Top 20 forest stories of 2017

first_img5. Forest fragmentation may be releasing much more carbon than we thinkMany of the world’s tropical forests have been severely fragmented by human disturbance, and research has shown the trees that live on the edges of these fragments are more likely to die than those living in the fragment interiors. With this death comes the release of carbon as trees decompose. A 2017 study published in Nature Communications found that the carbon released by this higher tree mortality at fragment edges increases deforestation emission estimates by 31 percent. In total, the researchers found there are around 50 million tropical forest fragments today and, put together, their edges would span a third of the distance from the earth to the sun.The Atlantic Forest is one of the most fragmented forests in the world.6. Tropical deforestation is getting biggerAs nations race to keep forests standing and the world from warming, scientists are trying to figure out what human activities are causing deforestation and how best to stop them. A study published earlier this year in Environmental Research Letters lends some new insights, finding the majority of forest loss in the tropics is due to medium- and large-scale clearing, which are hallmarks of industrial agriculture like palm oil production. South America and Southeast Asia had the largest increases in these larger clearing activities. The researchers who authored the study say policy changes are needed to reduce deforestation for commodity crops. 11. Does community-based forest management work in the tropics?Community-based forest management, a conservation strategy in which local communities are in charge of the forests they live within, is often touted as a one-stop solution for everything from improving forest health to reducing poverty. A review of 30 studies revealed that community-based forest management may improve forest conditions. Results on socio-economic benefits is mixed, but research suggests that community-based forest management may occasionally exacerbate prevailing inequities within communities. In addition to improving forests, community-based forest management tries to ensure their sustainable use. However, there is very little research on whether community-managed forests are actually sustainable over the long term. 4. Cross River superhighway changes course in NigeriaA major new road is in development through southeastern Nigeria that will connect landlocked cities with the port of Calabar on the Gulf of Guinea. The six-lane superhighway was originally slated to run through the center of Cross River National Park, a biodiversity hotspot and home to endangered wildlife like drills, Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees and Cross River gorillas – the rarest and most threatened of the world’s gorilla subspecies. But after conservationists raised the alarm about the environmental perils the road may bring, the Nigerian government altered the path of the superhighway from the middle of the national park to outside its western periphery. The move is being celebrated by conservation organizations, but concern still exists about the highway’s new path through forested areas and protected lands. 9. World’s largest tropical peatlands discovered in swamp forests of Congo BasinThe discovery of the world’s largest tropical peatland was announced earlier this year. The huge peatland is located in the vast rainforests of the Congo Basin and straddles two countries – the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo – and comprises an area larger than England. The researchers who discovered it initially estimated it contained around 30 billion metric tons of carbon. But subsequent surveys revealed the peat swamp to be deeper than they first thought, and it likely stores even more carbon. Movement by the DRC to open more forests in the region to logging and other development are prompting concern from conservationists who worry that draining the peatland could release significant amounts of greenhouse gas.Congo Basin experts from the UK and DRC take samples from the peatland. Photo by Kevin McElvaney/Greenpeace10. Do protected areas work in the tropics?A meta-analysis of 56 scientific studies by Mongabay revealed that, overall, protected areas appear to reduce deforestation. But other ecological effects of protected areas, like biodiversity or poaching, remain very understudied. But ultimately, there has been a lack of rigorous study of the efficacy of protected areas. What scientific literature does exist suggests that terrestrial protected areas help reduce deforestation, but to varying degrees. In some places, parks avoid high rates of forest loss; in others, the effects are modest to negligible. But finer details about the health of protected forests (the status of biodiversity, levels of hunting or logging) are harder to get. The evidence on socioeconomic impacts is very thin. What limited rigorous research exists shows that protected areas do not exacerbate poverty generally, but anecdotal studies suggest that protected areas could be making other aspects of people’s well-being worse off. 19. Oil palm firms advance into Leuser rainforest, defying Aceh governor’s ordersThe Leuser Ecosystem straddles lies in northern Sumatra and is home to an array of rare animals, including rhinos, elephants, tigers and orangutans. The government of Indonesia’s Aceh province has banned land clearance for oil palm development inside Leuser. However, deforestation is still ongoing as some companies ignore the moratorium. During the first seven months of 2017, conservation watchdogs report Leuser lost 3,941 hectares of forest cover.20. Conserving Congo’s wild places on a shoestringThe 76,000-hectare (around 188,000-acre) Mangrove Marine Park, 250 miles west of Kinshasa, is an expanse of ocean, beach, savannah and mangroves that hugs Congo’s 23-mile strip of coastline. The park operates on a budget so small, staff say they can hardly afford to patrol it. Though the beach and savannah portions of the park are partially protected areas, a handful of communities have continuously lived there since long before the park’s creation. Park officials and rangers face the difficult task of protecting the vast area with just a handful of rangers and are up against generations of ingrained practices by residents, such as poaching turtles and their eggs. The park’s future rests on the ability of the its director to raise more money while persuading those who live in and around the site that conservation is in their best interest. 