Heartbreaking Butterfly Center Video Shows Bobcat At Risk From Border Wall
With border wall construction imminent, the center posted a two-minute video featuring a bobcat living in the facility's southern 70 acres that will be cut off by the barrier once it's built.
"Little does this bobcat know," the center states in the video, "its ability to hunt, find shelter, find a mate and raise its young is about to be drastically affected by a concrete and steel wall it will never be able to get past."
What's more, the center noted, the floodlights that will be installed along the wall will "light up the entire area like a war zone all night long."
The underlying message of the clip is the U.S.-Mexico barrier's negative impact to native species and the surrounding environment.
The Trump administration waived 28 environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act in order to build 33 more miles of wall in the Rio Grande Valley, including a 5.5-mile concrete and steel barrier through the butterfly refuge. The project was funded by last year's congressional appropriations.
The National Butterfly Center Director Marianna Wright told the Guardian that the wall's construction would harm the butterflies as well as other species like the Texas tortoise, Texas indigo snake and Texas horned lizard that also find refuge on the center's land.
The butterfly sanctuary has filed an emergency restraining order on Monday to halt the construction, the Texas Observer reported. The center is also urging supporters to call their senators and representatives to stop any further border wall funding.
A 2017 study by the Center for Biological Diversity looking at the potential impact of the wall on 93 threatened or… https://t.co/wJzVEDBhA6— Center for Bio Div (@Center for Bio Div)1549994979.0
Meanwhile, the center wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday that trees were being taken down in their section of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Wildlife Conservation Corridor, "a remnant of native habitat set aside for species protection."
The post also included a Facebook live video from writer and conservation photographer Krista Schlyer, who went to the site to observe the construction work. Schlyer said in a later video that authorities escorted her away from the construction site.
"They really don't want me to see what's going on back there," she said.
Construction of #borderwall began this morning on the La Parida tract of the Lower Rio Grande Refuge. The forest is… https://t.co/F9CuOvfNhs— krista schlyer (@krista schlyer)1550153951.0
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.