“Sea turtles designed for water”


The endangered sea turtle’s body is designed for ocean life. Their shells are lighter and more streamlined than those of their cousin the land turtle. Sea turtle’s front and rear “legs” have evolved into flippers making them able to glide through the water efficiently and effortlessly swimmers. They are able of swim long distances in a relatively short period of time. Sea turtles have been known to move through the water as fast as 35 mph.

Because they are not fish, but reptiles when active, sea turtles must swim to the surface every few minutes to breathe. Although during rest or periods of sleep adult sea turtles can remain underwater for more than 2 hours without breathing.

Why are they able to stay under water so long?

Sea turtles blood can carry higher concentrations of carbon dioxide than most other air-breathing animals. This allows their blood to use its oxygen supply more efficiently so their muscles and blood are able to store oxygen in large quantities. Since adult sea turtles usually sleep at night under water, young sea turtles need to sleep afloat at the water’s surface, because their blood has not developed this oxygen concentrating ability. This makes them more vunerable to prey.

In addition to solving the problems of swimming and breathing, sea turtles have also come up with an ingenious way to rid their bodies of the salts they accumulate from the seawater in which they live. Just behind each eye is a salt gland. The salt glands help sea turtles to maintain a healthy water balance by shedding large “tears” of excess salt. If a sea turtle appears to be “crying” it is usually not cause for alarm, as the turtles are merely keeping their physiology in check. It is not because they are upset or sad.

The shape of the shell gives helpful clues to how the turtle lives. Most tortoises have a large dome-shaped shell that makes it difficult for predators to crush the shell between their jaws. One of the few exceptions is the African pancake tortoise, which has a flat, flexible shell that allows it to hide in rock crevices. Most aquatic turtles have flat, streamlined shells which aid in swimming and diving. American snapping turtles and musk turtles have small, cross-shaped plastrons that give them more efficient leg movement for walking along the bottom of ponds and streams.

All turtles need our protection, please keep the waterways and ocean free of litter will help save many turtles and tortoises from extinction.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/c1fcX4

Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/d0fZl7

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/b91azE

Image 1. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/c3VwZQ

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/b7Vf9t

“Western Wolves again a target”


Despite this summer’s ruling by a federal court to restore Endangered Species Act protections for Greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies wolves, Wildlife Services agents are targeting hundreds of wolves in the region, including helpless pups in their dens.

Please take action now.

Urge President Obama’s head of the Department of Agriculture (which oversees Wildlife Services) to end the program’s plan to expand their wolf-killing role in Idaho.   Tell USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack we want wolves protected.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of defendersofwildlife.org

Image courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders library

Wolf in crosshairs in Utah again


Speak out now.    Take action.

Thanks to a recent court ruling in our court fight for wolves, these magnificent animals are once more protected under the Endangered Species Act, but the Wildlife Services has decided to begin exterminating wolves in central Idaho. The agency wants to expand their wolf-killing operations, working with Idaho officials to kill up to 80 percent of the wolves in some areas.

Their plan also includes killing entire packs. Their plan includes using helicopters to chase down and kill wolves. And their plan includes gasing helpless wolf pups and their mothers in their dens, surgically sterilizing alpha wolf pairs and more.

Speak out now to stop the out-of-control wolf killing plan — before the government-sponsored killing starts.

The agency has other, more reasonable options. But rather than helping ranchers co-exist with wolves and other native wildlife with proven non-lethal techniques, Wildlife Services is expanding their role as the nation’s top wolf-killers and relying on the lethal approach that helped the program eliminate wild wolves in the Lower 48 United States during the 1940s.

Click here to help stop the federal Wildlife Services plan for killing more protected wolves in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies region.

“90 percent of seized animals missing or dead-who’s to blame?”


Look at some of the animals that have seemingly been lost from the seizure  three months ago

Who’s to blame?

In Kuala Lumpur it is estimated that 90% of the animals seized by three months ago have allegedly either died or gone missing, claims an informant.

The wildlife haul of over 20 species encompassed thousands of birds  including a rare pair of Cenderawasih, also known as the Bird of Paradise said to be worth RM1 million in the black market – as well as leopard cats, albino pygmy monkeys and domestic cats.

