Wildlife Advocacy in Sci-Fi Stories and Articles
GarryRogers NatCon News
Nature Conservation News and information for animals, plants, and nature. See more at http://garryrogers.com.
Curated by Garry Rogers
Ecotourism has been hailed as a sustainable economic driver and a force for environmental conservation, but a new report says we also need to account for the possible adverse effects of visitation to relatively wild spaces.
In a new report published in Trends in Ecology & Evolution, researchers said all of those interactions between wild animals and friendly ecotourists eager to snap their pictures may inadvertently put some animals at greater risk of being eaten.
It’s clear that the ecotourism business is booming.
Leopold (1949) wrote about some of the harmful effects of ecotourism under the heading "recreation." Few people have heard of Leopold, or have enough respect for animals and nature to care.
‘The rate of the recent drying in the Horn of Africa is unprecedented in the last 2,000 years …’
"The Horn of Africa, encompassing Somalia, Djibouti and Ethiopia, has been drying in sync with increases in global greenhouse gas emissions and could experience for frequent and intense droughts as global warming continues, scientists said after studying layers of sediments from the Gulf of Aden."
Photo credit: FWS, Jeannie Stafford
"SNIP: “Well-managed livestock grazing is compatible with sage-grouse conservation. The plan amendment did not close any grazing allotments or cut any AUMs. During the 10-year grazing permit renewals, management objectives will be put in place to protect habitat and rangeland health standards. These may include changes to the season of use, timing of use and number of livestock, among others. All grazing decisions will be made from the Elko District Office.”
"Read this overview of the new sage grouse rules and you will see all the “wiggle room” in the new sage grouse regulatory rules and why all this hoopla about new regulations recovering sage grouse is mostly just happy talk. Most restrictions only apply to what are designated as “Primary Habitat Management Areas”. Outside of these areas–even though they may contain sage grouse–usually no special restrictions will be applied. This will effectively shrink and fragment sage grouse habitat further, isolating populations and invariably leading to their continued decline."
Good film documenting that raising domestic livestock is the principal cause of climate change.
RT @anna_feeney: 'all modern birds evolved from the only three dinosaur lineages to survive' #biodiversity #dinosaurs http://t.co/12qTKVtYo1
GR: Perhaps all those diligent taxonomists can now turn their attention to saving a few of those species.
Melting sea ice due to warmer ocean temperatures, one of the effects of climate change, makes searching for oil and gas easier.
GR: That Exxon has had internal analysts working on climate change for years hardly seems like news. Stockholders would consider any CEO of a company conducting outdoor operations incompetent if they failed to evaluate potential effects of climate dynamics. You can safely bet the farm that the leading companies of the major industries (#CEFIM--chemical, energy, finance, insurance, military) all have analysts assigned to climate change.
In 1964, Donal Rusk Currey killed the oldest tree ever. It was a Bristlecone pine, and here's why they live so long
In the year (2012) this story appeared, an older Bristlecone pine was found.
Don Currey was studying historical climate change and did not know how old the tree was. At the time, no one did. Currey applied for permission from the U. S. Forest Service to cross-section the tree to count the annual growth rings. Two employees of the Forest Service assisted.
If we demonize Currey, we also demonize Charles Darwin and the thousands of other naturalists who have pursued, killed, and collected wild plants and animals around the world. (During a conference in 1980, a scientist at the Tree Ring Laboratory at the University of Arizona told me that he and others of his profession were thankful to Currey for guaranteeing that the Forest Service would provide annual funding to search for an older tree. In 2012, the search succeeded. Read the story here: http://bit.ly/1Mkmv7L.)
Throughout history, we have killed wild creatures in order to identify and study them. Natural scientists might argue that their few kills are insignificant compared to the numbers lost to hunting and other human activities. Centuries of research, however, have done little to benefit the plants and animals. Today, it is clear that despite our research, our history has indeed been that of the locust, destroying all in our efforts to satisfy our hunger for reproduction and growth. Though what Currey and the Forest Service employees did was standard practice at the time, I believe that today we must adjust our methods to avoid lethal science. With nature in a general free fall due to human impacts, we should begin to value every individual life. We should begin to value all life.
"Climate scientists agree that in order to prevent the worst consequences, global warming must be held to within 2 degrees Celsius. The pledges submitted so far will reduce emissions by about 60 gigatons compared to business as usual, but will limit temperature rise to only 3.5 degrees Celsius, according to Climate Interactive, the nonprofit tracking the progress of the global climate change movement.
"The pledges submitted so far are an encouraging sign that the Paris talks, unlike the unsuccessful ones in Copenhagen in 2009, will produce a binding climate treaty. The question now is how strong and ambitious the agreement will be.
"To be fair, these climate pledges are expected to be the starting point for these countries. As countries meet their targets in the coming years, they will review and revise them, potentially increasing the pace of emission reductions.
"Whether developing countries such as India commit to further emission reductions will depend on the assistance they receive from wealthier nations. So far, developed countries have pledged to provide about $10.2 billion in financing to poor nations through the Green Climate Fund, but that’s nowhere close to what the developing countries say they need to adapt to climate change."
What’s pulling the plug on the world’s carbon sink? Geoff Gallice, CC BY
Oliver Phillips and Roel Brienen, The Conversation, March 18, 2015.
"Tropical forests are being exposed to unprecedented environmental change, with huge knock-on effects. In the past decade, the carbon absorbed annually by the Amazon rain forest has declined by almost a third.
"At 6m km2, the Amazon forest covers an area 25 times that of the UK, and spans large parts of nine countries. The region contains a fifth of all species on earth, including more than 15,000 types of tree. Its 300 billion trees store 20% of all the carbon in the Earth’s biomass, and each year they actively cycle 18 billion tonnes of carbon, twice as much as is emitted by all the fossil fuels burnt in the world.
"The Amazon Basin is also a hydrological powerhouse. Water vapour from the forest nurtures agriculture to the south, including the biofuel crops which power many of Brazil’s cars and the soybeans which feed increasing numbers of people (and cows) across the planet.
"What happens to the Amazon thus matters to the world. As we describe in research published in Nature, the biomass dynamics of apparently intact forests of the Amazon have been changing for decades now with important consequences."
Conservation policy and the measurement of forests http://t.co/nCjgkqaZSf
GR: Remote (satellite) sensing has been unable to map the extent of Earth's forests. Far better methods of forest mapping are available. On-the-ground surveys using the 1970 UNESCO vegetation classification would give us maps at much less cost, and the maps would include far more information than the satellite maps. Moreover, who minds strolling through the woods with a clipboard? NASA, park the rockets and buy some hiking boots. Do it now.
By using fossil data, researchers have found that the structure of ecological communities leading up to the Permian-Triassic Extinction, one of the largest drivers of biodiversity loss in history, is a key predictor of the ecological communities...
We are going to have to see further analyses of this type if we are to predict which communities might survive the human mass extinction.
"In 1986, after a fire and explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant released radioactive particles into the air, thousands of people left the area, never to return. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 5 have found that the Chernobyl site looks less like a disaster zone and more like a nature preserve, teeming with elk, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, and wolves.
"The findings are a reminder of the resilience of wildlife. They may also hold important lessons for understanding the potential long-term impact of the more recent Fukushima disaster in Japan.
"It's very likely that wildlife numbers at Chernobyl are much higher than they were before the accident," says Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth in the UK. "This doesn't mean radiation is good for wildlife, just that the effects of human habitation, including hunting, farming, and forestry, are a lot worse."
Other researchers have also reported that wildlife numbers are increasing around Chernobyl despite the prevalence of high radiation levels. Radiation sickness is less harmful than human presence.