Vaquita Marina rescue program permanently suspended

Vaquita Marina rescue program permanently suspended

Nov 15, 2017

Experts announced on Wednesday November 8, that they have permanently suspended a program to capture and enclose the few remaining vaquita porpoises in Mexico’s Gulf of California, after the one they managed to catch died quickly in captivity. Lorenzo Rojas, the lead scientist in the effort, described what may be the last close contact between humans and the world’s smallest porpoise, of which less than 30 remain. Rojas said he doubts there will be enough of the elusive porpoises left next year to even make an attempt to capture any. “She was adapting, but in a few seconds something triggered in her brain and she just started swimming faster, incredibly fast, like she wanted to fly away from where it was, with no perception of the space, inside where she was,” Rojas said of the adult female captured over the weekend. That vaquita had been taken to a floating pen on the sea where experts had hoped to protect her, but the animal began to act oddly in obvious stress. The only other vaquita captured, a calf, had also quickly shown signs of distress and was quickly released weeks ago. The experts tried to do the same with the adult female, but it was too late. “The vets decided it was time to release her. They pulled her out to sea and they put the animal facing the open ocean, and it started swimming, but it started swimming in a very random way … and the vets decided to bring her up on the boat again,” said Rojas, chairman of the International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita. “They did CPR for three hours and tried to keep it alive.” The vaquita died about six hours after capture. An autopsy and test were conducted to determine why it died. “But with so few vaquitas left, the ones remaining can’t be put at risk”, experts said. “These tiny porpoises do not respond well to the stress of capture, and not a single additional vaquita should be deliberately put in danger in this way,” the Animal Welfare Institute said. Chillingly, initial results from the autopsy of the dead vaquita showed that she hadn’t had a calf...

Tourist service provider caught on tape destroying coral reef in Quintana Roo

Tourist service provider caught on tape destroying coral reef in Quintana Roo

Nov 15, 2017

WATCH VIDEO Business owners from the port of Mahahual, Quintana Roo condemned the destruction of  the Mesoamerican Reef System and demanded that the environmental crime committed by tourist service providers must be punished by municipal, state and federal authorities. The initial complaint was made on social networks by the environmental organization “SeaShepherd Mexico” dedicated to prevent and stop the destruction of ecosystems and the slaughter of marine fauna in order to defend, protect and conserve the oceans in our country. Rodolfo Espadas Ixte, member of the Costa Maya association in Mahahual, lamented the irreversible damage that the second largest reef in the world is suffering, as it was caught on tape in a video recorded on November 2 as part of an operation conducted by the SSMx marine patrol program. SSMx goal is to determine the current health of the reefs of Mahahual. WATCH VIDEO The video was shot at a popular scuba diving site known as the “Aquarium”, in which the totally irresponsible practices of the dive shop Pepe Dive Mahahual are exhibited. As the boat with registration number 23060900147 was filmed dropping the anchor on top of the reef, damaging this important ecosystem, considered one of the most important coral reefs in the world. The business community of Mahahual is demanding greater vigilance from the authorities in charge of protecting the environment, and they state that there are absolutely no plan or specific actions taken in order protect the reef’s integrity. Mahahual is growing and positioning itself as an important tourist destination and therefore, it is necessary to apply a strong sanction to Pepe Dive Mahahual in this particular case, to set an example for other tourism service providers,  in accordance with the regulations to avoid further destruction the reef area.   Sources: https://noticias.canal10.tv/...

The people of Southern California and northern Baja California waiting for “The Big One”

The people of Southern California and northern Baja California waiting for “The Big One”

Nov 14, 2017

A 4.6-magnitude earthquake hit Monterey County in California on Monday November 13 —and it was felt as far as 90 miles away in San Francisco.  The earthquake occurred near the San Andreas Fault at a depth of about four miles. No injuries or damage were reported, and as of Monday evening, the U.S. Geological Survey reported a low likelihood of causalities and damage. The structures in this area are highly resistant to earthquake shaking, according to the USGS, but some vulnerable structures exist. The quake was felt as a weak or light earthquake as far as San Francisco, but moderate shakes were reported by the USGS in areas with a very low population. The earthquake hit at 11:31 a.m. Monday November 13, about 13 miles northeast of Gonzales, California. The quake had nine smaller aftershocks—the strongest aftershock measuring at a 2.8-magnitude, Annemarie Baltay, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey told SFGate. The earthquake epicenter was in rural areas of mountains between the Salinas Valley and the San Joaquin Valley, the Los Angeles Times reported. A kid touches a crack on a wall at his damaged home in the community of Oaxaca, on the outskirts of Mexicali April 7, 2010. Scared families south of the Mexico-California border readied to sleep outside for a second night on Monday after a big earthquake tore cracks in roads and houses and dozens of aftershocks rattled the area. Reuters Baltay told SFGate that this type of earthquake is typical behavior. “It’s as if someone put an oil can into the fault and lubricated it,” she said. The San Andreas Fault runs from the Gulf of California north to the region of Cape Mendocino. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the slip rate on the fault is about four-fifths of an inch each year, according to the USGS. October 1989 was when the last major earthquake—Loma Prieta—associated with the San Andreas Fault occurred. Back then, that earthquake resulted in 64 deaths, and additionally, 16,000 homes and apartment units were damaged and rendered uninhabitable. In the wake of the deadly earthquake in Iran and Iraq—which measured at a magnitude of 7.3—the next big earthquake in California has long been a looming concern. In Southern California—where the most recent moderate earthquake hit—there...

