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The road to extinction

INDEX RESEARCH: ON THE ROAD TO EXTINCTION
Summer 2008

by Sarah Meyer
Index Research

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Earth’s City Lights
Image by Craig Mayhew and Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC
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A history lecturer recently said that if one doesn’t believe in ‘global warming’ one is put in the same category as those who do not believe in the Nazi holocaust. This research of summer 2008 articles is not only about global warming but also about species that have become extinct or are an endangered species.

Mr. Bush’s (and ViPer Cheney’s) contempt for endangered species reflects a similar contempt for civilian lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

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INDEX

1. Planet Earth: General; Air pollution; Biofuels; Coral Reefs; Dead Zones; Depleted Uranium Contamination; “Democracy,” Food (corn, rice, wheat, famine); Lakes (extinct: Greenland Lake: endangered Baikal); Nuclear Holocaust; Oil (Peak Oil, U.S. exploitation, The Car); Polar Ice; Rainforest; Water; Wetlands

2. Towards Extinction: General; Amphibians (frogs); Bees; Birds; Deer; Elephant; Fish (salmon, shark, sturgeon, tuna) Flora and Fauna (Lichen, Orchid); Mammals (deer, (elephant, lynx, kangaroo, mustang, polar bear, seal, tiger, whale, wolf, wolverine); Mammoth rhino), Primates (Great Ape, Homo Sapiens, Lemur, Monkey, Orangutan); Reptiles (lizard, turtle, tortoise.

3. Good News

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1. PLANET EARTH

General

. “It was one of those dreams where all things – the people, the houses and trees, the sky and the earth – are doomed at the outset to be merged in one gigantic vortex of destruction. Doomed from the start, but unless the dreamer is on the lookout he may not realize what is going to happen, because it is a maelstrom which begins to move only after a long while, declaring its presence in its own good time.” Paul Bowles, The Spider’s House (1955).

. . .
The Arctic Ice Shelf (05.08.08) 80 ° 02.5’ N, 010° 42.’ SE
Photo ©Sarah Meyer, Index Research

Living on the Ice Shelf: Humanity's Meltdown
26.06.08. Mike Davis, Tomdispatch. NASA's James Hansen, the man who first alerted Congress to the dangers of global warming 20 years ago, returned to testify before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming this week. This time around, he was essentially offering a final warning on the subject. …

The London Society is the world's oldest association of Earth scientists, founded in 1807, and its Commission acts as a college of cardinals in the adjudication of the geological time-scale. .. / Although the idea of the "Anthropocene" -- an Earth epoch defined by the emergence of urban-industrial society as a geological force -- has been long debated, stratigraphers have refused to acknowledge compelling evidence for its advent. .. / This new age, they explain, is defined both by the heating trend ... and by the radical instability expected of future environments. In somber prose, they warn that "the combination of extinctions, global species migrations and the widespread replacement of natural vegetation with agricultural monocultures is producing a distinctive contemporary biostratigraphic signal. These effects are permanent, as future evolution will take place from surviving (and frequently anthropogenically relocated) stocks." Evolution itself, in other words, has been forced into a new trajectory.

Planet Earth Burns, Mankind Pays for Its Ecological Sins: Books
15.07.08. Le-Min Lim, Bloomberg. If we continue to do exactly what we are doing, with no growth in the human population or the world economy, greenhouse- gases in the air would reach a concentration level so high it would make the world too hot to live in during the second half of the century, Speth writes (The Bridge at the End of the World). In other words, our children and grandchildren would reap the full wrath of our excesses.

The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more -- if more should be required -- the future of human civilization is at stake. Al Gore, (17.07.08, transcript / video)

Tribute to a Vanishing World
26.07.08. E. Boodman, The Gazette, Canada. Ours has been called an age of extinction; species are vanishing at the same rate as in the five previous periods of massive extinction. The difference is that now, humans are the cause of this environmental crisis as well as the potential victims.

The Origin and Extinction of Species
26.07.08. Darrell Williams, American chronicle. Understanding the origin and extinction of species is of paramount importance to our own existence and survival. Unfortunately, the vast majority of humans understand neither. About 90% of humankind professes to adhere to a religious philosophy that has absolutely no interest or concern in understanding the most fundamental ecological relationships that exist in nature. Human failure to respect this relationship has resulted in human failure in our own stewardship of our own planet. … /Change is always constant, but the rate of change is never constant. Environments are too complex. Every species lives in a different environment and every environment changes in a different way. A species environment or habitat includes everything that is related to their existence. It includes their food supply, predicators, prey, climate and everything else in their territory that is important for their survival. These are different for each species even if they live in the same geographic location. On a geological time scale, most environments change extremely slow, but they all change. / Every species of living organisms that have ever existed on our planet have had a different rate of evolution. Some species change very fast and some change very slow. The word evolution has one simple meaning. Evolution means change but almost nothing changes at the same rate. …/ Most extinctions are caused by a change in the organism´s environment and the corresponding inability of the species to change fast enough to survive.

Humans were part of the natural ecological balance. / But humans did two things that ended this natural balance. The first and most important was the invention of agriculture. ….. / The invention of agriculture has resulted in the human population explosion which has directly assaulted many other habitats and species of both plants and animals. … / The second disastrous human invention was the creation of scientific technology and manufacturing industries. While most people consider scientific technology to have been beneficial to civilization, it has been devastating to the natural environment.

On a planet 4C hotter, all we can prepare for is extinction
11.08.08. O. Tickell, Guardian comment. There's no 'adaptation' to such steep warming. We must stop pandering to special interests, and try a new, post-Kyoto strategy

Study: Earth may be facing mass extinction
13.08.08. UPI. U.S. biologists say devastating declines of amphibian species around the world are a sign the Earth might be facing a new mass extinction. .. / The fungus that's been killing amphibians around the world has been called the most devastating wildlife disease ever recorded, Wake said.

Sixth Species Extinction Can Still Be Avoided
13.08.08. Christiane Galus, Le Monde / Truthout. The human species, 6.7 billion individuals strong, has modified its environment to such a degree that it is now hurting the biodiversity of terrestrial and marine species and, ultimately, its own survival. This to the point that an ever-growing number of scientists unhesitatingly talk about a sixth extinction, successor to the five others - all due to important natural modifications of the environment - that have punctuated life on Earth. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which focuses on over 41,415 species (of the roughly 1.75 million known) to establish its annual red list, estimates that 16,306 are threatened. One mammal species out of four, one bird species out of eight, a third of all amphibians and 70 percent of all plants assessed are in danger, the IUCN observes. / Is it still possible to curb this species decline, which is likely to intensify when our planet carries 9.3 billion humans in 2050?

The Delusion Revolution: We're on the Road to Extinction and in Denial
15.08.08. Robert Jensen, AlterNet. Our current way of life is unsustainable. We are the first species that will have to self-consciously impose limits on ourselves if we are to survive.

Evidence mounts that we're in midst of mass extinction event
19.08.O8. Jonathan Gitlen, Arstechnica. we're living in the middle of a mass extinction, and we're almost certainly the cause. The irony, if such a word should be used, is that the planet has only just emerged from a mass extinction at the end of the last ice age. / The picture is just as bad in the water; relentless overfishing, pollution, dead zones, warming, and acidification has had a profound impact on marine life. / All across the planet, from ecosystem to ecosystem, we're observing a massive loss of biodiversity—bat colonies being wiped out by a mystery pathogen, huge falls among common bird species, and an entire group, the amphibians, are closest to the edge

Air Pollution

Air Pollution Causing Widespread And Serious Impacts To Ecosystems In Eastern United States
22.07.08. Science Daily. If you are living in the eastern United States, the environment around you is being harmed by air pollution. From Adirondack forests and Shenandoah streams to Appalachian wetlands and the Chesapeake Bay, a new report by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and The Nature Conservancy has found that air pollution is degrading every major ecosystem type in the northeastern and mid-Atlantic United States.

Many US Public Schools In 'Air Pollution Danger Zone'
20.08.08. Science Daily. One in three U.S. public schools are in the “air pollution danger zone,” according to new research from the University of Cincinnati (UC).

Bush Administration Rule on Pollution Struck Down
20.08.08. Washington Post. A federal appeals court yesterday struck down a Bush administration rule that prevented states and local governments from imposing stricter monitoring of pollution generated by power plants, factories and oil refineries than required by the federal government.

Rebuilding Clean Air Policy
21.08.08. Robert Sussman, The Center for American Progress/truthout. "The US clean air program sustained a severe blow on July 9 when a three-judge court in Washington, DC, overturned a sweeping Environmental Protection Agency rule - the Clean Air Interstate Rule - that was key to meeting air quality standards. CAIR mandated deep cuts in nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions at fossil-fuel power plants in 28 Eastern states and the District of Columbia."

Biofuels

Biofuel threat to Indonesian forest
11.06.08. Simon Pollock, al jazeera. Indonesia is home to 10 per cent of the world's remaining tropical rainforests but environmentalists warn that it is rapidly squandering its natural bounty through deforestation. / The increase in oil palm plantations - in part to meet booming global demand for biofuels - has been cited as a major reason for deforestation. / Indonesia is expected to increase its production of palm oil by more than half over the next 10 years, largely in response to the biofuels boom, while palm oil prices have increased during recent years by about 50 per cent.

U.S. biofuel plants go bankrupt on feedstock costs
27.06.08. Reuters. Soaring corn and soy prices on top of rising construction costs and tight credit markets have pushed about a dozen U.S. biofuel plants to file for bankruptcy protection, experts said.

Biofuels And Biodiversity Don't Mix, Ecologists Warn
10.07.08. Science Daily. Rising demand for palm oil will decimate biodiversity unless producers and politicians can work together to preserve as much remaining natural forest as possible, ecologists have warned. A new study of the potential ecological impact of various management strategies found that very little can be done to make palm oil plantations more hospitable for local birds and butterflies. The findings have major implications for the booming market in biofuels and its impact on biodiversity. See also Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis (Guardian 04.07.08)

Setting an Important Precedent for Indigenous Lands
22.08.08. Marta Caravantes, Inter Press Service/truthout. An imminent decision by Brazil's Supreme Court on the demarcation of the Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous reservation in the Amazon jungle region has the country's native communities on edge, because of the precedent it will set. / .. The reservation is home to more than 19,000 members of the Macuxí, Wapixana, Taurepang, Patamona and Ingarikó indigenous communities. ../ The pressure of agribusiness and large-scale agriculture on indigenous lands has intensified as a result of the "biofuels revolution" and the need to produce feed for the world’s livestock, says Barbosa.

Coral Reefs

Global Warming Chief Among Threats to Coral Reefs
07.07.08. ENS (ENVIRONMENT NEWS SERVICE). Nearly half of U.S. coral reef ecosystems are considered to be in "poor" or "fair" condition according to a new analysis of the health of coral reefs under U.S. jurisdiction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA.

One-third Of Reef-building Corals Face Extinction
11.07.08. Science Daily. Leading coral experts joined forces with the Global Marine Species Assessment (GMSA) -- a joint initiative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Conservation International (CI) -- to apply the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria to this important group of marine species.

Photos

Videos

(also see ‘good news’ below)

Dead Zones

Definition: Wikipedia
Dead zones are hypoxic (low-oxygen) areas in the world's oceans, the observed incidences of which have been increasing since oceanographers began noting them in the 1970s. / In March 2004, when the recently-established UN Environment Programme published its first Global Environment Outlook Year Book (GEO Year Book 2003) it reported 146 dead zones in the world oceans where marine life could not be supported due to depleted oxygen levels.

Where are the ‘dead zones?’ See here. Superb, instructive photos.

Dr. Robert Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) has created a map of
dead zones throughout the world

NOAA Predicts Largest Gulf Of Mexico 'Dead Zone' On Record
16.07.08. Science Daily. The researchers are predicting the area could measure a record 8,800 square miles, or roughly the size of New Jersey. In 2007, the dead zone was 7,903 square miles. The largest dead zone on record was in 2002, when it measured 8,481 square miles.

Mississippi River plume meets Gulf of Mexico water at Southwest Pass, a primary shipping
channel in Louisiana waters. (Photo by N. Rabelais courtesy USGS)

Record-setting Dead Zones Predicted For Gulf Of Mexico, Chesapeake Bay
17.07.08. Science Daily. "The growth of these dead zones is an ecological time bomb," said Scavia, who is also director of the Michigan Sea Grant program based at SNRE. "Without determined local, regional, and national efforts to control them, we are putting major fisheries at risk." According to Scavia, the best way to shrink the dead zones is to reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous flowing into these water basins. / Hypoxia refers to the loss of oxygen in water, which then leads to conditions unsustainable for aquatic life.

Conservationists Seek Firm Limits on Gulf Dead Zone Pollution
30.07.08. ENS / Truthout. Conservation groups from nine states along the Mississippi River and two national groups petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today to set and enforce numeric standards to limit nutrient pollution in the river basin because it contributes to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. / The Gulf dead zone, a stretch of water covering nearly 8,000 square miles where oxygen levels are too low to support marine life, is the second largest in the world.

Ocean dead zones become a worldwide problem
14.08.08. AP – NY Times. Like a chronic disease spreading through the body, ''dead zones'' with too little oxygen for life are expanding in the world's oceans.

[ I would like to suggest that the human body is also becoming a ‘dead zone’, and propose that this is due to vaccines and drugs imbibed since childhood. This human ‘dead zone’ is labelled ‘auto-immune disease’.]


A dead zone also underlies much of the main-stem of Chesapeake Bay, The above map shows measurements of hypoxia in the bay in 2003.

Study Shows Continued Spread Of 'Dead Zones'; Lack Of Oxygen Now A Key Stressor On Marine Ecosystems
15.08.08. Science Daily. A global study led by Professor Robert Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, shows that the number of "dead zones"—areas of seafloor with too little oxygen for most marine life—has increased by a third between 1995 and 2007. Diaz began studying dead zones in the mid-1980s after seeing their effect on bottom life in a tributary of Chesapeake Bay near Baltimore. His first review of dead zones in 1995 counted 305 worldwide. That was up from his count of 162 in the 1980s, 87 in the 1970s, and 49 in the 1960s. He first found scientific reports of dead zones in the 1910s, when there were 4. Worldwide, the number of dead zones has approximately doubled each decade since the 1960s.

Suffocating Dead Zones Spread Across World's Oceans
15.08.08. D. Adam, Guardian / Truthout. Critically low oxygen levels now pose as great a threat to life in the world's oceans as overfishing and habitat loss, say experts. / With more than 400 oxygen-starved dead zones in global coastal waters, scientists are calling for such dead zones to be recognised as one of the world's great environmental problems

Dead Zone Diet: Why Fertilizers Are Taking Fish off the Menu
18.08.08. Kerry Trueman, Huffington Post/alternet. Fertilizer runoff from industrial agriculture and fossil-fuel use are causing catastrophic "dead zones" in our oceans. / Steak or salmon? Millions of menu-mulling diners ask themselves this question every day. Enjoy your dithering while you can, folks, because the day is coming when you may not have the luxury of choosing the lobster over the London broil. For those with a more populist palate, I've got some bad news, too; a future with no more fried clam strips or canned tuna for you.

“Democracy”

Definition, Wikipedia

"Democracy," and the U.S. constitution, as we knew them prior to the present Bush-Cheney administration, is extinct, though politicians, corporate leaders and the media still refer to it as a living concept.

Depleted Uranium Contamination

Crimes of the Century: Occupation & Contaminating Iraq with Depleted Uranium
07.07.08. Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi - Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering, Iraq - Brussels Tribunal. Full text here (pdf).

The Depleted Uranium Threat
13.08.08. Thomas D. Williams, Truthout: "While attempting to act as the planet's nuclear watchdogs, the United States and Great Britain have become two of the world's largest, cancer-causing radiated dust and rusty depleted uranium projectile polluters. Using tanks and planes, the US and British military have fired hundreds of tons of radioactive depleted uranium munitions (DU) while fighting the first Gulf War, the Balkans War, and the more recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. For two decades, successive US and British government leadership has done little overall to clean up the hazardous war waste."

Food

IMF, WB, GATT, WTO, NAFTA, FTAA – their acronyms gag language. As their actions stifle the world. “
John Berger, From A to X (2008).

Are We Facing Just Another Market Problem or a System Collapse?
28.07.08. Danny Schechter, Alternet. Even as foreclosures double, and the price of gas and food rises sharply, it's been business as usual on the business pages, and among the liberal political pundits who would rather debate the cover of the New Yorker than the growing desperation of so many Americans.

GM food and health

Agrobacterium & Morgellons Disease, A GM Connection?
20.08.08. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins. Globalresearch. Preliminary findings suggest a link between Morgellons Disease and Agrobacterium, a soil bacterium extensively manipulated and used in making GM crops; has genetic engineering created a new epidemic?

Endangered Food

  • Corn

    U.S. Corn Production Feeds Expanding Gulf Dead Zone
    15.07.08. J.R. Pegg, ens. This year's dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to be the largest on record and growing. U.S. corn production is a primary cause of the worsening conditions, federal and state scientists said Tuesday. / The research team predicts that the dead zone - a stretch of water without enough oxygen to support marine life - could cover some 8,800 square miles this summer, an area roughly the size of the state of New Jersey. / The forecast was announced today by scientists with the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium and Louisiana State University, LSU, who predicted the dead zone would be the largest since official monitoring began in 1985.

    Corn, soybeans rise as dollar edges lower
    28.07.08. market watch / ICH.

  • Rice

    The Death Of Rice In India
    11.07.08. Arun Shrivastava, Rense / Global Research. We will soon be eating genetically modified rice invented by seeds multinational corporations.

    Video Report: The Politics of Rice
    03.08.08. ICH. A look at how the stories of politics, rice, and the United States are deeply interwoven. Twenty years ago, Haiti produced enough rice to feed its population. Importing rice from other countries like the US was unheard of. Today, the country of less than 10 million people is the third largest importer of US rice in the world - 75 per cent of the rice eaten in Haiti is shipped in from the U.S.

  • Wheat

    Give us a grain of wheat, our dream. Give it, give it to us.” Mahmoud Darwish, We Fear for a Dream

    The global food scarcity and Turkey
    30.06.08. Turkish daily news. The scarcity of main commodities such as wheat, rice, corn, and leguminous seeds, which are not sufficient for the increasing world population, increased unexpectedly by 185 percent in the last three years. However, the prices of these commodities followed a stable path in the last 20 years. Increasing prices made the conditions of starvation worse, which are tried to be passed by rescuing the day by the people of Africa, Asia, Middle East countries. Today, in our world, 850 million people are undernourished.

Famine

I yearn for my mother’s bread and my mother’s coffee.” Mahmoud Darwish, Give Birth to Me Again That I May Know.

COMMON SENSE AND SURVIVAL
29.07.08. William Kotke, Speaking Truth to Power. The graph line of the global population explosion now goes upward almost vertically. The graph line of reserves of resources that fund that explosion falls precipitously. The point at which population crosses the food production line is the point of the beginning of the coming mass die-off of human population.

Eaten Up
29.07.08. E. Pilkington, Guardian / ICH. Raj Patel’s book Stuffed and Starved predicted the current global food crisis - spiralling food prices, starvation and obesity. Ed Pilkington meets the soothsayer of agro-economics and talks about what will happen when all the food finally runs out

Meat Habit Is Fueling World Famine
31.07.08. pej. Approximately 854 million people do not have enough to eat. Thirty-three countries are facing food crises, according to the World Bank, and food riots have recently erupted in Egypt, Haiti, Yemen, Malaysia and other poor nations. .. / While millions of people are starving, a billion more—many of them Americans—are overweight. Our addiction to meat is largely to blame for both problems.

  • Afghanistan

    Afghans Dying From Bombs, Starving From Hunger
    26.07.08. Mohammed Daud Miraki, Rense.com. Afghanistan has become a disaster beyond imagination. The invasion by the US has not only condemned the population to daily death and destruction, but it has created conditions that perpetuated death and misery on daily basis. The US-NATO bombing in the south, southwestern, and eastern Afghanistan murder civilians in villages and towns while those that remain alive are forced to abandon their villages due to fear of death and loss of dignity. The internally displaced come to large cities with the hope to find something to eat. However, they come to large cities only to be homeless and face starvation.

  • Africa

    Africa’s food crisis the handiwork of IMF, World Bank
    18.08.08. Walden Bello, bdafrica. At the time of decolonisation in the 1960s, Africa was not just self-sufficient in food but was actually a net food exporter. .. / unger and famine have become recurrent phenomena, with the last three years alone seeing food emergencies break out in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, Southern Africa, and Central Africa.

  • East Africa

    Famine, soaring food prices threaten millions in east Africa
    26.07.08. AFP.

  • Ethiopia

    In pictures: Ethiopia's impending famine
    BBC

    Ethiopia Faces Famine Again
    12.08.08. New America media. As Ethiopians struggle to feed themselves amid a high food prices, fuel costs and the worst famine in 25 years the government in Addis Adiba raised the military budget by $50 million. Shane Bauer is a journalist and photographer based in the Middle East and Africa.

