Friday, October 04, 2019

Loose Feathers #717

Surfbird / Photo by Peter Pearsall/USFWS
Birds and birding news
Science and nature blogging
Biodiversity and conservation
  • The invasive Spotted Lanternfly has a large potential range in the US, especially in the Mid-Atlantic (where its range is still expanding), Midwest, and central and coastal California. 
  • Biologists identified three genetic mutations that allow Monarch caterpillars to feed on milkweed.
  • A project aims to restore a coastal prairie that was habitat for the Oregon Silverspot, an endangered butterfly.
  • Chitons roll up in a ball when threatened, possibly to get a better footing when they land somewhere else.
Climate change and environmental politics
  • Despite revoking California's right to set stricter air pollution standards (and that of other states to follow California's lead), the EPA is threatening to withhold federal funding from California because of its air and water pollution.
  • Climate threatens many historic and cultural sites with severe storms and rising sea levels; sites important for African American culture and history tend to have fewer resources to deal with these new climate-related problems.
  • Pumping too much groundwater in arid regions is killing rivers like the San Pedro River in Arizona.