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POLITICAL ART GALLERY



IMPORTANT TOPICS

1. U.S. NEWS MEDIA CAN LEGALLY LIE TO YOU
There is no law preventing the U.S. news media from intentionally lying to the public. Whistle blowers and honest reporters are fired for telling the truth.

2. FLUORIDE IS A TOXIN/POISON
Read the Poison Warning label on your toothpaste, then call the 800# and ask;
"Why do you put poison in my toothpaste?"

3. NEW FLU VACCINE IS LOADED WITH MERCURY
by Dr. Joseph Mercola

4. PEDOPHILES IN HIGH PLACES
Also: Conspiracy of Silence Video

5. ASPARTAME IS HARMFUL
Equal, Nutra-Sweet and over 6000 food and beverage products contain Aspartame

6. On September 10, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference to disclose that over $2,000,000,000,000 (2 Trillion) in Pentagon funds could not be accounted for.
Such a disclosure normally would have sparked a huge scandal. However, the commencement of the [9/11] attack on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon the following morning would assure that the story remained buried.


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POLITICAL ART GALLERY









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Posted: Jan 6 2005, 01:22 PM
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2 des
Say Goodbye To Rudolph, Other Reindeer If Global Warming Continues - Europe
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/...41201090232.htm
With increasing global warming, Rudolph and the rest of Santa Claus' reindeer will disappear from large portions of their current range and be under severe environmental stress by the end of the century
That finding comes from a new study that examined the archaeological record in southwestern France, where reindeer became locally extinct during two earlier episodes of warming roughly 10,000 and 130,000 years ago.
"There will be a direct impact of increases in summer temperature on reindeer well-being if global warming is allowed to proceed," said University of Washington archaeologist Donald Grayson, lead author of the study. "The number of southern reindeer will diminish dramatically as their range will move far to the north, and the number of reindeer in the north also will fall greatly."
-snip-
"As summer temperatures went up, the number of reindeer went down," said Grayson. "The warmer the summer, the fewer the reindeer. And when the Pleistocene Epoch ended about 10,000 years ago and summer temperatures soared, reindeer disappeared. Sometime between 11,000 and 10,000 years ago, reindeer became extinct from higher elevations in southwestern France."

5 des
Dead in the water: how we are killing the sea – North Sea
http://www.guardian.co.uk/conservation/sto...1366886,00.html
The most comprehensive report ever published into overfishing will this week reveal the full extent of the damage done by trawling
It was in the murky waters of the North Sea that scientists first realised something had gone terribly wrong with our marine environment. In one of the most inhospitable sites under British sovereignty, they discovered magnificent coral blooms three times the height of a man and of a type previously unknown to science.
What followed was even more startling. Acoustic surveys revealed a series of mysterious wounds across the extraordinary formations. Eventually a culprit was identified: they had been gouged by deep-sea fishing equipment. Even here, beneath hundreds of feet of water, man had made his mark. Having emptied Britain's shallow coastal strip of its once bountiful fish stocks, fishermen are now wrecking our last virgin territory: the sea bed.
Our seas have been stripped of fish and now the seabed is reduced to a featureless desert of sand and mud by massive dredgers hunting a dwindling prey.
This week the government will be offered its starkest warning yet of the consequences of permitting the continued farming of the sea to go unchecked. An 18-month investigation by the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution will demand that 30 per cent of the waters around Britain be designated 'marine national parks'. It is a desperate plea from a leading authority, a final warning to an island with a proud seafaring tradition that it risks being surrounded by a lifeless sea.
-snip-
A separate report, published tomorrow, will warn that the destruction of precious reefs is not just a domestic phenomenon. A definitive analysis by 240 international experts of the planet's coral reefs will reveal that two-thirds are now severely damaged, a fifth so profoundly that they are unlikely to recover. Some have been bleached to death as sea temperatures warm in the wake of the global warming, Others have suffered the same fate as the Darwin Mounds.
But few places in the world can match the North Sea for the intensity of its fishing. Last week scientists at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory deduced that 90 per cent of the North Sea's floor is trawled at least once a year, in some places up to six times. Dr Jean-Luc Solandt, biodiversity policy officer of the Marine Conservation Society, which gave evidence to Blundell's investigation, warns that Britain has reached a point where the 'complete cessation of the population' of certain species in some areas had arrived.
What will happen in the next fear decades is uncertain, however. 'It's difficult to conceive how the effects of this fishing will take place,' said Solandt. 'Evidence suggests there is a real problem, but we are not exactly sure what is going on, or what is going on at the bottom of the sea. Neither do we know precisely how fish are being caught and then thrown overboard.'
-snip-
To sustain a population of North Sea cod, it recommended that there should be no fewer than 150,000 tonnes of the fish; the current total is 46,000 tonnes. The WWF believes cod could disappear within 15 years.

5 des
Locust Plague Spreads to Europe
http://english.epochtimes.com/news/4-12-5/24738.html
A plague of locusts has hit the Algarve region on Portugal’s southern coast, a top European tourist spot. The clouds of hungry insects have already devastated millions of acres of crops in north and west Africa and are now rapidly invading Europe. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is predicting that this could be the worst locust swarm in 15 years.
-snip-
Luckily, the locust plague may not cause severe damage to Portugal due to favorable weather conditions—bad weather. Experts say most of the locusts will not survive the recent cold temperatures and heavy rain that have hit the region, although some may hibernate and return in the spring.

9 des
Experts monitor crazy ant impact - Africa
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1261098.htm
An infestation of a rare African ant is being monitored on an island in the Clarence River in northern NSW while it is assessed for its scientific threats.
Yellow crazy ants first appeared on the wharf on Goodwood Island about six months ago.Since then, baiting of the ant has been under way and that has made a significant dent on the ant population.The ants are not harmful to humans but are a potential environmental hazard - on Christmas Island the ants were directly responsible for a 30 per cent drop in crab numbers.
However, the New South Wales Scientific Committee is yet to declare the insects a pest. It is taking submissions on the impact of the insect during the next few weeks and will make a final ruling on the status of the yellow crazy ant in January.

10 des
Does Extinction Loom for Australia's Wild Dingoes?
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...ia_dingoes.html
Like North American gray wolves, dingoes maintain strong social structures. Genetic evidence suggests Australian dingoes descended from a small group of ancient dogs—perhaps a single pregnant female—brought to Australia from Indonesia about 5,000 years ago.
Alan Wilton, a senior lecturer in genetics at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said pure dingoes are in decline mainly because they breed freely with feral European domestic dogs, creating fertile crossbreeds. "The process is continual and insidious," Wilton said. "It is like dropping some ink into a bucket of clean water: It will spread until all you have is murky water."
Wilton and his colleagues recently analyzed the DNA of hundreds of wild dingoes across Australia and found that nearly 80 percent of them are crossbreeds. Wild pure dingoes may be extinct in 50 years, the geneticist said. The exception? Isolated populations such as that found on Fraser Island, off the east coast of Australia.
Barry Oakman, president of the Australian Dingo Conservation Association, near Canberra, keeps wild dingoes in captivity to ensure the breed's survival. He said dingoes are treated as an agricultural pest and persecuted by the livestock industry, which threatens the species. (See sidebar.)
"Farmers have no idea in regards to the overall niche the dingo has in our ecology," Oakman said.
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12 des
Why the birds and bees think spring is here (and also the plants) -UK
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/environme...sp?story=592330
Our flora and fauna are defying the calendar like never before. David Randall reports on unseasonal developments across the UK. You can tell it's December. The bumblebees are dancing on the flowers, the frog spawn is filling the ponds, and the cherry blossom hangs heavy on the branch. This, so far, is the winter that never was.
All around Britain, another season of extraordinary mildness is producing phenomena that seem positively unnatural. On a roundabout in Oxfordshire blooms a carpet of daisies, from the Home Counties come reports of bumblebees raising a new generation, from a Kent churchyard there is news of lesser celandine in flower, normally a February bloom, and, in the East Midlands, newts have been seen returning to ponds.
These reports are from the UK Phenology Network, whose 12,000 recorders monitor such "events". As long as two weeks ago, the network's volunteers were reporting the first primrose of "spring", in Crawley, West Sussex; rooks nesting; snowdrops blooming in Hampshire before November was out; and frog spawn in Pembrokeshire, Britain's earliest ever sighting. Global warming means our flora and fauna are defying the calendar as never before.
The far-from-bleak season is evident in gardens, too. Daffodils are flowering in Cumbria; rose bushes in Hampshire still have full blooms; summer bedding like fuschia and pelargoniums are still going; and in London, shrubs such as hebe remain in flower, perennials such as nepeta show full flower spikes, and January bloomers such as winter jasmine have been smothered in canary yellow for weeks.
In Scotland, David Mitchell, curator of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, says: "I'm seeing trees that have only just dropped their leaves, I'm seeing shrubs coming into bud, and we haven't had a frost worth the name." Mr Mitchell attributes these strange signs to abnormally high soil temperatures, due to high atmospheric humidity and a lack of frost.
BUMBLE BEE
Bumblebees have been spotted in the Home Counties over-wintering and feeding the young of an autumn nest
WAXWING
Scandinavian waxwings have arrived in force, but, contrary to folklore, this does not herald a hard winter
DAFFODILS
Daffodils are well advanced all over the country, and, in one Cumbrian garden, have even burst into bloom
NEWT
Newts, which usually spend winter on land, have been seen returning to some ponds in the East Midlands
PRIMROSE
The first primrose sighting of 'spring' was reported two weeks ago by observers in West Sussex
FROGSPAWN
Nature-watchers in Pembrokeshire this month recorded Britain's earliest ever sighting of frog spawn

14 des
Iceberg threat to penguin chicks – Antarctic
http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/1...s.ap/index.html
Tens of thousands of Antarctic penguin chicks could starve to death in the next few weeks as a huge iceberg blocks access to coastal feeding grounds, a New Zealand official has said. A 3,000 square-kilometer (1,200 square-mile) iceberg, known as B15A, could also block the sea route used to supply three science stations during the Southern Hemisphere summer, said Lou Sanson, chief executive of the government scientific agency Antarctica New Zealand. The iceberg has blocked sea ice flows from McMurdo Sound as it moves at a speed of 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) a day. U.S. researchers have estimated that B15A contains enough fresh water to supply Egypt’s Nile River complex for 80 years, Sanson said.
Three thousand breeding pairs of Adele penguins on Antarctic’s Cape Royds face a 180-kilometer (112-mile) round trip to bring food to their chicks, because their access to ocean feeding grounds has been cut by the ice buildup.“So by the time a penguin comes in from the ice edge on a return 180-kilometer (112-mile) walk they’ve used all the food” they gathered when they reach their nests, he said. “Penguin researchers are predicting that the annual hatching is pretty certain to fail,” Sanson said, meaning most chicks will die.
Scientists also fear that only about 10 percent of the 50,000 breeding pairs of Adele penguins at nearby Cape Bird will rear a chick this season, Sanson added.

14 des
Bugs ravage North American forests
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6788
Insects whose populations are booming because of local warming - possibly due to global warming - appear to be devouring huge swathes of forest in western Canada and Alaska. Forests in Europe and Siberia may also be under threat. This could lead to a vicious cycle where reduced forest cover leads to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, producing further climate change.
Chris Potter, an ecologist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, US, and colleagues analysed satellite images collected by NASA's Global Disturbances project to determine how the cover of tree canopies and other vegetation has changed over time.
-snip-
Until now, the devastation has gone unnoticed because the region is largely uninhabited and is not managed or harvested for timber. Also, no large-scale natural disaster has struck and drawn attention to the region.
After studying forestry reports for the area and conferring with local experts, Potter's team concluded that the massive die-off was the result of two small creatures - the mountain pine beetle and the spruce budworm - killing leaves on a mammoth scale.
Both insects are common in these types of forests, but normally the harsh winters keep a check on their populations. However, during this 19-year period the region experienced some of the mildest winters on record, and Potter believes that this spared unprecedented numbers of bugs from freezing and allowed them to thrive in huge numbers in the spring.
"Conventional wisdom is that bugs are part of the system and may be good for the forest," says Potter. "But this looks like something new happening on a huge scale. It's a sudden shift into a new kind of forest condition.”
Other forests that rely on winter chill to kill off pests may also be at risk if the trend of warmer winters continues. Potter and his team are keeping an eye on similar forests in northern Europe, Scandinavia and Siberia as they start to analyse satellite data from 2000 onwards.

