In the news, November 1

Adélie Penguins, Paulet Island, Antarctica. Photo by Christopher Taylor, an International Bird Rescue featured photographer.

• Plans to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary in Antarctica’s Ross Sea failed for a third time Friday over the objections of several nations with fishing interests in the region.

Proposed by the US and New Zealand, the marine reserve, which at 500,000 square miles would be about the size of Peru, was scuttled after Russia and the Ukraine ran down the clock during a 10-day summit in Hobart, Australia.

Adélie Penguins and Weddell Seals are just some of the amazing animal species that call the Ross Sea home.

“This is a bad day for Antarctica and for the world’s oceans that desperately need protection,” Andrea Kavanagh, director of Pew’s Southern Ocean sanctuaries project, told the Associated Press.

Kavanagh said while she doesn’t believe the plan is dead in the water, it’s unclear how the proposal could ultimately pass. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources is scheduled to meet again in October 2014. [AP via Huffington Post]

• Among the rare bird alerts this week from the American Birding Association, a Common Swift was sighted in Riverside, CA. The sighting is likely California’s first, and as ABA reports, the species has only been seen a handful of times in North America and never in the continental US. [ABA blog]

• Attention backyard birders: Project FeederWatch launches on November 9. Find out more about this program via The Cornell Lab of Ornithology at [All About Birds]

• A touching story of a pod of American White Pelicans that call Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA home. Since a pair of White Pelicans Pelicans at Lake Merrittmoved into the nation’s first wildlife refuge years ago (named Hector and Helen, the birds died in 1985 and 1999, respectively), the size of this pelican pod has slowly increased to between 13 and 23 individuals.

“Not only are we on a migratory path, but we also house injured and senior birds that can no longer fly with their pack,” said Stephanie Benavidez, Lake Merritt Wildlife Refuge’s supervising naturalist. [Oakland Tribune; photo Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group]

• Microbeads, plastic particles found in skin care scrubs and exfoliants, are becoming a pervasive problem in many bodies of water, including the Great Lakes, scientists find. [Huffington Post Green]

• Cutting edge satellite-navigation tracking data is pinpointing locations of key feeding grounds for seabirds in the waters off Scotland. The Royal Society for the Preservation of Birds warns such feeding areas must be protected to ensure the survival of kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. [The Times]

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