    Ethiopia's new famine: 'A ticking time bomb'
    18.08.08. usa today. Ethiopia faces a ‘toxic cocktail:’ drought, global inflation, armed conflict familne and assorted plagues. Now, at least 14 million need food aid. VIDEO.

  • Burma

    Children Die in Chin State Famine
    20.08.08. irrawaddy. More than 30 children have died in a famine in Chin state, western Burma, according to the Chin National Council, an exile rights group. The famine was caused by a plague of rats, which ate rice stocks in many of the state’s villages.

  • Haiti

    Let Them Eat Free Markets
    23.07.08. David Moberg, In These Times/Truthout. How deregulation fuels the global food crisis. "In April, crowds of angry Haitians - reduced to eating mud cakes to staunch hunger - erupted in deadly protests against high food prices, forcing the prime minister to resign. The price of rice, a staple of the Haitian diet, had risen 16 percent on the world market last year, then shot up 141 percent from January to April. Around the world, similar riots - or fears of them - have pushed governments to restrict exports, reduce tariffs, attack hoarding and take other desperate measures as prices of virtually all major food commodities have spiked - and often fluctuated wildly."

    Haiti: Mud cakes become staple diet as cost of food soars beyond a family's reach
    29.07.08. R. Carroll, Guardian / ICH. With little cash and import prices rocketing half the population faces starvation

  • India

    Rats and official apathy increase Ccpur woes
    18.08.08. kangla online. Even as the famine situation in Churachandpur district continues unabated the situation is expected to worsen further with reports of severe crop damage pouring in due to an ever-increasing rat population in the interior area jhum fields.

  • North Korea

    Famine warning signs seen in North Korea
    31.07.08. LA Times. North Korea is heading toward its worst food crisis since the 1990s because of flooding, successive crop failures and worldwide inflation for staples such as rice and corn, the United Nations World Food Program said.

  • Tajikstan

    U.N. agency to help Tajikistan avert famine
    14.08.08. Reuters. The impoverished Central Asian nation bordering Afghanistan has suffered from drought, locust infestation and a record cold winter this year. Energy and water shortages have become widespread, threatening to fuel public discontent. / "The prices of bread and vegetable oil have more than doubled in Tajikistan since August 2007, while prices of most other foodstuffs have risen by more than 50 percent," the WFP said in a statement.

  • Thailand

    Mizoram facing famine, rats devour rice and maize
    27.07.08. thaindian.

  • Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe faced with massive starvation
    05.08.08. Zimbabwe times. At least four million Zimbabweans, who constitute nearly a third of the population, are in dire need of relief food aid to mitigate against the effects of a combination of official from the World War 2 Jewish Holocaust (6 million victims, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and the WW2 Holocaust in general (30 million Slav, Jewish and Roma dead) are "zero tolerance for racism" and "never again to anyone".

Lakes

Extinct

Crack! A Lake Atop Greenland Disappears
15.07.08. whoi.edu/oceanus / Geology.com. In late July 2006, a 2.2-square-mile lake atop the Greenland Ice Sheet sprung a leak. Like a draining bathtub, the entire lake emptied from the bottom, sending water through a crack that reached the base of the ice sheet 3,215 feet below. Most of the 11.6 billion gallons of water in the lake drained out in 90 minutes—at times flowing out faster than the water going over Niagara Falls.

Endangered


Preserving Lake Baikal
15.08.08. M. Eckel, AP/MSMBC / Geology News. Russia's Baikal is seeing more stress — from warming to development. For centuries Lake Baikal has inspired wonder and, more recently, impassioned defenders. With more fresh water than the Great Lakes combined, and home to 1,500 species of plants and animals found nowhere else in the world, Baikal has been called Sacred Sea, Pearl of Siberia, Galapagos of Russia. / But these pristine waters, a mile deep in some places, are threatened by polluting factories, a uranium enrichment facility, timber harvesting, and, increasingly, Earth's warming climate. / Tourists, most of them newly prosperous Russians, are flocking to the lake, filling the beaches, building vacation dachas and changing the lake's ecology. Resorts are opening. There are more fishermen, hunters and boaters. / "Baikal is the greatest lake in the world. It is a limitless reserve and source for water that all of humanity can drink without any sort of purification,"

Nuclear Holocaust

Definition, Wikipedia.
Nuclear holocaust refers to the possibility of complete or nearly complete eradication of human civilization by nuclear warfare. Under such a scenario, all or most of the Earth is destroyed and rendered uninhabitable by nuclear weapons in future world war.

Gideon Polya “Isfahan Matisse” 2007

For the last few years, Cheney and Israel have been determined to “nuke” Iran. [Failing this objective, this destructive pathology might ensure that another place is chosen.]

Making Nuclear Extermination Respectable
31.07.08. James Petras, ICH. On July 18, 2008 The New York Times published an article by Israeli-Jewish historian, Professor Benny Morris, advocating an Israeli nuclear-genocidal attack on Iran with the likelihood of killing 70 million Iranians – 12 times the number of Jewish victims in the Nazi holocaust …

Missile defense: Washington and Poland just moved the world closer to war
18.08.08. F. William Engdahl, Online Journal Contributing Writer/uruknet. The signing on August 14 of an agreement between the governments of the United States and Poland to deploy on Polish soil US 'interceptor missiles’ is the most dangerous move towards nuclear war the world has seen since the 1962 Cuba Missile crisis.

US to build large airport near Iran
25.08.08. presstv.com./ICH

We Tilt at Windmills as World War Looms
24.08.08. Simon Jenkins, The Times / ICH. Is the world drifting towards a new global war? … / along history’s fault line of conflict from Russia’s European border to the Caucasus and on to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, diplomats are shifting uneasily in their seats, drums are sounding and harsh words are spoken. The world is now run by a generation of leaders who have never known global war. Has this dulled their senses? … / history shows that “going to war” is never an intention. It is rather the result of weak, shortsighted leaders entrapped by a series of mistakes. For the West’s leaders at present, mistake has become second nature.

US ready to put Russia nuclear deal on ice
24.08.08. Financial Times / ICH. Officials expect Condoleezza Rice, US secretary of state, to recommend that George W. Bush, president, recall the civil nuclear co-operation agreement from Congress in the wake of Russia's conflict with Georgia. "At this point, it's dead," a congressional staffer said.

Nuclear Waste

The time bomb
23.08.08. J. Borger, Guardian. Since the end of the cold war, the United Nations has logged more than 800 incidents in which radioactive material has gone missing, often from poorly guarded sites. Who is taking it - and should we be worried?

US Cold-War Waste Irks Greenland
22.08.08. C. Woodard, Christian Science Monitor, Truthout. A bad precedent. "Greenland is dotted with former US military installations - and one active one - a reminder of its importance as a steppingstone in the fight against Nazi Germany and as a cold-war surveillance and missile-detection base. 'The US and Denmark together have a lot to clean up,' says Aleqa Hammond, foreign minister for Greenland's home rule government. 'It's not even halfway done. The East Coast and icecap areas have thousands of abandoned barrels, and the failure to clean up the [ Thule] air base is something that is very heavy in our hearts.'"

Nuclear waste containers likely to fail, warns 'devastating' report
24.08.08. Geoffrey Lean. Independent / legitgov. Environment Agency reveals thousands of holders do not meet basic specifications for storage and disposal. / (The Report) shows that many containers used to store the waste are made of second-rate materials, are handled carelessly, and are liable to corrode.

The final sting?

Will the US Develop a Death Ray?:
21.08.08. M. Thompson, Time / ICH. A band of pre-eminent scientists and war-fighters has concluded that the nation's military might isn't powerful enough for the 21st Century; and so the National Research Council (NRC), an independent, congressionally-chartered body charged with assessing scientific issues, is urging the Pentagon and Congress to get cracking on developing a weapon capable of hitting any target in the world within an hour of being launched.

Oil

Excellent articles at Global Research.ca here and at Information Clearing House here.

Interior Dept. Opens 2.6 Million Alaskan Acres for Oil Exploration
17.07.08. NY Times. The Interior Department on Wednesday made 2.6 million acres of potentially oil-rich territory in northern Alaska available for energy exploration. / .. The bureau has already leased out 965,000 acres of the petroleum reserve lands.

How does Peak Oil affect people

Bush Sees Crises in Fuel, Food, Housing and Banking as Chance to Exploit Us More
16.07.08. Naomi Klein, Democracy Now!/alternet. People are desperate for solutions but instead they're handed policies that don't solve the crises, and are highly profitable for corporations.

Report Links Cheney Office, Oil Giant to Global Warming Policy Shift
18.07.08. LA Times / Truthout. A congressional investigation has produced new details on the degree to which senior Bush administration officials favored using the Clean Air Act to limit greenhouse gas emissions - until pressure from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, ExxonMobil and others in the oil industry led the Bush administration to change course.

Peru institutes state of emergency after indigenous groups protest energy law
19.08.08. Jurist. The government of Peru on Monday instituted a state of emergency [Peruvian Times report] in the northern region of the country, banning public gatherings, limiting travel, and increasing police presence for 30 days. The measure comes in response to large protests held by indigenous groups who oppose a new law reducing the majority by which a tribe must agree to sell communal land to oil and natural gas companies
U.S. attempts to exploit foreign oil

PNAC: Rebuilding America's Defenses - A Biopsy on Imperialism; Part I: Blueprint for Imperialism (18.02.06)

PNAC: Rebuilding America's Defenses - A Biopsy on Imperialism; Part II: "Special Interests" - The Persian Gulf (29.03.06)

OIL AND GAS IN AFGHANISTAN (31.08.06 and similar sections in all 'Index on Afghanistan' research articles)

The Iraq Oil Crunch: Index Timeline (09.05.07)

Iraq Oil: The Vultures are Waiting (09.09.07 – updated)

Index Research: The Pentagon and Oil (24.06.08)

The Eurasian Corridor: Pipeline Geopolitics and the New Cold War
22.08.08. Michel Chossudovsky, global research.ca. The ongoing crisis in the Caucasus is intimately related to the strategic control over energy pipeline and transportation corridors. / There is evidence that the Georgian attack on South Ossetia on August 7 was carefully planned. High level consultations were held with US and NATO officials in the months preceding the attacks. / The attacks on South Ossetia were carried out one week after the completion of extensive US - Georgia war games (July 15-31st, 2008). They were also preceded by high level Summit meetings held under the auspices of GUAM, a US-NATO sponsored regional military alliance.

The Car

Out of America
15.06.08. Rupert Cornwell, Independent. For a country where the car is king, the soaring price of oil means some long-cherished assumptions are being challenged as never before.

