Audio: Naomi Oreskes on what stories we can’t let get lost in the noise of 2017 and why scientists should speak up

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Animals, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Camera Trapping, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change Denial, Climate Change Policy, Climate Change Politics, Conservation, Conservation Technology, Endangered Species, Environment, Lemurs, Mammals, New Species, Palm Oil, Podcast, Primates, Protected Areas, Species Discovery, Technology And Conservation, Wildlife Because there is so much uncertainty around the new Trump Administration, especially around its energy, environment, and climate policies, we decided to dedicate this episode to trying to answer some of those questions.We continue to take a look at what this year will bring for energy and the environment under President Trump with Bobby Magill, a senior science writer for Climate Central and the president of the Society of Environmental Journalists.We also welcome Jeff Ruch, executive director of the non-profit service organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, to share with us what he’s been hearing so far from employees of the Environmental Protection Agency about their concerns with the Trump Administration’s environmental policies. Normally we’re focused on international conservation and environmental science news here at the Mongabay Newscast, just as our reporting on Mongabay.com is. But because there’s so much uncertainty around the new Trump Administration, especially its energy, environment, and climate policies, we decided to dedicate this episode to trying to answer some of those questions.We’ve assembled quite a distinguished panel of experts to discuss what we can and can’t say about the Trump Administration’s plans. On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we first welcome Harvard professor, climate historian, and noted author Naomi Oreskes to talk about what stories she’s worried will get lost in the media’s hyperfocus on the chaos surrounding the new Trump Administration in the U.S. as well as her recent lecture at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in which she laid out an evidence-based case for why scientists should be speaking out about their work in public.Oreskes has been Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University since 2013. Her research focuses on the Earth and environmental sciences, with a particular interest in understanding scientific consensus and dissent. Her 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global warming, co-authored with Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and received the 2011 Watson-Davis Prize from the History of Science Society. It was also made into a documentary of the same name.We continue to take a look at what this year will bring for energy and the environment under President Trump with Bobby Magill, a senior science writer for Climate Central and the president of the Society of Environmental Journalists, which recently released a special backgrounder entitled “Turbulent Prospects on Environment-Energy Beat Likely in Trump Era.”And we also welcome a third guest to the show, Jeff Ruch, executive director of the non-profit service organization Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Jeff shares with us what he’s been hearing so far from employees of the Environmental Protection Agency about their concerns with the Trump Administration’s environmental policies.Here’s this episode’s top news:The Philippines declares more than 100,000 acres as critical habitatAfrican bush babies gain a new genusCamera traps reveal undiscovered leopard population in Javan forestWill there really be enough sustainable palm oil for the whole market?Trump administration delays listing of rusty patched bumblebee as endangeredNew species of dwarf lemur discovered in MadagascarWant to stay up to date on all of Mongabay’s top news on the issues you follow closely? You can get email alerts when we publish new stories at Mongabay.com on specific topics that you care most about, from forests and oceans to indigenous people’s rights and more. Visit alerts.mongabay.com and sign up to keep on top of all your top issues.Also, we’re excited to announce a new special reporting project that will explore the effectiveness of conservation projects in Madagascar. If you’re a journalist with strong analytical skills, story-telling abilities, and experience in doing deep investigative reporting on complex issues, please visit mongabay.org/opportunities to learn more and send us your pitch. Travel funding is available, too.If you enjoy this podcast, please write a review of the Mongabay Newscast in the Apple Podcasts app, iTunes store, Stitcher page, or wherever you get your podcasts from. Your feedback will help us find new listeners! Simply go to the show’s page on whichever platform you get it from and find the ‘review’ or ‘rate’ section: Stitcher, TuneIn, iTunes, Google Play, or RSS.With over 7 inches of global sea level rise since 1900 (and today’s rise occurring even faster), the potential for storm surges and flooding is higher than ever. This photo shows the Bayside Picnic Area in Maryland’s Assateague Island National Seashore after Hurricane Sandy. Naomi Oreskes tells the Mongabay Newscast that we must continue to report impacts of climate change, such as the one pictured, that are occurring right now, rather than discussing climate change as some future threat. Photo by NPS Climate Change Response / Flickr.com.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

HSBC to stop financing deforestation-linked palm oil firms

first_imgActivism, Banking, Conservation, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Corporate Role In Conservation, Deforestation, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Zero Deforestation Commitments Article published by mongabayauthor A recent Greenpeace report accused the bank of marshalling $16.3 billion in financing for six firms since 2012 that have illegally cleared forests, planted oil palm on carbon-rich peat soil and grabbed community lands.The investigation prompted scores of people to join a campaign to change the bank’s policies, including thousands of HSBC’s own customers.The bank’s new policy requires HSBC customers to commit to protecting natural forest and peatland by June 30, and provide independent verification of their own NDPE commitments by Dec. 31, 2018. Europe’s largest bank has published a new “no deforestation” policy in what environmental campaigners have dubbed a “first step” towards sustainable palm oil finance, which they urge other major creditors to follow if the world’s tropical rainforests are to be saved.HSBC last month revised its Agricultural Commodities Policy to include “No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation” (NDPE) commitments in its financing of palm oil firms. The move by the bank, one of the largest providers of financial services to the palm oil industry, follows an investigation by environmental NGO Greenpeace, which linked it to plantation companies destroying the forests of Indonesia, the top palm oil producer. “Our rainforest is being carved up at a frightening rate and high street banks all over the world are funding this destruction,” Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Annisa Rahmawati said.“Coming from the world’s sixth-largest bank, HSBC’s new policy provides impetus for the rest of the banking sector to stop financing destructive palm oil companies,” she added. In its report, Dirty Bankers, Greenpeace accused the UK-headquartered bank of marshalling $16.3 billion in financing for six companies since 2012 that have illegally cleared forests, planted oil palm trees on carbon-rich peat soil and grabbed community lands.“Its links to some of the most damaging companies in the sector leave HSBC exposed to serious reputational risk, in addition to the financial risks associated with the palm oil industry,” the report said.The investigation prompted scores of people to join a campaign to change the bank’s policies, including thousands of HSBC’s own customers.A peatland planted with oil palm burns on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra in 2015. The archipelago country’s vast peat swamp zones have been widely drained and dried by plantation firms, rendering the land susceptible to burning. The 2015 fires were the worst in decades; smoke from the blaze sickened half a million people. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerIn a statement announcing the changes, HSBC said its existing policy already made clear that it had “no interest in financing illegal operations.”But, it said, it was always willing to review its approach.“We first introduced a forest policy in 2004 and have reviewed it periodically since, further tightening the policy each time,” a bank spokesperson told Mongabay.“The 2016 High Carbon Stock Convergence Agreement between palm oil supply chain companies and NGOs, which defines a common methodology for application in the palm oil sector, has allowed us to strengthen our policy.”The new policy will require HSBC customers to commit to protecting natural forest and peatland by June 30, and provide independent verification of their own NDPE commitments by Dec. 31, 2018. The commitments extend to refiners and traders, as well as growers and mills, and customers are required to agree that HSBC may disclose that it provides them financial services. “In the short transition period before customers have to make a commitment to NDPE, HSBC will not agree new financing facilities to customers who have not made the appropriate commitment,” the statement said.HSBC told Mongabay this week that it hoped the changes would “act as a boost to the drive to sustainability – and ending the deforestation that neither we nor NGOs wish to see.”An oil palm plantation in Limbé, Cameroon. Photo by John C. Cannon for MongabayThe upgraded policy could prove vital for Indonesia, where the rate of deforestation has overtaken Brazil as land is cleared to produce the world’s most popular oil, found in everything from snack foods to cosmetics and detergents.Following HSBC’s announcement, Greenpeace wrote to other banks found to have funded destructive palm oil companies, urging them to “follow suit.”“Without a proper policy, monitoring and enforcement, it is inevitable that your bank will be financing deforestation,” the NGO warned in letters to banks including ANZ, Bank of America and Standard Chartered. Greenpeace says a crucial test for HSBC’s commitment to sustainability will be its response to the alleged plans of South Korean conglomerate POSCO Daewoo to destroy a vast area of rainforest in Indonesia’s easternmost Papua province.Recent satellite images of POSCO Daewoo subsidiary PT Bio Inti Agrindo show an estimated 4,000 hectares of rainforest crisscrossed by newly constructed roads, which Greenpeace says is a “key indicator” of imminent plantation development. According to Greenpeace, HSBC has been involved in providing POSCO Daewoo and some of its subsidiaries with significant loans.“Announcing a policy is one thing, but implementing it is another,”  Rahmawati told Mongabay, adding that HSBC should publicly cut ties with the company if it refuses to “halt this destruction.”When asked about its funding of POSCO Daewoo, HSBC said it was unable to comment on specific customers, even to confirm or deny their relationship, because of commitments to client confidentiality. However, the bank said it always investigates “credible evidence” of companies failing to comply with policies, and was “not aware of any current instances where customers are alleged to be operating outside our policy and where we have not taken, or are not taking, appropriate action.”Greenpeace warned that it will be “watching closely” to make sure HSBC delivers on its promises.Banner: An oil palm plantation on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabaycenter_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

