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Amazon deforestation and development heighten Amazon fire risk: study

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer The current fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon are helping confirm the findings of a new study published this July which shows a major connection between land use and fire incidence — with deforestation and development contributing more to fire occurrence than climate change.New research shows that unrestrained deforestation, along with the construction of new highways, could expand wildfire risk in the Amazon by more than 70 percent by 2100, even inside protected areas and indigenous reserves that have relatively intact forests.Scientist suggest that efforts to improve sustainable land management and reduce future deforestation and development could offer the best defenses against the escalating threat wildfires pose due to the increased heat and drought brought by escalating climate change. Forest fires burn out of control in the municipality of Colniza, Mato Grosso state, Brazil in 2019. Image by Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace.As of August 24, there were 41,858 fires reported this year in the Brazilian Amazon — the highest number since 2010, when 58,476 were recorded by that date. Likewise, the U.S. space agency NASA has shown this to be the most active fire year for the region since 2010.However, there is a major difference between 2010 and 2019. Brazil was gripped by one of the worst droughts it had seen in decades in 2010, whereas rainfall is only slightly lower than normal in 2019. So what caused this year’s non-drought related spike in destructive fires?Scientists think they may have the answer, and point to a massive uptick in deforestation between 2010 and today as a root cause.Over the last few months alone, deforestation has shot up alarmingly, with the rate in June 2019 running 88 percent higher than during the corresponding month in 2018, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE). And with the rate soaring again in July 2019 to 278 percent , as compared with the same month a year ago, according to the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM), A Brazilian NGO.INPE reported an increase in burn scars in the Amazon, rising from 794 square kilometers last August to 1,259 square kilometers for the first 26 days of last month. For the year, INPE has recorded 46,825 hotspots in Amazonia, more than twice the number of a year ago.A new study published this July in the journal Global Change Biology, and conducted by INPE and Brazil’s Centre for Disaster Research and Monitoring (CEMADEN), confirms that if this rising deforestation trend continues, then land-use — and especially deforestation — more than climate change and drought will likely be the major driver of increases in Amazon wildfires through 2100.“Most of the current fires are related to the deforestation process,” Luiz Aragão, professor of geography and earth sciences at the University of Exeter and a study co-author told Mongabay. “If you look at the 10 municipalities with the highest deforestation rates, they are also the ones with the highest rate of fires,” he said, quoting a recent IPAM report showing that most of the 2019 increase in fires is concentrated in municipalities with higher deforestation rates.Short-term and long-term deforestation trends in the Brazilian Amazon. Annual data is based on INPE’s high resolution satellite analysis, while short-term data is based on INPE’s deforestation monitoring system DETER. * 2019 annual data should be released in November or December 2019.The link between deforestation and fire riskIt is well understood that warming temperatures, recurring prolonged drought, Amazon road development (which fragments and offers greater access to forests), and deforestation from land use change (especially the ongoing conversion of rainforests to cattle pasture and cropland), all contribute significantly to the increasing incidence of wildfires.But the big debate has been, precisely how much does each factor contribute to an uptick in fires?To find an answer, the research team modeled the different effects of land use and climate change on the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. They found that land use change alone could expand the areas at risk from wildfire by more than 70 per cent by the year 2100, even inside protected areas and indigenous reserves that have relatively intact forests.“Our paper shows that land use governance is decisive to mitigating the effects of climate change on fire probability,” said study lead author Marisa Gesteira Fonseca, a postdoctoral researcher at INPE, the agency currently responsible for the satellite monitoring of Brazil’s deforestation. “Even under the worst climate scenarios it is still important to avoid deforestation in the Amazon” in order to reduce fire risk.Looking at the probability of fire occurrence between 2041-2070, and 2071-2100 under varying land use scenarios, the research team was able to determine to what extent land use change versus climate change would effect what part of the Amazon, and even estimate how many wildfires might occur under various scenarios.“This is a significant improvement on previous papers estimating fire risk, which were much more simplistic in their modeling and assumptions about governance,” said Jos Barlow, a professor of conservation science at Lancaster University, who wasn’t involved in the research.Aragão said that the extreme intensity of the 2019 Amazon fires also helped validate the model used in the study. “If we look at the climate, we see that this year there is no sign of [severe] drought, even though we have this massive increase in fire,” but there is a significant rise in deforestation. “It really shows us that fires in the region are affected by human activities on the ground and for mitigating them, we really need to act on these [land use] players.”Cumulative fire hotspots in the Brazilian Amazon thru August from 1999 to 2019. Image by Mongabay, data courtesy of INPE.Wildfires and climate change in the AmazonWhile deforestation is already recognized as an important driver of carbon emissions worldwide, wildfires are becoming an increasingly pernicious threat, even in places like the Amazon that were until recent years largely immune to widespread wildfires.Despite a recent significant uptick in deforestation, overall Brazil has seen a 75 percent decline in deforestation rates since 2004, however the rate of wildfires has increased.“What we are observing is that wildfires are becoming disconnected from the deforestation process,” said Aragão. “That means that the fire is not necessarily coming from areas that are being deforested.”A study published last year by Aragão and colleagues in the journal Nature Communications found that especially in years with lower-than-average rainfall, emissions from drought-induced fires unrelated to deforestation increasingly play a much larger role than those from deforestation, causing areas previously barely affected by fires to burn. The researchers concluded that, “in a hotter and drier future, large swaths of the Amazon, distant from the main deforestation epicenters, may burn.”Importantly, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) does not require that carbon emissions resulting from wildfires be included in a nation’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions — a significant omission considering that fires release massive amounts of carbon that would otherwise be sequestered in living, growing trees. This UN greenhouse gas source reporting loophole is especially worrisome considering the importance of the Amazon in calculating our global carbon budget — how much carbon we can “spend” before pushing past the 2 degree Celsius upper limit set by the IPCC, above which catastrophic climate change could occur.Counting forest emissions accurately is also critical to Brazil keeping its Paris Climate Agreement commitment of reducing its emissions to 37 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.In an article last year on the Conversation website, a website for academics to share research and news analysis, Barlow argued that as wildfires in once largely fire-proof rainforests like the Amazon increase, nations should prepare urgent actions aimed at mitigating the potential increase of fire emissions, in response to the intensification of droughts in tropical ecosystems.Aerial view of a large wildfire in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia. Image by Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace.Linking climate change and land-useThe recent study contributes to a growing field of research looking at the direct and indirect connection between climate change and land use policies. Globally, agriculture, deforestation, and other land use practices are responsible for roughly a quarter of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Conversely, various reports show the tremendous potential that intact tropical forests have for combatting global warming.All of this recent research combines to make the finding of the new study, which show increased incidences of wildfire even in protected areas and indigenous reserves, more alarming.“We expected that in the worst case scenario we would find an increase [in wildfire incidence]. But the coincidence of areas of high change with indigenous lands and protected area was much larger than we thought it would be,” said Gesteira Fonseca.If deforestation and development isn’t controlled, then more than 1 million square kilometers (386,102 square miles) of indigenous lands and protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon could be subject to an increased likelihood of occurrence of wildfires by 2100, threatening both ecosystems and human populations in these areas.For Barlow, the results highlight a key issue that is now being recognized across biomes: that maintaining intact, and better yet, near-pristine ecosystems, is essential to help avoid the worst outcomes threatened by climate change. “This in itself is not new,” said Barlow, “but this paper provides a powerful and convincing set of evidence that supports it in the Amazonian context.”Even under more optimistic climate change scenarios, the socioeconomic, institutional, and environmental dynamics related to increased development and deforestation of the Amazon would dramatically increase fire probability, said the researchers.For Gesteira Fonseca and Aragão, even though the results show a higher fire incidence, the fact that land use change plays such an outsized role is in some ways a silver bullet: if we can change and improve land use practices in the Amazon, reducing deforestation and controlling development, we can also reduce the incidence of fires. “If the main variable were climate change,” said Aragão, “the scale of making a difference would be much more long term.”Citation:Fonseca, Marisa Gesteira, et al. “Effects of climate and land‐use change scenarios on fire probability during the 21st century in the Brazilian Amazon.” Global change biology 25.9 (2019): 2931-2946.Banner image caption: Forest fires burn out of control in the municipality of Colniza, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Image by Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Green, Infrastructure, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforests, Roads, Saving The Amazon, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation 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

