jueves, 29 de diciembre de 2011

Ohio zoo: African black rhino dies after illness

This undated photo provided by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio, shows an African black rhinoceros named Kijito, who died after falling ill early Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011. The zoo says the 18-year-old rhino died after a two-day illness. It says he had repeatedly suffered bouts of the condition known as Black Rhino Syndrome but his cause of death is being investigated. (AP Photo/Columbus Zoo) — AP
POWELL, Ohio — An Ohio zoo says an African black rhinoceros has died after being treated for an often fatal disease that's commonly found in the species.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says the 18-year-old rhino was named Kijito and died early Wednesday after a two-day illness. It says the rhino had repeatedly suffered bouts of a condition known as black rhino syndrome but its cause of death is being investigated.

The zoo says there were about 65,000 black rhinos in Africa four decades ago but the population declined sharply to around 2,300 in the wild by the 1990s. It says conservation and anti-poaching efforts have helped increase the population to about 4,200 black rhinos today.

The rhinos are called black but actually have a grayish-brown color.

The Associated Press

Scientists test sick Alaska seals for radiation

A ringed seal displays significant hair loss on the Artic Ocean coast near Barrow, Alaska. An unknown disease is killing or weakening ringed seals along Alaska’s north coast. Ringed seals, the main prey of polar bears, and a species that rarely comes ashore, in late July began showing up on the Beaufort Sea coast outside Barrow with lesions on hind flippers and inside their mouths, along with patchy hair loss and skin irritation around the nose and eyes.

Experts not sure if woes, from hair loss to bloody lesions, tied to Fukushima nuclear plant.
SEATTLE — Scientists in Alaska are investigating whether local seals are being sickened by radiation from Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant.
Scores of ring seals have washed up on Alaska's Arctic coastline since July, suffering or killed by a mysterious disease marked by bleeding lesions on the hind flippers, irritated skin around the nose and eyes and patchy hair loss on the animals' fur coats.
Biologists at first thought the seals were suffering from a virus, but they have so far been unable to identify one, and tests are now underway to find out if radiation is a factor.
"We recently received samples of seal tissue from diseased animals captured near St. Lawrence Island with a request to examine the material for radioactivity," said John Kelley, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
"There is concern expressed by some members of the local communities that there may be some relationship to the Fukushima nuclear reactor's damage," he said.
The results of the tests would not be available for "several weeks," Kelley said.
Water tests have not picked up any evidence of elevated radiation in U.S. Pacific waters since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which caused multiple fuel meltdowns at the Fukushima plant and forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate the surrounding area.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been seeking the cause of the diseased seals for weeks, but have so far found no answers.

40,000+ Attend AKC Meet the Breeds®

More than 40,000 pet lovers gathered in New York City in November for the third annual AKC Meet the Breeds® event. People of all ages interacted with thousands of dogs and cats representing 210 breeds. This popular, family-friendly event provides a unique venue for educating the public about responsible pet ownership and a fun way for potential pet owners to determine which breed may be best for their families.
Breed-themed booths, ranging from Parisian cafes to Arabian camps to cozy living rooms to the Land of Oz, highlighted the history, working abilities, and characteristics of the breeds. This created an enjoyable, laid-back environment in which attendees could interact with the animals, ask specific questions and learn directly from breed experts.
The two-day event featured demonstrations such as Earthdog, Agility, and the highly-trained canines of the U.S. Customs & Border Protection team. German Shepherd Dog “Blue” and Pomerianian “Mika” were honored with 2011 AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). Members of local Girl Scout groups earned badges by learning about breeds and responsible pet care.
The AKC Government Relations Department (AKC GR) and its New York, New Jersey and Connecticut federations were on hand to raise awareness for canine legislation and to educate members of the public and exhibitors on how they can become advocates for responsible pet ownership in their communities. The AKC GR’s booth provided general materials on issues such as breed-specific legislation and limit laws, and information about the good things AKC does to benefit dogs across the United States. These materials can be accessed by visiting the AKC GR toolbox.
This year, a record 115 federal, state and local lawmakers from the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) served as Honorary Chairs and took a public stand in support of responsible pet ownership. For the Honorary Chairs, the event was a great opportunity to speak personally with dog owners, exhibitors, AKC state federations, and AKC GR staff and to learn more about promoting and protecting responsible pet ownership in their constituencies – not to mention getting photographed with their favorite breed! See the list of Honorary Chairs here.
If you live in the tri-state area and your lawmakers were Honorary Chairs for this event, please take a moment to thank them for their support of responsible pet ownership and let them know that you and/or your club would be pleased to talk with them about canine legislation issues in your state and community.
Breed showcases like the AKC Meet the Breeds event provide a relaxed, fun way for legislators and the public to learn about responsible dog ownership and canine legislation as well as a great opportunity for clubs to demonstrate their expertise. For an example of how a federation recently organized this type of event for their state legislature, read the “Tales from the Trenches” article from the previous issue of Taking Command.

Prorrogado hasta 2014 el convenio de la Red Natura 2000 en Galicia

La falta de disponibilidad de crédito ha motivado la prorroga y modificación del convenio de colaboración entre la Xunta de Galicia y el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino para actuaciones en materia de la Red Natura 2000 hasta 2014. El Boletín Oficial del Estado (BOE) publica hoy la resolución de la Dirección General de Medio Natural y Política Forestal de la Xunta de Galicia que modifica y prorroga el primer acuerdo, firmado en octubre de 2009 y que ya sufrió una primera modificación en octubre de 2010.
El documento señala que "por motivos de no disponibilidad de crédito, no ha sido posible ejecutar toda la inversión prevista para el ejercicio 2010" por lo que "es necesario una redistribución de las anualidades establecidas".
De esta manera, la duración del convenio se prolonga hasta 2014 y se redistribuye las anualidades de los fondos previstos para estas actuaciones, si bien "no varía la inversión total máxima que realizarán las partes".
Por ello, el Ministerio destinará un montante de 20,8 millones de euros y la Comunidad de Galicia 4 millones, aunque el 70 % de las aportaciones estará cofinanciada con fondos europeos.
En el marco de este convenio están previstas actuaciones en infraestructuras y equipamientos en espacios naturales protegidos, la construcción de un centro de recuperación o de un Aula de la Naturaleza en Ribas de Sil Caurel.

Denuncian la introducción ilegal de jabalíes en el Parque Natural de Almijara

Ecologistas en Acción ha denunciado hoy la introducción ilegal de jabalíes en el Parque Natural de la Sierra de Almijara, en lo que supone una "amenaza" para el medio natural y los agricultores, que sufren el destrozo de sus cosechas. En un comunicado, la asociación conservacionista dice llevar tres años advirtiendo de esta situación a los responsables de Medio Ambiente, que en las actuaciones previas iniciadas no lograron acreditar la autoría de los hechos.
Los ecologistas mantienen que en diciembre de 2010 facilitaron a la Consejería de Medio Ambiente datos sobre el posible responsable sin que hayan obtenido respuesta, mientras los animales -mezcla de jabalíes vietnamitas con cerdos o jabalíes autóctonos- continúan proliferando por la zona.
Según los ecologistas, no solo la ley andaluza sobre Flora y Fauna y la nacional sobre Biodiversidad consideran infracción muy grave la introducción en el medio de especies exóticas, sino que este hecho está también recogido en el Código Penal como delito ecológico.
La asociación conservacionista dice que los jabalíes "se han multiplicado hasta el punto de ser una amenaza" no solo para el medio natural, sino para los agricultores, que ven cómo se destrozan sus cosechas "ante la pasividad de las administraciones responsables de la buena gestión del parque natural".