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British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published eight times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

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This Week in Biodiversity News – 2nd November

Luanne Wilkes
Luanne Wilkes

One of Britain’s largest spiders, thought to have been extinct, has been discovered at a Ministry of Defence site in Surrey. The great fox spider, which hunts at night and feeds on beetles, ants and other spiders, has only been seen in the UK a handful of times since it was initially found 120 years ago.

When illuminated with UV light, the fur of the platypus glows green – this recent discovery is the first time biofluorescence has been observed in an egg-laying mammal. Similarly to the opossum and the flying squirrel, which also exhibit biofluorescence, it is thought that the trait may assist with individuals seeing and communicating with eachother in the dark.

Maintaining the productivity of ocean fisheries, whilst conserving marine habitats, has long posed a dilemma. However, recent research from the University of California, Santa Barbara, suggests that “a well-considered marine protected area (MPA) can bolster the productivity of surrounding fisheries, especially when those fisheries are overexploited”.