‘Yoda bat’ happy to be recognized as new species

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Mike Gaworecki Animals, Bats, Environment, Mammals, New Species, Rainforest Animals, Rainforests, Species Discovery, Tropical Forests, Wildlife center_img A new fruit bat species found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and described in the Records of the Australian Museum this month resembles Yoda closely enough that it has actually been referred to simply as the “Yoda bat” — at least until now.Acccording to Nancy Irwin, author of the study describing the species, the name Hamamas or “happy” tube-nosed fruit bat was chosen because “Most of the morphological characteristics that separate this bat from other species are associated with a broader, rounder jaw which gives the appearance of a constant smile.”The bat was given its scientific name, N. wrightae, in honor of conservationist Deb Wright, who spent two decades building conservation programs and long-term scientific capacity in Papua New Guinea. The character Yoda, the venerable Jedi Master from the Star Wars franchise, may have come from a galaxy far, far away, but his face seems to pop up a lot here on Earth.Earlier this year, two new species of tarsier were described by scientists. Tarsiers look so much like Yoda that they inspired an unconfirmed rumor that the character was based on the small but surprisingly capable creatures from the island nations of Southeast Asia.A new fruit bat species found in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea and described in the Records of the Australian Museum this month also resembles Yoda closely enough that it has actually been referred to simply as the “Yoda bat” — at least until now.“Since most remote Papuans have never seen Star Wars, I thought it fitting to use a local name: the Hamamas — meaning happy — tube-nosed fruit bat,” Nancy Irwin, an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Biology at the University of York in the UK and author of the study describing the species, said in a statement.Irwin explains why the “happy” moniker seemed an appropriate choice: “The species is very difficult to tell apart from other tube-nosed bat species. Bat species often look similar to each other, but differ significantly in behaviour, feeding and history. Most of the morphological characteristics that separate this bat from other species are associated with a broader, rounder jaw which gives the appearance of a constant smile.”The Hamamas (happy) tube-nosed fruit bat. Photo Credit: Dr. Nancy IrwinThere are 18 known species in the tube-nosed fruit bat genus, Nyctimene, all found in northern Australia, Melanesia, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and the islands of Wallacea (a geographic term referring to a group of islands that are mostly in eastern Indonesia). But the taxonomy of the bats “has remained problematic,” Irwin notes in the study. She combed through the existing scientific literature and examined 3,000 bat specimens from 18 different museums around the world in order to establish the Hamamas tube-nosed fruit bat as a distinct species.The bat was given its scientific name, N. wrightae, in honor of conservationist Deb Wright, who spent two decades building conservation programs and long-term scientific capacity in Papua New Guinea.In the course of her research, Irwin was also able to establish that two other Nyctimene bats, which appear to be close relatives of the Hamamas bat, are in fact separate species, as well. Previously, scientists had differed in their treatment of N. cyclotis and N. certans, with some considering them to be the same species.N. cyclotis and N. certans are sometimes referred to as “the cyclotis group,” and Irwin said she would “tentatively” place N. wrightae in that group as well.Nyctimene bats have attracted attention for hundreds of years, Ωwith their tube noses and bright colors, Irwin notes, but researchers are still finding new hidden species in the group.“There were no illustrations of the cyclotis group of bats which made identifying bats really difficult,” she said. “So difficult was it that Papua New Guinea produced stamps illustrating the bats but could not allocate a species name. Now, with photographs, illustrations and a key of the other species in the group, it makes it possible to distinguish between three species of the group.”Stamp illustrated by Julie Himes.Irwin evaluated the distribution and conservation status for each species in the cyclotis group: “The IUCN threat status recommended for each species is: N. wrightae sp. nov. Least Concern; N. certans (known from < 200 specimens) with unknown population size and trends, Data Deficient; and N. cyclotis, known from only two male specimens, Vulnerable.”She says that, while further research is required on the basic ecology of all three species, simply establishing them as their own species and giving them a name is a crucial first step:“Taxonomy is often the forgotten science but until a species is recognised and has a name, it becomes difficult to recognize the riches of biodiversity and devise management. Fruit bats are crucial to rainforest health, pollinating and dispersing many tree species, therefore it is essential we know what is there and how we can protect it, for our own benefit.”The Hamamas (happy) tube-nosed fruit bat. Photo Credit: Dr. Deb Wright.CITATIONIrwin, Nancy. (2017). A new tube-nosed fruit bat from New Guinea, Nyctimene wrightae sp. nov., a re-diagnosis of N. certans and N. cyclotis (Pteropodidae: Chiroptera), and a review of their conservation status. Records of the Australian Museum 69(2): 73–100. doi:10.3853/j.2201-4349.69.2017.1654Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001last_img read more

