A Siberian Tiger

Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger, dying out - a majestic animal on its knees

To mark International Tiger Day, The Independent and the World Wildlife Fund are working together to highlight the dangers these iconic animals face

Summer heatwave may encourage 'tourism' of rare butterflies and bees to the UK, experts say

The sighting of a yellow-legged tortoiseshell butterfly, last seen in the UK in 1953, has confirmed that we are set for an extraordinary summer

The Big Butterfly Count encourages members of the public to submit their own findings

Big Butterfly Count: Members of British public turn scientists as survey gets under way

Nation's biggest count runs from 19 July to August 10

Animal magic: red pandas are threatened in their natural habitat

Birth of twin red pandas gives hope for future of one of the rarest - and cutest - mammals

The pandas were born on Monday morning at Drusillas Park in East Sussex

Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

Plants: From Roots to Riches: Radio 4 airs epic series on plants

I am determined to prove botany is not the ‘Cinderella of science’, says Kew Gardens expert

Plastic beads are often invisible to the naked eye and can enter the food chain via fish

Microplastic waste: This massive (tiny) threat to sea life is now in every ocean

Researchers warn that only drastic action to eliminate it at source will protect marine wildlife for future generations
Gavin Maxwell in Sandaig with one of his pet otters

Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

The aristocrat wrote a best-selling memoir about the life he lived in Sandaig with his pet otters, and his eccentric devotion to them inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Scientists have found that being a smart primate is down to genes rather than upbringing

Nature rather than nurture governs intelligent behaviour in primates, scientists discover

The findings could be important for the understanding of human intelligence and cognitive abilities

Peta said sheep are deprived of food and water, sometimes overnight, in part so that they'll put up less resistance when shearers handle them roughly

US and Australian wool industries exposed in shocking undercover footage captured by animal rights groups

Peta said its videos showed abuses – including twisting the necks of sheep until they snapped – were widespread throughout the industry

Seasick: a huge bloom of algae discolours the water in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Florida, USA

Can scientists save the world's sea life from "ocean acidification"?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
The starling is one of 15 bird species whose decline in population has been linked to pesticide use in the Netherlands

Increased use of controversial pesticides linked directly to decline of bird species, scientists show

The results will increase the pressure on the UK Government to change its relaxed stance on neonicotinoids

File image of a crocodile sunbathing on a river bank in the Yala National Park in Sri Lanka

Mystery 6ft crocodile appears in middle of Greek lake – leaving local farmers terrified

Giant reptile accused of eating lambs and ducks

Bombus dahlbomii largest bumblebee in world from Chile

Bye bye big bee: In South America, the world's largest bumblebee is at risk from imported rivals

Grim echo of when European humans first arrived in the Americas and infection killed millions of the indigenous inhabitants

Let me ask you this: 'Why don't ants get killed in the microwave?'

A microwave works by passing radio waves at a frequency of 2.45 gigahertz through any food. Radio waves at this frequency have an interesting property: they are absorbed by water and fats. When absorbed, the water or fat molecules start rotating due to the alternating nature of the electric fields of the microwave. This atomic motion is directly converted into energy which is given out as heat.

The last wild beavers in the UK were in Scotland, but those were hunted to extinction in the 16th century (file picture)

First wild beavers spotted in England for 800 years could be trapped and put in zoo by Government

Defra was concerned over them carrying a destructive parasite

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