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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Every cloud has a silver lining – although in this case its colours are blue, grey and yellow

Astonishingly, weather fronts from America also bring us birds

Diamond Sky, a stunning new hybrid, to be shown at the annual Orchid Festival for the first time

Nature Studies: Orchids – gloriously beautiful and enormously successful, too

These flower have evolved into the biggest plant family, with more than 25,000 species

Nature Studies: Pity the poor polecat, the embodiment of evil for no particular reason

Why not insults like: “You low-down, yellow-bellied, lily-livered pine marten!”

Nature Studies: The man behind ‘British Wildlife’ is a hero to rank with David Attenborough

Now we enthusiasts for this marvellous publication worry about its future

The edge of the Cairngorms National Park is no place for a windfarm

To let this scheme go ahead will be a desecration of Scotland’s wild lands

The olinguito was found in the forests of Colombia and Ecuador

Welcome from the jungle: The amazing new species we discovered this year

The year we said hello to the olinguito, the kabomani tapir, the Cambodian tailorbird, the leaf-tailed gecko and the tinkerbella wasp

How a campaign to save sharks can help elephants

When the buying of ivory and shark fins stops, the killing can too

I’d never seen a great grey shrike before, and I couldn’t get over its beauty

Nature notes: It stood out against the muddy green of the heather, the russet of the bracken

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

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