Debate Over ‘Too Big to Fail’ Continues Into the New Year

first_img Tagged with: Banks Dodd-Frank Too Big to Fail  Print This Post Debate Over ‘Too Big to Fail’ Continues Into the New Year Banks Dodd-Frank Too Big to Fail 2016-01-18 Brian Honea The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago January 18, 2016 1,150 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Debate Over ‘Too Big to Fail’ Continues Into the New Year Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agocenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News The question as to whether “too big to fail” no longer exists or is being codified by the government continued to be a hot button topic as 2015 wound down, and the debate isn’t slowing as 2016 begins.The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 contained a provision limited the Fed’s ability to engage in emergency lending and lending to programs with “broad based” eligibility, and was billed as the end of “too big to fail.”While Dodd-Frank prohibits the Fed from lending to insolvent entities, however, the Fed issued a final rule in November 2015 that expanded the definition of insolvency to include borrowers who fail to pay undisputed debts as they become due 90 days before borrowing—or borrowers who are determined to be insolvent by the Fed or lending Reserve Bank.Some in the industry were skeptical that the Fed’s final rule issued in November would be effective at ending emergency bailouts of large financial institutions. Among the skeptics was Ed Delgado, President and CEO of the Five Star Institute, who stated, “While the clarification of ‘broad-based lending’ is designed to limit the types of bailouts the industry realized in 2008, at the same time, the Fed expanded the definition of ‘insolvency’ ostensibly, given the circumstance, permitting lending to entities that may actually be insolvent, so I question how much of an impact this new rule will really have?”Too big to fail has been heavily debated in the House Financial Services Committee, most recently in early December when the Committee held a hearing to discuss whether or not the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) is codifying too big to fail by designating certain financial institutions as “systemically important.”  The FSOC’s criteria for such a designation has also been greatly contested. The FSOC is an agency created by Dodd-Frank that consists mostly of the heads of government regulatory agencies.House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling stated in late November that “Designation (of an institution as systemically important) anoints institutions as too big to fail, meaning today’s SIFI designations are tomorrow’s taxpayer-funded bailouts.”The topic of whether or not too big to fail still exists will be at the forefront once again on Friday, January 22, when the Hoover Institution and the Bipartisan Policy Center will host an event in Washington, D.C., titled “Ending Too Big to Fail: Reform and Implementation.” The event features remarks by Hoover Institution Senior Fellow John Taylor and the University of Rochester’s President Emeritus Thomas Jackson, and will include a panel of experts discussion the effectiveness of new capital requirements toward preventing short-term liquidity shortage, what changes are necessary to the Bankruptcy Code to limit financial distress, and whether or not proposals by the FDIC ensure that a resolution is certain.The event is a follow-up to the Bipartisan Center’s white paper, Too Big to Fail: The Path to a Solution and coincides with the release of the Hoover Institute’s book, Making Failure Feasible: How Bankruptcy Reform Can End Too Big to Fail.In September 2015, a study by Norbert J. Michel, Research Fellow in Financial Regulations, the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity at the Heritage Foundation, concluded that Dodd-Frank still allows the Fed to engage in the type of emergency lending that the industry saw back in 2008 despite its claims that the controversial law had ended too big to fail.Editor’s note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of DS News and DSNews.com. Previous: Will Royal Bank of Scotland be the Next to Settle RMBS Fraud Claims? Next: Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Portfolio Experiences Rare Contraction The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea Related Articles Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily last_img read more

Lawmakers outraged at images of National Guard sent from Capitol to parking garages