Militarization and mining a dangerous mix in Venezuelan Amazon

first_imgAmazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Mining, Amazon People, Biodiversity Hotspots, Controversial, Corruption, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, environmental justice, Environmental Politics, Featured, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forests, Global Environmental Crisis, Gold Mining, Green, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Infrastructure, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Land Use Change, Mining, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Mining, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Slavery, Social Conflict, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Traditional People, Tropical Deforestation Venezuela today is gripped by a catastrophic economic crisis, born out of corruption on a vast scale, government mismanagement and a failed petro-economy.In 2016, President Nicolás Maduro announced the opening of the Orinoco Mining Arc, a vast region in the southern part of the nation perhaps boasting $100 billion in untapped gold, diamonds and coltan, as well as being one of the most biodiverse parts of the Amazon.Maduro also created an “Economic Military Zone” to protect the region. Today, the army has a huge presence there, ostensibly to reduce the influence of organized gangs doing illegal mining.In reality, the military is heavily involved in mining itself, often allegedly competing with gangs for resources, with violent conflict a result. Small-scale miners, indigenous and traditional communities, and the environment could be the big losers in this struggle for power and wealth. The Venezuelan military stops motorists passing in front of Minerven, a state company just outside of the town of El Callao. These military checkpoints are a regular part of Venezuelan life today. Photo by Bram EbusThis story is the first in a series of Mongabay articles about Venezuela’s Arco Minero, produced in partnership with InfoAmazonia which has launched an in-depth multimedia platform called Digging into the Mining Arc, exclusively highlighting Venezuela’s mining boom. The three Mongabay stories by Bram Ebus can be found here, here and here. A fourth story, by Mongabay Editor Glenn Scherer, summarizing the series, can be found here.EL CALLAO, BOLIVAR, Venezuela – In conflict-ridden Venezuela, slowing your car to a stop, rolling down your window, and opening your trunk to allow armed National Guardsmen to inspect your vehicle has become a standard routine for just about everybody.Especially in rural Bolívar, the nation’s richest state in minerals, and a region at the heart of what’s known as Venezuela’s Orinoco Mining Arc.There, drivers can expect to encounter improvised roadblocks roughly every half hour. Rural roads are also patrolled by the military and intelligence services, looking for gold smugglers or maybe for an opportunity to extort money or supplies from those making deliveries of food and fuel to the mines.“This government and President Maduro send everybody here: the military, SEBIN [police intelligence], the [state] police and the National Guard. Since about a year ago they have taken control and malandros [gangs] are farther away now,” says Manuel Álvarez (not his real name), a miner.“So do not freak out!” he stresses. “You will see a lot of arms here!”Álvarez has his own mine in Bolívar state where he employs 30 to 40 people. He even mined the gold for his own false tooth, which he happily displays. Álvarez explains that the town of El Callao in Bolívar is surrounded by illegal gold mines, along with legal ones run by small public companies.This mingling of mining and all things military is typical of Venezuela today, a nation with a collapsing petro-economy that is enduring some of the worst military crackdowns, unrest and civil disturbance in its history — all of which is likely bad for the environment and its protection.Manuel Álvarez (not his real name) shows off his golden tooth. He mined the gold himself. Photo by Bram EbusMaduro wagers on mining and his militaryVenezuela is making a dangerous bet. The country, ravaged by corruption, is going all-in on large-scale mining to save the day. With the economy still in free fall, and a 2,300 percent inflation rate expected this year, whole families are fleeing their communities in the urban north and trekking into the remote mining regions to the south in search of financial salvation, or at least a living wage.The lucky ones will reap the benefits of mining, what some critics call the “legalized larceny” of natural resource extraction, though the risks are extremely high.The Mining Decree announced by President Nicolàs Maduro in 2016 opened up the Orinoco Mining Arc (Arco Minero) for exploration and exploitation; it is a rugged, largely forested area covering 112,000 square kilometers (43,240 square miles), much of it part of the Amazon.The region, located south of the Orinoco River, is reportedly rich with the world’s most wanted ores, but is also plagued by conflict, fueled by the military, local armed gangs and Colombian guerrilla groups — all seeking control of an estimated, but uncertified, $100 billion in hidden minerals.A small-scale miner awaits as the author is winched up after descending 40 meters (130 feet) into a Venezuelan mining shaft. Photo by Bram EbusSo far, newly created national and international companies, mostly without much mining experience, have been lining up to get a piece of the pie — gold, coltan, copper, diamonds and much more — but they are not alone in the region: the military has also staked a claim.When Maduro launched the Arco Minero