Survey of previously inaccessible region of Myanmar reveals many endangered species

first_img17 of the 31 species are threatened, including tigers, Asian elephants, Phayre’s langurs, and dholes.The camera traps also detected images of the indochinese leopard across all survey sites, suggesting that Karen State could be supporting one of the most significant leopard populations remaining in South-east Asia.A major concern in the region is poaching of high value species like tiger and elephant for the international illegal wildlife trade, the researchers say. The first-ever surveys of forests in Karen state in southeast Myanmar — a region that was previously out-of-bounds for scientists due to security and political reasons — has yielded surprising results.Researchers have recorded at least 31 species of mammals in the region, more than half of which are categorized as Near Threatened, Vulnerable or Endangered on the IUCN Red List, according to a study published in Oryx. Some of these endangered mammals include tigers (Panthera tigris), Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), Phayre’s langurs (Trachypithecus phayrei), and dholes (Cuon alpinus).“It is incredibly rare to find such rich and diverse wildlife anywhere in the world today but certainly in Southeast Asia,” said Clare Campbell, Director of Wildlife Asia, an Australian conservation NGO that coordinates the Karen Wildlife Conservation Initiative (KWCI), in a statement. “Thanks to the long-standing conservation efforts of the Karen people this area is a refuge for the last tigers in the region, Asian elephants and so much more.”Asian elephant captured by a camera trap. Image copyright KWCI.Karen state (also known as Kayin state), is located in southeast Myanmar and borders Thailand. The state has had a turbulent past, suffering from decades-long conflict that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and allowed little room for development. The region has also been excluded from most previous scientific assessments.“Previously this area has been off limits due to the military conflict between the Karen military units and the Myanmar army, and as a result the entire region has been a blackspot of information with regard to wildlife and omitted from wildlife distribution maps, etcetera. For example, the ‘Myanmar tiger action plan’ did not feature this important tiger habitat,” said Ross McEwing, wildlife conservation lead for the KWCI.Between December 2014 to July 2015, the KWCI set up camera traps in four areas of Karen state, making these the first surveys of their kind. The cameras captured at least 31 species of mammals, including 17 species that are globally threatened, such as the tiger, Asian elephant and dhole.The researchers also detected images of the Indochinese leopard (Panthera pardus delacouri) at nearly 60 percent of all camera trap stations and across all survey sites. This suggests that Karen state could be supporting one of the most significant leopard populations remaining in Southeast Asia, the authors write. Only 400 to 1,000 adult, breeding Indochinese leopards are estimated to survive in the wild today.The cameras also captured several records of gaur (Bos gaurus), barking deer or muntjak (Muntiacus spp.), Eurasian wild pig (Sus scrofa), and a few species of bears across the state.“This demonstrates a relatively intact and functioning ecosystem where local human hunting pressure is selective and sustainable and where top predators exist, and importantly reproduce, as a result of a high prey density (or food availability) — something now missing from much of the forests in Southeast Asia which limits the abundance and richness of top predators,” McEwing said. “In some of these areas we have tiger, leopard and dhole all sharing territories which is only possible if prey densities are high, otherwise tigers would exclude leopards or leopards would exclude dhole from these regions.”Indochinese leopard. Image copyright KWCI.Unfortunately, Karen state faces several threats, including poaching of high value species like tiger and elephant for the international illegal wildlife trade, the researchers say. In fact, with the ceasefire between the Myanmar Army and the Karen military units, incidences of poachers using snares along tiger trails has become more frequent, McEwing said. The researchers’ camera traps even photographed multiple groups of poachers.“Clearly the wildlife of this region has been appealing to poachers but the military activity which has caused so much human suffering has perversely been the factor that has ensured the persistence of high species richness in this region,” he added.The wildlife of Karen state is also threatened by increased hunting to support the large influx of people working in infrastructure projects, like construction of dams and roads, McEwing said. The state is also rich in minerals, and mining would not only destroy forests, but also poison river systems, he added.“Karen people have intricate knowledge of their forests and wildlife which is directly responsible for the abundant wildlife in this region,” said study lead author Saw Sha Bwe Moo, technical field expert for KWCI, in a statement. “However, as the peace process brings rapid economic development to Myanmar we are seeing increased habitat destruction and wildlife poaching that have decimated much of the wilderness in other parts of Southeast Asia. We must act now if we are to protect this last great wilderness.”KWCI has recently received a funding of $500,000 from the KfW IUCN Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Program to support their work on protecting tigers in this landscape.Tiger captured by a camera trap. Image copyright KWCI.Dholes. Image copyright KWCI.Clouded leopard. Image copyright KWCI.Citation:Moo, S.S.B., G.Z.L. Froese, and T.N.E. Gray. 2017. First structured camera-trap surveys in Karen State, Myanmar, reveal high diversity of globally threatened mammals. Oryx pp. 1–7. doi:10.1017/S0030605316001113.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Leopards, Mammals, Research, Tigers, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Indigenous peoples in Colombia play crucial role in the fight against climate change

