Archive for November, 2001

A Reason to Give Thanks: The Return of the Wild Turkey

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 21, 2001   View Article

As millions of Americans gather around the table with family and friends on Thursday, wild turkeys may be the ones with the most thanks to give. A century ago, with a population of only 30,000, the large birds were on the road to extinction. Today, they number 5.4 million.

“The recovery of the wild turkey is definitely a success story,” said Bart Semcer, chair of the Sierra Club’s National Wildlife and Endangered Species Committee in Washington, D.C. “They are part of America’s heritage, and the American people came together to recover the species.”

“Harry Potter” Owl Scenes Alarm Animal Advocates

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 16, 2001   View Article

A bespectacled 11-year-old boy’s name may be in the title of the movie, but British animal protection groups fear that Harry Potter’s lovable messenger/pet will steal the show and lead to a surge of interest in keeping owls as pets.

As the film based on author J.K. Rowling’s best-selling books about the adventures of Harry Potter at the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft debuts this month, several groups in the United Kingdom have voiced concern about the potential welfare of owls given as gifts this holiday season.

Invader Ants Hurting Ecosystems, Economies

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 9, 2001   View Article

When merchant ships embarked from the shores of Brazil and Argentina in the early 1900s to carry coffee and sugar to South Africa, North America, and the Mediterranean, they carried a mischievous stowaway: Linepithema humile.

The tiny black insect, better known as the Argentine ant, used burgeoning global trade to invade ant communities around the world. Scientists are just now beginning to tally the damage. The reports are grim. Entire native ant populations have disappeared.

Rich Coral Reefs in Nutrient-Poor Water: Paradox Explained?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 7, 2001   View Article

Coral reefs are the rain forests of the oceans, teeming with a biological diversity that boggles the mind. Just how did such profusion of life come to thrive in crystal-clear—and thus nutrient poor—water? The question has eluded scientists since Charles Darwin took his famous voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle in the 1830s.

Now, a team of German and Jordanian researchers may have the answer to this so-called coral reef paradox: an abundance of sponges that dwell inside the nooks and crannies of reef interiors.

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