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Disaster strikes in Bolivia as fires lay waste to unique forests

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 This story is a translated and adapted version of a story first published by Mongabay Latam on Aug. 22, 2019.Banner image: Fire rages outside the community of Taperas. Image courtesy of Germain Caballer.Editor’s note: This story was powered by Places to Watch, a Global Forest Watch (GFW) initiative designed to quickly identify concerning forest loss around the world and catalyze further investigation of these areas. Places to Watch draws on a combination of near-real-time satellite data, automated algorithms and field intelligence to identify new areas on a monthly basis. In partnership with Mongabay, GFW is supporting data-driven journalism by providing data and maps generated by Places to Watch. Mongabay maintains complete editorial independence over the stories reported using this data.Feedback: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Agriculture, Animals, Deforestation, Dry Forests, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Old Growth Forests, Primary Forests, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Soy, Tropical Forests, Wildlife Fires are raging in Bolivia, hitting particularly hard the Chiquitano dry forests of the country’s southern Santa Cruz region.Officials say the fires are largely the result of intentional burning to convert forest to farmland. Sources say this practice has recently intensified after Bolivian president Evo Morales signed a decree in July expanding land demarcated for livestock production and the agribusiness sector to include Permanent Forest Production Lands in the regions of Beni and Santa Cruz.Satellite data indicate 2019 may be a banner year for forest loss, with tree cover loss alerts spiking in late August to levels more than double the average of previous years. Most of these alerts are occurring in areas with high fire activity, with data from NASA showing August fire activity in Santa Cruz was around three times higher than in years past.Human communities are suffering due to the fires, with reports of smoke-caused illnesses and drinking water shortages. Meanwhile, biologists are worried about the plants and animals of the Chiquitano dry forests, many of which are unique, isolated and found nowhere else in the world. This story is a journalistic collaboration between Mongabay’s Latin America (Latam) team and the Bolivian newspaper Página Siete“Fire is a monster and is threatening us. Everything is ashes and fear,” says Iván Quezada, the mayor of Roboré, a town in eastern Bolivia. Last week, fires consumed more than 450,000 hectares (1.11 million acres) of forest; if added to the amount of forest destroyed since the fires in Bolivia began this year, that figure would border on a million hectares (2.5 million acres), according to official sources.Every year at this time, the chaqueos, burning events to prepare the land for planting crops or raising cattle, are carried out in the Chiquitania region of eastern Bolivia, often generating fires that burn out of control. However, this year is worse. Boosted by a controversial governmental decree that promotes the expansion of the agricultural frontier and allows “controlled burning” in forests, the chaqueos have triggered a crisis for the area’s unique dry forests and savannas.Firefighters combat the fire that spread due to high winds throughout the small region of Santa Cruz. Image courtesy of APG.On July 9, President Evo Morales approved the amendment of Supreme Decree 26075 to expand land demarcated for livestock production and the agribusiness sector to include Permanent Forest Production Lands in the regions of Beni and Santa Cruz. The decree authorizes the clearing of forest for agricultural activities in private- and community-held areas under a system of sustainable management. According to current regulations, this system allows controlled burning.“We have the duty and mission to boost Bolivia’s economic growth, not only based on non-renewable natural resources but also based on agriculture,” Morales said. He added via Twitter that the government is planning on expanding agricultural production and infrastructure to boost beef exports to China.Evo Morales, president of Bolivia. Image by Valter Campanato/Agência Brasil via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 3.0 BR).A crisis in Santa CruzBolivia’s Santa Cruz region is rich in forest cover. But the lack of rain in the last three months has turned the dry forest into combustible fuel, with eight nearby communities directly affected by fires so far.One of these is the town of Roboré, where the air is thick with smoke. The situation is more somber in surrounding communities, however. Families depend on water transported from the mountains via hoses. But these hoses these have been burned, cutting off community access to drinking water. Moreover, residents report that any water that reaches them is full of ashes, which causes digestive and respiratory problems, infections and conjunctivitis. Community activities, including school, have been suspended. Local authorities have requested the declaration of a state of emergency, but the government says it is not necessary.A fire burns in dry forest near Roboré. Image courtesy of Jerson Bravo, a volunteer firefighter.Firefighters sent by the Santa Cruz police department to battle the blazes face difficulties on the ground. For one, there are no trails to access the fire areas. Also, because water delivery systems can’t cross roads in the region, firefighters are forced to carry water in backpacks. Ultimately, this means firefighting is slower than the rate at which the fires are spreading; as fires are being put out on one side of the road, more are ignited on the other.Firefighters strategize outside San José de Chiquitos. Image courtesy of Germain Caballero, mayor of San José de Chiquitos.Along with the regulation changes and seasonal burning practices, windy conditions are contributing to the inferno, helping spread the fires over an ever-greater area. With strong winds forecast in the near future, many are worried things are just going to get worse.Skyrocketing deforestationBolivia is no stranger to fire and deforestation. According to numbers from the University of Maryland (UMD), which has been collating satellite data on the world’s forests since the beginning of the century, the country lost 7.5 percent of its tree cover between 2001 and 2018. The record-holding year during this period was 2016, when around 471,000 hectares (1.16 million acres) of tree cover were lost.But preliminary data for 2019 indicate this year could dramatically unseat 2016. According to the Forest and Land Audit and Social Control Authority (ABT), fires have consumed more than 953,000 hectares (2.35 million acres) of Bolivian forest so far. If these data hold true, this means that deforestation in 2019 will be more than double that of 2016 — and more than three times the 300,000 hectares (741,000 acres) lost in 2018.The lion’s share of Bolivia’s deforestation is happening in the Santa Cruz region, which comprises vast tracts of both the rainforest of the Amazon and the dry forests of the Gran Chaco. Satellite data show that Santa Cruz lost a full 10 percent of its tree cover in less than two decades. Here, too, preliminary numbers from UMD indicate 2019 may be a banner year for forest loss, with tree cover loss alerts spiking in late August to levels more than double the average of previous years. Most of these alerts are occurring in areas with high fire activity, according to data from NASA that show Santa Cruz fire activity in August was around three times higher than in years past.