May 3, 2010


Many endangered turtles dying on Texas Gulf Coast

Flies buzz everywhere and the stench is overwhelming as biologist Lyndsey Howell stops to analyze the remains of yet another endangered sea turtle washed up from the Gulf of Mexico.

"It's been on the beach for a while," Howell says, flipping over the decomposing, dried-out shell.

More than 30 dead turtles have been found stranded on Galveston and the Bolivar Peninsula south of Houston this month — an unusually high number that has puzzled researchers, in part because most are so decomposed that there are few clues left about why they died.

Yahoo! News - [Source: Associated Press]
30 April 2010
R Plushnick-Masti
Photo courtesy of Associated Press
Location: Texas, USA - Galveston - Map It and Bolivar Peninsula - Map It

Vietnam forest fires threaten rare crane

Forest fires in a national park are threatening the habitat of the endangered red-crowned crane, Vietnamese officials said Wednesday.

The fires have destroyed 200 hectares of Tram Chim National Park in the Mekong Delta, the latest in a record-setting year of forest fires caused by low rain and hot weather.

. . . The red-crowned crane is among the most endangered birds in the world, with some 1,500 believed to remain in the wild, mainly in China. The population in the Mekong Delta is believed to be about 200, according to a report by the local biosphere preserve.

Earth Times News -
28 April 2010
Photo courtesy of Earth Times News
Location: Tram Chim National Park, Mekong Delta, Vietnam - Map It

UAB Expert Says Gulf Oil Spill Endangers Four-Year Fight to Save Turtle Population

The growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico could void years of conservation work to save a species of turtle that calls the Alabama Gulf Coast home, say the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) biologists who are behind the effort.

"Any community of organisms in the path of that spreading oil slick is in danger, and that is especially the case for a species like the Diamondback Terrapin turtle that is teetering on the brink of extinction in Alabama," says Thane Wibbels, Ph.D., the UAB biologist leading efforts to save the terrapin.

. . . The UAB team was planning to release a large number of head-started terrapin from the UAB hatchery into Cedar Point Marsh this week, but has temporarily postponed the release until the fate of the oil spill is determined.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Media Relations -
28 April 2010
Photo credit: B Shepard/UAB News

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Gorilla News
Photo courtesy of Scientific American

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