The federal cabinet says the Northern Gateway pipeline “is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects” to populations of two iconic, at-risk Canadian species — the woodland caribou and grizzly bear — but says the impacts are “justified in the circumstances.”
So the government is basically saying fuck these iconic, beautiful canadian animals (which are already species at risk) because money is more important.
Okay, pause your scrolling, guys, and listen up. I recently found out that the National Zoo in D.C is planning to close the Invertebrates House, where they exhibit honeybees, leaf-cutter ants, and butterflies,cuttlefish, octopi, blue crabs, anemones, orb-weaving spiders, and many other species.
Invertebrates make up make up roughly 97% of earth’s discovered species, including the disappearing honeybees, dwindling coral reefs, and fantastic tropical butterflies.
So, science side and bee enthusiasts,let’s get on signing this petition, and signal-boosting the hell out of this! Sign here.
Museums are filled with dead insects, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles meticulously gathered worldwide in the name of scientific discovery. But some researchers now say scientists should think twice.
There is absolutely no way to determine a species’ identification without collecting a specimen. Our technology is just not that sophisticated; there is a major misconception there that we’ve all got portable, fully-efficient laboratories and equipment that can be hauled into the field, readily available and accessible. We don’t. Nobody does. And there’s absolutely no way to ensure an area will be conserved if it is not determined beforehand and established firmly that there are species in that area which warrant conservation. In order to do that, legislation requires that biologists prove the inherent value of biodiversity in said area. And they aren’t going to set aside acres and hectares of land for conservation on the basis of someone’s field photograph and a vague assumption that there might be a species of concern in that area. That just isn’t how it works.
This is the importance of communicating science so we don’t have a majority that look at stories like this and jump to the conclusion that curators and researchers are maniacally out in the field, blood-thirsty and without regard towards conservation. That’s just not what museums do. In fact, it’s completely against our mission.
This is also why I felt the need to make our latest video: Where’d you get all those dead animals?
Thank goodness for Emily’s response here.
Proper conservation requires research, research often requires animals, and sometimes those animals are either deceased or in captivity. I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t imagine describing a species based solely on field observations.
I mean, if you were never told the difference between a chimpanzee and a bonobo, and only saw them in the wild, do you think you would be able to identify them as separate species? Or would you just think that’s a skinny chimp with a strange part in his hair?
FYI, the first description of a bonobo is credited to Ernst Schwarz in 1928, based on his analysis of a skull that was previously thought to belong to a juvenile chimpanzee. (x)
Museums play a critical role in the research, conservation, and education of our science community. Do collections need to be obtained responsibly and ethically? Of course. But stories like this can mislead the public into thinking museum researchers are all mad scientist / poacher hybrids, out to score the next big trophy. This does nothing but attack our museum institutions and hurt the scientific community as a whole.
Museum worker with a dodo skeleton opposite a reconstructed model, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, 1938
Four monkeys stolen from a zoo in a “planned and pre-meditated” break-in have been found.
Blackpool Zoo in Lancashire said two female cotton-top tamarins and two male emperor tamarins had been recovered in Yorkshire. However a baby tamarin which was also taken had not been found.
Raiders cut a hole in the perimeter fence of the zoo and removed the locks from two separate monkey enclosures on Tuesday.
They took two female and one baby cotton-top tamarin, which are a critically endangered species, and two male emperor tamarins.
But the zoo said the four recovered monkeys were now safely back at the zoo. (continue reading)
“It appears Ivanpah may act as a ‘mega-trap,’ attracting insects which in turn attract insect-eating birds, which are incapacitated by solar-flux injury, thus attracting predators and creating an entire food chain vulnerable to injury and death,” concluded scientists with the National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory in a report that investigated 233 bird deaths representing 71 species at three Southern California solar power plants.
It’s important to put that death toll in context. Every year as many as 988 million birds—that’s not a typo—or nearly 10 percent of the United States’s avian population, die from colliding with windows, according to a study published in March. In other words, you and I have bird blood on our hands just from sitting inside our offices and homes.
Still, the report from the forensics laboratory is sure to inflame long-running tensions over the impact of massive desert solar power plants on wildlife and what kind of trade-offs society is willing to make to fight climate change. The construction of Ivanpah, which was built by BrightSource Energy and now is operated by NRG Energy, faced delays when it turned out the site 45 miles south of Las Vegas is a hot spot for the imperiled desert tortoise.
The Fish and Wildlife biologists cautioned that their results are preliminary and that much more research needs to be done on avian mortality around solar power plants.
