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Shoo fly: pesky insect escapes using fighter jet maneuvers

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - What does a tiny fruit fly have in common with the world's most advanced fighter jets like the U.S. Air Force's F-22 Raptor? More than you might think. Scientists using video cameras to track a fly's aerial maneuvers found the insect employs astonishingly quick mid-air banked turns to evade predators much like a fighter jet executes to elude an enemy.

A quarter of Europe's bumblebees, vital to crops, face extinction: study

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent OSLO (Reuters) - Almost a quarter of Europe's bumblebees are at risk of extinction due to loss of habitats and climate change, threatening pollination of crops worth billions of dollars, a study showed on Wednesday. Sixteen of 68 bumblebee species in Europe are at risk, the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said. It is preparing a global study of the bees, whose honeybee cousins are in steep decline because of disease.

Scientists, writers, artists urge North America leaders to protect monarch butterflies

MEXICO CITY - Dozens of scientists, artists, writers and environmentalists on Friday urged the leaders of Mexico, Canada and the United States to devote part of their meeting next week to discussing ways to protect the Monarch butterfly. A letter to the three leaders signed by more than 150 intellectuals, including Nobel literature laureate Orham Pamuk, U.S. environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr. and Canadian author Margaret Atwood , notes the Monarch population has dropped to the lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993.

Madagascar's tiny 'sucker-foots' give old bat new meaning

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - You can call them the contrarians of the bat world. While nearly all bats roost upside down from tree limbs or cave ceilings, two species of tiny "sucker-footed" bats currently found only in Madagascar roost head-up, typically in the furled leaves of a tree known as the traveler's palm.

Monarch butterflies reaching Mexico later and in smaller numbers

Mexico City, Nov 24 (EFE).- The monarch butterflies that winter in Mexico's forests after a journey of 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles) across Canada and the United States are arriving here later and in smaller numbers this year than in past seasons. The Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, which is located in the eastern part of Michoacan state and the western part of Mexico state, opened on Friday for the start of the season, but officials are concerned because of the small number of butterflies arriving, with their arrivals delayed by 10 days.

WWF criticizes U.S. and Canada on monarch protection efforts

Mexico City, Sep 10 (EFE).- The governments of the United States and Canada are not doing enough to protect monarch butterflies, which begin their 5,000-kilometer (3,100-mile) journey to Mexico's forests in the two North American countries, the World Wildlife Fund, or WWF, said. "The three countries are responsible for the monarch butterfly," WWF Mexico director Omar Vidal told Efe following a press conference held to discuss the situation of the butterflies.

Europe's butterfly population shrinks dramatically

Brussels, Jul 24 (EFE).- Europe lost nearly half of its grassland butterflies between 1990 and 2011, the European Environment Agency says in a new report. "This dramatic decline in grassland butterflies should ring alarm bells - in general Europe's grassland habitats are shrinking. If we fail to maintain these habitats we could lose many of these species forever," EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said. Eight of the 17 butterfly species that were the focus of the report, "The European Grassland Butterfly Indicator: 1990-2011," showed declines.

Areas occupied by monarch butterflies down 59 pct in Mexico

Mexico City, Mar 14 (EFE).- The areas occupied by monarch butterflies during the 2012-2013 season at the reserve in the western Mexican state of Michoacan have been reduced by 59 percent, the National Protected Natural Areas Commission, or Conanp, said. An inspection by Conanp officials and representatives of the WWF-Telcel alliance "found that the forest surface occupied by the butterfly colonies in December 2012 was the lowest in two decades," the environmental agency said.

In sting, US catches China with fingers in honey jar

Call it a case of honey laundering. US officials said Wednesday they had mounted a sting operation against two major firms illegally importing honey from China and selling it on the American market, avoiding $180 million in anti-dumping duties. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) described the bust as "one of the largest criminal anti-dumping cases in history." The offence involved Chinese honey either being mis-declared as another commodity or trans-shipped through other countries such as India, Russia and Thailand to avoid trade duties.
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