As always, cross-posted on GreenState
In early 2004, The U.S. based Peregrine Fund working in Pakistan found that a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, was responsible for declines in white-rumped vultures in Pakistan.[...]Diclofenac, widely sold over the counter in southern Asia for use as a livestock treatment, is toxic to vultures when the birds feed on the carcasses of treated cattle. The drug causes fatal kidney failure in the vultures.
At a board meeting of the Indian government's National Board for Wildlife on March 17, a decision was taken to phase out the use of diclofenac for veterinary use within the next six months. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has endorsed the board's recommendation.
Sakhalin Energy has decided to reroute offshore pipelines in its oil and gas development in the Russian Far East to help protect the last population of critically endangered Western gray whales. Only 100 whales of this species remain.
In April 2004, Sakhalin Energy halted offshore pipe laying activities at Piltun for two seasons to allow time for additional studies after company research suggested that acoustic impacts on the whales might be greater than anticipated. In an unprecedented move, Sakhalin Energy then asked the IUCN-World Conservation Union to convene an independent scientific review panel to evaluate the science underlying the assessment of potential impacts on the whales and the effectiveness of the company's mitigation plans. The report, published in February, called for a conservative risk management approach. Sakhalin Energy says its decision to relocate the pipelines reflects this approach.
In the Pervian Amazon, the government of Peru has created of one of the largest combined indigenous reserves and protected areas in the world - the 6.7 million acre Alto Purús National Park and Communal Reserve - an area the size of the state of Massachusetts. The new park is named for a tributary of the Amazon River that flows through its center.
The government has also announced that a new commission will design a law to protect indigenous peoples living in voluntary isolation in Peruvian Amazon territorial reserves.
A baby boom has given a lift to the endangered North Atlantic right whale, with a near-record number of births in the just-ended calving season, according to researchers at the New England Aquarium.[...]
Twenty-seven whales were born during the season that started in mid-December and ended Thursday, second only to the 31 births recorded in 2001, the best year since scientists started tracking births in the early 1990s. Just five years ago, there was only one birth.
Demand for organic grain --- raised without synthetic fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide --- is at an all-time high among food processors and livestock farmers. That has resulted in record prices. Sales have increase 21 percent each year since 1997 and will hit $30.7 billion by 2007, according to the Organic Trade Association.
A federal judge ruled Thursday the government can no longer allow ships to dump without a permit any ballast water containing nonnative species that could harm local ecosystems. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to immediately repeal regulations exempting ship operators from having to obtain such permits.
"This is a slam dunk for healthy oceans," said Sarah Newkirk, clean water advocate for the Washington, D.C.-based Ocean Conservancy. "The court decision will prevent a vast amount of pollutants from the shipping industry from entering U.S. waters."
...and the uplifting quote of the week
- Jane Goodall