Posts

January 24, 2015

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10:34 AM | How Singapore makes biodiversity an important part of urban life | Citiscope
Singapore's commitment to biodiversity is outstanding. Continue reading →

January 23, 2015

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9:38 PM | Fun Science FRIEDay – Darwin Says Survival of the… empathetic?!
Dacher Keltner, professor of psychology and founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley has been pushing an idea – Humans are built to be good, because it aids in human survival. This seems to immediately contradict the framework of evolution that has been popularized,  which champions individual survival and competition to […]
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1:36 PM | Photo of the Week – January 23, 2015
There are a few subjects I can’t seem to keep from photographing.  Milkweed seeds, for example.  Patterns of ice on frozen wetlands.  Dew-covered insects.  And sunflowers. What flower is more distinctive?  Their bright yellow color and big round flowers stand … Continue reading →
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1:28 PM | To dyke, or not to dyke: A debate coming to a town near you
Finally, President Obama’s state of the union called out Congress’s problem with climate change. Their denial is merely a symptom of overall scientific ignorance, a simply medieval issue that has temporarily stalled many great nations’ progress throughout history. Yet, President Obama’s points about climate change and it’s relevance to the nation gives one hope that […]
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1:00 PM | Citizen Scientists Find Good News for Puget Sound Seabirds
Seabirds have been suggested as critical “sentinel species,” indicators of overall ecosystem health, at least for coastal habitats. They’re often the best ways to see how well a given landscape is facing the threat of climate change and other human-related activities. One of the best ways to assess the health of seabird communities is through
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10:41 AM | Feds seek public comment on offshore wind farm zone
Federal environmental officials are seeking public comment on the environmental impacts of offshore wind farm-related activity proposed for an area of some 480 square miles of Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina’s coast. Continue reading →
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2:20 AM | mt tangles with Curry again
Curry in over her depth without going in very deep at all. See the fireworks on the revived Only In It for the Gold blog. [more]
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1:59 AM | Unhappy feet – why we need more than a day of penguin awareness
A couple of days ago (20th January) was penguin awareness day1. But do we really need to be more aware of penguins?  Well, actually yes.  Photo by Chris Parsons  We conducted a study a couple of years ago  (pdf also available) to look at public awareness of penguins (using university students as a sample) and […]

January 22, 2015

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11:13 PM | Forests Precede Us, Deserts Follow
Originally posted on Collapse of Industrial Civilization:As Goes the Amazon, So Goes the World Thought to be up to 100 million years old and home to more species than any other ecosystem on Earth, the Amazon rainforest is a…
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10:08 PM | Yellowstone begins transferring bison for slaughter
Yellowstone National Park has begun shipping wild bison for slaughter as part of a plan to reduce the park's population by as many as 900 animals this winter. Continue reading →
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5:17 PM | Pennsylvania pigeon shoots: An early push for their extinction
What killed it was a barrage of political donations from the Flyers Victory Fund, a political action committee that supports the shoots. The fund kicked out $20,000 for members of the House Rules Committee — a grand apiece plus $3,000 to its boss, Rep. Mike Turzai. Continue reading →
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4:57 PM | Indigenous territories play dual role as homelands and protected areas
Indigenous communities claim—and scientific evidence increasingly shows—that indigenous forested territories are as well protected as, or better protected than, government-designated parks. In areas under pressure from roads or development projects, deforestation rates are sometimes even lower in indigenous territories than in official protected areas.
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2:22 PM | Palm oil giant launches online platform to support zero deforestation push
Wilmar, the world's largest palm oil company, has unveiled a tool it says will help eliminate deforestation from its global supply chain. The tool is an online dashboard that maps the company's supply chain, including the names of locations of its refineries and supplier mills.
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2:00 PM | Did the Soviet Union collapse harm wildlife?
When a country goes into economic freefall, the resulting chaos can trigger a host of environmental changes. Wildlife regulation often falls by the wayside, and poaching rises — but activities such as logging may drop. “Thus, socioeconomic shocks may hinder or help conservation,” researchers write in Conservation Biology. In the case of the 1991 Soviet
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1:30 PM | Wildflowers of Ecuador: Watercolors and eBooks
Missouri Botanical Garden, Peter H. Raven Library's first eBook: Wildflowers and Landscapes of Ecuador: The Way We Knew It.Every now and then an unusual and exciting opportunity arises to digitize a very unique item. Such an opportunity arrived in the email box of Doug Holland, the director of the Peter H. Raven Library at the Missouri Botanical Garden, one afternoon in January 2014. Anne Hess, daughter of artist Mary Barnas Pomeroy and grand-daughter of artist/teacher Carl Barnas, had decided […]
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1:00 AM | Is there an optimal urbanization strategy?
Under a “status quo” scenario where no new land use policies are implemented, developed area would increase by 229 percent from 1996 through 2032. Continue reading →

