Monday, April 22, 2013

The Joshua Tree, made famous during the Bush Administration for it's biblical significance.

Exodus 15:23 and 15:25

The Mormons covet the tree as well.

Today the Joshua Tree is in decline om the Mojave Desert at Joshue Tree National Park. 

There is even a Palm Oasis at this national park, but, there is little effort to save the park's biotic content.

JOSHUA TREE (click here)

Scientific Name: 
 Yucca brevifolia

IUCN Red List: 
 Not Evaluated

Endangered Species Act List: 
 No data
There are two recognized sub species (click here) of Joshua trees: Yucca brevifolia brevifolia and Yucca brevifolia jaegerianaYucca brevifolia brevifolia are found in the western and southern Mojave Desert and are the largest of the Joshua trees. In addition, they have relatively long leaves and branch only after they have flowered. 

Posted by Andrew Howley of NG Staff in Explorers Journal on April 13, 2013

Missing Sloths, Modern Pollution, and the Fate of the Joshua Tree (click here)

...I’m standing next to Ranger Josef Zarki looking over Joshua Tree National Park, we’re waiting with firefighters to get trucked out to a blaze that has consumed about 300 acres of a remote part of the desert. Fires have been eating away at an already endangered population of Joshua trees. Josef sweeps his hand through the air as if to take in the landscape and says “When it comes to habitat, this is it.” He is exaggerating, but only by a little bit. Outside of Joshua Tree National Park and it’s sister park The Mojave National Park there isn’t much in the way of a healthy population of these trees. Even in the park there are far fewer trees than one would imagine. The park’s is made up of about 750,000 acres of desert, but when you leave the 100,000 acres that makes up the most visited portion of the park, the trees quickly begin to disappear. It’s true, from the roadway there seem to be plenty, but you’re driving right through the last stands of trees. Fire, a lack of seed distribution, and a noticeable warming trend that has been attributed to global warming have created a perfect storm that has placed these trees on the endangered species list....

The National Park needs some help. If there are significant amounts of blooms this year, they need to be protected and their fruit need to be harvested. Then they are harvested they can be grown in a greenhouse nursery to begin the process of RECOVERY and protection of the species. As a country we need to do this.

This is a rare event with this species in the park. It has to be executed well to protect the species and return to park to it's content.

Fruit can persist on the tree, but usually disintegrates rapidly.


Seed and seed dispersal: Seeds are contained in dry, spongy, indehiscent baccate fruits which average 3 inches (69 mm) in length. Fruit first develops near the base of the inflorescence while the upper part is still in flower, and averages 25 to 40 per cluster. Annual fruit production varies greatly under natural conditions. Generally, fruit is produced only in wetter years. On extremely harsh sites the Joshua tree flowers rarely, if at all. Seeds are dispersed chiefly by wind and animals. Birds frequently open the fruit, exposing seeds for subsequent wind dispersal. A number of desert rodents are known to cache Joshua tree seeds and may also disperse seed. Fruit can persist on the tree, but usually disintegrates rapidly.
All across the USA universities will be celebrating Earth Day. Years ago it was the universities in the country that discovered their ability to contribute to sustainability.

This is Earth Day at University of Massachusetts, Amherst (click here)

The word is "Sustainability" and it has been in practice on university campuses across the country for years now.

"Good Night, Moon"

Waxing Gibbous

83 percent full 

10.8 day old Moon

By Deborah Netburn
April 20, 20138:00 a.m.

Hey there, (click here) tenacious sky watchers: Forecasters say the Lyrid meteor shower will peak late Sunday night and into Monday morning, so set your alarm clocks and gather your blankets. You've got a show to watch....