In Ecology News: Python vs the Everglades

Are exotic pythons devastating Florida’s Everglades National Park? By Liza Lester, ESA communications officer Sometimes the snake wins. The exotic Burmese python is a new and deadly predator allegedly squeezing the wildlife of Florida’s already environmentally pressured Everglades. Large snakes have been observed swallowing American alligators and 80-pound deer, but more common prey are small mammals like raccoons, rabbits, and...

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Wintering pythons? Unlikely, but not impossible

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst A commonly held sentiment is that cold winters prevent established non-native constrictors like the Burmese python in southern Florida from extending north. However, a recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggests that adaptability may eventually punch a hole in this notion. The FWS report studied the impacts of the January 2010 winter on the Burmese...

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ESA Policy News: January 27

Here are some highlights from the latest ESA Policy News by Science Policy Analyst Terence Houston.  Read the full Policy News here. STATE OF THE UNION: PRESIDENT HIGHLIGHTS CLEAN ENERGY, RESEARCH GOALS For his third formal State of the Union address, President Obama outlined a set of proposals and initiatives for the 112th Congress to act upon in its final year. These included energy investment ideas and  increased funding for...

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Learning the lingo of science communication that resonates

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst Many political observers would liken the current climate on Capitol Hill to a virtual total breakdown of civil communication where differing sides have become increasingly entrenched in their own ideological philosophies, either unwilling or incapable of meeting in the middle. The latest calamity concerning the failure of the so-called “supercommittee” to “go big”...

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Pest control resources fell as anti-terrorism efforts rose

The United States “war on terrorism” mobilized the federal government to take action to prevent a recurrence of the events of 9/11/01. Ten years and just over a month later, efforts that span two presidential administrations have led to a country that is more secure against one of Earth’s most dangerous species: humans. Unfortunately, an unwanted side effect has been a jump in the infiltration into the U.S. of countless other species...

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Shrubs Bred for Sparse Seeds Still Spread

This post contributed by Celia Smith, ESA Education Programs Coordinator In response to growing concern about the ecological and economic impact of invasive species, there has been increasing interest in developing cultivars of ornamental shrubs that produce few or sterile seeds. However, in a study published in the October issue of BioScience, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis and the Chicago Botanic Garden found that...

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Recycled oil rigs could aid life in the deep seas

This post contributed by Nadine Lymn, ESA Director of Public Affairs Typically the size of a football field and reaching a height of several hundred meters, the production life of an offshore oil or gas rig is over once it’s drained its location’s energy supply.  Then a company must retire and remove the rig. Conceived by the former U.S. Minerals Management Service (now reorganized as the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) the...

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Deregulation of protections against invasive species can have dire long-term economic consequences

This post contributed by Terence Houston, ESA Science Policy Analyst The debate over the economic consequences of federal regulations intended to curb the prevalence of invasive species continues on Capitol Hill. During a Sept. 14 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Republican committee leaders released a report entitled “Broken Government: How the Administrative State has Broken President Obama’s Promise...

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