Singapore’s wild bird trade threatens exotic species

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Pet Trade, Trade, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking About 48 of the 108 species observed in Singapore’s bird markets were listed in either CITES Appendix I or II, which means that their international trade is restricted.Unfortunately, most birds being sold in the markets are not listed in CITES, meaning that these birds are not subject to international regulations.Information about the harvesting, breeding, and trading of animals in Singapore is very hard to obtain, making it difficult to ascertain the impact of the trade on the birds’ wild populations. Singapore has historically been a major hub for bird trade. But the trade, largely poorly managed, threatens exotic species, according to a new study.A new survey by the wildlife trade monitoring organization TRAFFIC has found that most of the birds being sold in Singapore’s bird markets are non-native species.In just four days, TRAFFIC team members recorded more than 14,000 birds for sale in just 28 pet shops — an average of over 500 birds per shop. About 80 percent of these individuals were not native to Singapore, researchers report in the new study Songsters of Singapore: An Overview of the Bird Species in Singapore Pet Shops. In fact, six of the top 10 most heavily traded species were exotic, about 35 percent originating from the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and another 31 percent originating from Central and South America.“The volume of birds in Singapore’s birds markets are comparable to those in Indonesia, although the majority in Singapore are non-native species, hence the need to be particularly vigilant about the impacts of trade elsewhere in Asia and beyond,” Kanitha Krishnasamy, Senior Program Manager for TRAFFIC in Southeast Asia, said in a statement.Over 1000 Red-whiskered Bulbuls were observed in one shop. Photo by James A.Eaton.The oriental white-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus), with nearly 6,500 individuals on display, was the most commonly sold bird in these markets. This striking yellow bird with white-rimmed eyes was once native to Singapore, but has been almost wiped out due to habitat loss and trapping for the bird trade.“The presence of thousands of Oriental White-eyes in Singapore’s bird markets is a poignant reminder of the dangers of persistent over harvesting and poorly managed trade,”  Krishnasamy said. “Singapore lost its Oriental White-eyes largely through excessive trapping, which should have hoisted a red flag warning that the ongoing trade will impose the same fate on this and other species elsewhere until there are no more left.”Oriental white eye is the most commonly traded bird in Singapore. Photo by N. A. Naseer / www.nilgirimarten.com. From Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 in.Some of the birds observed were listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which means that their global trade is restricted. Seven of the 108 species observed in Singapore’s pet markets were listed in CITES Appendix I, while 41 were listed in CITES Appendix II. However, the team could not pinpoint the source of these CITES-listed species — whether they were bred in captivity or caught from the wild — making it difficult to determine if the trade in these birds is legal.Unfortunately, most birds being sold in the markets are not listed in CITES, meaning that these birds are not subject to international regulations. Moreover, information about the harvesting, breeding, and trading of animals in Singapore is very hard to obtain, the TRAFFIC team said, making it difficult to ascertain the impact of the trade on the birds’ wild populations.Among the birds observed, some are currently listed as threatened in the IUCN Red List. These include one critically endangered species, the yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea), 11 near threatened species, eight vulnerable species, and four endangered species, including the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), the lilac-crowned Amazon (Amazona finschi), the straw-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus zeylanicus), and the sun parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis).The TRAFFIC report advocates improved transparency and availability of trade data, including details on CITES-listed species, captive breeding activities in Singapore, and any quotas that the government has set for trade.The TRAFFIC team also  calls for members of the  public to report suspected wildlife crime to Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA), Singapore’s CITES Management Authority, or through TRAFFIC’s Wildlife Witness App.A Grey Parrot observed in trade in Singapore in November 2015. Photo by James A.Eaton.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