last year, he also created an “Economic Military Zone” to protect it, entitling his armed forces to participate in all mining activities, while also increasing their operational capabilities inside the mining region.Private corporations that want to mine in Venezuela are required by law to form joint ventures with state-owned-companies, many only just recently created. One of the new companies is the so-called Anonymous Military Company of Mining, dubbed CAMIMPEG.This trend is nothing new for Venezuela. Business and the army are often closely linked, with active or pensioned high-ranking military personnel serving on about 30 percent of known public company boards. It was the late socialist President Hugo Chávez who first lavished significant authority on the national army, so that today it is able to operate with a high level of impunity throughout the country.But that doesn’t mean that locals like or trust the military. In El Callao, for example, a town dominated by mining, soldiers maintain a strong visual presence, but many keep their faces hidden behind hoods and bandanas.“They cover their faces if they [come] from the region themselves, to not get recognized. Soldiers have been killed before,” explains an owner of a local gold trading shop.Shops that buy and sell gold dominate the town of El Callao, a miners’ enclave. Small-scale miners rarely receive the full value of the gold they mine. Photo by Bram EbusEach morning, small-scale miners gather at the central square of El Callao. Depending on weather conditions and demand in the mines, they are offered day jobs. If they don’t find work, they often simply spend their days searching the local rivers with their washing boards. Photo by Bram EbusInside the Mining ArcMaduro’s declaration of the Economic Military Zone is meant “to implicate the military in mining,” says Alexander Luzardo, who has a doctorate in environmental rights, and who wrote the environmental protection legislation included in Venezuela’s current constitution.Luzardo and other environmentalists fear that unrestricted mining and the presence of the military in the Arco Minero will endanger rivers and forests, as well as the Amazon region’s extraordinary biodiversity.The Arco Minero encompasses Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spans 30,000 square kilometers (12,000 square miles). Its forests and flat-topped plateaus are home to jaguars (Panthera onca), giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) and giant anteaters (Myrmecophaga tridactyla).The region slated for mining development also includes the Imataca Forest Reserve (30,000 square kilometers); the La Paragua and El Caura reserves (50,000 square kilometers; 19,000 square miles); the Cerro Guanay Natural Monument; and the Caroní River watershed (96,000 square kilometers; 37,000 square miles).The owner of a local gold pawn shop in Tumeremo, Bolivar state, shows a stack of Venezuelan money, worth only a few dollars due to the nation’s rapidly escalating inflation. Photo by Bram EbusInside the Mining Arc, the National Guard now controls most of the roads, where it is reported to earn money through extortion and smuggling, while the army controls many mining operations. Generals often dominate resource-rich areas; according to locals, these commanders frequently operate above the law — bad news for the region’s biodiversity, environment and indigenous and traditional communities.Luzardo believes that President Maduro’s Arco Minero decree not only violates the country’s constitution, but also other national legislation and international regulations designed to protect the environment and indigenous peoples.“You cannot legalize an environmental crime,” he says, explaining that the army should protect the environment and not partake in its destruction.A migrant miner in El Callao shows us “la veta,” an underground vein rich in minerals. Photo by Bram EbusSmall-scale miners Making things more complicated, mining companies and the military are competing with, as well as exploiting, the artisanal mining sector. Venezuela has an estimated 250,000 small-scale miners. Some operate their own small mines (both legal and illegal), while many others work in gang-controlled mines, especially inside the Arco Minero, or are part of mines controlled by the military.Life is typically tough for these small-scale miners. Many became prospectors after losing their jobs as a result of the catastrophic Venezuelan economic crisis born out of government mismanagement, corruption and the collapse of the country’s petro-economy in 2014.Now they spend their days deep in mining pits and tunnels, or up to their necks in rivers where they mine for gold and other minerals. The operations they work for are often illegal, which means that the small-scale miners are criminalized, while also being repressed and poorly treated. They depend for their livelihoods on local power structures, which are very fluid, typically changing every few months.Often deprived of a fair price for the minerals they mine, or underpaid, these men frequently fear for their lives and must cope daily with dangerous conditions, risking mine collapses and handling toxic mercury used in gold ore processing. Most small-scale miners simply want to bring home the bacon to support their families, so it’s no surprise that environmental regulations rate far down their list of priorities.A Tumeremo gold pawn shop owner sits behind his desk while enjoying the luxury of a cooling desk fan. He says that he is happy to buy and sell gold, and that it is far too dangerous to work in or around the mines. Photo by Bram EbusA gold trader in Tumeremo displays 68.9 grams of gold he just certified. The Orinoco Mining Arc is claimed to hold $100 billion in as yet uncertified and hidden minerals. Photo by Bram Ebus“A façade to continue the fraud”Manuel Álvarez, the miner, says most mines within the Arco Minero continue to be protected by armed gunmen. At first, the region’s natural resources were heavily contested between competing gangs, he recalls, but when the government declared the Economic Military Zone, some order was restored.