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Looking back on 5774: A year of environmental triumph and tragedy

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Tradition holds that our planet was fashioned on Rosh Hashanah. This period, as we prepare to begin celebrating the birthday of Mother Earth on Wednesday evening, is a fitting one in which to consider Israel’s accomplishments and transgressions in nurturing its small but holy corner of creation. On reflection, we find reason for both encouragement and alarm.

Article source: http://www.haaretz.com/life/nature-environment/.premium-1.617233

Nature Conservancy of Canada and TD Forests help protect forests for species at risk

TORONTO , Sept. 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Endangered Canada lynx, endangered mainland Nova Scotia moose, wood turtles and other at risk species are being supported through five new forest conservation projects. The sites, totalling 2,142 acres (867 hectares) of forest have been saved across Canada through a partnership between the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and TD Bank Group (TD). The announcement was made as part of National Forest Week ( Sept 21 – 27).

The sites, located in Alberta , Ontario , Quebec , New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador were protected in part thanks to the TD Forests program and provide habitat for some of Canada’s most threatened species. Conservation work will continue this fall with additional properties to be protected.

Since the program launch in 2012, NCC has protected over 32,000 acres (12,950 hectares) in six different forest habitat types. TD’s five-year contribution is the largest corporate commitment in NCC’s history.

Quotes

“Forests support a rich diversity of plant and animal life that relies on a healthy ecosystem to thrive. Among their many roles, forests purify water, regulate and cool climate, absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and provide habitat and shelter for countless species,” said John Lounds , President and CEO with the Nature Conservancy of Canada . And with Canada being home to 10 per cent of the world’s forests, we sometimes take them for granted,”.

 ”More than 90 percent of Canadians have said forests are important to them, and for good reason,” says Karen Clarke-Whistler , Chief Environment Officer, TD. “Forests form the backdrop of our communities, where we live, work and play – and they perform an essential role in cleaning the air and moderating temperatures. As our world becomes more urbanized it is essential to protect forests and the valuable habitats they represent. That’s why we made protecting critical forest habitat a key pillar of TD Forests.”

Newly Protected Properties:

St. Fintans, NL : 600 acres (243 hectare) of Northern shield boreal forest in western Newfoundland featuring 200 year old trees.  The property also surrounds a river with Atlantic salmon and supports habitat for threatened Newfoundland marten.

Halls Hill, NB:  347 acres (140 hectares) of Acadian forest with red pine, red maple, balsam fir and birch trees in the Chignecto Isthmus, the only route for terrestrial wildlife to move in and out of Nova Scotia connecting it to the rest of North America .  The Chignecto Isthmus provides habitat for endangered Canada lynx and moose which are endangered in mainland Nova Scotia . It also known as the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s “Moose Sex Corridor Project”.

Mount Foster, QU: 326 acres (132 hectares) in Quebec’s Green Mountains, about 30 kilometers near the town of Sutton.  It provides habitat for numerous species at risk, including wood turtle, Bicknell’s thrush, and green mountain maidenhair fern. This Appalachian mixed forest has sugar maple, beech, white ash, eastern hemlock, yellow birch trees. It is one of the last regions where extensive wilderness remains relatively intact in southern Quebec .

Powder Island, ON : 399 acres (161.5 hectares). Located in the Lake Superior National Marine Conservation Area, less than one kilometer off the coast of Lake Superior near Rossport.  Northern Shield boreal forest with white spruce, jack pine and balsam fir trees.

Near Leduc, AB : 478 acres (193 hectares) of mixed wood boreal forest located in the Upper North Saskatchewan River Basin includes stands of  aspen, balsam poplar, paper birch, tamarack, white and black spruce.  The property also features a herd of 40 elk.

For more information on each of the projects, please visit: www.natureconservancy.ca/celebrateforests.

Learn More:

The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation’s leading land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its partners have helped to protect more than 2.7 million acres (over 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast. For more information visit: www.natureconservancy.ca

Launched in 2012, TD Forests is a major conservation initiative built around two pillars – reduce (paper use) and grow (forested areas). The Nature Conservancy of Canada has been engaged in the “grow” pillar to increase the amount of forested lands protected and cared for in Canada and through its conservation partners in the U.S. TD and NCC are also engaging more Canadians in the mission to conserve our forests, which will safeguard not just the trees, but all the living things that rely on forested habitats. For more information, visit TD Forests.

