February, 2014

Endangered Species Of Cats Habitats & Prey

Endangered Species Of Cats Habitats & Prey

Many of the species are declining population at alarming rates and some are even becoming extinct through our negative impacts on the globe and because of our deforestation, unplanned urbanization, and so on. Our negative impacts on the globe are forcing some species to move away from their natural habitats, and some are being forced to reduce population due to unfavorable conditions in the nature.

Today we will discuss some of the cats that are facing drastic population decline and might face a significant risk of extinct if our negative impact on the environment continues. Below we will talk about few of such species of cats that are at risk of extinction.

Snow leopard

snow leaopardSnow Leopards (Panthera Uncia) are iconic cats that live in the extreme cold mountainous regions of Alpines, and sub Alpines in the Central Asia. Their population is sparsely spread over 12 countries in the grassy region of northern parts of Nepal and Bhutan, and vast areas of China, Mongolia and Tajikistan. It’s estimated that the number of Snow Leopards left in the world today is somewhere between 4000 and 6500. The main reason for the decline in their population is because of hunting. Their skin has been used for long time as traditional medicine in china and they are also hunted to save livestock from being killed.

Russian Panthers

The temperate forests located on the eastern coast of Russia are the host to some of the rarest species of cats in the world. Two of the most endangered species of the world are the Amur Leopard and the Siberian Tiger. These species of cats are being forced to extinction because of several factors over the past few decades. These tigers are capable of running at a speed of 40 miles per hour and leap over 19 feet vertically. The decline in number of these tigers is caused by declining number of prey due to pray poaching and deforestation in the area and through illegal hunting of cats. The beautiful spotted fur can sell for $0000 to $15000 a piece. They are also killed for their bones which is an ingredient for Chinese medicine. Scientists estimate that there are about 530 tigers left in the Siberia region today.

Bengal Tigers

endangered species

Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) has been classified as an endangered species since 2010 by IUCN. These tigers are available in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and in Bhutan. The vast majority of these tigers is found in India, and CITES (Conservation on International Trade of Endangered Species), is talking with India to preserve these animals. The total number of Bengal tigers is about 2500 and they are decreasing in number sharply due to unavailability of pray to support their population. The skin of these tigers can be yellow to brown with black stripes. A male full grown tiger can be about 10 foot long including their tail, and an average tiger is about 3 to 3.5 feet tall, weighing from 450 to 500 pounds. The major diet for these tigers is variety of deer.

Jaguars of New Mexico and Arizona

Panthera_onca_-Amazona_Zoo,_Cromer,_Norfolk,_England-8ajaguars (Panthera onca) is one of the largest species of cats in the world. They are about 4 feet long and weigh about 250 pounds. They are tan to brown in color with rings of black spots called rosettes. Jaguars once lived throughout the southwestern United States, including in the continent of South America and Central America. In the United States, most of their ranges were hunted and brought to extinction, only recently they are beginning to populate their usual previous ranges. Their habitat can range from dense forest, grass lands, and scrubland. Recently, the conservationists have been urging the federal wildlife officials to preserve the natural habitats of thee cats to protect these endangered species of cats.

These are some of the endangered species of rare cats around the world. By focusing on the habitats of these species, reducing deforestation, and minimizing poaching of their prey, we could successfully restore these species and protect these species against extinction. The cat and prey populations will recover once we take necessary measures to limit the poaching of cats, prey species and manage the forests for logging more sustainably.

“Amur leopards are teetering on the brink of extinction. With the establishment of the Land of the Leopard National Park, in conjunction with other conservation efforts, we can now start to focus on how to begin bringing them back.” – Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf Managing Director, Species Conservation

Source: Environmental Professionals Network

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How Air Pollution From Asia Impact The Globe

How Air Pollution From Asia Impact The Globe

Industrialization in Asian countries, mostly in China has been stupendous in the recent years. Along with industrialization, there has been a rapid growth in GDP and pollution. No country in the world can match the growth that China has shown. China has sustained its industrialization by investing one half of its GDP in industrialization, where most countries of the world cannot invest more than one third of its national income and be productive as China.

