Sunday, April 01, 2012

Global Corals effected by warming seas.

...Elizabeth Selig, conservation scientist with Conservation International and the study’s lead author, says corals living in marine protected areas can be just as susceptible to ocean warming as their unprotected neighbors.
“Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect coral reefs from localized problems, particularly overfishing and terrestrial run-off,” says Selig, who led the study as part of her dissertation in Bruno’s lab.
“However, the magnitude of losses from increased ocean temperatures as a result of climate change seems to be overwhelming these positive effects. This paper suggests that we need to rethink our current planning for MPAs in order to maximize the benefits they can provide.”
Globally, corals reefs are being degraded by a number of factors including overfishing, sedimentation, and rising ocean temperatures due to greenhouse gas emissions, Selig says....

What will come of the people of the Maldives?

...“He took office and immediately plunged into the climate debate,” Shenk said. “He’s framing the climate debate as a human rights issue. He very much sees the climate fight, the struggle against climate change, as an extension of his fight for democracy.”
In a quote from the film, Nasheed explains: “When we came to power we thought we won the fight. After twenty years, we thought, ‘Look, OK, we’ll have a happy life.’ But we had our first few cabinet meetings, and most of the pending issues were climate change issues. Weather patterns are changing, and that’s having a very big impact on fisheries. We have lost a lot of the shoreline. Our islands are going to be flooded.”...
North and South Malosmadulu Atolls (click here) are in the Maldives, an island republic in the northern Indian Ocean, southwest of India. The Maldives are made up of a chain of 1,192 small coral islands, which are grouped into clusters of atolls. It has a total area of 298 square kilometers and a population of about 330,000. The capital and largest city is Male, with a population of about 80,000. Arguably the lowest-lying country in the world, the average elevation is just 1 meter above sea level.
Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Highest point: unnamed location on 
Viligili in the Addu Atholhu 2.4 m

m = meters

2.4 meters = 8.87 feet

The highest point in the Maldives is less than 9 feet above sea level.

It is safe to say with Antarctica showing profound 'melt' these people have a right to be worried.

Demographics of the Maldives,

Data of FAO, year 2005 ; Number

in thousands. 

The BP nightmare is eternal.

March 30, 2012

Corexit-dispersed oily Gulf shore deaths continue (click here)

“We have no beach left. It’s gone. We have no beach,” Gulf of Mexico rights defender Lorrie Williams has said two months after the April 2010 oil catastrophe. Dolphins and other sea mammals still find the same with their ocean home almost two years later as Mississippi residents witness death along oily Gulf shores and say this is far from normal or over.
Large bottlenose dolphins are found on the Gulf beach, “their mouths agape and their silvery bodies stretched out like aluminum mannequins on the tar ball-littered and Gulf rotten, decaying endangered sea turtles wasting away on the shores,” reports Rocky Kistner of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)....
Dead turtle in Waveland, MS, March 22, 2012             
Photo: Charles Taylor
...Not far away, (click title to entry - thank you) Charles Taylor was walking along the beach on his birthday and found four dead endangered Kemp Ridley sea turtles washed up in Waveland. They were just a few of the 40 or so decaying sea turtles that have rolled in with the Gulf waves in recent weeks, making a resurgent appearance after spiking in unusual numbers a year ago....

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The penguin habitat is disappearing and it is becoming dangerous in Antarctica.

When the ice shelves melt the other ice formations are exposed to warmer air and they melt. The latest fissuring of the ice can lead to huge losses and exposure of 'land based ice' causing instability.

Just one of those things, right?

I told you so.

...The most extensive record (click title to entry - thank you) yet of the evolution of the floating ice shelves in the eastern Amundsen Sea Embayment in West Antarctica shows that their margins, where they grip onto rocky bay walls or slower ice masses, are fracturing and retreating inland. As that grip continues to loosen, these already-thinning ice shelves will be even less able to hold back grounded ice upstream, according to glaciologists at The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics (UTIG)....

Of all the families of animals being impacted by the climate is that of Penguins. They are nearly all impacted.

