Friday, April 02, 2021

Loose Feathers #795

Greater Sage-Grouse / Photo by Tom Koerner/USFWS

Birds and birding news

Science and nature blogging

Biodiversity and conservation

  • A new report named tropical forests like those in Brazil, Indonesia, Madagascar and Colombia as the most likely to host the 80% of species that have not been described.
  • Native oaks are the best trees for supporting wildlife, from insects to birds to mammals, so people should plant more of them instead of ornamental trees.
  • Kelp forests are collapsing off the coast of California since they have been hit by a combination of marine heat waves and a boom in purple sea urchins that make it impossible for the forest to regenerate.
  • Loss of forests continued at a high level in 2020. The loss of 4.2 million hectares of primary tropical forests is especially concerning since it released 2.64 billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere.
  • Fireflies are in decline, and many species have been studied so little that their status is unknown. Major causes include light pollution, loss of habitat, and poor water quality.
  • Grizzly Bears often appear on hiking trails because they prefer a gradient and pace similar to those of humans.
  • The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned BLM to protect the last remaining habitat for Tiehm’s Buckwheat from a proposed lithium mine.
  • An interview with the person who runs the @PicPedant account describes how to spot fake or misleading wildlife images (some of which may involve animal abuse).
  • Here are some tips on how to identify and kill invasive Spotted Lanternflies.

Climate change and environmental politics

  • Pledges of net-zero emissions may not be that effective when calculating and offsetting emissions are voluntary and if there is not enough capacity to meet the demand for offsets. 
  • Offset programs like the Trillion Trees initiative are also problematic when rainforests are turning into savannas in response to climate change.
  • This year Kyoto had its earliest peak cherry bloom on record on March 26. Even though the previous record was set in 1409, the peak bloom date had been relatively stable until the past hundred years when they have steadily gotten earlier.
  • The oil industry has a long history of supporting white supremacy, from segregating workplaces to racist violence. The discriminatory models from the US were then replicated in other countries.
  • The Biden administration is planning a major expansion of offshore wind energy along the Atlantic Coast.