Air pollution in China

China has been recognized as the world’s highest emitter of greenhouse gases. It has surpassed the United States since 2006. So now, the United States is no longer the main reason for causing global warming.

beijing-china-sars

Although it takes some blame and weight off the shoulders of the United States, it is still the responsibility of all people of the world to sit and decide how we can address the pollution issues. No matter which country is responsible, it affects the globe equally on sustainable issues because all countries of the world share the same atmosphere and are equally affected by pollution.

China relies on coal for 70% of its energy needs, and so, it has the highest amount of pollutants released into the atmosphere. China is one of the top most countries in Asia to be industrialized rapidly. To support the industries, factories and plants in China, a significant amount of energy is needed. China uses coal as its major fuel for the power plants, which is one of the dirtiest fossils available. China has become the leading consumer of coal in the world and also a leading greenhouse gas producing country of the world.

How air pollution from China affects the globe

pollution in chinaRecently, as a byproduct of rapid industrialization in China, the air pollution has grown to an alarming situation, and the environmentalists including scientists from around the world have been warning that the pollution and smoke from China is affecting the global environment, climate patterns cloud formation and global weather systems. According to a CBS news correspondent John Blackstone, “those Chinese emissions are having a big impact in the U.S.”

The air pollution in China is so bad that a thick layer of fog can be seen over the city of Beijing. Although the Chinese officials insist that this thick cloud is just fog, tests taken at the U.S. embassy at Beijing confirms that the air quality in China is at dangerous levels. Kim Prather of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said, “It’s no longer just their problem; it’s our problem,”.

The smoke clouds from China are affecting the upper layers of atmosphere as well, making the storms, hurricanes and cyclones much stronger. There are far reaching affects on the environment, impacting the cloud formation patterns, precipitation, storm systems and other negative effects on the weather all over the globe including the continent of North America.

Over the last 30 years, China’s economy has been booming through rapid industrialization, and it has been at the cost of their atmosphere. However, the impacts of pollution from China are not only limited over the land of China, but it affects all countries of the world that share the same atmosphere.

Please share this article to spread awareness about the environment and join with us to make this planet a better place.

pollution in China

Source: Environmental Professionals Network

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Liquid Cooled Super Computers To Save You Power Bill

Liquid Cooled Super Computers To Save You Power Bill

We all know that electronics and liquid don’t mix. If you drop any liquid on your computer, it would ruin it instantly. Yet, some of the latest supercomputers are being submerged in liquid for cooling by some of the computer operators, and apparently, it is not causing any damage to the machines. The latest water cooled computers may solve the overheating problems of computers economy, by helping to cut down on energy bills. The latest in computer technology are the liquid cooled computers that will not need air cooling system and may reduce the need for air-conditioning.

The Tokyo Institute of Technology has recently come up with a prototype of super computer which can be cooled by submerging it in mineral oil. This computer was named Green -500 in November at an industry ranking and was ranked as the most energy efficient machine of its kind. The computer at the institute named Tsubame is 50% more powerful than an old supercomputer but uses the same amount of energy. According to University Administration, you are not going to get anymore power from any computer. The project leaders are working on improving the performance of the computers ev216172-ibuypower_erebus_originalen further.

Since March 2011, Japan has been reducing electricity consumption and finding ways to make energy efficient machinery to conserve power and increase performance, since an earthquake destroyed their Fukushima Daiichi power plant.  There was also a sharp drop in their electricity generation as they have stopped several nuclear powered power generators across the country.

Japan is not the only country trying to cool super computers and powerful server computers with liquid instead of air conditioners. The technology used in Japan for cooling super computers was actually developed in Austin, Texas, in a company named Green Revolution Cooling. Many other countries of the world are also experimenting with cooling systems based on liquid that do not need air cooling or air conditioning, as a result, there will be a significant decrease in cooling costs for the super computers and server computers.

A company called Iceotope in Sheffield, England, is experimenting with liquid fluoroplastic submersions rather than oil.  This company raised about $10 million dollars to manufacture such computers from investors for clients in universities OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAof Britain and Poland in January. This venture is backed by Schneider Electric, one of the largest cooling technology providers of data center.

