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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Please, please write - they can't



The U.S. wants to crack down on the U.S. trade in elephant ivory and help save elephants from extinction. But opposition groups like the NRA are doing everything in their power to make sure these rules never see the light of day. Meanwhile, African elephants are being gunned down by the thousands, fueled by surging demand for ivory in the United States, China and around the world.

More than 30,000 elephants were poached in 2012 for their ivory, leading scientists to estimate that African forest elephants could become extinct within a decade. Deaths of African elephants now exceeds their birth rate. We must do everything in our power to stop the killing.

The United States ranks as the second-biggest ivory market in the world. Much of the world follows our lead. That means that the proposed regulations can make a real difference in the global fight to protect elephants.

Please send  a message to the President and Fish and Wildlife Service Director, Dan Ashe, urging them to issue strong safeguards and help end our role in the deadly trafficking of elephant ivory.

Just last week, the governor of New York (the country’s largest ivory market) signed into law a bill banning the sale of ivory and increasing penalties for traffickers. New Jersey has done the same. Now the stage is set for U.S. to strengthen ivory laws at the federal level

 

 

The term “weed” has absolutely no botanical meaning or firm definition, unlike words like “tree”, “flower” and “shrub” etc.  It evolved around the 9th century from the Old English word “wiod”. It’s a variant of an earlier Saxon term meaning wild and uncultivated.

 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.

 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two birds species that were very similar, but evolved into separate botanical groups

Painted Bunting


Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Buntings and Grosbeaks were once in the same botanical group. After the Ice Ages, they each became differently unique, and separated into two distinct groups (according to fossil records). The two groups evolved very differently. In north Texas, we’re fortunate enough to be in the “overlap” of some of these species. Observant birdwatchers here can see both the Painted Bunting and the Blue Grosbeak.

 

 

Enchanted forest?   The smallest bird in the world lives in a forest in the Sierra Maestra Mountains of Cuba. It’s about the size of a healthy bee; hence the name - Bee Hummingbird. (Like all hummingbirds it makes a buzzing noise too)  This same forest is probably home to a close cousin of the elusive Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which was allegedly re-discovered in an Arkansas swamp.

 

 

OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.