Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

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Addie
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#26

Post by Addie »

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

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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 »

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#29

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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

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The New York Times
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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.
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#31

Post by Volkonski »

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.
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#32

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Volkonski wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:22 pm
The New York Times
@nytimes
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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 »

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

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#34

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Siberian Times
Northern reindeer that roamed Taymyr peninsula are at the brink of extinction – “The losses are catastrophic”

(The Siberian Times) – More than 40,000 wild reindeer perished since the last count in 2017, said scientists who returned from a major expedition to the Taymyr Peninsula.

The Yenisei group of reindeer has disappeared entirely while the westernmost group living along the Tareya River has dramatically shrunk in size from 44,300 animals in 2017 to only several thousands now.

A research conducted over a territory of 80,000km2 – equal to the area of the United Arab Emirates – concluded that drastic measures are needed to claw back wild reindeer populations in all of Taymyr, northern Evenkia and western Yakutia.

The Taymyr Peninsula sits on the very tip of vast Krasnoyarsk region, facing the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago – and yes this is the fastest warming place on earth.

The air temperature in Taymyr has increased by 1.2C degrees over the past decade, which is above average not only for Russia but for the planet, said Andrey Kiselyov, a leading researcher.

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#35

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The End of Babies

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... ldren.html
If any country should be stocked with babies, it is Denmark. The country is one of the wealthiest in Europe. New parents enjoy 12 months’ paid family leave and highly subsidized day care. Women under 40 can get state-funded in vitro fertilization. But Denmark’s fertility rate, at 1.7 births per woman, is roughly on par with that of the United States. A reproductive malaise has settled over this otherwise happy land.

:snippity:

Declining fertility typically accompanies the spread of economic development, and it is not necessarily a bad thing. At its best, it reflects better educational and career opportunities for women, increasing acceptance of the choice to be child-free, and rising standards of living.

At its worst, though, it reflects a profound failure: of employers and governments to make parenting and work compatible; of our collective ability to solve the climate crisis so that children seem a rational prospect; of our increasingly unequal global economy. In these instances, having fewer children is less a choice than the poignant consequence of a set of unsavory circumstances.

Decades of survey data show that people’s stated preferences have shifted toward smaller families. But they also show that in country after country, actual fertility has fallen faster than notions of ideal family size. In the United States, the gap between how many children people want and how many they have has widened to a 40-year high. In a report covering 28 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, women reported an average desired family size of 2.3 children in 2016, and men wished for 2.2. But few hit their target. Something is stopping us from creating the families we claim to want. But what?
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

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BBC News
Malaysia's last known Sumatran rhino dies

The Sumatran rhino is now officially extinct in Malaysia, with the death of the last known specimen.

The 25-year-old female named Iman died on Saturday on the island of Borneo, officials say. She had cancer.

Malaysia's last male Sumatran rhino died in May this year.

The Sumatran rhino once roamed across Asia, but has now almost disappeared from the wild, with fewer than 100 animals believed to exist. The species is now critically endangered.

Iman died at 17:35 local time (09:35 GMT) on Saturday, Malaysia's officials said.


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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#37

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Forbes
Koalas ‘Functionally Extinct’ After Australia Bushfires Destroy 80% Of Their Habitat

As Australia experiences record-breaking drought and bushfires, koala populations have dwindled along with their habitat, leaving them “functionally extinct.”

The chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation, Deborah Tabart, estimates that over 1,000 koalas have been killed from the fires and that 80 percent of their habitat has been destroyed.

Recent bushfires, along with prolonged drought and deforestation has led to koalas becoming “functionally extinct” according to experts.

Functional extinction is when a population becomes so limited that they no longer play a significant role in their ecosystem and the population becomes no longer viable. While some individuals could produce, the limited number of koalas makes the long-term viability of the species unlikely and highly susceptible to disease.

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#38

Post by Volkonski »

Where have all the bluefish gone?

https://riverheadlocal.com/2019/12/15/w ... fish-gone/
Fishing for bluefish, or just watching their frenzy in the water, has been as much a part of life on Long Island as our farms, beaches, pine barrens and vineyards. But at a recent meeting in Setauket, hosted by the State DEC, there was confirmed what many have regrettably noticed of late: that bluefish have come close to disappearing altogether. Some strict limits are in store for how many can be fished. And when you see the numbers the DEC throws around, maybe it’s another case where “we have seen the enemy, and they are us.”