Putting the Dream Car Out to Pasture
27.07.08. M. Navarro, NY Times. Mr. Forsythe had been deeply in love. He had custom-ordered the leather seats and the sound system for his S.U.V. and had waited three months for it in 2005, while living in San Antonio. / Mr. Forsythe, who now lives in San Francisco, said he could not justify $1,000 a month for gas, insurance and a car payment. The vehicle that had been a source of pleasure now feels like a ball and chain. / Americans’ longtime romance with the automobile is being severely tested, and in some cases dashed entirely, now that every trip gives rise to worries about how much a fill-up costs, guilt over how much damage the exhaust is contributing to the destruction of the planet, and self-consciousness about the image a full-size behemoth conveys today about its driver. … / News of wrenching dislocations in the car industry arrive daily: automobile sales are at a 10-year low…. / Beyond the bad economic news may lurk a less remarked shift in Americans’ psyches: a change in the role the automobile occupies in people’s emotional lives and self-image. … / For many drivers, their cars are an extension of themselves, displayed as fashion or an accessory.

Big Three face bankruptcy fears
06.08.08. CNN Money. After huge losses and plunging sales, experts aren't ruling out the possibility that GM, Ford or Chrysler might eventually be forced to declare bankruptcy.

China's New Car Tax Could Make Luxury Cars an Endangered Species
S. Grimmett, seeking alpha. Only in China would a car salesman refuse to sell you a big fancy foreign car. / China is increasing the tax on large luxury cars, bringing the charge up 13%-33%, depending on engine capacity.

Polar Ice

Arctic

North Pole May Be Ice-Free for First Time This Summer
20.06.07. National Geographic.

Exclusive: Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer
27.06.08. l Independent

Summer Arctic Sea Ice Expected To Be Among Lowest On Record
09.07.08. Science Daily. The ice cover in the Arctic Ocean at the end of summer 2008 will lie, with almost 100 per cent probability, below that of the year 2005 -- the year with the second lowest sea ice extent ever measured. Chances of an equally low value as in the extreme conditions of the year 2007 lie around eight per cent. Climate scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association come to this conclusion in a recent model calculation.

Russian ice camp in rapid shrink
11.07.08. BBC / Geology. Twenty Russian scientists are to be evacuated from their camp on a drifting ice-floe in the Arctic after it started disintegrating sooner than expected.

Photograph by Sam Soja/CP/AP

Giant chunks break off Canadian ice shelf
29.07.08. D. Ljunggren, Reuters. Giant sheets of ice totaling almost eight square miles broke off an ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic last week and more could follow later this year, scientists said on Tuesday. .. / The ice broke away from the shelf on Ward Hunt Island, an small island just off giant Ellesmere Island in one of the northernmost parts of Canada. It was the largest fracture of its kind since the nearby Ayles ice shelf -- which measured 25 square miles -- broke away in 2005.

Investigating Sea Ice Decline
05.08.08. Science Daily. A revised outlook for the Arctic 2008 summer sea ice minimum shows ice extent will be below the 2005 level but not likely to beat the 2007 record. DAMOCLES will dispatch eleven research missions into the Arctic this autumn to better understand the future of the sea ice.
VIDEO (MSNBC)

ARCTIC ICE CALVING (05.08.08) 80° 02.5’ N; 010° 42.’ SE
Photo © Sarah Meyer, Index Research

Meltdown in the Arctic is speeding up
10.08.08. R, McKie, Observer/legit gov. Scientists warn that the North Pole could be free of ice in just five years' time instead of 60.

Continued Breakup Of Two Of Greenland's Largest Glaciers Shown In Satellite Images
22.08.08. Science Daily. Researchers monitoring daily satellite images of Greenland’s glaciers have discovered break-ups at two of the largest glaciers in the last month. / They expect that part of the Northern hemisphere’s longest floating glacier will continue to disintegrate within the next year. See also At top of Greenland, new worrisome cracks in ice

Antarctic


Antarctic ice shelf 'hanging on by a thread'
11.07.08. ABC.

DDT on ice
01.07.08. herald tribune. Antarctica, like the Arctic, shows the lasting scars of human negligence. Some of the most persistent and dangerous chemicals ever created have accumulated there and remain there. / Take the long-banned pesticide DDT. When it was still sprayed on crops and gardens across the globe, it moved through the atmosphere to the polar regions, where it was deposited in water, snow and ice, ultimately making its way into the food chain.

[ What about the other chemicals with which we have recently poisoned our planet, eg. Agent Orange?]

Rainforest

Half the Amazon Rainforest to be Lost by 2030
22.07.08. natural news. The report, "Amazon's Vicious Cycles: Drought and Fire," concludes that 55 percent of the world's largest rainforest stands to be severely damaged from agriculture, drought, fire, logging and livestock ranching in the next 22 years. Another 4 percent may be damaged by reduced rainfall caused by global warming.

Rare Trees More Likely To Become Extinct
14.08.08. UPI. U.S. scientists say rare trees in the Amazon rainforest are more likely to become extinct due to deforestation and road building than are common species. / Rare species will suffer between a 37 percent and 50 percent extinction rate

United Nations Biodiversity 2010 Targets are in Jeopardy
20.08.08. A. D. Nadler, meaford express. Biologists now believe that the six per cent of earth's land surface that tropical rain forests represent contain more than 50 per cent of all species. Many primate species live in these forests. The International Primatological Society's 12-year study that was just released in Edinburgh shows a disturbing picture of our forests: of the known 634 primate species and subspecies, 50 per cent are threatened with extinction in the next 10 years! / Primates in Asia face a 70-per-cent extinction rate. / Habitat destruction is the main cause for this terrifying tragedy, but there are other drivers such as climate change, invasive species and the human population which is moving towards at least nine billion by 2050.

Water

Water: The Impending Apocalypse (27.11.07, Index Research)

Water: World Crisis (19.05.08- updated, Index Research )

World Water Crisis Underlies World Food Crisis
18.08.08. ENS. The world's supplies of clean, fresh water cannot sustain today's "profligate" use and inadequate management, which have brought shrinking food supplies and rising food costs to most countries, WWF Director General James Leape told the opening session of World Water Week in Stockholm today.

Food, Fuel and Water Crises Converging
23.08.08. Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service/truthout. "A spectre is haunting the cities and villages of most developing nations, warns a senior official of a World Bank-affiliated organisation. 'It's the spectre of a food, fuel and water crisis,' says Lars Thunell, executive vice president of the Washington-based International Finance Corporation (IFC),, a member of the World Bank group. 'I believe we are at a tipping point,' he said, because the scarcity of water poses a threat to the food supply just when the agricultural sector is stepping up production in response to riots over food prices, growing hunger, and rising malnutrition."

Wetlands

Massive Greenhouse Gases May Be Released As Destruction, Drying Of World Wetlands Worsen
21.07.08. Science Daily. Leading world scientists convene in Brazil July 21-25 amid growing concern that evaporation and ongoing destruction of world wetlands, which hold a volume of carbon similar to that in the atmosphere today, could cause them to exhale billows of greenhouse gases.


2. TOWARDS EXTINCTION
The Extinction Bell, Photo petervanallen

General

Evolution & Extinction
15.07.08. Research published recently in the journal Nature
concludes that the current methods for assessing species extinction underestimate the risks. / Most often, a species risk for extinction takes into account how many individuals are born, how many die, and how environmental conditions—like habitat loss—affect species populations. Experts have estimated that more than 16,000 species are at risk of extinction.—that includes about one in three amphibians, one in four mammals, one in eight birds, and 70% of the world's plant species.

Hope in new list of endangered species
18.07.08. Cmonitor. The current list includes 24 endangered species and 12 threatened species. The proposed endangered list would lose two species, the purple martin whose normal range does not include New Hampshire, and the extinct Sunapee trout. Three species, the eastern hognose snake, cobblestone tiger beetle and the common nighthawk - an insect eater which sometimes nests on flat gravel roofs of buildings in downtown Concord - would move from the threatened to the endangered list. Seven new species would be added, including the Blandings turtle, gray wolf and New England cottontail.

Half of the Philippines' endemic wildlife is [threatened] with extinction
22.07.08. mongabay. Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Joselito Atienza said that 592 of the 1,137 species of amphibians, birds and mammals found only in the Philippines are considered "threatened or endangered." 227 endemic species of plants are "critically endangered."

'Red List' names endangered species
23.07.08. sermitsiaq.gl. Greenland's Infrastructure and Environmental Ministry has published its 'Red List' of plants and animals that are candidates for extinction in the country. … / Critically threatened species include the spotted seal, the white whale, the North Atlantic Right Whale and certain species of narwhals. Vulnerable species include the polar bear and various types of salmon.

Save our endangered species
July 2008. DNA. Only a few of the many species at risk of extinction actually make it to the lists and obtain legal protection. Many more species become extinct, or potentially will become extinct, without gaining public notice. Here is a list of ten species of animals that are endangered and facing extinction.

Bush Proposal Bypasses Endangered Species Experts
12.08.08. J.R. Pegg, ENS. The Bush administration has proposed sweeping changes to the Endangered Species Act, releasing a plan to give federal agencies the authority to decide without expert consultation whether their activities could harm endangered and threatened species. Administration officials contend the proposal will make the law easier to implement, but critics say the plan would undermine federal protection of imperilled plants and animals.

Endangered Process
19.08.08. editorial, Washington Post. Proposed rule changes to the Endangered Species Act could do lasting harm in the natural world.

Conservationists warn of border fence's impact
22.08.08. AP / chron,com. The Bush administration's recently proposed changes to rules involving endangered species could lead to projects like the fence being built along the U.S.-Mexico border that could threaten endangered wildlife, the Sierra Club warned Friday.

Environmentalists have uphill battle
24.08.08. L. Brezosky, chron.com/legitgov. Homeland Security waives protection laws for border fence. Environmentalists are still smarting over the Homeland Security secretary's use of his authority to waive 37 environmental laws to expedite construction of the [Texas] border fence. Efforts failed to challenge the constitutionality of the waivers in the U.S. Supreme Court. Allen D. McReynolds, who was a member of President Clinton's team of environmental advisers, called the waiver and the subsequent rule change "tragic." "This means any time there is a new federal construction project, well, NEPA (the National Environmental Policy Act) will be waived and there'll be no environmental review," he said.

Florida Wildlife Crowded by Swelling Human Population
18.08.08. ENS. .. the report, "Wildlife 2060," shows how continuing the past patterns of urban sprawl could result in fragmented natural places that will squeeze Florida's wild species such as bears, panthers, bobcats, alligators, eagles and wild turkeys, manatees, gopher tortoises and Florida scrub-jays.

The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons
24.08.08. I Angus, Socialist Voice. Will shared resources always be misused and overused? Is community ownership of land, forests and fisheries a guaranteed road to ecological disaster? Is privatization the only way to protect the environment and end Third World poverty? Most economists and development planners will answer “yes” — and for proof they will point to the most influential article ever written on those important questions. / Since its publication in Science in December 1968, “The Tragedy of the Commons” has been anthologized in at least 111 books, making it one of the most-reprinted articles ever to appear in any scientific journal. .. / Garrett Hardin hatches a myth; … Where’s the evidence?/ … Why does the herder want more? … Will private ownership do better? … A politically useful myth... Stripped of excess verbiage, Hardin’s essay asserted, without proof, that human beings are helpless prisoners of biology and the market. Unless restrained, we will inevitably destroy our communities and environment for a few extra pennies of profit. There is nothing we can do to make the world better or more just. / In 1844 Friedrich Engels described a similar argument as a “repulsive blasphemy against man and nature.” Those words apply with full force to the myth of the tragedy of the commons.

Amphibians

Amphibians, Wikipedia.
… Amphibian populations around the globe are threatened or extinct, and scientists do not agree on the reason.

Frogs

New Report Details Historic Mass Extinction Of Amphibians; Humans Worsen Spread Of Deadly Emerging Infectious Disease
12.08.08. Science Daily. The authors confront the question of whether Earth is experiencing its sixth mass extinction and suggest that amphibians, as a case study for terrestrial life, provide a clear answer. "A general message from amphibians is that we may have little time to stave off a potential mass extinction," write co-authors Vance T. Vredenburg, assistant professor of biology at San Francisco State University, and David B. Wake, curator of herpetology in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at University of California, Berkeley, in the August 12 issue of PNAS.

Dying Frogs Sign Of A Biodiversity Crisis
17.08.08. Science Daily. Devastating declines of amphibian species around the world are a sign of a biodiversity disaster larger than just frogs, salamanders and their ilk, according to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley.

Bees

If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” Albert Einstein.

Honey bee becoming endangered species
17.07.08. northern times.co.uk.

Commercial Bees Spreading Disease To Wild Pollinating Bees
23.07.08. Science Daily. Bees provide crucial pollination service to numerous crops and up to a third of the human diet comes from plants pollinated by insects. However, pollinating bees are suffering widespread declines in North America and scientists warn that this could have serious implications for agriculture and food supply. While the cause of these declines has largely been a mystery, new research reveals an alarming spread of disease from commercial bees to wild pollinators.

Saving Our Bees: Implications of Habitat Loss
05.08.08. Science Daily. Most of the world's plant species rely on animals to transfer their pollen to other plants. The undisputed queen of these animal pollinators is the bee, made up of about 30,000 species worldwide, whose daily flights aid in the reproduction of more than half of the world's flowering plants. / In recent years, however, an unprecedented and unexplained decline in bee populations across the U.S. and Europe has placed the health of ecosystems and the sustainability of crops in peril.

Lawsuit Seeks EPA Pesticide Data
19.08.08. San Fran Chronicle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is refusing to disclose records about a new class of pesticides that could be playing a role in the disappearance of millions of honeybees in the United States, a lawsuit filed Monday charges. / The Natural Resources Defense Council wants to see the studies that the EPA required when it approved a pesticide made by Bayer CropScience five years ago.

VIDEOS
HoneyBee Decline (01.07.08. Science daily

Birds, General

Where should we go after the last frontiers? Where should the birds fly after the last sky? Mahmoud Darwish, The Earth is Closing on Us

Many birds left flying close to extinction
25.07.08. wales on line. PESTICIDES were last night blamed for a dramatic drop in the numbers of the nation’s birds. A report reveals that almost half are struggling to breed, with a marked decline in species inhabiting farmland and woodland. Species such as curlews, willow warblers, skylarks and pied flycatchers are among those deserting the Welsh terrain.

INTERNATIONAL BIRDS INITIATIVE
07.08. Biological diversity. Alarmed about declines of scores of the world’s rarest and most beautiful birds, ornithologists submitted petitions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1980 and 1991 to list 73 imperilled bird species from around the world under the Endangered Species Act. But after a quarter century of unreasonable delay, the agency has only listed six of the bird species and published proposed listing rules for six others. At least five of the 73 birds have gone extinct while waiting for protection.

CASE STUDIES: UNPROTECTED INTERNATIONAL BIRDS: Okinawa woodpecker, Blue-throated macaw, Slender-billed curlew.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that these 56 bird species warrant Endangered Species Act protection:

Orange-fronted parakeet (New Zealand)
Takahe (New Zealand)
Cook’s petrel (Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
Chatham oystercatcher (Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
Chatham petrel (Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
Magenta petrel (Chatham Islands, New Zealand)
Codfish Island fernbird (Codfish Island, New Zealand)
Ghizo white-eye (Solomon Islands)
Heinroth’s shearwater (Bismarck Archipelago, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands)
Lord Howe pied currawong (Lord Howe Island, New South Wales)
Uvea parakeet (Uvea, New Caledonia)
Eiao Polynesian warbler (Marquesas Islands)
Marquesan imperial pigeon (Marquesas Islands)
Fiji petrel (Fiji)
Salmon-crested cockatoo (South Moluccas, Indonesia)
Okinawa woodpecker (Okinawa Island, Japan)
Greater adjutant (South Asia)
Jerdon’s courser (India)
Slender-billed curlew (Russia, Eurasia, eastern and southern Europe, Greece, Italy,
Turkey, North Africa)
Cantabrian capercaillie (Spain)
Blue-throated macaw (Bolivia)
St. Lucia forest thrush (St. Lucia, West Indies)
Blue-billed curassow (Colombia)
Bogota rail (Colombia)
Brown-banded antpitta (Colombia)
Cauca guan (Colombia)
Gorgeted wood-quail (Colombia)
Ash-breasted tit-tyrant (Brazil)
Black-backed tanager (Brazil)
Black-hooded antwren (Brazil)
Brasilia tapaculo (Brazil)
Brazilian merganser (Brazil)
Cherry-throated tanager (Brazil)
Fringe-backed fire-eye (Brazil)
Kaempfer’s tody-tyrant (Brazil)
Margaretta’s hermit (Brazil)
Southeastern rufous-vented ground cuckoo (Brazil)
Southern helmeted curassow (Brazil)
Helmeted woodpecker (Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina)
Junin flightless grebe (Peru)
Junin rail (Peru)
Peruvian plantcutter (Peru)
White-browed tit-spinetail (Peru)
Yellow-browed toucanet (Peru)
Chilean woodstar (Peru, Chile)
Royal cinclodes (Peru, Bolivia)
Andean flamingo (Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina)
Black-breasted puffleg (Ecuador)
Esmeraldas woodstar (Ecuador)
Galapagos petrel (Galapagos Islands, Ecuador)
Medium tree-finch (Floreana Island, Galapagos Islands)

  • Andean Condor

    Beloved Andean condor facing threat of extinction
    24.07.08. J. Chang, miamiherald. Expanding human development in the Andes is altering the fragile environment of the condor, which is slowly disappearing

  • Owls

    Pygmy Owl Continues to Decline in Mexico
    24.06.08. biological diversity. The cactus ferruginous pygmy owl population in northern Sonora, Mexico, has declined over the past nine years, according to an ongoing monitoring effort by University of Arizona researcher Aaron Flesch. .. / “The pygmy owl is near extinction in Arizona

    Spotted Owl Habitat Slashed as Population Declines
    12.08.08. Jeff Barnard, AP / Truthout. "The Bush administration has decided the northern spotted owl can get by with less old-growth forest habitat as it struggles to make its way off the threatened species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Tuesday that the federal forest land designated as critical habitat for the owl in Washington, Oregon and Northern California would be cut by 23 percent, a reduction of 1.6 million acres."

  • Penguins

    Penguins by Species

    The Death March of the Penguins
    04.08.08. Julia Whitty, Mother Jones / alternet.

    DDT on ice
    01.07.08. herald tribune. Antarctica, like the Arctic, shows the lasting scars of human negligence. Some of the most persistent and dangerous chemicals ever created have accumulated there and remain there. / Take the long-banned pesticide DDT. When it was still sprayed on crops and gardens across the globe, it moved through the atmosphere to the polar regions, where it was deposited in water, snow and ice, ultimately making its way into the food chain. / The residue of DDT found in many Arctic species has declined in the past 30 years. But recently, scientists in Antarctica reported that Adelie penguins have a constant and, in some cases, increasing level of DDT in their body fat. It appears that the birds are being newly exposed to remnants of DDT that was deposited long ago. / Scientists estimate that between 2 pounds and 8.8 pounds of DDT are being released annually. This is not a large amount, but it is troubling nonetheless, especially since the levels released are likely to rise as climate change intensifies. As more ice melts, it will only add to the burden of so-called persistent organic pollutants that have made their way into the Antarctic's life stream. / Nothing could seem farther removed from our ordinary lives than these isolated populations of Adelies. But they are frighteningly near to our pesticidal past and one more reminder of the long-lasting consequences of human behavior.

  • Puffins

    Unexpected fall in puffin numbers
    25.07.08. M. Kinver, BBC. England's biggest colony of puffins has seen the birds' numbers fall by a third in just five years, a survey shows. Video.

  • Red Knot Bird

    Shorebird With Local Ties Flies Toward Extinction
    07.08. NBC. Also VIDEO.

  • Sage Grouse

    A critical time for Wyoming sage grouse
    16.07.08. Torrington telegram. If the Department of the Interior fails to implement the recommendations of the Wyoming Sage Grouse Implementation Team for conservation of sage grouse core areas in the next few months, a listing of the bird under the Endangered Species Act may be inevitable.

  • Sea birds

    Thousand of sea birds killed by fishing trawlers
    08.08.08. Paul Eccleston, Telegraph. Thirty-six albatrosses killed by one fishing boat; Sea birds die in fishermen's nets; Fishing bycatch is 'junk food' for sea birds.

  • Woodland Birds, UK
    Wood Warbler

    Woodland birds on route to extinction as numbers dive
    17.07.08. M. McCarthy, Independent. A suite of woodland species, from the nightingale to the spotted flycatcher, fell by more than 50 per cent between 1994 and last year, according to the report of the annual Breeding Bird Survey, run by the British Trust for Ornithology, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. The willow tit has declined by 77 per cent over the period and is extinct over much of Britain. But other declines are nearly as bad: since 1994, wood warbler has declined by 67 per cent, nightingale by 60 per cent, spotted flycatcher by 59 per cent and pied flycatcher by 54 per cent. Lesser spotted woodpecker has declined so much that it is too rare to monitor accurately on a national basis. / Over the past 30 years declines of Britain's farmland birds have been the main concern, with grey partridge and corn bunting falling nearly 90 per cent because of the intensification of agriculture. Now woodland birds seem to be going the same way – but the causes are much less obvious.

