WASHINGTON (AP) — The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence is suing to stop a last-second Bush administration change that would allow people to carry concealed, loaded guns in most national parks and wildlife refuges.
The group sued the Interior Department in federal court on Tuesday.
They want a federal judge to stop the elimination of a 25-year-old federal rule severely restricting loaded guns in national parks.
The previous regulation required that firearms be unloaded and placed somewhere that is not easily accessible, such as inside a car trunk. But in January, visitors will be able to carry a loaded gun into a park or wildlife refuge if the person has a concealed weapon permit and if state law also allows concealed firearms.
Overall, populations stable. Because of wide distribution and feeding habits, the Black-crowned Night-Heron is an excellent indicator of ecosystem health. You can help scientists learn more about this species by participating in the Celebrate Urban Birds! project.(read more)
Habitad: Breeds in swampy thickets. Forages in swamps, along creeks and streams, in marshes, ponds, lake edges, salt marshes, ponds and pastures. Winters mostly in coastal areas, especially mangrove swamps.(read more)
Mattias Klum was born in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1968, and began taking photographs in his teens. Since 1986, he has been a full-time freelance photographer specializing in natural history and cultural subjects. His work has taken him all over the world. His photographs have appeared in many publications worldwide, including National Geographic, Wildlife Conservation, Audubon, GEO, and other magazines. Two of Klum's eight books have been honored with the WWF Panda Book of the Year award, and his photos have been exhibited in major museums and art galleries in the United States, Sweden, Malaysia, India, and Japan. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of WWF-Sweden and a fellow of the Linnean Society of London. He has also been granted several prizes and scholarships for his artistic achievements, including a medal from the King of Sweden for his important achievements in nature photography. Klum collaborates on fieldwork, books, and film projects with his wife, Monika, a photographer and writer. Their first film, The Eye of the Forest: A Film From the Interior of Borneo, has been shown internationally.(read more)
¿Algún consejo para los aspirantes a fotoperiodistas? Si eres sincero y tienes algo que decir, esto se verá en tus fotografías. Si deseas trabajar profesionalmente, intenta inspirarte en otros fotógrafos y artistas de diferentes campos pero toma tu propio camino. Fíjate en las expresiones en lugar de la técnica. Una buena técnica es importante pero el auténtico arte necesita venir de tu interior. ¡Sigue a tu corazón!. backfocus blog
Federal rule change to allow concealed weapons in parks.
Interior Department move raises worries for animals and visitors
By Mike Clary | South Florida Sun-Sentinel December 26, 2008
Beginning Jan. 9, visitors to Everglades National Park and most other U.S. wildlife refuges will be permitted to pack a concealed weapon along with their mosquito repellent and sunscreen as they head out into the great outdoors.
But the Bush administration's last-minute reversal of a decades-old ban on loaded handguns in parks has alarmed National Park Service officials, who fear areas now among the safest in the nation will become more perilous for park rangers, visitors and endangered animals.
"More guns always increase potential for incidents, and that's something law enforcement never likes to see," said Linda Friar, an Everglades National Park spokeswoman.
Friar said park rangers reported 39 incidents involving firearms in 2007.(read more)
Conservation Status: Plume hunters in the late 1800s and early 1900s reduced North American populations by more than 95 percent. The populations recovered after the birds were protected by law. No population is considered threatened, but the species is vulnerable to the loss of wetlands.(read more)
Photo by Juan Aguero (juanKa) Everglades National Park December 25, 2008 Camera Canon 40D, lens Canon 300mm L IS
The Turkey Vulture uses its sense of smell to locate carrion. The part of its brain responsible for processing smells is particularly large, compared to other birds. Its heightened ability to detect odors allows it to find dead animals below a forest canopy.
The Turkey Vulture maintains stability and lift at low altitudes by holding its wings up in a slight dihedral (V-shape) and teetering from side to side while flying. It flies low to the ground to pick up the scent of dead animals.
Like its stork relatives, the Turkey Vulture often defecates on its own legs, using the evaporation of the water in the feces to cool itself down.
The Turkey Vulture usually forages alone, unlike its smaller, more social relative, the Black Vulture. Although one Turkey Vulture can dominate a single Black Vulture at a carcass, usually such a large number of Black Vultures appear that they can overwhelm a solitary Turkey Vulture and take most of the food. (read more) http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Turkey_Vulture/id
Photos by Juan Aguero (juanKa) Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park
Camera Canon 40D, Lens Canon 300mm L IS
Habitat: Breeds in swampy thickets. Forages in swamps, along creeks and streams, in marshes, ponds, lake edges, salt marshes, ponds and pastures. Winters mostly in coastal areas, especially mangrove swamps. (read more)
Out-of-control growth in Florida puts more wildlife at risk By Kevin Spear |Orlando Sentinel
December 21, 2008
A quiet drama is playing out in Florida as rare grasshopper sparrows and snail kites face extinction while panthers, black bears and bald eagles find new hope after a once-uncertain future.
Those are some of the winners and losers in Florida this decade, during which the federal government has been criticized for watering down safeguards for imperiled species. The Bush administration recently moved to reduce protections for endangered animals and plants, eliminating some mandatory, independent reviews by government scientists. Environmental groups have sued to block the rule and president-elect Barack Obama has vowed to reverse the changes.
Yet there are protections other than the 35-year-old Endangered Species Act, an imperfect shield between wildlife and hunters, bulldozers and any number of other threats.
Florida has its own program to revive troubled species, while universities and environmental groups take on a share of research and hands-on rescue efforts. If a central lesson emerged this decade, it's that millions of dollars, countless hours and a concerned public can bring at least the promise of a success story for an imperiled species.(read more)
Award-winning filmmakers and naturalists Dereck and Beverly Joubert lead a life of adventure that most people can only imagine. For over 25 years they have made the African wilderness their home, dedicating their lives to understanding and protecting its majestic creatures. Through their research, filmmaking, photography, and writing, this amazing couple has brought us new insights into the lives of the lions, elephants, zebras, and other African animals that have long fired the human imagination. Almost entirely self-taught as filmmakers, the Jouberts have four Emmys and a Peabody Award to their credit for documentaries including Reflections on Elephants, Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas, and Journey to the Forgotten River, all produced for National Geographic Television and Film. Beverly’s stunning photography and Dereck’s lyrical prose have also been showcased in books, such as Hunting With the Moon: The Lions of Savuti, and four articles for National Geographic. Earlier this year, the Jouberts were named National Geographic explorers-in-residence.(read more)