tagged w/ Species Extinction
Global warming has been blamed for dramatic declines in seabird populations on the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding waters.
Tens of thousands of seabirds are failing to breed because warmer water from more frequent and intense El Nino events means there is insufficient food to raise their young, according to research compiled by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Warm water near the surface forces fish, plankton and other prey into deeper water, where it cannot be reached by seabirds.
The research forms the basis of a report commissioned by the marine park authority and the Queensland Environment Protection Agency to address the impact of climate change on seabirds, and obtained by The Australian under freedom of information laws. "Recent analyses at key sites have revealed significant declines in populations of some of the most common seabird species, which raises concerns regarding the threatening processes acting on these populations," says the report, prepared by C&R Consulting.
The report, Seabirds and Shorebirds in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in a Changing Climate, says the reef is home to between 1.3 and 1.7million seabirds and half the world's population of several species.
The results of research by Bradley Congdon and five other seabird experts working for the marine park authority have been published in another report, Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef: A Vulnerability Assessment.
The authors concluded that recent climate fluctuations were having significant detrimental impacts on seabird populations.
The two reports paint a grim picture of the predicament for seabirds. In the Coral Sea, populations of great and least frigatebirds declined by 6-7 per cent annually between 1992 and 2004.
Despite a return to more favourable conditions since the severe El Nino event of 1997-98, populations have not recovered.
On Raine Island, in the northern barrier reef, populations of at least 10 of the 14 breeding seabird species have been falling. Numbers of common noddies have fallen by 96 per cent, sooty terns by 84 per cent, bridled terns by 69 per cent, and red-footed boobies by 68 per cent.
The park authority's vulnerability assessment report says there is no evidence of significant human interference or habitat loss on Raine Island, indicating "depletion of marine food stocks linked to changing climate" as the cause.
On the Swain Reefs, in the southern reef, the number of brown booby nests has dropped from 350 in 1975 to less than 30 since 2000.
"The declining trend was consistent throughout the region and was not simply a consequence of inter-seasonal migration between islands," the report says.
Some may think the affects of global warming/climate change are not important because they are not playing out in their backyards... yet. However, the signs are here and the affects are being felt from one end of the foodchain to the other.Though to some minute, they nevertheless are effecting and will effect us all.Global warming has been blamed for dramatic declines in seabird populations on the... more
The seas around Britain face an ecological disaster because of over fishing and pollution, a new report warns.
Many fish species that were once common are either vastly reduced in number or locally extinct, the Marine Conservation Society (MSC) says.
Its report Silent Seas warns that without urgent action to protect marine life and to limit the damage already inflicted marine ecosystems will fail.
The MSC launched its latest report in support of its call for a Marine Bill to be introduced in the Queen's Speech which would designate protections zones where all fishing would be outlawed.
MCS head of conservation, Dr Simon Brockington who compiled the report, said: "Echoing Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", Silent Seas forsees a world where extinctions of marine creatures begins to rise and the ecosystem starts to fail.
"Too many fish are taken from the sea, too much rubbish is thrown into the sea, and too little is being done to protect precious marine life and habitats. We have to act now!"
The report warns that the state of our seas has changed over the past 25 years and the loss of wildlife could result in fundamental ecological 'regime shifts' which was already happening in some parts of the world. In Namibia's seas over-fishing has led to a dramatic increase in jellyfish which now dominate the ecosystem.
In shallow UK waters numbers of many predatory fish such as sharks, skates and rays have fallen largely through fishing, and several once common species are now locally extinct.
A century ago large fish such as common skate, angel sharks, Atlantic halibut and cod in excess of a metre long were common in the North Sea but many of these species are classed as critically endangered.
The report also highlights the problems caused by pollution and particularly plastic which poses a significant hazard to marine wildlife.
MCS claims plastic litter washing up on UK beaches has grown by 126 per cent in the last 14 years. Sea birds, turtles, whales and seals are all killed by marine plastic either through entanglement, or ingestion causing death through starvation.
Dr Brockington said the threats posed by pollution, over-fishing and a lack of habitat protection would be made worse by climate change.
Continued pressure on the marine ecosystem would bring it to the point where it could support only creatures at the bottom of the food chain, such as jellyfish and plankton.