first_imgResearch shows that the rights of the numerous indigenous groups in the Amazon are crucial to help curb global warming.Trading in CO2 emissions prevented by protecting forests instead of cutting them down has been possible since 2008 under a UN mechanism called REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries), but there are complications.Marked by lackluster regulation for years, since the CO2 market under REDD+ (or its predecessor REDD) was introduced, “carbon cowboys” have popped up in the remotest corners of the tropics, trying to profit from the growing trade in CO2 emissions. Elizabeth Apolinar enjoys her job as a lawyer in the bustling center of Bogotá these days. But now and then she misses the traditional life she used to lead deep in the heart of the Colombian jungle.Apolinar is originally from a community called the Sikuani. The Sikuani people are a pueblo indigena, an indigenous people, one of about 100 indigenous ethnic groups in Colombia. These groups are represented by Apolinar’s employer: La Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia (ONIC), or the National Organization of Indigenous Peoples in Colombia.Most Sikuani — numbering about 20,000 according to Colombia’s Ministry of Culture — lead an impoverished and isolated existence in the middle of the vast Amazon rainforest. The trees provide timber for building houses and firewood for cooking. The fruits of the forest are gathered and animals hunted. The community also grows a little cassava on small plots of land.The Sikuani rarely come into contact with the rest of Colombian society. To visit her family, Apolinar has to fly over the impenetrable jungle in a small plane. “Many people in my village don’t even speak Spanish,” she says.Yet in the fall of 2013, the indigenous community received a visit from representatives of the Colombian company Mediamos, who offered them a contract to manage the carbon stored in the Sikuani’s rainforest for thirty years. If the Sikuani were to protect the forest, the contract stated, then Mediamos could sell the resulting reduction in carbon dioxide (C02) emissions on the international market. There was a lot of money to be made in this business, the company said, and the Sikuani would share the profits.But does carbon trading really work that way?The function of the mechanismTrading in CO2 emissions prevented by protecting forests instead of cutting them down has been possible since 2008 under a UN mechanism called REDD+ (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries). The idea behind REDD+ is simple. A community in a developing country with abundant forests on its land enters into an agreement with a non-governmental organization or property developer. Together they draw up a plan for protecting the rainforest from illegal logging, for example by hiring forest rangers, or finding alternative sources of income for the community.Since tropical forests store huge amounts of carbon, any reduction in deforestation will have a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.  Rainforest of Isla Gorgona, Colombia. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerWorldwide, deforestation is responsible for about 12 percent of all greenhouse-gas emissions, according to the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2014 report, not including agriculture.Apolinar’s community lives in a forest covering about 1.8 million hectares (4.4 million acres) that is a storehouse for nearly two billion tons of CO2. The area is home to 12,000 people, spread out over 149 different communities. Besides the Sikuani, indigenous groups include the Puinave, Piapoco, Piaroas, Curripaco and Cubeo. They jointly manage the area.Preventing this CO2 from escaping into the atmosphere is worth a great deal of money. For this, an independent third-party will first determine the emissions reduction. The reduction in CO2 emissions is calculated against a business-as-usual scenario with no protective measures, using 25- or 30-year projections. These tradable CO2 credits can then be sold to airlines, energy companies, or other businesses wanting to reduce their ecological footprint. The profits can then flow back to the project and into the local community.Complications and challengesSitting between piles of paper in ONIC’s office, Apolinar describes how the contract with Mediamos sowed deep discord in her own community.“A few of the elders signed the contract,” she said, despite the fact that the community voted against it in a referendum. She and others have suspicions over the actions of those leaders. “The families who got money are now fighting with the other families, who got nothing but are now bound by the contract.”In an appeal to the Colombian Supreme Court on behalf of the indigenous community in 2015, Pedro Eliceo Roa Gaitán of the Piapoco group stated that the referendum to approve the REDD+ project was unanimously rejected. According to him, an extra page stating that the community ultimately had approved the project was added illegally to the minutes of the meeting.Over a month later, a new council of elders approved the project on the basis of this extra page. Mediamos stated that the company had nothing to do with this issue, and that the decision to participate in the project was an internal decision by the community itself. The legal proceedings are still ongoing in Colombia.The result of the agreement: no one may cut down a tree now, not even for a new house or for fuel for cooking: the forest has to remain undisturbed for thirty years.Internal divisions continue to polarize the community, which was never the intention behind REDD+.Can REDD+ still save the climate?The story of the Sikuani is not unique. The CO2 market has been marked by bad (or lackluster) regulation for years. Since REDD+ (or its predecessor REDD) was introduced, “carbon cowboys” have popped up in the remotest corners of the tropics, trying to profit from the growing trade in CO2 emissions.One of the first REDD+ projects was set up to protect forests in eastern Bolivia from illegal logging. The Noel Kempff Climate Action Plan was a plan to protect the forests around the Noel Kempff Mercado national park, one of the places with the highest biodiversity on the planet. The region was charted in 1910 by the British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett, whose descriptions of the forests and waterfalls in the park are said to have been the inspiration for the paradise in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous novel The Lost World.Initiated by the US environmental group The Nature Conservancy, the project was funded in part by oil and energy companies BP, American Electric Power and PacifiCorp.But according to several critics, the plan would achieve no CO2 reduction, and would drive the local population from their land. Greenpeace went on the offense, calling the project a “carbon scam.” The major problem, according to the environmental group, was the “leakage” of illegal logging activity to other areas not covered by the project.Natalia Calderon, director of FAN Bolivia, the local NGO that implemented the project at the turn of the 21st century, is still astonished by the controversy that arose at the time.“We were the first to try anything like this. It was a trial project,” Calderon said proudly in her office in the Bolivian city of Santa Cruz. According to her, the trial was a success.However, the project neither sold any CO2 credits nor achieved the status of an official REDD+ project. This was partly because it was only intended as a trial project, and the Bolivian government under left-wing president Evo Morales had turned against REDD on principle after 2008.“We verified that there was a real reduction in CO2 emissions,” Calderon said. Although she acknowledges that some illegal logging activity shifted to other forests outside the project area, she explains that this effect was not strong enough to negate the total benefit of the project. “It was primarily a good trial of the setup of REDD+.”The biggest lesson learned was the importance of collaboration with the community.“Today we would give an even larger role to the local communities,” Calderon said. “We have to involve them more and give them more economic opportunities.”This is the paradox that makes protecting the forest difficult: to prevent illegal logging from shifting to other areas, the scope of the approach needs to be expanded. At the same time, there must be greater focus on the position of local communities.In 2009, REDD+ was sharply criticized for its lack of effectiveness, according to a report in The Guardian. ONIC spoke out in 2012 against any additional implementation of the REDD+ program in Colombia.Hope for REDD+The criticism of REDD+’s dubious benefits for the climate has never entirely subsided.“With these kinds of projects, the ecological and moral values are always less important than the money that can be earned from them,” said Diego Alejandro Cardona, an activist with the Colombian environmental organization CENSAT Agua Viva, the Colombian branch of Friends of the Earth International.He said he feels that REDD+ represents a form of land-grabbing by multinational corporations in disguise.Regions of the Colombian Amazon. Map by Peter Fitzgerald, OpenStreetMapFurthermore, according to Cardona, the way the program is used is hypocritical: large energy and other corporations invest a great deal of money in these kinds of projects in order to reduce their own carbon footprints. On the other hand, these same companies continue to seek out and use fossil fuels — sometimes even deep in the rainforest.“This kind of behavior just isn’t right,” Cardona said. He also has concerns about the relationship between people and nature. “By putting the protection of the forest into a contract, the indigenous community is losing its traditional connection with the land and the forest.”To warn local communities about this, Cardona’s organization now shares information, including a brochure that explains how to recognize a carbon cowboy, and what should and should not be in a valid contract.Still the most efficient way to reduce CO2 emissionsDespite all the criticism, paying for forest protection isn’t such a crazy idea. Since such large quantities of carbon are stored in forests, the cost per ton of CO2 is relatively low. For example, capturing and storing CO2 in empty gas fields, often seen as a necessity if we are to stay under the agreed-upon limit to global warming of 2 degrees Celsius, is estimated to cost about $58 per ton of CO2 or even $85 dollars for gas-fired plants, according to the World Resources Institute. By contrast, the average price of REDD+ certificates last year was only $3.40 per ton, according to a report from the nonprofit Forest Trends.This makes protecting the forests by far the most efficient and cheapest way to reduce worldwide CO2 emissions, as the UN emphasized at the November 2016 climate summit in Marrakesh.Since 2012, REDD+ has also been the most widely used form of forest management for compensating CO2 worldwide, even more popular than planting new trees. Last year it was good for 11.4 million tons of CO2, worth $37.5 million, according to Ecosystem Marketplace (part of the environmental group Forest Trends) in its report “State of Forest Carbon Finance 2016.” This figure is only for voluntary carbon trading, or what is known as voluntary offsets.This amount is expected to grow considerably in coming years when projects already well underway put their CO2 credits on the market. Demand will also grow sharply once industries that are required to compensate part of their emissions, such as airlines, become eligible to use REDD+. The UN air travel International Civil Aviation Organization has agreed that all additional growth in CO2 emissions from the air-travel sector worldwide from 2020 will be compensated by trading carbon credits. It is possible that credits from REDD+ projects can be used, although no agreements have been made yet.To meet the growing demand for REDD+ credits, more than $2.76 billion has already been invested since 2009 in international aid to help developing countries implement REDD+ projects. This figure includes both bilateral support and support from within the UN’s REDD+ program. For five years, Colombia will receive $100 million from Norway, Germany, and the UK to work out a national REDD+ strategy.Work with local communitiesDespite these millions of dollars, the major lesson from Calderon in Bolivia stands: local communities must have more of a say. There is also a growing body of scientific evidence to support this. In 2016 the WRI published a report which concluded that protecting the land rights of indigenous populations directly results in a reduction of CO2 emissions.The report found that if indigenous peoples have clear legal ownership of a forest area, there is two to three times less deforestation than when this is not the case. Throughout Latin America, these areas are connected to 40 million people who inhabit, and should control, 23 percent of all the land area, according to WRI.However, territorial claims are often disregarded or violated. Worldwide, only 10 percent of all indigenous land rights have been enshrined in legislation. Without a community having clear legal rights to its land, there is the danger that its forests can be chopped down for timber, or to make room for palm oil plantations.Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN special rapporteur for the rights of indigenous peoples, says that establishing clear land rights for indigenous groups guarantees that these forests continue to exist. Indigenous groups are also experts on the landscape in which they live.“Studies show that where indigenous people are responsible for the forests, the protection is much more effective,” Tauli-Corpuz said.Questions over involvementQuestions linger over how to get local communities involved in international CO2 emissions trading projects and ensure that REDD+’s success, even with the Sikuani, according to Carlos Rodriguez. Rodriguez, a professor with over thirty years’ experience with the peoples of the Amazon, works out of the Bogotá office of the Netherlands-based tropical forest conservation NGO Tropenbos International.From the series “The Blood Forest” by photographer Philippe EcharouxRodriguez says that answering the questions starts with how you explain REDD+. Local communities often have a completely different understanding of climate change and contracts than outsiders.“They often don’t understand that you want to pay money for wood, because the forest has a spiritual value, not a financial one,” Rodriguez said. “The trees are a gift from nature.”Money can also carry seeds of discord, as Apolinar observed with the Sikuani. According to Rodriguez, the first question to ask is: how can these groups collectively earn an income?“Their economy is the food they grow,” he said. “When money suddenly enters the system from outside, it means a drastic change in the community structure.”In his research, Rodriguez concluded that REDD+ can only work if a collective, indigenous organization has control over the project and its revenue stream. They should determine what part of the forest gets protected and what part can still be used for local needs such as timber and fuel, according to a study published by Tropenbos International.From the jungle to the negotiating tableBesides isolated companies selling CO2 credits from REDD+ projects on a voluntary trading market, since 2008 there has also been an international REDD+ program set up by the UN. This program aims to make it a nationwide strategy for combating deforestation in various developing countries. Running it on the national level should prevent leakage and guarantee indigenous land rights.Mario Gonzalez, with the UN’s local REDD+ program in Colombia, emphasizes that it’s also important to find economic alternatives for the communities whose land is covered by the project. “That means also investing in public services in very remote areas,” he explains. “Because people will cut down the forest themselves if there’s no other means of subsistence.”Gonzalez realizes that REDD+ has acquired a bad reputation with many, largely because of the carbon cowboys’ antics in the last ten years. “We have to try to turn this perception around, especially for the Amazon peoples themselves,” he said.Back in the Colombian jungle, the Sikuani are still embroiled in the legal battle to get the contract they signed with Mediamos declared invalid. The community ultimately took the matter to the Colombian Supreme Court with the argument that the referendum was not conducted according to the rules.“In 2013 we only had a negative experience with one company,” Apolinar, the jurist from the jungle, recollects. Now that the Colombian government is trying to set up REDD+ under the aegis of the UN, Apolinar wants to give the program another chance. In 2015 the ONIC signed a covenant agreeing to cooperate in implementing REDD+.The ONIC is now taking the lead to keep millions of tons of carbon in the country’s own forests. The members even traveled from the Amazon rain forest to the recent UN climate summit in Marrakesh to declare proudly to the world that “The governments that have brought on the worldwide climate disaster can continue to count on us to defend the planet.”On the condition that indigenous land rights are reinforced. For the Sikuani, there’s no life without land.Banner image: From the series “The Blood Forest” by photographer Philippe Echaroux.This article was produced in collaboration with Martin Perez and Mauricio Zubieta as part of a series on CO2 compensation, made possible in part by support from the Netherlands’ Postcode Loterij Fonds from Free Press Unlimited. Read more (in Dutch) about the Postcode Lottery’s journalism fund. It was translated from the original in Dutch by Anne Hodgkinson.Bart Crezee is a contributing correspondent on carbon offsets for De Correspondent. This article originally appeared in Dutch on www.decorrespondent.nl. You can find him on Twitter at @bartcrezee.Resources:“Climate Benefits, Tenure Costs: The Economic Case For Securing Indigenous Land Rights in the Amazon.” Read more about this report here. Article published by Genevieve Belmaker Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Avoided Deforestation, Carbon Offsets, Carbon Trading, Deforestation, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Communities last_img read more