There are 17 species of penguins and they are all protected, meaning they cannot be hunted legally, or have their eggs collected. Despite this protection, penguin populations are decreasing, and in some areas they have decreased as much as 80%, but not all are endangered yet. 

Under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the penguin which is most at risk is the Galapagos penguin. It is listed as endangered, and this essentially means it is in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughmost of its range. 

Currently, the African penguin is also under consideration for being added to this endangered species list. 

The Southern Rockhopper is under consideration for being included on the threatened list. 

Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Humboldt penguin is also listed as endangered. 

Under the IUCN listing, the Erect Crested penguin and the Yellow eyed penguin are listed as endangered. 

The status of the other penguins is as follows: 

Gentoo penguin - Near threatened
Magellanic penguin - Near threatened
Rockhopper penguin - Vulnerable (population declining)
Macaroni penguin - Vulnerable (population declining)
Fiordland crested penguin - Vulnerable (population declining)
Snares Island penguin - Vulnerable (population small but currently stable)
Royal penguin - (Vulnerable - population still recovering from being exploited in the past)
Royal penguin - (Vulnerable - population still recovering from being exploited in the past)
Emperor penguin - Least concern (population stable)
King penguin - Least concern (population stable or increasing)
Adelie penguin - Least concern (population increasing in some regions, decreasing in others)
Chinstrap penguin - Least concern
Fairy penguin - Least concern

Two African penguins born at the Georgia Aquarium (click here)

Posted: Mar 30, 2012 5:53 AM EDTUpdated: Mar 30, 2012 5:56 AM EDTAtlanta, GA (WXIA) - The Georgia Aquarium is showing off its two newest inhabitants. 

Two African penguin chicks hatched in January. 

The chicks have grown quickly, weighing about 100-grams when they hatched to about 6-pounds today. 

They'll be full grown at three months. 

A museum curator says both chicks were hand-reared, because the parents were young and inexperienced and they wanted to give these endangered birds the best chance for survival. 

Once the penguin chicks have their adult feathers, they will be "waterproof" and ready to start learning how to swim in a special pool. 

When the chicks are stronger swimmers, trainers will begin introducing them to the penguin colony.

The shoreline of Antarctica is where the penguins live. It is that environment most profoundly destroyed by Climate Change.

The continent of Antarctica has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice per year since 2002.

Species approaching extinction. Where are the protect and restoration efforts. The USA saved the Condor, what the heck is this mess?

Under threat: the Tristan wandering albatross on Gough Island in the South Atlantic Photograph: Tui De Roy / Minden Pictures

Robin McKie
The Observer
Saturday, 17 March 2012

They are more exotic than the gulls, gannets and terns of Britain's home coastlines, but many of the fascinating and charismatic species of birds on the remote shores of UK overseas territories are now close to extinction. In a report to the government, the RSPB warns 33 species of birds, including penguins, parrots and albatrosses, are now critically endangered across the remnants of the empire. And that means we have a duty to fulfil.
"Our overseas territories hold more threatened bird species than the entire European continent," said RSPB official Graham Madge. "Yet only £1.4m a year is spent by the government protecting habitats that provide homes for these endangered creatures. We need to spend 10 times that amount to save them."
The society's report is part of a series of submissions to the Foreign Office, which is preparing a white paper on Britain's strategy regarding its 14 overseas territories, including Montserrat, Bermuda, the Falklands, Tristan da Cunha and the atolls of the British Indian Ocean Territories as well Gibraltar and a chunk of the Antarctic. The white paper will propose economic and political changes in policies for running these areas and will outline ways to use them more actively to bolster Britain's defences....

Keeping an eye on the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica.- "Frozen Plant" (click title to entry - thank you)

Tonight's Frozen Planet profiles Antarctica and the Norwegian Arctic during that time of year when, as narrator David Attenborough — Alec Baldwin in the North American version — describes it, "A single day lasts for months."

