Ecosystems

Protecting China’s National Treasure
September 6, 2005 12:00 AM - Claire Doole, WWF International

It is hard to take your eyes off China’s national icon as it happily munches on a bamboo shoot, apparently oblivious to the shrieks of delight from a party of schoolchildren. Unfortunately, this is not that rare moment of spotting an endangered species in the wild, but one shared with the 600 or so visitors who come each day to the panda breeding centre in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province.

Florida Conducting Coral Reef Study
September 6, 2005 12:00 AM - Coralie Carlson, Associated Press

Hovering above a coral reef, two divers in wet suits examine and measure the dozens of coral beneath them, recording their findings on clipboards and waterproof paper. The pair is conducting a new, state-funded study to analyze the health of the coral reef off Florida's coast that scientists hope will change the way reefs are cared for worldwide.

Conservationists Warn Great Apes Face Extinction
September 6, 2005 12:00 AM - David Lewis, Reuters

Poaching, logging and disease will soon wipe out the last of the world's great apes unless new strategies are devised to save humankind's closest relatives, conservationists said on Monday.

Post-Katrina, Gulf Barrier Islands More Vulnerable
September 6, 2005 12:00 AM - Cain Burdeau, Associated Press

Hurricane Katrina swamped barrier islands along the Gulf Coast, further gnawing away at the dunes and beaches that act as hurricane speed bumps and leaving the coastal area even more vulnerable to big storms.

Navajos Receive Award for Banning Uranium Mining
September 6, 2005 12:00 AM - Brenda Norrell, Indian Country Today

The Karl Souder Water Protection Award of the New Mexico Environmental Law Center was awarded to three Navajos, including a youth and a tribal councilman, for their role in banning uranium mining on the Navajo Nation.

Endangered Plants Focus of New Study
September 5, 2005 12:00 AM - Betsy Taylor, Associated Press

Species conservation doesn't just apply to faraway rain forests or endangered whales. A network of botanical institutions is launching an unprecendented study of endangered native U.S. plants to determine their potential for recovery -- and in hopes of preventing their disappearance.

Irish Coral Reefs Bulldozed by Deep-Sea Trawlers
September 5, 2005 12:00 AM - Patricia Reaney, Reuters

Deep-sea fishing trawlers are bulldozing 4,500 year-old cold water coral reefs off western Ireland, a British marine biologist said on Monday. Dr Jason Hall-Spencer, of the University of Plymouth in southern England, estimated that about 40 percent of the coral reefs had been destroyed.

Iran Seeks to Save Rare Cheetahs
September 5, 2005 12:00 AM - Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press

Two groups of rare Asiatic cheetahs were spotted in central Iran during recent months, raising hopes that one of the world's fastest moving creatures could be saved from extinction, a conservation official said Saturday.

Lava Bench Collapses in Hawaii
September 2, 2005 12:00 AM - Associated Press

Fresh molten rock from Kilauea Volcano is flowing into an area where a 12-acre bench of hardened lava crashed into the ocean last weekend. "It's already rebuilding, but a lot goes below sea level," said Christina Heliker, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Ebola Virus Threatens Gorillas, Chimps
September 2, 2005 12:00 AM - Todd Pitman, Associated Press

Conservationists say the dreaded Ebola virus along with decades of hunting and logging are putting some ape species on the brink of extinction in Central Africa. Most at risk are western lowland gorillas and the Central African chimpanzee, both of which live in the dense rain forests of Central Africa, Conservation International said in a statement.

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