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Comments for strange behaviors



Cool doings from the natural and human worlds



Last Build Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2018 00:59:01 +0000

 



Comment on Doing Dumb Things With Black Mambas by 5 MOST DANGEROUS Animal Species On Earth

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 00:59:01 +0000

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Comment on Why Wait for De-Extinction? Finding & Saving Lost Species Now by Back from the Dead: Baja’s Very Cute Kangaroo Rat « strange behaviors

Fri, 20 Apr 2018 14:00:09 +0000

[…] year, I wrote about a major international effort to rediscover lost–and supposedly extinct–species.  This […]



Comment on It’s Time for a Carbon Tax on Beef by Wendy Pratt

Tue, 17 Apr 2018 13:28:29 +0000

Richard, thanks for the opportunity to weigh in. We could get bogged down in riparian exclosures and wolves, both complex issues that can't be captured in sound bites. We could discuss whether grazing or fire or overrest are causing more "dusting" of the West. Truth is you and I want the same things. Oh, that we could be allies instead of adversaries.



Comment on The Wall of the Dead: A Memorial to Fallen Naturalists by Robin Hide

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 20:27:25 +0000

And a couple of other reports on New Guinea work he co-wrote: Coates, D. and Mys, B.M.F. 1989. Preliminary report on population statistics and socio-economic data for the Sepik and Ramu River Catchments, FAO Report- A report prepared for the Sepik River Fish Stock Enhancement Project, PNG/85/001 Field Document No. 4. Rome, FAO. Mys, B.M.F. and Zweiten, P.V. 1990. Subsistence fisheries in lower order streams: notes on species preference, fishing methods, catch composition, yield and dietary importance of fish, FAO Report- A report prepared for the Sepik River Fish Stock Enhancement Project, PNG/85/001 Field Document No. 11. Rome, FAO.



Comment on The Wall of the Dead: A Memorial to Fallen Naturalists by Micjhel RENOU

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 19:48:59 +0000

Bettina Sallé, primatologist, died in April 2013 in Gabon from cerebral malaria



Comment on It’s Time for a Carbon Tax on Beef by Richard Conniff

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 12:59:17 +0000

Hi Wendy. I salute ranchers who care about "about pollinators and insects and fungi and sage grouse" and I am hoping that your "and . . . . " includes wolves and other native predators. I'm aware that practices like adaptive multi-paddock grazing can produce environmental benefits. I have also visited ranchers around the American west who have performed small miracles of habitat and water table restoration by creating exclosures to keep cattle out of riparian zones. The trouble is ranchers like that are the rare exception. A "shoot, shovel, and shut up" attitude toward predators is still the rule, especially but by no means exclusively in Idaho. So is overgrazing, to the point that much of the American west is being beaten into dust by cattle, and streams are so badly abused that the water table that might otherwise sustain cattle and wildlife drops far far out of reach. Finally 96% of American beef--the stuff buyers see at the supermarket--comes out of feedlots that are a climate change nightmare. As I said in the article, I still like hamburgers. But until ranchers like you get together and find a way to get wildlife- and environment-friendly meat into supermarkets everywhere, American consumers will increasingly find beef hard to stomach.



Comment on It’s Time for a Carbon Tax on Beef by Wendy Pratt

Sat, 14 Apr 2018 03:43:54 +0000

Hello, I am a rancher from Idaho and read your piece with obvious interest. I write an occasional opinion piece myself in our local paper and composed this as a "rebuttal" to yours. I'm not only passionate about the beef industry but about pollinators and insects and fungi and sage grouse and . . . . As cattle ranchers we’re accustomed to criticism. Grazing is seen as an extractive industry even though grass grows back and thrives when properly grazed. Beef is seen as unhealthy, when it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat. Animal rights advocates want our heads and fake meat aims to fill the protein case. But still we were shocked to read a New York Times Opinion piece promoting a carbon tax on beef. So climate change is our fault as well? What the reader doesn’t realize, however, is the breathtaking reductionist thinking of this premise. Ruminants emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, but ruminants are on earth for a reason and have played a critical role in the cycling of plants for eons. In brittle environments - those with seasonal moisture - grazing animals have a symbiotic relationship with grass. And grass is the most ubiquitous, life giving, soil anchoring protector of the planet we have. Grass needs periodic removal. The growth point is near the soil surface and the plant needs a grazing animal or other disturbance to remove old growth. Tragically, for many thousands of acres annually worldwide, that disturbance is fire to provide a clean slate for new growth. Instead of using grazing animals which provide an economic return, the land is burned releasing tons of carbon into the atmosphere needlessly. Of course, closer to home, wildfire is the greatest threat to healthy range and the fuel load can be reduced by animals. Grazing by hooved ruminants affect the soil surface positively as well. The chipping of soil makes a seedbed, old growth is pushed down as litter to moderate temperatures and slow erosion, and dung and urine are deposited. Taking the long view, herbivores’ unique niche provides for other living beings in an ingenious way. Most of the world has a short growing season. In these climates, herds of herbivores take the bounty of that green season, convert it into muscle (and milk) and make the energy and nutrients produced by plants available to meat eaters, including man, the rest of the year. It’s estimated that 60% of the earth’s landmass is too poor for cultivation – a perfect job for ruminants. Alarmingly this land is turning to desert in the U.S. and around the world partially because of the lack of periodic grazing and hoof action. Desertification releases carbon, therefore climate change and degraded landscapes are tightly linked. With all the positives, the most exciting potential for ranchers is applying pulse grazing which allows plenty of grass regrowth to sink carbon into the soil. Can the modern beef industry do better? Of course. We need to educate ourselves and do all we can to lessen our carbon footprint. We need to promote biodiversity in our pastures and refine and rethink the feedlot model. But to vilify beef is dangerous and lacks the understanding that we are intimately dependent on natural cycles and removing a ruminant actively managed by man that can regenerate degraded landscapes is foolhardy.



Comment on Black Mamba Bite: The Back Story by GuccizBud

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 01:36:10 +0000

⇑⇑ Huh boy. "blank" mamba = "black" mamba "receiving" = "deceiving" These things only happen when there's no means of editing one's one comment, of course. That's practically written in stone :)



Comment on Black Mamba Bite: The Back Story by GuccizBud

Wed, 11 Apr 2018 01:31:02 +0000

Taking everything into account, I think the most likely thing that happened, barring unknowable and highly ( highly! ) unlikely explanations like your having a natural immunity to dendrotoxin as well as the rest of the blank mamba's formidable chemical arsenal, is that the way it bit you, which caused the blood to gush out as you said, got rid of most of the venom as well. There's the fact the snake was not venomoid as you said. Moreover, while pictures can be receiving, the mamba looks like a juvenile, which makes a dry bite that much more unlikely (younger snakes lack the "maturity of decision" of an older snake, and usually give you everything they've got); factor in the fact he was actually _startled into biting_ and a dry bite is a virtual impossibility in this case. That pretty well leaves only the venom getting flushed out — you are VERY lucky, my friend. What was it Tom Hanks said to Private Ryan right before he (Hanks) died? "Earn this"? Lol, no pressure. :D



Comment on It’s Time for a Carbon Tax on Beef by Kim R F Keller

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:24:43 +0000

Regarding your opinion piece in the NYT. Yes yes yes. Though My heart sank, as it so often does now, when I read that the French co-author of the study (regarding a carbon tax on beef) admitted that it has no chance of becoming a reality. Not even in Europe. Is there any hope? For anything to change? Anyhow, great suggestion. Really wish it could come true