An indigenous group reforests its corner of coastal New Guinea

first_imgArticle published by mongabayauthor Residents of Yepem on the Indonesian half of New Guinea island are undertaking a reforestation project with the local government.Respect for nature is a fundamental part of the worldview of the local Asmat people.Locals’ biggest problem is a lack of clean water. Located on the Siretsy river delta in Papua’s Asmat district is the picturesque hamlet of Yepem, the 655 residents of this coastal enclave on the shore of the Arafura Sea continue to eat traditional foods and practice cultural arts despite the rest of Asia’s gallop into the 21st century.In Yepem, meals are composed of fish, coconuts, bananas and starchy roots like cassava, taro and sago. Residents harvest shrimp at the nearby Yomot streamlet with nets and fishing poles. The village is dotted with jeuws, or traditional Asmat houses. The structures have high vaulted ceilings held up by poles planted in the earth. Mangi-mangi wood and sago leaves top the roofs. One jeuw is set aside as the town “carving studio.” The place is filled with carvers and weavers. There is even a little child learning from his dad. The leader of this initiative, Paskalis Wakat, explains that the Asmat people have a philosophy that they must be one with god, the ancestral spirits and the forest. Yepem residents young and old have a deep respect for the forest and see the duty of preserving the environment as one with respecting god and their ancestors. Kaspar Mamnak, a member of the Asmat Traditional People’s Foundation (LMAA) says locals are not allowed to debark trees. There is a ban on tree cutting along the banks of the Yomot river.  It is also forbidden to shoot – with arrow, catapult, or airgun – shore birds. “ They, like us, are utilizing nature and the forest,” he explained.Given this nature-bound worldview, it is unsurprising that Yepem residents and the local forestry office have a reforestation program going.A house in Asmat district, made from ironwood. Photo by Agapitus Batbual for MongabayA big signboard on the edge of the thicket of mangroves on the way into town announces the program. Topping the board are the insignia of two government outfits and three conservation groups: Asmat regional government, the national forestry ministry, USAID, WWF and Blue Forressis. Below are instructions to visitors: “No tree chopping. Please let us protect the mangrove and river, as per Spatial Bylaw No. 6, 2012, Article 21 on Protected Areas.”The carving teacher Wakat explains that locals have planted a variety of trees including pit trees, salt trees and mangroves. Deeper in the forest, there was also high-value ironwood. Salt and pit trees have not always existed in the vicinity of Yepem village, according to LMAA’s Mamnak said they arrived in his lifetime. Locals requested saplings of the tree species from two American catholic missionaries, Alfons Sowada and Uskup Agats. Salt and pit trees are renown for preventing soil erosion. Today, the offspring of those original saplings grow abundantly in the area.A carving from Yepem. Photo by Agapitus Batbual for MongabayYosep Ker, the Yepem village head, says that the traditional culture of the Asmat is still strong. They still understand and abide the concept of karuu or sacred ancestral sites. They mark locations that have been deforested with young sago leaves. They do not drink the water in old village sites or ironwood groves. Sacred sites are recognized and ratified by joint treaties. “Those who violate [these agreements] will die sooner or later,” says Ker.Wakat, the carving teacher, says the village plans to develop itself as a tourist destination. Yepem’s idyllic setting could be a showcase of Asmat tradition, he argues. They still have a lot of sago, forest and sealife. In the morning, ladies paddle their boats to sea with poles, nets and buckets to gather baby shrimp. On the land, guavas, rubber, rambutan, durian and papaya grow abundantly. Despite the chalky local soil the color and texture of wood pulp, the village is filled with groves of coconut, bananas, beans, eggplant, leafy greens, sugar cane and even coffee.The biggest problem in Asmat lands is the lack of a regular source of fresh water. Locals collect rainwater with 11-liter tanks. The water source for Agats city (20 miles away) is the Yomot river. A machine at the river’s headwaters sucks water out with a big pipe. “This is a restricted forest,” carving teacher Wakat explained from his speedboat during a recent visit to the intake site. The Asmat see this as a protected forest, filled with huge ironwood trees – so wide that two grown ups linking arms could not wrap their arms around a single tree. The local public works office had built a shed to store the machine. There was also a long-abandoned guardhouse next to the facility, standing on swampland. Furnaces in the house had long stood un-used. Oil from the machine spilled into the surrounding ecosystem – so much for clean water. When asked about the oil leak, the head of public works Melianus Jitmau evaded the question.This piece was first published on Mongabay’s Indonesian sister site on Oct. 30, 2016.Banner image: Paskalis Wakat, a carver from Yepem. Photo by Agapitus Batbual for Mongabay Agriculture, Community Forestry, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Ecotourism, Environment, Forestry, Forests, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Peoples, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Reforestation, Tropical Forests, Water, Water Scarcity center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

