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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Reef fish are faring fine in eastern Indonesia, study suggests

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Coral Reefs, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Overfishing, Protected Areas, 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 A new study examines the health of reef fish populations in the lesser Sunda-Banda seascape, a part of the Coral Triangle, which overlaps with Indonesian waters in the western Pacific.In remote areas far from large human populations, reef fish are generally doing well, the researchers found.The researchers propose turning one area in Southwest Maluku, Indonesia, into a marine protected area. The coral reefs of the lesser Sunda-Banda seascape in southeastern Indonesia host some of the planet’s most biodiverse marine ecosystems, which remain relatively untouched even as overfishing ravages sea life to the country’s west and all over the world. New research suggests reef fish inhabiting understudied sections of the lesser Sunda-Banda are doing well overall in terms of species present and total numbers.“This study seems to be the first assessment ever of all species of consumable reef fishes for this area in the peer-reviewed scientific literature,” said Hawis Madduppa, head of the Marine Biodiversity and Biosystematics Lab at the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), who was not affiliated with the study.“It’s not all bad news for Indonesian marine conservation. We still have hope for good, sustainable reef fisheries.”The paper, published in IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, intends to inform reef management in the far-flung lesser Sunda-Banda seascape, which lies in the Coral Triangle, a vast region of the western Pacific that’s home to the highest diversity of corals and reef fishes anywhere on the planet.From 2014 to 2015, the researchers conducted three expeditions involving underwater surveys of reef fish communities in the Indonesian districts of East Flores, Alor and Southwest Maluku, where people catch a vast variety of fish to feed their families or sell at markets. The census covered 1,800 square kilometers (695 square miles) throughout 62 spots at a depth of 10 meters (33 feet). Divers collected and classified exploitable reef fish into 5-centimeter (2-inch) intervals of length, from 3 to more than 50 centimeters (1 to 20 inches). Then the scientists derived fish biomass figures by means of known relationships between the size and weight of the species they observed.In this way, lead author Fakhrizal Setiawan and his colleagues recorded 176 reef fish species that support the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians. More than half the fish the team encountered were plankton-eating dark-banded fusiliers (Pterocaesio tile), but they concluded that the ranges and counts of species in the reef systems were generally sound and balanced.“Southwest Maluku has the highest biomass and quite a lot of abundance, very different from Alor and East Flores because pressure in fisheries is very low there,” said Fakhrizal, who at the time of the research was working as a reef fish ecologist for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Fakhrizal collaborated on the study with researchers from WWF-Indonesia and the Fisheries Diving Club at IPB.“Many islands in Southwest Maluku are very remote, so fish live happy and healthy with little contact with humans,” he said.A school of dark-banded fusilier of the coast of northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Image by Bernard Dupont/Flickr.The lowest stocks occurred in East Flores, which has been subject to intensive reef fishing associated with a larger human presence. The harvested fish community in Alor looked stressed as well, a condition possibly resulting from harmful extraction methods, including potassium cyanide poisoning.The wealth of reef fish in Southwest Maluku, where fishers typically practice old-style, low-impact handlining, makes this place ecologically significant, so Fakhrizal proposed turning it into a marine protected area (MPA) to bolster biodiversity throughout the lesser Sunda-Banda. Because diversity is comparable across the three regions, he said, Southwest Maluku can “give fish to the areas with high-pressure fishing and supply spillover fish to sustain the ecosystem.” Hawis added that with MPA designation, “the important spawning and nursery area can be protected, and the degraded area can have a chance to recover.”There are, however, limits to reef fish resilience that could devastate the local fishing industry and national economy dependent on it, Fakhrizal noted.“When one area is open to more and more destructive fishing, at some point, it cannot recover from pressure,” he said. “Fishermen get more money using poison or bombing to get a lot of reef fish, but maybe their children cannot get fish from the area, move far away, then need money for fuel. An area like Southwest Maluku with small fisheries may not be high-value, but it’s economically sustainable enough for long-term opportunity. In Alor and East Flores, there could be a decrease in fisheries in a few years.”A scorpionfish in Alor, Indonesia. Image by prilfish/Flickr.Fakhrizal’s paper echoes monitoring work completed in 2017 by Reef Check Indonesia, a nonprofit based in Bali. It also determined that fusilier fish were the most abundant ones in East Flores and Alor, since upwelling transported plentiful nutrients to this species there.Altogether the current findings provide reason for optimism, said Hawis. “In Indonesia, the farther east you go, the higher the abundance and biomass due to the remoteness,” he said. “I’m very glad we still have an area with a high abundance of natural fish stock, more than 2,000 kilograms per hectare,” or about 1,800 pounds per acre.To maintain stocks, strong multi-scale laws should be established and enforced to prohibit damaging fishing equipment and the removal of breeding or developing fish, said Sila Sari, data and knowledge coordinator with Reef Check Indonesia. Alongside intensifying surveillance to reduce offenses in Southwest Maluku, she recommended enhancing rules with traditional knowledge that has for millennia moderated fishing and preserved Indonesian reefs.“Eastern Indonesia is rich with different local wisdoms that can be engaged through management and protected area regulation,” said Sari, who was not involved in the study. “It’ll be great to see changes between each area and between inside or outside the MPA and assess how effectively it works by assessing fish stocks. Each year or two, we need to repeat the same survey at the same sites.”Hawis emphasized the broad research on lesser Sunda-Banda marine biodiversity required to safeguard the target reef fish, too. To create an MPA, he said, biologists must investigate connectivity across islands or populations by harnessing molecular mechanisms, such as environmental DNA and population genetics, and evaluate the relatedness of organisms in reef ecosystems.“Mostly, people in Indonesia want faster, easier reef restoration,” Fakhrizal said. “But to be conserved effectively, coral reefs need time to recover without human disorder. We should give reefs in the lesser Sunda-Banda time to rebuild with MPAs.”Citation:Setiawan, F., Muhidin, Agustina, S., Pingkan, J., Estradivari, Tarigan, S. A., . . . Sadewa, S. (2019). Stock estimation, species composition and biodiversity of target reef fishes in the lesser Sunda-Banda Seascape (East Flores, Alor and South West Maluku regencies), Indonesia. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, 278, 012070. doi:10.1088/1755-1315/278/1/012070Banner: A bluestreak fusilier fish. Image by Rickard Zerpe/Flickr. 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 mongabayauthorlast_img read more

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The Pan Borneo Highway brings wildlife threats to nat’l park doorstep

