Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

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

#76

Post by Estiveo »

RTH10260 wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:54 pm Let me guess, the Weird Bird happens to reside in a cage at 1600 Pensilvania Ave. and battles to remain in his current reservation :?:
The Sienna Crested Cockwomble.


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

#77

Post by Foggy »

Really? Not the Dimwitted Dumbfuck Dodo? :think:


I hope y'all are still wearing your seat belts!
Addie
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#78

Post by Addie »

Smithsonian Mag: Thousands of Migrating Birds Drop Dead Across Southwestern U.S.

Researchers aren’t sure what’s causing the mass die-off impacting birds flying south for the winter


Thousands of dead migratory birds in the southwestern United States have scientists baffled, reports Algernon D’Ammassa for the Las Cruces Sun-News. “Unprecedented” numbers of dead birds have turned up in and around New Mexico in the last few weeks, and researchers aren’t yet sure why, Martha Desmond, an ecologist at New Mexico State University (NMSU), tells the Sun-News.

The phenomenon first gained notice when hundreds of dead birds were found at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on August 20 but has since spread across at least five U.S. states and four Mexican states, per the Sun-News.

Speaking with Kevin Johnson of Audubon, Desmond estimates that if dead birds continue to pile up the total could reach six figures. “We haven’t counted all the species yet, but there are lots of species involved,” she adds. Per Audubon, there have been reports of dead owls, warblers, hummingbirds, loons, flycatchers, woodpeckers and other species migrating south to escape the winter cold.

Notably, the region’s resident birds, such as roadrunners or quail, are not among the dead, according to the Sun-News.

Researchers are exploring whether the numerous fires burning along the West Coast might have a hand in the mass die-off, perhaps through smoke inhalation or dangerous route changes to avoid the blazes, reports Simon Romero for the New York Times. Other potential explanations identified by the Times include a sudden bout of cold weather that recently gripped portions of the Rockies and High Plains or a drought in the Southwest that has decimated the insects many migratory birds depend on for food.

Many of the dead birds collected by researchers appear emaciated and some even seem to have simply taken a nose-dive mid-flight. “They’re literally just feathers and bones,” Allison Salas, a graduate student at NMSU who has been collecting carcasses, wrote in a tweet quoted by Phoebe Weston of the Guardian. “Almost as if they have been flying until they just couldn’t fly any more.”


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver
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RTH10260
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#79

Post by RTH10260 »

BUT.... But.... but.... it's as clear as mud, so sayes top WH scientist and Stable Genius - it's the wind farms :!:


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

#80

Post by Addie »

CBS News: Hundreds of elephants in Botswana may have died from toxic algae, officials say

After months of concern and speculation, the Botswana government on Monday said that the sudden deaths of more than 330 elephants in northwestern Botswana earlier this summer may have occurred because they drank water contaminated by a toxic blue-green algae.

The elephants in the Seronga area in Southern Africa died from a neurological disorder that appears to have been caused by drinking water tainted by "a toxic bloom of cyanobacterium in seasonal pans (water sources) in the region," according to Cyril Taolo, the acting Director of Wildlife and National Parks.

Unusually no other wildlife species were affected by the toxic water in the Seronga area, close to Botswana's famed Okavango Delta, said Taolo. Even scavengers — like hyenas and vultures — observed feeding on the elephant carcasses showed no signs of illness.

With an estimated 130,000 elephants, Botswana has the world's largest population of the pachyderms, which attracts international tourists.
Adding:
ABC News: Over 330 elephants suddenly collapsed and died. Scientists now have an explanation

A deadly neurotoxin and climate change are suspected of playing a role.


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver
Addie
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#81

Post by Addie »

Wired: What to Wear When You’re Battling Giant, Venomous Hornets

The suits worn by Washington state entomologists aren't "official" hornet-fighting armor. But they were affordable—and came up in an Amazon search.



By now you’ve surely seen the pictures: A dozen humanoid forms encased in full-body, white nylon suits are working on scaffolding at the base of a saran-wrapped tree by the red glow of headlamps, one of them raising a plexiglass vacuum tube between its blue-gloved hands in triumph. Inside, 85 wasps, each the size of a human thumb, are piled against one another in cold-induced slumber. No, these weren’t scenes from the next great biothreat thriller. Over the weekend, Washington State Department of Agriculture workers took out the first Asian giant hornet nest found in the United States. ...

