Audio: New CITES head on next COP, reining in online wildlife trafficking, and more

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 On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast we speak with Ivonne Higuero, secretary general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora — better known by its acronym, CITES.Signatories to CITES will meet later this summer for the eighteenth meeting of the Congress of the Parties (or COP). The meeting was originally to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka last May, but a series of terrorist bombings in the South Asian country during Easter services in April forced CITES officials to postpone the meeting until August and move it to Geneva, Switzerland.On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, Huigero, the first woman to ever serve as CITES secretary general, discusses how her background as an environmental economist informs her approach to the job, how CITES can tackle challenges like lack of enforcement of CITES statutes at the national level and the online wildlife trade, and what she expects to accomplish at the eighteenth congress of the parties to CITES. On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast we speak with Ivonne Higuero, secretary general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora — better known by its acronym, CITES.Listen here: Just about every country on Earth has signed on to CITES, a multilateral treaty meant to ensure that international trade in wildlife does not threaten the survival of species in the wild. Trade in about 36,000 different species is currently regulated under CITES.Signatories to CITES will meet later this summer for the eighteenth meeting of the Congress of the Parties (or COP). The meeting was originally to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka last May, but a series of terrorist bombings in the South Asian country during Easter services in April forced CITES officials to postpone the meeting until August and move it to Geneva, Switzerland.Despite the setback, Ivonne Huigero hopes to see much progress made at this year’s COP. “We are approaching some very critical times in terms of species loss, if you have seen the IPBES report talking about a million-plus species that could be lost if we continue with business as usual,” she says. “We all have to really focus and concentrate on the work ahead of us to avoid that from happening, from having this major species loss. And for CITES it’s related, of course, to making sure that international trade is sustainable, and we have to do everything we can that that is the case.”On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, Huigero, the first woman to ever serve as CITES secretary general, discusses how her background as an environmental economist informs her approach to the job, how CITES can tackle challenges like lack of enforcement of CITES statutes at the national level and the online wildlife trade, and what she expects to accomplish at the eighteenth congress of the parties to CITES.Here’s this episode’s top news:Arctic sea ice extent just hit a record low for early June; worse may comeNearly 600 plant species have gone extinct in last 250 yearsSumatran rhinos to get a new sanctuary in Leuser EcosystemWould you like to hear how Mongabay grew out of its founder’s childhood adventures in rainforests and a fascination with frogs? Or how a Mongabay editor reacted to meeting one of the world’s last Bornean rhinos? We now offer Insider Content that delivers behind-the-scenes reporting and stories like these from our team. For a small monthly donation, you’ll get exclusive access and support our work in a new way. Visit mongabay.com/insider to learn more and join the growing community of Mongabay readers on the inside track.If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.An elephant in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. There are numerous proposals on the table to either up-list or down-list elephants at this year’s meeting of the Congress of the Parties, according to CITES Secretary General Ivonne Higuero. Photo by Rhett Butler.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki China wildlife trade, conservation players, Economics, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Economics, Environmental Law, Global Trade, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, International Trade, Interviews, Ivory Trade, Law Enforcement, Pet Trade, Podcast, Saving Species From Extinction, Timber Laws, timber trade, Trade, Wildlife Trade last_img read more

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Stylish jumping spider named after late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld

first_imgResearchers have named a previously undescribed species of black-and-white jumping spider Jotus karllagerfeldi, after the late fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, known for his signature black-and-white style.In addition to Karl Lagerfeld’s jumping spider, researchers have described four more new-to-science species of jumping spiders in the new paper, including J. albimanus, J. fortiniae, J. moonensis and J. newtoni.All five newly described species belong to a group of miniscule spiders called the brushed jumping spiders, males of which can be extremely colorful and are known to perform elaborate mating dances using a brush of long, colorful bristles on their legs to wave to the females.Despite being colorful and charismatic, very little is known about brushed jumping spiders, researchers say, urging amateurs who photograph these spiders to lodge their specimens with museums so that more new species can be described. If there’s an iconic image of the late Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel and Fendi, it’s his signature black-and-white style: white ponytail, black sunglasses, black-and-white suit with high, detachable white-collared shirts.That’s also the look being sported by a tiny black-and-white jumping spider species from Australia, according to a new study.The arachnid, named Jotus karllagerfeldi after the style czar, has large black eyes that resemble sunglasses, and short black-and-white appendages called pedipalps next to its jaw, which resemble a Kent collar.“Karl Lagerfeld inspired us with his unique sense of design and this new spider with big black eyes and white kent collar reminds us of his later looks — a fashion icon in black and white,” researchers write in the paper.A newly described brushed jumping spider species, Jotus karllagerfeldi. Image by Mark Newton/CeNak.In addition to Karl Lagerfeld’s jumping spider, Barbara Baehr, an arachnologist at Queensland Museum, and her colleagues described four more new-to-science species of jumping spiders, including J. albimanus, J. fortiniae, J. moonensis and J. newtoni. The specimens of all five species were drawn from museum collections.All five newly described species belong to a group of miniscule spiders called brushed jumping spiders. The males of these spiders can be black-and-white or extremely colorful, with iridescent turquoise and orange patterns, and are known to perform elaborate mating dances using a brush of long, colorful bristles, known as setae, on their legs to wave to the females.“The males perform unique dance rituals with their brilliantly decorated first pair of legs to attract females,” co-author Joseph Schubert, a jumping-spider taxonomist at Monash University, said in a statement. “These five new species are close relatives of the Australian peacock spiders which also perform courtship dances for females. This courtship behaviour makes them a crowd favourite and has popularised jumping spiders worldwide.”Despite being colorful and charismatic, “almost nothing is known about their diversity and taxonomic identity,” Baehr said.The researchers add that while museum collections tend to have few specimens of brushed jumping spiders, these arachnids are often photographed and posted online by naturalists. “We make a first effort here by re-illustrating old species and revising the specimens available at the Queensland Museum but we urge amateurs to lodge their specimens with museums so that the countless new species that are already photographed and available online can be described,” the authors write. “This is also important because large series of specimens are needed to match males and females in these sexually dimorphic spiders.”Members of the jumping spider genus Jotus can be very colorful. Images by Robert Whyte (Jotus fortiniae sp. nov., top row) and Michael Doe (unidentified species, bottom row)/CeNak.Banner image of Jotus karllagerfeldi and late Karl Lagerfeld by Mark Newton, CeNak, and Siebbi (modification by CeNak), respectively.Citation:Baehr, B. C., Schubert, J., & Harms, D. (2019). The Brushed Jumping Spiders (Araneae, Salticidae, Jotus L. Koch, 1881) from Eastern Australia. Evolutionary Systematics, 3, 53. 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 Animals, Arachnids, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, New Species, Research, Species Discovery, Spiders, Wildlife last_img read more