He said: "In the next few years we're going to start seeing the effects of climate change; the first effects are already there, such as migration of fish and plankton types.
"Unless we build a healthy ecosystem, the impacts of climate change will be far worse."
This is truly sad on a worldwide basis. This is our only home. When will we see this? Our actions matter... as do our inactions.The seas around Britain face an ecological disaster because of over fishing and... more
The Bureau of Land Management has issued a Notice of Proposed Legislative Withdrawal to enable the eventual transfer of 365,906 acres of fragile public land in the Mojave Desert to the U.S. Marine Corps for bombing, tank training and other live fire exercises.
The lands identified by the Marine Corps for its Air Ground Combat Center training grounds near Twentynine Palms include habitat critical for survival of the threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) and desert bighorn sheep. The Marine Corps says it needs the expansion for national security.
National security doesn't require seizing and bombing public lands and threatened species habitat, said Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. The public needs more explanation on the need for the proposed expansion under which deserts and wildlife that are already in decline will fall victim to tank treads, heavy artillery and other destructive military activity.
Today's proposal is the latest in a string of threats to the tortoise. Having survived more than a million years in California's deserts, desert tortoise numbers are now crashing, particularly in the West Mojave, where much of the expansion would occur. The population decline is due to numerous factors, including disease, habitat degradation, crushing by vehicles, military and suburban development, and predators. Because of its dwindling numbers, the desert tortoise, California's official state reptile, is now protected under both federal and state endangered species acts. The expansion could also lead to additional disastrous tortoise relocations. Nearly 2,000 tortoises are already being experimentally relocated for the expansion of Fort Irwin, an Army post about 25 miles north of the Marine Corps base. That effort so far has resulted in unexpectedly high tortoise mortality rates.
In August, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a new draft recovery plan that would weaken protections for the tortoise. The plan provides only vague descriptions of recovery actions actions that are not derived from the best available science. Recently, population genetics studies have identified the desert tortoise in the western portion of the Mojave Desert as distinctly different from its relatives to the northern, eastern, and southern portions. This finding sheds new light on why increased conservation and relocation success are more important than ever for the Fort Irwin effort.
The legacy of one million years of evolutionary history should not fall victim to our president's failed war, Anderson said. Endangered species remain the Bush administration's very lowest priority and in its final days, the administration appears to have set its sights on speeding the desert tortoise towards extinction.
They say they need this space as it is a national security issue? Hasn't their war killed enough?The Bureau of Land Management has issued a Notice of Proposed Legislative Withdrawal... more
Global warming is already leading to widespread disruptions of the Earth's natural systems, according to a study published in the journal Nature and conducted by some of the climate scientists who were involved in the influential 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.
"[This] is the first [study] to formally link observed global changes in physical and biological systems to human-induced climate change, predominantly from increasing greenhouse gases," said study reviewers Francis Zwiers of Environment Canada and Gabriele Hegerl of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The scientists catalogued more than 29,500 reports of changes to the Earth's natural systems. Some of these changes were physical, such as the melting of Patagonia's ice fields of Arctic permafrost, or the earlier break-up of Mongolian river ice and unprecedented coastal erosion. Others were behavioral, such as the earlier arrival of migratory birds to Australia, and others dealt with changes in populations, such as the decline of Antarctic krill stocks and overall productivity of Lake Tanganyika. Even genetic changes, such as those in North America's pitcher plant mosquitoes, were included.
The researchers found that more than 90 percent of the documented changes were to be expected from a scenario of rising regional temperatures. Global warming, rather than other human causes such as deforestation or pollution, seemed to be the major force behind the changes.
more at the link.
This must now become more than just a political wedge issue. This must be the end of governments and groups placating flatearthers and special interests who are using their $$$$$ to control the conversation. This must be the end of governments and organizations like the World Bank using this crisis as an impetus to benefit themselves and to foment war. They are all leading us over the cliff. Global warming/climate change is doing damage to the many ecosystems that support the life of humans and other species.
There are currently six degrees of climate change that represent the effects this planet will suffer from due to global warming/climate change. Currently, we are at the third degree... we are already HALFWAY THERE. As the last quote in this article states, we have to get our act together. And it is not overly dramatic to state that we are running out of time regarding the future sustainability of this planet. This is not something that is just occurring through natural means nor has it been ordained by God. This is not just some fluke of nature that will reverse itself. This is not a myth or an illusion. This is real, it is happening, and we are contributing to it not only by our behavior but by our retiscence in taking the action necessary to mitigate it.
How many 'meetings' are world leaders going to have before they realize that they have run out the clock? How many political candidates will continue to spew the same 80% by 2050 line? I recently wrote to my Senator about the need for 100% renewable energy in 10 years... know the response I got? The same form letter with that same 80% by 2050 line! Where is the political will? Where is the urgency? And people dare to criticize those who scale coal plants to unfurl a dire warning as to the truth of the state of the only planet that can sustain us to wake people up?
Just what is it going to take?Global warming is already leading to widespread disruptions of the Earth's... more
The Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Project is helping to save butterflies in northern Michigan thanks to Native American Teens and Marquette youth.
Founded by the non-profit Cedar Tree Institute, the three-year project involves teens building butterfly houses that offer protection and rest and planting over 26,000 native plants that are vital to reproduction of numerous pollinators.
The U.S. Forest Service says the project is a pollinator "success story."
The Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Project is the latest youth environment project founded by the non-profit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, Michigan in cooperation with the Marquette County Juvenile Court, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) and the United States Forest Service (USFS).
The Zaagkii Project contributors and sponsors include the Marquette Community Foundation, the Negaunee Community Fund, the Negaunee Community Youth Fund, the M.E. Davenport Foundation, the Kaufman Foundation, the Phyllis and Max Reynolds Foundation, the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum in Marquette, Mich. and the Borealis Seed Company in Big Bay, Mich.The Zaagkii Wings and Seeds Project is helping to save butterflies in northern... more
The bears were spotted in open ocean off the northwest coast of Alaska, miles from their normal hunting area by US government oil survey scientists flying over the Chukchi sea.
Although land was initially only 60 miles away from the bears' former home, they were driven north by their homing instinct towards the edge of the Arctic ice shelf.
Polar bears are renowned as strong swimmers but the 'lost' bears now face an epic 400-mile swim back to shore.
According to WWF, the World Wide Fund for Nature, one group of bears is known to have swum 100 miles but they arrived exhausted and several drowned on the way.
In May, the US Department of the Interior listed polar bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act because the Arctic ice they hunt on is melting so quickly.
"The Arctic is a vast ocean and to find nine bears swimming in one area is extremely worrying because it means that dozens more are probably in the same predicament," said Margaret Williams, Director of WWF's Alaska office.
Dr Williams said animal groups were considering asking the US government to send a Coast Guard ship, like a modern Noah's ark, to rescue some of the bears.
Arctic scientists said they feared the annual ice-melt had passed its 'tipping point' where not enough freezes each winter to make up for what melted the previous summer.
As less ice freezes, the winter sea remains warmer, and becomes hotter the following summer causing even more ice to melt. Senior scientist Dr Mark Serreze said: "The summer melting used to slow down by the beginning of September.
"We thought it was slowing this year, but it's suddenly sped up instead.'
The Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast is home to one of two populations of Alaska polar bears. Professor Richard Steiner, of the University of Alaska's Marine Advisory Programme, said: 'The bottom line here is that polar bears need sea ice, sea ice is decaying, and the bears are in very serious trouble.'
Yet, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska does not believe man is contributing to global warming. She thinks the excelerated and unprecedented melting we are seeing worldwide is a "natural" variance. Yet, she sites no evidence for this. She is simply another person whose family makes money off of oil, so of course, what would she think even with the evidence staring her in the face. How totally ignorant and irresponsible on her part. Perhaps Sarah Palin like all those who believe they shouldn't have to be responsible for others on this planet should actually look beyond their own selfish needs and greed to actually reading a scientific report. Or does she like most flatearthers believe that science is a myth as well? She may be Vice Presidential material to John McCain (well actually, I don't really think she is to him, she was just the convenient choice based on circumstances) but she is certainly not qualified by putting her own needs before those of her state and this planet. There is absolutely no way this could just be a "natural" variance, Ms. Palin and it has been proven. I think you need to do a bit of research on this topic rather than parrotting the political ideology of those who only see the scales tipped with gold bars, because you like them are accomplices in the slow suicide of the human species and those other species powerless to speak out for themselves. Shame on you.The bears were spotted in open ocean off the northwest coast of Alaska, miles from... more
Think the polar bear has it bad? Here are 10 critters who are even worse off than our favorite threatened Arctic resident. Listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List as critically endangered, meaning they face an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future, these animals may not live to see the end of the next decade without the a similar effort of human intervention that brought them to the brink in the first place.