Audio: Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway with Mongabay’s John Cannon

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with Mongabay staff writer John Cannon, who traveled the length of the Pan Borneo Highway in July and wrote a series of reports for Mongabay detailing what he discovered on the journey.The Pan Borneo Highway is expected to make commerce and travel easier in a region that is notoriously difficult to navigate, and also to encourage tourists to see the states’ cultural treasures and rich wildlife. But from the outset, scientists and conservationists have warned that the highway is likely to harm that very same wildlife by dividing populations and degrading habitat.Cannon undertook his 3-week reporting trip down the Pan Borneo Highway in an attempt to understand both the positive and negative effects the road could have on local communities, wildlife, and ecosystems, and he’s here to tell us what he found. On today’s episode of the Mongabay Newscast, we speak with our adventurous Middle East-based staff writer John Cannon, who recently traveled the length of the Pan Borneo Highway to assess the positive and negative effects the road could have on local communities, wildlife, and ecosystems.Listen here:Cannon spent three weeks traveling the proposed route of the Pan Borneo Highway which is being built to connect the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak as well as the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. The idea is to make commerce and travel easier in a region that is notoriously difficult to navigate, and also to encourage tourists to see the states’ cultural treasures and rich wildlife, from elephants to clouded leopards and crocodiles.But scientists and conservationists have warned that the highway is likely to harm that very same wildlife by dividing populations and degrading habitat.You can also read his six-part series detailing the trip and his  “5 revelations from traveling the Pan Borneo Highway.”Here’s this episode’s top news:‘Full-blown crisis’: North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds since 1970At the UN, losing the race against time to fight climate change‘The Blob’ is back: Pacific heat wave already second-largest in recent historyWould you like to hear how Mongabay grew out of its founder’s childhood adventures in rainforests and a fascination with frogs? Or how a Mongabay editor reacted to meeting one of the world’s last Bornean rhinos? We now offer Insider Content that delivers behind-the-scenes reporting and stories like these from our team. For a small monthly donation, you’ll get exclusive access and support our work in a new way. Visit mongabay.com/insider to learn more and join the growing community of Mongabay readers on the inside track.If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at patreon.com/mongabay. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, the Google Podcasts app, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS, Castbox, Pocket Casts, and via Spotify or Pandora. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.A mother Sunda clouded leopard and her cubs on a road in Sabah, still image from video footage shot by Michael Gordon.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Borneo Orangutan, Deforestation, Elephants, Environment, forest degradation, Forests, Habitat Degradation, Infrastructure, Interviews, Mammals, Mitigation, Orangutans, Podcast, Roads, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation 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

