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Enbridge Pipeline Project "Dead"

Wildlife News

Alliance unites to kill company's plans for shipping tarsands oil across B.C.

By Suzanne Fournier, The Province--March 24, 2010


An "unprecedented" alliance of more than 150 First Nations, environmentalists, unions, businesses and even Olympic athletes have united to oppose Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across B.C.

First Nations leaders vowed on Tuesday to use "every possible means" to stop Enbridge from sending Alberta tarsands oil by pipeline to Kitimat and then by tanker down the B.C. coast.

"We'll start with every legal means we can, and we have many, including our constitutionally-protected rights and title to these lands and waters," Coastal First Nations director Art Sterritt said in Vancouver.

"There are many court decisions backing us, but failing all of that, our people have said they will blockade tankers in their little vessels. This is not an uphill battle, this is the wall. Enbridge has just hit the wall. As far as we're concerned, this project is dead."


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Lifting Capacity of Eagles

Bald Eagle Biology

Eagles are predators but they have a very small lifting capacity.  Many times I have described our experiments and field observations on what eagles can lift. 

Generally a male can lift about 1.5 pounds and a female up to 2.5 to 3 pounds -- the latter if there is a good headwind.  However, this is not even lifting this weight for more than a few 100 yards and not necessarily up to a nest.

On the other hand, many a small cat, or parts of a road killed cat, can be lifted.  Eagles have great difficulty handling mink or cats because of 'fighting back' with sharp claws.  So a big 8 -10 pound cat is certainly beyond a bald eagle's capacity but parts of one, particularly cut by vehicle traffic, can and are lifted. 

We have the same frequent problem here but the predator is the coyote -- some live almost exclusively on cats. Raccoons take cats but a big cat can out-climb and out-fight or out-run most coons.

As you probably know cars take most cats.  I and a few close neighbors lose one or two of our barn cats each year. We see them dead on the road or their blood smear left when the coyotes got to them before I could even throw them off the road or bury them.  I recently wrote an item about road kills -- and the good source of food they are for eagles.  However, the other side is that eagles are often killed eating road kills and I spend a lot of time throwing kills off the road for this purpose.

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Whaling: the great betrayal

March 23, 2010

source: The Independent

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor

Outrage as secret deal set to sweep away international moratorium

The moratorium on commercial whaling, one of the environmental movement's greatest achievements, looks likely to be swept away this summer by a new international deal being negotiated behind closed doors. The new arrangement would legitimise the whaling activities of the three countries which have continued to hunt whales in defiance of the ban - Japan, Norway and Iceland - and would allow commercial whaling in the Southern Ocean Sanctuary set up by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in 1994.

Conservationists regard it as catastrophic, but fear there is a very real chance of its being accepted at the next IWC meeting in Morocco in June, not least because it is being strongly supported by the US - previously one of whaling's most determined opponents.

Should the deal go ahead, it would represent one of the most significant setbacks ever for conservation, and as big a failure for wildlife protection as December's Copenhagen conference was for action on climate change.

Agreed in 1982, and introduced in 1986, the whaling moratorium was brought in after a prolonged and intense campaign by green pressure groups highlighting the fact that many populations of the great whales had been drastically reduced by over-hunting - blue whales, the largest of all, had been driven to the brink of extinction - and that whaling itself, based on the firing of explosive harpoons into large and intelligent animals, was cruel.



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A Perspective on Earth Hour

Wildlife News

An hour is what you make of it - you can't get it back and you can't lend it to someone who has used theirs up; it's yours and yours alone.

This day we, especially those of us in the so-called developed world, should be all taking at least this coming 8:30PM to 9:30PM (local time - Earth Hour) hour to think about what our use of power to light our lives after dark and away from windows means. 

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Mother Birds Know Best -- Even Before Birth

Wildlife News

ScienceDaily (Mar. 27, 2010) — Mother birds communicate with their developing chicks before they even hatch by leaving them messages in the egg, new research by a team from the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, has found.

By changing conditions within the egg, canary mothers leave a message for their developing chicks about the life they will face after birth. In response, nestlings adjust the development of their begging behaviour.

If chicks get a message that they will be reared by generous parents then they beg more vigorously for food after hatching. But chicks that are destined to be raised by meaner parents end up being much less demanding.

By attending to messages in the egg, nestlings gain weight more rapidly because they match their demands to the parents' supply of food, and can avoid either begging too little or wasting effort on unrewarded begging.

The Cambridge team made the discovery using fostering experiments, exchanging eggs between canaries' nests so that the chicks grew up in an environment that they were not expecting.


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