- About 50 new species described in PNG. (Photos).
- From all reports, Madagascar’s environment is seriously falling victim to the political upheaval. Now, groups doing conservation work in the region have offered an SOS. Frankly, it seems kind of tone deaf to me.
- Try to think of a company that uses an animal as its logo. They might want to consider making sure that animal doesn’t go extinct, yeah? Save your logo!
- Nice story on harbor seals returning to New York harbor.
- Somebody’s suggesting Australia release killer ants to reduce the cane toad problem. I’m sure that will end well.
- Despite some stupid political maneuvering, the Wilderness Lands bill was finally signed yesterday.
- The new president of Madagascar has scrapped that sweet land deal given to Daewoo last year (99-year lease, no rent though with infrastructure paid for by the company). Meanwhile, a bunch of parks appear to be “under attack” (or, heavily logged) during this period of unrest. Obviously, Consblog’s thoughts are with both the people and biodiversity of Madagascar.
- Four new species (a mouse, a plant and two beetles) have been described in Peru.
- Check out this awesome piece of propaganda from the Soviet past: planting trees with communist slogans! “Yet, by using trees which would take decades to mature in order to write messages that could only be read from the sky, the foresters who planted these messages were clearly thinking of a glorious jet- and space-age future, when their comrades would read their messages from Intourist space station hotels…Instead, we read these slogans thanks to a capitalist internet company based in California. The medium has outlived the messages.”
- This is an excellent article from the NY Times on the trade-offs between environmentalists who want to install solar panels in the desert and environmentalists who want to preserve the “wilderness.” There is an obvious solution: more nuclear!
- A big wilderness bill has passed the Senate, and will in all likelihood pass the House. It’ll create 2 million acres of wilderness — that sounds amazing, but much of the area was already in core National Park areas, so not much of a change. Still, fantastic. More on it from California and Oregon.
- It appears that forest re-generation might make the whole rainforest disappearing thing not as bad as it once seemed. Unfortunately, the species adapted to second-growth forest are generally the ones not threatened with extinction.
- When you introduce cats and rabbits to an island that had no cats or rabbits, what do you think happens when you remove the cats? If you answered “rabbit chaos,” you should probably seek a high-level position in wildlife management, because evidently some people aren’t as clever as you.
- Rejoice! The Hispaniolan solenedon has been re-discovered! If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a very weird creature — one of only two mammals (the other being its Cuban cousin) that injects venom through grooves in its teeth. And it’s been around since the dinosaurs. Footage here (not of the dinosaurs, sadly).
- To end on a sad note, a ranger in Virunga has been killed by the Mai Mai militia. If you’re so inclined, you can donate money here — money goes directly to rangers and their families.
- A coalition of 29 environmental groups have released a 391-page policy document for the incoming administration, focusing on green jobs and clean energy and highlighting the need for science-based policy and transparency, but covering a wide range of topics. You can read it here (pdf). NRDC, one of the co-signers of the document, has some of their folks blogging about various aspects of the proposals.
- FWS has decided that the Northern Mexican Garter Snake should be listed as endangered, but it doesn’t have the funds to do so. Plenty and ESA Blawg consider that fact.
- In honor of Thanksgiving, the NY Times offers a charming editorial on wild foods. “We have a great deal to learn from Twain’s instinctive premise: that losing a wild food means losing part of the landscape of our lives.”
- The Vigorous North, one of my new favorites, shares some links on inner-city wilderness areas, including a proposal to turn Fresh Kills from a dump into a preserve. (Preserve of nature, not trash. Well, the trash is still there. &c.)
- An update on what the American Bison Society’s been up to, including a public survey that shows that Americans care about bison but don’t realize that there are only a few thousand “pure” bison left in the wild.
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