17. Indigenous forests could be a key to averting climate catastropheA study published in Science in October found the world’s tropical forests may no longer be carbon sinks, with a net loss of 425 million tons of carbon from 2003 to 2014. In addition, 1.1 billion metric tons of carbon is emitted globally per year due to land use of forested areas  (4.4 billion metric tons are absorbed by standing forests on managed lands, but 5.5 billion metric tons are released via deforestation and degradation). As a result, curbing deforestation and degradation is now considered a key strategy for nations to meet their carbon reduction goals and keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Research finds that indigenous and traditional community management of forests could offer a key to curbing emissions, and give the world time to transition to a green energy economy. Scientists found Amazon deforestation rates were around five times higher outside indigenous territories and conservation units than inside. A delegation of global indigenous delegation in attendance at COP23 in Bonn, Germany, are conducting a campaign to solicit support from the world’s nations to protect indigenous forests from encroachment by extraction industries.Degraded forests are more likely to burn, releasing their carbon to the atmosphere. Research indicates indigenous communities may do a better job of conserving native forests than do forest managers outside indigenous reserves. Photo courtesy of IBAMA18. Women could be a key to great ape conservation in the CongoWomen have suffered a heavy toll from violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The nation’s civil struggle, together with bushmeat hunting and other kinds of human pressures, also affect its wildlife such as gorillas, bonobos and chimpanzees. Scientific surveys indicate bonobos have been vanishing rapidly from DRC forests over the past 20 years. Meanwhile, researchers estimate only around 3,800 Grauer’s gorillas remain, and the subspecies is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Chimpanzees are listed by the IUCN as Endangered. But now, DRC women, assisted by international conservation organizations, are working to protect apes and other DRC wildlife. The organizations foster a variety of projects, from funding micro-credit projects for women who want to launch business enterprises to employing women as surrogate mothers for newly orphaned gorillas during an initial 30-day quarantine period and training women in livestock breeding and agriculture to reduce great ape hunting. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Agriculture, Animals, Apes, Climate Change, Deforestation, Environment, Featured, Fires, forest degradation, Forest Fires, Forest Loss, Forests, Global Warming, Habitat Loss, Industrial Agriculture, Infrastructure, Logging, Oil Palm, Orangutans, Palm Oil, Primates, Rainforests, Ranching, Roads, Wildlife 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. 8. Charcoal and cattle ranching tearing apart the Gran ChacoParaguay’s Gran Chaco has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, with nearly 1 million hectares of tree cover lost in 2008 alone. The Chaco is home to many unique species, such as the endangered Chacoan peccary or taguá. Soy cultivation, cattle ranching and charcoal production are major drivers of Chaco deforestation. A year-long probe by the non-profit organization Earthsite revealed that most Paraguayan exports of charcoal come from the Chaco and are marketed as sustainably sourced, but may not actually meet sustainability certification requirements. This charcoal is sold in several international supermarket chains.center_img 15. Record Amazon fires stun scientists; sign of sick, degraded forestsBy mid-October, Brazil had experienced more than 208,000 fires, putting 2017 on track to beat 2004’s record 270,295 fires. While drought has exacerbated the fires, experts say that nearly every blaze this year has been human-caused. In September, the highest concentration of fires in the Brazilian Amazon was in the São Félix do Xingu and Altamira regions. September fires in Pará numbered 24,949 – a six-fold increase over the 3,944 recorded in the same month in 2016. The Amazonian regions experiencing the most wildfires have also seen high levels of deforestation and degradation as logging, cattle ranching, agribusiness and dam-building expand. Scientists warn of a dangerous synergy in which forest degradation is turning the Amazon from carbon sink to carbon source in some dry years, while human carbon emissions are worsening drought and fires globally. Researchers warn of the coming of bigger “mega-fires” unless trends are reversed.16. Mining activity causing nearly 10 percent of Amazon deforestationIn results published this year, scientists announced that nearly 10 percent of the deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon between 2005 and 2015 was due to mining activities — up from a previous estimate of 1 to 2 percent. They found mining-related deforestation present in areas up to 70 kilometers away from actual mines. To address the high level of deforestation caused by mining in the Amazon, conservationists say Brazil needs to significantly revise its environmental impact assessment process to include ancillary infrastructure up to 70 kilometers away from mines along with related hydroelectric dam construction. 