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannon Animals, Anti-poaching, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forest Fragmentation, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Fragmentation, Freshwater Ecosystems, freshwater turtles, Green, Hunting, Illegal Logging, Infrastructure, Logging, logging roads, Monkeys, National Parks, Parks, Poaching, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Roads, Saving Rainforests, Sea Turtles, Threats To Rainforests, Timber, Tropical Forests, Turtles, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade center_img The southern terminus of the Pan Borneo Highway in Malaysia extends to the edge of Tanjung Datu National Park in Sarawak.The highway’s proponents say the road is already bringing more tourists who are eager to see the park’s wildlife to the adjacent communities, helping to boost the local economy.But one of the world’s rarest primates, the Bornean banded langur, resides in the park, raising concerns in the conservation community that increased access could bring poachers into the park. This is the second article in our six-part series “Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway.” Read Part One.TELOK SERABANG, Malaysia — At the westernmost tip of Borneo sits a dense pocket of mountainous forest, the likes of which have grown rarer in the Malaysian state of Sarawak. Logging and oil palm interests have jigsawed the state’s once-unbroken green canopy into a patchwork of brown earth and slivers of forest clinging to survival. Yet, perhaps improbably, rich, old-growth forests survive here, and within them an explosion of wildlife on this promontory shared with neighboring Indonesia.Tiny Tanjung Datu National Park and the adjacent Semunsam Wildlife Sanctuary are home to critically endangered painted terrapins (Batagur borneoensis), green and hawksbill sea turtles, and six species of primate, including the critically endangered Bornean banded langur (Presbytis chrysomelas), found in only a few other places on the island.Female, top, and male Bornean banded langurs. Image by H. Schlegel via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).The recent arrival of the Pan Borneo Highway in 2019 has meant seismic changes for all life in this corner of Borneo. It has brought more tourists to the area, according to my guide, Minhad Fauzan. Meanwhile, the residents of his village, Telok Serabang, and neighboring Telok Melano, where the official “Kilometer 0.00” of Sarawak’s Pan Borneo Highway sits, have capitalized. Homestays and small kedai kopi cafes offering noodles and rice along with iced coffee have popped up all around.But Minhad also worries about what the increased access to this formerly remote corner of Borneo will mean. A self-described conservationist, he and others living near the national park have repurposed their fishing boats, shuttling visitors to see nesting sea turtles on Tanjung Datu’s pristine beaches, to trek into the forests of the national park for a chance glimpse of a langur or a gibbon, and to snorkel with the swarms of “Nemos” (anemonefish) that swarm just offshore.A blue-eyed angle-headed lizard (Gonocephalus liogaster) in Sarawak’s Tanjung Datu National Park. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.The worry among conservationists is that the highway’s arrival could also mean more hunting and poaching, as many communities in the area have long relied on meat from the forest and turtle eggs for a kick of protein in their diets. Minhad, too, grew up eating turtle eggs, often adding them to his coffee in an area conspicuously devoid of milk-bearing livestock.Before the roughly 30-kilometer (19-mile) stretch of road connected Telok Melano with the workaday town of Sematan, getting to Melano or Serabang typically required an hour-long motorboat trip (or daylong paddle) through the sometimes-choppy South China Sea. The alternative was a sweltering hike through the swampy forest — by Minhad’s estimation both a deterrent and a boon for poachers. That remoteness meant that hunters and poachers going after small game like deer, monkeys and gibbons could stalk the dense forest with little worry of being discovered by rangers. Similarly, egg collectors could track the region’s turtles and terrapins unperturbed.A sign marks the southern terminus of the Pan Borneo Highway in the village of Telok Melano. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.But Minhad says he’s optimistic the road will make it easier for forestry personnel to patrol the area and look out for poachers. His views — and his diet — have changed. He now sees himself as a protector of the sea turtles and their terrapin cousins that visit the area’s beaches to lay their eggs.As a former elected headman of Serabang, Minhad is a leader in the community, and he says he’s embarked on a campaign to “win the hearts and minds of the people.” He argues that wildlife, through the tourism dollars the animals draw, is more valuable alive than dead.Convincing people is a challenge, because “these are my friends,” he says, and egg collecting is a hard habit to break. He concedes that sometimes the best he can do is convince them to take just some, rather than all, of the eggs they find.Residents of the villages near Tanjung Datu National Park have built homestays to accommodate the rising number of tourists since the road was built in early 2019. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Scientists and conservationists from outside seem mostly concerned with the future of the Bornean banded langur. Already one of the world’s rarest primates, the critically endangered monkey now occupies less than 5 percent of the boggy peatlands and lowland forests it once inhabited, according to the IUCN. Now, the highway has wedged its way into their territory, potentially separating a cadre of family groups living where the wildlife sanctuary and the national park intersect.Minhad watches for langurs on his daily training runs into the hills around Serabang, and he thinks that they can cross the new rubber plantation that’s just popped up on one of the hillsides between the park and the wildlife sanctuary. Canopy-dwelling primates in the area, like the langurs, gibbons and proboscis monkeys, haven’t yet descended from the treetops to cross the road, at least to his knowledge, but they like the young rubber shoots that sprout on the tops of growing rubber trees.Oil palm planted within the boundary of the Samunsam Wildlife Sanctuary. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Whether agriculture will stop cropping up on the approach to the national park boundary isn’t clear. A mature rubber crop might provide a surrogate home for high-climbing monkeys. But in the early stages of growth, fledgling oil palm or rubber plantations are mostly exposed earth with wispy saplings pushing up through the soil. Along the road from Sematan, there’s a sign demarcating the edge of the wildlife sanctuary, a legally protected area meant to be set aside just for wildlife.And yet the rows of oil palms that flank the road before the sign continue well beyond it — planted by “accident,” Minhad said. The scale of the plantation suggests otherwise, as the planted rows cover a significant sweep of the view to the horizon.Further along the road toward the national park, just beyond the would-be oil palm plantation, a façade of forest returns. But behind it, charred stumps and vegetation still smolder, the result of a fire probably set by hopeful hunters. Within a few days, Minhad explains, the green sprouts that burst through the soil will be irresistible for samba and mouse deer, luring them out into the open where they’re easy prey.The highway bridge over the Samunsam River. Planners agreed to extend the bridge’s length to allow the passage underneath of wildlife between the forest and the mouth of the river, which opens into the South China Sea. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.From a construction standpoint, the Ministry of Works holds this stretch of highway up as an example of the compromises that are possible. The road is only two lanes across, not four, so it follows a narrower path through the delicate mangroves. And the bridge over the Samunsam River was extended to allow for the passage of wildlife underneath. It’s a small concession that may allow animals like painted terrapins to travel from their freshwater homes to the beaches at the river’s mouth to lay their eggs, thereby linking the inland and coastal environment.In this microcosm of the impacts of a road balanced with the needs of conservation, the short-term benefits for Serabang and Melano’s residents are hard to refute: shorter travels times, better access to goods and health care, and an economic boost in the form of more visitors. But the highway has also undeniably brought with it changes to the landscape.Minhad knows that the easier access that he and his neighbors enjoy is likely to be exploited by more than just wildlife rangers. And the hunters it brings could come after more than just the relatively numerous deer. Of still greater concern are rumors that the highway, which currently dead-ends into a traffic circle near the edge of Tanjung Datu, could be extended further into the park. However, Mongabay confirmed with Malaysia’s Ministry of Works that the federal government currently has no plans to push on further.The forests of Tanjung Datu National Park viewed from the sea. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.For now, Minhad said he would continue his work protecting the animals he can and talking to the people who might threaten them. The irony that the road, meant to bring tourism, might also help eradicate its foundations isn’t lost on him.As he tells would-be hunters and poachers, “You kill this animal, we lose our product.”A map created with Datawrapper shows the approach of the Pan Borneo Highway to Tanjung Datu National Park. Image by Willie Shubert/Mongabay.Continue to Part Three.Banner image of a stretch of the Pan Borneo Highway in southern Sarawak by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitations:Asian Turtle Trade Working Group. (2000). Batagur borneoensis (errata version published in 2016). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2000.RLTS.T163458A5608163.enNijman, V., Hon, J. & Richardson, M. (2008). Presbytis chrysomelas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. doi:https://doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T39803A10268236.enFEEDBACK: 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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Bid for greater protection of star tortoise, a trafficking mainstay

first_imgThe illegal trafficking of the Indian star tortoise, an IUCN-listed vulnerable species, is thriving despite its trade being restricted under CITES Appendix II and domestic legislation in all three range states.To fight this, range states Sri Lanka and India, along with other countries, have submitted a proposal for the upcoming CITES summit to move the star tortoise from Appendix II to Appendix I.The CITES Secretariat has recommended rejecting the proposal, saying that adding the star tortoise to Appendix I provides no clear benefit for its protection, but proponents say the alarming scale of the trade should be reason enough, and hope to convince the CITES parties of the value of uplisting the tortoise. In March 2019, custom officials open abandoned luggage in the halls of Manila’s international airport. In June, law enforcement agents stop a car to check four trolley bags that passengers had loaded in a rush at a railway station in Kolkata, India. In July, officers arrest a passenger at a railway station in India’s Andhra Pradesh state and inspect his suitcase.In each incident, officials find the same thing: live turtles crawling over and underneath each other, crammed into plastic bags or buckets, hidden between clothes or wrapped in duct tape. Most are no bigger than 10 centimetres (4 inches) in length. Most are Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans), the most confiscated species of freshwater tortoise in the world, according to the wildlife trade watchdog TRAFFIC.That could change after this month, at the Conference of the Parties to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, where a proposal to restrict the trade in the species significantly will be discussed.Proposal for protectionIndian star tortoises  live in grasslands, scrub forests and coastal scrublands. They’re only found in Sri Lanka, southern and eastern India, and a region in northwestern India and adjoining Pakistan.Since 1975, the species has been protected under CITES Appendix II, meaning that its trade requires registration and special permits. Appendix II allows for regulated trade of captive-bred specimens.The star tortoise is classified as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Illegal collection for the international wildlife trade is by far the biggest threat, followed by increasing habitat loss for farmland. These factors, in combination with long reproductive cycles, make it almost certain that populations in the wild are shrinking.Sri Lanka, which was meant to host the CITES CoP until the event was rescheduled in the wake of the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, has joined India, Bangladesh and Senegal in proposing to move the star tortoise from Appendix II to Appendix I. Currently, only a few species of freshwater tortoise are in Appendix I, but all others are included with a family listing of Testudinidae spp. in Appendix II.However, the CITES Secretariat has recommended rejecting this proposal. According to the Secretariat, it’s “not clear what additional benefit an Appendix-I listing would provide to the conservation of the species,” which therefore “does not meet the criteria […] for its inclusion in Appendix I.”Indian star tortoises are native to Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, where they are protected by domestic legislation, but are extensively traded through illegal channels. Image courtesy of Dhruvraj S.Tip of the icebergBut proponents of greater protection say it’s the sheer scale of the star tortoise trade that should compel an uplisting of the species. Recent studies suggest that the volume of the illegal trade has risen sharply, but it’s difficult to ascertain exact numbers.None of the three range states has permitted legal exports of live, wild-collected specimens since 1999, and since no large-scale commercial captive breeding facilities are known, the high volume of pet trade suggests that most specimens that end up in other countries are being illegally exported from Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan.Nearly 5,500 star tortoises have been seized by customs officials and police in Sri Lanka alone since 1997, according to Anslem de Silva, the country’s leading herpetologist.“[This] indicates a high prevalence of smuggling activities,” he told Mongabay. “Researchers here and in India are of the view that the undetected numbers could be 10 times higher. We call for enhanced protection because the species is extremely vulnerable to smuggling and we don’t want to wait till its conservation status changes in order to start taking action to conserve it.”It’s a similar situation in India, according to Sumanth Bindumadhav, wildlife campaign manager for the Humane Society International-India.“The argument that will be made is the sheer volume of trade,” he told Mongabay. “The Indian states of Telangana and Andhra [Pradesh] alone ship out about 55,000 tortoises every year on average, and that’s a solid argument.”These tortoises wind up seized in Malaysia and the Philippines, in Singapore and Bangkok, on Indian trains, from cars, backpacks, and dinghies in the sea between India and Sri Lanka. But these seizures only form the tip of the iceberg. Most smuggling operations likely stay under the radar of customs and law enforcement, or are disguised as captive-bred trade.With new technologies, the scale and ease of illegal trading has grown, with online pet shops openly selling star tortoises in a booming e-commerce trade. Image courtesy of Sumanth Bindumadhav/Humane Society International-India.Express mail and e-commerceSince tortoises are cold-blooded, they can be transported over long distances with minimal precautions, which is why they’re found stuffed into suitcases, boxes, or bags; in other instances, they’re sent off on their own in the luggage compartments of trains and buses, or, as the CITES proposal mentions, even shipped via express mail.Like other conservationists, Bindumadhav said he’s certain the numbers have increased, and that technology has made the trade easier. “When I started doing this work back in 1999, there were few sources to procure these animals,” he said, “but now they are often listed on e-commerce websites, and WhatsApp has made transactions a lot easier.”The most common destinations are East and Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and China, but there might be considerable trade to Europe and the U.S. as well. Some of these countries don’t apply the same stringent regulations that the range states do; Thailand, for example, only regulates the wild-sourced trade.This reality gives added urgency for the proposal to uplist the star tortoise, Bindumadhav said. “A lot of countries are affected by the trade of these animals, especially with EU and U.S.A. being final destination countries in the pet trade,” he said. “Moving this species from Appendix II to I will be a huge boost for its protection in nations that have CITES legislation.”Despite the recommendation of the CITES Secretariat to reject the proposal, it’s the countries that are party to the convention that will ultimately decide on all proposals being made. That means the recommendation “is in no manner the final word,” said Manmohan Singh Negi, the director of wildlife preservation at the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.