How loggerhead turtle Eleanor survived storm

This video says about itself:

In-water behaviour of the loggerhead sea turtle

18 January 2016

Intensive in-water surveys in Laganas bay, Zakynthos, Greece, revealed the existence of two aggregation hotspots for loggerhead sea turtles. The first one, a cleaning station, was occupied primarily by female turtles during their interesting period. The second, a small reef in the shallows, served as a foraging area. The solitary and the social behaviour of the turtles between these two spots was very different. At the cleaning station, female turtles did not involve in any fights, generally tolerating the presence of one another while being cleaned by fish and performing self-cleaning activities. In the foraging spot, on the other hand, which was used mainly by resident males, aggressive fights took place quite often as soon as one turtle was at the vicinity of the other.

Under the scientific guidance of sea turtle behaviour expert Dr. Gail Schofield, we highlight these differences and provide new insights into the in-water behaviour of the loggerhead sea turtle.

From the University of Southern Denmark:

The sea turtle that refused to be beaten by the storm

October 26, 2017

When Eleanor the sea turtle was caught in a tropical storm off the coast of Florida, she coped surprisingly well. In fact, she hardly needed to use any extra energy during the four days the storm raged — and neither was she injured.

As the seas get warmer, Earth suffers the ravages of ever more powerful storms and hurricanes, with massive consequences for both humans and animals. One of the concerns is marine animals, especially endangered species, such as certain whales, manatees, sharks, sea turtles, etc.

A joint Danish/American/Australian team of researchers has discovered that severe weather is not necessarily harmful to individual adult sea turtles. The team was in the process of monitoring sea turtles fitted with GPS transmitters and motion sensors off Sarasota in the USA, when one of the sea turtles was unexpectedly caught in a tropical storm. This provided the team with a unique opportunity to see how a sea turtle would cope with a storm.

“We were delighted to find that she rode out the storm in style without any problem,” says Maria Wilson, a biologist at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

The study was conducted in 2012 involving colleagues from Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota in Florida, Department of Parks and Wildlife, Marine Science Program in Australia and Aarhus University in Denmark. A scientific article has now been published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

“We know little about how sea turtles manage during hurricanes and tropical storms. Storms could blow sea turtles off course, or surviving a storm could be so exhausting that it drains energy reserves and thus the ability to survive and produce eggs, thereby having a negative impact on the next generation of sea turtles,” explains Wilson.

The tagged sea turtle caught in the storm is named Eleanor. She was at sea in the Mexican Gulf in the egg-laying season when she was hit be the storm. Consequently, she had already nested on one of Florida’s beaches and had returned to the sea to replenish her energy reserves before coming back to lay more.

Eleanor was caught in tropical storm Debby, which passed through the Mexican Gulf between 23rd and 27th June 2012. Debby caused extensive flooding in Florida, reaching wind speeds of up to 100 kph.

Eleanor was tagged for 16 days, four of which were during the storm. Data from the GPS and animal motion tags showed that she drastically changed behaviour when the storm struck. Before the storm, she rested on the seabed, moving only to go to the surface for air.

When the storm struck, she moved further north than expected. According to the researchers, she was forced by prevailing currents. She also changed her diving patterns, becoming much more active instead of saving energy for the next egg-laying event.

“Even though Eleanor swam for most of the four days the storm raged, she was good at saving energy, ending up actually using no more than she would normally use to produce 12 eggs. Given that sea turtles lay somewhere between 300 and 900 eggs during a nesting season, that’s not much. But another fantastic element of Eleanor’s story is that, despite the storm pushing her more than 100 km north of ‘her’ beach, she swam south when it passed and made her nest just 75 metres from her last one — although with a few days’ delay,” adds Wilson.

The researchers calculated Eleanor’s energy consumption based on motion sensors (3D accelerometers and gyroscopes), which detected when she was swimming. How much energy a swimming sea turtle uses had been determined from earlier experiments in the laboratory, making it possible to estimate how much energy they use sea.

Even though it would seem that sea turtles are sufficiently robust to avoid being at the mercy of storms, such a powerful storm can still be a major threat to them.

Sea turtles lay their eggs on the beach, and their nests are extremely vulnerable to passing storms. The storm that Eleanor easily survived destroyed almost 90% of nests on the beach where she and several hundred other female turtles had laid their eggs.”