first_imgStefani Reynolds/Getty ImagesBy LUKE BARR, ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed outrage Friday at images of National Guard members, sent from around the country to secure the Capitol, resting and sleeping in nearby parking garages.“I have told those who run the security at the Capitol that it can never happen again,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Friday. “I have pledged to every National Guard member it will not happen again. The minute I heard about this outrage last night we made sure it was fixed immediately. Every member of the Guard was found proper accommodations inside and as of this morning everyone was accounted for and taken care of this. This morning I went over to the CVC (Capitol Visitors Center) and I spoke to a number of Guardsmen personally to make sure they were okay.”Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed Schumer’s sentiment.“I don’t think a single senator finds that acceptable,” McConnell said. “I’m glad the situation was resolved and I hope we learn exactly what happened.”The No. 3 Senate Republican John Thune said he had reached out to members of the South Dakota National Guard.“It breaks your heart. I mean these are people who are here serving the country, protecting us, protecting our freedom and our democracy and there’s absolutely no excuse for that and I’m glad it got corrected and corrected quickly. That was just flat wrong.” Thune said.According to Politico, on Thursday night thousands of National Guard members were forced to vacate the Capitol where they had been staying to provide inauguration security.“Yesterday dozens of senators and congressmen walked down our lines taking photos, shaking our hands and thanking us for our service. Within 24 hours, they had no further use for us and banished us to the corner of a parking garage. We feel incredibly betrayed,” Politico quoted one Guard member as saying, complaining about the conditions.Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois and a retired combat veteran who lost both legs in Iraq, called the situation “unreal” and offered her office for the Guard members to use. Members of both parties did the same, including New York Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.“My office is free this week to any service members who’d like to use it for a break or take nap on the couch. We’ll stock up on snacks for you all too,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn, a Republican from North Carolina, posted video of himself delivering pizzas to Guard members in the parking structure.“No soldier will ever, ever sleep on a garage floor in the US Capitol while I work in Congress,” he tweeted.As of Friday morning, it was still unclear who exactly told the National Guard members to move out of the Capitol hallways and into the parking garages.The Capitol Police acting chief in a statement on Friday denied her force asked the National Guard to move .“I want to assure everyone that, with the exception of specific times on Inauguration Day itself while the swearing-in ceremonies were underway, the United States Capitol Police did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities. And on Inauguration Day, the Guard was notified and encouraged to reoccupy the spaces in the Capitol and CVC at 2 p.m,” Acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman said.New Hampshire GOP Governor Chris Sununu, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered their state’s guard back home.“I’ve ordered the immediate return of all New Hampshire National Guard from Washington DC. They did an outstanding job serving our nation’s capital in a time of strife and should be graciously praised, not subject to substandard conditions,” he wrote on Twitter.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Stimulus bill headed for passage minus pandemic funds

first_imgFeb 13, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – With money for pandemic influenza preparedness stripped from a huge economic stimulus bill that appears headed for final congressional approval, public health advocates say they have to look to the regular budgeting process for the next chance to get some pandemic funding.The House of Representatives had included $900 million in pandemic preparedness funds in its version of the massive stimulus package, but it appeared that all but $50 million was removed by the conference committee that ironed out differences between the House and Senate versions, said Richard Hamburg, government relations director for the nonpartisan, nonprofit group Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).The House passed the $787 billion compromise bill this afternoon by a vote of 246-183, with no Republican support, the New York Times reported. The story said the Senate was expected to approve the measure this evening.The $50 million left in the bill, listed as a Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund, is for improving information technology security at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Hamburg said. The sums removed included $420 million for pandemic flu and $430 million for biomedical advanced research and development, he reported.Now it’s back to the regular budget process for those seeking pandemic and other public health preparedness funds, leaders of public health groups say.”Hopefully in the president’s budget for 2010 there will again be funding and decisions about funding for preparedness,” said Robert (Bobby) Pestronk, executive director of the National Association of County and City Health Officials. The Obama administration is expected to propose its 2010 budget soon.Nothing left in pipelineHamburg said there is no more pandemic preparedness money in the pipeline for state and local public health. “The $600 million that was made available in December 2005, in the fiscal year 2006 emergency supplemental bill, the last of those dollars went out the door this past August,” he said.In addition to the cutoff of pandemic flu funding, public health agencies have seen their “all hazards” preparedness funding drop about 25% since 2005, Hamburg said.TFAH and its partners are advocating for another $350 million specifically for pandemic readiness and additional money for other public health emergencies, he said.Fiscal year 2009 budget legislation is still awaiting action, and it could include some pandemic money, but it would all be for federal activities, according to Hamburg.He said President Bush’s proposed 2009 budget included $507 million in one-time spending for pandemic vaccines and countermeasures, plus $312 million for annual recurring pandemic activities at HHS, but no funds for state and local activities. Hamburg expects that Congress may take up the labor and HHS funding bill, which includes that money, later this month.Some public health money survivedAlthough pandemic money was stripped from the stimulus package, still included is about $1 billion to support various other state and local public health activities, according to Pestronk.He said it appears that the sum includes $300 million for community vaccination programs and $50 million for healthcare-associated infections. Funds are also targeted for “evidence-based programs to address chronic disease and to support current and new workforce development for public health.” The vaccination funds are part of the Section 317 program, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization program mainly for uninsured and underinsured children, he said.”Overall it looks like there will be over $1 billion available,” Pestronk said. “I think that while the amounts initially talked about in the Senate committee and in the full House were greater, this is still a success for the public health community.”Story of the deleted $900 millionHamburg said the $900 million that was dropped from the stimulus package essentially represented the final installment of the $7.1 billion that President Bush proposed for pandemic preparedness back in 2005.In his proposed 2008 budget, Bush asked for a one-time appropriation of $870 million for vaccines, antivirals, and diagnostics, Hamburg explained. But that was cut from the final budget legislation. Then last August, Bush made a supplemental budget request that included the $870 million, which was for different purposes than the $507 million that was part of the 2009 budget proposal, he said.”So when the stimulus bill came up, our supporters in Congress saw an opportunity to take care of the $870 million request, with the assumption that the $507 million would be taken care of in the regular appropriations process,” Hamburg said.A Senate committee had approved the inclusion of $870 million in the stimulus bill, but that was removed before the full Senate voted on it. The House supported $900 million, but that was deleted by the House-Senate conference committee.Hamburg said a number of lawmakers felt that pandemic funding should be handled in the regular appropriations process, not in an economic stimulus measure.”Now we’ll need to take a look at opportunities starting with the fiscal year 2010 funding cycle and the [proposed] budget we’ll see in the next month or so,” he said.Dr. Paul Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said yesterday, “We are extremely concerned about the diminishing funding for state and local preparedness as well as the removal of all funding for pandemic flu, and the decrease in funding for hospital preparedness. Along with the state budget cuts, this is a matter of losing the infrastructure created over the past several years.”Looking ahead, he said, “We will pursue everything we possibly can, but there are no guarantees. I wouldn’t’ say there are any promising leads we’re following right now. It seems that Congress is turning a blind eye to state and local health preparedness.”last_img read more