Cook Islands MPA leader fired after supporting seabed mining freeze

first_imgLast month the Cook Islands government dismissed the director of the world’s biggest mixed-use marine protected area (MPA), which is called Marae Moana.Jacqueline Evans, a marine scientist, had played a key leadership role in the seven-year campaign to establish Marae Moana and served as its director since the MPA was enshrined into law in 2017.Her firing came after she expressed support for a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining across the Pacific Ocean. Seabed mining has been a sticking point throughout the history of Marae Moana, with some environmentalists hoping to prohibit it outright and other parties wanting to explore it as a potential source of revenue.Evans was a 2019 winner of the prestigious international Goldman Prize for grassroots environmentalists in recognition of her work to make Marae Moana a reality. This story is part of a series on Marae Moana, the massive, recently enacted multiple-use marine protected area covering the Cook Islands’ entire exclusive economic zone. Other stories in the series:Building the world’s biggest MPA: Q&A with Goldman winner Jacqueline EvansWill a massive marine protected area safeguard Cook Islands’ ocean?Paradise, polluted: Cook Islands tries to clean up its tourism sectorGive it back to the gods: Reviving Māori tradition to protect marine lifeFor somebody who’d just been fired from a prestigious government post, Jacqueline Evans sounded remarkably upbeat. “I knew it was going to come,” she laughed during a phone interview with Mongabay. “I was surprised about what I was being sacked over, though: it was essentially just giving my opinion.”On Sept. 20 Evans was dismissed from her position as director of the Cook Islands’ world-renowned Marae Moana marine protected area (MPA), a position she’d held since the MPA was enshrined into law in 2017. Evans, a marine scientist and 2019 winner of the prestigious international Goldman Prize for grassroots environmentalists, played a key leadership role in the seven-year campaign to establish Marae Moana, the biggest mixed-use MPA in the world at nearly 2 million square kilometers (772,200 square miles).Jacqueline Evans. Image courtesy of Goldman Environmental Prize.Ben Ponia, Prime Minister Henry Puna’s chief of staff, dismissed Evans. Evans said she’d seen it coming since Ponia, who had opposed Marae Moana since its inception, was appointed to the role a year ago. “I was kind of expecting it since he was appointed,” she said, “but I decided I was just going to stick it out and do as best as I could. And then the inevitable happened!”Ponia has declined to comment to the media on the matter, and did not respond directly to Mongabay’s request for comment.According to Evans, in the days prior to her firing, she advised the government via an internal email to support a 10-year moratorium on seabed mining across the entire Pacific Ocean. The Fijian prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, had called for the moratorium at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu on Aug. 13, after civil society representatives suggested it to the leaders during a dialogue. The idea was then included in a draft communiqué for an upcoming meeting of environment ministers from various Pacific island countries. That draft was circulated among Cook Islands government ministers several weeks before Evans was brought into the discussion, she said in a public statement issued on Oct. 1. The ministers expressed the view that the communiqué should omit any mention of the moratorium; Evans advised the opposite.“I was never consulted on the position that Cook Islands would take until the very last minute, and government officials were upset that my policy advice was contrary to what they had discussed amongst themselves and that it came at a late stage,” she said in the statement. “This is a strange arrangement, considering I’m meant to be the coordinator of Marae Moana and policy advisor to the Marae Moana Council. But this behavior was consistent with what had been happening over the previous 18 months or so.”Map shows the location of the Cook Islands, with the international date line running past on a ragged course through the Pacific Ocean. Image courtesy of Google Maps.Seabed mining has been a sticking point throughout the history of Marae Moana. While the legal act establishing the MPA was being created, some environmentalists hoped to take the possibility of allowing seabed mining off the table entirely on the grounds that it was difficult to marry with Marae Moana’s primary principle of protecting and conserving the ecological, biodiversity, and heritage values of the Cook Islands marine environment.But many government ministers and officials were keen to pursue mining because of the potential for lucrative economic gains. Parts of the country’s sea floor are rich in manganese nodules, and the mineral is increasingly in demand globally for batteries to power technologies such as electric cars. In the end, the act only made it into law because it allowed the possibility of mining to be explored. However, the act aimed to ensure that mining could only happen in sites where it would not unduly impact deep ocean ecosystems and biodiversity.To find out where these sites are — if indeed they exist at all — requires significant research: “10 years at least!” Evans told Mongabay. That’s why, in her view, the moratorium, “which is not a ban on exploration, but suspension of mining while data is collected by exploration and research,” would not interfere with the government’s plans.