Posted on April 24, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Seismic airgun blasting, naval warfare training are key sources of harmful ocean noise pollution
FRISCO — With ever more offshore oil and gas exploration proposed, conservation advocates have been warning that the cumulative effects of those activities will take a huge toll on dolphins, whales and other marine life.
Of particular concern are plans to ramp up seismic underwater airgun blasting, used in the search for oil and gas deposits beneath the seafloor. Federal officials recently adopted a final proposal that would allow the use of this controversial technology in an area twice the size of California, stretching from Delaware to Florida. Continue reading
Filed under: endangered species, Environment, gas drilling, Marine biology, ocean conservation, oil drilling | Tagged: dolphins, marine mammals, Noise pollution, ocean noise, oceans, seismic airgun blasting | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 23, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse face new political threat. Photo via USGS.
Senate measure would let miners, ranchers and drillers devastate sagebrush ecosystems
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — The battle lines over the fate of greater sage-grouse are being clearly drawn in the U.S. Senate this week, where freshman Republican Senator Cory Gardner is proudly touting the support of extractive industries for his misnamed Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act (S 1036).
Gardner’s measure is the latest in a series of political maneuverings to subvert and circumvent the Endangered Species Act. In the past few years, lawmakers have flouted science to try and remove protection for other species, including northern gray wolves. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Cory Gardner, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, senate bill 1036 | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Greater sage-grouse. Photo courtesy USFWS.
Feds won’t protect Mono Basin sage-grouse under Endangered Species Act
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Efforts to preserve biologically important remnants of the vast western sagebrush sea were dealt another blow today, as as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it won’t protect greater sage-grouse in California and Nevada under the Endangered Species Act.
The decision is another step in piece-mealing greater sage-grouse toward extinction, according to conservation advocates and biologists. The voluntary conservation measures touted by the federal agency won’t do much to protect the so-called bi-state greater sage-grouse population from threats like hardrock mining, exurban development and livestock grazing. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, Greater sage-grouse, Mono Basin sage-grouse, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 21, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Conservation efforts seen as successful
Some humpback whale populations are no longer endangered. Map courtesy NOAA.
A humpback whale in the Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary. Photo courtesy NOAA.
FRISCO — With humpback whales rebounding after 40 years of conservation efforts, federal biologists this week said they want to revise the marine mammals’ endangered species status, taking some of the geographically separate populations off the endangered species list.
Reclassifying humpbacks into 14 distinct population segments would enable tailored conservation approach for U.S. fisheries managers. Currently, humpback whales are listed as endangered throughout their range, but 10 of the 14 populations don’t need the highest level of protection anymore, according to NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, endangered species, humpback whales, marine mammals, NOAA, oceans | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 20, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Expanding rubber-tree plantations threatens biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Photo courtesy Eleanor Warren-Thomas, University of East Anglia.
Major sustainability push needed to protect habitat for endangered species
FRISCO — The growing global demand for rubber is threatening biodiversity in Southeast Asia, where expanding plantations are encroaching on protected areas, according to a new study from the University of East Anglia.
Meeting the demand will require up to 8.5 million hectares of additional rubber plantations, but expansion on this scale will have “catastrophic” biodiversity impacts, with globally threatened unique species and ecosystems all at risk the researchers said, comparing the extent of the problem to palm oil production. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment | Tagged: biodiversity, Cambodia, Eleanor Warren-Thomas, Environment, Indonesia, rubber plantations, Snoul Wildlife Sanctuary, Southeast Asia, University of East Anglia | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 17, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A Missouri bat that died after being infected with white-nose syndrome. Photo courtesy USGS.
UC Santa Cruz research suggests preventive treatment may be possible
FRISCO — While most of the news about bats and white-nose syndrome is not good, there’s a glimmer of hope for a preventive treatment, according to scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
In recent lab experiments, researchers at the university identified bacteria found naturally on some bats that “strongly inhibited” the he growth of the white-nose syndrome fungus.
“We are analyzing data from tests on live bats now, and if the results are positive, the next step would be a small field trial,” said Joseph Hoyt, a UC Santa Cruz graduate student who led the study. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, white-nose syndrome | Tagged: endangered species, UC Santa Cruz, white-nose syndrome, white-nose syndrome treatment | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Gray whale population dynamics may be more complex than previously believed. Photo courtesy NOAA.
New study suggests more interaction between western and eastern gray whales
FRISCO — After tracking a western gray whale from Russia’s Sakhalin Island to Baja and back, biologists say they have new questions about the species.
The 14,000-mile migration is the longest ever documented by any mammal and suggests that endangered western gray whales may interact with eastern gray whales — which are not endangered — more than previously believed. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, Marine biology | Tagged: endangered species, gray whales, western gray whales, whale migration | 1 Comment »