Connect with us

Animals

Minnesota to Pay Homeowners to Make Their Lawns Bee-Friendly

Published

on

Minnesota to Pay Homeowners to Make Their Lawns Bee-Friendly
Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

(TMU)Minnesota’s Legislature just approved a spending plan that would set aside $900,000 over one year to assist homeowners in turning their lawns into bee-friendly habitats. That’s right—the state of Minnesota wants to pay residents to make their lawns better for bees.

The plan aims to replenish the food source of the rusty patched bumble bee—a fuzzy and fat bee on the brink of extinction—though it will be beneficial to pollinators of all shapes and sizes.

Available funds will cover some of the costs associated with transitioning a traditional grass lawn into one full of wildflowers like creeping thyme, self-heal, ground plum and dandelions, as well as clovers and grasses native to the area.

When people look at these flowers, they see a nuisance, they see a weed. I see a forage for pollinators,” James Wolfin, a graduate student working at the University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab, said.

A pound of Dutch white clover is about $7 and it grows low enough that people wouldn’t even have to change the way they mow their lawn,” Wolfin said. As many as 55 of Minnesota’s 350 species of bees have been observed snacking on Dutch white clover, “so just by not treating white clover like a weed and letting it grow in a yard provides a really powerful resource for nearly 20% of the bee species in the state,” Wolfin added.

Research at the university has shown how important bumblebees are to the Upper Midwest. Unbeknownst to most people, these bees vibrate in a frequency close to a middle C note and, when sitting on a flowering plant, this vibration unlocks pollen that other insects would have otherwise been unable to reach.

Under the plan, 75% of the cost of converting a traditional lawn to a bee-friendly one will be reimbursed by the state of Minnesota’s Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), with up to 90% of the cost covered in areas considered to have a “high potential” to support the rusty patched bee.

The new law was buried within the state’s omnibus Environment bill and is awaiting Governor Tim Walz’s signature. And while an earlier version of the plan would have provided funds for a three year program, the pared down version is a step in the right direction nonetheless.

Even though the funds won’t be available until 2020, locals are already excited at the prospect. State Representative Kelly Morison, who introduced the bill, said:

I have gotten a ton of emails and so much feedback from people who are interested in this. People are really thinking about how they can help.”

It is not yet known how and when residents will be able to apply for the program. According to BWSR spokeswoman Mary July, officials are still putting together the program’s specifics.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Animals

Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Animals

Blue Whales Return to Spain’s Coast After Disappearing for 40 Years

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Blue whales have been returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain after an absence of over 40 years in the region, when whaling industries drove the species to the brink of extinction.

Blue whales, which are the world’s largest mammals, had long disappeared from the region until the recent sightings.

The first was spotted off the coast of Galicia near Ons Island by marine biologist Bruno Díaz, who heads the Bottlenose Dolphin Research.

Another one of the majestic creatures was spotted the following year in 2018 and yet another in 2019. In 2020, two whales again made their return to the area.

It remains unclear as of yet as to why the creatures have returned to the area, but controls on local whaling industries are believed to play a role.

“I believe the moratorium on whaling has been a key factor,” Díaz remarked, according to the Guardian. “In the 1970s, just before the ban was introduced, an entire generation of blue whales disappeared. Now, more than 40 years later, we’re seeing the return of the descendants of the few that survived.”

Whaling had been a traditional industry in Galicia for hundreds of years before Spain finally acted to ban whaling in 1986, long after the blue whale’s presence in the region had faded away.

Some fear that the return of the massive sea mammals is a sign of global warming.

“I’m pessimistic because there’s a high possibility that climate change is having a major impact on the blue whale’s habitat,” said marine biologist Alfredo López in comments to La Voz de Galicia.

“Firstly, because they never venture south of the equator, and if global warming pushes this line north, their habitat will be reduced,” he continued “And secondly, if it means the food they normally eat is disappearing, then what we’re seeing is dramatic and not something to celebrate.”

Díaz said that while the data certainly supports this theory, it is too early to determine climate as the precise cause.

“It is true that the data we have points to this trend [climate change] but it is not enough yet,” he told Público news.

Another possibility is that the ancestral memory of the old creatures or even a longing for their home may offer an explanation, according to Díaz.

“In recent years it’s been discovered that the blue whale’s migration is driven by memory, not by environmental conditions,” he said. “This year there hasn’t been a notable increase in plankton, but here they are. Experiences are retained in the collective memory and drive the species to return.”

In recent years, researchers have found that migratory patterns are also driven by the cultural knowledge existing in many groups of species.

Researchers believe this type of folk memory, or cultural knowledge, exists in many species and is key to their survival.

A typical blue whale is 20-24 metres long and weighs 120 tonnes – equivalent to 16 elephants – but specimens of up to 30 metres and 170 tonnes have been found.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Trending

The Mind Unleashed