New orchid species from Japan lives on dark forest floor, never blooms

first_imgResearcher Kenji Suetsugu of Kobe University has found flowering plants of a new species of orchid on Japan’s Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima islands, now named Gastrodia amamiana.G. amamiana belongs to a group of mycoheterotrophic orchids that live on dark forest floors, do not use photosynthesis to get their nutrients, and steal nutrition from fungi instead. G. amamiana’s flowers likely never open up or bloom.Researchers have already found evidence of tree thinning close to where G. amamiana was discovered, and they worry that logging could dry the soil and consequently the fungi that the orchid depends on. From Japan’s Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima islands, researchers have described a new-to-science species of orchid that produces dark brown flowers that likely never bloom.Kenji Suetsugu of the Kobe University Graduate School of Science, together with independent scientists Hidekazu Morita, Yohei Tashiro, Chiyoko Hara and Kazuki Yamamuro, came across the flower during a flora survey of the islands’ evergreen forests. When they looked at the orchid closely, they found that it belonged to the genus Gastrodia, a group of mycoheterotrophic orchids that don’t use photosynthesis to get their nutrients, instead stealing nutrition from fungi.Suetsugu, who has been documenting Japan’s mycoheterotrophs and has described new species of such orchids in the past, has named the orchid from Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima islands Gastrodia amamiana. He described the plant in a new study published in Phytotaxa.Like many mycoheterotrophs, G. amamiana can be found lurking in the dark understory of forests where sunlight hardly penetrates. Without light, the orchid has evolved to find food without photosynthesis by relying on the network of fungi underneath the forest floor.It has another peculiar trait: it bears fruit despite flowers that likely never open. Suetsugu posits that the plant probably self-pollinates because it lives on dark forest floors where insect pollinators like bees and butterflies seldom visit.The act of opening up a flower uses critical resources, and without insect pollinators to open it for, the orchid may have evolved to never bloom, Suetsugu writes.To date, G. amamiana is known from only two locations, one each on Amami-Oshima and Tokunoshima. In both locations, the researchers found some 20 flowering individuals within a dense forest dominated by the evergreen Itajii Chinkapin tree (Castanopsis sieboldii).The Amami-Oshima forest where the species was found, however, could soon become logged, Suetsugu writes. The researchers have already seen evidence of tree thinning close to where G. amamiana was discovered, and the dry soil that results from this could dry out the fungi that the orchid depends on, he writes.“These field surveys rely on cooperation from independent scientists, and our resources are limited, meaning that some species may reach extinction without ever being discovered by humans,” Suetsugu said in a statement. “The discovery of G. amamiana highlights the importance of the forests of Amami-Oshima. We hope that revealing these new species will draw more attention to the environmental threat faced by these regions.”Gastrodia amamiana, a new species that bears fruit without opening its flowers. Image courtesy of Kobe University.Citation:Suetsugu, K. (2019). Gastrodia amamiana (Orchidaceae; Epidendroideae; Gastrodieae), a new completely cleistogamous species from Japan. Phytotaxa, 413(3), 225-230. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.413.3.3 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 Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Green, New Species, Orchids, Plants, Research, Species Discovery, Wildlife last_img read more

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Newly described giant extinct penguin and parrot once lived in New Zealand

first_imgAnimals, Birds, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Fossils, Green, Research, 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 overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Paleontologists have found fossils of two extinct giant birds in New Zealand: an enormous penguin that would have been nearly as tall as an average adult human, and the largest parrot ever known to have existed.The new species of extinct giant penguin, formally named Crossvallia waiparensis, was described from leg bones found at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in the North Canterbury region in 2018.The extinct parrot, Heracles inexpectatus, was likely double the size of the previously largest known parrot species, the kakapo. The fossils of the parrot were first recovered from near St. Bathans in Central Otago in 2008. Millions of years ago, giant birds roamed ancient New Zealand. There was the moa, an extinct flightless bird, thought to weigh up to 230 kilogram (510 pounds). Then there was the now-extinct Haast’s eagle, the largest eagle known to have ever lived, as well as several species of extinct giant penguins like the Kumimanu biceae.Now, paleontologists have found fossils of two more extinct giant birds in New Zealand: an enormous penguin that would have been nearly as tall as an average adult human, and a parrot that would have been the largest known parrot to have ever existed. Researchers have described both species in two separate studies published this month.Giant penguinThe new species of extinct giant penguin, formally named Crossvallia waiparensis, was described from leg bones found at the Waipara Greensand fossil site in the North Canterbury region in 2018. The penguin would have lived during the Paleocene epoch, or between 66 million and 56 million years ago, the researchers say in a new study.From the length of the leg bones, they also conclude that the bird would have been 1.6 meters (5 feet, 3 inches) tall and would have weighed around 80 kilograms (176 pounds). For comparison, an emperor penguin, the tallest and heaviest of living penguin species, can reach heights of up to 1.3 meters (4 feet, 3 inches) and weigh up to 45 kilograms (99 pounds).The extinct species of giant penguin Crossvallia waiparensis would have been nearly as tall as an average adult human. Image courtesy of Canterbury Museum.The closest relative of C. waiparensis is not another penguin from New Zealand, but a Paleocene penguin species C. unienwillia, described from a fossilized partial skeleton recovered from the Cross Valley in Antarctica in 2000, the researchers conclude.“When the Crossvallia species were alive, New Zealand and Antarctica were very different from today — Antarctica was covered in forest and both had much warmer climates,” Paul Scofield, co-author of the study and senior curator at Canterbury Museum, said in a statement.The Waipara Greensand site has been a gold mine for extinct penguin fossils. C. waiparensis is the fifth ancient penguin species to be described from fossils found there, and “there’s more to come, too,” said Gerald Mayr, co-author of the study and a paleontologist at the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt. “More fossils which we think represent new species are still awaiting description.”World’s largest known parrotUntil recently, the kakapo, a flightless, critically endangered parrot in New Zealand, was the largest known parrot in the world. But the newly described species of extinct parrot Heracles inexpectatus, named after the hero of Greek mythology, was likely double its size, researchers say in another study published earlier this month.H. inexpectatus would have weighed around 7 kilograms (15 pounds) and reached a height of about 1 meter (3 feet, 3 inches). It also likely had a massive beak that it may have used to “crack wide open anything it fancied … perhaps even other parrots,” Michael Archer, co-author of the study and paleontologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said in a statement.An artist’s rendering of the extinct species of giant parrot Heracles inexpectatus. Image by Brian Choo/Flinders University.The fossils of the giant parrot were first recovered from near St. Bathans in Central Otago, New Zealand, in 2008. For a long time, the researchers thought the bones belonged to an extinct species of eagle. But after further analysis, they concluded that the fossils were from a parrot species that had lived around 19 million years ago.“New Zealand is well known for its giant birds,” said Trevor Worthy, lead author of the study and an associate professor at Flinders University in Adelaide. “Not only moa dominated avifaunas, but giant geese and adzebills shared the forest floor, while a giant eagle ruled the skies. But until now, no-one has ever found an extinct giant parrot — anywhere.”Graphic showing the Heracles inexpectatus, right, in silhouette next to an average-height person and a common magpie. Image by Paul Scofield/Canterbury Museum.Citations:Mayr, G., De Pietri V. L., Love, L., Mannering, A., & Scofield, R. P. (2019) Leg bones of a new penguin species from the Waipara Greensand add to the diversity of very large-sized Sphenisciformes in the Paleocene of New Zealand. Alcheringa: An Australasian Journal of Palaeontology. doi: 10.1080/03115518.2019.1641619Worthy, T. H., Hand, S. J., Archer, M., Scofield, R. P., & De Pietri, V. L. (2019). Evidence for a giant parrot from the Early Miocene of New Zealand. Biology letters, 15(8), 20190467. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2019.0467last_img read more