Are the regulators of our bluefish missing the boat? It’s not only the State DEC, but regulators and policy makers for the multi-state fisheries, such as the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Checking their website at asmfc.org tells quite a story, but maybe not the story they intend. It can be said that the recent DEC gathering in Setauket took a similar, hapless direction — likely too little, too late.

:snippity:

Bluefish are not found off the West Coast of the United States. Indeed, the eastern Pacific Ocean is one of the very few areas of the world that bluefish don’t inhabit. Back in 1986, an astonishing record of 151.5 million pounds of bluefish were taken by recreational anglers on the East Coast. But by 2018, it was dramatically lower; recreational fishing harvested 13.5 million pounds of bluefish. Moreover, AFSMFC reported that bluefish harvested in 2018 were “considerably smaller” in body weight than those harvested in 2017. Last year also marked the lowest commercial harvest for bluefish.

:snippity:

But fishing for blues at their youngest stage, known as “snappers,” at a life stage when they’ve yet to absorb pollutants, and easily cooked (being less fatty than adults allows snappers quickly to be grilled/fried) is a culinary joy in itself, and a memorable introduction to fishing for many a L.I. youngster. Riverhead’s snapper tournaments, however, have lately failed to land any snappers at all.
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird & Animal Populations

#39

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Associated Press
New England Sees Record Number of Loons in Several States

Loons are finding New England to their liking, with record numbers seen this year in several states. New Hampshire documented 313 pairs of the iconic bird known for its black head and haunting calls at dusk.

Vermont also saw an all-time high of 101 nesting pairs, and that's the highest number recorded since 1978.

Numbers declined slightly this year in Maine, which has the largest common loon population in the eastern United States.

But those numbers are still twice what they were in the 1980s.

Experts credit increased protection and growing awareness for the resurgence of the iconic bird.

Nests are roped off in some states, while other states provide floating platforms for nesting.

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#40

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NZ Herald
Half a billion animals perish in Australian bushfires

There are real concerns entire species of plants and animals have been wiped out by bushfires following revelations almost 500 million animals have died since the crisis began.

Ecologists from the University of Sydney now estimate 480 million mammals, birds and reptiles have been lost since September.

That figure is likely to soar following the devastating fires which have ripped through Victoria and the NSW South Coast over the past couple of days, leaving several people dead or unaccounted for, razing scores of homes and leaving thousands stranded, news.com.au reports. ...

This morning more than 130 fires were raging across NSW and Victoria, with millions of hectares of national park already burnt.

Harrowing scenes of kangaroos fleeing walls of fire, charred bodies of koalas and cockatoos falling dead out of trees have horrified the world as it tries to take in the scale of the unfolding disaster.

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#41

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Fires were always scary in Australia. I was trapped in Brisbane for a day because of a fire raging along the only route to my home in Northern New South Wales. There were a couple of times I was on full alert when a fire came within a couple of miles from my home. They move very fast.

I've been watching this fire season to see if my old home is still standing. It is. The village is safe for now, but nearby areas inland have had some outbreaks.

One of things I quickly learned in Oz was to be prepared for fire season. But this year is gawdawful beyond anything that happened when I lived there. Breaks my heart.

I lived there in the '90's, and frigging everybody was talking about climate change and the devastation that would happen to the country. You'd be openly shamed for not recycling, or not have a reusable grocery bag, or buying disposable diapers (called nappies). Trash bins were smallish compared to the US. 2/3rds of the bin for non-recyclables, 1/3rd for recyclables. The trash company wouldn't pick up you stuff if the lid on the bin wasn't closed. You had to take an excess to the dump and pay a fee.

It was a major change to return to the US in many ways, but the mass consumption of junk and the failure to recycle really stood out. I live rural, so no garbage pick-up. But when I go to the dump and see all the recyclable items being tossed in the landfill, I want to scream. And occasionally do.

Any word from Maydijo?

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#42

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Giant Chinese paddlefish dubbed the 'Panda of the Yangtze River' is declared extinct due to overfishing and habitat loss

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech ... tinct.html
China has declared its giant paddlefish, dubbed 'the Panda of the Yangtze River' for its enormous size, extinct following decades of overfishing.

According to scientists at the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute, Psephurus gladius, which can grow to 22 feet in length, went extinct between 2005 and 2010.