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Indonesia’s president signals a transition away from coal power

first_imgAir Pollution, carbon, Carbon Emissions, Climate, Climate Change, Climate Change And Extreme Weather, Coal, Emission Reduction, Energy, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Impact Of Climate Change, Pollution Indonesia’s president has reportedly signaled a major shift in energy policy, saying he wants to “start reducing the use of coal.”Such a policy would run counter to the administration’s previously stated long-term plans of fueling the country’s growing energy demand with coal, with 39 coal-fired plants under construction and 68 more announced.Indonesia is one of the world’s biggest emitters of greenhouse gases, and while the main culprit is deforestation and land-use change, the energy sector is poised to overtake it.Energy policy analysts have welcomed the reported change in stance from the government, noting that Indonesia has long lagged other countries in developing clean power, despite having an abundance of renewable energy sources. JAKARTA — President Joko Widodo has reportedly expressed his intention to wean Indonesia off coal, in a move that runs counter to his own administration’s stated policy of increasing the country’s reliance on the fossil fuel.The president made the announcement at a July 8 cabinet meeting, according to Siti Nurbaya Bakar, the minister of environment and forestry.“[T]he president emphasized that we must develop the energy sector with a focus on renewable energy,” Siti said at a recent event in Jakarta. “Therefore, the president has explicitly asked to ‘start reducing the use of coal.’”The reported comment comes amid a period of particularly dire air quality in the capital, Jakarta, that’s prompted a citizen lawsuit holding top officials, including the president, liable for the pollution, blamed in part on coal-fired power plants operating near the city. (The lawsuit was filed July 4, four days before the president made his remark; it’s not clear whether the latter was prompted by the former.)If the administration follows through on the statement with concrete policies to phase out coal use, this could signal the beginning of a transition to renewable energy for Indonesia, the largest energy consumer in South East Asia and one of the biggest consumers of coal in the world, analysts say.“When I heard about it, I was ecstatic, surprised and filled with hope,” Alin Halimatussadiah, head of the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the state-run University of Indonesia, told Mongabay.Adhityani Putri, executive director of Yayasan Indonesia Cerah, a local policy and communications nonprofit that advocates for clean energy transition, also welcomed the news.“This statement represents a significant step forward and one that will put Indonesia in step with the major economies of the world,” she told Mongabay.Both Alin and Adhityani said a policy shift on coal was long overdue, given that the fossil fuel has for years been falling out of favor by other major economies in favor of increasingly cost-competitive renewable energy.“We’re left behind as many other countries have committed to phase out coal, while we haven’t said anything about that,” Alin said. “This is the first step, and with the president saying that, that’s a good thing.”But any meaningful change will have to start with an overhaul of the electricity procurement plan, or RUPTL, by the state-owned utility, PLN. At present, the RUPTL calls for increasing the absolute figure for renewable power generation over the long term, but shrinking its share of the overall energy mix in favor of more coal-fired electricity.“In the RUPTL document, coal is still dominant, so we haven’t seen [any plan to phase out coal] in any planning document,” Alin said.Adhityani said the government would need “a comprehensive and just coal phase-out plan that ensures a just transition for all and accelerated deployment of renewables” in the next mid-term national development plan.The ideal plan would have to offer both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives that would lower the price of renewable power to make it competitive with coal, said Elrika Hamdi, an analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).“What’s also important is that the policies taken should be consistent and in effect for a long time in order to give assurance to investors and funders,” she added.Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaks to the press accompanied by Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya Bakar on his left in April. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian government.Emissions reduction goalWith President Widodo recently winning an election that keeps him in office through 2024, an easing of Indonesia’s reliance on coal will help with the country’s carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals, said Siti, the environment minister.“I welcome that statement with joy because this truly empowers our work,” she said.Indonesia is currently one of the world’s biggest CO2 emitters, most of it from deforestation and land-use change. However, emissions from the energy sector are poised to dominate in the near future as Indonesia’s demand for electricity continues to rise.The country’s energy consumption growth is among the fastest in the world, with coal accounting for nearly 60 percent of the energy mix in 2018. Its energy policy therefore has important implications not just for the country’s climate future, but also for global efforts to achieve cuts under the Paris Agreement.Under current plans, the committed emissions from coal-fired power plants would peak only around 2035, with an eventual phase-out only by 2069; to have a shot at meeting the Paris goals, meanwhile, the Southeast Asian region will need to phase out coal by 2040, analysts agree.Falling short of the Paris Agreement commitments would be especially disastrous for tropical countries like Indonesia. A new study by the research group Crowther Lab finds that cities in the tropics are likely to see the strongest impacts from climate change, even as they experience smaller changes in average temperature.The study, looking at 520 major cities worldwide, finds that Jakarta will be among those facing “unprecedented” climate shifts by 2050, including changes in rainfall patterns that will lead to more severe flooding and droughts. It also predicts a mean annual temperature rise by then of 1.7 degrees Celsius (3.1 degrees Fahrenheit), with a rise in maximum temperatures of 3.1 degrees Celsius (5.6 degrees Fahrenheit).Switching more of Indonesia’s power generation from coal to renewable energy sources could be key to achieving the country’s emissions reduction goals, said Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, the environment ministry’s climate change chief.Indonesia has set itself the target of cutting its emissions by 29 percent from the business-as-usual scenario by 2030, or 41 percent with international assistance.Ruandha said there was more room for emissions cuts in the energy sector than in the land-use and forestry sectors. Under the current target, emissions in the latter sectors needs to go down by 70 percent, including through scaling back deforestation rate and boosting reforestation; the energy sector, meanwhile, only needs to achieve a 19 percent emissions reduction.