Other rare birds seized in the raid were the blue-crowned Hanging Parrot, the black-coloured Palm Cockatoo and the white rump Shama.

The news of the missing or dead animals was revealed by Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng who said the informer, who claimed to be a wildlife department staff, approached him a week ago.

“He told me that the animals found deceased had clearly died due to starvation,” Lim said at a press conference today.

He added that the informer had not told him how many animals were dead and how many were missing.
The animals had been handed over to the department in July by the police, who were investigating a stolen car ring, stumbled upon them during a raid on the warehouse.

Lim said he had tried to verify the information with the department last Friday but did not manage to speak to any top official. Instead, he was told the status of the seized animals is unavailable as the case is still under investigation.

“That is unacceptable to me; it has been three months since the seizure. I challenge the Department of Wildlife to tell the public where the animals are,” he said.

Lim also said he hoped that wildlife and animal protection NGOs would join in and put pressure on the wildlife department to reveal the status of the animals seized in July.

The department’s director-general could not be reached for comment.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/cNrqux

Image 1. courtesy of   http://bit.ly/c2vmYR

Image 2. courtesy of leopard cats  http://bit.ly/cHqR2R

Image 3. courtesy of    http://bit.ly/dhhbG2

“Ya missed your chance to become a panda keeper”


Pandas are eating bamboo shoots at the Panda Base in Chengdu,  China.  The twelve lucky finalists in a worldwide contest to be a panda keeper in Chengdu for one month have begun their training, learning to feed and study the endangered animals on Wednesday September 22, 2010.

Coming from Sweden, South Africa, Japan and other countries, the finalists arrived at the Chengdu Panda Base in southwestern China’s Szechwan province. The new panda keepers in training were chosen from a pool of more than 60,000 hopefuls.
Ultimately there will only be six winners of the competition, organized by the base and conservation group WWF, will be chosen on September 29 based on how well they look after the pandas, understand conservation, and how good their communication skills are.
They will then spend a month working as panda keepers and living with the locals in Chengdu, blogging about their experiences to help raise awareness of the endangered animal’s plight.
The six winners will also be hosted by local families.
They will be trained on how to feed the pandas, interact with cubs, and monitor their growth, cleaning and sterilizing the panda enclosures, weighing their excrement and feeding the bears.
There are just 1,600 pandas left in the wild and nearly 300 others are in captive-bred programs worldwide, mainly in China, according to official reports.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://yhoo.it/9E7cJR

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/dihYk9

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cE7Fka

“GMO bacon, chops and even pig poo”


The Enviropig is the trademark for a genetically modified line of Yorkshire pigs with the capability to digest plant phosphorus more efficiently than ordinary unmodified pigs that was developed at the University of Guelph. Enviropigs produce the enzyme phytase in the salivary glands that is secreted in the saliva. When cereal grains are consumed, the phytase mixes with feed in the pig’s mouth, and once swallowed the phytase is active in the acidic environment of the stomach degrading indigestible phytic acid with the release of phosphate that is readily digested by the pig.
Cereal grains including corn, soybean and barley contain 50 to 75% of their phosphorus in the form of phytic acid. Since the Enviropigs can now digest phytic acid, there is no need to include either a mineral phosphate supplement or commercially produced phytase to balance the diet. Because no phosphorus is added to the diet and there is digestion of the phytic acid, the manure is substantially reduced in phosphorus content, ranging from a 20 to 60% decrease depending upon the stage of growth and the diet consumed.
Let’s face it commercialized herds or even wild herds of animals stick.

Why?