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Controversial dam gets green light to flood a Philippine protected area

first_imgArticle published by leilani The environment department has issued an environmental compliance certificate that allows the contested Kaliwa Dam project in the Sierra Madre mountain range to go ahead, part of a wider push to secure water supplies for Manila and surrounding areas.The certificate is one of the last sets of documents required by the developers for the project being funded by a $238.3 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.Yet its issuance comes despite a government-conducted environmental impact assessment showing that the dam’s reservoir alone will endanger endemic wildlife and plants, drive massive species migration, and pose risks to lowland agricultural and fishing communities with a history of flash flooding.The site of the planned dam falls within the Kaliwa watershed forest reserve, which has been designated a natural wildlife park sanctuary and game refuge, and an IUCN Category V Protected Landscape/Seascape. This is the first article in a two-part series on the Kaliwa Dam project.GENERAL NAKAR, Philippines — In the barangay, or village, of Lumutan, the Dumagat-Remontados tribe speaks of the sacred mountain Putyokan, whose peak offers the most breathtaking view of the southern Sierra Madre mountain range on the Philippine island of Luzon.It’s home to a herb they call karaklay, which, when boiled down into a dark, bitter liquid, serves as a cure-all for common illnesses. The plant is hugely important in this barangay where the only health center lacks supplies and the nearest hospital is more than three hours away by foot and an hour on a motorcycle. “It cures everything,” said Migueling dela Cruz, a resident of one of the indigenous communities in Lumutan, in deep southern Tagalog, a local language. “Fever, coughs, malaria, diarrhea. You just have to endure the bitterness but it always works.”Yet this holy mountain and its herbal plants — and the eagles that glide along the ridges at the break of day, and the crevices and rock formations that hide a lake fed by a waterfall — all these will disappear once the Kaliwa Dam project goes through. Part of the New Centennial Water Source meant to pipe 600 million liters (159 million gallons) of water daily to Metro Manila and surrounding urban areas, the reservoir for the dam is expected to submerge 93 hectares (230 acres) of forestland, including 12 sites considered sacred by 11 indigenous communities.The Sierra Madre mountain range is a key biodiversity area on the main island of Luzon with the largest remaining tract of rainforest and home to over a thousand wildlife species. Image by Leilani Chavez / MongabayThe karaklay, among other biodiverse and endemic species of plants and animals, will be one of the first to disappear. Putyokan will go underwater, leaving only the peak, and tribespeople will have to ferry across the reservoir to reach it. “What’s the point in that?” Dela Cruz said. “We won’t be able to pray to our ancestors … and the karaklay will disappear. That’s our main problem.”The Dumagat-Remontados have stood firm in their opposition to the project. At a recent community gathering, they voted overwhelmingly against giving their consent for the project, which they anticipated would scupper the $238.3 million loan deal that the Export-Import Bank of China is offering the Philippines for the dam’s construction. But despite this outpouring of resistance, the government issued one of the last requirements for a project of this magnitude: an environmental certificate released to Manila’s Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Oct. 21.Anti-dam groups have expressed their dismay, citing existing impact assessment studies conducted by both the environment department and independent groups that show the dam’s construction will endanger endemic local species, trigger massive migration of threatened wildlife, and pose hazards not just to indigenous upland communities but to lowland villages in Infanta, an agricultural and fishing municipality 26 kilometers (16 miles) downstream from Lumutan.“Just by the sheer size of Kaliwa, it can be considered an environmentally critical project,” Lia Alonzo of the Center for Environmental Concern-Philippines (CEC), an NGO, told Mongabay. “Yet, they push for this project and disregard its glaring environmental impacts.”The coverage area of the New Centennial Water Source – Kaliwa Dam project. Dotted areas represent villages and communities. Image courtesy of Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage SystemKey biodiversity areaThe Lumutan River takes on a bright green hue during the honey-harvesting months of April to July. Dela Cruz was 14 when he first accompanied his father to look for honey; it was from him that he learned to read the flight patterns of the bees, tail them, find the pukyutan (honeycombs), and separate the honey with his bare hands.“A morning’s hunt used to produce buckets of the golden liquid, but nowadays we’re lucky if we can fill one pail,” he said. Honey is an important source of livelihood for the tribe, and the bees are among the species threatened once the construction of Kaliwa begins. “We don’t know yet how it will impact our food sources but there will definitely be changes,” Dela Cruz said. “But we will not go down to Manila because you pay for everything there. Here, water and food are free — so we will go further up the mountain if Kaliwa happens.”Running 680 kilometers (420 miles) north to south and traversing 10 provinces, the Sierra Madre is the longest mountain range in the Philippines. It’s also considered one of the most biodiverse areas in the country, with the largest remaining tract of rainforest. Studies have shown that the range is home to at least 201 species of mammals, 556 species of birds, more than 85 species of amphibians and 252 species of reptiles, half of them endemic and many threatened.The southern end of the range, the site of the proposed dam, was the focus of a government environmental impact study finished in July but made public only recently. Conducted by 11 environmental specialists from February to April this year, the study covered the entire project area and confirmed its “high biodiversity” status. The group concluded that the dam’s construction would directly impact 96 endemic species that are already under threat from man-made factors.Notable species include the endangered and rare Rafflesia manillana corpse flower, critically endangered hardwood tree species known as lauan or Philippine mahogany (Shorea spp.), and kalantas (Toona calantas), another hardwood in the mahogany family that’s an important timber tree native to the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. Of the 237 tree species recorded in the watershed area, 67 are listed under either the Philippine Red List or the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 58 are endemics, and 143 are indigenous.The Kaliwa Dam project will threaten numerous endemic species including the Philippine eagle (Pithecopaga jefferyi), as the Sierra Madre mountain range is one of the last strongholds of this critically-endangered species. Image courtesy of Cornell Lab of OrnithologyResidents of Lumutan sometimes spot the