“The biggest impact of moving this species to Appendix I will be a higher level of vigilance in more countries than the current lot,” Bindumadhav said.The proponents say they believe the star tortoise meets the criteria for Appendix I inclusion. But more than that, they say it will send a strong signal to the markets and make a necessary and important statement for the future of star tortoise protection. Article published by dilrukshi Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Banner image:Star tortoises are captured from the wild for the illegal pet trade in large numbers and exported to East Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and the U.S. Image courtesy of N.A. Naseer. Biodiversity, Cites, Conservation, Environment, Pet Trade last_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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Toxic river: Mining, mercury and murder continue to plague Colombia’s Atrato

first_imgArticle published by daniel Biodiversity, Conflict, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Environmentalists, Endangered Species, Environment, Fish, Indigenous Peoples, Logging, Mining, Pollution, Protected Areas, Rainforest Conservation, Rivers, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Rivers, Water Pollution Decades of internal conflict have fueled an unprecedented surge in illegal mining in Colombia’s Choco region, decimating the Atrato River basin and provoking an environmental and humanitarian crisis.In a landmark ruling in 2016, Colombia’s Constitutional Court granted the Atrato environmental personhood rights just as the country signed historic peace accords, but three years on a new era of conflict is plaguing the Choco region.Choco is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, with an estimated 54,850 animal species living in its dense jungle. But open-pit mining operations and large-scale deforestation are a constant threat.Mercury and cyanide contamination from industrial mining activities make it the most polluted river in Colombia and a clean-up operation promised back in 2016 has yet to materialize. Snaking its way through Colombia’s northwestern department of Choco, for centuries the Atrato River has been the lifeblood for Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities living along its banks. But decades of internal conflict have fueled an unprecedented surge in illegal mining, decimating the river basin and provoking an environmental and humanitarian crisis in one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth.In a landmark ruling in 2016, Colombia’s Constitutional Court granted the Atrato environmental personhood rights which bound the state to implement “protection, conservation, maintenance and restoration” of the river and its communities. The ruling came just as the country signed historic peace accords between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the state, ostensibly ending more than half a century of war and insurgency.Yet three years on, a new era of conflict is plaguing the Choco region. Violence and displacement continue to afflict river communities along the Atrato, who remain the poorest in the country. Sporadic fighting between paramilitary groups such as the Gaintanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) and the country’s largest remaining guerilla group, the National Liberation Army (ELN), continue to fill the void left by the FARC. Environmental defenders tasked with overseeing the implementation of the court ruling complain of a complete lack of state action and protection. With intimidation and fears of assassination for carrying out their work a constant threat, they despair of achieving even modest improvements.Mercury and cyanide contamination from industrial mining activities make Colombia’s Atrato River the most polluted in the country. Photo by Frederick Gillingham.Choco is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. An estimated 54,850 animal species live in Choco’s dense jungle. However, open-pit mining operations and large-scale deforestation are threatening this unique and precious habitat. Mercury and cyanide contamination from industrial mining activities make it the most polluted river in Colombia, but a clean-up operation promised back in 2016 has yet to materialize.One the many tributaries to the Atrato that snakes through Chocó. Photo by Bram Ebus for Mongabay.Toxic River offers us rare insight into Choco’s environmental conflict, one of Latin America’s most underreported and yet most urgent issues, through the experiences of three witnesses – a miner, a fisherman and a river guardian. New generations now face an existential threat as the state fails to fulfil its legal obligations and the ethnic communities along Choco’s main waterway fight for a river that remains central to their culture, identity and survival.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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Seven elephants found dead as Sri Lanka’s human-wildlife conflict escalates

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 Authorities have launched an investigation into the suspected poisoning deaths of seven elephants last month in Sri Lanka.Human-elephant conflict caused by habitat loss has long been a problem on the country, with both the elephant and human death tolls climbing in recent years.Investigations into previous elephant deaths have failed to hold anyone liable, and conservationists say they fear the recent spate of deaths will also go unpunished.Conservationists say the root causes for human-elephant conflict need to be removed or mitigated, including through community-based electric fencing, increased manpower for the wildlife department, and conservation of elephant habitat. ANURADHAPURA/COLOMBO — Wildlife authorities in Sri Lanka have launched an investigation after seven elephants were found dead late last month in the north-central district of Anuradhapura.Four of the elephants were found dead near the city of Habarana on Sept. 27, and three more on the following day. All except one were female, and all are believed to have been poisoned.