14 des
Pest Experts Want to Slow Spread of Beetle US
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...illing_beetle_1
A tree-killing beetle that wiped out millions of ash trees in Michigan has grabbed a foothold in Toledo, and pest experts now are focused on stopping it from spreading through the Midwest. New infestations discovered in the last few months indicate that the beetle called the emerald ash borer is moving south into Ohio.
Researchers are worried that the beetle — no larger than a paperclip — could potentially destroy billions of ash trees that line city streets or are harvested to make cabinets and baseball bats.
A national panel of scientists will meet this week with recommendations for government agencies on how to keep the beetle from spreading any farther.
-snip-
Scientists suspect the insect arrived in cargo ships from Asia about a decade ago.

14 des
Fish Levels in Lake Michigan a Concern - US
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=591
On the surface, Lake Michigan is one of the world's biggest and wildest bodies of freshwater and a popular fishing destination.
But under the surface, the lake has been engineered by humans into a system focused on producing maximum numbers of sport fish, most of which aren't native to its waters. Each year, the state Department of Natural Resources plants about 13 million exotic salmon and trout, according to a report in Sunday editions of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The deposits have created what some call a sportsman's paradise, but one that is imperiled.
-snip-
But there also is mounting evidence the lake could be on the brink of "ecosystem shock," a food chain collapse caused by the nonstop invasion of foreign species. "If something is happening to salmon, it has probably gone way past the point that you ever wanted it to get to," says Steve Pothoven, a University of Michigan biologist.
The Great Lakes Environmental Restoration Act, a bill pending in the U.S. Senate, proposes $6 billion for the lakes in the next 10 years. A similar House bill seeks $4 billion over five years. They include a directive saying states should coordinate with the federal government to re-establish native species in the Great Lakes.
But even if scientists could figure out how to eliminate the 180 or more exotic and invasive species in the Great Lakes or how to bring back the species that have disappeared, many of the sportsmen and tourist-dependent businesses now hooked on recreational fishing probably would not want them to.
-snip
But the system collapsed in the 1950s when overfishing, habitat degradation and the arrival of sea lamprey caused lake trout to disappear. With lake trout gone and no predator to replace it atop the food chain, alewives flourished. By the mid-1960s, up to 90 percent of the lake's fish "biomass" was alewife. The bacon-strip-sized fish periodically died off by the billions, though, likely because of temperature swings the ocean species was not built to handle. The states also annually plant nonnative brown and steelhead trout, and the federal government stocks about 2 million native lake trout -- a species that evolved in the lake over thousands of years but disappeared in the 1950s.

14 des
Study Says Dolphins Are Too Thin – Israel Mediterranean
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=589
One-third of the bottle-nose dolphins swimming off Israel's Mediterranean coast are too thin, apparently due to a lack of food from overfishing, researcher said Tuesday. A five-year study followed 74 dolphins, who were identified by their dorsal fins, comparable to fingerprints in humans. Photographs showed that ribs were visible in one-third of the dolphins, said Aviad Scheinin, a doctoral student who lead the study at the University of Haifa.
Many of the 100 to 200 dolphins living off Israel's shores trail fishing boats, eating the catch that is thrown back into the water. This type of feeding demonstrates the competition between the fishermen and the dolphins, Sheinin said. Israeli fisherman have also reported a drop in the number of fish in recent years.
The dolphins could also be suffering some sort of illness or have a parasite that is causing the problem, Sheinin said. Researchers did not find exceptional levels of pollution, said Dan Kerem, a senior researcher at the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at Haifa University which also participated in the study.

14 des
Botulism outbreak downs dozens of birds – Africa
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=14&c...60703872C496267
Botulism has broken out among the wild birds at Century City's Blouvlei wetland, home to several rare waterfowl species, where about 130 birds have died. The contaminated bird carcasses are being burnt on site in a makeshift incinerator to prevent the disease, which cannot infect humans, from spreading.
The botulism bacterium blocks the bird's nerve impulses and paralysis sets in. Infected birds cannot fly or walk and ultimately it affects their respiratory muscles and they suffocate.
Weyers said: "On the first day we found 80 dead birds, the second day 25 and the third day it was down to four. On Friday there were none and this morning there were three from over the weekend, so I think the outbreak has been contained.

15 des
'Magnetic' sharks add bite to compass theory
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=14&c...03084645253B262
Marine biologists say they have obtained the first proof that sharks can spot changes in magnetic fields, boosting evidence that the creatures have an internal compass to guide them as well as a phenomenal sense of smell.
-snip-
Until now, evidence of sharks' magnetic compass has been circumstantial, based mainly on sightings of tiger sharks and blue sharks that swim in straight lines for long distances across the ocean, a feat that is unlikely to be accounted for by sense of smell alone.
The next step is to find out how sharks detect magnetic fields and to measure their sensitivity.

15 des
'Extinct' dragonfly makes a comeback – Africa
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=14&c...03107860820B251
A species of dragonfly thought to be extinct has made a dramatic comeback after the removal of invasive alien trees under the Working for Water programme. The Ceres Stream damsel, or Metacnemis angusta, had not been spotted since 1920, the November/December issue of the Water Wheel reported.
The removal of invasive alien plants in wetland systems has resulted in almost instant recovery of endemic species, including the Ceres Stream damsel.
Once the invaders are removed, adequate sunlight can penetrate the systems and streamside bushes recover, the report says.

15 des
Invasive species: The toads are coming! - Australia
http://www.nature.com/news/2004/041213/full/432796a.html
Cane toads are infamous for wreaking havoc on Australian ecosystems. But, as Peter Aldhous discovers, we're only now about to learn whether their fearsome reputation is deserved.
Darwin is bracing itself for an invasion. Bufo marinus, otherwise known as the cane toad, has been advancing across the Australian landscape for decades. Ravenous, poisonous and an explosive breeder, it has acquired a reputation for wiping out this country's unique wildlife. Now the front line is just a few tens of kilometres from the capital of the Northern Territory; the first invaders are expected to hit the city's limits before the wet season ends next May.
-snip-
But it's impossible to blame the toads definitively for the decline of any particular species. In the first few decades after the animals arrived, biologists were little concerned about the dangers they posed, and so didn't collect any data. More recently, the toads have been advancing to the northwest across the remote Gulf of Carpentaria, where few ecologists venture. In fact, the toads attracted little scientific attention until 2001, when they showed up in Kakadu National Park.
-snip-
More signs of the toads' damaging effects come from a series of automated 'toad poles' in Kakadu — listening devices that pick up the calls of cane toads and native amphibians. A team led by Gordon Grigg of the University of Queensland in Brisbane has preliminary data from these devices suggesting that the toads' arrival coincides with decline of native frogs.
This all sounds like damning evidence, but the big picture is likely to be more complicated. Even for the quolls, the toads may be just part of the story. Together with most of northern Australia's small mammals, quolls are in decline even in areas that haven't been invaded by cane toads. This is probably because of changes in fire management. For thousands of years, Australia's Aboriginal people burned the landscape frequently, but each fire was small, so any one patch would burn only once every few years. This created a rich mosaic of habitats, boosting biodiversity. Today's ranchers, in contrast, burn large areas each dry season.
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19 des
Rhino population at Indonesian reserve drops by 90 percent in 14 years
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...donesiawildlife
The Sumatran rhino, the most endangered of all rhinoceros, is fast heading to extinction with its population at one of its last reserves in Indonesia dropping by 90 percent in 14 years to 50, an official said.
The director for forest protection and nature conservation at the forestry ministry, Widodo Sukardi, told the state Antara news agency the number of Sumatran rhinos at Kerinci Seblat national park (TNKS) was now down to about 50 from around 500 in 1990. The TNKS is the country’s largest national reserve, straddling four provinces on Sumatra island – West Sumatra, Jambi, Bengkulu and South Sumatra. It is one of the last reserves for the small and hairy Sumatran rhinoceros.
-snip-
The dwindling rhinoceros population of the park was mostly due to illegal hunting and poaching by people in
To keep the Sumatran rhinos from extinction, Sukardi said his office would relocate captured rhinos to a safer location in the Way Kambas National Park in Lampung province, also on Sumatra.
The International Rhino Foundation has estimated there are fewer than 300 Sumatran rhinos surviving in very small and highly fragmented populations in Southeast Asia with Indonesia and Malaysia being home to most.
user posted image

21 des
Male fish bear eggs in Potomac- US
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/science/12/21...h.ap/index.html
Male fish that are growing eggs have been found in the Potomac River near Sharpsburg, a sign that a little-understood type of pollution is spreading downstream from West Virginia, a federal scientist says.
The so-called intersex abnormality may be caused by pollutants from sewage plants, feedlots and factories that can interfere with animals’ hormone systems, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
Nine male smallmouth bass taken from the Potomac near Sharpsburg, about 60 miles upstream from Washington, were found to have developed eggs inside their sex organs, said Vicki S. Blazer, a scientist overseeing the research for the U.S. Geological Survey. Authorities say the problems are likely related to a class of pollutants called endocrine disruptors, which short-circuit animals’ natural systems of hormone chemical messages.
Officials are awaiting the results of water-quality testing that might point to a specific chemical behind the fish problems, Blazer said.
“It certainly indicates something’s going on,” Blazer said of the new findings in Maryland. “But what, we don’t know.”

28 des
Coastal patrols monitor Tasmanian whale beachings- AUSTRALIA
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200412/s1272918.htm
Wildlife officers have spent the night patrolling a section of Tasmania's rugged west coast after the discovery of at least 19 sperm whale carcasses. Residents of Trial Harbour found four dead females on Ocean Beach south of the town yesterday morning. Later, wildlife officers found another 15 in the surf off a less accessible section of the beach, and they are investigating reports of another sighting of a dead sperm whale.
Wildlife ranger Chris Arthur says most of the animals are about eight metres long and there could be more in the pod.
A zoologist says it is possible there is a link between tidal surges from the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami and the whale deaths. University of Tasmania zoologist Mark Hindell says tidal surges from seismic activity may have contributed to the latest deaths.
"It is possible, in fact there was a small amount of seismic activity just before the last strandings as well, but we also get many, many strandings when we don't get any seismic activity," he said.
"So it's very difficult to tease out hard and fast rules for this sort of thing."

29 des
Where are all the dead animals - Sri Lanka asks
http://www.alertnet.org/printable.htm?URL=...k/COL136356.htm
Sri Lankan wildlife officials are stunned -- the worst tsunami in memory has killed around 22,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast, but they can't find any dead animals.
Giant waves washed floodwaters up to 3 km (2 miles) inland at Yala National Park in the ravaged southeast, Sri Lanka's biggest wildlife reserve and home to hundreds of wild elephants and several leopards.
"The strange thing is we haven't recorded any dead animals," H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of the national Wildlife Department, told Reuters on Wednesday.
"No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit," he added. "I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening."

29 des
Study Shows Warming Trend in Alaskan Streams, Salmon threatshttp://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2004/Dec/1104079.htm
Six-Year Temperature Profile of Kenai Streams Raises Concern over Salmon Health. Water temperatures in Alaska's Lower Kenai Peninsula salmon streams have been teetering above the state-mandated 55(degree)F temperature limit, posing a substantial health risk to salmon habitat, according to a new report published by Alaska's Homer Soil and Water Conservation District.
According to the report, underwater temperature loggers placed in four area watersheds show that water temperatures rose above the upper limit on 54 days in 2002, 60 days in 2003, and 86 days in 2004. The data loggers, supplied by Massachusetts-based Onset Computer Corporation, sampled water temperatures every 15 minutes during the study.
-snip-
Water temperature plays a critical role in the salmon incubation process, and warmer temperatures have been linked to a higher susceptibility to disease and a depletion of available oxygen and nutrients.
According to Paul Gannett, a spokesman for Onset Computer Corporation, stream temperature monitoring is key to understanding the impact local and global environmental changes have on stream ecosystems. "By looking at temperature profiles over time, researchers are better able to correlate specific environmental events with their impact on streams."
Mauger adds, "It's easy to blame climate change, but we also need to look closely at other things we're doing in the watersheds. For example, in recent years we've lost over a million acres of white spruce forests from a bark beetle infestation. There has also been a dramatic increase in logging, road building and real estate development. We don't know what effect this shift from a forested landscape to a more grassland-dominated ecosystem might have on stream temperatures."
To view a copy of the report, please visit www.inletkeeper.org/monitoring.htm.

