Mountain lions often lose to wolves and bears, study finds

first_imgWhen the hunting grounds of pumas overlap with those of other top predators, such as wolves, bears and jaguars, pumas are often the losers, a new study has found.The findings from the study, a review of existing scientific literature, are especially important given how pumas are still being intensively hunted over much of their range in a bid to reduce conflicts with people and livestock, researchers say.In some puma habitats where wolves and brown bears are recolonizing and recovering, wildlife managers need to be cautious about hunting limits for pumas, the authors write. The large, secretive puma (Puma concolor) may be at the top of its food chain, but it is not always the king of its territory.Native to the Americas, the puma, also called the mountain lion, cougar, catamount or panther, often shares its habitat with several other top predators, such as wolves, bears, coyotes and jaguars. But when the hunting grounds of these predators overlap, the puma is often the loser, researchers report in a new study published in PeerJ.By reviewing the scientific literature on competition between pumas and other predators, researchers have found that wolves, grizzly bears, black bears and jaguars often dominate pumas. In fact, pumas are subordinate to at least one other top carnivore in 47.5 percent of their range across North and South America. In turn, pumas seem to be dominant only over coyotes and maned wolves.“I recognized the hole in my own understanding of mountain lions — I knew so little about their relationships with other animals,” said lead author Mark Elbroch, lead scientist for puma program at the global wild cat conservation organization Panthera. “A review seemed the ideal way to search for and find research on the subject.”Pumas are often in competition with other top predators. And they don’t always win. Picture by Panthera.Among the top predators, wolves appear to have the strongest influence on mountain lions, dominating pumas on most encounters, Elbroch’s team found. This is likely because wolves hunt in packs and outnumber the generally solitary puma. Wolves often harass pumas, the authors write, and are also known to kill them.Some studies also show that wherever the ranges of pumas and wolves overlap, pumas tend to avoid open areas and restrict their movements to forests and steep areas where they can easily escape from wolves. Pumas also sometimes switch their prey when living alongside wolves.The interactions between grizzly and black bears and pumas is less studied, the researchers found. But the studies that exist show that bears often displace pumas from their kills. So pumas not only lose the food they hunted, but have to spend additional time and energy hunting more prey.Bears taking meals from pumas. Video by Mark Elbroch/Panthera.A young male mountain lion (follow the red arrow) in northwest Wyoming just pushed off his kill by the wolf in the foreground. Photo by Mark Elbroch/Panthera.The study’s findings are especially important given how pumas are still being intensively hunted over much of their range in a bid to reduce conflicts with people and livestock, Elbroch said.Hunting has wiped out mountain lions from the entire eastern half of North America, except for a small population in Florida. Today, pumas occur in parts of western North America, and Central and South America, where they continue to be hunted. In some of these areas, where wolves and bears are recolonizing and recovering, wildlife managers need to be cautious about hunting limits for pumas, the authors write.“New wolves mean life for mountain lions just got a little bit harder,” Elbroch said. “So increasing pressure on mountain lions is the exact opposite of what our review suggests is needed.“Ecosystems are complex, and we must be cautious,” he added. “When we hunt species already affected by numerous other species, we may unintentionally cause rapid declines in that species. To manage wildlife effectively, we must first understand how they fit into their ecosystems.”However, there is a dearth of studies looking at interactions between pumas and other apex carnivores, Elbroch said. And the available research does not go deep enough to link the effects of competition on puma survival.“It’s tough being a mountain lion, which only makes their resilience and ability to live among and in between us that much more remarkable,” Elbroch said. “They continue to amaze me.”Banner image of a mountain lion by Rhett A. Butler.Citation:Elbroch and Kusler (2018), Are pumas subordinate carnivores, and does it matter? PeerJ 6:e4293; DOI 10.7717/peerj.4293 Animals, Bears, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Green, Hunting, Mammals, Mountains, Over-hunting, Research, Wildlife, Wolves Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_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

Last of its kind: sole surviving male northern white rhino is gravely ill

