The two sides of Indonesia’s Baluran National Park

first_imgA recent commentary piece by Dr. Erik Meijaard provides a comprehensive view of the current situation and conservation actions undertaken in Baluran National Park as compared to time he spent there in the 1990’sHowever, as so often happens with this beautiful park, the focus remained on the well-known part that has earned it the nickname ‘Africa of Java,’ the area surrounding the Bekol savannah in the southeastern reaches of the park.If one were to slice the park horizontally in two, right through mount Baluran, and compare the northern and southern parts, a sharp contrast would become visible, a contrast of mooing and ringing bells.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. A recent commentary piece by Dr. Erik Meijaard provides a comprehensive view of the current situation and conservation actions undertaken in Baluran National Park as compared to time he spent there in the 1990’s. However, as so often happens with this beautiful park, the focus remained on the well-known part that has earned it the nickname ‘Africa of Java,’ the area surrounding the Bekol savannah in the southeastern reaches of the park.If one were to slice the park horizontally in two, right through mount Baluran, and compare the northern and southern parts, a sharp contrast would become visible, a contrast of mooing and ringing bells. Where the savannah’s in the southern area are stocked more and more with wildlife such as Javan rusa, Water buffallo, and, thanks to breeding efforts, Banteng, those in the northern part are stocked with cattle. About 3,000 head of them, mostly of the local Ongole variety. An unknown number of goats is also present.It is quite an extraordinary sight, as each morning the cattle from the village Karang Teko on the northwestern border of Baluran National Park are let out of their enclosures behind people’s houses and seem to independently find their way to the park’s border, then to their grazing grounds located another six kilometers into the park. And sure enough, as sunset approaches, they all find their way back, some preferring a path through the bush, others taking a shortcut via the local highway that runs parallel to the park’s border.Cattle returning from grazing in the park. Photo by Mark Rademaker.Karang Teko’s herd accounts for about half the cattle grazing in the park. The other half come from the coastal settlement Merak, located 12 kilometers inside the national park boundaries. The miniature cattle migration spectacle that unfolds here daily along the beach has become somewhat of a phenomenon in Java and was featured in the January 2015 issue of the Indonesian National Geographic. Research from livestock veterinary students has shown how remarkably tough the Ongole cattle in Merak are, making it through the long dry seasons and resulting food shortages in the park without needing supplemental feed. Once back in their enclosures, the grazed cattle also do not have access to shelter, withstanding all the wind, rain, and sunshine nature sends at them. Calls have even been made for official protection of this local cattle variety.From all the information above, one might think that the Merak settlement has a long history in the area, with cattle selected over generations to create the special kind that exists today. However, both the settlement and the cattle are a relatively recent phenomenon, whose origin can be traced back to 1975. In that year, the Ministry of Internal Affairs provided a 25-year exploitation permit to a company to use the Merak area (about 297 hectare, or more than 730 acres) for plantation purposes. Employees of the company needed a place to stay, as travelling to and from the area can be troublesome. And so the settlement was born.The problem with this procedure was that the right to allocate land and reborder protected area boundaries, as necessary for the creation of the permit, did not lie with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but with the Ministry of Agriculture. Despite continous protest of the latter and attempts to reach a settlement with the company, the permit was never revoked and exploitation continued until the permit’s expiration in the year 2000. The conflict was then assumed to be over.However, former employees refused to leave, claiming rights to the accession areas. The settlement continued to grow and in 2009 reached over 328 families and 1,069 persons. (This short history of the Merak settlement is excellently explained in a 2014 conference paper from Wianti.)National Park authorities have tried to reach settlements on relocations in the past. However, asking around about why there is still a settlement in the park despite the clear case from a legal perspective mostly produces the response that (1) there is no money for relocation and (2) votes in the area are expensive. The second answer implies vote-buying practices by politicians in the area, who in return provide political back-up to the grazing communities. Instead of actively preventing the grazing, a policy of acquiescence has taken hold, with some lower-ranked park employees even letting their own cattle graze among the herd.Now park authorities are trying it from a differrent angle, employing cooperation instead of coercion. At the end of 2016 and in consultation with various governmental stakeholders, the former accession area was rezoned as a traditional use zone. This means that the villagers now, for the first time, have the legal right to stay and farm in the area. It also means that villagers could start to generate some income from developing tourism in the area. The mangrove areas nearby are very much worth a visit, if only for watching the long-tailed macaques venturing far out onto the shallow reefs in search of food. However, that leaves unanswered the tricky question of what to do with all the cattle that move out of this zone to graze in the park.One option that is being looked into is to reduce the total number of cattle and to start keeping them in more intensive systems, fed with varieties of grasses grown around farming fields and combined with crop by-products. A number of farmers in the area have already taken up this system long-ago, growing their increasingly famous chilli on small plots of land in the dry season and corn in the wet season, combined with elephant grasses around the plots. Next to this, dragonfruit is becoming an increasingly popular planting option, as it benefits from the extended dry season in the area.The results are positive and farmers like the fact that they do not have to worry about the cattle in the park or paying someone to keep watch. In the truly integrated system foreseen for the future, the manure from the cattle could then be used again as an organic fertilizer for the crops, and biological pest control methods could be implemented. The resulting organic products are envisaged to be branded as conservation-supportive agriculture from the Baluran area.Much work still needs to be done to ensure the sustainable future of this little-known part of Baluran National Park for both the wildlife and people relying on it. But perhaps a fitting example of how park management and communities are leading the way together here is their cooperation in rebuilding the small access road to the Merak area. Involvement is completely voluntary and progress measures a couple of meters a day, but both parties are committed. As Indonesians say, ”Sedikit, sedikit, lama lama menjadi bukit” – “Little by little, over time it becomes a hill.”Cattle returning from grazing in the park. Photo by Mark Rademaker.CITATIONWianti, K. F. (2014). Land Tenure Conflict in the Middle of Africa van Java (Baluran National Park). Procedia Environmental Sciences, 20, 459-467.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 overSponsored Article published by Mike Gaworeckicenter_img Animals, Biodiversity, Cattle, Cattle Pasture, Cattle Ranching, Commentary, Conservation, Editorials, Environment, National Parks, Protected Areas, Researcher Perspectives Series, Wildlife last_img read more

