Rattlesnakes can stand a bit of cold


This 2017 video from thed USA is called Explore The Western Diamondback Rattlesnake! | Real Wild.

From the University of California – Riverside in the USA:

Hot or cold, venomous vipers still quick to strike

Cold weather makes rattlesnakes more vulnerable — but not much

July 23, 2020

Most reptiles move slower when temperatures drop, but venomous rattlesnakes appear to be an exception. The cold affects them, but not as much as scientists expected.

“Many reptiles and other animals that rely on external sources of heat have muscles that don’t contract as well when temperature drops. We wanted to know if that was the case with rattlesnakes,” explained UC Riverside biologist Tim Higham.

To answer their question, Higham and a team from San Diego State University examined the speed at which rattlers struck out at perceived threats in temperature-controlled containers. The team’s work is detailed in a new paper published this week in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

The team investigated how quickly the snakes struck out to defend themselves when faced with predators, as this speed can make the difference between life and death in nature.

“Although humans often fear snakes, it is important to realize that snakes are vulnerable to predation by animals such as birds, mammals, and other snakes,” Higham said. “Defensive strikes are important for protecting them against predation.”

When placed in the experimental containers, the research team found that rattlers continued to strike quickly at a balloon filled with warm water that played the role of an intruder.

“By far, the hardest part of the study was working with snakes in the 35 C treatment,” said San Diego State University doctoral student Malachi Whitford, first author of the new study. “The snakes were extremely fast, making them very difficult to corral.”

The strike speed was affected when the temperature dropped, but not as much as the team thought it would be.

“We expected their strike to be about half as fast for every 10-degree drop in temperature, but they’re still able to uncoil and strike fairly rapidly, even at our lowest test temperatures,” said SDSU ecologist and research team member Rulon Clark.

At most, the snakes were about 25 percent slower at the lowest temperature. The finding means that pit vipers, the type of rattlesnake studied, are slightly more vulnerable to real or perceived threats in colder temperatures but not by a lot.

This might help explain how rattlesnakes can thrive even in cooler climates like southern Canada. It also suggests that the snakes are using a mechanism other than just muscles in order to strike, as muscle movement becomes more difficult in the cold.

Kangaroos use tendons like elastic bands to bounce and hop without using much energy, the way that humans use a bow and arrow. The findings suggest that snakes may also be storing elastic energy somehow.

“Striking in any way is important to do quickly,” Higham said. “As global temperatures increase, it’s possible that snakes will become even more effective predators.”

Racism, police brutality, resistance in the USA


This 26 July 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Republican Senator Tom Cotton Calls Slavery a “Necessary Evil”

Earlier today, in outlining why he wants to prevent public schools from teaching material from The New York Times 1619 project, Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton called slavery necessary and suggested that the roots of American society are not based on racial inequality: “As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built”.

This is ugly thinking, and it is false. But he is also showing hypocrisy because trying to silence material in schools is exactly what Cotton would attack left-wing cancel culture for.

TOM COTTON CALLS SLAVERY ‘A NECESSARY EVIL’ Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) called slavery the nation’s “necessary evil” while discussing how it should be taught in schools. “We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country,” Cotton said. “As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built.” Instead of portraying America as “an irredeemably corrupt, rotten and racist country,” the nation should be viewed as “imperfect and flawed,” but the “greatest and noblest country in the history of mankind,” he added. [HuffPost]

Teachers are creating anti-racist curriculums that challenge the status quo.

SUSPECT IN CUSTODY AFTER AUSTIN PROTESTER SHOT DEAD A suspect is in custody following the fatal shooting of an anti-racism demonstrator in Austin, Texas, police said. The victim’s mother identified him as Garrett Foster. Witnesses said Foster was killed shortly before 10 p.m. by a motorist who had threatened protesters with his car. Police said they believe Foster was armed and had approached the car before being shot. [HuffPost]

Woman lists the microaggressions she and her Black husband encounter daily.