Think the polar bear has it bad? Here are 10 critters who are even worse off than our... more
Above Photo of Lake Superior shoreline © Jim Kruger
Please read the Christian Century Article by Rev. Jon Magnuson on the "Acid Mine" that threatens Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
An ELCA Lutheran pastor, Rev. Magnuson is known across northern Michigan for creating numerous interfaith environment initiatives and other projects projects involving over 150 churches/temples, American Indian tribes, college students, at-risk teens, health care professionals and many others.
If this mine opens along Lake Superior, it could leak sulfuric acid into the Great Lakes.
It's the first of countless sulfide and uranium mines planned for Northern Michigan.
Besides unproven "new" technology, the mine will be open for only seven years - and create only about 150 short-term jobs. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the economic impact of the U.P.'s longstanding iron ore mines.
A lot of greed for a smattering of nickel and other minerals that will be sucked out of our precious soil.
The international mining company that wants to set up shop in Marquette County is Kennecott Minerals - an outfit with a dismal environmental record that has closed other acid mines without proper cleanup apparently finding it cheaper to fight in court than pay for the proper cleanup of the now vacent mine sites.
Photo of Lake Superior shoreline © Jim Kruger
Inland drilling: A debate over mining in Upper Michigan
Many fear that the aicd mines - that will be joined by uranium mines - are a death-knell for northern Michigan and its bread-and-butter tourism economy.
Who will want to visit an area dotted by hundreds of acid pits and possibly polluted rivers, lakes and streams.
There are recent swirling rumors that Kennecott took state officials on junkets and other allegations of wrongdoing as their deep pockets wooed local and state leaders.
If true, it would not be the first scandal involving the local operation named the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company - as an important study critical of the mine were not made public by state officials until the information was leaked. Just an innocent oversight - the state claimed.
Do you hear the whirring sound? - it's Marquette's founding fathers are spinning in their graves.
For more information on the effort to stop the mines - visit Save the Wild UP website:
Above Photo of Lake Superior shoreline © Jim Kruger
Please read the Christian... more
Menominee Tribal School students in Keshena, Wisconsin are learning valuable lessons about protecting the environment and learning their tribe’s heritage including keeping native language alive.
In April 2008 the tribal school’s 180 students participated in “Clean Up the Rez Day" by picking up garbage around the reservation. The many environment projects at the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin were part of the EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day challenge. During a drum & feast to honor the students, teacher Beth Waukechon and culture teacher Dana Warrington explained the importance of taking care of Mother Earth. During a field trip to Green Bay's Pamprin Park, students climbing a replica of the Planet Earth were reminded of their reservation clean up. The 234,000-acre reservation has thick forests and 24-miles of the pristine Wolf River. Sturgeons spawned in reservation portions of the river until two dams were built blocking annual migration. Fifth grader La-Rie Corn hopes to form an Earth Club at the tribal school. After whitewashing gang graffiti at a popular skateboard park, students replaced negative symbols with American Indian art. Corn, 11, knows about 500 Menominee words thanks to teachers & elders that care about saving their native tongue. Fourth graders Tahekiah Bourdon, Raven Webster, Shae Perez, Naneque Latender, & Sherlinda Nahwahquaw learned the importance of respecting the Earth and how it fits their heritage.
Teacher Beth Waukechon said students will hopefully continue environment friendly practices as they grow older. MITW Restorative Justice Coordinator Claudette Hewson said the Menominee Teen Court Panel picked up litter & removed graffiti from roads signs in the Middle Village housing area. Tribal school students learned about the sturgeon, a vital part of Menominee heritage. Named the “People of the Wild Rice,” Menominee legend calls the sturgeon “the protector” of the grain that grows in water.
