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robertogreco : grizzlybears   4

Chris Hadfield on Twitter: "With celebrity death and elections taking the media by the nose, it’s easy to forget that this year saw a great many positives. Let’s look."
[See also: "99 Reasons 2016 Was a Good Year: Our media feeds are echo chambers. And those echo chambers don’t just reflect our political beliefs; they reflect our feelings about human progress. Bad news is a bubble too."
https://medium.com/future-crunch/99-reasons-why-2016-has-been-a-great-year-for-humanity-8420debc2823#.tj7kowhpd

"With celebrity death and elections taking the media by the nose, it’s easy to forget that this year saw a great many positives. Let’s look.

1. The Colombian government and FARC rebels committed to a lasting peace, ending a war that killed or displaced over 7 million people.

2. Sri Lanka spent five years working to exile the world’s deadliest disease from their borders. As of 2016, they are malaria free.

3. The Giant Panda, arguably the world’s second cutest panda, has official been removed from the endangered species list.

4. @astro_timpeake became the first ESA astronaut from the UK, symbolizing a renewed British commitment to space exploration.

5. Tiger numbers around the world are on the rise for the first time in 100 years, with plans to double by 2022.

6. Juno, a piece of future history, successfully flew over 588 million miles and is now sending back unprecedented data from Jupiter.

7. The number of veterans in the US who are homeless has halved in the past half-decade, with a nearly 20% drop in 2016.

8. Malawi lowered its HIV rate by 67%, and in the past decade have seen a shift in public health that has saved over 250,000 lives.

9. Air travel continue to get safer, and 2016 saw the second fewest per capita deaths in aviation of any year on record.

10. India’s dogged commitment to reforestation saw a single day event planting more than 50 million trees, a world record.

11. Measles has been eradicated from the Americas. A 22 year vaccination campaign has led to the elimination of the historic virus.

12. After a century, Einstein’s theory of gravitational waves has been proven correct, in a ‘moon shot’ scientific achievement.

13. China has announced a firm date for the end of the ivory trade, as public opinion is becoming more staunchly environmentalist.

14. A solar powered airplane flew across the Pacific Ocean for the first time, highlighting a new era of energy possibilities.

15. Costa Rica’s entire electrical grid ran on renewable energy for over half the year, and their capacity continues to grow.

16. Israeli and US researchers believe they are on the brink of being able to cure radiation sickness, after successful tests this year.

17. The ozone layer has shown that through tackling a problem head on, the world can stem environmental disasters, together.

18. A new treatment for melanoma has seen a 40% survival rate, taking a huge step forward towards long-term cancer survivability.

19. An Ebola vaccine was developed by Canadian researchers with 100% efficacy. Humans eradicated horror, together.

20. British Columbia protected 85% of the world’s largest temperate rainforest, in a landmark environmental agreement.

21. 2016 saw the designation of more than 40 new marine sanctuaries in 20 countries, covering an area larger than the United States.

22. These marine reserves include Malaysia’s 13 year struggle to complete a million hectare park, completed this year.

23. This also includes the largest marine reserve in history, created in Antarctica via an unprecedented agreement by 24 nations.

24. Atmospheric acid pollution, once a gloomy reality, has been tackled to the point of being almost back to pre-industrial levels.

25. Major diseases are in decline. The US saw a 50% mortality drop in colon cancer; lower heart disease, osteoporosis and dementia.

26. Uruguay successfully fought tobacco companies to create a precedent for small countries looking to introduce health-focused legislation.

27. World hunger has reached its lowest point in 25 years, and with poverty levels dropping worldwide, seems likely to continue.

28. The A.U. made strides to become more unified, launching an all-Africa passport meant to allow for visa-free travel for all citizens.

29. Fossil fuel emissions flatlined in 2016, with the Paris agreement becoming the fastest UN treaty to become international law.

30. China announced a ban on new coal mines, with renewed targets to increase electrical capacity through renewables by 2020.

31. One third of Dutch prison cells are empty as the crime rate shrank by more than 25% in the last eight years, continuing to drop.

32. In August went to the high Arctic with some incredible young artists. They helped open my eyes to the promise of the next generation.

33. Science, economics, and environmentalism saw a reversal in the overfishing trends of the United States this year.

34. @BoyanSlat successfully tested his Ocean Cleanup prototype, and aims to clean up to 40% of ocean-borne plastics starting this year.

