“Carbon dating for tree rings and now fish”

Carbon dating for tree rings has been a well developed tool to study the age of a tree, but just recently scientists found that this same technique can be used to figure out where salmon go and what they have been eating when they travel out to sea to feed.

The University of Southampton researchers Dr Kirsteen MacKenzie and Dr Clive Trueman shows that the chemistry of fish scales will unlock the mystery of what the British salmon are eating. All British salmon do not migrate from their home rivers and end up in the same feeding grounds.  Different salmon may respond differently to environmental change. Know one knows just yet.

Research shows that fish carry natural records of feeding location hidden in the chemistry of their scales.
The chemistry of animal tissues reflects the composition of food and water in the area where they live and feed, and can act as a natural tag. Using this idea, the Southampton team, working with scientists from the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), looked at the isotopes of carbon contained in historical records of scales of Atlantic salmon.
The scales grew while the salmon were feeding at sea, so the carbon isotope values of the scales reflect the values of their diet in the feeding grounds. The team compared the scale values through time with satellite records of sea surface temperature across the North Atlantic. The locations of sea where the time series match best are most likely to be the areas where the fish have been feeding.
“As every single salmon contains the natural chemical tag, we can now see where fish from individual rivers go to feed in the Atlantic,” lead author Dr Kirsteen MacKenzie said.

This may be the first step into unlocking the mystery of why the salmon population has been in a steady decline for years. It could help us conserve the species.

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“Food gatherers murdered for loving Amazon more than life”

This sounds like a track from the  movie “The Godfather”.
The latest deaths of a husband and wife team of food gatherers is also being blamed on the Brazilian land and logging barons.
Nothing is being done. Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva, 52, and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, 51, were shot dead in an ambush in late May close to their home in Nova Ipixuna, a small town of 15,000 people in the state of Para.

A 30-year-old agronomist who worked for two years with Silva who remains anonymous for fear of retribution, said the murdered ecologist had received death threats. “He was told things like ‘Your days are numbered’, ‘You are going to die’ and ‘Get ready to be silenced forever'”.

Their crime?

They had denounced illegal logging. To date five environmentalists murders are linked to powerful corporate interests in the vast South American jungle.

May they rest in peace.

Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva, 52, and his wife Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, 51, were shot dead in an ambush in late May close to their home in Nova Ipixuna, a small town of 15,000 people in the state of Para.

Since their deaths, another three activists have been killed in the state, which is the epicenter of deadly land disputes. A fourth was killed in the state of Rondonia, also in the vast Amazon jungle.

The slain couple were part of the National Council of Gatherers, a group that collects natural food from the Amazon.

It was founded by an ecologist, Chico Mendes, who was murdered in 1988.

The Para prosecutor’s office said the Silvas’ murder “had a detail suggesting it was a typical hit: the killers cut off one of Jose Claudio’s ears.”

“In the Amazon region, hired killers do exist,” said Jose Battista, a lawyer for the local branch of the Pastoral Land Commission, a group linked to Brazil’s Catholic Church that defends poor rural workers.

Last year, the Commission printed a list of 125 people it said had contracts on their heads. Thirty of them were in the state of Para, and the Silvas were among them.

“Since the start of the year, we already have 20 names” to add to the list of those under threat of murder, Battista said.

To date, the police have made no progress in these cases.  The Godfather knows.

We are entering into a challenging possible dangerous time as we push the mega corparations and ultra wealthy to the task of helping Mother Nature.

“Thanks for all your heart and service to save our earth”-Mother Nature

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“UN Water 4 good of who?”

Oh! it has been coming for 10 years. The total dismantling of the common person’s belief that the UN-WAter (United Nations Waterwas founded to

“Safe drinking water and basic sanitation are intrinsic to human survival,
well-being and dignity” -UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

protect the little guys and were really good people.  If the vetoing of protection for many endangered fish and animal life didn’t convince you well the lasted power grab by the UN Council on water rights should open your eyes.

The powers’ that be are now demanding regulation of the private sector’s products — from water and natural resource  to inscrutable financial powers… and are using “the greening banner to convince the public of their high morals. With the  climate crisis  and its potential to permanently  disrupted modern commerce and our very existence, as we know it. Mother Earth is poised to dry out and force us into a global water rights battle.

So what are the mega corporation like MERCK DOING? They are joining forces behind a pseudo-green banner at the UN to gain control over water rights worldwide.