30 des
S.Asian EQ and tsunami and effect on Coral Reefs and animals
http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cf...28733/story.htm
Precious coral reefs and mangrove areas would have been crushed by the huge tsunami waves that have devastated southern Asia, an environmental and economic setback that could take years to reverse, experts say.
Deep sea creatures are likely to have escaped unscathed from the massive quake below the Indian Ocean, but coastal ecologies were exposed to the full force of the crushing wall of water.
"Some of the reefs around Sri Lanka and Phuket (in Thailand) would likely be pretty severely damaged because big waves hit them pretty close into shore. It's going to depend on the size of the waves that hit," said Michael Keogh, professor of marine ecology at the University of Melbourne.
"The big forces from these waves come when they get close to shore and into shallow water and they build up, they start to break, and that's where the really severe energy is," he said.
-snip-
Seafood farms in countries such as Thailand would also have been damaged, and mangrove areas that act as nursery habitats to fish and shrimp "will have been churned over pretty thoroughly", Keogh said.
"If there's been large-scale damage the recovery rate could well take quite a long time," he added.
The worst marine damage was likely to have been concentrated 100 metres to a kilometre from shore. However, the feeding, breeding and other activities of large sea mammals such as whales and dolphins probably suffered little impact.
"Dolphins can feel things like that happening in the water and they would probably head for deep water where they could be safe," said John Michel, communications manager at the government marine research department of Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
"They're pretty smart and they know when things are coming," he said.
Tsunamis measured only about 7 inches (18 cm) high in deep water.
"Offshore environments would probably be totally unaffected. The only thing that would be affected would be the tidal ecologies -- the animals and sealife that live right on the shore line," Michel said.


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Posted: Jan 7 2005, 05:52 PM
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Great job on the info Blue Eyed, thanks. Lots of things to ponder there.It's just amazing how much nature has to suffer in the name of progress for mankind! Hopefully humanity will come to its senses before its all gone. As for the weather it looks like the whole planet is seeing changes of one kind or another. Time for people to start paying attention to what mother earth is furious.gif telling us!!! sun.gif satchmo


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Posted: Feb 2 2005, 06:09 AM
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Thank you Satchmo - and thank you Mark for putting this thread under the "Important topics".

tinkerbellemoticon.gif Maybe you could change the title to include 2005 as well - so I can post the monthly summary of Animal anomalies from 2005 in here... redbowsmiley.gif


OK here are the news from january 2005:

31.jan
Food shortage threatens Phillip Is penguins
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200501/s1292269.htm
A shortage of food has reduced the number of penguin chicks born on Phillip Island this breeding season by 50 per cent. Penguin biologist Andre Chiaradra says in a good year penguins will lay two eggs and raise both chicks. But this season he says for every two pairs of penguins only one is having a chick and many are starving to death. "The food is not around Phillip Island, which means the birds have to travel longer to fish for food for the chicks," he said. "When they do that they can spend two or three days out at the sea, when they come back the chicks are starving and they feed the chicks not as often as they should."

30.jan
Global warming may kill off polar bears
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=14&c...10707309025B214
Many Arctic animals, including polar bears and some seal species, could be extinct within 20 years because of the effects of global warming, a major conservation group said on Sunday. Traditional ways of life for many indigenous people in the Arctic will also become unsustainable unless the world “takes drastic action to reduce climate change,” according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. ”If we don’t act immediately the Arctic will soon become unrecognizable” said Tonje Folkestad, a WWF climate change expert. “Polar bears will be consigned to history, something that our grandchildren can only read about in books.” By 2026, the earth could be an average 2°C warmer than it was in 1750, according to research commissioned for WWF to be presented to a Feb. 1-3 conference on climate change in Exeter, England. ”In the Arctic this could lead to a loss of summer sea ice, species and some types of tundra vegetation as well as to a fundamental change in the ways of life of Inuit and other arctic residents,” WWF said in a statement. The total area covered by summer sea ice in the Arctic is already decreasing by 9,2 percent per decade and “will disappear entirely by the end of the century” unless the situation changes, WWF said. This would threaten the existence of polar bears and seals that live on the ice, which in turn would remove a major source of food for the indigenous communities who hunt them. Forested areas will spread northward as those areas become warmer, threatening habitats for birds like ravens, snow buntings, falcons, loons, sandpipers and terns. ”Migratory birds will lose a vital breeding ground in the Arctic, affecting biodiversity around the globe,” WWF said. Indigenous peoples such as the Eskimos in North America and Saami in Scandinavia could lose their traditional livelihoods, and their communities will be threatened by the thinning sea ice, melting glaciers and thawing permafrost. WWF said it was calling on participants at the Exeter conference to send a clear message to governments of the Group of Eight nations, meeting in Britain later this year. ”If we are to ensure that unique ecosystems like the Arctic are not lost, the G8 meeting must take drastic action to reduce climate change,” said Catarina Cardoso, a WWF expert on sustainable energy, adding that this must include a commitment to keeping global average temperatures down. Findings released in November 2004 by the Arctic Council – which comprises Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States – showed that the annual average amount of sea ice in the Arctic has decreased about 8 percent in 30 years. In the past 50 years, average yearly temperatures in Alaska and Siberia have increased by about 2°C to minus 15°C. The United States is the only country in the Arctic region that has not signed the Kyoto Protocol. Russia ratified the UN-sponsored accord to combat global warming in November 2004. – Sapa-AP

28.jan
Endangered Condors Return to Andes Skies
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...angered_condors
Argentina - Timidly taking its first steps in the wild, the young condor perches on a rocky plateau as a hot breeze swirls upward from the barren Patagonian landscape. Raised in captivity, the 1-year-old gathers the courage to attempt its first flight, unfurling its 10-foot wings and flapping skyward — before landing awkwardly on rocks a short distance away. Condors, the world's largest flying birds, once soared by the thousands along jagged mountain ridges across South America until nearly dying out with the spread of civilization over the centuries. Scientists here are trying to return them to the wild after near extinction. On Wednesday, two condors, one raised in captivity, the other a rescued bird, were released in Sierra Paileman, about 680 miles south of Buenos Aires, bringing to seven the number of condors freed from this spot. Across South America, 40 condors have been released to the wild since 1991. Two others are awaiting release later in 2005 from the same fenced-in enclosure. "Letting them go is a symbol of the condors who once flew here," said Luis Jacome, director of the Andean Condor Conservation Project. "It is important to Argentina both culturally and ecologically." Watching from hundreds of feet below the ridge, an Indian spiritual guide, Tayta Ullpu, played a wooden flute in an ancient highland ritual said to coax the birds to fly. As if on cue, the hollow sound of the flute seems to summon the first bird to flap its wings. "The spirit of the condor returns to the sea," said Ullpu of the bird's flight.

28.jan
‘Mad cow’ disease found in goat
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4216431.stm
A French goat has tested positive for mad cow disease – the first animal in the world other than a cow to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The European Commission says further testing will be done to see if the incidence is an isolated one. The animal, which was slaughtered in 2002, was initially thought to have scrapie, a similar brain-wasting condition sometimes seen in goats. But British scientists have now confirmed the disease was in fact BSE. More than 100 people in the UK have died from vCJD (variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease), the human form of BSE, after eating tainted beef. But the EC stressed on Friday that precautionary measures put in place in recent years to protect the human food chain from contaminated meats meant there was no need for alarm over the latest finding. Markos Kyprianou, EU Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Protection, said: “I want to reassure consumers that existing safety measures in the EU offer a very high level of protection. “This case was discovered thanks to the EU testing system in place in France. “The testing programme has shown us that there is a very low incidence rate of TSEs (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) in goats and allowed us to detect suspect animals so that they can be taken out of the food chain, as was done with this goat and its entire herd.” UK expert opinion BSE had not previously been found under natural circumstances in ruminants other than cattle – although its presence in goats or other ruminants had been viewed as theoretically possible. Although some incidences of TSEs in animals such as cats and antelopes have looked very similar to the BSE strain, there is some debate over whether these really were mad cow. In 2001, a study in the UK was thought to have found BSE in sheep. It later transpired, however, that the scientists working on the research study were mistakenly looking at samples obtained from cow brains. The EC now wants to test 200,000 goats in the 25 EU member states over the next six months. The testing would concentrate on countries where cases of BSE have been reported in cattle in the past, including the UK. Current testing has already shown there is a low incidence of scrapie in goats. In the UK, for example, only two cases have been confirmed since 1997. In France, which has a far bigger goat population, just 19 positives were recorded among 21,000 animals tested in 2003. Across the EU bloc as a whole, there are believed to be more than 11.5 million goats. The European Commission’s Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health will meet to discuss the case of the French goat and its implications next week. The French agriculture ministry said the goat came from the Ardeche region, in southeast France. It was kept in a flock of 300 animals which were all slaughtered and their carcasses destroyed. When French research was unable to distinguish the TSE found in the goat from the BSE strain, samples were sent to the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) for TSEs in Weybridge, UK, for its expert opinion. It confirmed the presence of the BSE strain.

27.jan
Invasion of the killer ants
http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,...1653219,00.html
Hong Kong officials were on Thursday trying to contain a suspected invasion of potentially deadly red fire ants from mainland China. The super-aggressive and fast-spreading species of ant, originating from tropical South America, is thought to have entered Hong Kong inside potted plants imported for the Chinese New Year festival. Ten mounds believed to have been built by the red fire ants have been found in Hong Kong's rural New Territories near the Chinese border and hundreds of officials were on Thursday checking for more colonies. Red fire ants are already a major menace in the southern United States where farmers and homeowners spend tens of millions of US a year on pesticides to control them. The ants deliver a sharp sting which can be lethal for anyone with an allergy to stings or to young children or old people, experts say. Warnings Controls on imported plants from mainland China have now been speedily introduced to try to prevent the spread of the ants in Hong Kong and a territory-wide inspection was launched on Thursday. Health secretary York Chow told reporters after inspecting the ant colonies that he believed the insects had been introduced to Hong Kong inside potted plants imported from China. "This is a new species of ant to Hong Kong and we need to assess how this will affect our ecology," he said, adding that all government departments were checking for ant colonies. Invasive species expert Dr Billy Hau of the University of Hong Kong said: "In comparison with other ants this one is quite aggressive and they attack human beings and other animals by a sting rather than a bite. "The sting produces a burning pain and that is why they are called fire ants. If you accidentally step on a mound and disturb a nest, you can get 100 or so ants on your body and each one will repeatedly sting you. "You can receive up to 100 to 200 times in a couple of seconds ... and to some people who are allergic to animal chemicals, it could be lethal." Dr Hau said Hong Kong should launch an awareness campaign and try to eradicate the menace before the weather warmed up and the ants' breeding season began. Government experts were on Thursday still waiting to verify that the ants found are red fire ants. The insects have already been found in Guangdong in southern China and Taiwan. - dpa

27.jan
Tasmanian devils face extinction
http://news.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=99952005
EXPERTS fear the Tasmanian devil might soon only survive in cartoons, as a mystery disease slashes the ferocious scavenger’s numbers in the wild. The black fox-sized marsupials with a bloodcurdling growl and powerful jaws that crunch through the bones of much larger animals have been plentiful in Australia’s island state of Tasmania, which is their only natural habitat. But a state government study says an incurable facial cancer has already wiped out up to half the wild population - or 75,000 devils - since it was discovered in 1997. The leader of a state government task force searching for the disease’s cause, Alistair Cotter, said today he did not believe the cancer alone could drive the world’s largest marsupial carnivore to extinction. But the disease combined with competition for food from a substantial population of foxes could, he said. Several foxes are believed to have been introduced to Tasmania from the Australian mainland four years ago and the state government has been attempting to eradicate them and their offspring ever since. "Our belief is that devils may have prevented foxes establishing in Tasmania in the past by taking any young that have been produced," said Mr Cotter. "If foxes do establish here and the devil numbers are at a low ebb, that could significantly alter the nature of Tasmanian biodiversity."

22.jan
Rare leopard ’faces extinction’ - Russia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4197737.stm
The world’s rarest cat, the Amur leopard, is facing extinction in the wild, conservationists have warned. They have blamed a recent decision by the Russian government to approve an oil pipeline through the leopards’ only habitat, on the harsh eastern coast. It is estimated that only about 30 of the animals survive in the wild. Human settlements and forest fires have already pushed the Amur leopard to the brink of extinction – there are more in captivity than there are in the wild. At the end of December, Russia approved a plan for a pipeline bringing oil from Siberia to a new terminal on the coast, opening up export routes to east Asia. The pipeline will pass through the Amur leopards’ only remaining range – and conservationists working with the Zoological Society of London say it could be the last straw. They are appealing to the Russian government to re-route the pipeline and give the world’s rarest cat one more life.

21.jan
Norway to kill 25% of its wolves pissed.gif
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4194963.stm
The Norwegian government has decided to kill five of the country’s grey wolves – a quarter of the entire population. It says the decision is necessary to protect domestic livestock, but one campaign group has condemned the cull. WWF-Norway says two wolves have been shot already, one of them from a pack which has not been targeted and which it fears may now not manage to survive. Wolves are protected in Norway, and are listed as critically endangered, and WWF says many people oppose the cull. The decision to kill five animals out of the 20 remaining in Norway was taken by the nature directorate, which advises the government. WWF-Norway is calling for an immediate halt to the hunt.

