User: flenvcenter Topic: Biodiversity-National
Category: Specific Organisms :: Plants
Last updated: Aug 29 2014 07:48 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Tumamoc Hill, birthplace of restoration ecology 29.8.2014 LA Times: Commentary
Early in the morning, walkers huff up a steep road on Tumamoc Hill in Tucson, passing tall saguaro cacti. In season, beside white saguaro flowers, white-winged doves hoot like owls. Among rocks, javelinas root for food, bobcats hunt. Tumamoc has long been a gathering place. The first human...
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Community Agriculture Alliance: Soil health 28.8.2014 Steamboat Pilot
Soil health — you may have heard this latest descriptor and wondered what it is. Hopefully, by now you are aware that soil is not just dirt. It’s a complicated ecosystem that takes place beneath our feet to support the environment that we see above ground. Plants often are portrayed as the one of the most important organism in our ecosystem, but without good soil, there would be no plants. So while you may not consider soil as “pretty” as a plant, I would argue that it is more important. A healthy soil consists of billions of micro-organisms and thousands of macro-organisms that all work together to better the soil. Glomalin is a micro-organism that stores carbon in its protein and carbohydrate (glucose or sugar) subunits. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, found living on plant roots around the world, appear to be the only producers of glomalin. The fungi use carbon from the plant to grow and make glomalin. In return, the fungi's hair-like filaments, called hyphae, extend the reach of plant roots. Hyphae ...
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Tasmanian Botanists Take New Approach to Save the 'Oldest Plant' 28.8.2014 Boston Globe: Latest
Botanists in Australia are in a race against time to save what is considered to be the world's oldest living plant species - the King's Holly. Only one surviving cluster of the plant, which is more then 43,000 years old, still exists in the wild and a combination of bushfires a root rot are on the verge of wiping it out. Natalie Tapson says that botanists have been attempting save the species from extinction for the past 20 ...
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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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Alviso: 'Charismatic' burrowing owl protected by special habitat 27.8.2014 San Jose Mercury News: News
The city of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society are helping to protect the burrowing owl through a special habitat near a wastewater facility.
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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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Californians tear out lawns to cope with drought 24.8.2014 Yahoo: Top Stories

This Aug. 8, 2014 photo shows Rick Blankenship and his- lawn at his home in Long Beach, Calif. As Californians face a historic drought, more people are tearing out thirsty grass lawns to cut down on water use. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Rick Blankenship was tired of an insatiable lawn he couldn't keep green, no matter how he watered it, so he decided to tear it out.


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Californians swap out thirsty grass lawns for gardens to cope with state's historic drought 24.8.2014 Star Tribune: Nation
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Here's more information on how tearing out a lawn pencils out in drought-stricken California 24.8.2014 Star Tribune: Nation
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Californians tear out lawns to cope with drought 24.8.2014 AP Top News
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- Rick Blankenship was tired of an insatiable lawn he couldn't keep green, no matter how he watered it, so he decided to tear it out....
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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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