(Radio Sweden, 17 May 2009) -- Two earthquakes shook Malmberget, a mining town in the north of Sweden, early on Sunday morning. The first quake occurred just after 7 AM and was followed by a second quake half an hour later. Locals have reported ornaments being smashed and paintings shaken off the wall, according to local newspaper Norrländska Socialdemokraten. However, local police say that this is nothing out of the ordinary for the area. “They are used to being shaken up every now and again up there,” Olle Kvareros of the local police told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter. However, all mining activity was stopped in the area following the quakes, according to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet. “We take this very seriously and we will analyze what has happened,” said Björn Koorem, head of mining operations at LKAB, to Aftonbladet. According to Koorem no serious damage to the mine has been detected. The Swedish mining company LKAB estimated the quakes to have reached 2.9 and 1.7 on the Richter scale.
Posted 17 May 2009; 4:57:27 PM. Permalink
(Dimitra Lavrakas/The Dutch Harbor Fisherman, 14 May 2009) --Ken Salazar, secretary of the Interior, presented The Nature Conservancy in Alaska a shared award, Partners in Conservation Award, in Washington, D.C. on May 7 for its role in the Rat Island Seabird Restoration Project with the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge and Island Conservation. The Nature Conservancy also was honored for its contribution to the Southwest Alaska Salmon Habitat Partnership. “The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our greatest conservation legacies often emerge when stakeholders, agencies, and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” Salazar said in a news release. In 1780, a shipwreck loosed a population of non-native Norway rats. As the years past and the population grew, the rats decimated the population of birds on the island by eating the eggs and chicks of burrow-nesting species like puffins, auklets and ancient murrelets. “In the Aleutians, colonies of seabirds such as puffins and auklets are like the biological engine that keep these rich systems humming,” said Steve Maclean, director of the Conservancy’s Bering Sea program, in a news release. “An Aleutian island without seabirds is missing something vital.” In an unprecedented habit restoration, the field mission to the 10-square-mile island in September 2008 involved the use of helicopters and the research vessel Tiglax, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ship home ported in Homer. According to The Nature Conservancy, the Rat Island restoration is one example of new global efforts to eradicate invasive species in otherwise healthy island ecosystems. Invasive rats have been introduced to about 90 percent of the world’s islands and are responsible for 40 percent to 60 percent of all recorded island bird and reptile extinctions. For more information, go to www.seabirdrestoration.org.
Posted 17 May 2009; 2:29:38 PM. Permalink