“If we take 2012 as the base year, when 128,043 hectares [316,401 acres] were deforested [in Santa Cruz], this year’s deforestation would be more than seven times greater; and if we take only the deforestation of Chiquitania, it would be three times greater,” said Pablo Solón, former Bolivian ambassador to the U.N.Satellite data show fire activity is still heavy around Roboré, but is intensifying in the northern and western portions of the Santa Cruz region. Source: NASA FIRMS. “VIIRS Active Fires.” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on Aug. 6, 2019.Fire burns through forest near Roboré. Image courtesy of Jerson Bravo.Santa Cruz’s forests are being carved away to free up more land for soy plantations, cattle ranches, illicit coca-growing operations, and biofuel crops, as well as for the expansion of towns and smallholder farms. According to officials, the region most affected by the recent fires is a major soybean and livestock production area.“What is happening is not an accident. Five years ago, the vice president challenged agribusinesses to expand the agricultural frontier by one million hectares per year,” Solon said. “Now it has reached that figure, not of productive agricultural land but of land devastated by the flames.”Political motivationActivists say this year’s mass deforestation by fires is not only driven by economic motives, but also by political interests. In its early years, the Movement for Socialism–Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS in Spanish) opposed biofuels. However, the group, led by Morales, later changed its platform in favor of ethanol and biodiesel, arguing that resources could be saved if Bolivia reduced its fossil fuel imports. In alliance with the country’s agroindustrial sectors, it promoted biofuel feedstock such as sugarcane as “green” energy sources.“There are direct culprits for this environmental disaster and the first one to blame is the government which has consistently passed in recent years laws of ‘forgiveness’ and promotion of the expansion of the agricultural frontier. They have also made an agricultural summit where the government, the agricultural sector of the east and communities allied to the MAS have joined,” said environmentalist Cecilia Requena. “In that summit they have decided to approve the harvest of genetically modified organisms, agrofuels, the expansion of the agricultural frontier, the export of beef to China and finally the approval of the July 9 decree that allows deforestation for agricultural purposes.”Alcides Vadillo is the regional director of the Tierra Foundation, an NGO dedicated to research into the access, use and governance of Bolivia’s land and natural resources. He says the government has been handing out areas previously classified as “permanent forest” to colonizers. “There is a lot of money at stake,” Vadillo told Mongabay.According to Requena, the government has pro-development goals that don’t mesh with 21st-century values.An ABT member assesses the impact of a fire. Image courtesy of Jerson Bravo.“This damage is irreversible and immeasurable,” Requena said. “We have no idea of ​​the dimension of the consequences, but we can say that we hope this will serve, like other disasters, to stop this suicidal drift. We need a development vision that values ​​ standing forests, not only for being vital for water but because it opens the window to an economy towards post-extractivism.”The aftermathThe Chiquitano dry forest is home to hundreds of animal and plant species, many found nowhere else in the world. In Tucavaca Valley Municipal Reserve alone, biologists have recorded 554 different animal species, of which 35 are endemic; 55 endemic plants have also been found there. Habitat loss is a big concern for many, as well as the outright deaths of animals and plants unable to escape the fires.“We don’t understand very well what we have lost, but we know it’s huge,” Requena said, lamenting the fires’ impacts on the region’s “enormous” biodiversity.Deforestation alerts cluster around areas previously ravaged by fire around Tucavaca Valley Municipal Reserve as more recent and ongoing fires encroach further into the reserve and the surrounding area. Sources: GLAD UMD and NASA FIRMS. “VIIRS Active Fires.” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on Aug. 6, 2019.Volunteer firefighters battle a fire that expanded rapidly through the dry forest near Roboré. Image courtesy of Jerson Bravo.One species affected by the fires is the plant Frailea chiquitana, a cactus endemic to Santa Cruz.“The environmental damage has been elevated to a maximum power,” said biologist Kathrin Barboza. “Of the species affected, some reproduce slowly and if they die in large quantities it can take many years to recover.” She said habitat loss that happens in isolated, unique habitats like the Chiquitano dry forest could drive species to extinction.The charred remains of animals have been found in areas affected by fire. Image courtesy of Germain Caballero.Barboza said an environmental damage assessment will be needed once the fires cease.“We have to see how many hectares of forest have been damaged and see if there are species that can be rescued,” she said, adding that the forest should be monitored and studied to determine how long it may take to recover.The region’s biodiversity isn’t the only thing affected by the fires.“Among the consequences to consider [are] impacts to soil, air (increase of greenhouse gases) and water (pollution), in addition to the loss of the landscape,” said Cecilia Tapia, an environmental engineer.The fires may be over in the near future, but their consequences will be felt for much longer. Ever Durán, the president of the College of Forest Engineers of Santa Cruz (CIF-SC), estimates that it will take around 200 years for the Chiquitano to recover.Durán added that it is imperative that the government activate the national disaster declaration protocol for fires and call for international aid, not only to extinguish the fires burning now but also to assist with mitigation of future fires and restoration of previously burned forests.A grassland area near Roboré consumed by fire. Image courtesy of Jerson Bravo.Hugo Salmón, the president of the Regional Assembly of Santa Cruz, requested that the National Institute of Agrarian Reform (INRA) abolish the provision of land and the granting of settlement permits in protected areas and areas that are not already used for agricultural purposes.In response to the fires, representatives of several Santa Cruz professional associations recently issued a statement imploring the Bolivian government to stop the expansion of the agricultural frontier, and repeal laws legalizing burning in the Santa Cruz, Beni and Pando regions.“We demand and urge the government to consider that natural resources are not economic resources for a few, but [resources that support the] quality of life for all Bolivians and this will only be achieved if a sustainable framework of these resources [is maintained],” the statement reads.A plane normally used for crop-dusting is repurposed to aid firefighting near San José de Chiquitos. Image courtesy of Germain Caballero. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