13. Paying for healthcare with trees: win-win for orangutans and communitiesIn 2016, the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) was declared Critically Endangered by the IUCN. Orangutan habitat is fast disappearing due to deforestation from agriculture and logging. One of the most important remaining P. pygmaeus populations, with roughly 2,000 individuals, is in Indonesia’s Gunung Palung National Park. Two non-profit organizations — one based in Indonesia and another from the U.S. — united to try to reduce illegal logging in the park through a novel, healthcare-based approach.  They discovered that many people reported logging because of expensive medical costs, while unsustainable agricultural practices depleted the soil of nutrients, requiring the use of costly fertilizers. The two NGOs opened an affordable health clinic and hospital, offering discounted medical services to communities that stop logging. “Forest guardians” recruited from participating villages, encourage people to curb deforestation while monitoring illegal activity and reforestation efforts and educating residents about organic farming methods.Orangutans are listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered. An innovative NGO program in Borneo offers a discount on healthcare to communities that reduce logging in conserved forests, protecting key orangutan habitat.14. Over the bridge: The battle for the future of KinabatanganThe Kinabatangan River and the wildlife sanctuary named for it threw the state of Sabah into the global spotlight this year as the proposal of a bridge crossing the river from the town of Sukau across attracted local and international opposition. Project proponents say that a bridge and associated paved road to Sukau would have helped the town grow and improve its residents’ standard of living. But conservation groups argue that the region has potential for high-end nature tourism that could result in similar economic benefits without disturbing the elephants, orangutans and other wildlife that depend on the region’s forests. In mid-April the bridge was cancelled, a move heralded as a success for rainforest conservation. But bigger questions remain about the future of local communities, the Kinabatangan sanctuary and the region’s wildlife. 2. Indigenous groups, activists risk arrest to blockade logging in MalaysiaThe Malaysian state of Kelantan has seen an uptick in deforestation as tree plantations expand. Deep in the rainforests in the northern part of the state, anti-logging campaigns are setting up blockades along logging roads to try to deter logging companies from entering forests claimed by indigenous Orang Asli communities – a claim upheld by Malaysian high courts. However, activists and community members say logging continues in the area, and they vow to continue their blockades against deforestation despite repeated arrests of their members.A logging truck at the side of the road in Kelantan state, Malaysia. Photo by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com3. The palm oil fiefdomToday, oil palm covers more than a fifth of the district of Seruyan in Indonesian Borneo. Ninety-six percent of it is owned by the super-rich, and profits flow out to the capitals of Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Only a fraction of the taxes collected by the state find their way back to Seruyan. Over nine months, The Gecko Project and Mongabay investigated the land deals that were done in Seruyan during its transition to democracy. Investigators followed the trails of paper and money, tracked down the people involved and talked to those affected by Darwan’s actions. It was a journey that took them from law firms in Jakarta to a prison in Borneo, from backwater legislatures to villages that stand like islands amid a sea of oil palm. Banner image by Rod Harbinson/RodHarbinson.com 7. ‘Last frontiers of wilderness’: Intact forest plummets globallyResearch published this year found that between 2000 and 2013, the world lost a Venezuela-sized area of untouched forests – what scientists call intact forest landscapes (IFLs). The study shows more than 7 percent of the world’s IFLs disappeared during that time. This loss appears to be accelerating in the tropics, with three times more IFLs lost between 2011 and 2013 than between 2001 and 2003. Paraguay was the most affected, losing nearly 90 percent of its remaining IFLs over 13 years. Timber harvesting and agricultural expansion are considered the leading causes of IFL loss. 12. Sudden sale may doom carbon-rich rainforest in BorneoA pristine tract of rainforest known as Forest Management Unit 5 (FMU5) encompasses more than 101,000 hectares in central Sabah, a Malaysian state on the island of Borneo. The area provides important habitat for Bornean orangutasn and other endangered species, and safeguards watersheds critical to downstream communities. Conservation groups had been working with the state government and concession owner to set up a concept conservation economy on FMU5. But in October, the rights to the land were acquired by wood product manufacturing company Priceworth. Mongabay published hundreds of stories on forests in 2017. Here are some of our favorites.1. Rebel road expansion brings deforestation to remote Colombian AmazonWith the demobilization of Colombia’s FARC militant group, the country is expanding agriculture and infrastructure in places in the country once too dangerous to develop. One of these areas is a stretch of rainforest in the Colombian Amazon. A small road that was initially carved illegally through the forest and used by the FARC to transport coca is in the process of being widened and paved to help communities transport their agricultural goods to larger markets. But conservationists are criticizing the project, saying road expansion will incite land-grabbing, the illegal development of more roads and accelerated deforestation. 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

