Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Man Rescues His Dog From Alligator Attack!

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Steve Gustafson with his dog, Bounce

When an alligator attacked and grabbed his dog, Bounce the West Highlands Terrier, Steve Gustafson leaped into action! The 66-year-old grandfather jumped into the water and saved his beloved Bounce from the 7-foot, 130-pound alligator.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace.” ~ Milan Kundera

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” ~ Mark Twain

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ~ Will Rogers

Man Fights Off Alligator to Save Dog Villages resident Steve Gustafson risked his life to rescue Bounce from the jaws of an alligator. Gustafson wrestled with the gator finally freeing his West Highland terrier, and fortunately only ended up with a couple of stitches to his hand.

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Killer Whale Chases Man and Dog!

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Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) chasing Labrador Retriever (Canis lupus familiaris)

Swim for your life! A diver and dog are chased from the water by a Killer Whale! Nothing against the orca, which is the largest dolphin, a highly intelligent carnivore, and was probably pinging the dog as a meal possibility, but I have to cheer for the dog to make it to the shore.

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace.” ~ Milan Kundera

“Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.” ~ Mark Twain

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” ~ Will Rogers

Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)

Orcas also have their place on Earth, in the biosphere, and are conscious beings. Killer Whales live 50 to 80 years, grow to 23 to 32 feet in length (7.0 to 9.7 meters), and weigh up to 6 tons (5,443 kilograms).

"It was once believed that most animal behavior, from the food they ate to the places they slept, was based on instinct. This new discovery supports the growing view that animals like killer whales are very prone to learning by imitation, and that they are `cultural` in nature." ~ Michael Noonan

Orcas Chasing Diver & Dog The free diver was on his way back in when he must have seen the Orcas and quickly got out onto the rocks. It seemed like there was at least 4 Orcas around him of which one was a mother with her calf. The one Orca came very close to shore where the Labrador was busy retrieving sticks from the water. He saw the whale and quickly turned around and swam back to shore with the Orca following as far as he could.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dogs Help Endangered Species: Animals Assist Animals

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Frehley the Border Collie with Biologist Bud Marks

Frehley the Border Collie is on a mission and living, yep, a dog's life. He was on death row in an animal shelter, but biologists rescued Frehley to work in the forests of the Jemez Mountains.

Frehley, and other dogs, now sniff for the scat of endangered species worldwide. No ecosystem appears to be outside the abilities of these Conservation Canines. From pocket mice to elephants to killer whales, tracking other animals is natural for these working dogs. Frehley, et al. are loving every minute!

Nature Helping Nature: Conservation Canines A team of four-legged researchers sniff out critical conservation data to help New Mexico's forests adapt to a changing climate.

Tucker the Labrador Sniffing for Whales

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tracking Giant Anacondas in Brazil!

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Common or Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)

No matter that Titanoboa the Great (Titanoboa cerrejonensis) is the biggest, baddest, greatest snake that ever lived. Titanoboa is extinct. The anaconda is alive and well in South America, even though a garter snake compared to the long-gone king of snakes. The issue at hand is the anaconda is not such a small fry compared to humans.

The modern anaconda can be longer than 20 feet and weigh over 200 pounds. Therein lies the problem in "human encounters anaconda". This snake is a formidable predator living in and near water for most of its life. Let's go below the surface of a Brazilian river and see for ourselves!

Anacondas: Tracking Elusive Giants in Brazil Legend has it these Amazonian giants drag off children and pets in the night.

Anaconda Swallows a Giant Capybara Whole Never-before-seen footage shot by Juka, an Amazon savannah guide from near Bonito, Brazil.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma: The Grey Snow Eagle House

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Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

The eagles are "non-releasable" and/or in rehabilitation due to injuries to be released at a later date. Feathers dropped by the eagles are kept by the tribe for distribution to Iowa Tribe members for religious and cultural purposes.

The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma - The Grey Snow Eagle House The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma developed an eagle rehabilitation program to protect injured eagles and increase community awareness of wildlife and Native American culture. The Bah Kho-je Xla Chi (Grey Snow Eagle House) was completed in January 2006 through funds provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) and the Iowa Tribe. The Grey Snow Eagle House operates under two USFWS permits. The Religious-Use Permit allows the Tribe to house eagles that are non-releasable due to the nature or severity of the injuries. This permit also allows the tribe to gather naturally molted feathers and distribute them to tribal members for use in cultural ceremonies. The second permit allows the Tribe to rehabilitate eagles for their eventual release. The Iowa Tribe is the first tribe in the country to be permitted through the USFWS as Eagle Rehabilitators.

