China is planting 16.3 million acres of forest this year : TreeHugger:
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Posted by johngawler at 6:56 PM
A lack of rain is taking its toll on a Hunter Valley brumby sanctuary, with wild horses from the Snowy Mountains struggling to acclimatise in parched conditions.
The local brumby association has nearly 30 brumbies, mainly from the Kosciuszko National Park, as well as from the state's north-west.
But its paddocks are bone dry, prompting carers to spend $3,000 a month hand-feeding the horses.
Hunter Valley Brumby Association president Kath Massey said the Snowy Mountain brumbies were particularly vulnerable.Brumbies feel the heat as dry times start to bite in Hunter Valley - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Posted by johngawler at 6:47 PM
A group of divers has connected two underwater caverns in eastern Mexico to reveal what is believed to be the biggest flooded cave on the planet, a discovery that could help shed new light on the ancient Mayan civilisation.
The Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM), a project dedicated to the study and preservation of the subterranean waters of the Yucatan peninsula, said the 347-kilometre cave was identified after months of exploring a maze of underwater channels.Sac Actun cave system in Mexico could help shed new light on ancient Mayan civilisation - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Posted by johngawler at 3:02 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
As if cyclones, crocodiles and stingers weren't enough to worry about, Western Australians are being warned to take precautions against a potentially deadly and ancient disease that may have been stirred up by recent cyclones.
Each year there are dozens of melioidosis cases reported across northern Australia and it continues kill a small number of those infected.
The disease lives as a bacterium beneath the soil's surface in the tropics, but can become airborne in the wet season as heavy rains disturb it.
The head of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Western Australia, Professor Tim Inglis, said there was a risk the recent weather sparked by Cyclone Joyce would carry the disease closer to Perth.Melioidosis risk rises in the wake of stormy weather across WA - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Posted by johngawler at 3:56 PM
Have you ever been breath-tested in your togs?
It might sound comical but a pair of researchers will be taking a breathalyser to Australia's favourite swimming spots to find out more about our high rate of river drownings.
A quarter of all drowning deaths in Australia occur in rivers and creeks, and 37 per cent of those involve alcohol.
And when it comes to drowning, the sexes are not equal — 80 per cent of drowning victims are maleRiverside breathalysers aim to reduce drink-drowning deaths - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Posted by johngawler at 12:41 PM
What would you do if you found a sac full of baby funnel web spiders in your backyard?
While screaming might be the first option for some, you could also take it to your local wildlife park.
A local resident from Matcham on the New South Wales Central Coast went with the second option, delighting his local reptile park with the find.
It turns out the venom from deadly Sydney funnel webs is highly sought after.
"We can only use the male Sydney funnel web's venom to make the anti-venom," Australian Reptile Park's head of spiders Kane Christensen said.
Mr Christensen said while funnel webs can be found around the country, the spiders change depending on the region— and so does their venom.Sac full of funnel web spiders good news for NSW reptile park seeking specific venom - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Posted by johngawler at 2:30 AM
Monday, January 15, 2018
Scientists in Hobart are experimenting to capture the sound of Antarctic krill in a bid to better determine how many are swimming in the Southern Ocean.
Antarctic krill are one of the most abundant animal species on Earth, and most of the larger Antarctic animals depend directly or indirectly on the crustacean.
The sound that scientists are recording does not actually come from the krill itself.
They are using echo sounding technology to record the sound reflected from different-sized krill, and to help them identify the 'sound signature' of individual krill.Tasmanian scientists study a krill's 'sound signature' to help estimate populations - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Posted by johngawler at 9:47 PM