The Lazarus Tortoise. Yale scientists report that genetic traces of extinct species of Galapagos tortoises exist in descendants now living in the wild, a finding that could spur breeding programs to restore the species. When Darwin first visited the island of Floreana in 1835 and wrote about the giant tortoises, heavy human exploitation was already decimating the population. Within a few decades, 4 of the 15 known species had disappeared. On some islands, tortoises were sacrificed for oil that was used to light the streetlights of Quito, Equador. Others were taken as food or ballast for pirate and whaling ships. — Science Daily

The Green debater. One way or another, Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May will make history this week.
The mother, lawyer, environmental activist, and native of Connecticut will be the first Green Party member to participate in national televised debates on equal footing with Canada’s mainstream party leaders. — The Christian Science Monitor

In the wake of Ike. Even without a major oil spill, Ike caused widespread environmental damage to Southeast Texas, ripping through the region’s barrier islands, washing debris into Galveston Bay and the Gulf, and imperiling animals, fish and plants by pouring excessive amounts of saltwater into marshes. — Chron

Grist talks over the Garnaut Report. The final, 700-page Garnaut Report is out. Conservatives think it will lead to the wholesale destruction of Australia’s economy. Enviros think it’s far too weak. Any Aussies out there in the audience? What do y’all think? (Grist’s a big US green blog, worth watching the comments for some Aussie and international discussion of Garnaut) — Grist

Did you know that Crikey has a new group blog devoted to the environment? It’s called Rooted – check it out!

Peter Fray

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