The last elephants of Cambodia’s Virachey National Park

first_imgVirachey is Cambodia’s largest national park, with 3,325 square kilometers of mountainous jungle, upland savannas, and deep river gorges spanning across Stung Treng and Ratanakiri provinces in the extreme northeast of the country.Economic Land Concessions, some of which have now been revoked, chipped away at the area of the park that borders Vietnam, while selective illegal logging takes place throughout Virachey (and every “protected area” in Cambodia) and poaching is rife.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. It was getting late in the day and we were searching for our favorite swimming hole and camp site, a place called D’dar Poom Chop (which translates roughly from the ethnic Brao language into something like “Broken Pineapple Rock Waterfall”) in Cambodia’s Virachey National Park.In fact, we didn’t intend to set up camp there, as it’s not directly on the old Brao path we needed to take in order to reach the Lao border — a path that was used in times past to evade paying taxes, escape forced labor for the French, and flee the Khmer Rouge. That same path became a main artery of the Ho Chih Minh Trail used by the Viet Cong, and then during the Vietnamese occupation period trucks and elephants used the trail to haul out valuable timber and rattan. Today it is used mainly by poachers, loggers, and a ragged conservation team consisting of myself, Virachey Park staff, and Brao porters. We were on our way to retrieve footage from our camera traps in the park, and were hoping to take a quick swim en route.Virachey is Cambodia’s largest national park, with 3,325 square kilometers (close to 1,300 square miles) of mountainous jungle, upland savannas, and deep river gorges spanning across Stung Treng and Ratanakiri provinces in the extreme northeast of the country. Economic Land Concessions, some of which have now been revoked, chipped away at the area of the park that borders Vietnam, while selective illegal logging takes place throughout Virachey (and every “protected area” in Cambodia) and poaching is rife. However, there have been whispers of much more sinister plans: a “border belt” road that would hug the Lao border inside Virachey in the area that is currently the most inaccessible and lush of the whole park — the very area where our twelve camera traps were currently in operation. The effects that such a road would have on wildlife and the forest are unthinkable: farmers, squatters, more poachers, more loggers, industrial-scale plantations, and much more would probably follow.Gregory McCann’s old Brao friend Kamla takes a dip in Ddar Poom Chop. Photo by Gregory McCann.Heavy storms in 2016 leveled entire stands of bamboo, causing us to lose the way several times. With hordes of leeches on my legs and daylight fading fast, I voted to set up camp next to a stream that seemed to be flowing in the wrong direction. The next morning I was sure that the stream was the O Gan Yu River, which has its source in Phnom Haling-Halang (Phnom means hill or mountain in Khmer), the Cambodia-Lao border mountain where we had a dozen camera traps set up. I figured it would help us get our bearings if we could confirm that D’dar Poom Chop was just 20 minutes upriver, which was my guess. I asked our two lead guides, Virachey Ranger Leam Sou and “muscle man” Peen, to take a few minutes to investigate before we set off on another machete-whacking slog. We were now four days deep into the trek and we couldn’t afford to waste any more time with unnecessary detours.The expedition was beginning to feel like a long walk in the Dagobah System from The Empire Strikes Back, with my old, shriveled and hunched-over Brao friend Kamla wandering off into the forest on mysterious quests while we waited for Sou and Peen. As I was beginning to note the leeches again, Sou and Peen came back shouting. “Greg! Elephant shit! We find elephant shit close to D’dar Poom Chop, and it’s only 200 meters away!” I was stunned by this news.We got GPS handsets and cameras out and set off in pursuit of steaming piles of elephant dung. We found about a dozen, most of which appeared about three months old by our guides’ estimate. In 2015 we found some very old lumps of elephant dung near the Lao border mountains, and some ethnic Kavet guides insisted that only a small group of elephants remain, which occasionally cross over the border from Laos. We stood now a good distance from those border mountains. These could be genuine Virachey elephants, remnants of once-vast herds that were ruthlessly slaughtered in the 1980s. Who knows, maybe they had come all the way down to bathe in that paradisiacal swimming hole that I love so much.The Cambodia-Lao borderland still contains vast amounts of primary forest cover. Photo by Gregory McCann.Camera trap photo of juvenile elephant in Virachey National Park. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.It was time to get moving again and reach Haling-Halang base camp. We stopped to pick up two camera traps en route, with swarms of ants racing frantically in and out of the protective metal casings and biting us as we fiddled with jammed and rusted locks.We almost made it to the Lao border in a day — which would have been a feat to impress even the super-fit Brao tribal people — but we got lost once again, this time spending two hours over the international border in Laos’ contiguous Nam Ghong Provincial Protected Area, which still retains beautiful forest cover to this day. But I had a feeling there would be a reward in this. Since we wouldn’t be able to make base camp, we might be able to throw up our hammocks on the side of a large, open basaltic clearing that affords a majestic close-up view of Haling-Halang. And from there, with a rocky clearing up above a triple-canopy forest, we might be treated to a chorus of gibbon calls like none other. I was not mistaken.Haling-Halang up close, where the gibbon chorus rang out. Photo by Gregory McCann.At about 7am the next morning I heard, from my frigid hammock, several dozen families of endangered Yellow-cheeked gibbons (Nomascus gabriellae) begin calling from every direction, their eerily beautiful voices traveling fast over the canopy and giving life to these tropical hills. It seemed like the maniacal cries would never end. They whooped and called until their voices trailed off into falsettos of ecstasy, finally ready to begin searching for food in one of Mainland Southeast Asia’s last primeval forests.When they had stopped singing I got out of my hammock, took some coffee in a bamboo cup, and checked over some of the camera trap memory cards that we had collected the day before: a golden cat with cub, a family of gaur, a huge serow, a lone dhole, a sexy hog badger, a sun bear with a missing paw. Virachey National Park, despite years of conservation neglect, was still brimming with wildlife.After a breakfast of instant noodles — something my Irish trekking partner equated to consuming a sheet of paper in terms of nutrition — we set off for Haling-Halang base camp. The late naturalist Ivan T. Sanderson, in his Book of Great Jungles (1965), wrote that the difference between a degraded forest and a primordial or climax forest was so extreme that “you pass from one world to another.” This was where the gibbons were, and where Great hornbills swooshed overhead and growled their way onto their aeries. Huge, gnarled trees, some already killed by strangler figs and fallen over, only to be caught by others dying the same deaths; massive column-like trunks with chipping bark that we’d need botanists to come in and identify; sparse undergrowth — old growth forest at last! The land of gibbons and hornbills and otters, and, as we’d soon find out, elephants!A rare view into Laos’ Nam Ghong Provincial Protected Area directly to the north of Virachey. Photo by Gregory McCann.We had time to collect two camera traps before dark, and the first one produced gold: Asian black bear, sun bear, Asian small-clawed otter, gaur, leopard cat, binturong… and a family of about a dozen Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). I shouted with joy, and the locals were happy as well. In fact, they were afraid that elephants and most other large mammals had long been poached out of the Park. Our camera traps proved that this was not the case.The next day we summitted Haling-Halang, getting lost once again and scaling nearly inverted cliffs, but up there our camera traps revealed spotted linsang (a rare record for Cambodia), clouded leopard, marbled cat, golden cat, large Indian civet, and many other species — including poachers.It was dark by the time we reached camp and a frog hunt commenced to supplement our dwindling food stores. I declined to take part because I just had to flip through all those memory cards again. On the last day in the Haling-Halang base camp area we headed east in the direction of Vietnam where two more cameras needed to be collected. More elephants on one, as well as black bear, golden cat, and the now near-locally extinct Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica). And, unfortunately, a group of Vietnamese poachers, one staring menacingly into our camera with his rifle in hand. We had missed them by just four days.Adult elephant taking a sip from a stream in Virachey National Park. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.Spotted Linsang, a species that is not often camera-trapped in Cambodia. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.Two men, one carrying a rifle, inspect a camera trap in Virachey National Park. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.Two men, one carrying a rifle, in Virachey National Park. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.With all twelve camera traps collected, we began the long trek back to the Brao village beside the Sesan River, which is one of the main tributaries to the Mekong River in Cambodia and which is also being controversially dammed downstream in Stung Treng province. We made it back in record time and homemade rice wine awaited us. Our three-year wildlife survey was now complete, but that did not set my mind at ease.Virachey has been left to its fate: Roads, dams, poachers, loggers, miners — the Age of the Anthropocene. But if there was one place in the region worth fighting for, this is it, and the elephants prove it. However, many conservation NGOs, even the big ones, face financial difficulties today, and Virachey has somewhat of a bad reputation. Help, it seems, won’t be coming anytime soon.Can I end this on a positive note? First, Virachey still has lots of wildlife. Second, many of the armed criminals photographed on our camera traps are actually looking for kumla wood from which they can make drugs and other valuable substances, although they will opportunistically shoot gibbons and douc langurs out of the trees to supplement their diets (kind of like how we caught the frogs, although our amphibians are not threatened with extinction). But no doubt, if they came across the elephants, they might go for them.A Sunda pangolin. One of the the last of its kind in Cambodia. It took Gregory McCann and his team three years to camera trap this species. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.A binturong in the midst of an evening hunt. Binturongs have become more rare in Cambodia in the last decade. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.A man carrying a rifle in Virachey National Park, captured in camera trap footage. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.Third, I doubt they’ll ever finish the “master plan” for the border-hugging road as they now envision it. Fourth, although a wretched Chinese dam might go up inside Virachey, dams are not always bad. In 2014 we visited Thailand’s Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary — an area flooded long ago by the Ratchaprapha Dam — and conducted a six-month camera trap survey that turned up Malayan tapir, Asian elephant, banded linsang, clouded leopard, golden cat, and many other species that seemed to have no problem with the reservoir. So long as there is no access road and boat access is strictly for revenue-generating ecotourists, then that section of the park may not be utterly doomed.And lastly, several other “protected” areas abut Virachey, including Nam Ghong PPA in Laos to the north, the brand new Veun Sai-Siem Pang National Park to the south, and Chu Mom Ray National Park in Vietnam to the east. The actual forested area, including Virachey, is probably close to 500,000 hectares. That’s not something you give up on, especially when elephants are still pounding around, dholes are still yelping, and clouded leopards continue to stalk gibbons, langurs, and macaques. Virachey is as important as any other protected area in Southeast Asia.If we lose Virachey we lose the last great piece of the Annamite Mountains. According to researchers I have spoken with, vast expanses of the Annamite Cordillera in Vietnam have been defaunated, with the majority of ground-dwelling mammals wiped out by indiscriminate snaring. The situation is not much better on the Lao side of the Annamites, as William deBuys’ exquisite book The Last Unicorn (2015) shows us. This is not the case in Virachey — yet.A marbled cat stalks the Haling-Halang ridge. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.A marbled cat hunts on a natural ridge line path near the Lao border. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.Three men, one carrying a rifle, caught on a camera trap in Virachey National Park. Courtesy of Gregory MCcann.Virachey’s fate is largely beyond the public’s control. Visit it as soon as you can, because you never know: maybe you’ll have to wait for a baby elephant to leave the D’dar Poom Chop swimming hole before you can plunge in, and there will be gibbons and hornbills galore, for sure, for now. I often feel that we live in a “see it before it’s gone” time regarding the last wild places of Southeast Asia. And maybe that’s the truth. Will confirming the existence of Asian elephants in Virachey make any difference? It hasn’t yet, and poachers appear in the same cameras that the elephants do. If I’ve seen those piles of elephant dung, then the poachers have too. Virachey has already lost its tigers and common leopards (Panthera pardus), and just how many elephants remain is uncertain. What did three years of camera-trapping — sponsored by Habitat ID and generous individual donors — accomplish? It’s probably too soon to tell.But some things stick in my mind. We were told that in the 1980s, poachers were killing up to a dozen elephants a week in what is now Virachey National Park. By 1990 that number dropped to about two per week, and some felt it wasn’t worth the effort anymore. The area was declared a national park in 1993. A longtime expat conservationist in Cambodia who corroborated that information also told me another sad tale from nearby Preah Vihear province: A local hunter told him that in the early 1990s a herd of elephants had come down out of the mountains and a local man who happened to have an AK-47 slung on his shoulder whipped it around and opened fired on the herd. One of the elephants went down, and moments later two from the herd went back and, using their bodies, lifted it back up and helped it back into forest cover. The herd had disappeared into the forest by the time the shooter could reload.I think of this last elephant herd in Virachey. Will they die in silence, poached out by the men you see in this article, or can a couple of patrols catch these criminals and put them behind bars?In the end, as far as the amazing biodiversity in deep Virachey goes, it seems, so far as our camera traps can show us, that wildlife remains, but one or two bands of horrid poachers/loggers operate in our study area, and with impunity. It wouldn’t cost that much to fund a patrol to go in and catch them and bring them to court.I already mentioned that we have wrapped up our project and the survey has come to a close. And I’ve told many people that this was my last trip to Cambodia. But I’ve said that before. The elephants sort of change things.Camera trap photo of juvenile elephant with adult behind. Courtesy of Gregory McCann.Gregory McCann is the Project Coordinator for Habitat ID and the author of the book Called Away by a Mountain Spirit. 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 Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Animals, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Camera Trapping, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Elephants, Environment, Illegal Trade, Mammals, National Parks, Poachers, Protected Areas, Researcher Perspectives Series, Wildlife last_img read more