Photos: Top 15 new species of 2019

first_imgNiemitz’s tarsier from the Togean Islands of Indonesia. Image courtesy of Shekelle et al., 2019.Scientists Alexandra Nietsch and Carsten Niemitz first spotted this tarsier on the Togean Islands off Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 1993. Locals have known of the primate by the names bunsing, tangkasi and podi. But it took researchers more than 25 years of detailed study, including the tarsier’s vocalization and DNA, to finally describe the small primate as a species that’s new to science in a paper published in 2019. They named the species Niemitz’s tarsier (Tarsius niemitzi) in honor of the scientist who was one of the first to bring it to the attention of the scientific world. The description of Niemitz’s tarsier has increased the number of known tarsier species in Sulawesi and surrounding islands to 12, but the authors say the islands could be home to at least 16.6. Some of these nine newly described Fijian bees are restricted to a single mountaintopHomalictus terminalis is found only within 95 meters of Mount Batilamu’s peak. Image by James Dorey/Flinders University nature photographer.This year, researchers described nine new species of bees from the island country of Fiji in the southern Pacific Ocean. These colorful bees in shades of black, golden-green, and metallic, with hints of purple iridescence, are part of the genus Homalictus Cockerell, a group that’s not been taxonomically reviewed in Fiji for 40 years. Many of these bees either have very restricted distributions or are known only from single mountaintops, according to the researchers, and could soon become extinct due to changes in climate and other environmental risks. One new-to-science species, Homalictus terminalis, for example, has only been found on Mount Batilamu, where it seems to be restricted to the top 95 meters (312 feet) of the mountain peak. Another newly described species, H. ostridorsum, has only been recorded on Mount Tomanivi, while H. taveuni is named after the island of Taveuni, the only place it is known from.7. Newly described marmoset species live in part of Amazon forest area that’s fast disappearingA sketch of Mico munduruku. Image by Stephen NashWhen researchers surveying the stretch of Amazon forest lying between the Tapajós and Jamanxim rivers in the Brazilian state of Pará, chanced upon a group of three marmosets with white tails, they suspected that it was a potential new-to-science species. White tails are very rare among primates that live in South America; only one other primate species have it. The researchers were right. After studying the monkeys in both the forest and the laboratory, they confirmed that the marmoset, with its distinct white tail, white forearms with a beige-yellowish spot on the elbow, and white feet and hands, was a new species. The marmoset has been named Mico munduruku after the Munduruku, an indigenous group of people who live in the Tapajós–Jamanxim interfluve. It’s not all good news, though. The Amazon forest that’s home to M. munduruku is being rapidly cut for agricultural expansion, logging, hydroelectric power plants, and gold mining.8. This new-to-science monkey lives in an ‘island’ amid deforestation in BrazilPlecturocebus parecis (left) and the closely related Plecturocebus cinerascens (right). Illustration courtesy of Stephen D. Nash.This year, scientists announced a second, new-to-science species of monkey, also found in the Amazon rainforest. The grey monkeys, named Plecturocebus parecis after the Parecis plateau in Rondônia in Brazil where they are found, were first seen by scientists in 1914. Locally known as the “otôhô,” researchers subsequently saw the monkeys once again in 2011 and confirmed that it was sufficiently distinct from the closely related ashy black titi to be classified as a separate species. The titi monkey’s habitat lies within in the “Arc of Deforestation,” an area of high deforestation where vast swathes of forest have been cleared for cattle ranching and mechanized soy farms. But so far, the monkeys seem to have escaped some of the damage because the steep slopes of the plateau they occupy offer them protection by making the habitat hard to access and unappealing for large-scale deforestation.9. New species of orange-red praying mantis mimics a waspVespamantoida wherleyi. Image by Gavin Svenson, Cleveland Museum of Natural History.Praying mantises tend to resemble leaves or tree trunks and come in shades of green and brown. But in 2013, researchers spotted a bright orange-red mantis with a black abdomen in a research station on the banks of the Amazon River in northern Peru. The praying mantis was not only mimicking a wasp’s bright colors, but also a wasp’s movements. Such conspicuous mimicry of wasps is rare among mantises, making this finding exciting, the researchers wrote in a paper published this year. The new-to-science species was named Vespamantoida wherleyi, the genus name Vespamantoida meaning wasp-mantis.10. New species of giant flying squirrel brings hope to one of the world’s ‘most wanted.’The Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel, or Biswamoyopterus gaoligongensis, was recently discovered last year in Yunnan, China, by Quan Li of the Kunming Institute of Zoology and his team. Image by Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden.Giant flying squirrels belonging to the group Biswamoyopterus are incredibly rare. The first species described in the genus, the Namdapha flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus biswasi) from India, has been seen by researchers only once in 1981. Its Laotian relative, the Laotian giant flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus laoensis), was first spotted by