Buffo the truffle-hunting dog, night-blooming balsa trees and fire-ant-made rafts

Truffle shuffle: According to a letter published in the April issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Buffo the truffle-hunting dog made an unusual find: a one-pound Burgundy truffle in the forests of southern Germany in November. As lead author Ulf Büntgen said in a recent Wired Science article, “This wasn’t a small find, but a big and expensive truffle with lots of smaller ones around. It was strange to find it in an area...

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Birth control for Bremen’s cats

As spring days are punctuated with the chirps and trills of bird song, a recent article in the Guardian seems especially timely.  The northern German city of Bremen plans to take action to curtail its burgeoning population of free–roaming cats, estimated to be at least 1,000 strong. Whether feral or domestic—cats take a significant toll on birds and many other small wild animals.  A U.S. Fish & Wildlife fact sheet on bird...

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Offsetting the 2010 FIFA World Cup

It goes without saying that tomorrow, June 11, 2010, literally kicks off the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The media has been throwing around stories on projected winners, South Africa’s history in the making and even possible flu outbreaks from vuvuzelas. Fans around the world wait in anticipation; meanwhile in South Africa, staff from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) are trying to meet an ambitious “green” goal.

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