Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.

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Kenyan game rangers with the carcass of an elephant killed by poachers

Elephant Appeal: China - the front line of a hideous slaughter

Chinese demand daily raises the price on the head of the African Elephant

A small charity needs all the help it can get in protecting Africa’s elephants

Over the last five years poaching has exploded, driven by the booming demand for ivory

The okapi is a national symbol in Congo

Nature Studies: Animals are also victims of war - and in Congo, that means the beautiful okapi

For ages, it was just a myth; soon, it may be just a memory. The okapi, the "forest giraffe" from the Congo - that gentle, fascinating beast known to Western science only since 1901 - is now threatened with extinction. War, illegal hunting and habitat destruction are going to do for it.

Nature Studies: Could we one day see pine martens in the woods of southern England?

With its sinuous, long-tailed elegance, Martes martes is ravishingly attractive

Nature Studies: Scotland rules the roost as home of summer birds

The willow warbler is leaving England behind and reappearing up North

Nature Studies: We’ve cleaned up most of our rivers – but what about the rest?

Chalk rivers in particular are being hard hit by a subtle form of pollution

Steatoda nobilis or false widow spider

False widow spiders: We're caught in a web of panic

If you believe the media, they're everywhere. The truth isn't half so terrifying

Nature Studies: My unexpected first encounter with The Prince in the forest

I was taken aback by its size and its exquisite, fresh aniseed fragrance

The holy grail of British moths is a real bolt from the blue

As a Lepidoptera lover I have longed to see it for years without success

Thousands of knot in flight are one of autumn’s great spectacles

A murmuration of these birds is among the most beautiful sights in Britain

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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities