Selective logging reduces biodiversity, disrupts Amazon ecosystems: study

first_imgAmazon Biodiversity, Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Environment, forest degradation, Forest Destruction, Forest Loss, Forestry, Forests, Global Environmental Crisis, Green, Land Use Change, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Sustainable Forest Management, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation Article published by Glenn Scherer Reduced-impact logging, also called selective logging, which gained popularity in the 1990s, aims to balance biodiversity impacts with global demand for timber by extracting fewer trees. But the success of this approach is coming under increasing scrutiny.A new study in the Brazilian Amazon found that dung beetle communities, and their important role as “ecosystem engineers,” is severely disrupted by even low-level timber extraction, with sharp reductions in species richness.Multitudes of studies on birds, mammals, amphibians and invertebrates around the globe demonstrate the same finding: that even low-levels of timber extraction have significant impact on species diversity.This extensive research suggests that selective logging techniques should be shelved in favor of “land-sparing” timber extraction strategies, which create a patchwork of highly logged sites and intact forest reserves. Coprophanaeus lancifer, the largest crepuscular tunnelling dung beetle species found in the Amazon study region. Photographed in the Brazilian Amazon, 2016. Photo by Filipe FrançaReduced-impact-logging techniques are now used globally. This forestry approach, also called selective logging, aims to preserve biodiversity and maintain forest ecosystem functions while extracting commercially valuable timber. However, new research shows that even low-levels of timber extraction can have a detrimental effect on biodiversity that includes impacts on important ecosystem engineers such as dung beetles.Reduced-impact logging (RIL) became popular in the 1990s because it promised to provide timber without the ecologically devastating effects of clear-cutting. There are no published estimates of the global scale of RIL schemes, but a Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) report in 2015 found that more than 2.1 billion hectares (8.1 million square miles) of forest is under a forest management plan, and 438 million hectares (1.7 million square miles) are internationally certified.Meanwhile, evidence has been mounting over the last decade that selective logging may not be the win-win scenario it was once thought to be.Tree being logged by a worker within the Brazilian timber concession where the study was conducted. Photo by Filipe FrançaLow level logging impacts dung beetlesIn a study published online in Biological Conservation in October, an international research team compared the species richness of dung beetles and their effectiveness at removing dung, both before and after selective logging, at thirty-four sites in the Amazonian Jari Florestal logging concession in Pará, Brazil.Under a 30-year cutting cycle developed by the FAO, the Amazon sites experienced varying intensities of logging: from zero trees removed, up to nearly eight trees per hectare. The research team found that even very low-intensity timber removal had a significant impact on dung beetle populations. The removal of just 3 to 35 trees in a 10-hectare (25 acre) site resulted in 1 to 8 fewer species of dung beetle post-logging. Filipe França, an ecologist at Lancaster University who led the study, concludes that“Even low levels of timber removal can lead to the loss of forest biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.”The team found that dung beetle species richness decreased as logging intensity increased. Unexpectedly, this relationship was curved, with the steepest declines in dung beetle species occurring when the first few trees were removed. França suggests that the immediate effects of even low-intensity logging may occur because extraction techniques inadvertently damage neighboring trees and undergrowth, causing a disproportionate effect to the weight of timber removed.Pará is the second largest state in Brazil, and home to 25 percent of Brazil’s Amazon forest. It supports extraordinary levels of biodiversity, with nearly 10 percent of the world’s bird species found in these forests.As the largest timber-producing state in Brazil, Pará has also suffered severe deforestation with this state alone accounting for a third of the total forest lost in Brazil between 1998 and 2015.Earlier this year, Pará made headlines around the world after Brazil’s government announced plans to open the national reserve of Renca, which covers 4.6 million hectares (17,800 square miles) in Pará and the neighboring state of Amapá, to mining. The decree was later revoked after intense pressure from conservationists, but vast swathes of Amazon forest in Pará remain open to logging, and a 2006 report by the State Environment Agency identified 25 million hectares (96,500 square miles) of forest for potential timber extraction.França’s study suggests