Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

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Addie
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#26

Post by Addie » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:24 am

AWHC - (press release)
Trump Administration Again Seeks to Slaughter Tens of Thousands of American Wild Horses

President’s FY 2020 Budget Asks Congress to Lift Long-Standing Ban on Slaughter and Killing Healthy Horses


Washington, DC (April 2, 2019) . . . The American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) today harshly criticized the Trump Administration for again ignoring the will of 80% of Americans by pressing for permission from Congress to kill tens of thousands of federally-protected wild horses.

The renewed push came in the administration's Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget justification, which again asks Congress to lift its long-standing prohibition the destruction of healthy wild horses and burros and the sale of these federally-protected animals for slaughter.

“The Trump Administration continues to defy the will of the American people by proposing the slaughter of our iconic wild horses and burros,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Campaign. “The Administration’s decision to prioritize the mass killing of mustangs over humane management alternatives recommended by the National Academy of Sciences is, irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and politically unacceptable.”

The President’s budget justification reads, "that appropriations language restricting BLM from using all of the management options authorized in the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 be eliminated so that the full suite of tools originally authorized by Congress will be available to manage growing wild horse and burro herds."

While seemingly innocuous, this references language that Congress annually adds to appropriations legislation to prohibit BLM, the agency responsible for managing the vast majority of free-roaming wild horses and burros in the West, from killing healthy mustangs and burros and selling them for slaughter. ...

Congress resistance to authorizing mass wild horse slaughter can be attributed to massive public opposition. Polls show that 80 percent of Americans – including 86 percent of Trump voters -- oppose the slaughter and mass killing of wild horses and burros. Previous polls showed similar public support, with 3 in 4 Americans wanting wild horses protected on our public lands and 80% of Americans oppose the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption.

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#27

Post by Addie » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:20 am

The Guardian
Australia launches emergency relocation of fish as largest river system faces collapse

There are doubts the Noah’s Ark plan for the Lower Darling will be enough to prevent more mass fish kills


Faced with a looming ferocious summer with little rain forecast, the New South Wales government has embarked on a Noah’s Ark type operation to move native fish from the Lower Darling – part of Australia’s most significant river system – to safe havens before high temperatures return to the already stressed river basin.

Researchers have warned of other alarming ecological signs that the Lower Darling River – part of the giant Murray-Darling Basin – is in a dire state, following last summer’s mass fish kills.

Professor Fran Sheldon, from Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute, said only one surviving colony of river mussels had been found along the river and there were signs that river red gums were under severe stress.

“If the river red gums die, and some are hundreds of years old, there will be a domino effect. Banks will collapse, there will be massive erosion and it will send sediments down the river.”

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#28

Post by Volkonski » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:50 am

Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#29

Post by DejaMoo » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:00 am

A Big New Study Finds Bee-Killing Pesticides Aren’t Even Worth it for Soybean Farmers
...the pitch to farmers: Spend extra for treated seeds, and enjoy higher crop yields in return. But according to a new meta-analysis of past research from nearly two dozen scientists at top public agriculture-research universities—the bargain isn’t paying off.

And while economic gains for farmers are vanishingly tiny, at best, the potential ecological risks are high, the authors note. The insecticides in the treatments are called neonicotinoids, which have been banned in Europe for their potential harmful effects on pollinators. A “growing body of research” suggests these chemicals have a “host of negative effects” on beneficial organisms, the paper notes, including honey bees, wild bees, monarch butterflies, birds, and terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. On Thursday, Science published a paper from Canadian researchers finding that low-level neonic exposure may delay the migrations of songbirds and harm their chances of mating.

Crunching data from the studies, the group found that both the fungicide-only and the fungicide/neonic seed treatments delivered slightly higher yields than the control—but not enough to justify the added cost of the treatments.

The results of the paper suggest that soybean farmers are paying up for seed treatments that add little to their bottom lines but subject tens of millions of acres of the American landscape to unnecessary pesticides.
I've heard this bull before.

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#30

Post by Volkonski » Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:22 pm

The New York Times
@nytimes
·
6m
Breaking News: There are 2.9 billion fewer birds in the U.S. and Canada now than 50 years ago, a new study found, a steep decline that stunned the researchers
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/scie ... tw-nytimes
The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago.

The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations.

In a statement on Thursday, David Yarnold, president and chief executive of the National Audubon Society, called the findings “a full-blown crisis.”

