For at least six years, a coyote community has maintained its existence within about a third of a square mile in a location just a few miles from Chicagos OHare International Airport.
"Thats an indication that they dont have to go far to find food and water. Theyre finding everything they need right there, in the suburbs of Chicago," said Stan Gehrt, an associate professor of environment and natural resources at Ohio State University who has led the tracking of coyotes around Chicago for 12 years. "It amazes me.
"The coyote is the test case for other animals. Raccoons, skunks, foxes - theyve already been able to penetrate the urban landscape pretty well. The coyote is the most recent and largest. The jurys out with whats going to happen with the bigger ones," he said.
The bigger ones include wolves, mountain lions, and bears.
NEW WEAPON AGAINST POISON IVY
With more than half of all adults allergic to poison ivy, oak, and sumac, scientists are reporting an advance toward an inexpensive spray that could reveal the presence of the rash-causing toxic oil on the skin, clothing, garden tools, and even the family cat or dog.
Using the spray, described in the American Chemical Society journal, The Journal of Organic Chemistry, would enable people to wash off the oil or avoid further contact in time to sidestep days of misery.
It takes only 0.04th of a drop of the oil to trigger a reaction, and the oil is invisible. Scientists thus sought to begin developing a way to make the oil visible and allow inspection for contamination after venturing outdoors.
Texas Legacy Greenwing Project Dedicated
A group of DU Legacy Greenwing members and their families gathered at Mad Island Wildlife Management Area near Matagorda, Texas on July 21, to dedicate Texass third Legacy Greenwing project. Legacy Greenwing members are sponsor-level youth members of Ducks Unlimited. Texas has more than 400 Legacy Greenwings, more than 100 of whom now have their names engraved on a bronze plaque at the dedication site.
photo: Ducks Unlimited
DU has worked with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) over the years on several projects to enhance waterfowl habitat on Mad Island WMA. Most recently, the Big Muddy Lake water control structure project improved management capabilities on more than 460 acres of emergent and submerged marsh habitats in Big Muddy and Cane lakes.
A second project to install a new deepwater well increased water management capacity to approximately 200 acres of moist-soil habitat managed for waterfowl within the WMA. These two moist-soil impoundments provide some of the most popular hunting areas at Mad Island WMA.
Both projects enhanced waterfowl habitat and public hunting opportunities.
Venomous Fish on Mid Texas Coast
Video shot by scientists with the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies is the first documented confirmation that a new non-native marine predator may pose a threat to the ecology of the waters along the Texas coast.
View the Harte video of Lionfish on the mid Texas Coast at: fishgame.com/VideoBlog.php?p=3622 Photo: wikimedia commons
Lionfish, venomous marine fish previously found mostly in the western Pacific Ocean, have been appearing in the Caribbean since the 1980s. While lionfish are becoming increasingly sighted around the Gulf of Mexico, most previous reports have come from areas east of Louisiana, particularly in Floridas coastal waters. These predators measure up to approximately 18 inches and feed on small fish and invertebrates. Because they have few natural enemies, lionfish may negatively impact native species in the newly-invaded ecosystems.
"Reported sightings in the Texas coastal area are rather recent and, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first confirmed video documentation of a lionfish from the Texas coastal region," said Dr. Matthew Ajemian, a post-doctoral fellow with the HRI at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
TAKE THE BITE OUT OF PAIN
Black mamba snake venom has been shown to make a better painkiller than morphine, but without most of the side effects, say French scientists. The predator uses neurotoxins to paralyze and kill small animals. It is one of the most dangerous snakes in Africa. As reported in the journal "Nature," Researchers tested the venom of 50 species before finding the black mamba pain-killing proteins, called mambalgins.