The Pulitzer-winning author explains why he adapted his classic book “The Third Chimpanzee” for kids: because we need them to fix our mistakes.

Jared Diamond didn’t start out as the globe-romping author of massive, best-selling books about the precarious state of our civilization. Rather, after a Cambridge training in physiology, he at first embarked on a career in medical research. By the mid-1980s, he had become recognized as the world’s foremost expert on, of all things, the transport of sodium in the human gall bladder.

But then in 1987, something happened: His twin sons were born. “I concluded that gall bladders were not going to save the world,” remembers Diamond on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast. “I realized that the future of my sons was not going to depend upon the wills that my wife and I were drawing up for our sons, but on whether there was going to be a world worth living in in the year 2050.”…

GOOD NEWS:

First Endangered Whooping Crane Nest in Louisiana in 75 Years!

Two eggs sitting on a nest of marsh grass and sticks in a crawfish pond offer a hope in a project to bring back the endangered whooping crane to south Louisiana.

“Our fingers are crossed that next week we might have chicks hatching there,” said Sara Zimorski, a biologist with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

It’s been 75 years since a whooping crane egg was documented in the state, and the birds had disappeared from the Louisiana landscape by 1950, the victim of habitat loss and hunting…

(read more: Clarion-Ledger)

TSA Turtle Tuesday:  Sulawesi Forest Turtle 
 Little is known about the critically endangered Sulawesi Forest Turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi). The species occurs in a very remote region of Indonesia, in the forest of North and Central Sulawesi. 
When spotted in the wild, they can be found along heavily wooded banks and in shallow clear streams. It is believed that their natural diet consists of various insects, leaves and fallen fruit. Because this species is so close to extinction in the wild, the TSA has made the management of a sustainable captive population a top priority. 
Read more about our work with this amazing species…
 (Turtle Survival Alliance) 
photograph credit: Sheena Koeth

TSA Turtle Tuesday:  Sulawesi Forest Turtle

Little is known about the critically endangered Sulawesi Forest Turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi). The species occurs in a very remote region of Indonesia, in the forest of North and Central Sulawesi.

When spotted in the wild, they can be found along heavily wooded banks and in shallow clear streams. It is believed that their natural diet consists of various insects, leaves and fallen fruit. Because this species is so close to extinction in the wild, the TSA has made the management of a sustainable captive population a top priority.

Read more about our work with this amazing species…

(Turtle Survival Alliance)

photograph credit: Sheena Koeth

ichthyologist
laboratoryequipment:

Fish from Acidic Waters Less Able to SmellFish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor are less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.The study confirms laboratory experiments showing that the behavior of reef fishes can be seriously affected by increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean. The new study is the first to analyze the sensory impairment of fish from CO2 seeps, where pH is similar to what climate models forecast for surface waters by the turn of the century.Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fish-acidic-waters-less-able-smell

laboratoryequipment:

Fish from Acidic Waters Less Able to Smell

Fish living on coral reefs where carbon dioxide seeps from the ocean floor are less able to detect predator odor than fish from normal coral reefs, according to a new study.

The study confirms laboratory experiments showing that the behavior of reef fishes can be seriously affected by increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the ocean. The new study is the first to analyze the sensory impairment of fish from CO2 seeps, where pH is similar to what climate models forecast for surface waters by the turn of the century.

Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/04/fish-acidic-waters-less-able-smell

On March 22, the country’s collective focus was once again on the Gulf of Mexico as 168,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled into Galveston Bay.

At every level, the response in Galveston was swift—the damaged tanker was quickly sealed and towed away, authorities halted all traffic in and out of the Houston Ship Channel, and the nearby community of Texas City, Texas closed beachfront access to the public.

When tar balls were reported on the beaches of Mustang Island, roughly 200 miles southwest of the spill site near Corpus Christi, Texas, the United States Coast Guard quickly dispatched clean-up crews…

Trouble for Panthers in Florida

Attempts are being made in Florida to place a disposal well for oil and gas waste right next door to the only refuge for Florida’s last 100 panthers AND close to drinking water supplies. This kind of poorly regulated toxic dumping ground would pose a serious threat to both panthers and people.

More here: EPA should protect the endangered Florida panther, not oil and gas profits

* NRDC BioGems Defenders take collective action to protect wildlife and our last wild places. Join us by liking us at www.facebook.com/BioGemsDefenders

More bad news for bats :/
 White-nose syndrome (WNS), the deadly disease that has killed millions of bats since 2006, has spread to Michigan and Wisconsin. Bats are incredibly valuable, and the decimation of bat populations by WNS has far-reaching ecological consequences. Worldwide, bats play essential roles as pollinators, seed dispersers, and primary consumers of insects.  The USGS confirmed the new diagnoses. Learn more about WNS at http://on.doi.gov/1fEAFFG, and read today’s news at http://bit.ly/1hEs9Si.Photo: Nancy Heaslip, USGS
(via: U.S. Geological Survey)

More bad news for bats :/

White-nose syndrome (WNS), the deadly disease that has killed millions of bats since 2006, has spread to Michigan and Wisconsin.

Bats are incredibly valuable, and the decimation of bat populations by WNS has far-reaching ecological consequences. Worldwide, bats play essential roles as pollinators, seed dispersers, and primary consumers of insects.

The USGS confirmed the new diagnoses. Learn more about WNS at http://on.doi.gov/1fEAFFG, and read today’s news at http://bit.ly/1hEs9Si.

