Steven Luatua receives straight red card for dangerously high tackle

first_imgFriday Mar 3, 2017 Steven Luatua receives straight red card for dangerously high tackle Blues loose forward Steven Luatua was shown a straight red card for this high tackle on Tim Nanai-Williams during the round two Super Rugby match between the Chiefs and Blues in Hamilton on Friday. The Chiefs won 41-26, with six great tries. The All Black flanker is ‘alleged to have contravened Law 10.4(e) Dangerous tackling of an opponent‘. He will face a hearing on Sunday 5 March, with the case to be considered in the first instance by the SANZAAR Foul Play Review Committee of Nigel Hampton QC, Stefan Terblanche and John Langford.All SANZAAR disciplinary matters are in the first instance referred to the Foul Play Review Committee to provide the option of expediting the judicial process. For a matter to be dispensed with at this hearing, the person appearing must plead guilty and accept the penalty offered by the Foul Play Review Committee.Luatua appeared to set himself for the challenge then simply didn’t pull out of it, despite Nanai-Williams clearly not receiving the ball.Under the old laws Luatua’s tackle might have been considered clumsy and reckless but not malicious, therefore perhaps we would have only seen a yellow card. But with the new focus and zero tolerance approach to head-high tackles, this was always going to be a red.CATCH UP: Super Rugby Round 2 highlights credit: tightfiverugbyunionADVERTISEMENT Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error Big Hits & Dirty Play , Super Rugby 2017 Related Articles 25 WEEKS AGO Suspensions handed down after testicle grabbing… 26 WEEKS AGO The ‘double ruffle’ splits opinion with fans… 26 WEEKS AGO WATCH: The nastiest and most brutal moments… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsGranny Stuns Doctors by Removing Her Wrinkles with This Inexpensive TipSmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier Living30+ Everyday Items With A Secret Hidden PurposeNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

Bret Johnston wins Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award

first_imgBret Johnston, Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser Director of Creative Writing and senior lecturer on English, has won the 2017 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for his story, “Half of What Atlee Rouse Knows about Horses.”“Great short stories achieve a breadth of meaning far greater than the length of their telling,” said Mark Lawson, one of the contest’s judges. “In Johnston’s story, a small patch of Texas cattle country opens up long vistas on love, death, memory and the survival instinct, human and equine. Johnston showed brilliance over the long distance in his novel, “Remember Me Like This,” and now proves equally adept at brevity. Small details from American and animal lives take on vast significance, and every line has the kick of a horse.”Johnston was previously shortlisted for Ireland’s Frank O’Connor International Short Fiction Prize for his short story collection “Corpus Christie: Stories” and has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Foundation, the Pushcart Prize, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Johnston is the author of the internationally bestselling novel “Remember Me Like This,” currently being filmed for the big screen, and wrote the documentary “Waiting for Lightning,” which was released in theaters around the world.The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, now in its eighth year, sees the award again cementing its reputation for showcasing both established and emerging writers.last_img read more

Brazilian Army Receives Upgraded Helicopters for Reconnaissance and Attack Missions