Extinction has been caused by overfishing since the 1970s and humans destroying their habitat. Pollution and urbanisation also played a role in their demise.

There were only 210 sightings of 'the giant panda of the rivers' between 1981 and January 2003, when the last live specimen was found and released back into the river.
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#43

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'Like sending bees to war': the deadly truth behind your almond-milk obsession

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... nUZwpv1JOY
Like most commercial beekeepers in the US, at least half of Arp’s revenue now comes from pollinating almonds. Selling honey is far less lucrative than renting out his colonies to mega-farms in California’s fertile Central Valley, home to 80% of the world’s almond supply.

But as winter approached, with Arp just months away from taking his hives to California, his bees started getting sick. By October, 150 of Arp’s hives had been wiped out by mites, 12% of his inventory in just a few months. “My yard is currently filled with stacks of empty bee boxes that used to contain healthy hives,” he says.

This shouldn’t be happening to someone like Arp, a beekeeper with decades of experience. But his story is not unique. Commercial beekeepers who send their hives to the almond farms are seeing their bees die in record numbers, and nothing they do seems to stop the decline.

A recent survey of commercial beekeepers showed that 50 billion bees – more than seven times the world’s human population – were wiped out in a few months during winter 2018-19. This is more than one-third of commercial US bee colonies, the highest number since the annual survey started in the mid-2000s.
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#44

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New York Times
The Secret That Helps Some Trees Live More Than 1,000 Years

By comparing very old and young ginkgos in China, scientists found an explanation for their longevity.


The ginkgo is a living fossil. It is the oldest surviving tree species, having remained on the planet, relatively unchanged for some 200 million years. A single ginkgo may live for hundreds of years, maybe more than a thousand. They’ve survived some of our world’s greatest catastrophes, from the extinction of the dinosaurs to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

So what’s the secret to their longevity?

In the rings and genes of Ginkgo biloba trees in China, some of which are confirmed to be more than 1,000 years old, scientists are starting to find answers.

“In humans, as we age, our immune system begins to start to not be so good,” said Richard Dixon, a biologist at the University of North Texas. But in a way, “the immune system in these trees, even though they’re 1,000 years old, looks like that of a 20-year-old.”

He and colleagues in China and the United States compared young and old ginkgo trees, ranging in age from 15 to 1,300 years old, in a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. By examining the genetics of the vascular cambium, a layer or cylinder of living cells behind the bark, they found that the ginkgo grows wide indefinitely through old age.

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

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Does this mean they uncovered the treasure of eternal life :?:

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#46

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‘Amazing’: New embryo made of nearly extinct rhino species
today | https://apnews.com/2a445286bf6b0e0f8c5a871775376f27
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Researchers say they have successfully created another embryo of the nearly extinct northern white rhino in a global effort to keep the species alive. Just two animals remain, and both are female.

The viable embryo is just the third to be created in a lab with eggs taken from the females and inseminated with frozen sperm from dead males, according to Wednesday’s statement. The embryos are stored in liquid nitrogen to be transferred into a surrogate mother — a southern white rhino — in the coming months.

“It’s amazing to see that we will be able to reverse the tragic loss of this subspecies through science,” said Kenya’s wildlife minister, Najib Balala, in the statement by the Kenya Wildlife Service and conservationists from Kenya, the Czech Republic, Germany and Italy.

The ultimate goal is to create a herd of at least five animals that could be returned to their natural habitat in Africa. That could take decades.

The two remaining female northern white rhinos, Najin and Fatu, are hosted by Kenya. The three viable embryos have been created with eggs from Fatu.

Image

"On March 19, the world’s last male northern white rhino died. His name was Sudan, and he was beautiful."
https://time.com/5482842/time-top-10-ph ... ite-rhino/


Meet the Man Keeping the Last Two Northern White Rhinos on Earth Alive
https://earther.gizmodo.com/meet-the-ma ... 1833845726

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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#47

Post by Volkonski »

CBS News
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Global warming cited as Antarctica's chinstrap penguin population drops by half https://cbsn.ws/30t5g4g
"They've lost already 50% since the early (20)teens," says the researcher compiling the data on a computer screen. "That's amazing."

That fits the pattern they're seeing on the island so far: a decline of around 150,000 chinstraps since the last major survey 50 years ago. Another sign, the researchers say, that this penguin population is collapsing across the region.

