News Roundup

  • The return of wolves is not just a problem in the U.S. Grey wolves in Eastern Germany are increasing their population size and expanding their range.
  • Katherine Belov and colleagues at the University of Sydney appear to have found a population of Tasmanian Devils that are immune to devil facial tumor disease, a transmissible cancer that’s decimated (literally) the species.
  • Dave Melhman (TNC) has done a fantastic job blogging the State of the Birds 2010 report.
  • The IUCN on restoring bison in North America.
  • It’s March Madness, time, and the NCAA seems to have a lot of endangered species in its bracket. Those not yet extirpated from the tournament: Baylor bears, Kentucky and Kansas St Wildcats and Northern Iowa Panthers. Lobos, terrapins, grizzlies, owls, bears, and spiders all apparently not covered under the Endangered Species Act. Obama should send out an executive order.
Posted by Tim on March 22nd, 2010 • • Comments Off
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News Roundup

  • There’s a public lands bill that’s been floating around Congress (previously mentioned here), and last week the House messed it up and actually failed to pass it. They were trying to do a runaround of Republican shenanigans by getting a 2/3 super-majority that would allow no amendments to the bill, but they lost by 2 votes (2 votes! And if 2 of those opposition votes simply hadn’t showed up to vote, it would’ve passed, because the 2/3 requirement would’ve been lower). Well, they’re trying it again — the Senate has set it up for re-passage as part of the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act.
  • In-depth, fascinating read on the different Yellowstone wolf packs’ activity. A true soap opera.
  • Peter Kareiva kind of knocks it out of the park talking about children and carbon footprints. Worth a full read, but here’s the take-home message: being an eco-hero in your daily life could probably save 300-500 tons of carbon over your lifetime. Reducing the number of children you have by one would save nearly 10,000. Unless you live in Bangladesh, in which case you would save about 50.
  • Nice article from the NY Times on the trade-offs between preserving ecosystems and building the fabled Smart Grid.
  • WCS has released free software that, using camera trap photos of tigers, develops 3D models of their stripes to identify individuals. They’ve even used it to identify poached skins. The next question, of course, would be whether certain patterns are spatially correlated. Can you identify a tiger’s home based on his stripes?
  • Dinosaur mesopredator discovered.
  • Had a very nice dinner with Brian (of the consblog Brians) last night, and the topic of “fish: good for you, terrible for the oceans” came up.
Posted by Tim on March 17th, 2009 • • Comments Off
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News Roundup

  • Mark Tercek, new TNC CEO (and former Goldman Sachs investment banker), interviewed at Mongabay.
  • The title of the article is “When science hijacks conservation funding.” When NSF starts giving grants for direction conservation actions, it will make a lot more sense.
  • A totally engaging review of the U. of Oregon’s Public Interest Environmental Law Clinic. (Bare-breasted women attacking Julia Butterfly and climate change conspiracy theories).
  • The Bay Area is the second “birdiest” city in the country (after Dauphin Island, Alabama, that renowned urban center).
  • Don’t worry about climate change — species can adapt.
Posted by Tim on March 6th, 2009 • • Comments Off
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News Roundup

  • Papua New Guinea is getting its first national conservation area.
  • WCS is getting some money from the World Bank and GEF to protect tigers. Weird, since pretty much the entire WCS tiger team moved to Panthera a couple years ago..
  • Patagonia employee gets paid time off to bike over 2,000 miles to promote Yukon2Yellowstone project. Blogs about it, with pictures.
  • Andy Revkin finally pushes back against George Will. I have to say, the fact that this is such a big deal — that a major columnist is trying to deny climate change — is actually pretty encouraging. I think in years past, Will just would’ve gotten away with it.
  • Dave Connell, associate director of marketing at TNC, wants you to know how important marketing is to conservation.
  • Obama’s restoring the old ESA rules.
Posted by Tim on March 3rd, 2009 • • 5 comments
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News Roundup

  • DotEarth on “Macromyopia” in the global environment: a lot of people saw the current financial meltdown coming, but nobody did anything to stop it. Will the same be true for the coming ecopocalypse??
  • The Western Ghats are losing their endemic diversity.
  • “If you’ve been on a Cape Cod beach this winter, you may have encountered an extraordinary animal comeback: Seals.” Wait, Seals? You mean that couple-years-old hipster obsession with Yacht rock and, in particular, Jim Seals of Seals and Crofts? That comeback? … oh, seals. Uncapitalized. Sorry. Cool, I wish I’d been on the Cape this winter.
  • FWS has revised its lynx ruling, expanding its critical habitat from the original 1,841 square miles (…that had already been designated) to 39,000. Now that’s science! Thanks, Julie Macdonald. What is the German word for something being more satisfying having gone through a stupid process before being done correctly?
  • TNC is taking a trip to Palmyra atoll, part of the new Marine Reserve designated by Bush. Follow along here.
  • This kind of conservation story warms my heart: “Rare bird coud save nudist beach.”
  • This fish with the translucent head looks like it was painted by Christian Reese Lassen (“The world’s greatest living marine fantasy painter of his generation” /Trapper Keeper) after eating too much seafood.

Posted by Tim on February 25th, 2009 • • Comments Off
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News Roundup

  • Sorry I missed it on the 12th, but Revkin wrote an elegant piece on Darwin and conservation.
  • Shifting baselines are a real problem.
  • The stimulus bill has lots of money for protected areas.
  • Erik Meijaard writes about what it’s like being a conservationist for TNC in Indonesia: “much of our time is spent in offices and meeting rooms.” One sentence in particular stands out: “…nature conservation has little to do with nature, but a lot to do with people.”
  • At least 235 species occur at both the north and south poles.
  • The editor of Conservation Letters looks back on its first year (and a succesful year it’s been!).
Posted by Tim on February 16th, 2009 • • Comments Off
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News Roundup

  • TNC, WCS and WWF have signed an agreement to collaborate on preserving the world’s largest in tact grassland — Mongolia’s Eastern Steppe. Although I’ve never been there, I have a great affection for this place. One of the many threats facing the grassland is the (legal!) exportation of Saker falcons to Middle Eastern sheikhs for falconing (falknering?). Welcome to the weird world of globalism.
  • Chris Darimont and collaborators at UBC have discovered the wolves in western Canada prefer salmon to deer when it’s in season.
  • Here’s a roundup of current news in the endangered species world from Plenty Magazine’s Extinction Blog. Did you know bottlenose dolphins near the British Isles kill other dolphins and porpoises in competition for food?
  • Revkin pushes back against the news that the Arctic is now an island.
Posted by Tim on September 3rd, 2008 • • Comments Off
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