User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-Independent
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Jul 27 2014 21:23 IST RSS 2.0
 
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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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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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Arturo, 'World's Saddest Bear,' Won't Be Moved, Argentine Zoo Says 23.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Arturo, the only polar bear in Argentina, living in captivity at a zoo in Mendoza, 650 miles west of Buenos Aires, is pictured at his enclosure on Feb. 5, 2014. Specialists and activists are lobbying to transfer old Arturo to a zoo in Canada to spare him from the Argentine heat. MENDOZA, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's last captive polar bear will remain in the country despite a petition by more than a half million people asking that it be moved to Canada. The director of the Mendoza Zoo in western Argentina told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the 28-year-old bear is too old to safely be relocated. Animal rights advocates say the bear, named Arturo, paces nervously in his concrete enclosure and they suggest the animal suffers from depression. They have campaigned to move the bear to a zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which has welcomed the idea. Even former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has rallied to the cause. "If you love animals the way I do, please sign the petition to help the Argentinian polar ...
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The World Just Had Its Hottest June On Record 21.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com

WASHINGTON (AP) — The globe is on a hot streak, setting a heat record in June. That's after the world broke a record in May.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Monday that last month's average global temperature was 61.2 degrees, which is 1.3 degrees higher than the 20th century average. It beat 2010's old record by one-twentieth of a degree.


NOAA climate monitoring chief Derek Arndt said the record was driven by unusually hot oceans, especially the Pacific and Indian oceans.


Heat records broke on every continent but Antarctica, especially in New Zealand, northern South America, Greenland, central Africa and southern Asia.


The United States had only its 33rd hottest June.


Global temperature records go back to 1880 and this is the 352nd hotter than average month in a row.

