It was Lola’s turn to sit on Santa’s lap.
But what the pit bull/English boxer mix, who belongs to Miles Clark Gray of the Washington Animal Rescue League in D.C., really wanted for Christmas was on the floor — in the form of a great big belly rub.
Lucky for Lola, it’s the season for giving!
And here are a whole bunch more pups who are (mostly) full of holiday cheer:
WildCare’s Wildlife Hospital treats nearly 4,000 ill, injured and orphaned wild animal patients from over 200 species every year. This is one patient’s story.
When you walk out the door of your home, you don’t expect to find an orphaned hummingbird on the walking path.
That’s the thing about rescuing a wild animal — it so often happens when you least expect it, and when it’s least convenient
But a small green bird fluttering and flopping on the ground obviously needs help.
In the case of WildCare patient #3207, an Anna’s Hummingbird, the rescuer called WildCare and spoke with a Hotline Operator. She was told the bird needed to come to the Wildlife Hospital as soon as possible.
It is especially critical to get hummingbird patients immediate care because a hummingbird’s metabolism is so fast he can quickly burn through the calories his body needs to survive.
In the Wildlife Hospital, we admit adult and juvenile hummingbirds that were struck by cars, hit windows, got caught by cats or were stuck inside houses and othe爱上海419论坛
Photo credit: Priyadarshini Mitra
Large cardamom yields are falling dramatically across the northeast Himalayas, where a fungal infection caused by climate change threatens one of the world’s most expensive spices.
Large cardamom plantation in Sikkim
Photo credit: Subhra Priyadarshini
As India celebrated its 66th Republic Day this year, chief guest U.S. President Barack Obama watched a display showcasing the rich culture of various Indian states pass by on the Rajpath, New Delhi’s ceremonial boulevard. A beautiful tableau from Sikkim state was covered with rich foliage, showing the tradition of large cardamom cultivation — one of the most expensive spices in the world.
Sikkim, a small state in the northeast Himalayas, accounts for almost 90 percent of India’s large cardamom production, making India one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of the spice. The country earns Rs. 12 crores (nearly $2 million U.S. dollars) for every 1000 million tonnes of cardamom pods.
But all of this is now at stake. The region’s undulating mountains that once offered the perfect climatic conditions and fertile soil for the lucrative crop have turned into a breeding ground for pathogens — which experts believe are caused by climate change. This has proved lethal for the sensitive large cardamom plants, which are now disappearing at a drastic rate.
Surveys show that within the last decade, the cultivation area of this important cash crop, vital for Sikkim’s economy, dropped by half. “According to a baseline survey of large cardamom, the area under cultivation was 23,000 hectares in 2004. This has now [been] reduced to just 12,500 hectares,” says Tilak Gajmer, an entomologist and programme coordinator with Krishi Vigyan Kendra, a front-line agricultural extension centre funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in Sikkim.
When large cardamom production was first hit in the late 1990s, people thought it was some mysterious disease. It was only in 2011 that a group of scientists from the Indian Cardamom Research Institute discovered a fungus — known as Colletotrichum gloeosporioides — is responsible for causing leaf blight.
Large cardamoms — cultivated not only in northeast India, but also in Nepal and Bhutan — need cool, humid conditions to grow. They thrive at an altitude of between 800-2000 metres above sea level under the shade of tall trees like Alder, a type of birch. Once attacked by the fungus, usually during the onset of the monsoon — the cardamom leaves develop grey and brown patches that dry out giving a burnt appearance. The seeds of the infected plants do not mature properly and remain white or light brown rather than turning black.
Moreover, since it is a soil-borne fungus, spores stay in the soil for 10-12 years, making it difficult to get rid of — even once large cardamoms have been replanted.
This blight has had a severe economic impact on farmers who depend on the cash crop, which fetches Rs. 1200- 1400 per kg (U.S. $18-22 per kg).
Pointing to the vegetation on the hills, Pashan Sherpa, a farmer from the village of Perbing in Namthang Block, says in anguish, “All these hills where you are see different kinds of vegetables, were covered w上海419女生宿舍
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