Q&A: ‘More girls just need to be mentored’

by Halima Athumani, 20 days ago

Plant biotechnologist says her father’s support encouraged her on her career path.

SciDev.Net 20th Anniversary event

20 days ago

SciDev.Net marks its 20th anniversary with a special online event celebrating science journalism on 21st October, 2021.

My Ph.D. supervisor just won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for designing a safer, cheaper and faster way to build molecules and make medicine

20 days ago

More Stable Networks Among DOD Cloud Goals for Outside U.S. > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News

by C. Todd Lopez, 20 days ago

This spring, the Defense Department spelled out a strategy for cloud computing outside the continental United States, or OCONUS, including ways to better support service members at the tactical edge.

Austin Welcomes Polish Counterpart to Pentagon for Discussions > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News

by Jim Garamone, 20 days ago

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III welcomed Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak to the Pentagon for meetings — the countries' ties have grown closer since the nation joined NATO in 1999.

What Does India Get Out of Being Part of ‘The Quad’?

by Prabir Purkayastha, 20 days ago

This post is originally published on Citizen Truth by Prabir Purkayastha Australia has joined the U.S. and UK games to contain China, leaving India unclear in the Quad and isolated in Asia. Tied to the waning imperial power of the U.S., India is gradually losing strategic autonomy. The recent Quad leaders meeting in the White House on September 24 appears to have shifted focus away from its original […] Read more at What Does India Get Out of Being Part of ‘The Quad’?

Why the World’s Eyes Are on the Afghanistan-Tajikistan Border

by Vijay Prashad, 20 days ago

This post is originally published on Citizen Truth by Vijay Prashad Afghanistan and Tajikistan share a 1,400-kilometer border. Recently, a war of words has erupted between Tajikistan’s President Emomali Rahmon and the Taliban government in Kabul. Rahmon censures the Taliban for the destabilization of Central Asia by the export of militant groups, while the Taliban leadership has accused Tajikistan’s government of interference. Earlier this summer, Rahmon mobilized 20,000 troops to […] Read more at Why the World’s Eyes Are on the Afghanistan-Tajikistan Border

Official Says Peace, Security in Middle East Are Possible Through Partnerships > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News

by David Vergun, 20 days ago

Integrated deterrence and a whole-of-government approach with allies and partners across the Middle East is key to enabling peace and stability in the region, a Defense Department official said.

Vietnam Veteran Recalls Camaraderie, Hardships of War Experience > U.S. Department of Defense > Story

by SKIP VAUGHN, 20 days ago

Joe Bongiovanni wanted to become a Marine from a very early age. He joined up as the Vietnam War was raging, taking part in the Tet Offensive in 1968 and earned the Combat Action Ribbon for his performance under fire.

Vietnam Veteran Recalls Camaraderie, Hardships of Wartime Experience > U.S. Department of Defense > Story

by SKIP VAUGHN, 20 days ago

Joe Bongiovanni wanted to become a Marine from a very early age. He joined up as the Vietnam War was raging, taking part in the Tet Offensive in 1968 and earned the Combat Action Ribbon for his performance under fire.

Immigrant-Turned-Marine Recalls Vietnam Service > U.S. Department of Defense > Story

by SKIP VAUGHN, 20 days ago

Joe Bongiovanni wanted to become a Marine from a very early age. He joined up as the Vietnam War was raging, taking part in the Tet Offensive in 1968 and earned the Combat Action Ribbon for his performance under fire.

First major Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court in over a decade could topple gun restrictions

20 days ago

Can YouTube's vaccine misinformation ban work?

by Boston University, 20 days ago

YouTube says it will no longer allow content containing vaccine misinformation. But can they enforce it? Could it backfire? Two experts weigh in.

Undiagnosed endometriosis hampers fertility treatment

by U. Queensland, 20 days ago

Women with undiagnosed endometriosis will have difficulty getting pregnant without IVF, according to a new study.

Immigrant-Turned-Marine Recalls Vietnam Service With Pride > U.S. Department of Defense > Story

by SKIP VAUGHN, 20 days ago

Joe Bongiovanni wanted to become a Marine from a very early age. He joined up as the Vietnam War was raging, taking part in the Tet Offensive in 1968 and earned the Combat Action Ribbon for his performance under fire.

