United States nazis attack Bernie Sanders


This 7 March 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Protester interrupts Sanders rally with Nazi flag

A protester unfurled a Nazi flag at an Arizona campaign rally for Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish.

From the Jewish Telegraph agency in the USA:

Bernie Sanders’ Florida campaign office vandalized with swastikas

March 29, 2020

By Marcy Oster

A Florida campaign office for Bernie Sanders was vandalized with swastikas.

A tweet Saturday from the Florida for Bernie account showed two large swastikas painted in black and the words “voting didn’t stop us last time.” ….

Referring to Trump being elected in 2016.

Earlier this month a protester identified as a known white supremacist unfurled a Nazi flag at a Sanders rally in Phoenix.

Sanders has been more open about his Jewish identity during the current Democratic primary contest.

Florida, USA turtles threatened by climate change


This 27 February 2013 video from the USA says about itself:

Park rangers release rehabilitated juvenile loggerhead turtles at Cape Canaveral Seashore immediately adjacent to NASA‘s Kennedy Space Center. I got to help since I happened upon the event during a beach stroll.

From the University of Central Florida in the USA:

Sea level rise impacts to Canaveral sea turtle nests will be substantial

March 4, 2020

Sea level rise and hurricanes are a threat to sea turtle nesting habitat along national seashores in the Southeast, but a new study predicts the greatest impact to turtles will be at Canaveral National Seashore.

The University of Central Florida-led study, which was published recently in the journal Ecological Applications, examined loggerhead and green sea turtle nests to predict the amount of beach habitat loss at Canaveral, Cumberland Island, Cape Lookout, and Cape Hatteras national seashores by the year 2100. Sea turtles help maintain the coastal ecosystem and are indicators for the health of sandy beaches.

When comparing sea turtle nesting density with predicted beach loss at the sites, they found nesting habitat loss would not be equal. The researchers predicted that by 2100, Canaveral would lose about 1 percent of its loggerhead habitat, while the three other seashores will lose between approximately 2.5 to 6.7 percent each.

Although Canaveral’s percentage loss is smaller, the impact at this national seashore will be greater because of its nesting density.

“Canaveral is part of the core loggerhead nesting area for the Southeast,” says Marta Lyons, a preeminent postdoctoral fellow in UCF’s Department of Biology and the study’s lead author. “The nests are already pretty well packed in there, so even a small loss of area can have a big impact on nesting sea turtle populations.”

To determine beach loss at the study sites, the researchers used sea level rise and storm surge estimates and considered the effects of impervious structures along the shorelines, such as roads and buildings, in restricting natural beach movement. To do this, they developed a new method to calculate current and future sea turtle nesting areas that takes into account nesting data, beach length and width, and the impact of impervious surfaces.

Lyons says one of the goals was to create digital maps for the National Park Service to understand how sea turtle nesting areas will change with sea level rise and how resources could be managed.

“As the National Park Service thinks about future developments, whether that’s putting in a new lifeguard station or new bathrooms, this method of calculating current and future sea turtle nesting area can help them decide where to put them,” she says.

Sea turtles around the world are threatened by marine plastic debris, mostly through ingestion and entanglement. Now, researchers have new evidence to explain why all that plastic is so dangerous for the turtles: they mistake the scent of stinky plastic for food: here.

Gopher tortoise saves animals from wildfire


This 7 February 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

How the Gopher Tortoise Saves Hundreds of Animals from Wildfire

When wildfires amass in Florida’s Longleaf Pine forest, the animals must find a way to cope.

“Wild Florida“ premieres Wednesday, February 12, at 8|7c on PBS.

Florida, USA invasive fish, wrong name corrected


This 2014 aquarium video says about itself:

A pair of my ‘next generation’ Cichlasoma dimerus are guarding a huge number of fry . . . all from a female about 3″ SL.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History in the USA:

Fish switch: Identity of mystery invader in Florida waters corrected after 20 years

January 8, 2020

Sometimes scientists make mistakes. Case in point is the chanchita, a South American freshwater fish that has been swimming in Florida’s waters for at least two decades, all the while identified by experts as another invader, the black acara.