TRUMP’S FEDERAL COPS STEAL LEAF BLOWER IDEA FROM PORTLAND PROTESTERS Protesters calling themselves “Fathers Against Fascism” joined the “Wall of Moms” last week with garden leaf blowers to blast tear gas back at federal forces. Days later, the federal agents assailing the protesters appeared with their own leaf blowers, sparking a war of the noisy yard appliances. [HuffPost]

This 26 July 2020 video from the USA is called “Wall Of Veterans” Joins “Portland Moms” To Help Protect Protesters In Portland!

Mutual aid among animals


This 2009 video says about itself:

Kropotkin on ants & mutual aid

A few excerpts from Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution.

Ants seem to be evolutionarily much more successful than us due to their social organization. They’ve been around for hundreds of millions of years, and will probably be around way after we’re gone. I think this may provide some food for thought to the egoistic, laissez faire propertarians who dislike communal and altruistic tendencies.

From the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Germany:

How does cooperation evolve?

Researchers unravel why organisms frequently help each other

July 23, 2020

Summary: In nature, organisms often support each other in order to gain an advantage. However, this kind of cooperation appears to contradict the theory of evolution proposed by Charles Darwin: Why would organisms invest valuable resources to help others? Instead, they should rather use them for themselves, in order to win the evolutionary competition with other species.

A new study led by Prof. Dr. Christian Kost from the Department of Ecology at the Osnabrueck University now solved this puzzle. The results of the study were published in the scientific journal Current Biology. The research project was performed in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena.

Interactions between two or more organisms, in which all partners involved gain an advantage, are ubiquitous in nature and have played a key role in the evolution of life on Earth. For example, root bacteria fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, thus making it available to plants. In return, the plant supplies its root bacteria with nutritious sugars. However, it is nevertheless costly for both interaction partners to support each other. For example, the provision of sugar requires energy, which is then not available to the plant anymore. From this results the risk of cheating interaction partners that consume the sugar without providing nitrogen in return.

The research team led by Prof. Dr. Christian Kost used bacteria as a model system to study the evolution of mutual cooperation. At the beginning of the experiment, two bacterial strains could only grow when they provided each other with essential amino acids. Over the course of several generations, however, the initial exchange of metabolic byproducts developed into a real cooperation: both partners increased the production of the exchanged amino acids in order to benefit their respective partner. Even though the increased amino acid production enhanced growth when both partners were present, it was extremely costly when individual bacterial strains had to grow without their partner.

The observed changes were caused by the fact that individual bacterial cells had assembled into multicellular clusters. In these cell groups, cooperative mutants were rewarded. The more resources they invested in the growth of other cells, the more nutrients they received in return from their partners.

“This kind of feedback represents a previously unknown mechanism, which promotes the evolution of cooperative interactions between two different organisms,” says Prof. Dr. Christian Kost, leader of the study. Although the study was performed with bacteria in a test tube, the mechanism discovered can most likely explain the evolution of cooperation in many different ecological interactions.

COVID-19 in Donald Trump’s USA


This 25 July 2020 video says about itself:

The United States Has It Wrong When It Comes To Virus Testing

Countries across the world are having some success at controlling the spread of COVID-19, but not here in the Unites States. States like Arizona, Florida and Texas are seeing record-breaking numbers at almost a daily rate. David Wallace-Wells from New York Magazine joins Sam Seder to explain why we failed to keep up with the rest of the world.

TRUMP ADMIN. OFFICIAL DEFENDS TESTING DESPITE WIDESPREAD DELAYS Adm. Brett Giroir, a member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, refused to admit that the administration is not doing enough to boost testing capacity. During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, he attributed widespread frustration over delayed tests to would-be travelers. “‘I feel like going somewhere, so I need a test.’ That is not where we are,” Giroir said. There is no evidence prospective travelers are responsible for the surge in tests. [HuffPost]

WEARING MASKS IS MORE POPULAR AND LESS PARTISAN THAN YOU’D THINK An increasingly broad majority of Americans are wearing masks in public, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, which finds far more of a consensus on the benefits of masks than high-profile skirmishing over the issue might suggest. Democrats, especially, are prone to overstate the level of GOP opposition to masks, the survey finds. Seventy-seven percent of Americans say that generally people should wear face masks around others. A similar 71% say they would favor a government rule where they live requiring people to wear a face mask when in public around other people. [HuffPost]

Death certificate of Trump adviser Stephen Miller’s grandmother says coronavirus — but he denies it.