Breakthrough boosts hope for treating contagious cancer in Tasmanian devils

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 Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Diseases, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Genetics, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Infectious Wildlife Disease, Mammals, Marsupials, Saving Species From Extinction, Tasmanian devil, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img The devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) has spread across most of the Tasmanian devil’s range and has wiped out more than 80 percent of these animals in Tasmania.In a new study, researchers could successfully trigger the devil’s immune system to recognise and destroy established DFTD tumours.The findings show that a DFTD vaccine is feasible, researchers say. A type of transmissible cancer has decimated Tasmanian devil populations.First detected in 1996, the devil facial tumor disease (DFTD) has spread across most of the Tasmanian devil’s range and has wiped out more than 80 percent of these animals in Tasmania. The cancer, which spreads when the devils bite each other’s snouts, kills virtually every devil it infects.Last year, researchers found that Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) have been evolving resistance to fight the cancer. And now, scientists may have a cure that could prevent the species’ extinction.After years of laboratory work, researchers have successfully used immunotherapy to shrink and eliminate golf-ball sized tumors on Tasmanian devils. They report their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.“This is almost a Eureka moment for us because it’s the first time we can say for sure that it was the immunotherapy that was making the tumour shrink,” Professor Woods of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, said in a statement.Devil facial tumour disease causes tumours to form in and around the mouth, interfering with feeding and eventually leading to death by starvation. Photo by Menna Jones, Wikimedia Commons.The researchers tested four immunization protocols on nine healthy devils over a span of six years. The team immunised the devils with a variety of cell preparations and exposed them to live DFTD cancer cells, and found that they could successfully trigger the devil’s immune system to recognise and destroy established DFTD tumors.“Our research shows that a DFTD vaccine is feasible. We are focusing our efforts on developing strategies to improve the devils’ response to immunisation,” said lead author Cesar Tovar of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.Only about 10,000 to 25,000 mature Tasmanian devils remain in the wild today, down from an estimated 150,000 individuals in the 1990s. This population collapse is largely due to the infectious cancer. This rapid decline in the devils, which are Tasmania’s top marsupial predators, has resulted in a sharp rise in the activity of feral cats and other invasive species, and a decrease in native mammals.Ever since DFTD was discovered, scientists have been striving to establish disease-free populations of Tasmanian devils in the wild, which is why the promise of a vaccine is good news for the species, researchers say. Unfortunately, most healthy Tasmanian devils occur only in breeding programs. Before these animals can be released into the wild, they need to be protected against DFTD. An effective vaccine could be the key to their successful introduction.Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii). Photo by JJ Harrison, Wikimedia Commons.Citation:Tovar, C. et al. Regression of devil facial tumour disease following immunotherapy in immunised Tasmanian devils. Sci. Rep. 7, 43827; doi: 10.1038/srep43827 (2017).last_img read more

Indonesia’s clean coal dreams

first_imgClimate Change, Climate Change Politics, Coal, Corporate Responsibility, Energy, Environment, Fossil Fuels, Infrastructure Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Isabel Estermancenter_img Indonesia’s government has touted clean coal technology as the saving grace for its reliance on this carbon-heavy fuel, but this technology is in its infancy and may not grow quickly enough.The term “clean coal” is used to refer to a wide range of technologies that decrease environmental impacts; only the least effective of these technologies are within Indonesia’s reach.If developed countries foster these technologies to the point of commercial viability, Indonesia will have a better chance of using them. The Indonesian government is relying on so-called “clean coal” technology to help reconcile its climate goals with plans to rapidly expand coal-fired energy.But even in countries with far greater resources than Indonesia, clean coal is often called a pipe dream or an oxymoron.The most advanced technologies can, in theory, remove some 90 percent of carbon and harmful particulates from coal exhaust. But they drive up the cost of building a coal-fired power plant by about 70 percent, said Ed Rubin, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, in an interview with Mongabay.Only two full-scale projects using this carbon capture and storage technology are in operation: Boundary Dam coal-fired power plant in Canada began operation in 2014 (and has consistently fallen short of the 90 percent carbon removal goal) and Petra Nova began operation in the United States this year.Otherwise, only a smattering of pilot projects and small-scale operations has used the technologies that are the focus of clean-coal hopes. Cost overruns and technical difficulties have characterized these projects, and many have been terminated.Coal barges on the Mahakam river in Samarinda, East Kalimantan. Photo by Kemal Jufri/Greenpeace.The more modest technologies that fall under the broad umbrella of “clean coal” — those that focus on improving efficiency and thus reducing carbon emissions by some 20 percent — are used in more than 500 plants worldwide. These may be within Indonesia’s reach.They will not be enough on their own to secure Indonesia’s climate goals. They may help, however, if Indonesia secures the funding to implement them and succeeds in fostering its renewable energy resources at the same time, as planned.Even if Indonesia sequesters some carbon this way, many environmental advocates remain opposed to Indonesia’s coal expansion, as numerous other concerns about the health and environmental impacts of the coal industry remain.Technology Indonesia plans to usePlants built with the modest clean coal technologies referred to above are called “supercritical” or “ultra-supercritical,” as opposed to the traditional “subcritical.” The difference is in the steam pressure.Though there are various methods of processing coal to produce energy, coal is usually pulverized then burned to heat water in the boiler, which becomes steam that pushes turbines into motion.Supercritical and ultra-supercritical boilers are built to withstand higher temperatures and greater pressure. Under these conditions, less energy is needed to turn the water into steam, making the boilers more efficient and thus decreasing the amount of emissions per megawatt hour.Supercritical power plants can emit close to 20 percent less CO2 than subcritical for the same amount of energy produced, and ultra-supercritical plants can emit some 30 percent less than subcritical, according to the International Energy Agency.Greenpeace Indonesia activists unfurl a banner saying ‘Quit Coal’ from cranes at the Cirebon Coal Power Plant in Cirebon, West Java, Indonesia. Photo by Afriadi Hikmal/Greenpeace.While supercritical technology has taken hold in Europe, Japan, and some other countries, it’s far from the norm worldwide, and particularly in Indonesia. Indonesia’s first supercritical coal-fired power plant, Cirebon, began operation in 2012. It is being expanded with two ultra-supercritical units still in the testing phase.Indonesia currently has about 50 coal-fired power plants. It plans to build 117 new plants by 2019. Of the plants under construction or planned, 21 percent will still be subcritical; 43 percent will be supercritical; 16 percent will be ultra-supercritical; and 20 percent are undefined.With only a portion of new coal power using this technology — which will allow only some plants to decrease carbon emissions by 20 percent or so — clean coal technology will be a modest contributor to Indonesia’s commitment of cutting carbon emissions by 29 percent overall from projected 2030 levels.Retrofitting has not proven to be economically viable, according to IEA, so there is little hope for existing subcritical plants to shape up.Children in Cirbon, Indonesia, play with a coal plant visible in the background. Photo by Henri Ismail/Greenpeace.Technology Indonesia hopes to useOther, more cutting edge methods of “cleaning” coal may become available to Indonesia if they thrive in other countries. That’s a big “if.”The carbon capture and storage used in Canada’s Boundary Dam and the United States’ Petra Nova plants could become viable. Although these projects cost some $1 billion, Rubin noted that further research and development could bring down the costs significantly.He used a historical example: in the 1970s talk of “clean coal” centered on the removal of sulfur dioxide from plant emissions. The technology to do this was far from economical and technically flawed at the time, but the price dropped by half over the course of a couple of decades and it is now commonly used.Various methods are used to capture carbon, but the most common is to have a liquid solvent bind with and absorb CO2 from the power plant’s exhaust. The solvent is then heated to release the CO2 into storage containers. This CO2 is then often used to help extract oil. It’s pumped into the ground to push oil up, and remains sequestered deep underground.The successes or failures of Petra Nova could help determine the future of this technology. U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed support for clean coal technology, which may help it grow in the United States and eventually the rest of the world.Another high-profile clean coal attempt in the United States uses a technology called gasification, which is now being tested in Indonesia. A Japanese company, IHI Corporation, has invested in a prototype plant in Indonesia’s PT Pupuk Kujang Industrial Estate Area that is expected to finish testing this year, according to the Jakarta Globe.With gasification, instead of burning the coal, the coal is turned into a gas using steam and pressurized air that force carbon molecules apart. The impurities are more easily separated from the resulting gas which is then burned to produce energy.The U.S. gasification plant, Kemper County Energy Facility in Mississippi, has run $4 billion over budget and was supposed to open in 2014 but remains inoperative.A coal mining operation near the Bukit Tigapuluh National National Conservation area in Riau, Indonesia. Photo by Kemal Jufri/GreenpeaceRemaining concernsAside from CO2, substances such as nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides that are harmful to human health and the environment enter the air from coal plants.Rajender Gupta, a chemical engineer at Canada’s University of Alberta, told Mongabay carbon capture technologies also remove these substances. In supercritical plants, these pollutants are decreased the same as carbon, by way of efficiency. But individual technologies to most effectively filter out these harmful substances are still not widely used, Gupta said.Other environmental impacts of coal use include the clearing rainforest habitat for coal mining operations and the use of water — Greenpeace reported that “A typical coal plant withdraws enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every three and a half minutes.”A 2016 report on the coal industry by a coalition of NGOs, including the Sierra Club, criticized all attempts to green coal: “Replacing less efficient plants with new high-efficiency plants, while it can lead to a short-term reduction in carbon emissions, can lead in the long term to increased carbon emissions by delaying the ultimate replacement of coal power with clean power solutions such as wind and solar power.”Rubin is among those, on the other hand, who think coal still has an important transitional role and that clean coal technologies could make that role less damaging. “The cost of some renewables has come down significantly … but renewables still cannot do the job that coal has been doing, which is providing electricity 24 hours per day.”He added: “When we talk about the cost of renewables coming down, what tends to be excluded from those numbers is the cost that it would take to provide electricity when the wind isn’t blowing, when the sun isn’t shining.”Geothermal is a type of renewable energy that doesn’t have the fluctuation problems of wind and solar. Indonesia has the greatest geothermal energy potential in the world, with about 40 percent of total global geothermal resources, according to the World Bank. High capital costs and some regulatory issues in Indonesia are among the obstacles for developing geothermal.A 2015 report by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, found that adding 3,000 megawatts of geothermal capacity would require $4 billion in equity and $9.5 billion in debt finance. Indonesia has an estimated 27,000 megawatts in untapped geothermal capacity.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