21.jan
Loggerhead turtles in serious decline – Florida US
http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/01/20...d.ap/index.html
Florida's threatened loggerhead turtles are in a serious and rapid decline, experts say. The Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, a 20-mile (30-kilometer) stretch on Florida's east coast, reported that the number of loggerhead nests has dropped steadily since 1998, from 18,000 to about 8,000. Experts said the causes could include coastal development and recent upwellings of cold water. Also, Alan Bolten, a University of Florida biologist, said many turtles are getting hooked accidentally by fishing boats near the Azores islands off Portugal, where loggerheads often feed. Experts said last year's four hurricanes are probably not to blame. Loggerhead nesting goes through cycles that can last a few years. But after six years of lows, experts believe something might be wrong. "Ups and downs don't last six years," Bolten said. "This could be indicative of a real decline." Loggerheads are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Although the turtles' habitat ranges north to Newfoundland, and to Europe and Asia, more than 90 percent of loggerhead nesting is done in Florida. The loggerhead gets its name from its large block-like head. An adult loggerhead can weigh up to 160 kilograms (350 pounds).

20.jan
Jumbo squid wash up on Southern California beaches
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4193409.stm
Hundreds of dead large squid have been washing up on beaches in Orange County, California, puzzling scientists.
The creatures - which can reach 1.8m long (6 feet) and weigh up to 7.7kg (17lb) - normally inhabit deep waters and only come to the surface at night.
"These things are invading, and we don't know what's going on," an oceanography professor said.
A similar invasion of jumbo squid was reported further down the coast near San Diego in 2002.
Between 500 and 1,500 squid - thought to be Humboldt squid - are said to have strewn beaches in Orange County, including Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.
"They look like a miniature sea monster, something you'd see out of a Jules Verne novel," a lifeguard at Newport Beach, Eric Bauer, told local newspaper the San Diego Union Tribune.

But because the dead squid began washing up on Tuesday, authorities have warned they could harbour bacteria - and are still capable of squirting out ink.
The squid have been described as looking "like aliens"
A range of possible reasons for the sudden beaching of the squid have been suggested - from recent heavy rains, to plentiful shoals of fish close to the shore, to strong tides. "These things are invading, and we don't know what's going on," John McGowan, professor emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, told the San Diego Union Tribune.
"It may be they're following a warm California current. Oceanographers don't have a clue why a large population of squid like this is moving north or why they strand themselves."

19.jan
Environmentalists Say Hawksbill Sea Turtle in ‘Drastic Decline’ in Mexico
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=6962
Activists of the World Wildlife Fund called on Mexico and the Caribbean nations on Tuesday to urgently implement plans to reverse what the organization called “a drastic decline” in the population of hawksbill sea turtles. The hawksbills are considered endangered, and are one of the seven sea-turtle species that call Mexico home. The group said the turtle population had fallen to half its previous levels, according to final reports from counts in 2004. ”Until recently, the international scientific community believed this endangered population was on the rise. Current research shows otherwise,” WWF said in a press statement. The population numbers were already low, and are now only about half of the 5,595 nests found in 2000 on the beaches of the Mexican states of Veracruz, Campeche, and Yucatan.

18.jan
Even whale experts ask, ‘What’s going on? - Hawaii
http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/...8/ln/ln02p.html
An adult male pygmy sperm whale washed ashore here on Sunday, a day after a mother and calf of the same species beached themselves in the same area. “It is very unusual,” marine biologist Hannah Bernard said yesterday. “This is a rare and mysterious species, and it makes you wonder what’s going on.” The male, estimated to be 10 or 11 feet long, was found dead Sunday afternoon near the Kealia Beach boardwalk on Ma’alaea Bay. -snip-
Although the pygmy sperm whale is not an endangered species — they are found in tropical and subtropical waters across the globe — the weekend’s events were rare. The pygmy sperm whale is a deep-water mammal that generally avoids shallow water, and hardly anything is known about the species. “It’s a great mystery,” said Bernard, who joined Saturday’s rescue efforts late. “There’s a real need to see the results of the necropsy,” she said. “It’s a tragedy. Your heart breaks not knowing how to help.”

17.jan
At least 17 beached whales dead in North Carolina
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/stor..._53?hub=SciTech
At least 22 pilot whales beached themselves on the North Carolina coast early Saturday, and at least 17 of them died, officials said. The whales were stranded along a five-mile stretch of land near Oregon Inlet in the northern Outer Banks, said Laura Engleby, spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We suspect there are more than 30” stranded whales, she said. “The sea conditions have been fluctuating, making it difficult to account for all of them.” Brzuska said mass strandings of pilot whales are not unusual in Florida and New England, but the stranding on the North Carolina coast was unusual.

13.jan
Unbearable thaw grips Russian zoo
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4169565.stm
Temperatures in north-west Russia are so mild this week that they are disrupting bears’ sleep in St Petersburg’s zoo, local media say. A zoo official told Interfax news agency that a black bear had woken from hibernation, while a brown bear had still not gone to sleep for the winter. Temperatures have reached record highs of seven degrees elsius in some areas. Itar-Tass news agency reports that wild bears, badgers and hedgehogs are also waking up from the long winter sleep in Belarus.

12.jan
Small redpoll finch marked in China turns up in Sweden
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...nt_050112072700
A redpoll finch, or carduelis flammea, bearing a ring with Chinese inscriptions has made a "sensational" trip all the way to Sweden, a researcher at Sweden's Museum of Natural History said on Wednesday. "This is the first time a bird marked in China has been found in Sweden," Thord Fransson at the museum's bird ringing center told AFP. "This is a very unique find, since this species is not considered a migratory bird. It only moves in search of food. Now we know that it can fly over the entire Palearctic," he added. The bird, a small finch with a red crown and black chin weighing about 10.5 grams (0.37 ounces), was found on December 29 west of Stockholm, some 6,670 kilometers (4,144.5 miles) from where it was marked in China. -snip-
While this is the first time a bird marked in China has been found in Sweden, a redpoll bearing Chinese markings was found in neighboring Norway in 2003 and three birds of the same species marked in Europe have turned up in China. "This shows that there is some kind of pattern here and that this bird didn't just happen to fly astray ... It is a sensational find," Fransson said.

12.jan
Angler’s paradise threatened by plans to dam Norway’s last, great untouched river - Norway
http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/n...m?uNewsID=17790
Statkraft plans to dam the Vefsna River and drill giant tunnels to drain it for hydropower development in northern Norway. According to WWF, the development poses a serious threat to wildlife and will have a negative impact on the lives of indigenous populations. The Vefsna is a paradise for anglers with its large populations of sea trout and inland trout, and is the second largest spawning area in Norway for the threatened wild Atlantic salmon. The hydropower plant may also affect local populations of the endangered Arctic fox — only 120 remain in Scandanavia, with some 50 left in Norway — and endanger traditional Sami reindeer herding grounds. Furthermore, the drilling operations, which produce seven million cubic tonnes of rubble, would be dumped locally in pristine wilderness areas.

11.jan
Angry moose attack dogsled, after another runs wild in clothing store - Norway
http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/ar...ece?rfid=rss1.0
Two moose charged a dogsled led by 12 huskies over the weekend. The attack came just a day after another moose broke into a children's clothing store in Lillehammer. The two incidents were the latest in a string of unusual moose behaviour in Norway. The country has a large moose population, but the huge animals are generally shy and stay away from people and populated areas. -snip-
Some officials speculate that the moose was hungry and had wandered into the former Olympic town in search of food. Confused or in a panic, the moose was then drawn by the reflection of the glass window and lights within the store. A similar incident occured in Elverum last summer, when a moose broke into a local grocery store. In both cases, the animals caused lots of interior damage and had to be destroyed because of their injuries.

5.jan
US wolves could be off endangered list
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200501/s1276978.htm
The task of boosting a diminishing wolf population has made such headway in just 10 years that the predators may soon be removed from the list of endangered species in several US regions. On January 12, 1995, a pack of grey wolves captured in Canada was released in Yellowstone Park and the forests of central Idaho. Ten years on, the positive results have “exceeded all expectations,” says Defenders of Wildlife president Roger Sclickeisen, an organization that has worked hard to safeguard the wolf population in the United States. Canis lupus, the grey wolf, is also coming back in the Great Lakes area to the north, its presence thickening in Manitoba on the US-Canada frontier, the sole region, along with Alaska, where wolves had survived.

5.jan
Rare bird on verge of extinction - the red herrier - UK
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/lancashire/4148297.stm
One of England’s rarest birds of prey, the hen harrier, is facing extinction, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) has warned. Conservationists are calling on members of the public to report any sightings of the bird so they can monitor the dwindling population. There has been a “disastrous decline” in the number of hen harriers. There were 22 breeding pairs in 2003 in England, but only eight last year – all in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire. It is feared that that if the decline continues, the future of the bird, which is a protected species, could be in doubt. Hen harriers breed on upland heather moorlands and during the winter move to lowland farmland, heathland, coastal marshes and fenland. The males are pale grey while the females and young are brown.

2.jan
Warming may melt away Washington state's caribou - US
http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/newssentinel/...al/10549347.htm
If global warming continues, some reindeer may go down in history - and never come back. An archaeologist at the University of Washington, Donald Grayson, believes those reindeer, or caribou as they're also known in North America, could disappear from the southern borders of their habitat. On this continent, that could spell the end for herds roaming mountains in Washington, Idaho, southern British Columbia and Alberta. The woodland caribou, which lives in the mountains in small herds, is considered the most endangered large mammal in the Lower 48 states and can be found only in the Selkirk Mountains in northeastern Washington and northern Idaho. In the 1980s, their numbers fell below 30; the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife has since transplanted 60 caribou into the mountains. "With global warming, those animals are going to be in real trouble," Grayson says. The study, which he wrote with paleontologist Francoise Delpech, is expected to run in the April issue of Conservation Biology, an academic journal. Grayson is not too worried about the survival of other reindeer species closer to the North Pole in such places as Scandinavia, Russia and Canada. Those species, unlike the ones in Washington state, live on barren ground and migrate in big herds. Grayson based the study on his discovery that reindeer disappeared from southwest France 11,000 years ago because of rising summer temperatures.


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Posted: Feb 14 2005, 04:41 PM
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Redpoll Finch Die-Off Baffles Experts As Hundreds Die
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
From ProMED-mail
2-8-5

By Margaret Friedenauer
News-Miner - Fairbanks, Alaska
2-8-5

A record number of redpolls in the Fairbanks area this winter [2005] brought a colorful presence to bird feeders. Now, however, many of the red-capped finches are dying.
 
Reports of dead redpolls at household bird feeders in Fairbanks and Nenana have been increasing. Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) suspected the birds were dying of salmonellosis bacteria. Such an outbreak was anticipated when it became apparent that redpolls would have a commanding presence in the area this season.
 
But Fish and Game wildlife veterinarian Kimberlee Beckmen said Sunday [6 Feb 2005] that preliminary cultures did not confirm salmonellosis. "The way the die-off was going ... it was very suspicious of salmonella," Beckmen said. Beckmen sent tissues from dead redpolls to the state public health lab last week [1st week of February 2005]. She received the results Friday [4 Feb 2005]. She sent another sample to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab and expects those results today [7 Feb 2005].
 
Beckmen said the next likely affliction to cause a similar die-off is a mycoplasma organism. But the dead redpolls she has seen do not have corresponding signs. "I'm really very shocked it's not salmonella at this point," she said. "It should have been salmonella. I don't know what else it could be."
 
Beckmen said that if the Washington lab does not get a salmonella culture, it will continue to work on the sample until it isolates the cause. Whatever the outcome, Beckmen said it is likely the culprit is being passed from bird to bird at feeders and that bird enthusiasts should continue to take precautions as if the outbreak was salmonella. That includes cleaning feeders frequently and disposing of dead birds so that pets do not become infected.
 
Beckmen has not received reports of any sick or dying birds aside from redpolls. She said one Nenana resident called to report dying redpolls, but said chickadees at the same feeder were doing just fine.
 
Wildlife biologist John Wright said the high numbers of redpolls this year [2004] increased the chances of an outbreak. For several years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the redpoll count went up and down before leveling off in the late 1990s.
 
This year [2005], the red-capped finches arrived early and in full force. Usually not seen in the area until January or February, record numbers were being spotted as early as October. The Christmas Bird Count documented 8231 redpolls in this year's annual tally, surpassing the previous record of 7164 redpolls counted in 1997.
 
Wright said the die-offs may startle some people, but suspects that less than one percent of the redpoll population is affected. "It's definitely a major mortality factor, but it's not affecting the population," he said.
 
Most disease, such as salmonella, is spread from bird to bird, and die-offs often occur in winter when birds are stressed from the cold and congregate at feeders. Feces contaminate the feeders and infect other birds.
 
