Blog about animals
Selected the best cow in Germany
Fishing ban proposed near Rockall after rare scientific finds
Life and death on the riverbank
Baboon shot dead after escaping from Knowsley Safari Park
Birdwatch: Peregrine falcon
Iceland's fin whales are endangered. Stop this bloody cull
The pitfalls of elderly dog insurance
Valley where Edward Carpenter, gay rights campaigner and socialist, walked
Green groups warn government of national parks hunting backlash
Demand for ivory destabilising central Africa
Dog walker found neighbour trampled by cows, inquest hears
Cat stands for election in Mexican city
I hear some hip cat's running for mayor in Mexico. That gives me an idea
Wader chick fever grips birds and spotters alike
Philippines destroys five tonnes of elephant tusks
The Dwyfor is surely one of the loveliest of Welsh rivers
New to nature No 107: Typhochlaena costae
How to beat the midges this summer
Controversial herring gull cull gets green light
Whaling's day in court is a sea change for conservation
Australia censures Japan for 'scientific' whaling
The young red deer stags were on their hind legs boxing, just like hares
Our garden's blackbirds started their nest-building early this year
UK wildlife and nature hit hard by erratic weather
  How to beat the midges this summer
It is, more or less, summer and there are holidays to plan. Unfortunately, midges are on manoeuvres too, just waiting for an unsuspecting ankle to nibble the moment the sun goes down. Even Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia were attacked by them during their trip to Ireland last week.

Is there anything you can do, other than dress in a spacesuit? Know your enemy, be prepared and you can win. First, you need to know where your adversary hangs out. This is where Alison Blackwell comes in. She is an expert on biting insects and runs Advanced Pest Solutions, a company that acts as a sort of midge MI5, keeping Britain's shifting populations under surveillance. Blackwell is in charge of the Scottish Midge Forecast, a daily report on where the notorious Highland biting midge is planning to dine out. Advanced Pest Solutions also produces a map of expected hotspots across the whole of the UK.

Coloured red for beware are, naturally enough, the Scottish Highlands and Islands but also part of the Scottish Borders and Galloway, the Lake District and a painfully large slice of Wales from Snowdonia down to the Brecon Beacons. The Pennines, the North York Moors, Dartmoor, bits of Northern Ireland and most of the rest of Wales get a lesser orange warning.

This is not a reason to stay away from these places, but more a call to arms. Midges can detect carbon dioxide in your breath 200 metres away. They are attracted to dark clothing and love boggy ground, undergrowth, and gloomy, still conditions at the start and end of the day. So, put on your old cricket whites and head for breezy, sunlit hillsides with a packed lunch instead. And if you do get bitten, don't dance around swearing. You'll only broadcast your location by releasing more carbon dioxide.

A good splash of midge repellent will help or follow the example of Scottish crofters. Traditionally they tied bog myrtle around their ankles. Today, savvy Highlanders have a new secret weapon: Avon Skin So Soft lotion. Finally, there's an old adage: "Kill one midge and a thousand will come to its funeral." Don't listen it depends how you do it. Kill it quietly with a precision jab of the forefinger and none of the others need know.
'Wild' animals in travelling circuses benefit no one
The intoxicated world of the spotted flycatcher
Fishing quotas can be redistributed to favour smaller vessels high court
Madagascar battling worst locust plague since 1950s
A broody sparrow meets his match
Climate change is happening too quickly for species to adapt
The weird and wonderful world of the naked mole rat
Australian woman seriously injured during Spanish bull run
Spain's endangered Iberian lynx brought back from brink of extinction
One man and his sniffer dog help tackle Germany's hidden drug problem
The hotel that only takes dogs
T rex tooth found embedded in prey, restoring dinosaur's reputation
Bog cotton covers the summer Peak District moors in snow
Lifelike after death: the intricacies of a taxidermist's craft
The six-spot burnet moths complete their transformation
Research on animals in UK rises by 8% to exceed 4m procedures
Animal testing it's time to talk about it again
A pair of lithe animals are tumbling across the grass within feet of me
New to nature no 109: Anochetus hohenbergiae
England's ceremonial mayors eschew fur to support animal rights
Birdwatch: Corn bunting
Madrid declares war on plague of raccoon and parrot invaders
Snow leopards and wild yaks becoming 'fashion victims'
Horn seizure prompts rhinos warning
Threatened seabirds 'neglected' in plans for Scottish marine protected areas
Los Angeles campgrounds closed after plague-infected squirrel found
Only when I look down at the last second do I see it. I recoil instinctively
China's wine boom of little profit to giant pandas and small farmers
Let's not martyr the white-throated needletail to the anti-wind cause
Grasshopper breeder up for design award and educating western palates
Spanish national park could lose Unesco status over illegal boreholes
Dog mauls boy at primary school in Northern Ireland
Our dog walks are punctuated by the corn bunting's jingling ringtone
End in sight for painful branding of semi-wild moorland ponies
New to nature No 108: Carlia decora
Penguins support gorillas as biscuit makers respond to palm oil threat
Measuring carbon age in ivory could help combat poaching, study shows
How to survive a seagull attack
A walk by the river triggers memories of a bygone age
Whales flee from military sonar leading to mass strandings, research shows
Down among the grass stems, a ball of recently hatched orb-web spiderlings
Owen Paterson vows to rid England of bovine TB with badger culls
Gassing of badgers considered in plan to eradicate TB in cattle
Visitors to the Pamplona bull run have blood on their hands
Bats: they've never had it so good
These dew ponds have been on the Downs possibly since medieval times
Australian bushman claims to have footage of legendary night parrot
Secret badger shoots pose 'a risk to public safety'
Cheshire police seize dog believed to have killed Pomeranian
Whale watching season is back - but how close is too close?
Plan to ban wild animals in travelling circuses 'goes too far'
Morrissey donates Channel 4 payout to Peta campaign against foie gras