£180,000 raised in battle to save rare species

An appeal for money to save threatened species in UK overseas territories – including St Helena’s spiky yellow woodlouse – has raised three quarters of its £240,000 target. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds urges would-be donors to support “a team effort” with conservationists, governments and local people. When the appeal was launched, […]

Lost chance to save the giant earwig: they got there too soon

If only things had been different back in the 1960s, Dave Clarke of London Zoo might now know what it was like to have a three-inch-long earwig wriggling in his hands. But they weren’t, and half a century on, the St Helena Giant Earwig looks set to be declared extinct. Not that Dave is giving […]

Oh no, earwig go…

Takeshi Yamada, a collector of strange creatures, is the proud owner of what appears to be a St Helena giant earwig – a specimen made more valuable by last week’s news that the species is likely to be officially declared extinct. But it doesn’t deceive Dr Roger Key, who visited St Helena in 2013 as […]

St Helena tops the league table for unique species

Charles Darwin glossed over it, but now St Helena has been officially recognised as Britain’s wealthiest spot on Earth when it comes to natural treasures. The island is home to a third of the endemic species that are found on British territory around the world – that is, plants and creatures that appear naturally in […]

Alien discovery sparks international beetle drive

Three stowaways have been found hitching a ride to St Helena’s airport, nearly two years before it is even due to open. Even though they had no papers on them, David Pryce of St Helena National Trust had no trouble identifying them as pachylomera femoralis – giant flattened dung beetles. Their remains were spotted in […]

Cruise writer finds a film set waiting to be discovered

Sandy Bay’s arid landscape could be the setting for a science-fiction fantasy and Diana’s Peak would need no make-up for a role in a remake of Jurassic Park, according to writer Captain Greybeard on the Cruise International website. He highlights the familiar attractions of St Helena in a stylish piece, but many might challenge his […]

Swimming with whale sharks – an island tradition

Swimming with whale sharks is nothing new on St Helena. Fishermen used to have to fend them off, to avoid taking an unplanned dip alongside them, according to video-maker Julian Beard. He used a high-tech Go Pro camera to record an encounter with five of the giant creatures off Jamestown – though only two feature […]

Bella the whale shark leads scientists into deep waters

A satellite tracker attached to one of the whale sharks gathered off St Helena in early 2014 has begun sending signals to scientists – and the movements of the creature, nicknamed Bella, can be followed on the internet. The reading for 30 January 2014 shows Bella some 60 kilometres or more to the south-east of […]

UK ‘doesn’t even know’ about island eco threats, say MPs

The UK has been accused by a Westminster committee of failing to protect endangered plants and creatures in its overseas territories. The Environmental Audit Committee said the UK was not taking proper responsibility for the 517 globally threatened species in its care. Its chairman, Joan Walley MP, said: “The UK government doesn’t even know precisely […]

Daring divers play tag with giant sharks

It takes a brave person to attach an electronic gizmo to a shark that’s as long as a bus. Two brave people, in St Helena’s case. But the presence of whale sharks off the island has got scientists excited, and so it fell to Jeremy Clingham and Anthony Thomas to try to tag a couple. […]