researchers in bushmeat markets of Lao PDR (Laos) in 2012. Both species are known from a single specimen each. This year, scientists in China introduced us to a third species of the genus, Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel (B. gaoligongensis), which they first spotted in the collection of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Thankfully, the team could subsequently observe the animals in the field as well and collect another specimen. Compared to the “lost” Namdapha and Laotian giant flying squirrels, researchers say that Mount Gaoligong flying squirrel’s conservation status looks “slightly optimistic.”11. Newly described pocket shark likely glows in the darkThe only known specimen of the American pocket shark was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Image by Mark Doosey.The new-to-science American pocket shark (Mollisquama mississippiensis) is the world’s second pocket shark species to be described. Researchers were surveying the eastern Gulf of Mexico to study what sperm whales eat when they collected a large sample of animals from the ocean’s depths. Among the collection was a small shark that the team hadn’t seen before. As it turned out, the animal was a previously undescribed species of pocket shark (the pocket shark gets its names not for its small size but because of small pocket-like openings or glands found behind each of its pectoral fins). This year, the researchers introduced the American pocket shark to us in a new paper, noting that the species has numerous light-producing organs or photophores covering much of the body, which possibly helps the shark glow in the dark depths of the deep sea.12. Newly described tree species from custard apple family is likely endangeredM. iddii grows up to 20 meters in height and bears white flowers. Image by Andrew Marshall.This tree, which grows up to 20 meters (66 feet) in height and bears white flowers, is extremely rare. So far, the newly described species, belonging to the custard apple family of trees, or Annonaceae, is known only from the Usambara mountains of northeastern Tanzania — a few individuals have been observed in the Amani Nature Reserve in the Eastern Usambara Mountains and one in a private reserve in western Usambara. Both reserves are ‘islands’ within a deforested landscape with an extensive clearance of forest in neighboring areas, the researchers write in a paper published this year. Researchers have named it Mischogyne iddii, after Iddi Rajabu, a resident botanist at the Amani Nature Reserve, and they estimate that fewer than 50 individuals of the tree remain in the wild.13. A new species of venomous pit viper was described from IndiaThe Arunachal pit viper camouflages well in leaf litter. Image by Rohan Pandit.In May 2016, wildlife researcher Rohan Pandit and his teammate Wangchu Phiang, a member of the indigenous Bugun tribe living in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh in India, were surveying Arunachal’s biodiversity when they stumbled upon a snake amid the leaf litter. Pandit knew it was a species of viper, a group of venomous snakes with folding fangs, but it was unlike anything he’d seen before. So he bagged the snake and examined it in detail later, collaborating with other herpetologists to analyze the snake’s morphology and DNA. The team confirmed that the viper was a new-to-science species, and they named it Trimeresurus arunachalensis, or Arunachal pit viper. The new species is closely related to the Tibetan pit viper (Trimeresurus tibetanus), a snake known only from Tibet, but physically and anatomically, the two species are quite distinct, the researchers say.14. New species of leaf-mimicking lizard could already be victim of pet tradeUroplatus finaritra. Image by Mark D. Scherz.The leaf-tailed gecko is a master of camouflage. These lizards, belonging to the genus Uroplatus, are found only in the forests of Madagascar and have body shapes and colors that allow them to merge with dried leaves seamlessly. Researchers described a new-to-science species of a leaf-tailed gecko from Marojejy National Park in northeastern Madagascar this year, and it may already be threatened with extinction because of habitat loss and the illegal pet trade. The new species, named Uroplatus finaritra, has a somewhat compressed body, a small triangular head, and a leaf-shaped tail, and it’s a giant member of Uroplatus. Researchers are concerned that the species may already be a victim of the illegal pet trade since it looks similar to the satanic leaf-tailed gecko, a popular pet worldwide.15. New honeyeater species is known only from Indonesia’s Alor IslandThe Alor myzomela (Myzomela prawiradilagae). Image courtesy of Philippe Verbelen.This year, scientists described a new bird species that are found only on the island of Alor in eastern Indonesia. Named Myzomela prawiradilagae or Alor myzomela, the red-headed honeyeater is known to inhabit only eucalyptus woodland at elevations above 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) on the island, and researchers worry that its habitat on Alor is already undergoing fragmentation because of the growing human population. While locals have long known of this species, researchers hope that its description as a new species will bring in more awareness about its existence, and ensure that the species does not silently become extinct. Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Climate Change, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Featured, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Insects, Mammals, New Species, Plants, Primates, Rainforests, Reptiles, Sharks, Species Discovery, Trees, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade In 2019, Mongabay covered several announcements of new-to-science species.The “discovery” of a new-to-science species is always an awe-inspiring bit of news; the outcome of dogged perseverance, months or years of field surveys, and long periods of sifting through hundreds of museum records.In no particular order, we present our 15 top picks. The discovery of a new-to-science species is always an awe-inspiring bit of news, filling us with hope. This year, researchers introduced us to several such species. Some were the result of a chance encounter; some were cases of researchers revisiting known plants and animals and giving them new identities. But most “discoveries” were the outcome of dogged perseverance, months or years of field surveys, and long periods of sifting through hundreds of museum records.Mongabay covered many of these stories. Below, in no particular order, we present our 15 top picks.1. Amazonian tree with human-sized leaves finally gets ID’d as new speciesCoccoloba gigantifolia leaves can reach 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length. Image courtesy of Rogério Gribel.This is a story of incredible patience. Botanists first encountered individuals of this tree in 1982 while surveying the Madeira River Basin in the Brazilian Amazon. They knew it was a species of Coccoloba, a genus of flowering plants that grows in the tropical forests of the Americas, but they couldn’t pinpoint the species. The individual trees they came across weren’t bearing any flowers or fruits then, parts that are essential to describing a plant species, and the trees’ leaves were too large to dehydrate, press and carry back with them.While the plant, and its massive leaves, became locally famous, it was only in 2005, that the researchers finally collected some seeds and dying flowers from a tree. These materials weren’t good enough to describe the plant species, but the researchers sowed the seeds at the campus of the National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA), grew the seedlings, and waited. Thirteen years later, in 2018, one of the planted trees flourished and fruited, finally giving the researchers the botanical material they needed to describe the new species. The new species, named C. gigantifolia in reference to the plant’s giant leaves, grows to about 15 meters (49 feet) in height and has leaves that can reach 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length, likely the largest known leaf among dicotyledonous plants — a large group of flowering plants that include sunflowers, hibiscus, tomatoes and roses.2. This grouper species collected from an Australian fish market almost became someone’s dinnerQueensland Museum ichthyologist Jeff Johnson with a specimen of Epinephelus fuscomarginatus. Image courtesy of Jeff Johnson.It’s not everyday that you find a previously undescribed species in a fish market, but that’s exactly what Jeff Johnson, an ichthyologist with Australia’s Queensland Museum, did. He had first heard of a mystery grouper 15 years back, and since then, received occasional photographs of the fish, which he thought was a potential new-to-science species. In 2017, when a fisherman sent Johnson a picture of the grouper yet again, Johnson tracked down the market where the fisherman had sold the fish, and bought all five individuals of the fish he found there. Then, together with his colleagues, Johnson analyzed the fish’s DNA, and compared it to those of related species in the museum. Finally, in a new paper published this year, the researchers confirmed that the grouper is indeed new to science, and they named it Epinephelus fuscomarginatus.3. Meet Mini mum, Mini ature, Mini scule: Tiny new frogs from MadagascarAn adult male Mini mum, one of the world’s smallest frogs, rests on a fingernail with room to spare. Image by Andolalao Rakotoarison.This year, herpetologists introduced us to three previously undescribed species of extremely small frogs from Madagascar, aptly named Mini mum, Mini ature, and Mini scule. All of them, just a few millimeters long, belong to Mini, a genus that is also entirely new to science. The new frog species are known from just a handful of locations, and may already be threatened with extinction. Researchers have recorded Mini mum only in Manombo Special Reserve in southeast Madagascar, for example, while Mini scule is known only from the fragmented forests of Sainte Luce Reserve. The areas in which the frogs occur are also likely small, threatened and declining.4. Newly described Chinese giant salamander may be world’s largest amphibianA. sligoi or South China giant salamander painting. Image courtesy of ZSL.For a long time, the Chinese giant salamander, which reaches lengths of more than 5 feet (1.6 meters) and is the world’s largest known living species of amphibian, was considered to be a single species, Andrias davidianus. In the past, some researchers did suspect that the salamander was probably multiple species, but a new study published this year backed the suspicion with evidence. Researchers analyzed samples of the salamander from a series of historical museum specimens to see what local wild populations of the amphibian may have been like before humans started farming the animals and moving them around extensively, and found that the salamander is not just one, but three distinct species. These include A. davidianus, A. sligoi, and a third species that hadn’t been named at the time the study was published. Of the three recognized species, the South China giant salamander (A. sligoi) is most likely the largest, reaching 2 meters (6 feet) in length, the researchers say.5. It took 25 years to describe Indonesia’s newest tarsier Article published by Shreya Dasgupta 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