“It’s very clear that the energy sector could be much more ambitious [in reducing emissions],” Ruandha said. “That’s in line with what the president is saying that we need to phase out coal. And this is supported by the energy and mineral resources minister, who will change our energy pattern.”Ruandha has been tasked by Siti with studying the possibility of Indonesia setting an even more ambitious emissions cut goal of 45 percent to help rein in global heating.“In recent events, including the G20 meeting, actually there’s a hope for each countries to set a target up to 45 percent,” the minister said. “I’ve asked the director-general [of climate change] to do some calculations, even though for us to meet the 41 percent target is already tough.”Siti added that she’d begun discussions with the energy minister, Ignasius Jonan, on steps to cut back on coal use and advance renewable energy during last month’s G20 summit in Japan.A coal barge in the Samarinda River estuary. The coal produced in the region is used in power plants or sold for export. Photo by Tommy Apriando/Mongabay-Indonesia.More coal-fired plantsThat a transition away from coal is even being discussed at the highest levels of government marks a major change in tone from longstanding energy policies that have relied on an abundance of cheap and available coal. In fact, Indonesia’s coal reserves have made it one of the world’s biggest exporters of the commodity over the course of the last 15 years.Policies by successive governments have helped; coal-fired power plants receive hefty subsidies, and there are no carbon disincentives to encourage investment in renewable energy. The reliance on coal hasn’t shown any sign of easing in recent years. Thirty-nine coal-fired power plants are under construction, and 68 have been announced, which will maintain coal’s dominance of the energy mix at nearly 55 percent by 2025. Three of the six new plants expected to go online this year will be fired by coal; the other three are small-capacity facilities powered by gas, hydro and solar, respectively.Over the 40 to 50 years that each plant will be in operation, it will have a devastating impact on local populations and ecosystems, activists say, polluting the air and water, and churning huge volumes of CO2 into the atmosphere.“Promising to burn massive quantities of low quality Indonesian coal may have kept some voters warm, but Indonesians will be paying a very high price for their love affair with coal,” says a report by the IEEFA. “And the younger generation will be stuck with limited options to fix a rigid system.”This heavy reliance on coal comes at the cost of growing Indonesia’s renewable energy sector, with its adoption trailing far behind most countries and short of the country’s true potential, according to a new report by the management consulting firm A.T. Kearney.The government expects to generate 23 percent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2025. To date, however, renewables account for just 12 percent of the total energy mix. That proportion isn’t expected to increase by 2025.“While many countries are taking rapid strides to adopt renewable energy for power generation, the progress in Indonesia has been rather slow,” said Alessandro Gazzini, a partner at A.T. Kearney and co-author of the report. “However, the country has significant potential in renewables, including in solar and wind, and hence the stage is set for the country to leapfrog over the next few years if the policy is given a hard look.”Locals who are affected by coal power plants around Indonesia gather during a protest in front of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources office in Jakarta, Indonesia. They’re demanding the government to switch from coal to renewable energy. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.Growing public awarenessPublic awareness has been growing recently about the negative impacts of the coal industry, especially during the presidential election campaign that ended in April. At various points in the campaign, Widodo and his rival, Prabowo Subianto, came under scrutiny for their lack of commitment to new, greener energy technologies. The business ties between the candidates, their political allies and the coal industry were also highlighted in a documentary called “Sexy Killers.”The documentary, viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube since it was uploaded days before the April 17 election, also highlighted the devastating impact of coal mines and power plants to local communities, including lush forests being razed in the search for more coal, and coral reefs being wrecked by coal barges.Residents living near the massive power plants in Java and Bali also pay a price. The film shows many of them being evicted to make room for the plants, while those who refuse to leave have to deal with the constant pollution.The film drew the ire of local officials, who scrambled to shut down public screenings and even accused the filmmakers of spreading “hate speech” against both candidates.Alin said it was possible Widodo had had a change of heart after the recent intense public spotlight on the coal industry, as well as the shifting global trend to renewables.“We may never know what’s inside the head of the government, but if we see recent events where the public responded to various information circulating [about the impact of the coal industry] through social media, it’s possible that the government is reacting to that,” she said. “Or the government might also be reacting to global pressure.” Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img 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. Banner image: A group of locals affected by coal-fired power plants around Indonesia stages a protest in front of the headquarters of President Joko Widodo’s campaign team in Jakarta. Image by Hans Nicholas Jong/Mongabay.last_img read more

