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Pipeline Plan Slams into $120 Million Coastal Eco-Pact

Conservation & Preservation

BC's Great Bear Rainforest deal was a landmark mix of public and private investment.

 Oil tankers, say backers, weren't part of the bargain.

By: By Geoff Dembicki, 4 October 2010,

 Two Calgarians and one Ontario aboriginal will help decide the economic future of coastal B.C. They've been appointed to assess one of the most controversial energy projects in the province's history.

Their recommendations could determine whether federal policymakers approve plans by Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to build a pipeline from Alberta's oil sands to the west coast, and then ship fossil fuels on supertankers to Asia. The proposal carries huge environmental risks. It also revives a fiery economic debate.

How do you develop a pristine eco-system? Or do you develop it at all?


View full article and comments: The Tyee

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Underwater Robot to Explore Ice-Covered Ocean and Antarctic Ice Shelf

Planet Earth


ScienceDaily (Oct. 19, 2010) — Researchers at the University of British Columbia are deploying an underwater robot to survey ice-covered ocean in Antarctica from Oct. 17 through Nov. 12, 2010.


Scientists predict that the sea ice area around Antarctica will be reduced by more than 33 per cent by 2100, accelerating the collapse of ice shelves. Up to hundreds of metres thick, ice shelves are floating platforms of ice that cover almost half of Antarctica's coastline.

The mission will study the effect of ice shelves on the mixing of sea water, and will provide critical data for the Antarctica 2010 Glacier Tongues and Ocean Mixing Research Project led by investigator Craig Stevens at the New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research. The field site is located in New Zealand's Ross Dependency in Antarctica and the team includes scientists from New Zealand, Canada, the United States and France.

Until recently, scientists have had limited ability to access ice-covered waters, but the research team's use of a high-tech robot aims to change that.

"Few labs in the world are able to investigate the spatial variability of ocean properties under ice," explains Assoc. Prof. Bernard Laval, head of the UBC Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Fluid Mechanics research group.

"Findings from this study will be unique as there have only been a few under-ice AUV deployments globally, even fewer in the vicinity of ice shelves," says Laval, who teaches civil engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science. ...


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African Spotted Eagle Owl Camera now on Hancock Wildlife Site

Thanks to our friends at, we are now presenting their African Spotted Eagle Owl camera. This pair has nested in a potted plant stand due to pressures on their normal nesting habitat. I use "normal" in a loose fashion, since these owls are every bit as urbanized as our local population of Bald Eagles are here in Vancouver. They sit on the tops of lamp standards and nest in all manner of locations in the urban areas of Southern Africa. 

Just prior to our setting things up here, one of the three chicks fell out of the pot stand and has been being looked after by the local wildlife rehabilitation center - similar to our local O.W.L. center here in the Vancouver area (where we have eagle nest cameras too.)

As of today, Monday October 18, this third chick is back in the nest pot.

Watch this fascinating camera (infrared during night - which is day-time here in North America) and see how the adults handle this re-introduction

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Goat that killed Wash. hiker known as aggressive

Wildlife News


A mountain goat that fatally gored a hiker, then stood over the man and stared at people trying to help, had shown aggressive behavior in the past, Olympic National Park officials said Monday.

Associated Press Writer


A mountain goat that fatally gored a hiker, then stood over the man and stared at people trying to help, had shown aggressive behavior in the past, Olympic National Park officials said Monday.

Robert Boardman, 63, of Port Angeles, died Saturday after he was attacked by the goat while hiking on the subalpine Switchback Trail in the park. The trail is popular with residents of nearby Port Angeles, which is about 85 miles west of Seattle.

Park rangers later found the goat, observed blood on it and shot the animal.

Rangers have been tracking the goat and others for the past four years because they have followed people or approached hikers without backing down, said park spokeswoman Barb Maynes.

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Deaths of three golden eagles investigated by police

The deaths of three golden eagles in the Highlands of Scotland are being investigated by detectives.

Published:  12 May 2010

The eagles and a number of other birds of prey were found dead in the same area of East Sutherland during the past week.

They have been sent to Edinburgh for forensic analysis to establish whether the deaths were suspicious. It is not yet known whether the birds were poisoned.

Northern Constabulary officers are working on the investigation with the RSPB, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the National Wildlife Crime Unit.



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