Many amphibian species close to extinction
Washington - Up to 122 amphibian species have become extinct since 1990, evidence that they are "under unprecedented assault", according to the online edition of Science Express.
In a study unprecedented for its extent of international collaboration, 500 scientists from more than 60 countries found that frogs, toads, newts and salamanders are experiencing "tens of thousands of years worth of extinctions in just a century".
As Ice Thaws, Arctic Peoples at Loss for Words
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
REYKJAVIK, Iceland (Reuters) - What are the words used by indigenous peoples in the Arctic for "hornet," "robin," "elk," "barn owl" or "salmon?" If you don't know, you're not alone.
Many indigenous languages have no words for legions of new animals, insects and plants advancing north as global warming thaws the polar ice and lets forests creep over tundra.
"We can't even describe what we're seeing," said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference which says it represents 155,000 people in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Russia.
In the Inuit language Inuktitut, robins are known just as the "bird with the red breast," she said. Inuit hunters in north Canada recently saw some ducks but have not figured out what species they were, in Inuktitut or any other language.
the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Group Blasts Political Quizzing of U.S. Science-Panel Nominees
by John Mangels
The Bush administration's practice of screening some potential government science advisers about their political views is improper, the nation's top science organization says.
In a strongly worded report and public comments last week, members of a National Academies of Science and Engineering panel said quizzing candidates for federal science advisory committees about their voting record or party affiliation or whether they agree with the president's policies is "not relevant" and in some cases may be illegal.