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Living Things


Descriptions, experiences, pictures and videos of Living Things in the Sierras.

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Recent Rapid 88 Percent Decline of Big Freshwater Animals sticky icon

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Alligator Gar
Alligator gar, by Zeb Hogan, Forschungsverbund Berlin.
With a maximum weight of about 130 kilograms, the alligator gar (wiki) is one of the largest freshwater fishes in North America. By Zeb Hogan, Forschungsverbund Berlin.

 

Already Outrageous Human Population Still Rising -- Nature Crashing Rapidly

88 Percent Decline of Big Freshwater Animals,
Forschungsverbund Berlin, August 8, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"Freshwater megafauna include all freshwater animals that weigh 30 kilograms or more, such as species of river dolphins, beavers, crocodiles, giant turtles and sturgeons."

1970 to 2012
88% Decline
"From 1970 to 2012, global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88 percent - twice the loss of vertebrate populations on land or in the ocean."

Major Decliners
"Large fish species such as sturgeons, salmonids and giant catfishes are particularly threatened: with a 94 percent decline, followed by reptiles with 72 percent."

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Acid Rain Makes Thirsty Forests sticky icon

 

PLANTS & TREES

Acid Rain Makes Thirsty Forests

Previously unknown mechanism causes increased forest water use, new study says,
Indiana University, July 31, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

New Approach
"The impacts of soil biogeochemistry on large-scale forest water use had not been investigated."

Acid Rain Consequences
"Sulfuric and nitric acid fall to the ground when fossil fuels are burned, causing acidification of the soil. When that happens, a significant amount of soil calcium washes out of the soil, and then plants suffer from calcium deficiency."

Plant Biochemistry
"Calcium plays a unique role in plant cells by regulating the minute pores, called stomata, in the plants' leaves or stems."

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TREE & PLANT NEWS: The Summer & Fall of 2019 sticky icon

 

All Tree News
Generally Covering the Plant World

 

 TREE & PLANT
NEWS

Summer & Fall
of
2019

 

Previously
Winter & Spring of 2019

2015 through 2018 Tree News

 

All
2019 SIERRA FIRES

High Sierra Tree Identification Resources

Tree Forum

 


The Brethren

FERGUSON FIRE

Updated

Previously
Winter & Spring of 2019

2015 through 2018 Tree News

Alex Wierbinski's picture

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People, Winter & Spring of 2019 sticky icon

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People,

Winter & Spring
2019

This is the High Sierra
Fish, Oceans, Ice, Sealife, & Water News



The Fish News has been stretching into Fish & River News, now into covering Water Issues generally. We cover water as it stands, pools, flows, freezes, and precipitates. A step further, we cover how water affects the things that most directly depend on it, the things that grow, swim, drink, ship, & store water.

 

NOAA West Coast Fisheries

All Sierra Snow

All Sierra Precip

 

 

Later

Summer & Fall of 2019

 

Earlier

2018

2015-17 Fish, Ice, Oceans, WATER, & People NEWS & RESEARCH

 

 

2019

Alex Wierbinski's picture

TREE & PLANT NEWS: The Winter & Spring of 2019 sticky icon

 

All Tree News
Generally Covering the Plant World

 

 TREE & PLANT
NEWS

Winter & Spring
of
2019

 

Next
Summer & Fall of 2019 Tree & Plant News

 

Previously
2015 through 2018 Tree News

 

All
High Sierra Fire and Smoke Information

High Sierra Tree Identification Resources

Tree Forum

 


The Brethren

FERGUSON FIRE

Updated

Previously
2015 through 2018 Tree News

Top

2019

 

June 17

Alex Wierbinski's picture

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People, 2018 sticky icon

News of Fish, Water, Oceans, Ice, & People, 2018

This is the High Sierra
Fish, Oceans, Ice, Sealife, & Water News



The Fish News has been stretching into Fish & River News, now into covering Water Issues generally. We cover water as it stands, pools, flows, freezes, and precipitates. A step further, we cover how water affects the things that most directly depend on it, the things that grow, swim, drink, ship, & store water.

 

NOAA West Coast Fisheries

All Sierra Snow

All Sierra Precip

 

Next Fish, Oceans, Ice, & Water News
2019

Previous Water News
2015-17 Fish, Ice, Oceans, WATER, & People NEWS & RESEARCH

 

 

2018

 

Last 2018
Update

 

December 21

 

OCEANS, ICE, WATER, & MAN

Alex Wierbinski's picture

All BUGS, SPIDERS & Other Mountain INSECT NEWS sticky icon

The World of Insects and the Spiders that Eat Them

We've got worlds of wonder in the High Sierra looking in any direction. The ground and sky are full of vibrant insect communities. Some, like the mosquitoes, are winged devils. Others are winged delights. On the ground we find spiders trying to catch and eat them all.

This forum started out as the Spider Forum, but has been expanded to include the various insects we encounter that are not Bees, Butterflies, and Mosquitoes, which have their own dedicated pages.