Corn said sturgeon hold a high place in Menominee culture because they're one of three gifts the creator gave to the Menominee people. Language arts instructor Joe Awonohopay said Earth Week 2008 classes were devoted to the sturgeon including the effects of pollution on life cycle, habitat, biology and more.
The College of Menominee Nation Implementing Sustainable Development Class collected electronic waste & pharmaceuticals. Students collected 23 pounds of medicines including 100 bottles of pills. The college students won 50 recycling bins in the Coca-Cola National Recycling Coalition Bin Grant. The class participated in the 10-week Recycle Mania project for the second year in a row. College Prof. Dr.William Van Lopik said the class is “actually doing something." Including curbside collections, Menominee reservation residents recycled over four tons of electronics.
Sponsors: Community Resource Center, Menominee Tribal Police, Tribal Clinic, Maehnowesekiyah Wellness Center, Probation & Parole, Recreation Department, Community Recycling Project; Menominee County Sheriff’s Department, Keshena U.S. Post Office.
The Earth Healing Initiative assisted some challenge organizers with interfaith liaisons & encouraged churches/temples to participate in Earth Day events. Videos on 2008 Challenge projects made possible ban US Environmental Protection Agency grant, EPA Region 5 office in Chicago, EPA Great Lakes National Program Office.
The EHI involves American Indian tribes, churches/synagogues, other faith traditions working to heal, protect and defend the environment.
Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain/Interfaith Resources/Special Ideas:
http://www.interfaithresources.comMenominee Tribal School students in Keshena, Wisconsin are learning valuable lessons... more
Endangered species could become extinct 100 times faster than estimated. According to scientists, methods previously used to predict when species will die out are not accurate and dramatically underestimate the speed at which species become extinct.
Species such as the western gorilla, the Sumatran tiger and the Malayan sun bear may become extinct much sooner than feared. According to ecologist Brett Melbourne, "some species could have months instead of years left, while other species that haven't even been identified as under threat yet should be listed as endangered."
One of the factors overlooked in previous attempts to predict extinction risks is the proportion of males compared with females in a population and the differences in reproductive success between individuals in a group. As soon as these factors were included by scientists, it emerged that the threat of extinction could be imminent. "The older models could be severely overestimating the time to extinction. Some species could go extinct 100 times sooner than we expect," Melbourne said.
According to a 200y IUCN report, more than 16,000 species worldwide are threatened with extinction. An updated list will be published in October.Endangered species could become extinct 100 times faster than estimated. According to... more
The U.S. agency focused on the condition of the oceans says the Caribbean monk seal has gone extinct.
The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Services has confirmed what many biologists have long suspected: the only subtropical seal native to the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico is extinct. It also warns that the Hawaiian and Mediterranean monk seals could be next.
The last confirmed sighting of the Caribbean monk seal was in 1952 at Seranilla Bank, between Jamaica and the Yucatan Peninsula.
Biologists say humans left the population unsustainable after over hunting them.
Today, there are fewer than 1,200 Hawaiian and 500 Mediterranean monk seals remaining.
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jG7KS792s_njtUMaxoi66jmWRqgwD9154DUG0The U.S. agency focused on the condition of the oceans says the Caribbean monk seal... more
New satellite photographs show that the destruction of Brazil's fragile Amazon rainforest has exploded this year, fueling fears that the government's efforts to stop deforestation have been fruitless.
Brazil's DETER real-time monitoring system found that more than 430 square miles of forest, an area a bit smaller than the city of Los Angeles, vanished in the month of April, while about 2,300 square miles, larger than the state of Delaware, were destroyed between last August and April.
That nine-month total surpassed the entire acreage in the Amazon that was destroyed over the previous 12 months, according to DETER data. What's worse, the satellites couldn't see about half of the forest in April due to cloud cover, suggesting that actual deforestation likely was much greater.
That's raised red flags among environmentalists, who say that soybean farming, cattle production and illegal logging are destroying the world's largest rainforest despite the government's attempts to halt the deforestation.
Chopping down and burning the rainforest releases tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change. Brazil is the world's fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, largely because of deforestation, according to the U.S.-based World Resources Institute.
Worse is yet to come, environmentalists said.
Balancing survival with preserving nature. That is the challenge we face.
New satellite photographs show that the destruction of Brazil's fragile Amazon... more
Changes to the Antarctic ice shelf are causing seals to fight for air and penguins to give up on their young.