That’s why Maria Wilson urges more focus on protecting nests and helping newly hatched turtles and less on adults, when the discussion turns to protecting sea turtles.


Big protest against American nazi Richard Spencer

This video from the USA says about itself:

Hail Trump!’: Richard Spencer Speech Excerpts

21 November 2016

Video of an alt-right conference in Washington, D.C., where Trump’s victory was met with cheers and Nazi salutes.

Read the full article here.

By Fred Mazelis in the USA:

White supremacist met by mass protest at University of Florida

21 October 2017

Mass protests greeted white supremacist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida on Thursday. Spencer’s neo-fascist backers in the auditorium at the Phillips Center at the University of Florida Gainesville campus faced hundreds of anti-Nazi students and other Gainesville residents.

In advance of the event, thousands, ignoring the advice of university President Kent Fuchs and others to simply ignore Spencer, signed up on a Facebook page, “No Nazis at UF—Protest Richard Spencer”. Hundreds gained entry to the auditorium, where they continuously interrupted the neo-Nazi advocate with chants such as “Go Home Nazis!, Go Home Spencer!”

The overwhelming rejection of the neo-Nazis came despite efforts to prevent many from entering the center. According to the Miami Herald, only 456 of the 700 seats were occupied. The white supremacists, having paid for the rental, were allowed to determine who could enter, and many were denied permission. These included individuals with anti-Nazi slogans on T-shirts as well as some who had written phone numbers on their arms, an indication that they were prepared for possible arrest.

Samantha Schuyler, who was forcibly prevented from entering, was quoted as saying, “I think it’s racism. It’s arbitrary. They told me to leave. Then they dragged me.”

Despite these efforts, the white supremacists were heavily outnumbered inside the venue. Only about 15 raised their hands when Spencer called on those who agree with the “Alt-Right” to identify themselves. Outside, hundreds more marched in protest, chanting “We Don’t Want Your Nazi Hate,” among other slogans. Spencer claimed victory but shut down the meeting 30 minutes early.

In remarks he was able make amidst the protests, Spencer gave further indication of the strategy behind the efforts to build a fascist movement in the US. Echoing similar comments from former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, Spencer said, “I, like millions of other white people in their 20s and 30s now, have a dramatically different ‘lived’ experience than our parents. Our parents can remember peak America. They can remember the America of ‘50s diners and ice cream dates and drive-in movie theaters.” The establishment media, using remarks like these, calls Spencer and his ilk “white nationalists,” rather than fascists or neo-fascists.

Spencer and his National Policy Institute have depicted themselves as defenders of free speech and demanded the right to rent facilities at public institutions such as the University of Florida. The Gainesville event was the first one held since the August 12 Nazi rampage at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, which ended with one protester, Heather Heyer, killed after being run down by an auto driven by a neo-fascist who had come to the event.

President Donald Trump subsequently blamed both the club-carrying fascists, who marched through the campus shouting anti-Semitic slogans, and the anti-fascist protesters for the violence, and said there were “very fine people” among the neo-Nazis.

The protests at the University of Florida were relatively peaceful, with two arrests and several minor injuries following clashes between a handful of white supremacists and protesters. As the action was winding up, however, a single gunshot was heard at a nearby bus stop. WEAR-TV, a local television station, reported that an argument had led to gunfire when a man, later identified as 28-year-old Tyler Tenbrink, exited a vehicle and fired one shot, which missed its intended targets.

The license plate of the car was provided to the authorities, and Tenbrink and two others, Colton and William Fears, were arrested later that evening about 20 miles north of Gainesville. They were charged with attempted murder. The three men, from Texas, had apparently taunted the protesters with Nazi salutes and pro-Hitler chants before Tenbrink took out his weapon. Tenbrink is reportedly being held on $3 million bond and the Fears brothers on $1 million each.

Earlier in the week, in response to the planned speech at the University of Florida, right-wing Republican Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Alachua County. On this pretext the authorities mobilized the University of Florida Police Department, the Gainesville Police Department, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Department and the Florida Highway Patrol. Hundreds of heavily armed police were deployed on the streets of Gainesville, with roads blocked by cement and dump trucks. Soldiers in riot gear were stationed in the balcony of the Phillips Center during the meeting. The university reported that it had spent more than $500,000 in security measures.

