Biodiversity and conservation
Biodiversity and general ecology issues

Ken Novak's Weblog


daily link  Saturday, August 27, 2005


Wildlife trade on the web: "Internet shoppers in search of the exotic have sparked a booming trade that is threatening the existence of many endangered species, according to a report released Tuesday by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. .. “Trade on the Internet is easy, cheap and anonymous,” said IFAW UK director Phyllis Campbell-McRae.  .. The report “Caught in the web - wildlife trade on the Internet” found in just one week 146 live primates, 5,527 elephant products, 526 turtle and tortoiseshells, 2,630 reptile products and 239 wild cat products for sale."

  8:33:51 AM  permalink  


daily link  Monday, August 15, 2005


Are We Prepared for Avian Flu?: An interview with "Laurie Garrett, the only reporter to win all three of journalism's big "P" awards (the Peabody, the Polk and the Pulitzer) .. resigned from Newsday earlier this year [citing] a deteriorating climate for journalism .. Today, Garrett is Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations. Her story "The Next Pandemic?" was published in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs ..

"Avian influenza comes from aquatic birds, including migratory ducks, geese and herons. The loss of these birds' migratory routes in China has brought them into direct contact with humans in farms and parks. In this way, influenza is spread from migrating birds to domestic birds, then to pigs and ultimately to humans. This chain of events involves veterinary science, ecology and medicine, the triumvirate studied by the science of conservation medicine."  One general issue: we lack "respectful mutual lines of communication between those protecting human health, those protecting animal health and those dealing with ecology."

On avian flu response specifically:  "I think the CDC is doing a lot. But what I keep trying to get across to people is that flu starts in Asia. We're a lot better off if we can stop it in Asia than if we wait until it is here and try to figure out some means to minimize the damage. And that means a whole lot more multinational agreements, and this is difficult at a time when our Congress is full of members saying really terrible things about China [and Vietnam]..

In a recent study published in Nature, a team at Oxford University did a computer model just simply asking if it is possible to stop pandemic flu. And the good news is their answer is yes, it is possible, but the bad news is it can be stopped only if you identify it when there are just 30 human cases. Well, we're not going to spot those first 30 human cases before it spreads to hundreds or thousands of people unless we have a much better infrastructure of public health, vigilance and surveillance in poor countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, and in countries with more money but completely lacking in sophisticated public health infrastructure, like China." "

  2:04:44 PM  permalink  


daily link  Friday, August 12, 2005


Puffin Cam:  "The Project Puffin seabird camera is now beaming live-streaming video from Matinicus Rock—Maine’s largest colony of Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills. Matinicus Rock is located 22 miles south of Rockland, Maine. .. The robotic camera was funded by grants from MBNA Foundation and the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund. The video signal is beamed by microwave 25 miles to Rockland .. When the [visitor] Center opens, visitors will be able to operate the camera. The camera is an invention of Daniel Zatz of SeeMore Wildlife Systems of Homer, Alaska.

The camera is set to move every two minutes on an auto tour of 20 preset locations that show seabird habitat on Matinicus Rock. The auto tour includes the murre attraction program that is using decoys to encourage Common Murres to nest on the island.. The camera turns on automatically at 5AM and runs until 9PM- at which time viewers will be able to see the light sending its powerful beams. .. The auto tour also includes two minutes of observation within an underground puffin burrow. Using infrared lighting, viewers will be able to see the growing chick and its parents. This is the first underground video of nesting puffins to be shown on the Internet. "

  11:17:36 AM  permalink  

Copyright 2006 © Ken Novak.
Last update: 5/16/2006; 12:54:54 PM.
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