“Missing tanker found by Italian satellites”

The Cosmo-SkyMed satellites, operated by the Italian space agency, have acquired the first images of the Italian oil tanker Savina Caylyn since it was hijacked earlier this week by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

According to the satellite radar images, acquired by Italian space agency (ASI) and e-GEOS on Wednesday afternoon and early Thursday morning, the seized ship is about 330 km off the Somalia coast.

The 266-m long and 46-m wide vessel was about 800 km west of India when it was attacked on Tuesday. There has been no reported communication with the vessel and no information regarding the 22 crew members on board.

Through rapid integration of satellite-based vessel detection with conventional information streams, it provides extended surveillance to a range of coast guards, police forces, navies, customs and excise agencies, border guards and intelligence services. The project is led by e-GEOS and has been running since early 2006.

The images and the extracted information on the vessel are fed directly by e-GEOS into the command and control system of the Italian Coast Guard who received the initial alert when the piracy attack occurred and are now maintaining contact with the vessel owners’ company security officer.

MARISS provides pre-operational satellite-based maritime surveillance services for European waters, East Africa, the Caribbean and the Atlantic to support maritime law enforcement, anti-trafficking interventions and to protect shipping lanes.


Excerpts and Image courtesy of   http://bit.ly/f7j9l5


“Sea Shepherd saving whales”

Sea Shepherd Interrupts Illegal Whale Slaughter

The Nisshin Maru approaches the Gojira at full speed. Photo: Simon AgerThe Sea Shepherd scout vessel Gojira found the illegal Japanese whaling ship Sea Shepherd calls the Cetacean Death Star at 2115 NZST on February 9th. The Nisshin Maru was caught in the process of unlawfully flensing a whale on their aft deck at the position of 74 degrees 16 minutes south and 149 degrees 2 minutes west.

The Gojira immediately gave chase as the Nisshin Maru attempted to escape by entering a field of ice. The Gojira attempted to block the huge factory ship to buy time for the Bob Barker to arrive from some 28 miles away. Captain Locky MacLean engaged the Nisshin Maru in a skirmish, and notified the Japanese whalers that they were not to continue their illegal whaling.

The Nisshin Maru seemed to be engaged in flensing operations at the time it was discovered. Work lights illuminated the deck as water was being flushed over the sides and brown-red stains were visible along the aft deck of the vessel around the scuppers/ drain holes, while black smoke bellowed from the factory smoke stack.

Crewmembers observe the Nisshin Maru from the bow of the Bob Barker. Photo: Gary StokesCrewmembers observe the Nisshin Maru from the bow of the Bob Barker. Photo: Gary StokesThe Gojira was stopped in an area of growlers and floe ice as the Nisshin Maru proceeded to bear down on her. Despite several VHF calls to alter course, the Nisshin Maru closed in on the Gojira. When the Nisshin Maru was 40 meters away, Captain MacLean fired a flare to signal the Nisshin Maru to alter course. The Japanese factory ship altered course to starboard, as the Gojira slid 20 meters down her port side.

At 0220 on February 10th, the Nisshin Maru and one of the harpoon boats entered thick pack ice after several hours of zigzagging through loose floe ice. The Gojira kept up skirting the ice edge, meeting the Nisshin Maru on the far side of each floe using her speed advantage.

The Nisshin Maru proceeded to the south towards an area of pack ice. It appeared as if the Gojira was about to lose the factory ship in the thick ice when the Bob Barker arrived just in time to take over the pursuit.

At 0400 hours, the Bob Barker placed itself immediately aft to the stern slipway of the Nisshin Maru to block any further attempts to offload dead whales. The Bob Barker is now easily pursuing the Nisshin Maru through thick pack ice with the Gojira continuing to skirt around the ice looking for harpoon vessels.

The Sea Shepherd ship Steve Irwin departed from Wellington, New Zealand at 1800 hours on February 9th and is expected to meet up with the Sea Shepherd fleet and the Japanese whaling fleet in about five days.

The Bob Barker needs to hold position on the stern of the Nisshin Maru until the Steve Irwin can assist it. By blocking the stern slipway, the factory ship is unable to load dead whales from the harpoon vessels, allowing Sea Shepherd to effectively shut down their illegal whaling operations.