Wright said the feeding characteristics of the gluttonous finches also contribute to outbreaks. "Redpolls just go sit and munch right there in the feeder," Wright said. Feces on and around the feeders then infect other birds. Pets, especially cats, can easily become infected if they come into contact with feces or dead birds. Humans are less likely to become seriously ill from an outbreak of salmonella among birds, a strain, Beckmen said that is similar to that found in uncooked poultry.
 
Wright said there hasn't been a die-off this broad in the area since a salmonella outbreak 10 or 12 years ago. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported an outbreak of salmonellosis in pine siskins in the Juneau area about 3 weeks ago.
 
While feeders are a major conduit of the bacteria, fish and game officials warn against removing feeders, because that can cause additional deaths from starvation. Rather, constant and vigilant cleaning can curb outbreaks. Feeders should be emptied, scraped, soaked and cleaned with hot soapy water, rinsed and disinfected with a one-to-9 part bleach and water solution. Clean feeders should be soaked in the bleach solution for up to 20 minutes, rinsed well and air dried. Wright said feeders should be cleaned once a week, if weather allows. He said it is also important to clean feces and debris from around the feeder.
 
Use caution when discarding dead birds by using a plastic bag to pick them up and disposing of them in a sealed bag and trash can where pets cannot get to them. Hands should be thoroughly washed after cleaning and filling feeders and discarding dead birds.
 
Anyone noting ill or dead birds is asked to notify ADF&G at
907 459-7206.
 
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,1413,1...2697559,00.html
 
ProMED-mail
 
We hope that when Dr. Beckmen has a definitive diagnosis she will be kind enough to share it with ProMED-mail. - Mod.TG

 
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/post...mergingdiseases
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
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Posted: Feb 14 2005, 04:45 PM
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A Million Flamingos At Risk As Kenyan Lake Dries Up
By Rob Crilly in Nairobi
The Independent - UK
2-9-5

Kenya's Lake Nakuru, one of the world's great natural spectacles and home to more than a million flamingos, is in imminent danger of drying up, conservationists have warned.
 
The sight of the birds taking flight in a dense pink cloud has become essential viewing for hundreds of thousands of tourists on safari in Kenya, but the lake is dying because of deforestation around the national park and water levels are dropping dramatically. Joseph Warutere, national park warden at the lake, said that without protection Nakuru could disappear.
 
Local business leaders said its loss would have a catastrophic effect on tourism. Peter Kinya, chairman of the Nakuru Business Association, said the time for action had come. "We cannot afford to lose such an important national heritage by sitting back and watching man-made activities destroy it," he told the KenyanDaily Nation newspaper. "We have to rise up and protect our lake."
 
Lake Nakuru is one of a chain of soda lakes that stretches along the Great Rift Valley. Along with neighbouring Lake Bogoria, it is home to the planet's highest density of flamingos - about 80 per cent of the world's population live around the eastern Rift Valley lakes.
 
The flamingos, along with hundreds of other bird species, attract 200,000 visitors to the park each year, making it one of the east African country's biggest tourist attractions.
 
Recent studies suggest that the lake has shrunk by roughly four square miles since the 1970s, as tributaries dried up and soil was washed from deforested slopes into its waters.
 
And as water levels decrease, levels of toxic metals such as zinc, mercury and copper from industrial run-off have all increased - bringing a catastrophic threat to wildlife.
 
Mr Kinya cited the draining of poisonous chemicals into the lake, which he said was killing birds and fish. The presence of heavy metals was blamed four years ago for the death of 40,000 flamingos.
 
Conservationists have also warned that sewage from growing human settlements around the lake is finding its way into the water, leading to explosions of algal growth, starving other organisms of oxygen.


Yesterday, Joseph Muya, vice-chairman of the Friends of Lake Nakuru, said that the lake was too important to lose. His organisation has planted thousands of seedlings in the area to reverse deforestation, and attempted to persuade farmers not to take water from the shallow lake for irrigation.
 
"Everyone knows about the flamingos but we have a rhino sanctuary here too, along with 450 different species of birds," he said.
 
"That makes this site nationally and internationally important for wildlife, and means it has a huge economic importance to the local population." The importance of the lake was recognised in 1960 when it became Africa's first bird sanctuary, becoming a fully-fledged national park eight years later.
 
©2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.
 
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa...sp?story=609189




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Posted: Feb 27 2005, 02:53 AM
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QUOTE
Mystery of the silent woodlands:
Scientists are baffled as bird numbers plummet

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor
25 February 2005

It has hardly been noticed, but it is another sinister warning sign of a world going badly wrong. Populations of some of Britain's most attractive woodland birds are plummeting at a rate that threatens them with extinction, and nobody knows why.

Precipitous declines in the numbers of some species, of up to four-fifths, have been registered over the past 30 years, but scientists are just realising what is happening, and they have no simple explanation.

In its scale and its range, the phenomenon is one of the most ominous events in the natural history of Britain over the past half-century. Perversely, the decline comes at a time when Britain is planting more woodlands than ever, and forest management has never been more sympathetic to wildlife conservation.

About a dozen species of small birds that have flitted through our woodlands for thousands of years are suddenly in serious trouble. This may be associated with climate change, linked to the damage that excess deer numbers are doing to the undergrowth in woodlands, or in some cases, linked to trouble for birds on migration routes to and from Africa. [...]

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/environme...sp?story=614558




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Posted: Mar 28 2005, 01:28 PM
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An update for february (animal and plants around the world)...

1 feb
"Devastating" Losses for Right Whales This Winter – US
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/20...rightwhale.html
Four North American right whales—of the fewer than 350 left in the world—have been found dead along the eastern seaboard of the United States since November. Researchers were especially distressed by the death of one whale, named Bolo, which was found dead off Nantucket Island on January 10. A 45-foot (13.7-meter) female, she had given birth to at least six calves, the most ever recorded for a right whale. "The loss of a reproductive female, especially one as successful as Bolo, is a blow to this population that is just hanging in the balance," said Moira Brown, a right whale expert at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts. Brown says the animal is "on the brink of extinction."
-snip-
Right whales are so rare that scientists who study them know them by name. Each whale has a distinctive pattern on the top and side of its head. The patterns are made up of rough, raised patches of skin called callosities. Scientists use the patterns to distinguish individual animals.

2 feb
Elmendorf Beast is Back US
http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=4404
The Elmendorf beast is back, and this time it's healthy and attacking people and animals in California. These odd animals, apparent mixes between coyotes and dogs, created a sensation when two of them were shot in Texas. Dismissed as mere oddities, the fact that they were suffering from unusual diseases that might represent some sort of environmental problem was ignored. Blanca E. Sanchez writes in the Daily Bulletin that a wild animal that seems to be a coyote-dog mix, is leaping six foot fences and killing pets in Chino, California. The creature resembles a coyote but is about 20 pounds heavier. People are afraid to leave their dogs—and even their children—in their back yards.

2 feb
Climate warming spells species wipeout
http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml...&storyID=665312
Whole species of animals from frogs to leopards, living in vulnerable areas and with nowhere else to go, face extinction due to global warming, scientists say. And the faster the temperature rises the worse it gets. Steve Schneider from Stanford University, California, said there was clear proof that species were reacting to the 0.7 degrees centigrade warming of the atmosphere that had already taken place over the past century.
“This is a harbinger – nature is already responding,” he told reporters at a meeting on climate change on Wednesday. “There is a direct threat to the viability of many species on the planet.”
The complication with rapid change was not only the need to speed up the rate of adaptation, mostly through moving territory, but that at the margins, like at the poles or high up in mountains, there was nowhere to go and human settlements may lie in the way. “The only way rapid climate change can affect species is through extinctions,” Schneider said.

4 feb
Upland birds in peril from climate change – UK
http://www.innovations-report.de/html/beri...icht-39832.html
New evidence suggests that rarely studied upland birds may be as vulnerable as songbirds to climate change. Scientists from the RSPB and Newcastle and Manchester universities have found that the golden plover, a typical upland bird found on the moors and peat bogs of the Pennines, Peak and Lake Districts and Highlands, is breeding significantly earlier than 20 years ago. They say warmer springs have prompted the change and that the failure of the plover chick’s main prey – daddy long legs (or craneflies) – to adapt at the same rate, could threaten the plover’s future. Other upland species such as greenshank and red grouse could be affected in the same way. Lead author, Dr James Pearce-Higgins, Research Biologist at the RSPB said: “The earliest hatching plover chicks, which normally have the best chance of survival, could in future struggle to find food, reducing their overall breeding success and threatening the population size. “The golden plover has been protected by EU law since 1979, because of the important populations in the UK. Any escalation of climate change will put in peril not just the plover but other moorland and peatland species as well.”

8 feb
Shrubs expand across tundra, change land, scientific minds - ARCTIC
http://www.adn.com/front/story/6134778p-6016553c.html
Driven by warming temperatures, shrubs have been spreading in the Arctic over the past three decades, gradually converting tundra into new landscapes of dwarf birch and willow. Those thickets amass big drifts in winter, catching the attention -- and sometimes the snowmobiles -- of scientists who study the snowpack.
Could this deeper snow be triggering faster summer growth? Sturm and a team of scientists have uncovered a surprising link between shrubs and snowdrifts, one that contradicts the notion of the Arctic as a frozen wasteland in winter. Insulated by snow trapped inside stands of shrubs, uncounted trillions of microbes appear to remain active long into the dark season, cooking up nutrients that may fertilize more shrub growth when summer returns.

9 feb
A Million Flamingos At Risk As Kenyan Lake Dries Up
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/africa...sp?story=609189
Kenya's Lake Nakuru, one of the world's great natural spectacles and home to more than a million flamingos, is in imminent danger of drying up, conservationists have warned.

9 feb
Experts Baffled by Finch Die-Off in Alaska
http://www.news-miner.com/Stories/0,1413,1...2697559,00.html
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=7101
An increasing number of redpolls are dying off in the Fairbanks area this winter, baffling wildlife biologists. Experts had suspected the red-capped finches were dying of salmonellosis, but preliminary cultures did not confirm the presence of the bacteria.
Kimberlee Beckman, a wildlife veterinarian with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, sent tissues from dead redpolls to the state public health lab last week. She received the results Friday. She also sent another sample to the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab and is awaiting results.
Beckmen said the next likely affliction to cause a similar die-off is a mycoplasma organism. But the dead redpolls she has seen do not have corresponding symptoms.

11 feb
Seals in Danger of Starving At Jersey Shore
http://www.nbc10.com/news/4186951/detail.html
The latest seal stranded himself Thursday afternoon in Ocean City, and another seal beached itself in Sea Isle City. So many of them are surfacing, rescuers are running out of room in efforts to save them. ”You can tell by looking at it that it needs some attention,” said Bjorn Christiano of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Stranded on the beach in ocean city, a young seal filmed by NBC 10 is desperate. It is dehydrated and may be sick or injurer. It is just like many other seals that have been rescued from the sand up and down the Jersey coast in recent weeks.
”We’re extremely busy, we’re working around the clock with these animals,” Christiano said.

14 feb
Birders Eye Winter Hummingbirds, Vagrants
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=7125
Chickadees, cardinals and titmice are common visitors to a snowy bird feeder. But hummingbirds? That’s what Janet Allen saw last year in her yard in suburban Syracuse. For several days in dreary November, a young ruby-throated hummingbird shivered on a snow-laced feeder, sipping sugar water when it should have been flitting among tropical blossoms in sunny Mexico.
”It was kind of sad, really,” Allen said. “I don’t know if he got blown off course during migration, or what. I assume he didn’t survive.” A hummingbird spotted up north in the winter is an example of what birders and ornithologists call a “vagrant” – a bird outside its normal range, or in its range in the wrong season. Scientists at Cornell University’s Laboratory of Ornithology are asking a nationwide network of volunteers to be on the lookout for such birds this winter.
In recent years, observers all over the country have reported seeing various species of hummingbirds far from their normal range.