Experts have long known that some bird species have become vulnerable to extinction. But the new study, based on a broad survey of more than 500 species, reveals steep losses even among such traditionally abundant birds as robins and sparrows.
Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#31

Post by Volkonski » Tue Sep 24, 2019 2:53 pm

When We Love Our Food So Much That It Goes Extinct

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/20 ... es-extinct
It sounds a lot worse than it is because we're always making new ones. Before we moved food around the world the way we do now, every region would grow as many varieties as it could to extend the season of common foods. For example, you'd grow early apples and you'd have a big bunch of apples; then you'd have some late apples right into the very end of the year. When we started shipping foods from regions in other climates, we stopped growing some of the varieties that might have been great but didn't produce quite as much or didn't ship as well. So we went from a seasonal approach to global trade. And in some ways, there's nothing wrong with that, other than it meant we focused on durability rather than flavor. We're seeing a bit of a return to try to bring some of those varieties back, because they do have neat flavor and culinary profiles. But a lot of them are gone for good, and there's no way to bring them back. So that's a big loss.

:snippity:

The passenger pigeon is the one that kind of keeps me up at night, because it was one of the most common birds and it played this oversized role in the food system. In Colonial times it was turned into pie. It was baked. It was roasted. It was made into stew. Basically, anything you do to a chicken is what we did to them. [Because of their] sheer volume, they were incredibly cheap. You could go to the big markets in the big city and pick them up for just pennies. You could literally throw a net over a hundred birds and have dinner. For that wealth to be lost in such a short time shows the power of the industrial food system to liquidate a wild food. And the chicken moved in to fill that gap. Before the end of the passenger pigeon, chickens really were kept in small numbers, and farmers would sell their eggs and they would eat the odd bird. On the Eastern seaboard of the U.S., farmers started producing chicken en masse because North Americans wanted a bird in their food system, and a lot of these wild birds were gone. And so, the chicken kind of moved in as everyone's favorite bird. It is by far the most numerous animal that we grow for food, because it's a bit like the passenger pigeon. It's incredibly versatile.

:snippity:

I think that [the extinction of the passenger pigeon] says a lot about the future of fish because they're the only thing that's kind of equivalent. I look at our fish docks, and I think that if we're going to see a repeat of that kind of extinction, it might be in something like tuna or cod. I really hope we don't, but the scale of the passenger pigeon extinction is the one in the book that really haunted me. And it's right on the cover because it's hard to get out of your head, once you read about it. We probably can't harvest wild fish in any kind of large-scale way and expect them not to go extinct. We've already driven a number of lake and river fish to extinction, and I think we have to move to on-land fish farming. It's one of the areas that cellular agriculture might have a big potential, where we grow fish in the lab instead.
Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#32

Post by Dan1100 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:06 pm

Volkonski wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:22 pm
The New York Times
@nytimes
·
6m
Breaking News: There are 2.9 billion fewer birds in the U.S. and Canada now than 50 years ago, a new study found, a steep decline that stunned the researchers
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/19/scie ... tw-nytimes
The number of birds in the United States and Canada has fallen by 29 percent since 1970, scientists reported on Thursday. There are 2.9 billion fewer birds taking wing now than there were 50 years ago.

The analysis, published in the journal Science, is the most exhaustive and ambitious attempt yet to learn what is happening to avian populations. The results have shocked researchers and conservation organizations.

In a statement on Thursday, David Yarnold, president and chief executive of the National Audubon Society, called the findings “a full-blown crisis.”

Experts have long known that some bird species have become vulnerable to extinction. But the new study, based on a broad survey of more than 500 species, reveals steep losses even among such traditionally abundant birds as robins and sparrows.
I wonder how much of that is caused by no-till farming. Before no-till, in every row crop field there was a little bit of habitat at every fence row and in every little ditch you couldn't plow. Now instead of plowing, they just kill all the weeds with Round-up, including the fence rows and ditches, and all those little pieces of habitat are gone.

I know it is a part of the decline of the Monarch butterflies, since that is where the milkweed used to grow (milkweed is poison for horses and cattle, so it's been eradicated in pastures since the beginning of time) and also a part of the decline in quail, but I wonder how widespread the overall effect has been.
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#33

Post by Volkonski » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:48 pm

Major onion crop failure so India has halted exports. India normally exports hundreds of thousands of pounds to its neighbors.

Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

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