As of November 2011, the Grey Snow Eagle House houses 35 non-releasable eagles (7 Golden Eagles and 28 Bald Eagles) which are cared for by an Aviary Manager, 6 staff members and volunteers. The aviary manager is a USFWS certified eagle rehabilitator and an Iowa Tribal Elder. The Tribe has successfully rehabilitated eight Bald Eagles and released them back into the wild. To date, the Iowa Tribe has received +6700 visitors from around the world.

Victor Roubidoux discusses the importance of eagle aviaries and his involvement with the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma's Grey Snow Eagle House. Learn more:

Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos)

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Giant Killer Bees Nest Destroyed in Texas

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Africanized honey bees, known colloquially as "killer bees," are some hybrid varieties of the Western honey bee species, (Apis mellifera), produced originally by cross-breeding of the African honey bee (A. m. scutellata), with various European honey bees such as the Italian bee (A. m. ligustica) and the Iberian bee (A. m. iberiensis). The hybrid bees are far more aggressive than any of the various European subspecies. Small swarms of Africanized bees are capable of taking over European honey bee hives by invading the hive and establishing their own queen after killing the European queen. (Wikipedia)

Giant Killer Bee Nest Destroyed in Texas Bee removal experts destroy a massive beehive that contained nearly half a million 'Africanized' killer bees from Brazil. The bees had been threatening a neighborhood in Richardson, Texas. Andrew Tanielian reports.

Africanized honey bees nest

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Are GMOs? Should They Be Labeled?

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A genetically modified organism (GMO) or engineered organism (GEO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified or novel genes. Transgenic organisms, a subset of GMOs, are organisms that have inserted DNA from a different species. GMOs are the constituents of genetically modified foods. (Wikipedia)

What Exactly Are GMOs and Why Should They Be Labeled?

(Natural News) GMOs (genetically modified organisms) were brought into the world by a chemical company, not an agriculture or food group. Monsanto created DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, marketed aspartame, and created bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to infect milking cows that put pus into commercial milk.

GMOs are created within the seeds of chosen parent crops in laboratories by "splicing" genes from completely unrelated species into those seeds. Normal plant hybrids are cultivated in soil over time by cross pollinating closely related plants.

So far, GMOs have invaded soy, corn, beets (for beet sugar), cotton, and alfalfa agriculture. Many GMO edibles are contained surreptitiously in a wide variety of processed foods, while GMO corn and soy are used by unnatural factory farm feed lots.

If you've been following NaturalNews for some time, you may recall several articles describing GMOs' inherent human and animal health hazards as well as crop and environmental dangers. If not, you'll find most of them here.

The Video Monsanto Does NOT Want You to See! Brought to You by Nutiva and Elevate What is a GMO, and how do GMOs affect you and your family? The same corporations that said DDT and Agent Orange were safe have now put millions of dollars into the campaign against our right to know what's in our food.

GMOs Damage Crops, the Environment, and the Food Chain

(Natural News) GMOs are often genetically created artificially to tolerate herbicides, made by Monsanto and others, that kill weeds. The herbicides contain glyphosates. Monsanto's Roundup weed killer is meant for Roundup Ready GMO crop seeds. It's an extremely toxic glyphosate agent.

Glyphosates greatly harm grazing animals and pollute the wells and groundwater of farm areas where they're used. (Natural Society) They create sterility and birth defects among animals and humans. Most of the honey bee die-off, or colony collapse, is attributed to glyphosates. If enough pollinating bees disappear, our food chain is endangered further.

Glyphosate's chelating capabilities remove minerals from the soil where they're sprayed. So crops get increasingly worse while increasingly abundant Roundup resistant weeds, or super weeds, force farmers to add more toxic materials to Roundup.

It's a vicious cycle for farmers who, conned by greater production promises, unwittingly signed on to Monsanto Roundup Ready GMO binding seed contracts. Monsanto uses patent laws to litigate against farmers whose non-GMO fields are contaminated by GMO fields, forcing smaller farms out of business.