“The army really has treated the people well,” he says. “They’ve cleaned up the zone and people can work quietly now.”For Álvarez, things might indeed be better, but not all miners in Bolívar have such a good relationship with the army. During a single week in September 2017, 30 miners were killed in clashes with state troops near the municipality of Tumeremo. In March of last year, 28 miners were massacred, also near Tumeremo, in an attack linked to government forces. Locals fear that these assaults could be a preamble to greater violence in the Arco Minero.A makeshift installation made to separate gold from waste rock and sediments. Mercury use is inherent to this technique, and a toxic danger to miners. Photo by Bram EbusThese attacks by Venezuelan military forces are not, according to Bolívar state deputy Américo de Grazia , conducted primarily to destroy organized criminal networks, but rather to eliminate gangs that are not doing business with the army and National Guard.“The Arco Minero is a facade to continue with the fraud,” he says. “It’s an attempt to deepen the theft of minerals. Not only gold, but also diamonds, coltan and any product.”According to de Grazia, most Venezuelan mining is accomplished by illegal armed groups, which control large numbers of small-scale miners. The deputy also says that the “legal” gold that the state companies claim to produce is not actually mined by them, but rather by illegal mines and miners. “There is an established culture for the robbery of minerals. The [government now] intends to capitalize on [this] through CAMIMPEG,” the military’s mining company.As a result, confrontations between state forces and rival gangs have grown more frequent. The violence flares up particularly when there is a change in military leadership or when a criminal group loses its grip on its mines.Small-scale miners in Bolívar state transport mineral ore to one of the nearby processing mills. They are rarely well rewarded for their grueling work yet suffer major risks to health and their lives. Photo by Bram EbusThe military “wants to have their own operators, or pranes, so that they have better profits,” says de Grazia, adding that the officers in charge of mining areas are often rotated. “The pran is an agent of retention; when he doesn’t obey the general of the moment, he cannot operate. That’s why every military [leader] who arrives wants to get rich overnight, which makes him [potentially] crueler and more violent. This causes his norms to be more inhumane, because he knows that this is the way to enrich himself.”Cliver Alcalá Cordones, a Major General who retired in 2013 and a Chávez loyalist who was in charge of the mining regions, affirms that the army is heavily involved in illegal mining. The military perpetrated massacres are, according to Alcalá Cordones, the result of “instructions of superior commanders to guarantee companies to not suffer from distubances, or to not pay a ‘vaccine’ [extortion money] or [just] because of business.”Some mines are directly operated by the army, with a share of the output going to Venezuela’s central bank. “They give something to the state for legitimacy,” adds de Grazia. He describes the gold going to the government as a “tip.”Today, it’s estimated that about 91 percent of Venezuela’s gold is produced illegally, but the criminal activities attached to it don’t end with the mining. Various persons involved in both legal and illegal Venezuelan mining operations confirm that most gold produced in the country is smuggled out through Colombia and the Caribbean islands, an operation often allegedly carried out by the Venezuelan army.A makeshift installation made to separate gold from waste rock and sediments. Mercury use is inherent to this technique, and a toxic danger to miners. Photo by Bram EbusAn amalgam formed with toxic mercury and gold. The amalgam is heated with a gas burner so the mercury vaporizes; in this way the gold is separated from waste. The process, often carried out without proper protection by small-scale miners, can lead easily to mercury poisoning, ultimately deadly. Photo by Bram EbusUnder such corrupt conditions, it is hard to see how the Orinoco Mining Arc could end up being Venezuela’s economic salvation. It is far easier to imagine that a formula combining militarization and mining could end in the ruin of the nation’s portion of the Amazon, one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, while putting small-scale miners and indigenous and traditional communities at terrible risk.The Venezuelan government and CAMIMPEG, the Military mining company did not respond to requests for comment for this story.This Mongabay series was produced in cooperation with a joint reporting project between InfoAmazonia and Correo del Caroni, made possible by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. An InfoAmazonia multimedia platform called Digging into the Mining Arc features in-depth stories on the topic.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.Franco León, a young miner who suffers from malaria, inspects an underground near El Callao. Photo by Bram Ebus Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_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

