invasive species – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ Sat, 12 Mar 2022 23:52:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://phrynosoma.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/profile-150x150.png invasive species – Phrynosoma http://phrynosoma.org/ 32 32 These 6 Invasive Species Are Destroying SC Wildlife https://phrynosoma.org/these-6-invasive-species-are-destroying-sc-wildlife/ Fri, 11 Mar 2022 11:00:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/these-6-invasive-species-are-destroying-sc-wildlife/ Adult black and white tegu lizard. Dustin Smith SCDNR Chances are if you come across a wild pig you’ll immediately think of danger, so this creature doesn’t belong here, even though it’s been in South Carolina for generations. They were brought over by the Spaniards in the 1500s and have torn the landscape ever since, […]]]>

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Adult black and white tegu lizard.

SCDNR

Chances are if you come across a wild pig you’ll immediately think of danger, so this creature doesn’t belong here, even though it’s been in South Carolina for generations.

They were brought over by the Spaniards in the 1500s and have torn the landscape ever since, slowly carving their way from the coast to the plains to the mountains.

They are everywhere.

But many other animals not native to South Carolina wreak havoc wherever they go, boring into trees, eating vegetables and attacking native species.

Here are a few to look for.

brown marmorated stink bug

Brown marmorated stink bug.jpg
This bug, first observed in 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is now present in 41 states and part of Canada. Jon Storm Provided

Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences puts it this way: These insects were a pest in China and they’re a bigger pest here.

These bugs harm fruit trees, legumes, corn, garden vegetables and some ornamental plants. And then when winter comes, they come inside.

And as you can imagine from their name, when disturbed, they give off an odor that some people compare to skunk, burnt trees, or cilantro.

The stink bug was first seen in 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania (accidental introduction, like many other invasive species) and then spread across the country.

Island snail

applesnail island.png
Island snail eggs can carry rat lungworm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans. SCDNR Provided

This snail can reach 6 inches long with a spiral shell and bands of yellow, black, tan and brown. Their beauty is probably what has attracted people who keep aquariums. But then they let go.

Jon Storm, a biologist from the University of South Carolina in the upstate, said they were first seen in the wild in Myrtle Beach in 2008. They attach their eggs – clusters of up to 2,000 at a time – on vegetables and tree trunks.

Storm said snail eggs can carry rat lungworm, a parasite that can cause meningitis in humans.

“Don’t touch the egg masses,” Storm said.

Asian longhorned beetle

asian longhorned beetle.png
The Asian longhorned beetle was found in 2021 by an owner in Hollywood, South Carolina Clemson University Provided

This insect feeds on all kinds of trees dear to South Carolina – maple, ash, poplar, sycamore, willow, elm and birch. They burrow into the trunk and stop the flow of sap, leaving holes the size of a finger.

It was first discovered last year by a homeowner in Hollywood, South Carolina. An inspector from the Department of Plant Industry at Clemson University visited the property and found at least four infested maple trees and captured live beetles.

It is also in Ohio, New York and Massachusetts, which are thought to have been brought to the United States by freighters. So far, the longhorned beetle has been eradicated in New Jersey and Illinois.

Argentinian black and white tegu

A particularly ugly lizard, this invader will eat anything, Will Dillman, the South Carolina department’s wildlife chief, told The State last year.

This includes all kinds of eggs, from birds to alligators.

People bought them as pets, and then as they reached their adult size – up to 4 feet – people sent them off to fend for themselves. And they breed.

South Carolina wildlife officials said the lizard’s ever-growing population has become a concern in 2020. Florida and Georgia already have a problem with them.

“With tegus, we know introductions happen, so we try to keep it from becoming established,” Dillman said.

They have been seen in various parts of the state, including Richland and Lexington counties.

Last year, South Carolina banned the black and white Argentine tegu and required owners to register their pets with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Storm said if you find one, don’t try to pick it up. It has a rather nasty bite. The Department of Natural Resources should be your first call.

Maybe headed our way, the Spotted Lanternfly

Voracious. Leafhopper. Eat over 100 plants – fruit, ornamental and woody trees.

He was first seen in 2014 in Pennsylvania and jumped on all kinds of vehicles to head south, as close as North Carolina.

It came from Southeast Asia and prefers the Tree of Heaven, also an invasive species and also in South Carolina. But that’s not an advantage because the Spotted Lanternfly just isn’t that picky. She also likes grapes, hops. almonds, apples, apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, nectarines, maples, oaks, yellow poplars, sycamores, walnuts and willows.

It’s also kind of gross because it excretes massive amounts of sticky honeydew that can get to people.

Do Not Touch: Lionfish

lionfish.png
Lionfish have disrupted marine food webs and native marine ecosystems along the East Coast. Scientists are trying to find out where the invasive species was introduced. Facebook screenshot

This beauty has long been a star in home aquariums, but is now found in the deep ocean and rocky reefs. They are often seen by divers and caught by anglers who hunt marlin, dolphin, wahoo and yellowfin tuna.

These fish eagerly seek out and consume game fish.

The lionfish’s home base is the Indo-Pacific region, Storm said.

But here’s a catch; their spine contains a toxin similar to that of a cobra. If you touch it, the sting probably won’t kill you, but it will definitely hurt you. As in stabbing pain, swelling, bleeding and numbness.

If you catch one, Storm said, don’t throw it back.

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Letters to the Editor: America Competes Act threatens reptile enthusiasts; It’s time to stop failing our students | Letters to the Editor https://phrynosoma.org/letters-to-the-editor-america-competes-act-threatens-reptile-enthusiasts-its-time-to-stop-failing-our-students-letters-to-the-editor/ Tue, 08 Feb 2022 13:30:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/letters-to-the-editor-america-competes-act-threatens-reptile-enthusiasts-its-time-to-stop-failing-our-students-letters-to-the-editor/ The America Competes Act threatens reptile enthusiasts My name is Josh Bartlett and I am a 23 year old reptile keeper and I strongly oppose the passage of the America Competes Act HR 4521 which prevents reptiles and other pets from crossing US borders. State. This law would prevent future reptile enthusiasts from having access […]]]>

The America Competes Act threatens reptile enthusiasts

My name is Josh Bartlett and I am a 23 year old reptile keeper and I strongly oppose the passage of the America Competes Act HR 4521 which prevents reptiles and other pets from crossing US borders. State.

This law would prevent future reptile enthusiasts from having access to reptile species that do not in any way harm the natural environment of the 50 states.

For example, reptiles such as bearded dragons, uromastyx lizards, and other commonly kept pets like leopard geckos might not pose a risk of becoming an invasive species in any state simply because these animals could not not survive for an extended period in the wild in any part of the United States of America.

An example is that these reptiles have very specific breeding requirements and could not survive harsh winters in any of the 50 states. Another example is that none of these reptiles would be able to find the adequate food they would need to survive and reproduce.

