User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-National
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Aug 22 2014 23:47 IST RSS 2.0
 
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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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Letter: No such thing as multiple use 22.8.2014 Salt Lake Tribune
In his recent op-ed (“Why we didn’t list beardtongues as endangered plants,” Aug. 15), Michael Thabault attempts to justify the decision by his employer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to withdraw its proposal to protect two rare flowers under the Endangered Species Act and to substitute it with a voluntary conservation agreement instead. Under this proposal, the Graham’s and White River beardtongues, also known as penstemon, will be subject to the same “surface-disturbing activities” that ...
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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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Burning through Habitat: The Impacts of Coal Mining on the Future of Sage Grouse 20.8.2014 Switchboard, from NRDC
Amanda Jahshan, Wildlife Energy Conservation Fellow, Bozeman, MT: Here is a guest blog from our amazing summer intern, Hilary Yu: A 1979 U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) publication stated that “the future of the sage grouse, which occurs throughout most of the sagebrush-covered lands of the West,...
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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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Op-ed: Why we didn’t list beardtongues as endangered plants 16.8.2014 Salt Lake Tribune
Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with support from the states of Utah and Colorado, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and many others, withdrew a proposal to list Graham’s beardtongue and White River beardtongue wildflowers under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Although an ESA listing provides protections to plants that are in danger of or threatened with extinction, in some cases the best conservation occurs when multiple partners work together to protect a species on federal,...
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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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Water School in Santa Cruz: It beats traffic school 14.8.2014 San Jose Mercury News: Scott Herhold
At Water School in Santa Cruz, the drought police version of traffic school, the folks trying to work off a penalty for using too much water rarely demonstrate the seething cynicism of speeders and scofflaws.
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Iowa corn farmers adapt to weather extremes 13.8.2014 Minnesota Public Radio: Science
Climate change is creating challenges and opportunities for business. Weather patterns are making it more challenging to raise corn -- even in Iowa -- in the middle of the Corn Belt.
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2 L.A. councilmen want city to stop watering its lawns 13.8.2014 LA Times: Top News
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Iowa's Corn Farmers Learn To Adapt To Weather Extremes 13.8.2014 NPR: All Things Considered
Studies warn that climate change will threaten corn production in coming decades. Meanwhile, farmers are experimenting with new planting methods in hopes of slowing soil erosion from torrential rains.
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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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Monarch wranglers raise them from a pupa 10.8.2014 Twincities.com: Local

Some people raise dogs or cats for their cuddly companionship. Others opt for fuss-free fish. Carol Stokes and Lori Beilke of Manitowoc, Wis., choose to mother monarchs.

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Water districts offering rebates for getting rid of lawn 10.8.2014 SFGate: Business & Technology
In many parts of the Bay Area, homeowners can get rebates ranging from 50 cents to $4 per square foot for replacing their lawns with drought-tolerant landscaping. Alan Bennett of Palo Alto had wanted to replace his lawn for some time, but his city's rebate offer of $4 per square foot spurred him to action. Bennett and wife Fran got a landscape designer and contractor to replace their lawn and sprinkler system with drought-tolerant plants and drip irrigation for about $6 per square foot. People in Palo Alto "could put Brazilian mahogany in their yards and save money," joked Marty Grimes, a spokesman for the Santa Clara Valley Water District. The rulesThe rules vary, but in general, to qualify for a rebate homeowners must replace a water-intensive landscape - such as grass with automatic sprinklers or a functioning swimming pool - with a low-water landscape. In most cases, at least half of the new landscape, when mature, must be covered with drought-tolerant plants from an approved list. Most ...
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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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State craft brewers fear drought could alter business, and the beer 8.8.2014 San Jose Mercury News: Business
When Lagunitas Brewing fills its beer bottles, Northern California's Russian River provides the main ingredient. Lagunitas has become one of the fastest-growing stars of California's booming craft beer scene. But the Russian River is shrinking after three years of punishing drought.
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The Difference One Tree Can Make 8.8.2014 WRI Stories
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published at Devex . This is the fourth installment of WRI’s blog series, New Perspectives on Restoration . The series aims to share WRI’s views on restoration, dispel myths, and explore restoration opportunities throughout the world. Trees have become an iconic image of environmentalism, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should plant millions of them. While scale is important for landscape restoration, we need to reconsider quality and not just quantity. When does the presence of a tree really make a difference, and when is it neither an environmental or economical solution to a host of complex issues ? What are the implications for food security, biodiversity and landscape protection? First, we need to take a step back—why shouldn’t we count the trees? Planting hundreds or even millions of trees does not automatically translate into an increase in the overall long-term tree population. To increase population levels, survival and planting rates have to ...
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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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