User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-Independent
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Mar 24 2015 22:40 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Bighorn Sheep Die-Off Prompts End Of Hunting Season In Montana 24.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Laura Zuckerman March 23 (Reuters) - The die-off of bighorn sheep from pneumonia led Montana wildlife managers on Monday to take the unusual step of abruptly closing a hunting season tied to a wild herd near Yellowstone National Park whose seasonal mating rituals attract scores of wildlife watchers. The emergency closure came after state biologists estimated that pneumonia had claimed nearly 40 percent of a herd near Gardiner, Montana, whose numbers fell to 55 this month from 89 last year, state wildlife managers said on Monday. Such pneumonia outbreaks have been linked to contact between wild sheep and domestic ones that graze on public allotments and private lands across the Rocky Mountain West. More than 1 million bighorns once roamed the region but their numbers had fallen to just tens of thousands in the first decades of the 20th century because of unregulated hunting and disease, according to the Wild Sheep Foundation. Wildlife managers in Montana and other Western states have ...
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Lawsuit Launched Over EPA's Approval of a New Insecticide 24.3.2015 Truthout.com
Federal approval of a new insecticide as an alternative to neonicotinoids draws the ire of organizations concerned about impacts on bees and endangered wildlife. (Photo: Martin LaBar / Flickr )A group of environmental and food safety organizations will sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its approval of an insecticide that the groups say will harm threatened and endangered wildlife. The Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety and the Defenders of Wildlife  sent a formal notice of intent to sue  to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy this week claiming that by approving the insecticide flupyradifurone in January the agency is in violation of the Endangered Species Act. "EPA's registration of flupyradifurone - and its approval of three products containing flupyradifurone - will likely jeopardize federally-listed species and adversely modifies the critical habitat of listed species," the letter said. The EPA has 60 days to respond to the groups' claims or the matter goes to ...
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Draft Pollution Permits for Dunkirk Plant Confirm that Plan is to Keep Burning Coal 24.3.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Is It Time To Take Green Sea Turtles Off Threatened Species List? 21.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii's green sea turtles should continue to be classified as threatened because its population is small and nearly all of them nest at the same low-lying atoll, federal wildlife agencies said Friday. The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs petitioned the government in 2012 to study whether Hawaii's green sea turtles might have recovered to the point where they no longer need Endangered Species Act protections. But Patrick Opay, the endangered species branch chief of NOAA's Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office, said Hawaii has fewer than 4,000 nesting green sea turtles, and 96 percent of them nest at French Frigate Shoals in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This makes them vulnerable to outbreaks of disease, rising sea levels and other threats, Opay said. "You have all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak," he said. Green sea turtles nest on beaches and feed in the ocean, eating mostly seagrass and algae. Adult females return to the same beaches where they were born every two ...
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Celebrating #WorldWaterDay 21.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
March 22nd, World Water Day, is a day to celebrate one of the planet's most precious resources, fresh water. But that resource is being rapidly depleted. "The world is thirsty because it is hungry," reports the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Forty-seven percent of the global population could be living under severe water stress by 2050, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Agriculture is a major user of both ground and surface water for irrigation -- accounting for about 70 percent of water withdrawal worldwide. As water supplies face growing pressures from a growing population, climate change, and an already troubled food system, water security has become even more important. Unfortunately, we are way behind in our efforts to protect both the quantity and quality of the water our growing world needs today. Irrigation causes excessive water depletion from aquifers, erosion, and soil degradation, but more sustainable irrigation practices, including ...
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Wood Bison, North America's Largest Land Mammal, Will Soon Return To Alaskan Wilderness 20.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska wildlife officials are preparing to release North America's largest land mammal into its native U.S. habitat for the first time in more than a century. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on Sunday plans to begin moving wood bison from a conservation center south of Anchorage to the village of Shageluk, the staging area for the animals' release into the Innoko Flats about 350 miles southwest of Fairbanks. A hundred wood bison will be released after they're acclimated in a few weeks. "This has been an incredibly long project — 23 years in the making," biologist Cathie Harms said. "To say we're excited is an understatement." Wood bison are the larger of two subspecies of American bison but did not roam in Lower 48 states. The smaller subspecies are plains bison, which were not native to Alaska but were introduced to the state in 1928, where they have thrived. Bull wood bison weigh 2,000 pounds and stand 6-feet-tall at the shoulder. They feed on grasses, sedges and forbs ...
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GMO Science Deniers: Monsanto and the USDA 20.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Perhaps no group of science deniers has been more ridiculed than those who deny the science of evolution. What you may not know is that Monsanto and our United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are among them. That's right: for decades, Monsanto and its enablers inside the USDA have denied the central tenets of evolutionary biology, namely natural selection and adaptation. And this denial of basic science by the company and our government threatens the future viability of American agriculture. Third Grade Science Let's start with interrelated concepts of natural selection and adaptation. This is elementary school science. In fact, in Washington D.C. it is part of the basic third grade science curriculum . As we all remember from biology class, when an environment changes, trait variation in a species could allow some in that species to adapt to that new environment and survive. Others will die out. The survivors are then able to reproduce and even thrive under the new environmental conditions. For ...