Their feces and gas evacuation reeks. Now science is trying to come to the rescue of the amounts of phosphorus emissions released by one animal the pig. Modifying the genes of one of Mother Nature’s pig takes time. Scientists began working on creating an enviropig in 1999, if commercialized the benefits would include reduced feed cost and reduced phosphorus pollution as compared to the raising of ordinary pigs.
What does “genetically modified” really mean?
Enviropigs produce the enzyme phytase in the salivary glands that is secreted in the saliva. When cereal grains are consumed, the phytase mixes with feed in the pig’s mouth, and once swallowed the phytase is active in the acidic environment of the stomach degrading indigestible phytic acid with the release of phosphate that is readily digested by the pig.
Cereal grains including corn, soybean and barley contain 50 to 75% of their phosphorus in the form of phytic acid. Since the Enviropigs can now digest phytic acid, there is no need to include either a mineral phosphate supplement or commercially produced phytase to balance the diet. Because no phosphorus is added to the diet and there is digestion of the phytic acid, the manure is substantially reduced in phosphorus content, ranging from a 20 to 60% decrease depending upon the stage of growth and the diet consumed.

But no one has ever eaten an Enviropig, said Moccia. It’s not permitted yet. Though scientists first produced the pig in 1999, the University of Guelph conducted extensive testing before applying for approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 2007 and Canadian food and health regulators the following year. The University expects the FDA will be first to act and believe the agency is about half-way through its analysis, though the FDA won’t say.

Check out the video.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/dABsB2

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/93aLuf

Video courtesy of YouTube.com

“Good news: a genetic rescue improves survival of the Florida Panther”


Florida panthers the last big cat in Florida was in terrible trouble. By the 1990s, there were only 20 to 25 adults left. The small numbers, cut off from any possible contact with other panther species that roam the West, meant inbreeding that was causing genetic defects: Low testosterone levels, poor sperm quality, holes in the heart, undescended testes, even kinked tails and cowlicks between their shoulders.
Their numbers were dwindling. So eight cousin female panthers from Texas were moved into southern Florida 15 years ago in hopes of boosting reproduction. The wildlife biologists were not certain that they would mate, or produce strong healthy offspring.  The cats are closely related, but genetically distinct.
Five of those eight Texas panthers that were imported in 1995 quickly bred to produce 15 kittens, the first of generations of Texas-Florida hybrids responsible for recolonizing the area — and those increasing numbers of hybrids have proved hardier, the study found.
There now are an estimated 100 Florida panthers, still endangered and struggling on shrinking habitat but an important improvement.
The new study for the first time details the genetic diversity that accompanied the population rebound.
Onorato’s colleagues and geneticists at the National Cancer Institute compared samples taken from 591 panthers between 1978 and 2009, to track changing genetic heritage.
Five of those eight Texas panthers that were imported in 1995 quickly bred to produce 15 kittens, the first of generations of Texas-Florida hybrids responsible for recolonizing the area — and those increasing numbers of hybrids have proved hardier, the study found.
While many panther kittens don’t survive to adulthood, more of the hybrid kittens do. The hybrids even proved better at escaping capture by the scientists, with high jumps from trees. The crippling birth defects haven’t disappeared but have been dramatically reduced.
Challenges
There seems to be a slowing of the population growth after 2004 no one knows how long the progress will continue. Genetic changes tend to decline over time usually.
The study was published in September 24th edition of the Journal Science.

Resources

Excerpts and Image courtesy of   http://yhoo.it/bcrtZY

“Saving Cuba’s endangered wildlife see ” Accidental Eden”


Cuba’s wild landscapes have remained virtually untouched, creating a safe haven for rare and intriguing indigenous animals, as well as for hundreds of species of migrating birds and marine creatures. Coral reefs have benefited, too. Independent research has shown that Cuba’s corals are doing much better than others both in the Caribbean and around the world.

Scientific research in Cuba on creatures such as the notoriously aggressive “jumping” crocodile, and the famous painted snails, paired with long-term ecological efforts on behalf of sea turtles, has been conducted primarily by devoted local experts. Conservation and research in Cuba can be a constant struggle for scientists who earn little for their work. But their work is their passion, and no less important than that of those collecting larger salaries. NATURE follows these scientists as they explore the crocodile population of Zapata swamp, the birth of baby sea turtles, and the mysteries of evolution demonstrated by creatures that travel no more than 60 yards in a lifetime.

As the possibility of an end to the U.S. trade embargo looms, Cuba’s wildlife hangs in the balance. Most experts predict that the end of the embargo could have devastating results. Tourism could double, and the economic development associated with tourism and other industries could change the face of what was once a nearly pristine ecosystem. Or Cuba could set an example for development and conservation around the world, defining a new era of sustainability well beyond Cuba’s borders.

