The oceans can’t take any more: Fundamental change in oceans predicted

GR:  Running out of time. Species extinctions, intensifying storms, dying forests and the seas. Scientists study the causes, activists fight small battles and talk about solutions, and our corporate-controlled governments and politicians say it isn’t practical just now to change course.  The article below and others describe the approaching disaster.

A warm-water coral reef and boat. Credit: A. Venn

Science News:  “Our oceans need immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn’t happen, we could see far-reaching and largely irreversible impacts on marine ecosystems, which would especially be felt in developing countries. That’s the conclusion of a new review study published today in the journal Science. In the study, the research team from the Ocean 2015 initiative assesses the latest findings on the risks that climate change poses for our oceans, and demonstrates how fundamentally marine ecosystems are likely to change if human beings continue to produce just as much greenhouse gases as before.” www.sciencedaily.com

The Unseen Extinction Wiping Out the World’s Wildlife

Researchers find that species we ignore, such as snails, are disappearing at a rapid pace—a sign that a mass extinction is upon us.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.takepart.com

Speak for Wolves

On August 7-9 2015, Americans of all-walks-of-life will meet in West Yellowstone, Montana to tell our elected leaders that we need to reform wildlife …  Source: www.speakforwolves.org

GR:  We could choose to maintain intact ecosystems.  There are so many species threatened now that it’s hard to decide where to spend efforts.  Wolves are a pretty good choice.  For them to flourish much will have to change in the ways that people live with the land.  To prevail on behalf of wolves will benefit many other species.  The gathering in West Yellowstone concerns all wildlife species.  Let’s go.

See on Scoop.itGarryRogers NatCon News

Eleven new species found in Madagascar

Madagascar is home to extraordinary biodiversity, but in the past few decades, the island’s forests and associated biodiversity have been under greater attack than ever.  Source: phys.org

GR:  The Wildlife Conservation Society and others such as those listed by the Lemur Conservation Network are working within Madagascar to preserve wildlife.  However, as elsewhere, those who wish to harvest the land have power and influence.  Perhaps we should all visit, spend a little money, and express our concern.

See on Scoop.itGarryRogers NatCon News

Desertification and Biodiversity

The link between land degradation and desertification has been made abundantly clear in studies conducted in Africa and Australia. A loss of natural vegetation, a loss in soil organic matter and a loss of soil stability contribute greatly to the process. These processes are often interlinked. Vegetation encourages soil stability by providing cover, the binding action of roots, providing root exudates and by the contribution of its biomass to the soil. A loss of vegetation results in a corresponding loss of soil organic matter and stability.

Soil organic matter and soil stability are often linked. A soil that becomes depauperate in its content of organic matter looses the glue that holds soil particles together and becomes easily erodible. The more a soil erodes the more difficult it becomes for the soil microorganisms to glue the particles together. The process is analogous to a spider’s web in the wind. A whole web can withstand the pressure. If one of the threads that anchor it is broken the spider can repair it, but if the rate of damage is slowly increased, there will come a time when the spider cannot repair the damage and the web will be destroyed by the wind.

Every environment has a threshold beyond which damage cannot be repaired by the natural system. In arid and semi arid environments this threshold is very low.”  –Source: groundviews.org

GR:  Naturalists have been concerned about desertification for more than a century.  Though the term has not been in the news very much in recent years, the process has continued wherever people have conducted marginal farming, excessive livestock grazing, watershed deforestation, and other improper land-use practices.  Recently, the term has been showing up more often, and I think we will soon begin to see it regularly seated beside biodiversity as one of the great concerns of this century.

What You Can Do to Protect Biodiversity – State of the Planet

What can we as individuals do to help slow the loss of biodiversity? Since consumption of resources is a root cause of biodiversity loss, we can consume less and be more mindful about what we consume.  Source: blogs.ei.columbia.edu

GR:  This is a useful reference to the conventional conservation techniques we all can use.  Learn the meaning of “Green Seal Certified” and other regulatory labels.

Camera Traps Reveal What’s Happening As Wildlife Reclaims Chernobyl

It was the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident, but despite more than 25 years of ongoing research into the radiological consequences for the environment, scientists have failed to come to a consensus on the effects of the Chernobyl disaster…Source: www.iflscience.com

GR:  The world without us would have more wildlife than it has with us.

Dear Future Generation: Sorry! A Message That Will Travel Through Time (VIDEO)

Dear Future Generation: Sorry! A Message That Will Travel Through Time (VIDEO) that is trying to raise awareness throughout the entire world!  Source: gipsy.ninja

GR:  The nature-conservation message in this video is clear.  See it and pass it on.  Thank you.

Spatial conservation and choice of biodiversity surrogates and species distribution models

From the abstract:  “Pressure to conserve biodiversity with limited resources has led to increasing use of species distribution models (SDMs) for spatial conservation prioritization. Published spatial prioritization exercises often focus on well-studied groups, with data compiled from on-line databases of ad-hoc collections. Conservation plans generally aim to protect all components of biodiversity, and it is implied that the species used in prioritization act as surrogates.”  Source: onlinelibrary.wiley.com

GR:  The results indicate that on-the-ground field surveys are required.  “Because valid surrogacy is unlikely with most existing data sets, investment in high quality data for less-surveyed groups prior to planning should still be a priority. If this is not possible, then it is advisable to analyse the sensitivity of conservation plans to the assumed surrogacy and quality of data available.”

Old-Growth Forest with Astonishing Biodiversity

Astonishing biodiversity exists in Congaree National Park, the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States.  Source: www.pinterest.com

GR:  This is a region that has received little protection from development and has survived simply by chance.  Small bits are protected, and we can add to those.  But rather than saving a specimen of this beautiful place, wildlife survival requires that we connect the bits and save a large portion of the surrounding region.