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Conservation tech prize with invasive species focus announces finalists

first_imgAcoustic, Agriculture, algae, Artificial Intelligence, cameras, Conservation Technology, Drones, early warning, Frogs, Insects, Invasive Species, Monitoring, Oceans, Sensors, surveys, Technology, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildtech The Con X Tech Prize announced its second round will fund 20 finalists, selected from 150 applications, each with $3,500 to create their first prototypes of designs that use technology to address a conservation challenge.Seven of the 20 teams focused their designs on reducing impacts from invasive species, while the others addressed a range of conservation issues, from wildlife trafficking to acoustic monitoring to capturing freshwater plastic waste in locally-built bamboo traps.Conservation X Labs (CXL), which offers the prize, says the process provides winners with very early-stage funding, a rare commodity, and recognition of external approval, each of which has potential to motivate finalists and translate into further funding.Finalists can also compete for a grand prize of $20,000 and product support from CXL. The Con X Tech Prize just announced its second round will be funding 20 finalists each with $3,500 to create their first prototypes. Some 150 teams submitted ideas that use technology to address a conservation challenge. The 20 winners of this first stage of the competition will also compete for a grand prize of $20,000, plus support from CXL on product development and attracting investment.The prize accepts ideas for any conservation problem, with a particular focus on addressing threats from a specific theme. This second round of the prize focused on reducing impacts from invasive species to native species and ecosystems. The first round, sponsored in 2018, focused on ocean conservation.Biotech Steve Orwig removes an invasive Mexican weeping pine (Pinus patula) from the crater of Hawai’i’s Haleakalā National Park. Pines like these grow rapidly, are spread by wind from nearby forest plantings, and disrupt native ecosystems by shading out native shrubs and taking up water and nutrients. Image courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.“We have a range of hardware and software solutions we are funding, including tools in aquatic invasive species, camera traps, ag-tech, human-wildlife conflict, marine acoustics, and many more,” said Tom Quigley, who manages the digital makerspace community at Conservation X Labs, which offers the prize. “It’s a really exciting cohort.”Seven of the 20 finalists focused specifically on designs to address invasive species, while the remaining 13 teams sought to address a range of conservation issues, from wildlife trafficking to acoustic monitoring to capturing freshwater plastic waste in locally-built bamboo traps.The projects specifically addressing invasive species proposed a wide range of ideas to address an equally wide range of associated problems. They include:1. Pig-finding drone-based thermal cameras to conserve critically endangered giant tortoises on Santa Cruz island in the Galápagos by finding feral pigs that dig up tortoise nests and eat their eggs, which has prevented hatching of new generations of tortoises. The camera, equipped with machine learning algorithms, would also detect tortoise nests to help Galápagos National Park rangers find and protect them on the ground.Santa Cruz giant tortoise (Chelonoidis porteri) in Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos National Park, Ecuador. Invasive pigs and dogs destroy nests of giant tortoises, hindering recovery of tortoise populations from prior hunting and habitat loss. Image by Bernard Gagnon via Wikimedia Commons, CC 4.0.2. A mobile machine unit to remove invasive plants that have taken over grasslands in India’s protected areas, facilitated by local wood harvest, leaving elephants in parks without food and thus more likely to approach adjacent human crop fields, causing conflict. The repurposed commercially available charcoal producer would pick invasive plants, crush them into sawdust, and form usable charcoal briquettes from the dust to reduce the demand for fuelwood.3. Helping reduce the lionfish population off the Florida coast by connecting divers with fish processors through an online platform to facilitate processing of the small volumes of this highly invasive predatory fish caught by divers. Demand for the fish beyond Florida exceeds production, so the platform would also encourage more local processors.4. Remote amphibian refuges in Guatemala to attract frogs, using call playbacks, to a small tube-shaped container with a tiny pool and an Arduino computing unit inside. The unit has sensors that notify nearby researchers they’ve caught a frog, so they can identify it and determine if it carries invasive chytrid fungus.A Guatemalan spikethumb frog (Plectrohyla guatemalensis). Finding frogs at night when they are active is difficult, so researchers are seeking to attract them to tiny refuges where they can be identified and checked for invasive chytrid fungus. Image by Josiah H. Townsend, http://calphotos.berkeley.edu, CC 3.0.5. Find that plant, a machine-learning algorithm to detect individual invasive plants from drone-based images and produce geographic coordinates of the locations of plants identified as invasives to inform management decisions.6. Early insect pest detection system integrates low-cost sensors that record images, sounds, and environmental conditions, pheromone and light lures, and species identification algorithms to monitor invasive insect pests of agriculture and forests.7. Floating robots detect invasive marine algae species using image classification algorithms that identify the species and record its location while navigating. The automated identification from images would facilitate monitoring and help researchers detect and eradicate invasive plants before they become well-established.Why focus on invasive species?Humans transport non-native plants and animals from their homes on one continent to new places that often lack the predators or other mechanisms keeping populations of the species under control. Some of these non-native species become invasive, meaning they spread and outcompete or harm native plants and animals or destroy native habitat.The caterpillar of the fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), which has invaded Africa and Asia from the Americas, destroying maize, sorghum, millet, rice, and other crops. Image by Frank Peairs, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org, CC 3.0.The accelerated spread of invasive species over the past few decades has led to severe reductions, and even extinctions, of some native species, especially on islands.“Over 30 percent of the IUCN Red List species extinctions were caused or impacted by invasives,” Quigley said. “As the world’s population grows and globalization increases, the risk of invasive species introductions increases dramatically. Innovation and new technology solutions are needed to prevent the spread of invasive species and novel emerging pathogens.”Role of tech prizes in conservationQuigley told Mongabay that the early funding and recognition that they have received a prize have been “transformative” for some first-round finalists.“The process provides winners with very early-stage funding, a rare commodity, and recognition of external approval,” Quigley said, “each of which has potential to motivate finalists and translate into further funding.”He added that the opportunity to compete for the prize with a submission deadline can motivate groups who’ve perhaps been considering an idea or design to address a conservation problem to actually develop it into a prototype.A common lionfish (Pterois miles) from the Red Sea. These carnivorous fish native to the western Indo-Pacific region and the related P. volitans invaded the western Atlantic in the 1980s. There, their populations have exploded as they reproduce rapidly, consume more than 50 native fish species, and have no predators in their new home. Image by Magnus Kjaergaard via Wikimedia Commons, CC 3.0.Quigley identified three features that he thought help teams advance their prototype development most effectively:  keeping a strong focus on a discrete problem; partnering with a group that actually faces the problem; and including team members from different disciplines, such as an oceanographer partnering with a camera tech expert and a fundraiser or an engineer with a web developer and a project manager.The Con X Prize strives to bring people from a variety of disciplines to apply their skills to solving conservation challenges and broadening the conservation community.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Sue Palmintericenter_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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Indonesia agrees to attempt Sumatran rhino IVF with eggs from Malaysia

