Burmese Roofed Turtle has something to smile about
The Burmese roofed turtle, known for its smile, was once considered extinct. But with the help of the Myanmar Forest Department and a biologist from the University of Western Australia, and others, the species is multiplying.
Turtles and tortoises have the highest extinction risks of any animal caused mostly by humans. They face habitat loss, consumption by humans in food and traditional medicines and exploitation from the pet trade. Where once there were a thriving population that basked in the river in Yangun, Myanmar, fishing and trapping decimated the roofed turtle population to the point where there were no more sightings and scientists presumed they were extinct.
But when biologist Gerald Kuchling spotted one at a Buddhist temple turtle pond and others were sighted in markets it led to a conservation stewardship program that has helped the turtles rebound to more than 1,000, The New York Times reported. Recently 50 female Burmese roofed turtles who were released back into their habitats began producing eggs.
New York State lawmakers ban toxic pesticide
Glyphosate, listed as a probable human carcinogen by the World Health Organization, will be banned on all New York State property under a bill that passed its General Assembly. The bill is awaiting Gov. Cuomo’s signature.
An active ingredient in Roundup, which is the most commonly used weed killer in the U.S., glyphosate has been the subject of hundreds of lawsuits tying its use to cancer. This year Bayer settled a class action suit representing 100,000 cases for $10.9 billion, and more suits are still pending.
WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate a probable human carcinogen in 2015.
New York City used more than 500 gallons of glyphosate on 28,000 acres of public parks, playgrounds and fields last year and 50,000 gallons were used across the state.
“Parents don’t want their children exposed to dangerous, toxic chemicals when they play in state parks, and groundskeepers and farm workers should not be exposed to potentially deadly chemicals while doing their job,’’ New York Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal, who cosponsored the bill, told The Bronx Daily. “…with safer alternatives available, there is no reason the state should be using a potential carcinogen to kill weeds.”
Seal pups return to the sea after rehab effort
Five harbor seals returned to Cook Inlet after being rehabilitated at an Alaskan center. It was the first time five had been returned to the sea at the same time.
The seals were found stranded at different times and locations in June and were referred to by concerned humans to the Alaska SeaLife Center ‘s wildlife response program in Seward. Some were thin and in danger of starvation.
“They all stranded for a different reason,’’ Jane Belovarac, curator of the program, told the Peninsula Clarion. “We had dehydration, malnutrition, one of them had some digestive issues. Number four, she gave us some scares ‘cause she would get hypoglycemic, and she actually had a seizure once. But she grew out of it, and we say that her liver ‘kicked in’. I think she was just a little bit premature and it took a little bit for her liver to kick in and start doing its job.”
The pups were returned to the Inlet at Kenai North Beach in late August.