill.

The Devon Wildlife Trust said the pollutant could even be material from the same ship, affecting the coast once more due to a change in wind direction.

Marine conservation officer Richard White said: "If a similar event occurred on land, people from all walks of life would be horrified by the devastation caused to the countryside and the polluters would be named and shamed.

"Because the marine environment is unseen by most, the only way to give marine wildlife any protection is through effective legislation."

Meanwhile, the RSPB is to raise with the government the issue of legal discharges of PIB into the sea.

The charity is seeking support for PIB to be reclassified by the International Maritime Organisation to prohibit discharges at sea in routine tank-washing operations.

Tony Whitehead, from the RSPB, said: "We simply do not know how much PIB is released into the marine environment as part of routine tank-washing operations, and the cumulative impacts of these releases.

"It is accepted that when the full impact of a substance on the environment is not known then you proceed with caution. This is the case with PIB.

"These recent incidents could be the result of illegal discharges. But equally they could be the result of legal discharges - we just don't know.

"But what we do know is we have birds covered in this stuff on our beaches. We believe it's only right that we work as hard as we can to prevent this happening again."
Hundreds of wild boars face cull in Forest of Dean
Grand National protesters accuse Channel 4 of exploiting deaths of horses
Kenya's Maasai keep lions at bay with solar power and ingenuity
Week-old baby died after being bitten by jack russell, inquest hears
Avian flu: Chinese pigeon fanciers vaccinate tens of thousands of birds
Art Deco among the ducks
The silent socialisers of the insect world
Firefighters tackle blaze at Scottish zoo
Scottish zoo fire leaves animals and reptiles dead
Upon the Yare three grebe pairs were all in display
Chinese vessel on Philippine coral reef caught with illegal pangolin meat
Stricken seabirds wash up along south coast of England
Circuses to be banned from using wild animals
Demand for lion bones offers South African breeders a lucrative return
Edinburgh zoo pandas 'ready to mate'
Humans that harm animals should be held accountable
Today the brimstones are out, careering up and down the rides
English farmers to be reimbursed for sheep killed in snowstorms
Rhino heads seized in gang raid on Ireland's national museum
On this bright morning, the redwing are looking particularly smart
The Chinese sanctuary with pandas at play
Australia's koala crisis
Edinburgh's female panda artificially inseminated
Scientists attack government climbdown on marine protection
French fisherman survives crocodile attack in Australia
Oxford college under attack over plans to display live shark at ball
Wood anemones bewitched by the wind
Shark's off at Oxford black-tie ball
Appetite for caviar could see paddlefish suffer sturgeon's fate
One day last week something other than water came out of the fountain
China loves pork too much
New to Nature No 100: Eleodes wheeleri
Bollywood actors charged in poaching case
Salisbury travel tips: great bustard birdwatching on the plain
Farewell to Nick Boing, Wales's very own superstar sheep
South African minister backs legalisation of rhino horn trade
Cold spring kills thousands of newborn lambs
Rolling snowballs the size of tumbledriers down the hill
Ranger corruption 'impeding global fight against poaching'
The grey seal's bewhiskered face bore an expression of pure contentment
A new, ethical way to buy fish from the fisherman
Dangerous dogs policy in the wake of the terrible death of Jade Anderson
Red squirrels are intensely curious creatures, and extraordinarily pretty
Freezing weather brings fresh perils for British wildlife
Paparazzi reception for an elusive star of the natural world the otter
Eating fish: it's complicated
Do you think the Grand National is cruel?
Cod and chips could be a load of pollock
Farmers call for help over mounting sheep deaths
Chinese fishing fleet in African waters reports 9% of catch to UN
South African game reserve poisons rhino's horns to prevent poaching
Cats leave their mark on centuries of books
Visit Statistics