Birds called ‘firehawk raptors’ are intentionally spreading fires in Australia

January 10, 2018 by  
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When you think of causes of fire in Australia , you might think of lightning or arsonists – but you probably don’t think of birds . But at least three birds of prey species spread wildfires in Australia, according to a new paper incorporating indigenous knowledge. Penn State University geographer and lead author Mark Bonta told National Geographic , “We’re not discovering anything. Most of the data that we’ve worked with is collaborative with Aboriginal peoples…They’ve known this for probably 40,000 years or more.” ‘Firehawk raptors’ – the Black Kite ( Milvus migrans ), Brown Falcon ( Falco berigora ), and Whistling Kite ( Haliastur sphenurus ) – spread fire by carrying burning sticks in their beaks or talons. They can transport fiery sticks up to around one kilometer, or 0.6 miles, away, staring fires where the flames haven’t yet burned. And while indigenous people have known about this behavior for a long time, this new study published in the Journal of Ethnobiology late last year documenting the knowledge and around six years of ethno-ornithological research could help overcome what the paper abstract described as “official skepticism about the reality of avian fire-spreading.” Related: Carnivorous marsupial alive and well after being presumed extinct for 100 years “Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia,” Bonta et al. Journal of Ethnobiology, 37(4) (abstract): https://t.co/JJVomc5zDy #ethnobiology #ethnoornithology #birds #fire pic.twitter.com/Bv4oSA6BpC — Bob Gosford (@bgosford) January 1, 2018 Why would these birds of prey set fires? According to National Geographic, the blazes could help them find food as small animals and insects attempt to escape the fire. Co-author Bob Gosford told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2016, “Black kites and brown falcons come to these fronts because it is just literally a killing frenzy. It’s a feeding frenzy, because out of these grasslands come small birds, lizards, insects, everything fleeing the front of the fire.” And it’s important to dispel skepticism so officials could better plan land management and restoration. The researchers hope their paper will help with fire ecology and fire management that takes into account these fire-spreading birds. Via ScienceAlert and National Geographic Images via Depositphotos ( 1 , 2 )

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Birds called ‘firehawk raptors’ are intentionally spreading fires in Australia

How Canopy’s founder is winning converts with her gospel of deforestation

November 14, 2017 by  
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Australian-born Nicole Rycroft cultivates transformational, not transactional, relationships with the likes of H&M, VF Corp. and Levi Strauss & Co.

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How Canopy’s founder is winning converts with her gospel of deforestation

How climate resilient is your company?

November 14, 2017 by  
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It’s time to go on the offense when it comes to climate risk. Here are three actions to take.

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How climate resilient is your company?

Surprising Ways Today’s Trends Affect Paper Recyclers

September 20, 2017 by  
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Think about how many things have changed in the past … The post Surprising Ways Today’s Trends Affect Paper Recyclers appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Surprising Ways Today’s Trends Affect Paper Recyclers

Will China’s Ban on Importing Waste Affect Your Recyclables?

August 18, 2017 by  
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The recycling industry got some big news last month when the World Trade Organization announced that China is intending to stop importing 24 different types of solid waste by the end of the year, including commonly accepted curbside recyclables…

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Will China’s Ban on Importing Waste Affect Your Recyclables?

Apple’s sustainable forestry strategy branches out

July 31, 2017 by  
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It now protects enough forest to offset the paper pulp used for all its packaging. Oh, and there’s a cool cartoon.

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Apple’s sustainable forestry strategy branches out

Is Starbucks Doing Enough to Recycle Its Cups?

July 18, 2017 by  
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As you’re rushing out the door in the morning, hardly awake, how do you perk up? Easy — grab a caffeinated pick-me-up from the nearest Starbucks. Nothing hits the spot quite like a hot latte on a sleepy workday morning. Alas, you forgot your…

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Is Starbucks Doing Enough to Recycle Its Cups?

How Many Times Can That Be Recycled?

June 15, 2017 by  
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I used to think that plastic water bottles could be infinitely recycled, that every time I tossed one into the blue bin, it eventually came out to be another plastic bottle. As it turns out, that’s not the case. Some materials can be recycled…

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How Many Times Can That Be Recycled?

In Honor of Trees: How to Celebrate Arbor Day

April 27, 2017 by  
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April is nearing its end, which means Arbor Day is upon us. What is Arbor Day, you ask? It’s a toast to trees! On this green holiday, everyone is encouraged to celebrate the important role trees play in our environment. Arbor Day is…

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In Honor of Trees: How to Celebrate Arbor Day

6 Ways Online Education Prevents Planetary Pollution

March 10, 2017 by  
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Most people consciously manage their impact on the environment to the best of their ability. But did you know that choosing to earn your degree online can help keep the earth clean at the same time? Unlike the convenience of cars, the convenience…

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6 Ways Online Education Prevents Planetary Pollution

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