Antelope Valley Calendar

first_imgMonday Classes: Free Computer Class What: Computer basis for seniors. Class covers introduction to basic computer terminology, keyboard and mouse operations, the Internet, e-mail, basic word processing and Windows. No prior computer experience is necessary. Beginners welcome! Class meets from noon to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays from today through April 30. Class is free! Sign up at the Adult School today. When: Noon-2 p.m. Where: Antelope Valley Adult School, 45110 3rd Street East, Lancaster Tuesday Clubs: League bowling What: J&J Social and Travel Club will hold its weekly league bowling. For information, call (661) 267-2586. When: 6-8 p.m. Where: Sands Bowl, 43323 Sierra Highway, Lancaster Wednesday Meetings: EyeOpeners Toastmasters What: Toastmasters meet every Wednesday at Crazy Otto’s on Avenue I. Order a great breakfast and enjoy a great meeting! A great way to improve your speaking and listening skills as well as leadership skills. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or call (661) 948-1979. When: 7-8:30 a.m. Where: Crazy Otto’s, 1228 Avenue I, Lancaster Meetings: Grief support meeting What: Hoffmann Hospice offers free weekly grief support meetings, open to all in need. The meetings provide the necessary tools to aid individuals throughout the grieving process. For information, call (661) 272-2355. When: 5:30-7 p.m. Where: 1543 E. Palmdale Blvd., Suite N, Palmdale Thursday Charity: Yes2Kids awards dinner What: Yes2Kids annual writing contest dinner celebration, featuring students in grades 1 through 12 who participated in the “Let’s Speak Out About Child Abuse” prevention writing contest. The poster, bookmark, essay competition is sponsored by Yes2Kids-Antelope Valley Child Abuse Prevention Council. For questions or to R.S.V.P., call Bob Broyles at (661) 538-1846. When: 6:30 p.m. Where: Chimbole Cultural Center, 38350 Sierra Highway, Palmdale Friday Health: Bereavement support group What: Bereavement support groups sponsored by Kaiser Permanente. The free groups meet weekly and are facilitated by trained bereavement volunteers from the hospital’s hospice department. For information, call (818) 375-3528 or (661) 951-2988. Registration is not required. When: 10-11:30 a.m. Where: Lancaster Presbyterian Church, 1661 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster Government: Peace vigil What: Join us for a candlelight peace vigil every Friday. Bring candles/flashlights/signs. We start with daylight and end without. For more information, contact [email protected] or [email protected] When: 5-6 p.m. Where: Corner of 30th Street West and Avenue I, site of the future Veterans Hospital160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Half-time: Trabzonspor 0 QPR 0

first_imgNew signing Junior Hoilett was handed his debut for the first of QPR’s two pre-season matches in Germany.Hoilett had an early chance to score when he fired wide after he was set up by Jamie Mackie, who later had an effort saved after being released by Ji-sung Park.Kieron Dyer, who came on as a substitute at Wycombe on Tuesday after nearly a year on the sidelines, is also in the Rangers starting line-up.Owen Hargreaves is not in the squad but could feature in next weekend’s friendly against Augsburg.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Latest: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 1 – Blues within sight of derby triumph

first_imgDiego Costa’s 22nd-minute goal put Chelsea ahead in the derby at the Emirates Stadium shortly after Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker was sent off for a foul on the Blues striker.The Gunners were reduced to 10 men following a Chelsea counter-attack led by Willian, who cleverly aimed a pass in behind Mertesacker for Costa, who would have been through on goal had the defender not brought him down.Mertesacker was duly shown the red card by referee Mark Clattenburg, and the home fans reacted angrily to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s reaction to the sending-off, which was to send defender Gabriel on in place of forward Olivier Giroud.Seconds later, Costa drifted away from Gabriel to nudge home Branislav Ivanovic’s right-wing cross – his sixth goal in as many games.Arsenal keeper Petr Cech, playing against his former club, had earlier denied Willian at point-blank range and pushed away a shot from Oscar.Having found themselves a goal and a man down, Arsenal struggled to create chances.Cech prevented them falling further behind three minutes before the interval when he kept out an effort from Costa at the near post, and Ivanovic’s header from the resulting corner was cleared off the line.Then, in the final seconds of the half, Mathieu Flamini missed a great chance to equalise when he hurriedly hooked the ball over after being found unmarked inside the box by Aaron Ramsey.And Chelsea should arguably have been awarded a penalty 10 minutes into the second half when ex-Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas was barged over by Laurent Koscielny.Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Oscar; Costa.Subs: Begovic, Cahill, Baba Rahman, Loftus-Cheek, Traore, Hazard, Remy.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Giants are baseball’s biggest trade deadline wildcard thanks to bullpen surplus