Another company in Hong Kong called the Allied Control is designing cooling systems with submersion technology for a recent data center that deals with virtual currency or bit money with a company called Asicminer.

These liquid submersed computers at data centers and servers are expected to cut their energy bill at least by 50% by eliminating or minimizing the use of air conditioners at their facilities. Unlike water, none of the liquids used in these cooling systems conduct electricity, and so, there would be no risk of shock or short circuits. The costs of air conditioning, maintenance and air filters could add up to millions of dollars in savings each year.

Earlier water cooled machines used water through piping at data center super computers. But subsuming computers in liquid is totally a new concept for data centers, and is being widely accepted among supercomputer operators at data centers and server computers around the world. This new technology can reduce electricity consumption associated with air conditioning and accessories which can add up a significant annual amount that these data centers could save and also help the environment by reducing power consumption as well as reducing the ozone depleting gases that these power generators produce.

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Source: Environmental Professionals Network

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Atlantic Killifish Adapts To Extremely Polluted Waters

Atlantic Killifish Adapts To Extremely Polluted Waters

New Bedford Harbor, located in Bristol County, Massachusetts, is one of the busiest and most polluted sea ports in the United States, Which is contaminated with heavy metals, and Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs). For four decades, toxic waste from nearby plants was being drained into the water of the 18,000-acre estuary seaport and it is also one of the largest EPA’s super fund sites for cleanup. Recently, researchers have been faced with a new puzzle of evolution in the contaminated waters, which the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been trying to solve.

Mystery of Atlantic Killifish

240px-Cyprinodon_diabolisRecently it has been found that common estuarine fishes, which are about three inches in length have grown tolerance and been thriving in the contaminated waters in highly toxic conditions in the waters of harbor. The greatest mystery about these fishes is – how they have been able to adapt to such toxic conditions? In a paper published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, researchers revealed that changes in the receptors protein of the fish might have helped them to survive these extreme toxic environments. The receptor protein called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor 2 (AHR2), might explain how the fish evolved to become resistant to the toxic PCB waste in the New Bedford Harbor.

Usually Killifish are pray fish that stays within few hundred yards of the place they are hatched, for their entire lives, and do not migrate. Killifish stay in the area all year round, and not only during the summer feed seasons, which many other types of fish tend to do at irregular intervals.

Usually, when a fish is exposed to contaminated water, their natural defenses work to break down the toxic materials and keep the cellular functions normal. Their body produces enzymes controlled by AHR2 proteins. Normally, high levels of PCB in the water cannot be broken down in this way leading to toxicity. Moreover, their constant stimulation or AHR2 may disrupt their normal cellular functions. The fish in the New Bedford Harbor have grown resistant to PCBs, and their AHR2 systems have developed to breakdown the toxic effects.

Adaptation to environment

spill-cleanup-oilspill-11848486-oAdaptation to changes have been a major factor behind the diversity and survival of the species since the origin of species on earth, and Killifish in the waters of New Bedford Harbor is a perfect example how evolution works, and how some species can adapt to changes in environment in order to survive. The research team of Atlantic Ecology Division of the U.S. the Boston University School of Public Health, Environmental Protection Agency, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, contributed collectively in researching the genetic code, where they used a “candidate gene” approach in their research. In their research, they took samples of Killifish genes from several other locations along the north east coast, both from toxic and clean waters, and sequenced the protein-coding segment of three candidate genes (AHR1, AHR2, AHRR), which were resistant to toxic PCBs.

Variation in DNA formation

photo_5375_20080321Scientists have found variations in the DNA structures of the fish found in the New Bedford Harbor waters. When looking for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), scientists have found variations in their receptor protein AHR2, which plays an important role in their early stage of life to mediate the toxicity of the water. Out of the 951 different amino acids, 9 of them show a variation among individual Killifish in New Bradford Harbor, leading to 26 different combinations of proteins.