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Groundwater may play key role in forest fires

first_imgResearchers compared groundwater dynamics to fire incidence in Borneo.During prolonged dry spells, groundwater levels can get so low that capillary action cannot take place, creating a condition called “hydrological drought.”The researchers found that when a fire occurs, almost 10 times more land is burned in a hydrological drought year than in a non-drought year.They write that their findings may help better predict fire occurrence and extent during El Niño events, and may provide a tool to help plan and adapt to climate change. Tropical rainforests have that name for a reason, occurring in high rainfall areas close to the equator with swirling mists shrouding their lofty heights and moist soil that squelches underfoot. Some rainforests in Southeast Asia, however, tell a different tale. They have been drying up. This has caused devastating fires have been ravaging the area over the last two decades, like one in Indonesia in 1997 that caused more than 300,000 pollution-related deaths across Southeast Asia. And then, more recently, Indonesia’s fires of 2015 that scientists estimate contributed to the premature deaths of at least 100,000 people.Deforestation and climate change are often blamed for rainforest fires. Studies have shown that if current trends continue, droughts and subsequent fire risk will increase in severity and frequency.In this scenario, scientists say predicting fires and being able to forecast area that may be burned becomes important for better management.Current fire prediction models use meteorological parameters like wind, atmospheric humidity, air temperature and rainfall, all of which affect moisture content and thus the flammability of forests. But a recent study, published last month in the journal Nature Climate Change, puts forth a new factor: groundwater. The study, conducted by a group of researchers from Wageningen University in The Netherlands, examined available fire data for Borneo and found that incorporating groundwater dynamics into predictive models improves fire prediction accuracy.Water, wind, fire Typically, it rains often in the tropics. Any vegetation on the forest floor and upper layers of the soil — would-be fuel for a forest fire — is moist and non-flammable. During occasional dry spells, leaf litter draws up groundwater through capillary action, like a straw filling up with water in a glass, which keeps it from drying out. But during prolonged dry spells, groundwater levels can get so low that capillary action cannot take place, creating a condition called “hydrological drought.”Trees may also shed leaves to combat drought, which can further exacerbate the situation. This increases potential fuel on the ground while at the same time reducing shade, which dries surface fuels even more. In short, “rainforests become highly flammable,” writes David Bowman from the University of Tasmania in a Nature Climate Change: News and Views piece accompanying the paper.When hydrological drought sets in, deep organic soils called peat become combustible, Bowman explains. “Importantly, even without fire, the drying out of peat during hydrological drought causes carbon losses due to rapid aerobic decomposition of organic matter,” he writes.Peatlands form over thousands of years as organic matter builds up, often reaching more than four meters (13 feet) in depth; peat as deep 20 meters (65 feet) has been recorded. Vast areas of peatland underlie tropical forests in places like the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia, where it acts like a sponge and keeps soil waterlogged. But if peat is drained, it can become a tinderbox, providing fuel for fires that are difficult or impossible to control. Such was the case in Indonesia in the latter half of 2015 when peat forest drained for agriculture caught fire. An area the size of the U.S. state of Vermont burned, sickening half a million people and releasing more CO2 than Germany does in a year.A peat forest in Riau, Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Climatic shifts like the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) can also contribute to rainforest drought. A periodic, irregular weather anomaly in the tropics, ENSO arises due to variation in winds and sea surface temperatures over the Pacific Ocean. An ENSO event can lead to changes in precipitation patterns; for instance, El Niño typically results in heavy rainfall in northwest South America and drought in Southeast Asia.Data from Global Forest Watch Fires show that the number of fires the country experienced between 2013 and 2016 peaked in 2015, coinciding with an El Niño event. Scientists say this event contributed to the length and severity of Indonesia’s 2015 wildfire crises, delaying the onset of seasonal rains that would’ve helped extinguish the fires.A drying island But what role does groundwater play in the relationship between drought and fire? To find out, researchers looked at rainfall, evapotranspiration (the amount of water released into the air by trees and bodies of water) and soil moisture data from the Climate Research Unit (UK).They found a “drying trend” of Borneo’s groundwater that has been happening since the early 20th century.Then the researchers compared this groundwater data with fire occurrence reports. Their results indicate a correlation between low groundwater levels – or hydrological drought – and increased fire activity. Although there were fires almost every year, “the amplification of wildfires occurs during drought years,” they write in their paper.They found that when a fire occurs in an area, almost 10 times more land is burned in a hydrological drought year than in a non-drought year. The frequency of very large fires, where more than 10,000 hectares were burned, was also higher during drought years. In other words, when larger areas were under hydrological drought, larger areas were burned.A drained and partially cleared peat forest burns in Indonesia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/MongabayThe authors noted that despite the importance that groundwater plays in fire susceptibility, few fire prediction models take that factor into account.“We investigated hundreds of statistical models,” wrote study coauthor Henny Van Lanen, a hydrogeology professor at Wageningen University, in an email. “So far, only models that use weather data (CLIM type of models) are used to predict wildfire probability (e.g. by NASA). We have proven that if you include hydrological information in the models (H-CLIM models), that is, groundwater recharge, the prediction improves.”Van Lanen and his team found that models that incorporated hydrological drought predicted both fire occurrence and burned area extent more effectively, especially during ENSO events. In contrast, climate-only models substantially underestimated the area burned under ENSO conditions.Outside experts laud the study, saying it provides a perspective not often considered by existing fire prediction methods.“The authors did a great job at exploring aspects of droughts that are not normally considered such as water availability in the soils,” said Katia Fernandes from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University. “This is in part due to the lack of observational data, which the authors overcame by modeling groundwater recharge.“This is a novel approach that can potentially be used for more accurate estimates of burned area, which is an essential parameter for fire prevention and mitigation measures ahead of the fire season.”Of broader significance, the authors say their findings could be useful when it comes to climate change adaptation and mitigation.“Hydrological drought has never been considered, so far, as an indicator for strategic policy formulation, and the results indicate that the approach offers a powerful tool to improve planning and strategies to adapt to climate change,” they write.“Most practically, such a tool may be adopted in the ambitious government effort in Indonesia to restore 2 million hectares of degraded peatland by 2020, among others by rewetting drained peatlands.”Citations:Taufik, M., Torfs, P. J., Uijlenhoet, R., Jones, P. D., Murdiyarso, D., & Van Lanen, H. A. (2017). Amplification of wildfire area burnt by hydrological drought in the humid tropics. Nature Climate Change.Banner image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Morgan Erickson-Daviscenter_img Adaptation To Climate Change, Carbon Emissions, Climate, Climate Change, Drought, El Nino, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Global Warming Mitigation, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mitigation, Peatlands, Rainforests, Tropical Forests last_img read more