famed Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi), the world’s biggest eagle and the national bird. “My neighbor saw one just last week,” Dela Cruz said in July. “He said it has a white head and when it nestled in a lauan, the whole tree shook. It probably weighs around 5 kilos [11 pounds].”Indeed, the Sierra Madre is one of the last strongholds of the Philippine eagle, as well as of other birds. Of the 69 avian species recorded during the period of the study, 23 were found to be endemic to the country and three are Luzon endemic. The rufous hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax) and the northern Philippine hawk-eagle (Nisaetus philippensis) are among those threatened by habitat loss.The watershed is also home to threatened endemic mammals such as the Philippine brown deer (Rusa marianna) and the Philippine warty pig (Sus philippensis), which depend on the “extensive lowland and montane forests of Sierra Madre,” according to a report by the Haribon Foundation, a conservation organization. “It cannot be overemphasized that the proposed Kaliwa Dam will drive countless species of birds, plants and animals into extinction — all of which are woven together into one intricate web of life,” said Maria Belinda de la Paz, the foundation’s chief operating officer.While the government’s impact assessment recognized these environmental repercussions and the “disruption of behavioral patterns of species during the construction stages of the project,” it only recommended stringent implementation of construction standards and proper waste disposal.The riverine system that nourishes Kaliwa River also supports upland indigenous communities, who are far from the coverage of potable water systems. Image by Leilani Chavez / Mongabay“The impact assessment said the disruption is temporary, that it will only be during the construction phase,” said the CEC’s Alonzo. “But they also admit that the damages to ecology are irreversible and permanent. We are ruining the very foundation of the ecosystem, so we have to look at it in terms of ecosystem services and not just in terms of water production.”Railroading a protected siteApproval of the dam project breaches prevailing designations meant to protect the very area that will be affected. The site falls within the Kaliwa watershed forest reserve, declared in 1968, which has also been a natural wildlife park sanctuary and game refuge since 1977 (both designations were granted through presidential proclamation). Ancestral domain titles have also been handed out to the Dumagat-Remontados, covering 188,305 hectares (465,312 acres) in Sierra Madre. The tribe’s deep-rooted relationship with the landscape has garnered the area a designation of IUCN Category V Protected Landscape/Seascape.But despite its ecological importance, the region lacks a wealth of species-specific research and long-term conservation efforts, in part because of persistent security issues. The mountains around the municipality of General Nakar, where Lumutan is located, are a hotbed of the long-running communist insurgency, and have witnessed countless skirmishes and armed exchanges between combatants from the outlawed New People’s Army and the military.The southern end of the range is also wracked by massive illegal logging activities, which drove the loss of 161,240 hectares (398,432 acres) of forests from 1988 to 2010, according to statistics from the environment department. Land degradation is notable, and the denuding of the slopes has been blamed for exacerbating the impact of two super typhoons that hit the area in 2004 and unleashed landslides and flash floods that killed 1,400 people.“That river became five times bigger in 2004,” Dela Cruz said, pointing to the mossy Lumutan, one of the tributaries of the Kaliwa River. “How can we forget that? Some of our houses were washed all the way to Infanta … It happened around 7 a.m. here. Some village members were carried by the waters too … and their relatives went down to look for their bodies. When they asked people from Infanta what time the flash flood hit, they said it’s also at 7 a.m.”The Lumutan River, a tributary of Kaliwa River, is one of the main water sources for the Kaliwa Dam project. This same river ballooned to five times its normal size during the two supertyphoons in 2004, triggering a flash flood that left behind 1,400 casualties. Image by Leilani Chavez / MongabayFears of a repeat of that disaster and of loss of livelihoods were the primary concerns among residents who would be affected by the project, the environmental impact assessment report said. Yet these considerations had little influence over the environment department’s decision to issue as early as Oct. 11 (Oct. 21 was the public release) the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) required for the project to go ahead.The “conditional” ECC gives the MWSS, the main proponent of the project, permission to begin operations, but only after securing other necessary government permits. These include the consent of the affected indigenous peoples, a massive information campaign, a signed memorandum of agreement with local government units on social development interventions, an indigenous people’s development plan, the construction of a buffer zone, and the establishment of reforestation and carbon sink programs.But environmental and human rights groups and experts alike say the environment department shouldn’t have issued the ECC to begin with, as it complicates the tug-of-war between development and conservation in an already contested area.“While we recognize that Metro Manila has legitimate concerns on water security, these should not be addressed at the expense of human rights, our environment, Philippine laws and sovereignty,” said STOP Kaliwa Dam, a coalition of groups that includes the Haribon Foundation and indigenous rights organizations. “The government has the responsibility to protect its people from environmental harm and provide long-term solutions to respond to the needs of all its people, not only in Metro Manila.”“We all know building that dam has environmental repercussions,” Pete Montellana, an activist priest with the coalition, told Mongabay. “We have studies to prove that, but why does the government insist despite having alternatives?”The group launched an online petition against the dam in June, and has since gathered more than 41,000 signatures.Continued to Part Two: A Philippine tribe that defeated a dam prepares to fight its reincarnationBanner image of one of the more than a thousand wildlife species seen in the Sierra Madre mountain range, which indigenous communities sometimes keep as pets. Image by Leilani Chavez / Mongabay 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. Community Forests, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Dams, Deforestation, Endangered, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Policy, Featured, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Freshwater Ecosystems, Habitat Degradation, Illegal Logging, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Reserves, Infrastructure, Protected Areas, Tropical Forests, Water, Water Crisis, Water Scarcity, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Corridors center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Extinct in the wild, a Brazilian bird makes a tentative return to the jungle