first_imgThe planet’s last male northern white rhino is gravely ill.Sudan, as the rhino is named, has developed a serious infection.Only three northern white rhinos remain, including two females who are Sudan’s offspring.The northern white rhinos are protected from poachers by armed guards. The world’s sole surviving male northern white rhino is gravely ill, reports Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which safeguards the last three individuals of the critically endangered rhino subspecies.In an update on its web site, Ol Pejeta warned that Sudan — the 45-year-old rhino that represents the last male of its kind — is “deteriorating” due to an age-related infection.“His future is not looking bright,” said the conservancy. “We are very concerned about him – he’s extremely old for a rhino and we do not want him to suffer unnecessarily.” Article published by Rhett Butler Sudan developed an infection on his rear right leg toward the end of last year. Veterinarians treated the infection, which seemed to heal: Sudan was back to his normal habits in January. But in the second half of February, his behavior shifted and vets found “a secondary and much deeper infection”, which is not responding well to treatment. The conservancy has launched a last ditch fundraising appeal for the species.If Sudan doesn’t pull through, it means the two female northern white rhinos at Ol Pejeta — Fatu and Najin — will be the only two remaining individuals of their subspecies, Ceratotherium simum cottoni. Ol Pejeta protects all of the rhinos under 24-hour armed guard.Sudan. Courtesy of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya.The northern white rhino once ranged across parts of Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Democratic Republic of the Congo but was hard hit by poaching. By the early 1980s, the population was down to double digits.Other rhinos are also in rapid decline due to poaching for their horns and habitat loss. For example, the West African black rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) was declared extinct in November 2011, while Indonesia’s Sumatran rhino is believed to be down to as few as 30 individuals in the wild. 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 Animals, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Green, Rhinos, Wildlife last_img read more

Gaza City residents’ water problems continue to compound

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 Oceans, Saltwater Fish, Water, Water Crisis, Water Pollution, Water Scarcity Article published by Genevieve Belmakercenter_img Locked between increasingly-polluted seascape and the borders of one of the most tightly-controlled enclaves in the world, Gaza City residents say the water has become so polluted they can no longer go swimming.Situated at the borders of Egypt, Israel, and the Mediterranean Sea, Gaza’s 2 million residents fear that an ongoing electricity crisis has pushed their maritime ecosystem past the brink.80 percent of Gaza’s Mediterranean Sea coastline is thought to be polluted and families who used to rely on it for livelihoods and leisure now fear its waters. GAZA CITY – Red-faced and with his hair still wet, Hani Abu Amirah’s grandson sobbed as he shuffled over to where she sat, looking out on the Mediterranean Sea from Gaza’s Shati refugee camp.The boy’s distress stemmed from his decision to go swimming a little earlier that morning, one that incurred his father’s wrath when he was yanked out of the water and beaten for disobeying orders to stay away from the sea. A year ago, that childlike act of enjoyment would have gone unnoticed but today 80 percent of Gaza’s Mediterranean Sea coastline is thought to be polluted and families who used to rely on it for livelihoods and leisure now fear its waters.“The sea is a part of us, the sea is our life,” said Abu Amirah, 56, who still spends her days sitting by the beach with her grandchildren – even if she struggles to find the same pleasure she once did. “But the pollution affects us now, [the smell of sewage means] we cannot even sit here properly anymore…we banned the children from going down there.”Hani Abu Amirah, 56, watches the Mediterranean Sea with her grandchildren from outside her home in Gaza’s Shati refugee camp. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.Through three wars and a decade of blockade by Israel and Egypt, the Mediterranean has given an escape to 2 million Gazans living in the Palestinian enclave lodged between southern Israel, Egypt and the sea. Families would bathe in its waters to escape sticky summer days, then line the seafront with coffee and stove-roasted corn by night.Many now worry they have lost even that, especially over the past year during which an acute electricity crisis has caused 110 million liters (110, 000 cubic meters) of raw or poorly treated sewage to gush into the sea daily, according to the UN. The newest figures are almost one year old.From her customary position outside the family home, Abu Amirah waves her hand out toward the brown scum seeping out from Gaza’s coastline that now dominates her view because of the 17 wastewater pipes that empty straight into it from various points along the 25 mile (40 kilometer) shore. The blue waters they have replaced over the past year are now only noticeable as she points to the unpolluted waters further out, sitting on the horizon beyond Gaza’s coast.Gaza’s problems with water have been a recurring theme since Israel imposed an air, land and sea blockade on the coastal enclave in 2007 to squeeze the government set up by Hamas, a group Israel has been tangled in conflict with since the early 2000s, when it carried out dozens of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians. With nowhere else to turn in a water-scarce region, Gaza has been drawing much of its water from the sea but also expels effluent into the same source. While Israel has met its water needs with desalinated water, building the world’s largest reverse osmosis plant only 30 miles north of Gaza, similar facilities in Gaza lack the electricity to run at full capacity.The Gaza Valley was once a nature reserve, known for hosting migratory birds, but has been destroyed by waste dumped there in recent years. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.Its power problems became critical last March when an internal dispute between Gaza’s ruling leadership, Hamas, and the rival West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA) left fuel duties unpaid, forcing the only local power plant’s closure and leaving Gaza with such little electricity that pumps used to funnel sewage to cleansing plants could no longer function. The wastewater instead headed straight to the sea, where pollution levels have reached four times the international standard. It has caused alarm in Israel as well, where beaches close to the enclave have been shut down because of the spreading pollution. The most recent figures are about six months old.Tightly packedWith 2 million people living in their coastal territory, Gaza’s population is almost as tightly packed as notoriously cramped Hong Kong, putting pressure on everything from the aquifer most draw their water from to the electricity needed to power factories, sewage cleansing facilities and desalination plants.Though the ongoing electricity crisis has exacerbated those pressures, they have been consistent sources of concern since Hamas took control of Gaza. A 2017 report by the UN predicted the damage done to Gaza’s aquifer, its only water source, will be irreversible by 2018 – sooner than previous estimations.Much of that population lives in places like the Shati refugee camp, founded to house an influx of Palestinians displaced from nearby villages during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. At Shati, the industrial pipe spewing into the sea also carries medical waste from Gaza’s main hospital, al-Shifa. Residents said their children have complained of itchiness after going swimming and that even the sand smells strongly of sewage. Their fears deepened after five year-old Mohammad al-Sayis died in July 2017 from a form of shigellosis – a disease spread through fecal matter.Parasites, including many that affect humans, were found in almost half the samples collected for a 2014 study into the quality of water on Gaza’s coast led by Ahmed Hillis, an expert with the Palestinian Environment Quality Authority.“It’s a perfect indicator that the shoreline has been polluted by the wastewater,” said Hillis, who believes his study shows there is a strong link between the damage being done to the environment and health risks for Gazans.Palestinian fishermen prepare their nets in Gaza’s port before going out to sea. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.According to the World Health Organization, water-related diseases are the main cause of child deaths in Gaza and estimated to account for a quarter of all illnesses.“This water is a source of pollution and a source of diseases, for the people and also for the environment,” Hillis said. “Visitors to the sea suffer from a lot of illnesses related to the skin because of the direct contact from swimming in this polluted water.”FishingAll along Gaza’s coast, there are pipes expelling wastewater from the towns and refugee camps where most of the population are concentrated. That pollution diffuses outwards over the first six nautical miles, according to Mohammed Abu Thaer, a marine biologist in the Hamas government’s agriculture department – the same distance Israel’s navy has limited Gaza’s fishermen to since the blockade, despite the 1990s Oslo Peace Accords signed by Israeli and Palestinian leaders which allowed them to travel up to 20 nautical miles.Thaer said most of the fish sold in Gaza’s market is safe however, because after the first three miles, most catches are of deepwater fish that live well below the sea’s surface, where the floating film of effluent becomes diluted.A Palestinian man transports building supplies through Gaza’s Shati refugee camp with a horse and cart. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.He also claimed his department has tested the fish as safe by taking samples of incoming hauls but much of Gaza’s population still seem worried about eating the fish, crabs and shrimp their cuisine is known for among Palestinians, according to the fishermen themselves anxious about how few people now pass through Gaza’s almost deserted fish market. They have already struggled for years with catches diminished because of the Israeli restrictions on where they can fish. Now they have to contend with local concerns over their stock.“We try to persuade people but they are still too scared to eat fish because of what they hear, not what they see here,” said Muhammad Mustafa Abu Khair, 32, who insists he fishes in unpolluted waters.The gloomy wet market’s stock is sparse – small presentations of local sea bream (Sparidae), buckets of crabs (Brachyura) and the odd baby shark (Selachimorph) – but Abu Khair is adamant if customers visited, they would see it is all healthy. The problem is that hardly anyone passes through anymore apart from fishermen who sit in circles on its edges, drinking Arabic coffee from paper cups.A 2016 study led by Palestinian Environment Quality Authority researcher Hossam Zaqoot found traces of heavy metals like copper and lead were found in the muscles of fish caught near Gaza’s coast, and warned that though they were not yet at levels dangerous to humans, they could be in future if continued rises in pollution further poisoned the fish. The more immediate impact of the pollution, said Abu Thaer, has been in reducing the fish stocks off Gaza’s coast.