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Garry Rogers
Natural history news and information for animals, plants, and habitats.  See more at http://garryrogers.com.
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The American crocodile: A prehistoric beast on the brink of extinction

The American crocodile: A prehistoric beast on the brink of extinction | Garry Rogers | Scoop.it

"A crocodile takes a swim in Everglades National Park — but not all is rosy. There's still work to be done to maintain populations worldwide.  

An American crocodile photographed in Florida
"One of the largest of the crocodile species in the world, the American crocodile can be found in coastal areas in southern North America, Central America, and northern South America. (This one is in Everglades National Park in Florida.) They love the brackish water of estuaries and mangrove swamps, and can even be found at sea as it swims from island to island. An adult can grow to lengths of over 15 feet, and weigh as much as a ton. However, its large size also made it a target for hunting. This combined with pollution, habitat loss, and adults removed from the wild for crocodile farming all sent its numbers plummeting. While it is currently considered an endangered species throughout most of its range, it was downgraded from endangered to threatened in the United States in 2007 thanks to a small but important rise in population after protections were put in place. Unfortunately, not every country where the species is found has the ability or desire to fully protect the species from poaching."
Garry Rogers's insight:

CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, http://www.cites.org) needs more power and must incorporate the IUCN Red List (http://www.iucnredlist.org).  Moreover, the United Nations must encourage members to adopt regulatory standards for biodiversity protection.

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IUCN: Pesticides Pose A Global Threat To Biodiversity And Ecosystems

IUCN: Pesticides Pose A Global Threat To Biodiversity And Ecosystems | Garry Rogers | Scoop.it

Systemic pesticides pose global threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services.  

The conclusions of a new meta-analysis of the systemic pesticides neonicotinoids and fipronil (neonics) confirm that they are causing significant damage to a wide range of beneficial invertebrate species and are a key factor in the decline of bees.

Concern about the impact of systemic pesticides on a variety of beneficial species has been growing for the last 20 years but the science has not been considered conclusive until now.

Undertaking a full analysis of all the available literature (800 peer-reviewed reports) the Task Force on Systemic Pesticides – a group of global, independent scientists affiliated with the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management and the IUCN Species Survival Commission has found that there is clear evidence of harm sufficient to trigger regulatory action.

(Photograph: David R. Frazier/Alamy)

Garry Rogers's insight:

This scoop is about insecticides. Herbicides are equally dangerous. When I finally got my own place and began preparing pastures for cattle (pets, not food), I used mechanical means (mowing and pulling) to subdue the weeds. The weeds (most were human-introduced invasive species from Asia) kept spreading. My father said the herbicide "2,4-D" was safe for people and animals. I checked the literature and found hundreds of studies confirming the harmless nature of the compound. I began using it. I never used the insecticides. Studies showing the damaging effects of "2,4-D"  began appearing, and I stopped using it. Numerous studies have since shown links between "2,4-D" to everything from cancer to food-chain disruption to colony collapse in bees. Mechanical weed removal is initially more expensive than the herbicides, but it is the only safe option. Mechanical weed removal is one step in an effective weed management.  My website (http://garryrogers.com/nature) has descriptions of the other steps

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