first_imgBy Andréa Barretto/Diálogo November 13, 2017 Aqui no Rio de janeiro um desses passar por cima de favela vai ser derrubado. Só caveirão do ar pode . Aqui no Rio de Janeiro derrubam esse fácil e são Paulo também. Só caveirão do ar pode com o poderio AAe do narcoterrorismo nacional. In November 2017, the Brazilian Army’s (EB, per its Portuguese acronym) Aviation Training Center (CIAvEx, per its Portuguese acronym) and 1st Aviation Battalion (1º BAvEx, per its Portuguese acronym), will each receive an upgraded Esquilo helicopter. These versatile helicopters are very much in demand for different types of missions throughout the country. “The Esquilo is a small aircraft and very adaptable. We can land in the backyard of a house, which we actually did during a humanitarian operation that I took a part in,” said Brazilian Army Captain Leonardo Costa Castiglioni, a pilot with 1º BAvEx. The EB fleet counts 36 Esquilo helicopters, which the 3rd Aviation Battalion also uses. Upgrades of the aircraft—one at a time—started in 2011, under an agreement between EB and the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Helibras. The Esquilo helicopter upgrade program will bring the aircraft at the forefront of technological advances in aviation. Changes to the aircraft include the installation of autopilot technologies, digital navigation systems, new weapons pylons, and a new communications system. Since 2011, Helibras has delivered to EB 16 helicopters with these new capabilities, extending their lifespan by 20 years. Upgraded Esquilos have been assigned to most operations conducted in 2017 in addition to during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. “At the Olympics, the Esquilos were used for command and control duties to monitor certain areas of Rio [de Janeiro],”Capt. Castiglioni remembered. “For example, the operations commander would observe traffic situation from above to radio information to teams that were working on the ground and get athletes to their different events.” At the Olympics, the helicopters were also occasionally used to transport members of the delegations. The new Esquilo helicopters can carry three passengers, in addition to the basic crew of a pilot, copilot, and flight mechanic. Keeping up with technology As a pilot, Capt. Castiglioni says that the greatest benefit of the Esquilo upgrade was the installation of an autopilot system. The new option allows for a sequence of maneuvers to be programmed in advance, freeing up the pilot and copilot for other tasks during the flight. “Another important modification was the inclusion of an onboard GPS system. This is integrated with the autopilot system and it improves our ability to navigate and operate the aircraft,” said Capt. Castiglioni. “For example, now I can have the helicopter fly on autopilot to a desired destination, within a certain pre-set flight pattern, without constantly having to control it.” The autopilot technology didn’t exist on the older models of the Esquilo, nor did the digital screens that are the main features of the new glass cockpit system. “In the older helicopters, which are still being operated by 1º BAvEx, flight deck instruments are all analog. On the new models, they are all digital, in the form of LCD screens,” says EB Sergeant Willian Jonathan de Oliveira Cruz, flight mechanic for the Reconnaissance and Attack Squadron of the 1º BAvEx. The analog technology provides information on the position and angle of attack of the helicopter, as well as data pertaining to navigation and spatial awareness, and information on potential problems with weapons and lights systems, among others. “The advances of the instrument panel allows the crew to make quicker decisions and to be more agile in their actions during flight, specifically because information is more readily available and more precise,” said Sgt. Willian. One more Flight mechanics are now part of the crew on the new Esquilo helicopters. The location of the weapon pylons on these helicopters prevented them from joining the crew. With the upgrade, weapons pylons were shifted from the front section, next to the cockpit, to the rear of the aircraft. The change allowed for flight mechanics to fly aboard the aircraft and undertake basic maintenance duties — such as a general revision of the helicopter and fuel supply — and to operate weapons and surveillance cameras during flight, as well as assist in rappel and cargo drop operations. The pilot operates the pylons that carry the helicopter’s weapons. Esquilo helicopters are armed with .50 caliber machine guns and 70 mm rocket launchers. The flight mechanic uses lateral machine guns that can be installed based on the type of mission. Other advances Capt. Castiglioni told Diálogo that EB has an open bid for a new weapons system for its Esquilo helicopters that has to conform to the position of the weapons pylons on the updated aircraft. This addition will allow for the deployment of a wider range of weapons, such as different calibers of rockets, missiles, and other types of machine guns. Plans are also underway to upgrade the eagle-eye system of cameras, monitoring, and capturing and transmitting images from the aircraft. “The system currently in use is old and not compatible with HD cameras, and it’s also very heavy. Our current camera weighs about 70 kilograms. We need to upgrade these systems as well,” said Capt. Castiglioni.last_img read more

US proposes tougher Wall Street rules for China firms

first_imgUnited States officials on Thursday proposed toughening rules for Chinese companies listed on American stock exchanges as recent scandals have prompted concerns about the reliability of some of the firms’ documents.The companies’ auditors would have to share their work papers with American regulators under the proposal from a working group led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.Firms already on Wall Street would have until 2022 to comply or lose their listing. “The United States is the premier jurisdiction in the world for raising capital, and we will not compromise on the core principles that underpin investor confidence in our capital markets,” said a Treasury Department statement.The group, which includes Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, also proposed strengthening risk disclosures to investors about companies or funds from countries that do not provide “sufficient” access to documents. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which oversees US equity markets, would be tasked with implementing the recommendations.Several Wall Street-listed Chinese companies have been involved in scandals in recent months, including coffeehouse chain Luckin Coffee. The Starbucks rival revealed in April that one of its executives was accused of faking sales figures.The recommendations come as tensions spike between the world’s top two economies, with a struggle over the video sharing platform TikTok being the latest flashpoint.However, US media have reported that negotiators from the two nations are due to talk August 15 about the partial trade deal inked in January.Topics :last_img read more