Fish, General

Study: Earth's edible fish face extinction
14.08.08. UPI. A U.S. scientist predicts continued overfishing will lead to the extinction of the Earth's edible species of fish and affect other levels of the food chain.

Keeping watch over the 'megafishes'
24.08.08. CNN. Hogan, an ecologist, photographer and an associate professor at the University of Nevada, heads up the Megafishes Project, a four-year collaboration with the National Geographic Society and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The project, Hogan says is the world's first attempt to identify and document the world's remaining giant freshwater fish. … so that they get a chance of gaining protection from the threat of extinction -- before it's too late. … / The biggest threats are pollution, dams and overexploitation. … / there are about two dozen species that qualify as megafishes. To qualify for the project the fish has to be over 2 meters or more than a 100 kilograms (220 pounds). And my estimate is about 70 percent will qualify as threatened with extinction.

  • Salmon

    Judge: water delivery system harms Calif salmon
    18.07.08. AP, mercury news. A federal judge ruled Friday that California's water systems threaten to push native, wild salmon into extinction, but stopped short of ordering any immediate water cutbacks farmers said would have cost them millions in lost crops.

    Federal judge rules fish species risk extinction in drought-plagued California
    19.07.08. Bnd, McClatchy. And state and federal water project operations are further jeopardizing the winter-run Chinook salmon, spring-run Chinook salmon and Central Valley steelhead, U.S. District Judge Oliver W. Wanger wrote in a 118-page ruling. The Friday ruling is the latest in a series of decisions by Wanger involving the effect of state and federal water projects - which are centered on the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in California - on fish species that are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

    Navy being sued over Puget Sound explosions
    29.07.08. pnwlocalnews. The Navy is being sued for exploding ordnance in Puget Sound waters, allegedly killing thousands of fish, including federally protected species such as Chinook salmon. / The Navy, however, said training for its explosive ordnance disposal teams is essential for both military and civilian purposes.

    Bad News: Senate Votes Down Fisheries Rescue
    18.08.08. D. Bacher, Truthout. The bill would have required fish rescue contingency plans in the event of future fishery disasters like the one that took place at Prospect Island in the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in November 2007. During last year's fish kill, thousands of striped bass, Sacramento blackfish, Sacramento splittail, black bass, bluegill, catfish, threadfin shad and other species perished after the Bureau of Reclamation drained the island during a levee repair operation… / Beuttler stated, "This bill was to be the beginning of the delta fishery restoration process and would have provided funds for the state's impacted salmon fishery… / Richard Pool .. was disappointed by the bill's defeat because it would have been a major step forward in the restoration of Central Valley salmon and steelhead and California Delta striped bass, delta smelt, longfin smelt, threadfin shad, green sturgeon, white sturgeon, steelhead and other species. .. / (he said “in the end we were outgunned by the intense lobbying of the water contractors and the administration.”

  • Shark

    In Mediterranean, the Predator Is the Hunted
    30.06.08. Washington Post. The shark researchers -- who hail from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and several European countries -- are engaged in a huge detective project, much of it inspired by Myers, who pioneered the first global shark assessment before his death in late 2006. Culling both unconventional and traditional sources such as fishing data, museum records and scientific studies, they are tracking not only how drastically sharks' numbers have dropped in recent decades but also how their disappearance is transforming the marine world. … / these sharks can be considered functionally extinct, meaning that they cannot perform their role of top predators in the Mediterranean marine ecosystems anymore," he said. Ferretti and his colleagues published their findings in this month's issue of the journal Conservation Biology.

  • Sturgeon

    Critical Habitat Finalized for Kootenai River White Sturgeon
    09.07.08. biological diversity. “Finalization of critical habitat is welcome news for the Kootenai River white sturgeon,” said Noah Greenwald, science director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The sturgeon is on the brink of extinction and desperately needs restoration of critical habitat to survive.”

    Sturgeon swimming towards 'extinction vortex'
    15.07.08. Environment new scientist. Irrational preferences for rare products are likely to drive the few remaining caviar sturgeon in the Caspian Sea to extinction, warn biologists in France. They have shown that snobbish attitudes drive a strong preference for caviar supposedly from "rare" species, even when the samples are the same.

    Read about the recent G8 thirteen course feast here, following a day discussing food shortages.

  • Tuna

    Hopes captive breeding will save endangered bluefin tuna
    25.07.08. ABC. We hear a lot about endangered whales in the Southern Ocean but quite a bit less about another seriously threatened species, bluefin tuna. Wild stocks of the fish are rapidly disappearing and experts are investing a lot of energy into figuring out whether bluefin tuna could be sustainably farmed. .. / At the Port Lincoln marina tuna boats jostle for space with barely a berth left for the busy fleet. / The industry is booming on the back of worldwide demand for the southern bluefin tuna, which is so highly prized it can fetch up to $50 a kilogram in Japan.

    Tinned Tuna's Hidden Catch
    13.08.08. Greenpeace. .. sea turtles, sharks and other fish species are all being wiped out in their thousands - caught in the nets and on the long-lines of the global tuna industry. In 2005 this 'accidental bycatch' amounted to some 100,000 tonnes worldwide. And tuna is in trouble itself, with some species critically endangered by overfishing. Also:
    Tuna retailers league table 2008

Flora and Fauna

Where should the plants sleep after the last breath of air? We will write our names with scarlet steam.” Mahmoud Darwish, The Earth is Closing on Us

More than half of RP fauna nearly extinct--official
21.07.08. Agence France. MANILA, Philippines -- More than half the birds, amphibians and mammals found only in the Philippines are either threatened or nearly extinct, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said Monday. / The tropical southeast Asian archipelago is the sole host to 1,137 animal species and 14,000 species of plants, the DENR said in a statement. / "Worldwide, we rank fifth in the number of plant species. We also rank fourth in bird endemism, which means that these birds are found only in the Philippines," Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose “Lito” Atienza said.

Species study includes local flora and fauna
05.08.08. the morehead news. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to conduct five-year status reviews of 20 threatened and endangered species that occur mostly in Southeast, including 5 fish, 3 mussels, 1 spider, 1 crayfish, and 10 plants. / A five-year review is conducted to ensure that a listing classification under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is accurate.

Climate Change Threatens One In Five Plant Species In Germany
18.08.08. Science Daily.

  • Lichen

    Queens County home to endangered Lichen
    23.07.08, nova news.

    Botanists sound the alarm as rare species face extinction
    26.07.08. G. Tasker, Miami herald. Although climate change has been identified as a direct contributor to the extinction of only a few species of flora and fauna so far, plant scientists fear that may soon accelerate. / ''We may lose 30 percent of the plants by 2050,'' says Kathryn Kennedy, executive director of the nonprofit Center for Plant Conservation in St. Louis. … ' / Beach jacquemontia: Although the vine initially was a victim of residential and commercial beachfront development, climate change -- specifically the rising sea level -- poses a new threat to the re-established plant.

  • Orchids

    Wild Orchids In Borneo: Is There Time To Save Thousands Of Species From Extinction?
    22.07.08. Science Daily. Borneo (Kalimantan) is the third largest island in the world. It is rich with a variety of indigenous orchid species that grow in the forests. Borneo's rain forests are also home to some extremely rare species of orchids, all highly valued for their exotic aromas and aesthetic beauty. It has been estimated that 2500 to 3000 orchid species grow in the forests of Borneo. / Borneo's orchids are also endangered, a result of the loss of natural habitat from fire, forest damage, and illegal logging.

Mammals

Mammals (class Mammalia) are a class of vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including sweat glands modified for milk production, hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex region in the brain. From Wikipedia.

Deer


Stag faces extinction threat in IHK
20.07.08. kms news. In occupied Kashmir, stag or Kashmiri hangul, one of the world’s most endangered species, is on the verge of extinction due to increasing interference in its habitations. / Scientifically known as Cervus elaphus hanglu, hangul is the only surviving race of the Red Deer family of Europe in the sub-continent. The animal is battling for its survival in its last bastion, the Dachigam Park located on foothills of Zabarwan range on the outskirts of Srinagar.

Elephant

ELEPHANTS AT RISK AGAIN
15.07.08. World wires. SSN has consistently argued against any relaxation in the original ivory trade ban approved by CITES in 1989 following a decade when Africa’s elephant population fell by more than 50% from 1.3 million to 600,000. Today, elephant numbers are estimated to hover at around 475,000 – 500,000. Asian elephant numbers stand at a precarious 30,000-40,000. / The illegal black market in ‘white gold’ seems ready to cause parts of Africa to run red with elephant blood once more after today’s decision by the Standing Committee of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to approve China as a ‘trading partner’ for over 100 tonnes of stockpiled ivory from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Many conservationists and wildlife managers have been left stunned and appalled.

Ivory Poaching At Critical Levels: Elephants On Path To Extinction By 2020?
01.08.08. Science Daily. African elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory at a pace unseen since an international ban on the ivory trade took effect in 1989. But the public outcry that resulted in that ban is absent today

Elephant photos

Elephant videos

Horse

  • Mustang

    Are mustang horses an endangered species?
    Wikipedia. "200 years ago there [were] 2 million wild horses in the United States. … / In the 1970's there were over 170,000 wild horses roaming free throughout the United States."

    On Mustang Range, a Battle on Thinning the Herd
    20.07.08. NY Times. Five mustangs pounded across the high desert recently, their dark manes and tails giving shape to the wind. Pursued by a helicopter, they ran into a corral — and into the center of the emotional debate over whether euthanasia should be used to thin a captive herd that already numbers 30,000. .. / For groups formed to protect the horses, the specter of euthanasia as a solution remains anathema. .. / Today, the fundamental rift between the bureau and its critics involves two judgment calls: how many horses can a range of 29 million acres support, and how should that level be maintained? .. / Arlan Hiner, an assistant field manager for the bureau in Nevada, said, “We’re supposed to be managing for ecological balance.” Over all, the bureau wants to cut the wild herd by about 6,000 horses.

    If one googles “mustang endangered species", one comes to a page about Ford CARS .

  • Shire Horse

Faithful British shire horse under threat of extinction
20.08.08. wales on line. Experts say the use of tractors on farms has been one of the major factors behind the decline of the “heavy horses”, first brought to Britain in 1066 by William the Conqueror and used in medieval warfare to carry his knights into battle.

