500-mile-long shark highway could become a protected wildlife corridor

May 23, 2018 by  
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For the very first time, scientists filmed sharks traveling along a 500-mile-long shark highway in the Pacific Ocean  that stretches between the Galapagos Islands and Cocos Island. The reason for filming? While Cocos and the Galapagos have protected areas for fish , the shark highway is not included, and scientists want to transform it into a protected wildlife corridor . Costa Rica group Fundación PACÍFICO , a collaboration of four environmental funds, organized an expedition to videotape the shark highway. President Zdenka Piskulich told NPR it’s difficult to get people interested in a corridor out in the ocean , but “finally we have visual evidence that there is a huge abundance in this area that needs to be protected, that there really is a highway.” Related: Russia built a critical wildlife corridor to help save endangered big cats The scientists utilized GoPro-style cameras, fish bait and metal frames to create what are called baited remote underwater video systems, or BRUVS. They dragged these behind a research boat for nearly two weeks. Biologist Mario Espinoza said, “We actually documented over 16 species of sharks and fish, also sea turtles and dolphins …It’s really surprising to see that many animals .” Sharks — including hammerhead, thresher and silky sharks — were the predominant marine animal. The shark highway follows an underwater mountain range, or seamounts, according to Fundación PACÍFICO . Espinoza said this was “the first time we actually documented animals using these seamounts. We don’t know exactly whether they are feeding or they’re like stopping by or using these seamounts as navigation routes.” Lee Crockett of the Shark Conservation Fund said sharks straying outside of protected areas are at risk of being caught on the long lines of high seas tuna fishing. Some species of hammerhead sharks are endangered ; others are declining. He described protecting this shark highway as “the next step in conservation .” + Fundación PACÍFICO Via NPR Image via Depositphotos

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Tiny treadmills for turtle hatchlings help scientists evaluate their stamina

December 20, 2017 by  
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When baby sea turtles are born, within their first 24 hours they make the journey from nest to ocean . The trek which should take a few minutes sometimes lasts hours in urban settings where artificial light can disorient the hatchlings. Two Florida Atlantic University (FAU) scientists employed wee treadmills and little swimsuits to dig into the turtles’ swimming performance after crawling for so long – and they were surprised by what they found. Speed is crucial for turtle hatchlings, who face dangers on their way to the ocean. Their survival “depends heavily on their ability to swim,” according to FAU. But in urban settings, excess light from streets and buildings can draw the babies away from the ocean and towards land – where they might get run over by traffic, drown in a pool, or be eaten by a predator. Biological sciences associate professor Sarah Milton said in a statement, “What prompted our study was the desire to understand what happens to these hatchlings after they spend hours crawling on the beach because they are disoriented. We wanted to know if they would even be able to swim after crawling 500 meters or more, which could take them as long as seven hours to complete.” Related: Police Officer Saves Nearly 100 Baby Sea Turtles in Florida Milton and graduate student Karen Pankaew conducted what FAU described as the “first study on disorientation to examine the physiological effects of extended crawling and swimming performance.” They gathered 150 hatchlings from 27 loggerhead and 18 green turtle nests in Palm Beach County, Florida . The hatchlings walked on tiny treadmills before swimming in a tank in a specially designed swimsuit. The scientists measured oxygen consumption, lactate accumulation, and swimming breathing and stroke rates. Field studies supplemented laboratory observations. The hatchlings were placed into the ocean in their natural habitats shortly after collection. The study results completely surprised the researchers, according to Milton, who said, “We were expecting that the hatchlings would be really tired from the extended crawling and that they would not be able to swim well. It turned out not to be the case and that they are in fact crawling machines. They crawl and rest, crawl and rest and that’s why they weren’t too tired to swim.” She also said the study offers a scientific basis to back up lighting ordinances during hatching season. The Journal of Experimental Biology published the study in November. Via Florida Atlantic University Images via Pixabay and Jay Paredes

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Tiny treadmills for turtle hatchlings help scientists evaluate their stamina

Green sea turtles are no longer endangered in Florida and Mexico

April 6, 2016 by  
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Decades of conservation efforts have paid off for green sea turtles in Florida and Mexico. In the late 1970s, populations dwindled due to heavy commercial harvesting of turtle eggs and meat – but protection programs have helped numbers increase to the thousands. As a result of the population growth, the species has been elevated from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act. Although the turtles will continue to be protected, they are no longer on the brink of extinction. Read the rest of Green sea turtles are no longer endangered in Florida and Mexico

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Green sea turtles are no longer endangered in Florida and Mexico

Washington just built the world’s longest floating bridge

April 6, 2016 by  
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Seattle ’s Lake Washington is so deep that support towers for a conventional suspension bridge would need to be nearly as tall as the Space Needle . As a result, engineers opted to build the world’s longest floating bridge – and it was just completed this month. Read the rest of Washington just built the world’s longest floating bridge

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Washington just built the world’s longest floating bridge

IKEA’s new app lets you try out furniture in virtual reality

April 6, 2016 by  
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Have you ever wanted to see how a new piece of furniture might look in your home before buying it? If IKEA has a say, that may soon be a normal part of your home shopping experience. The Swedish furniture giant just released a virtual reality app that will allow users to explore and customize their kitchen in a whole new way. The program, called the IKEA VR Experience, is part of a pilot meant to test how consumers respond to virtual reality technology. Read the rest of IKEA’s new app lets you try out furniture in virtual reality

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Good samaritan buys turtles sold for food and returns them to the sea

December 16, 2015 by  
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A Papua New Guinea man’s photos have gone viral after he shared the heartwarming story of his efforts to rescue sea turtles being sold for their meat. Arron Culling wrote on Facebook that he and a co-worker found two turtles for sale at a local food market, so he purchased them and released them on a beach about 5 km up the road. Read the rest of Good samaritan buys turtles sold for food and returns them to the sea

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Good samaritan buys turtles sold for food and returns them to the sea

4,600 Sea Turtles Killed In US Fisheries Every Year — But That’s Good News

September 14, 2011 by  
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Hawksbill sea turtle © CI/Photo by Sterling Zumbrunn The loss of sea turtles as bycatch among fisheries is heartbreaking. Currently, we kill an estimated 4,600 turtles every year due to fishing — they are wrapped in the nets or hooked on bait lines set for fish. However, a new report shows that this represents a 90% reduction of sea turtles as bycatch since 1990. So, is 4,600 deaths is good news? Are we making progress, or are we still on a path to lose sea turtles forever?… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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4,600 Sea Turtles Killed In US Fisheries Every Year — But That’s Good News

5 Designers Making Stunning Jewelry from Recycled Metals

September 14, 2011 by  
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Photo: Elke Bock /Ute Decker The right accessories can make every piece in your closet do double-duty, taking those jeans from Saturday at the farmers market to Saturday night at your favorite restaurant, turning a simple dress from wedding chic to date-appropriate, and giving a sleek sweater a brand new look. But just because jewelry can make your clothes look new doesn’t mean it needs to be made of new materials: Add pieces from these designers to your collection and — whether you like chunky bracelets or delicate necklaces, heavy rings or simple stud earrings — you’ll up your … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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5 Designers Making Stunning Jewelry from Recycled Metals

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