Visit: www.natureconservancy.ca
Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/NCC_CNC
Become a fan on Facebook

Media Interviews, photos and video available upon request.

SOURCE Nature Conservancy of Canada

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Article source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nature-conservancy-canada-td-forests-164700615.html

Teaching children to appreciate their natural environment

Local/State

Triangle’s Asian community launches Dragon Boat Festival

Article source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/09/17/4159705/teaching-children-to-appreciate.html

Make the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area your destination of choice this fall!

QUEBEC CITY, Sept. 25, 2014 /CNW/ – How would you like to connect with nature this fall? Until October 26, Environment Canada is inviting you to the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area (NWA). The NWA offers a number of activities for nature lovers, birdwatchers, hikers and photographers looking to discover wildlife in its natural environment.

The Focus on the Geese activity will once again be offered every day from September 27 to October 26. With our naturalist guides, witness the Greater Snow Geese that stop at the NWA in search for food. Visitors who want to know how many geese are at the NWA can check the Nature section of Environment Canada’s website at www.ec.gc.ca.

The On the Trail of Fox GPS rally, new this fall, helps visitors discover and learn about the biodiversity they encounter when walking along the La Cédrière, L’Allée d’ormes, Le Moqueur-chat and Bois-sent-bon trails. Did you know that the NWA contains more than 22 forest stands, and is home to 700 plant species, 30 mammal species and 180 bird species, including some that are at risk? Why not go on an outing and enjoy the fall colours.

This initiative is part of the Government of Canada’s efforts under the National Conservation Plan to connect Canadian families with our natural spaces. Through this plan, the Government is building a stronger Canada, a country that cares about conserving its natural heritage and a country where we can all enjoy the beauty of nature from coast to coast to coast.

Quick Facts

  • The Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area is part of a Canadian network of 146 protected areas aimed at conserving important habitats for wildlife, some of which are at risk.
  • The organized activities make it possible to support the objectives of the National Conservation Plan by connecting Canadians to nature in order to increase their appreciation of nature and to build a “community of stewards” among Canadians of all ages.
  • You can get information on the activities, services offered and fees by calling 418-827-4591 or sending an e-mail to cap.tourmente@ec.gc.ca.

 

Quote

“Under the National Conservation Plan, our Government is connecting Canadians to nature by expanding conservation programs aimed at families and improving access to our country’s world-class green urban spaces, like the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area.”  

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council

Related Products

Website of the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area
Map of the hiking trails in the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area
Cap Tourmente brochure – Nature as far as the eye can see!
National Conservation Plan

Environment Canada’s Twitter page

Environment Canada’s Facebook page

 

SOURCE Environment Canada

Article source: http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/cap-tourmente-national-wildlife-area-140000771.html

Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise corpse

Thought to be the last living member of the Pinta Island subspecies of giant tortoise, in his twilight years George became a figurehead for conservation efforts on the Galapagos, the Ecuadorian-owned archipelago famous for its profusion of unique species. Earlier this year, George’s body was transported to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where it was treated by taxidermists and put on display.

George was due to return to the Galapagos in January 2015, to be exhibited at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, where he had lived since being discovered on nearby Pinta in 1971. Researchers had previously believed Pinta Island tortoises to be extinct, after the island’s vegetation – and their food source – was wiped out by non-indigenous feral goats.

However, officials from the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment have pooh-poohed the plan, saying George must instead be permanently displayed in the capital, Quito, where he will be seen by a greater number of visitors. This month, it was announced that a bronze replica would be sent to the Islands. Speaking to El Universo last weekend, Santa Cruz’s Mayor, Leopoldo Bucheli, called the decision “outrageous”, saying: “George is an icon and should return  to Galapagos.”

The country’s Environment Minister, Lorena Tapia, said she agreed that it would be best if Lonesome George could return home, but added in a statement: “Preserving Lonesome George’s body requires special conditions, like moisture, temperature, physical space and security, in addition to the annual retouching made by the experts. At present, there is no site like this in the Galapagos.”