“There is a chemical poisoning, but we do not know if it was a deliberate attempt. We are still trying to verify this,” said M.G.C. Sooriyabandara, the director-general of Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).The minister of wildlife and tourism, John Amaratunga, has appointed a special committee to investigate the matter, but it has yet to release its findings.While the exact cause of death has yet to be confirmed, it’s strongly believed that the elephants were poisoned by farmers, likely in retaliation for raiding their crops. If confirmed, the recent discoveries would bring to 10 the toll of elephants killed by poisoning in Sri Lanka.Although the island is home to fewer than 6,000 Sri Lankan elephants (Elephas maximus maximus), a subspecies of the Asian elephant, the loss of their habitats and the expansion of human settlements have intensified the frequency of human-elephant conflicts.In 2018 alone, 319 elephants and almost 100 people were killed in such encounters. Sixty-four of those deaths were caused by explosive devices hidden in fodder bait, known as hakka patas. Fifty-three elephants died of gunshot injuries. The last four years have seen at least 21 cases of elephant poisoning deaths, according to Sooriyabandara, for which no perpetrators have been identified.Elephants roam into villages and fields, causing significantdestruction and even human deaths. Image courtesy of the Centre for Conservation & Research“There have been many cases of suspected poisoning, but it is almost never proven,” said Prithiviraj Fernando, head of the Sri Lankan Centre for Conservation and Research. “Elephant deaths are continuously going up. In the past year, they exceeded 300 for the first time, and we are on track to exceed 300 again this year,” he told Mongabay.Shrinking habitatsElephants are Sri Lanka’s most iconic animal and occupy an important place in the local culture. But there is only so much space on the island: Forests are being cleared, trees cut down, rivers rerouted to fill village tanks for agriculture. Elephant habitats are shrinking, and managing elephant-human co-existence has become the core issue.The government has tried to restrict elephants to protected areas under the Department of Wildlife Conservation, but Fernando maintains this approach has failed. Translocated elephants rarely stay in place, he notes, and the drives to round them up for relocation makes the animals more aggressive, increasing the likelihood of conflict.“More than 70 percent of elephants are outside of protected areas,” Fernando said. “People and elephants live in the same landscape, and this is where the conflict occurs. People feel like they have to take matters into their own hands and do something about it.”With people and elephants sharing space across roughly 44 percent of Sri Lanka, a sustainable solution has to be found to stop suffering on both sides, conservationists say. From bio-fences to thorny crops and from nature reserves to elephant thunders, many approaches have been tried. Fernando has found one to be workable: “Putting up fences around human settlements and cultivated areas has proven to be effective. Basically, the only way currently to manage the conflict is community-based electric fencing.”Even if this solution is scaled up, clashes between elephants and rural communities are still likely to continue as long as human settlements and farms encroach deeper into elephant territory. This will leave the animals little choice but to plunder villages and fields in search of food and water, and villagers to see no other option than to retaliate.In places like this rural road near Tangalle in the south ofSri Lanka, elephants share space with humans. Image by Sofia C.C. Valladares via Pixabay.As the mounting death toll indicates, the authorities lack sufficient resources to protect the elephants against such attacks. “The wildlife department has less than a thousand people in the field,” said Jagath Gunawardena, an expert on environmental law. “They are stretched thin in so many different sections that they cannot work effectively.”Gunawardena said it was this lack of enforcement, rather than a lack of legal deterrent, that was the issue. He noted that Sri Lanka’s Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance has several provisions dealing exclusively with elephants and affords them the highest degree of protection.“Anyone who harms, kills or injures an elephant is liable for imprisonment or a fine of up to several hundred thousand rupees,” he said. “I do not think it is necessary to afford elephants additional legal protection. The existing provisions are more than enough.”In any case, he said, demanding stricter laws might miss the point: Fines or jail terms are of little consequence if no one is convicted.“All these offenses are criminal offenses and need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” Gunawardena said. “When there is poisoning or a hakka patas, there is no way of tracing it to the person who is responsible, unless we have some very good circumstantial evidence.”In many places, elephants can no longer retreat into theforests and are forced to co-exist in a human-dominated landscape. Image by Celles via Pixabay.The case of the seven Habarana elephants illustrates the difficulties in investigating this kind of crime, said Ravi Perera, chief operating officer of the Serendipity Wildlife Foundation and a veteran wildlife crime scene investigator.“If the elephants were indeed poisoned, toxicology results should show what type of substance was found,” he said. “Unfortunately, there is no way of tracing it back to the responsible party. Once the substance is identified, we would rely on intelligence gathering to pinpoint certain areas.”Perera has investigated poisonings before: “In Kenya, where our foundation operates, there have been several known cases, the majority of them due to human-animal conflict. Easily available insecticides are hidden in animal carcasses or fruit. Poisoning is silent and cheap, and very often a suspect cannot be found. If we are lucky, a whistle-blower or someone known to the suspect would divulge valuable information.”No one may ever be held liable for the deaths of the seven elephants in Habarana. For the moment, even the cause of their death is speculation, even as experts indicate it’s more than just an ordinary case of poisoning.Fernando said he was puzzled that the perpetrator would target female elephants, as it is mostly adult males that are known to raid farms. “Even if they wanted to target females, female elephants are always with their young ones. It is a great mystery how only the adults can be poisoned without poisoning the young ones as well.”Perera raised the same point: “If these deaths were due to poisoning, it is baffling why the mother died while the baby survived.”With the latest deaths adding to the toll in the escalating human-elephant conflict, conservationists and policymakers continue to work with various solutions to the problem. For now, that means that community-based electric fencing, increased manpower for the wildlife department, and the conservation of existing elephant habitat are the steps seen as best protecting Sri Lanka’s elephants and allowing for a peaceful co-existence with humans. Banner image of an electrocuted elephant in southern Sri Lanka, courtesy of the Centre for Conservation & Research. Article published by dilrukshi Elephants, Environment, human-elephant conflict, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

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’Rampant’ fishing continues as vaquita numbers dwindle

first_imgAn expedition surveying the Gulf of California for the critically endangered vaquita porpoise has reported seeing more than 70 fishing boats in a protected refuge.Vaquita numbers have been decimated in the past decade as a result of gillnet fishing for another critically endgangered species, the totoaba, a fish whose swim bladder can fetch more than $20,000 per kilogram ($9,000 per pound) in Asian markets.Local fishing organizations in the region say that the government has stopped compensating them after a gillnet ban, aimed at protecting the vaquita from extinction, went into effect in 2015. Scientists and conservation activists conducting a survey for the critically endangered vaquita in October witnessed more than 70 fishing boats within the porpoise’s protected Gulf of California refuge, according to the environmental NGO Sea Shepherd.