tagged w/ Guam
Guam is being overrun by millions of snakes. The U.S. Government hopes air dropping drugged, dead mice can solve the problem.
By Judd Legum on Feb 22, 2013 at 2:30 pm
Brown tree snakes came to Guam, naturally, on a plane (and on boats). In the 60 years since they arrived, the Brown Tree Snake has “ate almost all the birds.” There are only a few hundred birds left on the island.
The decimation of the bird population, in turn, has lead to an explosion in the spider population. During rainy season there are “40 times more webs” on Guam than on nearby islands.
The snakes — which can grow to 10 feet long — have also been “biting residents and even knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.” The poisoned mice targeting the snakes with be attached to “little parachutes” which the hopes that they get caught up in the trees where the snakes live.
The National Wildlife Research Center is working on developing a more sophisticated solution:
“As a first step in development of an artificial attractant, NWRC scientists successfully characterized the odor of dead and decomposing mice. The next step will be to develop a suitable matrix in which this “mouse essence” can be embedded. Chemical cues involved in brown treesnake behavior, however, are complex and cues that elicit strong responses in the laboratory often have diminished effects in the field. So far, artificial matrix compounds as diverse as tofu, plaster-of-paris, and gelatin have shown promise as attractive lures but snakes have shown only limited interest.”
Why is so much effort being poured into solving this problem? The Brown Tree snake could be headed to Hawaii next. Despite extensive screening efforts, “eight brown tree snakes have been found on Oahu since 1981, hitch-hiking on aircraft from Guam.” An economic analysis found that proliferation of the Brown Tree Snake in Hawaii could cost over 2 billion annually from “from medical incidents, power outages, and decreases in tourism.”
The problem illustrates the substantial economic and health risks posed by invasive species in an increasingly global economy. Other risks include the Emerald ash borer on imported Valentine’s Day flowers, the brown marmorated stink bug on citrus fruit and killer algae that grows in tropical fish tanks.Guam is being overrun by millions of snakes. The U.S. Government hopes air dropping... more
Tokyo and Washington have agreed to move 4,700 Marines from the Japanese island of Okinawa to Guam in a bid to revive a stalled plan for the realignment of US forces in Japan, according to reports.
The two countries in 2006 agreed to the transfer of around 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to the US territory of Guam and the relocation of an air base on Okinawa but the move has been delayed as Tokyo struggles to convince Okinawans to accept the deal.
The US Defense Department is now considering shifting the remaining 3,300 Marines to elsewhere in the Pacific, such as Hawaii, Australia and the Philippines, Kyodo News reported on Sunday, citing unnamed diplomatic sources.
Senior Japanese and US foreign and defence officials will meet in Washington on Monday, with the two governments expected to announce details of the transfer on February 13, Kyodo and the Asahi Shimbun daily said.
Tokyo has struggled to convince Okinawans to accept the plan to relocate the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, part of the realignment package.
Many Okinawans, angry at having for decades shouldered the burden of hosting more than half of the 50,000 US troops stationed in Japan, oppose the plan which would relocate the US base to another part of the island.
They say another part of Japan should take the base, instead of Henoko on the east coast of Okinawa, where Tokyo and Washington have agreed to build a giant runway-on-stilts in the sea.
The move to transfer Marines to Guam may compromise Tokyo’s position because Japanese government officials had used it as leverage to convince Okinawa to accept the base relocation, the Asahi said.
The new development in the realignment programme may possibly end up leaving the airstrip where it is, in a crowded urban area of the island near dozens of schools and hospitals, the Asahi said.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/02/05/u-s-to-move-4700-marines-from-japan-to-guam-reports/Tokyo and Washington have agreed to move 4,700 Marines from the Japanese island of... more
This is one of my favorite stories my grandfather tells of his military service.
Shanghaid in Shanghai
By Ron Turner
We sailed aboard the USS J C BRECKENRIDGE from San Diego somewhere around the end of Jan. first of Feb. 1947. A whole bunch of Marines, fresh out of boot camp, headed for China, stopping at a few islands in the Pacific along the way. We first sailed up the coast to San Francisco and picked up some Navy personnel and service dependents. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time and sailing under it was impressive.
It was a couple days of rough sailing to Hawaii. It was best not to stand along the railing at the exit from the mess hall. Guys had trouble holding their food down.
We were met in Honolulu by a band and hula girls on the dock. I had the unfortunate experience of being on a painting detail down in the boiler room at the time. Didn't see any of this. We had an afternoon of liberty and walked all the way to Waikiki and back. I remember seeing the beach and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Somewhere along the way we stopped and shot pool. We left some Marines there. Seemed like a great place to pull duty but I had my mind set on going to China.