Please don’t ruin the hobby of reptile keeping for millions of Americans and future Americans by passing this law because there is no risk to wild populations and these animals are kept as pets and pose no threat to native populations.

Most reptile keepers are responsible and would never release their pets into the wild because they know they will not survive.

It’s time to stop failing our students

I teach at El Camino and have been teaching in the district for 25 years.

We are failing our students.

We let our students down when we didn’t give them enough time for physical education, until a complaint was filed and the situation was corrected.

We have failed our English learners by not giving them electives. In 2017, I informed my administration, board members, and others at the district office that I believed we were in violation of Title VI. I’m sad to say I didn’t do more. Now that schools are rejoining the CTE, someone has spoken. And starting next year, all our students will have electives.

Our biggest failure is our response to COVID.

The Surgeon General has issued a warning about the youth mental health crisis. According to the Los Angeles Times, at the start of 2021, emergency room visits in the United States for suspected suicide attempts were 51% higher for teenage girls and 4% higher for teenage boys compared to the start of 2019.

Additionally, symptoms of depression and anxiety have doubled during the pandemic.

Some claim that the measures taken were necessary. You might have believed it at first. But now we know better.

We know that, statistically, COVID poses very little threat to children. Children under 18 account for 0.0008 of COVID deaths in the United States.

We make harmful policies. In schools, we see students being suspended for vaping, being under the influence, fighting. All the evidence of the mental health crisis.

And it’s time to speak for our children. To stop filling them with fear.

It’s time to take off the masks. It’s time to say no to all mandates. We need to stop disappointing our students and each other.

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What should I do with a frozen iguana? Managing Reptile Rain in Florida https://phrynosoma.org/what-should-i-do-with-a-frozen-iguana-managing-reptile-rain-in-florida/ Tue, 01 Feb 2022 11:05:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/what-should-i-do-with-a-frozen-iguana-managing-reptile-rain-in-florida/ Iguanas falling from the sky may seem like an irrational fear in a country where these animals aren’t native, but for Florida residents, “falling iguanas” have become as reliable a seasonal phenomenon as snow and rain. As an invasive species, green iguanas have made the US state their home and while their numbers continue to […]]]>

Iguanas falling from the sky may seem like an irrational fear in a country where these animals aren’t native, but for Florida residents, “falling iguanas” have become as reliable a seasonal phenomenon as snow and rain. As an invasive species, green iguanas have made the US state their home and while their numbers continue to thrive, they are still vulnerable to changes in the temperature of their new home.

Like all cold-blooded reptiles, iguanas are heat-loving, so the Floridian winter hurts them, causing their blood to stop moving properly around their body, become immobile and fall from any trees in which they find themselves. Bad news for the reptile, of course, but what the hell do you do if you find your car covered in comatose reptiles?

Florida residents are getting more and more used to falling iguanas, but, as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) knows all too well, not everyone knows what to do with a frozen iguana.

“Do not bring wild green iguanas into your home or car,” says the FFWCC. Yes, spare a thought for the many lost Good Samaritans who have sought to lend a helping hand to a chilly iguana by first transporting them in their car. The unfortunate side effect of combining a lethargic reptile with a warm, confined space is chaos.

“They can recover quickly in hot weather and use their long tails and sharp teeth and claws when defensive,” the FFWCC added. Yeah.

The same advice goes for bringing iguanas into your home. Although you can be cold and they are cold, just like mountain lions, you don’t want to let them in. It is also a bad idea in general to move the frozen iguana from its crash site as they are invasive species, and therefore it is both illegal and bad for native wildlife.

What to do with a frozen iguana?

Now we ticked off what not to do, on what To do: The invasive status of iguanas in Florida means owners are allowed to humanely kill anything on their land, and if you can’t, it’s best to bag them or put them in a carry basket so you can hand them over to a local wildlife center or veterinarian.

Alternatively, you can just leave them to deal with the harsh winter weather. Euthanizing animals or letting “nature take its course” is a bitter pill for wildlife lovers to swallow, but the harsh reality is that these animals have a catastrophic influence on local ecosystems. Although it’s the humans’ fault that they made it to Florida, the iguana’s downfall is a seasonal reminder that these animals don’t belong here.

Whatever actions you take, it’s important to be wary of even the most popsicle iguanas, as they can give a nasty bite or scratch if it turns out they aren’t so sleepy after all.

Some people even eat iguanas, earning them the nickname “tree chicken”. However, if you decide to go the invasive route, it’s not advisable to load multiple iguanas at once, as shown in this story by Ron Magill of Zoo Miami at NPR.

“This gentleman just thought, wow, I just have a bunch of protein here… He’s picking up all these iguanas that look dead on the road that fell out of the trees… And he put them in his vehicle. He loads them up like he’s stocking up for a big barbecue,” Magill said.

“When they got back in the vehicle, the vehicle got warm and these iguanas started to come back to life. And all of a sudden they started getting up and running around in the car, and it caused an accident. .

Ouch.

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Invasive Species, Protests, Fires: How Negev Tree Planting Got So Controversial https://phrynosoma.org/invasive-species-protests-fires-how-negev-tree-planting-got-so-controversial/ Mon, 17 Jan 2022 05:03:01 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/invasive-species-protests-fires-how-negev-tree-planting-got-so-controversial/ JTA — Every year on Tu Bishvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and plants, Lior Weitz and his wife take their two daughters to plant pine saplings — the tree that more than any other symbolizes Israel’s historic reforestation project. ‘Israel. They join thousands of families at one of the annual planting ceremonies organized by […]]]>

JTA — Every year on Tu Bishvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and plants, Lior Weitz and his wife take their two daughters to plant pine saplings — the tree that more than any other symbolizes Israel’s historic reforestation project. ‘Israel.

They join thousands of families at one of the annual planting ceremonies organized by the Jewish National Fund, a Zionist organization established in 1901 and the Jewish state’s chief forest management agent. He planted about 240 million trees, including many pines, on some 227,000 acres, an area larger than New York City.

“It’s an activity that combines everything we believe in: love for the environment, the land, the country and growth,” said Weitz, 46, Ramat Gan’s website manager.

Diaspora Jews, meanwhile, have long grown up donating money for JNF trees, a tangible symbol of their emotional and financial investment in Israel.

But increasingly, JNF’s flagship program is attracting heavy criticism. Those with ideological objections call it colonialist, and environmentalists call it harmful because it allowed a single species to spread unchecked, decreasing biodiversity and increasing the risk of wildfires.

Allegations of colonialism have resurfaced periodically in international media as part of their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, linking reforestation to the “Judaization” of land previously owned by Arabs. JNF supporters claim that its forests are planted on land legally purchased by Zionists for the establishment of a Jewish state. A JNF spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the tree planting began as an effort to “demonstrate ownership” of non-urban Jewish-owned land that could not be cultivated.