first_imgConservationists have welcomed a long-awaited agreement by Indonesia and Malaysia to move ahead with assisted reproductive technology for the captive breeding of the nearly extinct Sumatran rhino.Indonesia has long balked at sending rhino sperm to Malaysia for use in artificial insemination, but has now agreed to accept eggs from Malaysia to carry out in vitro fertilization.If successful, the program would give the species a much-needed boost in genetic diversity.Scientists in Germany last year used IVF to successfully produced embryos — though not a baby — of white rhinos, an African species. JAKARTA — The governments of Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to carry out in vitro fertilization of Sumatran rhinos, heralding a breakthrough in a decades-long effort to breed the nearly extinct species in captivity.The procedure will take place in Indonesia, which has long balked at requests to send sperm to Malaysia for artificial insemination efforts there.Conservationists in both countries and abroad had been pushing for some kind of assisted reproductive technology for the species, whether through artificial insemination (introducing sperm taken from a male rhino into a female) or IVF, in which an egg extracted from a female is fertilized in a lab and implanted in a surrogate female.Indonesia is home to an estimated 30 to 80 Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), at most, while Malaysia now has just one — a female — after its last male died in May. Under the newly announced plan, researchers hope to use sperm from one of Indonesia’s captive male rhinos to fertilize eggs sent from the lone female of the species in Malaysia.“Originally the plan was to bring sperm [of the rhinos in Indonesia] there [to Malaysia], but after discussions and negotiations, it’s eventually decided to bring the eggs here [to Indonesia],” Indra Exploitasia, the director of biodiversity conservation at Indonesia’s environment ministry, told reporters in Jakarta on July 31.“We have actually agreed on this at lower levels,” she said, adding that both Indonesian and Malaysian governments were completing the administrative process. These include requirements under the Nagoya Protocol, which governs the international sharing of genetic material.Zulfi Arsan, head veterinarian at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary, hand feeds Andalas, the first Sumatran rhino bred and born in captivity in over a century. Image by Jeremy Hance/Mongabay.Indra said the IVF procedure would be performed by Indonesian experts, with funding from the Indonesian government.“We would pick the best sperm from all of the male rhinos we have here,” she said, referring to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.Should the procedure prove successful, resulting in a viable embryo, Indra said it would be implanted in the uterus of a surrogate mother from one of the captive female rhinos in Indonesia. Indra said Indonesia and Malaysia had not yet agreed on ownership of any offspring resulting from the IVF program.Despite this last sticking point, conservationists from both countries have welcomed the advance in this long-awaited collaboration, noting that producing a viable Sumatran rhino embryo through IVF would add much-needed diversity to the captive population.Four of the seven rhinos at the Indonesian SRS, including all of the males, are closely related. Iman, the Malaysian female, comes from a population in Borneo that was once considered a separate subspecies, and which has been genetically separated from the Sumatran populations for thousands of years.The journey toward collaboration between the two countries has been a fraught one, with Indonesia for years reluctant to heed Malaysian requests for a transfer of sperm to attempt artificial insemination in Malaysia. Last October, Indonesia’s conservation chief, Wiratno, said the IVF program had been postponed because Iman, who was being treated for a uterine tumor, had ceased to produce viable eggs.Officials from the Sabah Wildlife Department, in Malaysian Borneo, reported last December that Iman had suffered a ruptured tumor in her uterus, leading to massive bleeding. Since then, however, an intensive regimen of medical treatment and feeding has raised hopes about her prospects for recovery.The team caring for Iman, believed to still be fertile, says the rhino is recovering and produces viable oocytes with assistance.John Payne, the head of the Borne Rhino Alliance, said that collecting eggs from Iman would be very challenging and would require a highly skilled and coordinated team of veterinarians and anesthetists.“This is not a time for training or capacity building. It is a time to get on the best experts,” he told Mongabay in an email.Iman is the last Sumatran rhino left in Malaysia. A tumor in her uterus ruptured in 2017, and while scientists don’t believe she can carry a baby to term, they’re confident her eggs can still be used for in vitro fertilization. Image courtesy of the Sabah Wildlife Department.He said the rhino would be put under general anesthesia, which entailed some degree of risk, particularly inadvertent puncturing of a blood vessel if the animal moved slightly but suddenly during the egg extraction process.“This is even more dangerous in a rhino with large fibroids in the uterus, like Iman,” he said. “Great skill and rapid performance are both of the essence.”After the successful collection, Payne said the eggs had to be taken in a buffer solution, kept at the rhino’s body temperature, to where the IVF would be conducted.“Essentially, the quicker this is done the better, within a 24 hour time frame,” he said. “However, if the eggs are found to be still immature, they will need to be kept in a specialist laboratory for maturation, which could take up to a few days.”Payne suggested the collection be carried out by Thomas Hildebrandt, a professor from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin, who has successfully extracted eggs from Iman since 2014. He added that Zainal Zahari Zainuddin, Iman’s Malaysian veterinarian, should also be involved in the process.For the IVF, Payne suggested Arief Boediono, an Indonesian professor who is an expert in the practice.Widodo Ramono, the executive director of the Indonesian Rhino Foundation (YABI), said his team was ready to help with getting the sperm needed to fertilize the collected eggs. “This would be an opportunity for our experts to perform IVF,” he said.Payne said his pick for the best sperm donor would be Andalas, a male at the SRS who was born in a captive-breeding program at Cincinnati Zoo in 2001 and has since sired two calves.“[H]e is a proven father, and the spontaneous method should ideally be used” to collect the specimen, Payne said.Widodo said the experts needed to ensure the availability of a healthy surrogate rhino mother before performing the IVF. “Right now, there’s only one: Ratu, who is currently going under a natural breeding program,” he said noting that experts hoped she would achieve more natural pregnancies. (Ratu is the mother of the two calves conceived naturally with Andalas.)“If there is an embryo [resulting from the IVF], it should be kept until a surrogate mother is available,” Widodo said, suggesting that Ratu, a proven natural breeder, should be kept in that role.There’s a growing urgency to step up the captive-breeding program for the critically endangered species. With such a small population to draw from in Indonesia, the risk of genetic defects being passed on through captive breeding are high — which makes the need for the Indonesia-Malaysia collaboration all the more important.Scientists in Germany reported success in producing embryos — but not yet a baby — of an African species, the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum), through IVF. Before this, this form of assisted reproductive technology remained unproven in rhinos, and some experts were skeptical it could be perfected in time to stall the extinction of a species.Earlier this year, a 7-year-old greater one-horned rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) gave birth following a combination of induced ovulation and artificial insemination.“This is the very first attempt at IVF using eggs from an aging and sick female with the sperm of an aging and fit male,” Payne said. “The chances of getting offspring at the first attempt is close to zero. What we are seeing here is the beginning of a process of refining techniques and protocols with a goal of success after several attempts.”Ratu, right, with her daughter, Delilah. Ratu and Andalas are parents to Andatu, a male born in 2012, and Delilah, a female born in 2016. Image by Jeremy Hance/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. Animals, Biodiversity, Captive Breeding, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Environment, Ex-situ Conservation, Extinction, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Megafauna, Rainforest Animals, Rhinos, Saving Species From Extinction, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Basten Gokkoncenter_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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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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In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, August 30, 2019