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Three Key Lessons from São Paulo's Water Crisis 19.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
São Paulo faces a crisis: The Brazilian city is running out of water. Citizens are growing increasingly concerned, even drilling through their basement floors in hopes of finding groundwater. An impending ration mandate could leave residents with access to water only two days a week. Scientific projections suggest the city's water supplies could run dry by year's end. São Paulo's rapid growth has outpaced its water supply's ability to replenish, and current drought conditions further exacerbate the issue. Solving São Paulo's water crisis will require drastic short-term actions. But for other cities in which growth is out of sync with water supplies, one relatively simple strategy can go a long way toward avoiding a similar crisis: employing nature as an ally. Cities that invest in protecting their watersheds can achieve three goals: 1. Improve water quality and quantity. Protecting existing forests and restoring logged areas can often improve cities' water quality and sometimes increase the availability ...
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Ferret Camp 18.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes), Photo credit: Randy Matchett When senior U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Randy Matchett invited me to visit Ferret Camp this past July during the Rediscover the Prairie expedition , I expected summer camp. Instead of campers, I found prairie dogs. Instead of log cabins, I saw dozens of little metal cages. Instead of a lice check, the field crew was checking for plague. The study underway at the UL Bend Wilderness Area in Northeastern Montana is part of a national effort to curb the occurrence of plague in prairie dog colonies and federally-endangered Black-footed ferret populations. The disease and loss of habitat have decimated both species. During the 20-year effort to reintroduce Black-footed ferrets to the region, the population has peaked and plummeted in a saw-tooth pattern. In the better years, their population has hovered around 90. Currently, six known ferrets inhabit UL Bend. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) Black-footed ferrets ...
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Lawsuit Launched to Protect Endangered Wildlife From New, Toxic Pesticide 16.3.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal Crashes Late Night Manta Ray Party 10.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
In the warm, coastal waters of Kona, Hawaii, divers equipped with lights set out every night to watch a swarm of hungry manta rays -- one of the oceans most majestic and gentle creatures -- glide their way through dinner. The sight, while magical, has become fairly routine. But a group of seasoned dive photographers from Manta Ray Advocates Hawaii was recently treated to a completely unexpected experience when an extremely rare Hawaiian monk seal swam into the mix. "We've done tons of manta ray dives every night since 1991 and we've never ever, ever seen a monk seal on it," Ryan Leinbach, one of the photographers, told Hawaii News Now . This particular monk seal, named Waimanu, is one of just three monk seals to inhabit Hawaii's Big Island , and she's currently pregnant. There are currently fewer than 1,200 Hawaiian monk seals in the wild, making them one of the most endangered marine mammals in the world. The divers made sure to minimize interaction with the curious seal, as per National Oceanic and ...
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Lion Opens Car Door At Safari Park; Family Loses It 4.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
A family watching lions from the supposed safety of their car at a safari park in South Africa learned you should always lock your door. In a 2014 video that's now gaining attention, a curious female lion opens a passenger door with her mouth , eliciting screams and quick action. The occupants manage to re-shut the door and lock it. Then one person can be heard saying, "Oh my gosh I didn't know they could do that." You and me both, sister. But this kind of thing has happened before in South Africa. In 2009, a lion at a safari park in Johannesburg reportedly opened a door and chased after the car after it sped off. A warden had to throw stones at the animal to move it ...
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How One Filmmaker Is Using His Camera 'To Inspire Others To Fall In Love With The Wild' 4.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Nat Geo WILD's second annual " Wild To Inspire " short film competition is underway. The contest is looking for the next generation of wildlife filmmakers as documentaries like 2013's " Blackfish " and last year's " Virunga " have captivated audiences concerned with the growing perils our planet faces. The Huffington Post is featuring each of the four finalists selected, and the winner will be announced in March. All of the films showcase stunning images of the wild world around us in line with this year's theme: Destination Wild. Filmmaker Filipe DeAndrade's short, " Adapt ," features incredible cinematography demonstrating how nature has become his "salvation." "The minute I picked up a camera, that's when I found my voice," he says in his film. "If nature was my savor, then photography was my soulmate." "My life's passion is to use my camera to inspire others to fall in love with the wild, the same way that I have," DeAndrade said. Take a look at his submission above, which includes an intense ...
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United Behind World Wildlife Day 4.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Today, global citizens marked the second annual World Wildlife Day as the United Nations announced that the organized crime threat to wildlife species is on the rise. The work to combat these crimes is more important than ever as human impacts drive an unprecedented decline in our planet's wild species. We must address this global crisis from all angles. Roughly 35,000 elephants - 96 every day - are killed annually in Africa for their tusks to feed the global demand for ivory. Photo ©Shutterstock. We must stop the killing, stop the trafficking and stop the demand. That means protecting wildlife while working with communities and supporting their livelihoods. It means activating law enforcement authorities to enhance efforts to stop money laundering and corruption across the trade chain and by educating consumers to stop purchasing illegal wildlife products. On this day, we celebrate our planet's plants and animals while pledging ourselves to combat the ever-present threat of wildlife crime. These illegal ...