that even low-levels of logging in these forests could have a disastrous impact on dung beetle communities and the invaluable ecosystem services they provide.Diabroctis mimas is a large black and metallic-green dung beetle species found in the forests of Pará state. Photographed in the Brazilian Amazon, 2016. Photo by Filipe FrançaDung beetles: engineer of forest ecosystemsDung beetles might not be the most glamorous of the Amazonian insects, but they perform crucial ecosystem functions such as ploughing and aerating the soil, fertilizing plants with fresh dung, and helping to disperse seeds. Because of these roles, dung beetles are known as “ecosystem engineers.”Furthermore, changes in dung beetle communities are thought to be representative of changes to other taxonomic groups. “Most people I talk to about dung beetles think it is funny or strange that we use them in research for examining forest health. In fact, just a few people know that dung beetles are a key indicator group for the overall health of ecosystems,” says França. Beetle communities respond quickly to disturbance by logging, fire and road construction, and because they rely on the dung of other species, dung beetle communities also respond to other human activities such as hunting.Dung beetles show similar responses to forest disturbance as other taxonomic groups including ants, birds and plants. All experience greater species richness in primary forest than in logged sites and agricultural lands.In line with the recent Amazon dung beetle study, even minimal deforestation has been shown to significantly increase extinction risk in over 19,000 species of vertebrate worldwide. A 2014 study found that removing 38 cubic meters of timber per hectare halved the number of mammal species present and that logging intensity was the most important determinant of species richness in butterflies, dung beetles and ants.França’s new study has been criticized by some researchers for its small sample size and limited replication. “In my view this is a classic case of very broad generalizations being drawn from limited data,” says Andrew Davis, former senior scientist at the Danum Valley Field Centre in Sabah, Malaysia. Davis carried out one of the first investigations on the effects of logging on dung beetle communities in tropical rainforest. “They tell a nice story although based on a sample of less than 5,000 specimens with limited replication,” Davis says.Brazilian Amazon rainforest near the fieldwork site, state of Pará, July 2013. Photo by Filipe FrançaFrança defends the methodology, saying that the study compared a gradient of logging intensities before and after logging, rather than directly comparing logged and unlogged sites.Davis also points out that the Amazon study’s method for catching dung beetles – pitfall traps that beetles and other insects fall into and cannot escape – may have missed some species: “The authors are, by only using pitfalls, sampling a subsection of the dung beetle community.” He adds that traps that catch insects in flight tend to catch different species and in varying abundances.França counters, noting that “dung-baited pitfall traps are a standardized method for sampling dung beetles in ecological research elsewhere in the tropics, and is considered a most robust method.”Amazonian timber yard within the study area. Photo by Jos BarlowA matter of scaleForestry legislation in Brazil operates at the scale of 100 hectares (247 acres), which is also commonly used in studies assessing the impact of logging programs. However, França’s study shows that impacts on dung beetles are evident at much smaller scales, from 10 to 90 hectares. “Smaller spatial scales should be considered when monitoring the logging impacts on tropical biodiversity,” França states.Furthermore, França and his colleagues found that different effects of logging were evident at different scales; changes in beetle communities were best explained by logging intensity at the 10-hectare scale, but changes in dung removal rate were only detectable when considering logging intensity at the 90-hectare scale.“The ecological consequences from timber removal are highly dependent on the scale at which logging intensity is measured,” explains França. He admits that the cause of this pattern is still something of a mystery. “This is a good question for further research aimed at understanding whether biodiversity and ecosystem functioning respond similarly to human-induced forest disturbances at different spatial scales.”Coprophanaeus lancifer dung beetle species photographed in the Brazilian Amazon, 2012. Photo by Hannah M. GriffithsLand sparing or land sharing? Selective logging is an example of “land-sharing” timber extraction, where it is hoped that wildlife and the natural services they provide can be maintained alongside moderate levels of timber extraction. Instead, França’s study, and others that have found low thresholds for logging impacts in tropical forests, provide evidence in favor of “land-sparing” timber extraction strategies, which create a patchwork of highly logged sites and intact forest reserves.Several studies have found evidence for the unique importance of intact forests. Sparing unlogged forests avoids the rapid initial loss of species that occurs with selective logging and could help maintain higher levels of biodiversity, overall, by protecting vital ecosystem functions like decomposition and seed dispersal.