Mounted police stand guard during a protest by Bedouins in the southern village of Sawe al-Atrash in the Negev desert against a reforestation project on January 12, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The most recent example of this wider controversy is unfolding in the Negev desert, where Bedouins have protested that trees are disrupting their agricultural livelihoods. Dozens of people have been arrested in clashes with police, and an Arab-Israeli party has endangered Israel’s slim majority government coalition by threatening to withdraw from the coalition until reforestation s ‘stopped. As of Wednesday evening, JNF construction had come to a halt in the area.

But the conflict does not seem to have diminished Israeli enthusiasm for the practice. About 30% of the 300,000 trees the JNF plants each year are placed in the ground by volunteers, according to Hagay Yavlovich, one of the JNF’s most experienced foresters.

Some planters, like the Weitz family, record the coordinates of the trees they plant and visit them occasionally to admire their growth.

“There is a whole connection with the tree. We always collect the small flags that mark the pits where we plant the tree. We have dozens of those memories,” said Lior Weitz, who has been coming to JNF events since his oldest daughter, now a teenager, was 2 years old.

This year on Tu B’Shvat, which falls on January 16, the JNF will not carry out public plantings in deference to the “shmita” year – an agricultural sabbatical, mandated in the Torah, which occurs every seven years.

The other JNF plantation debate, meanwhile, has turned what was a niche scientific discussion among environmentalists a decade ago into a recurring topic in the mainstream media, largely due to the forest devastaters that swept through JNF forests in 2010, 2016 and 2021, killing people. and animals and destroying houses.

Lior Weitz and his family plant trees in the Mishmar Ayalon forest near Jerusalem, January 20, 2019. (Lior Weitz via JTA)

Yaakov Franko, a landscape law attorney, led one of the first public discussions of the issue in 2005, in a Globes op-ed titled “Seven of the Pine’s Problems.”

He claimed that the trees, mainly Aleppo pines, are an invasive species and that each pine “is like a gallon of gasoline”.

“Sap, needles, acorns, trunks burn quickly, spreading through broken limbs near the root system, where no other plant can grow and get wet.

“That’s why a single cigarette butt can light up the area between Hadera and Gedera,” he continued, naming towns on opposite ends of central Israel.

The pines were chosen because they “remind JNF leaders of their homeland in snowy Europe,” wrote Franco, who is a Sephardic Jew. “Luckily they weren’t from Mexico, otherwise we would have had peyote cactus forests,” he joked.

JNF defended its signature tree in two articles published in Globes, saying Aleppo pines were neither an invasive species nor particularly flammable. They were chosen after other species were found to be less resilient or slower to grow, JNF wrote.

Still, JNF sometimes brags about the European feel of its forests. A promotional article on their website from 2013 states that the German Black Forest “has nothing against us”. And many hikers take advantage of it. On a recent Saturday, Daniel Kobi, a father of two from Kiryat Ata, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he liked coming to the forest named after his suburb of Haifa because “it’s like the Alps Swiss were just around the corner” from his home. .

The tree debate returned and intensified after the 2010 Carmel fire, which consumed more than 6,000 acres and killed 44 people.

“It is the most maligned tree in Israel. Pines are responsible for all evils: fires, devastating natural plants. You name it,” Klil Adar, head of JNF’s forestry department, wrote on one of their websites in 2019. He called such claims “myths” and said pine trees “will continue to be the backbone of reforestation efforts” in Israel.

Adar is correct about the Aleppo pine’s native references, according to Tamir Klein, a botanist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science. While JNF used some invasive species, including Australian eucalyptus, Aleppo pine has grown in Israel for millennia.

An Israeli Border Police officer plants a tree for the Jewish holiday of Tu Bishvat, January 24, 2013, near Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

But the JNF has extended the tree’s range beyond any point in history, according to Klein and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

The end result is radically different from the much denser, lower timbers that would have occurred naturally in this part of the Mediterranean.

With their large crowns, Aleppo pines leave very little sun to the lower shrubs. And they throw down a thick blanket of needles that impedes the growth of most plants and almost all the flowers adorning Israel’s countryside – including its 30 species of orchids and 16 species of irises.

This means that forests planted by JNF tend to have much lower biodiversity than natural Mediterranean forests which support a multitude of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals.

One of the animals, the green lizard, a dazzling creature up to 17 inches long, has gone from abundant to rare. Various species of snakes and scorpions have increasingly moved to urban areas as their natural habitat has diminished.

But the natural woods were largely felled long before the JNF planted pines in their place, said Weizmann Institute scientist Klein.

“The region of Israel has been overexploited for millennia. The local natural woods had been severely suppressed for centuries before the JNF started planting trees,” he told JTA. The planted woods, for all their environmental problems, “have transformed unvegetated pastures into natural habitats at a time when the world’s forests have shrunk mainly due to logging and urbanization,” he added. .

But the original vegetation may be making a comeback, thanks to pine trees, he added.

Devastation in the hills of Jerusalem following a major fire, August 22, 2021. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

In the shade of the pines, low vegetation begins to grow, replacing the pines wherever they succumb to disease. “So there’s a diversification that happens naturally, and the pines were the palliative that made that possible,” Klein said.

Meanwhile, the link between wildfires and the abundance of pine trees, rich in highly flammable oils, continues to be a point of contention among professionals.

The Nature and Parks Authority says pine trees are more flammable than others and their acorns burst during fires and spread the conflagration.

Yavlovich, the JNF forester, disputes this claim. “Massive burning pines make great pictures, so they have a bad reputation. But they are no more flammable than many other local trees. Olive trees burn for hours. Palm trees ignite like torches,” said Yavlovich: Fire prevention is achieved through debris clearance and early detection, not species selection, he argued.

Reforestation is a long-term effort that needs to be looked at over many years, Yavlovich said, and JNF has diversified its use of species. (JNF in 2019 said it was importing Turkish and Canary pines, two introduced species, to diversify conifer populations.)

“Pine was the right choice for its time from a practical point of view, but also from a forest management point of view. It separated the natural lands, protected them and will slowly give way to local species,” he said.

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How planting a tree in Israel has become controversial – The Forward https://phrynosoma.org/how-planting-a-tree-in-israel-has-become-controversial-the-forward/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 03:47:00 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/how-planting-a-tree-in-israel-has-become-controversial-the-forward/ (Wikimedia Commons/Design by Grace Yagel) HAIFA, Israel (JTA) — Annually You Bishvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and plants, Lior Weitz and his wife take their two daughters to plant pine saplings – the tree that more than any other symbolizes Israel’s historic reforestation project. They join thousands of families at one of the annual […]]]>

HAIFA, Israel (JTA) — Annually You Bishvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and plants, Lior Weitz and his wife take their two daughters to plant pine saplings – the tree that more than any other symbolizes Israel’s historic reforestation project.

