New lizard species discovered in Cuba


Aristelliger reyesiFrom Wildlife Extra:

New Species of lizard discovered in Cuba

12/05/2009 12:01:29

May 2009. A new species of lizard has been discovered in Cuba. The lizard is found in the bushes and forest of a protected park and has been called “Aristelliger reyesi“.

The finding shows that Cuba’s biodiversity still holds surprises, for that reason inventories and biological monitoring actions should be further facilitated, said Luis M. Diaz, researcher with Cuba’s National Museum of Natural History.

The Aristelliger contain seven Caribbean species and, surprisingly, its closest relatives come from Africa, which means that its origin could be very ancient.

The Aristelliger reyesi grows up to 13 centimetres long, with males being larger than females. The head is crossed by a black stripe that reaches the forelegs.

Cuban Radio Rebelde on this: here.

Cuba – accidental Eden: The economic embargo has helped its natural environments and wildlife: here.

Ecotourism taking roots in Turquino-Bayamesa, Cuba: here.

New species discovered in 2007: here.

The International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University and an international committee of taxonomists – scientists responsible for species exploration and classification – today announce the top 10 new species described in 2008: here.

It’s amazing enough that lizards can shed their tails as a decoy for predators and entertainment for young boys. But a new study of geckos documents an incredible set of acrobatics that these severed tails perform: here.

Little terns in England


This video is about little terns in Australia.

From Wildlife Extra:

Great Yarmouth little terns get beach patrol

12/05/2009 23:08:16

Volunteers on the beach to help rare birds

May 2009. Volunteers will be busy on the beach at Great Yarmouth until mid-August, helping to protect the UK’s largest colony of little terns.

A team of volunteers and wardens from the RSPB and Natural England will be putting up a 700 metre fence on North Denes beach to protect the rare seabirds as they lay their eggs on the beach. The team will patrol the beach night and day to ward off predators and keep the eggs and chicks safe from harm.

23 years

This summer will be the 23rd year of the scheme to protect little terns at Great Yarmouth and Winterton Dunes. The joint efforts of the RSPB, Natural England and Great Yarmouth Borough Council help to protect the vulnerable birds from predators and disturbance while they raise their chicks.

300 pairs of little terns

Every May, around 300 pairs of little terns make the arduous journey from Africa to nest on the beach at North Denes and at Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve. North Denes hosts the largest breeding colony of little terns in Britain, with around 10% of the UK population choosing to nest at this site.

There are now about 60 little terns in Langstone Harbour, many of which are exploring the new shingle areas, with some already sitting on nests: here.

Damselflies and storks


Today, to the nature reserve.

The two white storks, both standing on their nest.

Near the castle moat, blue-tailed damselflies in love tandems.

Sounds of blackbird, green woodpecker, chaffinch, robin, chiffchaff.

A speckled wood butterfly, sitting on a stinging nettle leaf.

US government won’t publish torture photos


This video from the USA says, according to “LiberalViewer” who posted it:

Last week, when the American Civil Liberties Union (of which I am a proud member) got the Obama Administration to release four memos from the Bush Administration’s Justice Department that described and purported to legally justify various torture techniques, the contrasting coverage on Fox News and MSNBC news commentary shows (e.g. “The O’Reilly Factor” and “The Rachel Maddow Show”) provided a good example of the different level of bias at Fox News compared to the level of bias found at other networks.

You can find the four torture memos from the Bush Administration’s Justice Department on the ACLU’s website at http://www.aclu.org/safefree/general/olc_memos.html

You can find the full April 17, 2009, segment of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” from which I took 2 short clips for my video at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/30271978

You can find the full April 17, 2009, segment of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” from which I took a short clip for my video at http://www.foxnews.com/search-results/m/22115673/talking-points-4-17.htm

And, finally, as always, you can find DOZENS and DOZENS more examples of Fox News bias on my Fox News bias playlist on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=A3BD2524FE99BD4D

By Bill Van Auken in the USA:

Obama bows to Republican right and military on torture photos

14 May 2009

The Obama administration’s decision Wednesday to renege on its promise to comply with a court order and release photographs of US personnel torturing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan represents another capitulation by his administration to mounting pressure from the right and the military-intelligence apparatus.

See also here. And here.

Obama Makes Terrible Mistake by Not Releasing Pictures: here.

Psychologists warned of abusive interrogations, then helped craft them: here. And here.

On June 18, 2009, the American Psychological Association [APA] Board issued an Open Letter on the subject of psychologists’ involvement in abusive national security interrogations: here.

Protecting Psychologists Who Harm: The APA’s Latest Wrong Turn. Roy Eidelson, Truthout: “Shortly after learning about the American Psychological Association’s (APA) late February announcement of its new Member-Initiated Task Force to Reconcile Policies Related to Psychologists’ Involvement in National Security Settings, I found my thoughts turning to the School of the Americas, Blackwater and perhaps even more surprisingly, the Patagonian toothfish. Those may seem like a strange threesome, but they share one important thing in common. All have undergone a thorough repackaging and renaming in a marketing effort aimed at obscuring – but not altering – some ugly truth”: here.