Latest environment news

Curtain descends on AGL's 'comedy of errors'

Peter Hannam   How energy giant AGL - even with unwavering government support - met its match against determined local opposition to coal seam gas.

CSIRO scientists to learn fate after more deep cuts to climate units

Antarctic research is among areas of climate science that is expected to be hit by the CSIRO cuts.

Peter Hannam   Some of Australia's leading climate scientists will learn on Friday whether they still have a job when CSIRO managers provide details of savage cuts to their units.

Baird gas plan 'dead in the water' as AGL gives up on coal seam gas

Gas plan now at risk.

Peter Hannam   Anti-coal seam gas groups have declared the Baird government's plans to develop a gas industry in the state "dead in the water" after energy giant AGL announced it would exit the controversial sector.


AGL's belated exit from coal seam gas leaves Santos exposed in Pilliga

Next stop: Anti-CSG protesters at a Santos CSG well in the Pilliga.

Peter Hannam   The company executives with most to worry about after AGL's ditching of CSG belong to Santos.

Climate science to be gutted as CSIRO swings jobs axe

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a visit to CSIRO in December.

Peter Hannam   Fears that some of Australia's most important climate research institutions will be gutted under a Turnbull government have been realised with deep job cuts for scientists.

AGL exits NSW, Queensland coal seam gas in major win for opponents

Australian actor Michael Caton supporting an anti-AGL CSG protest.

Peter Hannam   Energy giant AGL has decided to cut its losses in the troubled coal seam gas sector, announcing that it will end all exploration and production of natural gas.

'The early bird catches the worm' gets a new twist with climate change

Zebra finches are hardy birds but a warming climate will affect even them.

Peter Hannam   Most birds lay just one egg a day, a process that is likely to be affected by a warming world, new research has found.

Police use pepper spray in Pilliga anti-CSG fight

Kerri Tonkin, one of the anti-CSG protesters who says she was pepper-sprayed by police.

Peter Hannam   Police have used pepper spray against a protester chained to machinery at a Santos coal seam gas facility in the Pilliga, a move opponents say will likely fuel community anger against the project.

Can the ‘largest cleanup in history’ save the ocean?

Boyan Slat, 21, founded the project and has worked on it for years.

Terrence McCoy   Boyan Slat was just 16 when he imagined a novel way to remove plastic from the ocean. Five years later, he may be about to pull it off.

Turnbull government plans to top up Direct Action funds before review

Power play: what happens when Direct Action runs out of money?

Peter Hannam   The Turnbull government's keystone climate policy could get additional funding before a formal review planned for the middle of 2017 even though there is no current budget beyond the $2.55 billion already allocated.

‘Like losing the thylacine’: Fire burns ancient world heritage area

Destroyed pencil pine on Tasmania's central plateau.

Adam Morton   Ancient alpine ecosystems unique to Tasmania's remote world heritage wilderness, including trees that lived for more than a millennium, have been killed by fires that scientists say are linked to climate change.

Australian emissions rising towards historical highs

Australia will likely meet its decade-end target even as national emissions rise and may continue to do so for years.

Tom Arup   Australia's national greenhouse gas emissions are set to keep rising well beyond 2020 on current trends, with the projected growth rate one of the worst in the developed world, a new analysis has found.

Heat to stay on CSIRO climate cuts amid claims PM was 'blindsided'

There are claims Malcolm Turnbull was blindsided by the news.

Peter Hannam 7:24 PM   Leading scientists will use a national conference to appeal to the Turnbull government to intervene to reverse plans by the CSIRO to eliminate most of its climate roles amid claims the Prime Minister was "blindsided" by the move.

Why is Tasmania's world heritage area burning?

A cushion plant after the fire.

A rising frequency of fires in Tasmania's wilderness threatens to destroy irreplaceable ancient ecosystems.

Urban sprawl crushing Sydney's food bowl

Tony Biffin on the family-run Biffin Dairy in Cawdor near Camden.

The share of vegetables grown in the city's food basin is heading for a crash.

Victorious anti-CSG campaigners point finger at approval process

Pulling out the stops: who oversees the regulators to ensure the community gets a look in?

Peter Hannam   AGL's decision to dump its coal seam gas projects in NSW came despite unflinching support from state agencies, members of an anti-CSG group said.

The mystery of the dying whales: 29 sperm whales wash up on beaches

Three of the eight sperm whales to have washed up on the mud flats near Dithmarschen, Germany.

