ESA Policy News: April 9

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Science Policy Analyst Terence Houston.  Read the full Policy News here. HOUSE: GOP BUDGET SETS FURTHER DISCRETIONARY SPENDING CAPS On March 29, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed budget resolution for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. The bill passed by a vote of 228-191 with 10 Republicans joining all Democrats in...

Read More

Tracking seed-dispersing piranha in the Amazon

Fish are probably not the first animals that leap to mind when thinking of seed dispersers. Squirrels are well-known examples, but researchers have recently tracked a species of frugivorous—that is, fruit-eating—piranha in the Amazon that distribute seeds over more than five kilometers of flood plains. As Daniel Cressey described in a Nature News article, “Although fish have long been suspected of having an important role in seed...

Read More

Field Talk: Local spearfishing stories tell of fish depletion in Chile

Historically, spearfishing involved a diver, a harpoon (or spear or trident) and access to an abundant source of fish. However, it has evolved over the centuries—especially within the last few decades—to include boats, masks, snorkeling gear, scuba tanks, wet suits and even spearguns. The modernization of equipment means divers are able to stay underwater for hours and fire mechanically propelled spears at faster rates than a person...

Read More

The genealogy of watersheds

This post contributed by Alison Gillespie, urban wildlife writer in Silver Spring, Maryland. When I was a kid, July and August always included at least one fishing trip with my grandmother. She was not a great angler, but she was brave. I will never forget watching her tramp through tall weeds in search of grasshoppers. Upon finding one, she would quickly snatch it up with her bare hands and then smilingly pierce it with a small hook...

Read More

From the Community: Atlantic garbage soup, rerouting the Red Sea and misnaming the fruit fly

Scientists develop a project to reroute water into the Dead Sea, male wasp spiders get a second chance at mating if they start with their sisters, 25% of fish in Dublin are mislabeled as completely different species and five species that cheated extinction. Here is the latest news in ecology for the third week in April. Earth Day: Last Thursday was Earth Day—in honor of the myriad of news coverage, Mental Floss gave a rundown of the...

Read More