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Birds in conflict: Bald eagles attack colonies of herons across Western Washington

Wildlife News

Saturday, March 27, 2010

source:The Seattle Times

Submitted by: 'edkeagle'

Seattle Times staff reporter

Near a small pond on Renton's western edge, nests of great blue herons, perched up to 100 feet high in a stand of cottonwood trees, appear safe from any danger from below.

But not from above.

With increasing frequency, this heron colony and others throughout Western Washington are being attacked by bald eagles. It's gotten to the point that Suzanne Krom, founder of a group called Herons Forever, said eagles are treating heron nesting grounds as "all-you-can-eat, fast-food delis."

Bald eagles, roaring back from the brink of extinction, are now almost commonplace even in urban areas, searching for food in a shrinking habitat.

Their attacks against herons link two species, each of which has an emotional significance for humans: Bald eagles are proud, fierce symbols of the country. Great blue herons, named official bird of Seattle in 2003, have what bird-watcher Danny O'Keefe calls "a certain kind of meditative grace."

Particularly during the breeding season, now under way, heron watchers report seeing eagles chasing herons off their nests, then preying on the eggs and hatchlings left behind.

To read the rest of this story please visit:

The Seattle Times

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UK Government Creates World’s Largest Marine Reserve

Conservation & Preservation

source: Chagos Conservation Trust

London 01 April 2010

UK Government Creates World’s Largest Marine Reserve - ‘An inspirational decision for nature conservation and for posterity’

 The UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, announced today the creation of a Marine Protected Area in the British Indian Ocean Territory (the Chagos Archipelago). This will include a no-take marine reserve where commercial fishing will be banned. The decision follows several years of background research and a three month public consultation on the future management of the Chagos Islands, set out by British Government. More than 275,000 people and many leading scientific and conservation organisations from Britain and elsewhere urged the UK government to establish a strict Chagos marine protected area. 

The Chagos islands (British Indian Ocean Territory) form an archipelago remotely situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean. They consist of Diego Garcia (with its UK/US military presence) and 54 tiny uninhabited coral islands spread in 210,000 square miles of ocean. The Territory has belonged to Britain since 1814 (the Treaty of Paris). 

‘Today’s decision by the British Government is inspirational. It will protect a treasure trove of tropical, marine wildlife for posterity and create a safe haven for breeding fish stocks for the benefit of people in the region. Our Trust has worked for the protection of Chagos for 20 years and we applaud this wonderful UK contribution for 2010, International Year of Biodiversity’ - William Marsden, Chairman of the Chagos Conservation Trust. ...

 

To read the remainder of this Press Release please visit

Chagos Conservation Trust

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Blueprint of the songbird genome

Wildlife News
By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News
Zebra finch, which is the first songbird to have had its genome
decoded
The zebra finch is the first songbird to have had its genome decoded


Scientists have created a "blueprint" of the genome of a songbird.

The advance, described in the journal Nature, could reveal some of the evolutionary secrets of vocal learning in animals, including humans.

The researchers say it will aid the study the genetics of speech disorders, such as those related to autism, stuttering and Parkinson's Disease.

The international research team was led by Dr Wesley Warren from the Washington University in St Louis, US.

"The zebra finch is a beautiful model for vocal learning," Dr Warren said.

 

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The Status of the Wolf - Part 1

Wolves

        To coincide with the release by Hancock House Publishers of Dreaming of Wolves: Adventures in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania, I am pleased to write a series of articles summarizing the current ecological and legal status of wolves in the wild. I will begin with the status of gray and red wolves[1] in the lower 48 states of the United States and continue with wolves in other regions as I have time.

        As keystone species, wolves have played a major role in shaping the content and dynamics of ecosystems, and in the evolution of such valued (by wolves and humans) game animals as elk, caribou, bison, deer, and moose. In addition, wolves and humans share a long history of interaction – a long history of competition and conflict, and, in the case of one subspecies of wolf, the domestic dog[2], a long history of cooperation and friendship. But as humans have come to dominate the earth’s physical environment, the status of the wolf has come to depend almost entirely on human societal attitudes about nature, wildlife, and the role of large predators. Thus the status of the wolf during the last few centuries is largely a story about shifting human values.

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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   sfournier@theprovince.com

 

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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