These are the findings of a new study, which illustrates the direct impact climate change is having on the physiology, behaviour and survival of Antarctic species.
In 1998, ecologist and evolutionary biologist Associate Professor Terrie Williams of the University of California at Santa Cruz and her team began a study on Weddell seals in Antarctica.
Three years later, an enormous iceberg detached near Antarctica's McMurdo Sound. According to Williams and her colleagues, the event was caused by global warming, which has likely been melting and weakening ice at the poles.
The 10,900 square kilometre iceberg, named B-15, drifted westward and lodged on nearby Ross Island.
The impact upon the animals of the region was immediate.
"Our first clue that there was a problem was that the seals were not returning to their usual pupping areas, and that there were fewer seals even later in the season," says Williams.
She and her colleagues noticed that the ice around Ross Island did not experience its usual "break-out" that year.
But we shouldn't care about what our actions are doing to other species,right? Afterall, humans are omnipotent over all the Earth... the evidence of that starkly seen based on its decay.
Changes to the Antarctic ice shelf are causing seals to fight for air and penguins to... more
Specialists with IUCN (formerly the World Conservation Union) found that 11 species are on the high-risk list, with five more showing signs of decline.
Sharks are particularly affected by over-fishing as they reproduce slowly.
The scientists are calling for global catch limits, an end to the practice of removing fins, and measures to minimise incidental catches.
The main threat to sharks is fishing, both accidental and targeted.
Specialists with IUCN (formerly the World Conservation Union) found that 11 species... more
Climate change is "significantly amplifying" the threats facing the world's bird populations, a global assessment has concluded.
The 2008 IUCN Bird Red List warns that long-term droughts and extreme weather puts additional stress on key habitats.
The assessment lists 1,226 species as threatened with extinction - one-in-eight of all bird species.
The list, reviewed every four years, is compiled by conservation charity BirdLife International.
"It is very hard to precisely attribute particular changes in specific species to climate change," said Stuart Butchart, BirdLife's global research and indicators co-ordinator.
"But there is now a whole suite of species that are clearly becoming threatened by extreme weather events and droughts."
In the revised Red List, eight species have been added to the "critically endangered" category.
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED - NEW ADDITIONS
(Source: Bird Red List 2008 update)
One of these was the Floreana mockingbird (Nesomimus trifasciatus), which is confined to two islets in the Galapagos Islands.
From an estimated maximum of 150 in the mid-1960s, the population has fallen to fewer than 60.
Conservationists listed the mockingbird as Critically Endangered because it experienced a high rate of adult mortality during dry years that have been linked to La Nina events.
Dry years have become more frequent in recent years, and have been blamed as the main driver of the current decline.
"Another threat for small island species, such as the Floreana mockingbird, is the threat from invasive species, in particular mammals and plants," Dr Butchart told BBC News.
"They are having a devastating effect on habitats. For example, goats and donkeys on Floreana are changing the ecological structure.
"Eliminating or controlling invasive species is a very tractable conservation action that can help these birds hang on in the face of these additional pressures from climate change.
Climate change is "significantly amplifying" the threats facing the... more
Global warming will threaten the survival of koalas by making the eucalyptus leaves on which they feed toxic, scientists warned on Wednesday.
Australia's most endearing marsupial is already under threat from a severe drought and loss of habitat as housing encroaches on woodland.
But higher temperatures and increased carbon dioxide could shut down their food supply, leaving them to starve to death.
New research shows that the level of toxicity in the leaves of eucalyptus saplings rises, and their nutrient content falls, when they are exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide.
"What currently may be good koala habitat may well become, over a period of not so many years at the rate that carbon dioxide concentrations are rising, very marginal habitat," said Ian Hume, Emeritus Professor of Biology at Sydney University, who carried out the research.
"I'm sure we'll see koalas disappearing from their current range even though we don't see any change in tree species or structure of the forests."
The koala's ecological niche is precarious enough as it is - eucalyptus leaves have so little nutritional value that the animals have to sleep for 20 hours a day to conserve energy.
The animals are also notoriously fussy eaters - of Australia's more than 600 species of eucalypt trees, koalas will only browse on the leaves of about 25.
