Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa – Severe storms brought heavy rains to the province over the weekend. 3 people lost their lives in KwaMashu settlement when a wall collapsed.

Wildlife

Coral transplant – Great Barrier Reef

Coral bred in one part of the Great Barrier Reef was successfully transplanted into another area, Australian scientists said Sunday, in a project they hope could restore damaged ecosystems around the world.

In a trial at the reef’s Heron Island off Australia’s east coast, the researchers collected large amount of coral spawn and eggs late last year, grew them into larvae and then transplanted them into areas of damaged reef.

When they returned eight months later, they found juvenile coral that had survived and grown, aided by underwater mesh tanks. The coral transplant raises hope over the survival of the Barrier Reef.

Finches caught in act of becoming new species

A population of finches on the Galapagos has been discovered in the process of becoming a new species. This is the first example of speciation that scientists have been able to observe directly in the field. Researchers followed the entire population of Darwin’s finches on a tiny Galapagos island called Daphne Major, for many years, and so they were able to watch the speciation in progress.

In 1981, the researchers noticed the arrival of a male of a non-native species, the large cactus finch. They noticed that this male proceeded to mate with a female of one of the local species, a medium ground finch, producing fertile young. Almost 40 years later, the progeny of that original mating are still being observed, and number around 30 individuals.

This new finch population is sufficiently different in form and habits to the native birds, as to be marked out as a new species, and individuals from the different populations don’t interbreed.

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Disease

Typhoid – Malaysia

Malaysian health officials have reported nine typhoid fever cases this month in Belaga, Kapit division, Sarawak. The situation is reportedly under control with no death having been reported.