Photograph by: Handout , Discovery/Jason Roberts

Frozen Planet, BBC and Discovery Channel's (click here) eye-filling and occasionally heart-rending documentary series about the Earth's polar regions, moves to its regular day and time tonight, starting with what is arguably the highlight episode of the entire series.
Titled, simply, Summer, it profiles Antarctica and the Norwegian Arctic during that time of year when, as narrator David Attenborough — Alec Baldwin in the North American version — describes it, "A single day lasts for months."...

I hope the Interior Department has placed 'bag limits' and 'reporting' on wolves. Like a license even?

All photographs were taken from website (click here) are being reproduced here under Fair Use“Pinching” with the wolf he trapped that he wrote would make him “a good wall hanger.”

Dead wolf photos stir social media war (click title to entry - thank you)

2012-04-01 22:15
Salmon - Photos of dead and maimed wolves have pervaded the internet in recent weeks, raising tensions in the Northern Rocky Mountains over renewed hunting and trapping of the once federally protected animals.
Escalating rancour between hunters and animal rights activists on social media and websites centres on pictures of wolves killed or about to be killed. Many have text celebrating the fact that Western states are allowing more killing of the predators.
Commenting on a Facebook-posted image of two wolves strangled to death by cable snares, an individual who identified himself as Shane Miller wrote last month, "Very nice!! Don't stop now, you're just getting started!"...
One of the concerns conservationists verbalized to the USA government during the Bush Years was the over hunting and trapping of wolves once the protections were removed. I hope there are protections in place along with ongoing inventories.
Predators are important to any ecosystem, but, they become more important when they are no longer at normal levels. 
Why do we still allow trapping? The animals have to be killed if they aren't already when the trapper arrives. What wrong with hunting to end the cruelty?
The Endangered Wolf Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving endangered wolves and other canid species from extinction by educating people about their importance in the ecosystem and supporting their reintroduction into their native habitat through a combination of managed breeding and research.  In doing so, the Endangered Wolf Center is continuing the legacy of our founders, Marlin and Carol Perkins.

Earth Hour 2012 Official Video - Uniting people to protect the planet (click title to entry - thank you)

BP Deepwater Horizon pollution has probably reached global circulation. An international policy needs to be developed.

Scientists spotted just six calves born to right whales during the winter, making it one of the poorest calving seasons for the endangered marine mammals in a decade.

Read more here:

Each year researchers closely monitor the giant whales as they migrate to the warmer waters off the Atlantic coasts of Georgia and northern Florida to give birth to their young. Experts estimate only about 400 right whales remain, making each birth significant to the species survival.
Aerial surveys flown daily over the waters frequented by the whales turned up only six sightings of right whale newborns during this winter's calving season from November through March.
"It was way below the average of 20 per year we've seen for the last decade," said Clay George, who heads the right whale monitoring program for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
The Savannah Morning News reports researchers suspect one of the six calves died soon after it was born. They say its mother, identified by fingerprint-like markings on her head, in previous years gave birth to two calves that also died early....

Dave Wiley's efforts to save whales recognized in movie, book (click here)

WAREHAM — It's been a busy week for Wareham's Dave Wiley, who flew to California for a movie premiere. Attending premieres is not something that Wiley, the research coordinator at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is accustomed to doing — but he made an exception for 'Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship' because his work features so prominently in it.
"The movie demonstrates that good things happen when people with a common purpose work together," Wiley said in a phone interview. The movie features four good-news environmental tales from around the country, he said....

Panda Poo and £131

Potty wildlife expert An Yanshi has bagged five tons of panda pooh to create a new type of tea (Picture: CEN)

Who knew? The Pandas were leased from China by USA Zoos for $1 million. Little did any zoologist realize they had poo worth millions as well. What do you serve at the Zoo Cafe'?

Tea grown with the help of fertiliser (click title to entry - thank you) made from panda faeces has gone on sale in China and is being touted as the world's most expensive.

Pandas are notoriously bad at breeding – but they are prolific when it comes to turning out supplies of organic fertiliser.
Their nutritious dung is now being put to good use by a businessmen who has packed ten tonnes of the stuff around the plants on his tea plantation.
And at £131 a cup, An Yanshi claims to have created the world’s most expensive cuppa. 
He donned a giant panda suit to harvest his first batch of green tea, which goes on sale this week priced at £43,809 per kg....