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Madagascar’s radiated tortoises have personalities, too

first_imgConservation, Herps, Reptiles, Research, Tracking, Turtles And Tortoises Article published by Erik Hoffner Endemic to Madagascar, radiated tortoises are Critically Endangered due largely to poaching for the illegal pet tradeLooking at how corticosterone changes in a tortoise, scientists uncover two distinct personality types in the radiated tortoiseBiologists argue that individual animals consistently react to different circumstances based on their personality A 350-kilometer drive away from the frenzy of the nearest city, the thatched desert village of Lavavolo, Madagascar seems to lie in infinite stillness. But homeostasis is never a given. Even this tiny, thatched town with its own sparse, spiny forests offers chaos, natural and manmade. In return, biology – and biologists – have developed a key survival tactic: the ability to improvise.“There is almost no more remote a place than southern Madagascar,” Dr. Andrea Currylow, a conservation consultant and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California said. “No power, no stores, no garbage dumps, nothing.”Currylow hangs out here to study how radiated tortoises (Astrochelys radiata) – one of the world’s most endangered reptiles – deal with their surroundings. Even for southwest Madagascar’s endemic and venerated radiated tortoises, which locals say harbor ancestral souls, 15 million years of residency in these parts doesn’t free the species from existential threats. Locals slash-and-burn what’s left of the habitat, and poachers from outside Lavavolo systematically capture about 50,000 individuals annually for the exotic pet trade or to sell as rare meat for expensive palates. Generous estimates predict these Critically Endangered animals may hold out for another 20 years.Years of tracking radiated tortoises revealed that a subset of individuals hardly release stress hormones in response to handling. These animals were also more active, larger, and had smaller home ranges. Photo courtesy of Andrea Currylow.In a bygone era, radiated tortoises dealt with surprises all on their own. A nerve-wracking brush between two males during the breeding season might end with one disgraced loser flipped upside down. The kick of a lumbering zebu cattle can also send a tortoise flying, even crack their shells. Many species automatically unleash a slew of hormones in response to such indignities, including corticosterone, or CORT. A few minutes into a stressful event, CORT spills into the bloodstream, altering the function of various body systems. It allows hearts to race, directs white blood cells to damaged tissues, and can linger around long enough to stimulate appetites, so animals fill up in expectation of the next showdown.Researchers often compare how much CORT exists in the bloodstream of males versus females, juveniles versus adults, or between animals in habitats with different levels of food availability or predators. Within these groupings, individuals might differ significantly in their levels of stress response, muddying the average. Variability isn’t necessarily the best news for a wildlife researcher hoping for clear numbers to describe male hormone levels, or to define how much a fragmented habitat changes species’ stress levels.“I think your average endocrinologist, like your average scientist in almost any area of the life sciences mostly pays attention to average and means,” said Robert Sapolsky, a hormone scientist and neurology professor at Stanford University. “All that variability is [a] sign of, ‘Bummer, we need to do the experiment again’ or ‘I need to clean up the variables’ or ‘I’m never gonna get this grant if I don’t get the data cleaner.’”Currylow arrives in Lavavolo to study tortoises in the xeric spiny forest, one of Madagascar’s most threatened habitats. The villages surrounding the forest often use the land for subsistence logging, or they plant invasive cactus to feed livestock. Photo courtesy of Andrea Currylow.However, Currylow’s latest look at radiated tortoises in Conservation Physiology reflects ecology’s increasing attention to correlated behaviors of individual animals and how behavioral types may survive in a changing world. Maybe variation in CORT is more than background noise. Maybe radiated tortoises have unique personalities worth exploring.Lavavolo’s unpredictable conditions challenge biologists’ flexibility, too.“If you want to do lab-oriented fieldwork, you gotta bring and make your lab with what you got,” Currylow said. “I once used the motor and charged battery from a dremel tool to spin the centrifuge drum when days of rain caused my [solar] power supply to drain. It’s a day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour problem-solving game.”Currylow’s lab-on-wheels sought to discover how wild tortoises’ CORT levels responded to industry-standard handling procedures. Like many other chelonians studied before them, the Lavavolo tortoises suddenly found themselves flipped, measured, weighed, and epoxied with a radio transmitter. Unable to escape in the hands of a human throughout the 20-minute process, the tortoises had no recourse but to deploy their hormonal stress responses. The field crew drew a few blood samples to later isolate CORT and measure how its levels changed before and after the procedure. Currylow averaged those rates of change together to find the radiated tortoises’ general CORT response to handling.Just as the speciously static landscape of Lavavolo seems to offer no change, at first glance, the CORT averages seemed to suggest that 20 minutes of handling did not create much of a stress response. Currylow was skeptical. The mean value didn’t come close to justifying the extreme variability in the raw data. Plus, she had two years’ worth of information on the same tortoises movement and activity around the habitat, and certain behaviors were linked, somehow.Currylow processed and froze blood samples from 17 tortoises in Madagascar to study their hormone levels. Back in the US, lab tests found that tortoise stress responses fell into two main categories: reactive and proactive. Photo courtesy of Andrea Currylow.“What I said to myself when I lumped all my data together to get that ‘golden mean’ to explain my study was; ‘really?’ I looked at [the] data and my bullshit detector went off. I sought another explanation for the CORT results and found that they correlated with all sorts of other ecological trends,” Currylow said.Challenging the mean, she found that animals’ individual CORT levels differed so dramatically that they fit into either a “strong” or “mild” stress response category. Those in the “strong” response category had much more CORT in their bloodstream than the “mild” group even before handling. Currylow then averaged the stress response within both reaction types. The “strong” response tortoises’ CORT levels had shot up 131 percent after handling. The “mild” group’s had shot up 57 percent.When an animal’s particular behavior in one setting consistently correlates to behaviors in other settings, that’s personality. The Lavavolo study found evidence for these correlated behaviors. There were the reactive personalities: tortoises whose CORT spiked significantly also seemed anxious and reactive in other areas of their lives. They were lighter for their size and more often found resting. They did not move around their habitat as frequently as the mild CORT group, but had larger home ranges. Conversely, the mild CORT tortoises proactively explored their environment, though they had smaller home ranges, and boasted denser, healthier body types.With only nine tortoises, the sample size was small, but the findings did reflect researchers’ increasing attention to hormonal variation between individual animals and how it influences both species survival and a greater understanding of animal personalities.Personality does not have to be genetically determined or lifelong, either. Currylow noted that some of the reactive tortoises were still growing into adulthood, a life stage when stress naturally runs high for many species (you know the feeling). Their home territories were perhaps larger because they were often looking for a peaceful place to grow, the study posits. Or, recovery from disease or stress over food and water might have caused others to wander farther over the course of the two years but conserve more energy and spend more time in one place from day to day.“Animal personality” is no longer the domain of known charismatics, like Jane Goodall’s chimps.UC Davis behavioral ecologist Andrew Sih wrote in a 2008 publication of Advances in the Study of Behavior, that the reason we know so much about the personalities of primates as individuals, is not “that they have ‘more personality than other animals,’” but, rather, because researchers studied the same few animals for so long and so closely that their personalities became glaringly obvious.An adult A. radiata sports a light radio transmitter and an iButton to keep track of temperature. The tortoise had to be restrained for about 20 minutes while Currylow epoxied these fittings and Lavavolo villagers were trained to find the animal and observe its behavior for two years. Photo courtesy of Andrea Currylow.In the case of chelonian studies, researchers might miss the links between a behavior and physiological functioning, especially if studies are one-dimensional or brief.“I am certain that without those other [behavioral] data, I would have completely overlooked any personality trends,” Currylow says.The research also highlights an emerging view that studying a behavior in silos is not enough to actually understand it. Sih wrote that the traditional approach to studying one behavior at a time stems from a perspective that “natural selection favors optimal behavior in every situation.” However, animals don’t confront every issue successfully. Their personalities can enable them in some settings, limit them in others. If an animal is behaving in a sub-optimal way, it can help ecologists to know how that behavior might be tied to other personality characteristics.For example, a shy, reactive tortoise in a relatively safe habitat might miss out on spotting a scrumptious shrub if it’s spending most of its time resting.“It doesn’t always go one way, though,” Currylow said. “Those animals which are strongly reactive to stressors may avoid dangerous situations while others might not notice that they were about to be attacked.”One of the takeaways for Currylow is the importance of differences between individuals.“Simply having variation in whatever population you are investigating is always a good thing that should be strived for,” she says. “Variation is what allows evolution to work. It provides a source from which to draw from if something goes awry in a population.”In southern Madagascar, personality variance only takes species so far. The human population boom engulfs the desert forest and the taste for forbidden meat and exotic pets indiscriminately depletes the endemic and sacred radiated tortoises. Thousands of tortoises confiscated from poachers constantly pour into the nation’s conservation centers, already at full capacity, requiring NGOs to quickly identify the least stressful relocation plan. Informed strategies concerning hormonal and behavioral differences become more important, while the opportunity to learn how personalities shape, and are shaped by, evolution becomes rarer, more precious.“For my money,” Sapolsky said, “inter-individual variation is just the most interesting thing in biology.”Banner image: Radiated tortoise at Arboretum d’ Antsokay, Toliara, Madagascar. Image by Bernard Dupont via Wikimedia Commons.Citations:Currylow, A. F. T., Louis, E. E., & Crocker, D. E. (2017). Stress response to handling is short lived but may reflect personalities in a wild, critically endangered tortoise species. Conservation Physiology. https://doi.org/10.1093/conphys/cox008.Hudson, R. (2013). Troubled times for the Radiated Tortoise (Astrochelys radiata). https://doi.org/10.3854/crm.6.a13p67Sapolsky, R. M., Romero, L. M., & Munck, A. U. (2000). How Do Glucocorticoids Influence Stress Responses? Integrating Permissive, Suppressive, Stimulatory, and Preparative Actions*. Endocrine Reviews.Sih, A., Bell, A., & Johnson, J. C. (2004). Behavioral syndromes: An ecological and evolutionary overview. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.04.009Sih, A., & Bell, A. M. (2008). Chapter 5 Insights for Behavioral Ecology from Behavioral Syndromes. Advances in the Study of Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-3454(08)00005-3center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Farming and forest loss: study exposes malaria’s best friends

