Couple's endangered species trade

A couple who ran a pet shop turned their hand to illegal trading in the skins and bones of some of the most endangered species in the world.

Michael McCarthy: The sad decline of a little goddess

Nature Notebook: Unlike similar introductions, the little owl has been an attractive addition to Britain's avifauna

The Hurricane Party, By Klas Östergren

Far in the future, Hanck Orn, repairer and seller of machines – "obsoletes" like typewriters and telescopes – lives with, and for, his son, Toby, in a big city where Swedish is spoken. The centuries have shorn the language of its umlauts. When Hanck realises that his surname should really be Örn (Eagle), he can appreciate more clearly his own existential position. Here he is in a place where the contaminated air is death-dealing, violence makes it dangerous to be out, and living is regulated by the mysterious Clan. Is that not like being a bird-of-prey with clipped wings? Hanck knows the eagle's fabled history as the only creature who dared defy Loki, most sinister of the Norse gods, who have re-emerged and make up the Clan.

Professor Simon Thirgood: Ecologist and conservationist who worked extensively in Africa and upland Britain

Simon Thirgood, an authority on wild deer and birds of prey, was one of Scotland's best-known conservationists. He was the author, with Stephen Redpath, of a landmark report on birds of prey and red grouse which proved that hen harriers can, under some circumstances, ruin the commercial value of a grouse moor. The debate had damaged relations between moorland owners and conservationists. Thirgood took a characteristically pragmatic and positive line by pioneering a way of resolving the conflict by providing alternative food for the harriers.

Games Review: IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey

DS, PSP, PS3, Xbox 360, £29.99 – £39.99

Bird expert and son, 7, drown in loch

Father and son killed as their canoe capsizes during day trip to Loch Maree

Dead golden eagle had been poisoned

Police investigating the death of a golden eagle said today the bird had been poisoned.

Book Of A Lifetime: Les Chants de Maldoror, By the Comte de Lautréamont

I'm absolutely mad on mad people. Some of my favourite artworks and novels appear to have been spewed from the hands and minds of mad folk, from Henry Darger to Alfred Jarry to Jean-Michel Basquiat, but none has made a more prominent dent on my brain than the Comte de Lautreamont's potty page-turner, Les Chants du Maldoror. It's like an old, twisted rulebook on how to break all literary rules.

Richard Ingrams’s Week: This is the worst time for a third runway at Heathrow

There is something very odd about the great third runway debate. The Government, supported by all kinds of business and City interests, insists that Heathrow has to expand as a matter of emergency. At the same time the industry is in a state of crisis with falling numbers of passengers, staff being laid off and in some cases national carriers going bust.

Winged wonder: Young snowy owl lands in Cornwall

Birdwatchers were astonished when a rare species of owl, used to the frozen wastes of the Arctic, landed in Cornwall

Gamekeepers 'kill off' last of hen harriers

Rare bird being driven to extinction in England

Largest owls in the world threaten British birds

Several pairs of eagle owls, the largest owls in the world, are now breeding in the wild in Britain, according to a new study.

Red kite reintroduced after 200 years and killed within weeks

An endangered bird of prey reintroduced to Northern Ireland after a 200-year absence has been found shot dead, it emerged yesterday.

From A to X, By John Berger

This political epistolary novel exists in a vacuum

Where the wild things are: You don't need to go far to see animals up-close - you just need a tent

The Americans have come up with one of the ugliest words to describe holidaying at home – a "staycation". But as the credit crunch starts to bite, more of us are choosing to stay put. The upside of forgoing trips to Marbella, Majorca and Malawi is that we have beautiful countryside and superb wildlife on our doorstep, and one of the best and cheapest ways to see it is by camping. "Camping is one of the easiest ways to experience wildlife because you're outside all the time and that's where the wildlife is," says Tim McGrath, Avon Wildlife Trust's chief nature warden.

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