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North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds, Scientists Say

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:
LISTEN·2:522:52PLAYLIST DOWNLOAD EMBED ” /> Facebook Twitter Flipboard Email September 19, 20192:01 PM ET Heard on All Things Considered NELL GREENFIELDBOYCE Migrating shorebirds at Kimbles Beach, N.J. Researchers estimate that the population of North American shorebirds alone has fallen by more than a third since 1970. Jacqueline Larma/AP https://www.npr.org/2019/09/19/762090471/north-america-has-lost-3-billion-birds-scientists-say Over the past half-century, North America has lost more than a quarter of its entire bird population, or around 3 billion birds. That’s according to a new estimate published in the journal Science by researchers who brought together a variety of information that has been collected on 529 bird species since 1970. “We saw this tremendous net loss across the entire bird community,” says Ken Rosenberg, an applied conservation scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, N.Y. “By our estimates, it’s a 30% loss in the total number of breeding birds.” Rosenberg and his colleagues already knew that a number of bird populations had been decreasing. “But we also knew that other bird populations were increasing,” he says. “And what we didn’t know is whether there was a net change.” Scientists thought there might simply be a shift in the total bird population toward more generalist birds adapted to living around humans. To find out, the researchers collected data from long-running surveys conducted with the help of volunteer bird spotters, such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey and the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. They combined that data with a decade’s worth of…

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Here’s How North Carolina’s Wild Horses Have Survived Hurricanes

Originally posted on Straight from the Horse's Heart:
by Kareena Koirala as published on AmoMama.com Hurricane Dorian struck with tragic devastation. However, the majestic breed of wild horses living in North Carolina’s Outer Banks used their natural defenses against the storm. According to Corolla Wild Horse Fund, which looks after the herd of wild horses in the area, the…

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Trump Auctions Off 150,000 Acres of Public Lands for Fracking Near Utah National Parks

Originally posted on The Extinction Chronicles:
?  Center for Biological Diversity Dec. 12, 2018 11:45AM ESTENERGY https://www.ecowatch.com/fracking-utah-national-parks-2623200218.html?xrs=RebelMouse_fb&ts=1544651115&fbclid=IwAR07PM9jpEkBVQK_LXOnp-1d5T6tmmAS6FPvq7ZOUTmCL2UcvLz5EzAIR9s Arches National Park. Chris Dodds / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0 On Tuesday the Trump administration offered more than 150,000 acres of public lands for fossil-fuel extraction near some of Utah’s most iconic landscapes, including Arches and Canyonlands national parks. Dozens of Utahns gathered at the state Capitol to protest the lease sale, which included lands within 10 miles of internationally known protected areas. In addition to Arches and Canyonlands, the Bureau of Land Management leased public lands for fracking near Bears Ears, Canyons of the Ancients and Hovenweep national monuments and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. “Utahns have demonstrated their commitment to transition away from dirty fossil fuels through clean energy resolutions passed in municipalities across our state. Yet, these commitments continue to be undermined by rampant oil and gas lease sales, which threaten our public health, public lands, and economy. While Utah’s recreational and tourism economies continue to flourish, these attempts to develop sacred cultural, environmental, and recreational spaces for dirty fuels remain a grave and growing threat.” said Ashley Soltysiak, director of the Utah Sierra Club. “Utah is our home and the reckless sale of our public lands with limited public engagement is simply unacceptable and short-sighted.” Fracking in these areas threatens sensitive plants and animals, including the black-footed ferret, Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker and Graham’s beardtongue. It also will worsen…

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Researchers unearth ‘new’ extinction

Originally posted on The Extinction Chronicles:
by New York University Credit: CC0 Public Domain https://phys.org/news/2019-09-unearth-extinction.html A team of scientists has concluded that earth experienced a previously underestimated severe mass-extinction event, which occurred about 260 million years ago, raising the total of major mass extinctions in the geologic record to six. “It is crucial that we know the number of severe mass extinctions and their timing in order to investigate their causes,” explains Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University’s Department of Biology and a co-author of the analysis, which appears in the journal Historical Biology. “Notably, all six major mass extinctions are correlated with devastating environmental upheavals—specifically, massive flood-basalt eruptions, each covering more than a million square kilometers with thick lava flows.” Scientists had previously determined that there were five major mass-extinction events, wiping out large numbers of species and defining the ends of geological periods: the end of the Ordovician (443 million years ago), the Late Devonian (372 million years ago), the Permian (252 million years ago), the Triassic (201 million years ago), and the Cretaceous (66 million years ago). And, in fact, many researchers have raised concerns about the contemporary, ongoing loss of species diversity—a development that might be labeled a “seventh extinction” because such a modern mass extinction, scientists have predicted, could end up being as severe as these past events. The Historical Biology work, which also included Nanjing University’s Shu-zhong Shen, focused on the Guadalupian, or Middle Permian period,…

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