Ecosystems

Big Cypress National Preserve Threatened by Damaging Off-Road Vehicle Use
December 22, 2007 05:35 PM -

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A coalition of conservation groups today filed a lawsuit to protect Big Cypress National Preserve from damaging off-road vehicle use. The suit responds to a decision by the Park Service to open previously closed areas of the Preserve to swamp buggies and other off-road vehicles.

Brazil cracks down on illegal Amazon farm products
December 21, 2007 02:53 PM - Raymond Colitt, Reuters

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil has banned the sale of farm products from illegally deforested areas in the Amazon in an attempt to reverse months of increasing destruction in the world's largest rain forest, officials said on Friday. A decree signed by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday imposes fines for buying or trading goods such as beef or soy produced on illegally deforested properties.

Uganda's president revives plan to axe rainforest
December 21, 2007 05:16 AM - Reuters

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni on Friday revived a controversial plan to hand over a swathe of rainforest to a local company to be destroyed and replaced with a sugarcane plantation. In an address to his party published in newspapers, Museveni called those who oppose his plan to give 7,100 hectares or about a quarter of Mabira Forest reserve to the private Mehta group's sugar estate "criminals and charlatans."

Rush for land to sweep away last Singapore village
December 21, 2007 02:05 AM - Reuters

Chillis and limes grow in a lush garden between colorful cement houses with leaking metal roofs in Kampong Buangkok, a village with no roads or computers. The sight would be nothing out of the ordinary in much of southeast Asia. But Singapore's last village, nestled in a forest clearing, is an oddity in the sophisticated city-state where skyscrapers and high-speed Internet are the norm.

China reels from worst drought in a decade
December 21, 2007 01:35 AM - Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China is suffering its worst drought in a decade, which has left millions of people short of drinking water and has shrunk reservoirs and rivers, state media said on Friday. Hardest hit are large swathes of the usually humid south, where water levels on several major rivers have plunged to historic lows in recent months.

USDA's Conner: Crop supplies "dicey" in 2008
December 20, 2007 02:38 PM - Charles Abbott, Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will win the race to grow enough corn, wheat and soybeans to satisfy food, feed and biofuel needs although 2008 will be "very dicey," said acting Agriculture Secretary Chuck Conner on Thursday. "I would never bet against our farmers on this issue," Conner said in looking ahead to 2008 crops. For the second year in a row, zooming demand for U.S. crops will require a huge harvest to avoid shortfalls. "We have said it is going to be very dicey."

Songbird killings in Cyprus rise: conservation group
December 20, 2007 11:04 AM - Reuters

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Up to half a million migrating songbirds, mainly warblers and robins, were killed in Cyprus this year to end up pickled or fried as an illegal restaurant delicacy, a conservation group said on Thursday. Wildlife groups have long campaigned against trapping of the tiny birds on the east Mediterranean island. The practice is banned but conservation group BirdLife Cyprus estimates some 500,000 birds were trapped this year.

Improving quality of life for indigenous peoples
December 20, 2007 09:37 AM - BioMed Central

‘Human Development’ is a concept developed by the United Nations Development Program to encompass the economic, educational and health status of a population and is measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). Martin Cooke, of the Department of Sociology and the Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, at the University of Waterloo, Ontario and colleagues in Australia and Canada describe how the countries of the developed world are consistently at the top of the HDI rankings. However, indigenous peoples in those countries commonly have much poorer health and social conditions than the non-indigenous population.

Greece must act to replenish fish stocks: Greenpeace
December 20, 2007 08:41 AM - Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece should immediately set up marine reserves to replenish depleted fish stocks due to overfishing or face a collapse of the industry, Greenpeace said on Thursday. The environmental group's call, which came as the EU announced lower-than-expected cuts for 2008 catch quotas, said stocks in the Aegean and Ionian seas had fallen dramatically in recent years.

Plant Debris may be hazardous to global health
December 19, 2007 03:57 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL - A new study looks at a poorly understood process with potentially critical consequences for climate change. Emma Sayer, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Jennifer Powers, an assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's department of ecology, Evolution and Behavior, and Edmund Tanner, researcher at Cambridge University, published the findings of their long-term study on the effects of increased plant litter on soil carbon and nutrient cycling in the Dec. 12 edition of PLoS ONE.

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