The changing face of Amazon development: from land grab to eco-lodge

first_imgWe have almost a third of the birds in Brazil in this region, which means about 600 species, and we’re still finding new ones”, says Vitória da Riva Carvalho with quiet pride, sitting by the tinkling waters of a fountain in the lush, elegant garden of her luxury hotel on the outskirts of the town of Alta Floresta (High Forest), in northernmost Mato Grosso state.It was this vast host of singing and soaring birds that played a key role in establishing Riva Carvalho’s successful — and now world-renowned ­— ecotourism project, Cristalino Jungle Lodge.An Agami heron (Agamia agami) inside the eco-resort reserve. While conservation has been good for wildlife and for the rainforest, it hasn’t done much to help indigenous and traditional groups. Photo by Jorge Lopes“In 1989, Ted Parker [a famed American ornithologist] visited us and loved the place”, remembered Riva Carvalho. He noted that her Amazonian hotel was at the same latitude as Peru, one of the most biologically diverse country on earth, and that its surroundings held a wealth of species.“We began to take off after Ted’s visit”, recalled Riva Carvalho. Parker spread the word and international birders started visiting, as did other nature lovers. “We have about 1,500 species of butterflies, the greatest diversity in Brazil, and many more extraordinary things”, Riva Carvalho boasted.“Birds and animals don’t cross the Amazon’s large rivers so we [also] have niches of endemic species. For instance, the white-whiskered spider money (Ateles marginatus), only found in a fairly small area between the Tapajós and Tocantins Rivers.”A lodge visit is expensive, attracting mainly Europeans and Americans. But for those with money, the eco-resort provides a magical experience. A biologist guide enhances walks through the exuberant rainforest, describing the many tree species, some towering 30-40 meters (100-130 feet). Walks include a clamber up a 50-meter (160 foot) tower which looms above the canopy, from which guests catch sight of flocks of scarlet macaws, and if lucky, a harpy eagle.Overnight, visitors stay in the 18-apartment eco-lodge, cleverly designed to make all feel that they’re in the heart of the forest. Great effort has been made to reduce the lodge’s carbon footprint, with the use of solar panels, ventilators and an ingenious sanitation system in which the roots of banana trees and heliconia plants absorb nutrients and detoxify sewage.Ecotourism built atop a darker family legacyTo the foreign visitor, lacking knowledge of the clash between Brazilian and Amazonian cultures, the success of the Cristalino Jungle Lodge is, on the surface, a simple feel-good story, perfect for the Sunday Times travel supplement: Local green businesswoman establishes one of the world’s best eco-lodges. In truth, the ecotourism project, with all its attractive features, sits at the peaceful end of an often violent land expropriation process in which Vitória’s father, Ariosto da Riva, played a key role — he is often described as “the last of the bandeirantes”, the violent adventurers who first penetrated Brazil’s hinterland in the 16th and 17th centuries in search of gold.It’s a history marked by a vicious struggle over land, with underdog indigenous communities and traditional peasant families on one side; and land speculators, loggers, ranchers, and soy growers on the other — and with both sides seeking support from the authorities.César Estevo, a biologist guide at the eco-lodge, looks out over the Amazon rainforest canopy from the resort’s tower. Photo by Thais BorgesNumerous studies by archaeologists have long confirmed the intense indigenous occupation of the Tapajós and Teles Pires river valleys in which the Cristalino Jungle Lodge now stands. And a flurry of studies by ethnobotanists have shown that — through careful management over centuries — the Indians played an important role in creating the abundance of the Amazonian forest, a fecundity that led early explorers to regard this region as “an earthly paradise untouched by man”.But Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985) knew nothing of this and stoutly maintained that no one lived in the rainforest. It was during their rule that one of the most violent processes of indigenous expropriation took place in this region in the 1960s and 1970s as part of a military drive to “occupy the Amazon”.That story can be told through Ariosto da Riva’s life. Born in 1915, he left his home in São Paulo state at age 17 to prospect for diamonds in the north of Brazil. Ariosto then worked for, and learned well from, Geremia Lunardelli, a fortune hunter who set up suspect land deals and settlements in the north of the state of Paraná.In the mid-1960s, Ariosto received generous funding from Sudam (The Amazon Development Superintendency) to open up a region for settlement between the headwaters of the Araguaia and Xingu rivers in the northeast part of Mato Grosso state. There he established the Suia-Missu ranch, covering 450,000 hectares (1,737 square miles).From the start, he was embroiled in conflict with the Xavante Indians, who refused contact with outsiders trying to take land that they had occupied for centuries. Ariosto and other new arrivals became increasingly angry at the indigenous resistance, with the Suia-Missu ranch manager complaining that the Indians were stealing knives, axes and manioc flour.Ariosto da Riva is well thought of in the town of Alta Floresta, so much so that he has earned a statue. Critics see him as an unscrupulous land speculator who could be ruthless in his dealings. Photo by Thais BorgesIn an egregious abuse of power, the military stepped in and in 1966 airlifted out 300 troublemaking Indians. Shortly afterwards 80 Indians died in a measles epidemic. Indian survivors fled to other areas occupied by the Xavantes in southern Mato Grosso, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from their original homeland.Rid of the Indians, Ariosto da Riva increased the size of his ranch to about 800,000 hectares (3,089 square miles) or as much as 1.7 million hectares (6,563 square miles) according to some accounts, making it the largest in Brazil at the time. But the last of the bandeirantes was far more interested in clinching profitable land deals than in farming, and he sold his ranch in the 1970s to the Italian-owned cattle breeding company, Liquifarm do Brasil, which then sold it to an Italian oil company, Agip Petroli.During the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, Agip Petroli, under pressure from environmentalists in Italy, handed 165,000 hectares (407,000 acres) of land back to the Xavante, who renamed it Marãiwatséde (“Thick Forest”). The Brazilian Indian agency, Funai, began an anthropological study to decide just how much land rightly belonged to the Indians.That might seem a happy ending for the Xavante, except that a number of new, supposed landowners, whose property was going to be handed back to the Indians, refused to go.A map showing the location of the Cristalino Jungle Lodge (RPPN Cristalino), the adjoining Parque Estadual do Cristalino (which has seen illegal logging and land grabs), as well as indigenous reserves. The region has a history of contentious land conflict and violence. Map by Mauricio TorresThe Xavante indigenous reserve was created in the 1990s, but the landowners were only forcibly removed in 2015, after years of conflict. The animosity became so intense that it put at risk the life of Dom Pedro Casaldáliga, a left-wing Spanish bishop, who had been one of the Xavantes’ few supporters during their long years of exile. In 2012, the bishop, by then 84 years old and suffering from Parkinsons disease, received death threats and had to be taken out of the region for his own safety.The long-running conflict didn’t end there. While the supposed landowners have been removed, they remain strong. And many feel particularly emboldened since 2016, when President Michel Temer began implementing anti-indigenous policies that are causing huge resentment within indigenous reserves. Cattle raising is still the dominant invasive activity in this part of the state, but soy production is also moving in rapidly.After he sold Suiá-Missu, Ariosto moved further west in Mato Grosso. He formed a company called INDECO (Integration, Development and Colonization) and, as in the past, bought huge tracts. According to University of São Paulo geographer Ariovaldo Umbelino de Oliveira, he purchased “500,000 hectares in 1971 for 15 cruzeiros a hectare (that is, the price of six packets of cigarettes)”, and two years later he “bought 400,000 hectares from an area belonging to the state government for only 50 cruzeiros a hectare”.He set up three colonization projects within this nearly one million hectare (3,861 square mile) area: Alta Floresta, Paranaíta and Apiacás”. According to the government, these projects were efficiently run; a parliamentary enquiry carried out in 1977 reported that INDECO was the only company that surpassed its targets in terms of families it settled.The next generationAriosto is regarded by some critics as a hard-headed, unscrupulous businessman, out for quick profits, but his daughter Riva Carvalho, understandably, has a different view: “My father was often misunderstood”, she told us on a visit to Cristalino Jungle Lodge last November.“He always wanted to set up a sustainable farming project. Indeed, in the beginning, my brother worked with the settlers to cultivate guaraná and cacao in the forest and to collect Brazil nuts”. But it was a difficult time in Brazil, with high inflation. “Many settlers went off to pan for gold, thinking they would get rich quick. Of course, they didn’t. But when they came back, they didn’t want to plant crops [in the Amazon rainforest] so they cleared the land and reared cattle. The whole project lost its original intention.”Vitoria da Riva Carvalho, the founder and proprietor of the Cristalino Jungle Lodge, and daughter of Ariosto da Riva. The luxury hotel and eco-lodge are on the outskirts of Alta Floresta, a frontier town to which Ariosto da Riva enticed settlers. Photo by Thais BorgesBut this story is disputed: geographer and professor Ariovaldo Umbelino de Oliveira reports that the influx of garimpeiros, the wildcat goldminers, benefited Alta Floresta. “When the garimpo [gold mine] grew, the city grew”, he explained, and Ariosto knew this and profited from the growth: “While he publicly defended the settlements and tilling the land, even waiters in restaurants in the town can tell you stories that tell you something very different.”When Riva Carvalho began thinking about ecotourism in the late 1980s, huge swathes of Amazon rainforest were still being felled by cattle ranchers, and the rural district of Alta Floresta alone had 700,000 head of cattle, the fourth highest in the state of Mato Grosso.One of the 18 apartments at the Cristalino Jungle Lodge in Alta Floresta (High Forest), in northernmost Mato Grosso state. Photo by Luis GomesRapid development there was alarming environmentalists, as the region around Alta Floresta had been classified by biologists as “one of extreme importance for the conservation of biodiversity”. That is because it is located on the edge of the so-called “arc of devastation”, a band of largely protected forest that marks the transition from cerrado — now mostly developed savanna — to the much more intact Amazon rainforest.This arc sweeps in a crescent from east-to-west across northern Brazil — beginning in eastern Pará state, running through the north of Tocantins and Mato Grosso states, ending in Rondônia and Acre in the west. It earned this name because for many years it was the region where the most deforestation was occurring, with the arrival of the agricultural frontier.In 2011 the government created the Parque Estadual do Cristalino (Cristalino State Park), covering 118,000 hectares (450 square miles). It is part of a gigantic buffer zone that includes to the west a biological reserve and the Kayabi/Munduruku indigenous territory, as well as a military facility to the north of 2.2 million hectares (8,494 square miles), known as the Cachimbo Air Base; along with the Menkragnoti indigenous territory to the east and northeast. It is hoped that this zone will act as a major barrier to future illegal deforestation.Riva Carvalho, an enthusiastic supporter of this government land protection effort, owns 11,399 hectares (28,167 acres) of rainforest directly adjacent to Cristalino State Park, which she has dubbed the Cristalino Lodge Forest Reserve. However, most of her land isn’t a reserve in the official sense. Despite the impression given on the lodge’s website, Riva Carvalho only turned a fraction of her property, 670 hectares or 1,655 acres, into an RPPN (Private Natural Heritage Reserve) in 1997 — an irreversible step, with no logging permitted now or in the future. The website claim is easily discounted by a look at the measure creating the RPPN lote Cristalino.Toward an uneasy peaceThe creation of the Cristalino State Park was not enough to preserve it fully in this lawless Amazon region. The government failed to provide adequate park protection, and land thieves began to invade. In 2005, SEMA, the state government’s environmental department, fined 17 people for illegally clearing land within the park.An aerial view of the canopy tower from which guests can sight flocks of scarlet macaws and other birds. Photo by Jorge LopesThose fined included Antônio José Junqueira Vilela, known as AJJ, a notorious land thief and a national icon for the amount of beef he produced. AJJ received SEMA’s then largest fine ever for illegally clearing 40,000 hectares (154.4 square miles) of park land.Then in 2006, state deputies pushed a bill through the Mato Grosso State Assembly to remove an area from the park (almost certainly the territory wanted by AJJ), and, in compensation, attached Riva Carvalho’s Cristalino Lodge Forest Reserve to the park. However, after loud protests — including an “SOS-License to Deforest Cristalino” plea distributed in Brazil and abroad by Riva Carvalho and others ­­— the state governor, who by then was Blairo Maggi, decided to veto the bill.It was reported in the press at the time that to placate AJJ (one of Maggi’s backers) Blairo Maggi made a deal with him, giving an official stamp of approval to two small hydrodams AJJ had built illegally near the park.Maggi’s veto was, in turn, overturned by the legislative assembly. But in January 2007, a state judge, José Zuquim Nogueira, intervened suspending the reduction in park size.Since then, there has been an uneasy peace. And Riva Carvalho has pushed ahead with her eco-lodge. But ecotourism in a region that was so recently emptied of most of its indigenous people is an issue that provokes passions. To some, particularly foreign birders and tourists, Riva Carvalho is a courageous eco-warrior, valiantly defending her beloved rainforest from further devastation. To others, particularly Brazilian social activists, she is judged more harshly as carrying on in her father’s tradition of exploitation, except that she knows that money made from the Amazon forest today needs to be greenwashed.Whatever the truth, Riva Carvalho told us that she reconciled with her father just before his death in 1992; Ariosto da Riva said then of her Amazon vision: “Vitória, you are right.” Ariosto da Riva was often described as “the last of the bandeirantes”, the violent adventurers who first penetrated the Brazilian Amazon in the 16th century in search of gold. Working with Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985), he owned a million hectares of forest, pushed indigenous people from their lands, and brought in settlers.His daughter, Vitória da Riva Carvalho, though wealthy, did not buy into his legacy. She is noted instead for her strong defense of the rainforest and for her world-renowned ecotourism destination, the Cristalino Jungle Lodge, located outside the town of Alta Floresta — which her father settled — in northernmost Mato Grosso state.The evolution of the relationship between father and daughter helps trace the unfolding land conflicts that have smouldered and exploded in the Amazon between indigenous and traditional peoples on one side; and land speculators, land grabbers, loggers, settlers and soy growers on the other.Today, most of the indigenous people who lived in the region where the Cristalino Jungle Lodge entertains its wealthy guests are gone — dead, pushed into indigenous reserves, or retreated elsewhere. But for now, the rainforest and much extraordinary biodiversity remains, with people like Vitória da Riva Carvalho as its stewards. The rainforest surrounding the Cristalino Jungle Lodge is world-renowned for its biodiversity, with over 600 bird species, and more than 1,500 butterfly species. It draws birders and nature lovers from all over the planet. Photo by Thais Borges(Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)The Tapajós River Basin lies at the heart of the Amazon, and at the heart of an exploding controversy: whether to build 40+ large dams, a railway, and highways, turning the Basin into a vast industrialized commodities export corridor; or to curb this development impulse and conserve one of the most biologically and culturally rich regions on the planet.Those struggling to shape the Basin’s fate hold conflicting opinions, but because the Tapajós is an isolated region, few of these views get aired in the media. Journalist Sue Branford and social scientist Mauricio Torres travelled there recently for Mongabay, and over coming weeks hope to shed some light on the heated debate that will shape the future of the Amazon. This is the eighth of their reports. (Leia essa matéria em português no The Intercept Brasil. You can also read Mongabay’s series on the Tapajós Basin in Portuguese at The Intercept Brasil)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. Amazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon People, Birding, Corruption, Ecotourism, Environment, Environmental Politics, Featured, Forests, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Tourism center_img Article published by Glenn Scherer 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