They join thousands of families at one of the annual planting ceremonies organized by the Jewish National Fund, a Zionist organization established in 1901 and the Jewish state’s chief forest management agent. He planted about 240 million trees, including many pines, on some 227,000 acres, an area larger than New York City.

“It’s an activity that combines everything we believe in: love for the environment, the land, the country and growth,” said Weitz, 46, Ramat Gan’s website manager.

Diaspora Jews, meanwhile, have long grown up donating money for JNF trees, a tangible symbol of their emotional and financial investment in Israel.

But increasingly, JNF’s flagship program is attracting heavy criticism. Those with ideological objections call it colonialist, and environmentalists call it harmful because it allowed a single species to spread unchecked, decreasing biodiversity and increasing the risk of wildfires.

Colonialism pretends resurfaced periodically in international media as part of their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, linking reforestation to the “Judaization” of land previously owned by Arabs. JNF supporters claim that its forests are planted on land legally purchased by Zionists for the establishment of a Jewish state. A JNF spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the tree planting began as an effort to “demonstrate ownership” of non-urban Jewish-owned land that could not be cultivated.

The most recent example of this larger controversy is unfolding in the Negev desert, where Bedouins have protested that the trees are disrupting their agricultural livelihoods. Dozens of people have been arrested in clashes with police, and an Arab-Israeli party has endangered Israel’s slim majority government coalition by threatening to withdraw from the coalition until reforestation s ‘stopped. As of Wednesday evening, JNF construction had come to a halt in the area.

But the conflict does not seem to have diminished Israeli enthusiasm for the practice. About 30% of the 300,000 trees the JNF plants each year are placed in the ground by volunteers, according to Hagay Yavlovich, one of the JNF’s most experienced foresters.

Some planters, like the Weitz family, record the coordinates of the trees they plant and visit them occasionally to admire their growth.

“There is a whole connection with the tree. We always collect the small flags that mark the pits where we plant the tree. We have dozens of those memories,” said Lior Weitz, who has been coming to JNF events since his oldest daughter, now a teenager, was 2 years old.

This year on Tu Bishvat, which falls on January 16, the JNF will not carry out public plantings in deference to the year “shmita” — an agricultural sabbatical, prescribed by the Torah, which takes place every seven years.

The other JNF plantation debate, meanwhile, has turned what was a niche scientific discussion among environmentalists a decade ago into a recurring topic in the mainstream media, largely due to the forest devastaters that swept through JNF forests in 2010, 2016 and 2021, killing people. and animals and destroying homes.

Yaakov Franko, a lawyer specializing in landscape law, led one of the first public discussions of the issue in 2005, in a Globes op-ed titled “Seven of the Pine Troubles.”

He claimed that the trees, mainly Aleppo pines, are an invasive species and that each pine “is like a gallon of gasoline”.

“Sap, needles, acorns, trunks burn quickly, spreading through broken limbs near the root system, where no other plant can grow and get wet.

“That’s why a single cigarette butt can light up the area between Hadera and Gedera,” he continued, naming towns on opposite ends of central Israel.

The pines were chosen because they “remind JNF leaders of their homeland in snowy Europe,” wrote Franco, who is a Sephardic Jew. “Luckily they weren’t from Mexico, otherwise we would have had peyote cactus forests,” he joked.

JNF defended its signature tree in two items published in Globes, claiming that Aleppo pines were neither an invasive species nor particularly flammable. They were chosen after other species were found to be less resilient or slower to grow, JNF wrote.

Still, JNF sometimes brags about the European feel of its forests. A promotional article on their website from 2013 states that the German Black Forest “has nothing on us.” And many hikers take advantage of it. On a recent Saturday, Daniel Kobi, a father of two from Kiryat Ata, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he liked coming to the forest named after his suburb of Haifa because “it’s like the Alps Swiss were just around the corner” from his home. .

The tree debate returned and intensified after the 2010 fire in Carmel, which consumed over 6,000 acres and killed 44 people.

“It is the most maligned tree in Israel. Pines are responsible for all evils: fires, devastating natural plants. You name it,” Klil Adar, Head of JNF Forestry Department, wrote on one of their websites in 2019. He called the claims “myths” and said the pines “will continue to be the backbone of reforestation efforts” in Israel.

Adar is correct about the native references of the Aleppo pine, according to Tamir Klein, botanist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Weizemann Institute of Science. While JNF used some invasive species, including Australian eucalyptus, Aleppo pine has grown in Israel for millennia.

Corn JNF extended the scope of the tree beyond any previous point in history, according to Klein and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

The end result is radically different from the much denser, lower timbers that would have occurred naturally in this part of the Mediterranean.

With their large crowns, Aleppo pines leave very little sun to the lower shrubs. And they throw down a thick blanket of needles that impedes the growth of most plants and almost all the flowers adorning Israel’s countryside – including its 30 species of orchids and 16 species of irises.

This means that forests planted by JNF tend to have much lower biodiversity than natural Mediterranean forests which support a multitude of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals.

One of the fauna, the green lizard, a dazzling creature that can reach 17 inches in length, has gone from abundant to rare. Various species of snakes and scorpions have increasingly moved to urban areas as their natural habitat has diminished.

But the natural woods were largely felled long before the JNF planted pines in their place, said Weizmann Institute scientist Klein.

“The region of Israel has been overexploited for millennia. The local natural woods had been severely suppressed for centuries before the JNF started planting trees,” he told JTA. The planted woods, for all their environmental problems, “have transformed unvegetated pastures into natural habitats at a time when the world’s forests have shrunk mainly due to logging and urbanization,” he added. .

But the original vegetation may be making a comeback, thanks to pine trees, he added.

In the shade of the pines, low vegetation begins to grow, replacing the pines wherever they succumb to disease. “So there’s a diversification that happens naturally, and the pines were the palliative that made that happen,” Klein said.

Meanwhile, the link between wildfires and the abundance of pine trees, rich in highly flammable oils, continues to be a point of contention among professionals.

The Nature and Parks Authority declares pine trees are more flammable than others and their acorns burst in fires and spread the conflagration.

Yavlovich, the JNF forester, disputes this claim. “Massive burning pines make great pictures, so they have a bad reputation. But they are no more flammable than many other local trees. Olive trees burn for hours. Palm trees ignite like torches,” said Yavlovich: Fire prevention is achieved through debris clearance and early detection, not species selection, he argued.

Reforestation is a long-term effort that needs to be looked at over many years, Yavlovich said, and JNF has diversified its use of species. (JNF in 2019 said it imports Turkish and Canarian pines, both introduced species, to diversify conifer populations.)