14 feb
Scientists breed life into endangered fish – AUSTRALIA

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1302430.htm
Fish breeders are working to save one of Australia’s most beautiful but endangered inland fish species from extinction. The purple spotted gudgeon fish grows to only 12 centimetres long. It has aqua flanks, purple or maroon spots and bright yellow fins with red spots. Once common in inland rivers, populations of the purple spotted gudgeon have plummeted since the carp invasion 30 years ago.
But Narrandera Fisheries scientist Dr Dean Gilligan says they are well into a breeding program. “Each little remnant population is becoming inbred,” Dr Gilligan said. “We’ve collected brood fish from all the remnant populations in the murray darling basin and we’ve crossed them using a stud book type system identical to what they use for threatened species in zoos.” This year it is expected 2,500 gudgeons will be released into areas where their habitat has been restored

15 feb
More tests to be held on fish kill site
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1302941.htm
There will be further tests today at the site of a fish kill in southern Tasmania.
About 20 dead fish were found yesterday in the Lachlan River near Tynwald Park at New Norfolk.
It appears a water main burst during road works and the water washed limil, a stabilising agent, into the river.
It is estimated half a mega litre of the chlorinated water mixed with the limil had drained into the river.
Derwent Valley Mayor Nick Cracknell says the council and the Department of the Environment will take more water samples, but the spillage was at no time a threat to public health.
“The Department of Environment has been advised and we’ll also take some water samples to make sure that there aren’t any problems, but probably it’ll take a few days I’d imagine to get some results back,” he said.

15 feb
Koala sterilisation program under fire
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200502/s1302724.htm
The South Australian Government has come in for strong criticism for its plan to quadruple the number of koalas sterilised on Kangaroo Island, south-west of Adelaide. The Island’s mayor and the Australian Democrats say the koalas should be culled instead. The State Government says more than 650 koalas will be sterilised on the island this year in an attempt to curb the damage they are doing to the environment. Kangaroo Island Mayor Michael Pengilly says it is an inadequate response.
“Because even though you’re sterilising the koalas, they are still eating, and it’s the eating that’s causing the damage,” he said.
South Australian Democrats leader Sandra Kanck agrees and says the koalas should be culled instead. “The Government has said themselves that there are 27,000 on the island – that’s clearly not sustainable,” she said. “I believe that we can very easily cull 20,000 of them and there are still 7,000 koalas left for the tourists to look at.” She says culling the koalas is a more humane solution than sterilisation.

16 feb
75-per-cent drop in Monarch butterflies
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Science/2005/0.../933092-ap.html
The Mexican government said Tuesday 75 per cent fewer Monarch butterflies have appeared at wintering grounds, largely blaming conditions in the United States and Canada for the decline.
The steep drop may have been due to cold weather and intensive farming practices – including genetically modified crops – in areas of the United States and Canada where the butterflies spend the summer and reproduce, the Mexican Environment Department said.
The report marks the first time in recent years Mexico has blamed other countries – rather than its own continuing problems with illegal logging of central Mexico fir forests that make up the winter nesting grounds – for declines in the butterfly population.
Activists and researchers suggested Mexico may be trying to offload some of the blame, after its own highly publicized efforts to stop illegal logging ran up against often violent resistance from logging gangs. “This is an incomplete and tendentious report, that seeks to put all the blame on other countries which do share responsibility,” said Homero Aridjis, whose Group of 100 environmental organization has long opposed illegal logging.
The Mexican government said the decline is due to a number of factors, including an unusually cold summer in the United States and a high mortality rate for the butterflies in Mexico in 2003 due to cold, wet conditions.

16 feb
Tigers of Rajasthan ’disappear’
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/4270845.stm
A massive search for tigers in a wildlife reserve in India’s western state of Rajasthan has failed to find firm evidence any of them are alive.
Three hundred forestry workers spent two weeks looking for tiger paw prints in the Sariska reserve, set up in 1979 as part of a tiger conservation scheme. Environmentalists say 15 tigers counted there last May have disappeared. India is estimated to have more than 3,000 tigers, accounting for about half the world’s tiger population.
Trapping
Forestry officials told the BBC they were hopeful they might still find tigers during a census planned for May. Since last May’s count, traps have been found in the forest. The environmentalists say mining in the area is also destroying the tigers’ habitat.
Prominent social worker Rajendar Singh said conservation measures had increased tiger numbers to 20 by 2001 but said officials had failed to react to the danger of trapping.

17 feb
Rampant Lobster Disease Mystifies Scientists
http://www.enn.com/biz.html?id=219
Scientists and fishermen tried to tackle the problem of Southern New England’s dying lobsters yesterday afternoon, but after hours of talk it looked like they were stuck in the first 15 minutes of a crime-scene mystery. Any solution seemed a long way off.
Shell disease, a bacterial affliction of lobsters’ shells, has always been around, scientists said. But it was usually a minor disfigurement.
Since 1996 in Rhode Island, water conditions have swung out of control. No one has seen the disease be so virulent and so common. It’s believed to be killing vast numbers of lobsters. Those that survive are horribly scarred, and unsaleable.
The value of Rhode Island’s lobster catch has declined from $30 million in 1999 to half that last year, according to Mark Gibson of the state Department of Environmental Management. The number of lobster fishermen has dropped from 420 to 279.
In parts of Narragansett Bay, up to 45 percent of the thousands of lobsters sampled were afflicted, according to DEM biologists.
The disease has increased the natural morbidity of lobsters from 15 percent each year to as much as half, biologists said.
None of the dozens of scientists and fishermen who attended a symposium at the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Institute yesterday pretended to understand what was going on. But several theories came up repeatedly: rising water temperature, chemicals in human wastes, or killer microbes from other lands.
-snip-
Females are hit much harder than males. More than half the egg-bearing females are afflicted. The theory is that they carry their shells longer than males, so there is more opportunity for the bacteria to attack.

17 feb
Swarms of locusts threaten rice crops in Guinea
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L1744117.htm
Swarms of locusts have descended on western Guinea, threatening rice crops in the former French colony where price rises for the staple food triggered riots last year, officials said on Thursday.
“We are observing swarms of locusts moving from the Fouta plateau towards the coastal zones, creating a major risk for rice production,” the agriculture ministry said in a statement.
The western zones of Guinea produce 32 percent of the 640,000 tonnes of rice produced annually.
In recent months the price of rice has more than trebled in the West African nation, home to thousands of refugees from conflicts in neighbouring Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.
Last year, higher rice prices sparked riots in several towns and people also hijacked rice trucks and looted them.
Locusts munched their way across the semi-desert Sahel region south of the Sahara last year, in the most serious infestation in 15 years. They caused the worst damage in Mauritania, Niger and Mali.
Experts had warned that the locusts could return to the Sahel this year, possibly in even greater numbers.

20 feb
Fish shrinkage threatens survival
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4281171.stm
The shrinking size of fish due to their overexploitation has dire consequences for the recovery of depleted stocks, scientists have claimed.
Fishing drives natural selection for smaller fish that grow more slowly and have reduced reproductive potential. These changes are genetic and therefore hard to reverse, scuttling the renewal of dwindling fish populations. Details of the research were discussed on Saturday at a major science conference in Washington DC.
“Most fisheries are collapsing and many are on the brink of potentially irreversible loss,” said Jeremy Jackson, of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.
“There are massive evolutionary shifts going on in the remnant populations of fish. Large fish with huge reproductive potential are being replaced by smaller fish with diminished reproductive potential,” he told the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
No reverse
David Conover, of Stony Brook University in New York found a two-fold change in productivity in Atlantic silversides within just four generations of fish. “By selectively harvesting the largest fish, we end up changing the whole biology – not only growth rates, but egg size, fecundity, feeding behaviour,” he said. “The scary part is that when we stopped size-selective harvest, the biology didn’t change back, it was permanent.”
Research by Dr Conover and other groups in Norway, Canada and Austria also found declines in the reproductive potential of fish populations.
-snip-
Cod off the coast of Newfoundland – once one of the largest fish populations in the world – have suffered a 99% decline since the 1960s.
Research shows that changes in size and age at maturity caused by just 30-50 years of fishing have reduced the chance of cod’s recovery by 25-30%.

22 feb
More mutilated eagles found in B.C.
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/20...les-040221.html
Provincial wildlife officials in British Columbia say they’ve found the remains of another 14 bald eagles in North Vancouver. Earlier this month, more than two dozen mutilated bald eagles were found near the Dollarton Highway. The latest discovery was made in the same general area and brings the total number of bird carcasses found in February to 40.
The eagle carcasses were in a ravine on native reserve land and, as in the earlier case, the birds’ talons, tail feathers and wing tips had been removed.
FROM FEB. 3, 2005: Eagle slaughter ‘worst ever’ Officials said the bird parts were likely sold on the black market, possibly smuggled into the United States.

24 feb
Birth Rate Falls for Canadian Grizzlies, Development Cited
http://www.enn.com/biz.html?id=274
A nine-year study coinciding with burgeoning development in and around Banff National Park has found the area’s grizzly bears have the lowest reproductive rate ever recorded in North America, scientists at the University of Calgary said.
The study of 71 bears between 1994 and 2002 also found that humans were responsible for more than 75 percent of female bear deaths and 86 percent of male deaths in the period.
”Basically, we (need) to have 19 out of 20 adult female bears in their reproductive years to survive into the next year,” said Stephen Herrero, an environmental scientist at the University of Calgary and co-author of the study. “It’s a tricky balance we’ll have to maintain.”
Female grizzlies do not reproduce until they are about 8 years old, and generally have litters of one or two cubs every four or five years. So the death of a single bear can have a significant impact on population trends. The findings announced Thursday are to be published in the upcoming edition of Journal of Wildlife Management.
”This is definitely a wake-up call _ this says we have to be very careful with mortality because these bears are going to bounce back slowly, if at all,” said Herrero.

26 feb
’Time running out’ for seabirds
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4299953.stm
Thousands of seabirds are at risk from starvation unless curbs on industrial fishing in the North Sea are introduced, a wildlife charity says.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds is monitoring the number of dead birds on the UK’s coastline in order to assess the health of the population.
The survey follows a disastrous breeding season last year, in which thousands of birds starved to death.
Without action, time is running out for the birds, the charity warns.
Hundreds of volunteers will check 1,560 miles of coastline, starting in the north of England on Saturday, looking for the bodies of birds washed ashore.
The RSPB will then try to assess how the birds died.
Starving to death
In 2004, hundreds of fulmars – a gull-like seabird – were washed up on North Sea beaches after dying of starvation. The breeding season saw hatchings fail and chicks starving to death. A shortage of sand eels, an important part of many seabirds’ diet, was blamed for the crisis.

27 feb
Mystery of the silent woodlands: Scientists are baffled as bird numbers plummet
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/environme...sp?story=614558
It has hardly been noticed, but it is another sinister warning sign of a world going badly wrong. Populations of some of Britain's most attractive woodland birds are plummeting at a rate that threatens them with extinction, and nobody knows why.




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Posted: Mar 31 2005, 11:31 PM
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Thank you Blue Eyed!

Very disturbing compilation of animal oddities.

You Rock!
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Posted: Apr 15 2005, 09:26 PM
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Thursday April 14, 2005
Mysterious appearances a warning

THE mysterious appearance of clams in two locations in the country has been interpreted by experts as portending a natural disaster, two Bahasa Malaysia dailies reported.

Just eight days after the mysterious appearance of hundreds of sea cucumbers at several beaches in Port Dickson, residents of Langkawi were astounded to find large numbers of piddock (a species of clam) in Sungai Kuala Melaka on Tuesday.

In Penang, hundreds of cockles began appearing several days ago at Teluk Bahang, to the residents’ delight.

Kolej Universiti Sains dan Teknologi Malaysia's Institute of Oceanography deputy director Assoc Prof Kamaruzzaman Yunus said the phenomenon could be indicative of a looming earthquake.


BIG HAUL: Chuah sttate assemblyman Foo Ming Chee (right) picking up sea cucumbers on the shores of Port Dickson last week.
“I’m confident that an earthquake will happen soon and the public should be careful and be prepared for the possibility of tremors happening in Malaysia,” he was quoted in Kosmo! yesterday.

Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, a marine biologist based in Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Muka Head marine research station, said the appearance of cockles at Teluk Bahang was an indication of two possibilities – either a tsunami would happen again or the phenomenon was the result of the December disaster.

“We should do an immediate study to see whether the cockles’ ecological system and habitat were destroyed,” she told Utusan Malaysia.
from the star online. scratchinghead.gif satchmo.


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Posted: Apr 16 2005, 08:13 AM
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Summary - month of March:


2 mar
49 dolphins strand themselves off Florida Keys
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/flo...la-news-florida
About 49 dolphins stranded themselves Wednesday off the Florida Keys and more than 20 were in a nearby canal or boat channel, officials said.
The rough-tooth dolphins were reported on flats and sand bars about a quarter of a mile off Marathon, said Laura Engleby, a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service. They were in about six inches of water at low tide, she said.
``Right now the stranding network is busy stabilizing all the dolphins,'' Engleby said. Marine mammals may strand when they are sick, injured or disoriented, she said. Denise Jackson, a member of the Marine Mammal Rescue Team assisting the dolphins, said darkness and the extreme low tide was complicating the search. ``We're running boats in and out of an unlit channel at night,'' she said. Marathon is on Key Vaca, in the middle of the Florida Keys about 46 miles east of Key West. The dolphins were stranded on the ocean side of the island.

