Dake Foundation worthy of support

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI recently attended the stationary bike race held at the Saratoga YMCA. This event was an annual fund-raiser for the Dake Foundation for Children. We (Spikes Trikes) were a title sponsor and it was an uplifting experience to see all the teams involved. We were especially inspired by a young gentleman, only10 years old, who participated on his trike paid for by the Dake Foundation. He made a total of 39 laps around the arena with a smile on his face the whole time. The foundation supports kids in a 50-mile radius of Saratoga Springs.Please check them out and contribute in this holiday season of giving, and perhaps they will be able to expand the area and help even more disabled children.Bernie ElwoodAmsterdamThe writer is the shop manager for Spikes Trikes.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Governor Wolf Signs Law Legalizing Ride-Sharing Statewide

first_imgGovernor Wolf Signs Law Legalizing Ride-Sharing Statewide SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Bill Signing,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today made ride-sharing legal across the entire commonwealth by signing Senate Bill 984, which would enable services like Lyft and Uber to operate. In Philadelphia, where temporary legislative authority had expired and ride-sharing had been barred until today, the bill also allows for two-thirds of revenues received from ride-sharing will go to the school district.“I want to thank the legislature for working with me to finally pass a long-term solution that will allow ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to operate everywhere in Pennsylvania,” Governor Wolf. “This bill puts an end to any question about these companies operating in our Commonwealth, especially in Philadelphia.“We want these companies welcome here in the Commonwealth, allowing them to become full partners with the cities and communities where they operate and invest, including Pittsburgh where Uber has headquartered its advanced robotics research. This bill also protects consumers with background checks and thorough vetting for drivers, making sure we are doing all we can to keep riders safe and secure.”Senate Bill 984 was sponsored by Senator Camera Bartolotta, who, along with key bill supporters Representatives Robert Godshall and Maria Donatucci and Senator Vincent Hughes and others, joined Governor Wolf in Harrisburg.“Companies like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized the way that many transportation needs are met,” Sen. Bartolotta said. “This legislation recognizes the growing demand for these services while also ensuring that adequate protections are in place for passengers and drivers. I am thankful that with Gov. Wolf’s signature today, these services will be available in every county in our Commonwealth.”“Transportation Network Companies, such as Uber and Lyft, provide a tremendous service to the public – particularly those in areas with limited or no taxicab service,” said Rep. Godshall. “It took four years and a lot of bipartisan work to reach the compromises necessary for an agreement. Uber and Lyft have changed the way people travel in urban, suburban and rural areas and I am pleased that they, and companies like them, can now operate legally and permanently in the Commonwealth.”The statewide authorization is particularly important for Philadelphia, which was the only area in the commonwealth previously unable to access ride-sharing legally and where two-thirds of revenue from ride-sharing will help struggling schools.“The governor’s signature cements the benefits of this long-term solution into place. Ride-sharing businesses will continue to be able to prosper and grow, and students in the Philadelphia School District will reap the benefits from a new funding source,” said Representative Donatucci. “In every sense of the words, this new law is a compromise and a win-win. I’m happy to have been able to participate in this process.”“This is a victory for Philadelphia’s consumers, but it is also a victory for our schools. I am very proud that the majority of the tax revenue generated by ride-sharing will go to the Philadelphia School District,” Senator Hughes said. “Our schools need every dollar that we can find, so I’m pleased this was a part of the compromise to legalize ride-sharing in Philadelphia.”The law establishes the conditions, requirements, and the regulatory framework for the operation of transportation network companies (TNCs). It also includes a number of driver and consumer protections, including ensuring insurance coverage and criminal background checks for drivers.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolfcenter_img November 04, 2016last_img read more

This renovated beach house at Beachmere cracked the $1m mark

first_img43 Coronation Avenue, BeachmereA FULLY refurbished Federation-style home has sold for more than $1 million at Beachmere.The stunning beach house at 43 Coronation Ave, which sold for $1.25 million, sits on a half-acre block and has sweeping views of the ocean.LJ Hooker Redcliffe principal Danny Mailer said the sale was settled earlier this month.It was put on the market in 2015 under another real-estate agency before LJ Hooker took over last year.“We sold it quite quickly,” Mr Mailer said.More from newsLand grab sees 12 Sandstone Lakes homesites sell in a week21 Jun 2020Tropical haven walking distance from the surf9 Oct 201943 Coronation Avenue, BeachmereHe said the foundation of the home was more than 100 years old, but the original owner extended it about seven years ago.“The front is the old part and the back is the new part.“What the seller did was make sure that it was all the same materials.”He said the hardwood floors were matched with the originals while the leadlight windows and French doors kept the home true to its heritage.The median sale for a home in the suburb was $373,000 to the year ended October 2017, according to the latest CoreLogic market trends data.last_img read more

