Lawsuits to Protect Migratory Birds

Originally posted on Natural History Wanderings:
Center for Biological Diversity News Release Lawsuits Seek to Restore Federal Protections for Migratory Birds WASHINGTON— A coalition of national environmental groups today filed litigation in the Southern District of New York challenging the Trump administration’s move to eliminate longstanding protections for waterfowl, raptors and songbirds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Groups filing the litigation — National Audubon Society v. Department of the Interior —included the American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council. In a legal opinion issued December 2017, the Trump administration abruptly reversed decades of government policy and practice — by both Democratic and Republican administrations — on the implementation and enforcement of the MBTA. The Act’s prohibition on the killing or “taking” of migratory birds has long been understood to extend to incidental take from industrial activities — meaning unintentional but predictable and avoidable killing. Under the Trump administration’s revised interpretation, the MBTA’s protections will apply only to activities that purposefully kill birds. Any “incidental” take — no matter how inevitable or devastating the impact on birds — is now immune from enforcement under the law. The risk of liability under the MBTA has long provided the oil and gas industry, wind energy development companies and power transmission line operators with an incentive to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to minimize bird…

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Wild Horse Management Plan Would ‘Guarantee Extinction,’ Mustang Advocates Say

Originally posted on Straight from the Horse's Heart:
By Kristin Hugo as published on Newsweek photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently proposed a series of options that would drastically reduce the number of mustangs on public lands. Some horse lovers think the plan would be too effective and wipe out the animals completely. The options include…

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Australian birds from different species help each other

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog:
https://youtu.be/qcXLvpP-jEk This video says about itself: Amazing footage of Western Australia’s Splendid Fairy-wren 15 October 2012 This amazing footage of singing and dancing Splendid Fairy-wrens was taken by Birds in Backyards ambassador Angus Stewart during a spring 2012 visit to Western Australia. Be an Aussie Bird friend by registering for free membership at http://birdsinbackyards.net. From the University of Chicago Medical Center in the USA: Birds from different species recognize each other and cooperate Researchers show for the first time how birds from two different species recognize individuals and cooperate for mutual benefit May 21, 2018 Summary: Scientists show how two different species of Australian fairy-wrens not only recognize individual birds from other species, but also form long-term partnerships that help them forage and defend their shared space as a group. Cooperation among different species of birds is common. Some birds build their nests near those of larger, more aggressive species to deter predators, and flocks of mixed species forage for food and defend territories together in alliances that can last for years. In most cases, though, these partnerships are not between specific individuals of the other species — any bird from the other species will do. But in a new study published in the journal Behavioral Ecology, scientists from the University of Chicago and University of Nebraska show how two different species of Australian fairy-wrens not only recognize individual birds from other species,…

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Giraffes, new research

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog:
https://youtu.be/P_ckAbOr0r4 This video is called Giraffes 101 | National Geographic Wild. From the University of Bristol in England: Giraffes surprise biologists yet again May 18, 2018 New research from the University of Bristol has highlighted how little we know about giraffe behaviour and ecology. It is commonly accepted that group sizes of animals increase when there is a risk of predation, since larger group sizes reduce the risk of individuals being killed, and there are ‘many eyes’ to spot any potential predation risk. Now, in the first study of its kind, Bristol PhD student Zoe Muller from the School of Biological Sciences has found that this is not true for giraffes, and that the size of giraffe groups is not influenced by the presence of predators. Zoe Muller said: “This is surprising, and highlights how little we know about even the most basic aspects of giraffe behaviour.” This study investigates how the grouping behaviour of giraffes differed in response to numerous factors, such as predation risk, habitat type and the characteristics of individuals. Habitat type had some effect on group size, but the main effect on group size was in the behaviour of adult females, who were found to be in smaller groups when they had calves. This is contrary to another popular belief that female giraffes form large groups to communally care for their young — this study, published this week in…

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That NASA climate science program Trump axed? House lawmakers just moved to restore it

Originally posted on The Secular Jurist:
The House appropriations panel that oversees NASA unanimously approved an amendment to a 2019 spending bill that orders the space agency to set aside $10 million within its earth science budget for a “climate monitoring system” that studies “biogeochemical processes to better understand the major factors driving short and long term climate change.” That sounds almost identical to the work that NASA’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) was doing before the Trump administration targeted the program, which was getting about $10 million annually, for elimination this year. Critics of the move said it jeopardized numerous research projects and plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords. […] The bill now goes to the full House, and ultimately will need to be reconciled with a parallel bill in the Senate. It will likely be several months before Congress completes action on the 2019 budget. Continue reading:  That NASA climate science program Trump axed? House lawmakers just moved to restore it

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Concrete Jungles, Habitat For Humanity, Parrots

Originally posted on La Paz Group:
https://youtu.be/KJ6aZUxLCiQ The state’s ecology is a kind of urban legend come true—the old alligator-flushed-down-the-toilet story, with a thousand species. Illustration by Charles Burns When I first read this article about the downstream problems of the pet trade, I was living in India and learning about efforts to reduce the poaching crisis of wild animals being…

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