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This Week in Biodiversity News – 22nd September 2021

Hana Ketley
Hana Ketley

The eastern barred bandicoot was saved from the brink of extinction in Australia, thanks to 30 years of conservation effort. After nearly being wiped out by non-native foxes, habitat loss and feral cats, conservationists relocated individuals to fox-free islands and millions of dollars were invested in captive breeding. The program’s success has led to the species’ status being modified from “extinct in the wild” to “endangered”.

500 endangered reptiles are to be monitored from a satellite through implanted microchips in Turkey. The most detailed work on reptiles ever done in the country, this monitoring process will help improve our understanding of the factors influencing reptile populations and habitat choices. It is also hoped that it will produce data about the effects of global warming on these endangered species.

Polar bears are becoming less genetically diverse as sea ice divides populations. Loss of sea ice is causing increasing fragmentation of polar bear populations, reducing the chances of mating between different groups. This is limiting the genetic flow between them, increasing the risk of inbreeding and reducing their ability to adapt to threats such as climate change

Britain could see record numbers of insects this autumn, due to this year’s erratic summer weather. The short heatwave and increased rain that occurred in the first half of September is thought to be ideal for daddy longlegs, one of many cranefly species in the UK, but accurate population estimates are difficult. There may also be a 20% increase in mosquito populations due to the warm, humid conditions.

All of the largest greenhouse gas-emitting countries are falling short of Paris climate pledges. Ahead of COP26, Climate Action Tracker has found that almost every country lacks sufficient plans to lower pollution. While the UK’s pledges are considered “almost sufficient”, many others are considered critically or highly insufficient and progress towards meeting and improving emissions targets has stalled this year.