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored The study compared the rates of forest loss and malaria prevalence across 67 countries, revealing a positive association between deforestation and malaria transmission.Researchers also considered the socio-economic context behind the environmental trends, highlighting that poverty and poor public health promoted malaria vulnerability while deforestation was driven by large rural populations.Researchers recommend focusing measures to prevent malaria in areas where deforestation is severe, practicing more tree-friendly agriculture. A new study exposes the role of deforestation in amplifying malaria transmission, finding that forest loss and malaria is linked worldwide and not just a local phenomenon. The research, published in Environmental Science, builds on prior evidence that has linked deforestation to an increase in habitat availability for mosquitoes in several malaria-endemic countries throughout the tropics.Despite assurances by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that malaria incidence has declined by 60 percent globally in the last 15 years, the disease still claimed around 450,000 lives in 2015 alone – one of the largest causes of death in the developing world and an ongoing threat to the health of half of the world’s population. Meanwhile, numbers from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicate nearly 130 million hectares of forest have been lost globally since 1990 – an area about the size of South Africa.“There was a lack of research on whether [the connection between deforestation and malaria] was a general trend or whether these findings were unique to certain settings, influenced by nuances of local ecology,” said Kelly Austin of Lehigh University, a lead researcher of the study. “I was interested in seeing if the relationship between deforestation and malaria could be generalised across nations or regions.”Using a research technique that maps complex relationships between ecological and social outcomes known as structural equation modelling, Austin and her team assessed the connection between forest loss and malaria prevalence across 67 countries. The first study of its kind to compare trends between nations rather than observations at individual sites, it found that the deforestation and malaria connection was unmistakable and rife in every region considered. In places with the severest deforestation, there were more recorded cases of malaria – and more deaths associated with them. Indeed, deforestation was a more potent predictor of malaria prevalence than a country’s distance from the equator.“My findings speak to the difficulties we will face in trying to manage malaria in the years to come,” she said. “The changes that humans are making to the natural environment are creating conditions that are favourable to mosquitoes and larvae development.”Although often mistaken as the prime suspect in malaria, mosquitoes only act as accomplices by harboring the agent responsible for malaria – Plasmodium falciparum – a microscopic, single-celled organism that is transferred to human hosts via the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito. When temperatures drop below 16 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), the parasite becomes weak and dies, confining malaria to the planet’s lower latitudes.There are between 30 and 40 species of Anopheles mosquitos that can act as vectors for malaria, but only females transmit the disease to humans. Photo from Pixabay.By clearing forests in these areas, humans create additional opportunities for most mosquito species to breed and proliferate, including Anopheles mosquitoes. Felling trees strips the land of shade and removes a vital store of moisture, allowing water to pool and be heated by direct sunlight, providing ideal conditions for breeding mosquitoes. Destroying forests also robs many animals of their home – some of which might ordinarily prey on mosquitoes. Fewer birds and mammals and more mosquitoes also means a greater proportion of the disease is concentrated in human rather than animal hosts.Intensifying climate change and habitat loss “could slow or impede progress” tackling malaria noted Austin.Perhaps unsurprisingly, countries with poorer public health conditions – fewer doctors, limited access to clean water and low levels of secondary education – were also likely to suffer a heavier malaria burden. Such countries were overwhelmingly likely to be poorer on average, while richer nations with more robust medical infrastructure had less to fear from the illness.In malaria-endemic countries, poverty often precludes the provision of preventative measures such as mosquito netting, education and medical diagnoses. Photo by Sally Forthwit via Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0).Like the standing water that spawns the disease, malaria-crippled economies are often stagnant. The cost of prevention and treatment can exhaust public finances while lost productivity starves the revenue needed to repay it. Malaria-endemic countries are overwhelmingly represented in the lowest three quartiles of income classification, marking them among the poorest and most deprived places on Earth.A seemingly obvious solution would be to accelerate economic development in these places – easing poverty and its deadly interaction with malaria for millions of people. Many initiatives designed by richer governments and international organizations have deployed this kind of thinking. But, given the link between malaria and deforestation, Austin warns against the “off-shoring of environmental degradation” that is inherent in development policy that simply prioritizes food production. The study noted that countries with greater specialization in agriculture and larger rural populations had higher rates of forest loss – and therefore higher rates of malaria infection.“Deforestation is concentrated in developing nations due to larger socio-economic forces, including a dependence on agricultural production that is often driven by demand from affluent nations like the United States. In this way, our consumption habits are connected to malaria prevalence in the Global South,” she argued, adding that “There are a handful of crops that account for a disproportionate amount of deforestation globally, including beef, soybeans, coffee, and palm oil… commodities that we can live without or consume far less of.”Global demand for products like palm oil is responsible for depleting tropical forest cover, with often grave health consequences for local communities. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Global action on malaria is coordinated in part by The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBMP) formed in 1998 between WHO and the UN. The scheme’s extended title gives some idea of its prescription for the health pandemic: “Roll Back Malaria, Roll In Development.” But is malaria policy keeping pace with the discovery of its link to deforestation?Dr. Daddi J. Wayessa, a manager at RBMP, argues yes and points to a focus on “sustainable development,” which he claims does not create a “receptive environment” for malaria but which encourages ideas and input from a diverse range of people.“Environmental change has a tremendous impact on malaria transmission,” Wayessa said. “The findings of this study are the recognition of the need for a multi-sector approach, which is the core principle of RBM – to bring together all actors.”Researchers from the study argue that the disease consequences of environmental change are complicated, and therefore demand nuanced responses. Among the lessons for addressing the symptoms of the problem is targeted help for communities on the “front lines” of forest loss, they write, including the distribution of mosquito nets and other preventative measures that can assist people living and working near major deforestation sites.“Leaving just a few trees could make a big difference in water absorption,” Austin said.Tackling the causes of deforestation will require more fundamental change. Making a forceful case for public autonomy over forests, pressuring foreign businesses to responsibly source produce and investing in education and alternative livelihoods for frontline communities should all be prioritized by aid agencies and governments who pledge to eradicate malaria, Austin argued.“A huge step would be for governments and companies from affluent nations to practice more sustainable approaches in their production sites abroad,” she said. “There needs to be global enforcement that is consistent across nations, so it’s not so easy for companies to move dirty or environmentally-demanding industries to less developed nations that have lax regulations and lack the ability for enforcement.”Header image: The sun sets on boggy former forest in Riau, Indonesia – model habitat for malaria-bearing mosquitoes.CITATIONSAustin, K. F., Bellinger, M. O. & Rana, P. (2017). Anthropogenic forest loss and malaria prevalence: a comparative examination of the causes and disease consequences of deforestation in developing nations. Environmental Science, 11(2), 217-231.Bi, Y. & Shilu, T. (2014). Poverty and malaria in the Yunnan province, China. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 3(1), 32.Roll Back Malaria Partnership Secretariat. (2011). Economic costs of malaria. World Health Organization. Available from: URL: http://www. rbm. who. int/cmc_upload/0/000/015/363/RBMInfosheet_10. htm.Santos-Vega, M., Bouma, M. J., Kohli, V. & Pascual, M. (2016). Population density, climate variables and poverty synergistically structure spatial risk in urban malaria in India. PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 10(12), 51-55. Conservation, Deforestation, Diseases, Environment, Forest Loss, Forests, Interns, Malaria, Research center_img Article published by Maria Salazarlast_img read more