Drones and artificial intelligence image processing improving the ‘koality’ of wildlife monitoring

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 Featured image credit: Liz Lawley via Creative Commons license Artificial Intelligence, Conservation, Conservation Drones, Drones, Research, Technology, Thermal Imagery, Wildtech Article published by Sue Palminteri Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) paired with artificial intelligence image processing can provide data that helps researchers evaluate the health and conservation status of Australia’s koala population.Programming UAVs with a complex hierarchy of algorithms, designed to identify and differentiate between individual animals in the wild, allows researchers to automatically classify data while conducting aerial surveys.Researchers continue to advance the program’s algorithms to make this monitoring method more accurate, powerful, and widely applicable. In recent years, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have increasingly been used to monitor wildlife populations from above, but artificial intelligence has taken drone technology one step further.Koala populations are declining across their range in Australia due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) are conducting aerial surveys using UAVs, or drones, to monitor vulnerable koala populations across different terrains. Programming sensors (standard and thermal video cameras) carried by the UAVs with a complex hierarchy of algorithms, designed to identify and differentiate between individual animals in the wild by adjusting for variables such as color, shape, and size, allows the researchers to automatically classify the data collected during the aerial surveys. The image processing capacity of these drones automates the process of identifying animals through visual and thermal imagery and artificial intelligence data processing.UAVs and artificial intelligence data processing can help to assess the health and conservation status of vulnerable koala populations Photo credit: Marc Dalmulder via Creative Commons licenseAccording to Dr. Felipe Gonzalez, who leads the project, “A key element of our research is that the data processing has automatic detection so that you don’t have to go through the imagery. [The system] also has the ability to geolocate where the wildlife was detected at that point in time. The UAVs have a GPS, so each frame captured by the camera is stamped with GPS [information].”The QUT researchers compare aerial counts to ‘ground truth’ counts conducted by rangers on foot within the same area to test the accuracy of the system’s capacity to recognize patterns from the thermal sensor. Within the testing stage, these trials must be administered in areas that are accessible to people on foot, but once algorithms have been fine-tuned and are ready to be applied in the field for wildlife monitoring, they will allow researchers to fly UAVs over tracts with dense vegetation that are difficult to access.The QUT team must account for a host of different variables in developing the program’s algorithms.“One of the difficult variables that will affect the capacity of the algorithms to work is the camera that we use,” explains Gonzalez. “Another is the field of view.”Adapting to varying light conditions in the field, depending on location and time of day, is yet another challenge in using thermal cameras, as it “affects the temperature of the environmental conditions”.“What we saw was that there’s a time in the morning when it’s really difficult to see or make sense of the data,” says Gonzalez. “There’s a lot of false positives [mistaking warmed-up vegetation for animals], so the ability to detect the wildlife is harder. Ideally, we would like to fly at night or really early in the morning, so we did the surveys … at first light — seven or eight or nine minutes before sunrise.” Flying UAVs when the trees and vegetation are still cool makes the warm-bodied koalas more easily detectable by the thermal cameras.The researchers are also testing the capacity of combining UAVs and artificial intelligence data processing for monitoring dingo populations, which come into conflict with people in some areas.A lone dingo on Australia’s Fraser Island Photo Credit: Glen Fergus via Creative Commons licenseAs Gonzalez describes, “We wanted to have the ability to fly early in the morning and then [have] someone walking through the bush before us or after us to count the koala population to validate the results. With the dingoes, it’s a little bit more challenging, because they’re [more] mobile… I guess the next step for us is getting the approvals and getting the access to fly at night… It would be really, really challenging for the algorithm to work at eight, nine o’clock in the morning, a couple of hours after sunlight. Because of that, you don’t have the ability to survey large areas, [since] your time window is limited.”Gonzalez notes that the use of the technology is a process in evolution, which researchers must adapt not only to be more efficient, but also to meet ethical standards. “For instance, without special approval, the aircraft cannot be flown ‘beyond line-of-sight”, which can be especially difficult in areas with tall trees and dense vegetation. In such cases, researchers must fly the UAVs at high altitudes in order to maintain line-of-sight at all times, which weakens the drone’s ability to differentiate between animals.The QUT team has developed standard operating procedures to reduce potential adverse impacts on wildlife. The thermal camera sends the UAV operator team an automatic video transmission to assess whether an animal being monitored is in distress so the team can immediately recover the aircraft if distress is evident. Another adaptation is to use more efficient technology that reduces noise, such as UAV models with quieter propellers. Researchers can also manipulate the take-off methods of the UAVs, taking off slowly and at a safe distance from wildlife, so that they do not startle an animal.This same monitoring technology can be used to monitor feral animals. As feral dogs and cats kill native Australian birds and small mammals, including koalas, and non-native goats “affect farming and destroy some of the natural vegetation”, Gonzalez emphasizes the importance of assessing distribution of feral animals, as well.Road and railway development can pose a risk to koala populations by contributing to habitat fragmentation and exposing koalas to open areas Photo credit: Aaron Jacobs via Creative Commons licenseGonzalez added that the construction of new roads and railways through the bush clears and damages koala habitats and creates open areas through which koalas become exposed to predators. Instead of the koalas moving along tree canopies, they must cross open corridors, which feral dogs have learned to use to find and attack them.UAVs paired with artificial intelligence image processing can provide distribution data that helps researchers evaluate the health of Australia’s koala population and assists in efforts to relocate vulnerable populations to areas where they will be less threatened by human activity.Gonzalez wants the algorithms to remain open-source, for use by researchers and conservationists worldwide for wildlife monitoring. Continual improvements to UAV imaging technology and the image processing algorithms will permit researchers and wildlife managers to detect individual animals across larger areas in ways that are faster and less invasive.last_img read more