From there to Guam was smooth sailing. The ocean was flat as a table top. Saw some flying fish for the first time and some schools of porpoise. We felt a bump at one time. Someone said we hit a whale. Never saw it. Otherwise it was very boring for a few days. They were asking for volunteers to stay on Guam. I hid. Didn't seem like a very fun place to serve.
Manila was interesting. A bunch of young kids were swimming next to the ship when we docked. Not a healthy place to swim. They would dive for coins guys would throw in the water. We had liberty that evening and were impressed with the friendliness of the locals. They were still thankful remembering how we freed them from the Japanese. They would give you transportation to and from town for little or nothing, mostly in jeeps. A nickel or dime was fine with them. Didn't do much except walk around and take in the sights.
I walked a post on the upper deck of the ship in the middle of that night and never forget it. There were rats as large as house cats, very large house cats, roaming the docks. Docking ropes to the ship had large discs fastened to them to keep the varmints from coming aboard. There were men sleeping on top of stacks of bags of grain but the rats never touched them.
Shanghai was a most unforgettable experience.After we docked we were given liberty at approximately 1700 hours. We were advised not to go alone because of the threat of being rolled. We heard there was an enlisted mens club there so six of us, Bob Thatcher, Bob Vaughn, myself and three other guys whose names escape me decided to go there and shoot some pool and have a few beers. On the dock the only transportation we could see were pedicabs. China marines know what they are but for those who don't they are three wheeled vehicles much like a bicycle with a seat for passengers, usually two, in the back. There were only two cabs available, we dickered with the boys for a ride. They said they knew where the club was and could handle three passengers in each cab. And so off we went in this strange land and rode for what seemed an hour. We had no idea where we were so were at the mercy of our pedicab boys. Suddenly we turned in to a blind alley. A honey wagon (human waste transporting cart) pulled in behind us blocking our exit. It seemed like a hundred Chinese men in their long dress like robes with their hands up their sleeves surrounded us. we were ordered out of the cabs and and they asked for all our money. What could we do? We were greatly outnumbered. Then they took our watches and rings. Bob vaughn said he had a knife tucked in his sock and should he use it? We advised him not to. Like I said, we were outnumbered. We were then free to go.
So here we are, somewhere in Shanghai, and didn't know which way to go to get back to the ship. We were due back at the ship at 2200 hours. Nobody spoke English except the pedicab guys and they were long gone we tried using sign language but that didn't work. After walking several blocks, probably in the wrong direction, we came
upon a policeman and although he didn't speak English, he seemed to know we wanted to get back to our ship. He pointed in a certain direction and we headed that way. After communicating with several more policemen along the way we finally got back to our ship at about 2145 hours. six tired marines. That was our liberty in shanghai. "Shanghaid in Shanghai" I tell my friends & relatives.
A couple days later we pulled in to the port of Tsingtao. I served as a military policeman for about 18 months.This is one of my favorite stories my grandfather tells of his military service.... more
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Live coverage .
http://ramanan50.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/japan-earthquaketsunami-live-coverage/Live coverage .... more
Upgraded 9.0 Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan | Updates (New Videos/Photos/News Articles/Personal Accounts)First Breaking News...
MASSIVE QUAKE HITS JAPAN
Tokyo (CNN) -- An 8.8-magnitude earthquake hit Japan early Friday, triggering tsunami alerts and sending people fleeing out of buildings in the capital. The quake rattled buildings and toppled cars off bridges and into waters underneath.
In Tokyo, crowds huddled together and tried to reach relatives via cell phone. Its epicenter was 373 kilometers (231 miles) from Tokyo, the United States Geological Survey said. It triggered a tsunami alert for various countries, the National Weather Service said.
March 11, 2011 5:35 a.m. EST
Tokyo (CNN) -- An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit northern Japan on Friday, triggering tsunamis and sending a massive wave filled with debris that included boats and houses inching toward land.
The number of fatalities was unclear, but Japan's Kyodo news reported at least 10 killed and numerous injured.
The quake prompted at least 20 countries and numerous Pacific islands to issue tsunami warnings. It was followed by powerful aftershocks that were felt in capital of Tokyo.
At Tokyo Station, one of Japan's busiest subway stations, people grabbed each other to steady themselves. Children cried. An announcement over the station loudspeaker warned commuters to remain underground.