UN-Water is a mechanism of the United Nations, endorsed in 2003 for the follow-up process of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. Its purpose is to support states in their water-related efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals.
UN-Water strengthens coordination and coherence among UN agencies that work on all aspects of freshwater and sanitation. This includes surface and groundwater resources, the interface between freshwater and seawater and water-related disasters. UN-Water aims at improving the cooperation between relevant governing bodies and development organizations. It is responsible for the annual World Water Day as well as for the UN Water decade.
The powers that be see water rights, climate issues or endangered species preservation as a means to an end it is all seen as a giant political and financial game, rather than the best and only chance to head off a catastrophe like we have never before imagined. Climate change is upon us, if the world governments continue to represent corporate interests above all others, then we must challenge our states, stay active, speak up and be aware. I guess its all in its name UN-Water probably there to encourage “UN-People”.


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“How are you helping Mother Earth today?”

After reading the USA Today article about the massive use of energy the Cable TV set top boxes use, I am unplugging the boxes not in use. It might make sense to put our main box on a timer since it’s only used a few hours a day?  (Anyone know?) It is time for US cable companies to step up and create equipment that supports the environment and the health of all living things.

The study found that today’s average new cable high-definition digital video recorders (HD-DVR) use more than half the energy of an average new refrigerator and more than an average new flat panel TV. Two-thirds of their total energy consumption – the equivalent annual energy output of six coal-burning power plants – occurs when they’re not in use.

In contrast, the study says cellphones are able to use extremely low levels of power when not in use, primarily to preserve battery life. It says similar innovations are beginning to appear in Sky Broadcasting’s set-top boxes in Europe and it urges pay-TV service providers in the U.S. such as Comcast, Time Warner, DirecTV, Dish Network, Verizon and AT&T to do the same. It also encourages consumers to ask providers to supply them with boxes that meet ENERGY STAR Version 4.0.

Excerpts courtesy of  NRDC   http://usat.ly/m2GTq0

“340+ dead sea turtles washed up in Gulf 2011”

Turtles and the people of the Gulf of Mexico deserve a healthy environment to grow up in and raise their families in.

Tell Congress we demand the funding of research and the total financial support and co operational of the oil companies that caused the Deepwater Horizon disaster for as many decades as it takes to return the human and natural health to proper balance

The turtles and the people deserve it.

Gulf of Mexico may look “pristine” again after the disaster in 2010, but the sea life continue to die at record rates. We must stand

Kemps-Ridley sea turtle hatchlings

tall and strong and fund research to clean up our messes and insist that Congress take a proactive roll in energy conservation and making the oil companies fully responsible for the restoration of the Gulf’s marine and human life and livelihoods.

 Last year’s devastating Deepwater Horizon disaster was a serious blow for sea turtles in the Gulf of Mexico. But the catastrophe for the sea turtles hasn’t ended yet.

Already this year, more than 340 dead sea turtles have washed ashore on the Gulf Coast — more than three times the annual average — and the death toll is likely to be much higher. Signs point to shrimp fishing as a likely cause for the spike in deaths — perhaps combined with the lingering effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Yet the government has not taken action to save these animals struggling to survive. Defenders and our conservation partners have launched a lifesaving lawsuit to protect sea turtles, but federal officials need to hear from you.

Yet the government has not taken action to save these animals struggling to survive. Defenders and our conservation partners have launched a lifesaving lawsuit to protect sea turtles, but federal officials need to hear from you. Take action now: Urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to enforce lifesaving protections for threatened and endangered sea turtles in the Gulf.

Take action now: Urge the National Marine Fisheries Service to enforce lifesaving protections for threatened and endangered sea turtles in the Gulf.


“Save salmon birthing grounds”

The Sacred Headwaters are the shared birthplace of three of North America’s greatest wild salmon rivers and home to many

salmon going upriver to spawn

threatened species, including grizzly bears, wild salmon and stone sheep.

And it’s this beautiful wilderness in British Columbia that oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has their eye on for coalbed methane drilling.

Please send a postcard to Shell telling them to leave the Sacred Headwaters alone.

Coal bed methane drilling is an environmentally dangerous process that requires a maze of gas wells and pipelines and a huge amount of toxic wastewater. Examples of this kind of drilling in Wyoming, Montana and Alberta have caused serious damage.

The vulnerable wildlife of the Sacred Headwaters can’t stand up to Shell by themselves. It’s up to us to protect the wild salmon, caribou, moose, and grizzlies from Shell.

Fill out a postcard to Shell telling them to get out of the Sacred Headwaters, and our partner Fores tEthics will deliver it on your behalf.

Act now to keep coal bed methane drilling out of the Sacred Headwaters.

Thanks for taking action!


Urgent action needed  link:  http://bit.ly/inFCDp

“To decorate the web or not?”

Orb weaving spiders choose to become more ornate – so some say.