Kangaroo

'Roos 'on the brink of extinction'
11.08.08. News.com.au. FOUR wildlife groups are calling for a moratorium on the killing of kangaroos, claiming they are on the brink of extinction in three states.

Lynx

Minnesota Ordered to Take Action to Protect Lynx From Trappers
14.07.08. Biological diversity. After issuing a critical ruling in March declaring the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in violation of the Endangered Species Act for its authorization of trapping within Canada lynx habitat, a Minneapolis federal court today issued a ruling mandating: Restriction on use of certain types of body-gripping traps and snare use in lynx habitat; Prohibition on the use of fresh meat as bait; That the state must operate a telephone hotline during trapping season to receive reports of incidentally trapped lynx; and That the state must rehabilitate lynx injured by trapping.

Polar Bear

Polar bear harassment by oil companies challenged
08.07.08. J. Lee, AP / legitgov. Two conservation groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday challenging the Bush administration's decision to let oil companies unintentionally harass or harm polar bears and walruses off the northwestern Alaska coast. / The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage claims that federal officials violated laws designed to protect the animals and their sensitive habitat in the Arctic waters of the Chukchi Sea.
See also Suit seeks ban on oil companies disturbing wildlife (08.07.08. Reuters / legitgov.)
and Lawsuit Filed to Protect Polar Bears and Pacific Walrus From Oil Drilling in Chukchi Sea (08.07.08. biological diversity / legitgov)

Last-Ditch Resort: Move Polar Bears to Antarctica?
19.07.08. ABC. If the most dire climate predictions come to pass, the Arctic ice cap will melt entirely, and polar bears could face extinction.

Alaska sues over listing polar bear as threatened
04.08.08. ap. The state of Alaska sued Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Monday, seeking to reverse his decision to list polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. / Gov. Sarah Palin and other state officials fear a listing will cripple offshore oil and gas development in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas in Alaska's northern waters, which provide prime habitat for the only polar bears under U.S. jurisdiction.

Russia joins WWF 'polar bear patrol'
30.07.08. rian.ru.

Polar Bears at Risk of Drowning in the Chukchi Sea
21.08.08. biological diversity. Surveys Show Numerous Bears Swimming Far From Land as Sea Ice Nears Record Low / On August 16th, surveys documented nine polar bears swimming in open water off the northwestern coast of Alaska in the Chukchi Sea, in an area recently opened for offshore oil exploration. One bear was more than 50 miles from land.

Polar Bears International

Seals

Critical Habitat Protection Sought for Hawaiian Monk Seal
02.07.08. biological diversity. In a formal petition filed today, three conservation groups requested that the federal government protect areas on the main Hawaiian islands as critical habitat for the Hawaiian monk seal under the Endangered Species Act. As monk seal populations plummet on the northwestern Hawaiian islands, the main islands are playing an increasingly important role in the conservation of the species.

Seal Conservation Society

Tiger

Attitudes Toward Consumption And Conservation Of Tigers In China
04.06.07. Science Daily. The potential market for tiger products in China is enormous, but a vast majority of the Chinese public would rather have wild tigers than tiger-bone wine, according to new research.

Rare Plants And Endangered Species Such As Tigers At Risk From Traditional Medicine
06.07.08. Science Daily. Two reports from TRAFFIC, the world's largest wildlife trade monitoring network, on traditional

Tigers Disappear From Himalayan Refuge
16.07.08. Science Daily. World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is alarmed by the dramatic decline of at least 30 percent in the Bengal tiger population of Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Nepal, once a refuge that boasted among the highest densities of the endangered species in the Eastern Himalayas. The recent survey of April 2008 showed a population of between 6-14 tigers, down from 20-50 tigers in 2005.

PHOTOS & VIDEOS
See Here and Here.

Whale

Conservationists Sue to Protect Beluga Whales of Cook Inlet
07.06.08. environment news service. Five conservation groups have filed a lawsuit against the Bush administration over what they claim is an illegal delay in listing the Cook Inlet beluga whale under the federal Endangered Species Act.

How Whales And Other Marine Mammals React To Sonar
09.08.08. Science Daily. NOAA’s Fisheries Service, in partnership with top international scientists and the U.S. Navy, has just completed a pioneering research effort in Hawaii to measure the biology and behavior of some of the most poorly understood whales on Earth. During the study, for the first time, scientists attached listening and movement sensors on marine mammals around realistic military operations.

Wolf

Judge Returns Gray Wolves to Endangered List
19.07.08. F. Barringer, NY Times. Gray wolves in the greater Yellowstone area of the northern Rocky Mountains, which would have been fair game for hunters in three states as a result of a federal government decision in March, were again put under the protections of the Endangered Species Act by a judge in Montana on Friday. See also http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2008/07/work-in-progres.html (LA Times)

Tell the Bush administration to stop the slaughter of gray wolves!
NRDC: Petition. Since the Bush administration stripped gray wolves of their endangered species protection in March, more than 100 have been gunned down outside Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, and hundreds more are being targeted for slaughter.

Wolverine

Endangered Species Protections Sought for U.S. Wolverines
08.07.08. Biological diversity. The United States must protect endangered wildlife from global warming and other threats within its own borders and not rely on other countries, such as Canada, to do the job, according to a coalition of 10 conservation organizations that announced today its intention to file a legal challenge against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Another Species in Danger
19.07.08. NYTimes Editorial. The wolverine is in desperate trouble these days. Perhaps only 500 remain in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Even that number may be a considerable overestimate, according to a coalition of conservation groups that argues that the wolverine deserves the protection of the Endangered Species Act. They plan to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service if it does not reverse its recent decision to leave the wolverine to its fate.

Mammoth

RHINOCEROSES, Wikipedia

Zimbabwe: A Cry for the Environment
30.07.08. eco worldly. Zimbabwe has about half of the world’s population of black rhinoceroses, an endangered species. During that period, the government even went as far as adopting a radical policy of shooting poachers on sight in order to protect endangered animal species. / In recent years, however, Zimbabwe has experienced desertification, soil and water pollution, slash and burn agriculture resulting in soil erosion mainly caused by an unplanned land resettlement programme initated by incumbent President Robert Mugabe’s government in 2000.

Primates

Great Apes

VIDEO: Bama's Journey
01.08.08. Witness, al Jazeera. "Great Apes as well as other endangered species in Cameroon are facing possible extinction as a result of rapid deforestation and bush-meat hunting," Nicky Chalk, the film's director explains. / "Out here bush-meat, including gorillas and chimpanzees, is a popular delicacy but over-hunting in recent years means that there are very few of these animals remaining in their natural habitat.


Orangutans "On Fast Track to Extinction"
06.07.08. Michael Casey, The Independent: "The orangutan could be the first great ape to become extinct if urgent action is not taken to protect the species from human encroachment in Southeast Asia, according to a new study."

Homo Sapiens, General

“ ‘ Goodbye,’ says the dying man to the mirror they hold in front of him. ‘We won’t be seeing each other any more.’ “ Paul Valery

“Until a few decades ago, humans were thought to be distinctly set apart from the other apes (even from the other great apes), so much so that many people still don't think of the term "apes" to include humans at all. However, it is not considered accurate by many biologists to think of apes in a biological sense without considering humans to be included.” From
Wikipedia.

© Chris Jordan

Running the Numbers: An American self portrait
Chris Jordan. Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. … This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society.

Value of American life drops to $6.9 Million
11.07.08. AP / Raw Story. See related analysis here.
See also: US Environmental Agency Lowers Value of a Human Life (11.07.08. Guardian / Truth out). It sounds like a spot of gallows humour, but the numbers are no joke: the US environmental protection agency (EPA) has lowered the value of a human life by nearly $1m under George Bush's administration. / The EPA's estimate of the "value of a statistical life" was $6.9m as of this May - down from $7.8m five years ago - according to an Associated Press study released today

Human Race Faces "Oblivion" From Global Warming, Says UN Chief
23.07,08. David Gutierrez, natural news / speaking truth to power. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has warned that without a comprehensive international agreement to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming, humanity faces "oblivion."

"The world's scientists have spoken with one voice: the situation is grim and urgent action is needed," Ban said. "The situation is so desperately serious that any delay could push us past the tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase dramatically. … / The controversy during the meetings resulted largely from a disagreement between the European Union, which favored setting strict mandatory emissions reduction goals, and the United States, which opposed mentioning specific targets and favors only voluntary emissions reductions. … / Even a compromise on the wording, which would have mentioned the U.N. panel's recommendation but not committed the Bali nations to meeting that goal, was ultimately removed from the Bali Roadmap at the insistence of the United States.

In Colombia

Nukak men, Colombia © Gustavo Pollitis/Survival

Amazon nomads face 'imminent extinction'
13.08.08. Survival international. Colombia’s last nomadic hunter-gatherer tribe, the Nukak, is in ‘imminent danger of physical and cultural extinction’, according to the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PTT), which investigates and tries human rights violations around the world. / The Nukak were listed by the PTT along with another 27 indigenous groups in Colombia, many of whom have less than 100 members.

Genocide

Definition Genocide

Gideon Polya "Jerusalem Madonna"

Apartheid Israel & 60 years of racism, war, theft & Palestinian Genocide
14.05.08. Dr Gideon Polya, international news. The fundamental messages from the World War 2 Jewish Holocaust (6 million victims, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation) and the WW2 Holocaust in general (30 million Slav, Jewish and Roma dead) are "zero tolerance for racism" and "never again to anyone". / These sacred messages from the WW2 Holocaust have been monstrously violated by Apartheid Israel, its Anglo-American backers and its racist Zionist (RZ) supporters for 60 years as summarized below. …

Obama, McCain, Iraqi Genocide & Afghan Genocide
02.08.08. Dr. G. Polya, newsvine. Obama promises to get out of Iraq (1990-2008 excess deaths 4 million) but to continue in Afghanistan (2001-2008 excess deaths 3-6 million). McCain will continue both holocausts and possibly more. / Americans may well be pleased with the recent enthusiastic reception of Barack Obama in Europe. However they need to know what they are actually voting for – either 50% less killing (if a President Obama does get out of Occupied Iraq but not Occupied Afghanistan ) or possibly 100% more killing (if a President McCain decides to devastate Iran as well as continuing the Iraqi and Afghan Holocausts).