The enormous honeybee-beheading predator, nicknamed the “murder hornet,” was first discovered in Whatcom County late last year. Since then, state entomologists have been working nonstop to track the invasive insect, using traps and radio transmitters in the hope of locating their nests and eradicating them before they can gain a foothold in the Pacific Northwest. But taking out a nest is dangerous work. With a 6-millimeter, automatically-reloading stinger, the hornet can inject massive amounts of venom into its victims. It can also spray that venom from a distance. In Japan, they kill about 50 people every year.

Normal beekeeping outfits won’t cut it. Last year, when a Canadian team tackled an Asian giant hornet nest in Nanaimo, British Columbia, where the hornet first turned up in North America, the person tasked with the extraction wore two pairs of pants as well as a Kevlar vest under his regular apiarist attire. Despite all that, he described the seven stings he suffered as “similar to having red-hot thumb tacks driven into the flesh.” So what’s an Asian giant hornet hunter to do? Head to Amazon, of course.


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver
Addie
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Re: Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#82

Post by Addie »

WaPo: Trump officials move to relax rules on killing birds

Overhaul of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act would not hold firms liable for ‘incidentally’ causing scores of bird deaths


The Trump administration published an analysis Friday finding that its rule easing companies’ liability for killing birds would not cause significant environmental harm, clearing the way for it to finalize a major rollback before the president’s term ends on Jan. 20.

The administration, which is racing to lock in a series of regulatory changes before President-elect Joe Biden takes office, can now publish a final rule modifying the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s interpretation of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act as soon as Dec. 28. For three years, officials at the Interior Department have sought to shield energy companies, construction firms and land developers from prosecution if their operations “incidentally” kill birds, weakening protections under the law.

The new analysis suggests that all three alternatives — including codifying the administration’s narrower interpretation into law or returning to the historic definition that holds firms liable for accidental bird deaths — will “have incremental effects on current environmental conditions.” It identifies scaling back the rule as its “preferred alternative,” and says including accidental deaths “would be inconsistent with the Department’s current view of the law.”

The analysis suggests, however, that finalizing the rule would “likely result in increased bird mortality” because companies would have less of an incentive to adopt precautions to prevent them from becoming ensnared or colliding with their operations.


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver
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Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#83

Post by Addie »

The Guardian: 'Ballooning' spiders take flight on Earth's electric fields

Research shows how arachnids’ sense of atmospheric electricity allows it to spin a line and take off




We humans are only aware of the Earth’s electrical field on stormy days, when the positively charged sky makes a circuit with the negatively charged Earth and lightning flashes between them. Spiders have a more nuanced sense of atmospheric electricity, and can harness it to take flight.

Research from the University of Bristol sheds light on “ballooning”, in which a spider holds on to a single strand of thread that carries them aloft. This feat was always assumed to be a matter of riding air currents by some unknown mechanism; Darwin was puzzled by “aeronaut spiders” reaching the Beagle on gossamer threads 60 miles off South America. Since 2013 researchers have believed electric fields are involved – now they have observed the effect experimentally.

The Bristol researchers showed that in a sealed chamber box with no air currents, spiders took off when an electric field was present, the repulsion on the charged thread providing the necessary lift. When the electric field was turned off, the spiders came back down.

Spiders have tiny hairs called trichobothria that sense electric fields, like human hairs rising in response to static electricity. When a spider senses the field is strong enough, they will climb to a high twig or blade of grass, spin a silken line, and take off.


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver
Addie
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Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#84

Post by Addie »

New York Times: Archaeologists Could Help Bring Otters Back From the Dead

The sea mammals vanished from Oregon’s coast long ago, but a technique from human archaeology offers a clue to restoring them.



From 1969 to 1971, the United States was testing nuclear weapons beneath one of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, worryingly close to some of the world’s few surviving sea otters. The subterranean explosions prompted conservation managers to carry out a daring plan.

First, they netted some Alaskan sea otters. Then they set 59 free off the coast of Washington State and 93 more near Oregon. This was part rescue mission, part homecoming. Before fur traders hunted them to the brink of extinction, sea otters used to bob and roll up and down North America’s Pacific Coast, gobbling down sea urchins and helping to maintain waving towers of kelp.