Some of the  animals

CUBAN TODY (Todus multicolor)

Todies defend a tiny patch of forest, rarely leaving their wooded and semiwooded territories. They are endemic to Cuba and are known on the island as “cartacuba.” Female todies lay 3 to 4 eggs between the months of March and June. Parents feed their chicks up to 140 insects per day — making these young birds among the most frequently fed chicks in the world. Todies snatch caterpillars, spiders, and other kinds of insects off leaves. There are only five species of tody in the world, and all of them are found on Caribbean islands. The Cuban tody is the most colorful, with a blue throat, pink flanks, a yellow underbelly, and a green body. These birds dig tunnels in embankments or in hollow tree trunks for nests. The tunnel’s walls are covered with a sealant — a mixture of grass, lichen, algae, and feathers.

Looking for love?  BEE HUMMINGBIRD (Mellisuga helenae)

Believed to be the world’s smallest bird, Cuba’s native bee hummingbird buzzes around forests and field edges in many parts of the island, where it feeds on flower nectar. It grows to about 2 inches long and weighs less than an ounce, or less than a dime. Some locals call it “zunzun,” and believe it is a symbol of love. Birders from all over the world travel to Cuba in hopes of catching a glimpse of this tiny bird.

CUBAN CROCODILE (Crocodylus rhombifer)

Once also found on other islands in the Caribbean, this rare crocodile is now limited to Cuba, where it lives in dense swamps. It can grow up to 13 feet long, and typically feeds on fish and crustaceans. It can also “leap” high out the water, with a push from its powerful tail, to grab hutia from their treetop perches. Biologists believe that fewer than 6,000 wild Cuban crocodiles remain, although others are raised on farms for their meat and hides.


Cuba: The Accidental Eden premieres Sunday, September 26, 2010 on PBS

For more information

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of http://to.pbs.org/bZUL9f

Excerpts and Images  2 & 4 courtesy of http://to.pbs.org/aqCSuk/wildlife-guide/1245

Image courtesy of  Nature’s Crusader’s library

Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/cb2DYx

Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/a9WI1k

“Recycling CO2 into Liquid Light”


The amount of CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere is a growing environmental pollution problem. It is causing global climate change, but until recently none could figure out how to safely take care of this pollutant. 10 years ago many thought the excess should be captured and stored sequestered under the ocean.

Why not efficiently recycle it?

Graduate student Emily Barton has discovered a way to convert CO2 into fuel. Using an electrochemical cell that employs a semiconducting material used in photovoltaic solar cells for one of its electrodes, she has succeeded in tapping sunlight to transform CO2 into a basic fuel.
“We take CO2, water, sunlight and an appropriate catalyst and generate an alcoholic fuel and Liquid Light was born.

Plants turn CO2 into fuels during photosynthesis. Plant fuels create food and energy and give off oxygen and CO2 depending on whether it is day or night.
If energy from sunlight can be stored and converted into a liquid fuel from CO2 and hydrogen, would make recycling CO2 emissions very profitable and and decrease the rapid buildup of it in the atmosphere. There would be the potential for more US jobs as these new energy technologies as this recycled CO2 get commercialized.

Resources


Excerpts
courtesy of   http://bit.ly/czkLKj

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/91J3Kl

“Origins of a miracle to save Gulf sea life”


The birth of a movement

Gulf Water safety Corexit is  still in use trying to hide the oil underwater in the water and wildlife. Oilspill isn’t gone Seafood isn’t safe Rally

Corexit needs to EXIT

“I decided if I wanted a miracle to save our coast, I’d join forces with 1,000,000 Strong Against Offshore Drilling And work to make it happen Lemonade 4 Wildlife is born. Now The Kids And I are Working Miracles!!!

Oilspill isn’t gone Seafood isn’t safe

Join us at Rally Shrimp Festival Weekend in Gulf Shores Alabama on October 8 – 9, 2010.

