Dams make spawning salmon more prone to heart attack: UBC study

Reaching spawning grounds is hard work for salmon, and UBC researchers say fish forced to “sprint” through fast-moving water or other obstacles can suffer heart attacks.
The study found sockeye are more likely to die in the hours after being forced to swim fast and hard to make their way through turbulent waters below dams.
Researchers say so-called “burst swimming” creates severe stress that could lead to heart failure.
Female sockeye are especially prone, in part because females may be using more energy to produce eggs, hiking their sensitivity to other environmental challenges.
Biologist and lead author Nicholas Burnett says the study demonstrates how vital it is for salmon to have easy access around obstacles in the river.
The study is published in the latest issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

Dams make spawning salmon more prone to heart attack: UBC study

Reaching spawning grounds is hard work for salmon, and UBC researchers say fish forced to “sprint” through fast-moving water or other obstacles can suffer heart attacks.

The study found sockeye are more likely to die in the hours after being forced to swim fast and hard to make their way through turbulent waters below dams.

Researchers say so-called “burst swimming” creates severe stress that could lead to heart failure.

Female sockeye are especially prone, in part because females may be using more energy to produce eggs, hiking their sensitivity to other environmental challenges.

Biologist and lead author Nicholas Burnett says the study demonstrates how vital it is for salmon to have easy access around obstacles in the river.

The study is published in the latest issue of the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.

Young White Rhino by Steve Slater (Wildlife Encounters Ltd)
Due to the continued and escalating poaching in recent years and the high illegal demand for horn (as determined from intelligence gathering by wildlife investigators and increased black market prices and increased poaching and theft of horn). Current successful protection efforts have depended on significant range state expenditure and effort and if these were to decline (especially in South Africa) rampant poaching could seriously threaten numbers (well in excess of 30% over three generations). Declining state budgets for conservation in real terms, declining capacity in some areas and increasing involvement of SE Asians in Africa are all of concern. Poaching levels have also increased in South Africa and Zimbabwe with increasing involvement of organized criminal networks. In the absence of conservation measures, within five years the species would quickly meet the threshold for C1 under Vulnerable, and potentially also criterion A3 if poaching were to take off.
I must thank my friend Steve Slater for sharing this rare moment with us. This image was shared with me specifically for this site. Steve Slater worked in South Africa for six years, of which he mentioned was a “HUGE privilege” where the bush was “full of magnificent moments and some scary ones too”. When I asked Steve if the parents were around this little guy, he replied, “Yes, both parents were close by and in protective mode. It was the first time I experienced that, when a rhino squeals it is telling you to back off or I will charge, so I moved away rather quickly”. Steve’s shared thoughts are used with permission.

Young White Rhino by Steve Slater (Wildlife Encounters Ltd)

Due to the continued and escalating poaching in recent years and the high illegal demand for horn (as determined from intelligence gathering by wildlife investigators and increased black market prices and increased poaching and theft of horn). Current successful protection efforts have depended on significant range state expenditure and effort and if these were to decline (especially in South Africa) rampant poaching could seriously threaten numbers (well in excess of 30% over three generations). Declining state budgets for conservation in real terms, declining capacity in some areas and increasing involvement of SE Asians in Africa are all of concern. Poaching levels have also increased in South Africa and Zimbabwe with increasing involvement of organized criminal networks. In the absence of conservation measures, within five years the species would quickly meet the threshold for C1 under Vulnerable, and potentially also criterion A3 if poaching were to take off.

I must thank my friend Steve Slater for sharing this rare moment with us. This image was shared with me specifically for this site. Steve Slater worked in South Africa for six years, of which he mentioned was a “HUGE privilege” where the bush was “full of magnificent moments and some scary ones too”. When I asked Steve if the parents were around this little guy, he replied, “Yes, both parents were close by and in protective mode. It was the first time I experienced that, when a rhino squeals it is telling you to back off or I will charge, so I moved away rather quickly”. Steve’s shared thoughts are used with permission.

NASA | Ozone-Depleting Compound Persists

Earth’s atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound from an unknown source decades after the compound was banned worldwide.

The compound, carbon tetrachloride, was used in applications such as dry cleaning and as a fire-extinguishing agent, until its regulation in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol along with other chlorofluorocarbons that destroy ozone and contribute to the ozone hole over Antarctica. Parties to the Montreal Protocol reported zero new emissions between 2007-2012.

However, new research led by Qing Liang at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, shows that worldwide emissions of carbon tetrachloride average 39 kilotons per year – approximately 30 percent of peak emissions prior to the international treaty going into effect. Now that scientists have quantified the emissions they can begin investigating where they are coming from. Are there industrial leakages, large emissions from contaminated sites, or some other unknown source?

whateveramusesme
whateveramusesme:

Regal Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis)
A small, thin snake with smooth scales. A pale subspecies - light gray, olive-gray, or olive dorsal coloring, with a yellowish or light orange underside that is lightly speckled with black markings. The underside of the tail is a bright reddish orange. An orange band around the neck, sometimes faint or absent.

whateveramusesme:

Regal Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis)

A small, thin snake with smooth scales. A pale subspecies - light gray, olive-gray, or olive dorsal coloring, with a yellowish or light orange underside that is lightly speckled with black markings. The underside of the tail is a bright reddish orange. An orange band around the neck, sometimes faint or absent.

