Tag Archives: wild

Amazing “Sea Butterflies” and Ocean Acidification

15 May

by Emily Frost and Hannah Waters, Cross Posted from Smithsonian

The shelled sea butterfly Hyalocylis striata can be found in the warm surface waters of the ocean around the world. Photo: © Karen Osborn

The shelled sea butterfly Hyalocylis striata can be found in the warm surface waters of the ocean around the world. Photo: © Karen Osborn

The chemistry of the ocean is changing. Most climate change discussion focuses on the warmth of the air, but around one-quarter of the carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean. Dissolved carbon dioxide makes seawater more acidic—a process called ocean acidification—and its effects have already been observed: the shells of sea butterflies, also known as pteropods, have begun dissolving in the Antarctic.

Tiny sea butterflies are related to snails, but use their muscular foot to swim in the water instead of creep along a surface. Many species have thin, hard shells made of calcium carbonate that are especially sensitive to changes in the ocean’s acidity. Their sensitivity and cosmopolitan nature make them an alluring study group for scientists who want to better understand how acidification will affect ocean organisms. But some pteropod species are proving to do just fine in more acidic water, while others have shells that dissolve quickly. So why do some species perish while others thrive?

Continue reading

The Biocentric Kama Sutra: Oral Sex According to Indian Flying Foxes

4 Apr

by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News

[The text of this work is free to share and distribute under the following Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND 3.0]

Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus)

Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus)

Outside of the village of Nallachampatti in southern India, a colony of Indian flying foxes roost in a fig tree, tasting of the delicate figs, lighting off over forests and swamps in the night to hunt mangoes, bananas and to sup on the nectar of flowers. They are sensual bats with a taste for the sweetness of life, which, as new research reveals, includes the flavors of sex, of vagina, especially in the morning.

In a study conducted over the course of a year, a team of scientists, wielding binoculars and a rather voyeuristic appetite, witnessed male bats perform oral sex on females over and over. The kinky Ph.D’s say these fruit eating bats do it to make the sex last longer, a hypothesis that seems to say Pteropus giganteus knows a little something about the artful ways of love.

“Apart from humans, bats also exhibit oral sex as a courtship behavior,” said Ganapathy Marimuthu, a bat researcher at Madurai Kamaraj University in India.

[Cue sultry mood music and Barry White voice-narration] Continue reading

Wild Horse Round Ups, Prison Labor and the Border

16 Aug

In a new trend that connects the taming of the wild, the prison complex and the militarization of the borderlands between the US and Mexico, wild mustangs brutally rounded up throughout the Southwest are being sold to prisons in Nevada and Colorado.

Once there, prison inmates are put to work taming the mustangs that will in turn become tools of Border Patrol to track down and arrest migrants crossing the border.

According to Rafael V. Garza, horse patrol commander for the Border Patrol in the Laredo, Texas, sector, tamed mustang-mounted Border Patrol agents arrested over 500 migrants in the first year of the program. “Its the intimidation factor,” Garza said.

So, wild animals are tamed by confined prisoners in order to make it easier for Border Patrol to confine more migrants, a perfect system of racist and speciesist domination.

And in other Wild Horse News

Advocates can’t stop the controversial round-up of more than 2,000 wild horses and 200 wild burros along the California-Nevada border because it has already happened, the 9th Circuit ruled.
     The federal appeals court in San Francisco on Monday rejected a year-old motion for a restraining order and injunction to halt the round-up in the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area as moot.
     The nonprofits In Defense of Animals and Dreamcatcher Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary have been battling the Bureau of Land Management since 2009 to halt the round-up, which they claim violates the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The agency has maintained that the round-up is necessary to keep the herds sustainable.
     A lower court denied the groups’ motion in August 2010, with the round-up set to begin within days. A motions panel of the 9th Circuit rejected an emergency move for injunctive relief a few days later, and the round-up went forward, according to the ruling.
     While finding that the plaintiffs’ motion “raises serious legal questions concerning whether the large-scale removal of horses conflicts with the Wild Horses Act and whether an Environmental Impact Statement is required before any action can be implemented,” the panel dismissed it as moot. The motion sought to enjoin only the “effects of implementing the initial phase” of the round-up and to “preserve the status quo.” Neither is possible now, the panel ruled.
     “The horses are currently offsite and the remainder of the plan is apparently going forward,” the panel found, promising that “any further appeals in the underlying action shall be expedited and calendared before this panel.”
     Writing in dissent, Judge Johnnie Rawlinson argued that the issue was not moot because the court can still offer relief by ordering that the horses be returned to the range.
     “It is undisputed that the BLM rounded up all the horses on the range and then decided which horses should be released back into the Twin Peaks area and which should be transported to holding areas,” he wrote. “This would be a different case if the horses who were rounded up had all been dispersed. But that is not what happened. The horses that were rounded up are currently being kept in various holding areas throughout the southwestern United States. As easily as the horses were transported out of their natural habitat, they can be returned.
     In this circumstance, relief is available and the request for injunctive relief is not moot.”

Earth First! means a world without borders

29 Apr

By an editor of the EF! Journal

Jaguar photographed in arizona

Solidarity with immigrants against borders is one of the most practical and relevant places for the biocentrist—deep ecologist, eco-anarchist, Earth First!er.. or whatever you may call yourself—to present our vision of the world beyond civilization. The border is not just a line between two places. Its a scar on the earth, and in our lives, where empire and ecocide have met. Millions of people in North America feels this environmental and social tragedy in a deep and direct way.

The reality of this has been close to home for us here at the Earth First! Journal/Newswire, from life in Arizona in the midst of the SB 1070 law and the militarized border lands, to our new office in the south, which is now embroiled in the battles surrounding anti-immigrant legislation. Georgia became the first state following the footsteps of Arizona’s “Papers Please” law—HB 87, they are only awaiting the Governor to sign it into law—and, despite mass opposition, Florida is not far behind, with SB 2040.

"We will not comply," blockade at Sheriff Arpaio's Maricopa County Jail in Arizona after SB1070 goes into effect, July 2010

Arbitrary borders divided by walls and high-tech surveillance are becoming one of the most drastic symbols of literal human division and disconnect from the wild world around them. The same principles of rewilding that apply to keeping healthy, biodiverse habitats also apply to the re-wilding the free spirit of our species. What borders walls do to the endangered Jaguar, immigration laws due to our own wild spirits.

The past two issues of the EF! Journal have run excellent articles on borders, immigration, biocentrism and ecological resistance. Check ‘em out below.. May they assist in fueling the flames of immigrant solidarity and rebellion.   For freedom of movement to all species!

The Capitol building in Tallahassee, Florida is occupied by immigrants, predominantly from indigenous campesino communities in Central America.

Razing Arizona: the ecological battle against borders (an overview of pro-immigrant, anti-border articles from the past 10 years of the EF! Journal. In Spanish and English.)

Borders & Bodies (a personal reflection from an EF! Journal editor of borders, colonization and empire from the Arizona border to the coasts of Florida.)

(Also, don’t miss the coming issue of the EF! Journal, this June, for a fresh new article on the Center for Biological Diversity’s effort to defend Jaguars from extinction in the US by the racist border wall.)

Check out news and video from the growing resistance in Florida.

Simultaneous protests for immigrant farmworker solidarity take also place this week. Here, at a grand opening of Grocery chain Public in Lake Worth, FL, new home to the Earth First! Journal.