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In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, July 19, 2019

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsSmall oil palm farmers in Peru are supplying huge companies like Nestlé with their product (Swissinfo.ch).More than three-quarters of commodity suppliers haven’t made deforestation commitments (Supply Chain Dive).Fewer forest elephants means more carbon in the atmosphere, research shows (ZME Science, Gizmodo).The Catholic Church is involved in conservation efforts in the Congo Basin (Crux Now).Poaching and habitat loss have cut the numbers of the Masai subspecies of giraffe by 50 percent, and they’re now considered endangered (National Geographic).Authorities arrested Hawaiian elders protesting the construction of a telescope on the summit of Mauna Kea (The New York Times).Bornean orangutans are holding steady in protected areas in northern Borneo, but aren’t faring as well in areas with oil palm plantations (PLOS ONE/EurekAlert).Other newsA U.S. climate scientist talks about her faith as an evangelical Christian (The Washington Post).U.S. officials say that several Asian countries are to blame for plastic in the world’s oceans, without acknowledging the United States’ own contributions to the problem (Pacific Standard).Iron particles released by human activity could be changing the ocean’s geochemistry (Scientific American).Images of an orphaned dugong in Thailand have gone viral, drawing conservation attention to the species (Smithsonian).China is working to get a handle on “rogue” CFC emissions (Nature).Loggerhead sea turtles are laying eggs at a record pace in the southern U.S. (Associated Press).Climate change has increased the size of California’s wildfires by 500 percent (The Atlantic).Natural disasters unleash a slurry of harmful chemicals (The New York Times).Not all bioplastics are biodegradable (Ensia).A tanker has spilled thousands of tons of bauxite into a bay in the Solomon Islands, just months after an oil spill hit the same area (The Guardian).The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency won’t outlaw the use of a pesticide that may cause problems for children, questioning the “significance” of the data (The Washington Post).Banner image of a loggerhead sea turtle by ukanda via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0 ).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update last_img read more

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Legal and illegal trade negatively impacting survival and wellbeing of Africa’s wildlife: Report

first_imgAnimals, Birds, Bushmeat, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Illegal Trade, Lions, Mammals, Meat, Pangolins, Pet Trade, Poaching, Reptiles, Research, Rhinos, Snakes, Traditional Medicine, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade Article published by Mike Gaworecki Released last week by the London-based NGO World Animal Protection to coincide with World Animal Day, the report looks at the “Big 5” and “Little 5” most-in-demand species and how trade in those animals impacts their wellbeing and conservation status.Between 2011 and 2015, some 1.2 million animal skins from the “Big 5” African wildlife species identified in the report as being most in-demand — the Nile crocodile, the Cape fur seal, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, the African elephant, and the common hippo — were legally sold.More than 1.5 million live animals belonging to one of the “Little 5” African species — the ball python, the African grey parrot, the emperor scorpion, the leopard tortoise, and the savannah monitor lizard — were exported for the exotic pet trade between 2011 and 2015, the report finds. A new report finds that both legal and illegal trade are detrimental to the conservation of Africa’s iconic wildlife.Released last week by the London-based NGO World Animal Protection to coincide with World Animal Day, the report looks at the “Big 5” and “Little 5” most-in-demand species and how trade in those animals impacts their wellbeing and conservation status.The “Big 5” was originally a term used to refer to the five wild animals in Africa considered most dangerous to hunt: lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and Cape buffalo. Wildlife safari operators eventually adopted the term and used it to refer to the iconic species that tourists were most hoping to see. In the same vein, the “Little 5” was a term created to promote tourism relating to the “smaller, less noticed but still enigmatic, wild animals of the African savannah,” according to the authors of the report.“Wildlife trade, both legal and illegal, is damaging the conservation of wild populations through unsustainable harvesting, species loss, and the spread of disease,” the authors add. “Here we reveal the ‘Big 5’ and ‘Little 5’ wild animals that are legally traded in the highest numbers, based on CITES records of full skins and live animals exported from sub-Saharan African between 2011 and 2015.”The welfare of individual Nile crocodiles are kept in captivity on commercial farms is often inadequate and of major concern. Photo Credit: World Animal Protection.Within that time period, some 1.2 million animal skins from the “Big 5” African wildlife species identified in the report as being most in-demand — the Nile crocodile, the Cape fur seal, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, the African elephant, and the common hippo — were legally sold.Nile crocodiles, whose skin is used to produce exotic leather, are a good case study in how the legal wildlife trade can impact both animal welfare and overall conservation of a species. CITES restricted the international commercial trade in crocodiles sourced from the wild in 1975 after human encroachment into the swamp and river habitats the crocodiles prefer and the poaching of Nile crocodiles for their skin led to sharp declines in wild populations over the previous decades. The CITES restrictions had the unintended consequence of increasing ranching of Nile crocodiles by captive breeders, however.Between 2011 and 2015, 40 to 45 percent of the more than 189,000 Nile crocodile skins traded internationally every year came from ranching operations. Per the report, as of 2016, there were an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 crocodile farms worldwide: “Sadly, instead of prioritising the animals’ welfare, farms typically emphasise producing the best quality skins for the highest profits. Even basic welfare concerns, like the size of enclosures and separating certain groups, can be overlooked. Methods of restraint, slaughter, capture and transportation are all serious welfare concerns. Any potential conservation benefits from these farms come at the cost of welfare concerns for animals living in intensive commercial captivity.”African elephants are also exploited for their skin, which is used to make jackets, car interiors, and other decorative items. Most African elephants are listed on CITES Appendix I, which bans international commercial trade in the species, but in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, the elephants are listed on CITES Appendix II, which permits trade as long as it doesn’t harm the species’ survival in the wild. Thus, more than 8,000 elephant skins were exported between 2011 and 2015, mainly from Zimbabwe and South Africa.Usually shot and often left to die in agony once their tusks have been hacked off with machetes – all for sake of a few trinkets and carvings. Photo Credit: World Animal Protection.Elephants were once widespread across sub-Saharan Africa, but their population has declined sharply since 1979 as the animals lost 70 percent of their historic range. “Poaching, conflict with humans and loss of habitat are all to blame for this sharp decline,” the report explains. “There are concerns that legal trade of their skin in some African countries may have contributed to declines in numbers.”More than 1.5 million live animals belonging to one of the “Little 5” African species — the ball python, the African grey parrot, the emperor scorpion, the leopard tortoise, and the savannah monitor lizard — were exported for the exotic pet trade between 2011 and 2015, the report finds.In addition to being the most frequently traded CITES-listed species that is legally exported out of Africa, the ball python is hunted locally in its range for meat and leather as well as for use in traditional medicine. But “an even bigger threat to its survival is consumer demand for the international pet trade,” the report states. Nearly 600,000 individual ball pythons were exported between 2011 and 2015 alone, with 55 percent destined to be sold as pets in the USA.“Ball pythons suffer at every stage of the trade chain. Exported in large numbers, confining wild animals in a crowded small space causes immense stress and increases the risk of disease,” the authors write in the report. “Although the majority of them are reported to come from ‘ranching’ operations, there are concerns about the practices used to maintain numbers. Ranching involves pregnant females and eggs being taken from the wild so that most of their young can be kept for trade while a few are returned to the wild.”As the single most traded live animal legally exported from Africa, the Ball python is taken from the wild for sale on the international pet market. Photo Credit: World Animal Protection.African grey parrot are also in high-demand as pets, thanks to their intelligence and vocal mimicry abilities. This demand has had dire consequences for the species: “Since 1975, around 12 million live parrots have been traded internationally, 62% of which were either wild-caught or of unknown origin. A total of 289,006 individual African grey parrots were exported between 2011 and 2015 — most of these by South Africa (88%).”Due to declines in wild populations over the last five decades driven by the pet trade, African grey parrots were recently listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.“When people hear of Africa’s famous ‘Big 5’ and ‘Little 5’ they probably think of the iconic wild animals tourists hope to see on a wildlife safari. But after reading this report, I hope they’ll remember a different ‘Big’ 5’ and ‘Little 5’ — those African wild animals that are being greedily exploited the most by consumers around the world,” Dr. Neil D’Cruze, head of wildlife research and animal welfare at World Animal Protection, said in a statement.“Trading animals in this way may be legal, but it doesn’t make it right. These are wild animals — not factory-produced goods. This cruel industry hurts wild animals and can damage Africa’s biodiversity with devastating long-term impacts on livelihoods and economies too.”There are four species of pangolin in Africa, these small shy animals are now considered the most heavily-trafficked mammal in the world. Photo courtesy of World Animal Protection.World Animal Protection’s researchers also examined more than 3,000 articles published in 2017 to determine that the top 5 illegally traded species, as reported by the media, are elephants, rhinos, giraffes, pangolins, and African lions.Pangolins, now considered the most heavily-trafficked mammal in the world, often meet a particularly gruesome fate when caught by wildlife traffickers: “These small, shy animals suffer tortuous and agonising deaths as they can be literally boiled alive to remove their keratin scales, which are highly valued in traditional Asian and African medicine. Their meat is also eaten as a luxurious delicacy,” the researchers report.“Africa’s unique wildlife has been commodified — exploited for money, without full consideration for their welfare or conservation — but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Tennyson Williams, country director for World Animal Protection Africa, said in a statement. “We know we can benefit from living side by side these amazing animals. Thousands of visitors from around the world come to see them — it’s essential we protect this legacy for future generations.”African grey parrots are sought after because of their ability to mimic human speech and their long lifespans but suffer significantly during capture and transport from the wild, and from resulting captivity. Photo Credit: World Animal Protection.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Mozambique’s newly empowered rangers, courts catch up with poachers, loggers