35. Israel now produces 55% of its freshwater, turning what is one of the driest countries on earth into an agricultural heartland.

36. The Italian government made it harder to waste food, creating laws that provided impetus to collect, share and donate excess meals.

37. People pouring ice on their head amusingly provided the ALS foundation with enough funding to isolate a genetic cause of the disease.

38. Manatees, arguably the most enjoyable animal to meet when swimming, are no longer endangered.

39. Grizzlies, arguable the least enjoyable animal to meet while swimming, no longer require federal protection in US national parks.

40. Global aid increased 7%, with money being designated to helping the world’s 65 million refugees doubling.

41. 2016 was the most charitable year in American history. China’s donations have increased more than ten times since a decade ago.

42. The Gates Foundation announced another 5 billion dollars towards eradicating poverty and disease in Africa.

43. Individual Canadians were so welcoming that the country set a world standard for how to privately sponsor and resettle refugees.

44. Teenage birth rates in the United States have never been lower, while at the same time graduation rates have never been higher.

45. SpaceX made history by landing a rocket upright after returning from space, potentially opening a new era of space exploration.

46. Finally - The Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years, giving hope to Maple Leafs fans everywhere. Happy New Year.

There are countless more examples, big and small. If you refocus on the things that are working, your year will be better than the last."
chrishadfield  optimism  2016  improvement  trends  humanity  earth  environment  economics  health  poverty  refugees  crime  news  imprisonment  incarceration  prisons  us  canada  india  reforestation  forests  vaccinations  measles  manatees  tigers  giantpandas  wildlife  animals  multispecies  endangeredanimals  change  progress  oceans  pollutions  peace  war  colombia  government  srilanka  space  science  pacificocean  china  energy  sustainability  costarica  electricity  reneableenergy  britishcolumbia  ebola  ozone  africa  uruguay  smoking  disease  healthcare  dementia  mortality  environmentalism  italy  italia  bears  grizzlybears  spacex  gatesfoundation  angusharvey 
january 2017 by robertogreco
Bringing Back the California Grizzly | KCET
[See also: http://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/05/02/grizzly-bears-are-everywhere-in-california-but-the-woods/ ]

"They once ruled most of California, mountains of tooth, claw, and tawny fur that changed the landscape just by living there. Now they exist only on the state flag. The California grizzly, which once roamed the state’s open hills and numbered in the tens of thousands, was finally exterminated in 1924, when the last known griz was shot in Tulare County.

Now, a wildlife advocacy group is getting press for a campaign to bring California’s top carnivore back, or at least to get the state’s government to take the idea seriously. And it’s all part of a broader vision of helping grizzly populations recover across the west.

In a public petition campaign, the Center for Biological Diversity is asking fans of the big bear to urge the California Fish and Game Commission to explore options for bringing the grizzly back to the Golden State. If the Commission decides to heed the petition, that would likely mean ordering the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to conduct a study on the feasibility of reintroducing the grizzly to California."



"“California is key,” says Jeff Miller, a longtime conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity and a fan of large carnivores. “We knew when we petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that any plans to bring back the grizzly would need support from the state of California. So now we’re approaching the state directly.”

One thing’s for certain: even if the bears are reintroduced to the southern Sierra Nevada, the life of a typical California grizzly will be very different from that of its average bear predecessors. Both proponents and opponents of reintroduction agree that the best old-school habitat for California grizzlies just isn’t available right now. That’s because the habitat California grizzlies liked best back in the day is also the habitat California humans like best: the temperate, fertile valleys and hills within a hundred miles of the Pacific coast.

As filmmaker Laura Purdy shows in this short documentary, featured on KCET’s Lost LA, humans and grizzlies were able to coexist for centuries in coastal California mainly because humans hadn’t altered the landscape quite as radically as we have now. In fact, some traditional landscape alterations, such as planned burning, actually made it easier for bears and people to get along.