Some turtle embryos can influence their own sex, study finds

first_imgThe sex of some turtle species is influenced not by genes but by the temperatures they experience in the nests. Embryos of the Chinese pond turtle, however, can move inside the eggs toward cooler or hotter spots and influence their own sex, at least to some extent, a new study has found.This is good news because it means that, at least in theory, the turtles might be able to buffer some of the predicted shifts in the sex ratio because of climate change.But while the embryos seem to be influencing their sex under ideal conditions, researchers say that it may not be enough to counter the rapidly changing climate brought about by human activities. The sex of some turtle species is influenced not by genes but by the temperatures they experience in the nest. Eggs incubated at cooler temperatures develop into males, while those that face warmer temperatures turn out to be females. When temperatures fluctuate between cool and warm, the eggs produce a mix of male and female babies.The Chinese three-keeled pond turtle (also called the Chinese pond turtle) is one such species. But its embryos seem to have some control over their own sexual fate, according to a new study.The embryos can move inside the eggs toward cooler or hotter spots, researchers have found, influencing their own sex to some extent. This is good news because it means that, at least in theory, the turtles might be able to buffer some of the predicted shifts in sex ratio because of climate change. Since hotter temperatures produce only female babies, rising temperatures due to climate change could end up creating populations of mostly female turtles, scientists say, leading to population declines.“Our research shows that a reptile embryo is not just a passive victim of global warming, but may control their own sex fate to some degree,” Du Wei-Guo, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and corresponding author of the study, told Mongabay.A turtle embryo. Image by Ye et al./Current Biology.In previous research, Du and his colleagues had shown that embryos of the freshwater Chinese pond turtle (Mauremys reevesii), an endangered species, move inside eggs in response to temperatures. The significance of this behavior, though, remained unclear.To find out more, the researchers conducted experiments on Chinese pond turtle eggs both in the laboratory — using eggs collected from a private commercial turtle farm in China’s Zhejiang province — and in an outdoor pond where farm turtles had laid some eggs.When incubation temperatures are cooler than 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit), the turtle’s eggs all hatch male babies. When the temperature rises above 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), every embryo is a female. At 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit), or the pivotal temperature, the eggs are known to produce a 50:50 sex ratio.The researchers used capsazepine, a chemical that blocks the eggs from sensing temperature, on half of both the laboratory and outdoor eggs, and monitored the embryos throughout their development. When the eggs hatched, the team found that the embryos inside the eggs treated with capsazepine did not move as much compared to those in eggs that hadn’t been treated. The treated eggs also produced all male babies when the incubation temperature was low, and all females when the temperature was high. Embryos in the untreated eggs, meanwhile, had moved around inside the eggs and hatched into a 50:50 mix of male and female turtles.“Until a few years ago, we thought that even given the choice, turtles would not be able to choose among temperatures in the egg,” Rory Telemeco, an assistant professor at California State University, Fresno, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay in an email. “Then, thanks to earlier work by this laboratory, as well as myself and other colleagues, we thought that [embryos] could choose among temperatures, but may never be given the opportunity in nature. This study confirms that, at least in this species of turtle, both the choice of thermal environment and ability to choose among them can be available for embryos. Moreover, when available, embryos appear able to make the ‘good’ choice and choose the environment that will result in a more 50:50 sex ratio.”But a turtle embryo likely has very limited control over its own sex in the wild, researchers say. “The sexes of the baby turtles are most sensitive to conditions available in the environment and the mother’s nesting choices,” Telemeco said.The extent to which the embryos can counteract the effects of climate change also remains unclear.Telemeco said that while the embryos seem to be influencing their sex under ideal conditions, those conditions “might not be available much of the time, especially given climate change predictions.”“For embryos to meaningfully alter their temperatures within the egg, eggs must be large, near the surface, and average temperature during a 1-month window must be very close to the pivotal temperature for sex determination,” Telemeco said. “This study confirmed that this behavior only works under those conditions.“Most reptiles produce eggs that are too small, or buried too deep, or exposed to too extreme of average conditions for this behavioral response to have any effect. Therefore, we cannot consider embryo behavioral thermoregulation to be a panacea allowing this species or others to respond to climate change,” he added.Ideal conditions aside, Du agreed that the embryos’ power over their own sex may not be enough to counter the rapidly changing climate brought about by human activities.“However, the discovery of this surprising level of control in such a tiny organism suggests that in at least some cases, evolution has conferred an ability to deal with such challenges,” Du said.Chinese pond turtle. Image by Σ64 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0).Citation:Ye, Y., Ma, L., Sun, B., Li, T., Wang, Y., Shine, R., and Du, W. (2019) The embryos of turtles can influence their own sexual destinies. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.038 Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, freshwater turtles, Green, Herps, Reptiles, Research, Turtles, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife 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