January 21, 2015

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9:33 PM | The cost of photography in 1985
I found an old price list for Minolta from 1985.  The actual significance of this, is that this is all based on Minolta 7000 AF camera and a novel set of auto-focus lenses.  SLR cameras before this were manual-focusing.  One of the gambles Minolta made was that people would not balk at buying these new [...]
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8:28 PM | Mine could cause irreparable harm to Smith River
Why should we even take the chance of placing such a valuable resource, and the established economy that depends on it, under threat of perpetual pollution? Continue reading →
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8:01 PM | Sundarbans still reeling from effects of December oil spill
Last month, an estimated 350,000 liters of fuel oil spilled into the Sundarbans delta on the Bay of Bengal. An oil tanker that had collided with a cargo vessel on December 9th sank into the Shela River, spilling its oil into a protected sanctuary for the rare and endangered Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) and the Ganges river dolphins (Platanista gangetica).
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7:56 PM | Scientists warn of impending turtle dove British extinction
Turtle dove numbers in Britain have dropped by a whopping 93% since 1970, the fastest decline of a bird towards extinction in British history. Continue reading →
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5:58 PM | Environmental wisdom: keeping indigenous stories alive
Enchanted lakes and magic hills: how traditional stories support conservation and abundance. 'Long ago, when animals were gente...' Those words, uttered countless times by indigenous Amazonian storytellers, blur the boundary between humans and other creatures in the forests and rivers, revealing a different view of the way human and non-human worlds intertwine.
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4:45 PM | A model forest? Regional park balances local needs and conservation
Regional conservation area safeguards subsistence and spirituality in the Peruvian Amazon. For Alfredo Rojas, the history of the remote villages along the Ampiyacu River is one of enslavement. Growing up here, Rojas listened to his parents tell stories of the rubber barons who beat and killed the Indians who failed to meet their latex quota.
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2:44 PM | Many scientists, conservationists and fishermen support our trophy fishing paper recommendations
Last month, a team of marine scientists (which included Andrew and I) published a paper pointing out that intentionally killing the largest and most fecund members of IUCN Red List Threatened species is not a good thing and could be easily stopped (by stopping record awards entirely for these species or moving to a catch and release […]
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1:25 PM | Beyond Ivory
Dr. Andrew Wright is a British marine biologist that has been working on the science-policy boundary around the world for over a decade. His experiences have led him to champion a better communication of science to policy makers and the lay public. His research has included a population viability analysis for the vaquita, sperm whales […]
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1:00 PM | Can there ever be a legal ivory trade?
The international trade in elephant ivory has doubled since 2007. Since 1998, it’s tripled. That’s despite the fact that, in 1989, trading ivory became illegal. There are many, many problems with the trade in ivory, but one of them comes down to basic economics: there is a mismatch between the demand for ivory and the quantity
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12:42 PM | Planned BHL outage 1/21/15 at 5pm CST
There will be a planned outage of the BHL website starting Wednesday 1/21 at 5pm Central (11pm GMT) to last approximately 2 hours. The 2 hour outage is an estimate, but we will work to have services restored as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience.
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12:40 AM | How concerned are CEOs about climate change? Answer: Not at all.
A spokeswoman for PricewaterhouseCoopers said that climate change did not make it into the top 19 risks CEOs were questioned about because of their lack of interest in the subject. Continue reading →

January 20, 2015

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10:57 PM | Drought, fire management and land use changes have led to denser forests in California
Across California, tree density in forested regions increased by 30% between the two time periods, whereas forest biomass in the same regions declined, as indicated by a 19% reduction in basal area. Continue reading →
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9:59 PM | Company chops down rainforest to produce 'sustainable' chocolate
Aiming to be the world’s largest purveyor of sustainable cacao, a company is developing a plantation in the Amazon that scientists say comes at the expense of primary forest.
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5:38 PM | Ruminations on Tree Planting and Prairie Conservation
Trees are great, but trees in and around prairies can negatively impact habitat quality for many grassland plant and animal species and provide points of introduction for invasive species.  Encroachment by trees has become a major threat to prairie conservation … Continue reading →
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