Monthly Archives: October 2010

Guardian: Hand-reared endangered spiders released into the wild

Conservation programme releases thousands of rare fen raft spiders into a Suffolk nature reserve in a bid to boost their numbers

an adult female raft spider carrying her bag of eggsPhotograph: Natural England

Arwa Aburawa

The Guardian, Friday 22 October 2010

Thousands of endangered spiders have been released into a Suffolk nature reserve this week as part of a conservation scheme to stem their decline in the UK.

The ecologist Helen Smith, working with the government body Natural England, has hand-reared the 3,000 baby fen raft spiders in her own kitchen. She said: “They are all lined up in individual test tubes and I’ve had to personally feed them flies since the spring – which you can imagine is very, very time consuming for that number of spiders.”

Continue reading

Guardian: Shot of ants in action claims top wildlife photography prize

Bence Máté’s silhouetted shot of ants in the Costa Rican rainforest wins 2010 Veolia Environnement wildlife photographer of the year

A marvel of ants by Bence Veolia Environment Photographer of the Year 2010The winning image: A Marvel of Ants by Bence Máté. Photograph: Bence Máté/Veolia Environnement wildlife photographer of the year 2010

Arwa Aburawa, Thursday 21 October 2010 10.58 BST

An image of leaf-cutter ants silhouetted on a leaf in the Costa Rican rainforest has won Hungarian photographer Bence Máté the 2010 Veolia Environnement wildlife photographer of the year prize, which is jointly owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

The winning shot, titled A Marvel of Ants, is a simple yet bold photo showing leaf-cutter ants at work that was selected from tens of thousands of entries from around the world. Chair of the judging panel, Mark Carwardine, said: “The photographer is clearly a master of his craft with an artist’s eye.”

Continue reading

Electronic Intifada: JNF plants trees to uproot Bedouin

Bedouin near al-Araqib village protest land confiscation by the State of Israel and the Jewish National Fund, April 2009. (Oren Ziv/ActiveStills

Israel has exploited the country’s natural environment for its own political ends for decades. Since 1948 olive trees have been uprooted, quarries mined, the most fertile lands taken for settlements and water illegally extracted.

However, in the Naqab (Hebraized as Negev) desert and the Galilee this ecological occupation takes on a very different form. Instead of uprooting trees, they are planted in huge numbers by the Jewish National Fund (JNF), a Zionist organization setup in 1901 and which displaced Palestinians during the 1948 dispossession or Nakba, and has since planted more than 24 million trees covering more than 250,000 acres of land in the country.

Continue reading

Guardian: Diversity in the Public Sector

Recent article from the Guardian.

Badge Joe Public blog

Who will encourage diversity now?

Without the Appointments Commission, diverse representation among public appointees will be less likely, says Arwa Aburawa

The government’s notion of “big society” is supposed to give communities the freedom to determine their future. But if it is not careful, the government will instead simply create a “big society” for a small minority.

Continue reading

Guardian: ‘Disenfranchised’ Disabled Customers

Here’s some of the stuff I have been working on in the Guardian..full article here.

Phone providers are ‘disenfranchising’ disabled people from society – Ofcom

disabled Disabled people get ‘shockingly inadequate’ service from mobile phone providers, according to an Ofcom survey. Photograph: Stephen St. John/Getty Images/National Geographic RF