“If they are ready within 10 years, then we know that they haven’t collected adequate data,” she said, “because you just can’t get the data that’s needed in that period of time when you’re dealing with the deep ocean.”Evans said she believes there are also interpersonal reasons for her dismissal. “It was egos being bruised, because I was correcting them,” she said. “I wonder: is it because I’m a woman? They don’t like a woman to be questioning what they’re doing?”She said Ponia told her that her support for the moratorium was based on emotion rather than reason. “I asked: what was emotional about putting aside mining for adequate time to collect scientific data?” she said.Several sources also told Mongabay that Prime Minister Puna was disappointed about Evans’s receipt of the Goldman Prize in recognition of her work to make Marae Moana a reality, because he felt he deserved more credit for its creation. Despite the prestige of the $200,000 award, which is often referred to as the “Green Nobel Prize,” the Cook Islands government made no formal announcement about it at the time. Neither the prime minister’s office nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which led the discussion about the Cook Islands’ position on the proposed Pacific-wide moratorium, responded to Mongabay’s requests for comment on Evans’s firing.Jacqueline Evans; Prime Minister Henry Puna; Travel Tou Ariki, president of the House of Ariki, the Cook Islands’ parliamentary body of paramount traditional chiefs; and former rugby league star Kevin Iro just after the Cook Islands government passed the Marae Moana Act establishing the country’s entire exclusive economic zone as a mixed-use marine protected area in 2017. Image courtesy of the Marae Moana Coordination Office.Maria Tuoro, who until now has been coordinating the Cook Islands component of the Ridge2Reef (R2R) program, a multi-country initiative spearheaded by the Global Environment Facility that focuses on holistic resource management and conservation, is now set to take over the Marae Moana coordination role. Tuoro’s background is in business administration.Evans, for her part, is keen to continue to hold the government to account — from the outside this time. “I think the fact that I know what’s going on on the inside is what freaks me out the most,” she said, “but that just makes me really determined.” Alongside consultancy work, she’s also hoping to spend more time on ocean education and research.Map shows the Marae Moana mixed-use marine protected area, which covers the Cook Islands entire territorial waters, an area of almost 2 million square kilometers (772,200 square miles). Within Marae Moana are more strictly protected areas around each of the 15 islands, where commercial fishing and seabed mining are prohibited. Click here to enlarge. Image courtesy of Marae Moana Coordination Office.Many locals are concerned about what Evans’s dismissal means for Marae Moana. After its marine spatial plan designating areas for particular activities is completed next year, the MPA is set to be implemented in full. “The expertise Jacqui brought to the set up of Marae Moana can not be replicated or exceeded by another,” said Teina Mackenzie, president of the local environmental NGO Te Ipukarea Society and a member of the MPA’s advisory body, the Marae Moana Council, in an email. “Her role in this initiative goes back many years, well before the Government saw merit in it and recognized it would propel the country onto the global scene.”When the MPA was created, “it seemed too good to be true,” said Mackenzie. “Many wondered, ‘will this be another paper park?’, but the Marae Moana concept was promoted widely and with what seemed to be much genuine resolve.” However, she said, as Marae Moana moved toward implementation, transparency and genuine consultation were lacking, and some of its staunchest supporters began to lose faith.“There are few of us that have seen the inside workings of the setup of Marae Moana and as time moves on, there is less and less belief that a multi-use protected area is really being created with conservation as the main pillar,” Mackenzie said.For Mackenzie, Evans’s dismissal shows clearly that these concerns are justified. “These are the parameters we have been working against for years, and now the cards have been shown and no one wins in the end,” she said.For more on the story of Marae Moana:A giant clam in Rarotonga. Image by Ron Caswell via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).Banner image: An islet off Muri Beach on Rarotonga, the largest and most populous of the Cook Islands. Image by Monica Evans for Mongabay.Monica Evans is a freelance writer based in Aotearoa New Zealand who specializes in environmental and community development issues. She has a master’s degree in development studies from Victoria University of Wellington. Find her at monicaevans.org. (She and Jacqueline Evans are not related.)FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Rebecca Kessler Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deep Sea Mining, Environment, Environmental Activism, Environmental Heroes, Fish, Fisheries, Governance, Government, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Prizes, Wildlife 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