Understanding bird behavior key to developing risk reduction technologies

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 Sue Palminteri Billions of birds collide with man-made structures and aircraft every year, which devastates bird populations and harms companies that must pay the cost of damages.John Swaddle, professor of biology at the College of William & Mary, and his team have developed two technologies to help reduce the risk of collision, the Sonic Net and the Acoustic Lighthouse.The team applied an understanding of birds’ communication and migration behaviors to develop strategies that successfully reduce collision risk. Years of studying birds and their relationship with their environment taught John Swaddle, professor of biology at the College of William & Mary, the importance of understanding animals’ instincts and behaviors when developing methods for improving human-wildlife interactions.Swaddle used what he knew about different bird species’ tendencies to create a pair of systems that minimize collisions with tall man-made structures, such as skyscrapers or wind turbines, and keep birds away from areas where their presence may be unwelcome or a hazard, such as on farmland or airports. He presented his findings in February at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas.In his presentation, Swaddle introduced two different technologies, the Sonic Net and the Acoustic Lighthouse.A bald eagle surveys the landscape from a treetop. Eagles and other large birds seeking a high perch or looking down for prey below may accidentally collide with wind turbine blades. Photo credit: Martin Keus, courtesy of Quoddy Tours CC 2.0Testing Sonic Nets to remove birds from risky areasWhen working on the Sonic Net, Swaddle kept the long-standing practice of scarecrows on farmland in mind. He recognized that scarecrows only temporarily discourage birds from visiting an area because birds learn that they are not a real threat.“Birds are pretty smart, they habituate, and if the threat is not real they know and they stick around,” Swaddle said. “Those kinds of technologies just show diminishing returns, no matter how high-tech the technology gets. Birds will still habituate if you don’t take into account fundamental aspects of their behavior.”A fast-moving plane in flight, such as this China Eastern plane near London’s Heathrow airport, can confuse or overwhelm a flock of birds. Photo credit: LHR_NMOS332 CC 2.0Instead, Swaddle looked for long-term solutions. He considered noise pollution and how a higher concentration of noise in an area affects birds. Birds are attracted to quieter areas, where they have a better perception of the predatory risks. Introducing noise prompts birds to perceive greater risk, and they begin to avoid the area.Rather than introducing extraneous noise to a wide area to keep the birds away – which would then affect humans and other wildlife within the area – Swaddle and his team used parametric array speakers, which direct the artificial “pink” noise to a specific space. The speakers enabled Swaddle to direct sound to areas they wanted birds to avoid. They were also able to control the noise’s frequency, so that the sound interfered with the birds’ communication.An upright Sonic Net setup used to direct loud random pink noise toward agricultural fields to discourage particularly seed-eating birds from flocking in fields with ripening crops. Photo courtesy of: Sam McClintock, Midstream IncThey tested this approach using captive European starlings. When the Sonic Net was set at a frequency that simulated the frequency the birds use to communicate, the starlings’ vigilance immediately increased. By hindering their ability to communicate, the loud noise prevented them from being able to hear and respond to alarm calls, forcing them to remain more vigilant and forage less efficiently.In fact, when the team tried to scare the birds, they didn’t perceive the risk and react to the threat. Despite the birds’ increased vigilance, the artificial sound overwhelmed their senses. The methods were also tested in the wild, at an active airfield site in Virginia, where noise discouraged birds from occupying the area.The Sonic Net designed for airports has a low profile to minimize distraction to pilots and others. The speakers in this design direct the loud random noise toward active runways and other areas that may be risky for birds. Photo courtesy of: Sam McClintock, Midstream Inc“In an area where a lot of this introduced noise is specifically designed to prevent them from hearing each other, that’s equivalent to (humans) walking down the dark alleyway,” Swaddle said. “If we give them the choice of a place with less noise, they’ll choose to go there.”Their study, which was published in Ecological Applications, also found that the birds did not habituate to the Sonic Net method after four weeks, which is an encouraging sign that this could become a long-term solution.Common, or European, starlings like these in Northern Ireland, feed in groups on insects in fields, lawns, city parks, or airports. Their large flocks can create problems on active airport runways. Photo credit: Henry Clark CC 2.0An Acoustic Lighthouse to reduce birds’ collisions with man-made structuresSwaddle’s conference presentation also introduced the Acoustic Lighthouse method for minimizing birds’ collisions with large human-made structures. In a study published in Integrative and Comparative Biology, Swaddle and his team set out to discover why birds fly into objects that are seemingly obvious to humans and how directed sound could help the birds notice a structure before a collision.Swaddle explained that when birds are flying, especially during migration, they aren’t looking straight ahead to see where they’re going – rather, their head is angled down with their back flat. The birds’ eyes are also positioned around the side of the skull, instead of in front.“When birds are flying, their angle of view, direction of gaze, is really to the side and down,” Swaddle said. “Some birds, some of the eagles, actually have a blind spot in front of them, so they can’t see, and their attention is not where it should be.”The solution, which the team named an Acoustic Lighthouse, projects conspicuous warning sounds in front of a structure. As the bird approaches the building or wind turbine, the sound diverts the direction of the bird’s attention early enough to avoid a collision.The Acoustic Lighthouse study has not yet been tested in the wild, but Swaddle said results from his captive study look promising. When testing it with 18 domestic zebra finches, his team found that an audible sound field caused the birds to slow down in flight and alter their body and tail position in about 20 percent of cases. These birds would collide with the structure at a much lower velocity or avoid it all together.A zebra finch, native to central Australia, collects nesting material. Like starlings, they inhabit a wide range of grasslands and open woodlands. Photo credit: Gil Dekel CC 3.0Swaddle said that successful development of technologies such as Sonic Net and Acoustic Lighthouse require basic understanding of bird and other wildlife behaviors and responses.  “Without a fundamental understanding of what animals are actually doing, how they’re sensing the world and how they’re behaving, you can’t even develop these kinds of ideas,” Swaddle said. Acoustic, Alternative Energy, Birds, early warning, Energy, Human-wildlife Conflict, Technology, Wildtech 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.last_img read more