Bucksport football players take home major honors at LTC banquet

first_imgBUCKSPORT — Bucksport football won big at the Little Ten Conference awards ceremony Sunday night with two players receiving major honors following the team’s impressive 2018 season.Senior Carter Tolmasoff was named Player of the Year in the conference following his prolific season on the ground. Tolmasoff finished with 1,661 rushing yards and 25 rushing touchdowns for Bucksport, which went 8-2 on the year and finished conference runner-up to Foxcroft.Tolmasoff’s win marked the second straight year the award has gone to a Bucksport player. Former quarterback Chase Carmichael was a co-recipient of the 2017 award along with Foxcroft’s Nick Clawson.Gross missed the first few games of the season as he took time to recover from an injury, but the junior was dominant on Bucksport’s offensive and defensive lines upon his return. His play on the offensive side of the ball fortified a line that was already one of the league’s best and played a big role in pacing the Golden Bucks to an average of 48 points per game.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textElsewhere, Ellsworth/Sumner senior Javon Williams received the David Silvernail Award, a $2,000 scholarship that goes to an athlete who maintains a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrates strong leadership qualities and community involvement. Williams had 12 rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown this year.last_img read more

Glimmer of hope as Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino shows signs of recovery

first_imgActivism, Animal Rescue, Animals, Captive Breeding, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Activism, Mammals, Rhinos, Sumatran Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Rescues The worst appears to be over for Iman, Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino, after she suffered massive bleeding from a ruptured tumor in her uterus earlier this month.Veterinarians and rhino experts are hopeful but cautious about Iman’s recovery prospects, and continue to provide around-the-clock care.The rhino is Malaysia’s last hope for saving the nearly extinct species, which is thought to number as few as 30 individuals in the world. JAKARTA — Malaysia’s last remaining female Sumatran rhino appears to have overcome the worst of a serious health condition, less than two weeks after it was announced that her condition had deteriorated.Officials from the Sabah Wildlife Department reported on Dec. 17 that Iman had suffered a ruptured tumor in her uterus, causing massive bleeding. Since then, however, an intensive regimen of medical treatment and feeding has raised hopes about her prospects.“A week ago, I was sure she would die,” John Payne, head of the wildlife conservation group Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), which is involved in the treatment of Iman, said in a text message to Mongabay. “But somehow she did not.”Iman, one of only two remaining Sumatran rhinos (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) in Malaysia, was captured in 2014 for a breeding program aimed at saving the critically endangered species from extinction. Though Payne said he was “optimistic” about her recovery, he cautioned that she would still require intensive care.“[The] worst seems [to be] over, but we are still worried because there is still flow of blood from [her] uterus and she is eating much less than normal,” he said. “The worry is a combination of not eating enough, for more than a week now, and risk of sudden major bleeding.”Veterinarians and rhino keepers continue to coax the rhino, which currently lives in a paddock at the Wildlife Reserve in Tabin, near the coastal Lahad Datu district of Malaysia’s Sabah state, with her “favorite foods plus intravenous supplements to make up for blood loss,” Payne said.A team of veterinarians and rhino experts provides intensive care for Iman. Photo courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department.Payne said BORA’s team of vets, led by Zainal Zainuddin, was providing around-the-clock care for Iman. The group hopes that the rhino, which experts believe to be fertile, can recover and resume supplying fertile eggs for in vitro fertilization attempts.“If Iman dies soon, the opportunity will be lost forever, as we do not have the technology to successfully freeze and thaw rhino eggs,” he said.Experts believe that no more than 100 Sumatran rhinos, and perhaps as few as 30, are left on the planet, scattered in tiny populations across Sumatra, Borneo and maybe peninsular Malaysia.The critically endangered species was decimated by poaching and habitat loss in the past, but today observers say the small and fragmented nature of their populations is their biggest threat to their survival. This has led to the establishment of semi-wild sanctuaries in both Sabah and Sumatra in a last-ditch effort to bring together male and female rhinos, which are naturally solitary animals, for breeding purposes.Iman was named after a river near where she was discovered in Sabah’s Danum Valley. She and a male rhino called Kertam, or Tam, are kept at the Tabin Wildlife Reserve under the care of BORA.The news of Iman’s deteriorating health came less than six months after the death of Puntung, Malaysia’s only other female Sumatran rhino at the time. Puntung was euthanized on June 4 after suffering for three months from skin cancer.Hopes of starting an artificial rhino breeding program were dashed when scientists were unable to recover any eggs from Puntung’s ovaries. Meanwhile, repeated requests from Malaysia for frozen sperm from a larger captive-breeding program in Sumatra to inseminate eggs taken from Iman were ignored by the Indonesian government.Banner image: Iman, Malaysia’s last female Sumatran rhino, is under around-the-clock care after a tumor in her uterus ruptured, causing massive bleeding and a steep decline in health. Photo courtesy of Sabah Wildlife Department.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 Basten Gokkoncenter_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

‘Annihilation trawling’: Q&A with marine biologist Amanda Vincent

first_imgAnimals, Archive, Biodiversity, Conservation, Conservation And Poverty, Developing Countries, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Governance, Green, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Overfishing, Poverty, Wildlife For years marine biologists have been raising concerns about bottom trawling, a fishing technique that unintentionally scoops up non-targeted creatures as bycatch and disrupts marine habitat.While the technique is widely acknowledged to be destructive, seahorse expert Amanda Vincent is calling attention to a new problem: in Asia and elsewhere, bottom trawlers are no longer targeting particular species at all but going after any and all sea life for processing into chicken feed, fishmeal and other low-value products.In an interview with Mongabay, Vincent describes her observations in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu. Marine biologists have been raising concerns about bottom trawling for years. The fishing technique involves a boat dragging a weighted net along the seafloor, scooping up whatever marine life swims or sits in its way. In their pursuit of commercially valuable seafood, not only do bottom trawlers unintentionally kill or injure non-targeted creatures as bycatch, they can disrupt the marine habitat itself and kick up sediment plumes that smother nearby organisms.While the technique is widely acknowledged to be destructive, seahorse expert Amanda Vincent is calling attention to a new problem. She and her colleagues are finding that in parts of Asia and elsewhere, bottom trawlers are no longer targeting particular species at all. Instead, she says, it’s any and all sea life they’re after, for processing into chicken feed, fishmeal and other low-value products.She has coined an unsettling term for these catch-all fisheries: “annihilation trawling.”Vincent is currently on a year’s sabbatical from her post at the University of British Columbia, traveling around the world with her family and contributing to marine ecology along the way. Mongabay spoke with her by Skype this fall while she was in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, where this kind of trawling is common.Amanda Vincent at a fish landing site in Mandapam, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo by Tanvi Vaidyanathan/Project Seahorse.Interview with Amanda VincentMongabay: Tell us about what you’ve been seeing.Vincent: I think we’ve reached a really interesting situation in trawl fisheries where we’ve transitioned from having target species with quite a bit of bycatch, the normal scenario which has worried us all for a long time, to a situation which I call annihilation trawling, where there really is no target anymore.The trawl fisheries are going to sea for life, in whatever form they can find it. And that means that normal management protocols geared around species are suspended, don’t make any sense; they’re not guiding the fishery. So, what we’re finding in quite a number of parts of the world now is trawl fisheries that are literally just seeking carbon. In some places most of what comes up is being turned into fishmeal, fish oil, chicken feed or surimi, which is the white compressed stuff that creates fish cakes and fish balls and things like that.There’s nothing that regulates those fisheries at all in terms of species limits, transitions in size, or any form of biological reference points, which are normal in fisheries management but are geared around [targeted] species. There’s really no logical endpoint to those fisheries. Those fisheries go until they’ve emptied the ocean, I presume.In what parts of the world are you seeing this?Thailand is well known for having bottom-trawl fisheries that are without target. What’s interesting in Thailand is that it’s supported by fuel subsidies but also by labor subsidies. You’ve probably heard that in Thai fisheries there have been a lot of slavery issues, and so obviously the labor is free in that case. It’s not usually recognized as a form of subsidy but of course free labor would be just that. And then the product goes into agriculture feed, animal feed, or it goes into surimi. And so there you have a convergence of human rights issues, ecological devastation, and seafood supply concerns.In India, what we’re seeing now is extraordinary landings of undifferentiated marine life that is sold as chicken feed…for values as low as one cent, two cents U.S. per kilogram. Imagine capturing the bottom of the ocean and selling it off for one cent, two cent U.S. per kilogram! These boats are losing money persistently in many areas and continue to fish largely on indebtedness. Talking to people, this is becoming a fairly common practice around the world.The scale and impact is what we’re working on at the moment, to try to understand just how prevalent this is and just what damage it’s doing.Undifferentiated catch arrives ashore from a fleet of fishing boats in Mandapam, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.Are these fisheries legal or illegal?Well, it depends very much. Some of them are absolutely operating legally and many of them are violating one or more laws. In some cases the gear itself is violating laws. Trawling is banned within 3 to 5 kilometers (1.8 to 3.1 miles) of many