The Nisshin Maru approaches the stern of the stopped Gojira. Photo: Simon AgerThe Nisshin Maru approaches the stern of the stopped Gojira. Photo: Simon Ager A Sea Shepherd crewmember readies the slingshot to unleash red paint, symbolic of blood, on the factory ship. Photo: Simon Ager
The Nisshin Maru gaining on the Gojira. Photo: Simon AgerThe Nisshin Maru gaining on the Gojira.
Photo: Simon Ager
Sea Shepherd crewmembers gather at the bow of the Bob Barker. Photo: Sam SielenSea Shepherd crewmembers gather at the bow of the Bob Barker. Photo: Sam Sielen
No Compromis


Sea Shepherd welcomes your support.

Please make a generous donation  today.

Excerpts and Images courtesy of seashepherd.org

“Who will protect these pups?”

There’s not a lot of love for wolves or wildlife on Capitol Hill today.

In fact, some in Congress are trying to use a must-pass spending bill to eliminate lifesaving protections for gray wolves across the U.S., opening the door to widespread trapping and poisoning of wolves in the Northern Rockies and Greater Yellowstone. These pups can not survive without their mom.

Worse, they are proposing deep funding cuts that could be disastrous for wildlife protection in the U.S.

Don’t let them get away with it. Urge your U.S. representative to oppose attempts to attach anti-wolf, anti-wildlife legislation to a bill intended to keep the government running.

The spending bill, called a continuing resolution, is designed to ensure that military and government workers continued to get paid, that social security recipients receive their checks and that the government continues to function.

Unfortunately, some in Congress are using this legislation as a vehicle to attack protections for wolves and enact some of the deepest cuts in recent memory for the agencies that protect our wildlife and environment – a move that would have dire consequences across the country for your wildlife and for the quality of your environment .

Some of the crucial programs that will be slashed include those that protect imperiled species, acquire key habitat around the country, including for our national wildlife, refuges, parks, forests and other public lands, help state protect wildlife before they decline to the point where they are endangered, and assist wildlife in surviving climate change.

It’s a sneaky, backdoor assault on protections for wildlife, and I need your help to stop it, Mary.

It’s up to caring wildlife supporters like you to stop this assault on the precious natural treasures we all love. Please take action now.

The U.S. House of Representatives will consider the continuing resolution this week, and we need to make a strong showing against this assault on our wolves, wildlife and environment.

Help us send 65,000 messages to Capitol Hill by Wednesday. Please take action, forward this email and share our message on Facebook.

We can protect our wolves, wildlife and environment, but only if we work together. Will you take just a few moments to help today?

For the Wild Ones,

Rodger Schlickeisen

“Vote to save environment today”

URGENT: House vote this week – Don’t let Congress slash environmental programs in the new spending bill

Take Action

This week, the House of Representatives will be voting on a bill that would slash spending for environmental protection, national parks and clean energy programs. For example, the bill would cut the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency by almost one-third for the remainder of this fiscal year.

The bill would not only cripple key environmental programs, it also includes provisions that would block the EPA from limiting global warming pollution, remove protection from endangered wolves in the Rockies, overturn a court settlement that protects fisheries in California, prevent the Obama administration from protecting certain wilderness areas and block efforts to restore Clean Water Act protections to important waterways.

These environmental protection provisions don’t even belong in a spending bill, and House Republican leaders had promised that spending bills wouldn’t be used to slip through major policy changes that deserve a full debate. In addition to going back on this pledge, House leaders have arranged the rules for the spending debate so that tax subsidies, like those that oil and gas companies receive, are off the table.

What to do
Send a message immediately urging your representative to vote No on the “Continuing Resolution” (H.R. 1), and to stand against this needless assault on clean air and water, endangered species and open space.


“Big defense = less growth”

A plant has a hard life
Often  attacked by a gobs of insects, birds and mammals. They have to develop an effective defense – spines, thorns, prickly leaf hairs or an arsenal of toxic chemical substances to fits the occasion.  A plant has to do what a plant has to do to make it in a cruel world.

What cost does the plant pay for having to put its energy into elaborate defense mechanisms?

