Nicaragua OKs plan for cross-country canal, environment be damned


Grist

Nicaragua is one step closer to being carved in half by a massive cross-country canal. Leftist President Daniel Ortega rammed the project through his country’s congress last week.

The lawmakers gave the Hong Kong-based HKND Group a 50-year concession to excavate and operate the canal, which is intended to rival Panama’s. If it’s actually built — and that’s still a big if — it promises to give an economic boost to the bitterly poor country. Nicaragua would get a minority share of profits and, say backers, tens of thousands of jobs too.

But critics warn that would come at the expense of the environment and clean water supplies. From Agence France-Presse:

Centro Humboldt environmental group deputy director Victor Campos told AFP the project to link Nicaragua’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts will jeopardize the watershed that supplies water to most of the impoverished country’s population when it transits through Lake…

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Fish swimming in water contaminated by anti-anxiety drugs turn into weird loners


Grist

Perch are shy. They like to band together for protection, swimming together in schools the way nerds all share the nerd table in the high-school cafeteria. But now that lots of people are taking anti-anxiety drugs and their drug-laced pee has ended up in waterways, perch are acting differently, in ways that suggest they too have been mentally affected by these drugs. They’ve gotten cooler. They like to do stuff alone. Hunting, swimming, all the other perch stuff — they just like to fly solo.

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We are learning mosquitoes are basically invincible


Grist

Mosquitoes are, at best, horrible annoyances. At worst? They are genocidal maniacs, responsible for more than half a million deaths a year, transmitting malaria and other diseases. Were causing extinction subject to popular vote, mosquitoes would win in a landslide.

All of that, relative to the moment, is the good news. Now, the bad.

Mosquitoes laugh at your so-called repellant.

Well, they don’t laugh, as such, lacking the capacity for forced expulsion of air from their probosci and, likewise, any sense of humor. Point is, the most common chemical used to repel the little idiots is losing its effectiveness. From Smithsonian.com:

A group of researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine discovered that three hours after an exposure to DEET, many Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were immune to the chemical, ignoring its typically noxious smell and attempting to land on irresistible human skin. …

So why…

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Gabon: Minkebe National Park – Elephant Poaching


The link below is to an article that reports on the slaughter of 11 000 elephants in Gabon’s Minkebe National Park to feed the illegal ivory trade.

For more visit:
http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0206-hance-elephants-minkebe.html

Alaska: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center – Wood Bison Reintroduced


The link below is to an article reporting on the reintroduction of Wood Bison to Alaska.

For more visit:
http://www.treehugger.com/endangered-species/wood-bison-be-reintroduced-alaska.html

Antarctica: Princess Elisabeth Station – Emperor Penguins


The link below is to an article reporting on the discovery of one of the largest Emperor Penguin colonies found in Antarctica near Princess Elisabeth Station.

For more visit:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130118-emperor-penguin-antarctic-climate-change-animals-science/