Two-year investigation ends in arrest for poaching-related charges

first_imgMilford, In. — A two-year investigation of a Milford man by Indiana Conservation Officers for poaching resulted in the recent arrest of Terry Howard, 42.Howard faces charges for Possession of a Firearm by a Serious Violent Felon, Resisting Law Enforcement, and Perjury. Howard will also face Misdemeanor charges of Theft, Illegal Possession of Whitetail Deer, and Taking of Whitetail Deer by Artificial Light.On the morning of Jan. 2, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to Howard’s residence regarding Howard violating a protective order. Conservation Officers, Kosciusko County Deputies, Indiana State Police, Milford Police, and Syracuse Police responded to the area. They found Howard driving on 900 N near Old State Road 15. Howard attempted to flee by driving his truck across a field, but officers effectively deployed stop sticks.While Howard was being held at the Kosciusko County Jail, Conservation Officers executed search warrants related to poaching. The warrants yielded evidence dating beyond recent years. Nearly 20 sets of deer antlers, multiple firearms, and miscellaneous drug evidence were found.Conservation Officers also deployed a K-9 unit to track the area where Howard had driven. The K-9 unit located a 12-gauge shotgun with an attached scope. The shotgun had been identified by Conservation Officers as being used by Howard while poaching deer.On Jan. 3, Conservation Officers executed a final search warrant at the address of Alfred Howard, 41, of Cromwell. Conservation Officers located a stolen handgun and the skull of what appeared to be a poached antlered deer. Kosciusko County Sheriff Department detectives identified the handgun as a missing piece of evidence from a large theft case that had occurred recently in Kosciusko County.Approximately two years ago, Conservation Officers were notified of possible illegal hunting activity that had been occurring in and around Kosciusko County. Upon initial investigation, it was determined that a primary suspect, later determined to be Terry Howard, had been engaging in illegal taking of deer at night throughout an area that covered two counties. Conservation Officers had reason to believe that Howard had been involved with the illegal taking of several large antlered deer as early as 2016.In 2018, Conservation Officers again were alerted to illegal hunting practices matching the patterns identified by the 2016 investigation of Howard. During 2018, Conservation Officers were able to closely monitor the movements and poaching activities of Howard, which culminated in the application and authorization of the search warrants.Indiana Conservation Officers thank the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Syracuse Police Department, and Milford Police Department for assisting on this investigation.The above information was discovered as a result of a law enforcement investigation. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division, acknowledge that the charged defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.last_img read more

Dzeko looks to replace Aguero

first_img Manager Manuel Pellegrini has preferred summer signing Alvaro Negredo as a partner for Aguero, but the absence of the 19-goal top scorer means Dzeko is likely to get his chance. The Bosnia international netted twice in City’s 3-1 victory over Leicester in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, taking his tally for the club this season to nine. Dzeko told several national newspapers: “Sergio has had an amazing season, scoring a lot of goals, and he is an important player for us. “That’s life, and now we have to try to play games without him, and try to win. This is very bad for the team but there are a lot of players who want to play. “I am happy to score two – that’s my job. I hope it means I am back among the goals. When I’m playing, I’m trying always to score goals. “I am a striker that has scored goals all my life, and I love to do it. When I get a chance I try to do my best. We have a superb squad and recently have scored a lot of goals.” City’s victory over Arsenal moved them to within three points of the Premier League leaders ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fulham. Edin Dzeko admits Sergio Aguero’s absence is “very bad” for Manchester City but hopes he can fill the Argentinian’s boots. Aguero limped out of City’s 6-3 victory over Arsenal last weekend with a calf injury and could be missing for two months. Dzeko joined City three years ago from Wolfsburg in a £27million deal but has been used mostly as a substitute in the Barclays Premier League over the past two seasons. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Dodgers miss out on Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon as search for upgrades continues

