September 23, 2010


80 pilot whales stranded on New Zealand beach

At least 40 out of 80 pilot whales that stranded themselves on a remote northern New Zealand beach have died, and more whales are joining them on land, officials said Wednesday.

It was the second mass beaching in the region in a month.

"More whales are still coming in. Pilot whales have very strong social bonds and they try to help each other so more keep getting stuck," said Mark Simpson of Project Jonah, a charity that protects marine mammals.

Yahoo! News - [Source: Associated Press]
22 Sept 2010
Photo courtesy of New Zealand Dept. of Conservation
Location: Spirits Bay, New Zealand - Map It

Indian officials to investigate spate of big cat deaths

The deaths of three tigers and two lions in less than a week has prompted an investigation by national park authorities in India.

Two tigers have died of "bacterial infection", while a third tiger and two lions died of old age at Bennerghatta national park, a wildlife official said.

The park has been disinfected and staff asked to maintain hygiene, he said.

BBC News -
21 Sept 2010
Photo courtesy of BBC News
Location: Bennerghatta National Park, Karnataka, India - Map It

Cocaine and Ecstasy Detected in Waters of the L'Albufera in Valencia, Spain

The water in the canals and irrigation channels in the L'Albufera Natural Park in Valencia contain cocaine, ecstasy and a further six drugs.

This has been confirmed by a study carried out by researchers from the University of Valencia (UV), who have issued a warning about the continued presence of these substances on wildlife and human health.

"The results confirm the presence of drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, codeine, morphine and cannabis in the surface waters of the L'Albufera National Park at levels ranging between 0.06 and 78.78 nanograms/litre," Yolanda Picó, lead author of the study and a senior professor in the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology at the UV said.

Science Daily -
22 Sept 2010
Photo credit: Y Pico, et al.

Journal Article Cited

Seagulls Harbor Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Analysis of seagull droppings has revealed that one in ten carry 'superbug' bacteria, resistant to the last-resort antibiotic Vancomycin.

Researchers writing in BioMed central's open access journal Proteome Science investigated 57 migratory seagull samples recovered from an island off the coast of Portugal.

. . . The seagulls studied (Larus cachinnans) are migratory birds that can be found across Europe, including the South East of England. They are opportunistic marine feeders, and will readily eat the food sources provided by humans, especially garbage.

Science Daily -
20 Sept 2010
Photo courtesy of Reuters

Journal Article Cited

Photo credit: J Keilgast/Natural History Museum of Denmark/Conservation International