Iceland’s new prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, leader of the Left-Greens has formed a coalition government with the right-wing Independence Party and the centre-right Progressive party. Today’s announcement marks the end of a month of frenzied negotiations between the frontrunners in last month’s general election as they attempted to form a workable coalition.
Researchers documenting the behaviour of humpback whales off the coast of Canada have discovered some unique feeding habits being adopted by the whales.
A team from the Marine Education and Research Society in Canada observed the group of humpbacks using a ‘venus fly trap’ method of feeding on unsuspecting young herring off north eastern Vancouver Island.
It is believed that this method of feeding has not been seen used by humpbacks in other locations.
WDC's campaign to have Japan's continued whale slaughter raised as part of future trade negotiations between the EU and Japan took a big leap forward today after representatives from WDC were invited to address the EU’s own petitions committee.
Japan’s illegal trade in sei whale meat looks set to continue for now following a disappointing decision made at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
CITES is an international agreement between governments that ensures international trade in specimens of wild animals does not threaten their survival, and it was hoped that Japan’s sei whale slaughter, which violates international regulations, would be ended at its latest Standing Committee meeting.
For the first time bowhead whales have been filmed rubbing themselves on rocks to remove dead skin in Cumberland Sound in Nunavut, northern Canada.
While local inuits and whalers had previously documented seeing whales taking part in this activity it had never been clear why. Now, with the help of drones, researchers have been able to see that large pieces of dead skin are removed during the process with the findings published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.
A false killer whale named Chester has died at the Vancouver Aquarium in Canada. His body will be examined to determine the cause of death.
The whale was rescued as a calf in July 2014 affer being found on a beach near Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island in poor condition. False killer whales are usually found living in deeper warm temperate or tropical waters.
New Year’s resolutions often involve getting fit, starting a new hobby or learning a new skill, or maybe getting out of our ‘comfort zone’ and conquering a particular fear. Signing up for a Challenge event is a great way to do one (or more) of these and, at the same time, to raise funds for WDC. Whether it’s mountains, jungles or rivers to climb, trek or swim – or something entirely different, there is a huge variety of challenges on offer at https://www.charitychallenge.com/.
WDC, as part of Wildlife and Countryside Link, joined in Link's respone to the UK Chancellor's 2017 Budget today, 22nd November.
Throwaway plastic charges plans welcomed
The release stated "Environment groups have today welcomed the Chancellor’s commitment to investigate charges for single-use plastics. This has the potential to make a big environmental impact, as plastic bag charges have shown, with a more than 80% fall in bags being handed out by retailers since charges were introduced.
We published this feature in late November when this issue broke, but on the 12th December Defra announced that the UK will introduce a new Animal Welfare Bill 2018 that '...sets out that the government “must have regard to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings in formulating and implementing government policy”.
Police and fisheries officials in the Solomon Islands have warned local people not to get involved the illegal capture of dolphins after 14 suspects were arrested on suspicion of operating a ring that traps dolphins to sell overseas.
Earlier this month 20 dolphins were rescued and released from captivity in Rapata Village in Kolombangara Island.