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This invasive plant is swallowing the U.S. at the rate of 50,000 baseball fields per year 18.7.2014 TreeHugger
In the dictionary next to the definition of "invasive species", they could show a photo of kudzu.
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An Open Letter From a Farmer to Angry Vegetarians 18.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
About once a week I get an email or comment from the Animal Rights contingent. It is expected and usually I do not engage. I need to remember that when I published my first book I was a vegetarian raising a few laying hens and pet rabbits. Readers who knew me as the 25-year-old girl they read about (at the time just farm-curious and toying with the idea of homesteading) meet a very different woman on my current blog. To read that book and then pop into a blog where just seven years later that same vegetarian is raising hogs, lambs, and poultry for meat is unsettling and shocking to some readers. And so I get these notes from what I call the Angry Vegetarians. The folks who feel personally betrayed, not just for my change of diet but my change in ideas. Yesterday I was called a murderer. I've been called that many time, and in some emails, that is the nicest part of the correspondence. The following is a letter to that Angry Vegetarian and to any others who may feel the same way. But before you read it ...
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Carbon Dioxide Suffers Just Like Jews In Nazi Germany, 'Expert' Says On CNBC 16.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
"The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler," said Princeton University professor William Happer while being interviewed on "Squawk Box" on CNBC. Before host Andrew Ross Sorkin could respond in incredulity, Happer went on to say, "Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews." Happer was introduced as an expert on climate change, despite there being no proof that he is one . When ExxonMobil donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Happer's organization, the Marshall Institute, they probably didn't expect him to make such haphazard comments. These statements were in response to Sorkin's curiosity about a quote attributed to Happer where he compared climate change to the Holocaust. In the interview, Happer was visibly unhappy with Sorkin's prodding, pointedly telling him to "shut up" in response to Sorkin saying that Happer denies the existence of global climate change. Now Happer is absolutely correct when he says the world ...
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Pesticide impairs bees' ability to forage 14.7.2014 Environmental News Network
A study that involved fitting bumblebees with tiny radio frequency tags found long-term exposure to a neonicotinoid pesticide hampers bees' ability to forage for pollen. The research by Nigel Raine, a professor at the University of Guelph, and Richard Gill of Imperial College, London, shows how long-term pesticide exposure affects individual bees' day-to-day behaviour, including pollen collection and which flowers worker bees chose to visit.
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Hints Of Hope Emerge In Deadly American Bat Plague 13.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This story originally appeared on Mother Nature Network. About 6 million American bats have died from white-nose syndrome since its mysterious 2006 debut, and the disease's rapid spread still threatens the survival of some species. But if scientists are right about a few little brown bats in the U.S. Northeast, there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel. A new study from Vermont suggests up to 96 percent of little brown bats survived last winter's hibernation in Aeolus Cave, a major bat hangout that has been riddled with white-nose syndrome (WNS) since 2008. First reported by the Associated Press, this is at least the third known case of WNS seemingly losing its grip on a bat colony. Two caves in New York have shown similar hints of recovery, and biologists in Vermont also recently found the rate of that state's bat die-off may be slowing down . The Aeolus Cave researchers radio-tagged 442 little brown bats before hibernation began last fall, then installed equipment to record how many tagged ...
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Rants from the Hill: “Lawn Guilt” 10.7.2014 From the Blogs
Rationalizing the devil’s crop
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Researchers Rush To Save Hellbenders, North America's Largest Salamander 10.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
CORYDON, Ind. (AP) — With a long, slimy body and beady eyes, North America's largest salamander wouldn't top any cutest animal lists. The hellbender's alien appearance and mysterious ways have earned the big amphibian a bad reputation and unflattering nicknames ranging from snot otter to devil dog. But hellbenders, which can grow two or more feet long, are facing troubles bigger than an image problem. The aquatic creatures found only in swift-flowing, rocky rivers and streams are disappearing from large parts of the 16 states they inhabit. The rare amphibians breathe almost entirely through their skin, making them a living barometer of water quality because of their sensitivity to silt and pollution, said Rod Williams, a Purdue University associate professor of herpetology who's tracked Indiana's hellbenders for nearly a decade. "These are animals that live up to 30 years in the wild, so if you have populations declining, that alerts us that there could be a problem with the water quality," he said. The ...
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Another Texas City Recycles Wastewater For Drinking During Severe Drought 10.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — As much of Texas grapples with lingering drought, a second city in the Lone Star State has begun reusing treated wastewater in a state-approved recycling process to bolster drinking supplies. Wichita Falls, near the Oklahoma border, on Wednesday began reusing millions of gallons of water at the River Road Waste Treatment plant that's been purified to meet government drinking standards. The water is then sent by a 12-mile pipeline to the Cypress Water Treatment Plant for additional purification. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved Wichita Falls' proposal for a toilet-to-tap reuse program for up to six months. The West Texas town of Big Spring, whose spring dried up decades ago, implemented an indirect potable reuse program — where effluent flows into another body of water before being treated — earlier this year. The water is then filtered through reverse osmosis. The city of Brownwood, about 80 miles south of Abilene, has approval for a project similar to ...
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How Hot Will Summer Be In Your City In 2100? (INTERACTIVE) 10.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
