User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-Independent
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Apr 18 2015 20:38 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Species loss linked to unstable production of grassland ecosystem 17.4.2015 Environmental News Network
Losing plant species is directly linked to long-term declines in the stable productivity of grasslands, a new study has shown. The study demonstrates for the first time that for every decrease in plant biodiversity there is a proportional decrease in the stable production of plant biomass through time of grassland ecosystems. Over the long-term, factors such as rising levels of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, more frequent grazing, or drought, only affect ecosystem stability in as much as they affect biodiversity.
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250 Native Elk Die Inside Fenced-in Area at Point Reyes National Seashore 16.4.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Photographer Gets A Little Too Close To Lion, Escapes With This Stunning Picture 16.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Saeed retreated to his car, where we hope he locked the doors . Saeed took the photo in 2012, though it went viral earlier this month. Saeed shared the photo on Facebook in 2013, titling it "Angry king;" In January of this year, he shared it on 500px, calling it " The Ghost and the Darkness ." -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a ...
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This Is What Your Salad Bar Would Look Like Without Bees (And Other Pollinators) 15.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By now, you probably have your salad bar game down to a science. Arugula, beets, feta, sunflower seeds and a touch of balsamic vinaigrette? A little bit of falafel if you want to feel fancy? Well, without bees, butterflies, beetles and their pollinating brethren, tough luck. For the past two years, Whole Foods Market has temporarily removed all of the produce and dairy dependent on pollinators from one of its supermarkets to showcase the drastically different selections shoppers would have if the tiny animals disappeared. As part of this year's Share The Buzz campaign, the company removed 37 items that could become far harder to find at the salad bar if current declines in pollinator populations continue. Story continues below. "I think we need to consider pollinators as a staple in our supply chain," Errol Schweizer, Whole Foods executive global grocery coordinator, told The Huffington Post. "You take a look at the types of products that are pollinated ... I'm not sure how much of a grocery business ...
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Off-grid classroom blends into the last of Long Island’s prairie 14.4.2015 TreeHugger
The new interpretive center has earned certification from the Sustainable Sites Initiative, and features a green roof planted with native prairie grasses.
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World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Placed Under 24-Hour Armed Guard In Kenya 14.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
After the decimation of his species by poachers, Sudan the rhino finds himself in a extremely precarious position: He is the last male northern white rhinoceros on the planet . According to The Independent, the 40-year-old animal has been put under 24-hour armed guard in the Kenya game conservancy where he lives. There is hope that Sudan will one day be able to produce progeny -- and possibly save his kind from extinction. Armed rangers in Sudan guard the last male northern white rhino on earth. His species survived for 50 million years. pic.twitter.com/mIfpOA75fI — Julian Dutton (@JulianDutton1) April 11, 2015 Sudan and two female rhinos of his subspecies are cared for by rangers at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The trio are reportedly three of the last five remaining northern white rhinos in the world. Two other females live in captivity. To protect him from poachers, Sudan has been fitted with radio transmitters, reports The Independent. The rhino’s horn has also been removed as an added ...
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Little Things Californians Are Doing To Conserve During The Drought 14.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Conserving water isn’t optional anymore in drought-stricken California. Earlier this month, Gov. Jerry Brown announced the first-ever mandatory statewide water restrictions, so we asked readers to share how they’re helping cut water use by 25 percent. Here are some of the ideas. They're rethinking how they flush. When it comes to toilets -- the single greatest use of household water -- conserving water doesn’t just mean flushing less. It also means flushing differently. “From turf to toilet we use really, really clean water to do dirty work,” John McFadden told The Huffington Post. “Think about that for a moment. We piss and crap in water that we can drink .” Water we use in baths, showers, sinks and washing machines, reader Stuart Kelso wrote to HuffPost, can be recycled as “grey water” and used to flush toilets. While local regulations dictate how this water can be used, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, people who want to “go grey” can install a new system themselves . Brown’s executive order on ...
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Lowe's Commits to Decisive Action to Protect Bees and Other Pollinators 9.4.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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The ESA: Taking Noah's Ark Into a Brave New World 8.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The Endangered Species Act (ESA), created in 1973 to prevent extinction, is one of the most powerful environmental laws on Earth. The U.S. federal government designed it to function like Noah's Ark: you bring aboard species that risk extinction, a process called listing, and then use the best science to save them. In the past 42 years we've put over 2,000 species of animals and plants on the ESA ark; only 30 have succumbed to extinction. However, some experts protest defining ESA success in terms of species still on the list rather than by the number of species that have recovered. And some argue that today this powerful statute is failing us, because we live in a far more complicated world than in 1973. The bald eagle, an ESA success story. Photo by Cristina Eisenberg, Back then, we hadn't discovered that all species are connected via food web relationships called trophic cascades. We didn't know that some, called keystone species, can touch everything in a food web: that their presence can cause ...
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Endangered tortoises thrive on invasive plants 7.4.2015 Environmental News Network
Most research on the role of introduced species of plants and animals stresses their negative ecological impacts. But are all introduced species bad actors? In one fascinating case the answer might be no. The iconic giant tortoises of the Galapagos Islands are thriving on a diet heavy on non-native plants. In fact, the tortoises seem to prefer these plants to native ones.
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EPA Unlikely To Approve New Or Expanded Use Of Some Pesticides Amid Honey Bee Decline 3.4.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
(Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Thursday it was unlikely to approve new or expanded uses of certain pesticides while it evaluates the risks they may pose to honey bees. The so-called neonicotinoid pesticides are routinely used in agriculture and applied to plants and trees in gardens and parks. But their widespread use has come under scrutiny in recent years after a drop in the number of honey bees and other pollinating insects, which play key roles in food production. The decline is attributed to factors including pesticide and herbicide use, habitat loss and disease, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The EPA notice came the day after Oregon's largest city suspended the use of the pesticides on its property to protect honey bees. The unanimous vote on Wednesday by the Portland City Commission came despite protests from farmers, nursery owners and others who claimed the insecticide was crucial in combating pests that destroy crops and other plants. ...
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Era of 'Nice Little Green Grass' Is Over as Calif. Imposes Strict Water Rules 2.4.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Portland Bans Neonicotinoid Insecticides On City Lands To Protect Declining Honey Bees 2.4.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Laura Zuckerman April 1 (Reuters) - Oregon's biggest city on Wednesday banned the use of an insecticide on city lands blamed by conservationists as a factor in the decline of honey bees in recent years. Despite protests from farmers who argued the insecticide was crucial for crop production, the Portland City Commission voted unanimously to immediately suspend use of products that contain neonicotinoids. Such pesticides are widely used on crops and on plants as well as trees in gardens, parks and commercial nurseries. Portland brings to at least eight the number of U.S. municipalities, including Seattle and Spokane in neighboring Washington state, that have banned the chemicals amid what conservationists say is mounting evidence the insecticide is a culprit in the decline of bees and other pollinating insects. Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz successfully sought approval of the measure on Wednesday as a public health issue requiring emergency action that would immediately outlaw use of ...
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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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