Lately, these shows have also filmed killing of wolverines, lynx, grizzly bears, rattle snakes, and crocodiles for no reason other than ratings. The wolf, above, was no threat to Tanana. The show exploits viewer’s naivete about guns by shooting this animal with an AR-15 semi-automatic gun. That’s not how Alaskans hunt, they use hunting rifles, not assault weapons that look good on camera. In fact, Alaskan outdoorsmen and women are appalled at this blatant exploitation of both the animal and the audience. There is no need for this.
My point is that we are at a critical time in human history. Species are going extinct at a rapid pace, science education is under attack from aging politicians, and young people are generally experiencing nature less and less.
I am genuinely worried about the future of this country’s environmental leadership. Federal conservation programs, which have taken decades to create, are weakening. The ethic of conservationism (a conservative ethos) is dwindling. Young people are being pulled in the direction of technology, and away from grandeur, away from fresh air and nature.
It seems to me that one important aspect of this messy new milieu are education based TV companies who heretofore have been untouched by healthy criticism.
I think it’s time to analyze the impact of these shows. I believe that the Discovery Channel et al are not contributing to a healthy planet nor are they assisting educating viewers. It seems to me they are mastering fear for short term gain and profits. If I am correct, and I believe I am, these companies need to stop and focus on their mission, which is non-fiction, education-based media - not sensationalism or harm.
These channels are failing the spirit of conservationism and education. They are failing inspiring awe in young people. Failing much needed inspiration in a very confused and conflicted world.
These shows are failing their core values, their main purpose, which is leadership in environmentalism and cultural education. Far worse, they are failing millions of young people - millions - who look up to them.
Please join me in asking Discovery, Animal Planet, and the History Channels to stop, apologize, and correct.
Nipped fingers and handfuls of guano will be the order of the day for wildlife rangers on the Farne Islands as they embark on an epic census on Friday to discover whether puffin numbers have plummeted after a year of extreme weather.
The first successful English colony in America was at Jamestown, Va., a swampy island in the Chesapeake Bay. The colony endured for almost a century, and remnants of the place still exist. You can go there and see the ruins. You can walk where Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas walked.
But Jamestown is now threatened by rising sea levels that scientists say could submerge the island by century’s end.
WASHINGTON — Climate change could lead to the widespread loss of common plants and animals around the world, according to a new study released Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
he study’s authors looked at 50,000 common species. They found that more than half the plants and about a third of the animals could lose about 50% of their range by 2080 if the world continues its current course of rising greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change affects the availability of nutrition and water for animals and plants. The narrowing of the geographic range of different common species means that plants and animals readily found in a given area could diminish markedly in those areas over the next seven decades.
“This study … tells us that the average plant and animal will experience significant range loss under climate change,” said the study’s lead author, Rachel Warren, of the Tyndall Centre at University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.
Warren said that until now, much climate change research had focused on the plight of rare species rather than common animals and plants. The study’s conclusions are “entirely consistent with what others are finding around the world,” said Peter B. Reich, professor of forest ecology at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, who read the report.
The new study predicted that plants, reptiles and particularly amphibians would face the greatest risks from climate change. It also concluded that sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, the Amazon region and Australia would likely lose the most species of plants and animals. It projected “a major loss of plant species” in North Africa, Central Asia and South America.
AMAP is one of five Working Groups of the Arctic Council.
The primary function of AMAP is to advise the governments of the eight Arctic countries (Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States) on matters relating to threats to the Arctic region from pollution, and associated issues.
“The United States Geological Society (USGS) has launched an online database and map that keeps track of more than 100 million different species and where they live within the United States,
Biodiversity Serving Our Nation (BISON)contains location-specific records of where living species are within the US. Its data comes from hundreds of different organizations and thousands of scientists, making it the most comprehensive map of American biodiversity ever made.
Anyone can search by scientific or common name of any living species (plant or animal), and can look to see what lives within any specific geographic area they want by drawing a perimeter—so, for example, searching to see exactly which forests in Virginia have been infected with a tree fungus.”
Calling All Tumblrs - Great Opportunity for Photographers!