Effective climate change action needs technology and policy

first_imgArticle published by Sue Palminteri Tens of thousands of people participated in the People’s Climate March on April 29th to demand policies that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, respect science, and apply technology to limit the damage caused by climate change.Major technological breakthroughs—such as better city designs, more efficient storage batteries, and power plants that capture CO2 already in the atmosphere—as well as expansion of existing technologies, are needed to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.Experts add: Political and societal will that promotes expanded use of climate-friendly technology at a massive scale are critical to achieving climate change reduction goals. Just one week after thousands of people marched at Earth Day events across the globe to support science and research, over 200,000 more took to the streets of cities worldwide calling for government and corporate action that reduces, rather than intensifies, the impacts of climate change.Marchers in Washington, D.C. were upbeat yet frustrated with proposed changes in U.S. policies that favor fossil fuel production, cut funding for scientific research, and leave human and wildlife communities vulnerable to environmental change.“Defending and strengthening climate progress like the Paris Climate Agreement and the Clean Power Plan is one of the top reasons why so many people turned out for the march on April 29th,” said Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director of the U.S. Climate Action Network, “We marched to keep up the pressure on the Trump administration to stay in the Paris Agreement, strengthen the climate progress we’ve made, and keep pushing forward in our efforts to create a clean energy future that works for all.”Signs on display at the People’s Climate March, April 29, 2017 asking for politicians to look ahead and act. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriThe irony of Saturday’s record-high temperatures were not lost on the protesters. One band in attendance, wearing green hardhats, played the song “Hot, Hot, Hot,” an attempt to add humor to an otherwise urgent message.Band playing Hot, Hot, Hot at the People’s Climate March, April 29, 2017. Photo credits: Sue PalminteriWhat is technology’s role in establishing a cleaner planet?Continued technological innovation plays an obvious, critical role in reducing fossil fuel consumption. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Edward A. Parson, faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that energy technology is fundamental to reducing the impacts of climate change. “You can understand climate change as a mostly technical problem to which there is a mostly technical solution,” he argued.The big problem, said Parson, is our use of fossil fuels for energy and transportation. We need to increase the efficiency of our energy use, reduce atmospheric emissions from fossil energy use, and target non-CO2 greenhouse gases from industrial and agricultural activities.Solutions include clean renewable energy, better energy storage and improved nuclear power. “The technologies that are needed to move to a climate-safe society, many of them are already available or close to development,” Parson said. The World Economic Forum identified five such innovations that address humans’ love of travel, independence, and eating meat through:Fusion as an alternative source of nuclear powerMore efficient batteries and charging mechanisms for powering vehicles’Manufacturing plants that capture carbon and use it to produce fuel;Lab-grown meat to replace cattle, a source of greenhouse gas methane, as well as the major driver of Amazon deforestation; andSmarter city designs that use modern materials, sensors, and models to reduce waste and costs for residents.The latest in renewable energy tech. And it’s free. Image credit: Chris MaddenNevertheless, switching from fossil fuels, which form the bulk of energy consumption globally, will still be a slow process, even as alternative power sources and storage become cheaper and more efficient. “It’s a huge change that has to happen,” Parson said. “A lot of what has to happen to change the energy system isn’t discovering the brilliant new breakthrough technology that’s going to make it all better. It’s rolling new, better technologies out through the whole system and getting them deployed and used.”Policies needed to support and distribute innovative technologies Parson recognized that policies that encourage investment in “good” energy—such as renewables—are needed to make this happen. For example, carbon taxes or incentives that make energy production from burning fossil fuels more expensive than using other sources encourage corporations to move away from them toward cheaper, easier means. But, said Parson, “the only place they can reliably come from is policy and regulation deployed by government.”We are all in this together, even in Washington, DC. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriMaking other energy sources—including renewables such as solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and nuclear (including fusion) power—cheaper and more efficient while limiting impacts on human and ecosystem health will be essential if we are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere trap radiation from the sun and cause the atmosphere to warm the planet’s surface more than would naturally occur. As their atmospheric concentrations increase, the warming effect of this “greenhouse” does, as well.Various experts acknowledge the need to not only slow emissions, but also remove carbon from atmosphere. Moreover, the increased reliance on carbon removal in building climate change models may mask the need to complement technological development with other actions, such as policy incentives and behavior changes, that these models’ findings indicate are needed to avoid the worst negative impacts of a changing climate.An event protesting climate change in London calls for a switch to cleaner forms of energy. Photo credit: Michael Gwyther-Jones/Flickr Creative Commons.“There are almost no business cases for carbon removal right now,” notes Oliver Geden, a climate analyst and head of the European Union division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. In other words, he says, emitting CO2 into the air costs companies next to nothing, so they have no financial incentive to stop emitting, let alone pay to clean up the air by building power plants with CO2 capture and storage capacity.Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change at University of Manchester, UK, believes that revolutionary changes in how we both consume and produce energy are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to avoid a 2oC rise in global temperature. He adds that the scope of necessary psychological and behavioral breakthroughs (willingness to change our lifestyles) is greater than even many scientists are able to accept and something we cannot ignore. Decreasing carbon emissions without sacrificing the welfare of poor communities worldwide puts even greater pressure on the few rich countries responsible for the bulk of emissions.Establishing economic incentives or mandates to reduce CO2 emissions, in turn, requires political and societal backing, including funding, enabling environments, and information sharing. Without this backing, even major technological breakthroughs won’t be enough. Equally substantial government financial and political support are needed to promote and deploy new technologies at the scale needed to significantly slow climate change.Finding political and societal will to address the challengeFrom the DC climate march. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriNevertheless, the Trump Administration is shifting the US government’s emphasis toward fossil fuel production and away from acknowledging the critical role it plays in understanding and addressing drivers of climate change.How does the public inspire political will? By communicating with leaders, individually—through petitions, letters, calls, and face-to-face communication (most effective)—and jointly, through marches such as the People’s Climate March.In this weekend’s march, demonstrators shouting “Shame!” and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Donald Trump has got to go” at the President and his Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has repeatedly fought the EPA over regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions, shared the scene with others warning “Protect your Mother, you’ll never have another”.In the absence of government support, some corporate leaders have initiated funding schemes to promote technology-driven solutions and invested in promising systems to produce greener, more efficient fuels, agriculture, buildings, vehicles, and power plants.Climate march demonstrators in Washington, D.C. protest U.S. Administration policies. Photo credit: Sue PalminteriThe DC climate marchers called for policies to promote these types of systems and minimize environmental costs on communities. May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org, one of the climate march steering committee members, said of the march, “…we are mobilizing in the masses to fight for the bold solutions we need. We will present our vision to replace the fossil fuel industry with a 100% clean energy economy that works for all.”A DC climate march sign reminding us that other species will also be affected by climate change. Photo credit: Sanjiv Fernando 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 Banner image — Seen at the DC climate march: a traditional quilt made in communities in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) regions of Pennsylvania. Photo credit: Sue Palminteri Climate Activism, Climate Change, Climate Change Policy, Commentary, Editorials, Protests, Technology, Wildtech last_img read more