New ‘stone’ frog discovered in Vietnam

first_imgResearchers first collected specimens of the frog in 2013 while surveying forests covering limestone hills in Vietnam’s Lai Chau and Tuyen Quang Provinces.After analyzing and comparing this frog’s appearance, call, as well as DNA with that of closely related frogs, the team confirmed that it was indeed a new species.Unfortunately, the researchers suspect that the new species is already threatened with extinction and recommend listing it as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. In the rugged limestone hills of northern Vietnam, scientists have discovered a new species of frog that looks like a small piece of rock.Researchers have named it the stone leaf-litter frog or Leptolalax petrops, derived from the Latin words petra, meaning “rock”, and –ops, meaning “having the appearance of”. The frog, measuring only about two to five centimeters (~0.8 to 2 inches), is dull brown in color and has a gold-copper iris, the researchers report in a new study published in Zootaxa.“The very rough skin texture of females was the feature that stood out the most to me — it made them look like part of the rocks that they were found on,” study author Jodi Rowley, Curator of Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Biology at the Australian Museum Research Institute, said in an email.The newly described stone-leaf litter frog is only 2 to 5 centimeter long. Photo by Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum.Rowley and her colleagues first collected specimens of the frog in 2013 while surveying forests covering limestone hills in Vietnam’s Lai Chau and Tuyen Quang Provinces. The researchers suspected that the tiny frog was a possible new species because it did not fit the characteristics of known species at that time. The frog’s stone-like appearance and high-pitched fast-paced advertisement call seemed especially distinctive, Rowley said.After analyzing and comparing this frog’s appearance, call, as well as DNA with that of closely related frogs, the team confirmed that the frog was indeed a new species. “Both looking like and living amongst stone is likely what enabled this frog to remain undetected until now,” Rowley said.The frog is known only from two forest covered limestone hills in Lai Chau and Tuyen Quang Provinces, Vietnam. Photo by Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum.Unfortunately, the researchers suspect that the new species is already threatened with extinction.The stone leaf-litter frog is currently known only from two locations in Lai Chau and Tuyen Quang Provinces. Moreover, the evergreen forests covering the frog’s limestone habitats are rapidly disappearing, the authors write.  “We observed forest loss even in the areas where we found the frog,” Rowley said.Based on their observations, the researchers recommend listing the species as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.“So much remains a mystery about this frog; nothing is known about its tadpoles, and less than 50 adults have ever been recorded,” Rowley wrote in a blog post. “It’s so important that this living pebble is protected from joining the growing list of species that we lose before we even know that much about them.”Scientists recommend listing the new species as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Photo by Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum.Citation:Rowley JJL, et al (2017) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from northern Vietnam. Zootaxa 4243 (3): 544–564. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4243.3.7FEEDBACK: 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. Amphibians, Animals, Conservation, Environment, Frogs, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, New Species, Species Discovery, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_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