Top stories of 2018: No. 10

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Our web site keeps track of the stories that generate the most interest and at the end of the year we like to review the top stories to gain insight into how to better serve readers of our web and print content and our radio listeners. Plus, it is always fun to see which story comes out on top. To revisit all of these favorite web stories and videos in the last year, look for “2018 top stories of the year” on the right side of this web page. In addition to these top posts, other noteworthy drivers of web traffic in 2018 included the Ohio and Pro Farmer crop tours, the Ohio State Fair livestock show results, and Between the Rows. Weather challenges, the tough farm economy, and all things draft horse also garnered major web traffic in the last 12 months. Here is the tenth most popular web story from 2018Kasich announces executive order directed at agriculture and water qualityThis is the story that kicked off #WaterDrama18 after Governor John Kasich signed an executive order to take action on water quality in Lake Erie with Ohio’s agriculture in the crosshairs. After staunch agricultural opposition and some political wrangling on both sides of the issue, the debate has been tabled until the start of the DeWine Administration.last_img read more

Bonded for life

first_imgMy Brother & IYou don’t need to be a twin to feel especially close to a sibling. There have been times when my brother, Anil, (43,and a doctor settled in Hyderabad) and I have had no contact with each other for months – but have somehow known just when to call each other. ‘I had a feeling – at the back of my mind – that I needed to speak with you,’ he’s said to me innumerable times always to have me promptly break into tears because something had been bothering me. It has happened again and again, even in the time that he was studying in the US and I was living away from home in Kodaikanal. (Tamil Nadu) We are only three years apart and have shared a troubled childhood through which he’s done his best to protect me and vice-versa. But we weren’t especially close to begin with; we didn’t have a “real” conversation till quite late. The turning point in our relationship came the night our mother died. He was 22 and I, 19. We were shattered – we had no language, no words to articulate that feeling of unreality that had set in; that utter and somewhat unmitigated feeling of being abandoned. We kept looking at our father who was surrounded by his siblings and was talking his way through his own grief. And we turned to each other in the only way that siblings do – irrevocably.Anil rented a whole lot of brainless, Hollywood action films, came home and took me by my arm to the TV room, and we watched movies all night. We couldn’t sleep – not for any extended periods of time, we didn’t know what to say to each other but just being in the same physical space was somehow reassuring. We would fall into bouts of fitful slumber and wake up to the other talking about what had happened in the interim – as if it was important. It just helped to be able to hear each others’ voices. And so the most difficult night of our lives passed…A Bond, Quite ApartShared happiness is fleeting while shared traumas forge a bond that’s immutable – the loss of a parent is an equal loss in a sibling relationship.There is no other person who felt thee devastation quite like the two of us did when we lost our mother. Yet we were, and are, so different. Most sibling relationships are a bit like a lava lamp- two disparate elements in one container that are connected by the electricity of shared memories and traumas. The magic bubbles up in common history, a jigsaw puzzle of memories . The missing pieces of which are in the others mind.My Sister, My FriendPreeti Ray, a yoga enthusiast and middle sibling of three sisters from Bangalore says,”As we were growing up, there was never any need to go out and seek other friends . My best friend was my sister,” Neeti who now lives in Bhubaneswar. This when they are very different as people, Neeti, was the good girl, while I was completely bindaas. They filled each others lives in ways that other friends could never do. Their younger sister Keerti, who lives in Hyderabad, is nine years younger than me, so both of us tended to mother her a little but as we grew older and she hit her 30s, we forged a more equal relationship. Keerti is the official keeper of the family memories and dotes on her nieces and nephew. My son Rijul relates to her more as an equal than an aunt,laughs Preeti. Despite the age difference, Keerti helps keep them together, through times serious and light. She’s so good with imitating people and mimicry . All our family gatherings have to have her doing some impression or the other. We’re all just rolling on the floor with laughter. Eccentric aunts, redoubtable relatives, you name it, she can do it!My Brother’s Best!Sometimes the relationship is so special that there aren’t any words to describe it. Swati Thakur, 40, gets a glow on her face when she talks about her brother Umesh Desai who is two years older. She says, “We’re very close and we are there for each other?c Thinking back, I am mortified that I hung on his coat tails for so long!”. She says that everything Umesh decreed was good for her and if he turned his back on something so did she. In solidarity with utter and absolute faith that he knew best! And this when he was just two years older.”I wonder if I bugged him. He was the arbitrator of good taste, music, books, sports and what have you. I watch far more sports channels than any other woman I know and that’s entirely because of my brother,” she says. She talks of a time when she would call him and cry because the team that she had been supporting . in whatever sport . had lost! They were each others’ confidants and friends through crushes and careers. That’s true for me too. My world view has a definite Anil slant to it . He seems to read the same newspapers that I do , but what he gets out of them is so much more than the arid bits of information that I glean. By the time I’ve figured out that there is a particular political movement or trend in society underway, Anil has already figured out the ins and outs of it and knows the trajectory it will follow.When I was doing a stint as an editorial consultant with a local magazine for the first time, I would religiously call up my brother for fodder for my editorial. Every other relationship in the world is different from the one that you share with your sibling; your relationship with your parent comes with the