Ecology and Life
The puppy room easing life's pain in a stroke
Gentle wobblings of a 'foul gull' fulmar
Frigatebird returns to nest on Ascension for first time since Darwin
New to Nature No 94: Canthigaster criobe
Uggie: 'He likes to fly first class'
It's a dog's life in China: sold for £1m or stolen and sold as meat
Malibu residents hire crew to remove rotting whale carcass from beach
Yellowstone's popular alpha female wolf shot dead by hunters outside park
What I miss most in the dead time of winter is the insects
BSE testing on cattle slaughtered for food 'no longer necessary'
Malaysia seizes 1,500 elephant tusks headed for China
The vibrant river was a welcome relief after the bleak, snow-covered fields
TV Review: Miniature Britain; Weight Loss Ward; Rome
Marine conservation group says UK lacks ambition to preserve seas
UK seas to gain 31 marine conservation zones
Live animal exports going via previously unknown routes
When a dozing otter steals the show
Newly discovered slow loris species already threatened
What the male bowerbird can teach us about home furnishings
Could this really be the fearsome, legendary Girt Dog reincarnate?
Overfishing is a solvable environmental challenge for the EU
Life comes cheap for winter wrens
Ash trees consumed by something of the night
Foie gras taken off menu in House of Lords
  The puppy room easing life's pain in a stroke
Pack your bags, everyone, we're moving to Canada. From the country that brought us Anne of Green Gables, Alice Munro and Being Erica comes the news that Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia has installed a puppy room for stressed-out students. While I had to struggle through my finals with no more solace than terrible skin, paint-stripper vodka and recurring nightmares of taking exams on underground trains, Canada is providing its young people with a room full of puppies to pet to keep them calm and carrying on.
  Gentle wobblings of a 'foul gull' fulmar
The river beyond Bosherston lily-ponds sinks into sand before it reaches the waves. I scramble up rocks to where little puffball mushrooms, delicious to eat raw, still speckle the turf. Ahead of me are the twin promontories of Mowing Word and Stackpole Head, a smooth green swell sluicing against them, piling into the zawns, subsiding again with a sigh and a lacy, spreading froth.
  Frigatebird returns to nest on Ascension for first time since Darwin
One of the world's rarest seabirds has returned to remote Ascension Island in the Atlantic 150 years after its colony was wiped out by feral cats. Last week ornithologists spotted two nests containing eggs being guarded by Ascension frigatebirds, the first of the species to breed there since Charles Darwin visited the island in the early 19th century.
  New to Nature No 94: Canthigaster criobe
Pufferfish is one common name for the 120 or so fishes of the family Tetraodontidae. They are familiar marine and estuary inhabitants and are characteristically slow but agile swimmers, unless threatened, when they are capable of sudden acceleration. Pufferfish, usually found in tropical waters, exhibit a bizarre defensive behaviour, taking in a large volume of water and swelling in size, which makes them more intimidating in appearance, or difficult to eat.
  Uggie: 'He likes to fly first class'
On a queen-size mattress at the Arch hotel in central London, Uggie is curled up in front of the flatscreen TV. This Jack Russell terrier might be the most famous animal alive, having starred in January smash The Artist, stealing scenes in the silent film and winning acclaim for his role as Jean Dujardin's expressive pet. Uggie put in one of the great performances of 2012, and if he wants to watch Loose Women in bed, he may.
  It's a dog's life in China: sold for £1m or stolen and sold as meat
Yang Chun is exhausted. The 34-year-old businessman has just driven 1,550 miles back to Beijing from the Tibetan plateau, where he spent half a million pounds on two droopy-eyed, short-snouted dogs the size of small bears. Tibetan mastiffs have become a go-to luxury good for the country's moneyed elite, and Yang has been coasting on their popularity.
  Malibu residents hire crew to remove rotting whale carcass from beach
For days it stunk up a stretch of beach favoured by Hollywood stars, but on Saturday the rotting remains of a 40,000lb whale were finally returned to the deep, to the relief of Malibu's well-heeled residents. Having failed to persuade authorities to deal with the decomposing mammal, homeowners took matters into their own hand and hired a crew to tow the beast back into the waters.