WORKERS WILL ‘SIT HOME’ ON TOO MUCH UNEMPLOYMENT AID, COMPLAINS STEVE MNUCHIN Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attacked continuing enhanced benefits for unemployed Americans by complaining that workers will “sit home” collecting the money. “It wouldn’t be fair to use taxpayer dollars to pay more people to sit home than they would get working and get a job,” Mnuchin told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. Critics blasted Mnuchin as an out-of-touch, ultra-wealthy multimillionaire who was grilled at his nomination hearing for shortchanging the same U.S. taxpayers with offshore tax havens sheltering his money. [HuffPost]

HURRICANE HANNA PUMMELS TEXAS COAST Hanna, the first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic season, left a trail of destruction along the Texas coast, downing power lines, flooding streets and toppling 18-wheeler trucks as torrential rains threatened the area. Hanna came ashore on Padre Island on Saturday afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale of intensity and later made a second landfall in Kenedy County, Texas. It swept through a part of the state hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. By Sunday, it had weakened to a tropical depression. [Reuters]

TRUMP TO SKIP YANKEES PITCH BECAUSE OF ‘STRONG FOCUS ON THE CHINA VIRUS’ Trump on Sunday backed out of his commitment to throw out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game with the Boston Red Sox, claiming he’ll be busy addressing what he called the “China virus” — meaning COVID-19. Trump had said on Thursday that he would throw out the ceremonial pitch on Aug. 15. The turnabout came a day after Yankees players Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks took a knee during the national anthem before a game at Washington’s Nationals Park in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. [HuffPost]

Travelling while Asian during the pandemic.

Sexual diversity among animals


This 27 July 2020 Dutch video, with English subtitles, from Artis zoo in Amsterdam in the Netherlands says about itself (translated):

The Pride week has started. Nature is a lot more diverse than people think. ARTIS biologist Charlotte talks about gender reassignment and same-sex couples in fish, flamingos and giraffes. 🦩🐠🦒 ARTIS wishes everyone a great Pride. 🏳️‍🌈🌈 Nature can teach us a lot about sexual diversity, read our article at www.artis.nl/pride to find out more.

Leftist football clubs worldwide


This July 2010 video says about itself:

ANTIFA FOOTBALL TEAMS EUROPE. UNITED WE STAND AGAINST RACISM AND WHITE PRIDE. FUCK NAZIS. SEXISM SUCKS. ACAB. ANTIFA HOOLIGANS. GATE 9 ST PAULI MARSEILLE ULTRAS HAPOEL ULTRAS INFERNO WERDER BREMEN LIVORNO SEVILLA OMONOIA AC CHE GUEVARA

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 26 July 2020:

Leftist clubs around the world

SOME of the biggest clubs in the world have strong leftist elements, like Celtic, Liverpool, Boca Juniors and Olympique de Marseille.

Meanwhile German second-tier outfit St Pauli remains a global lightning rod for the left’s football network, with fan groups across the globe from Buffalo to Belfast, and friendships with clubs throughout Europe, many of whom we have covered in this series.

Then there are less well known but equally passionate antifa fan groups around the world, from Standard Liege (Belgium), Adana Demirspor (Turkey), Virtus Verona (Italy), Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders (United States) and Tennis Borussia Berlin (Germany), to non-league clubs like Clapton in east London and Altona 93 in Hamburg.

Big fruit-eating Tonga pigeon, now extinct


Tongoenas burleyi (right) likely featured the brightly coloured plumage of other canopy-dwelling pigeons on the Pacific islands. On the left is the Kanaka pigeon (Caloenas canacorum), another large extinct Tongan species. Image credit: Danielle Byerley

Tongoenas burleyi (right) likely featured the brightly coloured plumage of other canopy-dwelling pigeons on the Pacific islands. On the left is the Kanaka pigeon (Caloenas canacorum), another large extinct Tongan species. Image credit: Danielle Byerley.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History in the USA:

Giant, fruit-gulping pigeon eaten into extinction on Pacific islands

July 22, 2020

A large fruit-eating bird from Tonga joins the dodo in the lineup of giant island pigeons hunted to extinction.