The animals would be unable to adapt to the greater toxicity of gum tree leaves, Prof Hume said after presenting his findings at an Academy of Science conference in Canberra. "I don't think they've got enough time to do that, nowhere near enough time to do that," he said.
Global warming will threaten the survival of koalas by making the eucalyptus leaves on... more
The world risks wiping out a new generation of antibiotics and cures for diseases if it fails to reverse the extinction of thousands of plant and animal species, experts warned Wednesday.
Biodiversity loss has reached alarming levels, and disappearing with it are the secrets to finding treatments for pain, infections and a wide array of ailments such as cancer, they said, citing the findings of a coming book.
Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said more than 16,000 known species are threatened with extinction, but the number could be more.
"We must do something about what is happening to biodiversity," he said at a news conference on the sidelines of the UN-backed Business for the Environment conference.
"Societies depend on nature for treating diseases. Health systems over human history have their foundation on animal and plant products that are used for treatment."
Technological revolution in the 19th and 20th centuries took the focus on finding cures away from nature as pharmaceutical companies relied on technical components to make medicines, he said.
These companies are increasingly turning back to nature as they run out of chemical combinations, he said.
But the world is "losing the intellectual patents of nature before we even have the chance to understand or unravel them," Steiner said.
"This is the tragedy of not understanding biodiversity," he said, adding it would be a "big fallacy" to think that biodiversity is not linked to the phenomenon of climate change.
The world risks wiping out a new generation of antibiotics and cures for diseases if... more
(Marquette, Michigan) - The Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge is in its biggest week with help from interfaith groups and American Indians in reaching the goal of one million pounds of electronics and one million pills.
The EPA issued the challenge to Great Lakes basin residents participating in over 100 projects that are collecting pharmaceuticals, electronics and household poisons. The EPA awarded grants to some of the projects.
Interfaith groups are involved in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. An EPA grant helped start the non-profit Earth Healing Initiative (EHI).
Trust between religions and interfaith environment projects are vital to protect the future of the earth, said a Lutheran bishop, who has participated in numerous Earth Day recycling projects.
"We are in an environmental crisis in many ways," said Lutheran Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. "The Great Lakes watershed is really a kind of a mother to all of us here in the upper Midwest."
The EHI involves American Indian tribes and "a coalition and partnership of churches, synagogues and other faith traditions joining together and sharing their projects and resources to heal, protect and defend the environment," said founder Rev. Jon Magnuson of Marquette, Michigan.
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin (MITW) is holding a curbside pickup of electronics for members during Earth Week, April 21-24. Over 1,000 pounds of electronics have been turned in at the MITW transfer station since April 1. The College of Menominee Nation hosts pharmaceutical/electronics collections on April 22.
On Friday, April 25, students at the tribal K-8 school are picking up litter and cleaning up the a reservation community. Students recently created "Garbage Monsters" out of bottles other items found in their trash, said Diana Wolf, MITW Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator. Students gave presentations on other uses for the garbage.
"This interfaith earth healing effort is really a great gift that has been given to all of us," Skrenes said. “The church is called to bring people together to be part of the healing."
Examples of established interfaith organizations that are assisting the EHI include the University of Minnesota Lutheran Campus Ministry, the Duluth Arrowhead Interfaith Council, Marquette University Ministry in Milwaukee, several Catholic interfaith groups and the ELCA office of Ecumenical Formation.
The interfaith EHI is one of numerous environment and Native American projects founded by the non-profit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, Michigan including the Earth Keepers who removed more than 370 tons of e-waste, pharmaceuticals and household hazardous waste during three Earth Day clean sweeps.
The northern Michigan Earth Keepers belong to ten faith traditions with 150 churches and temples including Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist, Bahá'í, Jewish, Zen Buddhist and the Quakers. The EHI is working with the same faith traditions.
EPA Press Release:
Earth Healing Initiative:
Interfaith graphics by Justice St. Rain (Bah'i Community)
Interfaith Resources - Special Ideas website:
University of Minnesota LCM:
Arrowhead Interfaith Council:
Marquette University LCM:
Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin:
College of Menominee Nation
http://www.menominee.edu(Marquette, Michigan) - The Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge is in its biggest... more
(Chicago, Illinois) - Faith leaders across eight Great Lakes states are urging their members to participate in an Earth Day 2008 challenge to collect one million pounds of electronics and more than one million pills because trust is needed between all people to stop “an environmental crisis.”
