January 25, 2014 |
They are gaudy. They are hungry. And they are invading coral reefs and devouring native fish throughout the Caribbean. They are lionfish, and they are multiplying like crazy. Until recently, the battle to save the Carribean's coral reefs from a lionfish explosion seemed hopeless. Lionfish grow quickly and spawn as much as once every three to four days. They are "gape-limited," which means they feast on whatever fits in their mouth, and there is a painful venom in their spikes. At least in the Atlantic, they appear to have no natural predators.
December 23, 2013 |
The Sierra Club's Angeles Chapter is leading an active adventure -- expect to walk or hike three to five miles a day -- in Israel that includes snorkeling among the coral reefs of the Red Sea, floating in the Dead Sea, bird watching in the Hula Nature Reserve and hiking up Masada, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also included are walking tours of the Old City of Jerusalem, Caesarea and Jaffa, the oldest port town in the world. In Jerusalem, the group will walk and learn about the places that are sacred to all three major religions as well as learn about other unique people in Israel, such as the Bedouin, the Druze and the Bahais.
May 6, 2013 |
In recent years, the Indo-Pacific lionfish - a dramatically striped, finned and armored aquarium fish - has invaded Atlantic and Caribbean coral reefs. It has been spotted off the Southeastern United States, throughout the Caribbean Sea, in the Gulf of Mexico, and it's now eating its way toward South America. What's to blame for this invasion? Most likely aquarium releases beginning in the early 1980s. And once introduced, lionfish took off. The fish has no known predator in the Atlantic.
January 7, 2013 |
As the tide drops, seawater in Ofu Lagoon gets cut off from the ocean swirling around American Samoa. Under the intense South Pacific sun, these shallow waters can reach 93 degrees -- temperatures that typically would make corals overheated, cause them to bleach bone white and die. Yet the corals in these hot waters seem to be thriving. A team of researchers at Stanford University has figured out why: These corals leave a set of 60 genes in...
December 4, 2012 |
After three years of analysis, a team of federal scientists has come up with a list of the greatest threats to the survival of reef-building corals. And it has ranked the proximate threats, weighing into decades of scientific debate over the biggest culprit that's devastating coral reefs around the world. The ranking comes with a proviso, one that raises a topic that most coral reef biologists avoid out of fear of a backlash. “The ultimate factor for each of these proximate threats, excepting natural physical damage and changes in isolation, is growth in human population and consumption of natural resources,” reads the intro to the chart above.
November 27, 2012 |
HANALEI, Hawaii - When compiling a list of places that may be described as paradise, Hanalei Bay on the rugged north shore of the island of Kauai surely qualifies. The perfect crescent bay, rimmed by palm trees, emerald cliffs and stretches of white sand, has always had a dreamy kind of appeal. It was on these shores that sailors in the movie "South Pacific" sang of the exotic but unattainable "Bali Ha'i. " The problem is what lies below the surface of the area's shimmering blue waters.