Spotlight on green news & views: Typhoon erases island; Farm Bureau pushes climate denier agenda

This is the 577th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the October 20th edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.


Gently extracting an owl from a mist net.

giddy thing writes—Dawn Chorus: Fly By Nights: “Perched a mile high on the Boise Ridge, at the toe of Idaho’s vast central mountains before they tumble to the Snake River Plain, is the Intermountain Bird Observatory’s Lucky Peak Research Station. The site is one of only a few known locations in the western U.S. where large numbers of diurnal (daytime) raptors, songbirds, and forest owls funnel during fall migration due to its unique geography and habitat mosaic. Woodland birds tend to ‘pile up’ on Lucky Peak to feed and rest before crossing the 50+ mile expanse of the Snake River Plain on their southbound migration. This natural phenomenon presents a unique opportunity to study the migration of many different birds in one location. From mid-July through October, research station staff and volunteers run a 24/7 fall migration project that includes banding of songbirds, diurnal raptors, and owls, as well as a Hawkwatch monitoring station. Each fall, Lucky Peak crews capture and band between 4,000–7,500 songbirds of about 60 different species, about 1,000 hawks and falcons, and as many as 900 owls. Observers at the Hawkwatch station count 5,000–9,000 raptors of 18 different species annually. These banding and migration studies provide important data on bird population numbers, age and sex ratios, reproductive success, breeding timing, migration movements, and individual bird longevity. This information is used to study the impacts of climate change, the importance of different habitat types, and changes in species populations.”

FishOutofWater writes—NW Hawaiian Island Vanished: Was Critical Breeding Ground for Turtles, Monk Seals & Birds: “Seven government scientists, who were on teams that had been studying and protecting endangered monk seals, green turtles and sea birds at French Frigate shoals East Island for decades, had to evacuate East Island on October 2 ahead of category 4 hurricane Walaka, one of the strongest hurricanes on record in the central Pacific. The island was the breeding ground for about half of Hawaii’s endangered green sea turtles and 30% of Hawaii’s highly endangered monk seals. When scientists recently examined satellite photos after the hurricane they discovered the whole half-mile long 400 ft wide island had vanished. Over time, when sea level is stable, storms, swells winds and overwash create islands.  The northwest Hawaiian islands were once large islands like the main island, but erosion and the cooling and sinking of the crust submerges the volcanic bases of all of the islands over periods of ten million years of more. However, coral and coraline algae growing on top of the volcanic core have been able to maintain islands long after the volcanic base submerged. That is, until now.”

East Island, French Frigate shoals, NWHI, before & after Hurricane Walaka
Source: dailykos