Painting the countryside blue

large_blue_butterflyLarge blues were officially declared extinct in Britain thirty years ago, but the beautiful large blue butterfly has made an astonishing return.

Around 20,000 will be flitting through the countryside this summer as a result of reintroduction efforts, scientists say. It is one of the world’s most threatened species – and one of the most choosy.

Large blues can only live on closely grazed hillsides and meadows where a particular sort of red ant makes its home.

But changes in farming techniques meant this sort of habitat began to disappear until the last native large blue died out in 1979 – before making its latest comeback.

Sir David Attenborough said: ‘The restoration of the large blue butterfly to Britain is a remarkable success story, illustrating the power of ecological research to reverse
damaging environmental changes.’

Their decline used to be blamed on greedy butterfly hunters. However, studies led by Professor Colourful comeback: The large blue butterfly Jeremy Thomas from Oxford University and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology showed that the loss of grazed hillsides where the red ant lives was the cause.

War in Sri Lanka is over

sri_lankaThe government of Sri Lanka today declared an end to the 25 year old Sri Lankan civil war after the army took control of the entire island and killed the leader of the Tamil Tigers, Velupillai Prabhakaran.

According to the Sri Lankan army the chief of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),  was shot dead while trying to flee the war zone in an ambulance after the final battle in an offensive that has killed thousands of Tamil civilians since January.

Special forces troops also killed the rebels’ intelligence chief Pottu Amman, and Soosai, the head of the group’s “Sea Tiger” naval wing, said the state broadcaster, Rupavahini TV, according to Reuters.

European Union nations this morning called for an independent war crimes investigation into the killing of civilians in the country.

Earth Day celebrated by one billion

From CNN…

earthMore than one billion people celebrated  Earth Day Wednesday.

Since its creation by United States senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, Earth Day’s reach has spread around the world and is now marked in about 175 countries.

Earth Day Network, the organizers of Earth Day, are launching the “Green Generation” campaign.

The campaign will last two years and Earth Day’s organizers hope it will raise awareness on how to reverse dangerous environmental trends.

Conficker worm fails to strike on April fools day

From BBC News

The chaos predicted by some as the Conficker worm updates itself have so far failed to materialise.

There had been concerns that the worm could trigger poisoned machines to access personal files, send spam, clog networks or crash sites.

Many of the infected machines are based in Asia where there have been no reports of unusual PC behaviour.