“Endangered species to declare?” Europe’s understudied bushmeat trade

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Bushmeat, Chimpanzees, Conservation, Corruption, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Featured, Great Apes, Law, Law Enforcement, Mammals, Pangolins, Primates, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Bushmeat can be purchased in Europe’s capital cities, with the meat of endangered species such as primates and pangolins available. But the scale of the problem is not fully understood as few studies have been undertaken at airports and other points of entry to determine its scope.In a Paris airport study, 134 passengers arriving from Africa were searched over a period of 17 days; nine were found to be carrying a total of 188 kilograms (414 pounds) of bushmeat. A more recent study of bushmeat arriving from Africa at two Swiss airports found that one third of meat seized was from threatened CITES species including pangolins, small carnivores and primates.Based on what evidence there is of the trade, some appears to be organized for profit, with traffickers transporting suitcases full of bushmeat to sell on the black market. Africans who reside in Europe also sometimes bring back bushmeat from Africa as a “taste of home,” potentially contributing to the risk of spreading diseases that may be found in the meat.Researchers are urging that DNA analysis tools be used more widely to learn what species are being transported as bushmeat into Europe, and to bring about more prosecutions of bushmeat traffickers who are dealing in endangered species. But with customs officials already stretched, and bushmeat a low priority, the technology is rarely utilized at present. A pangolin carcass confiscated by Swiss customs. Last year CITES placed a total ban on the trade of all pangolin species as they are in rapid decline in the wild due to their poaching to feed Asian markets. Pangolins are also being trafficked for consumption in Europe. Photo courtesy of the Tengwood OrganizationSwitzerland is home to CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. But that doesn’t mean it is immune from wildlife trafficking, or that some of its citizens haven’t developed a taste for bushmeat.“I’ve checked in on flights in Cameroon, which are going straight to Switzerland. I’ve been in line with people in front of me who have had big cool boxes in front of them, and they have checked them in without any problems,” says Karl Amman, who is credited with first exposing the bushmeat trade in the 90s and who continues studying the problem.An estimated 40 tons of bushmeat is flown into Geneva and Zurich airports every year, with a similar story likely unfolding in other European capitals, where poached, wild caught meat — including endangered species — is illegally being traded and served on urban dinner plates. The problem could be serious, and some trafficking could be well organized, but only a few surveys in a couple of countries have been done so far to determine what’s happening at European points of entry.While most of the wildlife trade occurring around the world remains in-country — whether in Africa, Southeast Asia or the Americas — experts are absolutely certain that bushmeat is finding its way to Europe’s biggest cities, where demand for exotic delicacies or a “taste of home” drives a trade which has yet to be quantified. Among the endangered species being served as bushmeat in Europe may be endangered great apes, though no one knows how many and how often.The head of a monkey from the Cercopithecus family, also known as guenons, and an assortment of other bushmeat confiscated in Switzerland. Because all charred meat looks largely the same to customs inspectors, seized bushmeat is often destroyed without identifying what species it came from. As a result, researchers are unsure what percentage of transported bushmeat comes from endangered species. Photo courtesy of the Tengwood OrganizationKnow your bushmeat species To the untrained eye, bushmeat — particularly when chopped up and smoked — is unrecognizable as to its species of origin. Herein lies the key problem regarding customs enforcement, with already harried officials facing a long list of perceived threats ranging from terrorists to illegal immigrants, and likely untrained in bushmeat species identification — no less, spotting the meat of endangered species. As a result, the charred remains being transported into Europe that are sometimes confiscated are often at best categorized as “bushmeat” or “wildmeat,” or more typically just as “products of animal origin” (which includes domestic meat or fish).This lack of data makes the work of researchers like Noëlle Kümpel of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and chair of the U.K. Bushmeat Working Group, all the more difficult. “In the UK, [the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] publishes annual reports of confiscations of products of animal origin,” she told mongabay.com. But there is no specific account of bushmeat quantities.Another problem: due to the potential health hazards posed by the inadequate handling of poorly slaughtered meat, confiscated bushmeat is often disposed of or incinerated immediately, without species documentation.That is not to say that bushmeat does not carry health risks, as slaughtered meat has been linked to a wide range of diseases, including HIV, Marberg, and E.coli. It has been suggested that the U.K.’s foot and mouth epidemic at the beginning of the last decade originated with bushmeat imports. It is also suspected that the 2013 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa was spread via the consumption of infected fruit bats.In the wake of these epidemics, there have been fears that illegally imported bushmeat could be a gateway for such viruses to enter European cities. In March 2015, Kümpel and her colleagues released a review entitled “Bushmeat and Ebola: Myth and Reality,” in an attempt to clarify some of the confusion regarding claims that the bushmeat trade was behind the 2013 Ebola outbreak and could cause a global pandemic.Ebola can be active in untreated bushmeat for only up to 3-4 days, the researchers wrote, and given that much of the trafficked meat is smoked, the chances of the virus surviving the journey to Europe or the U.S. is low. “The risk of spread to new areas lies with the movement of infected people, not infected meat.”Still, the potential threat of disease is why bushmeat is rarely stored for analysis — unlike ivory, rhino horn, great ape skulls or other identifiable wildlife parts. The fear of infectious disease being transmitted via bushmeat to humans and/or livestock, and the resulting rapid destruction of trafficked meat, continues to hamper scientific evaluation of European trafficking patterns.Even when bushmeat specimens are preserved for examination, experts can still miss the mark. “We call ourselves bushmeat specialists, and we believe we can recognize it. But many times we were wrong,” Bruno Tenger says of past analyses. He is part of the Tengwood Organization and a member of the team that studied bushmeat entry in Switzerland. DNA analysis is the only sure way to identify the species of origin with certainty.“So really that DNA step is critical,” Tenger’s research partner Kathy Wood adds. This is not, however, a test currently being conducted on bushmeat seizures at international airports and at other points of entry.A blue duiker (Cephalophus monticola). Widely consumed as bushmeat, blue duikers are listed on CITES Appendix II, meaning that trade is controlled. Blue duikers and rodents made up 75 percent of carcasses found in the Paris airport study. Photo by Derek Keats, Flickr Creative CommonsEurope as destination for the bushmeat tradeAlthough authorities have long known that bushmeat is turning up on European plates, one of the first significant insights into the trade occurred only eight years ago in Paris. Researchers from ZSL and Toulouse’s École Nationale Vétérinaire and Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle surveyed bushmeat confiscated at Charles de Gaulle airport on flights arriving from Africa. Over a period of 17 days, a total of 134 passengers were searched; nine were found to be carrying a total of 188 kilograms (414 pounds) of bushmeat.Extrapolating the figures, the researchers say around 270 tons could pass through this one airport every year. Multiplying these totals by all of Europe’s major airports, the scale of trafficking came as a big shock to researchers. “People knew that bushmeat was being traded, but they didn’t know to what extent,” said Anne-Lise Chaber, who led the research.Chaber notes that the team studied Charles de Gaulle in part because of other airports’ unwillingness to open their doors to scrutiny. “I’m sure that if we were to conduct the study in other capitals, we would find a similar trend… most of the big cities are likely to be impacted by the bushmeat trade.”Four years later this hypothesis was given greater credence in Switzerland.Tenger and Wood of the Tengwood Organization studied bushmeat arriving at Geneva and Zurich airports. The 40 tons per year that they believe is being smuggled into the country may not sound like a large number, in comparison to the thousands of tons poached for local and urban consumption in African states, but for the researchers it came as a shock.African brush tailed porcupine corpse. Although considered a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, its widespread consumption is considered a conservation problem. Photo courtesy of the Tengwood OrganizationThe scientists believe their study was only likely green lighted because customs authorities assumed there was nothing, or very little, to find. “They thought they had a very small problem. The surprising things were, first of all, that [bushmeat] was coming in, and in some volume,” Wood told Mongabay.The Swiss study added new detail to the trade: DNA analysis was used to pinpoint exactly which species were being trafficked. One-third of the meat was found to be from threatened CITES species including pangolins, small carnivores and primates. Three species of guenon (African monkeys) were found, all being trafficked from Cameroon.“If it’s coming into Switzerland, which is a tiny country and the seat of CITES, then it’s obviously coming into lots of other places,” Wood concludes.To raise awareness of the bushmeat issue, the Tengwood Organization collaborated with the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary authority to produce a brochure featuring graphic images of charred bushmeat to help customs officials identify trafficked species.According to the Swiss CITES biannual report covering 2013/14, seven confiscations of identified bushmeat weighing a total of 83.3 kilograms (183 pounds) took place over that period, with 8,500 Swiss Francs (US $8,431) in fines handed out. The steepest penalty, totalling 3,000 Swiss Francs was charged for the smuggling of 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of bushmeat, which encompassed a wide range of species such as Near Threatened bay duikers (Cephalophus dorsalis), the African brush tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus), and endangered pangolins.“Switzerland faces the same challenges as any other country: it is not possible to have a control that covers every incoming passenger, and therefore there will always be imports that go undetected,” says Lisa Bradbury, a scientist with the Swiss CITES Management Authority. “The study has not had any direct impact on [confiscations] within Switzerland that we could measure or quantify.”The Swiss study and the brochure have, however, “hopefully” assisted customs officers along with CITES officials to identify which species are CITES listed and so warrant a fine. Non-CITES species trafficked as bushmeat are destroyed with no further action taken, Bradbury reports.Whether great apes are coming into Europe or not as bushmeat in any amount, is difficult to say without significantly more research. But “whether it’s a great ape or other primates, it’s still a real concern; many, many primates are on the IUCN Red List,” says Michael Bruford, a molecular ecologist at Cardiff University. He urges the regular use of inexpensive DNA analysis at points of entry to gather data. Photo of captive chimpanzee by Rhett A. ButlerGreat apes on the menu, or an urban myth?Great ape meat is making the journey across the world’s oceans to Europe too — though the seriousness and scope of this trafficking is largely unknown with little recent data. In a 2006 study 27 gorilla and chimpanzee parts were recorded in bushmeat markets in cities in North America and Western Europe.There are stories told of great ape bushmeat being found in New York and Toronto; and claims that it’s also been sold in Paris, Brussels, and even in the English midlands. But researchers haven’t quantified how much is being trafficked and what proportion of the bushmeat trade it constitutes — if any at all. This lack of knowledge isn’t a reason to feel reassured, but is rather a cause for concern. Research is needed to see whether rumors are the only thing being spread, or whether great ape bushmeat is flowing into European markets.In Africa itself, great apes make up just a sliver of the entire bushmeat trade. But while apes are not usually targeted by hunters, poaching is still cited as one of the main drivers of their decline. Other endangered species are eaten in far greater quantities, but even a few great apes poached can pose great risk to these highly threatened species: Last year the Eastern Lowland gorilla, also known as Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) was classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, and it is thought as few as 5,000 remain in the wild. Three other great apes, the Western Lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) are also listed as Critically Endangered; chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and bonobos (Pan paniscus), meanwhile, are listed as Endangered, with their numbers dwindling year on year.During his career, Tom de Meulenaer, Chief of Science at the CITES Secretariat in Geneva, has heard many rumors of ape meat being available in European cities. He says that the scarcity of evidence suggests the trade is likely little more than an urban myth. “We would hear about it,” he asserts. “It’s like with rhinos, you hear about it, and there are confiscations. In the case of primates, it’s extremely rare that any consumption is reported taking place outside of Africa.”However, not all bushmeat researchers agree with this view: Chaber points out that her study was quite small in scale and scope, and just because it did not identify any great ape bushmeat, does not mean the primates are not being trafficked.Tenger notes that, because customs officials are not analyzing seized meat, it is very possible that great apes are among the smuggled bushmeat: “You don’t even know what you have, you could be throwing out a piece of great ape and you wouldn’t even know that it happened.”“[T]here is no serious effort to identify the smoked meat that comes to Europe from central Africa. It can be from any animal… That is the reality,” de Meulenaer concedes.A pangolin about to be turned into bushmeat in Cameroon. One question facing European investigators is how much of the bushmeat trade is being carried out by criminal traffickers to feed a hunger for exotic delicacies, or being done by Africans wanting to serve up a “taste of home” to relatives in Europe. Photo by Eric Freyssinge licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licenseThe need for certaintyIn light of this lack of data, researchers are urging much more DNA sampling. And according to Michael Bruford, a molecular ecologist at Cardiff University, DNA analysis of smoked bushmeat could be pretty easily accomplished at national points of entry.In a 2011 study conducted in Guinea-Bissau, Bruford and a team of researchers used DNA barcoding to identify species from various lumps of charred meat available at local markets. They were looking for evidence of great ape consumption, but found instead that vendors were regularly misidentifying the meat they were selling. They discovered that warthog meat was being sold as baboon — one of the most expensive meats in Guinea-Bissau — and also that Campbell’s mona monkey (Cercopithecus campebelli), an IUCN species of Least Concern, was the second most traded species, contrary to local belief.Bruford says it’s a pity that such a DNA sampling tool isn’t used more widely, especially with international customs, as it’s cheap and simple to use. He believes that its implementation could help to both identify bushmeat species and narrow down the country of origin, potentially facilitating prosecutions, similarly to the Rhino DNA Indexing System used to catch rhino poachers.Despite being available since 2009, he says that wider use of this technology “has never really come onto the radar” of border inspection agents, likely because the identification of bushmeat is far from being a top priority.As to whether great apes would be found coming into Europe or not, Bruford can’t say, but he argues that “whether it’s a great ape or other primates, it’s still a real concern; many, many primates are on the IUCN Red List.”“Taste of home” or organized crime?One important question still largely unanswered is whether the global bushmeat trade is primarily conducted by individuals, or is part of larger underworld criminal trafficking networks.In the 1990s, diplomatic couriers were known to be traveling from Africa to Europe with bags packed with bushmeat, according to de Meulenaer. He believes that these sophisticated trafficking rings no longer exist, but admits the numbers gleaned from the few available studies speak for themselves: “Bushmeat doesn’t come in by itself,” he says. “There must be some regular back and forth. Otherwise you don’t bring in these quantities of meat.”It is known that some Africans traveling between their home states and new residences in Europe, do bring back a little meat, in much the same way that a Frenchman traveling to a new home in New York might stuff a bag with a few wheels of premium French cheese. This practice, known as bringing back a “taste of home” is common among West Africans, where bushmeat has a long tradition.Importantly, this practice doesn’t necessarily involve the trafficking of endangered species; cane rats are commonly consumed in West Africa, and are often found in bushmeat confiscations. In 2013, rodents made up half of 543 bushmeat confiscations in a U.S. study.African brush-tailed porcupine (Atherurus africanus) being sold for meat in Cameroon’s East Province. This species was detected among confiscated bushmeat coming into Europe. Photo by Anonymous. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2However, other people travel with nothing but bushmeat packed into their bags, suggesting that the meat is being trafficked simply to be sold to market dealers. Smuggling profits can be lucrative. A four kilogram (8.8 pound) monkey can cost around €100 (or around US$105) in Paris, compared to €5 for the same (around US$5.37) meat in Cameroon.Amman states that this trade is “specialized,” and run by people who are aware of where enforcement is strictest. He notes that unlike other wildlife products, such as ivory or rhino horn, which have limited trade routes, “bushmeat is distributed wherever you go.” In Europe this may be wherever there are migrant populations of Africans. To what extent the trade may also extend to gourmet or delicacy markets is unknown, as is the involvement of organized crime in transport.The tip of the icebergWhat is known with some certainty is that Europe’s struggle with an influx of bushmeat is small compared to the far greater crisis unfolding in Africa.“One thing we are all concerned about is the massive impact of bushmeat markets in Central Africa and Western Africa,” de Meulenaer says. “There are estimates that the annual harvest of wild animals is six times what the forest can sustain. Actually, Africa is eating its forests and we are looking at empty forest syndrome — like what we have in Southeast Asia — in a very short time.”“There is very little that is being done” to staunch this escalating crisis, he warns.The European bushmeat market does play an important role, however. It represents a lucrative end point for African traffickers, and it is a place where they can get high prices for increasingly rare African species, making transport of illegal meat worth the potential risks, which appear to be minimal at present due to lax enforcement. This could mean that as African species get rarer still, and fetch a higher price abroad, Europe and the U.S. could turn into burgeoning bushmeat markets.As de Meulenaer points out, the “entire subsistence aspect of the bushmeat trade has changed.” Whereas many remote local people still rely upon bushmeat for their daily protein intake and livelihood, there is also a thriving market for endangered species concentrated in African cities. “It’s become an industry to supply the market, the megacities that are the capitals of these countries.” And it’s only a small step for traders to seek the bigger profits to be made by trafficking across the Mediterranean.In light of this potential threat, researchers urge that important questions be resolved soon regarding Europe’s role in the international bushmeat trade. Regulators and law enforcement need to know: how much meat is being trafficked? Is great ape bushmeat being smuggled along with numerous endangered, and non-endangered, species? If so, in what quantities? And are the amounts of meat being transported increasing?Kümpel urges that research be done to quantify the scale of the problem, then create mechanisms to monitor the trade. The former must happen before enforcement measures can be applied, she says. “At the moment we just have the confiscation data, and it doesn’t single out bushmeat [by species], so we can’t see whether this is an increasing or decreasing problem,” she says.Until the quantity of bushmeat being trafficked into Europe is accurately known, and what species are being traded, the threat to endangered species, including primates, will remain a mystery.You are what you eatExperts say that still another piece in this complex trade puzzle needs to be examined: consumers.Analysis of bushmeat eating habits and trends in African immigrant communities in Europe is essential for developing an understanding of the trade, the health risks involved, and the conservation issues which arise from it. At the moment there is “very little” of this kind of data, or engagement with migrant communities to get it, according to de Meulenaer.When looking at Africa-to-Europe trafficking, it is important not to demonize the trade, Kümpel cautions, noting that headlines denouncing those who eat rats or monkeys are not helpful, they provoke horror in some people because “we are more detached from those traditional lifestyles” in the West. “I have no problem with hunting and consumption and the trade of bushmeat, the concern is where there are conservation and health risks to it,” she concludes.While charismatic species such as elephants and rhinos remain at the forefront of the battle against wildlife trafficking, beyond the ivory tusks, tiger bones and leopard skins may lie a potentially large international trade in exotic meat from threatened species which could be steady, or may be increasing — we just don’t know. It may also turn out to be a traffic predominantly made up by less threatened species, but such a trade may not be sustainable, and potentially devastating in the long term.That’s why enhanced, and on-going, monitoring is needed now at points of entry to discover just how much bushmeat is coming into Europe, what species are being trafficked, and whether trends are going up or down. What we find may be shocking, but no matter what, thorough study will provide vital actionable data. 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 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

