User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-Independent
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Aug 28 2014 03:48 IST RSS 2.0
 
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20 New Species Of Coral Listed As Threatened 28.8.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is protecting 20 types of colorful coral by putting them on the list of threatened species, partly because of climate change.


Five species can be found off the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts of Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The other 15 are in the Pacific Ocean area near Guam and American Samoa.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration originally looked at listing 66 species, but Wednesday listed only 20 for various reasons. All are called threatened, not endangered. Coral reefs, which are in trouble worldwide, are important fish habitats.


The agency cited threats to coral from global warming, including oceans getting more acidic, water getting warmer and a bleaching disease. Other threats include fishing practices. Two coral species already were listed.

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Draft Of Upcoming IPCC Report Presents Stark View Of The Future As Climate Change Rages On 26.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn't in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas. The 127-page draft, obtained by The Associated Press, paints a harsh warning of what's causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment. It also describes what can be done about it. "Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the ...
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Rescued Florida Panther Cub 'Yuma' Gets Permanent New Home 22.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Seven months ago state biologists found an abandoned, newborn Florida panther in critical condition in the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge near Naples. The tiny cub was cold and barely alive -- but don't worry, this story has a happy ending. The baby panther, closely watched by veterinarians and biologists, has recovered and is now moved in to his permanent enclosure. Named Yuma, an American Indian word for "son of the chief," the young panther explored his new, refurbished home this week at the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park in Florida. The new enclosure comes complete with pool, climbing logs and bobcat neighbors to play with. Yuma happily chews a stick in his new enclosure Florida panthers are extremely endangered. Only 100 to 180 exist in south Florida , and they are the only known breeding population of an animal that once roamed throughout the southeastern United States. It was impossible to return Yuma to the wild because he was abandoned at such a young age and during ...
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Urban Heat Islands Cooking U.S. Cities, Report Shows 21.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This story originally appeared on Climate Central. Cities are almost always hotter than the surrounding rural area but global warming takes that heat and makes it worse. In the future, this combination of urbanization and climate change could raise urban temperatures to levels that threaten human health, strain energy resources, and compromise economic productivity. Summers in the U.S. have been warming since 1970. But on average across the country cities are even hotter, and have been getting hotter faster than adjacent rural areas. ( report continues below interactive) With more than 80 percent of Americans living in cities, these urban heat islands — combined with rising temperatures caused by increasing heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions — can have serious health effects for hundreds of millions of people during the hottest months of the year. Heat is the No.1 weather-related killer in the U.S., and the hottest days, particularly days over 90°F, are associated with dangerous ozone pollution ...
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Dirty Snake 18.8.2014 Current Issue
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Pangolin, Star Tortoise Vanishing As Indian Poachers Target Lesser-Known Animals 18.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
NEW DELHI (AP) — Wildlife poachers, hindered by India's efforts to protect majestic endangered animals including tigers and rhinos, have begun to think smaller. And activists say scores of the country's lesser-known species are vanishing from the wild as a result. The Indian pangolin — a scaly critter whose defense mechanism of rolling up into a ball is no help against humans — and the star tortoise — a popular pet that maxes out at a foot in length — are just two of the species that are being killed or smuggled in increasing numbers while conservation efforts focus on such iconic animals such as tigers and elephants. "The problem is that we were turning a blind eye to all lesser-known species and suddenly this very lucrative trade has been allowed to explode," said Belinda Wright, director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India, an advocacy group. Wildlife specialists say the growing affluence of China, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries has helped drive the demand for exotic animals. Some ...
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To Save Endangered Tortoises, Wildlife Officials Take Unusual Step To Promote Sterilization 17.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The federal government is taking the unusual step of beginning to sterilize an endangered species it is trying to save. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials say they have to curb the backyard breeding of desert tortoises because the growing population of unwanted pet tortoises diverts resources from efforts to preserve the species in the wild. Mike Senn, assistant field supervisor for the Fish &Wildlife Service in Nevada, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it can be "a really difficult issue" to explain to people. He said simply breeding more tortoises won't save the species if not enough is done to improve and protect natural habitat and address threats in the wild. Captive tortoises threaten native populations because they can carry diseases with them when they escape or are released illegally in the desert. The agency will hold a two-day clinic in Las Vegas later this month to teach veterinarians from Nevada, Arizona, California and Utah new sterilization techniques from the ...