‘Give us back our land’: paper giants struggle to resolve conflicts with communities in Sumatra

first_imgActivism, Agriculture, Corporate Environmental Transgessors, Corporate Social Responsibility, Deforestation, Environment, Farming, Forestry, Forests, Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Peatlands, Plantations, Pulp And Paper, Rainforests, Tropical Forests Plantation firms like Asia Pulp & Paper and Toba Pulp Lestari have a long history of land grabbing, often dating back to the New Order military dictatorship. More recently, they have pledged to eliminate the practice from their supply chains.Many of the conflicts remain unaddressed. The companies say they are working hard to resolve them.A new online platform launched by the Rainforest Action Network shows that communities are still suffering the impacts of having their traditional forests and lands seized to make way for plantations. A new campaign by a leading environmental NGO offers a rare glimpse into the frontlines of Indonesia’s “deforestation crisis,” where communities are locked in land disputes with some of the world’s biggest pulp and paper companies.Beyond Paper Promises, an online platform launched by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), tells the personal stories of people who have suffered land grabbing at the hands of two of the industry’s biggest names — Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) and Toba Pulp Lestari (TPL). Despite commitments from both companies to eliminate deforestation and human rights abuses, the campaign shows that communities are still suffering the impacts of having their traditional forests and lands seized to make way for plantations. “Promises to end deforestation and to address the now decades-old land rights conflict[s] are all well and good, but the fact of the matter is that we have seen little change on the ground so far,” RAN Senior Forest Campaigner Brihannala Morgan said in a statement.RAN said it chose to focus its campaign on APP and TPL because of the “outsized role” they play in land conflicts in the provinces of Jambi and North Sumatra.Since 2013, APP, the biggest pulp and paper producer in Indonesia and China, has committed to eliminating forest destruction, human rights abuses and clearing peat from its supply chain.RAN says the commitment was a welcome move from a company with a history of land and human rights abuses, and has resulted in progress, including the end of most deforestation and plantation expansion on forested peatlands on its concessions.But “major concerns” remain, with scores of communities still seeking a resolution for the clearance of their traditionally owned forests and farms without their consent.The story of Nurhotmahsari, a resident of Lubuk Mandarsah in Jambi province, is among those featured on RAN’s site. Image courtesy of RAN.Among those given a voice by RAN’s campaign are people from Lubuk Mandarsah, a small ethnic Melayu farming community in Jambi, where locals are planting crops on disputed land as a method of resistance. The bitter dispute between APP and the Melayu community culminated with the murder of a local activist by company security guards in 2015. Since then, RAN says, “little has changed with the underlying conflict in the region,” with some 300 people now actively farming on land they have used for generations but which is legally part of APP’s plantations. “We want our customary land that we have reoccupied to be returned to us….If the company wants to resolve this conflict, all it has to do is simply give us back our land,” said Mohammad Jais of the Sekato Jaya farmers’ group.RAN’s platform also profiles members of indigenous Batak communities from across the Lake Toba region, where traditionally owned community land was taken by pulp giant TPL to be transformed into plantations to make material for everyday fabrics.In 2015, TPL adopted “No deforestation, No peat, No exploitation” policies, but RAN says these have failed to resolve the grievances of numerous Batak communities who have lost benzoin trees, which they tap for incense and are central to their culture and livelihoods.“We ask the government to protect us and return our Indigenous land to us. This land is the source of our livelihoods, and our savings so that our children can go to school,” said Rentina Nababan, from North Sumatra’s Aek Lung region, according to the new website.Abson Lumban Batu, from North Sumatra, is also featured on RAN’s site. “We are ready to defend our land to our very last breath, because this land is our life,” she is quoted as saying. Image courtesy of RAN.Both companies told Mongabay they were working hard to resolve disputes with communities affected by their plantations.APP said it “places great importance on building and maintaining good relationships with local and indigenous communities,” noting that its social engagement teams work “tirelessly” to address conflicts.It pointed to a recent resolution in Riding village, South Sumatra, where the community and APP agreed in April to work together to implement a social forestry scheme as evidence of its successes.However, it said dealing with social issues is “a complex and dynamic process that requires careful and diligent work in order to to do it correctly and responsibly.”TPL also said it “fully supports the process of dealing with land claims,” citing its attitude to a government ruling in 2016, which saw 5,172 hectares of traditionally-owned lands removed from the company. “This area is currently being restructured to adjust the boundaries of TPL concessions,” said TPL Director Mulia Nauli.“We allocate 1 percent of our net sales, an average of more than 10 billion [rupiah, around $751,428] annually, to conduct community development and CSR [corporate social responsibility] programs to improving the economy, health, education and infrastructure,” Nauli said in an email.TPL added that it “deplored” RAN’s campaign, which it feared would hamper conflict resolution.   “Such campaigns are not productive, do not solve the problems and can disrupt the process of settlement that is being run by the government,” Nauli said.Indra Pelani, the activist who was murdered by APP security guards in 2015. Photo courtesy of Walhi.Morgan of RAN, meanwhile, said the companies needed to take “decisive and proactive steps” to implement the “free, prior and informed consent” aspects of their policies. The principle references the right of communities to veto development projects that might affect their land. “Specifically, this means working with communities to do participatory mapping of land claims, and excising any verified community owned land from plantations,” she explained. “Where there is past conflict, we would like to see companies actively working with communities to identify fair remedy.”Morgan added that failures by companies to realize their commitments on the ground are “unfortunately very common” and extend well beyond APP and TPL.But while she also acknowledged that conflicts predating social and environmental commitments are difficult to solve, she said companies are not doing enough. “It is necessary that companies put substantial resources into addressing human rights issues, and into implementing their policy commitments,” she said. “Until they do, human rights abuses, loss of land, and the destruction of livelihoods will continue to plague the plantation sector.”Banner image: Nurmala Boru Purba, a resident of Aek Lung village in North Sumatra, is one of those featured on the Beyond Paper Promises website. Photo courtesy of RAN.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. Article published by mongabayauthorcenter_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

