Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bats. Sea Turtles and King Crabs in Danger

Threats to Bats Could Cost Agriculture Billions

“People often ask why we should care about bats,” says Paul Cryan, a U.S. Geological Survey research scientist. He is one of the authors of a new study, published recently in the journal Science, that answers the question: Pest-control services provided by insect-eating bats likely save the U.S. agricultural industry as much as $53 billion a year.

Pollution Threatens Loggerhead Sea Turtles
A study published recently provides some of the first measurements ever made of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in adult male loggerhead sea turtles. Another study found that female loggerheads nesting in western and eastern Florida had lower concentrations of POPs in their eggs than did females from North Carolina. The chemicals can be hazardous to the turtles, and knowing geographic variations can help wildlife managers to refine measures taken to recover the beleaguered species.

A New Antarctic Invader
King crabs are beginning to move out of the sea depths off Antarctica and toward the shallower waters of the continental shelf, where no fishes capable of crushing shelled creatures have lived for millions of years. Consequently, the shellfish, starfish and sea urchins that live in the region have not developed heavy shells and are vulnerable to the crabs’ powerful claws. Some biologists fear that the crabs could rapidly diminish the defenseless prey populations.

Read the "rest of the story" on all three of these topics at National Wildlife Federation's website.

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