“The shape of the relationships between logging intensity and dung beetle responses provide support for land-sparing logging as the most promising strategy for maximizing the conservation value of logging operations,” says França.Evidence from two decades of research increasingly suggests that selective logging may not be effective in preserving species biodiversity or the services that intact ecosystems provide. Forestry management, urge the researchers, should respond to the wealth of new evidence and consider the use of land-sparing models rather than selectively logging entire forests.Citation:França, F. M., Frazão, F. S., Korasaki, V., Louzada, J., & Barlow, J. (2017). Identifying thresholds of logging intensity on dung beetle communities to improve the sustainable management of Amazonian tropical forests. Biological Conservation, 216, 115-122.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.Timber logs1_by FFrança: Amazonian logs gathered in a timber yard. New research shows that even low-levels of timber extraction, as carried out using selective logging, can have a detrimental effect on biodiversity. Photo by Filipe Françacenter_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

Report finds projects in DRC ‘REDD+ laboratory’ fall short of development, conservation goals

first_imgAgriculture, Agroforestry, Avoided Deforestation, Biodiversity, Carbon Conservation, Carbon Credits, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Emissions, Carbon Finance, Carbon Market, carbon markets, Carbon Offsets, Carbon Sequestration, Carbon Trading, Certification, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Change Politics, Community Development, Community Forestry, Community Forests, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Ecosystem Services Payments, Environment, Forest Carbon, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Global Warming, Global Warming Mitigation, Governance, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Reform, Land Rights, Land Speculation, Logging, NGOs, Parks, Payments For Ecosystem Services, Peatlands, Protected Areas, Rainforest Agriculture, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Ecological Services, Rainforest Logging, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Redd, Redd And Biodiversity, Redd And Communities, Saving Rainforests, Sustainability, Tropical Forests, Video The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) released a new report that found that 20 REDD+ projects in a province in DRC aren’t set to address forest conservation and economic development — the primary goals of the strategy.The Paris Agreement explicitly mentions the role of REDD+ projects, which channel funds from wealthy countries to heavily forested ones, in keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius this century.RRI is asking REDD+ donors to pause funding of projects in DRC until coordinators develop a more participatory approach that includes communities and indigenous groups. The camera follows the men through the forest as they arrive at the splintered stump of what looks to have been a massive tree.“For me, the forest is a legacy of our ancestors,” says one of the unnamed men. “We have no gold or diamonds. Our heritage is the forest. We do not like it when people come to destroy it.”He and his companions are from the community of Bayeria, in the province of Mai-Ndombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The short film “Sanctuary” captures their struggle to hold on to the forest that they see as vital to their existence and survival. A few years ago, a logging company came in. With the alleged backing of the police and the military, crews began clearing the forest. Meanwhile, the people from Bayeria who protested what they characterized as an intrusion say they were harassed, beaten and even raped by policemen and security guards for the company.More recently, communities in Mai-Ndombe have had to wrangle with a new challenge to their lives and livelihoods, they say. Paradoxically, it’s come in the shape of a set of projects aimed at both ensuring their economic development and protecting the forest.The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition that advocates for the forest and land rights of communities and indigenous peoples, released a new report on March 14. In it, the group claims that a set of conservation and development projects known collectively as REDD+ are sidelining local communities in Mai-Ndombe and infringing on their rights to control what happens to their forest homes.