Nature News in Review – Week Ending February 27, 2009

Flora

Naturalists in Cambridgeshire say they have been astounded by the large number of ancient trees that have been found preserved in the peat soil of the Fens.

Almost 90,000 food crop seed samples have arrived at the “doomsday vault” in the Arctic Circle, as part of its first anniversary celebrations.

A Douglas Fir in Argyll has been named the UK’s tallest tree.

Fauna

This week in the Fauna section - we’re going fishing!

Seen the recently released images of the Pacific Barreleye Fish yet?

Recent reassessments of Plachyderm fossils reveals some startling new information about these prehistoric fishes’ method of reproduction.

A brightly-coloured fish which bounces along the seabed has been hailed as a new species by scientists – who have dubbed it psychedelica.

Natural Resources and Public Policy

In his second reversal of a Bush administration decision, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday that he is scrapping leases for oil-shale development on federal land in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, speaking at the Environmental Protection Agency, told hundreds of employees that they were in the forefront of the Obama administration’s efforts to clean up polluted communities and combat climate change.

And speaking of the E.P.A., Administrator Lisa Jackson has pledged to run that agency transparently and will post her daily schedules on the Internet showing all her meetings with groups and people from outside the agency.

Podcasts

BirdNote – Sage Sparrows, Skagit Flats, archaic bird names, and more.

Birdwatch Radio – from the Space Coast Birding Festival in Titusville, Florida; interviews with Ben Lizdas from Eagle Optics, Stephen Ingraham from Zeiss, Mary Guthrie from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and James Currie, host of the new Birding Adventures TV program.

Ecological Society of America Podcast – Field Talk: The Sacrificial Sibling Hypothesis.

Green Week in Review – the weekly round-up of developments from the world of national politics and business on topics related to the environment.

Nature – new data about hemispheric climate change, live-bearing ancient fish, when man and machine biologically meet, and more.

Nature Stories – the demise of Maine’s fishmongers.

Sierra Club Radio – interviews with Claire Hope Cummings, author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds; green tips from Robyn Griggs Lawrence, and Ed Humes, author of Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet.