Oceans and land
Somerset police dog praised for successfully tracking suspect
On the track to the moors
Initiative to improve sustainable fish labelling unveiled
Protection of grey wolves may be ended by Obama administration
RSPCA comes under fire for badger cull protests
The rain released from the parched ground that glorious earthy perfume
May's diverse wildlife finds hedgerows the perfect home
The pink-footed geese seemed restless, as if uncertain what they were doing
Study links insecticide use to invertebrate die-offs
Has the internet killed the Loch Ness monster?
Waitrose pledges to source all seafood from independently certified providers
It's the first time I've heard the chiffchaff's song this year
Edinburgh zoo's pandas help boost visitor numbers by 51%
Their bombastic majesties begin the nectar frenzy
Pandas have saved Edinburgh zoo from extinction but what for?
Insecticide spraying will be expanded to control pest caterpillar
This is the EU's best chance in a decade to reduce fish discards
Fish company investigated after salmon farm pollutes Scottish loch
Poachers kill 26 elephants at central African world heritage site
New to nature No 103: Tinkerbella nana
Sand martins dig tunnels in the dunes
World's tallest dam approved by Chinese environmental officials
Justin Bieber 'owes thousands' after leaving monkey hanging in Germany
A brief stillness before the damselfly's short life on the wing would begin
  New to nature special: the top 10 new species
On 23 May,the International Institute for Species Exploration announced the annual top 10 new species for the sixth time. A committee of taxon experts led by Dr Antonio Valdecasas of the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales in Madrid made the final selections. The list is a kind of scientific shock-and-awe campaign, shocking us at what we did not know about our own planet and leaving us in awe over the diversity, complexity, wonder and beauty of the living world. From new species of black-staining fungi that threatened the Palaeolithic cave paintings at Lascaux, France to the first old-world monkey to be discovered in Africa in 28 years, a beautiful shrub from Madagascar's disappearing littoral forests, a bioluminescent cockroach, and a violet from the high Andes that is barely 1cm tall, we are struck that the depth of Earth's living diversity is matched only by our ignorance of it.

A new species of green lacewing is a sign of things to come, being discovered through social media in a collaboration among citizen and professional scientists. A new record was set for the smallest vertebrate animal by a Lilliputian frog with an average body length of only 7.7mm. As if to remind us of the constant change on our planet and unending struggle for survival, a fossil hanging fly was described from Jurassic deposits 165m years old in China that mimicked gingko leaves so well that the two were confused. Rounding out the top 10 were a beautiful, ringed, snail-eating snake and a harp-shaped predaceous sponge. Choosing just 10 species from the 18,000 or so new ones named last year was a seemingly impossible task, but merely a dress rehearsal for living through the biodiversity crisis of the 21st century. Some scientists believe that more than half of all species could disappear in the next 100 years, which would rank as only the sixth mass extinction event in Earth history. While we cannot save every species, or even all those we set out to save, we can have a significant impact on what biodiversity looks like in the future. If picking 10 favourites was tough, imagine making decisions that affect which and how many species survive.

We announce the top 10 on or about Carl Linnaeus's birthday on 23 May as a homage to his incredible, inspiring vision of an inventory of Earth's flora and fauna. When he conceived and set out on his inventory in the middle of the 18th century, it was a dream impossibly larger than he could have imagined. The 10,000 or so species known to him are outnumbered nearly two to one by the new species we name each year, and we have yet to become serious about completing this enterprise. Technological advances, particularly in cyberinfrastructure, have quietly chiselled away at all the constraints of access to travel, colleagues, collections, literature, and data that held back Linnaeus and the generations of taxonomists who have followed. With investments in natural history museums, taxonomic research infrastructure, and inspiring and educating the next generation of species explorers we can discover and describe most of the estimated 10m-12m "higher" plant and animal species in less than 50 years. Baseline data on what species exist and where will empower us to detect, monitor, and respond to changes in biodiversity and make effective public policies. If you liked the top 10, imagine announcing the top 10 million.
Japanese firm stops selling endangered whale pet treats
Comment of the week: why rewilding 'the wild' isn't so wacky
Humaneness of badger cull to be judged on noise of dying animals
Jean-Jacques Annaud: 'People who make films are in danger every day'
An oystercatcher rises surreptitiously, suggesting that it has a nest nearby
Short-haired bumblebee queens hoped to boost UK population
Badger vaccination 'would be cheaper to implement than cull'
Atlantic puffin population is in danger, scientists warn
Jellyfish surge in Mediterranean threatens environment and tourists
Lord's Resistance Army funded by elephant poaching, report finds
Why did dinosaurs evolve feathers?
Why the celebrity status of badgers is a problem
'Badger-friendly' milk to be sold in just three UK supermarkets
Labour fails in attempt to stop badger cull with Commons vote
Orange tip butterflies are so fragile, yet survive violent rainstorms intact
A cetti's warbler bursts into violent exclamation
Tammy the anteater to greet fans in London Zoo late-night walkabouts
Cod stocks recover after years of overfishing
Are some animals more worth saving than others?
Thai police discover 14 albino lions in warehouse near Bangkok
White lion breeding at UK wildlife parks linked to 'canned hunting'
Is the rise in antibiotic use on farms a threat to humans?
Stop using birdsong apps, nature reserve tells visitors
Cheetahs 'more powerful than a motorbike'
Meet Ming, the panda who left China to boost Britain's wartime morale
Badger cull activists can 'bend the rules' during protests, say police
RSPB accused of hypocrisy for killing hundreds of birds on its reserves
Wolf walking in Cumbria: the new leaders of the pack
Marine Harvest agrees to limit pesticides and seal killings
Schmallenberg vaccine available to UK farmers this summer
Cat wars break out in New Zealand
Racing pigeon sold for record £260,000
Most UK species in decline, wildlife stocktake shows
Hedgehogs are disappearing fast gardeners to the rescue
I've often seen bees infested with mites, but rarely one so heavily laden
Government licensed secret buzzard egg destruction, documents reveal
Hedgehogs have everything they need in this garden
China reports rise in humans encountering wild Siberian tigers
New to nature special: the top 10 new species
Zoo keeper mauled by tiger 'broke safety rules'
Industry, fires and poachers shrink Sumatran tigers' last stronghold
The swift is a bird that screams of the Earth's intricate interconnectedness
Tiger that killed zoo worker 'dragged her into its enclosure'
Culls risk illegally exterminating badgers, animal expert warns
Counting the cost: fears badger cull could worsen bovine TB crisis
My manifesto for rewilding the world
Ban Ki-moon to warn UN security council of dangers of wildlife trafficking
Beaver kills man in Belarus
GM 'hybrid' fish pose threat to natural populations, scientists warn
The beaver from Belarus and other deadly animals
Ants in Germany repeatedly ring woman's doorbell
A nightly procession of pheasants, ducks, deer and badgers in the garden
Visit Statistics