“The wastewater consists of a lot of dangerous materials like chlorine, ammonia and soap. This affects the fish itself – their growth is slowed and their stock doesn’t increase,” he said.Some of the fishermen believe that problem has been made worse by overfishing. The blockade prevents Gaza’s ever-growing population from traveling abroad for work while also hindering its own industry. By September 2017, the unemployment rate had soared to 44 percent as factories closed down because of the electricity crisis.Retired fisherman Khaled Rajab Abu Riyal, 50, says he avoided the sea for nine years because of a liver disease he blames on the pollution he had to wade through as a fisherman. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.For many of the jobless, the sea seems an obvious place to search for an income with a boat and some nets. But fisherman Hani Abu Riyal accuses unlicensed fishermen of putting a strain on the industry by crowding out professionals and using fine nets that pick up even the smallest fish.“What ended the jobs here is the government itself because there are no jobs. Everyone can be a fisherman,” said Abu Riyal, who himself returned to the family tradition of fishing after the blockade meant he could no longer travel to nearby Israeli towns where he had worked as a weaver.“They fish everything, even the young fish during the breeding season,” he said, noting the weak governance in Gaza, which has been fractured since PA officials boycotted the Hamas leadership after it seized control of the territory in 2007. “In another country, there would be a system to stop this.”Environmental expert Hillis said Gaza’s water problem is not just limited to the sea; its aquifer, shared with Israel, is also being polluted.A refuse pipe spews untreated wastewater into the sea, a problem that has increased since Gaza’s electricity shortage worsened in 2017. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.Damaged ecologyJust south of the built-up and congested Gaza City, Bedouin fishermen of Gaza Valley live a much quieter life, preparing their nets in corrugated iron beach huts and digging through the shallows for worms they use as bait. Their isolation is interrupted, however, by the imposing stench from a refuse pipe that reaches hundreds of meters away.Starting in the West Bank and winding through southern Israel’s Negev desert before it arrives in Gaza, the 65 mile-long (105 kilometer) valley was once a valued ecological site that hosted migratory birds, like flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus), and was declared a nature reserve in 2000 by the PA. But instead of being protected, the previous wetland has become a wasteland used by local municipalities to dump both liquid and solid waste from nearby towns.A Palestinian man prays at Gaza’s port, where the enclave’s crucial fishing industry now struggles. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.A local Bedouin fisherman said their protests against installing wastewater pipes at the site were ignored, but he and the other fishermen all refuse to say anything more.According to Hillis, Gaza receives only half of the 7.7 billion cubic feet (220 million cubic meters) of rain its aquifer requires a year, even less of which recharges the groundwater, allowing salt water to intrude. It also means there’s space for leachate, a liquid produced by dissolving waste in landfill sites, and cesspools used to store sewage to seep through Gaza’s porous sedimentary rock in places like the Gaza Valley.Dealing with itConcern about pollution and the wider electricity crisis has spread to the Israeli sphere, not only because of the physical impact made by intruding pollution but also as Israeli politicians and the military worry that deteriorating conditions increase the chance of another conflict. They accuse Hamas of causing the crisis by allegedly spending money on building its military capacity rather instead of the population.“Israel has an interest in positive dynamics in Gaza, but one cannot demand from the State of Israel to use its state budget for infrastructure that is harmed because of an internal Palestinian conflict, while Hamas invests money in terrorism,” Israeli military chief Gadi Eisenkot told the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, in July 2017.A Palestinian fishermen prepares his nets in Gaza’s port before going out to sea. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.Israel did agree in late January however to begin supplying electricity to a sewage cleansing plant in northern Gaza. The move followed recommendations made in a state review that criticized the military for refusing to provide a power line to the plant when it was built in 2013.For Hillis, Gaza’s environmental challenges cannot be separated from the blockade, which increases the overpopulated enclave’s dependence on whatever resources are available to it. He highlights that more than 3,000 items needed to develop Gaza’s water and sanitation sector await Israeli approval to enter the strip because of restrictions on “dual-use items”, which Israel claims could also be used to build weapons to be used against it.“Life in Gaza has become more and more complicated by these issues and we need quick solutions for our problems and the environment is the most important,” said Hillis. “All of the international community is responsible.”Banner image: Palestinian bedouin in Gaza Valley dig for worms in the polluted shallow waters on Gaza’s coast to use for fishing. Photo by Kaamil Ahmed/Mongabay.Kaamil Ahmed is a foreign correspondent who has reported on conflicts, labor and the environment in South Asia and the Middle East. You can find him on Twitter at @kaamilahmed.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