first_imgArticle published by terna gyuse Mozambique has recorded a measure of success recently against wildlife poachers and illegal loggers, thanks to stronger enforcement.Nearly a quarter of the country’s area has been designated as conservation space, helping wildlife numbers recover after a 15-year civil war that decimated animal populations.One of the remaining threats to the country’s protected areas is illegal logging.In addition to better training and equipment for rangers, the recent introduction of new conservation laws and extensive training of prosecutors and judges is helping deliver swift and heavier sentences for poaching and illegal logging. Seven men have been charged in connection with a large-scale illegal logging operation just north of Mozambique’s Zinave National Park after a zebra poacher who was supplying them with meat was himself arrested.Four large logging trucks, five tractors, two front-end loaders, six other vehicles, and a variety of logging equipment were confiscated in October, along with cash, cellphones and other personal belongings. The illegal loggers are facing hefty fines and possible jail sentences.Zinave is a vital component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), a cross-border conservation area reconnecting vital ecological corridors and wildlife migratory routes between protected areas in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.In the 1970s and ’80s, during Mozambique’s civil war, much of the Southern African country’s wildlife was decimated as government soldiers and rebel fighters alike shot animals for food.Widespread poaching continued even after fighting ended in the early 1990s. Illegal loggers also moved in, setting up sophisticated operations to feed lucrative export markets for valuable hardwood species vital to functional ecosystems.In 2015, an article in the South African weekly Mail & Guardian warned that Mozambique would be stripped of its remaining forests in “just a few years.”The article said many Mozambicans were illegally logging for Chinese companies and that the country had become China’s biggest wood supplier on the African continent.Equipment confiscated from illegal loggers just north of Zinave National Park. Image courtesy Peace Parks.New emphasis on conservationAlmost 25 percent of the country has now been designated as conservation space, with better controls in place, said Antony Alexander, the senior project manager in Mozambique for the Peace Parks Foundation.The foundation aims to preserve and restore large functional ecosystems by establishing and developing trans-frontier conservation areas across Southern Africa. Alongside the Mozambique government, the foundation has co-managed Zinave National Park since 2015, integrating the park into the Great Limpopo TFCA.Alexander, who has worked in conservation in Mozambique for the past 10 years, said the recent introduction of new conservation laws, followed by extensive training of prosecutors and judges, was helping, with swift and heavier sentences for poaching and illegal logging.Last year, a report by China-Lusophone Brief, an intelligence unit that provides business decision-makers with an understanding of the economic environment in Portuguese-speaking countries, said Mozambique had substantially tightened its forestry regulations, particularly in environmentally sensitive areas. This was to ensure the country benefited from its natural resources as much as possible by boosting tax collection.In early October, the independent newssheet Carta de Moçambique reported that a provincial court sentenced a senior military officer, Lt. Col. Artur Vasco Jambo to 12 years imprisonment for illegal logging, attempted bribery, and possession of illegal weapons.The report said illegal loggers working for Jambo had been caught in the Gorongosa district on Nov. 21, 2018, with 20 logs of protected leadwood.Jambo attempted to bribe his way out of arrest and prosecution. After this failed, he threatened wardens with a pistol, which turned out to be unregistered.If Jambo’s conviction signals the government’s commitment to curtailing illegal logging, the arrests in Coutada 4 that same month show there is still much to be done.Alexander said the devastating impact of illegal logging in Mozambique should not be underestimated.“With time you find that some species of trees become completely regionally extinct. And being hardwood, these trees are extremely slow growing, competing in a landscape with increased bush and grasses, which combined with increased fires, poses a threat to the growth of younger trees,” he told Mongabay. “This has a knock-on effect, impacting on a wide variety of animals and species critical to biodiversity, including many keystone species like vultures and ground hornbill which need large trees for nesting.”He said because Mozambique is such a large and rural country, it is difficult to control illegal logging.“Loggers are known to pay a local community chief and community labour relatively paltry sums of money to support the illegal logging operation, including the supply of chainsaws to cut down the trees,” Alexander said.Tractors and chains are then used to move the logs to collection points, followed by operators who come with front-end loaders and trucks to collect the logs.“Ultimately, people in the rural communities who have never seen money and don’t know the real value of the trees are left with nothing,” Alexander said. “Essentially we have these people coming in, plundering the resources and leaving no value behind.”Bernard van Lente, the Peace Parks Foundation’s project manager in Zinave, said the main tree species targeted on the boundary of the park included shamfuti or pod mahogany (Afzelia quanzensis), tamboti (Spirostachys africana), and mopane (Colophospermum mopane). Also targeted are small false mopane (Guibourtia conjugata), the most commonly logged tree in the area, and leadwood (Combretum imberbe), a very slow-growing tree that can live for a thousand years and which yields some of the hardest timber in the world.“Logging them thus creates long-term damage,” van Lente said.Alexander said illegal logging was highly lucrative and was supported by powerful individuals with vested interests, as appears to be the case with the large-scale logging operations near Zinave.From 2001 to 2018, Mozambique lost 3.05Mha of tree cover. Click image for more information about Mozambique’s forests from Global Forest WatchSigns of progressZinave was originally declared a protected area five years before Mozambique’s civil war broke out in 1977, but the war wiped out most wildlife in the area.With the return of peace and efforts to re-establish the park, small surviving pockets of wildlife started to slowly recover. Since the Peace Parks Foundation signed a co-management agreement with the Mozambican authorities, more than 2,000 animals, including elephants, buffalo, giraffes and ostriches, as well as impala, wildebeest, sable and reedbuck, have been reintroduced into a fenced-off sanctuary area covering 18,500 hectares (45,700 acres) within the 480,000–hectare (1.19-million-acre) park.Infrastructure has been redeveloped, staff capacity improved, and counter-poaching initiatives implemented, with rangers being trained and equipped with monitoring and tracking systems.Anti-poaching operations were further boosted with the delivery of 50 heavy-duty bicycles for patrols in a region that has few roads.A 6×6 Samil crane truck and a number of 4×4 vehicles and motorbikes have also been acquired to aid park maintenance and operations. There is even aerial surveillance, thanks to the acquisition of a light sport aircraft, which has proved critical to monitoring logging along the park’s boundaries.With increased patrols, rangers were able to monitor what was happening more effectively and the logging was “quite quickly stopped,” Alexander said.Alexander said the tip-off from the zebra poacher last month coincided with reports from rangers who had heard what sounded like chainsaws in Mozambique’s Coutada 4, a hunting concession just north of Zinave’s northern edge.“We immediately realised the sensitivity of this, and did our own reconnaissance. Bernard [van Lente] was involved in the recce flights,” Alexander said. “After illegal logging activity was spotted, Bernard got a few photographs. We passed on all the evidence to ANAC [the National Administration for Conservation Areas], which took it to ministry level, and got approval for a joint security operation.”Using a newly installed digital radio system for communication, the operation was coordinated from Zinave, involving ANAC, the Mozambique Environmental Quality Agency, and Zinave’s own rangers.Assets were seized and a fine of $12,121 was assessed, payable on successful prosecution.“Based on the laws of the country, the operators now have time to present evidence that they had the necessary permits, which they clearly did not have,” Alexander said. If convicted, they could face jail sentences and confiscation of assets.Alexander declined to comment on who the illegal loggers might have been supplying the wood to. “The important thing, for now, is that we have shut it down.”Commenting on the success of the operation, Carlos Lopes Pereira, director of protection and law enforcement at ANAC, said: “We are grateful for the support received from all the partners, as well as the National Criminal Investigation Service and police. It is only through these kinds of collaborative operations, and taking action, that we will secure the future of our forests.”Fred Kockott is the founding director of Roving Reporters, a journalism training agency that focuses on environmental, social and justice issues. Corruption, Crime, Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Governance, Government, Green, Illegal Logging, Logging, Organized Crime, Timber, Tropical Forests Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Banner image: Inspecting a confiscated truck belonging to illegal loggers. Image courtesy Peace Parks Foundation.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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Indonesian palm oil firm hit with $1.8m fine for 2015 fires