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Conservation Biologists Using DNA Methods To Track Elusive Or Unwanted Species 3.3.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — When salmon, salamanders or other aquatic animals poop or shed skin cells, they leave behind traces of their DNA in the water, like clues left behind at a crime scene. It's this evidence that Kit Paulsen is seeking as she wades into an urban creek east of Seattle and fills a 4-liter jug with water. In a few minutes, she has a sample that will reveal whether a tiny destructive New Zealand mudsnail is present in the salmon-bearing stream. At one-eighth of an inch, the snails are incredibly hard to find. That's why scientists are turning to environmental DNA, or eDNA, an emerging surveillance tool that detects the presence of an organism by analyzing cellular material such as urine, hair, feathers or skin cells that are left behind in the environment. Whether it's Asian carp in Chicago-area waters, salamanders in Kentucky or great crested newts in the United Kingdom, biologists are using the tool to help look for reclusive or rare imperiled species, monitor unwanted creatures or gauge ...
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Dog Who Was Homeless For 10 Years Moves Into A Warm, Loving Home 27.2.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Donations are pouring in to make sure that a dog who spent the last decade outside in a New York City park will never want for anything, ever again. Charlie -- who is also known as Ricky -- had been seen around Highbridge Park in upper Manhattan for about 10 years before a group of residents banded together to save him this month. Post by Ricky Charlie Highbridge Park Dog . Neighbors like Yuliya Avezbakiyeva and her mother, who'd been bringing Charlie food for years, thought the dog seemed more vulnerable after the pack he used to spend time with disappeared over the last half-decade. Dog walker Denise Lauffer told The Huffington Post that recently, she'd felt Charlie seemed to be having trouble with his hips, too. They and and others grew even more concerned this winter after noticing their favorite wild canine wasn't eating the food that folks in the area left out for him. With the weather growing harsher -- the average minimum temperature in New York was 9 degrees the week that Charlie was finally ...
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Oregon Gray Wolf Population Rebounding, But Remains Fragile 26.2.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND, Ore., Feb 25 (Reuters) - Oregon's once decimated gray wolf population has rebounded to at least 77 animals, and the wolves are now pairing off and breeding across a wide region, state officials with the state's Department of Fish and Wildlife said on Wednesday. Gray wolves, native to Oregon but wiped out in the state by an eradication campaign in the early 20th century, first returned there in 2008 and have now spread out to multiple parts of the Pacific Northwest state. "The wolf population continues to grow and expand, and for the first time we've had wolf reproduction in southern Oregon," said Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the state wildlife department. "And we had eight breeding pairs last year. We also documented six new pairs of wolves, and 26 pups." But as population growth triggers a review of state Endangered Species Act restrictions on harassing or killing wolves that threaten livestock, conservationists cautioned it remained too early to ...
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Friendly Fungi Could Help Barley Growers 24.2.2015 Environmental News Network
Botanists from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough discovery that could save barley farmers sleepless nights and millions of Euro each year: naturally occurring plant-friendly fungi prevent crop-ravishing diseases from spreading, and also aid plant survival in testing environmental conditions. Importantly, these amazing little organisms cause no harm to the plant roots in which they take up their abode. However, their gift of immunity against common seed diseases greatly reduces the need for farmers to spray environmentally damaging chemicals, which can affect ecosystems in a plethora of negative ways.
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Watch Adorable Baby Otters Adorably Eating Breakfast 24.2.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Breakfast has never been cuter. Just look at bits of food get stuck on the chin of one of these rescued baby otters! OK, so it's the pups who really supply the charm, but you get the message. The little critters can make anything more adorable. Post by Conservancy of Southwest Florida . This particular pair was found unresponsive in Naples, Florida, and taken to von Arx Wildlife Hospital at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida by the hospital director herself, Joanna Fitzgerald. Both are doing much better , CSF staff wrote on Facebook. If breakfast isn't the most important meal of the day, these two have certainly made it the most ...
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Lions Rescued From Circuses In Peru Get Their Teeth Fixed 21.2.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
LIMA, Peru (AP) — King was unable to chew normally because most of his teeth had been pulled by the circus owners. Simba's front claws had been removed and his fangs broken. The lions were among 21 rescued from Peruvian circuses in 2014 by members of Los Angeles-based Animal Defenders International. Activists say the lions were kept in appalling conditions. "In the circuses they often break their teeth and remove their claws," said Eva Chomba, a Peruvian veterinarian with Animal Defenders. "It's a painful process in which they do not use anesthesia and those doing it are not veterinarians." On Friday, a team of veterinarians sedated King and Simba to perform dental surgery on the big cats, which weigh more than 160 kilograms (352 pounds) and are 17 and 7 years old, respectively. U.S. veterinarian Peter Emily, founder of the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, said a previous oral surgery on King had created a small hole between his mouth and nose that had become badly infected. The ...
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