first_imgAnimals, Birds, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Wildlife Three pairs of Alagoas curassows (Pauxi mitu) were reintroduced in September in a 980-hectare (2,400-acre) area of the Atlantic Forest in the Brazilian state of Alagoas, more than three decades after being declared extinct in the wild due to hunting and habitat loss.The feat is the culmination of a project started in 1979, when a businessman rescued five of the remaining individuals of the species from a forest area that was about to be cleared.Kept in captivity, these birds and their offspring went on to spawn the nearly 100 Alagoas curassows that exist in Brazil today.The six birds released in the wild will be monitored with GPS tags to see how well they adapt to finding food and shelter, breeding, and evading predators in the wild; if they succeed, the plan is to introduce three more pairs a year into the wild until 2024. Extinct in its habitat for at least three decades, the Alagoas curassow (Pauxi mitu) is now back in the jungle and facing a test of survival, thanks to the joint efforts of more than a dozen institutions to pull this pheasant-like bird back from the brink.Three pairs of curassows were reintroduced a month and a half ago in a 980-hectare (2,400-acre) area of the Atlantic Forest in the Brazilian state of Alagoas. Researchers are keeping tabs on them remotely, via GPS tags, to see whether they can find food and shelter, reproduce, and stay safe from predators on their own.The bird is the first case of the reintroduction of an animal declared extinct in the wild in Latin America, and one of just a handful in the world. According to Luís Fábio Silveira, curator of the ornithological collection at the Museum of Zoology of the University of São Paulo, there are “very few similar cases” in the world. Success stories include the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus), the Hawaiian crow (Corvus hawaiiensis), the black-footed ferret or American polecat (Mustela nigripes), and the Mauritius kestrel (Falco punctatus).The journey that led to the Alagoas curassow’s resurrection started four decades ago, thanks to the obstinacy of Pedro Nardelli, a businessman who kept a scientific bird-breeding facility in Nilópolis, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. In 1979, he traveled to the metropolitan region of Maceió, in Alagoas state, looking for specimens of the curassow, a red-billed, black-bodied, fowl-like bird. Described for the first time in the 17th century by the German naturalist George Marcgraf — who included a mention of its culinary use, one of the factors behind its eventual extinction in the wild — the species was very rarely seen in its original territory, a small area of Atlantic Forest between the states of Alagoas and Pernambuco. Besides the hunting, the bird was also threatened by the advance of sugarcane plantations in the region.The five curassows that Nardelli was able to rescue were captured in a forest area that, ironically enough, would give way to a new sugar and ethanol plant, thanks to the accelerated pace of deforestation imposed by Proálcool, a national program aimed at stimulating sugarcane ethanol production. “If Nardelli had arrived two years later, there would be no more [curassows],” said civil engineer Fernando Pinto, who worked at the ethanol plant at the time and later became the breeder’s main partner in the rescue mission. “Destiny called.”A pair of Alagoas curassow at the moment of release, after leaving the acclimatization aviary. Image by Clarice Maia/Agência AlagoasBack in Rio de Janeiro, Nardelli managed to get one of the male curassows and two of the females to reproduce. The trio would spawn the sole lineage responsible for passing on the species’ DNA. Pinto began traveling to Rio de Janeiro more frequently. “We spent whole weekends literally inside the aviary, talking only about birds,” he said. “That breeding facility, perhaps the biggest in Latin America, was my Disneyland.”While testing the constitution of a safe breeding stock, Nardelli promoted the idea of crossbreeding with the closely related razor-billed curassow (Pauxi tuberosa) to try to secure a sort of “DNA backup” of the nearly extinct bird. In the process, however, the breeders lost the spreadsheets that identified the genetically pure individuals and the hybrids. A team from São Carlos Federal University (UFSCar), led by Mercival Roberto Francisco, joined in to separate the wheat from the chaff: in 2008, a genetic rescue program for the species was initiated, using minute analysis to differentiate the pure birds from the hybrids.Francisco, a professor of ex situ (out-of-habitat) conservation and wildlife management, kept in close contact with breeder Roberto Azeredo, of the Society for Wildlife Research (Crax), who 20 years ago inherited part of Nardelli’s breeding stock. Their challenge now is to increase the genetic diversity of purebred Alagoas curassows. For this, Azeredo has suggested that pairs with the greatest DNA difference be made to breed — or rather, to marry, since the bird is normally monogamous; pairs stay together until one individual dies.This selection process is the central point of the project to reintroduce the Alagoas curassow into the wild, considering the risks of inbreeding in a lineage that descends from just three individuals.An Alagoas curassow in captivity. The species waited three decades to come back to nature. Image by Luís Fábio Silveira.Back to the habitatIn 1996, already thinking of creating the conditions under which the bird could return to nature, Fernando Pinto founded the Atlantic Forest Preservation Institute (IPMA). The NGO coordinates environmental education actions in the communities and farms of the Zona da Mata, a coastal plain in Brazil’s northeast. It seeks to sensitize sugarcane farmers, whose fields comprise the largest areas of remnant vegetation in the region, to conserve or restore the habitat of the Alagoas curassow. Pinto counts 9,000 hectares (22,240 acres) already converted or in the process of being converted into private natural heritage reserves (RPPNs).One of these areas is the RPPN Mata do Cedro, in the municipality of Rio Largo, a forest fragment situated within the area of the former Utinga Leão plant (now just Utinga), a sugar and ethanol producer struggling to avoid bankruptcy. The researchers selected the area for the reintroduction of the Alagoas curassow into the wild because of its extension — the ideal habitat should span at least 500 hectares (1,200 acres) of forest — and also because of the absence of hunters.To ensure it was a safe environment for the bird, the Alagoas Environmental Institute (IMA) and the Alagoas Environmental Police ran daily patrols over the course of two years to monitor the area. “There was no incident of illegal hunting, but we can’t lower our guard. In Brazil, especially in the north and the northeast, there’s a very strong hunting culture,” said Epitácio Correia, the manager of the fauna, flora and conservation units at the IMA.On Sept. 19, six individual Alagoas curassows were transferred by plane from Contagem, in the state of Minas Gerais, where the Crax breeding center is located, to Alagoas. For the first time in three decades, the species was back in its natural habitat. The birds were initially taken to an acclimatization aviary, built within an Atlantic Forest fragment, in preparation for permanent released on Sept. 25.Thanks to the satellite tags, the researchers will be able to monitor literally every step of the six newly released birds. If the curassows succeed in the challenge of evading natural enemies such as small wildcats, and prove themselves able to generate offspring, the task force’s plan is to release three more pairs into the wild each year until 2024. Meanwhile, the breeding in captivity continues; there are about 90 Alagoas curassow in aviaries across Brazil.The sugar plant also provided an area to build an environmental education center, to be inaugurated in January and named after Pedro Nardelli. A fourth pair of curassows will be kept there, in captivity, as a living exhibit for children and adolescents.Nardelli didn’t live to see his dream come true. He died in August, the month when the reintroduction was initially scheduled. But he could, at least, honor the event at which Alagoas Governor Renan Filho named Pauxi mitu the official bird of the state in 2017.Watch the video of the release: This story was first reported by Mongabay’s Brazil team and published here on our Brazil site on Nov. 19, 2019. Article published by Xavier Bartaburu Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Lift-off for first African vulture safe zones