4 mar
Biologists Fret as Mexico Butterfly Numbers Dive
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=7254
A plunge in the number of monarch butterflies migrating from the United States and Canada to Mexican winter colonies has experts worried logging and pesticides are endangering the fragile insects.
Although masses of sleeping butterflies still hang like clumps of dead leaves from branches in the El Rosario sanctuary in central Mexico, and the air is filled with fluttering monarchs woken by the sun, biologists say the population this year is the smallest ever and down three-quarters from 2004.
"Their numbers always fluctuate, but if you look at a chart of the past 10 years, it appears the trend is going lower," said Eduardo Rendon, a local World Wildlife Fund coordinator.
-snip-
But Mexican and U.S. biologists are studying different points along the migration route to work out what is hurting most -- U.S. pesticides, bad weather, deforestation in Mexico, predatory birds or even climate change.

9 mar
A European lynx prowls in wildlife park in Obterre
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/050309/323/fdze2.html
The Iberian lynx -- a big cat found only in Spain and Portugal -- remains "critically endangered" and is at risk of becoming the first large feline to become extinct since pre-historic times. AFP/Alain Jocard

11 mar
High Levels of Mercury Found in Vt. Birds -US
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=7305
Scientists have found high levels of mercury in songbirds on Vermont mountaintops. Researchers at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science announced this week that mercury was found in the blood and feathers of the rarely seen Bicknell's thrush on Mount Mansfield and Stratton Mountain. In some birds, the level of mercury was high enough to harm their ability to reproduce, conservation biologist Kent McFarland said Wednesday.
-snip-
Over five years, the researchers tested 200 birds, including Bicknell’s thrush, two high-mountain warblers and the white-throated sparrow. Levels were higher at Stratton Mountain, where mercury deposition also is higher, McFarland said.
McFarland said researchers suspect that mercury is taken up by high-elevation trees. Moth caterpillars eat the leaves, and Bicknell’s thrush dines on the caterpillars.

12 mar
First kiwi chick hatches in mainland island in nine years - NZ
http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3214764a7693,00.html
Department of Conservation staff is celebrating the arrival of the first kiwi chick to hatch in Hawke's Bay's Boundary Stream mainland island since intensive restoration work in the area started in 1996.
The chick, which has been named "Makino", is the offspring of two kiwi released into the mainland island in early 2002 as part of Bank of New Zealand Kiwi Recovery's Operation Nest Egg.

12 mar
Chupacabra? Another Mysterious Beast Spotted - US
http://www.woai.com/news/local/story.aspx?...AE-DEFD273D89CA
Another sighting of the mysterious beast many call the “Chupacbra.” This time the creature was spotted in East Texas – alive!
Someone in the Tyler area was able to snap a picture of the strange blue-grayish animal with long fangs.
It looks much like the one a San Antonio area rancher shot and killed last year. You may remember the so-called "Elmendorf Beast" that rancher Devin McAnally discovered in July. The story drew attention from around the world, and several of the animals have since been spotted across Texas. Some say it's a coyote with mange. Others have wondered if it's the Chupacabra of Mexican folklore. You can judge for yourself by taking a look at our series of stories on this strange beast...


13 mar
Probe into fish deaths at lake - Malaysia
http://thestaronline.com/news/story.asp?fi...6508&sec=nation
An ecological phenomenon such as the red tide is the likely cause of the mysterious death of thousands of fish in the protected Likas Lagoon here.
However, authorities have yet to rule out the possibility of poisoning by pesticides or other pollutants.
Sabah Fisheries director Rayner Stuel Galid said the department had to get the chemist's report on the toxicity of the water samples to ascertain what actually killed the fish in the 22ha of freshwater grassland lake.
“If it was poisoning, it could be anything as even pesticides can kill fish,” he said yesterday. However, he added, natural phenomena that occurred during the dry season could be the likely cause.

15 mar
Hong Kong battles to stop spread of red ants
http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&cl...10892143504B230
Along with such weighty issues as an anti-secession law and a leadership transition, China's parliament also weighed the threat of invasion - by red ants.
Hong Kong has been battling to stop the spread of the ants, whose fiery sting can be fatal to humans, since they were first found in the southern territory in January.
Then the insects were found to have moved north into the neighbouring province of Guangdong.
"Prompt, effective measures should be taken to stop hazardous red fire ants from making inroads into north China where the national capital of Beijing is located," Xinhua news agency quoted a delegate to parliament as saying on Sunday.
Zhang Zhongning proposed thorough border checks to keep the ants from marching into the heart of Beijing.

16 mar
Mich. Moose Population Slump Continues - US
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor.../island_moose_2
Mercilessly hounded by blood-sucking ticks, the Isle Royale moose herd is on a downward spiral — and the wolf packs that roam the national park in Lake Superior are taking advantage
The moose population fell to about 540 this winter, down from 740 last year and 1,100 during the winter of 2002-03, wildlife biologist Rolf Peterson of Michigan Tech University said Tuesday. Meanwhile, wolf numbers jumped from 19 to 29 last season and reached 30 this year.
Although at their lowest ebb in nearly a decade, the moose have not reached a crisis point, Peterson said. They bounced back in the mid-1990s after plummeting from 2,500 to 500 within a couple of years.
Still, scientists say the animals might be feeling the effects of long-term challenges such as global warming and a shortage of balsam fir, their primary food source in winter.

18 mar
Dead Squid Wash Up in California Again
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...us/squid_ashore
Dead jumbo squid are again mysteriously washing up along Orange County’s coastline, baffling scientists who are trying to find out why.
The Ocean Institute in Dana Point has conducted some of the research, shipping specimens to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Stanford University for further study.
Scientists at the institute this week dissected a 5-foot-long, 15-pound female Humboldt squid that was filled with parasites and sand. More than a 100 squid have been spotted since Sunday between Dana Point and San Clemente.
Still, there are no answers.
“We still don’t know what’s killing them,” said Linda Blanchard, lab director of the Ocean Institute who has dissected about a dozen squid since they first washed up ashore in January. “All we have right now are theories.”
Scientists believe the squid are swimming north from Mexico to follow food sources, forcing them to come closer to the surface and shore. Squid normally live and hunt 3,000 feet below the water’s surface.

18 mar
Dangerous Bacteria in Popular Chicken Brands - US
http://www.unknowncountry.com/news/?id=4476
A whopping 96% of Tyson and 43% of Perdue chickens have been found to contain the dangerous drug-resistant bacteria Campylobacter while only 5% Eberle and 13% of Bell and Evans chickens showed signs of the presence of the bacterium.
According to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, this is likely due to the use of antibiotics in the raising of the chickens. Campylobacter is responsible for an estimated 2.4 million cases of food poisoning a year in the US.
Producers claim that the use of antibiotics makes their products safer, but the truth is the opposite, which has been amply proved by numerous scientific studies that show that the use of antibiotics in food production fosters the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.
Brands that do not use antibiotics in production are no more likely to contaqin Campylobacter than those that do. In fact, Eberlel, with the lowest Campylobacter measurement, is an antibiotic free brand.

20 mar
China to implant ID chips in pandas
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200503/s1327380.htm
China is planning to implant microchips in its captive panda population in a bid to improve protection and prevent inbreeding among the endangered species.
Xinhua news agency quotes a State Forestry Administration official as saying data such as age and pedigree will be stored and used together with the implanted chips in a nationwide operation later this year.
The information stored on the chips will help improve the managed reproduction program and help trace the bears once they are returned to the wild.
At the end of 2004, China had 163 pandas in captivity and an estimated 1,590 in the wild.

21 mar
Warm, Rainy Weather Breeds Early, Giant Mosquitoes - US
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews...ey/11179112.htm
Yes, those are mosquitoes biting your neck, even though the season isn’t supposed to begin until next month.
An unusual combination of early warm weather and lots of rain has helped produce swarms of giant-sized marsh mosquitoes – the most seen in March in years.
``Oh man, they’re killing us. They’re just incredible,’’ lamented George Travino, the owner of the Marina Seafood Grotto in Alviso, just across the street from the salt marshes of the San Francisco Bay.
A swarm of the blood-sucking insects invaded a recent community meeting at an Alviso elementary school. ``You would see people go and slap each other on the head to get rid of the mosquitoes. It was like a Three Stooges meeting,’’ Travino said.
``I’ve been in this town for 20 years and this is the worst outbreak of mosquitoes I’ve ever seen.’’
Santa Clara County mosquito-control officials say they have fielded a flood of complaining phone calls from Gilroy to Palo Alto.

21 mar
Global warming could trigger ant invasions
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7170
Global warming may lead to an unexpected threat from the insect world - swarming invasions of tiny ants - suggests new research. The study of 665 ant colonies in environments ranging from tropical rainforests to frozen tundra suggests that in warmer environments the ants' body size shrinks, on average, while the number of individuals in the colony booms.
Global warming might shrink ant workers by as much as a third, says Michael Kaspari at the University of Oklahoma, US, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, who carried out the study: "And since ant species with small workers appear to be particularly successful at invading, ant invasions - already destructive - may become more common in a warming world."
Kaspari found that worker ant and colony size varied almost 100-fold in his survey of ant colonies in 49 ecosystems in the Americas. Average nest populations varied from 63 workers in a cold temperate pine forest, to over 9000 workers in a hot, temperate desert. "The tiniest colonies are not much bigger than the inside of a Cheerio while the largest colonies can fill up a garbage can," he told New Scientist.

21 mar
Pollution Killing Asia's River Dolphins, WWF Says
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...ent_dolphins_dc
Asia's dwindling populations of river dolphins are under increasing threat from pollution, dam construction and entanglement in fishermen's nets, global nature conservation body WWF said Monday. The warning, issued on the eve of U.N. World Water Day, said only 13 of the dolphins were known to be left in China's Yangtze River where they once proliferated.
In India's vast Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems there were only 2,000, and only 1,100 along the Indus River and its delta in southern Pakistan. The fate of the dolphins was also a warning for people leaving near the rivers, Jamie Pittock, director of WWF's Global Freshwater Program, said on the Web site of the Swiss-based organization.
"River dolphins are the watchdogs of the water. The high levels of toxic pollutants accumulating in their bodies are a stark warning of poor water quality.
"Clean water is not only vital for the survival of the river dolphin but also for the quality of life for millions of the world's poor," said Pittock.

22 mar
Brazilian wetlands 'under threat'
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4372545.stm
A wetland area in Brazil hosting rare animals and plants could be destroyed by farming, urban development and climate change, a UN report has warned. The Pantanal - the world's largest wetland - stretches across areas of Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia.
The report warned that the greatest threat comes from the intensive use of pesticides and fertilisers in Brazil's Mato Grosso state.

23 mar
Canada gives seal hunt go-ahead
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4374051.stm
Canada has given the go-ahead for what is expected to be one of the biggest seal hunts in the country for decades.
The government says the hunt is now more humane and that more than 300,000 seals can be killed this year.
The seal population is reaching record levels as commercial fish stocks are vanishing, the authorities say.
Animal rights campaigners, who say the hunt is cruel, have called for a boycott of Canadian seafood before the hunt which is due to start on 29 March.
The two-month hunt takes place on ice floes off the Atlantic coast where the seals give birth.

25 mar
Wildlife winces at early spring- UK
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/uk/4379533.stm
Many native British species are struggling to cope with the "stop-start spring", wildlife experts say. A survey involving 65,000 wildlife sightings suggests that frogs and bumblebees are among the hardest hit. "Climate change is not something that is happening a million miles away - it is going on in our own back gardens," said nature presenter Bill Oddie.
The findings come from Springwatch - a project being run by the Woodland Trust and the BBC between January and June.
Over 30,000 volunteers have noted their first sightings of six key species, passing the data on to researchers studying how nature is responding to global warming.
Climate change
Since January the public has been invited to record first sightings of bumblebees, frog spawn, seven spot ladybirds, peacock butterfly, hawthorn flowering and swifts arriving.
Early reports suggest large fluctuations in temperature have resulted in widespread sightings of frozen frogspawn.
"If it has died it means that frogs that produced that spawn aren't going to have another chance to breed that year," said BBC environment correspondent Sarah Mukherjee. There are also concerns that some bumblebees may have been killed off, despite new reports of active nests throughout the winter. Bumblebees have been recorded since mid-December, while frog spawn was seen in Cornwall on 1 November, several days earlier than other recent warm years and about two weeks earlier than 2001.
The peacock butterfly, not normally seen until March, has been spotted widely, with a first sighting on 28 December and well over 2,000 recordings. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said the recent cold snap had slowed down nesting.

