Wolves are targeted again

The Bush/Cheney Administration in conjunction with the State of Wyoming has launched another attack on wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies — re-packaging a proposal that could lead to the killing of as many as 1,000 of American wolves.

Take action now. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that our wolves deserve a lasting future in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies.

Following several bloody months of wolf killing in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, a federal court ruled earlier this year against an earlier version of the Administration’s proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for the region’s wolves. In response, the Bush/Cheney Administration actually withdrew that proposal just a few weeks ago.

But with the clock winding down on the Bush/Administration, federal officials are launching a last-ditch attempt to re-package and ram through a plan that could lead to the slaughter of as many as two-thirds of the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Rockies wolf population.

Don’t let them get away with it. Urge federal officials to come up with a responsible management plan that ensures a lasting future for these majestic animals.

Time and time again, Defenders of Wildlife has gone to court and in Congress to ensure responsible, balanced management of our wolves.

For the past two years, caring people like you have sent tens of thousands of messages, made thousands of calls to fight the Bush/Cheney Administration and their allies in court to save the wollves.

Help us safeguard wolves. Take action now. Public comments accepted until November 28, 2008.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is only accepting public comments until November 28th,

so please take action now.

** We need to mobilize conservation activists to show up at public meetings and speak out. And we have to prepare for what could be another long, difficult legal fight ahead. To meet these goals in such a short time and protect wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies, we’re going to need your help.


Five legged salamanders, mutant frogs and nonorganic farming

A Purdue study found deformities in 8 percent of the 2,000 tiger salamanders examined,this year. Purdue researcher Rod Williams has ruled out inbreeding, which has been linked with elevated rates of deformity in a wide variety of animals, as a cause.

Seems that this animals live in water that is fed by run off from agricultural farming sites in the area. First the frogs now the salamanders are genetically malformed due to agricultures insistence on using pesaticides qand nongreen fertilizers.

Credit: Purdue University Forestry and Natural Resources

Catshark lays eggs

The Chain catshark, Scyliorhinus retifer, also called the chain dogfish, is a small, spotted shark that has a characteristic fluorescent activity. In the Mid-Atlantic Bight, the Chain dogfish is found along the outer continental shelf and upper slope. The shark occupies depths of 58 to 359 meters and occupies shallower depths in the northern region compared to southern areas. This shark does not migrate he seems to need warmer waters.

The Chain Catshark Scyliorhinus retifer in its natural habitat, lives surrounded by anemones, sea fans, and corals in 300 meters of water on the seafloor in the Gulf of Mexico.

Six species of catsharks are found in the Gulf of Mexico, including the Small, Broadgill, Chain, Marbled, Iceland, and Campeche catsharks. These species range from 50-1,850 meters (m). They lay eggs.

Since there is no seaweed like kelp deep in the ocean where the catsharks livesthey lay their eggs attached to coral that live deep in the ocean.

Chain catshark information from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Picture of the chain catshark



egg image courtesy of oceanexplorer.noaa.gov.com http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/08lophelia/logs/sept28/media/egg_case.html

Deep Artic Ocean meet the golden starfish

Image credit, Bodil Bluhm and Katherine Iken, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

This beautiful golden starfish was recovered from the deep Artic Ocean by a ROV dive.
Look at the different ways each person helped make this expedition such a great success.

By using their personal artistic side into documenting their scientific observations.

1. One scientist built aquariums on board the ship to house and photograph live specimens collected;

2. Another brought a specialized rotary camera to create panoramic scenes;

3. Several have connected microscopes to their computer to take microscopic images;

4. Divers brought cameras in underwater housings to take images of creatures living beneath the ice.

You’ll see a few of thesei images collected during the expedition displaying the incredible beauty and diversity of life that exists in the remote Arctic Ocean.

Image credit, Bodil Bluhm and Katherine Iken, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.and


Hymenodora glacialis, the only pelagic (ocean) shrimp known to inhabit the Canada Basin. Image courtesy of Russ Hopcroft, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Clione, a shell-less snail know as the Sea Butterfly swims in the shallow waters beneath Arctic ice. Image courtesy of Russ Hopcroft, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.(on the right)

Saving the Gulf of California harbor porpoise

Working together to save the smallest porpoises -Two thumbs up! – Mother Nature
For months now  Mexico, the United States and Canada are have been working up plans to protect the Vaquita marina, a highly endangered species of small porpoise in the upper Gulf of California.
Researchers are studying the rare animal and working to convince fishermen in Gulf communities to abandon fine-mesh gill nets and other techniques that threaten the species.
A U.S. research ship has begun setting out a network of acoustic monitoring devices in the Gulf of California to determine the number and location of surviving vaquitas. The vaquita, Phocoena sinus, is found only in the northern area of the Gulf of California in coastal, shallow water. Vaquitas are the only porpoise species found in such warm waters. The vaquita, They feed on bony fishes and squid found near the surface of the water.

The North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, which is helping coordinate the effort, said only about 150 of the elusive vaquitas remain in the wild, and as many as 40 are killed each year by fishing nets.

“Unless concrete conservation actions are taken, the effective size of the population … may fall to just 50 adults in the next two years,” the commission said in a statement.

The plan calls on the United States and Canada to encourage investment in fishing communities to create other jobs for residents so they can eliminate the fishing risks.
The vaquita is listed as critically endangered.