Ecologists and plant biologists of the University of Zurich together with their American colleagues have now found out the price plants must pay for defending themselves.

Researchers used mutants of the same genotype of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and harvested a group of these plants at regular intervals to measure the amount of growth over the  plant’s life.

“Mutants with suppressed defense mechanisms showed an increased growth rate, but the faster growth the faster the aphids population reproduced. On the slow growing plants with intact defense mechanisms the  aphid population grow normally.

Natural resistance is often not compatible with fast growth. This finding is of great importance for agricultural crops: These crops have been selected for high yield and as a consequence have very low natural resistance to herbivores, consequentially requiring high input of insecticides.

“Growing crops more naturally is more conducive to healthier pest resistant plants and nutritious crops.” – Mother Nature


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

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

“Save public radio and TV”

With the recent changes in congress, the Republicans just released their budget proposal, and it zeroes out funding for both NPR (National Public Radio) and PBS (Public Broadcasting Stations)–the worst proposal in more than a decade. We need to tell congress that cutting off funding was
unacceptable last time they were in charge, and it’s unacceptable now.

Please sign the petition to save NPR and PBS.

You can join us at this link.



“Healthy Ocelot found S.AZ 1st in 45 years”

Arizona Game and Fish Department officials say a rare ocelot was observed

rare ocelot found S.AZ

Tuesday morning in southern Arizona.

A man called Game and Fish and said that while he was working in his yard in the Huachuca Mountains his dogs began barking at a cat-like animal, which quickly climbed a tree.

Ocelots are small to medium-sized spotted cats with a long tail. They have been listed as endangered since 1982 under the Federal Endangered Species Act and since then have only rarely been seen in Arizona.

Only one other ocelot, an animal run over near Globe last April, has been confirmed in Arizona since the mid-1960s. One other ocelot was reportedly captured on film by the Sky Island Alliance in November 2009. However, according to Game and Fish, it has not been possible to fully verify the species or the animal’s origin based on that photo.

Game and Fish will try to determine if this indeed is a healthy wild animal or someone’s escaped pet.


Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/e5WUfq

Photo courtesy of AZ Game and Fish http://bit.ly/hplEMp

Video Rare Ocelot found S.AZ

“Prayer+ action no despair-kidnapped WWFs India”

“May all these young tiger and elephant counters find their way home safely. Our prayers, hearts and support go out to all involved. Stay in prayer ans visualize them home safely.  Use prayer not despair.” -Mother Nature

A massive manhunt led by hundreds of police, Army and BSF personnel are searching the jungles of Haltugaon division in Kokrajhar district and in Manas National Park in Chirang districttrying to find three male WWF-India volunteers who were abducted on February 6. The whereabouts of Gautam Kishore Sarma, Pranjal Saikia and Syed Naushad Zaman is not known for the past four days.

Six WWF volunteers were kidnapped. The three women were released and found wandering on the edge of the tiger reserve.

No one group has taken credit for the abduction. Although a spokesperson for the abductors is negotiating the ransom. A senior police official said the militants had whisked away the WWF-India activists for a huge ransom. A search operation had been launched in Ripu Chirang Wildlife Sanctuary bordering the foothills of Bhutan to rescue them. “The three WWF activists have been held captive somewhere along the Indo-Bhutan border. Efforts are on to rescue them,” an SSB official said on condition of anonymity, adding they were trying level best to rescue them. All the forces have already been deployed, the official said.

A pall of gloom has descended on the families of the three boys, members of WWF-India and forest officials since the unknown Bodo militants kidnapped the WWF activists on Sunday evening. The conservation volunteers were kidnapped by a 20-member gang of Bodo armed
militants at Ultapani reserve forest. An unknown Bodo militant group, ARONAI’, is behind the kidnapping.

“May all these young tiger and elephant counters find their way home safely. Our prayers, hearts and support go out to all involved. Stay in prayer ans visualize them home safely Use prayer not despair.” -Mother Nature


Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/h57Doc

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/gv3Vm8

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/i06RTY

“Greed may doom Arctic fish populations”

Until recently, conservation of Arctic animal populations have been focused on the saving marine mammals – whales,  seals and polar bears, but without fish the ecosystem will fail.  Prof. Daniel Pauly, head researcher at the Sea Around Us Project at University of British Columbia has compiled the first comprehensive report on fishery catches and the huge numbers of fish they have taken and what they want to take in the future. The vast tonnage seems unsustainable. Both the increase in fish moving north due to global warming of the seas and the receding of snow and ice make it easier to take 100s of tons more than ever before.