The state of emergency was declared in the name of “public safety.” As in all such cases, however, it was used both to deter mass protest and also for training purposes for future actions to be directed against the working class.

Cable news almost silent on neo-Nazis allegedly attempting to murder counter-protesters. Fox News isn’t the only outlet turning a blind eye to the events that conspired at a Richard Spencer rally: here.

Richard Spencer attempted to explain slavery’s benefits to a black journalist. It didn’t go well.

White nationalist Richard Spencer reportedly banned again from 26 European countries: here.

Manatees in Florida, USA

This video from the USA says about itself:

16 June 2017

In this season 1 re-release, Jonathan travels to Florida to learn about the West Indian Manatee and the threats it faces from boat strikes, and habitat loss as well as efforts to protect and save the manatee.

JONATHAN BIRD’S BLUE WORLD is an Emmy Award-winning underwater science/adventure program.

Florida grey squirrels survive Hurricane Irma

This video from the USA says about itself:

Reunion With Squirrel Buddies After Hurricane Irma in Florida

5 October 2017

I was delighted to find the Florida Backyard squirrels alive and well after Hurricane Irma rolled through – we threw a little peanut party. I didn’t get back until September 16th and they were waiting. A little wet and ragged, but OK.

Their trees were pretty much de-leafed by winds gusting to 80 mph or so, but it looked like the two mothers with kittens must have moved them out of the high oak tree nests before or early during the storm and they are probably OK. Animals have a natural survival instinct and squirrels will move their kits down into the palmetto tree crowns if need be. Big palmetto trees do a lot better in the high wind. I will be putting up squirrel nest boxes in the trees later this fall. More on that later.

Pileated woodpeckers in Florida, USA

This video from Florida in the USA says about itself:

21 September 2017

Pileated Woodpeckers extreme close-up! A uncut behind the scenes look at the challenges of wildlife film making as an amazing pair of Pileated Woodpeckers make an appearance in the flooded jungle behind the Backyard after Hurricane Irma and get everybody excited – especially me and the squirrels!

Blue jays survive Hurricane Irma in Florida

This video from the USA says about itself:

18 September 2017

The Backyard Blue Jays survived Hurricane Irma which was a category one when it passed the Backyard. A lot of trees de-leafed and blown down in the conservation area, but the birds and squirrels know how to survive. More on that later. But that’s not to say they weren’t hungry and happy for a friendly peanut when I got back home! Good to see them again.

Irma damages Sint Maarten island wildlife: here.

Hurricane Irma disaster in Florida, USA

This video from TV in the USA says about itself:

Hollywood police chief on sealing Florida nursing home as crime scene

14 September 2017

Florida’s Hollywood police chief Tomas Sanchez joins “CBS This Morning” from the now-closed Florida nursing home where eight patients died. Rescue crews evacuated the home Wednesday after it lost power in Hurricane Irma, and police say the deaths of the patients appear to be heat-related.

Florida officials are alleging a disturbing cover-up at the nursing home where nine people died after Hurricane Irma.

By Niles Niemuth in the USA:

New details highlight criminal neglect in death of Florida nursing home residents

15 September 2017

The deaths on Wednesday of eight Florida nursing home residents in Hollywood, Florida, left to swelter in extreme heat after Hurricane Irma knocked out power, has exposed the incompetence and indifference of the ruling class, which bears ultimate responsibility for this social crime.

The more than 150 residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were left to suffer in extreme humidity and temperatures in the building approaching 110 Fahrenheit (43 Celsius).

While the facility had a generator, it was used only to power the kitchen. When power was restored by utility provider Florida Power and Light (FPL), portable air conditioning units and fans were employed, but they made little difference for the residents. The central air conditioning unit remained offline, the transformer that powered it having been damaged in the storm.

Hollywood Hills staff called 911 early Wednesday morning after residents began to complain that they felt ill. The first patient was rushed across the street to Memorial Regional Hospital at around 3 a.m. After the third patient arrived some two hours later, hospital staff rushed across the street to check on the nursing home and found residents suffering in unbearable heat.

“We had no idea the extent of what was going on until we literally sent people room to room to check on people,” Dr. Randy Katz, Memorial’s chairman of emergency medicine told the New York Times. Katz reported that at least one patient from the nursing home had come into the emergency room on Tuesday seeking treatment, but no suspicions were raised about potentially life-threatening conditions at the facility.

