Posted on July 19, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Polar bear photo courtesy Eric Regehr, USFWS.
New study shows food shortages will catch up to the Arctic predators
FRISCO — When it comes to finding food as Arctic sea ice melts, polar bears don’t exactly have a lot of options.
That’s one of the main reasons the Arctic predators are under the global warming gun, and a new study of how the bears respond metabolically during lean times underscores the existing science. Continue reading
Filed under: Arctic, biodiversity, endangered species, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, climate change, endangered species, global warming, polar bears | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 16, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Salt Creek tiger beetles have been pushed to the brink of extinction by habitat loss associated with urbanization, bank stabilization and agricultural development
There are only a few hundred Salt Creek tiger beetles remaining. Photo via USFWS.
FRISCO — A rare insect that lives only in a few pockets of saline wetlands and streams in eastern Nebraska is getting some much-needed attention. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this week published a draft recovery plan for the endangered Salt Creek tiger beetle.
Biologists are hopeful that a collaborative conservation effort, including habitat protection, captive breeding and reintroductions, can keep the insect from going extinct. Salt Creek tiger beetles have declined due to habitat loss associated with urbanization, bank stabilization and agricultural development. Continue reading
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Posted on July 14, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
New research reveals biodiversity secrets deep beneath the surface of the Bering Sea.
Protection could benefit entire Bering Sea ecosystem
FRISCO — An undersea canyon in the Bering Sea is a biodiversity hotspot, scientists said in a new report that reinforces a push to establish protection for the area.
The study, conducted by the Marine Science Institute at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Greenpeace concluded that Pribilof canyon is the most significant location for deep sea corals and sponges along the entire eastern Bering Sea shelf.
With protections in place for coral and sponge habitat, Bering Sea fish and king crab populations could increase, according to conservation advocates. The study, published in Global Ecology and Conservation, also found that restricting bottom-contact fishing in Bering Sea canyons would not have significant negative impacts on the fishing industry. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment | Tagged: Bering Sea, biodiversity, coldwater corals, marine protected areas, ocean conservation, Pribilof Canyon | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Bumblebees are being squeezed in a climate vice, Canadian researchers found in a new study. @bberwyn photo.
‘The result is widespread, rapid declines of pollinators across continents …’
FRISCO — Canadian researchers say North American and European bumblebees are being squeezed in a “climate vise” that’s compressing their habitat.
In their study, the scientists found that it’s getting too warm at the southern end of their range, but the bees haven’t been able to expand northward into cooler territory.
“The result is widespread, rapid declines of pollinators across continents, effects that are not due to pesticide use or habitat loss. It looks like it’s just too hot,” said Professor Jeremy Kerr, Macroecology and Conservation chair at the University of Ottawa. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: biodiversity, bumblebees, climate change, global warming, pollinator decline | 3 Comments »
Posted on July 10, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Steep downward trend poses threats to marine ecosystems
Pelagic bird populations are declining at an alarming rate. @bberwyn photo.
FRISCO — Researchers with the University of British Columbia say that global seabird populations — including penguins, albatrosses, petrels and pelicans — have declined by 70 percent since the 1950s — a clear sign that marine ecosystems are in trouble.
The findings are based on an analysis of more than 500 seabird populations , representing about 19 per cent of the global seabird population. The 70 percent decline is equivalent to the loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years, said Michelle Paleczny, a UBC master’s student and researcher with the Sea Around Us project.
“Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems,” said Paleczny. “When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems. It gives us an idea of the overall impact we’re having.” Continue reading
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Posted on July 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Wildlife advocates say arbitrary caps on population and habitat won’t allow for full recovery of the species
A Mexican gray wolf in the wilds of the Blue Range wolf recovery area. Photo courtesy of the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team.
FRISCO — Wildlife advocates say a federal plan to cap the Mexican gray wolf population at 300 to 325 animals won’t ensure the long-term survival of the species, and they’re going to court to make sure the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service adopts policies that give endangered Mexican gray wolves a fair shot at recovery in their historic U.S. range.
At issue is a final federal rule issued early this year that would likely prevent the wolves from recolonizing suitable habitat in northern Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
“Unfortunately, politics supplants wildlife biology in key parts of the USFWS Mexican gray wolf plan,” said John Mellgren, the Western Environmental Law Center attorney representing the advocacy groups in the lawsuit. “Our goal in this case is to put the science back into the management of Mexican wolves in the U.S.” Continue reading
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Posted on June 29, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A spiny lobster in the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, where protective management has helped rebuild fish stocks. Key Biscayne National Park hopes that a new protected area will help restore coral reefs. Photo courtesy NOAA.
No-fishing zone seen as key piece of new management plan
FRISCO — The National Park Service says a 10,000-acre no-fishing zone will help restore the heart of Key Biscayne National Park’s coral reef ecosystem and boost fish populations in surrounding waters.
The new marine reserve was announced earlier this month as part of an updated management plan for the popular park near Miami. The no–fishing zone covers about 6 percent of the park’s waters. Some other ecologically important shoreline areas will be protected by slow-speed, no-wake, and no-motor zones to benefit seagrass beds, manatees, mangroves and nesting birds. Continue reading
Filed under: biodiversity, Environment, Marine biology, ocean conservation | Tagged: biodiversity, coral reefs, Environment, Key Biscayne National Park, Marine Reserve | Leave a comment »