“Instead of empowering Indigenous Peoples, communities, and women in the forest communities, the REDD+ programs in Mai-Ndombe are not adequately respecting the rights of local peoples and are failing to protect forests,” said Andy White, the RRI coordinator, in a statement.Until the government formally recognizes the land rights of communities, RRI is imploring donor countries to put off REDD+ project funding to the country “or to cancel it altogether if DRC does not correct course,” White added.But officials in DRC have recently signaled they are trying to end a longstanding moratorium on the issuance of new timber concessions in the country — a step that conservation groups argue will further endanger the success of REDD+. On March 7, a group of conservation and human rights organizations issued a letter calling on donors to stop funding REDD+ pending a pledge from DRC to keep the moratorium in place until it cleans up the corruption that plagues land-use deals in the country.A map showing the communities in Mai-Ndombe province. Image courtesy of RRI.“If the country’s forests are suddenly opened up to much larger-scale logging, then it really does pose a lot of questions about whether REDD+ is going to be viable in DRC,” said Simon Counsell, executive director of the Rainforest Foundation UK, in an interview. Rainforest Foundation UK was one of nearly 60 signatories to the letter.Short for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, REDD+ is a strategy through which mostly wealthy countries channel funding to heavily forested countries like DRC in the name of keeping forests standing — and thereby locking away the carbon dioxide they store. At the same time, it also aims to encourage economic development for people living in these countries. Mai-Ndombe has become a laboratory for REDD+ projects, thanks to the high levels of forest the province contains and its proximity to Kinshasa, DRC’s capital and largest city.REDD+ is seen as a way to compensate those countries, giving them an alternative source of funding for economic development to turning their forests over to industrial agriculture or timber plantations. The global public benefit is that the trees remain standing and continue siphoning climate-warming carbon from the air. Many global organizations, from the United Nations to the development agencies of countries like Norway, have backed the push, and it figures prominently in the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius through the end of this century.A second report finds that many forested countries don’t have a legal system that will promote those goals. RRI sees the clear establishment of communities’ rights to the forest, as well as to the carbon contained in its constituent trees, as a critical precursor to the success of REDD+ projects.A man stands in his field in DRC. Photo by John C. Cannon.Land rightsDRC has embraced REDD+ as a national strategy for forest conservation, and after several years of preparing for projects, proponents of the strategy in DRC are ready to move into the implementation phase of REDD+ projects. But the author of the RRI report, Marine Gauthier, said there was still work to do to ensure that “REDD+ actually answers to its first goals, which are halting deforestation and fighting poverty.”“REDD+ right now is conceived in the old-fashioned development approach of development aid, and this transition toward a bottom-up approach is needed,” she said. “The decisions are made in Kinshasa or elsewhere by people who have actually never been to Mai-Ndombe and have never spoken with the people there.”As a result, people from Mai-Ndombe living closest to the forest, who often depend on it for their survival, often aren’t aware that REDD+ exists.“They don’t even know what it is,” Gauthier said. “They don’t even know the risks associated, or the potential benefits they could get from REDD+.”The report suggests that REDD+ projects could incorporate participatory mapping, a strategy to integrate the perspectives of all of the people who depend on the forest, including women and indigenous peoples, as a way to reduce conflict and more concretely establish community claims to the land.Mai-Ndombe province has become a laboratory for REDD+, with 20 projects covering nearly 100,000 square kilometers (38,610 square miles) of forest. Image courtesy of RRI.“Women’s rights to land are important because women are the providers for their households,” said Chouchouna Losale, vice coordinator and program officer for the Coalition of Women for the Environment and Sustainable Development, an NGO in DRC. “The forest is important for women in these communities because it’s their supermarket, their pharmacy, their store, their bank, and their spiritual site.“Recognizing their rights to land thus encourages the development of women’s rights more broadly,” Losale added.Indigenous pygmy groups also struggle to have their perspectives included, according to the report. About 73,000 live in the province, so they’re a small minority among a total provincial population of between 1.5 million and 1.8 million people. Despite international and national protections in DRC, discrimination often confines them to the sidelines of discussions about land use.But right now, REDD+ projects aren’t oriented toward these possibilities, in part because they represent a shift in the way development projects are traditionally run.