intrinsic authority, the one with your spouse is a social construct that you chose, as are the ones with your friends, peers and co-workers… Each type of relationship comes with its own level of expectations and limitations. Dr Anuradha Reany, a neuropsychiatrist from Hyderabad points out that while every other relationship (except that with your parents) can and sometimes dissolve, there is no such dissolution for siblings. You can fall out but you cannot divorce a sibling. The effects of an emotionally distant sibling relationship is far more devastating because there is absolutely no dissolution of the physical connect. This bonding despite differences is sometimes reflected in the more thinking movies. For example, in the film No One Killed Jessica (based on a true story), the very different older sibling, is devastated by the murder of her younger, ebullient and vivacious sister, and goes all out to bring her killer to justice.While the movie focuses on the pursuit of justice, the side story, and a very strong one, is the one of sibling bonding through differences.Comfort And SafetyThe feeling of the ever present safety net, the one person that you can always count on, is singular to siblings. “When we talk of unconditional love and understanding, I think we get it only from our siblings,” says Preeti. There are very few people in the world that you can call and start a conversation midsentence and they’ll get you. Kamini Mathai, a Chennai-based mother of two and the elder by 111.2 months of two siblings completely agrees. She adds that since she wasn’t so good with people while her brother was socially adept, all his friends became her friends too. In fact her son’s piano teacher is her brother’s friend’s wife. So the circle enclosing her life in its warm approval was created for her by her brother today. Anith Mathai, 32 works on a Virtual Soldier Programme in Iowa. He’s the only guy I know who’s been playing with soldiers from when he was a child and still hasn’t stopped,’ quips his sister. Kamini’s reminiscences of her life – like all of us Preeti, Swati, and me – have this sustaining thread of her sibling(s) through it all. We are but the stories that make up our lives. Anith got his entire class to vote his sister into the school cabinet, ‘I never knew he did that till my mom told me about it much later. My brother and I learnt to love movies together, and nearly all of our childhood truly reminds me of reenactments of film scenes. One memory stands out among all others – we’d both sit in the foot well of the old-fashioned peddle rickshaws with our mom sitting in the middle of the seat and loudly sing the hit Sholay number, “Yeh Dosti? hum nahin choodhenge?.”, much to our mum’s embarrassment.’Beyond DifferencesVera de Jong, a Canadian artist who lives in Kodaikanal, is the sixth of seven siblings. ‘Each of whom has a different world view, and take on things. One brother, Ed, is an ardent Bahai and another brother, Jerry, is a scientist and they clash spectacularly about their differences of opinion – never losing that inherent and very basic bond they share. My other brother Frank is a school teacher and also a Green Party candidate in Ontario. He for his part, brings an entirely different perspective on anything to the table. When we get together we talk up a storm. We have so much to say to each other – so much to discuss and delve into. The de Jong gatherings are never quiet – we don’t know how to do quiet !’ she laughs. The siblings are spread across three continents – the majority in Ontario, while Jerry is in Netherlands and Vera lives in India. But there is no dearth of communication – they’ve jumped on every technological band wagon and Skype and G-chat often. This apart from a flurry of emails and articles that are sent and discussed endlessly on their family website. So this is about sibling love, revelry and sometimes rivalry. But through it this is one relationship for keeps, through good and not so good times.advertisementadvertisementadvertisementBonded for lifeInvolve Them In Your World: Make an effort to stay in touch with your sibling; sometimes your relationship can slip up easily, thanksto the busy pace of life in urban India. Unlike friends, siblings don’t have to be of the same age to click with each other? Also another good part is that they can be siblings when needed and friends otherwise! Unconditional love apart, siblings are the best bet to share secrets with. You always have this one member of the family who knows all about you. And you don’t mind. So make that call, send that sms or email, whenever you can. It’s Worth The Effort: Unlike your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your sibling is like a reflex action – you are born with it. Childhood pangs of jealousy usually give way to a mature closeness. Emotional investment in your sibling is bound to bring you rich dividends – warmth, care and companionship especially as you grow older.Don’t Let Gender Be An Issue: It doesn’t matter if you have a brother or sister. You can still be best friends with your sibling. Remember protectiveness is different from possessiveness and an elder brother can be as useful as a man friend in guiding you.Revisit “talk-points”: Every set of siblings that I have known, share their own special “talk points”. It could be something that they both enjoyed as a family or childhood stories that no friend will identify with. These talk points also work to cement your bond. Don’t let go off this habit – share your good times and bad. It will bring you closer.Beyond Bullying: Remember it’s fine to be pampered if you are the younger one, but things will even out as you grow up. Your elder sister might still bully you in front of your children, but you should no that deep down she is there for you no matter what and how you goof up.Make Room For Differences: Chances are that you have had your worst fight ever with him/her but it is also true he/she has seen you at your best. Accept the fact that you will have differences always, yet make room for each other whenever possible. It’s worth it.Accept Their Other Ties: If you have a sibling of your own age, chances are that he/she is married too. Make an effort to mingle with his/her spouse ; this won’t come automatically like the bond you share with your sibling. It’s okay to be initially apprehensive of your sibling’s new world, just like they were of yours, but with time, things will settle down. Also, be mature enough to understand that his/her love for you will never diminish, she/ he will still remain your midnightfriend, who is always there.last_img read more

