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Mexico: Storms led to deaths of millions of Monarch butterflies
Storms earlier this year blew down more than a hundred acres of forests where migrating monarch butterflies spend the winter in central Mexico, killing more than seven per cent of the monarchs, experts reported Tuesday.
Rain, cold and high winds from the storms caused the loss of 133 acres (54 hectares) of pine and fir trees in the forests west of Mexico City, more than four times the amount lost to illegal logging this year. It was the biggest storm-related loss since the winter of 2009-10, when unusually heavy rainstorms and mudslides caused the destruction of 262 acres (106 hectares) of trees.
This year's storm also appears to have frozen or killed about 6.2 million butterflies, almost 7.4 percent of the estimated 84 million butterflies that wintered in Mexico, said Alejandro Del Mazo, the attorney general for environmental protection.
Full story at www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/08/23/world/americas/ap-lt-mexico-monarch-butterflies.html
#Mexico #butterflies #insects #climate #deforestation #illegallogging
Image: Monarch butterflies, by Mike Baird ... See MoreSee Less
7 hours ago ·
Now is the time for UK Govt to act with microbeads ban
Responding to the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on microplastics, a joint statement by the Environmental Investigation Agency, Fauna & Flora International, Greenpeace UK and the Marine Conservation Society said:
An estimated eight million tonnes of plastic goes into our seas every year – and microbeads in household products including face scrubs, toothpastes and detergents are a part of this problem.
There was already huge public support for a ban on microbeads – with over 300,000 people backing our campaign – and now there’s political support which crosses party boundaries.
As a coalition of organisations sounding the alarm about the harm that microbeads can cause to marine life and our oceans, and even potentially to human health, it’s great that the Environmental Audit Committee has heard that loud and clear.
With companies dragging their feet on this issue, it’s now time for Theresa May’s Government to take comprehensive action on this crucial issue by banning any microplastics in household products which could end up going down the drain and into our seas.
Crucially, any legislation must be fully comprehensive to avoid the loopholes we have seen in company commitments. By removing these loopholes, the UK could show genuine environmental leadership and go beyond the US microbeads ban, which has various limitations around which types of ingredient and product it applies to.
Read today's joint statement in full at eia-international.org/now-is-the-time-for-uk-govt-to-act-with-microbeads-ban
#oceans #plastic #pollution #microbeads #BantheBead ... See MoreSee Less
8 hours ago ·
Hawaii: Swimming with dolphins could end as 'self-gratifying selfies' pose threat
The federal government is proposing a ban on swimming with dolphins in Hawaii – a move that may crush the dreams of many tourists, but will allow the marine mammals to finally get a good day’s sleep.
The proposed rule would bar people from swimming or approaching within 50 yards of the Hawaiian spinner dolphin. The dolphins are an increasingly popular attraction for tourists, who pay for chartered tours of the bays the dolphins frequent.
Spinner dolphins are nocturnal, foraging in the deep ocean at night and returning to shallow waters to rest during the day, said Susan Pultz, the chief of conservation planning and rule-making for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
“When you get the numbers [of tourists] we’re seeing, they’re constantly disturbed all day long. That’s their resting period,” said Pultz.
“As we all know, if you don’t rest day after day after day, it does affect your fitness.”
Spinner dolphins continue swimming while they are sleeping, so people may not be aware they are waking the cetaceans up.
The predictable habits of spinner dolphins have been taken advantage of by commercial tour operators, who know exactly where and when to find the resting creatures.
Full story at www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/aug/23/swimming-with-dolphins-ban-hawaii-tourists
#Hawaii #dolphins #oceans
Image: Swimming with spinner dolphins, Hawaii ... See MoreSee Less
8 hours ago ·