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Turtles pose problem for Arkansas rice farmers

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) – After facing a spring of harsh weather, rice farmers in Arkansas, the nation’s top rice-producing state, have a new worry — turtles. Recent flooding in southern and eastern Arkansas has displaced turtles from their normal habitat in the canals, swamps and low-lying areas near the…

Elephant countries form ‘E-8′ conservation group

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Eight countries with the largest number of elephants met for the first on Tuesday in New Delhi to plot new strategies to protect the animal. “Delegates here represent two-thirds of the world’s wild elephant population,” Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told the inaugural gathering of the…

US designates ‘critical’ polar bear habitat in Arctic

WASHINGTON — The US government on Wednesday designated “critical habitat” for polar bears who live on Alaska’s disappearing sea ice, a move that could impact new oil and gas drilling projects in the Arctic. The Fish and Wildlife Service set aside 187,000 square miles (484,000 square kilometers) off Alaska as…

Putin warns tigers ‘close to catastrophe’

The world’s last wild tigers are “close to catastrophe”, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday at an unprecedented summit aiming to save the animal from extinction. The global tiger summit in Saint Petersburg, the first ever meeting of world leaders devoted to saving the fabled beast, agreed a…

Researchers: One-fifth of Earth’s plant life under threat of extinction

More than a fifth of the world’s plant species faces the threat of extinction, a trend with potentially catastrophic effects for life on Earth, according to research released on Wednesday. But a separate study cautioned that extinction of mammals had been overestimated and suggested some mammal species thought to have…

1.8M acres of Alaska drilling leases go up for bid

The Interior Department is offering oil and gas leases on 1.8 million acres of Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve while promising to protect critical migratory bird and caribou habitat. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Friday that the Bureau of Land Management will offer 190 tracts, covering more than 2,800 square miles,…

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