The never-ending demand for Pacific bluefin tuna among sushi lovers is driving the iconic fish towards extinction, a conservation group said. The Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature upgraded the status of the tuna from "least concern" to "vulnerable," which means it is now threatened with extinction. Target by the fishing industry for the sushi and sashimi markets in Japan and other parts of Asia, an increasing number of the fish are caught as juveniles which has caused its population to drop as much as 33 percent in the past two decades. "The Pacific Bluefin Tuna market value continues to rise," said Bruce Collette, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission Tuna and Billfish Specialist Group. "Unless fisheries implement the conservation and management measures developed for the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, including a reduction in the catches of juvenile fish, we cannot expect its status to improve in the short term." The dire assessment for the Pacific … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Sushi eaters pushing Pacific bluefin tuna to brink of extinction
International union for conservation of nature and natural resources
It turns out that tiger sharks are more like birds than fish when it comes to their migration patterns. Using satellite tags, researchers writing in this week's Scientific Reports found that tiger sharks make a more than 4,660-mile, roundtrip journey between two vastly different ecosystems - the coral reefs of the Caribbean and the open waters of the North Atlantic. "These repeated journeys were very unexpected," said James Lea, who along with Brad Wetherbee and Mahmood Shivji were part of the study and work out of Nova Southeastern University's Guy Harvey Research Institute in Florida. "The tiger shark has traditionally been considered a coastal species, and it is rare among sharks to so easily and habitually switch between the two vastly different environments." One tiger shark, nicknamed Harry Lindo, traveled more than 27,000 miles, the longest distance documented for a tiger shark and possibly the longest ever published for a shark. "It is truly remarkable," said conservationist … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Tiger sharks go south in winter, like birds and retirees
A mass extinction - the sixth of its kind in our 4.5-billion-year history - is well underway and humans are to blame. That somber assessment comes from a new study Thursday in Science, which found that extinction rates over the last century were 114 times higher than they would have been if humans had not been around. Fully 396 species have gone extinct in 100 years. Under normal conditions (that is, without the presence of humans) that loss should have taken 11,400 years. The worst off were vertebrates, which lost 198 species, followed by 66 fish species, 57 bird species, 35 mammals and 32 amphibians. If the extinction definition is expanded to include species existing only in captivity or those possibly (but not confirmed to be) extinct, those numbers jump much higher - with 477 vertebrates gone, 158 fishes, 146 amphibians, 80 birds and 69 mammals. Looking back 500 years, 676 total species have been lost. "This is telling us the current extinction rate is similar to the five previous … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Humans are behind the mass extinction of animals
Olympic participants are generally muscular and fit, physically primed by years of training to perform on the international stage. However, two notable exceptions this year are rotund, squishy and a little clumsy, and they won't be winning any medals for their athletic prowess. Nevertheless, they serve as iconic emblems of the Winter Games and of the culture and folklore of the Olympics' host country, South Korea. They are the official Olympic mascots — a white tiger named Soohorang, representing the 2018 Winter Games, and an Asiatic black bear named Bandabi, serving as the mascot for the 2018 Paralympics. Visualized cartoonishly, these anthropomorphized animals are tubby and smiling and deliberately cute. But the Asiatic bear and white tiger also have a long and storied past in the Korean peninsula, appearing as pivotal figures in its culture and history, and featured prominently in paintings and sculptures. [Iconic Cats: All 9 Subspecies of Tigers] Both animals appear in … [Read more...] about CBS News Logo Meet the adorable Olympic mascots, Soohorang and Bandabi
But perhaps more significantly than his own bylined articles, Webb was, not to put too fine a point on it, The Greatest Headline Writer in the History of Journalism. His gift for puns and cultural allusions was without peer. He wrote most of the headlines for the paper during those years, and his contribution to its sophistication and polish would be hard to overstate. On the whole, he was underemployed. But he cared for his father in his last years, and he adopted a beagle, and he traveled, and he wrote punishingly funny essays that no amount of cajoling could induce him to share beyond a few friends on his email list. Anyone who knew Webb well knows that he could be difficult. He was a reflexively skeptical “debunker” of any sort of received wisdom — probably why he thrived at New Times for so long — yet was gullible enough to be taken advantage of at times. His constantly spinning mind made it hard to get him to focus on his own best interests, and his … [Read more...] about Those Arizona Lost in 2017: They Made Us Better. And Now They Will Be Missed.