Thursday, September 6, 2018

9/6 Turkey vulture, whale protection, seal kill, dart shot, PS Action Agenda, BC pipe, no fish farm, Keystone, quakes, drought study

Turkey vulture [Matt Davis/All About Birds]
Turkey vulture Cathartes aura
If you’ve gone looking for raptors on a clear day, your heart has probably leaped at the sight of a large, soaring bird in the distance– perhaps an eagle or osprey. But if it's soaring with its wings raised in a V and making wobbly circles, it's likely a Turkey Vulture. These birds ride thermals in the sky and use their keen sense of smell to find fresh carcasses.... The oldest recorded Turkey Vulture was at least 16 years, 10 months old when it was found in Ohio, the same state where it had been banded. (All About Birds)

Canada proposes more habitat protection for southern-resident orcas
Canada is taking steps to expand habitat protection for killer whales to boost survival of the critically endangered southern-resident population. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced Wednesday the department is initiating a 60-day comment period on creating new areas of critical habitat for the whales. One area is off the coast of southwestern Vancouver Island, including Swiftsure and La Pérouse banks (important for both northern and southern residents). The other is in Dixon Entrance, along the north coast of Graham Island from Langara to Rose Spit (important for northern residents). The move to expand habitat protection comes on top of a reduction by the department of chinook salmon harvest by up to 35 percent for the 2018 fishing season, with a full closure of commercial and recreational fish for chinook in three key foraging areas for the southern residents: the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Gulf Islands and the mouth of the Fraser River. These measures, enacted June 1, will continue until Sept. 30, and include increased monitoring to assess the effectiveness of the closures. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Lawsuit demands federal departments act to protect southern resident killer whales
Six conservation groups have filed a lawsuit in Federal Court over the Canadian government's failure to issue an emergency order to protect B.C.'s endangered southern resident killer whales. The application names the federal fisheries and environment ministers as respondents and asks for a court order compelling the government to recommend emergency protection for the whales and their habitat. Bethany Lindsay reports. (CBC)

Are There Too Many Harbor Seals in British Columbia?
Advocates are pushing for a cull of British Columbia’s harbor seals. Such a decision could have consequences for a wide range of communities and industries. Brad Badelt reports. (Hakai Magazine) See also: Sea lions and orcas battle it out in Puget Sound  With salmon stocks failing and orcas hanging in the balance, pinnipeds like sea lions and seals find themselves in the crosshairs once again. Jason Buch reports. (Crosscut)

Firing a dart into a wild, sick orca 'a little bit different,' sharp-shooting veterinarian says
Ailing orca J50 isn't fairing well, but an international group of scientists is working to save her, including sharp-shooting veterinarians. They've administered medicine to the whale over the past month. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)

Puget Sound Action Agenda makes a shift in restoration strategy
Puget Sound Partnership has honed its high-level game plan for restoring the Puget Sound ecosystem, including a sharp focus on 10 “vital signs” of ecological health. The newly released draft of the Puget Sound Action Agenda has endorsed more than 600 specific “near-term actions” designed to benefit the ecosystem in various ways. Comments on the plan will be accepted until Oct. 15. Visit the Partnership’s webpage to view the Draft Action Agenda and access the comments page. Chris Dunagan reports. (Watching Our Water Ways)

Trudeau considering an appeal or legislation to end Trans Mountain impasse
A week after the Federal Court of Appeal quashed cabinet approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday his government is looking at all options to get construction back on track — including an appeal of the ruling and new legislation. Speaking to reporters in Edmonton, Trudeau said he wants to see "shovels in the ground as quickly as possible" because the project is in the country's best interests, adding he also wants to satisfy the court's concerns to avoid further litigation. Jon Paul Tasker reports.(CBC)

6 protesters arrested after anti-fish farm demonstration in Victoria
Six protesters were arrested after a demonstration against fish farms at a shipyard in Victoria early Wednesday. The group boarded the dry-docked Orca Chief vessel in the Point Hope shipyard around 7:30 a.m. PT. The boat is owned by Marine Harvest, which owns and operates several fish farms on the B.C. coast. (CBC)

US accused of planning crackdown on pipeline protests
Civil liberties advocates sued the U.S. government Tuesday, alleging law enforcement agencies have been making preparations to crack down on anticipated protests over the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union and its Montana affiliate filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Missoula against the Defense, Homeland Security, Interior and Justice departments. They asked the court to order the release of all documents about cooperation over the pipeline between federal, state and local law enforcement and private security companies. Matthew Brown reports. (Associated Press)

Pacific NW’s ancient earthquakes may help predict future quake risk
One way to predict the risk of earthquakes in the Pacific Northwest is to look at how often they occurred in the past – and, for several groups of geologists, delving into the fault lines themselves. Geologists from Western Washington University, Portland State University and the federal government this summer have discovered signs of strong earthquakes that struck the Pacific Northwest long before modern settlement. The evidence lies in trenches the scientists cut across fault lines in northwest Oregon and on the north Olympic Peninsula.  Tom Banse reports. (NW News Network) See also: 10 of 14 tsunamis higher than 50 m in past century were from landslides in glaciated mountains  Emily Chung reports. (CBC)

Big drought prompts surprises in this flowery hotspot
A new look at the historic drought that struck California from 2012 to 2015 reveals some unexpected results—and uncovers patterns that may be relevant to climate change. Researchers tracked 423 species in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, a little-known ecological hotspot in Southern California, that though small, explodes in wildflowers each spring and is full of threatened or endangered species. “The Carrizo Plain is one of the global hotspots of endangered species, with endangered species at every trophic level: plants, rodents, carnivores,” says lead author Laura Prugh, an assistant professor of quantitative wildlife sciences in the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. “It also is an ideal laboratory to see how an exceptional climate event affects a whole ecosystem.” Hannah Hickey reports. (Futurity)

Now, your tug weather--

West Entrance U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-  236 AM PDT Thu Sep 6 2018   

TODAY  SW wind to 10 kt becoming W 5 to 15 kt in the afternoon.  Wind waves 2 ft or less. SW swell 3 ft at 6 seconds. Patchy fog  in the morning. 

TONIGHT  W wind 5 to 15 kt. Wind waves 2 ft or less. W swell 3  ft at 5 seconds. A slight chance of rain after midnight.

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