Trees are much more than the lungs of the world (commentary)

first_imgAdaptation To Climate Change, Agriculture, Agroforestry, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Commentary 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 Agroforestry is a technique of growing trees and shrubs with crops, and is the focus of a new Mongabay series.Beside carbon sequestration, increased food security, biodiversity, topsoil depths, medicine and fiber production, plus other benefits accrue to agroforestry.Roger Leakey has studied, taught, and written about agroforestry techniques for decades and makes the point that trees are much more than ‘the lungs of the planet,’ but rather they also function like the skin, heart, kidneys, and intestines of the Earth, while acting as pharmacies, factories, and food pantries for humans.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. There are two important answers to the question “why do we need more trees in farmland?” One is global and one is local.Globally, trees are often recognized as the ‘lungs of the world’ because they exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide with the atmosphere. However, this is an understatement. If we think in these terms, trees are also the kidneys of the world as they regulate the flow and use of water by intercepting rain and releasing it slowly to the ground where it can either run off into rivers, or enter the groundwater. Plants can then absorb it for use in photosynthesis. This absorbed water is then transpired back to the atmosphere and blown on the wind until it falls as rain somewhere else.Cacao under mixed species forest shade, including Irvingia gabonensis (African mango) in Cameroon. Photo courtesy of Roger Leakey.Thus, trees are also like the skin of the world, being the interface between the vegetation and the atmosphere for the exchange of gases and water.Similarly, trees are like the intestines of the world exchanging nutrients between the soil and the vegetation, fueling the nutrient and carbon cycle.Finally, they are like the heart of the world, as they drive the ecosystems that make the world healthy and function properly. They do this by providing a very large number of niches for other organisms to inhabit, both above and below ground. Recent evidence has reported 2.3 million organisms on a single tree – mostly microbes – but also numerous insects and even bigger animals like mammals and birds. Others also live in the soil or, due to the microclimates created by the physical stature of the tree, on the associated herbs and bushes. It is all these organisms that provide the ecological services of soil formation and nutrient recycling, feeding off each other and creating an intricate web of food chains.All this is important for the maintenance of nature’s balance that prevents weed, pest, and disease explosions. They also provide services like pollination, essential for the regeneration of most plants, not to mention the very topical regulation of carbon storage essential for climate control.Cacao agroforest with fruit tree shade. Photo courtesy of Roger Leakey.At the local level, in addition to these ‘bodily functions,’ trees produce a wide range of products useful to us, and are often traded in local markets. There are literally tens of thousands of trees that produce edible and/or useful products – sources of items of day-to-day importance for us. So, we can also think of trees as shops, civic services, and industries. Thinking in this way, a treed landscape becomes similar to a town made up of supermarkets full of everyday needs; a bank providing annual interest on investment; a drug store or health clinic for medicines; a water tower; an art gallery; a zoo full of wildlife; a guardian of culture like a museum; a hotel providing rest for migrants; a tourist center for over-wintering or summer breeding habitat; a nightclub for nocturnal creatures; factories for fertilizers, pesticides and drugs; an energy provider, and even a skyscraper affecting the flow of wind around the other buildings.Using this analogy, we can see that by destroying trees we destroy facilities and functions important for life. Conversely, by planting trees we can multiply the products and services we need for a ‘good life’ in many different ways. In some places, trees are grown in large monoculture plantations, replicating the concept of a housing estate or industrial complex. This can be very productive but isn’t necessarily good for the environment. Alternatively, they can be grown at different densities and in different species configurations and for different products in association with food crops, livestock and cash crops.Some agroforestry fruits and nuts (1-7) and products (8-23) currently being marketed. Photo courtesy of Roger Leakey.This mixed cropping is known as ‘agroforestry’, a farming system which thrives off diversity and maximizes the availability of all the different benefits of trees and their services. In this way, agroforestry is highly beneficial to us – Homo sapiens – a dominant species in this agroecosystem. Agroforestry harnesses numerous environmental, social and economic benefits for our complex lifestyles.This is especially important in the tropics and sub-tropics where poverty-stricken subsistence farmers struggle to feed their families and scratch a living off highly degraded land. In this situation, it can be described as hunger busting since it can improve food crop yields on exhausted soils; farmer-friendly as it has numerous social benefits including enhanced livelihoods; wildlife-friendly as it provides habitat; climate friendly as it mitigates climate change and controls water flows; wealth-promoting by producing marketable products for businesses and industries, and health-giving by producing nutritious and medicinal products. So, we could create a new, green, and much more sustainable economy.Looking to the future, there are easily enough useful tree species for agroforestry to play all of the above roles in any corner of the inhabited world, very few of which have been cultivated to date. Interestingly, each of these species contains inherent 3- to 10-fold genetic variability at any one site, so it is easy to find and propagate individual trees that display an infinite number of useful and marketable traits suitable for a new array of businesses and industries.Multifunctional agroforestry landscape in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Roger Leakey.However, we have hardly begun to identify the economic possibilities and need to do much more to explore all this potential. Maybe if we pursue this line of thinking, we can create useful and environmentally healthy rural landscapes which are as diverse as their urban counterparts, and create win–win–win scenarios combining better land husbandry, social empowerment, and income generation. I believe agroforestry has a bright future, but we need to learn how to manage this resource so that all people can share the benefits in harmony.I hope this colloquial expression of the value of trees explains why agroforestry is becoming increasingly recognized as being critical if we are to manage our planet sustainably. This is particularly vital where currently the land has been deforested and degraded because trees are considered to get in the way of modern mechanized agriculture, in which monocultures are the order of the day.Roger Leakey is Vice Chairman of the International Tree Foundation, Vice President of the International Society of Tropical Foresters, and is author of “Living with the Trees of Life – Towards the Transformation of Tropical Agriculture” (2012) and “Multifunctional Agriculture – Achieving Sustainable Development in Africa.” Learn more about his work at www.rogerleakey.com.This article is part of a new Mongabay series about the global scope of agroforestry, see all the features here.center_img Article published by Erik Hoffnerlast_img read more

