National Park Plans to Cull Its Herd of Elk

adamBiodiversity, Ecosystems

A plan expected to be approved by the US National Park Service blames Rocky Mountain National Park’s herds of elk for ecological degradation in the park and will mandate the killing of 200 of the animals each year starting in 2009. National Park Service officials say hired sharpshooters will attempt to mimick hunting by wolves – which naturally culled herds … Read More

Habitat Loss Forces India's Tigers to High Ground

adamBiodiversity, Ecosystems

Human development, encroachment, habitat destruction and poaching are forcing India’s tigers into new terrain not known to be normal territory for the cats. India is home to about 1,200 tigers – half the global population – which are not very adaptable to such changes and whose existence is still in peril.

More Than 1/4 of US Birds Are Threatened

adamBiodiversity, Ecosystems, Politics

Watchlist 2007, a report by the National Audobon Society and the American Bird Conservancy, says that more than a quarter of US bird species are threatened including 178 species from the continental US and 39 from Hawaii. The reports cites global warming, US governmental stance on the Endangered Species Act, and habitat loss as critical factors.

Sea Lice May Be Driving Wild Salmon to Extinction

adamBiodiversity

Parasitic sea lice originating in salmon farms along the west coast of Canada are threatening to drive local salmon populations to extinction in as little as four years unless the farms are either removed from the area or made completely watertight.

Forest Loss in Sumatra Becomes a Global Issue

adamAgriculture, Biodiversity, Climate, Ecosystems

Worldwide demand for palm oil used in cooking, cosmetics, and “earth-friendly” biodiesel is driving logging of Sumatra’s once-dense forests and the establishment of palm plantations, causing concern about the greenhouse gas contributions caused by deforestation – which now accounts for 20% of global emissions – and Indonesia’s potential “carbon bomb.”

Bio-Rock: Shock Treatment for Coral Reefs

adamBiodiversity, Technology, Water

“Bio-Rock” – a procedure created by scientist Thomas Goreau and late architect Wolf Hilbertz – is being used to stimulate growth in threatened coral reefs by bringing them into close contact with low-voltage electricity and speeding the formation of a key building component in coral reefs.

High Weedkiller Levels Found in River Checks

adamAgriculture, Biodiversity, Water

An extensively used weedkiller – Atrazine – has been found in streams and rivers throughout the Midwest in levels high enough to damage amphibians, fish and aquatic ecosystems. Atrazine, which is manufactured by Syngenta Crop Protection, has been linked to sexual abnormalities in frogs and fish in scientific studies and is currently banned in the UK.

Emissions Growth Must End in 7 Years, U.N. Warns

Paul RacetteBiodiversity, Climate, Energy

The world will have to end its growth of carbon emissions within seven years and become mostly free of carbon-emitting technologies in about four decades to avoid killing as many as a quarter of the planet’s species from global warming, according to top United Nations’ scientists.

Deforestation in Amazonia

Paul RacetteAgriculture, Biodiversity, Economy

Tropical forests in Amazonia are being cleared rapidly, representing an important contribution to land-use and land-cover change. This is a thoughtful article of the history, economic and environmental impacts of Amazonia deforestation.