What happens when the soy and palm oil boom ends?

first_imgOver the past 30 years demand and production of oils crops like oil palm and soybeans has boomed across the tropics.This rapid expansion has in some places taken a heavy toll on native, wildlife-rich ecosystems.Derek Byerlee, co-author of a new book titled The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution, spoke with Mongabay about the tropical oil crop sector and what’s to come for the industry. Over the past thirty years demand and production of oils crops like oil palm and soybeans has boomed across the tropics thanks to rising incomes, macroeconomic changes and government policies, and substitution effects. This rapid expansion has in some places taken a heavy toll on native, wildlife-rich ecosystems—especially rainforests, wetlands, and savannas—while exacerbating conflicts over land. As a result, this growth has at times perplexed and dismayed ecologists, environmentalists, and human rights advocates.However there are signs that the bonanza may slow as it evolves in response to changing conditions including slackening demand, higher transactions costs for securing land, and productivity gains, argues The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution, a new book by Stanford University researchers Derek Byerlee, Walter P. Falcon, and Rosamond L. Naylor.Published in October 2016 by Oxford University Press, The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution chronicles the rise of the tropical oil crops, evaluates the costs and benefits of the industry, and makes projections for what the authors call “the world’s most dynamic agricultural sector in recent decades.”Byerlee discussed the book and its findings during a February 2017 interview with Mongabay.com.AN INTERVIEW WITH DEREK BYERLEEMongabay.com: What is your background and what led you to write this book?Derek ByerleeDerek Byerlee: I am an agricultural economist with a career in academia, international agricultural research and the World Bank where I directed the World Development Report 2008 on Agriculture. I then joined the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University where I worked on the twin issues of land use changes in the tropics and large-scale investments in farming. The surge in oil crops, notably soybeans and oil palm, was clearly the major driver of both phenomena as recognized by many environmentalists. However, the major supply and demand drivers of the global edible oil markets were poorly analyzed. With colleagues at Stanford University, Professors Rosamond Naylor and Walter Falcon, we felt there was a gap that we could fill. Stanford University has had a long history of undertaking commodity studies and in fact, carried out a series of detailed studies on fats and oils in the 1920s.Mongabay.com: What are the biggest factors behind the surge in tropical oil crop production?Derek Byerlee: A host of factors aligned on the demand and supply sides to produce a “perfect storm” for growth of tropical oil crops.First and foremost, demand expanded rapidly for both protein meal and vegetable oils. As consumers in emerging economies became richer, they greatly increased their consumption of livestock products and the associated demand for protein meal for feed, as well as for vegetable oils for cooking and processed foods.Second, the rising demand for vegetable oils was further fueled—both literally and figuratively—when the biodiesel industry took off. This industry, driven by policies mandating the use of biodiesel as a transportation fuel in several countries, has accounted for about one-third of the increase in global vegetable oil demand since 2003.Third, on the supply side, cheap land in Brazil became accessible with the construction of new highways and ports, and new technologies allowed soybeans to grow well in the tropics. In Southeast Asia, even cheaper land became available for oil palm as governments made large concessions of forested and degraded land available to private companies. In addition, the era of market liberalization and privatization starting in the late 1980s brought a surge of private capital, often foreign, to develop new supply chains, especially during the commodity boom from 2007-14. Cheap credit, often subsidized, was also available to the oil crop sector through national development banks. Easy access to land and capital, along with the availability of productive technologies, made oil crops very profitable and promoted their expansion.Fourth, global trade liberalization and integration under WTO stimulated trade in edible oils that linked producers in a handful of exporting countries to distant consumers at a relatively low cost. The most dramatic changes occurred in China and India. China’s liberalization of soybean imports made it by far the world’s largest importer of soybeans (mostly supplied by Brazil), and India’s liberalization of vegetable oil imports made it the world’s largest importer of vegetable oils (largely supplied by Indonesia).Finally, the extraordinary growth of the two dominant oil crops, oil palm and soybeans, came from massive substitution of their products for traditional sources of vegetable oil. For example, palm oil replaced virtually all of the coconut oil used in food in Indonesia and soybean meal replaced waste materials and by-products in animal feed in China. Mongabay.com: What are your expectations in terms of demand for 2050? (e.g. including animal feed and biofuels)Derek Byerlee: We differ with many who predict continuation of the rapid growth of the past two decades (for example, a Mongabay article on soybeans on Feb 9). For a number of reasons, our analysis sees growth in demand for tropical oil crops sharply slowing to 2050 (by as much as two-thirds).First, growth in demand for biofuel feedstocks cannot maintain the rapid pace of the past decade. This tapering off will be most apparent in the EU, the major consumer of biodiesel today, especially as it approaches the regulated maximum of renewable transport fuels that can be provided from foodstuffs. Some tropical countries, notably Brazil and Indonesia, may compensate only partly for the EU slowdown, but in our view neither India, China (the two most populous countries) nor sub-Saharan Africa will become significant producers of biodiesel, given their high dependency on imported vegetable oils.Second, the use of vegetable oils for food will also grow more slowly than in the recent past – in Asia, population growth will be slower and the effects of rising incomes will diminish as consumers in middle-income countries have already reach high levels of vegetable oil consumption. Likewise, the use of protein meal for animal feed is subject to a similar slowdown as China’s meat consumption levels-off.Third, on the supply side, the transactions costs of assessing large tracts of land is increasing as environmental regulations tighten and current users gain more secure rights to their land. Our analysis also indicates that the area covered by oil crops does not have to expand greatly to meet future demand, which can be supplied largely through intensification of existing crop land through steady genetic gains in yields and closing yield gaps. Agriculture, Amazon Soy, Archive, Biodiesel, Biofuels, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Farming, Featured, Food, Forests, Interviews, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Soy Mongabay.com: And what sort of impact would you expect that to have on native ecosystems like tropical forests, woodlands, and savannas?Derek Byerlee: Obviously, the sharp slowing of demand and land requirements will reduce the pressure on native ecosystems. Better land and forest governance has already minimized the area deforested to produce soybeans and the major challenge now is to better manage expansion on the savannahs of Latin America and increasingly Africa, whose valuable ecosystem services have been underappreciated. In the case of oil palm, sufficient degraded land is available to accommodate area expansion, provided land governance and incentive systems can be developed to steer the expansion onto degraded lands and away from areas of natural vegetation with high carbon stocks and biodiversity values.Mongabay.com: Do you think mechanisms like the Amazon soy moratorium and zero deforestation commitments from oil palm growers will be effective in pushing expansion to less sensitive areas?Derek Byerlee: We are cautiously optimistic on these initiatives. The soy moratorium has already minimized the area planted on forests. More research is needed to understand secondary effects of replacing pastures with soybeans, given that cattle ranching is now the major driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The zero deforestation commitment by big traders of palm oil is a major breakthrough but challenging to implement given poor forest governance in frontier areas (e.g., in Kalimantan and Papua in Indonesia and Cameroon), and the complexity of palm oil supply chains. However, new technologies for supply chain management and real-time monitoring of deforestation improve the chances for success.Oil palm plantation cut into the steep forested slopes of a mountain in Sabah, Malaysia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.Mongabay.com: There’s been a lot of talk about central and west Africa becoming a major area of expansion for industrial oil palm, yet to date commercial oil palm development in the region is lagging far behind the hype. What are your expectations for the region and will oil palm be challenged by issues indigenous crops often face in their native lands when they are grown as monocultures?Derek Byerlee: The fastest growth in food consumption of edible oils will be in Africa. West and Central Africa have gone from being the world’s major exporter in the 1960s to becoming a significant importer. The small-scale semi-artisanal sector that produces red palm oil for local diets is a major source of livelihoods. However, it is no longer a player in world markets and is falling behind in meeting the burgeoning demand for refined oil for processed foods for urban markets.   There is a long history since the early 1900s of promoting oil palm plantations in the region with very modest success. Recent experience has not been encouraging in countries such as Liberia due to weak land tenure security. We advocate a judicious combination of improvements in the local supply chains of smallholders and small-scale processors with injections of outside capital, technology, and market expertise through private investors. The current emphasis on investment in large plantations is unlikely to be sustainable, given the complexities of African land markets and land rights.Mongabay.com: Oil palm has increased smallholder livelihoods in many parts of the world. Are there opportunities for other oil crops like soy to act as a catalyst for smallholder incomes?Derek Byerlee: Yes, there is growing evidence of the role of oil palm – especially the two million or more smallholders – in reducing poverty in Indonesia. One of the little known success stories has been the expansion of soybeans in India becoming the world’s fourth largest in terms of area, entirely by small and very poor farmers. There are now local successes with soybeans in Southern Africa that could with appropriate support develop into major new income sources for the small farmers of the region.Soy fields next to a riparian zone in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerMongabay.com: One of the big challenges in places for oil palm in places like Indonesia is smallholder productivity.  Do you see much progress in improving smallholder yields and getting better genetic material to rural communities?Derek Byerlee: Smallholder yields on average in Indonesia are about 85% of plantations but that includes a substantial outgrower segment associated with plantations. Improving yields of independent growers is the major challenge, starting with good genetic materials. We don’t see this as an insurmountable problem and there is much experience on how to do this from other tree crops that were formerly grown mostly on large plantations. The two leading tea exporters, Kenya and Sri Lanka, have largely converted from plantations to smallholders over the past 30 years and yield gaps are now small. Likewise, Thailand the second biggest rubber exporter, has achieved over 80% adoption of clonal rubber and the highest yields of any major producer, exclusively through smallholders. Well-run parastatals supported by a small levy on exports in Sri Lanka and Thailand and a smallholder-owned tea development company in Kenya have made these successes possible.Mongabay.com: Do you foresee any major substitutes on the horizon — like algae or fungi — that could curb or reverse tropical oil crop expansion?Derek Byerlee: We looked at this and decided that the production of edible oils from algae or other means is a long way in the future. However, second generation biofuels if successful could sharply curtail demand for vegetable oils.Endangered species like orangutans has lost vast areas of habitat due to conversion for oil palm plantations and soy fields. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerMongabay.com: How does climate change factor into potential expansion in coming decades?Derek Byerlee: We did not explicitly look at the effect of climate change on yields as it would have to be done in the context of the global markets for edible oils. The most likely scenario is that temperate countries with a lot of land such as Russia and Ukraine would capture a greater share of the market for edible oils relative to oil palm that would be negatively affected by and longer and hotter dry season.The Tropical Oil Crop Revolution: Food, Feed, Fuel, and Forests by Derek Byerlee, Walter P. Falcon, and Rosamond L. Naylor. Published: 07 November 2016.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 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 overSponsoredlast_img read more