“Using participatory approaches, working with communities, working with indigenous peoples actually takes time,” Gauthier said. “I don’t think there’s a culture of such community-based approaches in international organizations and in the DRC government right now.”Instead, approaches may sidestep the participation of forest-dependent communities altogether. Gauthier looked at 20 different projects in Mai-Ndombe province. They’re funded by groups like the World Bank and WWF, and they include plans for activities that range from planting cassava and acacia trees on degraded savannas, to reduced-impact logging. Collectively, they cover 98,000 square kilometers (37,840 square miles) of forest. In most of these cases, RRI reports that the projects aren’t likely to address the root causes behind deforestation and that they could harm local communities in the process.The report found that REDD+ projects don’t always take the perspectives of marginalized groups such as women and indigenous peoples into account. Photo by John C. Cannon.Does REDD+ cause conflict?Alain Karsenty, an agricultural economist at the agricultural research organization CIRAD in Montpellier, France, said he didn’t agree with the characterization that REDD+ projects marginalize communities. Karsenty, who was not involved in the research or writing the report, said the organizations supporting these projects would not risk the stain of bad publicity that would no doubt follow allegations of community conflict.If a project does cause conflict, “Greenpeace [or other NGOs] are just going to name and shame the project, and people are going to lose their certification,” Karsenty said. “If they lose that certification, they lose opportunities to trade and to sell their carbon credits.”But to date, the only project in DRC that’s been certified to sell carbon credits on the voluntary market is a conservation concession controlled by a private Canadian company called WWC, and Gauthier unearthed claims of discontent within local communities about the concession. They said that, as recently as July 2017, a community member was arrested for “illegal logging” within the concession boundaries. But according to the report, communities weren’t consulted when the concession was formed in 2011, and there’s little community understanding of the specifications of the concession.Similarly, Gauthier found that a related system, created by the conservation NGO WWF to compensate communities for efforts such as restoring the savanna, isn’t well understood by community members. Only one of the four payment contracts “seems to work properly,” she wrote.The report points out that more participatory approaches through the use of community forest concessions could be a more effective way to get communities involved in REDD+. DRC’s Forest Code gives communities the chance to secure legal rights to a block of forest as large as 500 square kilometers (193 square miles). Right now, however, the governor of Mai-Ndombe has only approved concessions of 3 square kilometers (1.2 square miles) for each of 13 communities that have requested them, even though they requested a total of more than 650 square kilometers (250 square miles).The WWC conservation concession is the only REDD+ project certified to sell carbon credits on the voluntary market in DRC. Image courtesy of RRI.Stewards of the forestTo Gauthier’s mind, REDD+ coordinators could be using that legal basis as a way to secure land rights.“They’re overlooking the opportunity of having community concessions being involved in REDD+,” she said, “giving communities the opportunity to be REDD+ holders themselves and to be the first to benefit from REDD+ money.”Karsenty agreed that conservation concessions like the one run by WWC seemed to run counter to the aims of REDD+ in that they required the removal of people’s rights to the forests. What’s more, they could spur what economists call “leakage” — in this case, perhaps shifting deforestation from the cordoned-off area to another area of forest.“I would prefer to incentivize farmers based on the recognition of their land rights,” he said. Karsenty said he is involved with payment-for-ecosystem-services, or PES, projects in Burkina Faso, and securing land rights was critical to the investment in getting farmers to change their behaviors, for example, to increase the productivity of their fields.To Gauthier, it’s about empowerment of the local people — what she called “the key to a successful process.” And that means two-way communication between REDD+ project coordinators and communities, whom research continues to show can be superlative stewards of forest ecosystems if given the chance.Research shows that local communities and indigenous groups can be among the best stewards of forests. Photo by Kelby Wood © If Not Us Then Who?