• Indonesia deforestation threatens elephants: WWF

    OSLO (Reuters) - Deforestation in a single Indonesian province is releasing more greenhouse gases than the Netherlands, and the loss of habitats is threatening rare tigers and elephants, the WWF conservation group said on Wednesday. It said that Riau province, covering one fifth of Indonesia's Sumatra island, had lost 65 percent of its forests in the past 25 years as companies used the land for pulpwood and palm oil plantations. Big peat swamps had also been cleared. >> Read the Full Article
  • Indonesia pledges new cash as mud engulfs more land

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia plans to set aside an additional 700 billion rupiah ($77 million) to compensate thousands more people whose homes are threatened by a mud volcano in East Java province, a minister said on Wednesday. Thousands of homes and factories have already been submerged by the hot mud since it first started to erupt in May 2006, forcing about 15,000 people to abandon their homes. >> Read the Full Article
  • Beijing says torch can stay alight atop Everest

    BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese scientists have expressed full confidence that the Olympic relay torch can scale Mount Everest without sputtering out, a newspaper said on Wednesday. The torch relay, ahead of the Games which start in Beijing on August 8, will include a climb to the top of the world's highest mountain, which spans Nepal and the Chinese region of Tibet. >> Read the Full Article
  • Arctic seed vault opens doors for 100 million seeds

    LONGYEARBYEN, NORWAY (26 FEBRUARY 2008) – The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened today on a remote island in the Arctic Circle, receiving inaugural shipments of 100 million seeds that originated in over 100 countries. With the deposits ranging from unique varieties of major African and Asian food staples such as maize, rice, wheat, cowpea, and sorghum to European and South American varieties of eggplant, lettuce, barley, and potato, the first deposits into the seed vault represent the most comprehensive and diverse collection of food crop seeds being held anywhere in the world. >> Read the Full Article
  • Fish species found in old outback uranium mine

    SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian scientists announced the discovery of a new species of freshwater fish on Tuesday, two decades after it was sighted in a disused uranium mine in the outback Northern Territory. The Barraway's carp gudgeon, or Hypseleotris barrawayi, was found by a biologist in a uranium pit in the Kakadu National Park in 1988, but was only recently declared a new species after extensive studies. >> Read the Full Article
  • Dust in West up 500 percent in past 2 centuries

    The West has become 500 percent dustier in the past two centuries due to westward U.S. expansion and accompanying human activity beginning in the 1800s, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. Sediment records from dust blown into alpine lakes in southwest Colorado's San Juan Mountains over millennia indicates the sharp rise in dust deposits coincided with railroad, ranching and livestock activity in the middle of the last century, said geological sciences Assistant Professor Jason Neff, lead author on the study. The results have implications ranging from ecosystem alteration to human health, he said. >> Read the Full Article
  • Butterfly fish 'may face extinction'

    A beautiful black, white and yellow butterflyfish, much admired by eco-tourists, divers and aquarium keepers alike, may be at risk of extinction, scientists have warned. The case of the Chevroned Butterflyfish is a stark example of how human pressure on the world’s coral reefs is confronting certain species with ‘blind alleys’ from which they may be unable to escape, says Dr Morgan Pratchett of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Media Release and James Cook University. >> Read the Full Article
  • Mining sets off earthquake in west Germany

    BERLIN (Reuters) - A mild earthquake caused by coal mining shook the western German state of Saarland on Saturday, causing damage to buildings but no injuries. A police spokesman in the Saarlouis region on the French border said the earthquake measured 4.0 on the Richter scale, the strongest on record in the area, and had knocked over chimneys and caused electricity outages. >> Read the Full Article
  • Kenyan wildlife park bush fire rages for second day

    NAKURU, Kenya (Reuters) - Using branches to beat back flames, Kenyan rangers and residents struggled for a second day on Saturday to control bush fires that have engulfed a third of one of the nation's best-known wildlife parks. At least 100 local citizens joined wildlife officials to help put out the fire, which was accidentally started in a nearby village and has already destroyed large patches of the 188 square km Lake Nakuru National Park. >> Read the Full Article
  • Can Japan Convince International Community to Support “Sustainable” Whaling?

    The International Whaling Commission’s 78 members are meeting in London next month in an effort to reach agreement on whale conservation rules. Meanwhile, global whale hunting continues to increase. The March 6–8 gathering, titled “The Future of the IWC,” will prepare IWC member states for their annual meeting in Chile this June. Delegates at the June conference will likely face considerable pressure to produce an agreement on the future of whaling, particularly in light of rising catches by Japan and other countries. >> Read the Full Article