Movements, winter distribution and activity patterns of Falkland and brown skuas: insights from loggers and isotopes

first_imgIn the first published study of the wintering ranges and activity patterns of skuas from any colony, we combined tracking (geolocator) and stable isotope analysis in a comparison of migration behaviour of brown skuas Catharacta lonnbergi and Falkland skuas C. antarctica from South Georgia and the Falkland Islands, respectively. Brown skuas, particularly failed breeders, departed and returned to the colony much earlier than Falkland skuas, and 2 of 3 brown skuas performed a pre-laying exodus. During winter, brown skuas were distributed widely over deep, oceanic water within the Argentine Basin (37 to 52 degrees S) between the Antarctic Polar Front and the northern sub-tropical Front. Falkland skuas, by comparison, wintered mainly in subantarctic waters around the central Patagonian shelf-break (40 to 52 degrees S). Much greater overlap existed among core areas within than between species, and sex did not influence distribution. The partial inter-specific spatial segregation was also reflected in a divergence in activity patterns, with brown skuas in flight for a greater proportion, and more time on average, during both daylight and darkness. Both species of skua spent far more time on the water than do foraging albatrosses, and there was limited overlap between their nonbreeding distributions and those of large procellariids from the same archipelagos. Stable isotope signatures of brown skua feathers indicated that distributions of tracked birds were typical of most or all of the breeding population, and were consistent from year to year. None was characteristic of species that winter on adjacent continental shelves or off south-west Europe. Isotope values also suggested a mixed diet for brown skuas of zooplankton, low trophic-level squid and fish, with little or no reliance on seabird predation or fisheries.last_img read more

Pandemic fallout: NCAA slashes distribution by $375 million

first_img Tags: Coronavirus/COVID-19/March Madness/NCAA/NCAA Tournament Associated Press FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailThe NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June.That is $375 million less than had been budgeted this year because the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the men’s basketball tournament.March Madness is among the biggest revenue producers for the NCAA and its schools.The NCAA says $50 million will come from its reserve fund. A $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will help pay the rest. Written by March 26, 2020 /Coronavirus (COVID-19) related news and sports stories, Sports News – Local Pandemic fallout: NCAA slashes distribution by $375 millionlast_img read more

Image of the Day: USNS Yukon, USS America RAS

first_img Authorities View post tag: Naval Image of the Day: USNS Yukon, USS America RAS View post tag: Image of the Day The Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Yukon (T-AO 202) departs after transferring fuel to the future amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6) during an underway replenishment-at-sea. October 6, 2014 Follow @navaltoday View post tag: News by topic View post tag: americascenter_img View post tag: Navy America is the first ship of its class, replacing the Tarawa-class of amphibious assault ships and is scheduled to be commissioned Oct. 11 in San Francisco.[mappress]Press Release, October 06, 2014; Image: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Huey D. Younger Jr. View post tag: RAS Back to overview,Home naval-today Image of the Day: USNS Yukon, USS America RAS View post tag: USNS Yukon View post tag: USS America Share this articlelast_img read more

Dead Whale Stuck in Townsends Inlet

first_imgThis humpback whale was discovered floated dead in the waters in between Sea Isle City and Avalon. (Photos courtesy MMSC) By MADDY VITALEA dead 30-foot, two-ton, humpback whale is stuck in the mud in a shallow section of Townsends Inlet between Sea Isle City and Avalon and all marine experts and officials can do is wait until the currents move it.Bob Schoelkopf, director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, said the adult whale was discovered Thursday.“One of our volunteers was surf fishing and called us right up,” Schoelkopf said in an interview Friday with SeaIsleNews.com. “Unfortunately, it parked itself in the shallows of the inlet. We could have brought it in earlier when the waters were navigable, but they aren’t now.”On Thursday, members of the U.S. Coast Guard, along with members of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center went out to view the whale.“The Coast Guard put a tracking device on it,” Schoelkopf explained.As of Friday afternoon, the whale carcass was still in the same spot as it was the day before — in the mud, Schoelkopf said.There were a couple of reasons why the whale couldn’t be moved. The first was the danger. Sharks were feeding on the carcass. The waters in that area are shallow – chest deep and if the currents changed it could move the whale and pose a danger to the marine experts who would be trying to relocate it, Schoelkopf pointed out.So, for now, they wait.But the inevitability is it will end up on property either in Sea Isle or Avalon.And if it does, it will not be good for the residents, Schoelkopf said, adding that the sight and smell will not be pleasant.“It is still stuck in the mud in between Avalon and Sea Isle,” he said. “Since we just had a full moon tide, it might just sit there and decay.”If the animal does end up on land, Schoelkopf said that the center volunteers would be more than happy to assist the municipality with the handling of the remains and burying the whale.The whale is in shallow waters in Townsends Inlet.Over the last year, there were 12 incidents in which whales washed ashore or were spotting floating dead in the water. Schoelkopf said each year at about this time the figure is roughly the same.In some instances, whales wash up and MMSC volunteers bury the mammals right on the beaches. Necropsies are done as well. “I can tell you there are mammals buried on the beaches up and down the coast,” Schoelkopf said.However, at least at this stage considering where the whale is, it is too precarious to move the whale, he said.He hopes that the carcass will move with the current creating the possibility that it could be brought to land, examined and necropsied. Schoelkopf said the experts would be looking for fractures or broken bones or illness.He recalled an incident in Ocean City that happened years ago.“We buried a 30 foot sperm whale on the Ocean City beach on the Longport Bridge side of the island,” he said.In that instance, members of the stranding center towed the whale to the beach to safely bury it.“People lay out on the beach and they don’t even know they are on top of a whale,” Schoelkopf said. And while it is upsetting to some, death of marine life, like all other animal deaths, is just the circle of life.“Look it happens. Marine life dies,” Schoelkopf said. “People don’t see how many animals die at sea. It is just something that happens in life. But when humans see it, they gain more of a perspective about marine life.”The Marine Mammal Stranding Center is located in Brigantine and handles all of the state’s calls for assistance with marine life.With COVID-19, the center, made up of hundreds of volunteers, has seen a drastic cut in staff and donations, he emphasized.“We still have to pay for the same insurance, pay for the food for the animals. This is a tough year,” he said.To donate to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center visit www.mmsc.orgU.S. Coast Guard put a tracker tag on the carcass to locate it should currents lift it out of the sediment below.last_img read more