Named after George Gobel, a 1950s US television comedian, Lonesome George was approximately 100 years old when he died, which in fact made him relatively young for a giant tortoise. Although he died from natural causes related to old age, scientists had expected him to live for several more decades. The world’s oldest documented living reptile is a Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan who lives on St Helena and is thought to be 182 years old.

During his lifetime, scientists made numerous attempts to have George mate with females of similar subspecies and thus preserve his line, but while his companions laid several clutches of eggs, none ever hatched. Following his death, some of George’s cells were preserved in the hope of one day cloning him.

There had also reportedly been plans afoot to take George on a world tour, where he would have undergone photocalls with world leaders and promoted awareness of conservation endeavours in the Galapagos and beyond. Writing in The Guardian, Henry Nicholls, the author of the 2006 book Lonesome George, suggested the tour ought to be staged posthumously.

George, Nicholls wrote, “may not have been aware of his talents, but he was able to communicate the conservation message far more powerfully, with more dignity, than most humans. I think we have an ethical obligation to allow him to continue his work on as grand a scale as possible.”

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/lonesome-george-custody-battle-in-galapagos-over-tortoise-remains-9751952.html

Explore the Wonders of the Galapagos Islands in a Stunning New 3D Film

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The California Science Center invites audiences to an exploration of a paradise unlike any other, with the breathtaking IMAX film, “Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland” narrated by Jeff Corwin, premiering this October 5th.

“Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland” brings to the giant screen these remarkable volcanic islands, home to some of nature’s most incredible living creatures. Located close to the equator in the Pacific Ocean, at the confluence of several nutrient-rich currents, the Galapagos archipelago has developed over millions of years in relative isolation. The result is a living museum of nature, with an abundance of species of plants and unique animals that have adapted to thrive in this challenging environment. Giant half-ton long-necked tortoises lumber among dancing blue-footed boobies and flightless cormorants. Small penguins living thousands of miles from their natural habitats share the seas with unique marine iguanas that spit sea-salt. This is an incredible story of discovery, of survival against the odds, and of nature’s ingenuity.

“I was thrilled to provide the narration for this amazing project,” said Corwin, wildlife conservationist and Emmy award-winning TV host. “When I saw the film for the first time, it literally took my breath away. Despite traveling the world for 20 years hosting and creating documentaries, I was thoroughly impressed with this incredible journey.”

After viewing the film, Science Center visitors are encouraged to visit the “Ecosystems” exhibition, where concepts from the film like adaptation are illustrated through a blend of live plants, animals, and hands-on exhibits in 11 immersive environments, or zones. “Ecosystems” occupies 45,000 square feet and contains more than 250 species of plants and animals. Guests will find out why isolation breeds change and visit a simulated tropical island research station in the “Island Zone,” where they will learn about evolution by studying some of the unique animals that make these isolated habitats their homes.  In the “Extreme Zone,” guests explore the desert, rocky shores, and more to discover how environmental factors test the limits of plants and animals—and how they have adapted to flourish, just like the animals featured in “Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland.”

“There are not too many places more powerful than the Galapagos Islands when it comes to understanding our planet,” said Corwin. “Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland” perfectly captures what makes the creatures living there such unique characters.”

Produced by Anthony Geffen, written by David Attenborough and narrated by Jeff Corwin, “Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland” is directed by Martin Williams and features original music composed by Joel Douek. The film is a Colossus Productions presentation in association with SKY 3D, distributed by nWave Pictures Distribution.

“Galapagos 3D: Nature’s Wonderland” was filmed on location over a ten- month period in 2012 and 2013, followed by five months of post-production. Using breakthrough digital 3D filmmaking technologies and featuring 4K ultra-high resolution imagery, the producers have brought to life the extraordinary world of the Galapagos archipelago in a way that has not been possible before. The Galapagos Islands are governed by Ecuador and lie some 600 miles from the coast of South America.

The film’s official website is http://Galapagos.nWave.com

About the California Science Center

The California Science Center is a dynamic destination where families, adults and children can explore the wonders of science through interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, innovative programs and awe- inspiring films. Its mission is as follows: “We aspire to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone by creating fun, memorable experiences, because we value science as an indispensable tool for understanding our world, accessibility and inclusiveness, and enriching people’s lives.”