2012 Trans Tasman Player Profiles

first_imgTo view, please visit the following website and click on ‘2012 Player Profiles’ in the top menu:http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=14-6460-0-0-0 There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, which will be held at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex from Thursday, 26 April to Saturday, 28 April 2012, including in the following ways:Websites:www.austouch.com.auhttp://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?c=14-6460-0-0-0 Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #transtasman2012 in your tweets)YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballauslast_img

5-Star Wide Receivers Could Be Following No. 1 QB Tate Martell To Ohio State

first_imgThe No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country committed to Ohio State this evening and with his pledge, a five-star wide receiver (or two or three) could be following him to Columbus. Tate Martell, a four-star quarterback in the 2017 class out of Las Vegas, announced his commitment to Ohio State on Twitter. The 5-foot-10, 203-pound prospect out of Bishop Gorman (Nevada) is very close with Tyjon Lindsey, a five-star wide receiver in the same class. They played together at Bishop Gorman before Lindsey moved back to California this winter. Lindsey congratulated Martell on Twitter regarding his commitment. Martell responded, “You are next!” OMM I HAD NO IDEA THIS WAS COMING..CONGRATS TATE MAN NO MATTER WHAT WE’RE ALWAYS BROTHERS, TOGETHER OR NOT. Love u https://t.co/fs6kw8Z08x— Tyjon A. Lindsey ® (@tyjonlindsey) June 13, 2016Thanks bro! You are next! https://t.co/GtChALHEPf— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) June 13, 2016There has long been speculation that Martell and Lindsey will end up playing for the same school. Ohio State has now obviously added half of the potential package deal and the Buckeyes are believed to be the favorite to land the other half. Lindsey, a speedy 5-foot-8 wideout out of California, is currently crystal-balled to Ohio State. 247Sports.247Sports.He recently did this at Rivals’ 5-Star Challenge. HOUSE CALL . #RivalsChallenge WR MVP @RivalsCamp pic.twitter.com/g3cStTWmMg— Tyjon A. Lindsey ® (@tyjonlindsey) June 12, 2016Martell will surely be recruiting Lindsey to Columbus, but the Corona, Calif. product won’t be the only five-star wide receiver the quarterback tries to push to the Buckeyes.  Jeremy Birmingham of Eleven Warriors says five-star wide receivers Trevon Grimes and Donovan Peoples-Jones will also be a “priority” for Martell.  Martell (@TheTateMartell) will three five-star WRs his priority: Trevon Grimes, Donovan Peoples-Jones and Tyjon Lindsey.— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) June 13, 2016Peoples-Jones (No. 6), Grimes (No. 28) and Lindsey (No. 30) are all ranked in the top 30 of 247Sports’ Composite Rankings for 2017.Ohio State’s 2017 class is the No. 1 class in the country. MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitalelast_img read more