Three of the victims were found dead in their rooms, a fourth body was located at a funeral home, and the remaining victims died at the hospital. At least 40 of the residents were identified as having trouble breathing and suffering from life-threatening conditions.

The eight victims were identified Wednesday by the Broward County Medical Examiner as Carolyn Eatherly, 78; Miguel Antonio Franco, 92; Estella Hendricks, 71; Betty Hibbard, 84; Manuel Mario Medieta, 96; Gail Nova, 71; Bobby Owens, 84; and Albertina Vega, 99.

Jeffery Nova, the son of Gail Nova, who had lived in the facility for eight years, told the Miami Herald that he had picked Hollywood Hills because it was so close to Memorial Hospital. “If she needed care, they literally had only feet to go,” he said.

Promotional material on the nursing home’s web site boasts that it is located across the street from the hospital, guaranteeing that “our patients have access to even more of the finest health care at all hours of the day and night.”

It remained unclear why nursing home staff waited so long to call for help, as the hospital never lost power or air conditioning during the storm or its aftermath.

The hospital had been designated as a “critical infrastructure facility” by Florida Power and Light and Broward County, while Hollywood Hills and nursing homes in general had not been designated as critical and were not a priority for the utility company.

FPL and Broward County officials sought to absolve themselves of any responsibly for the horror in the nursing home, each blaming the other for the failure to define nursing homes as critical facilities and seeking to shift blame onto the nursing home staff.

A spokesman for FPL claimed that the company did not consider Hollywood Hills a critical facility because Broward County had not designated it as such. Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief in turn released a statement blaming FPL guidance documents for the county’s designation of nursing homes as “non-critical.”

Sharief also reported that while Hollywood Hills staff had reported to the county’s Emergency Operations Center that a tree had fallen on the air conditioner’s power transformer, no emergency responders were sent to investigate because they “did not request assistance or indicate any medical emergency existed.”

Hollywood Hills administrator Jorge Carballo reported that the facility had contacted FPL immediately about the damaged transformer and followed up repeatedly for updates on when a repair could be made.

Even after the tragedy at Hollywood Hills, 62 out of Florida’s 700 nursing homes remained without power on Thursday, leaving thousands of elderly residents at risk. At least 80 residents were evacuated from the Crystal Bay Assisted Living Facility in North Miami Beach Wednesday due to a lack of air conditioning. Century Village, a retirement community in nearby Pembroke Pines, remained without power Thursday.

Even as the disaster that has enveloped much of Florida in Hurricane Irma’s aftermath continued to unfold, President Donald Trump made a visit to Fort Myers and Naples on the state’s Gulf Coast to praise the government response to the storm. He made no reference to the deaths in Hollywood.

“We’re going to see some of the folks and make sure they’re happy,” Trump told reporters in Fort Myers, which was inundated by the storm surge. “I think we’re doing a good job in Florida.”

More than 150 people have been killed by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and hundreds of thousands in the US have lost their homes or livelihoods, but the corporate media is boasting of the supposedly much improved response to these storms as compared to the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster. Citing the lower death toll in comparison to the more than 1,800 fatalities in Katrina, while ignoring the far wider impact of the recent storms in terms of homes destroyed, jobs lost and communities devastated, and the lack of planning and neglect of infrastructure exposed by this month’s hurricanes, the New York Times on Wednesday published a front-page lead article with the headline “US Shows Signs Of Improvement In Aid Response.”

Only hours later the news broke of the eight elderly Florida residents killed by official neglect and indifference in the aftermath of Irma.

This video from the USA says about itself:

12 September 2017

Jacksonville faced its worst flooding in nearly a century as Irma brought rain and record storm surge before moving north to dump rain on Georgia and South Carolina.

By Matthew Taylor in the USA:

Jacksonville area staggered by flooding, power outages from Hurricane Irma

15 September 2017

Across the city of Jacksonville and the surrounding counties in northeast Florida, residents this week struggled to adapt to the destruction brought by Hurricane Irma. Widespread power outages, flood-damaged homes and businesses and the uncertain prospects of recovery combined with the oppressive late-summer heat to create an atmosphere of dread for the hundreds of thousands affected.

The storm knocked out power for 60 percent of the city, some 288,000 homes, according to the Jacksonville Electrical Authority (JEA), the utility company that provides power for the region. As of Thursday 66,000 remained without electricity.

