Rarest big cat on Earth to make a comeback

By: Emily Himes

The southeast Russia native, and critically endangered, Amur leopard has doubled in population since 2007, says the World WIldlife Fund. Census data from about 60% of the leopards habitat shows a drastic increase. There are currently 57, compared to the 30 cats counted in 2007. Several other Amur leopards have been seen in parts of China, which means that the population has doubled in less than ten years.

Each leopard is identified with the unique spots on his back by park rangers who set up cameras in the habitat. Over 10,000 pictures were taken to find 60 leopards. Russian and Chinese conservationists are now working together to try and create a nature reserve that stretches across the two countries.

Source: Fox News

Nearly 200 Whales Stranded on New Zealand Beach

By: Maria Vargas

On February 13th 2015, around 200 pilot whales were stranded on New Zealand’s South Island. Nearly two dozen of the whales died while the other ones received help from rescuers and volunteers to safely return back into deeper waters. South Island has shallow waters making it hard to navigate for pilot whales. Typically during the summer, a large herd of Pilot Whales get stranded on these beaches. Pilot Whales tend to travel in packs, so if one gets left behind, chances are that the entire herd will as well. These whales inhabit all around the world and can get as big as orcas. Rescuing Pilot Whales requires advanced equipment such as heavy movers, slings, or cranes. “Time is of the essence,” therefore if rescuers fail to push these creatures into the water they will suffer a slow and painful death. At this point, many rescuers and volunteers seek for faster and less painful alternatives to facilitate the death of Pilot Whales such as drugs or explosive charges.

stranded whales

Source:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/02/150213-pilot-whales-stranded-new-zealand/

9 out of 10 Chinese Cities Fail Pollution Test

By: Emily Himes

74 Chinese Cities have been monitored to check their air quality, but only 8 passed the test. This is very scary because China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection claims that this is an improvement. The country is trying to eliminate using factories that don’t meet their standards, and reduce coal usage. According to the government, meeting it’s own standards could take China 15 years, probably because China produces most of the world’s pollution- over a quarter of the total carbon dioxide emissions.

China Smog Air Pollution Jilin

Source: http://time.com/3692062/china-pollution-test/

Could Drilling in the Atlantic Harm Fish, Whales, Turtles? A proposal from President Barack Obama could open parts of the U.S Atlantic coast to drilling.

By: Maria Vargas

Obama is thinking of exposing the Atlantic Ocean to oil and gas exploration. This 500 mile long region stretches from Virginia to Georgia and is home to 700 fish species, five types of sea turtles, migrating humpbacks, and endangered fin whales and right whales, which have sensitive acoustic systems. Millions of Seabirds fly across the Gulf Stream carrying warm water and nutrients north.

Deep abysses in form of a canyon cover the bottom of the Atlantic. The abysses are home to tilefish and spindly-legged crabs. In reality, not much is known about the amount of oil and gas exists in the Atlantic or how big the threat will be to extract the recourses.

It’s better to be cautions than risk the equilibrium of the habitats that live in the Atlantic. In order to drill in the Atlantic, the administration’s plan has to be approved by the public and environmental review, which is a long process and may not even happen. The amounts of oil and gas in the Atlantic are small when compared to the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska. If a spill happens, the entire ecosystem is at risk because it’s all connected. Therefore, I don’t believe digging in the Atlantic is a good idea.

Featured image

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150129-ocean-atlantic-offshore-drilling-oil-environment-animals/

‘Most famous’ great white shark returns to Florida

By: Emily Himes

Katharine, the 2,300 pound great white shark tagged in 2013 has returned to Florida. In the fall, she was seen around the Cape Cod area, but as temperatures dropped, she slowly made her was down south. She swam down the Carolina coastlines and was seen on Friday near the Florida-Georgia border. On Saturday, she was seen a couple hundred yards off the coast of a beach near Jacksonville, FL.

'Most famous' great white shark returns to FloridaEver since being tagged two years ago, she Katherine has swam 10,000 miles, so these long journeys are normal for her. She was named after Katharine Lee Bates, who lived in Cape Cod and wrote the famous song “America the Beautiful.” 

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2015/01/27/most-famous-great-white-shark-returns-to-florida/

Haiti Photos Then and Now: 5 Years After Earthquake, Much Rebuilding Remains

By: Maria Vargas

Published: January 12, 2015

January 12, 2010 a devastating earthquake impacted Haiti leaving it in nothing but ruins. The Earthquake killed more than 200,000 lives and left 1.5 million homeless. The photography Allison, captured the aftermath of the earthquake a month later it impacted the country. The streets of Port-au-Prince, it’s capital was covered in concrete, rebar, and remains of the tropical storms it surpassed. Many Haitians were left homeless, and even the civilians who had homes did not trust their home remnants in fear that it may collapse on them. Every daily ritual was public such as dressing and bathing.

When Allison returned five years later, she visited Port-au-Prince once again and found red construction fences surrounding the collapsed buildings, which no construction was ever seen to take place. On the day of the one-year anniversary she wondered inside the Port-au-Prince’s national cathedral, where only the walls were left standing. Now, the cathedral entrance is bricked up and has a metal gate. Although it is big and welcoming it feels like it could only be temporary according to Allison.

Haiti tries to progress by opening new ministry buildings that are under construction and by improving traffic. However, much remains to be done. Over 200,000 Haitians still live in tent camps and many others that suffered major damage from the earthquake.haiti cathedral

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/pictures/150112-haiti-earthquake-pictures-photos-port-au-prince/

100,000 Elephants Killed by Poachers in Just Three Years, Landmark Analysis Finds

Published: Aug 19th, 2014

By: Maria Vargas

Central Africa has lost 64% of its elephants in a decade. During 2011 alone, an Ivory Coast poacher killed one of every twelve African elephants killing 100,000 African Elephants in just three years. Many Ivory Coast Poachers carve the elephant tusks however National Wildlife Property Repository in Colorado confiscated many. In 2012 a mass killings of hundreds of elephants with weapons took place in Bouba Ndjidah National Park in Cameroon. Several Poachers have used poisoned arrows to kill elephants. The U.S got involve but the killings continue at a terrifying level. Specialists are not sure how many African elephants still exist and that arises many worries within the community. Elephants expand over many square miles which makes it time consuming and expensive to estimate their overall numbers. In 2002 a program developed called MIKE (Monitoring the illegal Killing of Elephants) which hoped to quantify the number of elephants killed by poachers. MIKE rangers find the dead elephant and determine what portion of the elephant was illegal killed. The program slowly lost monitoring locations and now monitors between 30 and 40% of the species.

elephant corpse

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140818-elephants-africa-poaching-cites-census/