Browsing articles from "June, 2012"
Jun 30, 2012

Southern Elephant Seal (Mirounga leonina)


Did you know?

That the South Atlantic Elephant Seal is the largest member of the order of carnivores?

There is a difference in size and weight between males and females of the Mirounga leonina species. Males have an average weight of about 2,200 kg (maximum of more than 4,000 kg) and a length of 4.2 m (6.2 m maximum). Females, on the other hand, are five times smaller than males. Females have an average weight of 700 kg and 1,000 kg with a length of about 3 m.

The color of the skin in both sexes is dark gray to brown with a lighter chest. The young are born with a dark brown-black fur, which molt after 1 month for a shorter coat of gray hair.

Jun 29, 2012

Third Technical Meeting to Solve Fishing Dispute in Gibraltar


Today will be the third meeting of the two technical committees, without political representatives, who are negotiating for more than a month, the solution to the conflict affecting fishing sailors, Algeciras and La Linea fishing, in the waters surrounding the Rock of Gibraltar. In the last four months, this has caused great tension between Spain and Gibraltar.

The president of the Andalusian owners and representative of the Fishermen’s Association of Algeciras (Cádiz), Pedro Maza, said “The appointment on Friday may be the definitive”, but do not want to launch from the rooftops as “the meeting may be important. “Once we have kept the first two, I think there is little else to say,” Maza added. In that sense, Maza points to the need to return as soon as possible to” fish” because it is still important for families who get their source of living from fishing.

The goal was made clear on several occasions. The Spanish fishermen’s goal is to “return to the 1999 situation.” In particular, the agreement reached between the government of Caruana and Spain that had allowed a few months ago when the current Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, broke the agreement unilaterally based on the laws of the environment of the colony.

“This fishing is not a problem. Someone must make a determination. We have already done everything we could do within the range we have,” Maza said, hoping that on Friday, “they can end this situation”.

Jun 28, 2012

Pink Cockatoo (Cacatua leadbeateri)


Did you know?

That while raising the chicks, the male pink cockatoo usually sits on the nest during the day and female does this by night?

The Pink Cockatoo is a species of smaller cockatoo, reaching a total length of 35 cm. It is the only cockatoo with a multi-color crest. The plumage of the crown, upper parts and tail are white. The narrow ridge is directed forward scarlet with a yellow center band and a white tip. The face and underparts are salmon pink and the undersides of the wings and underside of tail are deep salmon pink. The beak is rather small and white, the feet is gray and the iris is dark brown in males. The females have pale red-brown iris, while the immatures have clearer iris.

The Pink Cockatoo usually travels in pairs or small flocks, often in conjunction with the Eolophus roseicapilla or small blood Cockatoos (Cacatua sanguinea). Most of the day, the Pink Cockatoos spend their time foraging on the ground or in trees.

The breeding season is from August to December. The birds nest in hollow trees, coated with dust and bits of rotten tree bark. The clutch usually consists of 2 to 4 eggs which are incubated by both parents for 30 days. The chicks leave the nest at 6 to 8 weeks but remain with their parents as a family group. They feed on seeds, nuts, fruits, berries and roots. The drink early in the morning and evening.

Jun 27, 2012

Heat Waves Reach the Northern Peninsula


The Meteorological Agency forecast for this Wednesday, are significantly higher temperatures in most parts of the Peninsula and the Canary Islands. There will be intervals of strong wind on the Cantabrian coast and the Canary Islands.

Cloudy intervals, mainly middle and high clouds in the Peninsula, with possibility of a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon in the northern half and southeastern mountainous area are forecasted. It will be more likely in the Cantabrian mountain range, high Ebro, Aragon and Pyrenees, where it may be locally moderate.

The weather will tend to be slightly cloudy in the afternoon and evening in the southwest quadrant. There will be cloudy intervals in Ceuta and Melilla.

