Posts

December 12, 2014

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2:33 PM | What Jaws Teaches Us About Scientists and the Future of Shark Bite Politics
Dr. Christopher Neff is a Lecturer in Public Policy in the Department of Government at the University of Sydney. He completed the first PhD on the “Politics of Shark Attacks” and has been published in Marine Policy, Coastal Management and the Journal of Homosexuality.  Jaws is a great horror movie. Personally, it’s one of my […]
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1:30 PM | We Need Books to Save Biodiversity
This month, we’re publishing a series of blog posts outlining the importance of biodiversity literature, made available for free and open access through the Biodiversity Heritage Library, to today’s scientific research and conservation initiatives. With your help, we can help save biodiversity. The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is revolutionizing the way scientific research is conducted by providing free and open access to biodiversity literature and archives representing […]
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1:00 PM | To avoid multiple threats, leopards have to be crafty cats
Where there are people, expect to find few leopards. That’s because the apex predator suffers from hunting for their pelts, from habitat loss and fragmentation, and from retaliatory killings due to real or imagined losses of human or livestock lives. Similarly, where there are tigers, expect to find few leopards. In this case, it’s because

December 11, 2014

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10:53 PM | Photo of the Week – December 11, 2014
For no particular reason, here are two unrelated photos from the same day.  Both photographs were taken on September 28, 2014 at our family prairie south of Aurora, Nebraska.  I wish I could come up with a pithy and informative … Continue reading →
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5:10 PM | New film highlights local resistance to Nicaragua's canal
This fall, filmmakers Tom Miller and Nuin-Tara Key with Pretty Good Productions found themselves in Nicaragua where they heard about a stunning project: the Gran Canal. Approved last year, the canal is meant to compete with the Panama Canal to the south. Built by a Chinese company, it will cut through 278 kilometers, destroying forests and driving through the largest freshwater body in Central America.
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4:09 PM | BHL Technical Issues Due to an Outage at IA
BHL is experiencing technical issues preventing image display on our website due to a power outage at Internet Archive. We apologize for the inconvenience, and will update this post once service has been restored.Thank you for your patience.
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2:00 PM | How to attract birds to your yard
What’s the best way to encourage native birds to visit your backyard? Surprisingly, the answer may not be bird feeders. Instead, planting evergreen trees and fruit-bearing shrubs could be a more effective approach. When people think of green space in cities, parks usually come to mind. But residents’ yards could offer a sprinkling of connected
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1:30 PM | Using the Salamander Brain to Understand Human Behavior
What can a salamander brain tell us about human behavior?A lot more than you might think, discovered Lou Morgan, an independent researcher who has been studying the physiological underpinnings of human behavior for 30 years.Lou MorganWhile Morgan's undergraduate education focused on mathematics, a history of familial psychological problems fueled an interest in understanding the underlying mechanisms of human psychology.In the 1950s, Morgan began taking the first of many college psychology […]
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12:31 AM | Eating our way out of environmental change
Originally posted on Life, the Universe, and a Goldfish Bowl:Agriculture has a dramatic impact on our environment – humans have covered Earth in cropland to feed ourselves or to feed our food. As a result, there has been widespread…

December 10, 2014

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10:19 PM | Life ­– a status report
The status report on life is only an estimate. Our lack of knowledge of Earth's unique creatures would be embarrassing if the great dying we're causing did not evoke more potent emotions. Continue reading →
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9:59 PM | Biodiversity and Climate Are Connected
"The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity – in our forests, mountains and oceans – and the restoration of these ecosystems, can be an important part of the solution to the climate change problem," says Peru's vice-minister of Strategic Development of Natural Resources of the Ministry of Environment, Gabriel Quijandria Acosta. "To develop integrated policies for biodiversity and climate change we need to understand how biodiversity and the climate are changing and the […]
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7:56 PM | The Patterns of Bird Population Irruptions
Volunteer citizen naturalist opportunity for bird lovers. Continue reading →
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7:30 PM | To collect or not to collect? Experts debate the need for specimens
In 1912, a group of intrepid explorers led by Rollo and Ida Beck, widely acknowledged to be the foremost marine bird collectors of their time, embarked on a most remarkable effort to catalogue South America's oceanic birds. Museums of the day held opportunistically collected specimens from scattered sources, but rarely did these include ocean-bound birds that spent little time near the coast.
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4:31 PM | 10,000 Elephants : Poaching Crisis Out Of Control
What’s even more outraging is the factories, yes factories, that are legal in China for carving. A decade ago, there were 9 factories and 31 authorized ivory retail outlets in China. By 2013, the researchers found, there were 37 factories and 145 retail outlets! And even with this “legal” marketplace for ivory, at least a quarter of the ivory sold in Beijing and Shanghai is illegal. Continue reading →
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1:45 PM | Gifts for the ocean lover: For kids of all ages edition
Still looking for that perfect gift for a certain little one? I have to admit I am the aunt that likes to wrap up books (yes, and usually one of these ocean-themed children’s books). However, in the spirit of the giving during the holiday season, and in watching little eyes twinkle, it’s fun to also […]
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1:36 PM | Save Wildlife from Irresponsible Tourism
Tourism can bring enormous benefit to local communities, people and animals. It can also do great harm to wildlife and the environment. So if you're one of the growing number of people traveling overseas for holidays, it's important to consider your personal actions and decisions. Continue reading →
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1:03 PM | New research could help the welfare of working animals
With over 42 million horses and 95 per cent of the world's donkeys found in developing countries, new research could change the health and welfare of millions of working animals in some of the poorest parts of the world. "We hope our research will make a difference to the lives of these animals and our work will advise owners and vets on how to better look after their animals." Continue reading →
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1:00 PM | When dolphins are at risk, so is dolphin tourism
Wildlife tourism is a fraught concept, with very good reasons to encourage it and also some important reasons to think very, very carefully about its negative consequences. On the one hand, wildlife tourism injects important dollars into local economies, making animals worth more alive than dead. On the other hand, the constant presence of humans