first_imgDeforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Environmental Crime, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Fires, Forests, Law, Law Enforcement, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Banner image: Fires raze Jambi’s protected peat forest Londerang. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia. Indonesia’s environment ministry has won a long-awaited court judgment and $1.8 million fine from a palm oil company that experienced fires on its concession in 2015.The company, PT Kaswari Unggul, had challenged the initial administrative sanctions issued in the wake of the burning, and continued to stonewall against the ministry’s efforts to hold it responsible for the burning.Ironically, the company’s resistance to the sanctions, which would have compelled it to introduce fire-prevention measures on its land, may have contributed to fires flaring up on the same concession again this year.The ministry has welcomed the recent judgment, but has yet to collect on any of the combined $224 million it’s been awarded in similar cases, thanks to legal stonewalling and a Byzantine court bureaucracy. JAKARTA — An Indonesian court has fined an palm oil company $1.8 million for fires that occurred on its concession in 2015, capping a four-year ordeal by the government to bring the firm to justice.The South Jakarta District Court ruled on Dec. 10 that PT Kaswari Unggul, a subsidiary of Jakarta-listed Bakrie Sumatera Plantations, was responsible for the fires that burned 129 hectares (319 acres) of its land in Sumatra’s Jambi province in 2015, and ordered it to pay a fine of 25.5 billion rupiah.“We see the verdict as evidence that land and forest fires constitute an extraordinary crime,” said Rasio Ridho Sani, the head of law enforcement at the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, which brought the case against the company.The ruling and fine mark the latest chapter in a long-running battle between the ministry and Kaswari. Shortly after the 2015 fires, the ministry imposed administrative sanctions on the company and several others. But Kaswari challenged the sanctions by reporting the ministry to various government agencies, including the national ombudsman and the office of the president, according to Jasmin Ragil Utomo, the ministry’s director of civil litigation.“Kaswari is a company that’s naughty,” Jasmin said. “Instead of carrying out the administrative sanction, they reported [us] everywhere.”The company’s resistance culminated with a complaint filed at the State Administrative Court in May 2017, seeking to nullify the administrative sanctions. Kaswari argued that it was the victim of the 2015 fires, which it said had started in an unlicensed forest area more than a mile from its plantation and had spread out of control.“There’s no reason whatsoever for PT Kaswari Unggul to burn its oil palm plantation that’s still very productive,” the company said in a statement in 2016. “In fact, PT Kaswari Unggul suffered a lot because of the fires that destroyed oil palm trees that were still very productive. There’s no economic benefit at all, such as insurance claim, because [the plantation] wasn’t insured.”The administrative court rejected the company’s complaint in October 2017.For flouting the administrative sanctions, the environment ministry proceeded to bring a civil lawsuit against the company, as well as a criminal complaint. The criminal case is currently being heard at court.“If they had just complied with the administrative sanctions [in 2015], they wouldn’t be facing these heavier [fines],” Jasmin said.Burning in Jambi’s protected peat forest Lorendang where restoration efforts by WWF-Indonesia and the Peat Restoration Agency take place. Image by Elviza Diana/Mongabay Indonesia.Burning againThose initial sanctions, which called for, among other things, rehabilitation of the burned area and introduction of fire-prevention measures, could also have prevented a repeat of the disaster.Instead, the same concession experienced fires across 11.6 ha (29 acres) this year, prompting the environment ministry to seal off parts of the concession and put Kaswari on a list of repeat offenders.As it did with the earlier fires, Kaswari blamed this year’s burning on fires that spread from outside its concession. Sugeng Rahayu, the company’s head of agronomy, said the fires originated from the nearby Londerang protected peat forest, where WWF and the government’s Peatland Restoration Agency (BRG) have been working to restore degraded peat areas.The Londerang peat forest is surrounded by five oil palm plantations and two logging concessions.Rasio said all concession holders in Indonesia, including Kaswari, are liable for fires in their concessions, regardless of where the burning started. That same concept was adopted by the Jakarta court in its recent ruling against Kaswari.Rasio said the environment ministry would continue going after companies with fires on their land, regardless of how long ago the burning occurred.“We can trace trails and evidence of previous fires with the support of experts and technology,” he said. “Land and forest fires are a serious crime because they directly affect the public health, economy, ecosystem degradation over a long period of time.”The ministry has to date taken 17 companies to court over fires, winning judgments against nine of them with combined fines of 3.15 trillion rupiah ($224 million), Jasmin said. He added more lawsuits were planned in 2020 over this year’s fires, which were the worst since 2015.However, the government has yet to collect any of the fines, thanks to a combination of legal stonewalling by the companies and a Byzantine court bureaucracy that renders rulings practically unenforceable.last_img read more

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One of four North Atlantic right whale calves spotted so far this breeding season struck by ship

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Endangered Species, Environment, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Mammals, Oceans, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation One of just four North Atlantic right whale calves spotted off the southeast coast of the United States so far this winter was discovered last week to have suffered deep propeller wounds to both sides of its head.The injured calf was photographed by an aerial survey team about 8 miles (12.8 kilometers) off the coast of the state of Georgia while swimming with its mother on January 8. The two S-shaped gashes observed by the survey team were most likely caused by the propeller of a boat, but humans will probably not be able to intervene and help the calf.The North Atlantic right whale population has been on the decline since 2010, due almost entirely to the impacts of human activities, especially collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear. One of just four North Atlantic right whale calves spotted off the southeast coast of the United States so far this winter was discovered last week to have suffered deep propeller wounds to both sides of its head.Barb Zoodsma of the National Marine Fisheries Service told the Associated Press that the injured calf was photographed by an aerial survey team about 8 miles (12.8 kilometers) off the coast of the state of Georgia while swimming with its mother on January 8. The survey team didn’t notice the calf’s injuries until later, when the photograph was viewed at full size.The two S-shaped gashes observed by the survey team were most likely caused by the propeller of a boat, but humans will probably not be able to intervene and help the calf. “[I]t’s highly unlikely that we can fix this animal,” Zoodsma said.The North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Centuries of commercial hunting nearly wiped the whales out, but their numbers grew at an annual rate of 2.8% between 1990 and 2010, when the population peaked at about 480 individuals. Since 2010, however, the population has been on the decline once again, due almost entirely to the impacts of human activities, especially collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear. The North Atlantic right whale birth rate is believed to be dropping, as well, which has meant that deaths have outpaced births in recent years. It is estimated that around 450 North Atlantic right whales still survive today.Every winter, North Atlantic right whales migrate from their feeding grounds in the Labrador Sea off the east coast of Canada to their calving grounds in the relatively warm waters off the coasts of Georgia and Florida, a journey through an area with heavy shipping traffic. 2017 was a particularly deadly year for the whales, with 17 documented deaths — or nearly 4% of the entire population. There were no newborns observed during the 2017-2018 calving season.Three right whale calves were spotted off the coast of Florida by mid-January during the 2018-2019 calving season. Ultimately, seven calves were recorded last winter, but at least 10 right whales were found dead in 2019.North Atlantic right whales are one of three right whale species, including the North Pacific right whale and the Southern right whale. Last year, recordings of North Pacific right whales singing were published — the first time any right whale species has ever been known to break into song. Jessica Crance, a marine biologist with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), appeared on the Mongabay Newscast in June 2019 to play the recordings she and her team had made of the whales’ songs. You can listen to them here:Atlantic Northern Right Whale mother and calf. Photo Credit: NOAA.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

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