Orchid species suffer thanks to their use in Traditional Medicine. Most conservation efforts don't work but some scientists have an unconventional proposal.
Natural history news and information for animals, plants, and nature. See more at http://garryrogers.com.
Curated by Garry Rogers
It is time to divest in the largest chemical, energy, finance, insurance, military corporations (CEFIM). #DIVEST
GR: Nature conservation requires participation in politics. Here’s the outline of a political problem to consider: Large multinational corporations often pursue profits without regard for the consequences. We can limit corporate impacts in three major ways: We can divest our holdings in the largest chemical, energy, finance, insurance, and military corporations (CEFIM), we can stop purchasing their products, and we can support politicians (yes there are some) that oppose corporate power over government.
In June, the President called on federal agencies to create a plan to "promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators." To show appreciation for all that bees and wild pollinators provide, it is essential that this plan address toxic, persistent, and systemic neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) — which science has shown to be a critical driver of pollinator declines. The Task Force was originally set to reveal its action plan this week, but has elected to take more time.
As the pollinator crisis continues, groups and concerned citizens across the country are calling on the President to #BeeKindObama, and give the gift of pollinator protection by making certain the Pollinator Health Task Force takes decisive action on bee-harming pesticides.
Other countries are following the science and directly addressing the threat neonics pose to pollinators. Over a year ago, the European Union’s suspension of neonics went into effect. And just recently the government of Ontario announced plans to reduce the use of neonic-treated seeds by 80%.
Pollinators in the United States can’t wait any longer, so we’re taking our request directly to the President and urging him to ensure the U.S. takes similar steps to protect pollinators!
GR: The dangers of pesticides are pervasive and harmful to all animals. Weed managers spray millions of gallons of pesticides on crops, along roads, and in parks. The U. S. Bureau of Land Management uses pesticides throughout the public lands of the 17 western U. S. states. The farm upstream from my home has wide weed-free zones that are probably maintained by pesticides. Bees serving as pollinators on the farm catch a full dose. Bees in yards and gardens downstream from the farm receive small doses that washed off the farm into the stream and into the groundwater. When home gardeners respond to the massive pesticide marketing efforts and use pesticides around their homes, they easily reach lethal levels.
The industry now says we need more CO2 in our lives, not less.
The energy consultant who said this was trying to make a joke, wasn't he? . . . If he wasn't, this presentation, made to the U. S. Energy Association in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., may reveal frightening stupidity amongst influential energy industry personnel.
‘Ecosystem services’ is a phrase readily used when discussing conservation measures. It refers to the benefits that we receive from the natural world such as carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling,...
GR: This article argues that declining wildlife diversity favors disease prone species and more frequent contact of these species with humans. There is some supporting evidence, but much more work is needed.
Species are disappearing quickly — but researchers are struggling to assess how bad the problem is.
Our lack of knowledge of Earth's unique creatures would be embarrassing if the great dying we're causing did not evoke more potent emotions.
Biodiversity and climate are intertwined in the physical realm though separate in the policy world. But during the ongoing climate Conference of the Parties (COP 20) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Lima, a diverse group of scientists and policymakers presented a declaration assessing current knowledge on connections between biodiversity vulnerabilities and climate change with the objective of increased integrated activity on the inter-linked issues.
GR: We must assume that our leaders know there is a connection.
10,000 elephants…that’s how many elephants have been slaughtered in just one African nation in 2013 to feed China’s greed and ivory lust. That’s nearly 30 elephants killed each day. According to the EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency), Tanzania...
This article includes ways to get involved.
Irresponsible tourism can put animals in danger and harm imperiled species. Pledge to be a responsible tourist who helps to protect animal welfare while overseas.
GR: Recreation defined by my favorite conservation writer. "The retreat of the wilderness under the barrage of motorized tourists is no local thing; Hudson Bay, Alaska, Mexico, South Africa are giving way, South America and Siberia are next. Drums along the Mohawk are now honks along the rivers of the world. Homo sapiens putters no more under his own vine and fig tree; he has poured into his gas tank the stored motivity of countless creatures aspiring through the ages to wiggle their way to pastures new. Ant-like he swarms the continents.
"This is Outdoor Recreation, Latest Model" (Leopold, 1949: 166).
"We hope our research will make a difference to the lives of these animals and our work will advise owners and vets on how to better look after their animals."
The scientific method in all its variations is a tool that humans can use to care for their fellow creatures. Research using the method produces reliable reports that add to our knowledge.
On Nov. 5, 2014, a federal district court judge in Utah struck down regulations adopted under the federal Endangered Species Act protecting the Utah prairie dog on private land as an unconstitutional exercise of federal authority under the Commerce Clause (People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners [PETPO] v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).... Read more »
GR: The Endangered Species Act (ESA) only protects species that have reached critically low numbers. It does not prevent other species with declining numbers, even when wildlife biologists consider the species imperiled. The act by this Utah judge would weaken the ESA making it even less useful for protecting nature. This is a useful baseline article for anyone wanting to follow this case.