"It's very dramatic to have a wildlife population decline by 50% - an unexploited wildlife population. They're not hunted," says activist and researcher Steve Forrest. "I think climate change is driving almost all of the processes down here now in a way they've never experienced before."

Penguins are a lot like people - they need food and a good environment to thrive. The researchers say that if the world continues to warm, other species - even human beings - will be affected.
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#48

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Two white pelicans and a cormorant rest on the shores (SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Scientists say hot ocean "blob" killed one million seabirds


https://www.salon.com/2020/01/17/scient ... s_partner/

The peer-reviewed study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by a team of researchers at federal and state agencies, conservation groups, and universities. They tied the mass die-off to "the blob," a marine heatwave that began forming in 2013 and grew more intense in 2015 because of the weather phenomenon known as El Niño.

"About 62,000 dead or dying common murres (Uria aalge), the trophically dominant fish-eating seabird of the North Pacific, washed ashore between summer 2015 and spring 2016 on beaches from California to Alaska," the study says. "Most birds were severely emaciated and, so far, no evidence for anything other than starvation was found to explain this mass mortality. Three-quarters of murres were found in the Gulf of Alaska and the remainder along the West Coast."

Given that previous studies have shown "that only a fraction of birds that die at sea typically wash ashore," the researchers put the death toll closer to a million.

"The magnitude and scale of this failure has no precedent," lead author John Piatt, a research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Science Center and an affiliate professor at the University of Washington, said in a statement. "It was astonishing and alarming, and a red-flag warning about the tremendous impact sustained ocean warming can have on the marine ecosystem."

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Volkonski
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#49

Post by Volkonski »

RIP river monsters. :(

The Freshwater Giants Are Dying

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/21/scie ... 4KYC8ahwmg
Some of the most astonishing creatures on Earth hide deep in rivers and lakes: giant catfish weighing over 600 pounds, stingrays the length of Volkswagen Beetles, six-foot-long trout that can swallow a mouse whole.

There are about 200 species of so-called freshwater megafauna, but compared to their terrestrial and marine counterparts, they are poorly studied by scientists and little known to the public. And they are quietly disappearing.

:snippity:

The paddlefish may be a harbinger for many other giant fish. According to research published in August in Global Change Biology, freshwater megafauna have declined by 88 percent worldwide in recent years.
There is some hope-
River restoration and dam removal projects are gaining popularity, as well: 1,500 dams have been dismantled in the United States.
While not home to river monsters dams have recently been removed on the Peconic River which runs between the North and South Forks of LI. This helps the herring and mendaden reach their spawning areas.

Zeb Hogan, an aquatic biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, with a giant freshwater stingray.
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RTH10260
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#50

Post by RTH10260 »

Freshwater Stingray Care Sheet

Relatives of Sharks

Stingrays are relatives of sharks, sawfish, skates and guitarfish, having cartilaginous skeletons rather than true bones. As their name suggests, stingrays have a venomous barb – actually a modified scale – on their tails, which they use as a defense mechanism. (Contrary to popular belief, stingrays do not come at you waving their stingers; you have to step on one or SERIOUSLY harass them to be stung.) The barbs are shed and replaced by new ones periodically, and discarded spines can be found lying on the bottom of the aquarium. Rays also have “Lorenzian ampullae” located on their heads, which allow them to sense electrical impulses in the water.

Many people are surprised to learn that some stingrays live in freshwater. Freshwater stingrays are very intelligent and quite interactive with humans. They can even be taught to hand feed. That said, they are not for everyone. They need large aquariums, pristine water conditions and specialized diets, but for those willing to put in the effort they are truly unique fish that quickly become beloved pets. In the past, most rays offered for sale were captured in the wild, which means they were often stressed and frequently carried parasites and other diseases. Many rays sold today are captive bred and are a better choice for aquarists.

A Stingray's Natural Habitat

Freshwater stingrays are found in river systems in Southeast Asia, Australia, Africa and South America. Aquarium shops in North America typically offer members of the genus Potamotrygon (Family Potamotrygonidae), which are native to South America. Most species of rays are native to a particular river system, with the majority coming from the Amazon River. They live in a variety of habitats including slow moving sandy bottomed rivers, but they can also be found in flooded forest areas during the rainy season.


https://www.aqueon.com/information/care ... freshwater
highlightinh - me too

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