Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Crabs -- A Story Of Human Eco-Destruction

Christmas Island crab colony faces extinction

Denice Rice
November 24, 2007 03:00pm

CHRISTMAS Island's world-famous Red Crabs are facing extinction, along with many other unique species, according to an authority on the island's environment. Dr. Laurie Corbett said billions of tiny ants that could kill a crab in two hours had halved the crab population over the past 10 to 15 years and could, within a few years, threaten the species with extinction. Wildlife-watchers and documentary makers from around the world are due on Christmas Island shortly to observe the annual migration of the Crabs to the ocean from the island's rainforests.

Dr. Corbett said the catastrophic decline in Crab numbers on the island, from an estimated 120,000 in the 1990s to 50,000-60,000 today, was caused by the spread of Yellow Crazy Ants, an introduced species that most probably arrived on the island decades ago on imported timber products. "Crazy Ants spray formic acid when the Crabs disturb them. This acid initially blinds the Crabs, then within a couple of hours they will begin foaming at the mouth, and then die within 48 hours,'' he said. "The Ants then eat the dead Crab.''

Dr. Corbett said that if Crab numbers fell below 40,000, the colony could become unviable and face extinction. Christmas Island is the only place in the world where the Crabs are found. Aerial and ground baiting programs carried out by the National Parks Authority since 2002 have failed to stop a population explosion of Ants, which Dr. Corbett said had formed super colonies. "Super colonies have ant populations of more than 1000 ants a square metre,'' he said. "Once the ants reach these sorts of densities, they are almost impossible to eradicate. "The problem with poisoning the ants is that it not only kills the ants, it does unknown harm to other species and, so far, it hasn't stopped the spread and growth of the ant colonies.''

Dr. Corbett said many other unique native animals, including the Christmas Island Frigatebird and Abbot's Booby Bird, were also threatened with extinction from competition and by falling prey to more than 20 introduced species. These ranged from feral Cats and Chickens to giant African Snails. Dwindling numbers of native species could also dash hopes of an eco-tourism industry for the island after the inevitable closure of its only industry, phosphate mining.

Christmas Island Phosphate, which operates the mine, is locked in a legal battle with the Federal Government over an application to extend its mining lease and the life of the mine.

Humans go on and on and ON about how they are the most intelligent species on the face of the earth. But they keep making this same mistake, and if we don't eradicate their species soon, there will be nothing left of any of us.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Throat-Punch For Amazon Dolphins

Amazonian dolphins say it with weeds

From correspondents in Paris
December 06, 2007 11:25am

A man may bring flowers to impress women, but male Amazon River Dolphins carry weeds to win over the opposite sex, UK and Brazilian researchers say.

The discovery comes from a three-year study of more than 6000 groups of dolphins in Mamiraua, a flooded rainforest reserve in the Amazonian, British weekly New Scientist reports in its next issue. Of these groups, 221 included at least one dolphin, usually a male, that carried an object, such as weed, a stick or clay. The groups also usually contained an adult female.

Aggression between adult males in the "object-carrying groups" was far higher than in other groups, which points to the carrying behaviour being a sexual display rather than a form of play, said the researchers.
The interpretation is backed by genetic analyses of tissue samples collected from adults and calves that suggests some of the most frequent object-carriers are among the most successful fathers.
Only humans and chimps are known to do anything similar as a show of prowess to win over a mating partner. The research, led by Tony Martin of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and Vera da Silva of Brazil's National Institute of Amazonian Research, was presented last week at a conference on marine mammals in South Africa last week.

It would just kill these landscum scientists to SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE, instead of imputing human motives to everything they see us doing. When I read something like this, I just want to scrape it off my skin, you know?

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It's National Bouillabaisse Day Again Already!

Seriously, where does the time go? It seems to me we just celebrated this two minutes ago, but it seems to have come back around on us...

I would like to capture my thoughts for you, but too many dazzling impressions of this MOST PRETENTIOUS OF RECRUITING TOOLS, from so many tasting parties over the years, leave me quite dizzy. As some complete asshole once said, "Who can describe the taste of a bouillabaisse? Some remember clams, others mullet..." Just like a serial killer, to befoul THE PINNACLE OF FISH CUISINE by comparing it to recreational homicide. What was that guy's name anyway? Ted something? OK, back to the point. I think this dish, originally an emergency, potlucky, throw-in-whatever-you-have-lying-around soup, may have brought more Europeans into our finny grasp than even Lutefisk, AND THAT'S SAYING SOMETHING.

Something I read once in a cookbook suggests that it is still something of an emergency ration, with no set recipe except that you must add tomatoes in some form and have at least three kinds of operatives added. Visually -- as the photo above illustrates -- I think it is nothing without the Mussels. But you do need a variety of textures and colors, not just shelly things. I, personally, advocate for the addition of more Octopus.

Keep those recipes pouring in! I never get tired of taste-testing them.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Just In Time For Squidmas!!!

Click here to see the last word in this year's Squidmas trees.


Get knitting, my minions!

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Clovis Engages Some Oysters

"Clovis relapsed for a few golden moments into tender intimacies with a succession of rapidly disappearing Oysters.

"'I think Oysters are more beautiful than any religion,' he resumed presently. 'They not only forgive our unkindness to them; they justify it, they incite us to go on being perfectly horrid to them. Once they arrive at the supper-table they seem to enter thoroughly into the spirit of the thing. There's nothing in Chritianity or Buddhism that quite matches the sympathetic unselfishness of an Oyster.'"

-- Saki, "The Match-Maker"

I realize Saki is best known for his comedic writing; but sometimes he waxes positively philosophical. Or is this more like poetry? The more of a Catfish I am, the harder it is to tell apart the different landscum writing disciplines.

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