first_img Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “I feel like from our standpoint, what we could control, I felt really good about how we handled it,” Friedman said. “There have been and there are going to be lots of times when someone’s first choice is the Dodgers and we get that advantage. When we don’t, we certainly understand it.”There had been speculation that Cole – who grew up an Angels and Yankees fan, played his high school baseball at Orange Lutheran and starred at UCLA – would like to play close to home. That proved untrue.“Obviously we had a lot of interest in Gerrit. At the end of the day, he chose to go to the Yankees,” Friedman said Wednesday. “We wish him nothing but the best. As soon as we got word last night, we turned our attention to other conversations we were having to continue our pursuit of adding really talented players to our roster.”In that light, Friedman indicated earlier this week that the Dodgers’ focus was narrow, with only about a dozen players (free agents or possible trade targets) fitting their view of elite players capable of upgrading a roster that won 106 games during the regular season last year.That list is shrinking. One night after Cole agreed to join the Yankees, free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon agreed to a seven-year, $245 million contract with the Angels, the Dodgers losing out to rivals near and far. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start The rule will impact left-on-left specialists such as Adam Kolarek, acquired by the Dodgers at midseason last year. Kolarek was effective in the role last year, facing just one batter in 16 of his 26 appearances with the Dodgers in 2019 and two or fewer in 20 of the 26.“It definitely takes a hit,” Friedman said of the value of carrying a specialist like Kolarek. “But he is a guy who has some weapons vs. right. … My sense is he’s going to need more time locking in on (those adjustments) and that will determine a lot of his success going forward.”Friedman also suspects the rule will be a boon to left-handed hitters who struggle against left-handed pitching – a group that includes Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. Pederson’s playing time is largely determined by the Dodgers’ desire to have him avoid facing left-handed pitching.“It definitely changes things,” Friedman said. “It adds a lot of value to left-handed hitters who struggle left-on-left. They’re going to see way fewer matchup situations like that. I think there are going to be certain hitters that I think really benefit from it.” SAN DIEGO — It’s a quote that has increasingly become a millstone dragged around by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. But three years ago, he said teams that are “always rational about every free agent, you will finish third on every free agent.”At least this time, the Dodgers appear to have finished second.Right-hander Gerrit Cole agreed to a nine-year, $324 million contract with the New York Yankees on Tuesday night, ending a high-stakes free agency that included offers from both the Dodgers and Angels. The Dodgers’ offer topped out at eight years and $300 million (with an unspecified amount deferred, affecting the ultimate value). The Angels also offered an eight-year deal for less money (but deferred payouts would also have affected the actual value).Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner authorized the ninth year in his team’s offer and Cole had the outcome he wanted – to be a Yankee. Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Like Cole, Rendon is represented by Scott Boras. And, like Cole, Rendon (a Texas native) defied predictions based on geography, going with the Angels over the Texas Rangers and Dodgers.“I would say it’s certainly a nice place to grow up,” Boras said to laughs Tuesday when asked about Rendon’s Texas roots. “Geography is something players look at and evaluate. But I don’t think it’s an overriding consideration.”The Washington Nationals tried to sign Rendon to an extension before he reached free agency but he rejected their seven-year, $210 million offer. The Rangers’ offer was reportedly for only five years. It’s unclear whether the Dodgers got far enough along to make a formal offer to Rendon.“He’s a franchise player,” Boras said. “He has postseason acumen now, so he kind of stands alone.”LEFT OUTMLB commissioner Rob Manfred said Wednesday said he expects a rule requiring relievers to face at least three batters (or finish an inning) to be “operational in the 2020 season.”Related Articleslast_img read more

Dolphins release veteran WR Danny Amendola

first_imgAmendola won both Super Bowls with New England. Antonio Brown instantly denies reported trade to Bills: ‘Fake news’ We have released wide receiver Danny Amendola.Full Release: https://t.co/95oGp9O7oF— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) March 8, 2019Amendola played just one season with Miami after he joined the team as an unrestricted free agent in March 2018. It was Amendola’s fifth stop since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Dallas in April 2008. After landing on both the Cowboys and Eagles practice squads, he spent four seasons with the then-St. Louis Rams before joining the Patriots in 2013.  According to an NFL Network report, there were numerous discussions with the two-time Super Bowl champion and his agent to try and keep him in Miami but the parties ultimately decided to part ways.After many discussions with Danny Amendola & his agent to try and keep him in Miami both sides decided to part ways, I’m told. Now, he’s free. https://t.co/zJ33dwqrtB— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 8, 2019Amendola started 15 games for the Dolphins and caught 59 passes for 575 yards and one touchdown. He also completed a 28-yard touchdown pass. Related News Lions release guard T.J. Lang, who memes his reaction The Dolphins released veteran wide receiver Danny Amendola, the team announced Friday.last_img read more

