This is some serious news!!! Bee attractive plants that gardeners use to promote Bee procreation, have been tested and found to contain neonicotinoids! In Canada!
The seeds of these plants are treated the same way as farmers crops – they are soaked in the pesticide so that as it grows, the pesticide is contained within each cell of the plant. It is more effective than spraying and reduces labour hours, however at what price? These neonics are the same that have polluted the water supply throughout the states, and has been banned from use in animal fodder and animal and plant refugee conservation sites.
About 50% of the bee-friendly plants have enough of the pesticide to kill bee’s outright, and 40% have two varieties of the neonics! Samples were taken from London, Ontario, Montreal and Vancouver, all with similarly disturbing results. How are we as consumers able to encourage growth in the bee population if the plants we buy to do just that, are actually detrimental to their numbers?
A new study released by Friends of the Earth Canada shows that over 60 per cent of “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at garden centers have been pre-treated with neonicotinoids (neonics) pesticides shown to harm and kill bees. Of the samples collected from London, 100 per cent contained neonics, the highest amount in the Canadian tests.
The plants tested were: Calibrachoa, Gerbera Daisy, Shasta Daisy and Zonal Geranium. All but the Zonal Geranium showed two neonic pesticides, increasing its sub-lethal effects.
The Canadian data is part of a larger study, Gardeners Beware 2014, released by Friends of the Earth in Canada and Friends of the Earth U.S. with Pesticide Research Institute (PRI). Garden plant samples were collected from top garden retailers from 18 cities across Canada and the United States. Canadian samples were collected in London (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec) and Vancouver (British Columbia).
Gardeners Beware 2014 reported that 51 per…
View original post 583 more words
Internationally Unrelated provides hard facts about the ecological footprint of our society. August 19th, Tania reports, was Earth Overshoot Day – the day which marks when we as a global society have used as much resources as the earth can replenish in one year. If this date was December 31st, then we would be a sustainable society. However, we still have four full months left on the calendar, and a part of August! This translates to a shorter life for the earth overall through harsher effects of harvesting resources, and land and habitat degradation. Read the article reblogged below for a fuller picture on Earth Overshoot Day! Thanks Internationally Unrelated!
I could start with the typical “save the earth, it is the only we have”, which is completely true, but I will start to tell you that we, as humans need to stop acting like the planet is infinite and it is never going to run out of resources, if not for the earth we share, for ourselves. It will. It is already… And still, it passes us by like it is nothing. Why? Because we don’t see it truly in front of us. If we see war, we see dead people, we see injured people, we know it is happening, we know we need to do something. We don’t see the impact of our actions in our planet, at least clearly. But it is happening.
View original post 225 more words
Toledo, Ohio and surrounding area are currently not able to drink their tap water because of a large algae bloom on Lake Erie. What this post from ThinkProgress adds to the story, is that climate change, and humans are direct aggressors on the formation, and severity, of these blooms.
Events such as this continue to give tangible proof of the importance in moving towards more eco-friendly practices. Read this article for more information.
BY EMILY ATKIN POSTED ON AUGUST 3, 2014
This satellite image provided by NOAA shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 which according to NOAA was the worst in decades.
Approximately 400,000 people in and around Toledo, Ohio are being warned not to drink their tap water after high levels of a dangerous toxin were discovered in the water supply Saturday, according to the Toledo-Lucas County Department of Health.
The toxin is called microcystin, the high levels of which were caused by massive increases in algae on Lake Erie. The increases in algae, called “algae blooms”, are poisonous if consumed — causing abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness, and dizziness. Boiling the water doesn’t help — in fact, itincreases the presence of the toxin.
As of now, it’s…
View original post 989 more words
The United Kingdom’s energy strategy for the future is heavily reliant on off-shore wind turbines. The unknown element here is how the underwater noise of these turbines, during construction, and in usage, will effect the environment. The University of Newcastle’s Sustainability blog posted about the preliminary challenges of these turbines.
The masts which hold the turbines must initially be hammered into the sea floor, destroying habitat space, and causing loud echos and rippling waves from it’s center. In coalition with other University research teams, Newcastle’s research team spent four days on the water collecting samples of species and water with various technologies in order to map the ecosystem before construction, during, and usage periods. This will help them understand the effects of underwater noise in their marine ecosystems, and design ways of limiting potential issues into the future. Read their blog post for more information on this endeavor, and other sustainability news.
In July 2013 the RV Princess Royal was home to a group of UK underwater sound specialists, called the Bio-Acoustic Research Consortium (BARC). This new project is led by Dr Per Berggren from Newcastle University’sSchool of Marine Science and Technology and it brings together a range of noise specialists, ecologists and industry professionals with a common aim: to better understand the impact of underwater noise on marine ecosystems.
