Monday, January 14, 2013
Wolf Released in Arizona
For the first time since 2008, the US Fish & Wildlife Service approved the release of a Mexican gray wolf born and raised in captivity, M1133.  He will replace the alpha male of the Bluestem pack, illegally killed last summer.
For more on the history of USFWS foot-dragging and mismanagement of Mexican wolf recovery, see “For Wolves on the Brink, a Hobbled Recovery Plan.”

Wolf Released in Arizona

For the first time since 2008, the US Fish & Wildlife Service approved the release of a Mexican gray wolf born and raised in captivity, M1133.  He will replace the alpha male of the Bluestem pack, illegally killed last summer.

For more on the history of USFWS foot-dragging and mismanagement of Mexican wolf recovery, see “For Wolves on the Brink, a Hobbled Recovery Plan.”

Thanks, fairy-wren.  One of my favorites, Upapa epops.
fairy-wren:

Hoopoes
(photo by conrad tan)

Thanks, fairy-wren.  One of my favorites, Upapa epops.

fairy-wren:

Hoopoes

(photo by conrad tan)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013
rhamphotheca:

 Bo, a 55-day-old baby Echidna known as a puggle, rests in the hands of veterinary nurse Annabelle Sehlmeier at Taronga Zoo in Sydney November 1, 2012. The puggle was bought to the zoo after being found by itself on a walking track north of Sydney and will be fed by hand until it is weaned at about six months of age.
(via: The Atlantic)                    (photo: Reuters/Tim Wimborne)

rhamphotheca:

Bo, a 55-day-old baby Echidna known as a puggle, rests in the hands of veterinary nurse Annabelle Sehlmeier at Taronga Zoo in Sydney November 1, 2012. The puggle was bought to the zoo after being found by itself on a walking track north of Sydney and will be fed by hand until it is weaned at about six months of age.

(via: The Atlantic)                    (photo: Reuters/Tim Wimborne)
biomedicalephemera:

Giant Golden Mole - Chrysochloris trevelyani [now Chrysospalax trevelyani]
If there were ever a mammal worthy of being given the common name of “Blorp”, this would be it. But no, they get to be called the “giant golden mole”, despite not being all that giant, or all that golden. I’m still calling them Blorps.
These pudgers are ancient, mostly-desert-dwelling Gondwanan creatures which are remarkably well adapted to climates with significant thermal shifts. During times of extreme heat or cold, their bodies can go into a state of torpor, almost stalling their basal metabolism rate, and completely turning off their internal thermoregulation until the temperature returns to a more amicable range.
The family of golden moles, Chrysochloridae, is not related to the “true moles” (Talpidae), but get their common name from their similar appearance, which developed through convergent evolution. Most scientists agree that the golden moles are more closely related to hedgehogs and shrews than to true moles, though some theories group them with the tenrecs. Until full genetic profiles are established for the Insectivoridae, we probably won’t have a definitive answer.
Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1875.

biomedicalephemera:

Giant Golden Mole - Chrysochloris trevelyani [now Chrysospalax trevelyani]

If there were ever a mammal worthy of being given the common name of “Blorp”, this would be it. But no, they get to be called the “giant golden mole”, despite not being all that giant, or all that golden. I’m still calling them Blorps.

These pudgers are ancient, mostly-desert-dwelling Gondwanan creatures which are remarkably well adapted to climates with significant thermal shifts. During times of extreme heat or cold, their bodies can go into a state of torpor, almost stalling their basal metabolism rate, and completely turning off their internal thermoregulation until the temperature returns to a more amicable range.

The family of golden moles, Chrysochloridae, is not related to the “true moles” (Talpidae), but get their common name from their similar appearance, which developed through convergent evolution. Most scientists agree that the golden moles are more closely related to hedgehogs and shrews than to true moles, though some theories group them with the tenrecs. Until full genetic profiles are established for the Insectivoridae, we probably won’t have a definitive answer.

Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 1875.

Monday, December 31, 2012
RHINO ROUNDUP
Biggest eco-story of the year:  the war on rhinos waged by criminals (from Texas and Ireland among other places) and the nation-states that protect them, especially Vietnam and China.  Excellent NYT report on rhino horn smuggling by Jeffrey Gettleman, who also files on the desperate measures being taken (by former poachers among others) to protect elephants from a similar fate in Kenya, where an influx of Chinese nationals has been tied to a spike in poaching.  In a second wave of colonization—and exploitation—there are now over a million Chinese working in countries across Africa, building roads, bridges, dams, and other heavy infrastructure.
Gettleman’s piece highlights the work of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust, a consortium of 19 communities in Kenya banding together to restore land and wildlife while building ecotourism.  Thanks to Anna Maria Lolangwaso, a Samburu teacher and founder of a wildlife club at the Gir Gir primary school who I met at Archer’s Post, a village in the heart of the NRT, I know there are people in that remote village who are devoted to conservation and the economy it can build:  Read my analysis of the Kenyan conservancy movement in Rewilding the World.
News on rhinos isn’t all bad:  The International Rhino Foundation points out “5 Things You’ve Never Seen Before,” including the birth of Andatu, the first Sumatran rhino born at the Rhino Sanctuary there (Andatu has his own Facebook page), and the return of greater one-horned rhino to India’s Manas National Park.
Photo:  Joao Silva, New York Times

RHINO ROUNDUP

Biggest eco-story of the year:  the war on rhinos waged by criminals (from Texas and Ireland among other places) and the nation-states that protect them, especially Vietnam and China.  Excellent NYT report on rhino horn smuggling by Jeffrey Gettleman, who also files on the desperate measures being taken (by former poachers among others) to protect elephants from a similar fate in Kenya, where an influx of Chinese nationals has been tied to a spike in poaching.  In a second wave of colonization—and exploitation—there are now over a million Chinese working in countries across Africa, building roads, bridges, dams, and other heavy infrastructure.