OLYMPICS: Records fall as Nakaayi, Ayeko hit qualifying mark

first_imgNakaayi celebrates her qualification at the end of the 800m at Mandela National stadium on Thursday. PHOTOS via @jadwongA record 22 Ugandans have qualified for the Olympics this year. Uganda will field at least 17 athletes in Rio, the biggest track and field team since 13 made it to the 1988 Seoul Olympics.Halima Nakaayi (800m) and Thomas Ayeko (10000m) joined the list of qualifiers after a highly competitive two day National track and field championships Wednesday and Thursday at Mandela national stadium, Namboole.The championships effectively marked the final qualifying opportunity for local based runners, with weekend action across the European and African circuit this weekend offering the foreign based stars a final attempt before qualifying ends July 11.Long distance ace Ayeko benefited from the participation of four of seven marathoners who have hit the Olympic qualifying time, to win the 10000m race on Wednesdy in  27:57.03 – 3 seconds into the Rio Olympics minimum standard.His time only ranks him 4th among the qualifiers in the race. Joshua Cheptgei (10000m and 5000m), Timothy Toroitich (10000m) and Moses Kurong (10000m) qualified with better times earlier.Nakaayi, capitalised on a stunning run by unfortunate Dorcus Ajok and big-hearted Winnie Nanyondo, to qualify ib Thursday. Nanyondo, who has already qualified set the pace in a blistering race, Ajok then took charge but fell with a national record and Olympic qualifying meters to the tape.Nanyondo raced past to win in 2:01.44 (Olympic qualifying time 2:01.50) and ensure a record six women will represent Uganda at an Olympics. Up to 22 athletes have met the Olympic qualifying team, but with quotas set for all races, Uganda’s team will feature at least 17 .Athletes who have qualifiedWomen 6: Winnie Nanyondo (800m), Halima Nakaayi (800m) Stella Chesang (5,000m), Peruth Chemutai (3000mSC), Juliet Chekwel (10000m) and Adero Nyakesi (marathon)Men marathon 7: Stephen Kiprotich, Solomon Munyo Mutai, Robert Chemonges, Kiprop Jackson, Abraham Kiplimo, Alex Cheskit and Moses Kipsiro.Men other events 8: Joshua Cheptgei (10000m and 5000m), Timothy Toroitich (10,000m), Phillip Kipyeko ( 5,000m), Ronald Musagala (1,500m) and Benjamin Kiplagat (3,000m SC), Jacob Kiplimo (5,000m), Moses Kurong (10000m), Ayeko (10000m).FULL RESULTS Ayeko gives the thumbs-up after winning the 10000m and qualifying,  Ajok falls and Nakaayi overtakes her to win and qualify, and Benjamin Kiplagat in the 3000m SC actioncenter_img National Champs 2016 – Full Results by The Independent Magazine on ScribdShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Swing to win! Bridgestone calls on club amateurs to Chase Their Dream

first_img English golf club members can already register their interest in the 2018 Bridgestone Chase Your Dream Trophy, which will give three players an outing with a European Tour star. The Chase Your Dream Trophy is open to all amateur golfers who belong to the 1900-plus clubs affiliated to England Golf – and who enjoy success in 2017 club competitions. All club players can go online now to register their interest in the tournament, whether or not they’ve already won a club competition. The Chase Your Dream journey with Bridgestone and England Golf will eventually lead three players to the pro-am of the 2018 British Masters, supported by Sky Sports. Here’s how to get involved: 1.Click here now to register your interest in the 2018 Chase Your Dream Trophy. You’ll also be eligible for a series of premium prizes including VIP tickets for the British Masters supported by Sky Sports, sets of Bridgestone tyres and much more. 2. There are separate Chase Your Dream Trophy competitions for men and women and both are open to juniors. Men can enter if they win a recognised club stroke play competition in 2017. Women can enter if they are the England Golf medal winner at their club, returning the best four medal scores during the 2017 season. Entries will open in autumn 2017. 3. Club winners are eligible for regional finals, played at prestigious courses, with dates and venues to be confirmed. 4. The leading players at the regional qualifiers will go forward to the national finals as part of England Golf Week where the winners will be England’s handicap golfers of the year. The top nine players at each final will qualify to play in one of six teams at the pro-am of the 2018 Bridgestone Challenge. 5. The most successful of these teams will go on to play at the pro-am of the 2018 British Masters, supported by Sky Sports Click here to view a video illustrating the journey. Bridgestone’s Consumer Sales & Marketing Director, Farrell Dolan said: “Our Chase Your Dream Trophy has already captured the imagination of many, many golfers this year, who are still in with a chance of playing at the Bridgestone Challenge in September. “We want to build on our current success and create a competition that is etched in the diaries of English amateur players. With this in mind, we want to remind players that they can register their interest now in the 2018 competition.” England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink said: “The Chase Your Dream Trophy is a fantastic opportunity for our members and will help to get more people playing and entering club competitions. We hope club members will register their interest and we look forward to following their progress.” Bridgestone is the world’s largest tyre and rubber company and all players in the Chase Your Dream Trophy will have the opportunity to win up to 5,000 prizes, including golf tickets, hospitality packages and sets of Bridgestone tyres. England Golf is the governing body for amateur golf in England. It is one of the country’s largest sports governing bodies and looks after the interests of more than 1,900 golf clubs and 675,000 men, women, boy and girl club members. For more information about the Chase Your Dream Trophy click here 15 May 2017 Swing to win! Bridgestone calls on club amateurs to Chase Their Dream last_img read more

‘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