Feral cats now dominate the Australian landscape

first_imgFeral cats occupy 99.8 percent of the Australian continent.Cats, brought by European explorers on ships, are blamed for the extinction and endangerment of numerous mammal species found nowhere else.The government plans to cull two million feral cats, but researchers say a more pointed approach – focusing on breeding ground – could be more effective in the long-term. Feral cats now inhabit virtually the entire Australian landscape, and have been implicated in multiple recent mammal extinctions by conservationists. Illuminating the urgency of controlling cat populations across the continent, a new study in Biological Conservation finds that cats occupy over 99.8% of Australia.The study was conducted by over forty scientists—led by wildlife ecologists Dr. Sarah Legge, Professor John Woinarski, and Dr. Brett Murphy of the National Environmental Science Programme’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub — and adds to a growing number of reports regarding the dangers feral cats pose to wildlife. At least 30 species of native mammals have gone extinct from Australia over the last 200 years following the arrival of European colonists with their deadly passengers.Feral cat in Arid zone. Photo Credit: HUGH MCGREGOR & ARID RECOVERY.“Our fauna didn’t evolve with cats or anything like a cat, so they are not adapted to cope with this sort of predator,” explained Legge.In Australia today, feral cats leave virtually zero room for vulnerable native species to persist. However, their populations are notoriously difficult to assess because of their nocturnal and cryptic lifestyles. To answer the question of just how many cats, Dr. Legge and her colleagues analyzed over 90 field studies from across Australia, concluding that the overall feline population size fluctuates between roughly 2.1 and 6.3 million cats – numbers decrease across inland Australia following periods of drought, and increase during wet periods. For perspective, that’s roughly one cat for every four people when their numbers spike during rainy periods.Prior to European settlement in the 18th century, Australia remained an exotic wilderness thoroughly stranger than fiction. Its vibrant indigenous culture reaching back to as early as 60,000 years ago; its landscape accentuated by a menagerie of animals found only in Australia. British colonists arriving in 1788 must’ve foreseen the words of the famous British evolutionary biologist, J.B.S. Haldane, who famously said over a century later, “My own suspicion is that the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose.”Marsupials like the desert rat-kangaroo (Caloprymnus campestris), pig-footed bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus), toolache wallaby (Macropus greyi), lesser bilby (Macrotis leucura), crescent nail-tail wallaby (Onychogalea lunata), desert bandicoot (Perameles eremiana), broad-faced potoroo (Potorous platyops), among many others, were present when European ships landed in the late 1700s. All of these, plus many other mammals, are now extinct.Bilbies have been hit hard by feral cats. Photo Credit: BERNARD DUPONT.“Mammals are the most susceptible group… We suspect, though, that both birds and reptiles have also been heavily impacted by cats, but the evidence for this is harder to collate,” Legge said.At the time, Europeans could not have realized how devastating their arrival would prove to native wildlife. It was common in the 18th Century for European ships to carry cats to help control rat populations onboard. Inevitably, when ships landed in places like Australia with no native cats – or other natural predators to keep them in check – these small feline passengers wasted no time wreaking havoc on rare and exotic fauna lacking evolutionary adaptations to deal with such predators.Indeed, a recent genetic study published in Ecology and Evolution linked modern feral cat populations in Hawaii and Australia back to Europe, confirming what many biologists have suggested for a long time.“Not only are they bad at recognizing and evading feral cats, Australian mammals also have much slower reproductive rates than mammals in many other parts of the world,” said Legge. She added that cats also “out-reproduce” native mammals.A disappearing native fauna in Australia is especially alarming given the fact that the majority of these animals occur nowhere else in the world.Long considered “hot spots” for biodiversity, islands and isolated landmasses such as Australia are home to remarkably high proportions of endemic species relative to larger continents. Over millions of years, the relative isolation offered by these areas gives rise to distinct genetic characteristics and highly specialized biological adaptations, and as a result, high levels of endemism.“Over 85 percent of Australia’s mammal fauna is endemic – unique to Australia – so when we lose them from here, we lose them from the planet,” Legge noted.A Goanna Foot taken from a feral cat stomach. Photo Credit: NESP – NORTHERN AUSTRALIA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES HUB.A 2011 study published in Global Change Biology suggests they’ve contributed to 14% of the recent extinctions of mammals, birds, and reptiles on islands. It’s no wonder that in their study, Legge and her colleagues warn that feral cats are “one of the world’s most damaging invasive species.”As the study notes, previous estimates placed the feral cat population in Australia at roughly 18 million, but were not properly tested or supported by peer review. In response, the Australian government recently announced an ambitious conservation target to cull at least two million feral cats by 2020.Legge and her colleagues warn that such a broad-scale target could prove ineffective for a number of reasons. Certain areas tend to support higher densities of feral cats and may act as sources of expansion during extended wet periods. For example, in areas such as garbage dumps or large agricultural operations alternative food sources allow cats to maintain high densities regardless of prey availability.“It may be more beneficial for Australian biodiversity if relatively few feral cats are eradicated from small areas of high conservation value while cats remain widespread and abundant elsewhere, than if the feral cat population was more substantially reduced overall but not eradicated from those important areas,” the paper argues.In other words, culling two million cats won’t do much to help native wildlife unless guided by sound research and executed in the proper areas.Feral cat populations aren’t any easier to control than they are to assess. Legge and her colleagues alarmingly reported that “…the similarity of cat densities between reserved and unreserved areas indicates that for cat-susceptible wildlife, the Australian reserve system is unlikely to provide sufficient conservation security, and that [native species] will continue to disappear from reserves unless those reserves are managed with intensive control of feral cats.”Camera Traps are one tool used to monitor cat numbers. Photo Credit: NESP – NORTHERN AUSTRALIA ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES HUB.Until effective control measures are developed that can be implemented across large landscapes, the most straightforward strategy for preventing further extinctions appears to be protecting areas that are currently without cats to provide safe havens for sensitive native species.Moving forward, it will be crucial to engage public support for the initiative.To this point, Legge appeared confident that a consensus is within reach.“I believe there is more common ground than uncommon ground: we all agree that species extinctions are terrible and we need to prevent them. That means we need to control feral cats; we all agree that we must do so in a humane way, with the cat’s welfare in mind.”She noted that owning pet cats is certainly not a bad thing, but emphasized that it’s crucial they be managed properly to minimize harm for other animals. Owners can help by keeping them indoors or within a confined and protected area outside, or on a leash during walks. Most importantly, owners should ensure that they’re spayed or neutered before reaching sexual maturity.“Feral cats are wreaking havoc on Australian wildlife; it’s not their fault – we brought them here, and they’re just doing what they do best,” Legge observed. “But in bringing cats to Australia we created a problem that we now have to set straight, because numbats, quolls, woylies and bandicoots are paying the price for our mistake.”It’s nearly impossible to overstate the impacts of feral cats on native wildlife populations. Effective solutions remain far away for Australia , but studies like this provide a foundation on which to take the necessary steps toward a less hostile environment for our native faunas.Legge reflected, “We have a responsibility to maintain nature’s integrity and beauty for the sake of future generations, and indeed all living things.” Article published by Maria Salazar Citations:Koch, K., Algar, D., & Schwenk, K. (2016). Feral cat globetrotters: Genetic traces of historical human‐mediated dispersal. Ecology and Evolution, 6(15), 5321–5332. doi:10.1002/ece3.2261Legge, S., Murphy, B.P., McGregor, H., Woinarski, J.C.Z., Augusteyn, J., Ballard, G., Baseler, M.,Buckmaster, T., Dickmanj, C.R., Doherty, T., Edwards, G., Eyre, T., Fancourt, B.A., Ferguson, D., Forsyth, D.M., Geary, W.L., Gentle, M., Gillespie, G., Greenwood, L., Hohnen, R., Hume, S., Johnson, C.N., Maxwell, M., McDonald, P.J., Morris, K., Moseby, K., Newsome, T., Nimmo, D., Paltridge, R., Ramsey, D., Ready, J., Rendall, A., Richaf, M., Ritchie, E., Rowland, J., Short, J., Stokeld, D., Sutherland, D.R., Wayne, A.F., Woodford, L., & Zewe, F. (In press). Enumerating a continental-scale threat: How many feral cats are in Australia? Biological Conservation. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2016.11.032Medina, F.M., Bonnaud, E., Vidal, E., Tershy, B.R., Zavaleta, E.S., Donlan, C.J., Keitt, B.S., Corre, M., Horwath, S.V., & Nogales, M., (2011). A global review of the impacts of invasive cats on island endangered vertebrates. Global Change Biology 17, 3503–3510. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Hotspots, Cats, Conservation, Ecology, Environment, Extinction, Habitat, Interns, Invasive Species, Mammals, Wildlife 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