The Science Center and IMAX Theater are located in historic Exposition Park just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For recorded information, including IMAX show times, call 323.SCIENCE (323.724-3623). IMAX ticket prices range from $5.00 to $8.25. For advance ticket purchases, group rates, or to make reservations for any visiting group of 15 or more (required), call 213.744-2019. Parking is available in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th / Exposition Park Drive at $10 per car, and $25 for commercial buses or oversize vehicles. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. For further information, please visit our website at www.californiasciencecenter.org.

Proceeds from the IMAX Theater support California Science Center exhibit and education programs.

About nWave Pictures Distribution

nWave Studios, an associated company of StudioCanal, established nWave Pictures as the first fully integrated digital animation studio to specialize in the production and distribution of stereoscopic/3D films. nWave Studios was founded in 1993 by Ben Stassen and DD Entertainment Group and quickly established itself as the world’s leading independent producer and distributor of specialty films for location-based entertainment and institutional venues. With over 80 titles in its current catalog, nWave Pictures Distribution is headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) with a sales company in Burbank (Calif.). For more information: http://www.nWave.com or http://www.twitter.com/nWave or http://www.facebook.com/nWavePicturesDistribution

Press Contacts:

California Science Center: Kristina Kurasz, (213) 744-7446, kkurasz@cscmail.org

nWave: Julien Bollee, +33 66 445 0020, jbollee@nWave.com

nWave is a registered trademark of nWave Pictures SA/NV.

SOURCE California Science Center

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/explore-wonders-galapagos-islands-stunning-3d-film-214500297.html

Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

Thought to be the last living member of the Pinta Island subspecies of giant tortoise, in his twilight years George became a figurehead for conservation efforts on the Galapagos, the Ecuadorian-owned archipelago famous for its profusion of unique species. Earlier this year, George’s body was transported to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where it was treated by taxidermists and put on display.

George was due to return to the Galapagos in January 2015, to be exhibited at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island, where he had lived since being discovered on nearby Pinta in 1971. Researchers had previously believed Pinta Island tortoises to be extinct, after the island’s vegetation – and their food source – was wiped out by non-indigenous feral goats.

However, officials from the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment have pooh-poohed the plan, saying George must instead be permanently displayed in the capital, Quito, where he will be seen by a greater number of visitors. This month, it was announced that a bronze replica would be sent to the Islands. Speaking to El Universo last weekend, Santa Cruz’s Mayor, Leopoldo Bucheli, called the decision “outrageous”, saying: “George is an icon and should return  to Galapagos.”

The country’s Environment Minister, Lorena Tapia, said she agreed that it would be best if Lonesome George could return home, but added in a statement: “Preserving Lonesome George’s body requires special conditions, like moisture, temperature, physical space and security, in addition to the annual retouching made by the experts. At present, there is no site like this in the Galapagos.”

Named after George Gobel, a 1950s US television comedian, Lonesome George was approximately 100 years old when he died, which in fact made him relatively young for a giant tortoise. Although he died from natural causes related to old age, scientists had expected him to live for several more decades. The world’s oldest documented living reptile is a Seychelles giant tortoise named Jonathan who lives on St Helena and is thought to be 182 years old.

During his lifetime, scientists made numerous attempts to have George mate with females of similar subspecies and thus preserve his line, but while his companions laid several clutches of eggs, none ever hatched. Following his death, some of George’s cells were preserved in the hope of one day cloning him.

There had also reportedly been plans afoot to take George on a world tour, where he would have undergone photocalls with world leaders and promoted awareness of conservation endeavours in the Galapagos and beyond. Writing in The Guardian, Henry Nicholls, the author of the 2006 book Lonesome George, suggested the tour ought to be staged posthumously.

George, Nicholls wrote, “may not have been aware of his talents, but he was able to communicate the conservation message far more powerfully, with more dignity, than most humans. I think we have an ethical obligation to allow him to continue his work on as grand a scale as possible.”

Article source: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/lonesome-george-custody-battle-in-galapagos-over-tortoise-remains-9751952.html