Wildlife

Goats to the Rescue in Fire-Prone Bay Area
June 3, 2014 02:47 PM - S.E. Smith, Care2

How does the saying go? Only you can prevent forest fires, or only goats can prevent forest fires? You'll understand the confusion when you meet the Bay Area's latest fire prevention crews: goats. California is facing a forecast for what may be the worst fire season ever, thanks to drought conditions and a large buildup of tinder. Fire management professionals are working ahead of time to try to clear brush, high grass and other fire hazards, in the hopes of reducing the spread of the inevitable wildfires that are already streaking across the state. When it comes to brush clearance crews, it can be tough to find someone willing to do the job. It's backbreaking labor conducted in the hot sun, and it takes hours to make a dent in overgrown shrubs and brush, which are often filled with tangles of thorns and other unpleasant surprises. Brush clearance can get extremely expensive, and it requires constant maintenance. That's one reason why people have been turning to rental goats to clear brush and keep areas like road verges, medians and hillsides trimmed.

Zebras Break Record for Africa's Longest Terrestrial Migration
May 30, 2014 08:47 AM - Morgan Erickson-Davis, MONGABAY.COM

With food and water scarce in many parts of Africa, many species migrate long-distances in order to survive. A new study published in the journal, Oryx has found a new record-breaker for the continent’s longest tracked terrestrial migration: a huge group of zebras that traveled a total distance of 500 kilometers (300 miles).

How Sharks Could Help Predict Hurricanes
May 29, 2014 08:20 AM - Steve Williams, Care2

Scientists have embarked on a remarkable new project to use shark and large marine predators as biological sensors in the hopes that they could help us predict the formation and course of potentially dangerous hurricanes. Researchers from the University of Miami have tagged a total of 750 marine animals in the past ten years, all to track the temperature and salinity of sea waters at different depths. Earlier this year though, the researchers noticed something special about the data — the tagged marine life gravitated toward water that was about 79 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which is the temperature at which hurricanes form.

EPA doles out grants to replace old diesel engines on tug boats
May 27, 2014 03:17 PM - Allison Winter, ENN

The shipping industry is one of the most under-regulated industries in the world due to outdated and international regulations that are difficult to enforce on a global scale. And as these ships enter our harbors and ports close to home, their operations have the potential to generate smog-forming emissions and other pollutants that are linked to various health problems in susceptible populations. In an effort to combat some of the pollution expelled from dirty diesel engines, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has allotted over one million dollars to help two specific organizations replace their old engines with less polluting models. According to the EPA, the projects will cut emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter among other pollutants which are linked to asthma, lung and heart disease and premature death.

Eagles facing threat from diclofenac
May 27, 2014 08:02 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Just months after the news that the vulture-killing drug diclofenac had been licensed for veterinary use in Europe, two groundbreaking scientific studies have revealed that a greater diversity of birds of prey, including the golden eagle, are also susceptible to its effects. These findings strengthen the case for banning veterinary diclofenac across Europe and for strengthening bans and enforcement of bans in South Asia to stop the illegal misuse of human diclofenac to treat livestock.

Warming climate found to increase hybridization in Western Trout
May 26, 2014 10:31 AM - USGS Newsroom

Scientists have discovered that the rapid spread of hybridization between a native species and an invasive species of trout in the wild is strongly linked to changes in climate. In the study, stream temperature warming over the past several decades and decreases in spring flow over the same time period contributed to the spread of hybridization between native westslope cutthroat trout and introduced rainbow trout — the world's most widely introduced invasive fish species —across the Flathead River system in Montana and British Columbia, Canada.

Seafood Fraud Meets Tech-Driven Traceability
May 21, 2014 07:56 AM - Lauren Zanolli, Triple Pundit

If something smells fishy the next time you step up to the seafood counter or sit down for sushi, it may not be the catch of the day. An estimated 33 percent of seafood sold in the United States is incorrectly labeled by type of fish, catch method or provenance, according to a recent report by conservation group Oceana. So that ahi tuna roll you ordered might actually be escolar, a cheaper substitute known as the 'ex-lax fish' for its digestive effects, and the wild-caught shrimp at the grocery store could have in fact been farm-raised in Thailand.

Antarctica dances to Carole King's "The Earth Moves Under My Feet"
May 20, 2014 02:07 PM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

Antarctica has apparently been living by the lyrics of Carole King's 1971 hit song "The Earth Moves Under My Feet". According to a study from Newcastle University in the United Kingdom, Antarctica has been moving "rapidly". Recently published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, the study explains why the upward motion of the Earth's crust in the Northern Antarctic Peninsula is currently taking place so quickly. While earlier studies have shown the earth is 'rebounding' due to the overlying ice sheet shrinking in response to climate change, GPS data is suggesting otherwise. The international research team led in part by Newcastle researchers has revealed that this land is rising at a remarkable rate of 15mm a year.

Reintroducing the European Bison
May 20, 2014 09:47 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN

In a coordinated effort to reintroduce the European bison to the grasslands of southern Romania, the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and Rewilding Europe recently brought 20 bison to the Southern Carpathians. Ten more will be reintroduced over the summer. The species has been absent for about 200 years.

Fighting air pollution with innovation and technology
May 19, 2014 10:46 AM - ENN Editor

Air pollution has become one of the world's biggest threats to the future of our planet. Chronic air pollution shortens our lives and the lives of the ecologies around us. In parts of Asia, where air pollution is most pervasive, food crops and other plants are exhibiting signs of stress due to low air quality.

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