Webs under water: The really bizarre lives of intertidal spiders

first_imgAnimals, Arachnids, Biodiversity, Conservation, Habitat, Interns, Oceans, Research, Spiders, Wildlife Article published by Maria Salazar Scientists have discovered a 15th species of intertidal spider, a family of unusual arachnids that live in coastal habitats that are submerged during high tides.The newest species, named after singer Bob Marley, was discovered living on brain coral off the Australian coast.Scientists know that some species create air pockets with their hairs, while others build waterproof webs, but little is known about most of these fascinating spiders.Intertidal spiders face a number of threats, including rising sea levels due to climate change, and pollution. Spiders are one of the most ubiquitous creatures on Earth, found on every continent except Antarctica. Whether in underground caves in the Amazon or the icy climes of Mount Everest, there is a species of spider that has moved into practically every land habitat. But some arachnids are determined to not even let the oceans stand in their way — and scientists have just discovered a new one. A spider named for the late reggae legend Bob Marley is the newest member of the 15 known species of so-called intertidal spiders. These weird spiders inhabit the intertidal zone: a stretch of land that is submerged during high tide and exposed during low. Scientists from Australia’s Queensland Museum and the Zoological Museum at the University of Hamburg, Germany, first found Bob Marley’s spider (Desis bobmarleyi) in 2009 and described it last December. A male Bob Marley’s spider (Desis bobmarleyi), discovered in Port Douglas in Queensland, Australia. Photo by Robert Raven“The connection to Bob Marley was first through his song ‘high tide [or] low tide’ as these spiders live in the high tide low tide zone,” said Barbara Baehr, a research scientist from the Queensland Museum and the lead author of the paper.The mix of land and sea in the intertidal zone supports a wildly diverse set of habitats. For instance, Baehr found Bob Marley’s spider on brain corals in shallow reefs on the rocky Queensland coast. But another intertidal species, Desis formidablis, or the formidable spider, lives under boulders on rocky shores and hides in barnacle shells in South Africa. To date, scientists have recorded intertidal spiders along the coastlines of Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa, the Pacific Islands and India. Bob Marley’s spider (Desis bobmarleyi) on a brain coral at low tide. Photo by Paul HoyeThe most well-known intertidal spider, the marine spider (Desis marina), a species from New Zealand, has been found to live in the holdfasts of bull kelp, a type of seaweed. Holdfasts are like the roots of plants, allowing the seaweed to attach firmly to rocky surfaces in the turbulent intertidal zone. Intertidal spiders shelter in these hideouts during the high tide, and come out during the low tide to feed on amphipods, tiny microscopic crustaceans with no shells.Surviving in this landscape is no mean feat, says David Schiel, professor of marine ecology at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Schiel, though not an arachnologist, has studied other intertidal organisms extensively. He said that apart from adapting to breathing under and above water, animals in the intertidal zone need to survive constant changes in temperature and impact from wave action as well as extreme weather such as storms and cyclones. “Generally speaking, organisms have to be pretty tough and resilient to withstand these extremes, which can occur on a daily, seasonal and inter-annual basis,” he said. While organisms like barnacles, limpets and shellfish have evolved physical adaptations to survive in this wild environment, intertidal spiders are built much like their land relatives. So how do they breathe underwater? In 1967, Bruno Lamoral, an arachnologist from Natal Museum in South Africa, attempted to solve this mystery by studying the formidable spider. Lamoral found that the spider was able to stay underwater for up to 24 hours at a time, thanks to a remarkable adaptation: tiny water-repelling hairs on its body, known as hydrofuge hairs, that trap a layer of air around it. Desis formidablis, the formidable spider from South Africa, has tiny hairs that repel water and trap air when they are underwater. Photo by Sally Sivewright, www.scientistinlimbo.comLamoral believed the spider had more tricks up its sleeve. During his study, he noticed it managed to stay underwater even after the oxygen in the air film was used up, and speculated that the spider’s entire body acted like a gill, fixing oxygen from the water. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to pinpoint how exactly this could happen.More than a decade later, in 1983, Donald Mcqueen and Colin McLay from the University of York in Canada and University of Canterbury, respectively, described more complex adaptations in their study of marine spiders in New Zealand. In some ways, bull kelp is an even tougher habitat because it is only completely exposed during extreme low tides. So unlike its South African cousin, the marine spider is sometimes submerged for days. Yet as Mcqueen and McLay found, they didn’t rely on physical gills.Instead marine spiders spun thick webs inside the holdfasts, which trapped enough air for them to survive the submergence. Examining the webs, the scientists realized the spiders chose spaces that could hold enough air for their body size. Those that didn’t, perished. The root-like holdfasts of the bull kelp in New Zealand can shelter Desis marina, the marine spider, underwater for several days. Photo by Stug Stug via Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA-3.0To make the most of their stored oxygen, marine spiders also lowered their respiration rates, breathing less frequently than their land-dwelling cousins. They also used up to 90 percent of the oxygen in their nest. Thanks to these strategies, marine spiders are able to lead very full lives inside these kelp holdfasts. They hunt amphipods that also live in the kelp, move in with potential mates, and even nest under the sea. The spiders only really need the low tide to find mates. Unfortunately, research into the ecology of these fascinating creatures seems to have come to halt since the 1980s. Apart from the discovery of Bob Marley’s spider, the only new piece of recent information was a 2017 study reporting several new locations of the marine spider in New Zealand. Cor Vink, curator of natural history at Canterbury Museum in New Zealand and the lead author of that study, said records of the marine spider were very sparse, “but once we developed a good technique to find them they turned up to be in more places and greater numbers than previously known.” For the other 14 known species of intertidal spiders scattered around the world, even such basic information on distribution and population is missingAlthough unsure of why intertidal spiders are so poorly studied, Vink was excited by the discovery of the new species. “It’s interesting that new species are still being found in such unusual habitats,” he said.But how safe will those habitats be in the future?According to Schiel, populations of bull kelp are largely stable and grow mostly in places away from human habitation in New Zealand. However, this may not be the case for other spider habitats. “Because of their position between the land and full marine environment, intertidal areas are subjected to impacts in both directions,” Schiel said, citing a list of threats across the planet that include agricultural runoff, excess nutrients, fine sediments from the land, and rising water levels and temperatures from the sea — all of which could impact intertidal spiders. Vink believes these unusual spiders will continue to bewitch more scientists in the future. “There are so many interesting questions,” he said. “How does its web work in salt water? How does it survive submerged for so long? How does it sense when the tide is coming back in?” CitationsBaehr, B. C., Raven, R., & Harms, D. (2017). “High Tide or Low Tide”: Desis bobmarleyi sp. n., a new spider from coral reefs in Australia’s Sunshine State and its relative from Sāmoa (Araneae, Desidae, Desis). Evolutionary Systematics, 1, 111. Lamoral, B. H. (1968). On the ecology and habitat adaptations of two intertidal spiders, Desis formidabilis (OP Cambridge) and Amaurobioides africanus Hewitt, at. Annals of the Natal Museum, 20(1), 151-193. Mcqueen, D. J., & McLay, C. L. (1983). How does the intertidal spider Desis marina (Hector) remain under water for such a long time?. New Zealand journal of zoology, 10(4), 383-391. McLay, C. L., & Hayward, T. L. (1987). Reproductive biology of the intertidal spider Desis marina (Araneae: Desidae) on a New Zealand rocky shore. Journal of Zoology, 211(2), 357-372. Mcqueen, D. J., Pannell, L. K., & McLay, C. L. (1983). Respiration rates for the intertidal spider Desis marina (Hector). New Zealand journal of zoology, 10(4), 393-399. McLay, C. L., & Hayward, T. L. (1987). Population structure and use of Durvillaea antarctica holdfasts by the intertidal spider Desis marina (Araneae: Desidae). New Zealand journal of zoology, 14(1), 29-42. Vink, C. J., McQuillan, B. N., Simpson, A. H., & Correa-Garhwal, S. M. (2017). The marine spider, Desis marina (Araneae: Desidae): new observations and localities. The Weta, 51, 71-79. center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Five-year sentences for elephant poachers in Republic of Congo