Although the two species look strikingly similar, the black acara is tropical, a native of equatorial South America, while the subtropical chanchita isn’t typically found north of Southern Brazil. Because the chanchita is more cold-tolerant, researchers say it could have a more widespread impact in Florida than the black acara and could threaten native species in North Central Florida ecosystems.

“Even the professionals get it wrong,” said Robert Robins, Florida Museum of Natural History ichthyology collection manager. “The chanchita has been right here, right under our noses. It’s spread into seven different counties and five different river drainages in Florida, well beyond the Tampa Bay drainage where it appears to have been first introduced.”

Introduced by the pet trade, the black acara has been a well-known invader in the Miami area since the 1950s and is now common in South Florida. When a similar cichlid appeared in the waters draining into North Tampa Bay around 2000, scientists assumed the black acara was simply expanding its range or had been introduced a second time.

The misidentification was finally spotted by sharp-eyed amateur fish collectors as well as Mary Brown, a biologist who studies non-native fishes. Brown questioned Robins’ assertion that a specimen he brought home from holiday collecting near Tampa in 2017 was a black acara, Cichlasoma bimaculatum. Although the fish had the same general appearance, something wasn’t adding up.

“The body color and the pattern on the scales on its head just looked a little different,” said Brown, a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey Wetland and Aquatic Research Center. “It wasn’t the same as the black acara I’ve come across while conducting non-native fish surveys in South Florida.”

Meanwhile Ryan Crutchfield, founder of the fish identification database FishMap.org, was getting feedback from amateur collectors that he’d misidentified a fish as a black acara for an article on the history of the species in Florida. Crutchfield, Robins and Brown took a closer look at the specimens in question, eventually identifying them as the chanchita, Cichlasoma dimerus.

“I don’t think anyone except for the amateurs who have an interest in fishes of Florida thought twice about whether or not these fish were black acara,” Robins said. “They’re out there collecting stuff while quite honestly a lot of us are stuck behind our computers typing emails.”

Because of their hardiness and bright colors, cichlids are often coveted by aquarists. But with about 1,900 species — 20 of which are invasive in Florida — and constant revision to the family’s classification, cichlid identification becomes tricky, Robins said.

Robins said that life color, or how a fish appears in its environment, was likely an essential indicator to amateur collectors the chanchita had found its way to Central Florida. Cichlids can change color according to their surroundings, temperament and time of day. But the colorful variations between species disappear in a laboratory setting, where they’re often preserved in alcohol and lose nearly all coloration.

“When we started going out into the field and collecting them and actually finding them in breeding condition or as dominant males, they’re stunningly beautiful,” Robins said. “I think that’s what the amateur community was keying in on. They’re the ones detecting life color, and that was really instructive in determining this was a different species.”

Once the researchers determined the Tampa invader wasn’t a black acara, it came down to microscopic differences in physiology to identify the species as the chanchita. They relied on CT scanning to zoom in on the number of teeth in the specimen’s outer lower jaw and tiny fingerlike structures along the fish’s fourth gill arch.

The Florida Museum’s ichthyology collection was instrumental in providing insight into the chanchita’s invasion timeline, with specimens dating back 20 years. These specimens had been incorrectly cataloged as black acara, but were key indicators of when the chanchita colonized Central Florida, where the species formed reproducing populations as early as 2000.

Brown said non-native fish species like the chanchita have the potential to impact Florida’s aquatic ecosystems by outcompeting native fishes for habitat and food resources.

“Locating and identifying non-native fishes requires an interdisciplinary approach and coordination with partners from across the state,” she said. “This finding is leading us to look at other non-native fish species — it’s possible that there may be other fish out there that are misidentified, and properly identifying the species is critical for proper management.”