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I Am a Botanist (And No, I Don't Grow Marijuana) 15.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
When I tell people that I make my living in botany, they often guess at what that means. Some have no sense for the word. Others imagine me on slow strolls through meadows, sniffing wildflowers and communing with songbirds. I also often get asked if being a botanist means that I grow marijuana. I have been asked this by folks of all ages and statuses, from "Joe Publics" on adjacent barstools to potential donors being courted at fundraising events. Once, on an airplane, I was drawn into a long conversation with a military veteran about the efficiency of hydroponics. Another time I was invited to jump in on a land deal so that we (my potential business partner and I) could start building supply in anticipation of "when the state finally makes it legal." This sort of thing has happened enough that not only am I unsurprised when it occurs but I have begun to anticipate that it will. I don't find these questions offensive per se, and it's hard not to smile when such inquiries arise, but my smile often belies ...
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Lady Bird Johnson's Letters Affirm Passion for Nature 14.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Living in Austin, Texas, less than two miles -- as the crow flies -- from the beautiful Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and having frequently jogged in my younger and fitter days on the scenic Town Lake Hike and Bike Trail, I felt I knew all about Lady Bird Johnson's love of the outdoors and about her passion for protecting and beautifying the landscape nationwide and especially for preserving and spreading native wildflowers and plants in her beloved Texas. I knew that my friend Jack Robinson, a prominent and historic figure in the Texas parks and recreation scene, had worked closely with Lady Bird Johnson on two projects: The beautification of the Austin Town Lake (now the Lady Bird Lake) Hike and Bike Trail and the founding of the Wildflower Center (previously the National Wildflower Research Center.) But it wasn't until my friend Jack passed away a few months ago, just as the bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and other wildflowers that he also loved so much were beginning to fade, that I learned ...
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'Bad News' As Cod Nearly Disappear From Key Fishery In Northeast U.S. 10.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The level of codfish spawning in one of the most critical fisheries in the Northeast U.S. is at an all-time low, putting more pressure on a fishery already dealing with declining catch and dramatic quota cuts. National Marine Fisheries Service scientists say the amount of cod spawning in the Gulf of Maine is estimated to be 3 to 4 percent of its target level. That number declined from 13 to 18 percent three years ago. Low levels of reproduction in the fishery are holding repopulation back, scientists say. They are investigating what might be driving down the numbers of cod but believe temperature change — which they have also linked to a declining Northern shrimp stock and northern migration of herring — may be one factor. The Gulf of Maine, along with Georges Bank, is one of two key areas where East Coast fishermen search for cod, a vital commercial fish in New England that appears in supermarkets and roadside fish-and-chip shops. An updated assessment of the Gulf of Maine cod ...
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Aboriginal hunting practice helps kangaroos 8.8.2014 TreeHugger
Studies show that humans and kangaroos may have co-evolved to be mutually beneficial to one another
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87 Cities, 4 Scenarios and 1 Really Hot Future 8.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This story originally appeared on Climate Central. Global temperatures are rising, but nothing brings global warming home to people like a really hot summer day — those few days a year when it actually feels like the planet is boiling over. But what if those rare sweltering days, over 90° or 100°F, were not so rare and began to dominate summers? That could happen if carbon emissions continue unabated. In a new analysis, we estimate how many more “extremely hot” days different U.S. cities could feel by the middle and end of this century. Exactly how many will depend on how much higher heat-trapping gas emissions get, and it will also vary from region to region across the country. The term extremely hot means different things in different places. In order to provide a benchmark that translated across cities, the threshold was identified as the temperature exceeded at least one time per year, on average, between 1986 and 2005, using 90°F, 100°F, and 110°F as options. For example, in Phoenix, it was 110°F; ...
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Teens' Bagpipes Seized At U.S. Border Crossing For Ivory Pieces 5.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The skirl of their pipes had barely receded before two New Hampshire teenagers learned a hard lesson in cross-border musical diplomacy: If your bagpipes have ivory in them, leave them at home before traveling to Canada or risk having them seized at the border. Campbell Webster, of Concord, and his friend Eryk Bean, of Londonderry, were returning from Canada on Sunday after a bagpipe competition that served as a tuneup for the world championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The 17-year-olds, fresh off winning several top prizes in Canada, got to a small border crossing in Vermont when they were told they'd have to relinquish their pipes because they contain ivory. The U.S. prohibits importing ivory taken after 1976. Even though the boys had certificates showing their ivory is older — Campbell's pipes date to 1936 — U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized the pipes in Highgate Springs, Vermont. Well, not all of them: The boys took every other part possibly and left the ivory with the ...
