News That Matters

Tag: Threat

Plastic pollution: Scientists' plea on threat to ocean giants

Plastic pollution: Scientists' plea on threat to ocean giants

Science
Scientists are calling for research on the impacts of microplastics on whales, sharks and rays that strain tiny food, like plankton, out of seawater.They say the ocean giants face "significant risks" from microplastics.Estimates suggest some whales may be ingesting hundreds of fragments of plastic a day.The Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the Coral Triangle are priorities for monitoring, according to a review of studies.Researchers from the US, Australia and Italy looked at data on threats to large filter feeders from microplastics. These small plastic pieces less than five millimetres long can be harmful to the ocean and aquatic life.Contamination from microplastics has the potential to further reduce the population sizes of the large filter feeders, they say....
Fungal disease poses global threat to snakes

Fungal disease poses global threat to snakes

Science
A potentially deadly fungal disease poses a significant threat to snakes all over the world, new research suggests. The pathogen, has been found in 23 species of wild snake in the US and three in Europe. The fungus causes lesions on the snake's body, leading to infection and death. This study argues that all snakes could become or are already infected.The report has been published in the journal Science Advances. Fungal afflictions have had devastating impacts on a number of different species in recent years. Chytrid fungus has reduced frog populations all around the world, while white nose syndrome has killed millions of bats in the US.Now researchers have evidence of what's termed snake fungal disease (SFD) in a number of populations in Europe and the US. Found predominantly in rat snak...
UK plan to tackle plastic waste threat

UK plan to tackle plastic waste threat

Science
A four-point plan for tackling plastic waste has been outlined by the Environment Secretary Michael Gove. He told BBC News that he wants to reduce the amount of plastic used in the UK, and to make it simpler for people to recycle. Environmentalists fear Mr Gove will be reluctant to set tighter rules for firms which benefit from the current use of plastics.The Environment Secretary outlined his thoughts during an informal meeting.He says he wants to:Cut the total amount of plastic in circulation. Reduce the number of different plastics in use, because that will help recycling firmsImprove the rate of recycling, which has been slipping recently. And make it easier for individuals to know what goes into the recycling bin and what goes into general rubbish.Reality Check: Are seafood lovers eat...
Northrop Grumman producing RF threat detection system

Northrop Grumman producing RF threat detection system

Business
Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman reports it is to produce its digital radar warning system and electronic warfare management system for U.S. Air Force and Navy aircrews.Production of the AN/APR-39D(V)2 comes under a $ 124.7 million award following a period of development and testing. Northrop, however, did not specify the contract's issuing authority."With the AN/APR-39D(V)2, we are bringing mature, fifth-generation digital technology to the rotary fleet," Robert Fleming, vice president for the land & avionics C4ISR division of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, said in a press release. "With its growth path to additional capabilities, including radio frequency counter-measures and advanced self-protection, the AN/APR-39D(V)2 will help warfighters stay ahead of emerging threats."The AN...
Fishing nets pose grave threat to New Zealand's yellow-eyed penguin

Fishing nets pose grave threat to New Zealand's yellow-eyed penguin

Science
Dec. 1 (UPI) -- New research details the threat posed to New Zealand's hoiho, or yellow-eyed penguin, by fishing nets. Scientists at the University of Otago argue the problem warrants immediate government action.Researchers conducted a review of the human threats facing the iconic penguin species. They found set nets, or gillnets, kill the most yellow-eyed penguins each year.Some 330 commercial fishing boats deploy the walls of thin, nylon nets in the waters surrounding New Zealand."Diving birds like penguins are unable to see the fine mesh underwater, and become entangled and drown," Dr. Ursula Ellenberg said in a news release.During the last two decades, the hoiho population has declined 76 percent. Only 246 breeding pairs remain on New Zealand's South Island.On land, local groups have w...