“Harp seals safer”


International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)’s Seal Team Director, Sheryl Fink, has just let me know that Russia has banned the import and

Seal pups slaughtered for fashion

export of harp seal skins. This is a huge victory as the Canadian Government estimates that Russia receives 90% of Canada’s exports of seal skins.

IFAW supporters have worked so hard to help us close down the markets for seal products around the world.

Next goal end to Canada’s commercial harp seal hunt. 

Mother Nature and her seals thanks everyone for their continued support and for saving their skins for them(the seals) to wear.

For more seal info

Image courtesy of NC library

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“6 young gorillas go home”


They’re home!

Back in the Democratic Republic of Congo, their country of origin, where they can safely begin their new life in the best possible location.
Six endangered Grauer’s gorillas were airlifted from a rehabilitation facility in Rwanda to a center in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this weekend. The gorillas will remain at the center until they are ready to be released back to the wild. The two-day operation included a helicopter airlift with the primates moved one at a time from Goma to the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) center near Kasugho, DRC.
Help IFAW continue to rescue and return wild animals to their native homes.


Image and excerpts courtesy of the International Fund for Animals.

Thanks for keeping up the great work for Mother Nature’s best!

“Happy 4th 4 polar bears”


U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan (Bless you!) has officially rejected Alaska’s arguments

and given the polar bears continued protection under the Endangered Species Act.

This ruling is a huge win for our long-running work to protect these mighty Arctic bears who are struggling to survive while facing rapidly melting sea ice

We win a big one!

and oil companies that want to drill in the heart of their habitat.

The Center for Biological Diversity and others, including Nature’s Crusaders members worked  together tirelessly over the years achieved this critical victory.  Without the tens of thousands of actions you’ve taken and the support you’ve given us over the years to keep fighting in court for the majestic white bear — We and Mother Nature thank you.

In 2005, the Center for Biological Diversity filed the federal petition to list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act, we’ve led the fight to keep the bears from extinction.

In 2008 the first victory for the bear was won when it was officially listed as a  “threatened” species.

Then the State of Alaska, big-game hunters and others went to court this year to try to strip Endangered Species Act protections from polar bears. Center for Biological Diversity spearheaded the legal battle to defend the polar bears right to full protection under the Endangered Species Act in court, outlining the urgent protections needed to save them from the terrible effects of global warming.

This Thursday, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected Alaska’s arguments and said the decision to protect bears because of melting Arctic sea ice was well supported. He also noted the plight of the polar bear was “troubling.”

Even as we take a moment with you to celebrate the court decision, we know our work is far from over. Scientists tell us that, left unchecked, warming could melt so much sea ice that two-thirds of the world’s polar bears, including all those in Alaska, will probably be gone in 40 years.
Thank you again for the part you played in helping secure this win for polar bears. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Center for Biological Diversity and Nature’s Crusaders   working for Mother Nature

Image  Nature’s Crusaders Library

“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.
Resources

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

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/kIt4SO

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

” 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.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/jjR6dV 

Image 1. courtesy of  http://1.usa.gov/lGD5bg 

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

 

 

“Oh what a night! 3 to 5 shooting stars every minute tonight”


Geminid Meteor Shower Tonight 12/13/2010
3 to 5 shooting stars every minute

The Geminid meteor shower, is the night show not to be missed tonight December 13. If you no not think you can watch in awe all night, tonight then the peak will be expected about 1 AM. For the avid night shy watchers the shower will continue until the dawn’s early light over the horizon.

The Geminids  meteor or asteroid shower is clouded in mystery. Usually a comet will produce gas and a debris field that creates what we call shooting stars. However, this meteor shower is produced by a space rock 3200 Phaethon that has no tail of gases, its orbit intersected the main asteroid belt and its colors strongly resembled that of other asteroids, but Geminids are fast-moving and yellow in color.

“Of all the debris streams Earth passes through every year, the Geminids’ is by far the most massive,” …”When we add up the amount of dust in the Geminid stream, it outweighs other streams by factors of 5 to 500.” said Bill Cooke, an astronomer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Ala.

Geminid meteors coming from Phaethon will streak away from a radiant point in the constellation Gemini. They are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Geminids look like most meteors, but are yellow in color. One of Phaethon’s most remarkable distinctions is that its’ orbit approaches the Sun closer than any other numbered asteroidand it crosses the  Mercury-, Venus-, Earth- and Mars-crosser.

“Of all the debris streams Earth passes through every year, the Geminids’ is by far the most massive,” …”When we add up the amount of dust in the Geminid stream, it outweighs other streams by factors of 5 to 500.” said Bill Cooke, an astronomer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Ala.

Wednesday evening, Dec. 13th, NASA will be hosting an online chat with astronomers
You have two opportunities to learn more about the Geminids from meteor experts based at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. On Monday, Dec. 13 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. EST, meteor experts Danielle Moser and Rhiannon Blaauw will answer your questions, then you can stay “up all night” to observe the Geminids with NASA astronomer Bill Cooke. Have the coffee ready, then join them online from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. EST as the Geminids peak in the skies over Earth.


To join the chats click here. Simply return to this page a few minutes before each of the chat start times list above. The chat module will appear at the bottom of this page. After you log in, wait for the chat module to be activated, then ask your questions. Here’s to a spectacular viewing!

Sky Map click here.