Most farmers fold because they cannot afford the litigation. American farmers are attempting to organize against mostly Monsanto's GMOs. European farmers have managed to resist thus far.

Why You Should Be Concerned

(Natural News) Maybe the reasons summarized above are too abstract. So let's get personal. Contrary to mainstream media's (MSM) outlook, the jury is not out on GMOs. GMOs do destroy human and animal health while endangering non-GMO crops with contamination. That's been discovered by several scientists acting independently.

They jeopardize their careers and even their lives by communicating what they find while the MSM ignores them. Anti-GMO activist and author Jeffrey Smith lists the casualties and summarizes Monsanto's harassment here.

Agro-ecologist Don Lotter, Ph.D. released an inside scoop when he stated: "The promoter gene used ... [the] cauliflower mosaic virus, ... [was assumed to be] denatured in our digestive system, but it's not. It has been shown to promote the transfer of transgenes from GM foods to the bacteria within our digestive system, which are responsible for 80 percent of our immune system function." Read Lotter's interview here.

This from Wessex Natural Law research papers: The cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV 35S) used for plant genetic engineering is cited as a source of viral recombination as well as a gene silencer and DNA disruptor.

Forget petitioning the government. It's so corrupted that one of Monsanto's most ruthless executives, Michael Taylor, now serves in the Obama administration as FDA chief adviser, or "Food Czar."

That's why our only chance is to help California succeed with Proposition 37. GMO labeling may spill over from California making it easier to boycott GMOs.

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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Global Ecological Footprint: Humanity has exhausted nature's budget for 2012

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The Ecological Footprint

August 22nd Is Earth Overshoot Day: Humanity has exhausted nature’s budget for the year

(Global Footprint Network, Oakland, CA, 8-22-12) Humanity has surpassed nature’s budget for the year, and is now operating in overdraft, according to data from Global Footprint Network, an international research organization with offices in California and Europe.

Earth Overshoot Day (from a concept devised by the UK think tank new economics foundation) helps conceptualize the gap between what nature can regenerate, and how much is required to support human activities. Similar to the way a bank statement tracks income against expenditures, Global Footprint Network tracks humanity’s demand for, and supply of, natural resources and ecological services. Global Footprint Network’s calculations show that in just over eight months, we have used up the resources and CO2 sequestration that the planet can sustainably provide this year.

For the rest of the year, we will maintain our ecological deficit by depleting resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“Nations around the world, and particularly in the south of Europe, have started to painfully experience what it means to spend more money than what they earn,” said Dr. Mathis Wackernagel, President of Global Footprint Network. “The resource pressure is similar to such financial overspending, and can become devastating. As resource deficits get larger, and resource prices remain high, the costs to nations become unbearable.”

Our ecological overspending has become a vicious cycle, in which we draw down more and more principal at the same time our level of consumption, or “spending,” grows. The social and economic costs could be staggering.

“From soaring fossil fuel prices to crippling national debts partly due to rising natural resource prices, our economies are now confronting the reality of years of spending beyond our means,” Dr. Wackernagel said. “If we are to maintain stable societies and productive lives, we can no longer sustain a widening budget gap between what nature is able to provide and how much our infrastructure, economies and lifestyles require.”

For most of human history, humanity has used nature’s services—to build cities and roads, provide food and create products, and absorb the CO2 generated by human activities—at a rate that was well within Earth’s budget. But sometime in the 1970s, we crossed a critical threshold. Human demand began outstripping what the planet could renewably produce, and we went into ecological overshoot.

What is Ecological Overshoot? The video is made available courtesy of the Pachamama Alliance and its Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium.

Global Footprint Network

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Maui's Dolphin: Incredibly rare, sighted near New Zealand coast!

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Maui's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui)

Maui's dolphin or popoto is the world's rarest and smallest known subspecies of dolphin. They are a sub-species of the Hector's dolphin. Maui's dolphins are only found off the west coast of New Zealand's North Island, and are the country's only endemic subspecies of cetacean. As of 2012, it is estimated that 55 Maui's dolphins exist in the world. Commercial fishing activity, specifically netting, is killing this species at an alarming rate. (See also Wikipedia)

Incredibly Rare Maui's Dolphins Sighted Off New Zealand Coast

A rare sighting of a pod of Maui's dolphins in the waters off the west coast of New Zealand's North Island. Only about 55 remain in New Zealand's waters, but they could be protected by prohibiting dangerous fishing gear from their habitat; safeguarding the region from sand mining and the threat of oil and gas exploration; and, establishing a protected ocean corridor.