In Washington, the transplants took. But within a few years the Oregon otters vanished. “The biggest question is: What happened to Oregon?” said Shawn Larson, a conservation biologist at the Seattle Aquarium, because the answer could inform transplantation efforts.

One hypothesis holds that the otters simply swam off, heading back north. But another explanation, advanced in 2008, suggests that the cold water-adapted Alaskans died out because they were too different from Oregon’s original pre-fur trade otters. Scientists divide sea otters into northern and southern subspecies, each adapted to its own habitat. If the state’s ancient otter inhabitants were more closely related to the southern subspecies, maybe sea otter reintroduction efforts along that stretch of coast should instead work with animals from Californian populations.


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver
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Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#85

Post by Volkonski »

Trump administration delays endangered species protection for monarch butterfly "on the brink of collapse"

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-admi ... =107202900
After the species' population began to drop off in the mid-1990s, a nationwide campaign sought to renew their presence, but those efforts have not been enough. Between 1994 and 2016, the eastern monarch population plunged more than 80% and a federal review found "a substantial probability" of collapse in the next two decades.

The western monarch population has fared no better.

On Monday, the San Diego Zoo announced that preliminary research indicates a total of less than 2,000 monarch butterflies were found this year in California, where there used to be millions — representing a stunning population drop of more than 99% since the 1980s.

The numbers are down from the "dangerously low" levels of less than 30,000 monarchs for the past two years, the zoo said. "The incredible migration of western monarchs is a unique yet fragile piece of North America's natural history, and it is on the brink of collapse," said Paige Howorth, director of invertebrate care and conservation at San Diego Zoo Global.


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Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#86

Post by Volkonski »

Some good news for a change-

A New Population of Blue Whales Was Discovered Hiding in the Indian Ocean
The whales in the group seem to sing a unique song.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/23/scie ... &smtyp=cur
The covert cadre of whales, described in a paper published last week in the journal Endangered Species Research, has its own signature anthem: a slow, bellowing ballad that’s distinct from any other whale song ever described. It joins only a dozen or so other blue whale songs that have been documented, each the calling card of a unique population.

“It’s like hearing different songs within a genre — Stevie Ray Vaughan versus B. B. King,” said Salvatore Cerchio, a marine mammal biologist at the African Aquatic Conservation Fund in Massachusetts and the study’s lead author. “It’s all blues, but you know the different styles.”

:snippity:


By 2018, the team had picked up on several more instances of the new whales’ now-recognizable refrain. Partnerships with other researchers soon revealed that the distinctive calls had been detected at another recording outpost off the coast of Oman, in the Arabian Sea, where the sounds seem particularly prevalent. Another windfall came later that year when Dr. Cerchio learned that colleagues in Australia had heard the whales crooning the same song in the central Indian Ocean, near the Chagos Archipelago.

Data amassed from the three sites, each separated from the others by hundreds or thousands of miles, painted a rough portrait of a pod of whales moseying about in the Indian Ocean’s northwest and perhaps beyond.


Image“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
Addie
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Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#87

Post by Addie »

:-D


"The very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for." - Barbara Kingsolver
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Volkonski
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Plant, Insect, Bird, Fish & Animal Populations

#88

Post by Volkonski »

Insect populations suffering death by 1,000 cuts, say scientists
‘Frightening’ global decline is ‘tearing apart tapestry of life’, with climate crisis a critical concern


https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... 1610395779
The insects face multiple, overlapping threats including the destruction of wild habitats for farming, urbanisation, pesticides and light pollution. Population collapses have been recorded in places where human activities dominate, such as in Germany, but there is little data from outside Europe and North America and in particular from wild, tropical regions where most insects live.

The scientists are especially concerned that the climate crisis may be causing serious damage in the tropics. But even though much more data is needed, the researchers say enough is already known for urgent action to be taken.

Insects are by far the most varied and abundant animals on Earth, with millions of species and outweighing humans by 17 times. They are essential to the ecosystems that humanity depends upon, pollinating plants, providing food for other creatures and recycling nature’s waste.

The studies show the situation is complex, with some insect populations increasing, such as those whose range is expanding as global heating curbs cold winter temperatures and others recovering from a low level as pollution in water bodies is reduced.


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