Indonesia hints rhino sperm transfer to Malaysia may finally happen this year

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Mammals, Megafauna, Rhinos, Saving Species From Extinction, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Indonesia has signaled it may send a much-needed sample of Sumatran rhino sperm to Malaysia for use in a captive-breeding program seen as the last means of saving the critically endangered species.If it goes to plan, the program would boost the genetic diversity of the species, of which only 30 to 100 individuals are believed to remain in the wild.The Sumatran rhino population has been decimated by poaching and habitat loss, but the biggest threat facing the species today is the small and fragmented nature of their populations, with an increased risk of inbreeding. JAKARTA — Indonesia has signaled it may finally send a sample of Sumatran rhino semen to a breeding program in Malaysia, amid a growing urgency to keep the species alive.Conservationists in Sabah, in Malaysian Borneo, where only two Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) remain, have since 2015 sought a frozen sample of sperm taken from a rhino in Indonesia’s own captive-breeding program in Sumatra to kick-start an artificial insemination attempt — but to no avail, as the Indonesian government repeatedly ignored its requests.Now, though, a senior official says the sperm being stored at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) may be sent to Malaysia sometime this year.“We have discussed all of the aspects of the request, and submitted our analysis to the [environment] minister,” Wiratno, the head of conservation at Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry, told reporters in Jakarta last week.“It will be a valuable lesson for both countries, as we are also dealing with rhinos which are losing their habitats,” he added.Andalas, right, and Bina meet at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary. Photo by Dedi Candra.If approved, the plan would be to combine the sperm from Andalas, a captive-bred rhino at the SRS, with viable eggs from Iman, the last remaining female Sumatran rhino in Malaysia, to produce an embryo that could then be implanted into one of the females back at the Indonesian sanctuary.The fertilization would preferably happen in Malaysia because frozen semen travels better than eggs. Malaysia has agreed to let Indonesia keep any resultant offspring.If everything goes as planned, the program would boost the genetic diversity of the species, given that Iman comes from a population on Borneo that has been disconnected from the populations on Sumatra for thousands of years.John Payne, the head of the Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), which is deeply involved in the plan on the Malaysian side, welcomed Wiratno’s statement.“I cannot speak on behalf of the government of Malaysia, but I am sure that this is the news that we have all been waiting for,” he said. “It is heartening that the director general of conservation has expressed his commitment to seeing through the necessary procedures to expedite approval to release frozen semen of Sumatran rhino to Malaysia.”He said 2018 was the “make-or-break year” for collaborative efforts between Indonesia and Malaysia to conserve the species, which began in 1985.“We need to recognize that speed is of the essence,” Payne said. “Whether or not Indonesia decides to work with Malaysia, the species is very close to extinction. The need to immediately boost Sumatran rhino births far outweighs the need to prevent rhino deaths.”Sumatran rhinos are solitary animals and the females give birth to one calf at a time every 3-4 years. Photo by Tiffany Roufs/Mongabay.There is an increased urgency to step up the captive-breeding program for the critically endangered species, compelled by the death in June last year of Puntung, Malaysia’s only other female Sumatran rhino at the time; and, in December, a serious deterioration in the health of Iman. Iman has since made a slow recovery, with Payne and his team hoping she can once again produce fertile eggs for fertilization attempts.Experts believe that no more than 100 Sumatran rhinos, and perhaps as few as 30, are left in the wild, scattered in tiny populations across Sumatra, Borneo and perhaps peninsular Malaysia. With such a small population to draw from, the risk of genetic defects being passed on through captive breeding are high — which makes the need for the Indonesia-Malaysia collaboration all the more important.There could also be a diplomatic payoff for the two governments, who have often been at loggerheads on issues such as cultural appropriation and territorial claims.“The relationship between the two countries will also improve because wildlife issues transcend national borders, and this is an important global need that’s based on science,” Wiratno said.Banner image: Sumatran rhino Ratu with her firstborn, Andatu, four days after his birth in June 2012. Photo courtesy of the International Rhino Foundation.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. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Basten Gokkonlast_img read more

