Vaquita: The World’s Rarest Marine Mammal Is In Trouble

Another species of marine mammal is on the verge of extinction.  The Vaquita (Phocoena sinus), a small porpoise endemic to the northern Gulf of Mexico, is reportedly just 30 individuals away from being lost forever.  The name vaquita is Spanish for “little cow,” and it looks somewhat like a panda mixed with a dolphin.   […]

Killing Poachers

Many are familiar with the worldwide effort to stop the illegal hunting of endangered wildlife.  Some nations have created wildlife refuges where hunting is limited, while other nations, such as Costa Rica, have banned hunting altogether.  Creating a refuge is challenging enough, but enforcing hunting limitations is far more difficult.  Even in the well protected reserves […]

Protecting Elephants

    In October of 2016, in what was considered a surprising move, the United States, the European Union and several African nations voted against an all-out ban of the elephant ivory trade.  It was a surprising move in that there was strong support in favor of a ban from the countries hosting the two […]

Haleakala Flightless Moth

Many species in the Hawaiian islands are known to be endemic (found nowhere else).   An example is the Haleakala flightless moth. This moth is not just restricted to the Hawaiian Islands, but it can only be found on the windswept western slopes of the summit of Haleakala volcano.  Its scientific name is Thyrocopa apatela.  It is, however, more commonly […]

The Still Mysterious Case of Missing Bees

We are just four months shy of the 10-year anniversary when David Hackenberg reported losing two-thirds of his bee hives to a phenomenon now known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).   It was in October of 2006 that Mr Hackenberg, a Pennsylvania bee keeper, noticed that 2000 bee colonies he had transferred to Florida to pollinate crops […]

Diversity among Some Environmental Organizations

If the biological world exhibited a similar diversity in the number of species present that several environmental organizations do with regard to minorities in positions of leadership, it would be an extremely impoverished world.   I reviewed the online list of board members and executives at several large and well known environmental organizations, and was very […]

Monk Parakeet Populations Growing

  In 1939, nearly 77 years ago, the Carolina Parakeet (Conuropsis carolinensis) was declared extinct.  At the time, it was United States’ only known native parrot.  The cause for its extinction is not certain, but is frequently reported to be the result of deforestation.  Some experts, however, believe deforestation and hunting may have reduced the populations […]

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) AKA: Pacific green turtle, black (sea) turtle Green Sea Turtle (click on this link to watch) While diving off the coast of Hawaii, I encountered multiple green sea turtles in the shallow areas around the shore.  Adult green sea turtles are primarily vegetarians and feed on sea grass and algae. […]

What are the Health Risks Associated with Fossil Fuel Power: How Much Do You Know?

INTRODUCTION In the United States, there are approximately 6,997 power plants with a capacity to generate at least one megawatt of electricity (United States Energy Information Agency [EIA], 2013). Each of these power plants may operate one or more electric power generators resulting in an estimated 19,023 individual generators (EIA, 2013). It is estimated that […]

The Future of Renewable Energy

The Future of Renewable Energy With regulatory and market forces chipping away at the profit margins for coal-fired and oil-fired power plants, will the next few decades usher in a surge in more cost competitive renewable energy projects throughout the United States?  Not likely.  The reason is that most renewable energy sources are also facing […]