A new project to track
wildlife in the world’s
oceans by using electronic
announced at a gathering of scientists
at Canada’s Dalhousie University.
The Ocean Tracking Network will
tag a vast range of ocean wildlife with
small, low-cost devices. Individual
animals will then be followed
through an extensive international
array of acoustic receivers on the sea
floor. The effort is designed to eventually
provide scientists and resource
managers with a highly detailed picture
of marine conditions and the
migrations of fish and ocean animals
throughout the world.
U.S. Flood Disaster
Flash flooding from freak
torrential rains, falling
for days across a broad
swath of the eastern
United States, virtually shut down the
nation’s capital and killed at least 10
people across the region. States of
emergency were declared from Virginia
to upstate New York as surging
flood waters washed away roads and
bridges. Hundreds of people in northeastern
Pennsylvania were believed
trapped by rising water in the upper
floors or roofs of their homes.
Between 150,000 and 200,000 people
around Wilkes-Barre were
ordered to evacuate their homes due
to the rising Susquehanna River.
The second tropical
cyclone of the season in
the northwestern Pacific
brought heavy rainfall and
gusty winds to China’s Hainan and
southern Guangdong provinces.
Tropical Storm Jelawat forced the
cancellation of several flights and
disrupted shipping in the region.
A moderate earthquake in
southern Iran injured more
than 70 people and damaged
buildings and roads
around Zarand. A stronger tremor on
a nearby Strait of Hormuz island five
days later injured nine people.
• Earth movements were also felt
in western Greece, the Greek capital
of Athens, western India, Tokyo,
Indonesia’s Sulawesi Island and
Maluku Islands, the Aleutian Islands
and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The second Antarctic
blast to strike New
Zealand this winter swept
through the length of the
country, producing heavy snow, ice
and landslides that severed the main
roads between the capital of Wellington
and the commercial center of
Auckland. The storm also dumped
fresh snow on the South Island, hampering
efforts to restore power to
about 1,400 households still blacked
out from a storm in early June.
Scientists at the Montserrat
warned that a fresh swarm
of tremors beneath the
Soufriére Hills volcano were unlike
any that have been seen by the observatory
in years. The government on
the eastern Caribbean island raised
the volcano’s alert level, advising that
the seismic swarm increases the possibility
that serious eruptive activity
could affect inhabited areas.
• Ecuador’s National Geophysical
Agency warned that the country’s
Tungurahua Volcano registered 50
explosions within a 24-hour period.
Groups of villagers living near the
volcano voluntarily left their homes,
saying the loud explosions made it
hard for them to sleep at night.
A new species of snake,
with the ability to
change color at will, has
been discovered in a
mountainous rain forest in Borneo.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
said the newly named Kapuas Mud
Snake was collected by a WWF consultant
and a German reptile expert in
the wetlands along the Kapuas River
in West Kalimantan more than a year
ago. It’s believed that since the snake
is poisonous, it uses the ability to
change color as a disguise to catch
prey, rather than to ward off predators.
By changing from a light to dark
shade, the snake may also control its
temperature by regulating how much
sunlight it absorbs.
The first wild brown bear
to be seen in Germany
since 1835 was shot by
hunters after attempts to
tranquilize and relocate the animal
failed. The young brown bear,
dubbed “Bruno” by the media, was
initially welcomed after it wandered
across the border from Austria. Bruno
was blamed for killing dozens of
sheep, and his wanderings near populated
areas finally convinced officials
to kill him. He was an offspring
of bears released under an Italian
attempt to reintroduce the species to
the Alps. The World Wildlife Fund
condoned the killing, saying the animal
was too dangerous. But other
environmental groups blasted the
killing. The German Nature Protection
Ring claimed other nations manage
to coexist in peace with bears.
Bruno will be stuffed and displayed
in a Munich museum next to the last
bear killed in Germany 170 years ago.
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