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Flights Over New Jersey Check For Pollution At Shore As Officials Hope For Strong Tourism Season 3.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
OVER THE JERSEY SHORE (AP) — The image on a satellite photo snapped by NASA showed a big green arrow off the New Jersey coastline, starting in New York Harbor and spanning almost to Atlantic City. Some blogs were already starting to write about it, calling it a large bloom of an algae species known as phytoplankton. Some just called it a giant blob. Bruce Friedman, who heads the Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring and Standards for the state Department of Environmental Protection, wanted to see for himself. Two days after NASA published the image, Friedman and Dave Dorworth, a veteran pilot with the State Forest Fire Service, took to the air to look for it. This year, in the second summer after Superstorm Sandy, when tourism at the shore needs to bounce back strongly, the DEP flights are more important than ever: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stopped its flights this year to save money, leaving the DEP planes and choppers as the only game in town. The men or their co-workers fly every day except ...
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Hawaiian Monk Seal Dies After Apparent Dog Attack 2.8.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Authorities have launched an investigation after a Hawaiian monk seal pup was found dead and four others injured, including the deceased pup's mother, from an apparent dog attack on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The group of injured seals were found early Tuesday morning on a fenced portion of a remote beach on the island's north shore, Rachel Sprague, the Hawaiian monk seal recovery coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told The Huffington Post. The smallest of the group, a 50-pound pup known as "PK5" which was the fifth monk seal born this year, was found dead. Its mother, known as "K28," had non-life-threatening bite marks and puncture wounds on its muzzle, "presumably defending her pups," Prague said. "There were paw prints and signs of a pretty big scuffle." Story continues below... PK5 and its mother (known as K28) together when the pup was still alive. Close up of K28's non-life-threatening injuries. Hawaiian monk seals are considered critically endangered ...
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Bombs for Butterflies 27.7.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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Earth Is In The Early Days Of A New Mass-Extinction Event, Researchers Warn 26.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Remember the mass-extinction event that wiped out the dinosaurs? Earth is apparently on the verge of another great biological extinction, and humans are solely to blame. Scientists have previously classified five large-scale losses of animal life as mass-extinction events , all of which occurred millions of years ago. In recent years, the planet has seen the loss of hundreds of species of animals , and according to a new analysis from an international team, the planet may be in the early days of its sixth mass-extinction event . As part of the study, researchers analyzed previous studies and scientific data to draw their conclusion that human activities and population surges worldwide -- not a catastrophic event, like an asteroid impact, for example -- are responsible for the drastic decline of animal life. Lead author Rodolfo Dirzo , a biology professor at Stanford University, cites actions like overexploitation of resources and habitat destruction as examples of harmful human activities. Since 1500, ...
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Moose Drool Detoxifies Fungus 25.7.2014 Wildlife and Habitat Conservation News - ENN
Saliva contains important substances helps us digest food. It also plays a part in keeping our mouths clean and healthy. Another newly discovered use? Making toxic plants less toxic. Not for us of course, but according to new research, moose and reindeer saliva can help can slow the growth of a toxic grass fungus, and subsequently make it less toxic for them, allowing the animals to graze on the grass without negative effects.
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Of packrat poop, creosote bush and juniper-fed lamb 23.7.2014 From the Blogs
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This Is Where Confiscated Wildlife Items Go To Die Another Death 23.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Don't be fooled by the building's unremarkable exterior; inside this staid warehouse northeast of Denver resides one of the world's largest concentrations of items from the illegal wildlife trade. The 22,000-square-foot warehouse, officially called the " National Wildlife Property Repository ," belongs to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and contains upward of a million items, ranging from ivory and furs to stuffed tiger fetuses. In a video published Tuesday, The Atlantic offered a revealing look inside the repository, in addition to the National Eagle Repository next door. Some of the items are destroyed after arriving at the repository -- including nearly 6 tons of ivory which were crushed at a high-profile event last year -- while other artifacts live on in conservation agencies, to be used as instructional tools in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. " People will buy just about anything ," says Doni Sprague, a wildlife repository specialist, reflecting on the devastating range of artifacts ...
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