April 5, 2012
Southern Right Whale

The Southern Right Whale is also a critically endangered species     Photo: Department of Sustainability & Environment/Flickr

App Identifies Endangered Whales

May help prevent deadly collisions

A new mobile application tracks and warns boaters about the location of endangered whales in the Atlantic Ocean. The Whale Alert app uses GPS to track North Atlantic right whales in an effort to avoid collisions between with boats, which is one of the leading causes of death for the whales. Less than 550 right whales are estimated to exist worldwide. NOAA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and other private, academic, and government organizations collaborated to develop the app.

Read more at Reuters

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A rider at the 2011 Olympic course trial race

A rider at the 2011 Olympic course trial race     Photo: Britainglishman/Flickr

Olympic Mountain-Bike Course Gets Harder

After trial race, riders wanted more hills

Organizers for the upcoming London Olympic games have made the course for men's and women's cross-country mountain-biking tougher. The course, which covers just under three miles on the campus of Hadleigh Farm in Essex, will now include more climbing and wider passing lanes. Organizers held a trial event in July, then collected feedback from racers. "It is wider and higher than for the test event and with [a] stunning setting," London 2012 official Debbie Jevans said. Thirty women and fifty men are expected to compete on August 11 and 12.

Read more at the BBC

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Snake on a Plane     Photo: librarianidol

Snake on a Plane Forces Landing

Reptile climbed pilot's leg

A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing on Tuesday in Darwin, Australia when a snake emerged from the control panels of his cockpit. Pilot Braden Blennerhassett, 26, was flying cargo for Air Frontier when a snake emerged from behind the instrument panel and crawled up his leg. He radioed air traffic control to request an emergency landing. "Look, you're not going to believe this. I've got snakes on a plane," he said. When officials searched the plane, they found a non-venomous green tree snake and a green tree frog. Both disappeared before a wildlife official arrived to collect them.

Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times

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