ENN rounds up the most important and compelling environmental news stories of the week. In the news December 18th - 22nd: Wolf protections, Antarctic recycling, giant squid, soot levels, and much more.
Top Ten Articles of the Week
In the news December 18th - 22nd: Wolf protections, Antarctic recycling, giant squid, soot levels, and much more.
1. Feds to Start Removing Wolf Protections
The head of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday his agency will start removing federal protections from gray wolves in Montana and Idaho by January, regardless of whether Wyoming has submitted an acceptable plan to manage its own wolves by then.
2. In Antarctica, by Law, Extreme Recycling Prevails
There are no garbage dumps here, no piles of rotting trash or oozing waste, no incinerators belching smoke. That's because all refuse generated by the U.S. Antarctic Program is shipped to the United States in an act of extreme recycling. "Everything that comes down here has to leave," said Mark Furnish, head of U.S. waste management in Antarctica.
3. Japan Researchers Film Live Giant Squid
A Japanese research team has succeeded in filming a giant squid live -- possibly for the first time -- and says the elusive creatures may be more plentiful than previously believed, a researcher said Friday. "We believe this is the first time anyone has successfully filmed a giant squid that was alive," said Kubodera, a researcher with Japan's National Science Museum.
4. First Drought, Now Floods Plague Kenya's Nomads
Already weakened by the drought that annihilated their precious livestock, nomads in Kenya's arid northeast are now grappling with devastating floods, which have killed over 100 people and displaced more than one million across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Rwanda.
5. Multistate Lawsuit against EPA Seeks to Lower Soot Levels, Save Lives
More than a dozen states sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday to lower soot levels from smokestacks and exhaust pipes, a move the state officials argue would save thousands of lives. The states argue that the Bush administration is ignoring science and its own experts in refusing to slightly reduce the allowed threshold for soot.
6. WWF Says 52 New Species Discovered on Borneo
Scientists have discovered at least 52 new species of animals and plants on the southeast Asian island of Borneo since 2005, including a catfish with protruding teeth and suction cups on its belly to help it stick to rocks, WWF International said Tuesday.
7. Spanish Minister Proposes Live Exit for Bulls
Spain's environment minister has opened a campaign to stop matadors giving the traditional gory death blow to bulls in the ring. Instead, the badly wounded animals should be taken away and swiftly killed more humanely, as is the practice in neighbouring Portugal, Cristina Narbona told Thursday's El Mundo newspaper.
8. Off-Roaders, Environmentalists Vie for Surprising Canyon Near Death Valley
Whoever named Surprise Canyon got it right. Mere miles from bone-dry Death Valley, the canyon cradles two unexpected jewels: a gushing mountain stream and what's left of a once-bustling silver mining town. These treasures have attracted visitors for decades -- and now they're at the heart of a legal battle between off-road drivers and environmentalists.
9. Judge Decides Farms Not Hurt by Whale Rules
A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by building and farm groups that challenged the decision to make Puget Sound's resident killer whale population an endangered species. In the decision, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly said the Building Industry Association of Washington and the Washington Farm Bureau couldn't prove they would be harmed.
10. South Korean Team Produces Three Cloned Dogs
A team of South Korean scientists once led by disgraced stem-cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk said on Monday they had produced three cloned copies of a female Afghan hound. The same team at Seoul National University last year produced Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, also an Afghan hound.
Photo: A local man bicycles along the ridge of the Chemeril Dam, Kenya, a man-made enhancement to a natural pond, now used as a watering hole for animals of all kinds. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Roger S. Duncan.