Asian countries, but it persists nonetheless.In the case of India, where I am right now, there are limits, for example, on the size of boats. But some of the boats I’ve been seeing are massively in excess of the size limits, massively in excess of the horsepower limits. In Tamil Nadu, the state we’re working in, there’s actually a lot of disagreement among the leading state authorities as to whether bottom trawling is banned or not. And we’re trying to decipher the code to figure out which one of these leading authorities is correct. But certainly pair trawling is banned — that means when two boats trawl together with a net between them — and yet pair trawling persists here. They may [also] be violating seasonal closures, they may be violating gear limits, they may be violating area exclusions. But many of them are actually operating within the law and simply the law hasn’t dealt with the challenge of these bottom trawls running amuck.I’m working here with one of my Ph.D. students [Tanvi Vaidyanathan], who is Indian herself, and she’s been surveying the ports of India for the last couple of years, doing a phenomenal job: 850 interviews to date. When I first came out with her she was concerned as to how much our desire to see an end to bottom trawling here, which is indeed our desire, would somehow bring us into conflict with the special interest groups or government authorities here. And what’s been extraordinary to me is that before we could even complete an introductory conversation, every single person we’ve met here has insisted that bottom trawling has to end. We’ve met with some really significant senior figures in the state government on the civil service end, and representatives of fisherfolk associations. We’ve met with scientists, we’ve met with technical people, and there’s a deep and growing awareness that bottom trawling has to end.The biggest challenge seems to be to develop the political will to actually force an implementation of existing laws, let alone move forward with further closures.PhD student Tanvi Vaidyanathan aboard a trawl boat in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India. Most trawlers in the area, including this one, are over the legal length and have engines over the legal power. The vessel did not target a particular species when it went fishing, and fishers are picking through the catch to find marketable sea life. What’s left will be sold en masse, commonly for chicken feed. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.If these countries are having such a hard time even agreeing on what their legal code says, let alone enforcing basic fisheries legislation, how can they grapple with something like this?The difficulty in enforcement is not for technical reasons. It’s strictly for political will. And so frankly you’re part of that solution. Generating the political will has to be our focus. I’ve never had any trouble explaining to anybody why we consider it unreasonable to scrape the bottom of the ocean, dump it into an undifferentiated mass, and sell it for two cents U.S. per kilogram as chicken feed. Somehow that doesn’t seem to challenge most people’s understanding.Obviously, what we should be doing is stopping bottom trawling, but beyond that the best way to manage these fisheries is going to be very much spatial closures. So, protected areas and restrictions like that, and perhaps to some extent seasonal closures. But the spatial closures are going to have to come into play pretty heavily until we can get these trawl fisheries under constraint.What’s the perspective of the fishers you talk with?Well, it depends which fishers we’re talking to. If you’re talking to trawl boat owners, they obviously have a vested interest in the fishery continuing. If you’re talking to the people in the region using selective gear or using targeted gear, [or] using passive gear like gill nets, or hook and line, or traps and pots, they obviously see trawl fishing as a major challenge to their way of life. So, fishers come in many shapes and sizes.What you’ll often hear if you talk about ending bottom trawling is, ‘Well, a lot of people are employed in these fisheries.’ And that is, of course, correct. But many, many, many more are and could be employed in passive gear fisheries or in conventional gear fisheries. What we’re hearing from a significant number of people is [that they’re observing] declines in catches. Even allowing for the fact that they’ve expanded their willingness to extract from a couple of targeted species to now a wide array of fish and invertebrates.And you’re hearing that from the bottom trawlers themselves?Oh yeah.Women sell fish in Karaikal, Tamil Nadu, India. Women are commonly charged with sorting and selling the catch, particularly the low-value species. Trawlers don’t target any particular species and their catch includes many forms of marine life. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.How did you discover that this is happening?I’m a professor at the University of British Columbia and also have a number of international roles, primarily with the IUCN and CITES. And I am particularly an expert in seahorses and their relatives. I was the first person to work on seahorses underwater and the first person to reveal the huge trade in seahorses. In my work to try to ensure a future for seahorses I involved myself in everything from marine protected areas to fisheries management to global trade policy and so on. And we’ve been for a long time trying to find ways to restrict the [seahorse] trade to sustainable levels.But it’s become very apparent to us, frankly, that you can restrict trade all you like, but as long as these nonselective gears are operating with impunity, then those animals are still being extracted and whether they’re traded or not is almost incidental on some levels. So that’s then driven us to begin to pay a lot of attention to trawl fisheries and how they’re operating, and revealed that the seahorses are among the many, many things at the bottom of the net that are being caught heedlessly.Gradually over time we’ve realized, hang on, it’s most species that are being caught heedlessly, it isn’t that the seahorses are unusual. It’s that that’s the way that trawl fisheries are operating these days.What was your reaction when you first saw a load of this stuff on the docks?It was extraordinary. To give you an example, we were in [the city of] Tuticorin last week. Tuticorin has 240 bottom trawlers landing each night at around 9 or 10 p.m. And I went to visit this harbor. An area of about 200 yards by 100 yards was literally carpeted with increasing piles of this dismissive catch. And small trucks [were] drawing up to it, men shoveling it, and I mean shoveling it, at a fast rate into these little trucks. The truck [were] driving away, and more loads coming off the fishing boats, and more little trucks coming up in an endless convoy of little yellow trucks and men with shovels. Just heaving the bottom of the ocean into these trucks for chicken feed. It was stunning. And accompanying all this on the side [were] little piles of sorted catch being sold off in various small auctions.[What struck me] was the complete apparent disconnect between the fact that this was life and food security and the juveniles of commercially important species, quite apart from threatened species, that were just being heaved off to feed chickens. So, I was both appalled and enthralled.A trawler, returning from a day-long fishing trip for whatever marine life it could catch, offloads the portion that can be sold by species in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.Undifferentiated catch arrives from the trawl boats in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India. Workers shovel it onto trucks and take it away, often to be processed into chicken feed. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.Part of the offloading area for undifferentiated catches in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.Has anybody been down to see what the seafloor looks like where these trawls have been operating?No, I don’t think so. But what we’re hearing is of course of habitat transitions and change. It depends which part of the world we’re talking about, but some [trawl boats] go out for a day and some go out for up to 10-, 20-day trips. And the sorting that happens at sea includes the discard of a lot of habitat-forming organisms: sponges, and seagrass, and corals, and so on.Is anybody else keeping an eye on this?Well, I think there’s a lot of people who have a partial understanding of this. There’s certainly been some considerable reports emerging about the increasing direction of trawl extraction to fishmeal, fish oil, agriculture feed, animal feed and surimi. But I don’t think that we’ve been hearing any sort of clarity as to just how dangerous this is, just how limitless this is.I’ve read some FAO [U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization] reports and talked to FAO colleagues about excellent analyses showing an increase in the use of trawl catches for fishmeal, fish oil, et cetera. But they seem to think in large measure this is a good thing because you’re getting less waste and much more efficient — I hate that word — use of the world’s ocean resources. And to try to discuss with them exactly where this is heading is extraordinarily difficult. It seems to me obvious that this is heading us towards oblivion, eventually.I am absolutely not against fisheries; God knows we need fisheries. But it’s got to be done in a rational way that sets us up for a long-term future. And wholesale extraction for chicken feed just ain’t the way to go. Especially with damaging the habitats as you do it.We’re hearing [a similar story] from our colleagues. But nobody I have talked to and nothing I have read has actually brought it into this perspective: this is crazy that we aren’t even targeting anything anymore. And so every time we talk to people about it they say, “Oh yeah, I’ve seen that here,” or “Oh yeah, I’ve seen that there.” But this hasn’t been brought together into compilation. And that’s where I think we need to go with it, to start to document the global dimension of this.A mixed catch at a landing site in Karaikal, Tamil Nadu, India, where trawlers target any and all marine life. It will probably be sold for chicken feed. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.Banner image: Undifferentiated catch at a landing site in Karaikal, Tamil Nadu, India. Photo by Amanda Vincent/Project Seahorse.Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. 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 Rebecca Kesslerlast_img read more