“Pine was the right choice for its time from a practical point of view, but also from a forest management point of view. It separated the natural lands, protected them and will slowly give way to local species,” he said.


The post office Invasive Species, Protests and Wildfires: How Israel’s Tree-Planting Hobby Became Controversial appeared first on Jewish Telegraph Agency.

Invasive species, protests and wildfires: How to plant a tree in Israel has become controversial

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Invasive species, protests and wildfires: How to plant a tree in Israel has become controversial https://phrynosoma.org/invasive-species-protests-and-wildfires-how-to-plant-a-tree-in-israel-has-become-controversial/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 21:12:23 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/invasive-species-protests-and-wildfires-how-to-plant-a-tree-in-israel-has-become-controversial/ HAIFA, Israel (JTA) — Each year, the You Bishvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and plants, Lior Weitz and his wife take their two daughters to plant pine saplings – the tree that more than any other symbolizes Israel’s historic reforestation project. They join thousands of families at one of the annual planting ceremonies organized […]]]>

HAIFA, Israel (JTA) — Each year, the You Bishvat, the Jewish holiday celebrating trees and plants, Lior Weitz and his wife take their two daughters to plant pine saplings – the tree that more than any other symbolizes Israel’s historic reforestation project.

They join thousands of families at one of the annual planting ceremonies organized by the Jewish National Fund, a Zionist organization established in 1901 and the Jewish state’s chief forest management agent. He planted about 240 million trees, including many pines, on some 227,000 acres, an area larger than New York City.

“It’s an activity that combines everything we believe in: love for the environment, the land, the country and growth,” said Weitz, 46, Ramat Gan’s website manager.

Diaspora Jews, meanwhile, have long grown up donating money for JNF trees, a tangible symbol of their emotional and financial investment in Israel.

But increasingly, JNF’s flagship program is attracting heavy criticism. Those with ideological objections call it colonialist, and environmentalists call it harmful because it allowed a single species to spread unchecked, decreasing biodiversity and increasing the risk of wildfires.

Colonialism claims resurfaced periodically in international media as part of their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, linking reforestation to the “Judaization” of land previously owned by Arabs. JNF supporters claim that its forests are planted on land legally purchased by Zionists for the establishment of a Jewish state. A JNF spokesman told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the tree planting began as an effort to “demonstrate ownership” of non-urban Jewish-owned land that could not be cultivated.

The most recent example of this larger controversy is unfolding in the Negev desert, where Bedouins have protested that the trees are disrupting their agricultural livelihoods. Dozens of people have been arrested in clashes with police, and an Arab-Israeli party has endangered Israel’s slim majority government coalition by threatening to withdraw from the coalition until reforestation s ‘stopped. As of Wednesday evening, JNF construction had come to a halt in the area.

But the conflict does not seem to have diminished Israeli enthusiasm for the practice. About 30% of the 300,000 trees the JNF plants each year are placed in the ground by volunteers, according to Hagay Yavlovich, one of the JNF’s most experienced foresters.

Some planters, like the Weitz family, record the coordinates of the trees they plant and visit them occasionally to admire their growth.

“There is a whole connection with the tree. We always collect the little flags that mark the pits where we plant the tree. We have dozens of those memories,” said Lior Weitz, who has been coming to JNF events since his oldest daughter, now a teenager, was 2 years old.

This year on Tu Bishvat, which falls on January 16, the JNF will not carry out public plantings in deference to the year “shmita” — an agricultural sabbatical, prescribed by the Torah, which takes place every seven years.

The other JNF plantation debate, meanwhile, has turned what was a niche scientific discussion among environmentalists a decade ago into a recurring topic in the mainstream media, largely due to the forest devastaters that swept through JNF forests in 2010, 2016 and 2021, killing people. and animals and destroying homes.

Bedouin protesters during a protest against a Jewish National Fund (JNF) reforestation project in the southern Israeli village of Sawe al-Atrash in the Negev desert on January 13, 2022. (Menahem Kahana /AFP via Getty Images)

Yaakov Franko, a lawyer specializing in landscape law, led one of the first public discussions of the issue in 2005, in a Globes op-ed titled “Seven of the Pine Troubles.”

He claimed that the trees, mainly Aleppo pines, are an invasive species and that each pine “is like a gallon of gasoline”.

“Sap, needles, acorns, trunks burn quickly, spreading through broken limbs near the root system, where no other plant can grow and get wet.

“That’s why a single cigarette butt can light up the area between Hadera and Gedera,” he continued, naming towns on opposite ends of central Israel.

The pines were chosen because they “remind JNF leaders of their homeland in snowy Europe,” wrote Franco, who is a Sephardic Jew. “Luckily they weren’t from Mexico, otherwise we would have had peyote cactus forests,” he joked.

JNF defended its signature tree in two items published in Globes, claiming that Aleppo pines were neither an invasive species nor particularly flammable. They were chosen after other species were found to be less resilient or slower to grow, JNF wrote.

Still, JNF sometimes brags about the European feel of its forests. A promotional article on their website from 2013 states that the German Black Forest “has nothing on us.” And many hikers take advantage of it. On a recent Saturday, Daniel Kobi, a father of two from Kiryat Ata, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he liked coming to the forest named after his suburb of Haifa because “it’s like the Alps Swiss were just around the corner” from his home. .

The tree debate returned and intensified after the 2010 fire in Carmel, which consumed over 6,000 acres and killed 44 people.

“It is the most maligned tree in Israel. Pines are responsible for all evils: fires, devastating natural plants. You name it,” Klil Adar, Head of JNF Forestry Department, wrote on one of their websites in 2019. He called the claims “myths” and said the pines “will continue to be the backbone of reforestation efforts” in Israel.

Adar is correct about the native references of the Aleppo pine, according to Tamir Klein, botanist in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at the Weizemann Institute of Science. While JNF used some invasive species, including Australian eucalyptus, Aleppo pine has grown in Israel for millennia.

Corn JNF extended the scope of the tree beyond any previous point in history, according to Klein and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority.

The end result is radically different from the much denser, lower timbers that would have occurred naturally in this part of the Mediterranean.

With their large crowns, Aleppo pines leave very little sun to the lower shrubs. And they throw down a thick blanket of needles that impedes the growth of most plants and almost all the flowers adorning Israel’s countryside – including its 30 species of orchids and 16 species of irises.

This means that forests planted by JNF tend to have much lower biodiversity than natural Mediterranean forests which support a multitude of insects, reptiles, birds and mammals.

Lior Weitz and his family plant trees in the Mishmar Ayalon forest near Jerusalem, January 20, 2019. (Lior Weitz)

One of the fauna, the green lizard, a dazzling creature that can reach 17 inches in length, has gone from abundant to rare. Various species of snakes and scorpions have increasingly moved to urban areas as their natural habitat has diminished.