Book: Cuba-US relations today are tied to the past

by James Devitt-NYU, 20 days ago

Cuba is experiencing unrest over food and medicine shortages and political and economic concerns. Ada Ferrer explains what its past tells about its present.

Northern Spotted Owl Still Fights for Survival

20 days ago

Download Video Click on video to hear a barred owl call. You don’t have to drive far into the forests of the Pacific Northwest to hear the distinctive hooting of the invasive barred owl high in the treetops. In fact, you can find them in the neighborhoods of cities like Portland, Oregon, where you might glimpse one perched above on a walk around the block or, you might be surprised when one swoops down to chase you away from its territory. The barred owl is an invasive species in these parts that competes with and threatens the existence of the native northern spotted owl.  USGS and partner scientists in recent months published the results of three studies about the current status of the threatened northern spotted owl populations, and the effects of barred owls and barred owl removal on northern spotted owl populations. The combined results show that even while forest management policies and practices maintained northern spotted owl habitat across their range, barred owls pose a very serious threat to remaining populations of northern spotted owl.    The northern spotted owl, a federally listed species, is an old-growth forest obligate, which means it is tied to mature forests with large trees. The owl is at the center of controversial forest management issues in the Pacific Northwest because of immediate threats to its existence, which resulted in mandated changes to forestry practices.  The barred owl is an apex predator and a fiercely territorial invader from eastern North America. Unlike the northern spotted owl, barred owls can thrive in a wider variety of forest conditions and they aggressively push northern spotted owls out of their established territories. Invasive barred owls will eat anything they can catch, having what is called a “generalist” appetite. Their sheer numbers and generalist appetite threaten not only the northern spotted owl, but other native wildlife throughout the region. The first records of barred owls in the U.S. Pacific Northwest date back to the early 1970s. Barred owls were historically found through most of eastern North America. They spread west during the 1900s and today completely overlap the range of the northern spotted owl.  Long-term monitoring of northern spotted owl reveals trends  The following three studies are the most recent long-term analyses produced by, or in partnership with, the Northwest Forest Plan Interagency Monitoring Program. The Northwest Forest Plan governs land use and management of federal forest lands in the Pacific Northwest within the range of the northern spotted owl – roughly 10 million hectares, or almost 25 million acres of forested land within western Oregon and Washington and northern California. The three studies do not include data from the large wildfires that burned through Pacific Northwest old-growth forests since 2017.  Study #1: Northern spotted owl in decline  Trends in territory occupancy for northern spotted owl pairs and barred owls on 11 study areas in Washington, Oregon, and California based on two-species occupancy models from 1993–2018. The first of three studies looked at northern spotted owl population data collected over 26 years across this owls’ geographic range, in the US, and assessed vital rates, such as reproduction and survival, and population trends. “One component of the Northwest Forest Plan required long-term monitoring of northern spotted owl populations,” said Alan Franklin, a research scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and lead author of the first study. “Monitoring of northern spotted owls was established as early as 1985. Additional and subsequent studies were alike in that all used similar field methods. This allowed us to complete a meta-analysis of all the different northern spotted owl studies over the years.”  Franklin and his colleagues found that northern spotted owl populations have experienced significant yearly declines, translating to a 65-85% population decrease on many of the study areas between 1995 and 2017. Barred owl presence on northern spotted owl territories was the primary factor negatively affecting apparent survival, recruitment, and ultimately, rates of population change. Without removal or reduction of barred owl populations, it’s likely northern spotted owls will become locally extinct from portions of their range. The species would possibly linger on as small populations in other areas until those populations are eliminated by catastrophic events, such as wildfire, resulting in its extinction.  Study #2: Northern spotted owls are on the move  The second study looked at northern spotted owl breeding dispersal, or their movement from one breeding territory to another. The consequences of altered breeding dispersal on northern spotted owls are unknown but could affect population dynamics of this threatened species. Federal and university researchers looked at how barred owls, forest disturbance, and social and individual conditions affect decisions made by individual northern spotted owls to move to a new breeding territory or not.  The naive annual estimates of northern spotted owl breeding dispersal during 1990–2017 increased across our monitored population (a), within Washington ecophysiographic provinces. Using data collected from 4,118 northern spotted owls in Oregon and Washington from 1990 to 2017, the researchers found the percent of northern spotted owls dispersing from their territories each year has increased by more than 17% in recent times. The increases coincided with a rapid increase in numbers of invasive barred owls as they quickly colonized Pacific Northwest forests and displaced northern spotted owls from their preferred breeding sites. Single spotted owls and those that had also dispersed the previous year were more likely to move. Northern spotted owls were less likely to leave high-quality territories with historically high levels of successful reproduction by spotted owls.  “Our study further shows that increasing rates of breeding dispersal associated with population declines contribute to population instability and vulnerability of northern spotted owls to extinction,” said Julianna Jenkins, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) wildlife biologist and lead author of the third study.  Study #3: Barred owl removal works  The third study is the barred owl removal experiment, led by David Wiens, USGS research wildlife biologist. Wiens and his colleagues designed a large-scale removal experiment in Washington, Oregon and California to investigate the response of the northern spotted owl to removal of the barred owl. “Invader removal is a common management response, but the use of long-term field experiments to test the effectiveness of removals in benefitting impacted native species is rare,” said Wiens. “This study is the largest field experiment ever conducted on the demographic consequences of invasive competition between predatory birds.”  The experiment used data from the long-term Northwest Forest Plan Interagency Monitoring Program (2002-2019), a similar barred owl removal effort on Green Diamond Resource Company lands in northern California (2009-2014), and the Barred Owl Removal Project (2013-2019) to scientifically test the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) plan to recover the northern spotted owl from its status as a Threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. “The USFWS considered multiple approaches to implementing Recovery Action 29 - 'Design and implement large-scale control experiments to assess the effects of barred owl removal on spotted owl site occupancy, reproduction, and survival,' including both non-lethal and lethal removal techniques,” said Robin Bown, USFWS lead for the Barred Owl Project. “The USFWS’s Record of Decision provided the direction for the USGS experimental study.”  Removal of barred owls had a strong, positive effect on the survival of northern spotted owls, stopping their long-term population declines. After removals, northern spotted owl population declines stabilized in areas with removals but continued to decrease sharply in areas without removals. “The results of the study showed that long-term survival of northern spotted owls will depend heavily on reducing the negative impacts of barred owls while simultaneously addressing other threats such as habitat loss,” added Wiens.  Download images // Hacks because of jQuery-UI-1.8 incompatibility with our jQuery 2.1 on front end. jQuery.browser = {}; (function () { jQuery.browser.msie = false; jQuery.browser.version = 0; if (navigator.userAgent.match(/MSIE ([0-9]+)\./)) { jQuery.browser.msie = true; jQuery.browser.version = RegExp.$1; } })(); jQuery.curCSS = function(element, prop, val) { return jQuery(element).css(prop, val); }; jQuery('#before_after_image_723954897_1633450878').imagesLoaded(function() { // Adjust things to make sure they fit in their container (responsive). var width = jQuery(this).closest('.dnd-atom-rendered').innerWidth(); var halfWidth = width/2; var height = jQuery(this).closest('.dnd-atom-rendered').height(); var ratio = height/width; var newHeight = height*ratio; // The wrapper and links. jQuery(this).css({'width': width+'px', height: newHeight+'px'}).next('.balinks').css('width', width+'px'); // The drag bar. var dragbarXPos = (newHeight - 56)/2; // The drag bar X pos, half of height minus height of the dragbar. var dragbarYPos = (width - 8)/2; // The drag bar Y pos, half of width minus width of the dragbar. jQuery(this).find('.ui-draggable').css({'left': dragbarYPos+'px', 'height': newHeight+'px'}).find('img').css('top', dragbarXPos+'px'); // Before image. jQuery(this).find('.ba-image-wrap:has(img[alt="before"])').css({'width': halfWidth+'px', 'height': newHeight+'px'}); // After image. jQuery(this).find('.ba-image-wrap:has(img[alt="after"])').css({'width': width+'px', 'height': newHeight+'px'}); jQuery(this).find('.ba-image').attr('width', width).attr('height', newHeight); // Each image in the image wrapper. jQuery(this).beforeAfter({ imagePath: '/sites/all/libraries/beforeafter/js/', beforeLinkText: 'Show only left', afterLinkText: 'Show only right', enableKeyboard: true, }); }); Use the green slider tool in the center to view locations of barred owl sightings recorded during 2015 and 2020 owl monitoring activities at the Oregon Coast Range study area.  “The Northwest Forest Plan has protected significant amounts of the northern spotted owl’s nesting and roosting forests. During the first 25 years the plan has been in place, the amount of this forest on federal lands increased by about 3%. This increase occurred despite losses from wildfire, timber harvest and insect or other causes. Preliminary monitoring data show those gains have been lost owing to three recent large wildfire years — 2017, 2018, and 2020. Each of these years burned more than a million acres and in total, over 4 million acres of forest in the owl’s range,” said Paul Anderson, director of the USFS Pacific Northwest Research Station. “For 2021, we have estimated another million acres have been burned in the owl’s range.”  “Removing one species to save another is a difficult decision and one that the USFWS did not take lightly. These studies and others show that it is very likely the northern spotted owl would go extinct in large portions of its range if the threat from invasive barred owls and management of spotted owl habitat are not addressed simultaneously,” said Bown. “The northern spotted owl is a federally listed threatened species. On behalf of the American people, the Service and other federal agencies have a legal and ethical responsibility to do everything we can, within the confines of our respective authorities and funding, to prevent its extinction and help it recover,” added Paul Henson, State Supervisor of the USFWS Oregon Office.  This work was funded by a partnership between the USFWS, USGS, USFS, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Bureau of Land Management.  Authors’ institutions in alphabetical order: BLM, Colorado State University, Green Diamond Resource Company, Hoopa Valley Tribe, McDonald Data Sciences, National Park Service, Oregon State University, Raedeke Associates, Simon Fraser University, University of Florida, USDA-APHIS, USFS, USFWS, USGS, Utah State University, Western Ecosystem Technology (WEST), Inc. 