Mysterious new butterfly named after YouTuber Emily Graslie

first_imgArticle 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 overSponsored Animals, Biodiversity, Butterflies, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Green, Invertebrates, New Species, Research, Species Discovery, Wildlife center_img Scientists have named a new species of butterfly for Emily Graslie, the writer, producer and host of the YouTube channel The Brain Scoop, and the chief curiosity correspondent of Chicago’s Field Museum.The postage stamp-sized butterfly Wahydra graslieae is dark rust-colored with jagged bands of silver scales on the underside of its hind wings.The scientists identified the butterfly from a single museum specimen collected by American biologist Harold Greeney from the Ecuadorian Andes in 2004. The specimen remained inside a Tupperware box until 2016. If you’re curious about the natural world, chances are you’ve seen Emily Graslie’s YouTube channel, The Brain Scoop.From wondering about peregrine falcon promiscuity and how owl vomit helps us understand history, to peering into dried Egyptian mummy brains, Graslie, the writer, producer and host of The Brain Scoop, takes viewers behind the scenes at Chicago’s Field Museum, where she holds the unusual title of chief curiosity correspondent. (Read Mongabay’s interview with Graslie here).Now, a team of scientists have named a new species of butterfly after her to honor her efforts to educate people about museum collections and natural history.The postage stamp-sized, dark rust-colored butterfly, Wahydra graslieae, has jagged bands of silver scales on the underside of its hind wings, the scientists report in a new study published in the journal Zootaxa. They identified the butterfly from a single museum specimen that American biologist Harold Greeney had collected in the Ecuadorian Andes in 2004, and which remained inside a Tupperware box of specimens until 2016.“We thought that after spending years explaining why specimens are important and bringing natural history collections to the attention of the public, Emily was definitely someone who should have a bug named after her,” co-author and butterfly expert Andrew D. Warren, senior collections manager of the Florida Museum of Natural History’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, said in a statement. “She was really overdue for this kind of recognition.”This is the only known specimen of Wahydra graslieae. The red label marks the butterfly as a holotype, the representative specimen from which a species is described. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.What makes Wahydra graslieae distinct is that it is much darker than other described Wahydra species. The metallic silver scales on its underwings have also previously been seen only in very distantly related skippers (butterflies of the family Hesperiidae).The newly described butterfly belongs to a curious, little-known genus called Wahydra, a group of small Andean skippers that are found from Venezuela to Argentina, but are rare in collections, Warren said. This is mostly because these butterflies live at high altitudes, frequently experiencing poor weather conditions, which makes it difficult to locate and sample them in the wild.All that scientists seem to know about the 15 identified Wahydra species is that some eat bamboo. “Every 1,500-foot [457-meter] increase in elevation in the Andes results in a complete turnover in bamboo species and the butterflies that feed on them,” Warren said. “That would explain the rarity of Wahydra and the patchiness of their distribution.”Warren thinks that Wahydra graslieae can be rediscovered, “with a little bit of luck and effort.”Graslie expressed her excitement on Twitter and live streamed her conversation with Warren on her YouTube channel.https://twitter.com/Ehmee/status/971546256022614017“Someone might look at Wahydra graslieae and be completely underwhelmed by what they see,” Graslie said in the statement. “After all, it’s tiny, and lacks the explosively dynamic colorations and patterns that come to mind when you think of a monarch butterfly or an atlas moth — two animals, by the way, that already have names with gravity. Monarch. Atlas. But this is not them.“This is Wahydra graslieae, a little-known creature that comes to us with more questions than answers,” she added. “In that way I feel a sense of kindredness with this animal and am absolutely honored that Dr. Warren and his team saw fit to associate such a curious skipper with my name. I can’t wait for further research to reveal more information about them.”Lepidopterist Andrew Warren holds a box containing all of the Florida Museum’s Wahydra specimens. Wahydra graslieae, in the bottom right corner, is distinctly darker than other Wahydra. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.Jagged bands of metallic silver scales mark the underside of the Wahydra graslieae’s hindwings, a feature only previously seen in very distantly related skippers. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace.Citation:Carneiro E et al (2018). A new species of Wahydra from Ecuador (Hesperiidae, Hesperiinae, Anthoptini). Zootaxa. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4392.1.11last_img read more

Debut cookbook for South Africa’s Sibalicious chef

first_img28 January 2016South African chef Sibahle Mtongana’s love for cooking has catapulted her on to the international stage with cooking shows, appearances, and various honours. Now Mtongana – who is best known simply as Siba – has whipped up another feat: her debut cookbook entitled My Table.Make no mistake, this is no ordinary cookbook merely containing recipes and pictures. Using technology, specifically Quick Response (QR) codes, readers are able to watch videos on their mobile devices of Mtongana cooking some of her recipes featured in the book. All the reader has to do is scan the code with their smartphone or tablet.According to her website, it’s a “first of its kind for cookbooks”, giving a more interactive touch to traditional recipe books.Watch how it works:Who’s started using QRcodes in my book to watch videos of me making the recipes? #MyTable #SibasCookbook #WithVids pic.twitter.com/qWOFFZvIFT— Sibahle Mtongana (@SibaMtongana) January 3, 2016Launched in December, Mtongana told the online publication, Media Update, that she was excited about her book, on which she had been working for months. “It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted to do but I wanted to do it right. Now everything has fallen perfectly into place.”She held a book signing on 26 January in Cape Town, to which Brand South Africa was invited. It was an intimate gathering, where Mtongana’s plans for 2016 were highlighted. The chef aims to launch the book internationally by March.According to her website, almost everyone, from busy professionals to couples, single parents and younger people will find something to cook in My Table. She is described as the “queen of convenience” and it shows readers “how to make dinner in no time; and provide the kind of tips that’ll make something you whipped up in under an hour look like you’ve been slaving over the stove all day”.“Her recipes reflect her local roots, international food trends and some of the exotic flavours and ideas she’s picked up on her travels around the world.”The section called “Local is Lekker” is Mtongana’s take on a variety of uniquely South African dishes.About MtonganaMtongana has been the food editor of Drum magazine, and her cooking show, Cooking with Siba, was a hit on DStv’s Mzansi Magic channel.Her most recent show, Siba’s Table, on the Food network has broken into the US market. Filmed in Cape Town, it has gained a viewership of 60 million. She is the first South African chef with a series in the US. It is also aired throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the UK.Last year, she represented South Africa at the annual Taste of Abu Dhabi and was invited to the Taste of Moscow in Russia. Mtongana has also won three Galliova awards for food journalism and involvement in the South African food arena.Reaction from readersHer fans have been vocal on social media, and have praised My Table.@SibaMtongana @brianmtongana Your book is world class.Thank you!The quality is amazing!!@WOOLWORTHS_SA @ProudlySA pic.twitter.com/Kynz31cxo5— Lungelo (@LungeloM_) December 16, 2015Can’t stop pouring over your book @SibaMtongana. Thanks for sharing your gift with the world. Proud of you and your work. Slay! Bless.— Thato (@Miss_Thato) December 23, 2015You’re an Incredible inspiration @SibaMtongana ♥ Thank you for modelling pure Greatness for every South African woman to aspire to #SibaLove— Sindiswa Siyothula (@SindiswaCo2la) December 29, 2015Source: SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

