June 17, 2010


Deadly fungus spreads to ninth North American bat species

The deadly fungal infection that afflicts bats known as white-nose syndrome (WNS) has now been found on another U.S. bat species, the ninth since the infection was first observed four years ago.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, WNS has now beset 20 percent of North America's bat species.

WNS's latest victim is the southeastern myotis (Myotis austroriparius), which lives in the Gulf Coastal Plain and the lower Mississippi Alluvial Plain.

Scientific American - www.scientificamerican.com
15 June 2010
J Platt
Photo credit: A Hicks/New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Location: Pocahontas State Park, Virginia, USA - Map It

Fish kill puzzles shore dwellers, officials

. . . Scads of dead fish — mainly sheepshead, catfish, some perch and walleye — washed up along Lake Erie beaches from Bolles Harbor to North Cape Monday afternoon and evening, helped ashore by strong easterly and northeastly winds.

“We get dead fish a lot, but nothing like this where your arms get tired trying to bury them all,” Mr. Michaud said.

“Usually after some of the fishing tournaments, we’ll end up with some dead ones on the beach, but this is unusual to have this many on our beach,” Mrs. Kolton said.

Monroe News - www.monroenews.com
16 June 2010
C Slat
Location: Monroe County, Michigan, USA - Map It

Native ducks soon to be extinct

Research Fellows Dr Patrick-Jean Guay and Dr Randall Robinson of VU’s Institute of Sustainability and Innovation found native Pacific Black Ducks appear destined to follow a similar fate in Australia as they have in New Zealand, where they are now likely extinct in their pure form.

Their nemesis is the domestic duck, or Mallard, which mates with wild ducks and creates cross-bred populations.

Dr Guay said hybridisation not only represents a threat to biodiversity – the life-sustaining dispersal of species across the planet – but Mallards and their hybrid offspring can become a nuisance since they are more aggressive, more tolerant of humans, and can invade urban habitat.

Victoria University - www.vu.edu.au
15 June 2010
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto

5 of The World's 7 Sea Turtles are Threatened by the BP Gulf Oil Spill

The BP Gulf oil spill is threatening not only fish (and fishermen), birds and marine mammals, but sea turtles.

As both the slick on the surface and the plumes deep underwater spread across the Gulf of Mexico, and the duration of the spill extends from days into weeks into months, more and more turtles are put at risk.

For sea turtles in the Gulf, it's a threat they can't necessarily survive. All of the five species that live out some portion of their lives in the Gulf are endangered or threatened species.

The Daily Green - www.thedailygreen.com
14 June 2010
D Shapley
Photo credit: M Calhoun/Audubon Nature Institute

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USGS Newsroom - www.usgs.gov/newsroom
15 June 2010

Photo credit: B Peterson/Star Tribune

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