Under the sea: Life is the bubbles in newly described deep-reef zone

first_imgBiodiversity, Deep Sea, Environment, Fish, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, New Discovery, New Species, Oceans, Saltwater Fish, Sea Levels, Species Discovery Article published by Basten Gokkon Scientists have recently described a layer of the deep ocean zone as the “rariphotic,” calling it home to an array of unidentified reef fish and a refuge for species from shallower waters drive out of their coral habitats by warming waters.Nearly 4,500 fishes were observed representing 71 species, nearly half of them new species, the researchers reported.The scientists are calling for more exploration into deeper marine ecosystems to better understand the deep-reef ecosystems and the impact of changes taking place in shallower zones. Scientists have described a new zone in the Caribbean’s deep ocean, shining a light on a little-known world that’s home to numerous previously unidentified reef-fish species.The area in question lies at a depth of between 130 and 309 meters (427 and 1,014 feet). Scientists have proposed calling it the “rariphotic” (“scarce light”), in a recently published study in the journal Scientific Reports.The rariphotic joins two previously defined “faunal zones,” or layers of the ocean that host marine life: shallow areas and the mesophotic. The shallow zone refers to the band of ocean running from the surface down to a depth of about 40 meters (131 feet), where reef corals abound and SCUBA divers can normally go. The mesophotic (“middle light”) falls below this, down to 150 meters (492 feet), where some corals can still survive.Below these and the rariphotic lies the aphotic region, where there is effectively no light and relatively fewer marine species, including anglerfish, lanternfish, segmented worms and siphonophores.Classification of faunal zones above the aphotic based on analysis of fish assemblages at Curaçao. Representative coral and fish species are depicted for each zone. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.The classification of the rariphotic came about after surveys between 2011 and 2016 in the waters off southern Curaçao by marine scientists from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. As warming surface waters sparked a decline in the health of shallow reefs, the scientists looked at the deep-reef ecosystems.This region, sometimes known as the “coral reef twilight zone,” has long been thought of as a refuge for shallow-water organisms. Indeed, the Smithsonian team’s findings corroborated previous research showing that assemblages of the kinds of reef-fishes that inhabit shallow water have double the depth range they were previously thought to have as their coral homes deteriorate.“[T]ropical deep reefs are not barren landscapes on the deep ocean floor: they are highly diverse ecosystems that warrant further study,” Carole Baldwin, curator of fishes at the Smithsonian and lead author of the report, said in a statement.“It’s estimated that 95 percent of the livable space on our planet is in the ocean. Yet only a fraction of that space has been explored,” she added.The scientists said their research had “resulted in the most extensive database to date on the diversity and depth distributions of reef fishes” between depths of 40 to 309 meters below the surface, “at a single location anywhere in the tropics.”During the underwater surveys, carried out with a manned submersible vehicle, the researchers observed nearly 4,500 fish thought to belong to 71 species. Within just one 20-hectare (49-acre) area of reef, they identified 30 new species.Using techniques such as DNA barcoding, they analyzed the fish to determine which species were previously documented and which were entirely new. The analyses “clearly point to the existence of a faunal zone immediately below the mesophotic that extends down to at least 309 meters and that is home to a unique reef-fish fauna.”The image below shows families of reef-fish species observed in the study, with the predominant depth category to which each can be assigned.“About one in every five fish we’re finding in the rariphotic of the Caribbean is a new species,” said Ross Robertson, marine biologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and a co-author of the paper.Most of the fish in the rariphotic zone look similar and are more closely related to true deep-ocean fish, which belong to quite different branches of the evolutionary tree, the researchers said.In addition to the describing a new faunal zone, the Smithsonian researchers also suggested changing the name of the band of shallow water to “altiphotic,” or high light.“We hope that by naming the deep-reef rariphotic zone, we’ll draw attention to the need to continue to explore deep reefs,” Baldwin said.Representative Caribbean fishes inhabiting the rariphotic zone off Curaçao. Haptoclinus dropi (Labrisomidae); Pontinus castor (Scorpaenidae); Anthias asperilinguis (Serranidae); Lipogramma evides (Grammatidae); Serranus notospilus (Serranidae); Polylepion sp. (Labridae). Photograph of A. asperilinguis by Patrick Colin, other photographs by C. C. Baldwin and D. R. Robertson.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 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

