Monday

Dumbo octopuses are the deepest living of all known octopuses! They live in the open ocean, reaching to depths of at least 13,100 feet and perhaps much deeper!

The gentle dumbo octopus, also known as an umbrella octopus, is named for its ear-like fins that resemble the Disney character Dumbo's oversize elephant ears. There are 13 species of dumbo octopuses, and most of them live at depths of below 9,800 feet (3,000 meters). They're one of the rarest species of octopus, so catching a glimpse like this is pretty extraordinary.

The team used scaling lasers on the ROV to estimate that this particular deep-sea ghost was just under 2 feet (60 centimeters) long, which is a little larger than most dumbo octopuses.

Dumbo octopuses live at extreme depths in oceans around the world—up to 13,000 feet below the surface—and are the deepest-living octopuses known. They feed on snails, worms, and other creatures they hoover up from the ocean floor.

They are “cirrate” octopuses, a group of deep-sea octopuses that have slender protrusions trailing from their suckers called cirri. The role of cirri is not known, but it’s thought to have something to do with feeding.

They propel themselves through the water by flapping their strong fins, not by expelling water forcefully from their siphons—a process called jet propulsion—as other octopuses do. Webbing between their arms aids them in swimming.


Female ones can store the eggs in several development stages and they are fertilized inside the body of the female dumbo. After reaching the final maturity, they release the eggs and place them under the shells or rocks.

But female dumbo octopus does not need to take care of their children but the can survive better on their inner capacity as they born as a large and properly developed dumbo.

Thursday

A lone wolf that recently ventured into Victoria and had to be relocated by conservation officers has been shot dead. CTV News Vancouver Island has confirmed Takaya, a well known wolf who spent years living alone on Discovery Island, has died this week.

Cheryl Alexander is a conservation photographer who has been following one of nature’s great predators for years and said the animal was shot by a hunter.

“I’ve been crying for the last couple of hours,” said Alexander. “It’s heartbreaking.”

She lives in Victoria and has been following, documenting and studying the lone wolf named Takaya, which lived on Discovery Island off the coast of Oak Bay, for six years. In January, Takaya was seen scurrying down the sidewalks of James Bay and was tranquilized by conservation officers. He was then relocated and released into the wild at an undisclosed location.

Alexander said Takaya was relocated to an area near Port Renfrew.

“I’ve known where he has been for the last month and he’s been doing really great and healthy,” she said.

The wildlife photographer who closely followed Discovery Island wolf, Takaya, says the wolf has been shot and killed. (Photo by Cheryl Alexander) 

On Wednesday, she was told by local hunters that a wolf with an ear tag had been shot.

“Takaya is the only wolf on the island with an ear tag,” she said. “I knew right away. I just found out a few hours ago.”

Alexander said she is at a loss for words and wants trophy hunting to be stopped.

“What are we doing allowing trophy hunting?,” she said. “As far as I know it was a legal hunt.”
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These pictures show an inspiring dog with dwarfism - that is stuck in perpetual puppy-hood. Ranger is two-year-old purebred AKC German Shepherd from Phoenix, Arizona, who has 'Pituitary Dwarfism'.

It means he retains his puppy-like appearance much longer than is normal for his breed. Ranger was diagnosed with the rare condition - which German Shepherds are predisposed to - after he contracted a parasite called Giardia. After recovering from the infection his owners noticed Ranger wasn't growing at the same rate a German Shepherd should.

They took him to their vet who revealed that little Ranger may have the Pituitary Dwarfism mutation. As a side effect of his dwarfism, the pup has contended with various health issues including shedding fur and flaky skin caused by hypothyroidism.

With the unconditional love of his owners and some help from his legion of online followers Ranger was able to get all the treatment he needed and has now made a full recovery from all his health issues. Despite all the adversity this underdog has never let any of it hold him back.

