SCIENCE NEWS: Federal court stops longline fishing to protect turtles; How we can live with humpback whales in SF Bay; San Diego’s native Hermes Copper Butterfly proposed for listing; Washington considers breaching Lower Snake River dams; Catastrophic wildfires in southeastern Australia; and more…

Hermes Copper Butterfly Source: Wiki Commons

In science news this week: Federal court stops longline fishing to protect turtles; How we can live with humpback whales in San Francisco Bay; Meet the deep-diving, ear-splitting 4,500-pound rock star of Año Nuevo; San Diego’s Native Hermes Copper Butterfly Proposed For Endangered Species List; California’s Salmon Barely Survived the 20th Century, (But Will They Vanish Before the Next One?); Salmon and orcas: Washington considers breaching Lower Snake River dams; Catastrophic wildfires in southeastern Australia in 2019-20; and more…

Federal court stops longline fishing to protect turtles “Longline fishing won’t be allowed off the California coast, after a federal district court suspended permits for the fishing method…” Read more from The San Diego Union Tribune here: Federal court stops longline fishing to protect turtles

How we can live with humpback whales in San Francisco Bay “The Bay Area is where the world comes together, connected through the internet giants that dominate the region’s economy. But in the past few years, it’s also a place where people and some of the biggest animals on the planet intersect…” Read more from The San Francisco Chronicle here: How we can live with humpback whales in San Francisco Bay

Meet the deep-diving, ear-splitting 4,500-pound rock star of Año Nuevo:  “On a sparkling blue January morning, I meet marine biologist Patrick Robinson, who will escort me around Año Nuevo State Park, a patch of dunes and bluffs an hour’s drive south of San Francisco. As we start along a sandy path toward the beach, he explains that his role is not only to protect me from the thousands of elephant seals currently camped out here, but to protect the elephant seals from me. That sounds sensible enough—until we come over a rise and I see what they actually look like in the flesh. ... ” Read more from Bay Nature here: Meet the deep-diving, ear-splitting 4,500-pound rock star of Año Nuevo

San Diego’s Native Hermes Copper Butterfly Proposed For Endangered Species List “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday it is proposing to list a butterfly native to San Diego County as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act…” Read more from KBPS here: San Diego’s Native Hermes Copper Butterfly Proposed For Endangered Species List

California’s Salmon Barely Survived the 20th Century, (But Will They Vanish Before the Next One?) “Mike Hudson began commercially fishing about 25 years ago. Fishing was productive enough that he paid off his boat and made some decent money — especially from his primary target, Chinook salmon, the most valuable seafood from local waters…” Read more from East Bay Express here:  California’s Salmon Barely Survived the 20th Century, (But Will They Vanish Before the Next One?)

Salmon and orcas: Washington considers breaching Lower Snake River dams “A draft report from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s office summarizes a long-running debate over whether four hydroelectric dams on the Lower Snake River should be taken down to restore king and other salmon populations…” Read more from National Fisherman here: Salmon and orcas: Washington considers breaching Lower Snake River dams

Recovery: A Plague of Bullfrogs “The deep “jug-o’-rum” of the male bullfrog resonating through spring twilight is a call from Earth’s distant past…” Read more from Cool Green Science here: Recovery: A Plague of Bullfrogs

Rare warm-water fish washes up “A type of fish rarely found north of San Francisco washed ashore on the Long Beach Peninsula during recent heavy surf. The finescale triggerfish (Balistes polylepis) is part of a family of species that typically live in tropical and subtropical coral reefs. Identified by the Seaside Aquarium, the individual found in Pacific County is presumed to have been carried north in unusually warm ocean currents in 2019…” Read more from the Chinook Observer here: Rare warm-water fish washes up

A River Worth Saving: Who Will Protect the Unheralded Llano? “The Llano River is an ecological gem in Texas Hill Country, supporting dozens of native and rare plants and animals. But due to weak state environmental protections, the Llano — along with other waterways in Texas — is increasingly facing pressure from industry and development…” Read more from Yale Environment 360 here: A River Worth Saving: Who Will Protect the Unheralded Llano?

Rural water wells in High Plains Aquifer show large increase in nitrate levels “Kansas private well owners should test water quality annually, according to a recent Kansas State University study that revealed nitrate levels in shallow wells above U.S. Environment Protection Act standards…” Read more from Phys.org here: Rural water wells in High Plains Aquifer show large increase in nitrate levels

Aleutian volcano spews up ash cloud in two strong bursts “A volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands spewed ash into flight paths, prompting a warning to pilots by the National Weather Service…” Read more from Phys.org here: Aleutian volcano spews up ash cloud in two strong bursts

The effects of microplastics on organisms in coastal areasMicroplastics (plastic particles under 5 mm) are an abundant type of debris found in salt and freshwater environments. In a Limnology & Oceanography Letters study, researchers demonstrated the transfer of microplastics through the food chain between microscopic prey and larval fish that live in coastal ecosystems. They also found that microplastic ingestion interferes with normal growth in fish larvae…” Read more from Phys.org here: The effects of microplastics on organisms in coastal areas

New ‘umbrella’ species would massively improve conservation “Umbrella species are species which when preserved, indirectly protect many other plant and animal species. UQ PhD candidate Michelle Ward said different choices in Australia could provide more assistance for threatened species…” Read more from Science Daily here: New ‘umbrella’ species would massively improve conservation

Geographers find tipping point in deforestation “University of Cincinnati geography researchers have identified a tipping point for deforestation that leads to rapid forest loss…” Read more from Phys.org here: Geographers find tipping point in deforestation

Catastrophic wildfires in southeastern Australia in 2019-20 “Terrible wildfires raged through parts of southeastern Australia in the first days of 2020, and the news has been filled with stories of tragedy and destruction in communities in New South Wales and Victoria. Smoke shrouded the nation’s capital, Canberra, and spread out across the ocean as a yellow-brown river…” Read more from NOAA here: Catastrophic wildfires in southeastern Australia in 2019-20

Top 10 science anniversaries in 2020 “2020, the International Year of Good Vision, is also a good year for scientific anniversaries…” Read more from Science News here: Top 10 science anniversaries in 2020

A decade on earth captured from space “The last 10 years have seen a boom in the use of satellite imagery for reporting, led by a growth in commercial satellites that has slashed the cost of such images, and advances in technology that have made high-resolution images from many parts of the world accessible, almost instantly, even on a phone…” Read more from Reuters here: A decade on earth captured from space

 

Lisa’s XKCD Comic Pick of the Week …

 

 

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About Science News and Reports: This weekly feature, posted every Thursday, is a collection of the latest scientific research and reports with a focus on relevant issues to the Delta and to California water, although other issues such as climate change are sometimes included. Do you have an item to be included here? Submissions of relevant research and other materials is welcome. Email Maven

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