Friday, June 6, 2008

Under-Resourced, Under Threat

I stand corrected... While I presented yesterday that the IPCC did include much on the effects of climate change on oceans, it was not enough in fact! Just today this paper was released in Science and the very first sentence reads: "The recent IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fourth Assessment Report (2007) noted 28,586 significant biological changes in terrestrial systems but only 85 from marine and freshwater systems. Of these few observations from aquatic systems, 99% were consistent with global warming, which suggests that aquatic systems may be extremely vulnerable to climate change."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Right whales tangled in red tape

CNN today has a story on the plight of the right whales. They are called "right whales" because whalers thought the whales were the "right" ones to hunt, as they float when killed and often swim within sight of the shore. Although hunting was banned in 1935 the species has not yet recovered.

A measure aimed at protecting them, by requiring commercial ships to slow down to 10 knots inside a 30-mile "bubble" near ports when these whales are migrating, is currently stalled in bureaucracy.

"We think that more animals are being killed than are being born, and there are a couple of main sources of human-caused mortality that we are trying to reduce," said Jim Lecky, director of the Office of Protected Resources at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).

The World Shipping Council, an industry group representing more than two dozen global shipping companies, filed documents with the U.S. federal government opposing the speed limits saying the change would cause "significant economic costs."

The group even suggested that if large ships went faster through the whales' habitat, the chance of a collision would be lower.

In response to the group's theory, NOAA's Lecky said: "Would you speed through a school zone?"

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Neon and barcoding

Links to a couple of projects I mentioned today. The National Ecological Observatory Network (or NEON) and the news report about the Moorea bar code grant. The Gump station also have their own website about the barcoding project.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Restoring the prairie

We'll be talking a little about restoration tomorrow and there was an interesting article in the Santa Barbara News Press (from the AP news service) on Friday last week about the efforts of the Shakopee Mdewakanton communities efforts to restore land that has been farmed for over 100 years to it's native prairie community

Are black bears coming to stay in IV?

With black bear management regulations beginning in 1982, both population and range size have been increasing in recent years. Currently there are 25,000-30,000 black bears in 52,000 square miles in California.

Before my breakfast on Saturday morning, there was a sign posted in my campus residence complex (just North of IV) warning that a bear was spotted that morning very close by! I am not sure whether Fish and Game ever found it and what they did if they did find it.

Please post something on the blog, if you heard anything!

"The primary goal of the Department's black bear management program is to maintain a viable and healthy black bear population." Will they maintain this population size even if bears begin to encroach upon areas of human settlement?

for more information on CA Dept of Fish and Game Black Bear Management see their website