Gettleman’s piece highlights the work of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and the Northern Rangelands Trust, a consortium of 19 communities in Kenya banding together to restore land and wildlife while building ecotourism.  Thanks to Anna Maria Lolangwaso, a Samburu teacher and founder of a wildlife club at the Gir Gir primary school who I met at Archer’s Post, a village in the heart of the NRT, I know there are people in that remote village who are devoted to conservation and the economy it can build:  Read my analysis of the Kenyan conservancy movement in Rewilding the World.

News on rhinos isn’t all bad:  The International Rhino Foundation points out “5 Things You’ve Never Seen Before,” including the birth of Andatu, the first Sumatran rhino born at the Rhino Sanctuary there (Andatu has his own Facebook page), and the return of greater one-horned rhino to India’s Manas National Park.

Photo:  Joao Silva, New York Times

fairy-wren:

european bee-eaters
(photo via)

fairy-wren:

european bee-eaters

(photo via)

Monday, December 17, 2012
revkin:

Expansive US drought is highlight in @NOAAncdc November climate roundup. More @dotearth.

revkin:

Expansive US drought is highlight in @NOAAncdc November climate roundup. More @dotearth.

"A Psychotic Predator"
This is 832F, the alpha female of Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon pack, who was legally shot earlier this month, outside park boundaries.
Among a number of radio-collared wolves killed since Wyoming removed endangered-species status from the species, the female was recently compared to “a psychotic predator stalking Central Park and slitting the throats of unwary visitors” by the president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association.
Photo:  Doug McLaughlin

"A Psychotic Predator"

This is 832F, the alpha female of Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon pack, who was legally shot earlier this month, outside park boundaries.

Among a number of radio-collared wolves killed since Wyoming removed endangered-species status from the species, the female was recently compared to “a psychotic predator stalking Central Park and slitting the throats of unwary visitors” by the president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association.

Photo:  Doug McLaughlin

Thursday, November 29, 2012
Lawsuit Filed to Reform Mexican Wolf Program
AP reports that the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit yesterday to force the US Fish & Wildlife Service to reform the languishing effort to restore the highly-endangered Mexican gray wolf to the wild.  For more on the background of this story, see Yale Environment 360.

Lawsuit Filed to Reform Mexican Wolf Program

AP reports that the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit yesterday to force the US Fish & Wildlife Service to reform the languishing effort to restore the highly-endangered Mexican gray wolf to the wild.  For more on the background of this story, see Yale Environment 360.

rhamphotheca:

Costa’s Hummingbird (Calypte costae) male, Visitor’s Center, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, CA, USA
(photo: Alan D. Wilson)

rhamphotheca:

Costa’s Hummingbird (Calypte costae) male, Visitor’s Center, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs, CA, USA

(photo: Alan D. Wilson)

rhamphotheca:

Rufous-crested Coquette (Lophornis d. delattrei) male, Amazonia Lodge, Peru
(photo: Claudio Dias Timm)

rhamphotheca:

Rufous-crested Coquette (Lophornis d. delattrei) male, Amazonia Lodge, Peru

(photo: Claudio Dias Timm)

Friday, November 23, 2012
Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome
Wolves return to Berlin.
Photo: The Independent.

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome

Wolves return to Berlin.

Photo: The Independent.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa
Seventeen years ago this month, Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian environmental activist who  protested peacefully against pollution wrought by Shell in the Niger Delta, was hanged along with eight others by the military government.  Join over 700,000 others in urging the Nigerian National Assembly to fine Shell $5 billion for human-rights abuses:  Sign the Avaaz petition to make Shell pay. 

Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa

Seventeen years ago this month, Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian environmental activist who  protested peacefully against pollution wrought by Shell in the Niger Delta, was hanged along with eight others by the military government.  Join over 700,000 others in urging the Nigerian National Assembly to fine Shell $5 billion for human-rights abuses:  Sign the Avaaz petition to make Shell pay. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

jtotheizzoe:

skeptv:

Instant Egghead - Are We Facing the Sixth Mass Extinction?

According to the United Nations, we are losing about 200 species per day—a thousand times the normal background rate of extinction. How does this stack up to previous mass extinctions? Scientific American editor Fred Guterl explains.

by Scientific American.

We’re losing species at an alarming rate. Here’s a look at how that compares to previous mass extinctions. Unlike those extinctions of the past, we have evolved enough to do something about species conservation today.