first_imgCoverdale, who works for Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, a South African government conservation body, stressed the vital roles that vultures play in ecosystems. By swiftly stripping the flesh from dead animals, they reduce the spread of disease as well as the number of animals scavenging at rotting carcasses.“We really can’t afford to lose them. In nine minutes they can clean up an entire carcass,” Coverdale said.There are several reasons for the decline of African vultures, but deliberate or accidental poisoning is the biggest peril.Gareth Tate, the Birds of Prey Programme manager for the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), says poison accounts for about 60 percent of vulture deaths in the Southern Africa region.Some poisoned bait is laid by livestock owners to kill predators, like jackals. Vultures feeding off the carcasses subsequently die, often in significant numbers. Others are poisoned deliberately to harvest body parts for making muthi, traditional medicine potions.In one of the worst mass-poisoning cases on record, at least 540 vultures were killed near Botswana’s Chobe National Park earlier this year after feeding on elephant carcasses spiked with a potent poison by wildlife poachers, in an apparent effort to conceal illegal activities from rangers.In this case, the carcasses were not removed for two to three weeks, resulting in an extended cycle of death as more vultures and other scavengers arrived to feast.A dead vulture next to a dead elephant in southern Mozambique. The carcass had been laced with toxic farm poisons. Image courtesy Andre BothaVultures are also poisoned deliberately for the traditional medicine trade. The misconception that these carrion birds have psychic powers, or can ‘see into the future’ has led to a demand for vulture’s heads and other body parts.Andre Botha, EWT’s Vultures for Africa Programme manager, said that while it was hard to quantify the numbers of vultures killed for belief-based use, recent studies estimated that direct persecution of vultures either for muthi or food was about 29 percent of all vultures killed in Africa.While Botha was not at this year’s symposium, he said the  belief-based use of vultures was a significant and growing threat to  the continent’s vultures”. This, he said, needed to be openly discussed “with the same degree of vigour as is the misconceptions associated with the use of rhino horn” in Asia.“It is an inconvenient truth that must be addressed,” added Botha.Accidental drownings in farm water reservoirs have also been reported, and research has flagged lead bullet fragments in animal carcasses as an increasing concern.But BirdLife South Africa vulture project manager Linda van den Heever said many landowners and game ranch owners seemed resistant to halt the use of lead ammunition on their land, complaining that lead-free ammo is less effective and more expensive.At the symposium, several researchers outlined the results of recent partnerships to arrest the growing decline of vultures in Southern Africa.One initiative involves creating “vulture safe zones” — large areas where landowners commit to managing their land in ways that will provide safe havens for existing vulture populations.According to EWT, the emphasis of the vulture safe zones will be to encourage positive action, “focusing less on prohibition and negative messaging, and more on sound environmental practices that could provide landowners with reputational and economic benefits.”In support of the program, participating landowners have agreed to stop baiting carcasses with poison, and modify concrete water reservoirs to reduce the risk of accidental drowning. Africa’s vulture populations face the prospect of collapsing in much the same way as vulture species in Asia, experts warn, having already declined by an average 62 percent over the past three decades.Key threats include poisoning by ranchers and poachers and for belief-based use, as well as accidental drowning in farm water reservoirs and ingestion of lead ammunition.To address the threats, managers of conservation areas and private game reserves in South Africa have agreed to create “vulture safe zones” that will do away with these practices to provide safe havens for existing vulture populations.Conservationists say it’s also important for managers in South Africa to work with their counterparts in neighboring countries that are part of the vultures’ range, and to tackle the trade in vulture parts used in traditional medicine practices. Howick, SOUTH AFRICA – The first of at least five new “vulture safe zones” in Southern Africa are about to take off as private landowners and other partners join the battle to save Africa’s imperilled carrion clean-up birds.Africa’s vulture populations have declined by an average of 62 percent over the last three decades – with seven species crashing by 80 percent – mirroring the dramatic collapse of several Asian species.These were among findings of recent research presented by leading animal scientist Brent Coverdale at the Conservation Symposium, one of South Africa’s biggest annual gatherings of conservationists, environmental scientists and wildlife experts.“We need to think globally and act locally,” Coverdale told attendees at the event, held this year in the town of Howick from Nov. 4-8.“We all know of the Asian vulture crisis, where we had vulture declines of 90-95 percent in the early 1990s. It’s something that drives us. We do not want to be sitting in the same boat, where one day people will ask, so what were we doing when the crisis was happening?” Gyps genus at India’s Soheldev Wildlife Sanctuary. Image by Rajat Bhargava.Into the 1980s, there were large numbers of vultures across India and southern Asia. They played a particularly important role in the ecosystem, consuming the remains of the millions of cows in carcass dumps; India has 500 million cows raised for milk, but not eaten by the majority Hindu population. In the early 1990s, vultures started dropping dead. Hundreds of thousands died before scientists identified a culprit: diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory used by vets. Vultures feeding on carcasses containing the drug died swiftly of kidney failure. Conservation India says around 40 million vultures perished.last_img read more

