How will North American birds survive in the face of climate change? 
“When we think of climate change, we automatically think warmer temperatures,” says one Oregon State University scientist studying the issue. 
"But our analysis found that for many species, it is precipitation that most affects the long-term survival of many bird species."Photo: A female broad-tailed hummingbird visits larkspur flowers. Credit: David W. Inouye, University of Maryland

How will North American birds survive in the face of climate change?

“When we think of climate change, we automatically think warmer temperatures,” says one Oregon State University scientist studying the issue.

"But our analysis found that for many species, it is precipitation that most affects the long-term survival of many bird species."

Photo: A female broad-tailed hummingbird visits larkspur flowers. Credit: David W. Inouye, University of Maryland

'Our Birds': Migratory Journeys Converge In Baltimore Gardens

Central American immigrants in Baltimore, MD are helping migratory song birds that make the seasonal journey from their old home countries to the city they now call home.

by Ricardo Sandoval-Palos and Lauren Migaki

A couple of times a month, a group of migrant women and their children gather to plant shrubs and flowers in Baltimore’s expansive Patterson Park.

The gardens feed and shelter migratory birds as part of the Patterson Park Audubon Center’s Bird Ambassadors program.

Neotropical birds like the black-throated blue warbler and the Baltimore oriole migrate from the East Coast down to places like Mexico and Central America for the winter, says Susie Creamer, director of urban education and conservation at the center…

(read more and listen: NPR.org)

photos by Susie Creamer/Patterson Park Audubon Center & USFWS-NE Region

Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars

Study shows red meat dwarfs others for environmental impact, using 28 times more land and 11 times water for pork or chicken

by Damian Carrington

Beef’s environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.

The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases…

(read more: The Guardian UK)

photos: Shutterstock and Alamy

This giant duck could provide solar and hydro power to Copenhagen

by Gabriella Munoz

Once built, this floating sculpture covered with solar cells will produce clean energy for Denmark’s capital city.

Inspired by Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck sculpture, which graced Australian waters back in 2013, a team of UK designers have developed Energy Duck, an energy generator.

Hundreds of photovoltaic panels will cover this 12-storey high floating solar farm, which also has hydro turbines to produce energy at night. According to Matt Hickman at Mother Nature Network, Energy Duck is also a reminder of “how climate change has adversely impacted the breeding habitats of the common elder duck, a large sea duck found in the northern coasts of Europe and North America.”…

(read more: Science Alert)

images: Land Art Generator Initiative

Cleveland Metropark Zoo Working to Help Threatened Spotted Turtles
by Jean Bonechak
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and a Northeast Ohio park district are working in tandem to ensure the limited spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population in Ohio doesn’t disappear.
The reptile is on the state’s threatened species list and without intervention might become endangered.
“If we don’t do something about it they may disappear in 10 years,” said Paul Pira, a Geauga Park District biologist.
Though not threatened in other areas of the U.S., the prevalence of spotted turtles in the northeastern states and Canada is extremely limited.
The species, which is naturally slow to mature and reproduce, also is the victim of predators, especially raccoons. A loss of its preferred wetlands habitat coupled with an illegal pet trade adds to the creatures’ scarcity…
(read more: Morning Journal)

Cleveland Metropark Zoo Working to Help Threatened Spotted Turtles

by Jean Bonechak

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and a Northeast Ohio park district are working in tandem to ensure the limited spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population in Ohio doesn’t disappear.

The reptile is on the state’s threatened species list and without intervention might become endangered.

“If we don’t do something about it they may disappear in 10 years,” said Paul Pira, a Geauga Park District biologist.

Though not threatened in other areas of the U.S., the prevalence of spotted turtles in the northeastern states and Canada is extremely limited.

The species, which is naturally slow to mature and reproduce, also is the victim of predators, especially raccoons. A loss of its preferred wetlands habitat coupled with an illegal pet trade adds to the creatures’ scarcity…

(read more: Morning Journal)

mypubliclands
mypubliclands:

americasgreatoutdoors:

The Snake River Corridor - Idaho
Gliding through mountains, canyons, meadows, and the vast farmlands of the Snake River plains, lined with commanding cottonwood galleries and a lush shrub understory, the Snake River Corridor is truly a beautiful and unique destination. The area offers diverse recreational opportunities with over 300,000 visits per year and sustains a broad variety of plant, fish, bird and wildlife populations.
It is also home to the federally threatened Ute ladies’ tresses orchid and is a world-famous blue ribbon fishery, supporting the largest wild Yellowstone cutthroat trout population outside of Yellowstone National Park. The first World Fly Fishing Championship in North America was even hosted here in 1997. Thanks in part to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) this area will continue to be preserved and enjoyed.  Photo copyright: Leland Howard

