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Glass at LRT stations could be hazard for birds. The glass LRT stations may be a hazard to the Ottawa bird population, an animal activist group warns. “The new LRT stations are, objectively, not bird-friendly,” Safe Wings Ottawa wrote on its website. “These structures feature large expanses of clear glass, often in areas with a lot of nearby vegetation and high levels of bird activity.

They are also lit up quite brightly, creating light pollution that contributes to bird collisions.” As for what defines a bird-friendly structure, Anouk Hoedeman co-ordinator of Safe Wings Ottawa, said it’s a matter of less glass. “It comes down to using less glass and any glass that is used has a pattern on it so that birds can see it,” she said. As for examples of bird friendly planning Hoedeman said Toronto’s newer transit infrastructure has done well and Ottawa could benefit by following suit.

“When they’re putting up sound barriers or glass along platforms, that’s bird friendly glass,” she said. Egan: We ripped up Elgin. No, this island of pumice will not help save the Great Barrier Reef. It's a stunning picture: a raft of pumice the size of a city floating along the Pacific Ocean. While some news outlets have hailed it as a possible answer to saving the dead and dying coral of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, it's by no means an answer to coral reefs' battle against warming waters as global ocean temperatures rise.

"No," said Mark Eakin, director of Coral Reef Watch, a program that monitors global coral reef systems. "Floating pumice is not going to save the Great Barrier Reef. It's that simple. " Coral is a single animal made up of hundreds to thousands of small creatures called polyps. Microscopic algae live inside the coral's tissue and provide coral with their colour and about 90 per cent of the energy they need to grow. But these algae, called zooxanthellae, are extremely sensitive to their surrounding water temperature. Watch and listen as a boat sails through the pumice "raft" in the Pacific Ocean. Oceans And that's the real problem. 'Nowhere to run' Grooming for 'natural beauty' messes up beach biodiversity. Share this Article You are free to share this article under the Attribution 4.0 International license. Attempts to maintain the “natural beauty” of Southern California beaches are actually having a massive negative impact on the beach ecosystem overall, a new study warns.

To most people, a beach is a beach. You could likely take an image of almost any urban beach in Southern California—the flat, mostly featureless expanse of sand against blue-green water and blue skies—swap it with one of nearly any other urban beach in the area, and chances are that only a trained eye would notice the difference. Some of these differences lie just beneath the surface, however, and are quite important ecologically. Dig just a few inches into the sand and you’ll find it teeming with life such as sand crabs, clams, and beach hoppers. All of this, scientists write in a new paper in Ecological Indicators, has massive impacts on the larger beach ecosystem.

Too much grooming The ‘wrong sand’ Save bees by holding back on the mowing, gardeners urged. Nature is in its worst shape in human history, UN report says. Nature is in more trouble now than at any other time in human history, with extinction looming over one million species of plants and animals, scientists said Monday in the UN's first comprehensive report on biodiversity. It's all because of humans, but it's not too late to fix the problem, the report by the United Nations says. Species loss is accelerating to a rate tens or hundreds of times faster than in the past, the report said.

More than half a million species on land "have insufficient habitat for long-term survival" and are likely to go extinct, many within decades, unless their habitats are restored. The oceans are not any better off. "Humanity unwittingly is attempting to throttle the living planet and humanity's own future," said George Mason University biologist Thomas Lovejoy, who has been called the godfather of biodiversity for his research. Conservation scientists from around the world convened in Paris to issue the report, which exceeded 1,000 pages. Ghost Cat Gone: Eastern Cougar Officially Declared Extinct • The Revelator.

The subspecies has now been removed from the Endangered Species Act, 80 years after its last sighting. Say good-bye to the “ghost cat.” This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially declared the eastern cougar (Puma concolor couguar) to be extinct and removed it from the endangered species list. This news, sad though it is, has been a long time coming. The big cats, once native to New England, were last verifiably observed back in 1938. The Service first concluded that the species was extinct back in 2011, and then proposed removing its protected status in 2015. This latest step, taken after extensive scientific review and public comment, completes the eastern cougar’s long journey into the night. Eastern cougars — also known as “ghost cats,” catamounts, panthers and, of course, mountain lions — disappeared after decades of overhunting on multiple fronts. On top of that, the cats also ran out of their primary prey, deer, which were themselves hunted into near-extinction. 11 species added to Canadian at-risk list | Canadian Geographic.

