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Obama's Team Looking To Protect More Endangered

Feds announce plans for 250 imperiled species

That'a President!

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it intends to work through a backlog of more than 250 imperiled animal and plant species over the next six years to decide if they need protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The propo stems from a court agreement with an environmental group, WildEarth Guardians. The agency has been sued numerous times over its handling of species as diverse as greater sage grouse and Canada lynx.

Those are included on a long list of fish, birds, mammals, plants and even snails that scientists say need greater protections.

Through November of last year, Obama had provided Endangered Species Act protection to 51 plants and animals, an average of 25 a year. By comparison, the Clinton administration protected an average of 65 species per year, and the Bush administration listed about eight species a year.

[Image via WENN.]

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Our Noise Kills Giant Squids

Filed under: Sad SadScience!Sea Creatures

live_giant_squid_first_image.jpg

So sad.

When giant squid washed up ashore along Spain's Asturias province in the early 2000s, the events occurred suspiciously close to when ships had used air guns to conduct low-frequency sound-pulse exercises in the region, Ocean Leadership reports.

While the noises were a possible cause for the squids' deaths, it was not confirmed until a recent study completed by a marine bioacoustician at Barcelona's Technical University of Catalonia and his team.

We have known for some time that whales and other marine mammals which rely on sound for communication and navigation have been harmed by the noise pollution in the ocean — either by not being able to hear, and therefore find, one another, or by being so blasted by loud sounds that they beach themselves or are killed by the trauma caused inside their skulls.

The study showed that among specimens of two species of squid, one species of octopus and one species of cuttelfish exposed to low-frequency sound for two hours, all showed signs of damage to their statocyst tissue, with the damage becoming worse the longer after exposure the animals lived.

[Image via wikipedia.]

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5 Dolphins Killed By Navy Training

Filed under: Sad SadAnimal RightsDolphinsAnimal CrueltyDanger!

dolphin safety

This has to stop!

A Naval training exercise that included an underwater blast off San Diego's coast has been linked to at least three dolphin deaths earlier this month, prompting a probe into whether the military violated the federal law that protects marine mammals.

Navy officials, who reported the deaths of the long-beaked common dolphins following the March 4 detonation off the coast, say they were following proper procedures and will continue with the training.

Along with the three deaths reported to the fisheries service, two other dead dolphins were found later, but it's not clear if they were injured by the Navy exercises.

Environmentalists have called on the Navy to suspend activities involved in the deaths and conduct a transparent investigation.

But Navy officials said the program it calls "mission-critical" would continue

They said there were no dolphins in view when the training countdown began, and when they could be seen it was too late to stop safely.

Oh, the ol' "Look Both Ways Before You Blow Up The Ocean" safety procedure.

Natural Resources Defense Council, which years ago sued the Navy to minimize damage to whales by sonar, said the Navy doesn't have the best environmental record when it comes to ocean life.

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Elephants Are Smart… Maybe Too Smart

Filed under: Science!Elephants

Elephants are a little too smart

An Elephant never forgets - because it's super smart.

In a series of tests, the giant mammals learned to cooperate to solve a problem, unlike other animals, researchers reported on Monday.

Elephants are socially complex, explained lead researcher Joshua M. Plotnik.

"They help others in distress. They seem in some ways emotionally attached to each other, so you would expect there would be some level of cooperation."

The elephants caught on as quickly as chimpanzees, elevating themselves to such heady company as great apes, dolphins and crows, according to researchers at England's Cambridge University.

One researcher noticed:

"Elephants are big, they're social, they live long lives and they're really, really smart."

But really - should we be worried about an elephant uprising? Hah!

[Image via WENN.]

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Dozens Of Baby Dolphins Found In The South

Filed under: Sad SadDolphins

baby dolphins

So sad.

The dolphin deaths are the latest in a series of mass animal deaths from around the world

Dozens of dead baby dolphins have mysteriously washed ashore in Alabama and Mississippi in the latest mass animal deaths.

Twenty-eight corpses have been found so far - ten times the usual number.
The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is investigating the cause of the tragedy.

Scientists at the institute are carrying out tests on the marine mammals in attempt to find the cause of their deaths.

Reports say it is too early to tell if there is a connection between the deaths and last year's BP oil spill, which happened during the dolphin's breeding season.

Hopefully science will find an answer to the bizarre mass deaths soon.

[Image via WENN.]

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Polar Bear Swims For 426 Continuous Miles In Search Of Food

Filed under: Sad SadEndangeredWildlifePolar Bear

Polar Bear Swim

This is an amazing feat of endurance, but incredibly heart wrenching and sad at the same time.

A polar bear that scientists were tracking swam continuously for nine days for 426 miles in search of food!

Scientists studying bears around the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska and Canada, witnessed the epic journey after fitting the animal with a tracking collar after its initial capture in August 2008, then a recapture in 2008.

Research zoologist George M. Durner shared his amazement with the creatures determination to survive, saying:

"This bear swam continuously for 232 hours and 687 km and through waters that were 2-6 degrees C. We are in awe that an animal that spends most of its time on the surface of sea ice could swim constantly for so long in water so cold. It is truly an amazing feat."

While amazing, scientists fear this act of endurance could be a result of climate change sea ice melts which push polar bears to swim greater distances, risking their own health and the survival of the species.

Imagine having to swim that far for food!

But here is the truly sad part. The female polar bear who made the epic journey lost more than a few calories along the way. She lost her yearling cub.

Durner said of her loss:

"It was simply more energetically costly for the yearling than the adult to make this long distance swim."

So sad!

The polar bears dependency on rapidly disappearing ice in the arctic makes them one of the most at-risk large mammals due to climate change.

Thoughts???

[Image via AP Images.]

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Endangered Species Condoms

Filed under: CharityEndangeredWildlife

Endangered species condoms

Finally! Have sex for a cause!

In an effort to raise awareness about the destructive repercussions of overpopulation and overconsumption on both endangered species and their habitats, 600 volunteers for the Center for Biological Diversity handed out Endangered Species Condoms on New Year's Eve.

Why New Year's Eve?

New Year's Eve is one of the most popular days of the year for condom use, so why not pass out a few that can benefit endangered animals!

50,000 of the Endangered Species Condoms were sent to volunteers to hand out to those celebrating and welcoming 2011.

There are 6 different packages with original artwork and slogans with 6 different endangered species appearing on the condoms.

Click here for more information on the organization's cause and campaign.

What do U think of the unique approach to activism? Did U have sex for a cause this New Year?

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