News story: The visit of Lord Astor of Hever to Oman

first_imgLord Astor of Hever, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy visited Oman on 11 – 15 February 2018. His role is to work with the UK Department for International Trade to support and encourage the growth of business links and partnerships between the UK and Oman, and to promote the UK as a trade partner of choice for Oman. His visit reinforced the importance the UK places on its bilateral trade relationship with Oman.During his visit, Lord Astor had meetings with a range of senior government and business officials. He had a series of key meetings with senior officials to discuss Oman – UK business trade relations and focused on education & training, touring the new Takatuf-Petrofac Oman Centre of Excellence and meeting with the National Training Fund to discuss vocational training. He also hosted an Oil & Gas networking reception and spoke about the strength of the bilateral relationship in oil and gas, both historically and looking forward.At the end of his visit, Lord Astor said:“I was pleased to visit Oman again in my role as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy. Oman is a country I have a long affinity with and it is important to the UK. As a Trade Envoy, I work closely with the Trade Team at the British Embassy in Muscat and organisations in the UK to help boost links and create opportunities for UK and Omani businesses to work together.The UK is the largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Oman by far, accounting for over 45% of total FDI. The majority of this investment is in the oil and gas sector in Oman, both in upstream exploration and production and, increasingly, in the development of downstream oil and gas industry. Bilateral cooperation on education and training, both within oil and gas and across the board, underpins economic development, and I am delighted to see British industry working with Omani institutions to deliver high quality training in Oman. There is a strong appetite in Oman to see more trade with the UK and we are keen to continue to build, strengthen and support that relationship.”last_img read more

Warrens Bakery raises money for Children in Need

first_imgWarrens Bakery has produced more than 50 special Pudsey Bear cakes as part of its drive to raise over £5,000 for Children in Need. Each store will have its own special Pudsey Bear cake as well as other fund raising activities. Different stores will be doing additional things to raise funds including visits from Pudsey Bear himself to dressing up and in-store competitions. Alison Christopher, who along with her colleague Alison Howard-Smith, made and iced all the cakes, said: “Last year we raised over £3,200, but this year every bakery has a special cake to raise funds. We are aiming to smash the record in style.”Alexandra Martin, retail director, said: “Our Celebration Cakes Department has worked really hard to provide lovely cakes and our wonderful bakery staff will be pushing the boat out for Pudsey. We hope everyone will dig deep for such a great cause.”Warrens is a traditional bakery, with two production sites and 50 stores throughout Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. It claims to be the oldest Cornish pasty producer in the world, the oldest bakery in Cornwall and one of the oldest artisan bakers in the United Kingdom.last_img read more