Ranger is happy and healthy and can be found playing the day away with his family and sisters or enjoying online fame and adoration as the star of his own Instagram page. Ranger has been filmed performing his 'signature' head tilt and playing with his sisters Hazel the Labrador and fellow German Shepherd, Jessie.

Shelby Mayo who is Ranger's guardian, said: 'When we originally got Ranger from the breeder, he was smaller than all his other littermates, but we figured that was because he had a parasite called Coccidia.


'In the weeks following we took him home and he was parasite free but later on ended up getting a parasite called Giardia. 'At the same time, we also discovered that Ranger had a large infection on his neck.

'We were eventually able to get the infection under control, fast forward a few months later we were finally able to get rid of Giardia. 'During this time Ranger remained very small, the vet had suspected that he may have Pituitary Dwarfism, a genetic mutation.'

'But we were still skeptical as this condition is very rare. 'Over time Ranger still did not get much bigger, and at this point we are certain he does have this condition. 'After a few more months we got him neutered and that's when we started to see big changes.

'He lost his appetite, started to lose weight, lost almost all of his fur, and had extremely dry and flaky skin.

'Many people on our Instagram page warned us that Pituitary Dwarfs can have many medical issues, but up until that point we hadn't experienced any.


'One of our followers, "Guardians Farm," are a small company that makes handmade soaps, lotions, etc and they sent us goat milk soap, which ended up helping Rangers skin immensely. 'At the same time another one of our followers who also has a Dwarf German Shepard told us to get his thyroid levels checked as many dwarfs suffer from hypothyroidism.

'So our vet checked his thyroid levels and sure enough he was low, this can cause hair loss and a loss of appetite. 'After getting Ranger on Levothyroxine and using this soap his fur grew back and the dryness went away.


'Rangers litter was the first litter that our breeder had bred those to specific dogs together.' 'We believe this was the cause of the genetic defect. And as a responsible breeder will not breed the two dogs together again.

'He healthy and happy as can be as of now and loves jumping around and playing with his ball and squeaky toys with his two sisters Hazel and Jessie.'
Source 

Wednesday

March 25, 2020 Washington, D.C. — A federal court today granted a request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to strike down federal permits for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Court found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it affirmed federal permits for the pipeline originally issued in 2016. Specifically, the Court found significant unresolved concerns about the potential impacts of oil spills and the likelihood that one could take place.

For example, the Court criticized the Corps for failing to address the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s expert criticism of its analysis, citing issues like potential worst case discharge, the difficulty of detecting slow leaks, and responding to spills in winter. Similarly, the Court observed that DAPL’s parent company’s abysmal safety record “does not inspire confidence,” finding that it should have been considered more closely.

The Court ordered the Corps to prepare a full environmental impact statement on the pipeline, something that the Tribe has sought from the beginning of this controversy. The Court asked the parties to submit additional briefing on the question of whether to shut down the pipeline in the interim.

“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,” said Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith. “It’s humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet. Perhaps in the wake of this court ruling the federal government will begin to catch on, too, starting by actually listening to us when we voice our concerns.”

“This validates everything the Tribe has been saying all along about the risk of oil spills to the people of Standing Rock,” said Earthjustice attorney Jan Hasselman. “The Obama administration had it right when it moved to deny the permits in 2016, and this is the second time the Court has ruled that the government ran afoul of environmental laws when it permitted this pipeline. We will continue to see this through until DAPL has finally been shut down.”


Background

In December of 2016, the Obama administration denied permits for DAPL to cross the Missouri River, and ordered a full environmental impact statement to analyze alternative pipeline routes and impacts on the Tribe’s treaty rights. Yet on his second day in office, Trump reversed that order, directing that permits be issued. Pipeline construction was completed by June of 2017.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe challenged the permits in court and won. The Court ruled then that the environmental analysis had been insufficient because it failed to account for consequences facing the Tribe, and ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to redo it. However, the judge declined to shut down the pipeline in the interim.