Help Save the World’s Smallest Dolphin

The world’s rarest and smallest marine dolphin is at risk of extinction. Only an estimated 55 Maui’s dolphins over the age of one remain on the planet, all living along a small stretch of New Zealand’s coast. While their survival is threatened by sand mining and oil and gas exploration, the greatest immediate threat is certain types of fishing nets used throughout their coastal habitat. Living close to shore, Maui’s dolphins can easily become entangled in these nets and drown. With so few remaining, each unnecessary death is a critical one.

Maui's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) killed by fishing nets Take action today:

Range of Maui's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori maui) Please sign WWF's petition and protect the Maui's dolphin from extinction:

The Maui's Dolphin Is Facing Eminent Extinction

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Bird Species Discovered in Colombia: Antioquia Wren

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Antioquia Wren (Thryophilus sernai) Photo by: Carlos Esteban Lara

Antioquia Wren (Thryophilus sernai) This is the first video of Thryophilus sernai taken by Juan D. Ramirez. More information about this species is available in The Auk: Lara et al. 2012: A new species of wren (Troglodytidae) from the dry Cauca River Canyon, northwestern Colombia.

New Bird Discovered in Colombia, Imperiled by Hydroelectric Project (Monga Bay)

In a little-known dry forest in Colombia, scientists have discovered a new species of bird: the Antioquia wren (Thryophilus sernai). First seen in 2010, scientists photographed the new wren and recorded its vocalizations, from which they determined that the wren was brand new to science, according to a new paper in Auk.

"[It took] good ears and, good eyes, both in the correct moment and place," lead author Carlos Esteban Lara with the National University of Colombia told about the discovery. After the initial sighting, Lara and colleagues "started a two-year study of data on natural history, distribution, vocalizations, morphology, and genetic variation."

Found along the Cauca River in Colombia's Ituango municipality, the bird is distinct both in its coloring and song.

However, even as the species is first discovered, it may soon be gone. An increase in mining, tourism infrastructure, and deforestation for agriculture in the region has resulted in widespread habitat loss. Moreover, none of region's dry forest is currently protected. Lara dubs these "critical problems" for the future of the Antioquia wren, but adds that the Pescadero-Ituango hydroelectric project could be the fatal blow.

"This dam will flood the remnant tracts of dry forest in the northern end of the new species' range," says Lara, noting that this is the species' "best forest."

If completed the Pescadero-Ituango will be Colombia's largest dam with an installed capacity of 2,400 megawatts.

Ituango's dry forests are also home to the military macaw (Ara militaris) and the recurve-billed bushbird (Clytoctantes alixii), both of which are threatened (Vulnerable and Endangered respectively) according to the IUCN Red List.

Tropical dry forests are ecosystems that not only receive significantly less moisture than rainforests, but also have evolved to survive annual dry seasons with trees often dropping leaves during drought. Lara says that while tropical rainforests garner the bulk of attention worldwide, tropical dry forests are actually more endangered in Colombia.

"[Dry forest] has only five percent of its originally extension, and there has been growing pressure [to convert remaining forest to] agricultural fields," he says, adding that while rainforests are threatened in Colombia they cover a much wider area than dry forest "which is only known isolated in a few localities of Colombia."

Lara urges more research in Colombia's dry forests as he believes other new species may be hiding in the vanishing ecosystem.

Dry forest and canyons along the Cauca River in Colombia.
The forest in this photo will soon be submerged by the Pescadero-Ituango dam.
Photo by: Carlos Esteban Lara.

Antioquia Wren (Thryophilus sernai) Photo by: Carlos Esteban Lara

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Rungwe the Baby Elephant Charms Visitors!

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Nineteen-day-old Rungwe the African elephant looks like he's still getting used to his over-sized legs, ears, and trunk as he stumbles round his enclosure at the Beauval wildlife park in central France.

Baby Elephant in France Wows Visitors to Zoo 19 day-old Rungwe is proving a popular new addition to the Beauval wildlife park in France. Report by Louise Hulland.

