Blog Archive: August 2015

‘Sixth mass extinction’: Earth’s species disappearing at frightening rate, new study says

In the most sobering study of extinction yet, a team of Bay Area scientists says that animal species are disappearing at an accelerating rate — portending the sixth mass extinction in the 4.5-billion-year history of the Earth. “We are entering a mass extinction equivalent to what happened to the dinosaurs” unless conservation efforts are intensified, said UC Berkeley paleontologist Anthony D. Barnosky and an author of the report, which was published Friday. If the trend continues, “within two human lifetimes we are in danger of losing three of four species on Earth,” he said.

11-year-old spots rare tarantula in Rancho Palos Verdes

By Megan Barnes, Daily Breeze Ian Campbell was riding bikes with his family to the McBride Trail in Rancho Palos Verdes when he spotted something dark on the ground, moving down the middle of Santa Catalina Drive. “At first I thought it was one of those remote control cars,” the 11-year-old said. On closer inspection, it looked like a furry, black tarantula. “Then I saw it’s legs and said, ‘Wait dad, what’s that?’” • Video:

Yosemite sees second case of plague

By Susan Abram, The Daily Breeze A second visitor to Yosemite National Park has contracted the plague, state health officials said Tuesday, just a few weeks after a Los Angeles County child also tested positive for the disease. The patient, a Georgia resident, had been vacationing in Yosemite National Park, the Sierra National Forest, and surrounding areas in early August, according to the California Department of Public Health. Last week, health officials announced they had

Yvonne Craig, Batgirl in 1960s, dies at 78 in Pacific Palisades

PACIFIC PALISADES >> Yvonne Craig, who played heroine Batgirl in the 1960s television series “Batman,” has died of cancer, it was announced Wednesday. She was 78. Craig died Tuesday night at her home in Pacific Palisades, surrounded by her immediate family, according to an announcement on her website. The cause was complications from breast cancer, which had metastasized to her liver, it said.

‘Godzilla’ El Nino could save Southern California from drought, bring flooding

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune and Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune There’s a high probability that Southern California will experience drought-busting rains and local flooding this winter, after meteorologists announced Thursday that the chance of a strong El Niño had reached above 90 percent. If the forecast holds, weather experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Climate Prediction Center said the El Niño event would be among the

These rescued South American circus lions are heading back to Africa

LIMA, Peru — After the shocking death of Cecil the lion this summer, here’s a rare piece of good news for Africa’s biggest cat. A total of 33 lions rescued from miserable lives in circuses in South America are heading home next month, back to Africa, in what’s being billed as the largest ever airlift of its kind. Many of the felines spent years in Peru and Colombia being mistreated, underfed and forced to perform tricks for the public.

Man who studied Cecil the lion for 9 years talks impact

JOHANNESBURG >> When Cecil the lion’s carcass was finally found after he was lured out of a Zimbabwe wildlife reserve to be killed by an American hunter, it was a headless, skinless skeleton the vultures had been picking at for about a week. Conservationists decided the most natural thing was to leave the bones where they were for hyenas to finish off, said Brent Stapelkamp, a lion researcher and part of a team that had tracked and studied Cecil for nine years. Stapelkamp darted Cecil and put his last GPS collar on in October. He was probably the last person to get up close before Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer used a bow and a gun to kill the now-famous lion with the bushy black mane

Zimbabwean authorities restrict hunting after Cecil the lion killing

HARARE, Zimbabwe >> Zimbabwe has suspended the hunting of lions, leopards and elephants in an area where a lion popular with tourists was killed, and is investigating the killing of another lion in April that may have been illegal, the country’s wildlife authority said Saturday. In addition, bow and arrow hunts have been suspended unless they are approved by the head of the director of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, the organization said. The authority said it only received information this week about the possibly illegal killing of a lion in April. An arrest has been made in that case, officials said.

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