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

Letters to Santa

first_imgGet your letters to Santa and he’ll read them on Moose FMStarting December 1st on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays Santa will be at the Moose FM to read your letters.  Kids, drop off your letters to Santa at the Northern Toy Box or Home Hardware.  Just look for Santa’s Mail Box and leave your letter inside.At 4:20 Santa will read your letters and two kids will win a special prize.  Just make sure your full name and phone number is on your letter so Moose FM’s Elves can find you. – Advertisement -Letters With Santa on Moose FM Starting December 1st is brought to you by Home Hardware and the Northern Toy Box.last_img read more

NEW ARDARA BAKERY OWNER TELLS OF HIS DREAM TO MAKE A CRUST AGAIN

first_imgTHE new owner of the recently-doomed Gallgher’s Bakery in Ardara has said he plans to make the company a huge success again.Declan Gallagher, who father Frank founded the bread-maker in 1968, bought back the company from IAWS yesterday after selling it in 2007.Mr Gallagher’s rescue package comes just weeks after IAWS said it was pulling out of Ardara with the loss of 189 jobs. Last night Mr.Gallagher told donegaldaily.com that he hopes to have 70 jobs up and running in the fresh bread production end of the business shortly with another 30 to follow.He also revealed the company has plans to diversify into new product ranges.“It has been a tough four days but we are delighted that the business is now back under our full control.“We have a great product and we have a terrific workforce and now we must make it work. “People still eat bread during a recession but we must ensure that we move with the times and introduce some new products,” he said.At present only half of the 50,000 sq foot factory in Ardara is being used.But the expansion of the company into different ranges could see the rest of the plant utilised.Mr Gallagher, who refused to divulge how much he paid for the company, asked Donegal retailers to get behind the company and companies like it and to spend money locally in shops, garages, restaurants and other stores.“We have got to think about our future and protect as many manufacturing companies as we can in our region for our children’s sake,” he said. And he added “I would like to express my appreciation to IAWS for following through on their stated determination to see the Fresh bread business preserved. They have been part of very positive negotiations on the sale and likewise Údarás na Gaeltachta have been very supportive of the effort being made.”Stephen McCahill, chairman of the Ardara Traders Association, said nobody could have pulled off what Declan Gallagher has done.“It is a credit to him because Gallaghers is simply in his blood. Nobody else but Declan could have done it.“He now deserves all our support and he will get it,” he said. EndsNEW ARDARA BAKERY OWNER TELLS OF HIS DREAM TO MAKE A CRUST AGAIN was last modified: February 23rd, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

DD Fitness: Five reasons why you are not seeing progress in your training

first_imgOne question that tends to re-occur time and time again is: “Why am I not seeing any progress?”If you have previously been having results in your training and it has stalled, there can be a few reasons for this to happen.I always try and get our Rushe Fitness members to make small changes in their training and diets so they can keep making progress. Find out more about joining us hereCLICK HEREEach person will have different reasons why this can happen, but one or more of the five points below tend to be the cause for lack of progress.YOU HAVE MAXED OUT YOUR ‘NEWBIE GAINS’If you are new to training, everything you do is a new stimulus to your body.This means your body will react to this new stimulus and will try to adapt as quickly as possible to everything that is placed upon it.For someone who is a beginner to training, they can find that they get noticeable results really quickly for the 1st 6-12 month of training without having to look at their nutrition at all.After that, those results will tend to slow down and can plateau altogether, unless you have changed anything in your training, like lifting more weight, or looking at your diet and changing it to be more in line with your goals.YOU AREN’T EATING ENOUGH!A common mistake that people make, is they don’t eat enough to fuel their training goals.Trying to survive on very low calories when you are doing daily training sessions won’t get you faster results.It will actually hinder your progressYour energy throughout the day will be lower than normal as your body tries to conserve energy, so your ability to lift more or do more work or get a good training session in will go down, so your ability to gain progress will go down along with it. Extremely low-calorie diets don’t work for long term results!YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED YOUR WEIGHTS SINCE TIME BEGAN!If you are still lifting the same weights, one or two years later, you won’t see any progress.Not lifting heavier because of getting ‘too big’ or ending up ‘too bulky’ is the wrong way to think about it.You will NEVER end up too big, unless you eat in a calorie surplus and have a structured training program.It just won’t happen. But, if you want to see progress, you need to give the body a new stimulus to kick start things again, it can be as simple as lifting heavier weights, doing more reps, or doing more sets.It’s not a difficult as many make it out to be and you don’t have to go from an 8kg kettlebell to a 50kg one, but you can go from an 8kg to a 10kg which will add progress to your training. YOU ARE TRAINING TOO MUCH!Once progress starts to slow or stop, adding in even more training can be counterproductive.This is especially true if you aren’t eating enough to fuel the extra sessions.Think of it like this. Advertisement You have a car that is almost out of fuel and in order to get to your destination, you decide to speed up, drive in low gears only and take a few detours along the way.If you are training and your diet is on point, you may need to look at what you are doing and how you can get more progress from that, rather than adding in more training in the hopes that it will get you more progress.More often than not, adding more won’t give you more progress.YOU ARE UNDER-RECOVERING!For most, you aren’t ‘over-training’, you are simply under recovering.This sums up the previous 2 points that I made.Your recovery is more important for your goals than your training.It is where you adapt, recover, regenerate and grow. Advertisement If you aren’t eating enough, sleeping enough, hydrating and taking proper de-loads (day’s off or days of less work), you aren’t going to see progress as you will be running on empty.Instead of trying to do more, you may need to reduce your training for a week in order to give your body a break and allow it to recover so you can push harder in your next training phase.If you aren’t seeing results with your training in or out of the gym, try adding in one or more of the points above.Small changes can make a huge difference to your progress, so give it a go.#leanin2019Our Lean in 2019 program gives you a structured training and nutrition plan so you can keep making progress in and out of the gym. You can get in on the program by joining our Letterkenny Gym Community. Find out all details through the link below.JOIN HERE NOW!DD Fitness: Five reasons why you are not seeing progress in your training was last modified: September 29th, 2019 by Emmet RusheShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:fitnesshealthhealthy appetiteshealthy choiceshealthy eatinglast_img read more

