Friday, July 14, 2017

7/14 BC fire, green crab, nat'l monuments, phthalates, pesticide suit, ravens plan, eel slime, hot earth, dinos

Pileated woodpecker [Marcus Sharpe, All About Birds]
Pileated Woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens. (Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds)

B.C. Wildfires Live: Strong weekend wind expected to fan the flames
Strong winds forecast for Saturday are expected to fan the flames and play havoc with firefighting efforts in B.C.’s Southern Interior. There are more than 3,100 B.C. firefighting personnel, along with 392 firefighters and support workers from out-of-province, battling 188 active fires — including 22 of wildfires of note that are either highly visible or which pose a potential threat to public safety — burning across the province. Scott Brown and Patrick Johnston report. (Canadian Press)

Invasive green crab count hits 87 on Dungeness Spit
As crabbing season reaches its midpoint in the area, state and federal resource managers report they’ve caught 87 of the invasive European green crabs on the Dungeness Spit. The most recent totals from July 6 show they’ve trapped 51 males and 36 females, said Allen Pleus, Aquatic Invasive Species coordinator for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and that their sizes indicate they came from the same larvae group. Dr. Emily Grason, Crab Team project coordinator through Washington Sea Grant, said in a recent blog post that the crabs’ sizes show they are a new population and likely floated to Sequim in 2016 but where they are coming from is still not determined. Matthew Nash reports. (Peninsula Daily News)

Hanford Reach, Craters Of The Moon Keep National Monument Status
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryane Zinke announced Thursday that the Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington and Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho won’t lose their federal designation. The Trump Administration issued an executive order in April to review the monument status of nearly 30 sites across the country…. Still to be reviewed is the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument outside of Ashland, Oregon. Anna King reports. (NW News Network)

Phthalates found in powdered mac-and-cheese mixes
Potentially harmful chemicals that were banned from children’s teething rings and rubber duck toys a decade ago may still be present in high concentrations in your child’s favorite meal: macaroni and cheese mixes made with powdered cheese. The chemicals, phthalates, can disrupt male hormones like testosterone and have been linked to genital birth defects in infant boys and learning and behavior problems in older children. The chemicals migrate into food from packaging and equipment used in manufacturing and may pose special risks to pregnant women and young children. Roni Caryn Rabin reports. (NY Times)

States Band Together to Sue EPA After Agency Backtracks on Pesticide Ban
In late March, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt decided that his agency would not place an outright ban on a pesticide manufactured by Dow Chemical called chlorpyrifos. The decision came after a federal court ordered the EPA to make a final decision on whether or not to ban the pesticide, which the Obama administration had proposed banning in 2015. The chemical has been on the market in the United States since 1965 under the brand name Lorsban and indoor use of the chemical has been banned for more than a decade. In its decision to allow the pesticide to continue being used in the United States, the EPA went against its own agency’s findings that the pesticide presented unnecessary risks to American citizens. And while Pruitt’s EPA officials did not deny those findings, they did claim additional studies on the chemical were still needed before they could ban it, thus allowing the product's continued use. Farron Cousins reports. (DeSmog Bulletin)

Ravens Surprise Scientists By Showing They Can Plan
As recently as 10 years ago, humans were thought to be the only species with the ability to plan. Recent studies on great apes showed the ability is not uniquely human. Now, scientists in Sweden have come to the surprising conclusion that ravens can also deliberately prepare for future events. "It is conservative to conclude that ravens perform similarly to great apes and young children," the researchers write. However, monkeys have failed similar experiments. Merrit Kennedy reports. (NPR)

Eels, slime coat Oregon highway after wreck
Slime everywhere. Everywhere. A truck carrying live eels for export overturned on U.S. Highway 101 near Depoe Bay along the Oregon coast Thursday afternoon, according to the Oregon State Police, spilling its load of eels across the road. Kenny Ocker reports. (Tacoma News Tribune)

The Uninhabitable Earth 
When Will Climate Change Make the Earth Too Hot For Humans? Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think. David Wallace-Wells reports. (NY Magazine)

When Dinosaurs Roamed North Dakota
On a blisteringly hot June day in the North Dakota Badlands, there are very few signs of life outside of birds, snakes and wandering livestock. The landscape is tall, stark and punishing, with loose rocks to trip you and serrated cliffs to cut you when you fall. Conical peaks rise from the ground, each striated layer full of potential discovery. This was once a land of savannas and plains, with rivers and lakes. Unrecognizable creatures — with disproportionate limbs, spikes, shells, horns, unfathomable teeth — roamed freely, feeding on the tall grass and, oftentimes, one another. Hillary Richard reports. (NY Times)

Now, your weekend tug weather--
West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  257 AM PDT Fri Jul 14 2017  
TODAY
 W wind 10 kt or less, rising to 10 to 20 kt in the  afternoon. Wind waves 1 ft or less, building to 1 to 3 ft. W  swell 4 ft at 9 seconds.
TONIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W swell  4 ft at 9 seconds.
SAT
 W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3 ft  at 8 seconds.
SAT NIGHT
 W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft. W swell  3 ft at 8 seconds.
SUN and SUN NIGHT
 W wind 10 to 20 kt. Wind waves 1 to 3 ft. W  swell 3 ft at 7 seconds.

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"Salish Sea News & Weather" is compiled as a community service by Mike Sato. To subscribe, send your name and email to msato (@) salishseacom.com. Your email information is never shared and you can unsubscribe at any time.

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