Sarah Young   A sixth sperm whale has died on a British beach, the latest of nearly 30 to have become stranded in shallow waters of the North Sea over the past month.

CSIRO cuts under fire

Senior CSIRO scientist John Church: cuts will make it difficult for Australia to uphold its part of the Paris deal.

​Australia will break a commitment made at the Paris climate summit less than two months ago if CSIRO goes ahead with its plan to axe its research programs, one of the agency's leading scientists has warned.

Meerkat pups stand up for their species

Aren't I cute? Taronga Zoo is celebrating the birth of its first meerkat pups in nearly seven years.

Taronga's newest babies are only a month old, but they're already practising to be sentries, trying to stand up on their hind legs.

First tuatara reptile hatched outside New Zealand in decades

A tuatara at the Southland Museum at Invercargill, New Zealand.

The first tuatara reptile to be bred outside its native New Zealand in decades has been born in an English zoo.

Snake v goanna contest caught on camera

Snake v goanna, Urandangi-style.

Reptiles seen near flood waters in Queensland's west.

How many of the world's cruellest tourist attractions have you seen?

Tigers used for tourist photo opportunities are often “chained up, they have claws removed and sometimes they are drugged."

Some of your fondest travel memories may just be some of the cruellest tourist attractions around the world.

Victorian Environment Minister hits out at EPA over Hazelwood charges delay

The fire at the Hazelwood open-cut mine in 2014.

Victorian Environment Minister Lisa Neville has hit out at the state's pollution watchdog saying she is disappointed it is still weeks away from making a decision about whether to press charges against the owners of Hazelwood over the 2014 brown coal mine fire disaster.

CSIRO cuts: from climate denial to climate outsourcing

Stormy times for the CSIRO: On board RV Investigator .

If the Abbott era was about climate-change denial it seems that with the Turnbull zeitgeist it is all about climate-change outsourcing.

Rainfall drop, cable failure leave Tasmania scrambling for electricity

Hydro Tasmania's Gordon Dam - when Lake Gordon was full.

Peter Hannam   Tasmania's reservoirs have only enough water to supply four months' worth of the state's power supplies after an extended dry spell and the failure of the main power link to the mainland has made things worse.

Snow leopard DNA found in Chinese medicine sold in Australia

Snow Leopard DNA has been found in a traditional Chinese medicine, sold in Adelaide.

Chinese medicine purchased over the counter in Australia has been found to contain the DNA of endangered species. 

Hazelwood facing workplace safety charges for 2014 mine fire

The open cut mine fire at Hazelwood plant near Morwell.

Tom Arup   Victoria's workplace safety watchdog has laid charges against the Hazelwood Power Corporation for the 2014 coal mine fire which shrouded the town of Morwell in ash and smoke and sparked a massive firefighting effort.

Calls for Turnbull to help clear 'pile of stalled wind farms'

"This approval just adds to the 6000-megawatt pile of wind farms currently stalled:" Ric Brazzale, managing director ...

Lucy Cormack   The state government has recommended approval for what could be one of Australia's biggest wind farms, but will it eventuate or just be added to the 'pile of wind farms' around Australia currently stalled?

Brisbane weather: A (comparatively) cool reprieve on its way

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 03:  Young girl Minset Kim attempts to stay cool on a water feature at the Wynnum Wading ...

Cameron Atfield   Brisbane's sweaty masses are set for a slight reprieve leading into the weekend, with the high temperatures and sticky humidity both set to become that little more bearable.

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Tourist gored by elephant in Thailand

An elephant dubbed Rambo but also called by his nickname Golf is chained to a tree on the Thai resort island of Koh ...

A British holidaymaker has been trampled on and stabbed in the torso by an elephant on Koh Samui.

The plant that can count

The Venus flytrap, a plant that eats insects, will clamp its leaves shut only after trigger hairs are tripped two times ...

James Gorman   Not only is this plant carnivorous - it now looks like it also know how to count.

Mogo Zoo welcomes newborn giraffe

Mogo Zoo has welcomed a newborn giraffe, the fifth baby for mum Shani.

She's only days old but she's already trying to keep up with her older, and much taller siblings.

Meet Canberra's new snake catchers

Emma and Luke Dunn have started Canberra's first licenced snake and reptile removal and relocation service.

Clare Colley   Canberrans have had no one to call to relocate snakes when they weren't posing an immediate threat, until now.

Scientists test whether dogs or cats love humans more

In theory, dogs love their humans more than cats.

The eternal dispute between dog and cat lovers will probably never end, but scientists have found out which of our feline or canine friends love us more.