Showing posts with the label Conservation

Vanishing goats? Not on the watch of the Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation!

 Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation (KXN)  the Raincoast Conservation Foundation,  and the University of Victoria. Mountain Goat -  Oreamnos americanus Wildlife populations can too often decline before wildlife managers notice. Although counting animals is one of the most fundamental activities biologists do, it is also the most difficult. Newly published research by the Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation (KXN), the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, and the University of Victoria shows the importance of listening to those that have lived near wildlife for millennia. Their findings, published in the open-access peer-reviewed journal, Conservation Science and Practice , show that mountain goats in KXN territory and beyond in British Columbia are of conservation concern. First to detect the changes, the KXN will be the first to address them with conservation management. Photos by Connor Stefanison The first signs happened decades ago. KXN community members began to report a decline in sightings of goats once

Alaska oil bid alarms scientists

Science Magazine Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Canning River/ by Jan Reurink.  View map here. Mapping plan for Arctic refuge ignores risks, critics say. Story here.

Agricultural expansion could cause widespread biodiversity declines by 2050

                              Journal: Nature Sustainability       A Colombian farmer working on his "finca". These patches of forest are given away at a low price by the government to farmers who then clear them up to grow crops. Photo by  LAIF . Almost 90% of terrestrial vertebrate species around the world might lose some of their habitat by 2050 as land is cleared to meet the future demand for food. However,  according to a modelling study  published in Nature Sustainability ,  proactive policies focusing on how, where and what food is produced could reduce these threats while also supporting human well-being. Slashing is a common site on the Canadian prairies. Farmers cut and burn trees and shrubs to make way for more farmland. In this case, it's along the fringes of the Boreal forest in west-central Manitoba. A PinP photo. Habitat loss driven by agricultural expansion is a major threat to terrestrial vertebrates. Projections based on human population growth and diet

As giant ice shelves collapse amid global warming in the Arctic, experts call for more protection for the "Last Ice Area" (LIA). The vast communities of plants and animals living there could be lost, they warn, before we even get to understand them!

     by Larry Powell                                   The vast Milne Ice Shelf broke up this summer. Animals found  living within its ice cavity (red box),  are shown on the right.  Photo credits: Left: Joseph Mascaro, Planet Labs Inc.  Right: Water and Ice Laboratory, Carleton University. Using tools which included video taken by a robot submarine, a Canadian research team recently discovered an amazing array of plants and animals, living in the hear t of Milne, the very ice shelf which broke apart just this summer north of Ellesmere Island (above), losing almost half of its mass. Dr. Derek Mueller, Professor of Geography and Environment Science at Ottawa's Carleton University, is a team member who's worked in the area for decades. In an email to PinP, he can barely disguise his excitement over what they found. "There are really neat microbial mats (communities of micro-organisms including cyanobacteria, green algae, diatoms, heterotrophic bacteria, and viruses) that li

Pallister's petrifying parks privatization plan.(Video)

The Manitoba Wilderness Committee

New research suggests, zoos and aquariums in Canada do little to protect endangered creatures in the wild.

by Larry Powell A Bengal, the commonest tiger species (but still endangered) paces in its cage at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park zoo.  A PinP photo. A study just published in the journal,   Facets ,   begins positively enough. It acknowledges that members of Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA - the private, non-profit charity representing thirty such institutions), do try to be leaders in researching this field and, that they do take part in programs aimed at species survival by breeding animals in captivity, then re-introducing them into the wild. And on its own  website,   CAZA claims, "We are behind some of the most remarkable conservation success stories. This includes, bringing species such as the Black Footed Ferret and the Vancouver Island Marmot back from the brink of extinction,” for example.  However, in some key areas, the researchers (a team of two biologists from Laurentian University in Sudbury) suggest, CAZA and its members are falli

It's big. It's risky. It's unacceptable!

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society In the northeast corner of Alberta lies Wood Buffalo National Park.  Known for its sheer size and biodiversity, it is Canada’s largest national park and World Heritage Site. Its size and remote location have led many to believe it is untouched by human impacts, but it has sadly been affected by upstream industrial development outside of the Park. It is now additionally threatened by a proposed open-pit oil sands mine just 30-km south of its borders. If approved, the Teck Frontier oil sands mine would be the largest open-pit mine in North America, with a massive 290 sq-km footprint.  This mine would pose serious environmental risks to the approximately 1 million migratory birds that fly over the region, species at risk that depend on the intact boreal habitat, and negatively influence downstream waters on the Athabasca River.  The federal government has a public comment period open until November 24, 2019  to hear what people think of

