EJToday: Top Headlines
EJToday is SEJ's selection of new and outstanding stories on environmental topics in print and on the air, updated every weekday. SEJ also offers a free e-mailed digest of the day's EJToday postings, called SEJ-beat. SEJ members are subscribed automatically, but may opt out here. Non-members may subscribe here. EJToday is also available via RSS feed. Please see Editorial Guidelines for EJToday content.
"The eastern diamondback rattlesnake, North America's largest venomous snake, may need its own antidote. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering adding the reptile to the Endangered Species List to restrict its hunting, killing and sale."
"'We are going to do our best to keep these beautiful animals on the planet with us,' said Dan Everson, Deputy Field Supervisor for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service in Alabama.
The service on Wednesday approved further study on the declining numbers of the snake species.
"A fast-spreading plague of 'super weeds' taking over U.S. farmland will not be stopped easily, and farmers and government officials need to change existing practices if food production is to be protected, industry experts said on Thursday."
"It’s the kind of scenario that might evolve in Hollywood: A college professor detects drug-resistance genes collecting in local wetlands, where they survive for weeks and are spread far and wide by seabirds.
But the discovery of extra-hardy DNA flourishing on the edge of San Diego isn’t science fiction. It’s the result of research by David Cummings, a microbiologist at Point Loma Nazarene University.
"Plants are flowering faster than scientists predicted in response to climate change, research in the United States showed on Wednesday, which could have devastating knock-on effects for food chains and ecosystems. Global warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world, changing some breeding, migration and feeding patterns, scientists say."
"Some bomb-sniffing dogs trained to help fight terrorism are turning their olfactory attention toward a different scourge: Burmese pythons in Florida's Everglades National Park."
"Koalas are expected to be listed as a threatened species across parts of Australia from Monday, and some environment groups claim the government has excluded the marsupial from protection in certain areas due to mining interests."
"A new biotech corn developed by Dow AgroSciences could answer the prayers of U.S. farmers plagued by a fierce epidemic of super-weeds. Or it could trigger a flood of dangerous chemicals that may make weeds even more resistant and damage other important U.S. crops. Or, it could do both."
"Where have all the bees gone? The question has vexed farmers, beekeepers, regulators and scientists since the fall of 2006, when U.S. bee populations began their mysterious decline."
"In 2006, when beekeepers began to report that their hives were suffering from a mysterious affliction, a wide variety of theories were offered to explain what was going on. ... Over the last few weeks, several new studies have come out linking neonicotinoids to bee decline. As it happens, the studies are appearing just as 'Silent Spring,' Rachel Carson’s seminal study of the effect of pesticides on wildlife, is about to turn fifty: the work was first published as a three-part series in The New Yorker, in June, 1962. It’s hard to avoid the sense that we have all been here before, and that lessons were incompletely learned the first time around."
"To the untrained eye, a weed is just a weed, and few of us can tell a thistle from a teasel. But for Paul Heiple and his team of Weed Warriors, knowing the difference is essential to their work routing out invasive plants that threaten the native species at Edgewood Park, a 500-acre natural preserve that overlooks California’s Silicon Valley."
"New research shows that killer whales are inhaling bacteria, fungi and viruses once believed to be found only on land. Some of the pathogens are highly virulent. And some are even antibiotic-resistant."
"A coalition of more than 2,000 U.S. farmers and food companies said Wednesday it is taking legal action to force government regulators to analyze potential problems with proposed biotech crops and the weed-killing chemicals to be sprayed over them."
"SEATTLE -- Polar bears are skating on thin ice in Alaska these days: Warming temperatures have resulted in dramatic shrinkage of sea ice, leaving the bears with fewer ice floes on which to rest and hunt seals. But at least for the moment, the Endangered Species Act won't be used to control the greenhouse gas emissions that conservationists say are contributing to climate change and posing one of the biggest threats to the bears' survival."
"A major new study has quashed fears that onshore windfarms are causing long-term damage to bird populations, but found new evidence that some species are harmed when windfarms are built."