This June saw the addition of eleven species to Canada’s species-at-risk list, a move many consider to be long overdue. The designations came as a result of assessments done by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), a group of wildlife experts that make recommendations to the federal government regarding species they believe warrant legal protection. The government then has nine months to accept or reject COSEWIC's recommendation. The last time a species was added to the at-risk list was in 2010, with the result that there is now a backlog of species awaiting a decision. The horned grebe, a North American wetland bird, was recommended back in 2009, meaning it took nearly seven years for it to officially make the list. The majority of the recent listings are categorized as special concern—the lowest level of concern behind threatened, endangered, and extirpated, the latter being the most severe designation before a species is declared extinct.

Is biodiversity the enemy of nature? - Conservation. It’s easy to use a word so often that its meaning is taken for granted. Nuances are lost, conceptual freight laid aside, assumptions unexamined. Take biodiversity: just a few decades old, the word is now ubiquitous, a default frame for thinking about nature—and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Writing in the journal Biological Conservation, environmental philosopher Freya Mathews of Australia’s Latrobe University challenges biodiversity: not its scientific meaning, but the way it’s used in policy settings. There the word is not just scientific but political, says Mathews, and “it drastically limits what conservationists may aspire to achieve.” For Mathews, the problem with biological diversity, a concept first articulated in 1980 by conservation biologist Thomas Lovejoy and by the decade’s end synonymous with conservation, is an over-emphasis on type rather than instance.

Source: Mathews, Freya. Image: Christian Guthier/Flickr. Theconversation. Two separate studies from the United States and England, both published today, show evidence that populations of butterflies and wild bees have declined in association with increased neonicotinoid use. Neonicotinoids, or neonics, are pesticides applied to crops as seed treatments or sprays. Neonics have high selective toxicity for insects, meaning they are more toxic to insects than mammals.

When insects eat the treated plants, the pesticides affect the insects' health, behaviour and reproductive success. While there have been few studies in the natural environment until now, concerns about the ecological impact of neonics, including their possible link to bee declines, led the European Union to restrict their use in 2013.

What do the new studies tell us? In the US study, researchers looked at 40 years of butterfly data in northern California. These declines were associated with increasing use of neonics across the region, beginning in the mid-1990s. Out of the lab. Norway Becomes World’s First Country to Ban Deforestation. Piling stones in or along creeks or at the base of waterfalls is damaging to ecological cycle. The gentle roar of the 41-foot Huron Falls faded into the background as we approached the next cascade — Shawnee. I had really been anticipating an opportunity to photograph the two-tiered Shawnee Falls. However, when we rounded the bend in the trail, my vision of the beautiful natural landscape evaporated.

Near the base of the falls, someone had built three unnatural stacks of rocks, marring the scene at the edge of the bubbling water. Last year, my daughter, her husband and I spent an October morning hiking the Falls Trail through the Glens Natural Area in Ricketts Glen State Park. Ricketts Glen is a popular northeastern park, well-known for its beautiful waterfalls. The overcast sky provided a perfect light for photography. The autumn leaves were showing their first color, and the park’s 21 named waterfalls offered interesting photographic subjects. This issue affects more natural areas than just Ricketts Glen. “And it’s not just cairns,” McDaniel said. The World map from a wild animal perspective. Five hotbeds of biodiversity - Amazon Rain Forest. Biodiversity study sounds an extinction alert (for things with spines)

If a creature has a spine and walks, flies, swims, or crawls, it may be in serious trouble. Skip to next paragraph Subscribe Today to the Monitor Click Here for your FREE 30 DAYS ofThe Christian Science MonitorWeekly Digital Edition Some 20 percent of all vertebrate species on Earth are threatened by extinction, according to a newly published survey – a study the research team involved says is the most exhaustive to date on biodiversity among vertebrates.

The losses are due largely to human encroachment on habitat, over-fishing and over-hunting, as well as the arrival of invasive species in habitats whose natural inhabitants have no defenses against the invaders, the study says. But within an admittedly bleak global picture, the researchers add, conservation efforts have halted the decline in some species and brought others a significant step closer to recovery. "But our results show that conservation efforts are not wasted," she adds.