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Politics, Forest Elephants, Forests, Green, Ivory, Ivory Trade, Mammals, Poaching, Protected Areas, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking A court in the Republic of Congo has convicted three men of killing elephants for their tusks. They were handed five-year prison sentences and fined $10,000 each.The three men were part of a six-member poaching gang that managed to escape an ambush set up by park authorities, but not before leaving behind some 70 kilograms of ivory as well as an AK-47 rifle, according to the WCS.The gang is believed to have links to some of northern Congo’s most notorious elephant poachers and ivory traffickers, including two who were jailed in the last two years. A court in the Republic of Congo has convicted three men of killing elephants for their tusks, and sentenced them to five years in jail as well as fined them the equivalent of $10,000 each, according to a press release from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).The men were part of a group of six elephant poachers who reportedly entered the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park on Jan. 13 and were first detected by researchers from the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project working in the south of the national park. Following reports of gunfire, park authorities deployed four ranger teams and intercepted the poachers on Feb. 2.The six poachers, however, managed to escape the ambush, but not before leaving behind 16 tusks weighing a combined 70 kilograms (154 pounds), as well as equipment including an AK-47 rifle, WCS reported. Three days later, park authorities and local police arrested three members of the gang in the nearby town of Pokola.A manhunt for the remaining three members of the poaching gang, including the suspected leader, is ongoing.“We commend the parks rangers of Nouabale-Ndoki in their continuing efforts to protect elephants in one of the last remaining strongholds of the species,” Mark Gately, director of WCS’s Republic of Congo program, said in the statement. “The convictions of three notorious poachers sends a message that such activities will not be tolerated in one of Congo’s flagship protected areas.”Forest elephants. Photo by Richard Ruggiero/USFWS (public domain).The convicted men have reportedly admitted to entering the national park illegally on numerous previous occasions, and removing some 400 kilograms (881 pounds) of ivory from the forest within the last four years. They are also believed to have links to some of northern Congo’s most notorious elephant poachers and ivory traffickers, WCS said in the statement. This includes Samuel Pembele, who was sentenced to five year in prison for ivory poaching in the same area in 2016. Another ivory trafficker, Daring Dissaka, was handed a similar sentence last year.The Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, spread across 4,200 square kilometers (1,620 square miles) in northern Republic of Congo, is home to a number of threatened species including forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and bongo antelopes. Illegal hunting is a persistent threat in the park, aided by the increasing number of logging roads in the surrounding timber concessions. “Ivory trafficking networks continue to flourish in Congo and across the border to Central African Republic and Cameroon,” the WCS Congo team said in a blogpost in 2016. “These networks are exploiting new communication and transport links that arrive with logging.”The park is managed by the Nouabale-Ndoki Foundation, a public-private partnership between the government and the WCS Congo program. Ivory seized from Nouabale-Ndoki National Park. Photo courtesy of WCS.last_img read more

Jaguar numbers rising at field sites, WCS says

first_imgArticle published by John Cannon 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 Amazon Biodiversity, Animals, Big Cats, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Camera Trapping, China wildlife trade, Cites, Community Development, Community Forestry, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecology, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forests, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Hunting, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Jaguars, Mammals, Parks, Poaching, Protected Areas, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Research, Saving Species From Extinction, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Forests, United Nations, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img WCS reports that jaguar numbers have risen by almost 8 percent a year between 2002 and 2016 at study sites in Central and South America.The sites cover around 400,000 square kilometers (154,440 square miles) of jaguar habitat.Despite the promising findings, WCS scientists caution that habitat destruction, hunting in response to livestock killings, and poaching for their body parts remain critical threats to jaguars. Jaguar numbers at specific study sites in Central and South America are rising, based on surveys over the past decade and a half by the Wildlife Conservation Society.Elizabeth Bennett, vice president of species conservation at WCS, said the gains resulted from partnerships with local communities, government agencies and other conservation groups.“We are excited that our jaguar conservation efforts of the past two decades are showing signs of success,” Bennett said in a statement.Jaguars face threats from hunting and habitat destruction. Photo ©Julie Larsen Maher/WCS.The number of jaguars (Panthera onca) at all WCS sites across some 400,000 square kilometers (154,440 square miles) of the cat’s habitat in Latin America rose by almost 8 percent a year between 2002 and 2016. Those sites are home to around 5,000 of the remaining 60,000 jaguars left in the Americas.Even with the good news, however, WCS scientists caution that the dangers that have driven — and continue to drive — down jaguar numbers still exist.“Two threats have taken a particularly heavy toll on the Americas’ largest cat species: habitat depletion due to the conversion of forest for development and agriculture, and killing in response to the loss of livestock,” John Polisar, the jaguar species coordinator at WCS, said in the statement.Jaguars, listed as near threatened by the IUCN, roam on only about two-thirds of the range that they had before 1900. Few remain in the U.S., and the bulk of the jaguar population lives between dry scrubland in Mexico and the northern tip of Argentina.Around 60,000 jaguars still inhabit a variety of ecosystems throughout the Americas. Camera trap photo courtesy of Guido Ayala & Maria Viscarra/WCS.To protect jaguar habitat, WCS said it worked local and indigenous communities, like the Tacana, who live in the Greater Madidi landscape of Bolivia. The Tacana’s finely tuned relationship with the land results in a deforestation rate that’s four times lower inside the area they manage as it is outside, according to a 2015 WCS estimate. Tacana land also overlaps with the boundaries of Madidi National Park.In fact, the density of jaguars encountered inside Madidi National Park, already one of the world’s most biodiverse protected areas, was three times what it was in 2002.Biologists weigh such successes against new threats on the horizon, like poaching for the trade in jaguar body parts, said Julie Kunen, the vice president for WCS’s Americas program. Fangs, in particular, are sought after in Chinese markets. A 2016 bust led to the confiscation of 337 fangs, many of which likely came from jaguars in Madidi National Park.The WCS sites included the habitat of some 5,000 jaguars. Camera trap photo courtesy of Guido Ayala & Maria Viscarra/WCS.Still, WCS has documented an increase in jaguar numbers at specific places throughout their range.“We can look with optimism to the future for jaguars in the Americas,” Bennett said, when WCS first announced the findings on March 3, World Wildlife Day, which marks the date that CITES, or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, was adopted by the U.N. in 1973. “That’s welcome news, indeed, on this World Wildlife Day.”Banner image of jaguars with a camera trap courtesy of Guido Ayala & Maria Viscarra/WCS.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Video: Rare newborn western lowland gorilla filmed in the wild