“It’s a matter of listening to them,” she said. “Communities, especially indigenous peoples, have developed traditional forest management systems for thousands of years, and if, instead of imposing solutions on them, you actually go and listen to their solution, this could be a good way of protecting the forests.”At this point in DRC, “all is not lost,” Andy White of RRI said in the statement. In the view of RRI and others, REDD+ still offers the potential to protect forests. But the approach needs to change if REDD+ is going to avoid the problems that other forms of land development have caused in Mai-Ndombe.“It is not too late,” White said. “Recognizing community land rights and engaging local communities would ensure that this grand experiment underway in the world’s remote rainforests can succeed, unlocking all of the benefits that come with strong forests and forest protectors.”Banner image of farmers in DRC by Kelby Wood © If Not Us Then Who?Correction (Mar. 16, 2018): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that RRI includes governmental organizations. We regret the error.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannonFEEDBACK: 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 John Cannoncenter_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

Frogs may be ‘fighting back’ against deadly pandemic

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 Morgan Erickson-Davis Amphibians, Animals, Chytridiomycosis, Environment, Extinction, Featured, Frogs, Fungi, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Herps, Mass Extinction, Research, Trade, Wildlife, Wildlife Trade Chytridiomycosis is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a type of chytrid fungus.Scientists believe Bd originated in Africa, and has spread around the world where it has contributed to the declines and extinctions of at least 200 amphibian species globally.But a new study finds populations of several Panamanian frog species exposed to Bd appear to have gained resistance to the pathogen. Previous research indicates U.S. frogs may also have developed resistance after exposure.The authors of the study say their findings offer hope for the survival of amphibians around the world. But they caution that detecting the remnant populations that survive infection and helping them persist and proliferate will require extensive monitoring efforts. A deadly disease that has ripped through frog populations around the world, contributing to huge declines in many species and the outright extinction of several others, has shown little sign of slowing its onslaught since scientists first detected it in the 1990s. But recent research indicates some frogs are showing increased resistance to the pathogen, giving biologists and conservationists hope that infected populations may be able to recover.Chytridiomycosis is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a species from a group of fungi called chytrids. Members of this group are usually found on underwater decaying plant or animal matter, but Bd is different – it feeds on the skin of living amphibians, primarily frogs. Infection interferes with a frog’s ability to take in water and air through its skin, often leading to death.Scientists believe Bd originated in Africa and first spread around the world due to the trade in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis), which are commonly used as laboratory research animals. American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus), which show low susceptibility to the disease and have become an invasive species in many parts of the world, have also been implicated as carriers. In addition, scientists detected Bd on bird feathers, opening up another wide route of transmission. Today, Bd is found on every continent where amphibians live.The African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) is an aquatic frog species widely used in research. Photo by H. Krisp via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY SA 3.0)“This pathogen infects many different amphibian species — sometimes without causing disease — and can survive in the environment outside of its host, so it’s not going away anytime soon,” said Allison Byrne, a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley who is studying chytridiomycosis.Infection can be devastating to frog populations, killing some off completely. In Australia alone, scientists believe the fungus was directly responsible for the extinction of four species. Worldwide, Bd has been implicated in the decline or extinction of at least 200 amphibian species, and some biologists peg it as the driving force behind the largest disease-caused loss of biodiversity ever recorded.But there may be hope for frogs faced with Bd. A new study released yesterday in the journal Science finds populations of several frog species in Panama appear to be gaining resistance to the pathogen. The study was conducted by scientists at research institutions in the U.S. and Panama.“In this study, we made the exciting discovery that a handful of amphibian species – some of which were thought to have been completely wiped out – are persisting, and may even be recovering, after lethal disease outbreaks,” study lead author Jamie Voyles, a disease ecologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, said in a statement. “We wanted to understand how it was happening. Was it a change in the pathogen, the frogs, or both?”Voyles, Byrne and their colleagues looked at pathogen and frog host samples collected in Panama before, during and after infection by Bd. They found that while the fungus is still as deadly as it was before the outbreak, frogs now appear to be more likely to survive after infection.