Tags >> rescue
Sep 19
2010

Extinct Clover

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , West County , research , rescue , preservation , open space , Marin , environment , education , coast , California

Bruce Robinson

The number of plants and animals listed as threatened or endangered is almost constantly growing. But only rarely does a species that was thought to be extinct make a come-back to join the endangered list. This is the story of just such a recovery, in the coastal hills of the North Bay.

It's now been a little more than 17 years since Connors made that first surprising discovery, but he clearly remembers the surprise and concern that accompanied that moment.

 Finding that single specimen in the first place was an enormous stroke of good fortune, Connors readily admits, and the fact that it survived to bear seeds seems nothing short of miraculous. Because even after he surrounded it with an improvised wire cage to protect the clover from hungry herbivores, it still narrowly escaped two nearly fatal encounters with inattentive humans, just in a mater of days. Connors recalls thatfortunatley it was his practice to stop by and check on the plant every other morning that late summer.

the_only_remaining_wild_pop.jpg

That first specimen, found on an inland hillside west of Occidental, has not reappeared, but three years later,Connors found a second wild patch of the same clover, growing on a coastal bluff in Marin county. That population, seen in the photograph at right, remains vital, in part because it lies on private property where it is less likely to be overrun by hikers or other visitors.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Mar 02
2010

Ailing Pelicans

Posted by Bruce Robinson in wildlife , weather , water , Science , rescue , ocean , nonprofit orgs , fish , environment , California , birds , animals

Bruce Robinson

The formerly endangered California Brown Pelican appears to be facing some new challenges this winter, as hundreds of the birds have been taken to bird rescue facilities from here to Long Beach.

Paul Kelway, a spokesman for the International Bird Rescue Research Center, says that after several days of feeding and cleaning, many of the bedraggled birds have been successful released into the wild again.

The IBRRC website maintains updated counts of the pelicans that have successfully been treated and released.

Despite their name, California Brown Pelicans can also be gray, white or combinations of all three colors. Nor is their natural range confined to the Golden State. In fact, as Paul Kelway explains, they migrate up and down much of the Pacific coast, which is part of the reason they’ve had problems recently.

These birds, the smallest of all pelican species, were placed on the Endangered Species list because exposure to DDT resulted in thinner shells for their eggs, which led to fewer birds hatching, and reduced birth rates. Since the pesticide was banned, the pelican population has been gradually rebounding. The group seen at right are regaining their strength at the IBRRC facility in Cordelia, near Fairfield.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 25
2010

A School for AIDS Orphans in Mozambique

Posted by Bruce Robinson in youth , teens , students , speaker , rescue , public safety , poverty , nonprofit orgs , medicine , international , homeless , healthcare , families , education , children , Africa , activism

Bruce Robinson

As the number of African children orphaned by AIDS continues to grow, a new model for housing, teaching and caring for them is trying to take root in Mozambique.

Malena Ruth, Founder and President of the African Millennium Foundation, says that while it is clearly her intention to create opportunities for the orphaned youth and children of her home country, she is just as clear that her vision is not just another orphanage.

Actress  CCH Pounder’s first contact with AMF was as a donor. As she learned more about the organization, she was impressed enough to join their board of directors. And she is now firmly committed to promoting the A Nossa Casa project, because she believes it will begin to make a difference in the near future.

UNICEF has projected that before the end of this year in Mozambique,  more than 926,000 children such as these with have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

 

Jan 29
2010

Haiti Response

Posted by Bruce Robinson in volunteer , students , speaker , Sonoma County , resources , rescue , public safety , poverty , nonprofit orgs , medicine , international , homeless , healthcare , finances , economy , aging , activism

Bruce Robinson

The Hatian earthquake has left at least half a million survivors displaced and homeless, and as relief efforts continue now, some aid workers worry that the coming hurricane season may compound the disaster.

The enormity of the immediate crisis in Haiti has captured and held the world’s attention for the past two and a half weeks, but Chloe Gans-Ruggebregt, a north coast native who is on the Red Cross health staff in Haiti, is worried that global concern will soon move on to other areas, while  the Hatian people will need years of assistance to recover from the disaster.

Chloe has been living and working in Haiti for the past four year, and her parents visited her there just last summer. They’ve  been talking with her almost daily since the quake, and her father, John Ruggebregt of Santa Rosa, says that for him, those conversations have given the humanitarian crisis an individualized human face.

The local Red Cross office is maintaining a list of events in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties to raise money to support  relief efforts. You can also view a slideshow of Red Cross photographs from Haiti. To make a donation, click here.

 

When the quake struck, Chloe was more than 100 miles away in rural Haiti. She promptly returned to Port au Prince (where she, too, lived) and emailed her first impressions not long after arriving there:

I was on the fourth floor of the house in Trou du Nord when the earthquake started. It probably lasted about 20 seconds. The whole house was shaking and people started yelling and running outside. There was however no major damage in the NE. The phone promptly went out as did our Internet which relies on the same system.

I drove to PAP [Port au Prince] today thinking that I wouldn't be able to get back just because it had been raining for two weeks in the north and the planes weren't flying. There was no way I nor my driver could have predicted what we would see when we drove into PAP.

We started to see large cracks in the highway about an hour outside PAP and as we got closer and closer the chaos mounted. PAP probably has tens of thousands dead and no aid [organization] can even respond. Matt [Marek, head of the American National Red Cross Haiti delegation] was out with half our team all night and day just giving basic first aid, but the hospitals are closed or full, the government has many dead, the head of the UN is dead and many of the UN are unaccounted for as are six of our staff.

We are sure they are fine but they have no way to communicate and many roads are blocked. I  haven't been home but will go tomorrow to see if my house is still there. As far as I know we will only be able to do first aid but teams are on the way. I am in shock along with the entire city. The city has been reduced to a concrete pile of rubble. Everyone is sleeping outside because they are scared of more.