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update There are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsCôte d’Ivoire is trying to increase its vegetation cover by planting trees (Ecofin).Indonesia plans to move its capital to Borneo, which could damage rainforests (Fast Company).The Amazon is reaching a tipping point for its weather system (The New York Times).Other newsResearchers are working to protect a species of bat that lives in a single cave in Cuba (BBC News).U.S. President Trump is trying to allow further logging of the country’s largest temperate forest (The Washington Post).Young climate activist Greta Thunberg has reached New York for the U.N. climate summit after sailing across the Atlantic (The Washington Post).Sea otters in California are dying after contracting parasites from cats (The New York Times).Companies in the United States won’t have to check pipelines for methane leaks if a proposal to relax methane regulations is accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency (The New York Times, The Washington Post).Kenya is cracking down on illegal fishing in its waters (Hakai Magazine).The Atlantic Ocean may soon have the world’s largest marine protected area (National Geographic).The food giant Nestlé wants to take 1.1 million gallons of water from a river in Florida, but environmentalists say that will damage the river’s ecosystem (The Guardian).Climate change, overfishing and land clearing are damaging the Great Barrier Reef, an Australian agency says (Reuters).Banner image of a sea otter by John C. Cannon/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.center_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more

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‘A green desert’: Mammals take a hit in Colombia’s oil palm plantations

first_imgEditor’s note: William Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board.Citations:Pardo, L. E., Campbell, M. J., Edwards, W., Clements, G. R., & Laurance, W. F. (2018). Terrestrial mammal responses to oil palm dominated landscapes in Colombia. PLOS ONE, 13(5). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0197539Maddox, T., Priatna, D., Gemita, E., & Salampessy, A. (2007). The conservation of tigers and other wildlife in oil palm plantations. Jambi Province, Sumatra, Indonesia. ZSL Conservation Report No. 7. The Zoological Society of London, London. 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 Salazar Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Interns, Mammals, Palm Oil, Plantations, Research, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Researchers studying oil palm plantations in Colombia found that mammal diversity dropped compared to nearby savanna.Some mammals used plantations for hunting and foraging, but none stayed permanently.With the Colombian government’s pledge to drastically increase its cropland, scientists fear savannas and wetlands could be at threat. As oil palm plantations expand across the world, razing swaths of tropical rainforests in their path, fears about their impact on the environment have also grown. In the plantations of Colombia, a new study has found yet another way they are altering global biodiversity: by impacting the diversity of mammals.“Some species do very well” in oil palm plantations, said Lain Pardo, one of the authors of the study published in the journal PLOS ONE. These include species such as the crab-eating fox (Cerdocyon thous), jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi) and giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).“Our results suggest that even within the terrestrial mammals group there is a lot of variability,” Pardo said.Relatively common species, especially small- to medium-sized predators, likely feed on the rodents and other agricultural pests that abound in oil palm plantations. For giant anteaters, their main food source is also a common denizen of plantations. But most other mammals, including larger rodents such as the agouti (Dasyprocta fuliginosa), spiny rat (Proechimys spp.) and paca (Cuniculus paca) struggle to find food and shelter in the monoculture. Scientists found that these species were rarely present in plantations, if at all. And even those that were frequently found within the plantations were only there to forage, returning to the forests to sleep.Camera trap images of a fox, left, and two giant anteaters captured during the study. Image courtesy of Lain Pardo.The researchers undertook the study in oil palm plantations converted from former pasture in Colombia’s Llanos Orientales region, meaning sensitive species such as tapir (Tapirus spp.) and giant armadillo (Priodontes maximus), both listed as vulnerable by the IUCN, had been driven out long ago.The loss of such large mammals may have made the difference in species richness between the plantations and remaining forest fragments less stark than it would have been in a previously untouched area, according to the study. Scientists only detected puma (Puma concolor), tayra (Eira barbara), coati (Nasua nasua) and collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) — all ecologically important species — in oil palm areas bordering less disturbed savanna and the Meta-Casanare and Alto Rio Meta conservation corridors.The study’s results are supported by a 2007 paper by researchers at the Zoological Society of London, which focused on mammal species abundance in oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia. Researchers found that only four mammals — a mere 10 percent of the species known to exist within the landscape — made use of oil palm plantations. As with the Colombia study, none of the species found within the plantation were a conservation priority.Both studies came to similar conclusions.“These results show that some large-scale palm oil expansion generally has severe impacts on native mammals,” said William Laurance, a co-author of the Colombian study and professor at James Cook University in Australia.But he also acknowledged that maintaining adjacent forest corridors and allowing undergrowth in plantations could substantially increase species diversity.Palm oil plantation with undergrowth, left, and without. Image courtesy of Lain Pardo.“At all costs, we want to avoid ‘sterile’ plantations that have nothing but palm oil trees,” Laurance said. “These are little more than biological deserts.”The researchers chose to survey mammals due to their sensitivity to ecosystem quality and because they serve as an excellent indicator for overall biodiversity.“Vegetation inside the plantations helps to provide more complex environments and therefore promote the presence of other species such as spiders, butterflies, crustaceans, and even other vertebrates (snakes, birds), which attracts other mammals,” Pardo said in an email.The researchers also write that free-roaming cattle negatively impacted the biodiversity within the plantations, suggesting the importance of better livestock management and proper enclosures.An anaconda (Eunectes spp.) killed after the removal of understory vegetation on an oil palm plantation. Image courtesy of Lain Pardo.Palm oil has been a staple crop in West Africa for 5,000 years. But when European traders introduced it to Southeast Asia in the early 19th century, they found the humid climate so suitable that today, Indonesia and Malaysia produce 85 percent of the world’s palm oil.South America currently accounts for just 6 percent of all globally traded palm oil, but experts say this looks poised to change.The Colombian government has pledged to expand the land given over to plantations and other cash crops to 7 million hectares (17.3 million acres) by 2020 — an area almost the size of Ireland. The figure is nearly 14 times the 516,000 hectares (1.3 million acres) of land that Colombia devoted to palm oil in 2017, which in turn was a threefold increase from the 157,000 hectares (388,000 acres) dedicated to oil palm cultivation in 2000.Pardo warns that Colombia’s savannas and wetlands may bear the brunt of this expansion. He said savanna “could be under great pressure” from agriculture, including palm oil, and petroleum companies. It might not be the deforestation commonly associated with palm oil, but it could be just as ecologically devastating.Despite palm oil’s environmental impact, the commodity itself is so widely used that, according to WWF, it’s in almost 50 percent of packaged supermarket products. Odorless and flavorless, it’s a natural preservative, cheaper than other vegetable oils, and is found in products as diverse as instant noodles and toothpaste. Palm oil can be used as a biofuel, and even raises the melting point of ice cream. As a crop, it’s incredibly efficient: an acre of oil palms yields 10 times more vegetable oil than the same area of soybean or coconut crops.Worldwide, oil palm plantations cover a combined 27 million hectares (66.7 million acres). That’s a little larger than the area of New Zealand.Aerial view of monoculture oil palm plantation in Colombia. Image courtesy of Lain Pardo.In 2018, the IUCN concluded that palm oil is “here to stay.” But there are ways, as this study indicates, to reduce its negative impacts.last_img read more