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — After Bruce Bochy exhausted all of his frontline relievers on Tuesday evening, the Giants’ manager had no choice but to call on an unproven rookie to face Cubs sluggers Javy Báez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo in the top of the 13th inning.Enter Sam Coonrod, a pitcher making his fifth career appearance in the most daunting of circumstances.With a fastball that topped out at 99 miles per hour and a breaking ball that fell off the table, Coonrod was unfazed as he struck out Báez …last_img read more

Science News Sites Promote Leftist Ideology

first_imgCelebrating gay marriage is not the only leftist position frequently advocated by secular science news sites.  They follow party-line liberal views with few exceptions, and now openly advocate leftist ideas.Advocating gay marriage:  One might well ask what astronomy and space travel have to do with gay marriage.  Space.com found a way: “Supreme Court Gay Marriage Rulings Hailed by NASA Deputy Chief,” Clara Moskowitz wrote glowingly, quoting only liberals who think it’s wonderful.  In an astonishing twist of logic, a Live Science article claimed that the Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriage will be good for kids – as good if not better than traditional marriage, some pediatricians allege.  No conservative spokesperson was sought for a little balance in reporting.Advocating climate change policy:  One might also well ask what astronomy and space travel have to do with climate change.  Another Space.com headline by another reporter reads, “NASA Chief Lauds Obama’s Climate Change Plan.”  Again, the significant percentage of conservative Americans who disagree with that plan didn’t get any mention.  Without a pretense of objectivity, National Geographic published naked ideological advocacy: “Five reasons for Obama to sell climate change as a health issue.”Crazy talk:  PhysOrg unabashedly gave positive press to a book that portrays tea-party conservatives as paranoid reactionaries.  Headline: “The tea party and the politics of paranoia.”  No conservative was given a chance to respond.Naked aping:  Science Magazine published a letter, “The Human Animal,” that advocated treating humans no different from denizens of the zoo.  The author, Kim Quillin, established the link between Darwinism and ideology: “the ‘humans and animals’ paradigm undermines the unifying concept of all biology—evolution.”  Along with evolutionary common ancestry with animals (rating top on Kim’s issues), she displayed her predilection for evolutionary indoctrination in schools and for “sustainability,” leftist code for UN-style intervention in private property rights.Nudging:  New Scientist gave very good press to the views of leftist Obama aide Cass Sunstein, who believes government needs to “nudge” people toward prescribed views and actions.  Knowing full will this is a tactic of manipulation, not debate, New Scientist termed it “The gentle science of good governance” (at least to the nudgers, not the nudged).  Conservative Glen Beck often points out, from historical examples, that what starts as “nudge” often becomes “shove.” Despite these attacks from the left, religious conservatives may have the last laugh.  At least Science Daily reported results of a survey that showed, “Christians Tweet More Happily, Less Analytically Than Atheists.”Why would “science” (a word connoting the search for knowledge, using impartial, objective procedures), say such things?  It’s because institutional science, like academia, law, labor, the media and Hollywood, has been co-opted by the left.  Over the last decade we have seen science news sites becoming more bold.  Now they don’t even pretend to be objective.Radio host and author Dennis Prager often points out how leftists base their views on feeling, not logic.  For instance, in the history of civilization, no one ever considered same-sex coupling “marriage,” yet in the last 17 years since Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act with a large bipartisan majority in Congress, we are now being told that gay marriage is a civil right, just because two people love each other. Logically, that is indefensible.  What prevents siblings or polygamists from using the very same arguments?  Leftism is built on euphemistic slogans, like “marriage equality,” “gay rights,” “reproductive health” and “climate change” — phrases that blow fog and stimulate emotion, not understanding.Prager points out in his books and radio shows how leftists manipulate and promote their ideology with hate speech, intolerance, illogic, feelings, and judicial activism.  There is no parity, because, whereas conservatives argue that leftist positions are illogical, leftists believe conservatives are evil and must be stopped.At CEH, we point out how leftist positions are built squarely on Darwinian principles — the belief that humans are mere animals, with no accountability to their Creator.  Rejection of God as Creator comes first; now we see our society slipping down the slope described by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1.  Long ago he warned that difficult times will come (II Tim 3:1-9). Paul added the comforting thought that for those “always learning, yet never able to come to the knowledge of the truth,” their “folly would become evident to all.”  You can hasten that by holding up the logic and facts that contradict their feeling-based arguments of the left.But remember, the left is intolerant despite their claims to tolerance.  They hate being shown up for their own hypocrisy.  If they continue to co-opt the institutions of power through our negligence, persecution may well be around the corner.  Get ready, but don’t let it stop you.  Speak the truth boldly.  It’s tough, but it’s love. (Visited 21 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Cool conditions set back harvest Between the Rows