With bus and train lines interrupted, workers and children poured into the streets after offices and schools were closed.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan appealed for calm and said there were no reported leaks of radioactive materials from power plants.
Firefighters battled a blaze at an oil refinery in Chiba prefecture near Tokyo.
"This was larger than anyone expected and went on longer than anyone expected," said Matt Alt in Tokyo.
"My wife was the calm one ... she told us to get down and put your back on something, and leave the windows and doors open in case a building shifts so you don't get trapped."
Richard Lloyd Parry said when the quake struck, he looked through a window and saw buildings shaking from side to side.
Such a large earthquake at such a shallow depth creates a lot of energy, said Shenza Chen of the U.S. Geological Survey.
A tsunami is sweeping across the Pacific Ocean, with a wall of water heading toward at more than a dozen countries.
An earthquake of that size can generate dangerous tsunamis to coasts outside the source region, the National Weather Service said.
Humanitarian agencies were working with rescue crews to reach the people affected.
"When such an earthquake impacts a developed country like Japan, our concern also turns to countries like the Philippines and Indonesia, which might not have the same resources," said Rachel Wolff, a spokeswoman for World Vision.
In Philippines alone, the tsunami is expected to hit in the early morning and the government has ordered the evacuation of 19 provinces along the coast, which could affect hundreds of thousands of people
Authorities in at least 20 countries and numerous Pacific islands issued tsunami warnings, the National Weather Service said.
The tsunami could cause damage "along coastlines of all islands in the state of Hawaii," warned the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Urgent action should be taken to protect lives and property."
Tsunamis are a series of long ocean waves that can last five to 15 minutes and cause extensive flooding in coastal areas. A succession of waves can hit -- often the highest not being the first, said CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera.
A day earlier, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck off of Honshu, the country's meteorological agency said.
CNN's Kyung Lah, Faith Karimi and Kevin Voigt contributed to this report.
March 12 2011 - 3:38PM PT -
CNN's reporting two "MAJOR" aftershocks. Tsunami alerts reinstated.
March 12 2011 - 11:07PM PT -
Japan upgrades magnitude of killer earthquake to 9.0; USGS keeps number at 8.9.
March 13 2011 - 2:52PM PT
Here is what I think is, thus far, the most horrifying video (no, no dead or dying people) of what the tsunami looked like, taken from someone who had time to get up to higher ground and watch the town around him get destroyed.
Just picked it up from Sean Bonner, on Twitter...
seanbonner Sean Bonner
Seriously, this first person Tsunami video is one of the scariest things I've ever seen.
[Scroll down -- if you're set with oldest to newest -- to see new photos and videos, along with updated news]
http://cbskllc.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/japan-earthquake-today-tsunami-warning.jpg?w=311&h=337First Breaking News... MASSIVE QUAKE HITS JAPAN Tokyo (CNN) -- An... more
The US is building an £8 billion super military base on the Pacific island of Guam in an attempt to contain China's military build-up.
The expansion will include a dock for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, a missile defence system, live-fire training sites and the expansion of the island's airbase. It will be the largest investment in a military base in the western Pacific since the Second World War, and the biggest spend on naval infrastructure in decades.
However, Guam residents fear the build-up could hurt their ecosystem and tourism-dependent economy.
Estimates suggest that the island's population will rise by almost 50 per cent from its current 173,000 at the peak of construction. It will eventually house 19,000 Marines who will be relocated from the Japanese island of Okinawa, where the US force has become unpopular.
The US's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has said that this could trigger serious water shortages. The EPA said that dredging the harbour to allow an aircraft carrier to berth would damage 71 acres of pristine coral reefs.
The EPA's report said the build-up would "exacerbate existing substandard environmental conditions on Guam".
Local residents' concerns, however, have been sidelined by the US-China strategic competition. China has significantly expanded its fleet during the past decade, seeking to deter the US from intervening militarily in any future conflict over Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own, and to project power across disputed territories in the gas and oil-rich South China Sea.
more at link...
It's all part of a plan...a really, really big plan. World War 3 is on the horizon.
Notice there was no mention of our "hopey-changey", Nobel Peace Prize winning president, Barry Soetoro, I mean, Barack Obama. You'd almost think that Bin Laden worked for the military-industrial complex the way 9/11 scored huge for them.The US is building an £8 billion super military base on the Pacific island of... more
In my life I have been unfortunate enough to witness many shocking things in relation to the state of earth's ecosystems. Shortly after moving to the town of Katherine in the northern territory the cane toads also arrived like a biblical plague. One could hardly even drive on the road without running them over. Their poisonous glands also spelt doom for many native predators such as the Goanna and northern Quoll. Now the Cane toad has reached the borders of Western Australia. Introduced to Queensland in 1935 in hopes it would control the cane beetle it has since steadily spread across the continent leaving a trail of destruction.
