Author Archive

The Eastern Cougar is Now Extinct

U.S. officials said the eastern cougar is now extinct. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made this announcement on Wednesday. The cougar prowled around in 21 states and for many years its existence had been questioned. Researchers found that the eastern cougar which was on the protected species list since 1973 may have been extinct since the 1930s.

Researchers did not find evidence of the cougars existence.  Now members of FWS are working to remove the eastern cougar from the protected species list, since extinct animals are not eligible for protection by the U.S. Endangered Animals Act.  This move will not affect other animals on the list.

Another animal part of the cougar family is the Florida panther, which is not extinct but is in endangered status.  The MSNBC article explains the eastern cougar’s extinction.

In an article, Julia Whitty describes how we presently live in the sixth great extinction also known as the Holocene event and what that fate holds for our lives.  Whitty says that in different ways we all depend on the fragile membrane of organisms that are disappearing.

Biodiversity includes an area’s genes, species, and ecosystems.  The more biodiversity around us the tougher the earth’s immune system is.

Whitty describes animals and other life forms as the “body” of the desert, each species represents a different body part that functions to keep the whole body living.  She says that the loss of even one species changes that body of desert.

This clearly shows that we all are connected to each other and that conservation efforts as well as endangered animal protection does affect our lives.

Below is a video the organization Big Cat Rescue and some of the cougars they have in captivity.  Big Cat Rescue’s mission statement:

To provide the best home we can for the animals in our care and to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of  abuse,  abandonment or extinction by teaching people about the plight of the cats, both in the wild and in captivity, and how they can help through their behavior and support of better laws to protect the cats.

 

 

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World’s Coral Reefs in Need of Protection

A story on NPR reports on a survey that found coral reefs around the world are suffering in great part due to human interference.  Local threats to corals include overfishing and pollution.  Meanwhile global threats such as greenhouse gases are causing heat stress to corals.

The World of Resources Institute has found that overfishing and the destructive fishing practices are threatening reefs.  Lauretta Burke a senior author of the new report Reefs at Risk Revisited says that currently 75 percent of reefs are threatened by a combination of local and global threats.

By 2030 that percentage will rise to 90 twenty years after that virtually all reefs will be threatened Burke said.  Burke found that poisons to stun and capture fish as well as the use of explosives to kill fish are destructive manners of fishing that hurt reefs.

Among many findings the Reefs at Risk Revisited report released that more than 275 million people worldwide live in direct vicinity of coral reefs.  At least 94 countries benefit from tourism related to reefs.  Certain reefs harbor potential for disease prevention, treatments for cancer, HIV and malaria.

There are potential solutions such as creations of marine protected areas.  Marine protection must occur at all levels, at small ones, local ones in the developing world said Nancy Knowlton of the Smithsonian Institution’s Marine Biology Research Institution.

Knowlton says corals are the most endangered animal on the planet.  She says that due to greenhouse gases pouring into the atmosphere one-third of all coral species are at risk of extinction.

Jane Lubchenco of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it will take a Herculean effort to reverse the current trajectory and leave healthy ocean ecosystems to our children and our grandchildren.

I found another article from the BBC website on coral reef risk and WRI report.

 

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Extreme climate change may be caused by global warming

Two studies found that man-made global warming may be behind cases of extreme rainstorms and snowfalls.  The studies provide proof against the claim of the climate change as a “victimless crime.”

Miles Allen of the University of Oxford, co-author of one of the studies said, “Extreme weather is what actually hurts people.”

The World Health Organization found that over the past 60 years flooding has killed more than 2.3 million people.

The studies were done in computer simulations.  For the first time researchers found they were able to pin point the “fingerprints of human-caused climate change.”

Climate scientist Jerry North of Texas A&M University praised the work but is concerned the studies are making a connection between extreme climate change and global warming based on data that is not the best in some locations.

Other climate experts reviewed the studies for the Associated Press said the research was sound and strong.

An interactive map explains the greenhouse effect.

 

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El Medio Ambiente

Obama propone nuevas reglas para proteger a los bosques nacionales.  En todo el país se encuentran 193 millones de acres de los bosques, California tiene 20 milliones de ellos.
Bajo estas reglas el gobierno podra vigilar lo que pasa con los bosques.  Según el secretario de agricultura lo que propone Obama “es encontrar un equilibro para promover la diversidad ecológica y proteger la vida silvestre.”
California tiene 18 bosques nacionales, así que pienso que nos podría afectar porque vivimos mejor si el medio ambiente es protegido.
Aqui esta el articulo de Los Angeles Times

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