“It is heartbreaking that with less than 20 vaquitas left, this small critical area is still impacted by gillnets,” Sea Shepherd campaigns director Lockhart MacLean said in a statement from the organization, which described the fishing activity as “rampant.”A vaquita swims in the Gulf of California. Image by Paula Olson/NOAA via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain).The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is the smallest and most threatened of the world’s cetaceans, a group that also includes whales and dolphins. A 2019 study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science concluded that no more than 18 individuals survive in the upper reaches of Mexico’s Gulf of California, part of the Sea of Cortez wedged between Baja California and mainland Mexico.In 1997 vaquita likely numbered in the hundreds. But intense pressure on another critically endangered species, a fish called the totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi), has had a devastating collateral effect on the porpoise. Totoaba swim bladders, prized for their purported medicinal value, sell for up to $20,000 per kilogram ($9,000 per pound) in markets in China and elsewhere in Asia. In the past decade, gillnets set by illegal fishers to feed skyrocketing demand have snagged and drowned countless vaquita.The Mexican government banned gillnets in the vaquita’s habitat temporarily in 2015 and then permanently in 2016. But fishers have continued to use the method in the pursuit of totoaba and other fish species. The 2019 study reports that 10 vaquita are known to have died in gillnets between 2016 and 2019, and the population continued to sink during that period.A vaquita swims near a fishing boat using gillnets. Image courtesy of CONANP/Museo de la Ballena/SEA SHEPHERD.The boats, or pangas, seen by Sea Shepherd and its expedition partners, Mexico’s National Commission on Protected Areas (CONANP) and the Museo de la Ballena, were reportedly using gillnets to go after shrimp, chano and corvina, not totoaba. But the team worried that the end result could be the same.“Unfortunately, these pangas are exactly where we saw the remaining vaquitas during the last sighting voyage,” Octavio Carranza, a Sea Shepherd captain, said in the statement. “This is also where we found a dead vaquita tangled in a gillnet a few months ago.”Local fishermen, however, say they’ve been left with little choice.“We want the United Nations to know that the fishing sector in our community went out fishing without respecting agreements or protected areas as a result of the lack of attention and dialogue the federal Government has given to this issue,” Ramón Franco, the president of a Baja-based fishing cooperative, said in the statement.The expedition’s crew surveys the Gulf of California for vaquita. Image courtesy of CONANP/Museo de la Ballena/SEA SHEPHERD.As part of the ban, the Mexican government was supposed to compensate fishers who lost income because they could no longer use gillnets. But those payments reportedly stopped by early 2019, Sea Shepherd said. That’s led to frustration among law-abiding fishers, as those willing to flout the rules continue to profit from gillnet fishing, said Carlos Tirado, the leader of a regional group of fishing cooperatives.“We are between a rock and a hard place: between organized crime and the problems derived from illegal activities in the area, and pressure towards the commercial fishing sector by the government,” Tirado said in the statement. “Those most affected are our fishing organizations that stick to the rules. Those who most benefit are the illegal fishers.”He called on Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to address the matter immediately. In mid-October, the federal government announced that it would “strengthen surveillance” in the marine reserve, according to the newspaper Excélsior, but the article did not mention whether the government would start handing out compensation payments again.The Farley Mowat, a Sea Shepherd vessel, pictured during the survey in the Gulf of California. Image courtesy of CONANP/Museo de la Ballena/SEA SHEPHERD.Despite the sighting of so many fishing boats carrying nets that could be lethal to the vaquita, the fact that the vaquita is persisting in the area has buoyed hopes for the survival of the species. In September, crew members spotted vaquita pairs on three different occasions.“Under the current circumstances, the most important piece of information right now is that there are still vaquitas surviving,” Lorenzo Rojas-Bracho, one of the expedition’s chief scientists who leads marine mammal research at CONANP, said in the statement. “[H]opefully we can track the lives of these few fit individuals and protect them exactly where they are.”Banner image of a fishing skiff, or panga, in the Gulf of California courtesy of CONANP/Museo de la Ballena/SEA SHEPHERD.Citations:Findley, L. (2010). Totoaba macdonaldi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 8235, 8. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T22003A9346099.enJaramillo-Legorreta, A. M., Cardenas-Hinojosa, G., Nieto-Garcia, E., Rojas-Bracho, L., Thomas, L., Ver Hoef, J. M., … Tregenza, N. (2019). Decline towards extinction of Mexico’s vaquita porpoise (Phocoena sinus). Royal Society Open Science, 6(7), 190598. doi:10.1098/rsos.190598Rojas-Bracho, L., & Taylor, B. L. (2017). Phocoena sinus, Vaquita. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, e.T17028A5, 12. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-2.RLTS.T17028A50370296.enFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by John Cannon 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 Animals, China wildlife trade, China’s Demand For Resources, Conservation, Crime, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Fish, Fishing, Gillnets, Green, Illegal Fishing, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Crisis, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Mammals, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Overexploitation, Overfishing, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Medicine, Wildlife Crime last_img read more

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‘Timebomb’: Fires devastate tiger and elephant habitat in Sumatra

first_imgBanner image: Elephant habitat on this peatland is threatened due to fire and land conversion. Photo by Rifky/CIFOR.Editor’s note: This story was powered by Places to Watch, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. In partnership with Mongabay, GFW is supporting data-driven journalism by providing data and maps generated by Places to Watch. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data.Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Agriculture, Animals, Big Cats, Deforestation, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Mammals, National Parks, Oil Palm, Old Growth Forests, Palm Oil, Plantations, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tigers, Tropical Forests, wildfires, Wildlife Another heavy fire season in Indonesia has taken a toll on the country’s remaining forest. In Sembilang National Park, on the island of Sumatra, fires raged into primary forest that provides vital habitat for critically endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants.Satellite data and imagery indicate the fires may have had a big impact on tigers in the park. In total, around 30 percent of tiger habitat in Sembilang burned between August and September. The fires also encroached into the park’s elephant habitat.Fires have also reportedly ravaged elephant habitat in Padang Sugihan Sebokor Wildlife Reserve, which lies southeast of Sembilang and serves as a corridor for wild elephants in South Sumatra. One report estimates that half of the reserve has suffered fire damage.Researchers say slash-and-burn clearing techniques likely started most of fires in the area, which were then exacerbated by drier-than-usual conditions and underground peat stores left unprotected by policy rollbacks.s Recent dry-season fires that raged across Indonesia in September and October have taken a toll on forests, even in protected areas. Fires were particularly destructive in southern Sumatra, burning around 8 percent of Sembilang National Park, according to satellite data and local observers.The fires, along with illegal logging in the area and the conversion of secondary forest and shrub land to oil palm plantations, continue to threaten critically endangered wildlife such as the Sumatran elephant, a subspecies of the Asian elephant, and the Sumatran tiger. Endangered Malay tapir, as well as several common primate species, are also known to inhabit the park area.Until recently no known elephant populations existed in Sembilang National Park, but a study published in May in the journal Biovalentia: Biological Research uncovered four individual elephants in the park over six days of observation early early 2019.The study estimates that there are between six and 10 individual elephants in the park area, ranging from north of the Sembilang River to south of the Bungin River and inland toward the west where the park borders the PT Raja Palma oil palm plantation.Wild elephant group in Sebokor Village Forest, part of Padang Sugihan Wildlife Reserve – Sebokor, which is located near Sembilang National Forest. Photo by Faizal Abdul Aziz/CIFOR.Donny Gunaryadi, secretary of the Indonesia Elephant Forum, told Mongabay that the government is currently in the process of finalizing a new 10-year action plan for Sumatran elephant protection that is expected to start next year.The plan will likely concentrate on preserving populations in the provinces of Aceh at the northern tip of Sumatra, Riau in the island’s center, and Jambi, which lies south of Riau and north of the South Sumatra province that is home to Sembilang National Park.