China’s Domestic Dams: Hydropower not only an export for world’s biggest dam builder

first_imgChina is the world’s biggest financier and builder of dams, with projects across the globe. It also has extensive domestic hydropower ambitions.Twenty dams have been proposed or constructed along the Lancang, China’s stretch of the Mekong River.Separated from village life by deep canyons, the Lancang Jiang, whose name means “Turbulent River,” is viewed by many in China as good for little more than its hydropower potential.Further downstream, in the Mekong Basin, the river is the source of sustenance for tens of millions of people. Any changes to upstream ecology could have severe effects in downstream countries. The construction of a hydropower dam by the state-owned SinoHydro company is one of many underway along the Lancang River in China. Photo by Luc Forsyth.YUNNAN, China — The building site of the Wunonglong hydropower dam is not ringed by barbed wire fences and security guards as one might expect. Instead, visitors to this remote northern stretch of China’s Yunnan province find themselves standing on a specially built viewing platform surrounded by a small but tidy ornamental garden and informative signage about the dam’s projected output. Though the dam is more than a year from completion, manicured bonsai trees and imported wild grasses have already been planted. When finished in 2018, more than 800 feet of roller-compacted concrete will span the Lancang and rise nearly 500 feet into the air in an incredible demonstration of China’s ability to bend nature to its purposes.The Lancang Jiang, as the Chinese call the Mekong, can be translated into English as “the Turbulent River,” a name that makes immediate sense to anyone who has seen it. Churning torrents of whitewater rush through the bottoms of deep canyons snaking their way through China’s Yunnan province. Here, on China’s Western frontier, the wild Lancang bears little resemblance to the lazy brown expanse that will become the Mekong once it crosses the Lao border. Perhaps it should not be surprising, then, that the Chinese government has unleashed the full might of its engineering prowess on the Lancang in the form of more than 20 already built or proposed hydropower dams (pdf).In a little more than a year, Wunonglong’s three gravity-fed turbines will convert the Lancang’s raw energy into an estimated 990 megawatts of electricity — enough, by some estimates, to power almost a million homes.Long before the Lancang builds enough force to generate electricity, it begins its life on the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau. As the sun pierces the thin atmosphere at 5,200 meters (3.2 miles) above sea level, ice melts into trickles of water and begins an epic journey to feed Asia’s biggest rivers.In addition to the Lancang, the Yangtze, the Ganges, and the Yellow Rivers all originate here. Ultimately, one out of five people on earth depend on the water from this part of the world for survival. The Lancang in particular, is one of the world’s most life-giving rivers, especially once it becomes known as the Mekong. Second in biodiversity only to the Amazon, and the source of sustenance for more than 60 million Southeast Asians, any disruptions in the Mekong’s hydrological or ecological balance could have disastrous human impacts.In this part of Yunnan, the Lancang is not yet the nurturing force that it will later become, and this must be kept in mind when judging China’s attitudes towards it. In the largely ethnically Tibetan mountain village of Deqin, locals say that they have little to no regular interaction with the river. “This river is useless,” said bus driver Cili Dingzhu. “It doesn’t provide anything for us here.”last_img read more

Japanese, Singaporean banks finance controversial Indonesian coal plant

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 Article published by Isabel Esterman The financial close for the Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant expansion was announced on Feb. 27 by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation. Funding will be provided by eight Japanese and Singaporean banks.The $3.36 billion loan will finance the construction of two new 1,000 megawatt units at the plant, which is located in Central Java.The project has been the target of years of protests from both international and local activists, and two French banks backed out of the co-financing deal. A consortium of Asian banks will provide US$3.36 billion in loans to support the expansion of the Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant project in the Jepara district of Indonesia’s Central Java province.Plans to expand Tanjung Jati B are part of a broader initiative that aims to add 35,000 megawatts to Indonesia’s electrical grid by 2019. The government is relying heavily on coal to meet this ambitious goal, with 117 new coal-fired power plants planned.The Tanjung Jati plant, and its expansion plans, have been the target of sustained protests from both local and international groups. The 2,640-megawatt plant began operating in 2006, and local fisherman say their catches —and, correspondingly, their earnings — have since declined.The planned expansion will add another 2,000 megawatts of capacity, drawing protests from activists who say the expansion further threatens the health and livelihoods of the surrounding communities.A coal power station in Jepara emits smoke and fumes into the surrounding landscape. Photo by Paul Hilton/Greenpeace.The financing agreement, announced last week, does not include two French banks which originally planned to provide loans to plant operator PT. Bhumi Jati Power (BJP).Société Générale reversed plans to fund Tanjung Jati B in accordance with the bank’s October 2016 pledge not to fund projects that are incompatible with the Paris climate agreements. Crédit Agricole, which was previously part of the co-financing arrangement, also does not appear in the announced list of participating banks.Both Société Générale and Crédit Agricole have been targeted by anti-coal protest campaigns in Europe.The final loan agreement for the Tanjung Jati B expansion was approved Feb. 24 by the government-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), with backing from the “big three” Japanese commercial banks —Mizuho Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation — as well as other Japanese banks and Singapore’s OCBC.“This loan supports an overseas infrastructure project in which Japanese businesses will participate as investors and become involved in its operation and management for a long time by taking advantage of the country’s advanced technology. It will contribute to maintaining and strengthening the international competitiveness of Japanese industries,” JBIC said in a press statement.JBIC also noted that the newly constructed units will be “ultra-supercritical” – meaning they will employ technology that produces more energy per unit of coal than conventional power plants. As such, the bank said the loan “introduces efficient and environmentally friendly technology to Indonesia.”OCBC spokesperson Koh Ching Ching told Mongabay the bank does not comment on specific loans. “We adopt responsible financing practices that include social and environmental due diligence,” she said. “Accordingly, we require that our borrowers comply with local regulatory requirements and international standards.”Japan has faced criticism for its involvement in Indonesia’s coal industry. Here, a street theater performance is held in front of the Japanese embassy in Jakarta to protest Japanese financial institutions’ support of the Batang coal-fired powerplant in Java. Photo by Jurnasyanto Sukarno/Greenpeace.Activists have condemned the involvement of international banks in funding the project.“This is another big black mark for the Japanese government and for banks which are helping to build new coal power plants across Asia when doing so is totally incompatible with the Paris Agreement and a 2°C world,” Hozue Hatae, public finance and environment researcher for Friends of the Earth Japan, said in a press statement.“All the financial institutions involved will share the responsibility for the climate and health impacts of this project. Instead of further deepening Indonesia’s dependence on coal for decades to come, they must rather help the country develop its huge renewables potential,” added Yann Louvel, climate and energy campaign coordinator for the NGO BankTrack.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 Activism, Climate Change, Climate Change Politics, Coal, Corporate Responsibility, Divestment, Energy, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Infrastructure last_img read more