Fossils show that Tongoenas burleyi, a newly described genus and species, inhabited the Pacific islands for at least 60,000 years, but vanished within a century or two of human arrival around 2,850 years ago.

Unlike the dodo and the extinct Viti Levu giant pigeon of Fiji, however, T. burleyi could fly. This canopy-dwelling species co-evolved with fruit-bearing trees in the mango, guava and chinaberry families, acting as an essential forest cultivator by spreading seeds to new locations. The size of a large duck, Tongoenas burleyi was likely capable of swallowing fruit as big as a tennis ball, said study lead author David Steadman, curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

“Some of these trees have big, fleshy fruit, clearly adapted for a big pigeon to gulp whole and pass the seeds,” Steadman said. “Of the fruit-eating pigeons, this bird is the largest and could have gulped bigger canopy fruit than any others. It takes co-evolution to the extreme.”

The absence of T. burleyi from the Tongan islands could threaten the long-term survival of local trees that depended on the pigeon as a seed transporter, said study co-author Oona Takano, a doctoral student at the University of New Mexico.

“T. burleyi provided an important service by moving seeds to other islands,” said Takano, who was previously a research assistant at the Florida Museum. “The pigeon species on Tonga today are too small to eat large fruits, which imperils certain fruit trees.”

When Steadman first found T. burleyi fossils in a cave on the Tongan island of ‘Eua, he was immediately impressed by their size: The bird was about 20 inches long, not including the tail, and weighed at least five times as much as the average city pigeon.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, I’ve never seen a pigeon that big,'” Steadman said. “It was clearly something different.”

Once he and archaeologist David Burley of Simon Fraser University — who is also the species’ namesake — began excavating charred and broken remains of T. burleyi at archaeological sites, “we knew it was another human-caused extinction,” Steadman said. “Pigeons and doves just plain taste good.”

Columbids, the family that includes pigeons and doves, had few predators or competitors before people reached the Pacific islands, he said. The region was devoid of primates and carnivores such as cats, dogs and weasels, and hawks and owls were absent from many islands. The birds flourished in this nurturing environment, diversifying over the past 30-40 million years.

Today, the Pacific islands are the global epicenter of pigeon and dove diversity, with more than 90 species, ranging from fruit doves as light as a handful of raisins to the turkey-sized, ground-dwelling crowned pigeon of New Guinea. But the number and distribution of birds in the region is a shadow of what it once was, Steadman said. Tonga’s four remaining species of pigeons and doves represent less than half of the islands’ historic diversity.

“This is another example of how looking at the modern fauna doesn’t yield a complete picture of a region’s diversity,” he said.

Steadman and Takano analyzed the features of columbid hindlimbs, dividing them into three groups: tree-dwelling species, ground-dwellers and those that live both on the ground and in trees. Pigeons and doves that spend most of their time in the canopy tend to have shorter legs, more suitable for perching and gripping in high winds. Those that forage for seeds on the ground have longer legs adapted for walking and running. Birds that flit between the understory and the forest floor have legs that are a blend of the characteristics of the other two groups.

The researchers found surprising agreement between the groupings based on leg characteristics and molecular data: In other words, canopy-dwelling pigeons tend to be more closely related to one another than to birds in the other two groups.

“Given that there are 350 species of pigeons and doves, people might suspect these big changes in lifestyle evolved independently many times,” Steadman said. “But right now, we don’t have evidence that it happened more than once — at least in the tropical Pacific.”

The relatively short hindlimbs of T. burleyi mark it as a canopy-dwelling species. Steadman hypothesized the species featured the bright, even gaudy, plumage of other pigeons that live in treetops, where intense colors provide better camouflage than the muted browns and grays of pigeons that live on the ground.

