Ecosystems

Gutsy Equador Proposes A Lid On Oil
September 27, 2007 04:07 PM - Bruce Mulliken, Private Landowner Network

Little countries can find the strength to do big things that big countries fear to do.

For the good of itself, for the good of the planet, the South American country of Ecuador has proposed to keep the lid on nearly one billion barrels of oil under its Yasuni National Park.

Despite the fact that Ecuador depends on one-third of its budget from oil exports, there will be no oil extraction, no oil exploration from the ITT oil field under Yasuni. Under the YasunÌ-ITT Initiative the country will forgo the stream of revenues the oil would provide. Ecuador will be the first country in the world to deliberately leave significant oil reserves underground - and those revenues - for the betterment of the planet while seeking to build a sustainable green economy.

Canada finds bird flu strain in Saskatchewan
September 27, 2007 01:55 PM -

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Canadian veterinary officials said on Thursday they have found the H7N3 strain of avian influenza on a Saskatchewan chicken farm, but noted the case was not the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain seen elsewhere.

 

New Greek forests will need 20 years after fires
September 27, 2007 10:34 AM -

ATHENS (Reuters) - New forests in areas of Greece scorched by fires earlier this year will need at least two decades to grow back, environmental group WWF said on Thursday.

The fires, which killed 65 people, raged across mainly southern Greece in August and torched about 180,000 hectares of land on the Peloponnese peninsula alone, more than half being forests and protected nature reserves.

"We will have low vegetation in the beginning, but we won't have a forest before the end of a 20-year period and our generation will never see fir forests in these areas again," said Panagiota Maragou, who drafted a WWF report on the damage.

Hardy Amazon 'Greens InTimes Of Drought
September 27, 2007 09:11 AM - Cássio Quiterio, SciDevNet

SAO PAULO - Forests in the Amazon are much more resilient to drought that previously thought, researchers have found.  A study published in Science last week (21 September) suggests that forests showed increased — not decreased - levels of photosynthesis in response to a drought.  Researchers concluded that canopy vegetation, composed mainly of leaves of the upper parts of trees, is capable of increasing photosynthesis during drought periods of up to two years

China Starts Countdown To Save Biodiversity By 2010
September 27, 2007 08:09 AM - The World Conservation Union

As the rate of biodiversity loss accelerates worldwide, civil society organizations and governments are joining forces to fight the global extinction crisis.  On September 7 in Beijing, twenty Chinese and international organizations signed the Countdown 2010 declaration, committing themselves to additional efforts to reduce biodiversity loss by the year 2010.

Jane Goodall Says Biofuel Crops Hurt Rain Forests
September 27, 2007 07:48 AM - Reuters

NEW YORK - Primate scientist Jane Goodall said on Wednesday the race to grow crops for vehicle fuels is damaging rain forests in Asia, Africa and South America and adding to the emissions blamed for global warming. "We're cutting down forests now to grow sugarcane and palm oil for biofuels and our forests are being hacked into by so many interests that it makes them more and more important to save now," Goodall said on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative, former U.S. President Bill Clinton's annual philanthropic meeting.

Geysers Re-emerge In Damaged Russia Valley: WWF
September 27, 2007 07:40 AM - Reuters

MOSCOW - The best-known geysers of a cluster hidden in a remote Russian valley hit earlier this year by a landslide have re-emerged, a leading environmentalist group said on Wednesday.  The Valley of the Geysers on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia's Far East is one of five places in the world which shelters sizeable geysers -- holes in the ground from which plumes of boiling water shoot high into the air.

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.

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