📰 EwA News Digest: Horseshoe Crab's Blood Alternatives, Ocean Noise, and MA Deer Hunting Season

Skip to first unread message

Jessica Yuan

Oct 24, 2023, 10:00:10 AM10/24/23
to earthwi...@googlegroups.com

Hello everyone! I’m Jessica, the EwA fall intern from Brandeis University. Here is my first news digest for October. 

Horseshoe crab blood is very important in modern medicine. It can be used to produce the substance LAL (Limulus amebocyte lysate), which can test for substances called endotoxins in intravenous drugs. Endotoxins can cause “injection fever” and a high concentration is deadly to humans. LAL is produced by harvesting horseshoe crabs from their habitats, collecting up to 30% of their blood in a laboratory, and returning the live ones back to the ocean, and many of them die in the process. The good news is that scientists have developed biomedical alternatives that work similarly to LAL and don’t use horseshoe crab blood. To read more about LAL alternatives, click here.  

Turtles are carriers of salmonella that can cause severe illness in the young and old, but they are in high demand in the global trade market for use as food and pets. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service states that from 2002 to 2012, the U.S. exported around 127 million turtles, and about one-fifth came from the wild. Many of these turtles are sold illegally on the black market. Want to know how to help these turtles? Read here.

Sound transmission in water can be affected by temperature and acidity. Greenhouse gases make the ocean more acidic, and climate change warms the seawater, so these together allow underwater sound to travel a longer distance in the ocean. Researchers estimate that by the end of the century, underwater sound levels in the northern Atlantic Ocean will increase by 7 decibels which corresponds with almost five times as much noise energy under water. To learn more about this issue click here.

Commercial whaling in the 20th century had a devastating impact on the large whale population. After banning commercial whaling, South Atlantic whale populations started to recover, but whale sightings around South Georgia Island, which used to be a whale hotspot, are still low. Researchers from Oregon State University examined humpback, blue, and fin whale bones and found that whale hunting had a long-lasting effect on the genetic diversity of whales living now. To read more about the effects of commercial whale hunting check out here.

Deer bowhunting season starts on October 16 in the Pioneer Valley. Firearms hunting season starts later this year. Last year’s hunting season harvested 15,853 deer which set a new record, and for this season the estimated harvest is between 14,000 to 16,000 statewide. This time of year, it’s important to check whether the outdoor spaces you visit have a hunting season, and when it might begin. If you are spending time in a property with an active hunting season, make sure to wear high-visibility colors such as bright orange. There is no hunting in the Middlesex Fells, so don’t worry! For more information on the Massachusetts deer hunt read here.

A female Javan rhino calf and its mother were captured by a camera trap in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia. The last Javan rhino in Vietnam died in 2011, and now there is only a single population remaining that lives in the Indonesian park on Java Island. An official statement by the ministry said in September that there were “about” 80 rhinos left, with an average of three births per year, and the death rate was not mentioned. To read more about this critically endangered species click here.

Thank you for reading my first news digest! Stay tuned for November! 😉

- Jessica

Reply all
Reply to author
0 new messages