Growing migrating fish populations -a double edged sword
Fish are moving towards polar regions due to the effects of climate change.and increased accessibility of the Arctic areas from melting sea ice, will place immense pressure on the region for future large-scale fisheries.

University of British Columbia researchers estimate that fisheries catches in the Arctic totaled 950,000 tons from 1950 to 2006, almost 75 times the amount reported to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during this period.

UBC does its homework

UBC’s Fisheries Centre and Dept. of Earth and Ocean Sciences reconstructed fisheries catch data from the limited governmental reports and anthropological records of indigenous population activities – for FAO’s Fisheries Statistical Area 18, which covers arctic coastal areas in northern Siberia (Russia), Arctic Alaska (the U.S.) and the Canadian Arctic.
“Ineffective reporting, due to governance issues and a lack of credible data on small-scale fisheries, has given us a false sense of comfort that the Arctic is still a pristine frontier when it comes to fisheries,” says lead author Dirk Zeller, a senior research fellow at UBC’s Fisheries Centre.
“We now offer a more accurate baseline against which we can monitor changes in fish catches and to inform policy and conservation efforts.” (Thank you-Mother Nature)
Official FAO data on fish catches in Area 18 from 1950 to 2006 were based solely on statistics supplied by Russia and amounted to 12,700 tons. The UBC team performed a detailed analysis and found that it’s only the tip of iceberg.
The team shows that while the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service’s Alaska branch currently reports zero catches to FAO for the Arctic area, the state agency, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has collected commercial data and undertaken studies on 15 coastal communities in the Alaskan Arctic that rely on fisheries for subsistence. The estimated fish catch during this period in Alaska alone totaled 89,000 tons.
While no catches were reported to FAO by Canada, the research team shows commercial and small-scale fisheries actually amounted to 94,000 tons in catches in the same time span.
Meanwhile, Russia’s total catch was actually a staggering 770,000 tons from 1950 to 2006, or nearly 12,000 tons per year. “Our work shows a lack of care by the Canadian, U.S. and Russian governments in trying to understand the food needs and fish catches of northern communities,” says Pauly, who leads the Sea Around Us Project at UBC.
“This research confirms that there is already fishing pressure in this region,” says Pauly. “The question now is whether we should allow the further expansion of fisheries into the Arctic.”
Excerpts courtesy of   http://bit.ly/gRXix4

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/fBq0Ft

“Come to the Sandhill crane party”

Join the Flight of the Cranes

Saturday, February 5
You are invited to come to the Flight of the Sandhill cranes in the Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, near Blythe, Arizona on the Arizona – California border.  Cibola is one of Arizona’s nine wildlife refuges.

Sandhill cranes, one of the largest birds in North America with a wingspan of up to eight feet, spend the winter in areas of southern Arizona. Thousands of people visit these areas annually to witness the spectacular sight of these birds as they launch into the air in the morning and return to roost in the evening.
Cibola NWR is located in the floodplain of the lower Colorado River and surrounded by a fringe of desert ridges and washes. The refuge encompasses both the historic Colorado River channel as well as a channelized portion constructed in the late 1960’s.

Over 288 species of birds have been found on Cibola NWR, including many species of migratory songbirds, Gambel’s quail, roadrunners, mourning and white-winged doves, phainopepla, greater sandhill cranes, Canada and snow geese, Vermilion flycatchers, grosbeaks, the bald eagle, southwestern willow flycatcher and Yuma clapper rail are among the endangered birds that use Cibola NWR. Other listed species include the desert tortoise, razorback sucker, bonytail chub, and desert pupfish.

Desert mule deer, bobcat, and coyotes also call this refuge home.

For more information, please contact Rebecca DeWitt at (602) 405-9060 or rebecca.dewitt.az@gmail.com.


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

Image courtesy of  http://bit.ly/eTT0JR

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