Florida is a welcoming arena for invaders to compete with native species and one another due to the state’s intersection of tropical and temperate climates. Constant invasions pose a challenge to conservationists and can often threaten already-endangered native species. Robins said Florida waters could be the chanchita’s first chance at meeting the black acara — and what happens afterward is anyone’s guess.

“Will they hybridize? Would it matter other than just making things more confusing? Are there other species of acara that have been let loose and established populations? What’s actually happening in the environment?” Robins said. “Florida’s aquatic ecosystems are, in a nutshell, one big experiment.”

Florida, USA sea turtle babies, new research


This 27 July 2016 video from the USA says about itself:

Baby Sea Turtles Hatching at the Beach in Jupiter, Florida

I moved to Jupiter in 1988 and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this! It was around 8pm when they hatched and they all made it to the ocean!

From the University of Central Florida in the USA:

Where do baby sea turtles go? New research technique may provide answers

December 23, 2019

A team of Florida researchers and their collaborators created a first-of-its-kind computer model that tracks where sea turtle hatchlings go after they leave Florida’s shores, giving scientists a new tool to figure out where young turtles spend their “lost years”.

Nathan Putman, a biologist with LGL Ecological Research Assoc. based in Texas, led the study, which included 22 collaborators across Mexico, the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, and Europe. Co-authors include UCF Associate Professor Kate Mansfield, who leads UCF’s Marine Turtle Research Group, and UCF assistant research scientist Erin Seney.

“The model gives community groups, scientists, nonprofit agencies and governments across borders a tool to help inform conservation efforts and guide policies to protect sea turtle species and balance the needs of fisheries and other human activity,” Putman said.

The team’s simulation model and findings were published this week in the online journal Ecography.

The model is built to predict loggerhead, green turtle and Kemp’s ridley abundance, according to the authors. To create the model, the team looked at ocean circulation data over the past 30 years. These data are known to be reliable and routinely used by National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies. The team also used sea turtle nesting and stranding data from various sources along the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and Florida coasts. The dataset includes more than 30 years of information from UCF, which has been monitoring sea turtle nests in east Central Florida since the late 1970s. Mansfield, Seney and Putman previously worked together on other sea turtle studies in the Gulf of Mexico.

“The combination of big data is what made this computer model so robust, reliable and powerful,” Putman said.

The group used U.S. and Mexico stranding data — information about where sea turtles washed ashore for a variety of reasons — to check if the computer model was accurate, Putman said. The model also accounts for hurricanes and their impact on the ocean, but it does not take into consideration humanmade threats such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which occurred during the years analyzed in the study.

The computer model also predicts where the turtles go during their “lost years” — a period after the turtles break free from their eggs on the shoreline and head into the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico and northwest Atlantic. The turtles spend years among sargassum in the ocean, and any data about that time is scarce. Better data exist when they are larger juveniles and return to forage closer to coastlines. What young sea turtles do in between hatching and returned to nearshore waters takes place during what is called the “lost years” and is the foundation of sea turtle populations. Understanding where and when the youngest sea turtles go is critical to understanding the threats these young turtles may encounter, and for better predicting population trends throughout the long lives of these species, said Mansfield.

This work was supported in part by a National Academy of Sciences gulf research program grant awarded to Mansfield, Seney and Putman to synthesize available sea turtle datasets across the Gulf of Mexico.

“While localized data collection and research projects are important for understanding species’ biology, health and ecology, the turtles studied in one location typically spend different parts of their lives in other places, including migrations from offshore to inshore waters, from juvenile to adult foraging grounds, and between foraging and nesting areas,” said Seney, who helped coordinate data compilation from the multiple locations. “Our extensive collaborations on this project allowed us to study the Gulf of Mexico’s three most abundant sea turtle species and to integrate nesting beach data for distant nesting populations that ended up having close connections to the 1- to 3-year-old turtles living and stranding along various portions of the U.S. Gulf coast. Without the involvement of our Mexican and Costa Rican collaborators, a big piece of this picture would have been missing.”