Photo: Nancy Heaslip, USGS

(via: U.S. Geological Survey)

State of Idaho plans to poison up to 4,000 Common Ravens. 
Justification: Ravens prey on the eggs of the imperiled Greater Sage-Grouse. Yet of 19 reasons for the grouse’s declining numbers, predation by other wildlife comes in at #12. Providing protected areas and requiring sustainable land management are the most important ways to conserve the grouse, not killing avian predators. 
Join petition by Golden Eagle Audubon Society: Sign the petition here.
(via: American Bird Conservancy)

State of Idaho plans to poison up to 4,000 Common Ravens.

Justification: Ravens prey on the eggs of the imperiled Greater Sage-Grouse. Yet of 19 reasons for the grouse’s declining numbers, predation by other wildlife comes in at #12. Providing protected areas and requiring sustainable land management are the most important ways to conserve the grouse, not killing avian predators.

Join petition by Golden Eagle Audubon Society:

Sign the petition here.

(via: American Bird Conservancy)

Help Give Bison Room to Roam… Safely
Right now as spring arrives, bison in Yellowstone National Park can be harassed, corralled and slaughtered when they wander out of park boundaries in search of food.
But a critical new plan would help bison by opening more than 400,000 acres of public lands outside of Yellowstone for the wild bison to roam freely—and after years of hard work, just one more approval is needed to provide bison more room to roam!
Help give Yellowstone bison more room to safely roam by editing and sending a message to the Montana Board of Livestock, telling them to agree to the expanded habitat plan…
(sign the petition: National Wildlife Federation)

Help Give Bison Room to Roam… Safely

Right now as spring arrives, bison in Yellowstone National Park can be harassed, corralled and slaughtered when they wander out of park boundaries in search of food.

But a critical new plan would help bison by opening more than 400,000 acres of public lands outside of Yellowstone for the wild bison to roam freely—and after years of hard work, just one more approval is needed to provide bison more room to roam!

Help give Yellowstone bison more room to safely roam by editing and sending a message to the Montana Board of Livestock, telling them to agree to the expanded habitat plan…

(sign the petition: National Wildlife Federation)

ABC Bird of the Week:  Streamer-tailed Tyrant
This large flycatcher is a resident of wet South American grasslands and is named for its long, deeply forked tail, which plays a role in courtship. A pair will perch facing each other, bobbing up and down and fanning their tails while calling continuously.
The Streamer-tailed Tyrant can be found at the Barba Azul Reserve in Bolivia, created by ABC and Asociación Armonia in 2008 to protect unique Beni savanna habitat and the critically endangered Blue-throated Macaw. Other unique and threatened species that can be found at Barba Azul include the Cock-tailed Tyrant, Orinoco Goose, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, which stops here during migration.
The Bolivian population of the species found in Barba Azul is isolated by over 400 miles of Beni savannas from populations in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Further study may reveal that it has evolved into a distinct species…
(read more: American Bird Conservancy)
photo: Gary Kinard

ABC Bird of the Week:  Streamer-tailed Tyrant

This large flycatcher is a resident of wet South American grasslands and is named for its long, deeply forked tail, which plays a role in courtship. A pair will perch facing each other, bobbing up and down and fanning their tails while calling continuously.

The Streamer-tailed Tyrant can be found at the Barba Azul Reserve in Bolivia, created by ABC and Asociación Armonia in 2008 to protect unique Beni savanna habitat and the critically endangered Blue-throated Macaw. Other unique and threatened species that can be found at Barba Azul include the Cock-tailed Tyrant, Orinoco Goose, and Buff-breasted Sandpiper, which stops here during migration.

The Bolivian population of the species found in Barba Azul is isolated by over 400 miles of Beni savannas from populations in Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Further study may reveal that it has evolved into a distinct species…

(read more: American Bird Conservancy)

photo: Gary Kinard

Photo of a plastic bag floating in the sea.
 
Before Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, sea trash was not a global headliner.

But as hundreds of objects sighted off the Australian coast as possible aircraft debris turn out to be discarded fishing equipment, cargo container parts, or plastic shopping bags, a new narrative is emerging in the hunt for the missing plane: There’s more garbage out there than you think. Most of it is plastic. And marine life ingests it, with catastrophic consequences…

Saving the Sage Grouse
There once were millions of sage-grouse across the West; now there are a couple hundred thousand. The National Wildlife Refuge System http://www.fws.gov/refuges/ is working with private landowners and conservation partners to save the species http://1.usa.gov/1ileP7B.
Photo: A female sage-grouse in flight. Credit: Gary Weddle / Sage Grouse Initiative
(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

Saving the Sage Grouse

There once were millions of sage-grouse across the West; now there are a couple hundred thousand. The National Wildlife Refuge System http://www.fws.gov/refuges/ is working with private landowners and conservation partners to save the species http://1.usa.gov/1ileP7B.

Photo: A female sage-grouse in flight. Credit: Gary Weddle / Sage Grouse Initiative

(via: USFWS National Wildlife Refuge System)

Canada’s government has broken every climate promise on the book 
… and now they want to roll out a massive network of tar sands pipelines, starting with Keystone XL. This great op-ed ran in the NY Times this week calling out their failures — it’s worth reading in full, and sharing to call out their disastrous policy…New York Times:  Is CanadaTarring Itself?
(via: 350.org on Facebook)

Canada’s government has broken every climate promise on the book

… and now they want to roll out a massive network of tar sands pipelines, starting with Keystone XL. This great op-ed ran in the NY Times this week calling out their failures — it’s worth reading in full, and sharing to call out their disastrous policy…

New York Times:  Is CanadaTarring Itself?

(via: 350.org on Facebook)