The researchers dedicated the study to the memory of W. Arthur “Art” Whistler, whose expertise in West Polynesian botany was unsurpassed, Steadman said. Whistler died from COVID-19 in April.

“There wasn’t a plant on Fiji or Tonga that Art didn’t know, including all of the pigeon-dispersed fruits,” Steadman said. “He was a true plant nerd and complete salt of the earth. He always made time for people.”

Elon Musk, United States billionaire and warmonger


This 21 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Elon Musk’s SpaceX wins $300M Pentagon contract

The US Department of Defense has awarded the United Launch Alliance $441.7 million, while $297 million was awarded to SpaceX to expand US space exploration. RT America’s Ashlee Banks reports on this development.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Elon Musk embodies the unity of capitalism and imperial war

IT IS an almost unbelievable expression of late imperial arrogance for the entrepreneur and futuristic motor manufacturer Elon Musk to boast that the entity that he represents can carry out a coup wherever it fancies.

It cannot of course — large parts of the world are closed off to Yankee imperialism and even in its traditional backyard, Latin America, the sway of the mighty dollar is much reduced.

Even right-wing and authoritarian leaders in Latin America would pay their respects to Fidel Castro because they knew that every inch of breathing space that Cuba’s resistance created was an inch of territorial integrity for them, a small space in which they would be able to take decisions in their own interest rather than that of the big neighbour to the north.

The US deploys an enormous armoury of weapons and mechanisms to limit the independence and autonomy of the peoples of the Southern Cone, of Central America and even the Caribbean where traditionally British imperialism held the decisive power.

With the integration of British and US capital, it is almost axiomatic that Anglo-American imperialism is a partnership of profits to be made at the expense of the working people of the region.

But over recent decades, country after country, people after people have found ways to displace the satraps and local placemen who served US interests and have instituted a wide range of progressive measures that have lifted millions out of poverty and raised hopes that further progress could be made.

The Bolivian coup is the latest attempt to reverse this tide of progress and it is instructive that, although the local right was able to displace the president-elect and was able to capture part of the machinery of government, in vast parts of the country the forces of popular power and socialism of a particular Bolivian kind hold the loyalty and affection of the people.

Election date after election date has been deferred, the latest reason being the Covid-19 pandemic for fear that the popular masses will recapture popular power.

This is the new reality in Latin America — the state is feared but the people are no longer cowed and in the months and years to come we will see the revolutionary process mature and the skills of government and the exercise of power will be more skilfully employed by the revolutionary forces of each of these states.

This is not to underestimate the difficulties.

The reduction in oil prices has put obstacles in the way of Venezuela’s progress and in Colombia it is still dangerous to be a trade unionist or a community activist.

But the pressure of international solidarity, the example of Cuba, the resurgence of the popular mood in Brazil, all these factors are signs that the US and local reaction don’t it have it their own way.

Britain, of course, has a lousy record in these parts. From the undemocratic overthrow by the colonial authorities of Cheddi Jagan’s government in Guyana to the military aid New Labour gave the Colombian ultras, British imperial interests have a way of dominating our government’s foreign policies in this region.

We can do something about this — we must do something about it.

Lisa Nandy must put Britain’s Labour Party on the side of progress. Now is the time to deploy the basics of an ethical foreign policy of solidarity with the people of Latin America.

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout in Nevada, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

The Pyramid Lake Lahontan Cutthroat Trout was declared extinct in the 1940’s as a result of a badly planned diversion dam on the Truckee River. Built with no consideration of the downstream Indigenous Peoples of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and their cherished homeland, the dam desiccated the lake and destroyed the habitat of its native fish. However, the fish made a near-impossible return, aided by the efforts of biologists, tribal litigators, and a carpenter.

This documentary was completed as part of a graduate study in media innovation at the University of Nevada, Reno. It premiered at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, California in January of 2019.

