Great white sharks identified off of the North Carolina coast
Two great white sharks have been spotted in the Outer Banks off of the coast of North Carolina. The female, named Jane, was tagged in October 2018 in Nova Scotia, Canada. The male, Brunswick, was tagged in South Carolina earlier this year. Jane has reportedly been in the area for over a month while Brunswick just arrived this week. A third tagged shark pinged last month in the same waters but there’s no word if he’s still out there. Great white sharks are a migratory species, moving to warmer waters in Florida over the winter and heading back north once the weather heats up. The sharks are about 20 miles off of the coast and pose no threats to beachgoers.
EPA pulls 12 pesticides that harm bees
The EPA has announced that they will pull 12 neonicotinoid pesticides from the market. The announcement comes as part of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Food Safety, which litigated on behalf of beekeepers and conservationists. The court found that the EPA failed to protect pollinators, beekeepers and endangered species from the dangerous pesticides. Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of pesticides chemically related to nicotine that interfere with the nervous system of insects, causing paralysis and eventual death to bees, even in low doses. They are also systemic, making the entire plant toxic once sprayed. Neonicotinoids began to be widely used in the mid-2000’s, just as beekeepers began noticing colony collapse.
Trump administration may soon finalize an overhaul to the Endangered Species Act
The Trump administration is preparing to announce a broad rule change to the Endangered Species Act that could come at any time. The changes were first proposed in July 2018. Overall, they are consistent with the administration’s goal of reducing regulation. The most contentious provision, if included in the final plan, would allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service to consider economic factors when weighing whether to list a species as threatened or endangered. Conservationists argue that the Endangered Species Act specifically disallows decisions to be guided by anything other than science and that the rule will lead to more species extinction.