December 09, 2014

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10:27 PM | Lac Megantic Tragedy Revisited
Inside Climate News has an excellent report and an effective accompanying video. Apparently the railroads are not a reasonable delivery system for petroleum products. Who knew?
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8:54 PM | The Bat with the Identity Crisis
The Bat with the Identity Crisis or “Will the real Myotis nattereri please stand up?”  By Andrew Harrington. There is a misfortunate bat species that is going through a bit of an identity crisis at the moment. This poor creature is Natterer’s bat, or Myotis nattereri to give it its formal name (named after the distinguished […]
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8:31 PM | How to Look for Squirrels
The Eurasian red squirrel is, in my opinion at least, one of the cutest additions to the Irish countryside. The little ear tufts of the red squirrel help differentiate it from the invasive grey squirrel, the North American competitor of the red squirrel introduced here about 100 years ago. Other features include the size difference, […]
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3:26 PM | Andrew’s five favorite “new” ocean blogs
Several years ago, the ocean blogosphere experienced a moment which can only be described as a Great Convergence. Numerous popular independent blogs, either seeking refuge from The Event, looking for a broader audience, or undergoing life transitions that made it impossible to maintain the high volume of new content, merged under the aegis of the Southern […]
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2:12 PM | What I Look For When I Walk Through My Prairies
Back in August, I posted some questions to readers about what they look for when evaluating their own prairies.  I got some excellent responses, which I really appreciated.  If you missed them, you can re-read that post and those comments … Continue reading →
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2:00 PM | Warm green feeling: Environmentalism can raise your temperature
It’s getting cold outside. But don’t think warm thoughts—think green ones! New research suggests that acting in an environmentally friendly manner can raise your perception of the temperature. In other words, going green can actually elicit a “warm glow” in people. “Literature suggests that people’s psychological state can affect their thermal state in the form
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1:30 PM | Early Women In Science: Trekking Through Nature, Trailblazing Their Way Through History
The sixteen women featured in the “Early Women In Science” exhibition are each extraordinary for unique reasons.  One trait they all share is that they were doing work in scientific fields reserved for men. They sometimes had to fight for recognition of their work—or went completely unrecognized for some of their major contributions. For instance, Maria Emma Gray (1787-1876) was a talented natural history illustrator. She not only contributed to the work of her […]

December 08, 2014

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5:06 PM | Indigenous leader murdered before he could attend Climate Summit
Days before José Isidro Tendetza Antún was supposed to travel to the UN Climate Summit in Lima to publicly file a complaint against a massive mining operation, he went missing. Now, the Guardian reports that the body of the Shuar indigenous leader has been found, bound and buried in an unmarked grave on the banks of the Zamora River.

December 06, 2014

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8:07 PM | Climate Change, Drought, and the Fall of California Agriculture
In a way, we have to get back to the land ourselves. Planting community gardens, growing our own vegetables, shopping at local Farmer's Markets - these are all ways we can survive without relying on the bounty California has provided. We have no choice, so may as well get started now. Continue reading →
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6:19 PM | Collaborative conservation plan eyed for Wyoming toad
Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:A Wyoming toad. Photo via USFWS. Voluntary conservation easements would protect habitat and traditional land use Staff Report FRISCO — Federal biologists are seeking input on a draft plan to protect habitat for…
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5:15 PM | Major hurricane direct hit on Manila megacity
The Manila metro area is in the expected track of a large hurricane (“Hagupit”) that peaked at Cat 5. Storm surge and winds will have somewhat subsided by the time it hits Manila but the storm is moving slowly and producing enormous rainfall rates over a large area. Severe disruption can be anticipated. [more]
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