AAAS Tries to Downplay Dinosaur Soft Tissue

first_imgThe biggest bombshell of the century in paleontology threatens evolutionary time. It’s not surprising that the AAAS would want to put out the fire.Dinosaur soft tissue pulls the rug out from millions of years. Most people get that. Tell them that blood vessels, blood cells and original proteins have been found in dinosaur fossils, and a light bulb will go off in their heads: ‘then they can’t be that old’ is the logical conclusion. With few exceptions, fossils are supposed to be remains of organisms that have turned to stone. But when Mary Schweitzer went on 60 Minutes in 2010 (see YouTube) showing stretchy material she found inside a T. rex bone, it elicited gasps from host Lesley Stahl. Nobody on that show could believe it. And her mentor, dinosaurologist Jack Horner, had no explanation. Schweitzer’s “unorthodox approach”, the narrator stated, “may be changing the whole dino ball game”.In Science Magazine, Robert F. Service illustrated the AAAS tactical plan to defuse the findings: (a) Attribute it to Schweitzer’s religious faith; (b) Portray the findings as controversial and incapable of replication, (c) Suggest that there are other explanations than original soft tissue, and (d) Picture Schweitzer as an advocate on a personal quest with dubious motivations. Even the title of his article, “Keeping the Faith”, starts the discussion going on a religious meme. Service makes a big deal of the fact that Schweitzer was once a young-earth Biblical creationist. Maybe, his writing suggests, she never really got rid of her inner desire to prove evolution wrong, despite her claims otherwise.To the degree Service’s narrative is accurate, Schweitzer’s change of heart is an all-too-common experience for Christian students, unable to deal with slick presentations of evolutionary ‘science’ and millions of years.A THIRD-GENERATION MONTANAN, Schweitzer, 62, grew up outside of Helena as the youngest of three children in a conservative Catholic family. Her father, with whom she was very close, died of a heart attack when she was 16, and Schweitzer turned to fundamentalist Christianity for solace, embedding herself deeply in her new community. She also rejected evolution and adopted the belief that Earth is only 6000 years old.After earning an undergraduate degree in audiology, Schweitzer married and had three children. She went back to school at Montana State University in Bozeman for an education degree, planning to become a high school science teacher. But then she sat in on a dinosaur lecture given by Jack Horner, now retired from the university, who was the model for the paleontologist in the original Jurassic Park movie. After the talk, Schweitzer went up to Horner to ask whether she could audit his class.“Hi Jack, I’m Mary,” Schweitzer recalls telling him. “I’m a young Earth creationist. I’m going to show you that you are wrong about evolution.”“Hi Mary, I’m Jack. I’m an atheist,” he told her. Then he agreed to let her sit in on the course.Over the next 6 months, Horner opened Schweitzer’s eyes to the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution and Earth’s antiquity. “He didn’t try to convince me,” Schweitzer says. “He just laid out the evidence.”She rejected many fundamentalist views, a painful conversion. “It cost me a lot: my friends, my church, my husband.” But it didn’t destroy her faith. She felt that she saw God’s handiwork in setting evolution in motion. “It made God bigger,” she says.The message is clear: Schweitzer has “faith” but her critics have “evidence”. The AAAS article presents Horner sympathetically, failing to point out that last year the 70-year-old dinosaur hunter who inspired Jurassic Park‘s scientist character was removed last year as director of the Museum of the Rockies for an “inappropriate” relationship with a 19-year-old undergrad that he married and then divorced (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, 8/28/16). Service whitewashes the incident, stating that Horner is “now retired”. The article also fails to reveal that Horner refused a gift of $23,000 from Bob Enyart, pastor and host of Real Science Friday, to carbon date the T. rex soft tissue. Why not? That would seem a valuable piece of data for any organic remains. In his response, Horner hemmed and hawed, suggesting it would be a waste of time since there shouldn’t be any after millions of years. But according to the recorded phone conversation, the real reason was that Horner did not want to give creationists an opportunity to capitalize on the results if carbon-14 were found.Service continues, describing Schweitzer’s original 1990 discovery of what looked like blood cells in dinosaur bone:Schweitzer knew this amounted to paleontological heresy: According to the textbooks, when fossils form, all but the hardiest organic matter decays, leaving a mix of leftover minerals plus new ones that have leached in and taken the bone’s shape. Meanwhile, the fragile chains of amino acids in proteins quickly fall apart. Feeling “somewhat terrified,” Schweitzer didn’t want to tell anyone, least of all Horner, what she’d seen under the scope.She confided in a fellow graduate student, who spread the news. Horner caught wind and called Schweitzer in. “They are in the right place to be red blood cells,” she recalls telling him. “But they can’t be red blood cells. We all know that.”Horner stared at the slide himself for 5 to 10 minutes. “Prove to me they’re not,” he said.Spurred by her mentor’s challenge, Schweitzer has continued to try to falsify her findings. “I’ve been trying ever since to disprove it,” she said. “I still haven’t.” Service lays out some of her most surprising findings in 1997, 2005 and 2007, but then employs the power of suggestion to resurrect refuted claims that the soft tissue comes from bacterial contamination. And he uses bandwagon language to present her as a lone maverick in a community of skeptics. He does point out, to his credit, that many of her most important papers were published in Science Magazine.She needs more fossils to quiet a continuing drumbeat of criticism. In addition to raising the specter of contamination, Buckley and others have argued that antibodies often bind nonspecifically and yield false-positive results. Critics also noted that one of the six amino acid sequences reported in the 2007 paper was misassigned and is likely incorrect. Asara later agreed and retracted that particular sequence.“That’s worrying,” says Maria McNamara, a paleontologist at University College Cork in Ireland. “If you are going to make claims for preservation, you really need to have tight arguments. At this point I don’t think we are quite there.”Service points out that “Schweitzer and her team have detailed ripostes to all of these critiques.” He actually mentions some of them. And he quotes a supporter:After the JPR paper, some say they are puzzled by the persistent skepticism. “I don’t get it,” says Johan Lindgren, a dinosaur paleontologist from Lund University in Sweden, who has recently begun collaborating with Schweitzer. “It seems like there is a double standard,” with some researchers ignoring Schweitzer’s multiple lines of evidence while making their own bold claims with less backing. “She’s extremely careful not to overstate what she’s doing.”There might even be some sexism going on, Service hints. Nevertheless, the overall impression of his article is that Schweitzer is on a lonely quest, out of the mainstream, lacking enough evidence to make her case and failing to convince colleagues. “So Schweitzer pushes on, walking briskly across the badlands in search of fossils, bits of protein, and, perhaps one day, acceptance,” he ends, letting her self-identify as a stubborn person.But Mary Schweitzer is not the only one finding soft tissue. Mark Armitage, a microscopist, found osteocytes, complete with delicate hairlike filipodia, in a Triceratops horn from the same Hell Creek formation where Schweitzer has worked. There are the seven museum specimens with “fibers and cellular structures” reported here at CEH on June 9, 2015 that were found by scientists from Imperial College London. They published their findings in Nature Communications. Bob Enyart has a long list of soft tissue scientific papers, as well as the conversation about the grant offer to Jack Horner. We have reported numerous cases of soft tissue in fossils, even from Cambrian arthropods over 500 million Darwin Years old (1/21/16). And creation researchers sent dinosaur bones to radiocarbon labs for testing, and detected measurable carbon-14 in numerous samples. Since all carbon-14 should disappear in 100,000 years, this one finding rules out millions of years.So for Robert F. Service to portray Mary Schweitzer as a religious person “keeping the faith” on a lone quest among critics who cannot replicate her results amounts to serious misrepresentation and a distraction from the overarching question of millions of years. It’s a disservice to the readers of Science Magazine.Evolutionists have to fight dinosaur soft tissue evidence. They have no choice. Their careers are over if dinosaurs lived far more recently. Nobody will trust them again. The castle that Charlie & Charlie built (Lyell, Darwin) crumbles to the ground like Jericho’s walls under Joshua’s trumpets if dinosaurs are not tens of millions of years old. So far, we have watched in disbelief at evolutionists responding with the angle, ‘Well, what do you know; dinosaur blood can last 68 million years.’ We have to keep the pressure on so that fake science does not succeed. (Visited 1,281 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Why we need a literate nation