Decorative white silk crosses are an ingenious tactic used by orb-weaving spiders to protect their webs from damage, a new study from the University of Melbourne has revealed.
The team, led by Dr Andre Walter and Professor Mark Elgar from the University of Melbourne’s Department of Zoology, found that orb-weaving spiders respond to severe damage to their webs by building bigger silk crosses, but if the damage is mild they don’t bother adding extra decoration.
Professor Mark Elgar said web damage is costly for spiders as a lot of nutritional resources are required to rebuild a web. “So they evolved this ingenious way to minimise unwanted damage,” he said.
“It’s much like we mark glass windows with tape to prevent people walking into them,” he said.
The team collected a group of orb-weaving spiders and left them to build their webs in the laboratory. Some of the completed webs were severely damaged, others lightly damaged and the remainder left alone. The response of the spiders was then observed.
“The fact that spiders increased their decorating activity in response to severe damage but didn’t increase their decorating following light damage suggests that the conspicuous building of silk crosses serves to make webs more visible to animals that might accidentally walk or fly into them,” Professor Elgar said.

A spider web, spiderweb, spider’s web or cobweb (from the obsolete word coppe, meaning “spider”) is a device built by a spider out of proteinaceous spider silk extruded from its spinnerets.
Spider webs have existed for at least 140 million years, as witnessed in a rare find of Early Cretaceous amber from Sussex, southern England.
Spiders originally started producing silk for reasons other than web-making. When spiders moved from the water to the land in the Early Devonian period, they started making silk to protect their bodies and their eggs. Spiders gradually started using silk for hunting purposes, first as guide lines and signal lines, then as ground or bush webs, and eventually as the aerial webs which are so famous today.

The “typical” orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the most common group of builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. Their common name is taken from the round shape of this typical web, and the taxon was formerly also referred to as the Orbiculariae.

Orb-weavers have eight similar eyes, legs hairy or spiny and no stridulating organs. The Araneidae family is cosmopolitan, including many well-known large or brightly colored garden spiders. There are 3,006 species in 168 genera worldwide, making Araneidae the third largest family of spiders known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae). The orb-weavers include over 10,000 species and make up about 25% of spider diversity.

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Image 3.

” Center of Biological Diversity- saving San Pedro”

2 Thumbs Up Award  to Center for Biological Diversity

Twice in 10 years, the  federal courts have ruled in favor of Mother Nature ruling the San Pedro River the last major free-flowing Southwestern desert river needs protection. The judges ruled that more groundwater pumping in the Sierra Vista, AZ  area would jeopardize two endangered species living along the San Pedro River. Sierra Vista pumps about 6,100 acre-feet more water than is replenished by rainfall and other means.

Unless the U.S. Army operations at Fort Huachuca decreases their presence  this ground water pumping from the only undammed free flowing river in Arizona would  endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher and the Huachuca water umbel.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Army officials would not comment on the ruling. It overturns their 2007 biological opinion on how pumping for the fort would affect the river.

But a U.S. Geological Survey official, Bruce Gungle, a hydrologist and chief of the survey’s San Pedro project, acknowledged Tuesday there isn’t much more the region can do to conserve water to protect the river, although other measures such as the  importation of Central Arizona Project water has long been discussed, but not acted upon.

In Friday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima said:

• The biological opinion “committed legal error” by failing to analyze the effects of the fort’s actions on whether the endangered Southwestern willow flycatcher and the Huachuca water umbel will recover from their imperiled status.

• The Wildlife Service’s opinion relied, in violation of the law, on “uncertain and unspecified” measures to ease the pumping. The opinion mentioned 26 water-related measures, but the judge said it is difficult to determine which of those are actually planned, and that nearly one-third of the projects aren’t financed.

• The Army’s reliance on this 2007 opinion was “arbitrary and capricious,” and the Army violated its duty under the Endangered Species Act to ensure its operations don’t jeopardize the species.

The ruling responded to a suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Maricopa Audubon Society. In 2002, in response to an earlier suit filed by the center, another judge tossed out an earlier Wildlife Service biological opinion, forcing the 2007 rewrite.

The Sierra Vista area pumps about 6,100 acre-feet more water than is replenished by rainfall and other means, studies have shown.

The ruling’s significance should be “that it is finally clear that they can’t come up with enough mitigation measures to preserve the river with the fort’s current troop strength,” said Robin Silver, the Center for Biological Diversity’s conservation chairman. “In order to save the river, they need to reduce the number of missions at Fort Huachuca.”

2 Thumbs Up Award  to

The Center for Biological Diversity + Mother Nature’s eternal thanks for saving the San Pedro.


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