Japanese Man Sets Memory Record

first_imgItem: a Japanese man, Akira Haraguchi (age 60), quoted pi to 100,000 decimal places, reported Live Science.  It took 16 hours to say the digits from memory.  This broke his personal best of 83,431 set in 1995, and the Guinness record of 42,195, also set in 1995.Incredible feats like this hint at the innate capabilities of the human body and brain that only occasionally surface in world records.  Can someone explain what the Darwinian adaptive value is of being able to quote 100,000 decimal places of pi from memory?  Mr. Haraguchi is already past the normal reproductive and hunting years.  Will this help him inspire the tribe to get a bigger mammoth or something?(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

Youngsters tell their stories with Ilizwi

first_imgMembers of Ilizwi Photo Club are documenting their lives in the townships of Cape Town. (Image: Ilizwi Facebook)Teenagers the world over have plenty of gripes; in South Africa’s disadvantaged areas, one of their issues is not having a platform to express themselves creatively. It is this need that Ilizwi Photo Club seeks to meet.Ilizwi is a youth development initiative that works with young people in under-resourced communities. It encourages creative self-expression through photography so that they can voice their stories visually.The talented young photographers seek to become actively involved in their communities and tell the stories that matter most to them. Ilizwi photographers come from several schools in Khayelitsha, in Cape Town. The photo club was launched in 2011, and is based on the belief that through photojournalism we are able to gain an insight into societies’ needs and values. It is such a valuable tool in making sense of the world around us and gives us an insight into the students’ lives.COMMUNITY ACTION PROJECTStarted by Meghan Daniels, who was in matric at the time, Ilizwi means “voice” in isiXhosa. The programme was a by-product of a youth leadership forum Daniels attended in 2010. At that forum, participants were encouraged to initiate a community action project.Speaking about her Ilizwi Photo Club project, Daniels said it allowed the members to raise social awareness in their communities and ultimately become advocates of change. “The Ilizwi photographers want South Africa and the world to know the realities of township life. They have a burning desire to improve their community through visual images.”The photographers are armed with Coolpix cameras and one digital SLR donated to the project by Nikon.At the start of the project, Daniels interviewed, selected and trained 10 Grade 11 and 12 learners from Luhlaza High School in Khayelitsha. This training, which took place over 10 weekends, included a practical aspect – looking for social issues in the township to photograph and highlight, as well as facets of beauty in township life.Inspiration, Daniels said, came from giants such as Alf Kumalo, the legendary South African documentary photographer and photojournalist; Ernest Cole, another photographer from the Drum golden era; and, Santo Mofokeng, a South African artist and photographer.YOUTH SPIRIT AWARDDaniels was the recipient of the 2011 Youth Spirit Award from the Amy Biehl Youth Spirit Awards for her work on Ilizwi. She won a R25 000 Damelin bursary for her efforts, which was useful as she was completing her matric.Amy Elizabeth Biehl was a white American graduate of Stanford University and an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa. She was murdered by black Cape Town residents in 1993, a year before South Africa held its first democratic elections.Biehl was in South Africa as a student at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, as a scholar on the Fulbright Program. Following her death, in 1994, Biehl’s parents, Linda and Peter, founded the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust to develop and empower youth in the townships, in order to discourage further violence.last_img read more