Spiders
&
Other
High Sierra Insects

IDENTIFICATION

 

Greg Lasley
SPIDERS

 

Greg Lasley
INSECTS

 

Insect Societies

Spider Sites Index
arachnology.be


SpiderIdentification.org

American Arachnological Society

 

How Ticks Work

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Bee News sticky icon

Bee News 

BEE WORRIED

Insect Identification

Latest All Bug News

 

BEE NEWS

THE BUZZ

2019

Updated

 

July 27

GLOBAL BEE DISASTER EMERGING

Russian Bee Losses Make Bee Decline a Global Situation

Russia Alarmed by Large Fall in Bee Populations

 

 

July 26

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Bee-Flower Mismatches Rising with Temperatures

How Climate Change Disrupts Relationships

 

 

 

July 12

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Big Jap Bumbler & Its Timed Plant Pal Demonstrate That...

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BUTTERFLY NEWS sticky icon

Video embed: 
See video

Endless Butterflies Video

 

Identification
Art Shapiro High Sierra Butterfly Identification by Common Name

 

Trail Guide
High Sierra Butterfly Identification & Resources

 

Review
High Sierra Nevada All Living Things Forum

 

 

BUTTERFLY NEWS
 The whole web of life is being distorted by the  changing character of the seasons on and around the the vastness of the North Pacific Ocean.

 The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range is a significant element in the complex relationship of the North Pacific Ocean weather patterns with the North American continent.

 The relationship between North Pacific weather patterns and the High Sierra is vitally important for the vast overlapping webs of social and natural life depending on bountiful and predictable weather patterns.
These predictable and bountiful resources no longer exist on their own, in Nature, nor in the context of the vast populations to overwhelm Nature that we have spawned.

We have overwhelmed Nature and its resources fundamentally and on its face..

Alex Wierbinski's picture

High Sierra Mammals Reference-Identification sticky icon

High Sierra Small Mammals Forum, Identification, and References 

 

 

References

Mammals, identification, Greg Lasley Photography.

Mammals of Yosemite National Park, (1952) by Harry C. Parker.

For more links about animal, plant, geology, and astronomy information for backpackers see the High Sierra Backpacking links page on the trail guide.

 

 

MAMMAL NEWS

 

 Last Update

 

2019

 

 August 1

HEALTH, FITNESS, & SKUNKS

Fungal Antidote for Skunk Spray Found

Fungal Compound Deodorizes Skunk Smell

 

 

 

March 27

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Cold Blooded Guides & News sticky icon

High Sierra
&
General
Frog & Reptile
News and Information

I've got to gather all the frog news here, which is spread out over the monthly news reports.

In the meantime, signed-in members can review previous Frog reports using the site search feature.

 

Goal
Identify and understand the frogs, lizards, and snakes we encounter.

 

Field Notes
The Frog, Reptile, & Snake Forum

 

The mountain yellow-legged frog Site
 MyFrog.info

 

Links from MyFrog & to
frog and reptile resources

 

 

Frog Identification

Guides
The Best of Breed

MyHerps.com:
A Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of California

California Frogs Photo Idenification

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Sierra Nevada Hiking and backpacking with Dogs sticky icon

Hiking Dogs in the High Sierra

 

High Sierra Hiking Dog News,
below, & Links

 

Introduction

I consider dogs an integral part of High Sierra Trail Culture, and have met some fine canines along the long trails. 

Alex Wierbinski's picture

2019 Russian Bee Losses Show Bee Decline an Emerging Global Disaster

 

GLOBAL BEE DISASTER EMERGING

Honey Bee Visiting Flowers
Western Honey Bee, Wiki, Louis Docker.
Western Honey Bee, Wiki, Louis Docker.

 

Russian Bee Losses Make Bee Decline a Global Situation

Russia Alarmed by Large Fall in Bee Populations,
BBC, July 19, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Scope
"...20 regions had reported mass bee deaths...regions include Bryansk and Kursk, south of Moscow, and Saratov and Ulyanovsk on the Volga River."

Causes & Effects
"...might mean 20% less honey being harvested. Some officials blamed poorly regulated pesticide use."

Beekeepers cite Climate
"...beekeepers blamed climate change, noting that late frosts had been followed by a severe heatwave in France."

"Sunflowers and buckwheat are just two of the staple crops pollinated by bees in Russia. Orchards also rely on bees for pollination."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

A World Without Forest Elephants Approaches

 

ANTHROPOCENE

Forest Elephant
Forest Elephant, Stephen Blake, Ph.D., Saint Louis University.
Forest elephants engineer the ecosystem of the entire central African forest, and their catastrophic decline toward extinction has implications for carbon policy. Stephen Blake, Ph.D., Saint Louis University.

 

A World Without Forest Elephants Approaches

Elephant Extinction will Raise Carbon Dioxide Levels in Atmosphere,
Saint Louis University, July 24, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"One of the last remaining megaherbivores, forest elephants shape their environment by serving as seed dispersers and forest bulldozers as they eat over a hundred species of fruit, trample bushes, knock over trees and create trails and clearings. Their ecological impact also affects tree populations and carbon levels in the forest,...with significant implications for climate and conservation policies."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

FUNGAL Disaster on Our Horizon?