San Diego’s Natural History museum opens its drawers to public

San Diego’s Natural History museum opens its drawers to public

Nov 14, 2017

Like most museums, the Nat in Balboa Park has far more specimens in its collection than it could ever put on display. So on Nov. 18 it’s opening a new exhibition it’s billing as “cool stuff from storage.”   Stuff like the jaw from a giant sperm whale. A 20-foot-long skin from an anaconda. A wall of skulls. “Most visitors don’t get to see our treasure trove — rows upon rows of shelves, drawers and crates holding millions of plant and animal specimens,” Judy Gradwohl, president and CEO of the natural history museum, said in a statement. “A look behind the scenes in our storage areas is like a cross-section of the diversity of nature itself.” Formally titled “Unshelved,” the exhibit is drawn from the 8 million items the museum has been collecting since it was established by a small group of citizen scientists in 1874. Although the museum’s research focus is on Southern California and Baja California, some items in the collection come from all over the world, which is why the new exhibit will include an emperor penguin and huge bats, as well as taxidermied birds, tiny beetles, gems and minerals. Some of the specimens have never been exhibited before, according to museum officials. “Unshelved,” located on Level Two, will be in place for two years. The exhibit is included with the price of admission. The museum also has two companion events scheduled. Its monthly Family Day, Nov. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., will feature hands-on activities and crafts for kids. On Nov. 21, at 7 p.m., museum scientists will discuss their favorite items from storage in an event called “What’s In Our Drawers.” Admission requires a separate ticket. The museum calls itself the second-oldest scientific institution in California and the third-oldest west of the Mississippi. It’s open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, daily (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas)....

More than 4,000 students participated in the Mexicali Environment Expo

More than 4,000 students participated in the Mexicali Environment Expo

Nov 13, 2017

MEXICALI.- A little over 4,000 preschool, primary and secondary students from the State Capital participated this Thursday November 9 in the 13th edition of the Mexicali Environment Expo, which aims to inform and guide children and young people about actions to preserve the einvironment. The event was held at the Bosque y Zoológico de la Ciudad facilities and included the participation of different civil organizations and government agencies dedicated to the conservation of the environment. The key to the success of this type of event is that the children and young people who attended can share what they have learned with their families, teachers and friends. “The care and conservation of the environment does not only have to do with actions to prevent pollution, it has to do with our lifestyle” explained Miguel Ríos López, a student at the secondary 23 of Mexicali. “For some of the students participating in the Expo environment serves to reaffirm the practices that were learned at home with the family”, said Jorge Jesus Navidad, student of the technical high school number 44. Source: Expo Ambiente...

Mexicali is leader in respiratory deseases related to air pollution

Mexicali is leader in respiratory deseases related to air pollution

Nov 13, 2017

“The city of Mexicali has the highest number of diseases related to air pollution, which usually doubles during the winter season”, declared environmental authorities. Lourdes Sandoval Nolasco, of the Directorate against Health Risks, warned that the incidence of diseases related to pollution in Mexicali, is twice as much as in Tijuana. “The Ministry of Health keeps a record of diseases related to air quality, with a special focus on those related to air pollution,” Sandoval Nolasco commented. Among the diseases she counted the ARIs (Acute Respiratory Infections), ischemic heart, asthma, premature deaths and other diseases such as otitis, that is related to the ear. “According to the geographical conditions of Mexicali, Los Santorales and La Progreso are the most vulnerable areas, since these communities are located at a lower level (above sea level), therefore, the pollutants settle there”, Sandoval revealed. Source: Dirección contra Riesgos Sanitarios de la Secretaría de Salud de Baja...