But the natural woods were largely felled long before the JNF planted pines in their place, said Weizmann Institute scientist Klein.

“The region of Israel has been overexploited for millennia. The local natural woods had been severely suppressed for centuries before the JNF started planting trees,” he told JTA. The planted woods, for all their environmental problems, “have transformed unvegetated pastures into natural habitats at a time when the world’s forests have shrunk mainly due to logging and urbanization,” he added. .

But the original vegetation may be making a comeback, thanks to pine trees, he added.

In the shade of the pines, low vegetation begins to grow, replacing the pines wherever they succumb to disease. “So there’s a diversification that happens naturally, and the pines were the palliative that made that happen,” Klein said.

Meanwhile, the link between wildfires and the abundance of pine trees, rich in highly flammable oils, continues to be a point of contention among professionals.

The Nature and Parks Authority declares pine trees are more flammable than others and their acorns burst in fires and spread the conflagration.

Yavlovich, the JNF forester, disputes this claim. “Massive burning pines make great pictures, so they have a bad reputation. But they are no more flammable than many other local trees. Olive trees burn for hours. Palm trees ignite like torches,” said Yavlovich: Fire prevention is achieved through debris clearance and early detection, not species selection, he argued.

Reforestation is a long-term effort that needs to be looked at over many years, Yavlovich said, and JNF has diversified its use of species. (JNF in 2019 said it imports Turkish and Canarian pines, both introduced species, to diversify conifer populations.)

“Pine was the right choice for its time from a practical point of view, but also from a forest management point of view. It separated the natural lands, protected them and will slowly give way to local species,” he said.

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12 best reptile pets for beginners and experts https://phrynosoma.org/12-best-reptile-pets-for-beginners-and-experts/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 17:55:05 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/12-best-reptile-pets-for-beginners-and-experts/ Forget about cats and dogs. Today we are talking about the best reptile pets for beginners and experts. Reptiles as pets are a great option for a multitude of reasons. For homeowners looking for a relatively easy-to-maintain, unique or even hypoallergenic, reptiles are an excellent choice. However, each animal has a unique and important set […]]]>

Forget about cats and dogs. Today we are talking about the best reptile pets for beginners and experts.

Reptiles as pets are a great option for a multitude of reasons. For homeowners looking for a relatively easy-to-maintain, unique or even hypoallergenic, reptiles are an excellent choice. However, each animal has a unique and important set of care requirements, so it’s best to understand the basic needs that suit your lifestyle well.

Reptiles come in many shapes and sizes, and while some have higher care needs, others are low-maintenance. Whether you are new to reptile ownership or are a seasoned reptile owner, we have rounded up several species known to be excellent pets. The essentials and theme we were looking for was low maintenance. Nevertheless, they need a significant investment in adequate housing, veterinary care and the right diet, but this list requires much less compared to others exotic animals the low.

Best reptile pets for beginners

1. Leopard gecko

Hardy and docile, a leopard gecko makes an excellent pet for beginners. These spotted geckos are quiet and easy to care for, making them great additions to any family. They have easily accessible caloric and dietary needs (they only eat insects!), Contributing to ease of possession. However, they are nocturnal, so if your family is active early in the morning or at night, you may experience their maximum activity!

2. Russian turtle

Russian tortoise turtle in a terrarium.

A Russian turtle is a better choice than the popular red-eared slider due to the different maintenance requirements and the ability to interact with a human. Relatively small in turtle scale (maximum 8-10 inches), these turtles are very hardy, making them a great choice. They also do not have the water requirements of other reptiles, as they get most of their moisture from their food. However, turtles live up to 50 years, which is a long-term commitment.

3. Crested gecko

Crested gecko resting on a green leaf.

Crested geckos are generally a docile but entertaining reptile. This species of gecko is arboreal and requires an enclosure that is taller than it is long, making it an easy pet for someone who may not have a lot of space for an enclosure. Their dietary needs are readily available through insects and commercial foods, making them not only entertaining but also convenient. The long ridges on their bodies and eyes make them look like cartoons.

4. Ball python

Ball python snake moves along a log.

For those who want a legless companion, king pythons are one of the more popular choices. These snakes are a bit shy and small in size, which many first-time snake owners like. They come in a variety of color variations and range from three to five feet in length. Another factor to consider is the lifespan as they average around 25-30 years which is a long time so be sure to commit!

They don’t have elaborate tank requirements, which makes them favorable to new owners, and is just one of many reasons to own a pet snake.

5. Corn snake

Corn snake wrapped around a woman's hand

Smaller in size and very calm, these colorful snakes make excellent pets. However, they like to climb branches, so they need an enclosure that gives them some space to do so. Corn snakes spend the rest of their time hiding and digging. Due to their curiosity, they are incredible escape artists, so it’s important to make sure their tank and cover are secure.

6. Water dragon

Green water dragon standing on a log stump.

Water dragons are full of personality and courage! However, with the right, regulated habitat in place, you spend more time enjoying it than looking after it. A lot of people want to own iguanas without realizing how much space they take up or their aggressive nature, and the water dragon is a good compromise as they are much smaller and much friendlier, without losing those qualities. similar physical.

7. Bearded dragon

A bearded dragon shows affection held by its owner

Bearded people have easy grooming needs and, when well socialized, love interactions. They are known for their outgoing personalities which are unique to each other, making them great additions to a family. Bigger than geckos but smaller than an iguana, this species of lizard is great for animal lovers of all ages.

Bearded dragons are omnivorous and eat insects and vegetables. They’re also diurnal, so they’re awake during the day, making them a great pet for anyone who spends a lot of time around the house.

8. Chameleon

Elliot's chameleon, known as Trioceros ellioti, clings to a branch with its tail curled up

Boniface Muthoni / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Some believe that chameleons are not perfect for beginners, mainly due to their specific environmental needs which must be kept constant and precise. we recommend that you work with an expert on their accommodation.

If you are not interested in handling your pet reptile, this is a great option as it can easily get stressed out when handled. With their ability to change colors, they make a very interesting and unique pet if you are up to the challenge.

9. Cursor with red ears

Red-eared turtle resting on a log in the sun.

Considered the most popular pet turtle today, its freshwater friend needs daily feeding when young, while the older red-eared turtle can be fed once every two or three. three days. Recognizable by a small red stripe where its ears would be, this semi-aquatic turtle is omnivorous and considered one of the 100 most invasive species in the world.

10. African turtle

Newborn African stimulated turtle sitting on front turtle head

Ulises Ruiz / AFP via Getty Images

Meet one of the largest species of turtles in the world! For this reason, Sulcata Turtles (as they are also called) should be housed outdoors in a well-constructed area that provides both vegetation, humidity controls, and space to roam. They are strictly herbivorous and do not require any animal protein, fruit, or prepackaged pet turtle food. Their popularity as pets can be attributed to their ability to adapt to different conditions. Make sure you live in a generally warm climate though, as they will need an artificial heat source if temperatures drop below around 60 degrees.

