Las Vegas leopard frog not extinct


This video says about itself:

10,000th Chiricahua leopard frog reared at the Phoenix Zoo to be released by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Release took place in the Tonto National Forest near Payson, AZ. A total of 1,700 frogs were released on August 23,2010.

From the New York Times in the USA:

A Las Vegas native thought to have been extinct for decades is alive and living in Arizona.

The Vegas Valley leopard frog was last seen in 1942, and officially declared extinct in 1996. The development of the city of Las Vegas is thought to have been the main factor in the species’ demise.

Now researchers report in Conservation Genetics that the frog is genetically identical to a lineage of the Chiricahua leopard frog found in the Mogollon Rim of central Arizona.

Honk for Saudi women video


This is a video from the USA about a women’s solidarity action with Saudi Arabian women‘s actions for the right to drive cars.

Are Saudi Women Next? Mai Yamani, Project Syndicate: “The unexpected visibility and assertiveness of women in the revolutions unfolding across the Arab world – in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and elsewhere – has helped propel what has become variously known as the ‘Arab awakening’ or ‘Arab Spring.’ Major changes have occurred in the minds and lives of women, helping them to break through the shackles of the past, and to demand their freedom and dignity”: here.

Elephant born in Amsterdam zoo


Elephant baby Mumba

This morning, an Asian elephant baby was born in Artis zoo in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The 90 kilogram heavy female is called Mumba.

Artis zoo is 173 years old now. Mumba is only the third time ever that an elephant has been born there.

The dynamics of social networks among female Asian elephants: here.

September 2011: A two-month-old female elephant calf has been rescued and reunited with its mother after becoming stuck in a tea-garden ditch in Assam, India: here.

July 2011. The owner of an African art store in Philadelphia, Victor Gordon, has been arrested on charges of conspiracy, smuggling and Lacey Act violations related to the illegal importation and sale of African elephant ivory. As part of the government’s investigation, federal agents seized approximately one ton of elephant ivory – one of the largest U.S. seizures of elephant ivory on record: here.

Zoo officials trying to set up the first elephant sperm bank in the US say they hope South Africa will shortly approve a shipment of 16 litres of elephant semen to Pittsburgh Zoo: here.

Young elephant struck by idea: Insightful 7-year-old moves cube to snag fruity treat: here.

Bull elephants’ social behavior varies with the rainfall: here.

Fukushima disaster and the media


This video is called Fukushima melt-through – DANGER.

Three months after the March 11 earthquake that devastated northern Japan, the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant is far from over. Yet the worst nuclear disaster since the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown in the Ukraine has all but disappeared from the media, amid a concerted effort to play down its implications and cover up the underlying causes: here.

Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered ‘melt-through’, Japan admits: here.

From the Wall Street Jounal in the USA:

JUNE 18, 2011, 1:08 A.M. ET

Tepco Suspends Water Treatment Operation

By DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI

TOKYO—Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, said it halted the use of a new system for decontaminating highly radioactive water after levels of radiation in one part of the system rose faster than expected.

The suspension came only five hours after Tepco started operation of the system, which aims to reduce the vast amounts of irradiated water at the facility. The pools of highly radioactive water are a major obstacle to stabilizing the stricken power plant.

The latest hiccup reflects the ongoing struggle to get the reactors stabilized even as Tepco stands by its target of achieving a “cold shutdown” of the three most damaged reactors by mid-January 2012.

Tepco started operation of the new system, which incorporates U.S. and French technology, at 8 p.m. local time Friday, and then halted its use at 12:54 a.m. local time Saturday.

A Tepco spokesman said it is still unclear when it will restart the decontamination system.

The problem stemmed from the levels of radiation in a machine designed to absorb cesium. The radiation levels had reached a stage requiring a change of the filtering cartridges.

Tepco said it found that one of the cartridges was clogged with radioactive sludge and it is now trying to flush down the clogs in order to resume normal operations.

Separately, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said it has verified the implementation of additional safety steps at nuclear power plants in Japan. More than 30 of Japan’s 54 commercial reactors are not in operation because checkups on the plants had not been completed following the March 11 disasters.

The government also implemented additional safety measures in the case of damage to the reactor cores such as steps to prevent hydrogen explosions from happening inside the facilities. In order to resume operation at an idle reactor, local communities around the plants must now sign off on the resumption of service.

The ministry’s announcement excludes the Fukushima Daiichi facility.

US orders news blackout over crippled Nebraska Nuclear Plant: report here.

Radioactive Tritium Leaks Found at 48 US Nuclear Sites: here.

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) routinely fails to detect leaks of radioactive water from power plants and such leaks are likely to continue, a Senate report concluded on Tuesday: here.