The consortium has attracted grant funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’sMarine Renewables Knowledge Exchange Programme to explore the environmental challenges associated with offshore wind development, an industry that continues to grow rapidly. The Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), also supplied a small grant towards equipment costs which has funded the purchase of six hydrophones, called C-Pods, for detecting marine mammals. It is hoped the knowledge gained from the project can be fed directly back to industry…
View original post 748 more words
David Quilty, blogger of The Good Human, writes some devastating news last week. The insecticide neonicotinoids which are used to kill bees have been detected in nine major rivers across six different states. While the effects of neonicotinoids are quasi-understood when used as insecticides, what the effects on the fish population will be is still uncertain. The likelihood of negative effects however, seems plausible if not probable. What’s more is that now that the toxin has infected our water supply, it can be precipitated across other areas where there is not agricultural purpose. This does not effect one farm, but breaks through ecosystem borders. Currently, Bayer and Monsanto (among others) manufacture and sell them, and it is the most widely used insecticide in the world. Already detrimental effects are compounding from the usage of this chemical, but will the present profits made from it continue to outweigh the future of our planet?
On World Wildlife Day, March 3, Nepal celebrated 365 days with zero poaching. No rhinos, tigers, or elephants were killed.
It’s the second year of such success in Nepal. In 2011 the country also had none, and in 2012 it lost just one rhino to poaching.
This achievement is particularly notable in the face of increased poaching elsewhere. Since February 28, according to press reports, Kenya lost three rhinos to poachers in the span of one week in heavily guarded Lake Nakuru National Park, and one more in Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
On February 28 in South Africa, the epicenter of the rhino poaching crisis, tourists in Kruger National Park found a blinded and mutilated rhino wandering alive. That horror prompted a social media storm and generated intense interest from the Belgian ambassador to South Africa and senior members of the European Parliament. (The personal secretary and aide to Belgium’s deputy prime minister was one of the tourists.) In South Africa last year, 1004 rhinos were poached; so far this year, 146 have been poached.
Against this backdrop, Nepal’s record stands out.
According to John Scanlon, secretary-general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Nepal’s success is the result of “strong and committed leadership, excellent national collaboration among enforcement entities and with parks agencies, very effective engagement with local communities, and targeted intelligence-led enforcement actions leading to arrests of key players at the top of the criminal chain.”
Read the full story here.
Indonesia’s top Muslim clerical body has issued a fatwa, or edict, against illegal wildlife trafficking.
This unprecedented step by the Indonesian Council of Ulama, in the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, declares illegal hunting or illegal trading of endangered species to be haram (forbidden).
For many the word “fatwa” took on ominous tones in 1989 when Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a death threat against Salman Rushdie for blasphemy in his novel The Satanic Verses.
But the fatwa itself is merely a call to action. Invoking passages from the Koran, the fatwa (which you can read in full below) is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
The fatwa requires Indonesia’s 200 million Muslims to take an active role in protecting and conserving endangered species, including tigers, rhinos, elephants, and orangutans.
“This fatwa is issued to give an explanation, as well as guidance, to all Muslims in Indonesia on the sharia law perspective on issues related to animal conservation,” said Hayu Prabowo, chair of the Council of Ulama’s environment and natural resources body.
Read the full story here.
It was a successful experiment in recovering an endangered species — too successful, for some, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now ponders lifting protections for transplanted Canadian grey wolves across the United States.
Almost two decades ago, the wolves were relocated to Yellowstone National Park in an effort to return them to where the animals had been hunted to extinction.
The change would result in hunting the nocturnal predators at a time when conservationists feel the animals are only beginning to gain a foothold and the federal agency is facing numerous lawsuits from those opposed to the wolf being removed from the endangered species list.
“I think it was successful in that it demonstrated that clearly it can be done,” Paul Paquet, a senior scientist at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation and adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, says of the reintroduction effort.
“Whether it can be sustained is where the questions is.”
The problem lies not in whether the wolves can adapt, says Paquet, but whether people who have lived without the top-tier predators for generations can do so. He believes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should not lift the endangered designation.
Read the full story here.
Environmental groups went to court earlier this month to challenge the federal government over its failure to meet its legal responsibilities under the Species at Risk Act and protect endangered species.
The lawsuit challenges the federal government’s multi-year delays in producing recovery strategies for four iconic species — the Pacific Humpback Whale, Nechako White Sturgeon, Marbled Murrelet and Southern Mountain Caribou. Critical habitat for all four species would be impacted by the construction and operation of the Northern Gateway pipeline and tanker routes, among other proposed developments.
Sierra Club BC joins the David Suzuki Foundation, Greenpeace Canada, Wildsight and Wilderness Committee in federal court in Vancouver on Jan 8 and 9 2013, represented by Ecojustice lawyers.
Read the full story here.
The federal ministers responsible for protecting endangered species took action on four critically threatened species because they were facing court action, their lawyer told a Federal Court judge on Thursday.
Since the Federal Court lawsuit was filed by a coalition of environmental groups more than a year ago, the fisheries and environment ministers have posted a final recovery strategy for Pacific humpback whales and draft strategies for marbled murrelet and Nechako white sturgeon.
A commitment was made to the court that a draft plan for the fourth and final species named in the court action, the southern mountain caribou, will be posted by Jan. 17.
“It is not a comfortable position for the minister to be sued and to have me writing letters saying, ‘Now listen, you have to do something about this file or there could be some serious consequences,'” Brian McLaughlin told the court.
“The reason why these were put on top of the file was because of this litigation.”
The groups launched the court action because the final recovery strategies required under the Species At Risk Act were between four and six years overdue.
Read the full story here.