Rungwe, the first African elephant born in France by artificial insemination, pokes its trunk out from its enclosure at the Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan, Loir-et-Cher, Central France.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sea Turtles: Struggle for Survival Against Nature and Humanity

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Sea Turtles of the World

The Survival of the Sea Turtle Watch the miraculous journey of infant sea turtles as these tiny animals run the gauntlet of predators and harsh conditions. Then, in numbers, see how human behavior has made their tough lives even more challenging.

Lesson by Scott Gass, animation by Veronica Wallenberg and Johan Sonestedt

Gulf of Mexico: Kemp's Ridley Turtle (Lepidochelys kempii)

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Meerkats: Surviving in the Unforgiving Kalahari Desert

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Meerkat or Suricate (Suricata suricatta)

MEERKATS 3D Follow Klinky and her clan as they take on the challenges of living in the unforgiving Kalahari Desert. This tale of strength, survival, family and FUN will delight audiences of all ages!

Meerkat or Suricate (Suricata suricatta)

Meerkat or Suricate (Suricata suricatta) Status: Least Concern Range: Angola; Botswana; Namibia; South Africa

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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sacred Earth: Time Lapse Journey Around the World

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King Penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus), Fortuna Bay, South Georgia Island

Terra Sacra Time Lapses - Sacred Earth Around the World An around-the-world time lapse journey celebrating our Sacred Earth. Six years in the making... seven continents... 24 countries. Photographed & Edited by Sean F. White Original score by Roy Milner

Sean F. White My life as a filmmaker has been a journey which has blessed me with the privilege of seeing some of the most surreal and timeless places on the planet. These images of our Sacred Earth set to music are my way of sharing some of the magic I’ve experienced along the way...

Terra Sacra Time Lapses is a short film featuring remote landscapes and ancient monuments from around the globe. These images were photographed between 2006-2012 on personal travels and assignments for Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge and Parallax Film Productions.

Djenne Mosque, Djenne, Mali

Mount Fuji, Japan

Machu Picchu, Peru

The Kimberley, Australia

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Woodpeckers vs. The World!

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Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)

Woodpeckers vs. The World! Acorn woodpeckers must deal with birds of prey, greedy ground squirrels, and a hectic gathering schedule to protect their treasured acorn hoard.

Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bringing Back the San Juan Capistrano Swallows

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Visitors come to witness the "miracle" of the return of the swallows

The Return of the Swallows The American Cliff Swallow is a migratory bird that spends its winters in Argentina and makes the 6,000-mile (10,000 km) trek north to the American Southwest in springtime. According to legend, the birds, who have visited the San Juan Capistrano area every summer for centuries, first took refuge at the Mission when an irate innkeeper began destroying their mud nests. The Mission's location near two rivers made it an ideal location for the swallows to nest, as there was a constant supply of the insects on which they feed, and the young birds are well-protected inside the ruins of the old stone church.

Bringing Back the Swallows Thirty years ago, the Cliff Swallows stopped migrating to the Mission at San Juan Capistrano, Calif., after it underwent renovations. But now biologists are trying to lure the swallows home by playing the birds’ courtship song just beneath the mission’s bell tower. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

Cliff Swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Living Planet Report 2012: Resource Demand Increasing, Biodiversity Decreasing

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Biodiversity continues to be lost on planet Earth

We may not recognize it, but virtually every decision we make comes with a price to our planet—a small, but not insignificant, withdrawal of the earth’s resources. Added together, these withdrawals represent our environmental footprint.

WWF’s 2012 Living Planet Report highlights the cumulative pressure we are putting on the planet and the resulting decline in the health of our forests, rivers and oceans.

We are living as if we have the resources of an extra planet at our disposal. We’re using 50 percent more resources than the Earth can provide, and unless we change course that number will grow very fast—by 2030, even two planets will not be enough.

The Living Planet Report finds:

• Biodiversity continues to be lost: Populations of species continue to decline, with tropical and freshwater species experiencing the biggest declines.

• The U.S. has the fifth largest ecological footprint in terms of the amount of resources each person annually consumes. We rank only behind Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Denmark in the global rankings of the Ecological Footprint.

• Resource scarcity is already being experienced across the globe, as 2.7 billion people around the world already are forced to cope with water scarcity during at least one month a year.

A View from Space Listen to European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut AndrĂ© Kuipers talk about the health of the planet. Learn more about WWF's 2012 Living Planet Report at

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Seeking Alpha