Taking Flight GeoTour – Manatee County, Florida

first_imgWhat Geocachers are saying about Taking Flight GeoTour:Geocaches are located in birding hot spots and each one includes a fun educational activity. GC3RBMY“And the mission has been completed! So many thanks to Manatee County NRD for this series and reward for completing the mission. We had a great two days doing this, and found many spots that we will be coming back for in the future. Keep up the good work with the preserves and we hope to find more open in the future.” – Moseycat“TFTH. very cool of Manatee County to put this GeoTour together. Had great time adventuring about all the different preserves. I’ll be back to camp or hike some of these”. – SunWarrior“Thank you for taking the time to do this GeoTour the right way. I’ll be recommending it to all my caching friends who visit the area.” – bitbrainAdditional Information:This GeoTour was the first in the state of Florida and has served as a model for the State Park Service’s tour as well as tours all over the world. In addition to finding geocaches, each site has a fun activity associated with the cache. Activities include discovering your wingspan, watching for nesting shorebirds, or observing sea level changes. The geocaches on this tour are all different types, so you have the opportunity to find Multi-Caches, Letterboxes, and Mystery as well as Traditionals.Note: All the above information was provided by the GeoTour host. Copy has been edited by Geocaching HQ. SharePrint RelatedTaking Flight GeoTour in Florida’s Manatee County, GT10March 11, 2019In “Community”GeoTour Spotlight: Florida’s Operation Recreation (GT3D)August 9, 2017In “GeoTours”Take Flight on Florida’s New GeoTourFebruary 10, 2013In “Geocaching Info” Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img Geotour: Taking Flight     Location: Manatee County, FloridaTotal Favorite Points: 290Geocachers help take care of the spots on the trail by caching in and trashing out! GC3RBQVWhy Manatee County is a great place to visit:Manatee County’s beaches, including Anna Maria Island and Holmes Beach, are award-winning sites and are considered some of the best beaches in the world. After a long day of geocaching, relax on the shores of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico – there are even caches nearby!Best time of year to visit:Year-round! From the beaches to the interior pine forests, Manatee County is beautiful throughout the entire year. Fall tends to be a favorite time for many northerners visiting. The Florida summer is hot, but many of the caches in this series are easy to access and do not require a great deal of time outside in the heat.Must-see attractions:Check out the Southwest Florida Museum and meet Snooty the Manatee, or stop by De Soto National Memorial to see the possible site of the Spanish explorers landing.Hidden gems only locals know about:Duette Preserve is the County’s largest preserve at over 20,000 acres of land. Explore this beautiful area, and you may even catch a glimpse of the rare Western Scrub-Jay, white-tailed deer, or a burrowing owl. This geocache will take you into the heart of Duette where the Scrub-Jays can be found.Prizes:Individuals who complete the tour will receive a Taking Flight GeoTour trackable tag. This prize is available to those who find 12 of the 15 caches. Make sure to download the PDF passport for the GeoTour before you go.last_img read more

Factual Friday

first_imgThis post was uploaded by Rachel Brauner of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service-Wounded Warrior Program and published on the Military Families Learning Network blog in support of military child care. The photo was found on the U.S. Air Force’s Flickr photostream.last_img

Three, including infant, missing in several boat incidents in Assam

first_imgAn 18-month-old infant girl has been missing after a reportedly overcrowded boat capsized in Rakhaldubi river in western Assam’s Goalpara district on Monday evening, while two more boat incidents occurred across the State on Tuesday evening. The Rakhaldubi mishap is the third boat capsize in the State in the last one week after a mechanised country boat sank in the Brahmaputra off Guwahati killing four. Officials in Goalpara district said the unregistered row-boat had 15 people on board when it sank in the river. All other passengers were rescued by locals.Around the same time, a mechanised country boat also capsized in the Beki river near Kalgachia in Barpeta district. The boat drifted after its engine failed and hit the pillar of a bridge across the river. Around 30 people on board managed to either swim ashore or were rescued.In another incident on Tuesday, a rowboat sank in western Assam’s Goalpara district around dusk, the fourth such incident since a mechanised country boat capsized in the Brahmaputra off Guwahati on September 5. According to initial reports from the district, two people — Bilal Hussain, 26 and Amina Khatun, 7 — were missing after the boat with at least four people on board sank at Khankhowa Char near Goalpara town.These mishaps involving unregistered boats happened on non-notified routes. We have registered cases against the operators,” Bharat Bhushan Dev Choudhury, director of the State’s Inland Water Transport Department, said.On Monday, Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said no mechanised country boats would be allowed to operate in the entire river system of the State. After a review meeting with IWT officials, he ordered all single-engine ferries to be converted into double-engine ones with reversible gears.“As per the safety norms, there must be one life jacket for each passenger in the vessel and it will be mandatory for each passenger to put on the life jacket while boarding the vessel. The deputy commissioners shall conduct a safety audit of the ferry vessels within their respective districts,” Mr. Patowary said.last_img read more