Wilderness50, in partnership with Nature’s Best Photography and the Smithsonian Institution, recently announced the opening of this summer’s “Wilderness Forever” public photography contest. Winning images will be part of a 2014 exhibition in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
A zoom in of Marcos Island, Florida, an upscale community on the Gulf Coast side of the state. The city is was built on marshy barrier islands and is susceptible to beach erosion and sea level rise. It’s surrounded by protected conservation land, marine protected coast land, and was, until today, restricted from rapid development and expansion. The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, is set to reverse the trend by signing a slate of bills that would allow aggressive development in this and other protected areas around the Everglades. Over 20 environmental regulations and decades of environmental and land conservation battles are about to be destroyed at the stroke of a pen. But, if you’re a real estate developer, it sure is a pretty place to bulldoze…
Males don’t stand a chance in a warmer world, if they happen to be painted turtles. A temperature rise of around 1 °C is all it would take for the species to become 100 per cent female and earmarked for extinction.
Painted turtles (Chrysemys picta), found in lakes and streams across North America, are one of many reptile species whose sex is determined by temperature. Eggs in warm nests are likely to hatch as females, while males hatch in cooler nests, although no one is sure why.
In recent years, many researchers have raised concerns that global warming could skew the sex ratios of these reptiles. Rory Telemeco and his colleagues at Iowa State University developed a mathematical model to predict whether the painted turtles might be affected.
For over 25 years, Telemeco’s colleague, Fredric Janzen, documented the nesting times and sex ratio of painted turtle hatchlings on a small island in the Mississippi river in Carroll County, Illinois. He found that females can shift their nesting dates by about 10 days to ensure their eggs develop at temperatures that produce an even mix of males and females.
The team used this finding, along with historical records of soil and air temperatures, to create a mathematical model that predicts the sex ratio of eggs laid at different temperatures. In a preliminary test of the model, the group correctly predicted the sexes of 40 out of 46 hatchlings born in the wild.
Telemeco’s team then used the same model to predict what might happen to the sex ratio of future hatchlings. Conservative climate models predict that average temperatures in the US Midwest will rise by 4 °C over the next century. The group’s model suggests that this temperature hike would result in nests of all-female hatchlings, even if the turtles nest earlier, when temperatures are cooler. In fact, average temperatures only need to rise by 1.1 °C to have this effect, the team found. “It’s ultimately extinction,” says Telemeco.
Richard Shine, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney in Australia, who was not involved in the study, says the findings are likely to apply to many species where sex is dependent on temperature. “All crocodilians, a smattering of turtles and lizards, plus some fishes”, will be affected, he says. “Just laying your eggs a few weeks earlier won’t be enough to cancel the effects of warming,” he says.
The last known rhinoceroses in Mozambique have been wiped out by poachers apparently working in cahoots with the game rangers responsible for protecting them.
The 15 threatened animals were shot dead for their horns last month in the Mozambican part of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which also covers South Africa and Zimbabwe.
They were thought to be the last of an estimated 300 that roamed through the special conservation area when it was established as “the world’s greatest animal kingdom” in a treaty signed by the three countries’ presidents in 2002. (Denis Farrell / AP Photo)
The Tanzanian government has ordered thousands of Masai to abandon traditional grazing lands to make way for a conservation site.
But the Maasai are refusing to leave their ancestral land. They say the real reason they are being forced out is to give a Dubai-based hunting company exclusive access.
Wildlife Instead, the hunting company, says that it will bring clients in for a six-month season and the Maasai can graze their cattle out of season. However, researchers say that the livestock are a part of the area’s ecosystem.
Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste reports from Lolyondo in northern Tanzania.
30,000 Maasai being pushed off their land in part by an exclusive Dubai trophy hunting/tourism company. Government says it’s conserve the land, and the company has nothing to do with it.
Allan Savory: How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change
Not at all what I expected. For just over half his talk, Savory discusses the issue of desertification, which many of you are familiar with. He (like many others) makes the case for restoring these deserts.
Then, in the last six minutes, he completely blows everyone’s minds. You just gotta see it.
A blog about the interactions between the built environment, people, and nature.
I'm a climate change consultant specializing in climate adaptation, environmental law, and urban planning based in the U.S. In addition to traveling and hiking, I research, publish, and lecture on how cities can adapt to climate change.
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