Ecosystems

Roost Of Millions Of Migratory Swallows Threatened
February 4, 2008 09:14 AM - Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society scientists say the site is only one of two known roosts in Cross River State, a coastal region in southeastern Nigeria. The site is approximately two kilometers outside of Cross River National Park. Preliminary surveys by WCS indicate that the site may attract millions of swallows and be of international significance. The roost appears to be under threat of destruction from advancing farms and may require conservation measures to survive, according to WCS, which has already contacted park officials to see if the roost can be formally protected.

China battles "coldest winter in 100 years"
February 4, 2008 04:38 AM - Reuters

CHENZHOU, China (Reuters) - Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century.

Warmer Ocean Could Reduce Number of Atlantic Hurricane Landfalls
February 3, 2008 09:51 AM - NOAA

A warming global ocean — influencing the winds that shear off the tops of developing storms — could mean fewer Atlantic hurricanes striking the United States according to new findings by NOAA climate scientists. Furthermore, the relative warming role of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans is important for determining Atlantic hurricane activity.

Agriculture is Altering Mississippi River Chemistry
February 3, 2008 09:26 AM - , Organic Consumers Association

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana - Over the past 50 years, farming has altered the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi River, injecting more carbon dioxide into the river and raising river discharge, finds a study by researchers at Louisiana State and Yale universities. LSU Professor R. Eugene Turner and graduate student Whitney Broussard, along with their colleagues at Yale, tracked changes in the discharge of water and the concentration of bicarbonate, which forms when carbon dioxide in soil water dissolves rock minerals.

African quakes kill at least 30
February 3, 2008 08:18 AM - Reuters

KIGALI (Reuters) - Earthquakes struck Rwanda and neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, killing at least 30 people and seriously injuring 350 more, officials said. The two quakes struck close together in Africa's Great Lakes region hours apart along the western Great Rift Valley fault.

Dutch to explore new ways to defend coastline
February 3, 2008 07:10 AM - Reuters

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government said on Friday it would explore new ways of protecting its coastline from the effects of climate change, including the use of ground-breaking sensor technology. The Netherlands, which has a quarter of its territory below sea level, will spend 22 million euros ($32.7 million) on anti-flooding projects. Companies and research organizations will contribute an additional 23 million euros.

Caviar export quota undermines harvesting ban
February 2, 2008 10:10 AM - WWF

Russia's application for a caviar export quota makes nonsense of a commercial caviar harvesting ban intended to help the recovery of the decimated sturgeon populations of the Caspian Sea basin, WWF Russia has claimed. "If the Government allows export, de-facto it allows commercial sturgeon fishing," says Alexey Vaisman, Senior Programme Officer for Europe-Russia for Traffic, the world wildlife trade monitoring network which is a joint programme of WWF and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Congo Wetlands reserve to be world's second largest
February 2, 2008 10:06 AM - WWF

WWF has welcomed the World Wetlands Day declaration of the world’s second largest internationally recognized and protected significant wetlands reserve in the Congo as a clear sign of the world’s increasing interest in the green heart of Africa. The nearly 6 million hectares of inundated forest making up the Grand Affluents wetland in the middle reaches of the Congo River was one of five wetlands in the Congo and the Cameroon to be notified under the RAMSAR Convention on internationally significant wetlands today.

African, Asian crops 'to be hit hard by climate change'
February 1, 2008 01:16 PM - , SciDevNet

[NEW DELHI] Crops in South Asia and Southern Africa are likely to be worst hit by climate change and need greater investment in agriculture development and adaptation strategies, say US scientists. The conclusions, reported today (1 February) in Science, are based on an analysis of climate risks for crops in 12 food-insecure regions.

News Species Discovered in Africa: Giant Elephant-Shrew
February 1, 2008 08:33 AM - ENN

Although there is unquestionably much left to be discovered about life on Earth, charismatic animals like mammals are usually well documented, and it is rare to find a new species today—especially from a group as intriguing as the elephant-shrews, monogamous mammals found only in Africa with a colorful history of misunderstood ancestry. Like shrews, these small, furry mammals eat mostly insects. Early scientists named them elephant-shrews not because they thought the animals were related to elephants but because of their long, flexible snouts.

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