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I still believe additional rain will benefit the soybean crop. The same holds true for the corn crop. We are,Glen Newcomerhowever, getting exceptionally dry. We had hit and miss rains last week but not enough to have an impact or make much of a yield difference. Lack of rain and an early frost are our two greatest concerns at this time.Most of the corn is still not black layered or fully matured. We need at least 100 growing degree units on the April-planted corn and probably an additional 300 or 350 growing degree units for the replant corn that was planted in early June. We absolutely do not want to have any type of frost on any of our crops for quite some time. Based on recent weather, we are only accumulating 10 to 15 growing degree units per day. At that rate we need several weeks of above normal temperatures before we can handle a frost in this part of the state. We have noticed some premature death in corn as a result of the dry weather, which could create standability or stalk issues in this crop.We’ll probably be shelling corn before we cut soybeans because of those issues. As a result of multiple stresses on this crop, I believe the overall corn plant health has been compromised.We have not found high populations of soybean aphids that other areas have experienced. Soybean leaf diseases are minimal. Some farmers are seeing sudden death syndrome and white mold in their soybeans. Looking forward, soybeans are just totally dependent on the amount of rain we receive between now and full maturity. With the cooler temperatures, it has definitely slowed down the progression of harvest. I do not anticipate harvesting any soybeans in September this year. We may shell some corn before we start on soybeans.Some of the initial tonnage reports from silage being made may indicate that the corn crop is better than we anticipate. Let’s hope so. This year all crops are going to be quite variable and unpredictable in yield.For the rest of this week’s reports, click here.last_img read more

A Certification Program for Net Zero Energy Projects

first_imgGreen builders can pursue an Energy Star label, an Earthcraft label, a Passivhaus label, or a Health House label for their new homes. But one Seattle-based nonprofit group has decided that we need another new label.Even though there are many ways to combine construction strategies and renewable-energy systems to produce buildings that can operate at net zero energy, the International Living Future Institute decided it is time to introduce a certification system for projects aiming for NZE performance.Last week in Toronto, during the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the ILFI announced the launch of Net Zero Energy Building Certification, which is linked to the institute’s stringent Living Building Challenge program. Certification through the NZE Building Certification program, ILFI says, will be based on performance rather than modeling. NZE projects anywhere in the world can apply for consideration, although candidate buildings must be operational for at least 12 months before they’re evaluated.A variety of renewable-energy systems can be used, including passive solar, photovoltaics, wind turbines, solar thermal, direct geothermal, water-powered microturbines, and fuel cells powered by hydrogen generated from renewably powered electrolysis.The institute’s green reachWhile many projects, including some marketed by production builders, are touted as net-zero-energy performers, those that qualify for the NZE Building Certification will have to meet the following Living Building Challenge requirements:The NZE building’s construction and renewable-energy system curb the project’s contribution to the effects of sprawled development.The building operates at net zero energy.The project is built in a way that does not preclude another building from achieving net zero energy operation as a result of excessive shading.Renewable-energy systems must be incorporated into the building in ways that are “attractive and inspiring.” Formerly known as the Living Building Institute (until April of this year), ILFI now manages the Living Building Challenge program; the Cascadia Green Building Council, a green building advocacy group for builders in the Northwest, British Columbia, and Alaska; Natural Step Network USA, which advises businesses on environmentally sustainable practices; and Ecotone Publishing, which produces books about green architecture and design.last_img read more

Rick Pitino Says John Calipari Is His National Coach Of The Year

first_imgHead coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats acknowledges the fans during practice for the NCAA Men's Final Four.INDIANAPOLIS, IN – APRIL 03: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats acknowledges the fans during practice for the NCAA Men’s Final Four at Lucas Oil Stadium on April 3, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Twitter/CalipariTwitter/CalipariThe U.S. Basketball Writers Association recently voted Virginia’s Tony Bennett its Henry Iba Award Winner as the national Coach of the Year. According to the Associated Press, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was asked on Tuesday about Bennett taking home the honor, and his response is one that probably caused a ripple across the Bluegrass State. “I think John Calipari has done a brilliant job, so I’d put him at the top” of the list of candidates.Pitino added, “When you’re undefeated and nobody’s beaten you, it’s clear cut who the coach of the year is right now.”Sure, Calipari is the skipper of the undefeated and top-ranked team in the nation, but that team is Kentucky, Pitino’s former employer and Louisville’s biggest rival, so this response is somewhat noteworthy. Still, Calipari as coach of the year isn’t exactly an outside-the-box thought from anyone.The most surprising thing, given Pitino and Calipari’s respective resumes, is that neither of them has ever won the USBWA Coach of the Year award.last_img read more