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70 Years On, Seabirds Continue to Warn about Plastic Pollution in the Oceans – June 6, 2014

Plight of the flesh-footed shearwater in Australia illustrates how widespread the problem is

It’s a late May night on Lord Howe Island, and the moon gleams across the volcanic mountains and white sand beaches of this six-mile long isle off the east coast of Australia. While most people are tucked inside their houses or hotels, conservation biologist Dr. Jennifer Lavers and her colleague, naturalist Ian Hutton, don headlamps and bike to the flesh-footed shearwater colony on the northeast side of the island. Lord Howe Island is one of the two main breeding areas for this seabird in the southwest Pacific Ocean (the other is in northern New Zealand). Tonight the colony bustles with 90-day-old chicks flapping their wings as they prepare for their first… more

by: Elizabeth Claire Alberts

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Jellyfish Swarms are Bad News for Ocean Ecosystems – February 7, 2014

Book Review: Stung! On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean

In 2006, actors Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey flew to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to film the Hollywood hit, Fool’s Gold. The movie was about scuba diving for sunken treasure, pleasure cruising, and rekindling romance. But when McConaughey’s stunt double got stung by the venomous Irukandji jellyfish and had to be airlifted to hospital, filming came to a grinding halt. Warner Brothers moved the set further south to the Whitsunday Islands, but when filming recommenced, another Irukandji stung a safety officer. Once again, filming was terminated and the shoot relocated.

Jellyfishphoto by Loozrboy, on FlickrThese creatures,… more

by: Elizabeth Claire Alberts

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Bees With ‘Backpacks’ Might Help Unlock the Mystery Behind Die Offs – January 28, 2014

Australian scientists fit bees with radio sensors to monitor behavior

In 1923, Austrian scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner prophesized that if commercial farming and beekeeping continued, honeybees would collapse in 80 to 100 years. Steiner’s prediction couldn’t have been more correct. In this age of industrialization, bees are dying at alarming rates. Beekeepers in the United States have lost 40 to 100 percent of their hives over the past year, says Lisa Archer, the food and technology program director at Friends of the Earth, and there may be further losses over the winter season. Beekeepers in Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries around the world have reported similar losses.

photo of a bee on a… <a href=more

by: Elizabeth Claire Alberts

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