February 4, 2014 |
Twenty years of federal and local efforts to save the Oregon chub, a tiny minnow found only in the Willamette River Basin floodplain, have brought the fish to the verge of being taken off the endangered species list. If the effort is successful, the chub will be the first fish de-listed because its species is considered recovered. Chub thrive in habitats with little water flow and were imperiled by habitat loss and threats from nonnative fish. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and private landowners collaborated to restore habitat and natural water flows.
January 30, 2014 |
When John McCain gets censured by members of his own party - McCain, the 2008 GOP presidential nominee who has one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate - it is clear that the biggest problem facing Republicans is the looniness in their own ranks. Largely a rural, Southern, aging white people's party, the GOP faces a big demographic challenge down the road, but this year the party has a clear shot at winning control of the Senate by gaining at least six seats. The liveliest Senate races are expected to be in South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska, North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia and Kentucky.
January 30, 2014 |
Migrating birds probably did it. That's what UC Davis epidemiology professor Janet Foley says after DNA detective work confirmed that a disease-carrying tick only found in the southeastern United States has colonized a federally endangered rodent population in an extremely isolated patch of Mojave Desert wetlands. DNA sequencing also shows that the relic population of Amargosa voles near Tecopa, Calif., just east of Death Valley National Park, and the tick that scientists know as Ixodes minor also share Borrelia burgdorferi , the tick-borne bacterium responsible for Lyme disease.
January 18, 2014 |
There are so many things wrong about the Dallas Safari Club's ludicrous auction of a permit to hunt a black rhino in order to raise money for conservation of black rhinos. Let's just start with the idea that the club has the temerity to call this effort a “fundraiser,” implying some charitable goal -- when the real goal is to offer a clever way to persuade the Namibians to grant a permit outside their country (which they usually don't do) and get some public relations cover for the safari club.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 15, 2014 |
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formally accused a South Los Angeles oil operation of putting the health and safety of nearby residents at risk by failing to maintain safe operations or take steps to prevent accidental releases of hazardous substances. In issuing citations to Allenco Energy Inc., the EPA said the company could be subject to fines or other measures as a result of several violations discovered during a Nov. 6 inspection of the facility. "These are troubling violations because they go to the heart of how a safe operation is supposed to be run," Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said.
January 15, 2014 |
Birds discovered V-formation flight long before fighter pilots did, but the exact reasons why they make these distinctive shapes in the sky has remained a mystery. Now scientists working with a critically endangered bird have discovered the avians' remarkable secret: They surf on one another's air currents by synchronizing their wing beats with the bird in front of them. The findings, described in the journal Nature, reveal an exquisite in-flight precision in the northern bald ibis that could potentially prove useful for flying commercial aircraft and building bioinspired flying robots.