This week in birds - #499

 A roundup of the week's news of birds and the environment:

A Willet in flight over Galveston Bay.

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Scientists warn that the warming climate will likely give rise to future pandemics

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Southern California officials have declared a water shortage emergency and have limited outdoor watering to only one day a week.

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A highly contagious disease called stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) is ripping through the Caribbean's coral reefs causing devastating losses.

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Even more devastating losses may be on the horizon. Scientists warn that if fossil fuel emissions continue at their present pace there could be a mass extinction of sea life by 2300.

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Despite the Cop26 deal to halt and reverse deforestation by the end of the decade, the relentless destruction of the rainforest is continuing with the tropics having lost 11.1 million hectares of tree cover in 2021.

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On the plus side, some are trying to help make up for that loss by planting more trees

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This iris may not appear black to you but it is called the "black iris" and is endemic to Jordan where it is the national flower.

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The National Butterfly Center in South Texas closed its doors to the public after a campaign of lies and disinformation by far-right conspiracy theorists, but the good news is that it has now reopened.

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Wildfires in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nebraska have burned more than 150,000 acres, caused at least one death, and destroyed hundreds of structures.

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And then you can listen to this music of the frogs; it's the male wood frogs' springtime chorus as they search for mates.

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Three-quarters of Greenland lies within the Arctic Circle but climate change has reached even this remote region and is having its effect on the weather there.

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A UN report states that up to 40% of the world's land is degraded, mostly by its use for food production. The damage to the land puts at risk its future ability to feed the planet's growing population.

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A new study published in Nature magazine states that one-fifth of reptile species face potential extinction and that would have a devastating impact on the planet.

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Here are some scenes from the ongoing spring migration of birds.

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After years of decline along its Pacific Coast range, the Monarch butterfly is back. With a bit of help from humans, there has been more than a 100-fold increase over the previous year's total, according to the Xerces Society.

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An ancient species of flightless swan that lived eleven million years ago in Japan was an ocean-going creature according to scientists who have studied it.

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In 2021, wildfires accounted for more than a third of the world's tree cover losses. That is the largest percentage on record.

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Rapa Island in French Polynesia is a place of a remarkable number of endemic species, at least 300. But all of this diversity is threatened by invasive species.

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Wild Turkeys can be very aggressive in their encounters with humans. They are big birds with the potential to do considerable damage to the human body.

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The glaciers of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington are receding and are expected to have disappeared completely within the next fifty years. 

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There are Bluebirds and then there are blue birds. Here are portraits of several species of birds of that hue that call North America their home.

Comments

  1. Good morning, Dorothy. Thank you as always for the weekend roundup. The one thing I have noted of late is the similarity between the various reports from the scientific community with dire predictions for imminent disastrous climate events, and interruptions to the food chain, if we don't reverse course NOW. Will we? Of course, not!

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    Replies
    1. For a supposedly intelligent species, we do seem incapable of acting in our own self interest if it involves any kind of immediate sacrifice. Apparently, we would rather sacrifice our children's and grandchildren's future.

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  2. I'm happy to hear that more trees are being planted. We saw some lovely forests in France that were planted just after other trees were harvested, and these forests are made of trees that are very old. I hope we can do the same here.

    It's also good news to hear about increases in the Monarch population.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An increase in the Monarch population is certainly something to celebrate and the efforts at replacing lost trees are encouraging. It's nice to see some good news when so much is not good at all.

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  3. In the high 20's! I can't get over it being that warm in Greenland!

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