Showing posts tagged nature
Hawaii warns molasses spill could draw sharks
Reuters: Hawaii’s health officials have warned swimmers, snorkelers and surfers to stay out of waters near Honolulu after a leak of 1,400 tons of molasses earlier in the week killed hundreds of fish. The officials say this spill could draw sharks.
So many fish have died that the Hawaii Department of Health has tripled cleanup crews to three boats. Hundreds of fish have been removed and thousands more are expected to be removed, a statement from the department said.
Photo credit: Dennis Oda / The Star-Advertiser via AP

Hawaii warns molasses spill could draw sharks

Reuters: Hawaii’s health officials have warned swimmers, snorkelers and surfers to stay out of waters near Honolulu after a leak of 1,400 tons of molasses earlier in the week killed hundreds of fish. The officials say this spill could draw sharks.

So many fish have died that the Hawaii Department of Health has tripled cleanup crews to three boats. Hundreds of fish have been removed and thousands more are expected to be removed, a statement from the department said.

Photo credit: Dennis Oda / The Star-Advertiser via AP

Endangered eastern black rhino born at Atlanta zoo

Reuters: An eastern black rhinoceros was born at Atlanta’s zoo for the first time in its history on Saturday night. Zoo Atlanta officials say the calf appears healthy and is bonding with its mother. There is no name yet, and the gender has not been determined.

The eastern black rhino has suffered near-catastrophic population decreases in recent decades, largely attributed to poaching. The horns, skin and other body parts of the rhino are believed by some to have medicinal value.

Experts reveal new species: Olinguito

NBC News: Scientists at the Smithsonian National Museum of History announced a new mammal species, the olinguito. The animal is the first new carnivorous mammal identified in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years.

Researchers first saw the creature on a trip to Ecuador in 2006. But it took seven years to determine, genetically, how distinct the olinguito was from the other mammals it resembles.

Photo credit: Mark Gurney

US Navy offers assistance after Great Barrier Reef bomb drop

Reuters: The US Navy offered Australia any help it wanted to retrieve 4 bombs mistakenly dropped inside the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef marine park last week.

US Navy Harrier fighter jets were forced to drop the bombs, 2 inert and 2 carrying explosives but not armed, after civilian boats were spotted near their original target.

Photo: File photo of a Harlequin Tuskfish showing off its tusks at Heron Island, a popular diving spot in the southern Great Barrier Reef (Catlin Seaview Survey)

Rare giraffe listed as endangered gives birth

AP: A rare, nearly 6-foot-tall giraffe listed as an endangered subspecies was born in a Connecticut conservation center.

Petal, a 6-year-old Rothschild giraffe, gave birth on Friday to a female calf at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center, The Greenwich Time reports.

When fully grown, the newborn could reach 18 feet in height.

African forest elephants decline by 62% in 10 years

BBC: Forest elephant numbers have decreased by 62% across Central Africa over the last 10 years, according to a study published in the scientific journal PLoS One.

The analysis supports fears that African forest elephants are heading for extinction. Conservationists say “effective, rapid, multi-level action is imperative” to save the elephants.

Record haul of smuggled ivory seized in Kenya

Reuters: Police in Kenya have seized two tons of ivory worth $1.15 million, the biggest haul on record in the country, officials say.

Poaching is a growing problem for sub-Saharan African countries reliant on rich wildlife in their game reserves to draw foreign tourists. Criminals kill elephants and rhinos for their tusks, which are used for ornaments and in some folk medicines.

Photo: Kenya Ports Authority workers record a section of elephant tusks recovered from a container on transit in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, Jan. 15. (Joseph Okanga / Reuters)

11 killer whales free after being ‘locked’ in ice, mayor says

NBC News: Eleven killer whales that were “locked in” by ice in a Canadian bay are now apparently free, possibly due to a change in current that helped open up a path to the sea, the mayor of a nearby village says.

Two scouts sent to check in on the whales found a passage of water had been created in Hudson Bay all of the way to the open sea, nearly 25 miles away. The ice hole the killer whales had been trapped in was empty, says Petah Inukpuk, mayor of Inukjuak.

Photo: Clement Rousseau via NBC News

Experts: Sea level rise of more than 3 feet possible by 2100

NBC News: Melting glaciers may push up global sea levels more than 3 feet by the end of this century, according to a scientific pollof experts. Such a rise could displace millions of people from low-lying countries such as Bangladesh. It could cost coastal mega-cities like New York and Tokyo billions for construction of sea walls and other infrastructure.

