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Monthly Archives: May 2015

La Paz Group

Canada’s boreal region covers almost 60 percent of the country’s land area, essentially spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is one of the largest and most complex ecosystems on the planet. PHOTO: borealfacts.com Canada’s boreal region covers almost 60 percent of the country’s land area, essentially spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is one of the largest ecosystems on the planet. PHOTO: borealfacts.com

Question time. What is the largest intact forest on the planet? If you guessed Amazon, firstly you aren’t the only one; more importantly, you’ll have to know the answer is the Canadian boreal forests. Here are some facts: It covers a staggering 1.5 billion acres, between 1-3 billion birds flock nest and breed here each year, it alone stores 208 billion tonnes of carbon i.e 20 years worth of the world’s emissions from burning fossil fuels, and contains 200 million acres of surface fresh water alone. Yes, that’s a lot of numbers; but they are only some of the reasons for making sure these forests stay intact.

So, whether you enjoy a morning chasing warblers in Central…

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La Paz Group

The 2015 Stockholm Water Prize has been awarded to Rajendra Singh for his consistent attempts to improve the country's water security  PHOTO: SIWI The 2015 Stockholm Water Prize has been awarded to Rajendra Singh for his consistent attempts to improve the country’s water security PHOTO: SIWI

Twenty years ago, when 28-year-old Rajendra Singh arrived in an arid village in Rajasthan, he came with degrees in Ayurveda and Hindi and a plan to set up clinics. That’s when he was told the greatest need was not medical help but clean drinking water. Groundwater had been sucked dry by farmers, and as water disappeared, crops failed, rivers, forests and wildlife disappeared and people left for the towns. In 2008, The Guardian listed him as one of its “50 people who could save the planet”. In March 2015, he was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize, known as the Nobel Prize for water.

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The Secular Jurist

Two months ago, France passed a law that requires the rooftops of new commercial buildings to be partially (at least) covered by solar panels or plants. The law, passed back in March, was a compromise with French environmentalists and more conservative* members of society.

Continue reading:  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/05/27/1388257/-France-passed-law-making-rooftop-solar-or-gardens-mandatory-on-new-commercial-buildings#

Related story:  California’s largest lake is slipping away amid an epic drought

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La Paz Group

According to the UNEP, wildebeest populations have declined in areas of southern and eastern Africa. PHOTO: Natural Habitat Adventures

The Great Migration of Serengeti National Park, designated a World Heritage Site, is legendary. The stars of this 1,200-mile odyssey are the wildebeest – 1.5 million of them – accompanied by 200,000 zebras. Every year is an endless journey for them, chasing the rains across 150,000 square miles of woodlands, hills and open plains. With them having firmly established their caliber as a species built literally for the long run, the migration spectacle should probably be the only space where the wildebeest find a mention. But conservation debates are hovering over these beasts – categorized as non-threatened by the IUCN – and looking at them as a keystone species.

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This is a David Attenborough video on Galapagos pink iguanas.

From AFP news agency:

May 26, 2015

Galapagos volcano calms, pink iguanas out of danger

A volcano in the Galapagos Islands whose fiery eruption raised fears for the world’s only population of pink iguanas has calmed, sparing the unique critters from danger, officials said Tuesday.

Wolf volcano is still showing signs of activity but has died down since a tour boat to the area found it breathing tongues of fire, puffing smoke and spilling bright orange streams of lava Monday, said officials at the Galapagos National Park and Ecuador’s Geophysics Institute.

“We haven’t had any more explosions like yesterday’s, which suggests a decrease in activity. However, there are still lava flows, which is normal in these cases,” said Alexandra Alvarado of the Geophysics Institute.

The island, Isabela, is home to the only known pink land iguanas in the world…

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Wildlife News

http://wildlifenews.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/hong-kong-ivory-sales-400×300.jpg – As elephant poaching crisis continues, over three quarters of citizens living in key ivory market support comprehensive ban on sales
The Hong Kong public overwhelmingly supports a comprehensive ban on elephant ivory sales, according to a new survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s P… – http://wildlifenews.co.uk/2015/05/75-of-people-in-hong-kong-support-ivory-trade-ban/

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Natural History Wanderings

Tiburon Mariposa Lily/Calochorus tiburonensis Tiburon Mariposa Lily/Calochorus tiburonensis

Ring Mountain is part of the Marin County Open Space District. It was mostly cloudy providing good light for flower photography, but fairly breezy so patience was required.

Ring Mt. is a habitat of mixed grassland and woodland as well as areas of serpentine rock. The plants are a mix of  natives and aliens. Trees and Shrubs included Coast Live Oak, Monterey Pine, Toyon, Buckeye, Bay, Coyote Bush, Blue Elderberry, and Poison Oak. Lots of alien grasses.

The goal of today’s hike was to see Calochortus tiburonensis/Tiburon Mariposa Lily which is a rare and endangered plant that is endemic to Ring Mt. There were many other plants in bloom as well. There was a fair amount of bird song when we arrived and although I was able to identify a number of the birds by sound, I am sure I missed more than a few. By the time…

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