An important note: With an expected lifespan of around 70 years, they can outlive you, so make plans.

11. Eastern Box Turtle

The handler holds the eastern box turtle while the young child watches

Matt McClain / The Washington Post via Getty Images

These turtles are long-lived, but they don’t have the aquatic requirements like the red-eared sliders. Eastern box turtles live in varied climates, so they are quite adaptable and omnivorous, enjoying leafy vegetables in their terrariums. When it comes to keep turtles as pets, it is a great choice for beginners.

12. Green anole

Green Anole Lizard basking on wood, sending signals with dewlapGreen anoles are small and fearful but very active. Like the chameleon, they are rather a reptile that looks without touching, and handling them is not recommended as they may escape. They need a diet of live insects and because they are smaller reptiles with faster metabolisms. They need to be fed more often.

Best reptile for a beginner?

All of these reptiles are excellent candidates. However, the bearded dragon offers the perfect blend of beauty and simple yet proper care, making them and the leopard gecko ideal reptiles for beginners.

The worst reptiles for beginners?

Although they are well known, iguanas are notoriously fussy for many reasons – they are spatial needs, powerful claws and tail, and a fiery (often aggressive) temperament offers more harm than good to novices. We recommend that you avoid them and any giant snake species, especially since most require special attention.

Keep in mind that these popular pets need a gallon tank large enough to house them, as well as a substrate and environment to keep them comfortable. Many pet lizards also love to bask under UVB light sources, so be sure to research the options that work best for your home.

Whatever your choice, big or small, prepare a ball of fun with your new reptile!

Do you own one of these best pet reptiles? Share them on our Great Facebook Pets!

The original post was published on March 26, 2016.

READ MORE: What Exactly Do Pet Turtles Eat?

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Strange Tales of Animals and Nuclear Power – Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists https://phrynosoma.org/strange-tales-of-animals-and-nuclear-power-bulletin-of-the-atomic-scientists/ Thu, 16 Dec 2021 11:07:15 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/strange-tales-of-animals-and-nuclear-power-bulletin-of-the-atomic-scientists/ Have you ever wondered what nuclear technologies look like from an animal point of view? In these weird but true short stories and photographs, you’ll encounter animals whose paths have crossed with nuclear infrastructure, including crocodiles drawn to the hot water surrounding nuclear power plants, chickens detonating nuclear landmines, and even human beings. lizards accused […]]]>

Have you ever wondered what nuclear technologies look like from an animal point of view? In these weird but true short stories and photographs, you’ll encounter animals whose paths have crossed with nuclear infrastructure, including crocodiles drawn to the hot water surrounding nuclear power plants, chickens detonating nuclear landmines, and even human beings. lizards accused of being nuclear spies. .

Paul Harrison / Wikimedia

A is for the ant

Ants in Poland, hundreds of thousands of them trapped for years in an abandoned nuclear bunker ate their dead to survive.

Mykola Swarnyk / Wikimedia

B is for the bear

A black bear outside a fence at the US Air Force base during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis was mistaken for a Soviet saboteur, leading authorities to consider start a nuclear war.

Marco rubens

B is for the bee

Bees in the Southeastern United States ingest radioactive isotopes from the first atomic bomb tests that appear in their honey.

Dominique Hoekman / Wikimedia

B is for the bird

A bird over the US state of Maryland has shot down a US Navy “doomsday” aircraft designed to survive a nuclear attack.

Tuis / Flickr

B is for butterfly

Fukushima butterflies mutated after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Alvesgaspar / Wikimedia

It’s for the chicken

The chickens, alive, were part of a British plan to detonate nuclear landmines during World War II.

Judgefloro / Wikimedia

It’s for the cockroach

Cockroaches could possibly survive a nuclear winter.

Salil Kumar Mukherjee / Wikimedia

It’s for the crab

Crabs from the Russian Arctic Archipelago have invaded a nuclear waste cemetery – nearly 14,000 crabs per hectare – in what researchers have called an “avalanche”.

Judd Patterson / National Park Service / Wikimedia

C is for crocodile

Crocodiles in the US state of Florida thrived in the waters outside a nuclear power plant, so much so that their status was downgraded from “endangered” to “threatened”.

Charles J. Sharp / Wikimedia

E is for the elephant

East African elephants absorb radioactive carbon from decades-old nuclear tests into their tusks, which offers clues to the age of ivory and could help fight illegal poaching.

Photollama / Wikimedia

J is for jellyfish

Jellyfish in Scotland have clogged the cooling water intake pipes of a nuclear power plant, causing it to shut down.

Pahcal123 / Wikimedia

L is for lizard

The lizards served as nuclear spies, at least according to an accusation leveled by Iran against Western countries.

John Ragai / Flickr

M is for mosquito

In Argentina, mosquitoes that transmitted Zika have been sterilized using nuclear technology.

US Forest Service / Flickr

O is for the owl

Owls, including the endangered Mexican spotted owl, nest on the grounds of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, prompting the Atomic Bomb Cradle to change its garbage cleanup activities.

Arturo de Frias Marques / Wikimedia

P is for the polar bear

A polar bear and her calf in search of food in the far eastern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia attempted to board a nuclear submarine.

William Suhr / Wikimedia

S is for sheep

Sheep in Australia that were found to be radioactive helped bolster the country’s claim that Israel had tested nuclear weapons.

John D. / Flickr

S is for snail

The snails – precisely four of them – were listed as potential collateral damage in a U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center environmental impact report regarding the impact of intercontinental ballistic missile testing.

Hannah Gerke / University of Georgia

S is for snake

Fukushima snakes wear dosimeters and help monitor radioactive fallout.

Marco rubens

S is for the squirrel

Squirrels in the US state of Montana dug a tunnel under the fences of a nuclear missile base and set off burglar alarms.

T is for turtle

A turtle named “Bert” starred in the 1952 American Civil Defense animated film that taught school children how to “hide and cover” in the event of a nuclear explosion.

W is for whale

Indian Ocean blue whales sing in nuclear test detection equipment.

Christian Mehlführer / Wikimedia

W is for the wolf

Wolves rule the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which has been described as a “post-nuclear Eden”.

Gérard M / Wikimedia

Z is for zebra mussel

Zebra mussels are an invasive species in the Midwest and thrive in hot water around the inlet pipes of nuclear power plants.

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Growing population of invasive tegu lizards threatens native Florida species https://phrynosoma.org/growing-population-of-invasive-tegu-lizards-threatens-native-florida-species/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 16:51:07 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/growing-population-of-invasive-tegu-lizards-threatens-native-florida-species/ Invasive tegu lizards are expanding their range in Florida Florida wildlife officials say Argentina’s black-and-white tegu population is colonizing further north and they have a big appetite. They are not from the Sunshine State. TAMPA, Florida – An invasive species of lizard is calling Florida but as their numbers continue to multiply in the wild, […]]]>

An invasive species of lizard is calling Florida but as their numbers continue to multiply in the wild, they apparently eat native species.

According to scientists at the University of Florida, the population rate of Argentine black and white tegu lizards has increased in recent years. Even the colder months don’t have a big impact on them. They burrow and wait underground for winter.

They are normally spotted in South Florida, but have been seen as far north as St. Lucia County, reports the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. This is likely a problem that started with the tegu lizards released by owners, or they escaped.

They eat just about anything – from bananas to baby gopher turtles.

Argentinian black and white tegu (photo FWC)

“Tegus prey on the nests of other animals, and researchers have documented tegus eating American alligator eggs and disturbing American crocodile nests in Florida,” the FWC reported. “A recent analysis of the gut contents of tegus by the FWC revealed that they consume endangered juvenile gopher turtles and foods of agricultural value, highlighting the impact this species may have on wildlife and sensitive farmlands.”

The gopher tortoise is protected by Florida law, as are the burrows it builds for shelter. Its population is already threatened due to habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation.

The stomach scan was performed on 124 tegu lizards, and FWC discovered that they ate frogs, toads, other lizards, and even snakes.

In 2019, authorities successfully removed 1,425 tegu lizards from the wild. This is actually double what they were able to remove four years ago.

READ: Endangered whale gives birth while caught in fishing rope, scientists say

This year, the FWC added the Argentine black and white tegu to its list of prohibited species. If you owned one before April 29 of this year – when the rule was put in place – you can keep it until it dies, but you must have a license.

Pet owners had until the end of July to tag their lizards. The species cannot release it, and if the owners release them or their tegu lizard escapes, they can be traced back to the owner.

FOLLOWING: Sharks and manatees mingle at the TECO power plant discharge channel at Apollo Beach

Essentially, they cannot be brought into the state as pets and are restricted for research, education, control or “eradication,” according to the FWC rule.

To learn more about the Argentinian black and white tegu, Click here. You can find out more about List of non-native FWC species here.

]]> 5 vulnerable animal species that may surprise you https://phrynosoma.org/5-vulnerable-animal-species-that-may-surprise-you/ Tue, 23 Nov 2021 02:02:33 +0000 https://phrynosoma.org/5-vulnerable-animal-species-that-may-surprise-you/ The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) describes their red list as “the world’s most comprehensive source of information on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungal and plant species”. IUCN has several levels of conservation status, including Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable. Critically endangered and endangered animals attract the most attention. […]]]>

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) describes their red list as “the world’s most comprehensive source of information on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungal and plant species”. IUCN has several levels of conservation status, including Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable. Critically endangered and endangered animals attract the most attention. But there are many others who are at risk and vulnerable. Unfortunately, we don’t hear much about it. While there are many vulnerable plants, animals and fungi on the IUNC Red List, here are five that may surprise you.

Bearded pig

Credit: (Vladimir Wrangel / Shutterstock)

Native Borneo, and found on neighboring islands, bearded pigS are social animals and live in matriarchal groups of mothers and their offspring. During the day, they alternate between looking for food and sleeping. With their strong athletic abilities, they can climb and jump and swim between neighboring islands. Like other pigs, this one also has an excellent sense of smell, which allows it to locate food in the ground and dig it up with the muzzles. Their diet is made up of insects, roots and seeds of chestnut and oak trees, but one of their favorite foods is fruits that have been dropped or fallen by other animals. People in rural Borneo have been hunting bearded pigs sustainably for many years. However, agricultural expansion and logging have devastated their habitat and hunting is no longer sustainable, so the bearded pig has become one of the vulnerable animal species on the IUNC Red List.

Humboldt penguin

Credit: (Jearu / Shutterstock)

This vulnerable animal species owes its name to the Humboldt Current, a cold water current that flows through South America. The humboldt penguin survives on anchovies, herring, krill and squid – sometimes diving to depths above 180 feet for its meal. Their numbers have declined dramatically, due to habitat disturbance caused by guano crop (used for fertilizer); less food availability due to anchovy fishing, El Niño climate patterns and climate change. When on earth, they are the prey by foxes, caracaras and wild dogs. In the water, Humboldt penguins serve as food for sharks and fur seals. Despite the protections in place, the Humboldt penguin is threatened with capture. This is done for use as fish bait or for human consumption. Watch this video of a Humboldt penguin who was recused in Chile a few months ago.


Marine iguana

Credit: (Andy Deitsch / Shutterstock)

The only species of marine lizard, these animals evolved from land iguanas about 4.5 million years ago and are found in the Galapagos Islands. Despite their name, they spend a lot of time on land, although they are not particularly agile at moving around. They are much more adept at operating in the water, which is where they will feed. These herbivores can dive up to 65 feet, where they primarily consume algae. Although not typically social creatures, marine iguanas regroup at night to conserve heat. The next day, they lie down in the sun, absorbing heat until their energy is restored. Interestingly, their heart rate slows down to half its normal rate when they enter the water, which helps them conserve energy. A combination of urban development, human interference, invasive species and climate change are playing a major role in placing these vulnerable species on the IUNC Red List.

Smooth-haired otter

Credit: (Tan Yong Lin / Shutterstock)

Found in lakes, peat swamp forests, wooded rivers and freshwater wetlands in southern Asia, smooth-haired otters are as comfortable in the water as they are on land. These omnivores eat a variety of foods, including insects, rats, turtles, and birds. However, fish make up at least 75 percent of their diet. These intelligent animals hunt in groups, which allows them to gather schools of fish. As a result of this behavior, fishermen train them train them to attract fish in nets. Covered with thick fur to keep them warm, they are the only marine animal without fat. Often confused with the beaver, they are actually more closely related to mink, badgers and ferrets. Unfortunately, the smooth otter is a vulnerable species due to contamination of waterways from the use of pesticides, habitat loss from hydroelectric projects, and agricultural development.


Woolly lemur

Credit: (Artush / Shutterstock)

There are 110 species of lemurs, all native to Madagascar. The three books woolly lemur is named for its thick and dense back. With a tail longer than their body, they use it to keep their balance when jumping to different trees; however, they are not very active. These nocturnal animals do not move much, even at night, mainly because they do not receive a large amount of nutrition due to being folivorous, which means that their diet is made up entirely of leaves. Woolly lemurs mate for life and live in family groups, with male, female, and offspring. They even sleep together in trees, between 6 and 30 feet from the ground. Humans are the primary cause of their vulnerability, with logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting representing it. It is disheartening to see these animals on the IUNC Red List.

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