“The population is decreasing,” said Gunaryadi, who has been advising on the draft of the policy, estimating that there are now 1,400 elephants in Sumatra, down from 2,400 a decade ago.In the 1980s, when Indonesia launched its massive transmigration program to resettle people from more populous areas of Java to other islands in the archipelago such as Sumatra, there were estimated to be as many as 4,000 elephants still on the island. However, conflicts between humans and elephants over land increased with the influx of settlers, and elephants have been on the decline ever since.“This is a very serious decrease within 10 years,” Gunaryadi said. “Some of the problems are from poaching, but also [the elephant] doesn’t have a secure habitat in many areas.”Tiger, elephant habitat likely affected by recent firesJust how Sembilang’s tiger populations fared during the fires is not exactly known just yet. The Zoological Society of London has staff that follow tiger populations in the region, but they were not prepared to accept an interview at this time.“Though we work on the ground and were impacted by the forest fires like many others, [the staff there] haven’t conducted any specific analysis or monitoring on the forest fires in Berbak Sembilang,” Emma Ackerley, a press officer with ZSL, told Mongabay.However, satellite data and imagery indicate the fires may have had a big impact on tigers in the park. In total, approximately 20,000 hectares (49,400 acres) — around 30 percent — of tiger habitat in Sembilang burned between August and September, according to data from the University of Maryland, NASA, and NGOs WWF and RESOLVE, and imagery from Planet Labs.Satellite data show large areas of fire-caused deforestation at either end of Sembilang National Park. The northern fires have wiped out a portion of its remaining primary forest, which is habitat for critically endangered Sumatran tigers and elephants. Source: GLAD/UMD, accessed through Global Forest WatchSatellite imagery shows fires had advanced well into primary forest as of late October. Source: Planet Labs.The Berbak Sembilang National Park Authority did not respond to several requests to comment on the situation.Yoga Travolindra, one of the researchers for the study that identified elephants in the park from the conservation group Forum Konservasi Gajah, has been on the ground near the park in recent weeks. He told Mongabay that the fires were unlikely to have killed any elephants since they mostly occurred in mangrove areas, which is not the elephants’ primary habitat.Travolindra said that while tigers did use the mangrove area there was no evidence of deaths in recent field observations of that animal either.“The [primary] problem for the Sumatran elephant today is that their habitat and ecosystems are disturbed from the conversion of land from secondary forests and shrubs into oil palm plantations by several companies located around the national park,” Travolindra said.“At the moment the problems in the national park are mainly area encroachment, illegal logging, and use of large trawlers in fishing,” he said.However, satellite data show that while fires were concentrated in and around mangroves earlier in the year, later burns moved into inland forests — including an area that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations considers elephant habitat.Drier than usual and getting drier stillTravolindra said the fires likely stemmed from fires set intentionally to open up land for farming. Propelled by a drier-than-usual dry season and underground peat reserves, these fires spread out of control, affecting areas much larger than was intended.“In general this year had been much drier compared to the past few years,” Arief Wijaya from World Resources Institute Indonesia told Mongabay. “These areas in South Sumatra host a vast amount of peatlands and are very susceptible to fires, and both [Sembilang and Berbak National Park to the north] are quite dominated by peatlands.”Part of South Sumatra’s Padang Sugihan wildlife reserve area has been damaged by illegal logging and forest fires. Photo by Faizal Abdul Aziz/CIFORIndonesia has vast unground stores of peat, which have built up over hundreds to thousands of years as vegetation died. Normally waterlogged and restricted to swamps, countrywide efforts to drain swamps and make them suitable for farming and logging has dried out many of Indonesia’s peatlands. And when it’s dry, peat is extremely combustible — and peat fires are very hard to control. Indonesia’s 2015 fire crisis that contributed to the premature deaths of more than 100,000 people is largely blamed on wildfires on drained peatlands caused by slash-and-burn agriculture.Bukti Bagja, a land-use accountability manager at World Resources Institute Indonesia, said there was a strong correlation between the recent fires and illegal deforestation activity in and near Sembilang National Park.“The pattern for these fire cases in that area is that it usually happens one or two months before the peak rainy season comes,” Bagja said. “To me this shows that people are preparing the land for the rainy season [when it wouldn’t be possible to clear].”Bagja said the government had been trying to restore those peatlands after the devastating 2015 fires that burned throughout Indonesia, but that restoration has proven difficult. Blocking of drainage canals that had been dug throughout the area had not restored water levels sufficiently due to the particularly intense dry season, and some peatlands had already been claimed and cleared by locals for agriculture and other uses, Bagja said.Fewer than 1,000 Sumatran tigers are living on Sumatra today, with estimates as low as 330. Photo by Steve Wilson via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0).“The main problem is that during the dry season, from what we understand, there is a continuous decrease in the water table,” Bagja said. “When the area faces a long dry season, then the water table decreases 1 or 2 cm per day, and with the current canal system, the question is how to keep the peat area and the cultivation area moist.”Vital habitat corridors under threatFires have also reportedly ravaged elephant habitat in Padang Sugihan Sebokor Wildlife Reserve, which lies southeast of Sembilang and serves as a corridor for wild elephants in South Sumatra.One report estimates that half of the reserve has suffered fire damage. Since elephants in South Sumatra have such wide ranges it can be difficult to determine exactly how populations were impacted by the most recent fires.As with Sembilang, Padang Sugihan is experiencing issues related to peatland draining and forest encroachment by industry and communities. In the past it has been well protected for the most part, even with limited budgets for conservation, according to Michael Allen Brady, principal scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).This elephant is named Ken. He was born in Padang Sugihan Wildlife Reserve and enjoys swimming in peat swamps, which are threatened due to fire and land conversion. Photo by Rifky/CIFOR.This protection, however, has not helped prevent this year’s damaging fires.“We’re able to confirm there has been a lot of burning in the [Padang Sugihan] reserve the past two months,” Brady said.“One of the reasons it is burning frequently is that they dug canals through it, seven major canals, and hundreds of tertiary canals,” he said. “It was logged over in the 70s and converted to transmigration lands and then they decided not to develop it and turned it back to the forestry ministry. Unfortunately they drained it but they had not cleared the forest, so it was essentially a timebomb, a standing peat forest that had been drained.”Once the area was designated a wildlife reserve, the military herded elephants into the area in the early 1980s and the government recognized the reserve as elephant habitat. Brady said that following this, the government designated an elephant management unit, built an office complex on the border of the park and encouraged public visitation, but the situation “has deteriorated” in recent years to the point where the unit is non-functioning.