Transgender fish rise in the Potomac

Fish in dragThe Potomac River, which flows through Washington, DC, has nurtured trade, cultures, migration, and living resources for more than 10,000 years.

Captain John Smith visited the Potomac in 1608. He found fish “lying so thicke with their heads above water, (that) for want of nets, we attempted to catch them with a frying pan.”

It’s a different story today. Some species of male fish in the Potomac River are developing female sexual traits at a frequency higher than scientists have seen before, raising concerns about pollutants in a waterway that provides drinking water for millions of people. Continue reading “Transgender fish rise in the Potomac”

A tiger’s anniversary

Tasmanian tiger stampThe last thylacine died in captivity in a now-defunct Hobart Zoo 70 years ago today. Popularly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, it was the top carnivore in the island’s ecosystem, so it was persecuted to death in less than 150 years of European settlement.

A scavenger rather than an aggressive predator, the shy and elusive thylacine had the undeserved reputation of preying on livestock; its habitat was soon destroyed by logging, damming and farming and a government bounty finished the job. Continue reading “A tiger’s anniversary”

We are all boat people

boat people

Each of our editors migrated to Australia by boat so the ‘We are all Boat People’ campaign resonates with us. Read more on their web site and do download their toolkit, which includes a very handy street stencil.

As they say:

We are ordinary Australians who are appalled at the inhumane treatment of refugees by our government. We have decided to get involved and challenge the border panic encouraged by the current rhetoric of fear. Continue reading “We are all boat people”

Disease is ‘migrating’ as world warms


Warming temperatures are causing organisms to migrate, Professor Paul Hunter told a conference in the UK.

In Europe, ocean swimmers have been infected with illnesses normally associated with warmer waters.

And Professor Hunter warned not enough was being done to monitor the spread, due to the warming of the Earth, of big killers such as malaria in Africa. Continue reading “Disease is ‘migrating’ as world warms”

Water Wars

Water wars info

Of all the water on earth, only 2.5% is fresh, and less than 0.007% is readily available to people through rivers, lakes, and streams.

As worldwide populations surge, temperatures rise, climates changes, and diseases spread, clean water will become ever more essential (and ever more rate).

In 2000, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned that national rivalries over water could harbour “the seeds of violent conflict.”

Are Water Wars coming? This infographic, below, from the International Networks Archive puts it all in perspective.

Infographic water wars