The U.S. EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge is in high gear with more than 100 projects involving hundreds of communities collecting pharmaceuticals, electronics and household poisons.
An EPA grant to the non-profit interfaith Earth Healing Initiative (EHI) is mobilizing religious communities in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania.
A Lutheran Bishop who has participated in numerous interfaith Earth Day recycling projects hopes people of all faiths will help protect the environment.
“We are in an environmental crisis in many ways,” said Lutheran Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). “The Great Lakes watershed is really kind of a mother to all of us" in the Midwest.
Interfaith environment projects like the challenge will help ensure a better future for all humans, Skrenes said, adding “sometimes it's trusting each other that really counts in environmental work.”
“The culture, the society and the environment are now connecting in some fantastic new ways to build relationships between people,” Skrenes said. “We are building trust along and across denominational lines.”
The EHI is a coalition of American Indian tribes and a "partnership of churches, synagogues and other faith traditions joining together and sharing their projects and resources to heal, protect and defend the environment,” said founder Rev. Jon Magnuson of Marquette, Michigan.
Saying “it’s not your grandfather’s environment movement anymore,” Skrenes said that environmental work is now more mainstream and no longer “an obscure thing for a certain group of people” unlike 40 years ago when he was in high school “and I dare say some of my relatives said it was kind of a hippie movement.”
“The church is called to bring people together to be part of the healing,” Skrenes said. “This interfaith earth healing effort is really a great gift that has been given to all of us."
Interfaith organizations assisting the EHI include the University of Minnesota Lutheran Campus Ministry, the Arrowhead Interfaith Council in Duluth, the Marquette University Ministry outlets in Milwaukee, several Catholic interfaith groups and the ELCA office of Ecumenical Formation and Inter-Religious Relations.
The interfaith EHI is one of numerous environment and Native American projects founded by the non-profit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, Michigan including the Earth Keepers, who removed more than 370 tons of e-Waste, pharmaceuticals and household poisons during three Earth Day clean sweeps.
The northern Michigan Earth Keeper project involves the congregations of over 150 churches and temples representing ten faith communities: Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist, Bahá'í, Jewish, Zen Buddhist and the Religious Society of Friends commonly known as the Quakers.
The EHI is coordinating the same interfaith relationships. For more info call 906-401-0109(Chicago, Illinois) - Faith leaders across eight Great Lakes states are urging their... more
Of the 241 MILLION motor vehicles are registered in the US. Transportation is the fastest-growing source of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the largest end-use source of C02, the most prevalent greenhouse gas. [Source: DOT – Federal Highway Administration, October 2006]
Based on current GHG emission reporting guidelines, the transportation sector directly accounted for 33 percent of total US GHG emissions in 2006, the most recent year of published documentation. This represents a 14% increase from 1990. [Source: EPA – 2008 Inventory of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990 – 2006, March 2008]
The average greenhouse gas emissions (CO2) resulting from energy released by one automobile per year is 12,100 POUNDS or 12.1 TONS from driving an average of 231 miles per week. [Source: EPA – Climate Change – Greenhouse Gas Emissions, February 2008]
Ridesharing just one day a week for one year would result in saving the planet 1.7 TONS of C02. Now imagine 10 people saving 17 TONS, 100 people saving 170 TONS, 1,000 people saving 1,700 TONS, 10,000 people saving 17,000 TONS, 100,000 people saving 171,000 TONS, 1 million people saving 1.7 MILLION TONS.
GOHOV.com is a social networking tool that allows registered users the ability to create and share rides with friends and the GOHOV community. Whether you’re seeking a lift to a concert or sporting event, a ride back home for the holidays from college, a designated driver for the night, or a way to save money on gas, GOHOV.com will help you safely and easily find the right ride.
GOHOV.com provides today’s savvy internet user an easy way to connect through ridesharing. The site features viewable user profiles and a user ride-rating system, giving the GOHOV community the ability to review potential passengers or drivers and decide on whom it’s best to ride with.
Of the 241 MILLION motor vehicles are registered in the US. Transportation is the... more