Struggling Shellfish, Poisoned Peru, Ranch Rangers, and Pigeon-Hunting Catfish

Lots of Nooze for this Monday afternoon: Craig WelchFirst, Craig Welch with The Seattle Times reports on efforts to curb rising acidity in Northwest Marine waters:

State panel calls for stronger action to combat ocean acidification

Efrain Rivera uses a pitchfork to harvest Pacific oysters at low tide at a Taylor Shellfish farm in Oyster Bay near Olympia. Such oyster farms are the earliest victims of ocean acidification as souring waters already have made it difficult for some shellfish in Washington to reproduce.

To combat ocean acidification in Washington, the state needs to better track the changing chemistry of Puget Sound, reduce stormwater runoff and nutrient pollution that worsen the problem, and counteract souring waters by sprinkling shells in estuaries or growing more carbon-gobbling vegetation.

But above all, the state must advocate for regional, national and international policies to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, according to authors of a first-of-its-kind report released Tuesday about the changing chemistry of Washington's marine waters... Read more.

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Stuart LeavenworthNext, Stuart Leavenworth with The Sacramento Bee reports on the Peruvian rain forest and the miners that are poisoning it and themselves:

In the rain forests of Peru, a modern gold rush poisons the environment

Mud darkens a river in Peru's Madre de Dios region of the Amazon rain forest. Gold miners are breaking up soil with hydraulic blasts, filling streams and rivers with silt. They're also using toxic mercury to bring out the gold. (Photo Stuart Leavenworth)

As our plane topped the Peruvian Andes, I looked out the window and caught my first view of the headwaters of the Amazon. The green canopy of the rain forest spread out in all directions. Yet on closer examination, I noticed the wilderness was marred by a checkerboard of cleared fields, scarred stream banks and rivers stained brown by polluted runoff.

Naive tourists that we were, my wife, Micaela, and I were starting a visit last month to the Madre de Dios region of southeastern Peru, near the border of Bolivia. Our destination was Tambopata National Reserve, a lush sanctuary that is considered one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. After landing, we traveled by boat up the Tambopata River, where we would spend the next three nights in rustic cabanas outfitted with mosquito nets and candles... Read more.

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rocky barkerNext, from Rocky Barker with the Idaho Statesman, some questions about the role of ranchers in the changing American West.

Can ranchers become rangers roaming the public range?

Is it time to consider a new cowboy for the 21st Century?

Is this the moment for ranchers and conservationists to seek a new direction?

The Society of Range Management is commemorating a century of their science, which like forestry and other early conservation studies was devoted to maximizing resources for human use. Western rangelands then were suitable for only raising livestock.

The best science, a term we love today, in the terms of range, was the classification of rangelands based on livestock carrying capacities, amount and type of forage available, and climatic and other conditions that affect their value to ranchers.

Rangelands are no longer viewed only as a source of livestock feed. Other ecological services, wildlife, water, biodiversity, renewable energy and open space even carbon sequestration are now valued.

If range management is changing maybe ranching can change to. Maybe it’s time to turn ranchers into rangers... Read more.

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Rhitu ChatterjeeAnd finally, from Rhitu Chatterjee with PRI's The World, a look at some curious and blood-thirsty fish:

 

Pigeon Hunting Catfish, the 'Freshwater Killer Whales'

Some catfish in France’s Tarn river come on land to hunt pigeons. Those catfish and their unusual hunting behavior is the topic of a new study.

The European catfish are native to Eastern Europe. They were introduced by anglers to the Tarn river in Southwestern France in the 1980s. They have only recently developed the habit of pouncing on unsuspecting pigeons hanging out by the water.

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