Come join us for our Health Forum Saturday evening in Orange Beach , Al. after our final Rally in Gulf Shores . Forum is where we’ll have our speakers explaining more in depth the health effects of the oilspill and Corexit 9527A.

Can anyone suggest how or who could help them get permits?

Looks like we’re gonna run into some serious permit issues so …

We’ve decided all of us will wear our own White T-shirt decorated with whatever message you want the world to hear about the safety of our waters , sand and seafood here along the Gulf Coast.We only ask that you keep it clean as we don’t want to offend only inform. We’ll be walking through the Shrimp Festival passing out flyers and posting them on cars. We will get our… message out and be heard. We’re still trying to set up a locatFacebookion to have our speakers and anyone else who’d like to share their story is Welcome (Please share in person or online at ). That information will be on the flyers we pass out . Please remember this is a work in progress and its getting bigger all the time.

Guardians of The Gulf are also working with us so a wanna send a special THANK YOU to them!!
This is an event geared towards raising public awareness that we’re being deceived by not only BP but our Government as well. They want the American Public to Believe the Oil is gone and the Gulf seafood, water, and beaches are safe. This couldn’t be farther from the truth Corexit still being used and we are all at risk.

While public officials and BP claim that dispersant use was halted in May for Corexit 9527A and on July 19 for Corexit 9500A, evidence collected by Gulf residents has shown that dispersants are being used in nearshore and inland waters, close to highly populated areas across the Gulf. Further, oil and the Corexit marker have been found in air and inland water.

Join us to try and change the perception of oil spill and its health effects.
Quoted from Facebook

People helping People create a safer world for us all.  Mother Nature thanks you.

“Mother housecat saves 3 orphaned bobcats”


When you care you never know when life will give you something to save.

With a gun in one hand and a sack of bobcat kittens in the other, an Alabama hunter proudly plopped the newborns down on the counter and asked the veterinary assistant to raise them up for him so he could give them to his kids as pets.

The vet tech was stunned, but quickly recomposed herself to tell the hunter she would do it for him so as to rescue the babies from such an awful fate. She immediately began scouring the Internet for an expert in rehab and release. When she called Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue it was agreed that the kittens would come to Florida, be raised for re-release back to the wild and the paperwork began.
It took three days to secure the Florida import permit and time was of the essence. The only kitten formula available to the clinic was one that often causes serious dehydration in bobcat kittens. The second more critical factor was that their eyes would be opening any day and if they were to ever live free it was imperative that they not bond to humans. They never make good pets, but the bonding that takes place during the nursing stage could make them fearless of people and that would get them into trouble as adults.
While Big Cat Rescue President and resident Rehabber, Jamie Veronica, hit the road to begin a 24 hour road trip to rescue the baby bobcats, Big Cat Rescue put out a call to all of the Tampa animal based charities and on all of their social networks that they needed a nursing mother cat who had kittens of her own. Jack Talman of FosteringIsCool.com found a mother cat but her kittens were too old and she was going into heat so there was concern that she may not have milk nor interest for new babies.
Big Cat Rescuer, Merrill Kramer, called on Rick Chaboudy, CEO of Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor, FL and he said he thought he had a good candidate. Her name was Bobbi because of her half tail and she had given birth to 6 kittens of her own and then adopted two more. He found foster parents for all but two of the kittens and brought Bobbi and her brood over to see what she thought of diversifying her family.
Introductions like these can be very scary because the mother cat can be overly protective of her own kittens and fatally strike out at the new comers.  President, Jamie Veronica, has had a considerable amount of experience in this area though and had taken every precaution to make sure it went as well as it possibly could.  Bobbi turned out to be a dream come true for three little orphaned bobcats though.  She immediately pulled them in close to nurse and began to bathe them.  The little bobcat babies were so startled that they hissed at her!
She ignored their resistance and just kept on loving on them.  Once they figured out that this strange smelling “bobcat” mom had the real deal to offer at her breasts, they were in love too.
Check out their progress on our facebook: http://bit.ly/6zlAgy
Please donate to continue Big Cat Rescue‘s vital work.
Resources
Story courtesy of bigcatrescue.com
Video courtesy of YouTube and Big Cat Rescue

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