Need a Trump break? Meet Obama’s fish

first_imgResearcher names new species of deep coral fish after the 44th President of the U.S.Scientists don’t know if the new species is threatened, but it is found in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.Discovery hints at how many species still await names. The eight year tenure of Barack Obama has come to a close, and as you reflect on his time in the White House you may think of his efforts to reduce carbon emissions, his commitment to healthcare reforms, or his nuclear agreement with Iran. But you may be missing one small part of his legacy – a 61.5 millimeter legacy, to be exact. A new species of fish, Tosanoides obama or colloquially, Obama’s fish, has been named for our former president to honor his dedication to marine conservation.Dr. Richard Pyle, a scientist with the Bishop Museum of Honolulu, first observed the fish during a diving excursion at Kure Atoll off the coast of Hawaii. The discovery site is located within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a protected area expanded by Obama during his last days in office.This monument is the largest fully-protected conservation area in the U.S., amounting to 1,508,870 square kilometers (582,578 square miles). It was first established as the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument in 2006 under the Bush Administration. The park received its Hawaiian name the following year.Holotype of Tosanoides obama (BPBM 41315), collected at a depth of 90 m off Kure Atoll, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Photo credit: Richard L. Pyle.Tosanoides obama was discovered in a deep coral reef, also known as a mesophotic reef. These ecosystems are found 100 to 500 feet below the surface, and because they exist in such deep water, resient species must be able to survive with less sunlight. Globally, these ecosystems have been explored not only off the coast of Hawaii, but also in other tropical and subtropical areas such as the Mariana Islands and the Samoa Islands.According to Pyle, these ecosystems are a new frontier for marine exploration. With advances in diving technology, we can now dive deeper than ever before.On the day of the discovery, Pyle first mistook Obama’s fish for a common species, the fairy bass (Pseudanthias thompsoni).“Except there was something on its dorsal fin. My first thought was that it was a parasite clinging to the dorsal fin,” Pyle said. “As I got a closer look, I saw that it wasn’t a parasite at all, but rather a bright red spot with a blue ring. That’s when I suddenly realized it was a fish I didn’t recognize.”Dr. Sylvia Earle gives President Barack Obama a photograph of Tosanoides obama on Midway Atoll. Photo credit: Brian Skerry / National Geographic.Described in the journal ZooKeys, Obama’s fish is only one of three in its genus and the only species endemic to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The two other species, Tosanoides filamentosus and Tosanoides flavofasciatus, are also found within the northwestern regions of the tropical and subtropical Pacific. Obama’s fish is distinguished by slightly different characteristics, such as life color, smaller body size, and unbranched pectoral fin rays.Scientists have only sighted five individuals of Tosanoides obama to date, once by Pyle and again by Brain Greene, the director of the Association for Marine Exploration. Greene encountered Obama’s fish at Pearl and Hermes Atoll, also within Papahānaumokuākea.Pyle concludes that the species is probably abundant in even deeper places which scientists are currently unable to dive. Because so little is known about Tosanoides obama’s life history, habitat, and distribution, conservationists are not yet able to say if the species is threatened, nor can they determine what its biggest threats might be.The expansion of Papahānaumokuākea by Obama was a major victory for the protection of deep coral reefs.“In particular these deep habitats are vulnerable to deep-sea fishing and coral collecting through trawls and dredging, which would be devastating to this species,” Pyle said. “The expanded protection keeps shipping traffic and other possible sources of pollution away from the main populations for this and other species”.Within deep coral reefs lie boundless opportunities for the discovery of new and endemic species. But because these reefs are harder to access and more difficult for us to see, their conservation can be arguably more challenging than their shallow reef counterparts.Unfortunately, even protected areas cannot be shielded from global stressors such as climate change and ocean acidification. The public can, however, recognize that marine ecosystems are incredibly resilient and protect them from the threats we can more readily control.According to Pyle, the next step forward in marine conservation will be to create policies and international treaties to protect the high seas, those vast areas of the ocean that do not fall under the control of any single country. The high seas constitute 60 percent of our oceans and remain relatively unprotected.As for Tosanoides obama, this species is quite literally one small fish in a greater ocean of biodiversity. In addition to its tribute to the 44th President of the United States, it symbolizes the wealth of unidentified species we have yet to discover and understand.“Biodiversity is unambiguously the most valuable asset of planet Earth for the future of Humanity,” said Pyle. “It’s like a giant library of information refined over nearly four billion years of evolution…Currently we’re like kindergartners running through the biological equivalent of the Library of Congress. We are just barely beginning to understand the potential value of the information that surrounds us.”Sources:Deep Coral Reefs. (n.d.). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from https://www.pifsc.noaa.gov/cred/deep_coral_reefs.phpPapahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. (2017). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 21, 2017, from http://www.papahanaumokuakea.gov/new-about/Pyle RL, Greene RD, Kosaki RK (2016) Tosanoides obama, a new basslet (Perciformes, Percoidei, Serranidae) from deep coral reefs in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. ZooKeys641: 165-181. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.641.11500NOTE: An earlier draft of this article was mistakenly published previously. It has been updated to the correct version. 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 Maria Salazarcenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Fish, Interns, New Species, Oceans, Wildlife last_img read more

Rare beaked whale filmed underwater for the first time

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta First underwater video of True’s beaked whales. Video by Roland Edler. True’s beaked whale is difficult to spot at sea, and remains a poorly studied species.By analyzing stranding data and live sightings of the whale, researchers confirm that the Azores and Canary Islands may actually be a hotspot for studying the natural behavior of the species.For the data-scarce whale species, live sightings and video recordings are highly valuable because they add to information that helps identify a species accurately.This in turn can help scientists monitor the status of their populations and protect them. True’s beaked whales are notoriously elusive.Like other beaked whales, they dive deep into oceans for prolonged periods of time, and surface only for short breathing intervals, making them very difficult to study. So far, only a handful of live sightings of this whale species have been recorded.But now, an international team of scientists has captured the first ever underwater video of wild True’s beaked whales swimming around Pico Island in the Portuguese Azores in northeast Atlantic Ocean. They have also photographed a calf of the species for the first time. The team reported their findings in the journal PeerJ. 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 The True’s beaked whale belongs to a family of cetaceans called Ziphiidae that includes 22 species of beaked whales. Despite being large-sized, these whales are extremely difficult to observe and remain one of the least understood mammals in the world. This is because they spend most of their lives underwater, sometimes feeding at depths of nearly two miles for hours. These whales are also hard to spot because they are not usually attracted to boats and do not perform aerial acrobatics like dolphins. In fact, they are so poorly studied that scientists have discovered three new species of beaked whales in just the last two decades.Moreover, the True’s beaked whale is similar in appearance to the other beaked whales in its genus Mesoplodon — Blainville’s, Sowerby’s, and Gervais’ beaked whales — and is very difficult to distinguish at sea. Unsurprisingly, scientists are still figuring out the whale’s distribution in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Southern Hemisphere.This is the first image, to the author’s knowledge, of a young calf of True’s beaked whales. Photo by Ida Eriksson.Now, by analyzing stranding data and live sightings of the True’s beaked whale recorded by scientists, whale watch companies and educational teams in Azores and Canary Islands, researchers confirm that the Azores and Canary Islands may actually be a hotspot for studying the natural behavior of the species.“The relative abundance of live sightings of True’s beaked whales in deep coastal waters off the Azores, and to some extent off the Canary Islands, suggests that these archipelagos could be ideal areas to research True’s beaked whales in the wild,” the authors write in the paper. “This is relevant because the identification of hot-spots where some species of beaked whales are found with reliability has provided most of our current knowledge about the natural behaviour of ziphiids.”The team also highlighted several morphological features of the True’s beaked whale, including a new coloration pattern, which may help in identifying the species at sea.For the data-scarce whale species, live sightings and video recordings are highly valuable, researchers say, because they add to the information that helps identify a species accurately. This in turn can help scientists monitor the status of their populations and protect them.First underwater images of three adult or subadult True’s beaked whales. Photo by Roland Edler.True’s beaked whales sometimes breach and this gives observers a better opportunity to identify the species. Here, the two little white dots in the front of the beak show that this animal is a male True ́s beaked whale. Photo by Dylan Walker.Citation:Aguilar de Soto N, Martín V, Silva M, Edler R, Reyes C, Carrillo M, Schiavi A, Morales T, García-Ovide B, Sanchez-Mora A, Garcia-Tavero N, Steiner L, Scheer M, Gockel R, Walker D, Villa E, Szlama P, Eriksson IK, Tejedor M, Perez-Gil M, Quaresma J, Bachara W, Carroll E. (2017) True’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon mirus) in Macaronesia. PeerJ 5:e3059 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3059FEEDBACK: 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, Biodiversity, Cetaceans, Conservation, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Oceans, Research, Video, Videos, Whales, Wildlife last_img read more