26 mar
Breeding success for rare kakapo _ NZ
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/sci/tech/4384813.stm
Down on a lonely island off the southern tip of New Zealand, three new kakapo have just been born. These new chicks bring the total number of one of the world's rarest birds to 86. The critically endangered kakapo - fat, green, musty-smelling nocturnal parrots, which cannot fly but which can climb trees - are confined to New Zealand's offshore islands.
Once, they roamed mainland New Zealand from sea level to the mountains.
Decimated by introduced predators, the kakapo population dwindled to just 51 in the mid-1990s, but an intensive conservation effort has boosted kakapo numbers in the past few years.

27 mar
Fears rare parrot species declining - AUSTRALIA
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200503/s1332053.htm
Bird observers are concerned about the small number of swift parrots they have seen this year.
The bird only breeds in Tasmania and needs flowering blue gums to survive.
It is believed the destruction of their habitat has seen numbers fall to 1,200 breeding pairs in the last few years.
Birds Tasmania spokesman Bill Wakefield says this year observers have seen even less swift parrots than normal, raising fears of a further decline in population.
"It's looking pretty bleak, particularly if their food source is being removed bit by bit and it has been moved particularly quickly over the past five or six years," he said.
"We don't know enough, we don't have enough observers on the ground but we do know that the population as a whole is slowly but surely declining.
"We know that their food resource is also being removed at an ever increasing rate."

30 mar
Scientists Mystified by Herring Decline - US
http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=7429
A steep decline in Puget Sound-area herring, a critical food source for larger fish, marine mammals and sea birds, has scientists mystified. Not only are adult herring dying earlier than normal, but some fear a stock that used to be one of the largest in Washington state's inland marine waters could go extinct.
The 30-year decline in the small, silvery fish has far-reaching implications, said Jim West, a state Fish and Wildlife Department research scientist who found high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls and other toxic substances in herring in south Puget Sound. "Virtually any predator worth its salt in Puget Sound is going to be eating herring," West said.
Herring are a dietary stable for chinook salmon, cod and halibut, and also are eaten by porpoises, seals, sea lions and orcas. Freshly spawned herring eggs once drew swarms of marine birds, especially diving ducks called surf scoters that fly north to nest in the Canadian interior.
"It's thought to be important for them to feed on herring spawn while they're here because there's not a lot of food up there for them," said Joseph Evenson, a state Fish and Wildlife Department biologist. "They're basically working off their fat reserves."
The herring decline may explain the disappearance of thousands of scoters from parts of the inland waters, said Evenson and his boss Dave Nysewander, the state's marine bird and mammal project leader.
One of the most severe herring declines is between Bellingham and the Canadian border, an area which once accounted for about a third of the state's total stocks.

31 mar
Penguin deaths baffle experts - AUSTRALIA
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200503/s1335508.htm
Penguin deaths are continuing on beaches in Tasmania's north-west.
Anna Wind, of Coastcare, says nearly 200 penguins have now been reported dead since December.
Ms Wind says very little is known about the fairy penguin and more research needs to be done.
"We're still learning about the nature of the birds and how they live," she said.
"I'm really keen for the public to still continue on and report dead penguins to me, so we can get a better picture of what the natural deaths could be for little penguins."

31 mar
Wildlife faces wipeout in the cradle of evolution – Galapagos Island
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/enviro...sp?story=625035
Environmental disaster is looming in the Galapagos Islands, the Pacific archipelago whose unique wildlife inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Already under pressure from a rapidly growing population and mass tourism, the waters around the Galapagos face being devastated by one of the world's most wildlife-damaging fishing methods.
The Galapagos have been officially protected for nearly 20 years and form part of the Galapagos World Heritage Site. But now the islands' 1,000 fishermen want to introduce long-lining - a technique involving lines many miles long holding hundreds of thousands of baited hooks, which catch and kill as many birds and animals as the fish that are targeted.
Conservationists fear that the species-rich marine ecosystem of the islands, governed by Ecuador, which is 600 miles to the east, will be cut to pieces. Sea lions, dolphins, turtles, sharks, penguins, albatrosses and many other seabirds, all of which are major tourist attractions, are all likely to fall victim to the hooks.
"This will be a disaster for the environment," said Leonor Stjepic, the executive director of the London-based Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT)last night.
There is growing worldwide alarm at the threat, heightened by the islands' iconic environmental status as the cradle of evolution - the place where Charles Darwin began to think about the origins of the many different species that could be found there and nowhere else, when he arrived as the naturalist aboard HMS Beagle in 1835. His Galapagos observations led directly to his theory of evolution by natural selection.

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QUOTE
Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, a marine biologist based in Universiti Sains Malaysia’s Muka Head marine research station, said the appearance of cockles at Teluk Bahang was an indication of two possibilities – either a tsunami would happen again or the phenomenon was the result of the December disaster
.

Something weird is going on in that area. wackoNEW.gif
There might be a 3rd quake coming:

QUOTE
http://jang.com.pk/thenews/mar2005-daily/31-03-2005/world/w7.htm
A prominent seismologist said he could not rule out the risk of a third big quake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where two massive temblors have occurred in just three months. "The probability of a third quake in the coming months and years, cannot be excluded," said Mustapha Meghraoui, in charge of active tectonics at the Institute for Planetary Physics in Strasbourg, eastern France. "The theory is that this particular region has seismic cycles of between 150 years and 200 years. The December 26 event caused extreme disruption, and one possibility is of a cascade of quakes."



..and yeah Pupp - I'm rockin' on my stairways to heaven...
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Posted: Apr 27 2005, 10:38 AM
Quote Post
Here's another strange one I came across.

QUOTE
Exploding Toads Baffle Experts
Local6.com
April 24, 2005

Scientists in Hamburg, Germany, are baffled by the strange deaths of hundreds of toads after they apparently exploded in and around a pond, according to a Local 6 News report.

As many as 1,000 toads have died after their bodies swelled to bursting point and then exploded, according to reports from animal welfare workers and veterinarians. [...]

http://www.local6.com/news/4410396/detail.html




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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: May 1 2005, 07:36 AM
Quote Post
Whew !! I was worried for a sec.....

thought it said "Exploding Turds"....

coulda been a messy 'End Times' scenario.....

Someone told me that if you give Aspirins to seagulls, they explode....

I never tried it though.....

Peace




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" In PuPP We Trust ! " user posted image



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Posted: May 1 2005, 12:05 PM
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Last week, within the same day two doves where found in front of the office, one being a white tail dove and the other, a carrier dove. The white tail dove has a broken leg and it is still not doing too good, and the carrier dove is doing fine growing its left side flying wings which for some reason where missing. At the rate of which the carrier doves wings are growing, maybe within the next week or two it would be released.

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Posted: May 6 2005, 03:36 PM
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Today I saw this bird:
(I hope this works)
user posted image

I never saw a bird like this here in New England because it's supposed to be living in Costa Rica!
Leucopternis Albicollis -White Hawk


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Posted: May 6 2005, 10:23 PM
Quote Post
QUOTE
Mystery of the missing salmon
Dramatic drop in annual run in Northwest

By K.C. Johnston
Reporter
NBC News
Updated: 7:54 p.m. ET May 5, 2005

Springtime on the Columbia River usually means hordes of Chinook salmon swimming up the river, nourishing on their way centuries-old Indian traditions and a voracious commercial fishery.

This year, however, thousands of salmon seem to have gone missing — and no one knows why.

"We’ve got a big mystery on our hands, a run of salmon that seems to have disappeared," said Stuart Ellis, a harvest management biologist with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

Scientists had initially expected this year’s salmon run to number about 225,000 fish swimming past the Bonneville Dam where they’re counted. But, as of last Thursday, scientists had only counted about 26,000 since the beginning of the year.

A group of fish managers and tribal representatives met Monday to revise their estimate, knocking the number of fish they expect to pass from the original estimate of 225,000 to an unofficial guess of between 70,000 and 100,000.

Harsh consequences
For the first time the Indian tribes — who have for centuries relied on the salmon for their cultural and economic well-being — have been forced to get the fish used in their springtime ceremonies from other sources, some donated from sympathetic fishermen downstream and others from freezers storing last year’s catch.

Charles Hudson, the manager of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, said that the effects of the dearth of Chinook this year run deep, deeper than just having to rely on frozen fish for the annual ceremonies.

The tribes also depends on the fish for much of their daily food, and were initially given a seasonal allotment of 25,000 fish to feed about 20,000 people this year. So far, tribal fishermen have caught under 5,000 fish, according to the commission's statistics.

The tribes are also dependent on salmon for much of their economic sustenance, but it looks as though that will also be jeopardized this year.

"It looks very likely that there will be no — zero — commercial fishery this year," said Hudson.

Significant drop in tourism
On April 20, federal fish managers shut down the entire Columbia River above the Bonneville dam to all commercial and sport fishing.

This has resulted in commercial fisherman losing one quarter to one third of their profits for the entire year, according to Oliver Waldman, the executive director of Salmon for All, a fisherman’s advocacy organization.

"They’re broke," he said. The Chinook are their most important catch, the most valuable fish on the West Coast, netting the fishermen $5-6 per pound.

Now, however, "the fishery is sitting at the dock," Waldman said.

Bill Witt, who owns a fishing guide company that runs frequent trips on the Columbia, estimates that if the river is closed until June, his business will lose at least $25,000, about one-tenth of its income for the season.

Within four days of the fishery shutting down, Gimme-A-Go Fishing Adventures lost about $3,000, according to its owner, Jon Ball.

"I’ve been sitting at home. I had the last three days off," he said on Tuesday. He had to cancel all of the river tours he had booked for the weekend, as well as a television feature that was to be filmed from his boat.

Ball noted that it’s not only sportsmen like himself who depend on the sport fishing industry, but also the riverside towns who rely on tourists and fishermen to rent hotel rooms and visit stores and restaurants. Now none of those businesses are getting the expected seasonal rush.

"Everybody’s screwed," said Ball.

Unsolved mystery
So what happened to the fish?

Were they victimized by the wily sea lions that have discovered how to climb fish ladders at the Bonneville Dam, sitting there all day and devouring the unfortunate fish that try to swim past? Has there been some significant change in ocean conditions that have killed thousands of fish? Or is there some secret black market downriver that’s catching all the fish as they try to swim up the river?

Sea lions are easy targets of the public and the government fish managers, who have begun to blast fireworks on the Bonneville Dam fish ladders where many lions have taken up residence. But even the hundreds of sea lions that now live around the dam couldn’t eat nearly enough fish to account for the tiny run.

The fish market is also closely monitored by government regulatory agencies, so a massive black market is highly unlikely.

Scientists say they haven’t seen any evidence of a dramatic change in ocean conditions that could cause so many fish to die, but that could be a likely problem, according to Steve Williams, the assistant director of the fish program at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Such changes could include increased predation of the fish, or a change in water temperatures. Williams said scientists have not been able to pinpoint what changes have occurred that have hurt fish populations.

Williams noted that the annual springtime smelt fish run up the river was also nearly nonexistent this season. Smelt runs have not in years past been accurate predictors of salmon runs up the river, but both fish would be susceptible to altered ocean conditions, so the same problem could be to blame for reduced populations of both fish.

Most people involved have established their own theories. Ball, the fisherman, said he suspects the salmon have been tricked by lower water levels caused by last summer’s drought into delaying their run up the river. He said he also thinks the sea lions may have quite a bit to do with it.

Ellis and Williams both agree that none of these problems individually should take all the blame. If anything, the low numbers of salmon are the result of a number of factors influencing their ability to swim past the Bonneville Dam to their upstream spawning grounds.

Room for optimism
Williams said that despite the dismal numbers and initial panic, he and others are now looking at the salmon run with "slight optimism."

"Last week we were definitely in crisis mode," he said. But the increase in the number of fish making their way upstream is cause for optimism, he said, and he expects the run this year to at least hit the minimum expectation of 70,000 fish.

Williams also said that the commercial and sport fisheries might, if the count continues to trend upward, be opened again soon. He said fish managers are evaluating the necessity of the closure on a weekly basis, and could decide as soon as next week that salmon numbers are sufficient to warrant it reopening.

Even if the fishery were to reopen soon, however, it would be too late for many of those people dependent on the fish. Most of the Indian celebrations are done for the season, and most of the commercial fishermen have departed the salmon fishery, looking for greener pastures in other Pacific Northwest regions.

"They’re hoping, with a great, fervent hope, that the Alaska season will bring some revenues to them and their families," said Waldman, of Salmon for All. Even if the river were reopened to the fishermen next week, they’ve already departed north and couldn’t be repositioned for the Chinook catch.

Scientists are careful to note that the fish count continues through early June, but say that even if it turned out that the run was simply delayed this year, or even if daily counts jumped into the thousands, this year’s run still won’t come close to the numbers initially predicted.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7708591/




--------------------
QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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