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One six-week expedition discovered ten new songbird species and subspecies in Indonesia

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki 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 A six-week expedition to three small island groups near Sulawesi, Indonesia has yielded five new songbird species and five new subspecies.The new species and subspecies were described in a paper published in Science last week. Frank Rheindt, a professor at the National University of Singapore, led the research team that made the discoveries using geological history and the notes of historical explorers as a guide in their search for new avian species.While locals knew of some of the species already, it’s possible some of the birds had gone unnoticed because they sound more like insects. A six-week expedition to three small island groups near Sulawesi, Indonesia has yielded five new songbird species and five new subspecies.The new species and subspecies were described in a paper published in Science last week. Frank Rheindt, a professor at the National University of Singapore, led the research team that made the discoveries using geological history and the notes of historical explorers as a guide in their search for new avian species.Rheindt and colleagues, a joint research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), targeted their search for new species around the islands of Taliabu and Peleng because of the deep sea waters lying between them and the larger island of Sulawesi to the southwest. Deep waters mean that land bridges can’t form between the islands and nearby bodies of land, even during glacial cycles. Because deep sea islands like Taliabu and Peleng have always been isolated, they are also more likely to harbor high levels of endemic species.Taliabu and Peleng both lie in Indonesia’s Wallacea region, an archipelago named after British biologist and explorer Sir Alfred Wallace, who collected specimens of his own in the area. By examining the accounts of historic collectors like Wallace, Rheindt and team were able to determine that the islands they chose to focus on had not been extensively explored in the past. The Sula island group, which includes Taliabu, was only visited by eight collecting expeditions in the past, none of which ventured inland, instead sticking mostly to coastal areas. The Banggai group, which includes Peleng, was only visited by three historic collectors, who likewise did not explore the islands’ interiors.Rheindt and team collected the ten new bird species and subspecies during six weeks of fieldwork, from November 2013 to January 2014, in the Sula and Banggai islands as well as in the Togian island group.The researchers found three new species on Taliabu: the Taliabu Grasshopper-Warbler, the Taliabu Myzomela, and the Taliabu Leaf-Warbler. Three subspecies were also discovered on Taliabu: the Snowy-browed Flycatcher, the Taliabu Island Thrush, and the Sula Mountain Leaftoiler. Two new species, the Peleng Fantail and the Peleng Leaf-Warbler, were discovered on Peleng, as was a new subspecies, the Banggai Mountain Leaftoiler. The Togian Jungle-Flycatcher, another new subspecies, was found on the island of Togian.“Studying the routes and operations of historic collecting expeditions and identifying gaps has been a fruitful approach to pinpoint focal areas in our case,” Rheindt said in a statement. “The description of this many bird species from such a geographically limited area is a rarity.”While locals knew of some of the species already, it’s possible some of the birds had gone unnoticed because they sound more like insects. Rheindt told New Scientist that the Taliabu grasshopper warbler, for instance, sounds like a cricket, and that he heard its call long before he was able to lay eyes on one of the birds.“When I heard it, I was aware that it was a type of grasshopper warbler, but it sounded very different from the ones that I knew,” says Rheindt. “I had a hunch that this would be a new species, but it took me a week or more to see them for the first time.”Birds are one of the best-known groups of animals in the world, so much so that, over the past two decades, an average of just five or six new species have been discovered every year. Rheindt suggests that the methods employed by his team could be successfully applied to other regions and other types of wildlife: “Going forward, the use of earth-history and bathymetric information could also be applied to other terrestrial organisms and regions beyond the Indonesian Archipelago to identify promising islands that potentially harbour new taxa to be uncovered.”The ten new birds may already be in need of conservation interventions. During their time on the islands, the researchers witnessed firsthand the extensive deforestation that has occurred on both Taliabu and Peleng. The islands’ primary lowland forest has been all but completely wiped out, the research team found, while most of the islands’ highland forests have been subjected to logging or forest fires.“While most of the avifauna we described seems to tolerate some form of habitat degradation and is readily detected in secondary forest and edge, some species or subspecies are doubtless threatened by the immense levels of habitat loss on these islands,” Rheindt said. “As such, urgent, long-lasting conservation action is needed for some of the new forms to survive longer than a couple of decades beyond their date of description.”The Taliabu Grasshopper-Warbler is one of the new bird species discovered by the NUS-LIPI team led by Assoc Prof Frank Rheindt, during their expedition in Indonesia’s Wallacea region. Photo Credit: James Eaton/Birdtour Asia.CITATION• Rheindt, F. E., Prawiradilaga, D. M., Ashari, H., Suparno, Gwee, C. Y., Lee, G. W., Wu, M. Y., & Ng, N. S. (2020). A lost world in Wallacea: Description of a montane archipelagic avifauna. Science, 367(6474), 167-170. doi:10.1126/science.aax2146FEEDBACK: 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 Animals, Birds, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forest Destruction, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Islands, New Species, Species Discovery, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