Spotted Lake: a surreal place
Located near the city of Osoyoos in British Columbia, Canada, the Spotted Lake is a place as strange as something out of a surrealist film. 
The Spotted Lake contains one of the world’s highest known concentrations of minerals: magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts), calcium and sodium sulphates, plus eight other minerals and traces of four more, including silver and titanium.
Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, leaving behind large “spots” of minerals. Depending on the mineral composition left behind, the spots will be of white, pale yellow, green or blue in color. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer to form harden natural “walkways” around and between the spots.
During the First World War, minerals from the lake were harvested for manufacture of ammunition. Known as Kliluk to the natives of the Okanagan Valley, the lake is a sacred and culturally significant site. 
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Leah Ballin

Spotted Lake: a surreal place

Located near the city of Osoyoos in British Columbia, Canada, the Spotted Lake is a place as strange as something out of a surrealist film. 

The Spotted Lake contains one of the world’s highest known concentrations of minerals: magnesium sulphate (Epsom salts), calcium and sodium sulphates, plus eight other minerals and traces of four more, including silver and titanium.

Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, leaving behind large “spots” of minerals. Depending on the mineral composition left behind, the spots will be of white, pale yellow, green or blue in color. The spots are made mainly of magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer to form harden natural “walkways” around and between the spots.

During the First World War, minerals from the lake were harvested for manufacture of ammunition. Known as Kliluk to the natives of the Okanagan Valley, the lake is a sacred and culturally significant site. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Leah Ballin

togivelifeameaning

togivelifeameaning:

Okay so I have this idea but it is impossible to execute on the level that I want at the moment as the current government doesn’t believe in the environment being an issue at all so the people who can help me are struggling for funds and are reluctant to chuck anything my way.

My idea however is that Australians travel enough that if we all travel ethically, then we can make a huge conservation impact worldwide. I have made these as a preliminary message for you all so that when you travel you can make a choice about what you are going to contribute to. Let me know if you have any ideas for me about how to build this project up! I am talking with tourism and environmental organisations at the moment so hopefully momentum builds :)

Michio Kaku - History of a Time to Come

Michio Kaku (born January 24, 1947) is an American theoretical physicist, the Henry Semat Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York, a futurist, and a communicator and popularizer of science. He has written several books about physics and related topics, has made frequent appearances on radio, television, and film, and writes extensive online blogs and articles. He has written three New York Times Best Sellers: Physics of the Impossible (2008), Physics of the Future (2011), and The Future of the Mind (2014).

Bloody Ivory

An unsustainable four elephants are killed in Africa every hour for the ivory in their tusks. But while impoverished locals are enlisted to pull the triggers, it is highly organised transnational crime syndicates and militias that run the poaching and reap the lion’s share of the profits, fuelling terrorism and increasingly war.

That’s the conclusion of a joint report by the conservation group Born Free USA and C4ADS, a non-profit organization that conducts data-driven analysis of security and conflict issues.

In 2013, roughly 400 tonnes of ivory was trafficked, representing the tusks of 50,000 elephants – a billion dollar a year business. The price of ivory in China, which is by far the largest market, has sky-rocketed from $6 a kilo in 1976 to $3000 today – far more than most Africans earn in a year.

Elephants in east Africa are facing what Iain Douglas-Hamilton, zoologist and founder of Save the Elephants, calls “a crisis but not yet a catastrophe”. Elephants are “amazingly resilient creatures”, he says, and in regions where up to half of their deaths are caused by humans, the animals can still manage to maintain healthy communities. But when that number rises above 50 per cent – as has happened in much of Africa – reproduction rates can’t replace the losses, and the species spirals into decline.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Nick Brandt/Big Life Foundation in: Varun Vira and Thomas Ewing (2014). Ivory’s Course, The Militarization & Professionalization of Poaching in Africa. 

Infographic: ©Nigel Hawtin (2014)

whateveramusesme
whateveramusesme:

World’s biggest aquatic insect claimed by China
An insect with huge horn-like jaws and a wingspan similar to a sparrow’s has been reported by Chinese media as a record-breaking find.
"With its wingspan measured as 21 centimetres, the insect won the title of the largest aquatic insect in the world," reported Ecns.cn, the official English-language service of the state-run China News Service.
This insect belongs to the taxonomic group or order Megaloptera (a name that means large, folded wings). The group includes large insects called dobsonflies or fishflies, along with smaller alderflies.

whateveramusesme:

World’s biggest aquatic insect claimed by China

An insect with huge horn-like jaws and a wingspan similar to a sparrow’s has been reported by Chinese media as a record-breaking find.

"With its wingspan measured as 21 centimetres, the insect won the title of the largest aquatic insect in the world," reported Ecns.cn, the official English-language service of the state-run China News Service.

This insect belongs to the taxonomic group or order Megaloptera (a name that means large, folded wings). The group includes large insects called dobsonflies or fishflies, along with smaller alderflies.