I now live in Tasmania which is home to many smaller marsupials that have gone extinct on the mainland to introduced species such as the fox. However it is believed the fox has now made it here as well threatening the last major holdout for many unique species. On top of this the Tasmanian Devil has been driven to near extinction in the last few years by a facial tumour disease. The situation is just as bad or even worse in other parts of the planet such as Guam where the introduced brown tree snake has caused the extinction of many native species. Perhaps worst of all is New Zealand where introduced species now make up half of the fauna and many natives only survive on isolated islands.
However the impact extends to humans as well with West Nile virus now spreading across the United States, and millions being spent each year to control invasive species that damage infrastructure such as the Zebra mussel. I could go with other examples but the list of invasive species and the damage already caused is massive.
Once an invasive species becomes firmly established it is nearly impossible to get rid of it. Clearly more needs to be spent on prevention controls and rapid eradication if detected. This has been done successfully in the past such as the eradication of the African giant snail from Florida. Australia has also been leading the way with strict border controls and quarantine procedures. Restrictions on ships emptying their ballast tanks is another vital measure.
What have your experiences with invasive species been? Have you also witnessed this terrible worldwide plague?
*** Links would not paste correctly... please click to original source below for full linkage...
http://talkingskull.com/column/world-outside/growing-threat-from-alien-speciesIn my life I have been unfortunate enough to witness many shocking things in relation... more
The United States of America plans to develop Guam into another military installation to house 80,000 U.S. Marines. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who meet with top military officials and other foreign constituents regarding Asia-Pacific military issues at the state capital were greeted by protestors, Native Chamorro protesting against cultural genocide. Guam is only 30 miles long, and at it’s widest area 12 miles wide. The influx of so many marines will cause cultural genocide of the small populated communities of no more than a hundred thousand indigenous people.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV9L19PxU3E&feature=player_embeddedThe United States of America plans to develop Guam into another military installation... more
(CBS)Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, sailing for the King of Spain, reached the island in 1521 during his circumnavigation of the globe. General Miguel López de Legazpi claimed Guam for Spain in 1565.
Spanish colonisation commenced in 1668 with the arrival of Padre San Vitores, who established the first Catholic mission.
The islands were then governed as part of the Spanish East Indies from the Philippines.
Between 1668 and 1815, Guam was an important resting stop on the Spanish trade route between Mexico and the Philippines.
Guam, along with the rest of the Mariana and Caroline Islands, was treated by Spain as part of their colony in the Philippines.
While Guam's Chamorro culture is unique, the cultures of both Guam and the Northern Marianas were heavily influenced by Spanish culture and traditions.
Guam was ceded to the U.S. by Spain in 1898.
Captured by the Japanese in 1941, it was retaken by the U.S. three years later.
The military installation on the island is one of the most strategically important U.S. bases in the Pacific. (CBS)Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, sailing for the King of Spain, reached... more
In the last 60 years, brown tree snakes have become the embodiment of the bad things that can happen when invasive species are introduced in places where they have few predators. Unchecked for many years, the snakes caused the extinction of nearly every native bird species on the Pacific island of Guam.
A variety of other damage has been directly attributed to brown tree snakes, including large population losses among other native animal species in Guam's forests, attacks on children and pets, and electrical power outages.
But new research by University of Washington biologists suggests that indirect impacts might be even farther reaching, possibly changing tree distributions and reducing native tree populations, altering already damaged ecosystems even further.
"The brown tree snake has often been used as a textbook example for the negative impacts of invasive species, but after the loss of birds no one has looked at the snake's indirect effects," said Haldre Rogers, a UW doctoral student in biology.
"It has been 25 years since the birds disappeared. It seems to me the consequences are going to keep reverberating throughout the community if birds are fundamental components of the forest," she said.
Birds typically make up a small part of the life of a forest, but they are important for pollination, spreading seeds around the forest and controlling insects that feed on plants. Guam, an island 30 miles long and 5 to 15 miles wide about 3,800 miles west of Hawaii, lost most of its native birds after the brown tree snake was introduced by accident from the Admiralty Islands following World War II. The snake has few predators on Guam, so its population density is quite high -- estimated at more than 3,000 per square mile -- and some individuals there grow to an unusual size of 10 feet long.