Europe-bred rhinos join South African cousins to repopulate Rwanda park

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 Five critically endangered eastern black rhinos have been flown from Europe to Akagera National Park in Rwanda.Eastern black rhino populations across the region are small and isolated, with the risk of inbreeding damaging long-term genetic viability.The rhinos come from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) breeding program and will add vitally needed fresh genetics into Rwanda’s fledgling population, made up of rhinos bred in South Africa. Five eastern black rhinos translocated from European zoos to Rwanda’s Akagera National Park have successfully completed an initial period of acclimatization and been moved into larger, 1-hectare (2.5-acre) enclosures. They will eventually be released into the wider park, joining a group brought over from South Africa in 2017, the first of these critically endangered species to roam in Rwanda since 2005.Since the 1970s, rhino populations have been decimated by a poaching epidemic driven by demand for rhino horn, with a 96 percent decline in the number of black rhinos (Diceros bicornis) from 70,000 to just 2,410 between 1970 and 1995. The eastern black rhino (D. b. michaeli), originally ranging across East Africa, from southern Sudan to northern Tanzania, is the most endangered of the three black rhino subspecies. There are fewer than 1,000 wild individuals left in small isolated populations scattered across Tanzania and Kenya.In a partnership between the government of Rwanda, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and African Parks, an international NGO, five rhinos from EAZA’s rhino-breeding program completed an arduous 6,000-kilometer (3,700-mile) journey from Europe to their new home in Akagera National Park in Rwanda.This is the second attempt to establish a population of eastern black rhinos. Rhinos were brought into the park in the 1950s from neighboring Tanzania, growing to a population of more than 50 by the 1970s, before being wiped out by poaching. The last confirmed sighting was in 2007.The rhinos were initially confined in a release boma before being released into a wider enclosure to allow easy monitoring whilst they adapt to their new environment and diet. Photo: Scott Ramsay“They’ve settled in really well and they’re taking well to the local, native vegetation,” says Jes Gruner, Akagera’s park manager, of the European-bred rhinos. “We’ll soon be taking the first steps releasing them into a small enclosure around the boma.”There is an ex situ population of around 90 eastern black rhinos in private reserves in South Africa, grown from nine individuals imported in the 1950s. Eighteen rhinos from this group in South Africa were translocated to Akagera in 2017.The latest additions from EAZA’s eastern black rhino breeding program will strengthen Rwanda’s fledgling rhino population by diversifying the gene pool.“We’ve got really important genetic stock that’s going to help bolster genetic populations,” says Mark Pilgrim, CEO of Chester Zoo, who coordinates EAZA’s eastern black rhino breeding program.EAZA is a membership organization of more than 400 zoos across Europe and the Middle East. One of the conditions of membership is that species that fall under EAZA’s European Endangered species Program (EEP) are managed in a coordinated breeding program across all institutions.EAZA’s eastern black rhino program began with an original population of around 40 individuals that were brought to Europe in the 1950s and ’60s. Today, EAZA’s carefully managed population of nearly 100 rhinos represents around 10 percent of the entire eastern black rhino population on Earth. Pilgrim says the EAZA population will now be able to provide a few individuals to supplement wild populations every five years.“We’ve got some very sophisticated software now that I can look at and see which rhinos need to move to ensure we are keeping the genetic population healthy,” he says. “It’s basically a big rhino dating game.”However, an underlying assumption of the software is that the founding population were unrelated. EAZA are currently conducting research to find out exactly how genetically diverse their population is. Pilgrim says he believes that given the number of different places rhinos were imported from, it is highly likely that they have genes in the population that no longer exist in Africa — and that could be really important for the future of the eastern black rhino.“The good news is that even with very inbred populations, it doesn’t take too many genetically distinct animals entering the population to make a big difference,” Pilgrim says.There are challenges for zoo-bred rhinos embarking on a life in the wild. Their digestive systems need time to adapt to their new diet; tsetse flies need to be controlled around their boma until they have developed some resistance to trypanosomiasis; and they must learn how to interact with the other inhabitants of their new home — especially the rhino bulls already in residence.“The [release] process will be done slowly and monitoring them the entire time,” Gruner says. “It could be a couple of years before they have access to the wider park.”Claudine Uwihirwe, a member of an anti-poaching unit training in Akegara National Park. Reducing the threat of poaching was essential before rhinos could be reintroduced.Photo: Scott RamsayConditions for successRelocating rhinos is an expensive business. Gruner estimates that the project has cost around $1.5 million over the last two years. Critics of ex situ conservation point out that the programs are often expensive, and the history of reintroductions has produced mixed results.In the case of the eastern black rhino, though, the hope that ex situ conservation in zoos could provide a genetic “ark” from which to replenish wild populations appears to be bearing fruit. Pilgrim says he believes one of the important differences is the reason for the rhinos’ decline.“The majority of species are completely at threat because of habitat destruction,” he says. “Until you can remove the reason they’ve become endangered in the first place, reintroduction makes little sense.”By contrast, rhino numbers have been devastated by poaching, leaving large areas of suitable habitat devoid of rhinos, including the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem that once supported large numbers of black rhinos.“If we can stop poaching and protect them, then there’s plenty of habitat to go back into,” Pilgrim says. “Being a herbivore and having very few natural predators as adults, if any, that gives [reintroduced rhinos] a great chance.”Controlling poaching has been a major focus for African Parks since it assumed management of Akagera National Park in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board in 2010.“Poaching will always be a concern everywhere,” Gruner says. “However, we have hugely reduced bush meat poaching in Akagera over the last decade and put measures in place to ensure the protection of the rhinos.”The existing population of rhinos imported from South Africa have adapted well and are now starting to reproduce. With the vital injection of fresh genetics from the EAZA breeding program, the future looks bright for the rhinos of Akagera National Park.CORRECTION: This story originally stated that the eastern black rhino was not originally native to Rwanda. In fact D. b. michaeli’s historic range did include Rwanda.Banner image: Jasiri was captive bred in Dvur Kralove in the Czech Republic as part of EAZA’s successful eastern black rhino breeding program. Photo: Dvur KraloveFEEDBACK: 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. Animals, Anti-poaching, Biodiversity, Conservation, Dry Forests, Ecotourism, Endangered Species, Environment, Grasslands, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Megafauna, Parks, Poaching, Rhinos, Savannas, Wildlife center_img Article published by terna gyuselast_img read more