Soulpepper scandal a wakeup call for Canadian theatre industry

first_img Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment TORONTO – The sexual misconduct lawsuits filed this week against Soulpepper Theatre Company and its founding artistic director are serving as a wake-up call to similar organizations throughout Canada’s arts scene, industry members say.Companies said efforts to tackle sexual harassment in the field were under way long before four actresses levelled explosive allegations against Albert Schultz and Soulpepper last week.Diana Bentley, Hannah Miller, Patricia Fagan and Kristin Booth alleged in their statements of claim that Schultz groped them, exposed himself, pressed against them or otherwise behaved inappropriately. Schultz, who resigned from Soulpepper on Thursday, said he will “vigorously defend” himself against the allegations, which have not been tested in court.While concerns about harassment were already on the industry radar, the Soulpepper situation will probably ensure they receive more attention in the coming months, said Mark Aikman, director of development and communications at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.“Certainly it’s a wake-up call and a reminder that no place, no industry, is immune from that kind of thing,” he said.Aikman, who said his organization is still reeling from the shock of the Soulpepper news, did not speculate on whether concrete changes were coming at the company. But he said Buddies in Bad Times will continue with a months-long initiative to provide resources to performers who have concerns or anxieties about sexual harassment on the job.Those resources are provided as part of a campaign launched by the Canadian Actors Equity Association, working in conjunction with the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres. The anti-harassment effort, dubbed Not in Our Space, came about after a survey of live performers across the country.Equity said in a statement that the results clearly indicated action was needed. Half of all participants reported experiencing some form of inappropriate behaviour in their workplace, with women twice as likely as men to report they’d been sexually harassed.Not in Our Space promotes a zero tolerance approach, with participating theatres adopting a statement to that effect on the first day of rehearsal for any new production. Theatres in the program must also prominently display brochures and posters that let performers know what help is available. Equity said the number of people coming forward has increased since the campaign began, but did not provide specific figures.Equity also said a meeting of people involved in the live performance sector will take place later this month to discuss an industry-wide response.Numerous theatre companies, including Toronto-based Factory Theatre, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre (NAC) have all signed up for the Not in Our Space program.Some, however, felt the need for further action.The NAC said it launched a review of its sexual harassment policy this week in response to the Schultz case.Communications director Carl Martin said issues around harassment are high priorities for the company, citing English theatre artistic director Jillian Keiley’s decision to hire an intimacy coach while working on past productions for other organizations.Intimacy coaches, Martin said, carefully choreograph scenes involving physical contact to ensure no boundaries are crossed. While no such coach has been hired for NAC productions, Martin said it would not be surprising to see such a move in the future.“The artistic leadership here is quite attuned to these issues and very forward-thinking about these issues,” he said.Keiley hired the intimacy coach while working at Ontario’s Stratford Festival. The move was one of several measures spokesperson Ann Swerdfager pointed to as part of that company’s effort to maintain a safe workplace.Other moves included establishing a discussion group for women in the theatre, she said.In 2018, Stratford plans to implement more staff training and tighten reporting protocols.“One of the things we are learning from recent events is the vital importance of ensuring that there are safe, sure and clear ways to report harassment, should it occur,” Swerdfager said in a statement. “As a result, not only are we working to strengthen the policy, but also to find effective communications measures to ensure everyone who works at the festival is aware of it and of how to raise a concern if the policy is not being followed.”Halifax-based Neptune Theatre said it, too, is reviewing its long-standing sexual harassment policies and reporting procedures.Spokesperson Michael Browne said the company’s artistic director, Jeremy Webb, is committed to making the theatre a more respectful space for all, starting with the performer audition process.“He has requested agents/artists stop the practice of listing an actor’s height, weight and other measurements on resumes,” Browne said.The Cultch in Vancouver has long offered anonymity to anyone wanting to report issues of harassment.Executive director Heather Redfern said the predominately female-run theatre organization gives staff a number of avenues to report problems, including speaking to the board of directors, so they can find someone they trust.Redfern said the recent allegations of sexual harassment in the industry also points to the lack of women in positions of power.“You don’t fix things until you actually start to see that shifting and you start to see some equality there,” she said. “I’m an optimist. It feels like real change is finally happening.”By MICHELLE MCQUIGGE – The Canadian Presscenter_img Jillian Keiley hired an intimacy coach while working at the Stratford Festival to maintain a safe workplace. (CHRIS YOUNG / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILE PHOTO) Advertisement Advertisement Login/Register With:last_img read more

Report Redshirt sophomore forward David Bell transferring from Ohio State

OSU redshirt sophomore center David Bell (10) finds himself surrounded by three Walsh defenders during the Buckeye’s exhibition match-up on Nov. 6. The Buckeyes won 85-67. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo EditorOhio State redshirt sophomore David Bell will transfer from Ohio State after three seasons with the program, a source close to the team confirmed to The Lantern. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.Bell was often the third center off the bench when former OSU center Trevor Thompson and now-sophomore Micah Potter were in foul trouble.The Cleveland native from Garfield Heights High School was a member of the 2014 recruiting class. He redshirted as a true freshman and averaged 5.5 minutes in 2015 and 6.1 this past season. Bell played in just 38 games the last two seasons, scoring 1.2 points and grabbing 1.6 rebounds per game.Bell joins Thompson as the two players to leave the OSU program this offseason. read more

Stuart Pearce worried about the form of Harry Kane

first_imgFormer England coach Stuart Pearce says he is concerned about Harry Kane and his overall performance at the World Cup and at the start of the season with Tottenham.Kane won the golden boot at the World Cup in Russia and has managed to score two goals in four Premier League matches this season, which were his league goals ever in August.When asked if his overall performance worried him, Pearce told Sky Sports: “Yeah, I did in the summer, I’m realistic enough to know that winning the golden boot at a World Cup, that is special, make no mistake about that.“But I think his performances over the seven games were OK and the longer the tournament went on, the more his performances diminished in many ways.Jadon Sancho, Borussia DortmundCrouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.“I don’t know if we need to get more help to him on the pitch because he’s going to be England’s centre-forward for the next however many years because of the character he is, the person he is there’s no doubt.“If he doesn’t score the goals for England I would worry about where we’re going to go as a national team.“I see it as two-fold with Harry. There’s a new-found respect for him and that means defenders are on high alert, which will nullify him in some ways. And secondly, when you play against Tottenham now, because people respect them as one of the big six, they defend a lot deeper and there’s less room. I don’t think that suits Dele Alli or Harry Kane.“We set up teams against them at West Ham last year and we felt if you pushed up and left space for those two, they’re going to hurt us but bank up behind the ball and play on the counter-attack and they found it very difficult to break any shackles that we’d put on them. They’re getting that now at Tottenham, Harry especially.”last_img read more