Jaden Carlson Joins Jans Ingber’s Funk Fellowship For Extra Funky Isley Brothers Cover In Denver [Watch]

first_imgSince leaving The Motet last year, Jans Ingber has been touring with his Funk Fellowship project, recruiting a rotating cast of musicians for funky dance parties at clubs around the country. Over the weekend, the collective made its way to Colorado for a night at Cervantes and a night at The Fox Theatre. The jams were plenty with a sensational crew of musicians, including Isaiah Sharkey (guitar), Sharay Reed (bass), Jarrod Lawson (vocals, keys), Jonathan Lee Stewart (saxophone), Alvin Ford Jr (drums), Steve Swatkins (keys), Kimberly Dawson (vocals), Ladamion Massey (vocals), Shane Endsley (trumpet), Scott Messersmith (percussion), and Will Trask (drums).On Saturday, young guitarist Jaden Carlson also joined the fun for a cover of “Layaway” by The Isley Brothers, keeping with the groove, laying down her impressive chops, and blowing the roof off Boulder’s Fox Theatre. There’s no denying the kid’s got talent, as she effortlessly fits in with the stage of masters for a 17+ minute jam. Luckily, someone was there to document the sit-in.Watch the full video below:Jans Ingber’s Funk Fellowship will make its way to the Brooklyn Bowl on January 21 with Rachael Price (vocals-Lake Street Dive), Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet/vocals-Trey Anastasio Band), Steveland Swatkins (keys-Allen Stone), Alwyn Robinson (drums-Leftover Salmon), Chris Chew (bass-The Word), Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum (sax-Dap Kings), Scott Metzger (guitar-Joe Russo’s Almost Dead), and vocalist Akie Bermiss. More information here.last_img read more

Tech-Sector Backlash Against U.S. Coal Bailout Plan

first_imgTech-Sector Backlash Against U.S. Coal Bailout Plan FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg News:Selling custom nose rings, crocheted bunnies and hand-carved Santas is energy-intensive stuff.Just ask Etsy Inc., the go-to marketplace for crafts that doubled its electricity use in two years to feed power-sucking data centers that keep the $2.8 billion-a-year business running. It’s one of the many technology giants including Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google demanding cheaper — and cleaner — electricity as their data demands grow.This hunger for power has set Silicon Valley on a collision course with the Trump administration, which is working up a plan to keep coal plants afloat by raising electricity prices. As a rare source of demand growth, these tech firms have become formidable advocates for clean energy. They’ve contracted enough renewable energy to displace at least 12 coal generators, and some are paying millions to sever ties with utilities to find their own supply.Big Tech is no longer “afraid to throw around their weight or their ability to influence — some might say bully — their local utility or local governments in what they want to get,” said Lucas Beran, a senior research analyst on IHS Markit’s data center and cloud team.It’s easy to see why the companies have become such advocates. Power used by all the nation’s data centers is set to climb 4 percent from 2014 to 2020, according to an Energy Department report. Server farms now draw enough electricity to light up Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada, twice over. Etsy alone used 10,679 megawatt-hours last year — enough to supply 1,000 homes.While coal still accounts for about a third of U.S. electricity, it’s losing ground to cheaper natural gas, wind and solar. Hundreds of mines have shut in recent years, and President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to revive them. His administration is now calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to enact a plan that would subsidize coal-fired power plants.This is part of a series looking at Trump’s plan to rescue coal. Read the last story here.In a letter last month, Etsy called on regulators to reject Trump’s plan, which it described as a barrier to “making creative entrepreneurship a path to economic security.” Separately, a group that includes Amazon and Microsoft Corp. said the administration is overlooking the potential of renewable power, grid technology and energy storage, warning that the proposal would create “burdensome out-of-market costs on consumers like our companies.”Their push for clean power extends well beyond Washington. Alphabet has called on utilities to create “buy-as-you-go” renewable energy programs. The demands of modern electricity consumers have outgrown the standard utility business model designed “for a bygone era,” it said in a white paper last year. The Mountain View, California-based company, which runs the world’s largest online search engine, has signed contracts to buy 2.6 gigawatts of renewable energy that it said will lead to $3.5 billion of investments.More: From Yarn Bunnies to Amazon, Tech Fights Trump Coal Planlast_img read more

Colombian Navy Focuses on Environmental Security and Defense

first_imgBy Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo November 08, 2016 The Colombian Navy is working throughout its territory to combat the illegal trafficking of flora and fauna and to protect Colombia’s unique and diverse natural resources. To effectively take action against and control illegal wildlife smuggling as well as illegal logging and wood trade, “the troops, through checkpoint operations at land and river routes, in coordination with the police, we have results every week,” said Marine Corps Colonel Carlos Enrique Montenegro, commander of the 1st Marine Corps Brigade in Corozal, Sucre. The Colombian Navy’s Strategic Environmental Plan 2013 – 2030 considers combating the illicit trade in wild species, regulating the irrational exploitation of natural resources, and protecting a variety of wildlife species in danger of extinction. So far in 2016, they have dealt a heavy blow to the finances of criminal groups operating in different areas of the country that are doing business in the illegal trafficking of natural resources. The Colombian Navy has also prevented the smuggling; sale, and exploitation of 11,899 living protected species and 4,212 cubic meters of wood. “The smuggling of wood and wildlife are some of the main drivers of the loss of non-renewable biodiversity in the country. These actions are linked to other types of illicit activities like drug trafficking,” said María Piedad Baptiste, researcher at Colombia’s Alexander Von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute to Diálogo. “The country is a target for extraction of wildlife species due to the demand that exists for these varieties at risk for extinction, both in legal and illegal trade,” stressed Baptiste. On the other hand, Colombia is considered the number one country in terms of global diversity of amphibians and birds, number two in plants, third in reptiles, and fifth in mammals, the Navy specified in its plan. Illegal smugglers Illegal smugglers of wild flora and fauna imprison live animals like capuchin monkeys, macaws, flamingos, turtles, capybaras, boas, oncillas, and various birds to sell them for thousands of dollars for use as pets, to the fashion industry, or for food. “There are exotic birds and mammals that could cost thousands of dollars,” indicated Col. Montenegro. These species are caught in different departments of the country to be transported to various regions around the world. Over 1,500 species of protected wild flora and fauna are trafficked illegally in Colombia according to SIB Colombia.net, a website on biodiversity. This activity results in the movement of approximately $ 22 billion worldwide each year, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2016 World Wildlife Crime Report. Along with drug trafficking and the smuggling of arms and people, this illegal activity is among the four major transnational crimes, according to the European Union’s Action Plan against Wildlife Trafficking, published on February 26th, 2016. The Police have identified these criminals as individuals who are organized in networks of smugglers, usually in groups of family members or friends. These groups have boats, farms, warehouses, and the vehicles they need to facilitate the transportation and trade operations of groups of gatherers (farmers, fishermen, and members of indigenous communities) of illegal wild flora and fauna. Illegal wood smuggling has also proliferated in Colombia. The most trafficked species are black cedar, Colombian palm, and carob, which are in danger of extinction. The forests of the Pacific and the Amazon are some of the favorite places for those who are behind this illegal commerce and who have connections in Asia, the Americas, and Europe. Working together Between August and October, troops from the 17th Battalion of the 1st Marine Corps Brigade executed an operation on the Magdalena River, Colombia’s main fluvial artery. By the end of August, they had already confiscated 1,200 cubic meters of different species of wood. The boards were tied in barge form and were transported by two 40-horsepower electric engines. “This is one of the largest seizures carried out by the Colombian Navy. We spent a month and a half transporting this wood. To date, we have recovered 600 cubic meters of boards, however, with the rains, the material has had a lot of damage,” said Col. Montenegro. Every month since July 15, 2015, the Colombian Armed Forces have been collaborating closely with the National Environmental Control Roundtable, comprising the specialized body of the Office of the Attorney General of the Nation, the Environmental Police, the Ministry of the Environment, National Parks, and the Association of Autonomous Regional Corporations and Sustainable Development. Col. Montenegro pointed out that these actions should be accompanied by a “stronger environmental policy in terms of penalties and the procedures that can be done to definitively root out smugglers”. The illegal smuggling of wild flora and fauna is penalized in Colombia by Law 1333 from 2009. Fines range from 5,000 minimum wages (some $ 1,100) up to prison terms of 4 or 9 years. “The penalties are very low,” added Col. Montenegro. Meanwhile, the Humboldt Institute is working to identify wildlife that has been the victim of illegal trafficking in the country through the use of barcodes. “This measure helps us have more control over the species, especially those that are endemic and endangered,” concluded Baptiste. This information is a very useful tool for the judicial and environmental authorities in their fight against criminals.last_img read more

Berger to Congress: Merchants’ EMV ploy is smoke and mirrors

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger told congressional leaders Thursday that merchants and other retailer groups are intentionally detracting from important data security issues by asking for a delay in the EMV liability shift as they wage a “smoke-and-mirrors campaign on ‘chip and PIN.’”The Food Marketing Institute is asking major credit card networks for a delay in the EMV liability shift, now set for October, due to “significant investments of both time and money” and the increased time it will take consumers to move through checkout lines with this new technology. Berger said such arguments by FMI and other merchant and retailer groups just distract from the issues at hand, “including stringent data safekeeping.” Berger wrote to leaders of the House and Senate.FMI’s request is “remarkable,” he wrote, given the growing number of merchant data breaches and lawmakers’ and regulators’ intense interest in this issue. He also reiterated findings of a NAFCU Economic & CU Monitor survey showing credit unions spent, on average, $226,000 and 1,600 hours last year on debit and credit card fraud issues arising from retailer data breaches.The conversation about EMV is important, Berger said, and merchants and retailers need to do their part. “Congress must act to ensure technology standards are accompanied by strong data safekeeping standards for merchants and retailers akin to what credit unions comply with under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA),” he urged. continue reading »last_img read more