It will be partly cloudy in the Balearics. In the Canaries, it will be cloudy to mostly cloudy in the northern islands of greater importance, and partly cloudy or clear in the rest.

There is a possibility for morning fog patches in Galicia and Cantabria, and a probable mist in the Calimas and the Canary Islands.

Daytime temperatures are moderate to significant rise in the Cantabrian East, in light to moderate decline in the Atlantic side of the peninsula and with little change in the rest.

There will also be weak to moderate winds from the east turning west, with some intervals of strong in the Cantabrian coast. Weak to moderate westerly peninsula in the Atlantic, and east in the Strait. There will be slack variables in the rest of the Peninsula and Balearic Islands. In the Canaries, it will be moderate from the north with some strong intervals.

Jun 26, 2012

The Power Auction Today Will Determine the Electricity Tariff Review in July


MADRID – The nineteenth auction of electricity between traders of last resort (Cesur) will be held today and serves to hold the corresponding term in the energy of light fare, with the next quarterly review will take place on July 1.

The result of these auctions has a weight close to 50% on Last Resort Rate, while the other 50% are electric tolls, which meet the cost regulated power system.

The previous auction, held in March, closed with declines of 7%, while Last Resort Rate finally rose 7% to collect tolls increased nearly 23% with the government complied with the judgments of the Supreme Court and ensuring balance between costs and revenues. The rise was accompanied by a reduction of regulated costs of 1.700 million.

The auction will coincide with the announcement of the energy reform in which government works, which aims to tackle the tariff deficit and avoid that in 2012 the gap exceeds 1.500 million. Secretary of State for Energy, Fernando Marti, has warned that the deficit in 2012 may be 4.000 million, if no action is taken.

In tomorrow’s auction of five providing electric service regulated tariff, which are Endesa, Iberdrola, Fenosa Natural Gas, HC and E.ON will acquire 5,036 megawatts (MW) base load and peak load 575 MW for the third quarter.

Apart from the decisions of the Government related to cost reduction of the electrical system, experts warn that it will be necessary to raise the income of the system and, to that end, not only will raise rates, but also expected to taxation .

Jun 25, 2012

Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides)


Did you know?

That raccoon dogs are the only members of the canid family to go into dormancy during the winter? Lethargy means an idle stage, so that the body temperature decreases, allowing the body to save energy. The raccoon dog does not have a defined type of hibernation, therefore, if a bit warm winter weather, they will leave their dens and will forage. Therefore, in the southernmost parts of its range, they can not enter torpor.

The Nyctereutes procyonoides is a species of wild dog with an appearance similar to a raccoon, with curved claws that allow them to climb trees and “hibernate”. With a head-body length of 50-68 cm, the raccoon dog is about the size of a fox, but has the legs and tail (13-25 cm) shorter. The body weight varies from 4-6 kg in summer, but can reach about 10 kg before hibernation. The coat is long and dense, especially in winter. Its general color is yellowish brown. The shoulder, the tip of the tail and legs are black. The facial markings resemble those of a raccoon.

The Nyctereutes procyonoides are found mainly in forests and dense vegetation bordering lakes and streams. Raccoon dogs often use dens that have been initially made by a fox or a badger.

They are monogamous. The mating season is in spring. After a gestation period of 59 to 64 days, there are usually 5 to 8 pups born. However, it has been reported that it is up to 19 in a litter. Both parents participate in raising their children.

The raccoon dogs are omnivores, feeding on invertebrates, frogs, lizards, rodents and birds, along with seeds, berries, fruits, and rhizomes. Those who live near the sea also feed on crabs and other marine species.

Jun 24, 2012

Behaviors of Omission and Environmental Responsibility


The current development of human activities creates the need to understand the subject to be considered responsible for an event adversely affecting the environment .

For this reason, the case with the Legislature, has identified the operational mode to detect a case that may determine behavior in environmental responsibility.