CITES appeals to countries to watch out for trafficked Malagasy rosewood

first_imgBiodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Politics, Illegal Timber Trade, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Rosewood, Timber, timber trade, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking International wildlife trade regulator CITES has issued an advisory warning that $50 million in Madagascar rosewood logs being held in Singapore could find its way back into the black market.The timber was seized in 2014 in Singapore, but a local court earlier this year acquitted the trader responsible for it on charges of trafficking, and ordered the release of the 30,000 logs.Trade in rosewood from Madagascar has been banned by CITES since 2013 and under Malagasy law since 2010, but enforcing the embargo has proved difficult.The Singapore case highlights the pitfalls in implementing the ban, with observers faulting the Malagasy government’s flip-flop during court proceedings as to whether the seized precious wood was legal. International wildlife trade regulators have issued an advisory drawing attention to $50 million worth of Malagasy rosewood logs seized in 2014 in Singapore that could potentially end up in the black market again. A Singapore court ordered the precious wood to be released from custody this April after it acquitted the trader who shipped it into the country.The advisory from the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), issued Sept. 26, calls on signatories to the treaty, which includes almost all nations, to be on the alert and take action if the contraband finds its way to their shores.The call came in the wake of discussions about the status of illegal rosewood originating from Madagascar at the convention’s 18th Conference of Parties in Geneva this past August. In 2013 CITES banned the export of Malagasy rosewood (genus Dalbergia) and ebony (genus Diospyros), but the ban has been difficult to enforce.Madagascar entered a period of political instability following a coup in 2009, when the state of law-and-order deteriorated dramatically. Illegal logging of rosewood was widespread, including inside national parks, and timber barons stockpiled the precious wood. In 2010, the country banned the export of rosewood, which is highly prized in countries like China, where it is used to manufacture high-end furniture. However, old and freshly cut logs alike continue to enter the illegal market. Coordination among countries through which the rosewood is channeled to its final destination is weak.In March 2014, the CITES Management Authority of Singapore seized about 30,000 rosewood logs from a businessman named Wong Wee Keong and his Singapore-based company, Kong Hoo, one of the largest rosewood confiscations on record. The subsequent attempt to bring the traders to justice ended with Wong’s acquittal in April, illustrating the shortcomings in the implementation of the trade embargo.A court initially found Wong and Kong Hoo not guilty in 2015, citing evidence that the rosewood was in transit in Singapore and that the country was not the final destination. This ruling was reversed in 2017 when the court sentenced Wong to three months in jail and slapped him and his company with the maximum fine of $500,000 each. On appeal, Singapore’s highest court found the defendants not guilty earlier this year and directed the authorities to release the precious wood to Kong Hoo.The case hinged on proving that the wood was exported from Madagascar illegally and that Singapore was the final destination rather than a transit point. The Malagasy government flip-flopped as to the legality of the seized timber. After initially presenting documents to the court that appeared to show the logs were legally procured in Madagascar, it later withdrew them, claiming they were false.“Singapore has failed to prosecute the defendants successfully twice due to the Malagasy government’s interference or failure to cooperate,” said Mark W. Roberts, a Massachusetts-based environmental lawyer and consultant who has supported efforts to hold Kong Hoo responsible for rosewood trafficking.Securing the cooperation of other countries, even those like Singapore, a signatory to CITES, may not be straightforward. The Singapore court’s acquittal of Wong could stem from the risk that convicting him would pose to Singapore’s own interests as the world’s biggest transhipment hub, an intermediate stop for cargo heading to other destinations. “If the verdict had stood, it potentially would subject trans-shipped goods to Singapore’s internal laws, which would potentially impact trade and Singapore’s economy,” Roberts said.The costs for storing the cargo for the last five years at a private port storage facility, which could run into millions of dollars, will be borne by the Singapore government.However, the ruling also places Wong in a bind. To move the wood out of Singapore legally would require producing CITES documents from Madagascar. Without them, almost every country in the world will treat the wood as contraband.At the CITES CoP in Geneva, Malagasy officials categorically stated that the logs had been illegally exported from the island. This could potentially strengthen the hand of countries that might prosecute parties attempting to import the wood. Lala Ranaivomanana, secretary-general of Madagascar’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, told delegates that the Singapore case was a priority for the Malagasy government, adding that Madagascar had sought the Chinese government’s help to intercept boats shipping the illegal timber.“Potential destination countries of shipments of illegal specimens of Dalbergia spp. and Diospyros spp. from Madagascar should take appropriate measures to ensure that such timber is not illegally transported or traded, including prohibiting entry, seizing such specimens upon arrival,” the CITES advisory said.However, there is concern that it might be too little too late, and that the wood will be transshipped, moved from one vessel to another on the open seas to circumvent border controls and never be heard of again.For more on Madagascar’s rosewood:Banner Image: Illegal rosewood stockpiles in Antalaha in north Madagascar. Image courtesy: Wikimedia CommonsMalavika Vyawahare is the Madagascar staff writer for Mongabay. Find her on Twitter: @MalavikaVyFEEDBACK: 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 malavikavyawaharecenter_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