“Unfortunately there’s been no systematic monitoring of the [elephant] population in the reserve, but clearly it has gone from a population of about 400 to around a dozen,” Brady said.Yusuf Samsudin, an elephant specialist with CIFOR, agrees: “Local rangers say there are only 12 left now.”Two potential steps forward, one definite step backRegulations enacted after the 2015 fire crisis broadly protected carbon-rich peatlands in the hopes of stopping it from happening again. But these were revised in April this year, limiting protection to “peat domes,” or areas where peat layers protrude higher topographically than the edges of the surrounding peatland. Sources say peatland exploitation and fires intensified after the policy rollback.Morning view of South Sumatra’s Sebokor River, sheathed in mist and trees. Photo by Faizal Abdul Aziz/CIFOR.According to Wijaya, longer-term land-use governance issues need to be addressed in areas affected by fires, including increasing clarity about access to protected lands, resolving issues involving overlapping claims, and strengthening spatial planning policies.Bagja recommends educational outreach. He says local communities and law enforcement have been slow to adapt to changing conditions, and need to be more aware that the peatlands are much drier now than they were just two or three years ago.“Our hope in Indonesia is to bring awareness and knowledge about avoiding fires, to bring it to every household all over the country,” Bagja said. “They should understand it and the cost of using fires is much higher than the intangible cost, the externalities are much higher. The fact is that there are still big gaps in that understanding and knowledge.“They think they can control it but this statement is not valid because the situation has changed.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

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Deforestation preceded fires in ‘massive’ area of Amazon in 2019

first_imgDeforestation watchdog Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project found that 4,500 square kilometers (1,740 square miles) of the Brazilian Amazon was deforested between 2017 and 2019 and then burned.The team’s analysis revealed that 65 percent of that deforestation occurred in 2019 alone.The research points to the need for policymakers to address deforestation as well as fires. The prevailing narrative about the Brazilian Amazon this past summer was that the world’s largest rainforest was burning. A more accurate assessment would be that vast areas that used to be forest were burning, according to work by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP), a program of the organization Amazon Conservation.In a study published Nov. 13, the deforestation monitoring group found that 4,500 square kilometers (1,740 square miles) of the Brazilian Amazon — about 1.8 times the size of Luxembourg — was deforested between 2017 and 2019 and then burned.“The key star of the fire season was still deforestation,” Matt Finer, senior research specialist and director of MAAP, said in an interview.Video Playerhttps://storage.googleapis.com/planet-t2/rondonia1-brazil-2019-1HVlWxpZR/movie.mp400:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The deforestation of 1,760 hectares (4,350 acres) in Mato Grosso state in 2019 (May to July), followed by fires in August. Video courtesy of MAAP/Planet.In September, MAAP scientists first revealed that much of the fire in the Amazon that had grabbed the world’s attention in August 2019 was occurring on recently deforested land, not in standing forests.“We’re not seeing too many examples of a fire just appearing out of nowhere,” Finer said. “All the examples we see are of fires burning a recently deforested area. Then they escaped into surrounding forest, but they never turned into this big uncontrolled fire.”Finer and his colleagues compared satellite forest loss data from Global Forest Watch and the University of Maryland with fire alert data from NASA. They also looked at fire data from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) to tease out how much deforestation occurred in 2019. Known as DETER alerts, these points identify burn scars in the forest down to 30-meter (98-foot) resolution.Map showing deforestation and fires in 2019. Image courtesy of MAAP with data from UMD/GLAD, NASA (MODIS), PRODES and Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA.Surprisingly, 2,980 square kilometers (1,150 square miles) of forest was cleared and burned in 2019, about 65 percent of the 4,500-square-kilometer area deforested between 2017 and 2019.Their analysis also showed that more than 1,600 square kilometers (619 square miles) of primary forest burned in 2019. But Finer and his colleagues believe that most of these fires were started to clear vegetation for farms or pastures since they appear to spread outward from adjacent deforested land.University of Maryland ecologist Matt Hansen told the Washington Post in October that the recent fires in the Amazon are far from regions where crops like soy are leading to deforestation. He said he suspects that cattle ranchers are likely using the fires to expand their grazing land.“If you’re a big soy producer, there’s so much intensification around the larger agro-industrial farms,” Hansen told the Post, “you don’t want fire around.”Video Playerhttps://storage.googleapis.com/planet-t2/mato-grosso3-brazil-2019-tNSbHxtZg/movie.mp400:0000:0000:11Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The deforestation of 650 hectares (1,600 acres) in Rondônia state in 2019 (April to July), followed by fire in August. Video courtesy of MAAP/Planet.Fires in South America’s drier forests bear a different signature compared to those in the rainforest. (MAAP’s current analysis centered on the Amazonian states of Amazonas, Rondônia, and Pará.) In October, MAAP demonstrated that fires in the drier Chiquitanía and Chaco regions of Bolivia were tearing through large swaths of natural ecosystems.However, that doesn’t mean that fires in the Amazon rainforest won’t ever rage out of control.In a severe drought, Finer said, “all of a sudden, those escape fires are going to start looking more and more like we saw in the dry forest in Bolivia.“If it’s a drier year, they could really light up the Amazon,” he added.Newly deforested land in the Amazon. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.A recent study found that climate change and burning vegetation have caused the atmosphere over the Amazon to grow significantly drier in the past few decades, increasing the risk of fire.Finer’s team’s research points to the need for policymakers to address deforestation as well as fires.“[W]e need to recognize that many of the fires are in fact a lagging indicator of previous deforestation, thus to minimize fires we need to minimize deforestation,” they write.As the risk for fire grows, Finer pointed to the need to focus on deforestation with the same intensity leveled on fires in 2019.“How can we generate that global sense of urgency that we saw, as opposed to having hysteria every August?” he said.Banner image of a soy plantation next to transition forest in Brazil by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonCitation:Finer, M. & Mamani, N. (2019). Satellites Reveal what Fueled Brazilian Amazon Fires. MAAP: 113.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Amazon, Amazon Agriculture, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Drought, Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Soy, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forest People, Forests, Illegal Logging, Megafires, Rainforests, Saving Rainforests, Soy, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, wildfires Article published by John Cannoncenter_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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