A kg (killogram) is 2.2 pounds.

It sounds as though both practices have to exist. However, when ranches contain endangered species that protects them, caution has to be influential. Caution that both dictates their health, but, also to prevent 'genetic stranding.' I would hope the ranch owners are working with each other to insure there is plenty of breeding opportunity between herds to strengthen the diversity of the breeds.
The larger question is, of course, how is restoration in Africa going so the species are thriving there.
Is is sad to realize a species is not appreciated for the sole purpose of its survival and an economic dictate has to accompany them to create a viable climate for their existence. It speaks to our society and what we sincerely value and in 'what context' we value it. In this case, animals 'have their place.' It is lucky they are difficult to hunt, otherwise they wouldn't be valued either.
My curiosity is, do these ranches seek to preserve endangered and threatened species outside of those they profit from?
Most conservationists know hunting is a way of culling a population that preserves its habitat and therefore, the species.
It sounds as though there are moral issues with the conservation of these species, it might have to be looked at in a light that would include professionals monitoring the species and the breeding practices as well as the expediency of repopulating Africa.

Zoos do the same thing, but, in a more protective methodology. So, the idea this is a matter of private property rights is incorrect. "Living equity" is different than real estate borders. These are exotic and rare animals. There are real problems with exotics in the USA. Usually it is just the predators, but, grazing and competition exists. They can't simply be euthanized either if they become unprofitable. 

The owners of the ranches were given permission for their activities through the federal system, they opened themselves to that regulation and they need to accept decisions in the light they proceed. They liked the decisions originally, but, now it is a matter of property rights. I don't think so, but, reasoning with the Interior Department and those seeking to restore populations in Africa might be a better venue. 
...Their very existence in Texas depends (click title to entry - thank you) on a tension between survival and death. To protect these species, ranchers argue, we must kill them.
The exotic-ranch owners are in a furious fight with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service -- and animal rights groups -- because, starting Wednesday, they will have to get permits for the three species of antelopes.
The animals are magnificent: limber, with large, almost undulating horns, different on each species. There's the scimitar-horned oryx, the addax and the dama gazelle, whose horns have a gentle, rising S-curve.
They're nearly extinct in their native habitats. But because of an unusual exemption under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, these animals are thriving, their populations reaching the thousands by being hunted legally on sprawling ranches in the United States. Texas has more than 5,000 such ranches, mostly in the Hill Country.
Alongside the antelopes are exotic animals of every stripe, including zebras, African bongos, kangaroos and regal rare Pere David's deer, which are extinct in the wild....

New Zealand's 'Small Five' safari (click here for fabulous video with Mark Carwardine)

Hector's dolphins living off the coast of Christchurch, New Zealand have benefitted from the area's special designation, say scientists.

NZ dolphin survival boosted by Marine Protected Area (click here)

It's Sunday Night

Andy Williams - So Rare

(so rare, so rare)(so rare, so rare)
So rare, you're like the fragrance of blossoms fairSweet as a breath of air fresh with the morning dewSo rare, you're like the sparkle of old champagneOrchids in santa fe couldn't compare to you
You are perfection, you're my ideaOf angels singin' the ave maria;Or you're an angel, I'd breathe and live youWith every beat of the heart that I give you
So rare, this is a heaven on earth we shareCaring the way we care, ours is a love so rare
(so rare, so rare)(so rare, so rare)
(you are perfection, you're my idea)(of angels singin' the ave maria)Or you're an angel, I'd breathe and live youWith every beat of the heart that I give you
So rare, (so rare) this is the heaven on earth we share (so rare)Caring the way we care (so rare) ours is a love so rare
(so rare, so rare)(so rare, so rare)

Republicans have rhetoric, not ideas.

General Dempsey Mr. Ryan? That is not a 'misspoken' word, it was a huge mistake. Being called on the carpet by General Dempsey is not a misspoken word.

Posted at 11:15 AM ET, 04/01/2012

Paul Ryan says he ‘misspoke’ on military budget (click here)