Slave labor in the Amazon: Risking lives to cut down the rainforest

first_imgA rookie in the trade of cutting down trees, João* asked himself how life led him to this “terribly wrong” way to make ends meet. Camped out in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in the state of Pará, 90 kilometers from the Trans-Amazonian Highway, João regretted taking the job, the first to come along in months.He and his colleagues had finished cutting down the first of many massaranduba trees for the day when they heard the roar of cars. “Come on, let’s hide in the forest,” João heard from one of his more experienced colleagues, and followed. Peering through the leaves, they saw armed men appear clad in vests marked “Federal.”“Oh God, get me out of here. Don’t let me die,” João pleaded as he ran further into the woods. His fear was rooted in stories told by his more-experienced colleagues, tales of how state authorities handle workers like him: with repression, prison and even physical violence.After he was found by the inspectors, João said the idea of the state being there to protect him never crossed his mind. But this was, in fact, the goal of the team led by Ministry of Labor auditor José Marcelino and comprised of representatives of the Ministério Público do Trabalho (an independent branch of the Labor Justice Department), the Federal Public Defender’s Office and escorted by the Federal Highway Police. A team of journalists from Repórter Brasil also followed the team and interviewed the workers.The operation was trying out a new strategy for bringing the law to the frontlines of rainforest destruction. Instead of treating workers as enemies, the idea was to recognize them as victims, even as possible allies in the fight against illegal logging.When the group was finally found, João and his colleagues gave lengthy depositions, helping authorities understand how timber extraction works and unveiling myriad possible crimes committed by local sawmill owners. Because of the risks to their lives workers endured on the job and the degrading conditions in which they lived, the inspectors rescued the workers and framed the case as slave labor, in accordance with the Brazilian penal code.João talked about how he would work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., off the books and without protective equipment. Even though logging is a risky activity, with one of the highest death and amputation rates in Brazil, neither guidance nor minimal protection was given. He described fatal accidents as banal events.“There was this guy who did the same thing as me. He died. He got distracted while rolling up a cigarette. The tree fell off the truck and on top of him. He ended up in the cemetery,” João said.Neither first aid nor medicine waited back at the communal tent. Just a rifle for protection and hunting. As well as an old motorbike to take the workers to the city, more than 100 kilometers on a dirt road away, in case of an animal attack or an accident. But workers did not count on the possibility of being rescued.“There are no accidents over there, only death,” João said. “If you mess up, you’re all done for.”João is a weathered worker with a long resume at some of the toughest jobs available for migrants like him.” He left a poor region in the northeast of Brazil still young and cut his teeth in construction sites and coal mines, where his lunges hurt when he coughed. Even so, he considered logging as his worst labor experience so far.In the blue-tinged shadows of the tent, the workers had hung up their colored hammocks and backpacks with their belongings. Without walls and just a dirt floor, there was nothing kept out the cold morning wind or visiting insects and venomous snakes.“Thank God everyone was already in their hammocks,” João said. “Then one of the men turned on their flashlight. There was a huge snake there, more than two meters long, thick. This guy grabbed a piece of wood and struck it on top, killing it.” Jaguars also occur in the area, with reporters observing tracks on the ground near camps.With a nervous laugh, the group’s cook said she wasn’t scared and didn’t have anything to complain about. She described how she prepared meals on two camp stoves improvised from 18-liter cans. Rice, beans, and spaghetti were the most common meals, with occasional pieces of sun-dried beef that were hung to dry from a clothesline at the camp and frequently visited by flies. The camp water came from the city in barrels and, according to worker testimony, always had a little “grime on the bottom.”The camp’s washtub was shielded by an impromptu partition made from palm leaves and a black tarp. The cook took her bath when the workers were in the forest. For all other necessities, the forest was the only bathroom.Ministry of Labor raids have revealed that it is common for vulnerable workers in Brazil to experience serious labor violations, such as the ones described above. Based on the conditions at the camp, inspectors framed the case as slavery-like conditions in accordance with Brazilian legislation.A tarp provides the only protection from the elements for the workers at this logging camp. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoA bed at a logging camp. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoUltimately, the Ministry of Labor found the sawmill company that operated the site, M.A. de Sousa Madeireira, responsible for the criminal conditions in which its employees worked and lived. However, in his dusty office in Uruará, company owner Manoel Araújo de Sousa asserted he was not responsible for the workers. He said he was aware of the extraction of wood, but he had nothing to do with the site’s operation since it was a self-directed effort by one of his former employees. He did admit, however, that he kept a portion of the harvested wood and that he was the “owner” of the land where they were working.As proof that he could extract wood from the location, Araújo de Sousa claims to have a purchase contract, with no registered title or authorization for extracting timber.As part of its penalty, M.A. de Sousa Madeireira had pay workers’ rights fees amounting to 31,000 reais ($9,950). The sawmill’s attorney declared her disagreement with the ruling holding the company responsible for the labor violations. Araújo de Sousa and his brother are allegedly working to raise the capital.Crimes against the forest, workers and communitiesManoel de Sousa’s sawmill is a small fish in a sea of illegal activity operating in the region. The city of Uruará comprises one of the largest centers of expansion in the Amazon’s logging industry – and government investigations indicate illegal activities are growing more explicit.Trucks without license plates carrying away loads of large native tree trunks are commonly seen entering the city by way of the Trans-Amazonian Highway.Timber harvested by workers at the logging camp. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoAccording to data from the Ministry of Labor and Pastoral Land Commission, 931 workers were rescued from slave labor conditions while harvesting trees from 2003 to 2016. A relationship between employment practices analogous to slave labor and some illegal logging operations in the Amazon was uncovered by a research led by the Integrated Action Network for Fighting Slavery. The study [link to report] indicates that the conditions endured by João and his colleagues may affect many workers in the sector.Places like the logging camp from which João was rescued often do not appear on maps that track deforestation. This is because they engage in selective logging that causes changes in canopy coverage that aren’t large enough to be detected remotely. This illegal practice has been growing in the past few years, specifically because it outwits satellite monitoring, as shown by several studies conducted by Greenpeace and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA)Satellite data from the Brazilian government show this area of Pará lost nearly 400,000 hectares of tree cover between 2001 and 2015. Small logging camps like that from which João and his colleagues add to this toll – but often log too selectively to show up via satellite monitoring.The illegal logging industry also takes specific measures to ensure the timber they extract isn’t traced back to where it was harvested. Previous investigations revealed that after the most market-valuable trees are cut down, the timber is taken to sawmills on trucks without license plates. At the sawmill, the illegal origin is “laundered” with handling documents that change the harvest location to legal sites.In an area south of the Trans-Amazonian Highway, days before the operation that uncovered João and his colleagues, the same rescue team discovered small roads opened up by loggers within the Cachoeira Seca Indigenous Territory, where the Arara community lives. An indigenous group only recently contacted by the outside world, the Arara report hearing chainsaws and are avoiding hunting in portions of their land for fear of encountering loggers.Along the makeshift logging roads within the indigenous territory, the inspectors and reporters saw logs piled up, swaths of scorched earth and tents just like the one João slept in – but they failed to locate any workers. When they came across someone on a motorbike going down the road, the inspectors were informed that they should give up in their search; the team’s presence had been made known through a radio system used by the loggers to communicate.The practice of worker-exploitation in the illegal logging industry appears widespread. While the inspectors were processing João and his colleagues, the team discovered another case and rescued seven more workers cutting down trees in slave labor-analogous conditions. This time, the employer was Eudemberto Sampaio de Souza (no relation to Manoel Araújo de Sousa), owner of Betel sawmill, which was found responsible for labor crimes and required to pay compensation to its workers up to 50.000 reais ($15,800).Sampaio de Souza, however, placed the blame squarely on the workers.“We ask for the documents for each supposed employee,” he told Reporter Brasil. “They say that they’ve lost them, or don’t have them, or will se about it later. You ask for their name, they give you a nickname. Plenty are boozehounds, many are drug addicts. They are people who come out of states like Mato Grosso, Maranhão, Bahia, and Pernambuco. Nobody knows their story, nobody knows their past. Many times, by taking them out to work, it’s saving their lives.” “Really scared”Days later, still more workers showed up at the hotel where the labor inspectors were staying. This time, the reports were heavier, mentioning death threats and the hiring of hit men to intimidate workers.“We came here, but we are scared. Really scared,” said one of the men who knocked on the inspectors’ hotel door. His face ticked nervously as he talked about how his boss hired a gunman after he tried to collect his payment.“If the end of the month comes and a lot is owed, they will send someone out to kill you. I’ve seen that happen. It was inside the city itself. He came to collect and they shot him. There’s plenty more stories like that.”Other workers also noted not being paid for the job, and then being threatened when attempting to collect upon what they were owed.“It’s better to pay three thousand for a gunman than five or six thousand to an employee,” said another man, quoting his boss.The entities that reportedly hired gunmen are currently under investigation, and their names could not be released at the time of publication in the interest of the investigation and for the safety of those involved.Officials arrive to extract the workers. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoAn auditor speaks to workers. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoWhile the definition of slave labor in Brazil extends beyond lack of payment, this group of workers only recognized their situation when they weren’t paid. According to one of the men, “even today slavery hasn’t ended. It just modernized itself. Back in the day you would get beaten, nowadays you don’t. But you don’t get anything for all of your work.”Another worker interviewed also alleged corruption of local authorities has had a role to play in illegal logging activities.“The military police here is dangerous,” said one of the men. “They go to his sawmill and grab money, they grab wood, both the military and civil police. If any one of us turns one of them in to the police, it’s suicide.”The workers also spoke of the total isolation of the logging camps and the impossibility of leaving them.“On election day [2016 municipal elections], we spent five days out in the woods without food,” said one of the men who worked as a tractor driver. “They didn’t come out to get us to go vote, nobody came out.”Another worker claims his employer forced him to remain on-site, and didn’t allow communication from the camp to the outside world.“There isn’t even a way to go out and come back, because the boss won’t allow it. If you don’t stay in the forest for thirty days you lose the job. Only the boss will come over and pass along messages, see how things are. We only receive news,” said the man who has young children in the city of Uruará.These complaints and the conditions discovered by investigations of logging camps have led to an ongoing investigation into slave labor in the logging sector. Ministry of Labor prosecuting attorney Allan Bruno, who was also part of the operation, received the cases and sent them along to the federal attorney general’s office, which is investigating the possible crimes of withholding salary, threatening lives, as well as for environmental, landholding, and tax issues.A meal at a logging camp in front of a stream that investigations reveal are often used for both drinking water and bathing. Photo by Lunaé ParrachoAuditor José Marcelino says labor inspectors are just beginning to understand how the illegal logging industry operates in the region. However, what is known is that it is a trade full of economic risk.“Just cutting down the trees does not guarantee selling the wood,” Marcelino said. “And, since the entrepreneur doesn’t have adequate cash flow, he doesn’t meet the costs of paying the workers what they have the right to.”This economic risk is coupled for the workers, who may have no choice but to resume working for these illegal operations. Even after receiving his compensation, João said he would go back into the woods, under the same conditions, if he could not arrange for other work in the following months.*The names of the workers have been changed in an effort to avoid further violence as interviewees remain at risk.Banner image from a video produced by Repórter Brasil; English video subtitle placement by Mike DiGirolamo.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. Investigations show conditions analogous to slave labor as defined by Brazilian law are not uncommon at small logging camps in Pará, Brazil.A recent bust of one labor camp by a team headed by the Ministry of Labor led to the rescue several men living in substandard conditions. Interviews of the men and observations by Repórter Brasil indicate their lives were forcibly put at-risk at the camp.Workers from other logging camps came forward to report instances of nonpayment, and being threatened by guns when they demanded their pay.Although the job is life threatening and illegal, and wages aren’t guaranteed, workers report often having no other choice but to work at the logging camps. This story was produced by Repórter Brasil through on-the-ground observations and interviews with local sources and labor inspectors during a one-year investigation of slave labor practices at logging camps in Pará, Brazil. Repórter Brasil’s Portuguese version of this story can be found here.This is the second story in a four-part series on the topic; click the following links to access the first, third, and fourth parts in English on Mongabay. 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, Featured, Forced labor, Forest Destruction, Forests, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Law, Law Enforcement, Logging, Modern-day slavery, Rainforests, Slavery, Timber, Trees, Tropical Forests Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