[documentary embedded]

Planned burning is a little more complicated in prime California grizzly habitat like San Luis Obispo these days, and there are several million more humans in the state now than there were in 1491. Until things change dramatically along the coast, even hypothetical grizzly reintroductions will be restricted to the southern Sierra Nevada and similarly remote places in the state. Grizzlies there won’t be able to dine on dead marine mammals the way their 19th Century forebears did, but between the Sierra’s whitebark pines, whose nuts are a staple for the bears elsewhere, and other food such as meadow bulbs, small animals, and carrion, the Range of Light may well prove a suitable home for the brown bears.

In fact, there’s some thought that grizzlies may even benefit the Sierran ecosystem, by dispersing tree seeds and creating the kind of moderate soil disturbance that is generally lacking in the mountains nowadays.

What about public safety? The thought of bringing back an occasionally cranky, carnivorous species that can reach almost a ton in mass, and which can maintain a speed of 30 miles per hour for a quarter mile of more, has raised a few human hackles in California. But most of the people likely to come into contact with bears transplanted into the southern Sierra seem to be taking a “wait and see” stance. Casey Schreiner, editor and founder of the popular Southern California outdoor recreation website Modern Hiker, says he hasn’t heard a whole lot of reaction to the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition.

"I think you'd probably find that a lot of hikers prefer dealing with the more docile black bears," Schreiner told me. "Black bears, I'm confident around. Grizzlies give me a bit of pause."

“But I think that most of the people who are for the reintroduction are hikers who are more holistically-habitat-minded and understand that it would be good for the overall ecosystem."

For some lovers of large mammals, the return of the grizzly to California might have the ring of inevitability. In a landmark 2001 essay, a team of wildlife biologists — Reed Noss, Paul Paquet, Carlos Carroll and Nathan Schumaker — discussed whether the reintroduction of grizzlies, wolves, and wolverines to California might well be feasible. The gray wolf, which recolonized Northern California in 2014, and the wolverine, which was discovered already living in the Sierra Nevada nearly a decade ago, would seem to have answered part of that question on their own.

Perhaps it's just the grizzly's turn."
california  bears  grizzlybears  2016  history  wildlife  nature  plannedburning  fire  anthropology  edwardwinslowgifford  nativeamericans  nativecalifornians  alfredkroeber  jeffmiller  laurapurdy  documentary  chrisclarke 
august 2016 by robertogreco
California: The next grizzly habitat? Some want to see it happen - LA Times
"Historically, grizzly populations were most dense along the California coast, in the estuaries of big river valleys — the Sacramento, San Joaquin and American — and in San Luis Obispo, Los Osos and the Bay Area.

Those lush tule marshes and coastal valleys offered bears a cornucopia of food at every turn: pronghorn antelope and tule elk, an abundant acorn crop in the fall and plenty of big fish. Fat grizzlies used to roam the Pacific's beaches feasting on washed-up whale carcasses.

But those areas are now dense with Californians.

Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity, which petitioned federal officials to reintroduce the grizzly, said his organization sees the southern Sierra as the best choice in California. His group envisions releasing 300 to 400 bears in the region, a tract of public land with overlapping parks and wilderness areas.

Wildlife biologists say a population of grizzlies that large would require about 6,000 to 8,000 square miles of habitat.

Encouraging the largest predator on the American landscape to colonize anywhere in a populous state seems unlikely to some experts and unwise to others."
california  bears  grizzlybears  wildlife  animals  2014  history  nature  policy 
august 2014 by robertogreco
“The Species Problem” by Allison Martell | The Walrus | April 2011
"IF IT WAS clear to David and Bella Kuptana what had happened to their hunting cabin on Victoria Island in the Arctic Archipelago last spring, it’s because there was a bear-shaped hole in the wall. Tracing the frozen coastline on snow machines, they found five more cabins in a similar state of ruin; behind one that appeared untouched, they spotted the rogue, making a break for the open plain. David, who took down his first polar bear when he was nine years old and has killed as many as three a year since then, felled the animal with his first shot, and immediately knew something was wrong. Its head was unusually wide, and its paws were brown. Except for all that matted white fur, it looked more like a grizzly."

"…About a month later, they got word: this was a hybrid, with both polar bear and grizzly ancestors, perhaps a freak consequence of climate change, which is pushing grizzlies into polar bear territory."
polarbears  grizzlybears  bears  hybrids  via:javierarbona  arctic  climatechange  animals  2011  canada  pizzly  grolarbears  polizzly  biology  zoology 
april 2011 by robertogreco

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