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FLORA AND FAUNA
Norwegian court blocks wolf culling
by Brooks Hays
Washington (UPI) Nov 21, 2017


Plans to allow the culling of 50 wolves in Norway have been halted by the Oslo District Court.

The decision was made after the World Wide Fund for Nature sued the state to prevent wolf hunting in the counties of Østfold, Oslo, Akershus and Hedmark.

WWF asked the courts to take a closer look at Norway's laws permitting wolf hunting outside of designated protective zones.

"Oslo District Court has taken an important decision by stopping the ongoing wolf hunt," said Ingrid Lomelde, policy director at WWF-Norway. "We are now looking forward to the case going to court, where judges will decide whether Norwegian wolf administration is in breach of Norwegian law and international obligations."

The Oslo District Court stressed that their ban is temporary.

Norwegian authorities previously decided that 50 wolves could be killed this winter, but only outside of the designated wolf protection zone.

WWF suggests the loss of 50 wolves would account for a 90 precent loss of Norway's wolf population.

"The current situation is a catastrophe for the critically endangered wolf -- and an embarrassment to Norway as a self-proclaimed environmental champion," Lomelde said in a news release.

Though now momentarily stopped, wolf hunting was originally allowed to begin on Oct 1. Reports suggest five wolves have been shot.

Wolves are on Norway's "critically endangered" species list.

The Norwegian Agrarian Association, Norwegian Forest Owners Association and Association of Hunters and Fishers all support the state's legalization of wolf hunting.

FLORA AND FAUNA
How odd flies prized by Mark Twain dive and thrive in super-salty lake
Miami (AFP) Nov 20, 2017
In California's super-salty Mono Lake, a strange kind of fly, once celebrated by novelist Mark Twain, has learned to thrive by building its own bubble and diving beneath the surface to eat and lay eggs. After decades of study, researchers revealed Monday how the alkali fly - a crucial part of the Mono Lake ecosystem - has managed to make the most of nature's gifts and make an otherwise hos ... read more

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