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Fruit bats at risk of extinction in Cyprus

The Fruit Bat is under threat of extinction on the island, the Forestry Department said yesterday. Forestry Officer Harris Nicolaou told the Mail that numbers have been rapidly declining, with only an estimated 3,500 remaining.

fruit bat
©Unknown
Fruit Bat

"We can say that numbers were far greater in the past and it is now an endangered species," he said.

Heart - Black

Greece: Dead sea mammals mystery

An alarming number of dead sea mammals, apparently killed on purpose by humans rather than dying of natural causes, have washed up on Greek shores in the last few weeks, marine experts said yesterday.

Better Earth

New shrew discovered in Ireland



Irish Shrew
©Unknown
The white-toothed shrew has now moved to Ireland!

Dublin - Ireland, which has seen an immigration surge in recent years, has a new foreigner on its shores, scientists said Monday: the greater white-toothed shrew.

The mammal, Crocidura Russula, has been discovered in parts of the midlands and south-west of the republic. Its natural range is in parts of Africa, France and Germany.

Bizarro Earth

(Nevada) Quake swarm continues

At least 52 earthquakes were recorded in Northern Nevada between midnight Monday and 8 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey Web site.

The strongest was magnitude 4.2 recorded at 4:33 a.m. Most of the earthquakes registered below a 2.0. A 2.5 was recorded at 5:12 a.m. and a 2.0 was recorded at 2:34 p.m.


Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.2 - Northern California

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 5.2
Date-Time

* Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 03:03:06 UTC
* Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 08:03:06 PM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 40.837°N, 123.499°W
Depth 28.5 km (17.7 miles)
Region NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Distances

* 18 km (11 miles) ESE (114°) from Willow Creek, CA
* 41 km (26 miles) E (97°) from Blue Lake, CA
* 42 km (26 miles) NW (315°) from Hayfork, CA
* 56 km (35 miles) E (84°) from Eureka, CA
* 307 km (191 miles) NW (326°) from Sacramento, CA

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 1.4 km (0.9 miles)
Parameters NST=140, Nph=140, Dmin=20 km, Rmss=0.15 sec, Gp= 54°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6

Cloud Lightning

US: Lightning strike damages Dallas, North Carolina home

Tim Newton would have been working construction Monday if rain hadn't given him a day off.

"I was just sitting there watching TV and next thing I knew lightning stuck the house and the whole house shook," Newton said.

Newton had been sitting in the living room around 2:45 p.m. when lightning hit. He looked in the hallway and saw the smoke detector smoldering and called for help. His 1 ½-year-old son Nathan's bedroom is right by the spot where the smoke detector caught fire.

Cloud Lightning

US: Early morning house fire caused by lightning

Austin, Texas - here is over a half a million dollars in damages after a weekend fire at Steiner Ranch on Country Trails Lane.

Texas house hit by lightning
©KXAN

Lake Travis fire and rescue crews said two adults and a baby were in the two-story house when it was hit by lightning.

Emergency crews reached the house just before 7 a.m. Monday.

Cloud Lightning

US, West Virginia: Lightning strikes Southern Communications

Beckley - A lightning strike during a thunderstorm late Sunday afternoon knocked out several computers and the computer network at Southern Communications, the parent company of WCIR, Groovy 94.1, WTNJ and several other radio stations.

Jay Quesenberry, general manager for Southern Communications, which is located in the old Appalachian Electric Power building on South Kanawha Street, said all of the stations went off air briefly until a backup system took over.

Info

Tropical Reforestation Aided By Bats

German scientists are engaging bats to kick-start natural reforestation in the tropics by installing artificial bat roosts in deforested areas. This novel method for tropical restoration is presented in a new study published online in the science journal Conservation Biology this week.

Detlev Kelm from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin (IZW) and Kerstin Wiesner and Otto von Helversen from the University of Erlangen - Nuremberg report that the deployment of artificial bat roosts significantly increases seed dispersal of a wide range of tropical forest plants into their surroundings, providing a simple and cheap method to speed up natural forest regeneration.

bat
©iStockphoto/Gijs Bekenkamp
Many bats eat fruits or nectar, and thus are key species for seed dispersal and flower pollination.

Fish

Will Corals Survive The Stormy Future?

Hurricanes and storms limit the ability of corals in Belize to "recruit" new coral into their communities, according to an Earthwatch-supported study published in Marine Environmental Research.
"Increasing evidence now shows that storms are becoming more intense due to climate change," said lead author and Earthwatch scientist Dr. James Crabbe from the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom.

Coral area in Belize
©James Crabbe
A view of part of the survey area in Belize, where James Crabbe and his Earthwatch team measured more than 520 corals.