Monday, May 31, 2010
Only 5 Days Left to Take Action!
Immediately upon us is the end of an important public comment period—on June 4—for a decision that is about much more than just one mountaintop removal mine. It is a critical test of the Obama administration's resolve on the issue.
All comments must be sent by June 4!
|TAKE ACTION: Stop a Destructive Mountaintop Removal Mine!|
The EPA needs to hear this message loud and clear:
Will pups like these face hunters, baits and traps this fall?
Wolf pups in the northern Rockies face a daunting future. With new threats like trapping, baiting and possibly even illegal poisonings, the region is becoming a more dangerous and hostile place for these wolves.
But wolves are an important part of Greater Yellowstone and the northern Rockies -- and we’re dedicated to ensuring that this year’s pups have a fighting chance at survival.
Please donate now to support Defenders’ efforts in the courts and on the ground to save wolves in the northern Rockies and other wildlife.As Defenders works on the ground and in the courts, anti-wolf extremists may be taking matters into their own hands.
A rash of dog poisonings in Idaho have pointed to the possibility that anti-wolf vigilantes are targeting wolves with toxic strychnine-laced sausages left along forest trails1 -- a terrible poison that causes painful and traumatic deaths.
And that’s not the end of it. Idaho officials are planning to allow traps and baiting for this fall’s wolf hunts as they target even greater numbers than last year’s hunt.2
In Montana, state officials could target up to 216 wolves3 -- nearly triple the amount targeted last year -- with the goal of lowering the number of wolves in the state for the first time in decades.
Despite the end of this year’s wolf hunt, Idaho officials have given the green light to backcountry outfitters to target up to 20 more wolves in the northern part of the state through June4 -- just as wolf pups in the region, born just weeks ago, are leaving their dens.
On June 15th, Defenders’ legal team will be in court, fighting for vital federal protections for wolves in the northern Rockies. It will be a difficult battle against powerful groups like Safari Club International and the misleadingly named Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, and we have a real chance to stop the deadly wolf hunts -- but we need your help to win!
Our court battle is just one part of our comprehensive five-point plan to ensure a lasting future for wolves in the northern Rockies. Right now, Defenders is…
- Fighting in court to restore protections for wolves.
- Countering anti-wolf lies in the media.
- Working on the ground to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock producers.
- Mobilizing wildlife activists to save wolves.
- Working to bring lawless wolf poachers to justice.
Wolves in the northern Rockies are facing growing hostility, making our work in the region ever more critical.
With your help, I know we can save the lives of these magnificent animals and protect their vital role in the northern Rockies.
For the Wild Ones,
P.S. Please donate online to support our wolf-saving efforts. Or call 1-800-385-9712 to donate by phone.
The toolkit allows developers to detect the spatial orientation of a predefined marker. The lab used the orientation information to overlay a map from ESRI’s ArcGIS API for Silverlight. As shown in the video, the map is fully functional even with the perspective distortion.
The demonstration starts with the user browsing a default basemap from ESRI’s resource centerand then performs a search of GeoEye imagery in New Zealand. All imagery is tagged with sensor information such as the capture date, percentage cloud cover and satellite position. In the video, this information is used to order and then offset overlapping imagery. This effect is useful to quickly find imagery based on specific criteria, for example, find the newest imagery with the least amount of cloud cover.
Contributed by Richie C.
Read more: http://blogs.esri.com/Dev/blogs/apl/archive/2010/05/17/Augmented-Reality-and-ESRI_1920_s-ArcGIS-API-for-Silverlight.aspx
Examining fossils excavated from a cave in Northern California, biologists from Stanford University, California uncovered evidence that small mammal populations were severely depleted during the last episode of global warming around 12,000 years ago.
Many species, say researchers, have never recovered their populations leaving them vulnerable to future rises in temperature.
Deposits in Samwell Cave (upper right) in the foothills of the southern Cascades mountain range revealed that populations of gophers and voles during the period (the end of the Pleistocene epoch) were on a par with those of deer mice.
But while the deer mice (lower right) population thrived in the warming period and has become one of the most common small mammals in the U.S. today, gophers, voles and other small species' populations fell away permanently.
The decline in small mammal species during the period contributed to a 30 percent decline in biodiversity, according to the study.
Co-author and professor of biology at Stanford University, Elizabeth Hadly says deer mice are considered a "weedy" species and when they replace other small mammal species, the effects ripple through the ecosystem.
Lead author of the study, Jessica Blois says because they are so common, it's easy to take small mammals for granted. But they play important ecosystem roles "in soil aeration and seed dispersal and as prey for larger animals." (Left: gopher)
Unlike some larger animals -- mammoths, mastodons and dire wolves -- small mammals never became extinct during the Pleistocene epoch.
But despite their resilience, Blois says small animal species face an uncertain future.
"Even though all of the species survived, small mammal communities as a whole lost a substantial amount of diversity, which may make them less resilient to future change," she said in a statement. (Right: endangered pika)
The research, which was recently published in the science journal, Nature, underlines the effects climate change could have on all types of biodiversity, not just the "eye-catching species."
"The temperature change over the next hundred years is expected to be greater than the temperature that most of the mammals that are on the landscape have yet witnessed as a species," Hadly said in a statement. (Left: Dutch rabbit)
"The small-mammal community that we have is really resilient, but it is headed toward a perturbation that is bigger than anything it has seen in the last million years." she added.
The third edition of the U.N.'s Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-3) recently stated biodiversity loss is rising at an unprecedented rate and urged governments to take immediate action to avoid "catastrophic tipping points."
A recent U.N. meeting on biodiversity held in Nairobi, Kenya -- which coincided with the publication of GBO-3 -- has laid the foundations for action to be taken when the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity convene for its 10th conference in Nagoya, Japan in October, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),
Jane Smart, director of IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group said in a statement: "There's been overwhelming support in Nairobi for 20 strong, ambitious but realistic targets for the next 10 years, designed to prevent the extinction crisis and restore Earth's ecosystems."
CNN, "Small mammals at risk as world warms", accessed May 25, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I first traveled to the Galapagos Islands in 1983 on a study-abroad trip for college, and I have lived here most of my adult life.
I was drawn to the islands’ stark beauty and unique wildlife—sea lions, marine iguanas and the famous Darwin’s finches, to name just a few. I have stayed here because of the opportunity to make a difference in the conservation of these and myriad other animals and their remarkable habitats.
As the Andes - Eastern Tropical Pacific Regional Marine Program Coordinator, I believe we’ve made a difference—as have local governments, communities and a growing network of other partners—in helping to protect these islands and the ocean that surrounds them, along with the coastal areas of Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama that collectively make up the Seascape.
This Seascape aims to conserve more than 2 million square kilometers and the diverse sea life—including threatened leatherback sea turtles, hammerhead sharks, humpback whales and many commercially important species—within the Seascape. Taken together, this wildlife underpins the local economies and defines the local communities and cultures of millions of coastal-dwelling people who call this area home, just as my family and I do.
The Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape is just one of many projects that increasingly offer working examples of Conservation International’s mission to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity.
CI and our partners are striving to expand this work and establish four more Seascapes in Brazil, the Central Pacific, Hawaii and the Western Indian Ocean.
Over the next few weeks, our marine team will take you to the front lines of our work – the coasts, the mangrove forests, the open oceans and the coral reefs.
We will visit the spectacular animals that call the oceans home, explore the important benefits that oceans provide to humanity and examine win-win solutions we’re putting into practice to protect those benefits for generations to come.
Thank you for your continued support.
Andes - Eastern Tropical Pacific Regional Marine Program Coordinator