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This Week in Biodiversity News – 3rd November 2021

Hana Ketley
Hana Ketley

Satellite images show the positive impact of conservation efforts for China’s coastal wetlands. An international, interdisciplinary research team led by University of Oklahoma professor Xiangming Xiao analysed more than 62,000 satellite images of coastal wetlands in China taken between 1984 to 2018. They found a substantial increase in saltmarsh area and a stable trend of tidal flat areas after 2012, driven by decreased pollution and increased conservation and restoration efforts.

Nature in Australia’s southwest is on the climate frontline. This region has been identified as a global drying hotspot as, since 1970, winter rainfall has declined up to 20%, river flows have plummeted and heatwaves spanning water and land have intensified. This is having a wide range of negative impacts on the region’s wildlife and plants, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned this will continue as emissions rise and the climate warms.

Endangered condor chicks have hatched from unfertilised eggs in a species first. Scientists have discovered two California condor chicks (Gymnogyps californianus) that were born through a form of asexual reproduction, which is extremely uncommon in birds. Only 27 individuals were recorded in 1987, all of which were captive and part of a managed breeding programme. In the decades since, many have been released back into the wild as numbers bounce back to over 500.

COP26 began in Glasgow on Sunday as the ‘last, best hope’ for meeting the 1.5°C Paris Agreement target. Over the next two weeks, delegates from over 200 countries will negotiate how to tackle the challenge of intensifying global warming. It is hoped that many of the largest carbon polluters will raise their climate targets to prevent further warming.

The pledge of $100bn annual climate aid for developing countries has been pushed back to 2023. The UK government has announced a new financing plan which talks of hopes that developed countries will deliver $100bn a year in climate finance to developing countries. However, the financing plan states that it is not likely the original 2020 target will be met, but it is confident that the target will be reached by 2023.