Clean-water activist to swim toxic #Gowanus Canal for awareness – @SwimWithSwain #EarthDay #NoPlaceLikeHome

[tweet https://twitter.com/SwimWithSwain/status/589994105746358272]

For Earth Day today, clean-water activist Christopher Swain will swim through the dirty, toxic, disgusting, disease-ridden Gowanus Canal in New York City. More info here!

Swain announced today that he will hop into the Canal on April 22 covered from head to toe in protective gear to keep his skin, mouth, eyes, and ears free of the murky waters that famously hides victims of the mob, is covered with oil, laced with heavy metals, flooded with millions of gallons of raw sewage every year, and even has gonorrhea.

The Canal is also home to schools of Coney Island Whitefish as well as a 10-to-15-foot base of mercury-laden “black mayonnaise,” and despite the fact that things have gotten less smelly since a flushing tunnel began pumping oxygen-laden water into it back in 1999, the federal cleanup is still more than a decade from completion.

[tweet https://twitter.com/SwimWithSwain/status/590892638833926145]

 

It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week!! #NISAW2015

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Check out NISAW website for national and local events, webinars, and tons of info! News article about NISAW here.

Participate in events across the nation to raise awareness and identify solutions to invasive species issues at local, state, tribal, regional and national scales. Locate an invasive species event in your state or county.

Nine Ways You Can Help

  1. Learn about invasive species, especially those found in your region. Your county extension officeand the National Invasive Species Information Center are both trusted resources.
  2. Clean hiking boots, waders, boats and trailers, off-road vehicles and other gear to stop invasive species from hitching a ride to a new location. Learn more at PlayCleanGo.org
  3. Avoid dumping aquariums or live bait into waterways. Learn more at Habitattitude.org
  4. Don’t move firewood – instead, buy it where you’ll burn it, or gather on site when permitted. Learn more at DontMoveFirewood.org
  5. Use forage, hay, mulch and soil that are certified as “weed free.”
  6. Plant only non-invasive plants in your garden, and remove any known invaders.
  7. Report new or expanded invasive species outbreaks to authorities. Here is a state-by-state list of contacts
  8. Volunteer to help remove invasive species from public lands and natural areas.
  9. Ask your political representatives at the state, local and national level to support invasive species control efforts.
[tweet https://twitter.com/WYWeedPest/status/570360580168511490]

New mammals reported this week!! Why we need more #science

This week scientists reported discovering 4 new mammalian species. How exciting is that? I always think it is crazy that there are so many animals, plants, and insects that we don’t know exist.

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The first new mammal this week was published in the Journal of Mammology, and is a new round-eared sengi, or elephant shrew. This species is smaller than the other members in the genus, and was shown to be genetically different as well. Very cool!

“Genetically, Macroscelides micus is very different from other members of the genus and it’s exciting to think that there are still areas of the world where even the mammal fauna is unknown and waiting to be explored,” said Jack Dumbacher from California Academy of Sciences in the US.

Sengis are restricted to Africa and, despite their small size, are more closely related to elephants, sea cows, and aardvarks than they are to true shrews.

The rest of the new species reported this week come from a partnership between the Tenkile Conservation Alliance (headed by Australians Jim and Jean Thomas) and Euan Ritchie. These species are all from Papua New Guinea and were discovered using camera traps. The group plans to return for specimen collection and genetic testing for further proof that these are unknown mammals. Can’t wait to see the findings published!

The Docopsulus wallaby, a small marsupial, was captured on camera, as well as a “Dumbo” mouse with giant ears, and an antechinus, a sort of shrew-like marsupial.

“It’s exciting, but at the same time we have a massive biodiversity extinction crisis at the moment and the sad thing is that we lose many species before we even know they exist.”

It is great to see that both groups reporting the new mammals mention that the discoveries highlight the need for environmental protection and conservation. Check the linked articles and websites for more pictures of the new species and more info!