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Mongabay editor has now been detained 6 weeks in Indonesia

first_imgMongabay editor Philip Jacobson was detained in Indonesia on December 17, 2019 over an alleged issue with his business visa.Jacobson was formally arrested on January 21 and was incarcerated in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan through January 24.Jacobson is currently under ‘city arrest’ without his passport and is prevented from leaving Palangkaraya.This is a press release from Mongabay about a developing situation and may be updated. Mongabay editor Philip Jacobson has now been detained for 42 days in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan over an alleged violation of his business visa.“Phil is still under ‘city arrest’ in Palangkaraya, six weeks after immigration authorities seized his passport,” said Mongabay Founder and CEO Rhett A. Butler. “We’re eager to see this issue resolved and Phil allowed to leave the city.”Jacobson, 30, was first detained on December 17, 2019 after attending a hearing between the Central Kalimantan parliament and the local chapter of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), Indonesia’s largest indigenous rights advocacy group.He had travelled to the city shortly after entering Indonesia on a business visa for a series of meetings. The day he was due to leave, immigration authorities seized his passport, interrogated him for four hours and ordered him to remain in the city pending their investigation.On January 21, more than a month later, Jacobson was formally arrested and taken into custody. He was informed that he faces charges of violating the 2011 immigration law and a prison sentence of up to five years. Jacobson was held at Palangkaraya Class II detention center in a cell with six inmates for four days before being transferred back to ‘city detention’, allowing him to leave prison. He’s been prevented from leaving Palanglaraya until further notice.Philip Jacobson.The transfer from prison to city detention came after U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan met with the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs (Kemenko Polhukam) Mohammad Mahfud MD, and a delegation from the U.S. embassy did a welfare check on Jacobson. Minister Mahfud MD was subsequently quoted in Indonesian media as saying he would order Jacobson to be deported from Indonesia “immediately.”“We are grateful that authorities have made this accommodation,” said Butler. “We have seen the media reports and stand ready to move forward on the appropriate next steps.”“We’re amazed by the outpouring of support we received from the public on Phil’s case,” added Butler. “Beyond the thousands of messages via social media, people ranging from top business leaders in Singapore and Europe to Indonesian-American investors and entrepreneurs to members of U.S. Congress have reached out to express their concern.”Sampling of some of the protest art that has emerged on social media since Jacobson’s arrest.Chronology of Jacobson’s caseSummary: Philip Jacobson is an employee of Mongabay, a non-profit environmental science and conservation news organization. Jacobson is an editor for Mongabay and splits his time between Indonesia and his native U.S. This document outlines events culminating in Jacobson’s detention in the Indonesian city of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan on the island of Borneo.December 14: Jacobson, traveling on a multiple-entry business visa, arrived in Palangkaraya, the capital city of Central Kalimantan province, to meet with the local chapter of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN), an indigenous rights advocacy group.December 16: Jacobson attended a dialogue at the parliament building between the Central Kalimantan parliament and the local chapter of AMAN.December 17: Jacobson was scheduled on a flight out of Palangkaraya, but before he could leave for the airport, immigration officers went to his guesthouse and confiscated his passport. The officials ordered Jacobson to come in the next day for questioning. It later became clear that someone had photographed Jacobson at the parliament building and reported him to immigration.December 18: Jacobson was interrogated at the immigration office about his activities. Authorities took an official statement, known as a BAP, and ordered Jacobson to remain in Palangkaraya while they continued their investigation.December 24: Jacobson missed his international flight out of Indonesia.January 9: Jacobson was summoned to the immigration office, where he received a formal letter saying he was suspected of committing a visa violation and was being investigated. Authorities stated that as long as Jacobson remained cooperative, he would remain under city arrest, rather than detained in an immigration cell.January 21: Immigration officers appeared at Jacobson’s guesthouse room and instructed him to pack his belongings and come with them. Following another round of questioning, he was taken into custody and transferred to a detention center.January 22: Jacobson and his colleagues were honored with the Fetisov Journalism Award for their work on an investigative report, produced in collaboration with Indonesia’s Tempo magazine, Malaysiakini and The Gecko Project, about a plan to create the world’s largest oil palm plantation on the island of New Guinea. Jacobson had been expected to attend the awards ceremony in Switzerland before he was barred from leaving Palangkaraya.January 24: Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD told reporters in Jakarta that he would order Jacobson to be deported from Indonesia “immediately.” Later that day, Jacobson’s local lawyers negotiated his transfer from prison back to “city arrest,” and he was allowed to return to a guesthouse.January 26: Jacobson, still prevented from leaving Palangkaraya, turns 31.Statements from Journalism NGOsCommittee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) [January 22]:  “The longer journalist Philip Jacobson remains held in detention, the more damage Indonesia does to its reputation as a democracy with a free press,” said Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative. “Indonesian authorities should release Jacobson immediately and cease pursuing a criminal case against him.”Reporters Without Borders (RSF) [January 22]: “Phillip Jacobson’s totally disproportionate arrest clearly amounts to intimidation,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “The Central Kalimantan immigration officials have massively overstepped their powers. We call on the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, which oversees the Directorate General of Immigration, to ensure that this journalist is immediately released in accordance with the rule of law.”The International Press Institute (IPI) [January 22]: “Indonesia should immediately release Philip Jacobson and drop any travel restrictions against him”, IPI Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said. “The harassment of journalists is unacceptable in Indonesia, which claims to be a democracy that respects press freedom.”Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) [January 22]  “Employees of the news media should be free to work in Indonesia without fear of arbitrary detention,” SEJ President Meera Subramanian said. “Actions like those taken against Mr. Jacobson harm the health of Indonesian democracy and the country’s global reputation.”Komite Keselamatan Jurnalis [January 22]: Komite Keselamatan Jurnalis mengecam penahanan dan pemidanaan Philip Jacobson, editor Mongabay, atas masalah administrasi … Komite Keselamatan Jurnalis menilai penahanan dan penetapan status tersangka Philip Jacobson sangat berlebihan dan mencoreng demokrasi di Indonesia.Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) [January 23]: “The criminalisation of Jacobson is an excessive action . . . The immigration office had no authority to detain and treat him like a criminal offender following the allegation of violating an administrative matter.”International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) [January 23]: “The detention of Jacobson is unjust and excessive. This appears to be a retaliatory attempt to silence media reporting on sensitive topics. Journalism is not a crime and we strongly condemn attempts to criminalise journalists in Indonesia.”PEN America [January 25]: “While we are relieved that Philip has been temporarily released, we remain concerned that he is being targeted for his work in an attempt to send a warning signal to those journalists and news outlets who undertake investigative reporting on sensitive topics in Indonesia,” said Karin Karlekar, director of Free Expression at Risk Programs at PEN America. “Even if there is evidence of a visa-related violation, it should be handled as an administrative rather than a criminal matter and be resolved as quickly as possible, and we call on the authorities to allow both Indonesian and foreign journalists to work freely and without fear of retaliation.” Environment, Environmental Journalism, press release Article published by Rhett Butlercenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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[BGL Ligue] Le F91 s’impose contre Rosport (2-0), le Fola ne lâche rien

