In photos: Young INC members in Japan help clean up public places, join worldwide clean-up drive

  Armed with their brooms, trash bags, and other cleaning materials, young Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) members in Hamamatsu, Kawasaki, Okinawa, Shinagawa and Yokota, along with all the other young members of the INC in Japan, worked in groups as they picked up litter and cleaned up the streets, parks and other public areas all over Japan. The youth members, belonging to the BINHI organization (for INC members aged 12 to 17)  in […]

Toss back big fish, especially females: study

TAMPA, United States (AFP) — When fishing, local laws often require anglers to throw back any fish that are too small. But a study Thursday found it is more important to toss back big ones, especially females. That’s because they produce far more eggs — and larger ones — than small fish, and do a disproportionate amount of work when it comes to perpetuating their species, said the report in the journal Science. “Our results […]

California becomes first US state to require solar on new homes

LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — California on Wednesday became the first US state to require solar panels on all new residential buildings as part of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The California Energy Commission said the new building standards, adopted unanimously by its members, will go into effect on January 1, 2020. “We are the first, we will not be the last,” commissioner David Hochschild said after the new mandate was adopted. “This […]

New Zealand sinkhole reveals glimpse into 60,000-year-old volcano

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AFP) — A new sinkhole on a North Island farm as deep as four double-decker buses and almost the length of two football fields has grabbed the attention of New Zealand volcanologists. The chasm appeared after heavy rainfall near the town of Rotorua and left a jagged scar on the landscape, exposing rock deposits from 60,000 years ago. Experts believe rain dissolved underground limestone over thousands of years, eventually causing the ground to […]

Look: Traumatized bears, wolves find solace at Greek sanctuary

NYMFAIO, Greece (AFP) — Orphaned as an infant, three-year-old Patrick takes a wary view of visitors. He crouches low, licks his claws and starts humming — a bear’s equivalent of thumb-sucking. “It soothes him when he’s stressed,” says Melina Avgerinou, a caretaker at the Arcturos bear sanctuary in northern Greece. Patrick’s tale is typical of many bears that have found refuge in the Arcturos sanctuary at Nymfaio on the slopes of Mount Vitsi, some 600 kilometres […]

Should I stay or go? Birds migrate to save energy: study

by Mariëtte Le Roux Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — Why have some birds opted for a taxing life of constant migration — seeking out temperate climes to feed as winter arrives, only to return months later to breed? Seemingly paradoxically, the behavior is driven by a quest for energy efficiency, a study said Monday. Migrating birds, researchers found, gain more energy from whatever is on the destination menu than they expend getting there […]

Third of Australia’s threatened species not being monitored

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — A third of Australia’s threatened species are not being tracked, scientists said Friday, warning they could easily slide into extinction without anyone noticing. The first national assessment on the monitoring of threatened birds, mammals, frogs, freshwater fish, reptiles and ecological communities found 217 species were not being watched. Plants and insects were not included. The government-funded Threatened Species Recovery Hub said the results were poor for most groups, although keeping tabs […]

Thousands flock to Tampa Bay beaches, parks for Great American Cleanup

  By Melissa Allen EBC Florida Bureau TAMPA, FL (Eagle News) — Over 4,000 volunteers hit the sandy shorelines and parks of Hillsborough County to help with the community’s annual beautification effort, The Great American Cleanup, which was hosted by the local organization, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful. Alan Donn, a Board Member for Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, said that their primary mission is to educate people about the environment […]

UK, US launch biggest-ever study of Antarctic glacier

  LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain and the United States on Monday launched a research program billed “the most detailed and extensive examinations of a massive Antarctic glacier ever undertaken” to gauge how quickly it could collapse. Teams from Britain’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) will visit the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica to assess if its cave-in could begin in the next few decades or centuries. […]

World’s oldest known spider dies in Australia — of wasp sting

SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — The world’s oldest known spider has died at the ripe old age of 43 after being monitored for years during a long-term population study in Australia, researchers said Monday. The trapdoor matriarch comfortably outlived the previous record holder, a 28-year-old tarantula found in Mexico, according to a study published in the Pacific Conservation Biology Journal. The spider did not die of old age but was killed by a wasp sting, researchers […]

Australia pledges half a billion to restore Great Barrier Reef

by Martin Parry Agence France Presse SYDNEY, Australia (AFP) — Australia pledged half a billion dollars to restore and protect the Great Barrier Reef Sunday in what it said would be a game-changer for the embattled natural wonder, but conservationists were not convinced. The World Heritage-listed site, which attracts millions of tourists, is reeling from significant bouts of coral bleaching due to warming sea temperatures linked to climate change. It is also under threat from […]