Tagged : insects
September 30th, 2010
Fireflies gently illuminating a backyard evening are the stuff of many a pleasant summer memory. If it seems youâ€™ve been seeing fewer and fewer of them in recent years, you may not be alone.
The Museum of Science Boston is recruiting volunteers to study the luminescent flying beetle and report sightings online. Firefly Watch will track reports across the United States and Canada in an attempt to determine the range of the insect and whether the firefly truly is in decline.
The project also will try to learn more about how fireflies are reacting to urban sprawl, habitat loss, drought, an increase in anbient light, and the effect of pesticides and fertilizers.
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Tags: · fireflies, Firefly Watch, global warming, insects, Museum of Science Boston
June 18th, 2009
By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now
This Global Change Research report released this week is a compendium of the expected fallout from climate change in the U.S.
It’s not something you’ll want to curl up with in place of your bedtime novel; it won’t make you hazy, happy and sleepy (picture yourself bolt upright, watching crime news to calm down). Still, for those of us deliberately trying to keep our heads above the sand (or our real estate above the tide) it’s a must read.
I recommend skipping a lot of the governmentish intros and conclusions. Cut to the heartland synopses; these assessments of each region are a great reality check. This section of the report is stout and specific and will wrest away any fuzzy notion you have that climate change will just make things a tad warmer and we’ll all wear fewer sweaters.
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Tags: · Agriculture, BarbaraKesslerBlog, Climage Change, coastal flooding, cropland, dairy farming, Drought, Global Change Research Project, Great Lakes, heatwaves, hydropower, insects, New England, Ogallala Aquifer, Pests, United States, warming temperatures
May 7th, 2009
From Green Right Now Reports
For decades, relief work in Africa has fought a deadly disease with an environmentally deadly chemical, spraying with DDT to quell malarial outbreaks, even though world health agencies know that DDT has a devastating effect on the environment, killing wildlife and contaminating water supplies.
Today, the UN Agencies announced they will try to move 40 countries in Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia, away from reliance on the persistent, toxic chemical by using other methods to fight mosquito-born malaria, which infects more than 250 million people a year, claiming 880,000 lives annually.
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Tags: · DDT, insects, malaria, mosquitoes, pesticides, Public Health
October 16th, 2008
By Catherine Colbert
Bats have historically gotten a bad rap as rabid, blood-thirsty creatures. While it’s agreed that the very thought of them conjures up vivid images of BĂ©la Lugosi-style Dracula flicks, a growing body of research proves the mammals are beneficial to the environment in several ways.
Bats are chemical-free exterminators. A National Geographic profile on bats calls them “nature’s own bug zappers.”
The pint-size creatures also spend their time pollinating and feeding on crop-damaging bugs. “Worldwide, bats are important pollinators, dispersers of seeds, and help to control insects, including serious crop pests,” says Barbara French, a biologist and Science Officer for Bat Conservation International (BCI), located in Austin, Texas.
“Each summer, a colony of 150 big brown bats can protect farmers from up to 33 million rootworms, which are serious crop pests. Many bats feed on moths. The moths lay eggs that develop into caterpillars, like corn earworms and army worms, which feed on an amazing variety of crops,” says French. “Important agricultural crops, such as bananas, breadfruit, mangoes, cashews, dates, and figs, rely on bats for pollination or seed dispersal. And bats are critical for rain forest regeneration,” asserts French.
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Tags: · Austin, bats, endangered species, Hill Country, insects, pollinators