The Army Corps then redid its environmental analysis, but essentially shut the Tribe out of the review process, and concluded that its previous analysis had been sufficient and that nothing needed to change. In response, Earthjustice and the Tribe went back to court. In a motion for summary judgment filed last August, the Tribe asked the Court to shut down the pipeline and order the Corps to conduct a full environmental analysis.

The massive 2016 gathering of Tribes and allies defending Standing Rock Sioux territory from DAPL captured the world’s attention and attracted international media coverage. It helped give rise to a global movement of indigenous resistance to fossil-fuel infrastructure projects.
Source

Read the court's decision.

Tuesday

Trappers killed 165 rare Alexander Archipelago wolves on Prince of Wales Island - a new ugly record. Alexander Archipelago wolves, already threatened by logging, are genetically distinct wolves that den in the roots of old-growth trees in the Tongass.

Trappers reported taking almost as many wolves as had estimated to live on and around Prince of Wales Island. It’s a new record number of wolves — 165 taken in Unit 2 — which includes Prince of Wales and surrounding islands.

But residents behind the effort say it’s not cause for alarm.

“The population is still healthy in my opinion,” said Mike Douville, a long-time resident hunter and trapper who sits on state and federal regional advisory boards. He says hunters target wolves because they’re competing for the same venison.

Store-bought meat is relatively expensive. He says supermarket beef runs around $10 a pound on the island.

“Most people don’t buy meat — they choose to get their own,” he said by phone from his home in Craig.


A controversial rule change lifted the quota and residents seized this winter’s opportunity to target an unlimited number of the predators. The previous trapping record was set in 1996 when 131 animals were reported killed. But nobody’s seen anything close to this kind of harvest –165 wolves from November 15 to January 15.

Until last year, the state had been setting a quota on the number of wolves that trappers could take in a season. But Tom Schumacher, regional supervisor for the state’s Wildlife Conservation division says managers didn’t say what the island’s wolf population should be.

“So that left the Department of Fish and Game in the uncomfortable position of trying to determine what the appropriate level for that population was,” Schumacher said “And that’s really a decision that should be made by the public.”

The state and federal game and subsistence boards helped change that. They supported scrapping the hard cap and setting a population goal: between 150 and 200 wolves. That was in line with the most recent population projection from fall 2018: an estimated 170 wolves.


But twice as many trappers came out in force to take nearly that many in two months.

“I think the one thing that took us by surprise was the amount of effort this year,” Schumacher said.

Conservationists are alarmed that managers allowed this to happen.

“It’s shocking because it just looks like a large over-harvest,” Alaska Wildlife Alliance Executive Director Nicole Schmitt said. The Anchorage-based advocacy group is one of several that’s petitioned the federal government to list the Alexander Archipelago wolf as endangered.

“The important thing to remember is that everybody wants a balanced population and that ecosystem does include predators,” she said.

Conservationists have argued that the Prince of Wales Island wolves are a distinct population deserving extra protection. But the federal government disagreed — most recently in 2016 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service denied the petition.

There are still wolves around, residents and biologists say. An uncounted number had pups last spring. And Douville says he’s seeing signs around Craig where he lives. But the deer remain scarce though he doesn’t just blame predators.


“There’s other reasons for deer going down as their habitat diminished,” Douville said, referring to the commercial logging’s legacy left from decades of widespread clear cuts. “You know, with the regrowth of thousands and thousands of acres that’s not productive deer habitat anymore.”

He added: “And old growth logging continues — but we’re opposed to it.”

What happens next for the wolves isn’t clear. Fish and Game bases its population estimate on DNA analysis of hair samples. That takes months to collect and send to a lab for analysis. In setting the next season, wildlife managers will be looking at the fall 2019 count when it’s available this summer.

“And we can obviously subtract 165 from that,” Schumacher said. “Depending on what we determine, we could have no season or a very short season.”

That’s a decision that will be closely scrutinized by resident deer hunters and conservationists alarmed by the loss of at least 165 Alexander Archipelago wolves on and around Prince of Wales Island.
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