first_imgLa 24e journéeMondorf – Hostert : 2-2RFCU – Progrès : 5-0Strassen – Etzella : 2-1Fola – RM Hamm Benfica : 2-0Pétange – Rumelange : 2-1F91 – Rosport : 2-0Differdange – Jeunesse : 2-0 Le F91 était sacré s’il faisait un meilleur résultat que le Fola Esch qui affrontait le RM Hamm Benfica au Galgenberg… En s’imposant 2-0, les Eschois retardent le sacre des Dudelangeois. Et ont toujours la possibilité de remporter le titre.Rien n’est encore fait dans la course au titre. Les Dudelangeois ont eu beau s’imposer 2-0 contre Rosport dimanche soir, le Fola a également remporté son match (2-0) lors de cette 24e journée du championnat. Si le F91 (53 points) conserve ses six points d’avance, le Fola – 2e du championnat avec 47 points –  a théoriquement toujours la possibilité de décrocher le titre à la différence de buts…Seule certitude de cette 24e journée : Rumelange ne jouera plus en BGL Ligue la saison prochaine. Laterne rouge, le club affiche 13 points. LQcenter_img Partagerlast_img read more

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‘Expect a lot this season’

first_imgNodley WrightGleaner WriterAn own goal in the 41st minute, a clinical finish from Lennox Russell in the 45+ and Andrew Phang strike in the 48th minute from the penalty spot gave defending champions Arnett Gardens a convincing win over the encouraging debutants UWI FC on Monday night in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL).The above statistics speak to the outcome of the match, but what will not be borne out by that is the importance of and increasing influence of Vishinul Harris on the Arnett Gardens team. The 22-year-old, who was a part of Jamaica’s Under-23 team which failed recently to qualify for the Olympics, was unplayable when he wanted.It was on one of his ‘hot knife through butter’ runs that he was brought down in the second half to earn the penalty, which Phang dispatched with ease. That and more gave the former Charlie Smith player enough to feel encouraged.”Actually, I have to give thanks for all things. The Father has made this possible. I just continue to work hard. I know I am still developing and that I have a lot to learn about the game,” he said.Monday night’s performance, Harris said, is only a start of what is to come later on in the season, as he works to raise his game.”You can expect a lot from me this season. My aim really is to make myself a better player and I am really looking forward to shining this season.”Last season was an injury-plagued one for me as I got a lot of injuries and played just about 10 games. Right now I am working hard on my fitness and trying to stay healthy and once I am healthy you will see what I can do,” stated Harris.The fire in Harris, who also played Under-20 football for the country, was fuelled by the country’s failure in to qualify for the Olympics.”It (not qualifying for the Olympics) was a big disappointment for the country in that we did not go any further in the competition and that we have never in our history. We have never qualified for the Olympic Games in football and we believed we could have done it so not getting it done was a big disappointment. It is really unfortunate as I was really looking forward to it and am working to make up for that disappointment now,” he said.With representing his country at football in the Olympics out of the way, there is just the Reggae Boyz now for Harris and that he said requires a lot from him.”It is still my dream to play for the country at the highest level, but it will take a lot of work and dedication from me. There is a team right now in competition so for me to get a chance I will have to show that I can do it and I am prepared to do that,” he declared confidently.last_img read more

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Solid casting required for repairs – Vaughn

first_imgHope Canal Bridge… as remedial works cost Govt $37.3MRepairs on the $350 million Hope Canal Bridge will cost the Government $37.3 million; a sum which critics are saying is way too high but Chief Works Officer at the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Geoffrey Vaughn, said the work would require heavy solid casting since the bridge should be a sturdy construction.Vaughn stated that tenders were submitted and the relevant body is currently accessing theses to determine if the tenders will be awarded. When questioned on why the engineer estimated that price, he said there are talks that the construction of an entire nursery school costs less than repairing the bridge, “but what they are not seeing is that it would take hollow blocks to build a nursery school while the construction of a sturdy bridge would require much solid casting.” “It means more cement, more steels. It means more everything,” he said. The defective bridge has being posing a threat to those traversing, with commuters fearful that it will collapse. However, road users can breathe a sigh of relief because bids were opened last Tuesday at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB) for its rehabilitation. The Public Infrastructure Minister had stated that the Ministry was considering seeking funding for its repairs in the 2017 Budget but the Finance Ministry insisted that the rehabilitation is a matter of urgency.Therefore, Patterson had indicated that they have “made a case to re-programme some of our funds to make this a priority”. Three companies have since submitted bids for the bridge project – KP Thomas and Sons Contracting Incorporated, BK International Incorporated and HNauth and Sons. The bridge, commissioned in 2014 by former President Donald Ramotar, was contracted to the tune of $349.6 million to DIPCON Engineering Company. It was highlighted that the company had voiced their concerns to the previous Administration about the design of the bridge but those reservations were ignored by the previous Board of Directors of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority. Recently, Patterson said a team led by Minister within the Public Infrastructure Ministry, Annette Furguson, carried out an extensive report on the bridge and a decision was made to have the remedial works go to tender. The bridge, which is one of three modules of the US$15 million Hope Canal Project, is 74.4 metres in length with a 47-metre sloped advance on both sides.last_img read more

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