Brazil supports sugarcane growing in Amazon

SCIENCE MAGAZINE "Harvesting"   by  Beegee49   Brazil has reopened the door to expanding sugarcane plantations in the Amazon, even though it is difficult to grow the crop there. Scientists worry the move will increase deforestation and harm biodiversity and carbon sequestration in the jungle. President Jair Bolsonaro, who has pushed for more economic development in the Amazon, on 5 November revoked a 2009 agricultural zoning plan that prohibited public funding for sugarcane production within the Amazon region, where low yields increase risk for private investors. But Bolsonaro's administration says the ban is unnecessary because other laws require that the cultivation be environmentally sustainable. Brazil is already the world's largest producer of sugarcane, with approximately 10 million hectares of cane fields—only 1.5% of which are now in the Amazon. The region's extremely humid weather and poor soils are not ideal for popular cane varieties, and stu

Conservationists find protected areas worldwide are shrinking

PHYS ORG Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada. A PinP photo. A large international team of researchers reports that the amount of land designated as protected around the globe is shrinking. Story here.

New research finds that “marine reserves” – tracts of ocean where fishing is banned – are protecting fish, the coral reefs where they live and vast undersea "gardens," a lot more than once thought.

Large-scale commercial fishing has, for years, been depleting fish-stocks in many places around the world - especially in coral reefs in the tropics. In response, several countries have designated certain areas of the sea as "marine reserves," where neither fishing nor other development is allowed. Now, a team of scientists from US and Australian universities has produced compelling new evidence . It shows  these reserves have not only been helping stocks rebound, but are also protecting massive coral "food webs" - beds of sea-grasses and algae - important reservoirs for carbon storage.   by Larry Powell In this satellite photo, "halos" appear as pale blue circular bands  surrounding tiny dark spots. The spots are likely  small patch reefs  or other shelter for small fish and invertebrates  that protect  them  from predators. Each halo is probably  about 10 meters wide.  The more there are, the healthier  marine life there is likely

A Federal Judge Just Nixed Trump’s Attempt to Drill the Arctic and Atlantic

EARTHJUSTICE The Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Photo by Diego Delso. In a ruling issued from Alaska, a U.S. District Court has determined that President Trump overstepped his constitutional authority and violated federal law.  More here.

When development and conservation clash in the Serengeti

University of Copenhagen - SCIENCE NEWS A proposed new road could disrupt the migration of animals like this in the Serengeti. Photo by eismcsquare. New or upgraded roads in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem around Serengeti National Park will not reduce growing pressure on the ecosystem, a study shows. Story here.

Help preserve land – our 'home and future' – UN urges on World Day to Combat Desertification

The UN News Centre With hundreds of millions of people around the globe directly affected by desertification – the degradation of land ecosystems due to unsustainable farming or mining practices, or climate change – United Nations agencies have called for better management of land so that it can provide a place where individuals and communities “can build a future.” Story here.

Tribute to the Trees - a Manitoba Video!

Call Of The Forest - DIANA BERESFORD-KROEGER from Jeff McKay / Edgeland Films on Vimeo .

Conservationists Announce New Protected Areas For Great Bear Rainforest

NATIONAL OBSERVER PinP photo Four private parcels of land have been added to protected zones in the largest coastal temperate rainforest left on Earth, ensuring their permanent protection from commercial logging, conservationists announced Thursday. Story here.

Technoparc: A Unique Wetland Area of Montreal - Home to Over 80 Nesting Species of Birds Faces an Uncertain Future

Sierra Club Canada Wildlife similar to this Great Blue Heron inhabit "Technoparc."  PinP photo Imagine a wetland area that is home to over 80 nesting species including herons, raptors, songbirds and ducks. Then imagine it in the middle of a Technoparc on the Island of Montreal, a few miles west of downtown and just east of the Trudeau Airport. Story here.

Obama Promises Huge Marine Reserve (Video)

The world's largest protected area is now four times the size of California. — AJ+ (@ajplus) September 1, 2016

Wild Creatures and Places in and Near Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.

by Larry Powell Some of the wildlife and terrain we saw and photographed in and near the park. Enjoy! A lone member of the park's herd of prairie bison. A shy (and rare) burrowing owl. Ringneck pheasant Black-tailed prairie dogs "Seventy-Mile Butte" A sweep of rare, wild prairie, preserved for posterity in the park. (All photos by PinP.) Please also visit: "Wild Critters of the Grasslands, a Picture Story."