Resources

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

Excerpts courtesy of    http://bit.ly/fnXo0L

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

Image 2. courtesy of  http://www.scibuff.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Phaethon_orbit.jpg

“Victory 1-saving a critical piece of America’s Appalachian Mountains”


The Obama Administration and the EPA took a historic step last week toward protecting the people and waterways of Appalachia

by recommending the withdrawal of a permit for the largest mountaintop removal coal mine in Appalachia ever authorized, Spruce Mine No. 1.

In the history of the Clean Water Act, this could be the first veto of a project that previously received a permit.

Hooray- that’ such a critical first step victory for protection of the people, mountain ecology and the waterways.

We’ve come a long way– fighting for over a decade, standing with local leaders and organizers, through education and grassroots pressure, in the face of enormous opposition from Big Coal and industry lobbyists.

Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s regional administrator, Shawn Garvin, has recommended that his agency veto the Clean Water Act permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia. The Spruce mine is one of the largest mountaintop removal mines ever proposed in Central Appalachia, and would result in the destruction of 2,278 acres of temperate rainforest and the burying of 7.5 miles of streams in the Spruce Fork sub-watershed.

Our work’s not done yet – we still need to get EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to take the final action to stop this and other mines.  But even this victory would not have been possible without the dedicated work of our members and supporters.

The Obama Administration and the EPA stepped up to the plate.  Spruce Mine No.1 would have severe impacts on the waters and the environment of local communities in West Virginia. The mine would bury more than seven miles of headwater streams and pollute water quality near the mine.
We are on our way to saving a critical piece of America’s Appalachian Mountains.  Together, we can make sure the EPA sees this through to the end and continues the push for the Obama administration to put clear, permanent solutions in place to protect Appalachia from irresponsible mining.

Support our fight to save Appalachia and transition from coal to clean energy.

 Please help us keep the victories coming by becoming a monthly  today!

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

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

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

“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

“Wolves regain federal protection-wolves win!”


In a complete reversal, the federal court on Thursday August 5, 2010
ruled in wolf lovers favor and restored endangered species protection to wolves in Montana and Idaho! Judge Donald Molloy ruled that Northern Rockies wolves must be returned to the endangered species list. Judge Molloy’s opinion clearly states that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service acted illegally when it removed wolves from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana but left them on the list in Wyoming, splitting the population along political, rather than biological, lines. Judge Molloy wrote, “The Endangered Species Act does not allow the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list only part of a ‘species’ as endangered.”

Now all wolves in the Northern Rockies are listed on the endangered species list. Finally this halts the legal slaughter of wolves that was to begin again next month.

The states’ miss management of wolves has decreased the wolf population significantly over the past year and a half. Since the Obama Administration stripped these wolves of federal protection, more than 500 of them have been gunned down by hunters or government agents.

In response, NRDC in partnership with Earthjustice and 13 other conservation groups sued the government in federal court and demanded endangered species protection for all 1,700 wolves across the Northern Rockies until their population is able to fully recover.

A federal judge agreed, saying that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acted illegally when it removed wolves from the endangered species list in Idaho and Montana but left them on the list in Wyoming, splitting the population along political, rather than biological, lines.

The public hunting of wolves will not resume this fall. Hundreds of wolves that would have been killed will instead be spared. Wolves to their rightful place in Greater Yellowstone and across the Northern Rockies.

“Thanks everyone for your help. You sustained us through this long legal battle with your donations, your online activism and your absolute commitment to restoring wolves to their rightful place in Greater Yellowstone and across the Northern Rockies. –NRDC

We can only hope that the Obama Administration will now go back to the drawing board and come up with a solid plan that ensures the sustainable recovery of wolves over the long term.

“Deepest thanks to all groups including Nature’s Crusaders for helping to make this great victory possible.” – Mother Nature

Resources
Excerpts
courtesy of   http://www.nrdc.org

Image courtesy of  Nature’s Crusaders library

“Polar bears win one -now after big oil”


The ruling is a huge victory for polar bears, bowhead whales, other Arctic wildlife and tens of thousands of NRDC supporters like you who enabled us to go to court and fight off Big Oil’s planned invasion of this sensitive habitat.
A federal court has just halted oil and gas companies from moving ahead with drilling operations in

We win a big one!

millions of acres spanning Alaska’s Chukchi Sea  one of our nation’s two “Polar Bear Seas.

Beginning with the Bush administration a massive sell of drilling rights in the Chukchi Sea was initiated, opening the door for a oil rush into the heart of the bear’s melting sea ice habitat.

 NRDC, The Center for Biological Diversity, EarthJustice and Alaska Native groups and other conservationists sued.
A federal judge has agreed  has put a hold on the sale of rights and told the Obama administration to get a more science-based approach to protecting America’s endangered Arctic. Don’t let the Gulf spill happen again in Alaska.

It could be catastrophic for polar bears and other wildlife.

The oil industry has no technology for cleaning up oil in broken sea ice — one of the main places where polar bears search for food. And oil-covered polar bears have almost no chance of

First and foremost, we are still waging our legal fight to stop the Shell oil company from drilling off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in the Beaufort Sea — the second of the two Polar Bear Seas.
We will continue fighting Shell and any other company that targets the polar bear’s home for P.S. If you want to help build on the momentum of this victory, please make a special donation today that will enable us to carry the fight to Shell and other oil companies that threaten the polar bear’s home.

“Thank you” from the wildlife in Alaska, Mother Nature, NC and all the environmental groups and individuals involved.
Resources

Excerpts courtesy of   NRDC.com

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

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