More than 40 percent of Madagascar’s freshwater life sliding toward extinction, IUCN finds

first_imgIn an assessment of 653 freshwater plant and animal species living on Madagascar and nearby islands, biologists found that 43 percent are threatened with extinction or there isn’t enough information to assess how well they’re doing.Nearly 80 percent of endemic plants examined in the study face extinction.The team lists unsustainable farming practices, deforestation, dam construction, mining and the overuse of natural resources, such as overfishing, as causes for the widespread declines. Madagascar is known as an ark for biodiversity that’s found nowhere else on the planet. Unfortunately, it’s also known for the bevy of threats that those distinctive species that live in its rainforests, woodlands and wetlands face. Now, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reports that many of the plants and animals living in the island’s freshwater habitats, as well as those of other southern Indian Ocean islands, are also being pushed closer to extinction.A team of biologists compared known data on 653 freshwater species, ranging from fish and crabs to dragonflies and aquatic plants, and they found that 43 percent were either threatened with extinction or else scientists didn’t have enough information to assess how well they were doing. That’s more than double the proportion of threatened freshwater species on the African continent, according to a 2011 IUCN biodiversity survey.A rice paddy in Madagascar. The authors of the report pointed to unsustainable agricultural practices as a primary driver of species declines. Photo by Mike Averill, courtesy of IUCN.More than 150 dragonfly species that the scientists looked at are endemic to Madagascar, meaning they’re found nowhere else in the world. Other endemics include a genus of freshwater snails that bear live young. Two of the species, Madagasikara madagascariensis and Madagasikara johnsoni, are classified as endangered.The authors identified unsustainable farming — which they write includes the traditional slash-and-burn technique used by subsistence farmers around the world — as the most serious threat, particularly when it involves the drainage of wetlands to increase the amount of arable land. Deforestation, dam construction and mining also play a part in fouling bodies of freshwater, which in turn puts pressure on the plants and animals that live in them.The authors said the overuse of natural resources, as in the case of overfishing, was a significant catalyst in driving down the numbers of some species. That finding is particularly concerning for the Malagasy people of Madagascar, said Laura Máiz-Tomé, an IUCN program officer and one of the report’s editors.A blue-faced featherleg damselfly (Proplatycnemis pseudalatipes), which scientists have found only in Madagascar. Photo © Allan Brandon, courtesy of IUCN.“Given the poverty levels in the country, the Malagasy people depend heavily on freshwater species for their livelihoods, through fisheries or the use of plants to make baskets for example,” Máiz-Tomé said in a statement. “To halt this dramatic decline, capacity building for conservation of these environmentally and economically valuable species should be made a priority.”The 23 percent of plant and animal species that fall into the “data deficient” category highlights an important void in our understanding of Madagascar’s biodiversity, said William Darwall, who leads IUCN’s freshwater biodiversity unit and who edited the report.“We urgently need more research to effectively conserve species in this hotspot for global biodiversity,”Darwall said in the statement.Freshwater crayfish (Astacoides granulimanus), endemic to Madagascar, for sale at a market. Photo © Christian Ranaivoson, courtesy of IUCN.The research revealed that aquatic plants found only in Madagascar are particularly threatened, said Sylvie Andriambololonera, a coordinator with one of the partners in the study, the Missouri Botanical Garden. Nearly 80 percent of endemic plants examined in the study are creeping toward extinction. But as with the animal species, the findings exposed how little we know about Madagascar’s freshwater plant life.“Many [plant] species had not been recorded in the 50 years preceding this study, highlighting a need for more continuous field assessments,” Andriambololonera said in the statement. “Up to date assessments reduce gaps in our knowledge and ensure we can prioritise species for conservation.”Banner image of a dragonfly in Madagascar by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Follow John Cannon on Twitter: @johnccannonCITATIONMáiz-Tomé, L., Sayer, C. and Darwall, W. (eds) (2018). The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands hotspot. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. viii+128pp.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannoncenter_img Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forestry, Forests, Freshwater Animals, Freshwater Ecosystems, Freshwater Fish, freshwater turtles, Insects, Iucn, Mangroves, Mass Extinction, Mining, Molluscs, Plants, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Ecological Services, Rainforest Mining, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Research, Saving Species From Extinction, Sixth Mass Extinction, Slash-and-burn, Sustainable Development, Threats To Rainforests, Trees, Tropical Forests, Wetlands, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

Audio: Maroon 5’s James Valentine on why he’s working to stop illegal logging