A coalition of 47 environmental organizations called on U.S. senators Monday to remove public lands riders from the Defense Authorization Act
GR: In a typical anti-nature move, the House is trying to further corporate sponsors with this bill. Deforestation, mining, and weakened public lands protection--everything a greedy politician could hope for.
In central Africa, one of the world’s richest biological hotspots, an international group of scientists is working to preserve biodiversity as the climate warms.
GR: Africa's growing human population makes preservation of diversity a daunting problem even without warming climate.
The little-known Sumatran serow is hunted and traded in Peninsular Malaysia, in violation of wildlife laws.
GR: The ultimate selfish act: Eat a species to extinction--not in ignorance, and not to survive, just for potential health benefits for a few wealthy humans. Of course, eating wild animals to survive will also extinguish them.
Remove Unethical Menu Options. Save Polar Bears from Shell Oil. Save Wolves from Cruel Predator-Killing Contest. Applaud TV Station for Promoting Pet Adoption. Ban Captive Hunting of Lions Success. More. . . .
A "to-do" list for the animals.
In a way, we have to get back to the land ourselves. Planting community gardens, growing our own vegetables, shopping at local Farmer's Markets - these are all ways we can survive without relying o...
GR: The California drought is a consequence of human-caused climate change. As irrigated farmlands decline, supermarket prices will rise, and homegrown produce will become attractive. Though many will lament this blow to Human society and will fight to maintain consumer economics in the produce aisles, others will consider it a just outcome of our own stupidity. Joshua Frank says, "Planting community gardens, growing our own vegetables, shopping at local Farmer's Markets - these are all ways we can survive without relying on the bounty California has provided." However, this too, like irrigated agriculture, will ultimately fail. Human population growth will continue to overuse natural resources and force a decline in ecosystem stability and productivity. In the battles for fresh water and good soil, the blows to Human society will be massive and irreversible.
Tell the EPA you support their carbon pollution standards — AND tell Congress that you expect them to do the same! Today, America has NO NATIONAL LIMITS on carbon pollution from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants—the largest source of carbon pollution in our country. But the EPA is proposing a rule that could change all of that—and will be facing ferocious political attacks. Be a part of history: Tell the EPA and Congress that you support strong carbon pollution standards!
Tell Governor Martinez to intervene and stop the Gila River diversion from moving forward.
Originating in America's first designated wilderness area, New Mexico's Gila River is a biological gem. Its riparian forests boast one of the highest concentrations of breeding birds in the country -- including rare yellow-billed cuckoos -- and its waters sustain loach minnow, spike dace and Gila trout. The Gila is also a mainstay for the area's recreation economy.
But New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez will soon decide whether to OK a billion-dollar boondoggle that could destroy this river as we know it. The project is unnecessary because the area's water needs can be met by other proven means -- through conservation, groundwater management, water recycling and watershed restoration.
Take action today -- urge Governor Martinez to support cost-effective, non-diversion alternatives to protect the Gila and secure New Mexico's water future.
"Early this year in The New York Times, I wrote an op-ed in praise of Namibia’s work in restoring populations of endangered black rhinos and, more important, in avoiding the poaching nightmare taking place next door in South Africa (on track to lose 1100 rhinos this year). Here’s part of that piece."
GR: Nowhere is safe for rhinos. Once intelligence arose alone without the guidance of wisdom, most of Earth’s species were doomed. Can our species survive when only the toughest ruderals remain? Perhaps we will die or send a small colony into space. Either way, evolution could once again begin to recreate the biological riches it held when we appeared. Probably not. Why go to space when we can cover Earth with solar cells, wind turbines, hydro-generators, and of course, hydroponic greenhouses. With only small adjustments, our current non-sapient behavioral systems will survive.
BOGOTA – Biodiversity in Colombia, one of the richest on the planet, faces a “discouraging” future after centuries of human degradation of the continental ecosystems, according to a report released in Bogota.
The 2014 Biodiversity Report, prepared by the Alexander von Humboldt Research Institute, offers an exhaustive analysis of the status, trends and challenges of biodiversity in Colombia.l
The human impact has many facets, but its root is population growth. Construction, invasive species, deforestation, toxic chemicals, and greenhouse gas are all increasing along with population. Colombia, growing slower than many other countries, has tripled its population to near 50,000,000 since 1960, and shows no signs of slowing.
“If we lose biodiversity, we will lose jobs, food, medicines, and our livelihood will be under threat. Unless the decline is halted, the negative impact on daily lives will grow exponentially,” says Braulio F. de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
From the common man to the big corporate, the future of our growth depends on conserving the variety and richness of biodiversity. Already large fishery areas in the north-west Atlantic have collapsed under the impact of loss of marine biodiversity and climate change, he states.
With alarm bells already ringing loud and clear, the CBD is all set to bring to the discussion table issues such as halting the depletion of biodiversity, resource mobilisation, firming up bio-safety protocols and getting stakeholders like industry to do their bit, at the upcoming global summit in Hyderabad for which it is all decked up.