first_imgArticle published by Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Gorillas, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Mammals, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Videos, Wildlife The baby gorilla was born on Feb. 17 in the rainforests of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, according to WCS.The infant is the offspring of a female gorilla named Mekome and a male silverback named Kingo, who has been studied by the WCS Congo researchers of the Mondika Gorilla Project for about two decades.Mekome’s newest baby is her fifth offspring, and represents hope for the species, researchers say. Researchers have captured rare video of a newborn western lowland gorilla in the wild.The infant, who was estimated to be only a few hours old when scientists first saw it on Feb. 17, was born in the rainforests of Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, according to a press release from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The baby is the offspring of a female gorilla named Mekome and a male silverback named Kingo, who has been studied by the WCS Congo researchers of the Mondika Gorilla Project for about two decades.“Mekome, one of the females in the group, came climbing down some lianas from the tree canopy,” the WCS Congo team wrote in a blogpost. “As she joined a five-year-old infant in the group on the forest floor, the research team heard a soft whining noise coming from Mekome’s belly. When they looked more closely, they could see that Mekome was carrying a new-born baby; as she passed by very close to the team, maybe to give the team a first introduction to her baby, they could see that the baby was no more than a few hours old.”The critically endangered western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) live in the thick jungles of Central and West Africa. Much like human pregnancy, female gorillas’ pregnancies last nearly nine months, and their babies, like human newborns, are tiny and completely dependent on their mothers.Young gorillas face many threats while growing up, including attacks by other animals, disease and poaching, and few survive to adulthood. Mekome’s newest baby is her fifth offspring. Only one of her previous babies, named Ekendi, is still alive, and has been following Mekome very closely since the infant arrived, the WCS team said.“We’re very excited to be witness to the emergence of the next generation of Kingo’s growing clan,” Mark Gately, director of WCS’s Republic of Congo program, said in a statement. “A baby gorilla represents hope for the entire species.”Mekome with her newborn gorilla. Photo courtesy of WCS Congo.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Indonesia investigates deadly oil spill in eastern Borneo

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 Basten Gokkon An oil spill and ensuing fire in Balikpapan Bay in Indonesian Borneo over the weekend has been blamed for the deaths of at least four fishermen and an endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.State oil firm Pertamina, which operates a refinery and undersea pipeline in the area, has denied any link to the oil, suggesting it came from a ship.The environment ministry has deployed a team to investigate the source of the spill and survey the extent of the damage caused. UPDATE (Apr. 4, 2018): Pertamina admitted responsibility for the oil spill because its pipes broke and leaked. JAKARTA — The Indonesian government has launched an investigation into a major oil spill in Borneo amid reports linking the incident to the deaths of four fishermen and an endangered dolphin.The spill in Balikpapan Bay, in East Kalimantan province, was first reported on the morning of March 31, when local fishermen noticed a strange smell near an offshore refinery operated by state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina. Workers later attempted to clean up the slick by setting it on fire, but the blaze grew out of control.Four people were killed in the fire, all believed to be fishermen. One other person was seriously injured, while another is missing.Oil spill in Balikpapan Bay on the morning of March 31. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Balikpapan.On the evening of April 1, locals reported the discovery of a dead Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) washed up on the coast near the oil spill, suggesting it had died from the toxic slick.“We have taken samples of the animal, and it would take about a week to make sure the cause of its death,” said Danielle Kreb, a marine biologist with the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI), an NGO.The Irrawaddy dolphin, listed as endangered by the IUCN, is a protected species under Indonesian law. Killing it carries hefty fines and a possible jail sentence.“The fire was quite big, about two kilometers high,” said Octaviano, a senior official with the East Kalimantan search and rescue agency, as quoted by the AFP. “It can be seen from Balikpapan city and the smell was all over the place.”A boat carrying coal was temporarily stuck near the fire, but the search and rescue team managed to evacuate all 20 crew on board.The local disaster mitigation agency extinguished the fire shortly after, preventing it from spreading to other areas, but the oil slick remains in waters in the area.Locals also reported experiencing health problems, including nausea and breathing difficulty, over the weekend.The Ministry of Environment and Forestry said on April 2 that it had deployed a team to survey the extent of the oil spill and its source, and mitigate any impact from the incident.“Our team has taken samples to check where the oil is from,” Rasio Ridho Sani, the ministry’s director general of law enforcement, said at a press conference in Jakarta. “In the meantime, we have also set oil [spill containment] booms to make sure the slick doesn’t spread further.”A dead Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) was found washed up on the shore near the oil spill. Photo courtesy of the Rare Aquatic Species Indonesia (RASI).Pertamina said the oil spill was not from crude oil produced at its refinery or transported through its undersea pipeline in the area. It said it had identified the oil as being fuel oil for ships.“We have studied oil samples from the spill, and it’s not from Pertamina,” Yudi Nugraha, a spokesman for Pertamina, said at a press conference in Balikpapan on March 31.Pertamina also said the company’s divers had not found any leaks in the pipeline.Local fishermen and environmentalists, however, are skeptical about the company’s claims.“We think there must be a leak from the Pertamina pipe because it’s located very close to the oil — maybe 100 meters,” Pradarma Rupang, from the local environmental group Jatam, told the ABC. “There is no shipwreck, no collision, no sinking ship, no burned ship, nothing. Suddenly oil appears in the middle of the sea.”The environment ministry said in a statement on April 3 that its team had collected 69,300 liters (18,300 gallons) of oil as of the evening of April 2. It said it would take some time to investigate the incident, but was confident that it could solve it.“We have to be very sure where this oil comes from, whether it’s from Pertamina or others,” Rasio said, adding the party behind the spill would be held liable for the slick clean-up and ecosystem recovery.The ministry has deployed drones to get an aerial view of the extent of the spill, and asked for satellite images of the affected area from the National Aeronautics and Space Institute (Lapan). It has also sought data on oil tanker activity in the bay from the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla).“We have told our teams and also Pertamina to prioritize cleaning up the spill near settlements, considering the strong smell and other potential risks [from the slick],” Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said in a statement. “I will continue to monitor the efforts, and hopefully we can resolve this incident quickly together with other related institutions.”Boat accidents are common in Indonesia, which relies heavily on shipping to move people and cargo between its thousands of islands. Oil spills, however, are much rarer.The fire from the oil spill in Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan province. Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) Balikpapan.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Environment, Environmental Crime, Fisheries, Fossil Fuels, Marine, Marine Ecosystems, Oil, Oil Spills, Pollution, Water Pollution last_img read more