"The consequences are horrible," says Jonathan Bamber, a glaciologist at the University of Bristol and co-author of the study published Jan. 6 in the journal "Nature Climate Change."

Photo: Experts increasingly recognize that ice melting in Antarctica could push up sea levels dramatically higher in coming decades. (Alister Doyle / Reuters file)

Western Antarctica Ice Sheet warming faster than thought
BBC: The Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming nearly twice as fast as previously thought, according to a new analysis of temperature records. US researchers say they found the first evidence of warming during the southern hemisphere’s summer months. They’re worried the increased melting of ice could contribute to sea-level rise.
The study has been released by the journal “Nature Geoscience.”
Image: The data from Byrd Station shows rapid warming on the west Antarctic ice sheet. (Julien Nicolas)

Western Antarctica Ice Sheet warming faster than thought

BBC: The Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is warming nearly twice as fast as previously thought, according to a new analysis of temperature records. US researchers say they found the first evidence of warming during the southern hemisphere’s summer months. They’re worried the increased melting of ice could contribute to sea-level rise.

The study has been released by the journal “Nature Geoscience.”

Image: The data from Byrd Station shows rapid warming on the west Antarctic ice sheet. (Julien Nicolas)

African lion populations plummet as humans encroach habitats

AP: Lions that roam Africa’s savannahs have lost as much as 75% of their habitat in the last 50 years, a study released Tuesday says.

Researchers at Duke University warn that the number of lions have dropped to as few as 32,000. Populations in West Africa are under incredible pressure.

Fifty years ago, nearly 100,000 lions roamed across Africa. However, a growing human population has come into savannah lands to settle and develop.


Photo via Thinkstock

Red algae reaches Sydney shores, closes beaches

NBC News: Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach and Clovelly Beach were closed to swimmers on Tuesday as a red algae bloom drifted close to shore. Though the algae has no toxic effects, people are advised not to swim in areas with discolored water because the algae, which can be high in ammonia, can cause skin irritation.

Photo: A swimmer stops short of a red algae bloom at Sydney’s Clovelly Beach on Tuesday. Clovelly and Bondi Beaches were closed to swimmers as the bloom drifted closer to shore. (William West / AFP - Getty Images)

Dwarf ‘vampire’ dinosaur was a plant eater
BBC: 

A bizarre dinosaur described as a cross between ‘a bird, a vampire and a porcupine’ has been identified from fossils in South America.
The species, which was about the size of a domestic cat, lived between 100 and 200 million years ago.
It had a parrot-like beak with two stabbing canines at the front and tall teeth tucked behind for slicing plants.

An analysis of the dinosaur has been published in the journal Zookeys.

Dwarf ‘vampire’ dinosaur was a plant eater

BBC:

A bizarre dinosaur described as a cross between ‘a bird, a vampire and a porcupine’ has been identified from fossils in South America.

The species, which was about the size of a domestic cat, lived between 100 and 200 million years ago.

It had a parrot-like beak with two stabbing canines at the front and tall teeth tucked behind for slicing plants.

An analysis of the dinosaur has been published in the journal Zookeys.

Study: Half of Great Barrier Reef coral lost in last 27 years

BBC: Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has lost more than half of its coral cover in the past 27 years, a study shows. Results from the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, show that coral cover declined from 28% to 13.8% between 1985 and 2012. Researchers attribute the decline to storms, a coral-feeding starfish and bleaching linked to climate change.

Photo: A Harlequin Tuskfish shows off its tusks at Heron Island, a popular diving spot in the southern Great Barrier Reef. (Courtesy: Caitlin Seaview Survey)

DC National Zoo panda cub dies

NBC Washington:

The National Zoo in Washington, DC, says the giant panda cub born last Sunday has died.

"Panda keepers and volunteers heard a distress vocalization from the mother, Mei Xiang, at 9:17 a.m. and notified the veterinarian staff immediately," a statement from the zoo, issued late Sunday morning, says. "Veterinarians immediately performed CPR and other life-saving measures but the cub did not respond."

Photo: The National Zoo’s Panda Cam on Friday offered viewers the best glimpse of Mei Xiang’s cub yet.(via NBC Washington)