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This Sept. 7, 2005 photo released by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a humpback whale diving among an aggregation of short-tailed shearwaters in Cape Cheerful, near Unalaska, Alaska. The federal government is proposing removing most of the world's humpback whale population from the endangered species list. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries announced on Monday, April 20, 2015 that they want to reclassify humpbacks into 14 distinct populations, and remove 10 of those from the list. (Brenda Rone/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via AP)

US agency wants to lift protection for humpbacks

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

HONOLULU — The federal government on Monday proposed removing most of the world’s humpback whales from the endangered species list, saying the massive mammals have rebounded after 45 years of protection and restoration efforts. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries officials want to reclassify humpbacks into 14 distinct populations, and remove 10 of those from the list. The last time …

‘Bee weeks’ in Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield raise awareness about insect population decline

Friday, April 17, 2015

AMHERST — As the number of honeybees continues to decline, efforts are underway in Amherst, Northampton and Greenfield to promote bee habitats in meadows and to encourage residents and business owners to provide flowers that attract bees. All three communities are putting together “bee weeks” this spring. They begin this week in Amherst with a series of events for children and adults. Amherst …

Valley Views: Blue Heron Rookery

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blue Heron Rookery Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Combs Road, Easthampton Marty Espinola, Northampton In mid-April I made my annual trek to the heron rookery on the Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton. I stayed for over two hours watching the comings and goings of the herons. One couple was especially active and I …

How five grassland birds are faring in Massachusetts

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

During the past 100 years, there has been a decline in the quantity and quality of grasslands for wildlife. In general, declines of grassland birds in New England are caused by habitat loss and fragmentation, agricultural intensification, mowing …

Healthy grassland ecosystem at Arcadia among tasks for Tom Lautzenheiser, regional scientist for Massachusetts Audubon Society

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Tom Lautzenheiser covers a lot of territory as one of three regional scientists who work for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. He is responsible for 30 Aububon properties totaling about 17,000 acres west of Route 495. “Primarily, I study …

Obama warns climate change harming health

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

WASHINGTON — Global warming isn’t just affecting the weather, it’s harming Americans’ health, President Barack Obama said Tuesday as he announced steps government and businesses will take to better understand and deal with the problem. Obama said hazards …

Two new peregrine falcons and one egg at nesting site atop UMass library

Monday, April 6, 2015

AMHERST — For the first time in a dozen years, a new pair of young peregrine falcons has nested on the top of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nesting site lost …

High-efficiency wood burners winning converts

Sunday, April 5, 2015

ATHENS, N.Y. — With the touch of a finger on an iPod-style screen, Eric Besenfelder can monitor and troubleshoot the shiny, wood-pellet furnace that heats Athens Elementary School in the Hudson Valley. Like the smoky, outdoor wood boilers …

Valley Views

Friday, April 3, 2015

Coyote Cemetery Road, Hadley Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley On a recent drive through the Honey Pot section of Hadley, off Cemetery Road, having seen nothing except a few camera-shy horned larks, I was …

Two new exhibits on view at Robert Floyd gallery

Friday, April 3, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — Two new exhibits are on view at The Robert Floyd Photo Gallery and Learning Center this month. “Perceptions II” by Bob Solosko of Easthampton runs through April 30. There will be an opening reception Sunday from …

Calif. set to clamp down on water use

Thursday, April 2, 2015

LONG BEACH, Calif. — What’s it going to take to get people to use a lot less water in drought-stricken California, the Technicolor landscape of lush yards, emerald golf courses and aquamarine swimming pools? Residents may be about …

Area brief

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Amherst BIRDS OF PREY TALK — Raptor rehabilitator Julie Anne Collier will give a live birds of prey presentation from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Amherst Copy and Designworks, 37 East Pleasant St. Birds to be displayed include an American kestrel, a peregrine falcon, a red-tailed  hawk and a great horned owl. Collier’s artwork, including portraits of the raptors she cares for, will also be on display. …

Franklin Council of Governments will offer assistance to towns in Tennessee Gas Pipeline filing

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments is looking into providing legal and technical assistance to help towns deal with the Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. The COG’s Regional Pipeline Advisory Committee, which has been coordinating its efforts with the Berkshire Regional Planning …