Extreme heat affects 2 billion people living in cities

by Harrison Tasoff-UC Santa Barbara, 20 days ago

"Almost one in five people on Earth experienced increases in exposure to urban heat over the past 30 years." Poor and marginalized people are most at risk.

Team of scientists warns against acetaminophen in pregnancy

by Michael Greenwood-Yale, 20 days ago

Acetaminophen may be at least partially responsible for rising rates of male reproductive disorders and cognitive, learning, and behavioral problems among children, say scientists.

4 trends in public school enrollment due to COVID-19

20 days ago

Becoming a parent through surrogacy can have ethical challenges – but it is a positive experience for some

20 days ago

As American independence rang, a sweeping lockdown and mass inoculations fought off a smallpox outbreak

20 days ago

Is social distancing unraveling the bonds that keep society together?

20 days ago

Facebook's scandals and outage test users' frenemy relationship

20 days ago

5 experiments aboard the International Space Station

by Lenore T. Adkins, 21 days ago

Read about some of the experiments aboard the International Space Station, including one that attempts to understand fires on Earth.

Scientists' 2005 research led to COVID-19 vaccines

by ShareAmerica, 21 days ago

Today's COVID-19 vaccines are based upon research about messenger RNA that has won two University of Pennsylvania scientists a coveted honor.

Winners of 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics built mathematics of climate modeling, making predictions of global warming and modern weather forecasting possible

21 days ago

Inter-Korean communication lines restored

21 days ago

‘Green infrastructure’ shift for sustainable cities

by Gareth Willmer, 21 days ago

How can cities reduce their ecological footprint? A new UNEP-led project aims to provide solutions.

New Threats to NATO Demand Old Solution: Unity, Stoltenberg Says > U.S. Department of Defense > Defense Department News

by Jim Garamone, 21 days ago

The world faces uncertainty with threats not only from nation states like China and Russia, but from climate change, cyber attacks as well as new terror groups, and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made a compelling case that the only way to face these threats is together.


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