  Yellowstone's popular alpha female wolf shot dead by hunters outside park
A wolf beloved by visitors and tracked by scientists at Yellowstone national park has been shot dead by hunters, reigniting debate over the targeting of the animal. The alpha female, known as 832F and described by wildlife enthusiasts as a "rock star" due to her popularity, was found dead on Thursday outside the park's boundary in Wyoming, the New York Times reported Sunday.
  What I miss most in the dead time of winter is the insects
It was like a last cigarette butt swept up after the party a bluebottle buzzing at the window. It got me thinking and, as I took my walk across the marsh, I tried to analyse what I miss most in winter. Why should I feel a sense of absence: after all, many of the old favourites are in place regardless of season. The blackbirds are on the lawn as the door closes, and when I pass the last houses the starlings are still along the pot tops to repeat their self-delighting inward song.
  BSE testing on cattle slaughtered for food 'no longer necessary'
BSE testing on carcasses of healthy cattle slaughtered for food should end, the Food Standards Agency has advised ministers. The agency board says the regime is no longer necessary as other safeguards including the removal of the most risky parts of animals from food and banning animal protein in cattle feed should be sufficient to protect consumers.
  Malaysia seizes 1,500 elephant tusks headed for China
Malaysian authorities have seized an enormous haul of 1,500 elephant tusks worth RM60m (£12m), weighing as much as all the illegally traded ivory seized globally last year and marking the country's largest ever haul. The shipment was estimated at between 20 and 24 tonnes, and discovered in two shipping containers by the customs department on Monday at busy container terminal Port Klang, near Kuala Lampur.
New to Nature No 96: Oncopodura fadriquei
Animal rights activists plan direct action against beagle imports
How the stink of a waterbuck could prevent sleeping sickness in Kenya
Tatler's dog, Alan, dies in bizarre revolving door accident
Insecticide 'unacceptable' danger to bees, report finds
Freedom Foods 'failing to crack down' on poor salmon farming standards
One in 10 Welsh livestock farmers illegally kill badgers, study suggests
Crab study puts pain on the menu
A large shape a bittern flies across the pond
Wolf killings are based on the most cynical of premises
New to nature No 97: Ferrisia uzinuri
Sad to see the tide turn against the otter
An owl swoops down on wings that seem as broad as they are long
Animals: are they good for supper or good companions?
Is human branding an animal-rights stunt too far?
Cat lovers pounce on campaign to save New Zealand's birds
Common pesticides 'can kill frogs within an hour'
There is something irresistibly cheerful about a flock of twite
Solomon Islands villagers kill 900 dolphins in conservation dispute
Mistle thrush numbers in decline
Guyana pledges to protect jaguars
Dung beetles navigate by the stars
How do you catch an escaped crocodile?
New to Nature No 98: Xerophytacolus claviverpus
Animal astronauts: the unsung heroes of space exploration
Pygmy elephants found dead in Borneo after 'poisoning'
A badger's biscuit-sized footprints in the snow follow the field edge
British moths in calamitous decline, major new study reveals
The lake is muted under the winter sun, like a faint watercolour painting
Should the RSPCA have pursued the man who ate a live goldfish?
Days of heavy rain have left the ancient woodland sodden
Alice Roberts: Rudolph and our early ancestors a love story
Saving the rhino with surveillance drones
Hunting with dogs ban unlikely to get free vote admit top Tories
The tracks in the snow revealed the secrets of these night visitors
A perfect winter's day for a walk
Meet the woman battling Japan's whaling fleet in Antarctic ocean
China captivated by tiny tuneful insects that sing for their supper
HBO sued by animal rights worker over abuse of horses on Luck
Some surprising facts about hedgehogs
Cats killed in cattery fire
Experience: my horse sank in quicksand
Alys Fowler: fat balls and mealworms
Hawks in danger of extinction in illegal hunting campaign
What the Japanese red bug teaches us about parenting
Fishermen back sanctions against Iceland over mackerel catch
What I learned the day a dying whale spared my life
Overfishing causes Pacific bluefin tuna numbers to drop 96%
Glistening with water droplets, the black-throated diver looked almost eerie
Kitten swallows 15cm-long TV aerial
As the rain blows over, a double rainbow arcs across the sky
A moorhen sent stone-skimmer splashes as it pattered across the river