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

2019’s top 10 ocean news stories (commentary)

first_imgMarine scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara, share their list of the top 10 ocean news stories from 2019.Hopeful developments included progress toward an international treaty to protect biodiversity on the high seas and a rebound in the western South Atlantic humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) to nearly its pre-whaling population size.Meanwhile, research documenting rapidly unfurling effects of climate change in the ocean painted a dire picture of the present and future ocean. These include accelerating sea level rise, more severe marine heatwaves and more frequent coral bleaching events.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily Mongabay. 1. Climate change and oceansClimate change impacts on land made almost daily headlines this year: fires, floods, more extreme storms. Equally intense effects are being realized in our seas. This year, more than 100 scientists from 30 countries brought these impacts on the ocean into sharp focus with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the ocean and cryosphere. The findings were bleak: Sea level rise is accelerating, marine heatwaves are more extensive and intense and coral bleaching events are occurring with increasing frequency. The report’s predictions up the ante on action. Even if we meet the Paris Agreement mandate to keep warming to below a 2-degree Celsius rise over pre-industrial levels, the report suggests that by 2100 sea levels will rise by 0.3 to 0.6 meters (1 to 2 feet), there will be 20 times more marine heatwaves and the ocean will be 40% more acidic. The urgency for ocean/climate action was happily mirrored at the close of this year with an all-time bump in importance for oceans at the recent U.N. climate negotiations (COP 25) in Madrid, with the event even being billed by some as the “Blue COP.”Roads washed away due to sea-level rise and storm surge from Hurricane Sandy at Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia in 2012. Image by NPS Climate Change Response via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).2. A year for youth leadershipWhile detailed scientific reports and formal international negotiations are making slow progress, 2019 was the year that youth climate activists stood up to demand a much more rapid response. This included youth from the Pacific islands who are already dealing with the impacts of sea-level rise. Greta Thunberg inspired millions of students to participate in school strikes, and Fridays for Future marches became a common occurrence in towns and cities across the globe. More than 4 million people in over 163 countries are estimated to have participated in the global climate strike in September. 2019 could be called the year when youth undeniably spoke their mind about climate change, but it remains to be seen how well the world listened.Protesters at a global climate march in Melbourne, Australia, in March 2019. Image by John Englart via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).3. Treaty governing the high seas within reach2019 was a big year for progress on protecting biodiversity on the high seas, the two-thirds of the ocean that lie outside of national waters. The U.N. hosted two rounds of negotiations on a possible new global treaty to better manage and protect biodiversity on the high seas — life that too often has slipped through international regulatory cracks. This protection is critical for pelagic populations that have already suffered huge losses due to overfishing or bycatch. Marine scientists from around the world presented results to the U.N. this year as to which parts and how much of the high seas should be protected. Considerations include hotspots for migratory marine top predators such as seabirds and sharks, important fish spawning and feeding grounds and areas that may provide a buffer to climate change impacts. A draft treaty text was released in November. With only one more planned negotiating session left this spring in New York, all eyes in 2020 will be on whether the treaty indeed becomes something that matters for ocean life on the high seas.Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Image by Noah Kahn/USFWS via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).4. Sprint to the finish line on parks in the seaMore than 3 billion people globally rely on healthy marine ecosystems for their livelihoods. However, fish stocks are overexploited, marine pollution is rife and ocean acidification is on the rise. A key target of U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 14 is to protect 10% of marine areas by 2020, a goal also encapsulated in Aichi Target 11 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). With several large new protected areas announced in recent years and current ocean protection at around 7.5%, we are now close to reaching the 10% target, but it remains to be seen if this can be achieved before the next CBD Conference of the Parties in October 2020. Even so, meeting the target does not ensure conservation success. Hard work remains to be done to ensure that all marine protected areas are effective. This year also saw increasing calls from scientists, conservationists and governments to raise global ambitions and aim to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030, part of which would include high seas waters.Grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) in the waters of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Image by Kydd Pollock/USFWS – Pacific Region via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0).5. Unsolved oil spillAn oil spill detected off the coast of Brazil in late August of this year is estimated at over 7,000 tons of crude oil, covering a 2,700-kilometer (1,680-mile) stretch of coastline. The spill has contaminated hundreds of beaches, estuaries, reefs and mangroves and is threatening important biodiversity hotspots and at least 48 marine protected areas. One of these is Abrolhos Bank, the largest coral reef area in the South Atlantic Ocean. The source of the spill has yet to be identified, but it seems likely to have come from a “dark ship” that had switched off its location transponder. Analysis of satellite data has helped to identify ships that were in the area at the time of the spill, and the Brazilian authorities are currently reviewing the information. Brazil’s National Contingency Plan was activated late, and citizens whose livelihoods depend on coastal resources were those most impacted by the spill. An improved response requires a crisis emergency fund and trained personnel to help citizens respond safely to environmental disasters. Further investment is also needed to improve both the science of spills and the technology that will enable a modern satellite monitoring system of ship activity.Oil tanker at sea. Image by Timo Adam via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).6. Our plastic seaEvery year it seems we learn more and more about the severity of the plastic pollution crisis. Actions to address the crisis kicked off at the start of the year when the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a group of household-name companies (think Procter & Gamble, Shell and Dow), committed $1 billion to reduce plastic waste and improve recycling. Other recent commitments include the Sea the Future initiative from the Minderoo Foundation, which hinges on businesses pledging a voluntary contribution that will make fossil fuel-based plastics more expensive to produce and more valuable to collect. At the country level, Vietnam released its National Action Plan on Ocean Plastic Waste