Great photo of BLM-managed lands in Idaho, supported by the Land and Water Conservation Fund!
Check out "This Week at Interior, July 11, 2014" that highlights ways in which the LWCF supports outdoor recreation, local conservation, historic places and clean water projects across the country.
The video includes great footage of BLM Director Kornze and partners biking at Oregon’s Sandy Ridge Trails, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the LWCF Act.  See photos from the event on BLM Oregon’s Flickr Site. #SeeBLM #SeeOregon #BLMproud

mypubliclands:

americasgreatoutdoors:

The Snake River Corridor - Idaho

Gliding through mountains, canyons, meadows, and the vast farmlands of the Snake River plains, lined with commanding cottonwood galleries and a lush shrub understory, the Snake River Corridor is truly a beautiful and unique destination. The area offers diverse recreational opportunities with over 300,000 visits per year and sustains a broad variety of plant, fish, bird and wildlife populations.

It is also home to the federally threatened Ute ladies’ tresses orchid and is a world-famous blue ribbon fishery, supporting the largest wild Yellowstone cutthroat trout population outside of Yellowstone National Park. The first World Fly Fishing Championship in North America was even hosted here in 1997. Thanks in part to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) this area will continue to be preserved and enjoyed.  

Photo copyright: Leland Howard

Great photo of BLM-managed lands in Idaho, supported by the Land and Water Conservation Fund!

Check out "This Week at Interior, July 11, 2014" that highlights ways in which the LWCF supports outdoor recreation, local conservation, historic places and clean water projects across the country.

The video includes great footage of BLM Director Kornze and partners biking at Oregon’s Sandy Ridge Trails, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the LWCF Act.  See photos from the event on BLM Oregon’s Flickr Site. #SeeBLM #SeeOregon #BLMproud

ABC Bird of the Week: Inca Tern
This striking bird occupies part of the same habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire in South America. Inca Terns are best known by their dashing white mustaches, which are found on both male and female birds.
The species is found only near the cold waters of the Humboldt Current, where the birds feed on anchovies and other small fish. Like Least Terns, Inca Terns feed by plunge diving and surface dipping. The birds also scavenge scraps from sea lions, dolphins, and fishing boats. Declining fish stocks are one of the reasons for this species’ population decline.
It’s a gregarious species, nesting in colonies of several thousand birds. This recording from Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge outside of Lima, Peru, gives an idea of what these colonies are like…
(read more: American Bird Conservancy)
photo by Greg Homel

ABC Bird of the Week: Inca Tern

This striking bird occupies part of the same habitat ruled by the ancient Inca Empire in South America. Inca Terns are best known by their dashing white mustaches, which are found on both male and female birds.

The species is found only near the cold waters of the Humboldt Current, where the birds feed on anchovies and other small fish. Like Least Terns, Inca Terns feed by plunge diving and surface dipping. The birds also scavenge scraps from sea lions, dolphins, and fishing boats. Declining fish stocks are one of the reasons for this species’ population decline.

It’s a gregarious species, nesting in colonies of several thousand birds. This recording from Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge outside of Lima, Peru, gives an idea of what these colonies are like…

(read more: American Bird Conservancy)

photo by Greg Homel

likeafieldmouse

likeafieldmouse:

Joshua Dudley Greer - Point Pleasant (2009-12)

Artist’s statement:

"The West Virginia Ordnance Works (WVOW) was an explosives manufacturing facility constructed during World War II just outside Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Occupying 8,000 acres along the eastern bank of the Ohio River, the WVOW was built specifically for the production and storage of trinitrotoluene (TNT).

At its peak, nearly 500,000 pounds of TNT were produced here each day and stored in a massive array of concrete igloos. The site was officially declared surplus and closed in 1945, after which time much of the land was deeded to the state of West Virginia for the creation of the McClintic State Wildlife Management Area.

A large system of ponds and wetlands was constructed as a habitat for waterfowl, migratory birds and other wildlife species. This area came to be known simply as T.N.T. and developed into a popular hangout for local youth, hunters and fishermen.

In the early 1980’s, EPA and state investigations revealed that the groundwater, soil and surface water of T.N.T. were heavily contaminated with explosive nitroaromatic compounds including TNT, trinitrobenzene, and dinitrotoluene, as well as arsenic, lead, beryllium and asbestos.