Mexico, US, Canada to protect endangered porpoise –  MARK STEVENSON, AP

October 28, 2008
http://news.yahoo.com mexico_endangered_porpoise;

Image courtesy of WWF and marinebio.org
Phocoena sinus, Vaquita – MarineBio.org.  October 28, 2008,


Utah Wilderness share your picture and story

Do you have pictures and testimonials to share?
Simply put, most of us want to protect Utah’s wilderness because we care about the future of Utah’s amazing wild lands. In order to make that care and concern more visible, participants in the Utah based “Women Protecting Wilderness” project have been collecting short testimonials and pictures from people describing why wilderness matters to them. These testimonials are being turned into the “Wilderness Quilt” — a visually exciting, attention-grabbing exhibit comprised of over 100 photos and “testimonials” (transferred to fabric) — that will be displayed as a part of an outreach and wilderness education project at the Salt Lake City Main Library during the last two weeks of November.

So far we’ve collected more than 80 testimonials from Utah wilderness supporters all over the country. We need more to complete the display and would love your help!  Please take a moment, and submit a testimonial now.  (We welcome testimonials from men as well as women.)

Here’s what we need:
a 2-3 sentence statement (50 words or less) about why wilderness matters to you
a digital photo of yourself (preferably in a favorite natural landscape)
your name
a word or phrase that describes what you do in the world
the city and state where you live
Please send your picture and testimonial to deeda@suwa.org.

SUWA <deeda@suwa.org>

Image and text courtesy of deeda@suwa.org

Saving endangered pigmy elephants and orangutans

TWO THUMBS UP! -Mother Nature

In Malaysia  Conservationists want to purchase land from palm oil producers to protect Borneo’s orangutans, pygmy elephants and other endangered wildlife by creating a forest sanctuary. This was the first time that non-government activists were trying to acquire land in Malaysian Borneo for environmental protection with  the help of government officials. Some of the endangered animals needing our protection include 600 orangutans, 150 Borneo pygmy elephants and a vast array of other animals including proboscis monkeys, hornbills and river otters.

With the rapid growth of the palm oil industry which is mainly used to make commercial cheap baked goods and junk foods in general (see earlier article on NC blog) the demise of orangutans in Malaysia and Indonesia, the only two countries where orangutans are found in the wild seems certain.

Researchers say more than 5,000 of the primates have been lost every year since 2004. Borneo is also home to some 1,000 pygmy elephants, which are genetically from Asian elephants because they have babyish faces, large ears and longer tails. They are also more rotund and less aggressive.

The Malaysian-based LEAP Conservancy group wants to buy 222 acres of tropical jungle land in Malaysia’s Sabah state on Borneo island this land would link two sections of a wildlife reserve that is home to an estimated 600 orangutans, 150 Borneo pygmy elephants and a vast array of other animals including proboscis monkeys, hornbills and river otters.

The British-based World Land Trust, which is working with LEAP on the initiative, said on its Web site that 343,000 pounds ($533,000) was needed to acquire the land. http://www.worldlandtrust.org

excerpts from New deal to rescue Borneo orangutans in Malaysia – SEAN YOONG, A P Oct 28, 2008


Video of pigmy elephant courtesy of Discovery.com


Image courtesy of National Geographic News


Hidden beauty in Artic waters

Some scientists have very cool jobs. You could be a scientist too!

Chief Scientist, Rolf Gradinger, deploys water samples below the ice to conduct real life experiments on sea ice algae and phytoplankton.
He and 44 other scientists team and 75 Coast Guard crew teamed upin 2005 to research and study for one month the hidden creatures in a remote part of the Artic Ocean.  Around the clock, many many science experiments were conducted. They ranged from experiments using using ROV (robots) and instrument deployments, to others filtering water samples and examining creatures collected under a microscope. The science team examined all realms of the Arctic Ocean, from the sea-ice cover to the deep sea floor.

Click here to see a slide show courtesy of Oceanexplorer.noaa.gov


Decomposing plastic bags – family challenge

Here’s a challenge for all schools and families in web land.

Young scientists of America and the world, see how many plastic bags we can collect and recycle for food for microbes.

Or if you are not interested in the science experiment lets collect plastic bags and send them to a green recycler.

Who will be able to quit using plastic bags all together?

A young scientist in Canada devised a way to help speed the recycling of plastic bags.

He mixed ground up plastic with salt, yeast, water and dirt. Then he cultured the mix to increase the concentration of the soil microbes and yeast cells,

After three months the microbes had eaten 43% of the plastic. Maybe you can do better?

Keep Nature’s Crusaders posted.

Gila monster has poisonous saliva

The Gila monster is one of only two poisonous lizards in the world. Its home territory is the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of extreme southwestern Utah, southern Nevada, southeastern California, Arizona and southwestern New Mexico into Mexico.

It prefers to live in arid to semi arid gravelly and sandy soils with shrubs. they hide under rocks, in burrows of other animals and in holes it digs itself.

When the desert heats up in the summer, the Gila monster will come out at night to hunt and feed on small mammals, birds and eggs.It will stock up on food in the summer so that its fat stores will keep it through the winter months when its food supply is scarce. Its tail and abdomen store the excess fat.  Both species of Fat stored in the tail and abdomen during this period is utilized during the winter months.

The Gila monster is slow, but stay away from its mouth for it has a strong bite. The saliva is poisonous when it locks its teeth into its prey and chews its food. “Most of the Gila Monster’s teeth have two grooves that conduct the venom, a nerve toxin, from glands in the lower jaw. The toxin is not injected like that of the snake, but flows into the wound as the lizard chews on its victim. While the bite can overpower predators and prey, it is rarely fatal to humans.
The Gila Monster is a stout-bodied lizard that grows 18 to 24 inches in length. It has black, orange, pink or yellow broken blotches, bars and spots, with bands extending onto its blunt tail. Its face is black, and it has small, bead-like scales across its back. It is named for the Gila River Basin of the southwestern United States.”

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