Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks lists the bird as “potentially at risk because of limited and/or declining numbers, range and/or habitat, even though it may be abundant in some areas.” The Forest Service and BLM consider the owl a sensitive species. (Courtesy photo)
GLASGOW, Mont. — Just like retirees traveling south to escape the snowy winter, two female burrowing owls have been documented traveling almost 2,000 miles to central Mexico from Eastern Montana for the first time.
“Now we’re learning more about how incredible these birds are,” said David Johnson, of the Global Owl Project.
Last year, GLOW fitted 30 burrowing owls in the Northwest and Canada — including three from the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in Montana — with tiny backpacks containing satellite transmitters.
The devices track their migration routes and destinations in an attempt to give researchers insight into the birds’ population decline.
No one has completed a survey to arrive at a population number for the birds in Montana, according to Steve Huffman, executive director of Montana Audubon.
“If you polled a bunch of owl experts, though, you’d probably find the range of the species is declining and Montana is no exception to that,” he said.
In Canada the bird is listed as an endangered species because of “habitat loss and fragmentation, road kills, pesticides, food shortage, fewer burrow providers and mortality on migration and wintering areas,” according to Parks Canada.
An artist’s rendering of the collision that created the moon (Paul Wootton/ /Science Photo Library/Corbis)
Scientists have announced that they had found evidence of the planetary body that slammed into the earth over four billion years ago, creating the moon.
In analyzing lunar rocks collected on the Apollo missions, they found that the moon rocks contained different ratios of oxygen isotopes 17 and 16 than their earthly counterparts, showing that some percentage of the moon likely had to come from somewhere else.
Daniel Herwartz, lead author of the study told Space.com:
“The differences are small and difficult to detect, but they are there,” Herwartz said. “We now get an idea of the composition of Theia.”
That was the name given to the Mars-sized planet in 2000 by Alex Halliday.
Most scientists 14 years ago had started to accept the giant impact hypothesis, first proposed in the 1970s, and when Halliday proposed calling the planet Theia, the name caught on.
But what people couldn’t figure out was where all the evidence for Theia had gone.
The earth and moon have very similar chemical compositions. So similar, if fact, that it’s been a huge puzzle for scientists trying to prove the Giant Impact Theory.
With this new research there is finally some difference. Or is there?
There is still considerable scientific research looking in to moon formation, along with a lot of debate, so it’s no surprise really that not everyone in the scientific community agrees that the differing oxygen isotopes are conclusive enough evidence for Theia.
They can be as big as great white sharks, but that’s about as far as the comparison goes.
Their maximum speed is a lethargic 1.7 miles per hour, many are almost blind, and they are happy to eat rotting carcasses.
They may be common throughout the ocean, but you’ve probably never heard of them. Meet the Greenland shark.
Looking like nothing so much as a chunk of weather-beaten rock, Greenland sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) can grow up to 7.3 metres (24 feet) long, making them one of the largest of all fish, and the biggest in the Arctic.
But they prefer to live in deep, cold water, so humans rarely see them.
Studies in the Arctic have revealed a few snippets of information about Greenland sharks, and more data is now starting to come in from elsewhere.
It turns out that Greenland sharks are bizarre, and may be crucially important for the ocean ecosystem.
Greenland sharks only come close to the surface in places where the shallow water is frigid enough for them – primarily in the Arctic.