Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Coral Reef Bleaching

The article presents a summary of studies that show a link between warm temperatures due to global warming and the outbreaks of coral diseases on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch program has examined this issue in previous studies, in which both warm and cold stress were significant to determine the susceptibility of corals to disease outbreaks.

Coral reefs provide food and shelter for fish and other marine life; therefore its lost would not only be affecting the environment but it would bring significant economical and ecological lost for people and communities. Coral reefs provide an estimated worth of $375 billion each year on different services. As a result satellite monitor of the sea surface temperature has been set in order to predict coral bleaching “where corals lose the symbiotic algae that give them their distinctive colors.” (NOAA) The satellite provides current data of reef environmental conditions, so when bleaching occurs, the monitoring can be used to trigger bleaching response plans and execute proper management decisions. NOAA is aware that any advance technical equipment would not be able to stop coral disease or bleaching unless we do something to decrease global warming, however, the NOAA program’s purpose is to give managers enough time to reduce human-use stressors in waters, such as diving, swimming, fishing and boating. Additionally, NOAA’ Coral Reef Watch program and the new experimental Coral Disease Outbreak Risk Map product, which provides a seasonal outlook of winter metrics and outbreak risk management, would offer focus on research efforts by providing a proper understanding of environmental factors that lead to these coral reefs outbreaks. Reports say that coral bleaching has been seen in Southeast Asia, the Indian and Pacific Ocean with a high potential in the Caribbean.

NOAA expects the warming to continue therefore increasing coral bleaching worldwide. The importance of these studies is that at least with the advance satellite equipment we would be able to have a better knowledge of the issue and do something about it. The product is currently been used in Australian waters, but as shown in the article, coral bleaching is expanding to other waters, therefore there are projects with the satellite equipment already set to be use in other areas. We could try to prevent more damages to the water, but we can’t stop the bleaching and outbreak of coral reefs unless we decrease the greenhouse gases.

Written by: Flor D Medina Chavez.


(2010, September 17). Coral disease outbreaks linked to cooler temperatures. Environment. Retrieved from
(2010, September 10). Coral Reef Watch Satellite Monitoring. NOAA Satellite and Information Service. Retrieved from


Monday, March 19, 2012

Threatened British Birds

Among the list of threatened species, there are 40 of Britain’s commonly know birds such as the skylark, the sparrow and the cuckoo that are part of this list.

Retrieved photo:
Retrieved photo:

These birds are continually affected by different factors including “shortage of insects in the summer, lack of woodland management and change in farming practices.”(Ward)   In addition, the list of threatened bird species goes up to 100, but is the 40 assigned that need urgent action from different sectors. It’s important that we keep in mind that each species needs specific measures in order to grow, for example the bittern birds benefit from nature reserves, whereas birds of prey like the golden eagles and hen harriers are at risk from illegal persecution. Some of the factors that alter the reproduction of these species are climate change and habitat destruction caused by the replacing garden areas for parking spaces. Conservationist called for politicians, business leaders and the third sector to work together in order to save this 40 threatened species.

The good news is that out of the 40 bird species 18 of them, including the bittern and the red kite, are under a conservation work that needs to be kept so the recovery of such species can be successfully accomplish. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSVP) believes that we need to come out with a new strategy that prioritizes bird species. Contributions have been asked, as well as ideas about managing the natural environment, particularly in the approach of budget cuts.

The key factor driving these species for a possible extinction is the changes in land use. As it has been mentioned above, each bird species needs different type of habitat. While some birds get use to the population growth, pollution and changes in their natural habitat; others die, stop reproducing or are attack by their own kind for habitat survival. Consequently, the number of threatened species keeps increasing.

Ward, V. (2010, October 04). RSPB draws up list of British birds in urgent need to protection. Wildlife. Retrieved from

Entre la lista de especies en peligro de extinción, hay 40 aves de Gran Bretaña comúnmente conocidas como la alondra, el gorrión y el cuco que forman parte de esta lista. Estas aves se ven afectadas por diferentes factores como "la escasez de insectos en el verano, la falta de manejo de bosques y el cambio en las prácticas agrícolas." (Ward) Además, la lista de especies de aves amenazadas se eleva a 100, pero son las 40 aves en la lista que necesitan una acción urgente por parte de diferentes sectores. Es importante que tengamos en cuenta que cada especie necesita medidas específicas para crecer, por ejemplo, el beneficio de las aves garza de las reservas naturales, mientras que las aves de presa como el águila real y el aguilucho de gallina están en riesgo de persecución ilegal. Algunos de los factores que alteran la reproducción de estas especies son el cambio climático y la destrucción del hábitat causada por la sustitución de las zonas ajardinadas por zonas de parqueo. Conservacionista llamaron a los políticos, líderes empresariales y del tercer sector para trabajar juntos con el fin de salvar a esta 40 especies amenazadas.
La buena noticia es que de las 40 especies de aves 18 de ellos, incluyendo el avetoro y el milano real, están bajo el marco de un trabajo de conservación que se debe mantener para que la recuperación de esas especies se pueda cumplir con éxito. Real Sociedad para la Protección de las Aves (RSVP) cree que tenemos que salir con una nueva estrategia que dé prioridad a las especies de aves. Contribuciones han sido pedidas, así como ideas sobre la gestión del medio natural, sobre todo en el enfoque de los recortes presupuestarios.

El factor clave que impulsa estas especies para una posible extinción son los cambios de uso del suelo. Como se ha mencionado anteriormente, cada especie de ave necesita tipo diferente de hábitat. Mientras que algunas aves se acostumbran al crecimiento de la población, de la contaminación y los cambios en su hábitat natural, otros mueren, dejan de reproducirse o atacan a su propia especie para la supervivencia del hábitat. En consecuencia, el número de especies en peligro de extinción sigue aumentando.


Ward, V. (2010, October 04). RSPB draws up list of British birds in urgent need to protection. Wildlife. Retrieved from

Wirtten by: Flor D Medina Chavez.