“The evidence suggests that the pathogen has not changed. It’s possible that the hosts have evolved better defenses over a relatively short period of time” she said. “We found that nearly a decade after the outbreak, the fungal pathogen is still equally deadly, but the frogs in Panama are surviving and may have better defenses against it. This suggests that some of Panama’s frogs may be fighting back.”Panama’s Atelopus varius has been affected by the Bd fungus, and is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. But researchers have detected resistance to the fungus in wild A. varius frogs that survived exposure. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, SCBIAtelopus varius was given its “varius” moniker because the species exhibits a wide range of colors and patterns. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, SCBIAtelopus varius has several common names, including variable harlequin frog, clown frog, golden frog, painted frog and Veragoa stubfoot toad. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, SCBIChytridiomycosis is the main driver of Atelopus varius decline. But the species is also threatened by habitat loss from deforestation and predation by invasive trout. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, SCBIAmphibian skin secretions are full of antimicrobial substances that help ward off disease. When Voyles and her team looked at the skin secretions of wild frogs that survived a Bd epidemic, they found that they slowed the growth of the fungus much more effectively than secretions from captive frogs that had not yet encountered the pathogen. They say this indicates frogs may gain resistance only after being exposed to Bd.This, say conservationists, may have important implications for gauging the impacts of Bd, as well as relocation and reintroduction programs for species in affected areas. One of these is the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project run by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), which collected healthy frogs before the outbreak in the hopes of releasing them back into the wild.“We learned to breed them in captivity and are now releasing Atelopus varius in areas where the epidemic has passed, so it is extremely important for us to realize that the defenses of these frogs may be weaker than the defenses of frogs that survived the epidemic in the wild,” said Roberto Ibáñez, study coauthor, STRI staff scientist and in-country director of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. “Captive breeding programs must consider breeding and releasing frogs with stronger defenses, and testing their skin secretions against the fungus is one useful tool to see which frogs are more resistant.”STRI staff scientist and in-country director of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project Roberto Ibañez collects frogs for captive breeding. Photo by Sean Mattson, STRIInside the Panama Amphibian Conservation and Rescue Center in Gamboa, Panama, program manager, Jorge Guerrel, feeds frogs that have been taken into captivity to protect them from the chytrid fungal disease sweeping the country. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, SCBIOn Jan. 17, 2018, Smithsonian researchers released approximately 500 frogs at First Quantum Minerals’s concession site in Panama’s Colon province as a first step toward full-scale reintroduction of this species. This individual is carrying a radio transmitter so that it can be tracked by researchers after the release. Photo by Brian Gratwicke, SCBIThis study isn’t the first to detect the emergence of Bd resistance in frogs. In 2016, scientists discovered that a population of endangered Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frogs in the U.S. appeared to have developed resistance to Bd after infection by the fungus (together with an influx of nonnative trout) nearly wiped them out.The authors of the Panama study say their findings offer hope for the survival of amphibians around the world. But they caution that even if this resistance trend holds for most species, detecting the remnants that survive infection and helping them persist and proliferate will require extensive monitoring efforts.“Clarifying how disease outbreaks subside will help us predict, and respond to, other emerging pathogens in plants, wildlife – and in humans,” Voyles said. “These are increasingly important goals in a time when rapid globalization has increased the rate of introduction of pathogens to new host populations.” Citation:Voyles, J., Woodhams, D.C., Saenz, V et al. 2018. Shifts in disease dynamics in a tropical amphibian assemblage are not due to pathogen attenuation. Science. 10.1126/science.aao4806Banner image of Atelopus varius by Brian GratwickeFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more