Management, Panama became the first Central American nation to ban plastic bags, and Kenya committed to banning single-use plastics in 2020. Awareness has also increased about the role that rivers play in the flow of plastic into the ocean, and innovative solutions are being developed to tackle the problem, such as Baltimore Harbor’s Mr. Trash Wheel and The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor.An 11.5-m (38-ft) tall whale made from 4,500 kilograms (10,000 pounds) of plastic was installed in a canal in Bruges, Belgium. Image by Richard Harris via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).7. Ocean miningThe world moved closer this year to answering a landmark question for oceans: Should we legalize mining of the seafloor? The International Seabed Authority hopes to finalize the answer to that question next year by completing international regulations on commercial ocean mining in the high seas, but it faces significant political opposition. In 2019 a host of countries, including Fiji, formally called for bans on ocean mining, citing concerns about the possible negative impacts that mining may have on fisheries, carbon storage in the oceans and fragile deep-ocean ecosystems. Paralleling the race to mine the seafloor is the race to reduce our dependence on these marine minerals, through both the transformation of battery chemistry away from the reliance on rare metals — for example, with potential breakthrough moments in next-generation battery research from labs at MIT and Berkeley — and the improvement of methods to recycle metals from existing products.A garden of coral on the Sibelius Seamount at a depth of 2,465 m (8,087 ft). Image by NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).8. End of the line for fisheries subsidiesHarmful fisheries subsidies are contributing to the depletion of marine life globally, with one-third of the world’s fish stocks now harvested at unsustainable levels compared to just 10% some 40 years ago. Subsidies are payouts provided to fishers by governments to offset costs, such as fuel and fishing gear, and they can often encourage illegal catch or fishing beyond biologically sustainable limits. Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have been in negotiations to end harmful fisheries subsidies since 2001, and with talks picking up momentum in 2019, it was hoped an agreement would finally be reached by the end of the year. Unfortunately, that opportunity has now passed, but in early December members agreed on an intensive program of negotiations for early 2020 aiming to reach agreement by the next WTO ministerial meeting in June. The appointment of a new chair of the negotiations has injected fresh energy and hope into the talks process, and many voices of influence have joined the call for a swift conclusion to the negotiations, including the WTO’s director-general, Roberto Azevêdo, and famed British naturalist Sir David Attenborough.Snapper fish for sale at Scarborough Fish Market, Queensland, Australia. Image by Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).9. Ups and Downs for the world’s whalesIt’s been a rollercoaster year for whale populations. In 2018 it looked like the Canadian government might have tackled the causes of a spate of untimely deaths of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis), mainly caused by collisions with ships. However, nine strandings of whale carcasses this year in Canada and one in the U.S. have shown that vessel strikes are still a worrying threat for this critically endangered marine mammal. There may be a glimmer of hope, though, for the world’s smallest cetacean, the vaquita (Phocoena sinus), as three pairs of mothers and calves have been spotted in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico. The species is verging on extinction due to entanglement in fishing gear, with perhaps two dozen animals remaining. In even better news, new research estimates that the western South Atlantic population of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) has now reached around 93% of its pre-whaling size. This is a huge bounceback from the lowest numbers of just 450 individuals in the mid-1950s. (Incidentally, that’s about the size of the current North Atlantic right whale population.) More whales in the ocean is not only good for biodiversity and ecosystems; new analyses out this year suggest it might also help to tackle climate change.North Atlantic right whale mother and calf (Eubalaena glacialis). Image by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA Research Permit # 665-1652, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).10. Ocean weirdnessIt’s often quoted that we know more about the moon’s surface than the ocean floor, and even in 2019 the ocean still continues to surprise us. Though we’ve known about biofluorescence in the marine world for a while, the mechanism for why some shark species emit a green glow was only worked out this year. Researchers have now discovered a small family of molecules that produce the green glow, which is only visible to other sharks, and the compounds may even offer protection from microbial infection. It can be a challenge to keep up with the changes happening in the ocean, many of which are driven by climate change. The appearance of a go-kart-size hoodwinker sunfish (Mola tecta) washed up on Coal Oil Point Reserve in Santa Barbara, California, caused confusion for locals and scientists alike. This species, which was only discovered in 2014, is usually more at home in the waters of the Southern Hemisphere. And finally, the so-called “Blob,” a patch of unusually warm ocean water that formed in the Gulf of Alaska in 2013 and spread along the entire North American west coast, continues to leave its mark. While waters cooled in mid-2016, the previous warmer temperatures have been tied to a crash in cod stocks in the Gulf of Alaska, and this month fisheries managers made the unprecedented decision to close the Pacific cod fishery. Worryingly, NOAA reported in September on the beginning of another marine heatwave covering the same region and extent as the blob with the potential to further impact marine and coastal ecosystems.Fluorescent and white light images of a female swell shark (Cephaloscyllium ventriosum). Image courtesy of Scientific Reports (CC BY 4.0).Emma Critchley is a project scientist at the Benioff Ocean Initiative at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she works on projects that are developing science- and technology-based solutions to ocean problems. Her background is in marine spatial ecology, particularly the overlap of marine top predators and human activities. Douglas McCauley began his career as a fisherman but later transitioned to marine science. He now serves as an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative. McCauley studies how marine ecosystems function and what management practices best support ocean health. 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. Article published by Rebecca Kessler Animals, Biodiversity, Climate Activism, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Coral Reefs, Climate Change Policy, Commentary, Conservation, Coral Bleaching, Critically Endangered Species, Deep Sea, Deep Sea Mining, Emission Reduction, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Policy, Fishing, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Mammals, Marine Protected Areas, Mining, Ocean Acidification, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change, Oil Spills, Overfishing, Plastic, Pollution, Protected Areas, Sea Ice, Water Pollution, Whales, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation 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