Animal trainers are teaching wildlife to conserve themselves

first_imgAnimal Behavior, Animal Intelligence, Animals, Arctic Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Butterflies, Captive Breeding, Carnivores, Charismatic Animals, Chimpanzees, Conservation, Dolphins, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Featured, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Human-wildlife Conflict, Mammals, Monkeys, Polar Bears, Primates, Research, Restoration, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Zoos Positive training helps pets and their owners bond. But animal trainers working to conserve wildlife often have the opposite goal: teaching animals in the wild to avoid human beings — people often being the most dangerous creatures in the jungle.Wildlife kept in zoos have been trained with rewards to accept unnatural processes, procedures that previously might have required restraint or even anesthesia: allowing tooth brushing, hoof trimming, injections and blood draws — turning once alien actions into positive experiences for the captive animals.Animal trainers decades ago learned to train dolphins without having physical contact with the animals. More recently, a chimpanzee troop in Sierra Leone was taught to scream alarm in unison when poachers approached, alerting nearby rangers to come to the rescue — achieving an 80 percent decrease in poaching.Trainers have taught captive bred condors how to be more like wild condors, seeking food within their natural habitat and not congregating in towns. They’ve also taught polar bears to avoid anything associated with humans, preventing the bears from raiding trash cans and significantly decreasing wildlife conflicts. Ken Ramirez honed his animal training skills working for many years with dolphins. Photo courtesy of Ken RamirezMention animal training and most of us imagine teaching a dog to sit up for a treat — not something with an obvious conservation connection. But in fact, modern scientifically based wildlife training traces its origins not to canines, but to dolphins, aquatic mammals with whom trainers had to devise teaching methods neither involving force nor requiring direct contact.Today, the techniques first practiced with dolphins many decades ago are used with a surprising number of wild species, ranging from chimpanzees (not so surprising), to butterflies (quite surprising!). Notably, conservationists are finding that the skills of animal trainers can be effective in protecting animals, even in their natural habitats.The concept of training wild animals in their native environments seems strange to most of us, agrees Ken Ramirez, likely because we have the wrong idea about it. “There’s a big misperception about what training is,” he says. “The simple definition of training is teaching, and teaching is not an unnatural thing.”Wild animals teach their offspring how to find food, how to avoid predators; they are learning all the time via their interactions with their environment. “The only thing a professional trainer does is we help guide that learning.”Animal trainer Ramirez with an otter pup. Photo courtesy of Ken RamirezZoo learningRamirez speaks from 40 years experience, including more than 25 years at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. He literally wrote the textbook on positive reinforcement for animal management in captivity. Following these methods, zoo trainers have taught animals around the globe to cooperate willingly with procedures that previously required restraint or even anesthesia: allowing tooth brushing, hoof trimming, even injections and blood draws — turning once alien actions into positive experiences for captive animals.“They participate because it’s a fun game they’ve been taught to play,” says Ramirez. “If you teach a tiger to come into an enclosure for a medical exam, when they come into the enclosure you might give them a big slab of meat or a toy they like to play with — something that makes it worthwhile for them to participate.”That’s no different from what happens in nature, say where an animal climbs a particular species of tree and finds a certain type of fruit. Over time, that animal learns to climb that tree again and again in expectation of the same positive result.Keeping that fact in mind, any animal can be trained, even those we don’t think of as “smart.” Ramirez, for example, once trained 10,000 butterflies for a show where the insects flew en masse, on cue, from one location to another in three different groups, at three different times.“Whether you’re talking about a butterfly or you’re talking about a Harvard graduate, we all learn the same way,” says Ramirez.In Sierra Leone, a chimpanzee troop was trained to scream in unison when humans appeared on the scene, sounding an alarm that alerted nearby rangers to the approach of poachers. The researchers were surprised to see the adult chimps pass this lesson on to their young. Photo on Visual HuntTraining at a distanceTraining animals in zoos is all well and good, but applying such techniques in the wild has its challenges. For example, even if you could get near the wild animals you wished to teach, you wouldn’t want them to associate people with a reward — especially since one of the most important conservation lessons a wild animal may need to learn is to keep away from us, because humans can be very dangerous.So trainers who work with wildlife must actively figure out how to reward at a distance, within a species’ home territory.One ongoing project that Ramirez helped design involves a troop of wild chimpanzees in Sierra Leone. Trainers began with a behavior that was already present — a chimp, or several chimps, tended to scream when seeing an unfamiliar human. The trainers’ goal: teach the troop to all call in unison when they saw poachers, raising a racket loud enough to be heard at a nearby ranger station.The trainers designed a remotely activated system of PVC pipes able to dispense food to the treetops at the push of a button. If a chimp screamed when an unfamiliar vehicle or human was spotted, the button was pushed and positive reinforcement provided in the form of treats for all the chimps.“The animals learned that [the arrival of strangers is] the cue to scream at the top of my lungs, and if I scream at the top of my lungs, insects and fruit suddenly appear,” Ramirez explains. Before long, the whole troop was consistently screaming in unison, sounding the alarm. The result since the project was first implemented in 2000: an 80 percent decline in chimps lost to poaching. A bigger surprise, the lesson, once learned, became part of the troop’s culture: the adult primates have passed the new behavior on to their offspring.A condor in flight. Animal trainers assisted researchers in teaching captive bred condors how to act more like wild condors. Photo credit: szeke on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SALessons from wildlife reintroductionsOne early example of animal training that helped a conservation project to succeed involved the captive breeding and reintroduction of the California condor. Biologists were careful to raise the condors without ever seeing people so they wouldn’t associate humans with food and care. But, when researchers released the first batch of captive raised birds, there was an unexpected problem.That’s when they called in Steve Martin, a bird trainer with decades of experience, who has consulted with more than a hundred zoos around the world.Martin was taken to a valley town below the release site, and saw the trouble: “Condors were landing on roadways, landing on houses, landing on power poles and getting electrocuted,” he says. “They were landing at a little cafe and people were feeding the condors hamburgers and hotdogs on the ground outside. Condors were everywhere.”The biologists were perplexed by this unnatural behavior. But Martin immediately knew what had happened: no one had ever taught these condors how to be condors.“Condors in the wild spend two years with their parents. That’s when they learn the skills for survival. They learn how to avoid danger and find food,” he says. Now the scientists had “taken these young condors with no parental guidance and sent them out in the wild with just a pat on the back and a wish for good luck.”To get the birds out of town, the biologists had tried hoses and water guns. But the birds only learned to be afraid of scientists. “The neighbors can walk right up to them, but they see our cars and our uniforms and they fly away,” a frustrated conservationist told Martin, who worked with the project from 2000-2010.Martin recognized the problem: “They were asking the wrong question: ‘How do we stop the condors from going into town?’ The right question was: ‘What do we want them to do instead?’ — Instead of trying to punish the behavior of going into town, focus on the behavior you want, which is staying in the mountains.”Animal trainer Steve Martin assisted biologists in successfully reintroducing condors to the wild. Photo credit: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region on VisualHunt.com / CC BYPart of the solution was changing how the released birds were provisioned. Initially upon release, they had been getting the same kind of food at the same time on the same days. Martin instructed the scientists to begin providing a variety of foods at random times. “By building in some variability — type, amount and location of food — we get [the condors] thinking about it,” he says. And knowing food could show up at any time at the provisioning site in the wild, it became worth it to stick around and wait for it.Another crucial lesson: the team had to stand in as parents and teach the condors that humans were potentially dangerous — even at a distance — in order to keep them far enough away to avoid being shot.A teaching opportunity offered itself: while the condors were in pre-release pens in the mountains, the researchers needed to handle the birds a few times in order to attach ID tags and do health testing. To train in aversion to humans, two people — the first ever seen by the birds — would approach down a nearby path. Immediately, keepers would rush into the pens, catch the birds, attach the tags and do the tests.“The first time the condors saw the people out there [on the trail], they were just curious and sat on their perches. Then fourteen people came into the pen with nets and the condors just sat there looking at them, not knowing what they were,” Martin recalls, and those “people could literally walk up to a condor and grab them by the leg or wing.”But the birds definitely learned from that first encounter. The next couple of times the process was repeated, most of them became agitated as soon as they saw the people on the path. “Then those fourteen people came in, and this time it was really hard to catch those condors.”The technique was ultimately effective. After release, a few birds approached people and had to be brought in for retraining. But most had learned the lesson, and some of those condors are still out there, playing their part in a hugely successful conservation story.Polar bears were successfully taught to not hunt for food in human communities in a project that ran from 2009-2015. Photo on VisualHuntTrainers in the wildWhile the condors were trained before release, Ramirez has solved a similar problem with wild polar bears in a project that took place from 2009-2015. The traditional solution to bears coming into towns to forage had been to post guards and shoot off firecracker shells when one was spotted. That would scare the big predators away for the moment, but had no long term-effect: the same bears would return again and again, with some towns experiencing over 300 encounters per year — a potential threat to both animals and people.Ramirez saw that while the townspeople had the right idea using scare tactics, their timing was off. “Here’s the thing we know about behavior: you can make permanent changes to behavior if you teach it the right way,” he says. “If you’re going to scare the bear anyway, wait to scare the bear till it connects [the scare] to something human.”Making noise when a bear was first spotted on a road approaching the town didn’t teach it anything useful. Instead, Ramirez says, wait till its nose touches a garbage can, a fence, the wheel of a truck, something human. Then scare it! Think: a housemate waiting in ambush and yelling at you every time you approach the fridge for a late night snack.“Sometimes it only has to happen once and that bear now knows: I need to avoid human things,” he says. “You still don’t hurt the bear; you still scare it away like you were doing anyway, but now you use behavior principles to time that scary incident with something that you want it to always avoid.”The goal of animal trainers was to teach polar bears to seek food in the wild, not in towns. Photo credit: nubui on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SAEasy vs. difficult choicesRamirez says that determining the rationale behind successful wildlife training isn’t mysterious, it’s often very familiar: “Like all of us, if we have a choice between doing something the easy way and doing it the hard way, most of us will take the easy way. So that’s what you do to help animals make the correct choice. Make the choice that you want them to pick, easy. Make the choice you want them to quit doing, harder.”Take the polar bears for example. At first, human food sources were easy to access. The trainers made that choice harder for the bears in two ways: not only were scare tactics made more timely so as to be associated with the food source itself, but the townspeople also were encouraged to better secure dumpsters, trash cans and other items that attracted the animals.Then in addition to making human food harder to get and an unpleasant experience, the bears were given positive reinforcement by being shown where to get easier meals. Food lures were placed in such a way as to draw the animals away from town and into wild habitat with a natural food supply.It worked: “In some of these towns, there were over 300 incidents per year. In many cases those incidents were reduced to less than ten,” says Ramirez.Carrot vs. stickWhen creating teachable moments to enhance conservation efforts, trainers employ a range of methods to help wildlife recognize and avoid dangerous situations. But both Ramirez and Martin agree that it is best to first seek a way to reward a desired behavior, rather than punish an undesirable one.Ramirez has spent much of his career trying to convince people to train their dogs using positive reinforcement. And Martin points out that scientific studies have shown that training pets with punishment can have adverse consequences.But when a wild animal’s survival is at stake, all possible tools need to be considered — including devising a momentary unpleasant experience to make a dangerous behavior unattractive. The key is choosing the right tool for the right task at the right moment. “We are always looking for how to use positive reinforcement to get what we want, but if we are going to use something aversive, we use sound behavior principles so the animal learns something in that one encounter,” Ramirez says.Of course, he adds, both pleasant and unpleasant learning experiences are common in the wild. “If an animal escapes a predator, that animal quickly learns how to detect [the] predator and how to avoid it.” Aversion-training applied by humans can happen quickly and humanely — and while the animals may not enjoy the teachable moment, they’re never in any real danger.Animal trainers emphasize one big difference between training a dog and teaching a polar bear to stay out of the trash: conservation projects aren’t designed to bring people and animals closer together. “Often with wildlife, you want to teach them to be afraid of people,” says Ramirez, behavior that can ultimately save their lives, and protect their species.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 Glenn Schererlast_img read more

13-in-a-row for Chelsea

first_imgLONDON (AP):Willian scored twice as leaders Chelsea overcame Stoke 4-2 to equal an English Premier League record for 13 straight wins in a single season.Bruno Martins Indi and Peter Crouch struck for Stoke to cancel out goals by Gary Cahill and Willian. But Willian struck for a second time moments after Crouch’s 64th-minute equaliser and Diego Costa netted a fourth.”After the second goal it wasn’t easy to go and have the good reaction, to show the great character, above all after 12 wins in a row,” Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said. “When you win a lot, there is a great danger to be satisfied, to be relaxed.”six points clearChelsea are six points clear of Liverpool who beat Manchester City 1-0.Chelsea’s 34th-minute opener came when Cesc Fabregas’ corner was met by Cahill, who rose highest to head into the net.Stoke levelled a minute into the second half through Martins Indi. Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant was beaten again in the 57th. Victor Moses centred for Eden Hazard, who laid the ball off for Willian to score.Other results: Burnley 4 Sunderland 1; Manchester United 2 Middlesbrough 1;Leicester 1 West Ham 0; Southampton 1 West Brom 2; Swansea 0 Bournemouth 3.last_img read more