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In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, September 13, 2019

first_imgThere are many important conservation and environmental stories Mongabay isn’t able to cover.Here’s a digest of some of the significant developments from the week.If you think we’ve missed something, feel free to add it in the comments.Mongabay does not vet the news sources below, nor does the inclusion of a story on this list imply an endorsement of its content. Tropical forestsIndigenous hunting could help the sustainability of forests (The Revelator).Experts say that climate change has played a part in the exodus of people from Central America (Undark).Companies and scientists are working together toward sustainability in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s timber industry (CIFOR Forests News).New research contends that we need to overhaul how forestry works for the world’s poor (CIFOR Forests News).California’s plan to save tropical forests could be a game changer (Los Angeles Times).Other newsNine black rhinos from South Africa have a new home in Tanzania’s Serengeti (RTL Today).Tanzanian officials confiscated the tusks of 117 elephants (New York Post).Seven million people had to move out of the way of extreme weather in the first six months of 2019 (The New York Times).Beekeepers are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after it OK’d the use of a pesticide known to be harmful to bee colonies (The New York Times).The Maui dolphin is down to just a few dozen animals (Hakai Magazine).Europe’s marine protected areas aren’t adequately protected (Euronews).Young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg will picket with other activists in front of the White House on Sept. 20 (The Hill) …… While activists have a major climate protest planned for Sept. 23 in Washington, D.C. (Reuters).Wetlands and streams will once again be managed under a 1986 law after Trump repeals a more recent rule (The Washington Post).Engineers have developed a prototype bioreactor to take nitrates out of the waters that flow into wetlands (Hakai Magazine).More Americans now believe that climate change is a crisis, and a majority believe the current administration isn’t doing enough to address it (The Washington Post).Banner image of a black rhino in Namibia by Olga Ernst via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Conservation, Environment, Weekly environmental news update 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 Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more

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Palm oil giant Korindo silences critical report with cease-and-desist letter