Pangolins top the charts while climate stories lag: Insights on our 2019 reporting (insider)

first_imgArticle published by Rhett Butler 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 Environment, Insider center_img Mongabay’s traffic hit a new record in 2019, with pageviews increasing 34% to 102 million and monthly active users climbing 50% to 4.3 million. But the high level numbers don’t reveal much, so here are some more interesting insights on how various topics performed and how our articles fared across geographies.Given Mongabay’s bureaus in Indonesia and India, it’s not surprising that those countries represent two of our three biggest markets. The Philippines, where we hired a staff writer in 2019, ranks fourth. Mongabay has especially high readership on a per capita basis in certain Latin American and Asian countries, led by Bolivia, Indonesia, and Paraguay.Wildlife-related stories attracted the most readers in 2019, while climate science stories were the least read.This post is insider content, which is available to paying subscribers. Mongabay’s traffic hit a new record in 2019, with pageviews increasing 34% to 102 million and monthly active users climbing 50% to 4.3 million. But the high level numbers don’t reveal much, so here are some more interesting insights on how various topics performed and how our articles fared across geographies. In summary: wildlife stories… This content is for Monthly, Annual and Lifetime members only.Membership offers a way for readers to directly support Mongabay’s non-profit conservation news reporting, while getting a first-hand, behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to produce these stories. Every few weeks, we’ll publish a new member article that tells the story behind the reporting: the trials and tribulations of field reporting, personal travel accounts, photo essays, and more.You can sign up for membership Here If you’re already a member: Log InMembers getExclusive, behind-the-scenes articles.Access to our members-only newsletter.Access to periodic conversations with Mongabay journalists.last_img read more