Climate change-induced bleaching decimating Great Barrier Reef

first_imgIn 2016, scientists reported the largest die-off ever on the Great Barrier Reef. Some 70,000 people depend on the Great Barrier Reef for employment in the tourism industry, and it’s worth about $5 billion annually.The study’s authors report that repeated exposure to higher-than-normal sea temperatures submarines the corals’ chances at recovery. Even corals that survive don’t appear to be more tolerant of extreme temperatures, and high water quality – important for coral regrowth – doesn’t seem to offer much protection against bleaching. Rising ocean temperatures are bleaching reefs around the world at unprecedented levels, and, with little standing in its way, this coral-killing force is unlikely to relent, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature.The research examined the effects of three global bleaching events in past 20 years on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef – the largest in the world. They found that parts of the reef have been pummeled by repeated bleaching in 1998, 2002, and 2015-2016 – and further bleaching seems to be happening right now in early 2017. As climate change continues to warm the Earth, not much will hold back this reef-altering tide, according to the findings.Photo of the Great Barrier Reef near Port Douglas from Greenpeace Australia Pacific, showing damage to the coral. Photo © Brett Monroe Garner / GreenpeaceHigher-than-normal sea temperatures force corals, which are animals, to jettison the algae on which they depend for survival, draining the color from reefs and turning them white. If temperatures remain high, the corals typically die within months.2016 was the most severe bleaching “by a long way” of the Great Barrier Reef that’s ever been recorded, said Sean Connolly, an ecologist at James Cook University and one of the study’s authors.About 10 percent of the reef suffered “extreme bleaching” in 1998 and 2002, Connolly told Mongabay. “In 2016, that was almost 50 percent.”That led to the largest die-off on the Great Barrier Reef in history, scientists reported in November 2016. The northern section was particularly hard-hit, losing 67 percent of its shallow water corals in 2016.Aerial view of widespread coral bleaching, northern Great Barrier Reef, March 2016. Photo by Terry Hughes, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef StudiesAnd there’s little doubt who the culprits are. “That’s us,” Connolly said. Before “detectable climate change,” the bleaching that did occur was usually confined to small areas over shorter time periods, he explained.Only the human-induced warming of the planet, and by extension the increase in sea temperatures, could cause “significant bleaching on the scale of an entire reef system, much less significant bleaching all over the globe,” he said.On Friday, the environmental NGO Greenpeace released new photographs of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef  by conservation photographer and marine biologist Brett Monroe Garner that catalog the extensive bleaching of large stretches of the world’s largest living structure.“I’ve been photographing this area of the reef for several years now and what we’re seeing is unprecedented,” Garner said in a statement.“Just a few months ago, these corals were full of [color] and life,” Garner added. “Now, everywhere you look is white.”Corals can recover, Connolly said, but it takes time. Even the fastest-growing species need 10-15 years to grow back. But if that resurgence is cut short by more bleaching, it could fundamentally change the composition of the reef and the ecosystem it anchors.Bleached coral near Port Douglas. Photo © Brett Monroe Garner / Greenpeace“You’re looking at an ecosystem that is going to provide less and less of the goods and services that we count on,” he said, pointing to the example of fisheries. Reefs provide critical habitat for young coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus), he said. When corals die, fewer of these fish survive to adulthood.Additionally, around 70,000 people working in tourism depend on the Great Barrier Reef for employment. and it’s worth about $5 billion annually.Connolly and his colleagues looked at possible protections or adaptations that might safeguard at least parts of the reef. But they “found no evidence” to support the hypothesis that corals that survive heat shocks would be more robust from future bleaching.Even high-quality water doesn’t seem to buffer the reef against the bleaching effects of warmer seas. “That doesn’t mean that water quality’s not important,” he said. Reefs in poor quality water are often clogged with seaweed, which can stymy corals’ recovery. But again, the corals need time to rebuild.“The corals aren’t getting the chance to bounce back from last year’s bleaching event,” Garner said. “If this is the new normal, we’re in trouble.”CITATION:Hughes, T. P., Kerry, J. T., Álvarez-Noriega, M., Álvarez-Romero, J. G., Anderson, K. D., Baird, A. H., … Wilson, S. K. (2017). Global warming and recurrent mass bleaching of corals. Nature, 543(7645), 373–377. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature21707FEEDBACK: 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. 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 John Cannoncenter_img Adaptation To Climate Change, Animals, Climate Change, Climate Change And Coral Reefs, Conservation, Coral Bleaching, Coral Reefs, Ecology, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Great Barrier Reef, Impact Of Climate Change, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Oceans, Oceans And Climate Change, Water, Wildlife last_img read more