The site was placed on the EPA’s National Priority List in 1983 and extensive cleanup efforts began in 1991. While a large portion of the original facility has been remediated, many of the toxic and explosive contaminants were simply buried on site. The remnants of the WVOW facility survive as relics to our nation’s violent history, while the re-purposed landscape hides much of its true nature just beneath the surface.

The site that remains outside Point Pleasant is a haunting place of beauty, mystery and violence.

Using an 8x10 view camera, I am photographing the ruins of a once monumental military-industrial complex as it tangles with the surrounding landscape of forest, fields and swamp. While certain structures offer a glimpse of what has transpired on this site, many of my photographs refer indirectly to violence and environmental neglect through metaphor. The repetition of specific imagery is intended to create a labyrinth of sorts where certain motifs are experienced over and over. The interplay of visibility and invisibility that runs throughout these images alludes to the way in which we commonly misperceive both contamination and beauty through strictly visual means.”

1. Path S7 (Entrance)

2. TNT Storage Igloo N1-B

3. TNT Storage Igloos in Pond

4. Dead Deer

5.Buried Asbestos and Explosives Contamination

6. Interior, TNT Storage Igloo S4-A

7. Nests

8. Interior, TNT Storage Igloo S1-A

9. Mandible

10. Bullets

New Mama: First Utah condor chick at Zion National Park
by Brett Prettyman
The birth announcement is official — biologists from federal and state agencies, as well as a nonprofit group, have finally confirmed that a pair of California condors nesting in Zion National Park have produced a chick.
"This is the first documented occurrence of California condors raising a chick in Utah," Eddie Feltes, condor project manager with The Peregrine Fund, said in a release. "This is great news.This pair of condors — and their newly-hatched chick — could be a major step toward California condors re-establishing themselves in southern Utah." …
(read more: The Salt Lake Tribune)

New Mama: First Utah condor chick at Zion National Park

by Brett Prettyman

The birth announcement is official — biologists from federal and state agencies, as well as a nonprofit group, have finally confirmed that a pair of California condors nesting in Zion National Park have produced a chick.

"This is the first documented occurrence of California condors raising a chick in Utah," Eddie Feltes, condor project manager with The Peregrine Fund, said in a release. "This is great news.This pair of condors — and their newly-hatched chick — could be a major step toward California condors re-establishing themselves in southern Utah." …

(read more: The Salt Lake Tribune)

With so many threats to the 250-300 wolverines in the lower 48 states, we must protect them under the ESA.

If you’ve been keeping up with one of the world’s toughest animals, the wolverine, you may know that a big decision is coming their way. In early August, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will determine whether or not imperiled wolverines in the lower-48 will be listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as “threatened.”

The Service previously found that the wolverine warranted ESA protection in 2010 and proposed to list this species as threatened in February of 2013. However, according to a memo that was leaked to the press last week, the Service’s Regional Director based in Denver has now overruled and rejected the Service’s own Field Office’s recommendation to list wolverines as threatened…

Those imperiled indigo snakes and bonneted bats are really just looking for fast food and cheap junk from China.

Walmart is all about convenience, which is probably why the company is building its new Miami-Dade store on 125 acres of Florida’s dwindling pine rockland: There are currently about 2,900 acres of pine rockland left outside of the Everglades, and Walmart’s new store will make choosing a home about 5 percent easier for the many imperiled species that live only in these shrinking forests…

Endangered bats find haven at Coral Gables golf course

by Jenny Staletovich

Giselle Hosein peers into the dark sky above a manicured fairway on the Coral Gables Granada Golf Course, trying hard to see what she can so far only hear: an elusive Florida bonneted bat, among the rarest in the world.

“It took me three or four months before I was actually able to see one,” she said…

(read more: Miami Herald)

Common Frog larvae have developed rapid defenses against red swamp crayfish
Source: Plataforma SINC
The common frog (Pelophylax perezi) is one of the amphibians with the highest distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. It reproduces preferably in permanent areas of water where it comes into contact with the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which preys on its larvae. Research confirms that the larvae of these frogs have developed a defensive response to the invasive species…
(read more: Science Daily)
photo: Ángel Ruiz Elizalde

Common Frog larvae have developed rapid defenses against red swamp crayfish

Source: Plataforma SINC

The common frog (Pelophylax perezi) is one of the amphibians with the highest distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. It reproduces preferably in permanent areas of water where it comes into contact with the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which preys on its larvae. Research confirms that the larvae of these frogs have developed a defensive response to the invasive species…

(read more: Science Daily)

photo: Ángel Ruiz Elizalde