Animals

Lake Michigan has become unfishable

While lobster fishermen in the Long Island Sound are stubbornly — but just barely — hanging on, people who depended on the fishing stock in the Great Lakes for their livelihood can no longer make it. Lake Michigan is a "liquid desert," reports Dan Egan in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Even the most devoted fishing family Egan can find is sending one of its own up to Alaska, because "he can catch more fish in one day in Alaska than he can catch all winter off Milwaukee."

Border fence doesn’t stop humans, just endangered species

The 600 or so miles of fence splitting the U.S. from Mexico hasn't stopped immigrants from moving northward, but the fence has kept a few (non-human) endangered species from crossing the border. According to a new study, some species have had their range cut by 75 percent. But the affected species, which include the Arroyo toad, California red-legged frog, black-spotted newt, and Pacific pond turtle, aren't the type that tend to incite widespread indignation on their behalf — that is, they’re reptiles and amphibians, which usually aren’t considered cute enough to worry about.

Critical List: Shipping industry objects to E.U. emissions scheme; when horses act like squirrels

Like the airline industry, the shipping industry objects to the E.U.'s decisions to include it in a emissions trading system. Will the federal government be spending less on disaster response in the future? Somehow “let ‘em drown” doesn’t seem like the best possible debt reduction plan. Australia's carbon tax, which was so hotly disputed that people were sending climate scientists death threats, would apply to just 400 of the country's top polluters. Hydro turbines are going into the Puget Sound by late summer 2013.

Long Island lobster catch dwindling to nothing

It really sucks to be a lobster fisherperson working in the Long Island Sound. Twelve years ago, 90 percent of the lobsters died off because of pesticides or climate change or both. The ones still there have weird-looking shells, a result of bacteria colonizing the sounds, that keep people from wanting to eat them. Things are so bad some of the lobstermen don't even bother fishing for lobster anymore, says the New York Times:

Brace yourself for more stink bugs

Here's one invasive species that's never going to end up on an invasivore menu: the brown marmorated stink bug. (This is actually the most appetizing photo I could find.) They smell when you squish them, they get all up in your house, and they ruined $37 million worth of fruit crops last year. And they're likely to make an even bigger mess this year as they migrate into warmer climates.

Sand kitten gives hope for near-extinct species, is ridiculously cute

The Israeli sand cat is extinct in the wild, so its only hope is breeding programs in captivity. The birth of this stupifyingly cute fuzzball at Safari Zoo in Tel Aviv is therefore really good news — …

Western Pacific nations create the world's largest shark sanctuary

If you never quite believed your parents when they told you big, scary animals have more to fear from us than we do from them, consider this, via The New York Times' Joanna Foster: Sharks kill two or three people every year. People kill 73 million sharks in the same time period. To protect these sharp-toothed scapegoats, Micronesian chief executives have decided to create a shark preserve of 2 million square miles in the western Pacific -- the largest shark sanctuary in the world.

Animals

Duck hunters vs. 'Big Wind' [VIDEO]

A rep from the United Waterfowlers of Florida spoke out against a proposed wind-energy project on the Daily Show last night .

Critical List: Wind power can be dangerous; the U.S. gets average marks on clean energy

Wind power's not entirely safe: A watchdog group warns that "one of these days, a turbine's going to fall on someone.” The U.S. gets a C for renewable energy development from an alternative energy analyst. Colorado's going to require fracking companies to disclose what's in their fracking fluid. The natural gas boom is also creating demand for silica sand.

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