PDF   For our Blistering Future Summers interactive we have projected summer high temperatures for the end of this century for 1,001 cities, and then showed which city in the U.S. — or elsewhere in the world, if we couldn’t find one here — is experiencing those temperatures today. We’ve highlighted several striking examples on the interactive, but make sure to explore and find how much hotter summers will likely be in your city. By the end of the century, assuming the current emissions trends, Boston’s average summer high temperatures will be more than 10°F hotter than they are now, making it feel as balmy as North Miami Beach is today. Summers in Helena, Mont., will warm by nearly 12°F, making it feel like Riverside, Calif. In fact, by the end of this century, summers in most of the 1,001 cities we analyzed will feel like summers now in Texas and Florida (in temperatures only, not humidity). And in Texas, most cities are going to feel like the hottest cities now in the Lone Star State, or will feel more ...
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Climate Change Means We Need To Rethink 'Normal' Weather More Frequently, UN Reports 9.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
OSLO, July 9 (Reuters) - The baseline for "normal" weather used by everyone from farmers to governments to plan ahead needs to be updated more frequently to account for the big shifts caused by global warming, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization said on Wednesday. The WMO's Commission for Climatology believes rising temperatures and more heatwaves and heavy rains mean the existing baseline, based on the climate averages of 1961-90, is out of date as a guide, the WMO said in a statement. "For water resources, agriculture and energy, the old averages no longer reflect the current realities," Omar Baddour, head of the data management applications at the WMO, told Reuters. A government trying to decide where to build river flood defenses or a hydroelectric dam based on average rainfall could be misled by the 1961-90 data, for example, while a farmer studying average temperatures might plant crops that wilt in warmer conditions, he said. Under current rules, the 1961-90 baseline is due ...
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How Your Old Cellphone Could Help Stop Illegal Logging And Poaching 8.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
This story originally appeared on Mother Nature Network. Did you know that Americans throw away 150 million cellphones every year? Well now there's a new way to put some of those old phones to use. A startup called the Rainforest Connection plans to turn old, unwanted Android phones into sophisticated listening devices that can help prevent illegal logging and poaching. After a successful pilot to test the idea, the company has turned to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to launch the project more broadly and is seeking $100,000 in funding. Here's how the idea works: Rainforest Connection will gather the phones, trick them out with special software, and hook them up to a microphone and an array of small solar panels. The modified devices will then be placed high in trees in vulnerable forests . The phones will be hidden away from the prying eyes of poachers, but they will still be able to spy on the surrounding rain forest. The microphone will pick up and identify certain sounds — chainsaws, gunshots, ...
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Feds Doubt Climate Change's Impact On Wolverines 8.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A top federal wildlife official said there's too much uncertainty about climate change to prove it threatens the snow-loving wolverine — overruling agency scientists who warned of impending habitat loss for the so-called "mountain devil." There's no doubt that the high-elevation range of wolverines is getting warmer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Noreen Walsh said. But any assumption about how that will change snowfall patterns is "speculation," Walsh said. She told her staff to prepare to withdraw a proposal to protect the animals under the Endangered Species Act. Walsh's comments were contained in a May 30 memo obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Chris Tollefson confirmed that Walsh — who heads the agency's mountain-prairie region — authored the document. Agency Director Dan Ashe will have the final say, with a decision due Aug. 4. The animals max out at 40 pounds and are tough enough to ...
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Push To Save Endangered Florida Panther Prompts New Payment Program To Increase Habitat 5.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Letitia Stein TAMPA, Fla., July 5 (Reuters) - The endangered Florida panther, running out of room to prowl as its numbers rebound, may find its best chance at survival is a program to pay distrustful ranchers to protect what remains of its habitat. The payment plan proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has never been tried before on a large scale with a wide-ranging predator, officials say. Landowners could receive $22 per acre (0.4 hectare) to maintain the cattle pastures and wooded scrub increasingly critical as panther terrain. A growing number of panthers are hemmed into a shrinking corner of southwest Florida, where their ability to roam is threatened by ever expanding subdivisions and highways. Florida panther numbers have more than tripled in recent decades to between 100 and 180, according to government estimates. But state officials say more than twice as many would be needed, in multiple populations, before the species could be downgraded on the endangered list. "It's ...
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Meet Kendall Jones, The Texan Cheerleader Whose Exotic Animal Hunts Outraged The Internet 1.7.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Don't let her diminutive size fool you: Kendall Jones, a cheerleader at Texas Tech, has faced down some of the world's fiercest animals. But the fact that she's encountered those animals -- many of which are endangered -- from behind the trigger of a gun has activists crying foul. Jones' Facebook page, which features countless photos of the 19-year-old posing with the carcasses of exotic animals, has drawn particular heat, with nearly 50,000 people signing various online petitions seeking to ban her from the social networking site, or from hunting in South Africa . (Story continues below.) Post by Kendall Jones . Jones argues her activities benefit conservation and help support the communities she's hunting in. For instance, a photo of Jones posing next to an incapacitated white rhino explains she'd helped tranquilize the animal so it could be microchipped and receive veterinary ...
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