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Tue, 26 Mar 2019
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Animals

Bizarro Earth

Mystery killer silencing honeybees - If the die-off continues, it would be disastrous for U.S. crop yields

Something is killing the nation's honeybees.

Dave Hackenberg of central Pennsylvania had 3,000 hives and figures he has lost all but about 800 of them.

In labs at Pennsylvania State University, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and elsewhere in the nation, researchers have been stunned by the number of calls about the mysterious losses.

Attention

Mysterious disappearance of US bees creating a buzz

US beekeepers have been stung in recent months by the mysterious disappearance of millions of bees threatening honey supplies as well as crops which depend on the insects for pollination.

Bee numbers on parts of the east coast and in Texas have fallen by more than 70 percent, while California has seen colonies drop by 30 to 60 percent.

According to estimates from the US
Department of Agriculture, bees are vanishing across a total of 22 states, and for the time being no one really knows why.

Question

Seals Found Dead on Caspian Sea Shores

ALMATY, Kazakhstan - Nearly 250 dead seals have washed up on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan in the past week, emergency officials said Saturday.

Attention

Alarming Decline of Sharks Causing Other Species to Vanish

The precipitous decline in large predator sharks in the Atlantic Ocean in the past decade has made ecologists worry about a trickle-down effect on the ocean ecosystem.

A new study supports the case. With the large predators gone, their prey - smaller sharks and rays - are free to feast on lower organisms like scallops and clams, depleting valuable commercial stocks.

Question

Mystery solved? Algae bloom behind Florida animal deaths

A team of nearly 50 researchers has determined that an algae bloom known as red tide was responsible for the earlier deaths of animals off the Florida coast.

The research team found that the mysterious deaths of scores of turtles, bottlenose dolphins and manatees back in 2005 off the southwest coast of Florida was likely caused a neurotoxin that was emitted from the red tide, The Washington Post said.

The Working Group on Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Events study determined that brevetoxin was the likely culprit in the deaths after examining 130 stranded dolphins.

Magic Wand

Highway shut for butterfly travel

Taiwan is to close one lane of a major highway to protect more than a million butterflies, which cross the road on their seasonal migration.

The purple milkweed butterfly, which winters in the south of the island, passes over some 600m of motorway to reach its breeding ground in the north.

Many of the 11,500 butterflies that attempt the journey each hour do not reach safety, experts say.

Protective nets and ultra-violet lights will also be used to aid the insects.

Better Earth

Canada: Is mayfly's demise a clue for the wise?

The Green Drake is a little mayfly that's only about 4.5 centimetres long, but favoured by trout, which love to gorge on it.

The flies spend several years in a riverbed, in a nymph stage.

When they emerge in late May or early June for action-filled lives lasting about a week, they do so in a gossamer blizzard, numbering in the tens of thousands.

Bizarro Earth

Bird species showing up farther north

More bird species in the USA are ranging farther north and even staying there for the winter in a possible sign of adaptation to global warming, ornithologists and conservation groups say.

Evil Rays

Texas dolphin die-off puzzles scientists

The stranding deaths of about 60 bottlenose dolphins on Texas beaches over the past three weeks has puzzled researchers and is a cause for concern during the calving season, a senior scientist said on Monday.

Bomb

Island leopard deemed new species

Clouded leopards found on Sumatra and Borneo represent a new species, research by genetic scientists and the conservation group WWF indicates.