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Thu, 12 Dec 2019
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Attention

Confused penguin strays 5,000km

A Magellanic penguin whose natural habitat is the cool climes of southern Chile has strayed thousands of miles from his home, arriving in Peru.

©BBC

Question

Beekeepers fear mystery ailment killing U.S. bees that have crossed border

Twenty-seven U.S. states have been affected, reporting losses of up to 90 per cent, and the ailment seems to be moving north, Clay said.

New Brunswick has lost about 85 per cent of its bee colonies. Ontario beekeepers have lost about one-third, and Quebec 40 per cent so far.

And nobody is sure why.

Attention

Lizards join frogs in rapid decline

The precipitous loss of amphibians in recent years has been blamed on habitat loss, global warming, fungal infections, and pesticides. Globally, all of these factors probably combine for a multiple whammy. Now, research published online April 20 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A. reveals a new combo: climate change is causing some species to lose their leaf-layer habitat - and the damage is killing reptiles, too.

Steven Whitfield of Florida International University and colleagues examined 35 years' worth of data from the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica. The team found that populations of frogs and common reptiles such as lizards plummeted 75% since 1970. Globally, human activities are closely linked with disappearing frogs and salamanders. One-third of all amphibian species are threatened with extinction, according to a recent estimate, in large part because humans encroach on their habitats and introduce nonnative species. But even in areas without large human influences, such as the patch of protected old-growth rainforest that the researchers studied, many species are disappearing.

Attention

Venomous Brown Widow Spiders Making Themselves Known In Louisiana

A dangerous spider is making itself known to Louisiana residents. The brown widow spider is becoming more common, according to entomologists with the LSU AgCenter.

Generally found in tropical areas, the brown widow spider is closely related to the black widow spider and is poisonous, according to LSU AgCenter entomologist Dr. Dennis Ring.

Experts say the spider ranges in color from gray or tan to dark brown and may reach 1 inch to 1½ inches long. Like its better-known black widow cousin, the brown widow spider has a yellow-to-orange hourglass marking on the underside of its abdomen. It also has black and white marks on the top of the abdomen and often has dark bands on its legs. "Its venom is more toxic than the black widow's," Ring said. "But it doesn't put out as much venom in its bite."

Bomb

Murder as an act of mercy: Kangaroo cull mooted for Canberra

Thousands of kangaroos could be shot by professional shooters in and around Canberra's north after populations have been deemed to be out of control.

A Defence spokeswoman has confirmed Belconnen Naval Transmission station and the Majura Training area have a serious over-population of eastern grey kangaroos.

The 6,500 animals are facing starvation because of the drought and are causing permanent damage to the sites.

Defence has been trialing a project to reduce the fertility of local kangaroos but ecology consultants have said that will not solve the problem.

Bizarro Earth

Warming World Threatens Migratory Birds

BONN, Germany - Disoriented by erratic weather, birds are changing migration habits and routes to adjust to warmer winters, disappearing feeding grounds and shrinking wetlands, a migration expert says.

Red Flag

Wildfire: Tourists Asked To Avoid Catalina Island

Santa Catalina Island's main town was out of immediate danger Sunday as firefighters made progress against the 4,200-acre wildfire that reached the edge of Avalon. The fire, which began Thursday afternoon, was 35 percent contained as of early Saturday, fire officials said.

Red Flag

Wildfires burn more than 330,000 acres in Florida and Georgia

Officials closed a 35-mile stretch of Interstate 75 from the Georgia-Florida state line to Lake City, Fla., as well as a 40-mile stretch of Interstate 10, from U.S. 90 to U.S. 129, as a gigantic wildfire approached them Saturday morning.

©Florida Division of Forestry

©NASA
Smoke plumes visible from space

Cloud Lightning

36-Foot Waves Thrash Reunion Island

SAINT-DENIS, Reunion - Waves reaching 36 feet high thrashed France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean, leaving two fishermen missing and flooding homes and hotels, authorities said Sunday.

Bizarro Earth

Congo lake's deadly gases could be hidden blessing

Lake Kivu, Congo - The blue-green waters of Congo's Lake Kivu conceal a deadly invisible mixture that could trigger a fiery disaster or be a blessing in disguise for the 2 million people who live around its shores.