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Archive for May, 2008

Polar bears are “Threatened” in schizophrenic ruling

Department of Interior also enacts policies to try and prevent ruling from having any impact on greenhouse gas emissions

The information below is excerpted from an e-mail I just received from Kieran Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity. I couldn’t agree more. The present administration is clearly trying to have it both ways. Forced by law to declare the polar bear as a Threatened species, the Bush administration is also attempting at the same time to enact policies that will prevent the polar bear declaration from having any effect. That’s not how the Endangered Species Act works. They’re not going to get away with it. /Gary
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Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2008
Under: Alaska, Endangered species, Polar bears | No Comments »

U.S. Army makes war on endangered desert tortoises

Desert tortoises are under attack in new habitat

APRIL 4: I blogged that the U.S. Army was relocating 770 endangered California desert tortoises to make room for war games in the tortoises’ natural habitat.

APRIL 22: I blogged that the Army had relocated those tortoises into a drought area where starving coyotes were killing and feeding on them. The Army, of course, has started to shoot the coyotes for doing what comes naturally to starving coyotes … and nobody wins here except the Army, who still got the tortoise habitat for playing their war games.

Meanwhile, large numbers of already endangered tortoises are dying.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008
Under: Desert Tortoises, Endangered species | No Comments »

Mountain lions to be stalked by clever humans

Scientists at UC Santa Cruz will use state-of-the-art GPS to scrutinize mountain lion behavior

Scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will soon begin satellite tracking of mountain lions traversing the Santa Cruz Mountains, in an attempt to learn more about the big cats’ behavior as human development expands into their habitats, the university announced this week.
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Posted on Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
Under: Cougar, Mountain lion, Puma | 1 Comment »

Red-tailed hawk attends memorial service

On Friday, May 2, Frank Vizena was buried at the new Veterans National Cemetery near Dixon, CA, exit 60 off Interstate 80.

The beautiful and inspiring ceremony was held under the committal shelter, but several people stood out from under it. As taps was being played, some saw a large bird (a red-tailed hawk, perhaps) fly over us. Then at the very end of the ceremony, the bird (same one?) flew up and over the shelter, cried out, and circled a few times before flying off.
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Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2008
Under: Mother Nature, Nature, Raptors, Red-tailed hawk | No Comments »

When coyotes attack kids

Marin Headlands, Mar 9, 2008

Thursday an Associated Press story described how a coyote attacked a 2-year-old girl in her front yard in Southern California.

The mother rescued her child and the coyote ran off. It was the third time in five days a coyote has posed a threat to a small child in Southern California. On May 2 another 2-year-old girl was attacked in Alterra Park in Chino Hills, 30 miles east of L. A. And a coyote went after another toddler in the same park on May 4. All three children suffered non life-threatening injuries.
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Posted on Friday, May 9th, 2008
Under: Coyote attacks, coyotes, Wild Neighbors, wild predators | 2 Comments »

Mighty oaks grow from little acorns … and scrub jays

My friend Brian of Walnut Creek, Calif., has a special way of looking at the land that we can all benefit from. He sees it through Mother Nature’s eyes.

A case in point. Brian is very much involved with the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation and one of his special projects, among many, is to help plant oak trees in the Walnut Creek open space areas. Not by simply poking holes in the ground, dropping in acorns and kicking a little dirt over the top of the oak seeds.

No, nothing quite so complicated.
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Posted on Thursday, May 8th, 2008
Under: Acorns, Nature, Open space, scrub jay | No Comments »

Oil & sewage spills, toxic chemical spills: Did we ever have control?

50,000-plus gallons of toxic fuel oil is dumped into S.F. Bay after a ship hits the Bay Bridge on Nov. 7 … 5 million-plus gallons of sewage is spilled in Southern Marin on Jan. 25 and Jan. 31 … 1,500 gallons of raw sewage is spilled at Marin’s San Quentin Prison on Feb. 14 … 250 gallons of raw sewage spilled in North Marin on Feb. 18 … 6,000 gallons of raw sewage and storm water spilled in San Rafael on Feb. 24 …

And now thousands of gallons of the toxic and carcinogenic chemical toluene were spilled in Richmond sometime between Friday night and Monday morning. And they don’t even know for sure when the stupid spill happened!
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Posted on Wednesday, May 7th, 2008
Under: Chemical spills, Oil Spills, Sewage spills | No Comments »

Was Eight Belles’ death at Kentucky Derby due to drugs, inhumane practices?

The ASPCA issued the following statement on the tragic death of a racehorse — Eight Belles — at the 2008 Kentucky Derby last weekend:

“The fragile nature of thoroughbred racehorses and the stress and rigors that the industry subjects on these animals is loudly evidenced in the tragic death of Eight Belles who, as we saw, was euthanized after both of her front ankles collapsed just after coming in second at the Kentucky Derby,” said ASPCA President & CEO Ed Sayres.
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Posted on Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
Under: Horse Racing, Horses | 7 Comments »

Overfishing in the North Sea … in 1882

I was on vacation last week in Germany with my wife, Lois.

While there, Lois and I were fortunate to have a chance to visit the marvelous and monstrous Deutsches Museum in Munich. Whole floors of this beautiful and outstanding science and technology museum (eat your heart out, Smithsonian) were devoted to Aerospace, Aviation, Shipping, Energy & Power, Chemistry, the Environment, etc., etc.
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Posted on Monday, May 5th, 2008
Under: Boats, Fish, Fishing | 1 Comment »