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Ecosystems

What Price Nature? Bogs $6,000, Reefs $10,000
May 15, 2006 12:00 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

The figures read like a real estate agent's listings: 2.5 acres of marsh in Canada, $6,000 per year; a tropical forest in Cameroon, $3,500; a Caribbean coral reef, $10,000.

Amid Extinctions, Parrots, Panthers Get Costly Aid
May 12, 2006 12:00 AM - Alister Doyle, Reuters

Australia's orange-bellied parrot and the Florida panther are in an exclusive but growing club -- rare species getting costly protection even as the world faces what may be the worst wave of extinctions since the dinosaurs.

House Committee Signals Support for Ending Offshore Gas Drilling Ban
May 11, 2006 12:00 AM - H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press

A House panel voiced approval Wednesday for developing natural gas in restricted areas of coastal waters, voting to remove from an Interior Department bill a long-standing moratorium on drilling on most of the country's Outer Continental Shelf.

China Ponders Price of Progress at Spectacular Gorge
May 11, 2006 12:00 AM - Alan Wheatley, Reuters

Environmentalists fear that China's hunger for hydropower to feed its booming economy could spell the end of one of the world's deepest river gorges and scar some of the country's most spectacular scenery.

Four Mid-Atlantic Power Plants Agree to Air Pollution Cuts
May 9, 2006 12:00 AM - John Heilprin, Associated Press

Mirant Corp. will spend more than $130 million on new pollution controls at four power plants in Maryland and Virginia under an agreement reached Monday between the company and state and federal governments.

After Decades of Fear and Hostility, Are We Loving Orcas to Death?
May 9, 2006 12:00 AM - Peggy Andersen, Associated Press

Orcas, actually a kind of dolphin found in all the world's oceans, are prime examples of what researchers call "charismatic megafauna," big critters with a passionate human following. But the species' San Juan population has paid a price for some forms of that adoration.

Crews Fight off Invasion of Nonnative Plants in U.S. Virgin Islands
May 9, 2006 12:00 AM - Mat Probasco, Associated Press

Crews armed with machetes and chainsaws hack through walls of thorny sweet lime plants in this U.S. Caribbean territory, avoiding turpentine trees and guava berries in a bid to remove invasive plants threatening to wipe out the native species.

Hawaiian Waters Grow Crowded With Whales
May 8, 2006 12:00 AM - Alexandre Da Silva, Associated Press

Greg Kaufman says his whale-watching boat was doing everything by the book: cruising below 13 knots and staying 100 yards from any visible humpback as a crew member scanned the ocean atop a lookout.

Wild Banana Species in India Vanishing
May 8, 2006 12:00 AM - Associated Press

Wild banana species are disappearing in India, the world's biggest producer of the fruit, due to shrinking forests and rapid urbanization, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization has said.

U.S. to Protect Two Coral Species as Caribbean Warms
May 5, 2006 12:00 AM - Timothy Gardner, Reuters

The U.S. government said Thursday it would list two coral species as "threatened" under federal species protection laws after damage to them increased last year as the Caribbean warmed to record levels.

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