Hybrid Salamanders Thrive, Contradicting Expectations
September 26, 2007 02:14 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN
Davis, California - A new UC Davis study not only has important findings for the future of California tiger salamanders, but also contradicts prevailing
scientific thought about what happens when animal species interbreed. The salamander experts studied the survival rates and genetic makeup of three types of salamanders: native California tiger salamanders (Ambystoma californiense), which are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act; barred tiger salamanders that were introduced in California from Texas in the 1950s (Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium);and the hybrid offspring born when the two species mated.
Study: Loss Of Genetic Diversity Threatens Species Diversity
September 26, 2007 01:11 PM -
Davis, California - Human activities are eliminating biological diversity at an unprecedented rate. Critical when you consider that variation in plants and animals gives us a rich and robust assemblage of foods, medicines, industrial materials and recreation activities. A new study shows this is bad news for all species.
Lead researcher Dr. Richard Lankau says, "This is one of the first studies to show that genetic diversity and species diversity depend on each other," Lankau said.
New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu erupts
September 26, 2007 08:43 AM - Reuters
New Zealand's Mount Ruapehu, famed as a key location in the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy, has erupted, spewing out ash and rock that injured one climber, officials said, adding there could be further eruptions.
The 10-minute eruption started at about 8.20 p.m. on Tuesday (4:20 a.m. EDT) and threw boulders 1-2 meters in diameter up to two kilometers from the crater, crown agency Geological and Nuclear Sciences said.
Indonesia urges incentives for forest conservation
September 26, 2007 08:40 AM - Reuters
Indonesia, host of a major climate change conference in December, called on rich countries on Tuesday to compensate poor states which preserve their rainforests to soak up greenhouse gases.
"Countries that seek to enhance their carbon sinks -- through forestation, afforestation, avoided deforestation -- should be given incentive and rewarded fairly for doing so," President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the U.N. General Assembly.
Australia gives more money to drought-hit farmers
September 25, 2007 07:39 AM - Reuters
The Australian government on Tuesday announced an extra A$714 million ($621 million) to help farmers survive a record-breaking drought.
About 65 percent of Australia's viable agricultural land is currently in drought, with 23,000 farming families on some form of drought relief payments.
European fishing pirates hit Pacific: Greenpeace
September 25, 2007 07:33 AM - Rob Taylor -Reuters
Illegal fishing vessels linked to large European fishing firms have begun plundering endangered ocean stocks in the Western and Central Pacific, environment watchdog Greenpeace said on Tuesday.
Surveillance of fishing fleets near the tiny Pacific nations of Kiribati and the Cook Islands showed European owned or operated vessels had expanded their range from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans -- mainly in search of tuna.
China discovers "new" glaciers on roof of world
September 25, 2007 07:31 AM - Reuters
China has discovered 42 glaciers on the roof of the world, the Qinghai-Tibet plateau where ice is shrinking due to global warming, and the group could be the biggest of them all, state media said on Tuesday.
Gore urges U.N. to "overcome paralysis" on climate
September 24, 2007 08:05 PM - Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore bluntly told a U.N. conference on Monday that the planet would be better off if people cared more about global warming and less about O.J. Simpson and Paris Hilton.
Gore, the star of the Oscar-winning film "An Inconvenient Truth," joined the head of the United Nations and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to speak with one voice to urge quick global action to stem emissions that heat the Earth.
But it was Gore, who has become a guru for environmentalists, who stole the show as the United Nations turned its attention to the global ramifications of climate change and the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
Young Nepal Conservation Heroes Awarded Scholarships By World Wildlife Fund
September 24, 2007 05:15 PM -
KATHMANDU, Nepal - World Wildlife Fund has awarded scholarships to four promising Nepalese conservation students in memory of the 24 people who perished in last year's Himalayan helicopter tragedy.
The scholarships are designed to encourage promising Nepalese students to pursue careers in conservation, recognizing the tremendous loss of leadership in last year's accident. Some of Nepal's -- and the world's -- finest conservation leaders were lost when the helicopter went down in the mountains surrounding Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain. The leaders had been celebrating the handover of Kangchenjunga's conservation areas to the local community.
Cyclone Possible In Gulf, Atlantic Depression Forms
September 24, 2007 03:41 PM - Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A tropical cyclone could form in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, while a couple of tropical depressions could form in the Atlantic over the next day or two, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Monday.
The NHC will name the next three tropical storms Karen, Lorenzo and Melissa. A tropical storm has winds of 39 to 73 mph.
In the Gulf of Mexico, three out of four weather models predict the system will steer clear of the U.S. oil and gas producing and refining facilities in the northern Gulf and make landfall in central Mexico in a few days.