On This Day, the US Excelled Itself in Killing Afghan Civilians

Afghanistan: 76 Civilians Die in Airstrike, Ministry Claims
Sharafuddin Sharafyar, Reuters/truthout. "US-led coalition forces killed 76 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan yesterday, most of them children, the country's nterior Ministry said. The coalition denied killing civilians. Civilian deaths in military operations have become an emotive issue among Afghans, many of whom feel international forces take too little care when launching air strikes, undermining support for their presence. 'Seventy-six civilians, most of them women and children, were martyred today in a coalition forces operation in Herat province,' the Interior Ministry said in a statement. Coalition forces bombarded the Azizabad area of Shindand district in Herat province on Friday afternoon, the ministry said. Nineteen of the victims were women, seven of them men and the rest children under the age of 15, it said." [ Later reports said that more than 90 were killed ]

Essential, stupendous read on previous genocide

American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World by David E. Stannard, Oxford University Press (US), November 1993.

Suicide

Suicide hot line got calls from 22,000 veterans
28.07.08. AP / legitgov. More than 22,000 veterans have sought help from a special suicide hot line in its first year, and 1,221 suicides have been averted, the government says. / According to a recent RAND Corp. study, roughly one in five soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan displays symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, putting them at a higher risk for suicide. Researchers at Portland State University found that male veterans are twice as likely to commit suicide than men who are not veterans.

Suicide Spreads as One Solution to the Debt Crisis
29.08.08. Barbara Ehrenreich, alternet. In a culture where credit rating is the key measure of self-worth, the increasing response to huge debts is "Just shoot me!"

Kipunji Monkey

Newly discovered monkey is threatened with extinction
29.07.08. Hulig. Known as the "kipunji," the large, forest-dwelling primate hovers at 1,117 individuals, according to a study released in the July issue of the journal Oryx. / The authors also discovered that much of the monkey's remaining habitat is severely degraded by illegal logging and land conversion. In addition, the monkey itself is the target of poachers. Because of these combined threats, WCS proposes that the kipunji should be classified by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as "critically endangered"

Lemur

Photograph by Nicole Duplaix/NGS

Primates Newly Listed as Critically Endangered
12.08.08. National Geographic. Numbers of the black-and-white ruffed lemur (Varecia variegata)—which, like all lemur species, is found only on the African island of Madagascar—have dwindled as a result of predation and habitat loss. / Last week the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) added several species and subspecies of primates, including the ruffed lemur, to the "critically endangered" category in its Red List of Threatened Species. / The additions were made as part of a study by hundreds of experts that suggests half of the world's apes, monkeys, and other primates are in danger of extinction.

Nearly half of all the world's primates at risk of extinction.
See also Guardian editorial FIGHTING FOR MADAGASCAR’S LEMURS (08.08.08)

Reptiles

Lizard

Panaji: Banded Ground Gecko Faces Threat of Extinction
21.07.08. Daiji world, India.

Turtle

Memorial held for sea turtle
20.07.08. Honolulu advertiser. The green sea turtle is included on the federal Endangered Species list. .. / The turtle, one of a group of 20 that regularly comes to bask in the sun on the beach commonly called "Turtle Beach," had its shell cut off and was missing a flipper.

Government project to save endangered riverine turtle
20.07.08. express India. According to the Forest department, the conservation of the endangered terrapin will be an extension of the ongoing Bhagabatpur crocodile project in Sunderbans. “Batagurs usually get caught in fishermen nets. But in recent times, the fishermen say that these turtles have hardly been spotted. So, we have decided to go for a full-fledged conservation before they become extinct,” said SS Bist, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Forest department.

Australia frogs are facing extinction
24.08.08. J. Lawrence, news.com/au. AUSTRALIAN frogs are facing the biggest wildlife extinction threat since the disappearance of dinosaurs, with 14 of the most endangered species in Queensland

Tortoise

Desert Tortoise Threatened by Draft Recovery Plan That Weakens Protections
04.08.08. biological diversity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released a new draft “recovery” plan for the threatened desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), which was protected under the Endangered Species Act nearly two decades ago. Though desert tortoise populations have continued to crash since that listing, the new draft plan weakens protections and provides few on-the-ground actions for tortoise conservation.

Endangered desert tortoise found burned to death at California campground
20.08.08. mercury news. YUCCA VALLEY — An endangered tortoise has been found burned to death in a fire grate at Black Rock campground in the Yucca Valley area. .. / Desert tortoises are a threatened species, protected by the federal Endangered Species Act as well as state wildlife laws. The desert tortoise also is California's official state reptile.

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3. GOOD NEWS

UN group rules to stop tiger trade
15.06.08. al jazeera

11 YOUNG ECO-WARRIORS RECOGNIZED FOR REMARKABLE GLOBAL CONSERVATION ACHIEVEMENTS
10.07.08. world wire. From California to Kenya, eleven young people have decided that the future of the earth just can’t wait until later. Whether it’s global warming or mountains of electronic waste in our landfills or air pollution from idling school buses, the eleven extraordinary 2008 winners of Action For Nature’s International Young Eco-Hero Awards are tackling some of the globe’s most urgent problems with kid power.

Lincoln researcher helps Frogs facing extinction
15.07.08. Hawkes bay, nz. As frog populations die off around the world, researchers have identified certain genes that can help the amphibians develop resistance to harmful bacteria and disease. The discovery may provide new strategies to protect frog populations in the wild. … / As frog populations die off around the world, researchers have identified certain genes that can help the amphibians develop resistance to harmful bacteria and disease. The discovery may provide new strategies to protect frog populations in the wild.

Net Gain For Endangered Dolphins
16.07.08. Science Daily. The rarest marine dolphin in the world – down to 111 individuals following decades of entanglement in fishing nets – is to receive protection over more of its range from the New Zealand government following several years of sustained WWF campaigning. / The critically-endangered Maui’s dolphins, living only along the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, could be functionally extinct within just 25 years largely as a result of a losing battle with fishing nets.

Thawed DNA helps revive endangered crane species
16.07.08. New Orleans Times-Picayune. The bulldozers {at whose instructions?] that cut through Mississippi's pine forest to lay down Interstate 10 four decades ago cleaved the breeding grounds of a sandhill crane species, whose numbers dwindled to as few as 40 wild birds. / Now, frozen tanks of DNA hold new hope for the survival of the critically endangered flock. / The Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species has for 10 years restocked the wild Mississippi sandhill crane population with more than 150 birds from eggs laid in captivity at its facility here. This spring, one of the hatching chicks had a decidedly more sci-fi pedigree.

Federal Government Recognizes Extinction Threat and Upholds Threatened Status for the Imperiled Peirson's Milk-vetch
17.07.08. biological diversity. Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dismissed a sham petition to remove the Peirson’s milk-vetch from Endangered Species Act protection. The Service determined that the rare plant is still threatened with extinction owing to rampant off-road vehicle activities in its habitat at the Algodones Dunes in Southern California.

Ocean Quest: The Race to Save the World's Coral Reefs
17.07.08. S. Conner, Independent. Last week, scientists issued their latest, grim assessment of the world's coral reefs. But as Steve Connor reports from Florida, extraordinary new ocean 'reseeding' techniques mean there may still be time to halt - or even reverse - the destruction of mother nature's marine marvels.

Record number of endangered butterflies released
17.07.08. Boston.com.

State Supreme Court gives new protection to endangered species
18.07.08. LA Times. Commercial interests may be liable for unforeseen losses of wildlife, unanimous court rules.

New Group of Endangered Lemurs Found in Madagascar
22.07.08. ENS. Researchers in Madagascar have confirmed the existence of a population of greater bamboo lemurs more than 400 kilometers (240 miles) from the only other place where the Critically Endangered species is known to live, raising hopes for its survival.

Wolf Killings Stopped: Federal Court Temporarily Restores Protection to Wolves in Northern Rocky Mountains
18.07.08. biological diversity. Today Federal Judge Donald W. Molloy issued a temporary injunction restoring gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains to the endangered species list, and thus halting indiscriminate killing of wolves, for the duration of a trial in which conservationist plaintiffs contest the removal of the wolves from the protected list.

Help for endangered farmland birds announced
25.07.08. P. Eccleston, Telegraph. Under the proposals farmers will be paid a top-up under the Environmental Stewardship scheme for using a variety of wildlife-friendly practices such as managing small amounts of land less intensively and creating grass buffer zones. The new measures will come too late to make up for the loss of set-aside in this year's harvest but will come into effect in 2009. / The move was welcomed by the RSPB who said it would create nesting sites for endangered species. / "Many much-loved birds like skylarks, yellowhammers and lapwings have been thrown a lifeline by this decision, which will help bring birdsong back to many parts of the countryside.

Recovery Dawns for Humpbacks and Southern Right Whales
14.08.08. ENS. The humpback whale and other species of large whales are now more secure against extinction than they have been in the recent past, according to the latest cetacean update of the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species released on Tuesday by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Environmental groups sue Forest Service
14.08.08. Mike Lee, biological diversity. Several environmental groups on Thursday sued the U.S. Forest Service over its management plans for the Cleveland National Forest and three others in Southern California. / The lawsuit said the federal blueprints allow recreation and development to damage the forests' ecology. It cited off-road vehicles and gas drilling as problems for the forests, which total 3.5 million acres.

Condor country
17.08.08. press democrat. … by 1985 the condor was on the brink of extinction with a wild population of just nine birds. / A captive breeding program involving state and federal agencies, conservation groups and zoos in the United States and Mexico has brought the population back to about 330.


Watch out for endangered Blanding’s Turtle
18.08.08. nova news. Last week, North Queens residents became the first community in Canada to identify an endangered species on their roads.

Lord of the Sky
18.08.08. Toronto sun. 4 decades after DDT ban the peregrine falcon is off the endangered list.

Ivory trade banned in Namibia from September
20.08.08. moneybiz. Namibia will impose a ban on all trade with 'worked ivory' from next month in a bid to assert its control and abide by international regulations on endangered species, an official said on Wednesday.

Indian government to act over drug killing millions of vultures
21.08.08. Paul Eccleston, Telegraph. Scientists have warned that three species of Asian vultures could become extinct within 10 years and one, the Oriental white-backed vulture, has lost 99.9 per cent of its population since 1992. / Oriental white-backed vulture has lost 99.9 per cent of its population. / The manufacture of veterinary diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, was outlawed in 2006 after scientists proved its use on livestock had brought some vultures to the brink of extinction..

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Sarah Meyer is an independent researcher living in the U.K.

The url to The Road to Extinction is: http://indexresearch.blogspot.com/2008/08/index-research-on-road-to-exti...
The smaller url is: http://tinyurl.com/5qhb2h

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Editorial Notes: Retired Sarah Meyer is one of the most prolific and indefatigable bloggers now posting on the Web. A force of nature herself. -BA

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