But the scientists and members of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) saw first-hand those trade-offs when they visited Ivanpah, where mirrors called heliostats heat water to generate steam to drive an electricity-generating turbine. The intense light that surrounds the top of Ivanpah’s power towers attracts insects, including Monarch butterflies. Federal officials “observed large numbers of insect carcasses throughout the Ivanpah site,” according to the report. “Birds were also observed feeding on the insects. At times birds flew into the solar flux and ignited.”
The report suggests shutting down the plant during peak migration periods in order to reduce bird mortality.
As they grow, young birds subsisting on white bread and other inappropriate food sources can develop issues preventing their bones from forming normally, resulting in angel wing. (via Feeding White Bread to Wild Birds is Killing Them | One Green Planet)
In general feeding wildlife is bad, and that includes birds, if you’re going to feed wildlife make sure what you’re doing is not hurting the animal, and be sure it is legal where you are located as many parks ban the feeding of waterfowl/pigeons to try to avoid negative human/bird interactions and keep the park cleaner.
The article has great suggestions for better alternatives:
“Nutritious waterfowl feed or duck pellets are inexpensive, easy to carry, and can be purchased at most feed stores. Seedless grapes cut in half, shredded kale, Swiss chard or romaine lettuce, and grains, including wheat, barley and oats, are all healthy food sources that will appeal to most waterfowl. Make sure anything you feed is bite-sized to avoid choking hazards.”
Bad news for sharks that present little threat to the humans that the cull is supposed to protect.
I think this is necessary to post. I see a lot of people “saving” bunnies.
"*Bunnies are one of the most frequently “kidnapped” mammal species.
*Mothers dig a very shallow nest in the ground that is easily uncovered when mowing or raking the yard. If you find a rabbit nest-leave it alone!!
*Mother rabbits only return to the nest two or three times a day, usually before dawn and right after dusk.
*To determine if they are orphaned, either place a string across the nest in a tic-tac-toe shape or circle the nest with flour. Check the nest the next day. If the string or flour is disturbed, the mother has returned. If not, take the bunnies to a rehabilitator.
* A bunny that is bright eyed and 4-5 inches long is fully independent and does NOT need to be rescued!
*If you find a bunny that does need to be rescued, put it in a dark, quiet location. Bunnies are a prey species and while they may look calm, they are actually very, very scared!”
Never knew this, keeping this for reference
As a student of Veterinary Medicine I can completely confirm this! Do NOT take them out of their nest unless you’re 100% sure that the mother did not come back for them after at least one day!
Rescue bid launched to save Hainan gibbon from becoming first ape driven to extinction by humans.
- by Daniel Cressey
“China’s wildlife conservation efforts are under scrutiny as scientists battle to save a species found only in a tiny corner of an island in the South China Sea. The Hainan gibbon is the world’s rarest primate and its long-term survival is in jeopardy, according to an analysis.
Only 23 to 25 of the animals are thought to remain, clustered in less than 20 square kilometres of forest in China’s Hainan Island. The species (Nomascus hainanus), which numbered more than 2,000 in the late 1950s, has been devastated through the destruction of habitat from logging, and by poaching. Extinction would give the gibbon the unwelcome distinction of being the first ape to be wiped out because of human actions. To hammer out a plan to save it, international primate researchers convened an emergency summit in Hainan last month.
“With the right conservation management, it is still possible to conserve and recover the Hainan gibbon population,” says meeting co-chair Samuel Turvey, who studies animal extinctions at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). “But given the current highly perilous state of the species, we cannot afford to wait any longer before initiating a more proactive and coordinated recovery programme.” He adds that the meeting was a successful first step towards saving the animal and that a plan of action is being finalized.
The plan will be based in part on a ‘population viability analysis’ that models the potential size of the gibbon population in coming decades for a range of different scenarios. It is being drawn up by Kathy Traylor Holzer, a conservation planner at the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group in Apple Valley, Minnesota. “It’s one of the smallest populations I’ve ever worked with,” says Traylor Holzer. “That number — in one place — is extremely scary.”
Preliminary modelling, which considers factors such as breeding success, habitat changes and natural threats, suggests that the Hainan gibbon may be safe from extinction in the next couple of decades. But its restricted habitat means that a single catastrophic event, such as a typhoon or a disease outbreak, could wipe out the minuscule population. Furthermore, low genetic diversity in the remaining animals could result in unhealthy offspring because of inbreeding. To better understand the genetics of the animals, ZSL researchers are conducting DNA sequencing using collected faeces" (read more).
I’m back! I have an MFA degree and a sunburn from a wonderful week in Disneyworld, and I am looking forward to all that life offers a bird-crazy illustrator!
I have posted a few of these, but I thought it would make sense to have them all in one post. This is the result of my final project for my MFA—a series of recently extinct birds. Someday I hope I can make this into a full-fledged (pun unintended) book! It was a great learning experience and I look forward to continuing work on it.