first_imgArticle published by Hans Nicholas Jong Korindo, a major palm oil operator in Indonesia’s Papua region, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to delay the publication of a report highlighting its various violations there.The report was to have been published Sept. 5 by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), but the organization says it’s had to postpone publication indefinitely.Mighty Earth, the campaign group whose focus on Korindo’s operations prompted the two-year FSC investigation, says Korindo effectively robbed local communities of hundreds of millions of dollars in land, natural resources and livelihoods.Korindo says it issued the letter to seek more time to address some points, and denies that it’s threatening litigation over the report. It also says it’s working to address the findings of violations. JAKARTA — The Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s foremost body certifying the sustainable forestry industry, has delayed the publication of its findings into a palm oil company’s operations in Indonesia, following a cease-and-desist letter.The FSC found earlier this year that subsidiaries of Korindo, an Indonesian-South Korean joint venture that’s an FSC associate, had violated the terms of that association by clearing valuable tracts of rainforest in the Papua region. It also found that the companies failed to properly consult local communities about plans to convert their land into oil palm plantations.The full findings of the two-year investigation, compiled into three investigative reports, had been set for publication on Sept. 5. However, Korindo, one of the biggest palm oil companies operating in Papua, sent a letter to the FSC ordering it not to publish further information specific to the findings, in a move perceived as a legal threat.As a result, the FSC has decided to postpone the release of the reports indefinitely, according to FSC Indonesia country manager Hartono Prabowo.“As a standard legal precautionary measure derived from cease-and-desist orders, FSC has postponed publication of further information concerning the Korindo PfA [policy for association] to allow time for our legal team to analyze in full detail the specific requirements included in the document,” he told Mongabay. Hartono added that the FSC’s international secretariat was currently discussing the matter with the organization’s board of directors.Despite the legal threat, he said the FSC remained committed to transparency, without specifying whether the organization would eventually release the reports.“FSC is committed to transparency and the timely release of relevant information on all of its PfA cases and will provide updated and relevant information on the Korindo PfA as soon as this is made possible,” Hartono said.Speakers from various NGOs and campaign organizations pose together with Papuan indigenous peoples during a press conference about Korindo’s cease-and-desist letter in Jakarta, Indonesia. Daniel Sim Ayomi (second from right), the spokesperson of Korindo Papua, takes issue with Mighty Earth’s claim about the company’s operation in Papua, saying that the organization should go to the field and ask all indigenous peoples, not just one or two people. Image courtesy of Mighty Earth.‘Something to hide’The investigation was prompted by a complaint filed by Mighty Earth, a campaign group that has highlighted Korindo’s practices in Papua. In response to the latest development, Mighty Earth lambasted Korindo for sending the cease-and-desist letter to the FSC.“Korindo is using the threat of legal action to bury the FSC’s findings and suppress evidence of its wrongdoing,” Mighty Earth senior campaign director Deborah Lapidus said. “These are not the actions of an innocent party. Korindo’s willing embrace of bullying tactics is proof they have something to hide.”Anselmus Amo, a pastor with the Papuan indigenous rights organization SKP-KAMe Merauke, which has been advocating for some of the communities affected by Korindo’s operations, said he was surprised about the letter to the FSC. He said the company had previously shown a willingness to remedy its mistakes.“I was surprised because why did the company threaten [the FSC] using the cease-and-desist letter?” he told Mongabay. “Actually this harms Korindo itself. The more these problems remain, the more harmful they are.”Luwy Leunufna, Korindo’s senior manager for resources management, denied that the company was threatening litigation against the FCS if it released the reports.“That’s the perception of Mighty Earth,” he said. “I don’t know that they have made a conclusion like that.”Luwy said the company had only asked the FSC to hold off on publishing the reports so that the company could clarify some points, without specifying what those points were.“We just want to be given space for us to clarify,” he said. “If FSC ended up publishing [the reports], we’re not in a position [to forbid them]. We just told [the FSC] that we needed time to clarify.”Luwy added that Korindo had nothing to hide. “We don’t close off any information. All information [that’s] needed, we’re open to submit them.”A pile of wood that has been prepared to be burned in land controlled by Korindo in Papua. Photo courtesy of Mighty EarthAdmission of ‘guilt’Following its investigation, the FSC announced in July that Korindo would continue to be associated with the certification body, but that it must “secure remedy” for the damage it had done in Papua or else face expulsion from the organization.It said it would “closely monitor Korindo’s progress of the measures and conditions stipulated by FSC. Failure to satisfactorily meet these conditions would be the basis for FSC to end its association with the company.”After the announcement, Korindo acknowledged that some of its activities were not in full compliance with the certification body’s policies, including the “destruction of high conservation values in forestry operations” and “significant conversion of forests to plantations or non-forest use.” Korindo also said that its practice of obtaining the free, prior and informed consent of local communities might not have met FSC standards. The company said it would fix its mistakes to meet those standards.“The Korindo Group agrees to collaborate in good faith and work with FSC in a constructive way and in a safe environment to implement appropriate measures and to take necessary actions in order to mitigate any past negative impacts,” the company said on its website.Mighty Earth campaign director Phil Aikman said Korindo’s statement was a sign that it had “accepted its guilt.” However, Korindo’s letter contradicts that good will, he said, which might lead to the termination of Korindo’s association with the FSC.“So on one hand, they want to work collaboratively with all stakeholders,” Aikman said. “On the other hand, they want to sue the investigators. So Korindo remains at risk of being disassociated and dispelled from FSC. If Korindo fails to solve these problems, then FSC executive board will cut ties [with Korindo].”As such, Aikman said, Korindo must “remove the legal threats against FSC, and support FSC in publishing these reports. They need to accept their responsibilities for their wrongdoings.”Aikman also urged Korindo to return customary lands, resolve social conflicts and grievances, and pay fair compensation to local communities for lost land, natural resources and livelihoods.“I will say that having foreknowledge of these reports, the amount that they had effectively robbed from the communities run [into] hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “They also need to restore areas equivalent to how much they destroyed. So if Korindo wants to remain with FSC, all of its operation has to comply with FSC standards.”An access road into one of Korindo’s concessions in Papua. Photo courtesy of Mighty EarthFixing the mistakesAmo said publishing the reports would be a key step toward resolving the problems.“It’s better to publish these investigative reports by FSC so that we can know where we have to solve,” he said.Responding to the activists’ demand, the FSC’s Hartono said stakeholders didn’t have to wait for the reports to be published to start making changes.“Tangible and meaningful progress in Korindo’s future operations can be achieved with or without publication of FSC’s investigation reports,” he said. “FSC is fully committed to continue the improvement process with Korindo for the benefit of Indonesia’s forests and its local Indigenous Communities as agreed by Korindo and presented by FSC in its conclusion on the case.”Hartono said Korindo had started taking steps to fix its mistakes, but it’s too early to say whether there’s been progress on the ground yet.“Apart from the disagreement on the publication of FSC’s investigation reports, Korindo are so far following the steps expected to prepare the improvements expected of them,” he said. “However, in terms of progress in the field, it is still too early in the process to expect specific progress. A roadmap, designed through a multi-stakeholder consultation, must first be designed and implemented for any initial progress to materialize.” Banner image: Forest in West Papua. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Clarification 9/27/2019:  The caption of the first photo in this article previously misidentified one of the people in the photo, and it has been updated to say he’s from Korindo.  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 Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Rights, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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