first_imgLiteracy plays a vital role in the growth and development of any nation, and research has shown that the higher the rate of literacy, the better the potential to succeed.Read Educational Trust hosts pop-up libraries for public consumption to spearhead a literary nation. (Image: Read Educational Trust Facebook)Brand South Africa ReporterLiteracy plays a vital role in the growth and development of any nation, and research has shown that the higher the rate of literacy, the better the potential to succeed.There is a correlation between income and illiteracy, according to South Africa’s Read Educational Trust, an NGO that specialises in teacher training and the provision of school reading resources.Data on the organisation’s website reveal that the per capita income in countries with a literacy rate that’s less than 55% averages US$600 (R5 000); in countries with a literacy rate between 55% and 84% it averages $2 400 (R20 200); in countries with a literacy rate between 85% and 95% the average is $3 700 (R31 100); and in countries with a literacy rate above 96% it jumps to $12 600 (R106 000).A high level of literacy can reduce poverty and crime, contribute to economic growth, and improve the quality of life because people, when they can read information regarding HIV/Aids and other social issues, are able to make informed choices and feel more confident about themselves. This in turn could relieve the burden on the government in terms of the public health system, for instance.According to South African NGO Project Literacy, reading and writing are fundamental human rights as they allow adults to take control of their lives through being able to vote, fill in an application form, do banking, read instruction manuals, and other activities.But it’s vital to start this process as early as possible with a sound basic education system and the establishment of a culture of reading at home – which can only be done by adults who themselves know how to read and understand the value of reading.But according to David Harrison, CEO of the Cape Town-based DG Murray Trust, an organisation that funds early childhood development, literacy and leadership initiatives, at least 70% of Grade R pupils have never been exposed to any sort of early childhood education.This is critical, he wrote in an online article on Nal’ibali, because children develop the mental tools for literacy and numeracy long before they reach the preschool age.According to the Department of Basic Education’s 2010 annual national assessment of literacy among schoolchildren, only 45% of Grade three and 35% of Grade six children could read and write at levels expected for their grades.Fortunately there are alternatives in the numerous literacy programmes that operate around South Africa. These are able to supplement school education and fill the gap by boosting skills and fostering a love of reading.Literacy rate needs improvementWith International Literacy Day just past – a Unesco-driven event celebrated for the past 40 years on 8 September – the spotlight has fallen on South Africa’s education policies and literacy rate.According to a report released in 2011 by the UN Development Programme, South Africa ranks at 123 out of 187 countries surveyed, with a literacy rate of 88.7% (2007 figures). South Africa wasn’t the best-performing African country on this list – it was topped by Namibia at 120, Botswana at 118, Egypt at 113, Gabon at 106, Algeria at 96, Tunisia at 94, and Mauritius at 77.This means that in South Africa, 4.7-million adults are totally illiterate as they never had a day’s schooling in their lives, and a further 4.9-million never completed their primary schooling and are considered functionally illiterate.Unicef’s website quotes the literacy rate for young South Africans between 15 and 24 years of age, measured between 2005 and 2010, as 97% for young men and 98% for young women.In its Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, the World Economic Forum ranked South Africa a rather dismal 133 out of 142 countries in terms of the quality of its educational system. The top African performer in this category was Kenya at 27, followed by the Gambia at 32 and Zimbabwe at 33.This ranking was given despite the fact that a large portion of the government budget – about 20% of the total national budget – goes to education. Experts also say that in South Africa, as in other developing nations, more children are attending school, especially primary school, but they can’t explain why the country isn’t achieving better results.“The real question is whether we as a country can afford children who cannot read – and learn – any longer,” wrote Harrison.Tackling illiteracyEstablished in 1973, Project Literacy is one of many initiatives that are working to address illiteracy in South Africa. It specialises in adult literacy and its programmes are available across the country.The government-driven Kha Ri Gude (Tshivenda, meaning “let us learn”) mass literacy campaign was launched in 2008 by former education minister Naledi Pandor, and is also focused on adult literacy.Kha Ri Gude is aimed at the 4.7-million unschooled adults in South Africa and according to basic education minister Angie Motshekga, speaking in February 2012 to the African National Congress Youth League, by the end of 2011, 2 231 364 people had completed the programme, which accommodates blind as well as sighted students. Classes are free.In 2008 Operation Upgrade, an adult literacy programme in KwaZulu-Natal, received Unesco’s prestigious Confucius Prize for Literacy for its KwaNibela project in the north of the province. KwaNibela works to promote social change and development through adult literacy and adult basic education.The long-standing annual Readathon is another literacy awareness initiative, this one aimed at encouraging youngsters to read and more importantly, to love to read. The 2012 edition – the 21st – launched in August and runs until the end of October. The Readathon is an initiative of the Read Educational Trust.The campaign has enlisted the help of several popular celebrities to be its ambassadors – they include boxing champion “Baby” Jake Matlala, musician Dr Victor, and musician/poet Ntsiki Mazwai.The Readathon also wants South Africans, especially children, to turn reading into a social pastime by forming book clubs.The help2read organisation started operations in 2006 in Cape Town. It was initially established in 2005 by concerned London businessman Alex Moss, who realised the tremendous impact that a reading programme could have on a developing nation. Today over 110 South African and Namibian schools benefit from the programme, and there are plans to take the programme further into Africa.Nal’ibali (isiXhosa, meaning “here is the story”) is a bilingual newspaper supplement – English and isiXhosa or isiZulu – that plans to improve literacy statistics in South Africa by promoting a nationwide culture of reading and storytelling for enjoyment. Launched by the Avusa media group and the Project for Alternative Education in South Africa (Praesa), Nal’ibali is aimed at children, but also provides guidelines for adults to help create an everyday story environment for youngsters in their homes and communities.The weekly supplement currently has a 6.4-million print run. It’s also available for download in PDF format on the Nal’ibali website for those who missed out on the newspaper version.“Storytelling and reading expose children to a special form of language that is holistic, rich and complex,” said Praesa director Carole Bloch. “This allows them to tune into the rhythms and structures of language and broadens their conceptual worlds and their vocabulary to express themselves.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Proposed changes to scrapie regulations