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Fungus, Yellow, Eagle Creek, Toiyabe Wilderness
Fungus, Yellow, Eagle Creek, Toiyabe Wilderness.
Fungus, Toiyabe National Forest, Mokelumne Wilderness, Pacific Crest Trail between Carson and Ebbetts Pass at Eagle Creek below Reynolds Peak.

 

FUNGAL Disaster on Our Horizon?

Rise of Candida Auris Blamed on Global Warming,
American Society for Microbiology, July 23, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Super-Fungus
"...C. auris, which is often multi-drug resistant and is a serious public health threat, may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change."

Super-Fungal Forge
"Global warming may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Candida auris, according to a new study..."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Life Moving with Changing Climate and Seasons

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

 

African Bird Breeding in UK
African Bird in UK, European Bee-eater, Zoological Society of London.
"The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is one of the species moving with climate change, traditionally breeding in Africa, southern and central Europe and East Asia -- they have reportedly bred in Nottinghamshire."

 

Life Moving with Climate Changes

Species on the move,
Zoological Society of London, July 18, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"...A total of 55 animal species in the UK have been displaced from their natural ranges or enabled to arrive for the first time on UK shores because of climate change over the last 10 years (2008-2018)..."

The Study
"The analysis also considered UK Government environment reports as well as 111 scientific papers, leading to a total of 55 species (out of 39,029 species in the UK) being identified. The research focused solely on species which had established sustainable populations through natural, rather than human-assisted movement."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

BIRD BRAINS? Chickadees Understand Complex Sound Emotions at Distance

 

BIRD BRAINS

Black-Capped Chickadee
Black-Capped Chickadee, kriswaid, pixabay.
Black-Capped Chickadee, kriswaid, pixabay. Note the  beak on the bird in the image with the research notice below kind of looks like a Jackdaw (??), whatever it is, but not a Chickadee, not with that beak...

 

Complex Emotions Understood at Distance

Hear them roar: How humans and chickadees understand each other,
University of Alberta, July 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Duh
"The idea is that some species can understand other species' vocalizations."

"For instance, a songbird is able to understand the call of distress of a different type of songbird when they are in the presence of a predator, like an owl or a hawk. Or, for example, if your friend scared you and you screamed. Both of these are high-arousal vocalizations, and being able to understand what that sounds like in a different species can be very useful."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Changing Timing of Life Bleeding Fertility Out of Nature, The Case of the Japanese Bumblebees

 

ECO-CRASHING NEWS

Big Jap Bumbler & Its (Once) Perfectly Timed Plant Pal
Jap Bumblebee Visits Corydalis Ambigua after Overwintering, Yuimi Hirabayashi (Bihoro Museum), Hokkaido University.
Coming in for Landing: A far Northern Japanese Bumblebee visits Corydalis ambigua after overwintering, by Yuimi Hirabayashi (Bihoro Museum), Hokkaido University.

 

Changing Timing of Life Bleeding Fertility Out of Nature

Early arrival of spring disrupts the mutualism between plants and pollinators,
Hokkaido University, July 12, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Bummer for Jap Bumblers & Flowers…
"...demonstrated that early snowmelt results in the spring ephemeral Corydalis ambigua flowering ahead of the emergence of its pollinator, the bumblebee."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Loggerhead Turtles Face Extinction due to Global Warming

 

ANTHROPOCENE

Loggerhead Turtles
Loggerhead turtles in Cape Verde, University of Exeter, Lucy Hawkes.
Run little turtles, run! Loggerhead turtles in Cape Verde, University of Exeter, Lucy Hawkes.

 

Turtle Troubles

No New Males: Climate Change Threat to Cape Verde Turtles,
University of Exeter, July 11, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

Hot End of Loggerhead Turtles
"...by 2100 - more than 90% of loggerhead nests on the Cape Verde islands could incubate at "lethally high temperatures", killing turtles before they hatch."

Turtle Troubles
"The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by incubation temperature..."

Low Heat Not Happening…
"Even under a scenario based on low future emissions and warming, by 2100 just 0.14% of hatchlings would be male."

Realistic
"Under mid and high-emissions scenarios, hatching of male loggerheads could cease entirely."

Nearing the End
"We estimate that 84% of current hatchlings are female, and warmer temperatures will increase this proportion."

Alex Wierbinski's picture

Big Ohio Study Matches Global Butterfly & Insect Declines

 

BUTTERFLIES

Swallowtail Butterfly
Swallowtail on flower, Oregon State University, Rob Liptak, Ohio Lepidopterists.
Swallowtail on flower, Oregon State University, Rob Liptak, Ohio Lepidopterists.

 

Big Ohio Study Matches Global Butterfly & Insect Declines

Decades-Long Butterfly Study Shows Common Species on the Decline,
Oregon State University, July 9, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

2% Annual Decrease
33% Loss Over 21 Year Study
"...butterfly abundance in Ohio declined yearly by 2%, resulting in an overall 33% drop for the 21 years of the program."

All Over World?
"The findings also are in line with those of butterfly monitoring programs in multiple European countries."

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