Before introduction of the brown tree snake, Guam had 12 species of native forest birds. Today 10 of those are extinct on Guam, and the other two species have fewer than 200 individuals. Though Guam has some non-native bird populations, few other birds moved in when native species died out, and none of them live in the forest. That leaves few birds to consume tree seeds and then drop them away from the trees.
That could have two possible negative impacts on the native forests, Rogers said. First, some plant species need birds to handle their seeds to ensure effective germination. In addition, seed predators and fungi that kill seeds are often found in high density directly beneath a parent tree, so the trees rely on birds to disperse seeds beyond the range of those negative effects. If native birds performed those functions on Guam, tree populations could suffer from the loss of birds. It appears 60 percent to 70 percent of tree species in the native forests are dispersed, at least in part, by birds, she said.
In the last 60 years, brown tree snakes have become the embodiment of the bad things... more
HONOLULU (AP) — The Air Force says at least two crew members are dead after the crash of a B-52 bomber off Guam.
Rescue teams are searching a vast area of the Pacific Ocean on Monday for the remaining four airmen.
The Coast Guard says six vessels, three helicopters, two F-15 fighter jets and a B-52 bomber are involved in the search.
The military says the B-52 was en route to a flyover in a parade when it crashed about 9:45 a.m. about 30 miles northwest of Apra Harbor. The plane was based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
HONOLULU (AP) — Rescue crews were searching a vast area of floating debris and a sheen of oil Monday for crew members of an Air Force B-52 bomber that crashed off the island of Guam, officials said.
At least two people from the bomber's six-man crew were recovered from the waters, but their condition was not immediately available, the Coast Guard said.
Maj. Stuart Upton, a Pentagon spokesman, said the aircraft was unarmed.
Six vessels, three helicopters, two F-15 fighter jets and a B-52 bomber were involved in the search, which had covered about 70 square miles of ocean, said Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Elizabeth Buendia.
"We have an active search that's going to go on throughout the night," she said Monday. The Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and local fire and police departments were involved.
The B-52 bomber based at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana was en route to conduct a flyover in a parade when it crashed around 9:45 a.m. Monday about 30 miles northwest of Apra Harbor, the Air Force said.
The Liberation Day parade celebrates the day when the U.S. military arrived on Guam to retake control of the island from Japan.
The Air Force said a board of officers will investigate the accident.
The accident is the second for the Air Force this year on Guam, a U.S. territory 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.
In February, a B-2 crashed at Andersen Air Force Base shortly after takeoff in the first-ever crash of a stealth bomber. Both pilots ejected safely. The military estimated the cost of the loss of the aircraft at $1.4 billion.
The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that can refuel in mid air. Since the 159 foot-long bomber was first placed into service in 1955, it has been used for a wide range of missions from attacks to ocean surveillance. Two B-52s, in two hours, can monitor 140,000 square miles of ocean surface.
According to the Air Force's Web site, the B-52 Stratofortress has been the backbone of the manned strategic bomber force for the United States for more than four decades. It is capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory, including cluster bombs and precision guided missiles. HONOLULU (AP) — The Air Force says at least two crew members are dead after the... more
Rescue crews were searching a vast area of floating debris and a sheen of oil Monday for crew members of an Air Force B-52 bomber that crashed off the island of Guam, officials said.Rescue crews were searching a vast area of floating debris and a sheen of oil Monday... more
Thanks to the commenting duo hemlock and Laura for their energetic and thought-provoking response to "Comes with the Territory." After you hear what they had to say, check out the pod -- it's about American citizens in the US territories Guam and Puerto Rico who are not allowed to vote for the President of their own country. http://current.com/items/88992162_comes_with_the_territoryThanks to the commenting duo hemlock and Laura for their energetic and... more
All eyes were on the island of Guam during their rare opportunity in this historical first. For the first time, Guam played an integral part in the democratic primaries. Though the people of Guam can not yet vote for president, their votes in the Guam Caucus was a decisive factor in determining the Democratic presidential nominee for 2008. Amidst all of this, this short documentary delves right into the heart of an important question -- should the people of Guam, as US citizens, have the right to vote for president?All eyes were on the island of Guam during their rare opportunity in this historical... more
Barack Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton by seven votes in the Guam Democratic presidential caucuses Saturday. The count of more than 4,500 ballots took all night.
Neither candidate campaigned in the U.S. island territory in person, but both did long-distance media interviews and bought campaign ads for the caucuses.Barack Obama defeated Hillary Rodham Clinton by seven votes in the Guam Democratic... more