From the University of Nevada, Reno in the USA:

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout thrive at Paiute’s Summit Lake in far northern Nevada

July 22, 2020

Summit Lake in remote northwest Nevada is home to the only self-sustaining, robust, lake population of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, North America’s largest freshwater native trout species. Research to understand the reasons why this population continues to thrive, where others have not, will be used to protect the fish and its habitat — as well as to apply the knowledge to help restore other Nevada lakes that once had bountiful numbers of the iconic fish that historically reached 60 pounds.

A team of researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno and the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe has been studying the watershed ecosystem and recently authored two papers published in scientific journals describing their findings about the relatively small desert terminal lake.

This project is part of a 9-year collaboration to conserve habitats and promote a healthy ecosystem for the lake. University researchers Sudeep Chandra and Zeb Hogan — as well as students from their aquatics ecosystems lab and Global Water Center — work with the tribe’s Natural Resources Department, formerly led by fish biologist William Cowan before he retired from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“An objective to implement holistic management at Summit Lake is to blend science with traditional knowledge to protect and conserve natural ecologic processes, species diversity and tribal cultural practices,” Cowan said. “The partnership with the Global Water Center, as well as many other researchers, agencies, and organizations has complemented this objective by implementing science-based research and technological advances to investigate the viability of trout in the Summit Lake watershed.”

Monitoring data, including climate, hydrology, fish and wildlife population trends and habitat integrity, is used to develop, revise or validate the tribe’s management plans and regulations. This approach is a stark contrast to when the lake ecosystem and associated resources were at risk of irreversible impacts caused by non-point source pollution, irrigation diversions, livestock grazing, and the unknown affects caused by exporting trout eggs for establishment or supplementation of other populations.

“Our team at the University wants to support the efforts initiated by the Summit Lake Tribe,” Chandra, a professor in the College of Science, said. “Our goals are to assist them in developing their science-based program to protect Nevada’s only strong, self-sustaining lake population of Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. We believe that investigations in this robust ecosystem like Summit, where there is little human impact, could improve recovery efforts in other lake systems that are less fortunate and that have lost their trout like the Walker and Tahoe. Surprisingly there are still few comparative investigations of these lake ecosystems and how they could support trout during a time for increasing global changes.”

The Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, with its crimson red-orange slash marks on the throat under the jaw and black spots scattered over steel gray to olive green scales, is Nevada’s state fish and holds a cultural significance to the Summit Lake Paiute Tribe while providing the tribe with bountiful food and fish resources.

As an important traditional food source, Lahontan Cutthroat Trout composed a large part of Tribal member’s diets and were the focus of many gatherings held to honor the fish and to learn oral history, traditional practices, and cultural resources from elders of the tribe.

“The tribe has exercised their sovereignty to protect, manage and enhance tribal homelands, including the lake ecosystem and associated resources by working with federal agencies and other organizations that enable the tribe to holistically manage and protect the land, water and resources that fish, wildlife and tribal members depend on for survival,” Cowan said.

Climate Change, drought impacts watershed

The lake is about one square mile of surface area, has a mean depth of 20 feet with the southern end generally deeper with about 50 feet of depth at the deepest. The lake elevation decreased about 13 feet during the severe drought in the western United States that lasted from 2012 to 2016.

“One thing we learned is that the climatically induced drought can change the hydrology, or flow of water and connections of stream to lake, but even with these changes, the trout populations remain relatively stable in the lake,” Chandra said. “They look for the opportunity to spawn every year and likely wait for better conditions with higher flows for better access to upstream spawning grounds.

“So it is critical to support the tribe’s efforts to protect the watershed and understand how the long term changes in water resources, like the flow of water, will change with pending climate change projections for the Great Basin.”

James Simmons, doctoral student with the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology program at the University said the population appears resilient to today’s climate disturbances/drought, which is very positive, but should the frequency and severity of drought increase in the future, will the population remain resilient in the face of continued low abundance, survival, spawners and a skewed sex ratio.

“I think the key going forward will be for the tribe to try to understand how the long-term flow of water in the watershed will be impacted by the future changing climate in the Great Basin — so that the tribe can formulate a game plan to get ahead of any potential negative repercussions,” he said. “Like cutthroat populations across the western U.S., this population faces unknown impacts from climate change.

