Friday, January 07, 2011

Loose Feathers #272

Yellow-shouldered Blackbird / Photo by Mike Morel (USFWS)

Birds and birding news
Birds in the blogosphere
Oil spills
  • Most of the methane released during BP's gulf oil spill was eaten by bacteria.
  • A report concludes that the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent spill could have been prevented, but that cost-cutting shortcuts used by the companies decreased the safety of the drilling operation. The safety problems are likely to recur without serious reform of the drilling industry.
Environment and biodiversity
  • U.S. bumble bee populations have declined significantly in recent decades. The declines appear to be related to a pathogen transferred from captive to wild populations.
  • Pennsylvania's fracking industry could threaten water supplies; the state allows the industry to dump its toxic wastewater into nearby streams and rivers that supply water to millions of people. Fracking is a method for extracting natural gas from shale.
  • Very few coal mines are redeveloped or restored, contrary to the claims of mountaintop removal mining supporters.