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Federal Register notice proposing changes to the scrapie regulations by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was posted last week. Items recommended to be amended include changing the risk groups and categories established for individual animals and for flocks; increasing the use of genetic testing as a means of assigning risk levels to animals; reducing movement restrictions for animals found to be genetically less susceptible or resistant to scrapie; and simplifying, reducing or removing certain recordkeeping requirements.APHIS is also proposing to provide designated scrapie epidemiologists more alternatives and flexibility when testing animals in order to determine flock designations under the regulations. A change to the definition of high-risk animal is recommended, which will change the types of animals eligible for indemnity and to pay higher indemnity for certain pregnant ewes and early maturing ewes.The proposed changes also make the identification and recordkeeping requirements for goat owners consistent with those for sheep owners. These changes would affect sheep and goat producers, persons who handle sheep and goats in interstate commerce and state governments.“ASI has, for several years now, asked APHIS to propose amendments to the scrapie eradication regulation to help expedite the eradication process through the recognition of recent scientific findings, experience with program implementation and progress toward the eradication goal,” said Burton Pfliger, American Sheep Industry Association president. “We appreciate USDA finally getting this proposed rule out for public comment. ASI will be analyzing the proposed rule and will be filing comments.”All comments must be submitted on or before Nov. 9 to be considered. The proposed rule is available at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-09-10/html/2015-21909.htm.last_img read more