The survival of Killifish in the toxic waters of New Bradford Harbor is one example of how our negative impacts on the environment force animals to make changes in their cellular functions in order to survive. The DNA structural changes can also be an evidence that how our actions or our impacts on the environment can drive evolution. As our impact on the environment increases, the ability to change accordingly becomes even more important for living things to continue to survive, and if the changes are too sudden, they even may fail to make change so quickly. Changes like acidification of oceans or rise in temperature of global waters will all drive all the living things to change their habitats, or adapt to these changes, even making changes in their DNA structure overtime.

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Source: Environmental Professionals Network

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How Animals Help Us To Save The Planet

How Animals Help Us To Save The Planet

All animals have important roles in the ecosystem. There seems to be an ecological balance between all animals in nature. Some animals help to bring out the nutrients from the cycle while others help in decomposition, carbon, and nitrogen cycle. All animals, insects, and even micro organisms play a role in the ecosystem. All animals and plants in the ecosystem co-exist and balance each other out, which Mother Nature has perfected over time and through trials and errors, and found a system that works flawlessly for her. The system that exists in Mother Nature is designed for all the different species of the world, where each has a role to play without disturbing each other and without taking the ecological balance off.

To make the ecosystem work, we sometime need an army of environmentalists, and scientists, where complicated machinery and processes are needed, and sometimes, other animals or even insects help us to make sure that our nature and environment runs smoothly. Below you will find some of the animals and insects listed, that help us to reduce negative impacts on the globe and help us address issues such as global warming, pollution, environmental disturbances etc.

1.  Bees

bee polinationbee polinationBees are responsible for pollinating all the plants around us, in fact, they pollinate almost one third of everything you eat. Apart from providing us with a fine food product, and providing work for thousands of bee keepers around the world, they also help in pollination of most common plants around us. Most plants need service of nature’s pollinators and cannot fertilize themselves without the services from these insects.

2.  Dogs

helping dogDogs are not only man’s best friends, but they also provide several services to man. Dogs are not just good companions, but they can also handle animals, and work as a conservationist. Dogs have extraordinary talent to further conservation. Dogs can be trained to perform various tasks, and there are dogs that live to work. Dogs’ extra sense of smell can pick out plants and animals for further research and conservation. Dogs have been used for sniffing out drugs and bombs in special K-9 units of police and other services for a long time. They can also locate rare endangered plants and animals in the nature.

3.  Rats

220px-Street-ratRats, just like dogs, can be trained to sniff out dangerous explosives from the ground. Undetonated land mines can be serious pollutant and threat to others, making large areas inhabitable and useless. Rats are being trained to sniff out these land mines from the war zones with their acute sense of smell. This job might be too dangerous for humans and few humans are willing to risk their lives trying to pickup land mines from the ground. Rats can also detect people buried under ground so that others can rescue them from natural disasters or destroyed establishments.

4.  Sea Lions

Sea lions are intelligent sea mammals that can be trained to monitor several conditions under the sea. They can go to places where few people have gone before, with specially outfitted equipments for monitoring ocean salinity, temperature, water pressure and so on. These sensors are attached to their furs and later taken off or goes off when they molt.

marine_animals_whiskers_44815_h

Animals help us to save our environment

Since the beginning of medical science, scientists have learned a lot about our own bodies and how our bodies faction by studying other animals in the nature. By studying other animals, we can learn a lot about ourselves and how our inner organs and cells work. To find out where life came from and how life evolved on earth, all animals on earth supplied us with bits and pieces of information. We also found fossils and structures of animals that existed thousands and even millions of years ago, and we studied how animals have adapted to changes on earth and changed themselves according to the nature. By studying other animals, we have also learned how we as human beings have evolved in the shape that we are in today. Some micro organisms such as bacteria help us clean the environment; others help plants by converting free nitrogen from air and feeding the roots. Some insects and earthworms help in agriculture by increasing fertility of the soil and also by increasing organic quality of soil.

Nature and ecosystem in nature are in perfect harmony where every living and non living thing has a role to play in making the ecosystem and environment work perfectly so that all animals, plants, microorganisms, and non living things can coexist creating a perfect balance among them. We, the humans have caused several imbalances in the nature for several thousands of years and now, it is the time we turned around and fixed some of the negative impacts on the globe.

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biodiversity

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