News Tom Hanks in the 2000 film Castaway

In a story similar to the plot of the film Castaway starring Tom Hanks, Jose Ivan was found on the atoll having floated 8,000 miles from Mexico

Endangered spaces: Can our wildest places survive tourism?

Our wildest places are overrun with tourists. So how can nature-lovers justify visiting them?

Bird symbolising true love fading from the skies

It is the emblematic bird of sexual fidelity – and just like sexual fidelity itself, it is rapidly on the wane.

Turtle rescue plan gets under way in Gulf of Mexico

An effort to save thousands of sea turtle hatchlings from being killed by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will start shortly in a desperate attempt to keep an entire generation of threatened species from vanishing.

On The Road: A close encounter in Borneo in our very own 'year of the turtle'

I've come to rest on the rocky reef slope, the terrain a mish-mash of coral rubble and stones, sand and seaweed. I've stopped, and settled – usually it's a travesty to sit on the reef but there is no coral to damage. Instead, I have taken a space beside a truly enormous green turtle.

Leading article: Welcome home

Most people will be surprised to hear anything as exotic as a colony of scorpions has been quietly flourishing for some years now in a brick wall in Kent for years, causing no harm to anyone. It is equally little known that various snapping turtles, chipmunks, wallabies and even aardvarks have, somewhat improbably, decided that life under Britain's leaden grey skies, so far from home, is not as bad as they might originally have expected.

Pet of the week: The Hermann's tortoise

Who's hiding in here? Testudo hermanni, or Hermann's tortoise, sometimes referred to as a Mediterranean tortoise. He's quite little, for a tortoise, growing to just eight inches, which is smaller than a giant African land snail, for crying out loud.

300 tortoises seized at airport

Tortoises may move slowly, but even a little movement can be a lifesaver. Customs staff at Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur International Airport noticed something stirring in two bags and discovered 301 tortoises hidden amid shredded paper.

Digital Digest: San Francisco crime, sea turtles and more

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They wait for oil. But the sea brings death instead

Kitchen sink gloves at the ready, Jackye Carroll, 62, patrolled the white-sand beach of Pass Christian yesterday looking for any sign of animal distress from the oil slick lurking over the horizon. Her vigilance soon paid off, though she was hardly pleased: a dead loggerhead turtle by the edge of the surf.

Iran fires mouse, turtle and worms into space

Iran successfully launched a rocket today carrying a mouse, turtle and worms into space for research purposes, the country's defense minister said.

Look out! Abandoned terrapins about

Discarded pet turtles are turning up in urban ponds across the country – with devastating consequences for indigenous wildlife

Dom Joly: Two turtle doves, and a labrador on the quiz team

I always like the idea of a pub quiz. What could be better than getting together in a pub with like-minded people to exercise the old grey matter over a couple of hearty ales? Well, quite a lot, if the truth be told.

Motorway rescue for tortoise in the fast lane

A tortoise with a taste for life in the fast lane was rescued from a busy motorway after dodging up to six lanes of traffic against the odds.

David Randall: Our raspberry response to all the other po-faced months

The silly season is upon us, and promises to live up to expectations of daftness

Leading article: Turtle love

The tale of Lonesome George, the 90-year old Pinta Tortoise who appears to have mated successfully for the first time, has many lessons for the rest of us.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?