The imputability of pollution can occur for active conduct , but also for failure to act and the proof can be given either directly or indirectly, i.e., in the latter case, the public administration responsible for environmental protection can make use of presumptions. Taking into account facts which can be drawn from the serious, specific and consistent evidence that would lead to a strong presumption, according to the id quod plerumque accidit, that pollution has occurred and that this is attributable to certain authors (cons. State, Sec. V, 16 June 2009, n. 3885).

The objective of this position of law is the need to identify environmental responsibility, for the demands of effective environmental protection, without the duty, the investigations aimed to identify specific factors responsible for the facts of contamination.

Jun 23, 2012

Waste: The Proceeding on Lazio


In 2007, the European Court of Justice ruled that Italy had failed to adopt its plan, necessary to protect human health and the environment. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner, Janez Potočnik, the Commission has decided to close the case.

The adoption of the plan is a very important first step, but the Commission remains concerned about its implementation and urges the Italian authorities to continue their efforts to ensure a proper waste management in the region. In a judgment as a result of Commission’s appeal (Case C-82/06) in June 2007, the European Court of Justice condemned Italy for the absence of plans for waste management in some regions and provinces, including the Lazio Region.

These plans are required under the Waste Framework Directive and the Directive on hazardous waste. Italy had adopted waste management plans to these directives to all affected areas (the regions of Friuli Venezia Giulia and Puglia and the provinces of Bolzano and Rimini), except for Lazio. The Italian authorities had notified the Commission several times to take steps to adopt the plan for Lazio. But, the Commission remained concerned about the slowness of this process.

As the judgment had not been respected, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice on May 8, 2008, and warned Italy that a second action could result in the imposition of financial penalties. On March 16, 2012, Italy finally submitted on waste management plan for Lazio adopted on January 18, 2012.

Based on the evaluation of the plan made ​​by the Commission, it shall comply with EU legislation. Although this is an important first step, the Commission expects that the authorities ensure the effective implementation of the plan. Overall, waste management in Lazio continues to cause concern, among other things, because a sufficient capacity for the proper treatment of waste before putting into landfill has yet to be created.

Jun 22, 2012

Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus)


Did you know?

That the Dalmatian Pelican, whose beaks reaches 40 cm or more in length, are the largest species of pelicans in the world?

The Dalmatian Pelican is the largest of the pelicans, with 160-180 cm from the tip of beak to the tip of the tail, and a wingspan of 310-345 cm. It has a wide and heavy body, long neck and large head with a huge and wide beak. The feathers on the head and neck are soft and curly. The Dalmatian Pelican’s tail is rounded with 22-24 feathers. The coloration of its plumage is usually white-gray, tinged with dirty blue below and a straw-colored patch of feathers. The gular pouch is yellow, which turns to orange or blood red during playback. The bare skin of the face is yellow, and turns purple during playback. The legs are dark gray and the iris is yellow.

The Pelecanus crispus are excellent swimmers and good flyers. They are less gregarious than the great white pelicans. Generally, they fish individually or in small groups, catching mainly carp (Cyprinus carpio), perch (Perca fluviatilis), the Gardi (Scardinius erythrophthalmus), as well as pike (Esox lucius) and eel (Anguilla anguilla). The communal fishing with cormorants may occur. The Pelecanus crispus’ nest are often in colonies located on an island or in remote parts. They mix colonies with great white pelicans sometimes. The nest is a stick, cane grass or structure placed on the ground.

The female lays 1-6 eggs weighing between 120 and 195g, which are incubated for 30-34 days. The chicks are cared for by both parents. They are able to fly they are about 12 weeks old.

Jun 21, 2012

The Great Green Wall Project in Sahel


NEPAD has committed $2 billion for the Great Green Wall.  The head of the TerrAfrica agency and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Ousmane Djibo, said about $ 2 billion U.S. were identified to support the project of the Great Green Wall for the Sahel and in parts of West Africa. This was according to the information service and communication of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

In a speech presented Monday at the round table of high level on NEPAD and sustainable development on the fringes of Rio 20 conference, Mr. Djibo said the project’s development objective is to extend the sustainable land and water management in targeted landscapes and areas vulnerable to climate in the Sahel and West Africa.