Downstream from a coal mine, villages in Indonesian Borneo suffer from water pollution

first_imgActivism, Coal, Corporate Environmental Transgressors, Energy, Environment, Mining, Rainforests, Water, Water Pollution Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Isabel Estermancenter_img East Kalimantan, in Indonesian Borneo, hosts rare expanses of biologically rich tropical rainforest. It also has rich deposits of coal — according to Greenpeace data, around 75 percent of the province has been assigned for coal mining.PT Indominco Mandiri, a subsidiary of Thai conglomerate Banpu, operates a 25,000-hectare (~62,000-acre) mining concession in East Kalimantan.Activists and residents say this mining operation has rendered the water of the Santan River unusable for drinking, irrigation or aquaculture. “The Santan River is the lifeblood of the people of Santan Ilir, Santan Tengah and Santan Hulu villages,” said student activist Taufik Inskander (26), sitting on the veranda of his parents’ home in Santan Ilir, in the Kutai Kartanegara district of East Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo.“This river has great historical value. Before there was a road, the people of Santan transported their agricultural products by river to be sold in Samarinda and Bontang,” explained Iskandar, who is a member of the local Marangkayu Student Association.In addition to serving as a water transportation corridor, the Santan river was also used by residents to meet their everyday needs for clean water as well as to flood their fields and fishponds. Villagers “regularly hold traditional ceremonies to honor the river and the resources,” Iskandar added.Now, Iskandar said, the people are abandoning the river because the quality of the river is deteriorating.Ever since coal mining began in the headwaters of the Santan River, local activists say the water has become turbid, muddy, and prone to flooding when there is rain.The water from Santan River “changes colors,” said Greenpeace Campaigner Bondan Andriyanu. “Sometimes it is brown, sometimes green, or yellow.”Santan river in Santan Ilir, a village surrounded by a coal mine which is owned by Banpu Public Company Ltd group in Kutai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan. Photo by Ardiles Rante/Greenpeace.Trouble below the surfaceEast Kalimantan hosts “incredibly rare expanse of biologically rich tropical rainforests,” according to global conservation organization The Nature Conservancy.Much of that forest is, today, under threat. Three quarters of East Kalimantan is marked out for coal mining, according to a March 2016 report by Greenpeace Southeast Asia (pdf).Among the largest coal operators in Kalimantan is PT Indo Tambangraya Megah Tbk (ITM), owned by Thai conglomerate Banpu. Including ports, the company has eight mining sites in East Kalimantan.ITM subsidiary PT Indominco Mandiri operates a 25,000-hectare (~62,000-acre) mining concession in East Kalimantan. Its mines produce 9 million tons of coal a year.It is this mining operation that activists say has rendered the water of the Santan River unusable for drinking, irrigation or aquaculture.Indominco Mandiri coal mine operation in Santan Ilir village. Photo by Ardiles Rante/Greenpeace.Paying the price for pollutionIskandar said that people downstream of the mine now need to purify the river water with alum before it can be safely drunk. Meanwhile further upstream, where there were no mining operations, the river water still does not need to be treated.At his home in Santan Ilir, teacher Saharuddin (who like many Indonesians uses one name) says residents now spend lots of money buying clean water from vendors who sell water from deep wells. “Last month, my school spent around 400,000 rupiah ($30) just to buy water,” he said.Saharuddin showed several dried-up fishponds across his house. The river water can no longer be used to fill the ponds, he said. Some residents are forced to buy water to keep their fish alive. “Now, fishermen looking for fish and shrimp in the water are having a hard time getting sufficient results. People don’t want to use the river water.”The people reliant on the river, from the villages of Santan Hulu, Santan Tengah and Santan Ilir, have all complained to PT Indominco Mandiri about their changing river.Taufik Iskandar, 26, a student activist from Santan Ilir village in East Kalimantan. Photo by Ardiles Rante/Greenpeace.“The company closes its eyes to the deteriorating quality of the Santan River. We have found documents showing that the company planned to divert the course of the river as part of a plan to increase the production of coal,” Iskandar said.However, the struggle of the student association together with the residents has borne fruit, said Greenpeace’s Andriyanu said.In a rare win against mining companies, after years of appealing to the Ministry of Forests, on Feb. 12, 2016 the permit for mining operations on local rivers were revoked.The provincial government accepted it had “failed to protect villagers,” Greenpeace reported.Despite this ceremonial win, activists say they have evidence that PT Indominco Mandiri continues to expand its mining operations on the Santan River. Satellite images and reports from villagers confirm this, Andriyanu said. When asked how can this be, he said: “That’s Indonesia!”“Coal mining companies have the ear of local government,” Andriyanu said. “So many people are targeted by corruption in relation to coal mining. They are in good positions in the provincial government.”A farmer named Azis stands near his small fish pond, polluted by coal dust and chemicals in Santan Ilir village. Photo by Ardiles Rante/Greenpeace.Defending the riverPT Indominco Mandiri did not respond to requests for comments from Mongabay. According to Greenpeace, the company has told local residents the changes in the river are due to “algae,” not expanded mining operations, but has blocked people from going upstream to investigate.Greenpeace plans to carry out soil and water testing and species counting in the affected areas, Andriyanu said. However, the organization needs to be careful not to cause trouble for local residents.Iskandar says his members of the student association have been told to cease opposition, have been forcibly moved from peaceful demonstrations and have received direct threats from PT Indominco Mandiri, as well as threats via text messages.Despite the challenges, Iskandar said villagers cannot afford to stand by and let their river become even more polluted.  “People will automatically lose their livelihoods – which is largely agricultural or from fishing and plantations that are dependent on the Santan River,” he said.“We are miserable now,” Saharuddin said. “There is no longer any clean water.”Additional reporting by Lucy EJ Woods.Editor’s Note: A reporter from Mongabay-Indonesia visited the Santan River area in August 2016 and a version of this story was first published on Mongabay’s Indonesian sister site on Sept. 8, 2016. Follow-up interviews were conducted remotely in March 2017.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