“Declining abundance and diverging male and female abundance under changing drought cycles and conditions may have negative long term consequences. The prediction of increased frequency, severity and duration of drought and an increased percentage of rain may decrease abundance, reduce the effective population size and skew the sex ratio at Summit Lake.”

The research team found that connections between the upper watershed and the lake are essential for maintaining a healthy population during a drought. During the drought of 2012-2016, Summit Lake had a strong, stable population of naturally reproducing Lahontan Cutthroat Trout. The numbers of trout spawning up Mahogany Creek, one of the lake’s only inflow streams, was also relatively stable in number. Some of the trout in the lake migrated all the way to the upper watershed, about eight miles.

“Lahontan Cutthroat Trout can live in streams and lakes,” Chandra said. “The trout that live in lakes need rivers to spawn to keep their populations healthy. The numbers do show with little to no major changes to the watershed by human development, there is still a highly variable amount of spawning from lake to stream.”

Stream flow studied

Adequate stream flow is necessary for spawning and movement to the lake-dwelling component of the population. In rivers where flow is regulated, enough flow must be preserved in the spring to allow “lake spawners” to come upstream and in the fall to allow juveniles to migrate to the lake.

“Healthy habitat and ecological connectivity between habitats, such as no man-made migration barriers and adequate stream flow, should be preserved throughout as much of the watershed as possible (and of course between the stream and the lake) to facilitate movement for both stream- and lake-dwelling fish, and to support a robust overall population,” Teresa Campbell, a biologist and staff researcher in the University’s Global Water Center and lead author of one of the scientific papers, said.

“Strong connectivity between healthy stream and lake habitats is crucially important to the long-term survival of the Summit Lake Lahontan Cutthroat Trout because it seems that the exchange of individual fish across habitats contributes to the resilience and vitality of the population as a whole.”

The study also found that in drought-prone systems, streams should have adequate pool habitat and cover such as trees and woody debris to provide a refuge area from the drought and cooler temperatures for trout.

“During the drought, in the stream, these refuge pools with structure in the form of wood, cobbles, or boulders supported higher densities of stream-dwelling trout,” Campbell said. “Therefore, this habitat type is an important component of healthy stream habitat for trout.”

Forward thinking on the part of the tribe led to early habitat protections for the stream and the lake that now contribute to the success of this population. The tribe took measures to protect much of the stream habitat, erecting grazing enclosures in the 70s that prevented cattle from trampling the stream and allowed the stream to recover into the healthy habitat it is now. This is one of the reasons that trout are thriving here.

“The lake and surface water on the Reservation are further protected by restricting public access and monitoring resources necessary to sustain endemic species diversity in the area,” Cowan said.

The Summit Lake Paiute Tribe Reservation is the most remote Native American reservation in Nevada. Located in the northwest corner of Nevada, the reservation is 50 miles south of the Oregon border and 70 miles east of the California border.

Billionaire Elon Musk supports Bolivian coup regime


This 24 July 2020 video says about itself:

The US-Supported Coup in Bolivia: Revealing and Tragic – System Update with Glenn Greenwald

This week on System Update, Glenn Greenwald hosts an in-depth exploration of the 2019 military coup that toppled Bolivia’s democratically elected President Evo Morales, the ongoing repression there, and what it reveals about US propaganda.

We speak with Bolivia-based activist Kathryn Ledebur, director of the Andean Information Network, about the situation on the ground, and from Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic & Policy Research, about the role of the OAS in legitimizing the coup.

By Steve Sweeney, 26 July 2020:

Elon Musk under fire after expressing support for Bolivian coup

BILLIONAIRE Tesla owner Elon Musk has come under fire after welcoming last year’s overthrow of Bolivian president Evo Morales in what was seen as a bid to obtain the country’s lithium reserves.

In response to a tweet on Saturday that accused the US government of forcing Mr Morales out, allowing Mr Musk to access Bolivian resources, he wrote: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.”

Hundreds of Bolivia’s indigenous population were massacred following what was branded “a fascist coup” against Mr Morales, who is currently in exile in Argentina.