Protected Area

World’s most ‘irreplaceable’ protected areas identified

Publication: NBC News   Date: November 14, 2013   View Article

Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range rises more than 18,000 feet from the Caribbean Sea — a height that makes them the tallest coastal mountains in the world. The national park that houses them is also the world’s most irreplaceable protected area for the conservation of threatened species, according to a new report.

The park rose to the top of the analysis based on the diversity of plants and animals found only there, including a critically endangered harlequin frog and more than 20 birds. It is one of 134 protected areas in 34 countries highlighted as “exceptionally irreplaceable” by the analysis of 173,000 protected areas.

Saving most of Earth’s plants may take just a bit of land

Publication: NBC News   Date: September 5, 2013   View Article

Nearly two thirds of the world’s plant species — and the creatures and critters that depend on them for survival — can be saved by protecting patches of land, from the cloud forests of South America to islands in the Caribbean, Asia and Africa, according to a new study.

The finding is based on analysis of data on the distribution of more than 110,000 plant species, and is an effort to determine if internationally agreed conservation targets of protecting 17 percent of the Earth’s land area and 60 percent of its plants by 2020 are achievable.

Supervolcano plume sized up

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: April 11, 2011   View Article

The volcanic plume beneath Yellowstone is larger than previously thought, according to a new study that measured the electrical conductivity of the hot and partly molten rock.

The findings say nothing about the chances of another cataclysmic eruption at Yellowstone, but they give scientists another view of the vast and deep reservoir that feeds such eruptions.

New Species Pictures: “Ugly” Salamander and More

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 16, 2009   View Article

See an E.T.-like amphibian, a prickly lizard, a katydid that sends vibrating valentines, and more—all potential new species found in remote Ecuadorian mountains.

Two New Wildlife Parks Created in Congo

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 25, 2006   View Article

The Republic of Congo will set aside up to 3,800 square miles (1 million hectares) of habitat teeming with elephants, chimpanzees, hippos, crocodiles, and some of the highest densities of gorillas on Earth for two new wildlife parks.

The new protected areas will encompass a mosaic of savannas covering ancient sand dunes, riverside forests, and swamp forests.

First Evidence That Wildlife Corridors Boost Biodiversity, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 1, 2006   View Article

Conservation corridors are a boon for plant diversity, according to a new study that researchers say proves a widely practiced but still controversial theory.

The corridors are narrow strips of land that connect isolated patches of wild habitat, such as nature reserves, often trapped in seas of human developments such as farms and subdivisions.

“Critical Habitat” for Orcas Leaves Pockets of Vulnerability, Critics Say

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 7, 2006   View Article

This June a U.S. federal agency proposed that a vast swath of Washington State’s Puget Sound region be granted federal protections to ensure the survival of an iconic killer whale population.

But area residents Tom and Margo Wyckoff, retired healthcare workers, were shocked to learn that Hood Canal, a barb-shaped fjord that slices a narrow path into the Olympic Peninsula, was excluded from the ruling.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach