Archive for the 'Endangered Species' category

Salmon, scent and going home again

Dead salmon in spawning season, Oregon state (U.S. Pacific Northwest).

Image: Pete Forsyth, 9 November 2007.
This image is licensed under a creative commons license.

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org

On a cool autumn afternoon, I stepped out of my friend's house and witnessed a phenomenon of nature I had never seen before. In a stream flowing through the back yard, I saw the bodies of spawning coho salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, gleaming blood-red in the bright sunlight. These fish battered themselves mercilessly against the stream bed, digging shallow nests in the gravel where they were depositing their eggs. Against enormous odds, they had survived the rigors of ocean life, and had returned to their birthplace to spawn.

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What kind of world do we want?

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This video is by the nonprofit group, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). It is a plea to the citizens of the rich countries of the world to rethink the many ways we exploit the world's resources before it's too late to stop our crash course with the mass extinction of millions of animal and plant species.

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Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air

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We all have preconceived ideas about what hummingbirds' lives are like, but so much of their world is imperceptible to the human eye. Filmmaker Ann Prum describes the breakthrough science and latest technologies that allowed her and the crew to reveal incredible new insights about these aerial athletes.

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Jason Clay: How Big Brands Can Help Save Biodiversity

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Convince just 100 key companies to go sustainable, and WWF's Jason Clay says global markets will shift to protect the planet our consumption has already outgrown. Hear how his extraordinary roundtables are getting big brand rivals to agree on green practices first -- before their products duke it out on store shelves.
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TEDTalks: Carl Safina: The Oil Spill's Unseen Culprits, Victims

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The Gulf oil spill dwarfs comprehension, but we know this much: it's bad. Carl Safina scrapes out the facts in this blood-boiling cross-examination, arguing that the consequences will stretch far beyond the Gulf -- and many so-called solutions are making the situation worse.

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Are Zombie Vultures In Our Future?

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Only thirty years ago, tens of millions of White-rumped Vultures, Gyps bengalensis,
were flying the skies of Asia. They are now classified as Critically Endangered.
Image: Marek Jobda / rarebirdsyearbook.com [larger view]

This post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org

A zombie is another name for The Walking Dead -- those who are lifeless, apathetic, or totally lacking in independent judgment. But in an ecological sense, a zombie species no longer fulfills its ecological function because it is becoming extinct. This is a topic that I hope to explore further in another blog entry, but for now, today's zombie theme and vultures' delightful dining habits (they eat zombies) and my zombie icon have inspired me to focus on them.

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Of Venom and Silk

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Spider biologist Norman Platnick, from the American Museum of Natural History, has traveled the world cataloguing some of these creatures, many for the first time ever. World renowned for his work, he hopes to find as many as species as possible before some disappear.

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The Truth Behind the 'Cala Boca Galvão' Campaign

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Anatomy of an elaborate hoax: If you know anything about birds, then you knew immediately that none of the parrots portrayed in these videos are known as the "Galvão", nor are (most of them) endangered, nor are their feathers used in any sort of Brazilian celebration.

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Drop into the Ocean

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Take a deep breath and imagine the oceans.... This disturbing video is a short Greenpeace documentary outlining the threats that humans pose to our oceans and a proposal for what we ALL can do to help restore their health. [In short, if you haven't stopped eating all fish -- and most especially shrimp -- yet, this video will make you think seriously about this decision]

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TEDTalks: John Kasaona Tells Us How Poachers Became Caretakers

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In his home of Namibia, John Kasaona is working on an innovative way to protect endangered animal species: giving nearby villagers (including former poachers) responsibility for caring for the animals. And it's working.

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