“About 108 million U.S. dollars of total project were approved in May 2011 by the Global Environment Facility (GEF),” said Djibo, who added that 12 countries are already hard at work on their investment operations. Investments are made ​​in the areas of natural regeneration of the canopy forestry, integrated soil fertility, water harvesting, agroforestry, soil conservation, alternative livelihoods, watershed management and conservation corridors.

He said the project should also focus on the production and sharing of knowledge, especially in the economic analysis, the natural resource monitoring, mapping of land suitability, hydro-metallurgy and land degradation. This will strengthen institutional capacity for planning of land use, resource ownership, decentralization, innovation networks of farmers, enforcement and evaluation of environmental impact. Djibo also said that pointing out that land degradation affects nearly 500 million people and two-thirds of productive land.

Africa holds 17% of the world’s forests but half of its deforestation is caused by agricultural expansion. ECA is a strategic partner of the NEPAD Agency and support the implementation of its programs through direct technical assistance, analytical work of its advisory services and knowledge management.

Jun 19, 2012

Orchid Mantis (Hymenopus coronatus)


Did you know?

That, as offspring in the first stage, an Orchid Mantis resembles ants with black body and red legs? Only after they have removed their skin once (2 nd stage), they become white. After some more seedlings, they will receive their final color, white or pink, males with a “collar” brownish-purple, and females with a necklace of green.

The Orchid Mantis is a Praying Mantis, which bears this name because it resembles an orchid flower. It has four legs resembling the petals of a flower. Most Orchid Mantis, are white, but there are morphs of pink to purple.

Females reach a total length of about 6 cm and have six abdominal segments. They are able to fly. They move seven times to reach adulthood and their life expectancy is about eight months. They are very aggressive and kept separately, except for mating. Males are considerably smaller, with only 2.5 to 3 cm long and have eight abdominal segments. Males only move five times, and live five to six months only.

If food is abundant, these specie can be kept in groups. The males fly very well and mature much faster than females. About two weeks after their final molt, the females are ready to mate. Days or weeks after mating, they lay their egg cases, (i.e., groups of eggs surrounded by a protein foam) measuring about 5 cm long that are white at first, but change to light brown after a day or two. Between 50 and 100 nymphs hatch within 5-6 weeks.

The diet of juveniles (nymphs) consists of small insects. Adults eat anything they can catch, including a wide range of flying insects and lizards. They may also eat small pieces of banana.

Jun 16, 2012

The Number of Cougars Would Be Up


Not only cougars are back in the forests of Canada and the United States, but their number is increasing, according to new research.

Cougars, also known as pumas, would be at the top of the food chain in the midwestern states and provinces of Western Canada, if their number had been declining since 1900.

In 1978, the cougar was endangered and there have only been a handful since observation of the feline, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

However, the researchers found evidence for 20 years that confirm the return of the animal.

Clay Nielsen, an assistant professor at the University Carbondale, Illinois, analyzed the data on confirmed sightings of cougar carcasses, tracks, photos, videos, and DNA evidence collected from 1990 to 2008 in 14 States and provinces across the U.S. Midwest.

With his assistant, Michelle LaRue, University of Minnesota, Mr. Nielsen has identified 178 cases of confirmed presence of a cougar and says this number is increasing.

“This paper provides quantitative information strongest to date on the recolonization potential of cougars in the Midwest, has supported Professor Nielsen. These results suggest that wildlife managers and the public could face an increased population of cougars in the near future. ”

Much of the Midwest lived without large carnivores such as cougars for over 100 years, he said.

The research results were published in the Journal of Wildlife Management.