The JEA release estimates that 1.5 million gallons of raw sewage had been released into various rivers and creeks throughout the area due to power losses at pump stations during the storm, a number that is sure to rise. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew last October, 7 million gallons of sewage spilled into area waterways.

In a press release Thursday, the company stated that 33 different pump stations went offline at various points during the storm. The company also stated that a major disaster was averted when eight JEA employees manually pumped fuel to keep a wastewater treatment center in the Mandarin neighborhood operational after its backup generator failed during the worst of the storm.

Throughout the region, many of the worst-hit areas were along the various creeks and smaller rivers that are tributaries of the St. Johns River, which flows through Jacksonville. Along the Trout and Ribault rivers in northwest Jacksonville, fallen trees and waist-high water destroyed many homes and businesses and left residents without power.

Along the Black Creek in neighboring Clay County, dozens of homes were either destroyed or suffered major damage when the water crested at a record 28.5 feet. Approximately 300 residents along the Black Creek were evacuated by boat in the following days. Throughout Clay County, there are an estimated 37,500 homes without power.

In the Jacksonville beaches communities, which had also been hard hit by Hurricane Matthew last year, ocean waters flooded thousands of homes. The damage at the beaches and throughout northeast Florida was aggravated by a powerful nor’easter storm that inundated the area with heavy rains in advance of the hurricane.

Within Jacksonville, major flooding has damaged low-lying areas throughout the city, with the flood waters subsiding by Wednesday. In downtown Jacksonville, which experienced its worst flooding in recorded history, work crews labored to clean up the massive amounts of sludge and debris that the flooding brought ashore. Many businesses were damaged by the heavy winds, with broken windows and downed power lines throughout the area. Some of the largest employers, such as EverBank, CSX, and Wells Fargo, avoided serious damage and had already resumed operations.

Across the river in the low-lying San Marco area, where flooding had reached up to four feet, hundreds of homes and small businesses were destroyed. In the Riverside area adjacent to downtown, where flood waters had extended four blocks from the river and many residents were evacuated by boat, dozens of power company and landscaping crews worked to clean up debris and restore electricity.

In the Broadview Towers condominium building along the river, dozens of residents, many of them elderly, were trapped inside the 14-story building when flood waters covered the first floor and knocked out the building’s power, including its elevators and air conditioning. Restoring power took on a newfound urgency after it was revealed on Wednesday that eight residents of a Hollywood, Florida, nursing home died from the extreme heat caused by a lack of air conditioning.

Outside the city, the surrounding counties that make up the greater Jacksonville area were also hard hit. South of Jacksonville in St. Johns County, damage from the storm surge was compounded by multiple tornadoes that tore the roofs off of many homes. In St. Augustine, which had been hard hit by Hurricane Matthew last year, flood waters covered the historic downtown and spread out into surrounding areas. In Hastings, a rural community in St. Johns County, sections of the town were under as much as eight feet of water. Throughout the county, there are an estimated 40,000 homes still without power.

To the north of Jacksonville, in Nassau County, hundreds of homes were damaged by the hurricane and from multiple tornadoes that touched down in the region. More than 20,000 homes lost power. As of Thursday, over 10,000 still had no electricity. Dozens of roads were made impassable from flood water and fallen trees, and the Fernandina Beach municipal airport was closed until further notice. County officials report that a citizen in one of the cities shelters had died during the storm.

In tiny Baker County, along the border with Georgia, It was reported that 97 percent of residents lost power.

Throughout Northeast Florida, thousands of residents will suffer from not only the immediate damage caused by the storm but also the loss of income from being unable to work in the aftermath. Thousands of workers will be unemployed due to businesses that will be closed due to lack of electricity and flood damage. Thousands more will be unable to work due to damaged cars, blocked roads, and bridges, and the necessity to provide child care for the region’s thousands of students while the public school system is shut down.

Two million in Florida still without power nearly a week after Hurricane Irma: here.

THE CARIBBEAN CAN’T CATCH A BREAK Multiple storms are brewing in the Atlantic, prompting hurricane warnings. [HuffPost]

HURRICANE MARIA SLAMS INTO DOMINICA AS CATEGORY 5 STORM Caribbean islands are bracing for impact as the hurricane ravages Dominica, causing “widespread devastation.” [HuffPost]

Floridians line up for food assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma: here.