Earth’s biodiversity — the number of microorganisms, plants, and animals, their genes, and their ecosystems is declining at an alarming rate, even faster than the last mass extinction 65 million years ago.
In fact, two thirds of the terrestrial species that exist today are estimated to be extinct by the end of this century.Â Humans are an integral part of this extensive network of life. We depend on biodiversity for goods and services; we impact biodiversity via rapidly expanding human population growth, consumption of resources, and spread of disease; and we study biodiversity in order to understand, conserve, and protect it.
Although a California-based organization, the Oiled Wildlife Care Network is currently helping to lead the effort to care for oil-affected marine mammals and sea turtles in Louisiana, in partnership with NOAA-NMFS and the USFWS.Â Volunteers are being recruited on a state-by-state basis and updated on the Deepwater Horizon Facebook page. If you would like to obtain volunteer information, please call 1-866-448-5816.
This yearâ€™s event will celebrate the incredible diversity of life on Earth as part of “The 2010 International Year of Biodiversity.”
According to Wikipedia, World Environment Day (WED) is a day that stimulates awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and public action. It is on 5 June. It was the day that United Nations Conference on the Human Environment began. The United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was from 5-16 June 1972. It was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. The first World Environment Day was on 1973. World Environment Day is hosted every year by a different city with a different theme and is commemorated with an international exposition in the week of 5 June. World Environment Day is in summer in the Northern Hemisphere and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
This yearâ€™s global host, Rwanda â€“ a country of exceptional biodiversity that has made huge strides on environmental protection â€“ will lead the celebrations with three days of keynote events.
Thousands of activities will also be organized worldwide, with beach clean-ups, concerts, exhibits, film festivals, community events and much more!
Watch “Save Rainforests Save Lives” which reminds us that the rainforests are our best hope for finding cures for cancer, AIDs and other life-threatening diseases.
What Medicines Do The Forests Provide?
It is astonishing to think that of all the drugs we consume today most of the common ones are derived from the rainforests, even more astonishing is that only a small amount of the total number of plants have been screened for medical use. The following is a list of drugs that the plants have provided a basis for : the contraceptive pill, antibiotics, tranquillisers, dental cement, heart and ulcer drugs. In fact one in four products from the chemist contain chemical compounds derived from rainforest plants. 70% of anti cancer plants originate from the rainforests and the US National Cancer Institute identified 3,000 plants with properties in fighting cancer. From 1960-1990, the survival rate for child leukaemia rose from 20% to 80% when ‘The Rosy Periwinkle’ plant from Madagascar played a major contribution in fighting this form of cancer. The Cinchona tree from Peru has been effective in treating malaria; the Guatemalan wild yam is a major contribution to the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill; Resperine from South East Asia, from the shrub Rauwlfia Serpentina is used for treating hypertension. Cement used in dentistry comes from the balsams of Latin America. And the ‘Benzoin Tree’ of Malaysia produces a yellow substance that is used for antiseptic and to treat bronchitis. This is the Earth’s own medicine cabinet with many more cures for illnesses hidden within the forests. With the pharmaceutical companies making billions of pounds and dollars each year, it seems that it is in their interest that the forests no longer survive, but the forests provided the basis for all of man’s drugs and we should start preserving them now.
After an extremely dry season in Costa Rica in 1986-1987, the golden toad suddenly vanished. Originally scientists thought the combination of global warming and the deadly chytrid fungus was to blame, but recent studies suggest that El Nino was the trigger and a pathogen killed the Costa Rican toad that resulted in the extinction.
Photo found on the 7th Space Interactive Web: Click on Photo to Read Article
The new paper, in the March 1 issue of the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the dry conditions (the driest it’s been in a hundred years) caused the toads to congregate in a small number of puddles to reproduce, prompting the disease to spread rapidly.The fungus apparently kills frogs and toad by release poison and attacks their skin and teeth.
According to an article today in The New York Times, Japan plans to ignore any ban on Bluefin Tuna.Â The article stated that Japan will not join in any agreement to ban international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna under the United Nations treaty on endangered species, the countryâ€™s top fisheries negotiator said.
Next month at a CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) meeting in Doha, Qatar, a formal proposal for the Bluefin Tuna ban is scheduled which requires the approval of two-thirds of its 175 member countries.
The San Diego Wild Animal Park received a special gift on Valentine’s Day – a baby African Elephant. At approximately 2:00 a.m., visitors that were camping at the zoo said they heard elephants “trumpeting” which commonly occurs when a baby calf is born.
Details have not been released for this baby African elephant, however newborns usually weigh between 250 and 300 pounds and stand approxiamtely tree feet tall.Â With this new addition, the Swaziland herd has grown to more than a dozen.
The San Diego Zoo is celebrating the animals of the outback this weekend. There will be special demonstrations from zoo researchers and veterinarians and you will have the opportunity to meet animals such as Koalas, Kangaroos and Kookaburras! CLICK HERE to visit the zoo’s website for more information.
A Solar Showdown in California between Oakland’s based BrightSource Energy and The Sierra Club and other environmentalist is mounting.Â If the company gets approval and permission to build and erect 400,000 mirrors on the site to collect the sun’s energy; it will not only be a death sentence for the endangered Desert Tortoise, but it is also home to rare plants and other wildlife including the Western Burrowing Owl and Bighorn Sheep.
Photo from the LA Times Website "L.A. Unleased" January 4, 2010
CLICK HERE to read entire article from January 4, 2010 from L.A.’s Unleashed