Depradations of Outsiders leads to Conflict in the Marsh
17 May 2013
There was peace in the marsh and Mr. and Mrs. Redwing and their neighbours were all busy nesting and squabbling and feeding their fattening offspring. Mr. Redwing showed his shoulder flashes and everyone knew their place.
The fat of the land was noticed by those who had no place of their own and they moved in and began to steal babies and shrink the population of Marshlings and render their homes unsafe. At first the Redwings tried diplomacy and pleading to be left alone but to no avail. Their pleas fell on deaf ears and big black hungry beaks.
When diplomacy failed and the aggressive interlopers kept preying on the peace loving Redwings then more drastic countermeasures were called for. Aerial attack with both cannons blazing.
This heroic bravado had little effect because of the size difference between the two enemies and the peace loving Redwings who had always lived there in the marsh were being driven to evermore remote regions to live. The Redwings took it to the United Nations but they couldn't agree who was right.
One side argued the Corvidae had a right to a homeland and to feed their children and the other side argued that the Redwings had a right to peace and freedom from aggression. Alas, the struggle was never resolved and has been going on now for at least 55 million years.
Gosh, that all has a familiar ring to it.
Copyright 2013 Jorma Jyrkkanen. All rights reserved.
We've just brought User Cluster #9 back online, and the errors being caused by the maintenance should stop occurring. Notifications are sending again, but may be delayed as there is a backlog of notifications waiting to be sent. If you are still encountering any errors, please open a Support request so we can investigate the issue.
As we announced last week, Midnight's next party is this Saturday, May 18. The latest additions to the lineup are DJ Retrofit (of Red This Ever), who'll be spinning with C1TZN.X (making his D.C. debut) and the always popular Vampkat; and a gothic yard sale by DJ Pharoah and Angel. Read on for full details...
IN THE DJ BOOTH
We're very pleased to have DJ Retrofit--aka Roy from everyone's favorite D.C./Baltimore synthpop band Red This Ever (http://www.redthisever.net
) spinning for us again this month. With him, Vampkat, and C1TZN.X behind the decks, you can definitely count on a night of great dancing music!
...AND THE VENDORS CORNER
Over in the usual vendors corner you'll find a gothic yard sale hosted by DJ Pharaoh and Arsonist Angel (it's also her Welcome to D.C. party). Think bracelets, other jewelry, and the usual "little pieces of this, and that" you typically find at a GYS. As always, for the best bargains, be sure to arrive early.( Read more...Collapse )
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Mercury Link to Arctic Fox Declines Probably due to Atmospheric Acidic Accumulation
15 May 2013
Arctic fox are in decline and the culprit is thought to be mercury. So why is it suddenly a problem? Its not. The problem has been building for some time. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22425219
The Arctic is a collecting area for northern hemispheric global winds where gases in those winds cool and volatile substances condense and drop onto the substrate, be it water, ice or land.
One of the biggest most dangerous components of those winds are the acids with pesticides a close runner up. There is sulfur dioxide, sulfuric acid and many kinds of sulfur gases in abundance from various north hemispheric mills and there is also nitrogen oxide. These are gaseous green house gas spin offs of fossil fuel combustion that excacerbate the impacts of global warming on animal species. When you acidify soils, bound mercury becomes labile and enters the water runoff.
This is probably what is happening in the Arctic. When it reaches the oceans, bacteria convert it to more bioconcentrating forms which then move up the food chain and into those animals like seals and whales which Arctic fox feed upon. This problem is more acute in the arctic because there is circumpolar drainage into arctic waters from northern hemisphere rivers draining the zones of acid accumulation. Canada, the USA, China, Russia and the EU have many mills spewing these contaminants into global air sheds.
There is also the possibility that the arctic ocean is acidifying and mercury once bound in the benthic sediment is being made more labile and water soluble by bacterial action. Many predator fish have elevated mercury simply due to natural mercury in the environment. Excretion normally balances that out at survivable levels, but the balance is narrow for larger predators and can easily be exceeded. Tuna and Shark and Swordfish for example have naturally high levels.
The bad news is that if fox are being polluted and reproduction is declining, then sea birds, fish eating eagles, polar bears and Orcas are probably not far behind because mercy affects not only nervous systems, but targets the reproductive systems of many species.
Copyright Jorma Jyrkkanen. All rights reserved.
Urban Deer Have Rights to Safety Too
13 May 2013
Deer have lived in the Okanagan before humans by millions of years coming and going with the glacial retreats. Their claim to it as a home far exceeds ours and the tax they demand is respect, dogs on short leashes and a tiny bit of natural space with a tomato or cedar bush thrown in now and then. Here is a lovely scene I captured this morning in front of the Grand Okanagan lakeshore Promenade.
Lovely urban doe feeding in Rotary Marsh, created for wildlife enjoyment. This lady whom I shall call Debbie the Doe, gave birth to two fawns last year and one of them, the yearling buck is with her today though she is weaning him by kicking him if he gets in her way. Her offspring are true city dwellers. They were born in the city and know no other home. This is adaptation and tolerance on the part of the deer. If you look closely you can see legs inside her belly now and she is looking for a safe place to drop her fawns this year too.
I saw this dog walker coming and warned him there was a pregnant doe to keep his Salmoid cross on a short leash. He did and held it firm. While he was taking the pic his dogs tail went up and it lunged at the deer who didn't blink. She has a kick harder than a mule and knows it and is prepared to use it. I have seen it applied to my researcher boss, Nels West at UBC in the vivarium. He got a nasty cut on his head for crossing a doe. However, statistically, you are 80X more likely to be killed by your doctor than a deer. In fact I could find no case of a person killed by a deer in the statistics of Canadian mortality.
This chap had his dog under control and no harmful exchange happened. Clearly we need good signage to warn of these rules for coexistence and also the wisdom to follow them. Here is proof we can coexist if these simple rules are applied. I do not advise this sort of close encounter. Give the deer its space and let it move off before continuing. If her fawn was nearby a close approach with a dog would be a very dangerous thing to do.
The Natives of America it is estimated killed 5,000,000 deer per year before contact, so these cattle of the forest have in fact sustained life for ages around the world. Deer also feed tigers, cougars, leopards, bears, wolves, coyotes, bobcat, lynx, eagles, ravens, magpies, crows, insects, and bacteria and a pile of hunters and subsistence fringe dwellers . They also recycle rotten trees by kicking them apart and bedding on them, and by browsing, help maintain parklands and by droppings, disperse seeds and spores vital for forest ecology and health. Deer are keystone ecosystem species vital for forest health.
Copyright 2013 Jorma Jyrkkanen. All rights reserved.