first_imgActivism, Amazon Logging, Animals, Conservation, Corridors, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Activism, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Interviews, Logging, Marine Protected Areas, Podcast, Protected Areas, Redd, Redd And Communities, Reptiles, Timber, Turtles And Tortoises, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Corridors 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 On today’s episode, we speak with multiple-Grammy-winning musician James Valentine about his work to stop illegal logging and make concert tours more environmentally friendly.As lead guitarist of Maroon 5, Valentine has traversed the globe numerous times on tour, taking the band’s music around the world. But late last year, Valentine went to Peru with a much different mission: he was part of a group of musicians who spoke in Lima in support of the “No More Blood Wood” campaign. He also visited a sustainable logging operation in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve in 2016.Valentine is here to tell us about his experiences in Peru and Guatemala and to tell us all about the work he and Reverb are doing to keep illegal wood out of musical instruments, lower the environmental impact of touring, and engage music fans in environmental action. On today’s episode, we speak with a multiple-Grammy-winning musician about his work to keep illegal and unsustainable wood out of musical instruments and make concert tours more environmentally friendly.Listen here:Our guest today is James Valentine, lead guitarist of Maroon 5, a pop rock band that has sold more than 75 million records, had 13 songs make the Billboard Top 10 Hits list, and won three Grammies. Valentine has traversed the globe numerous times on tour, taking the band’s music around the world. But late last year, he went to Peru with a much different mission: he was part of a group of musicians who spoke in Lima in support of the “No More Blood Wood” campaign, which aims to stop illegal logging in the Amazon. The group also visited some indigenous Amazonian communities to see the impacts of illegal and unsustainable logging firsthand.“A lot of the wood we were using in our instruments was coming from illegal sources,” Valentine says. “And the quickest way to sort of get people on the same page is to call it ‘blood wood,’ because everybody is familiar with the ‘blood diamond’ concept, and so they’re familiar with the idea that some of the practices around mining and those illegal markets that were around these diamonds were having these horrible repercussions on the communities where they were taking these diamonds from. And it’s the same with wood.”James Valentine onstage with Maroon 5. Photo by Travis Schneider.That wasn’t Valentine’s first time visiting the forests where the tonewoods used in guitars and other instruments are harvested. In 2016, Valentine went to Guatemala to visit communities engaged in sustainable forestry in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. On both trips, Valentine was accompanied by Adam Gardner, singer for the band Guster and co-founder of Reverb, the non-profit organization that launched the “No More Blood Wood” campaign and also works with musicians and others in the music industry to reduce the environmental impact of tours.“Certainly we get some pushback from people through social media who would rather we shut up and sing,” Valentine says. “But just because I chose to play in a pop band doesn’t mean I turn in my citizenship. … I have just as much a right to speak on these issues that I care about as anyone else, and I’m going to continue to do that.”Valentine is here to tell us about his experiences in Peru and Guatemala and to tell us all about the work he and Reverb are doing to keep illegal wood out of musical instruments, lower the environmental impact of concert tours, and engage music fans in environmental action.“The wood that’s being used for guitars, of course, that’s just a small drop in the bucket. The larger issue are the consumer goods that everyone uses, the tables, the chairs, dressers,” Valentine says. “It does start with consumers, asking and creating that demand for wood products that can be traced. So that’s why we’re out here — that’s why I’m here talking about this now — because awareness is going to be the first step.”Here’s this episode’s top news:‘IUCN Green List of species’: A new way to measure conservation successNew report highlights top 50 tortoises and turtles on brink of extinctionOver $720 million in profit from tourism in Peru’s protected natural areasReport finds projects in DRC ‘REDD+ laboratory’ fall short of development, conservation goalsBelize creates one of Central America’s largest biological corridorsBrazil creates four massive marine protected areasThis is our 40th episode since we launched the Mongabay Newscast in 2016, and if you’ve been enjoying the show for any or all of that time, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page. Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if you’re a fan of our audio reports from nature’s frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at patreon.com/mongabay.You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, Google Play, iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, RSS and via Spotify. Or listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.James Valentine (right) playing guitar in the Madre De Dios region of Peru with Adam Gardner of Guster/REVERB (center) and K.T. Tunstall (left). Photo courtesy of the Environmental Investigation Agency.Follow Mike Gaworecki on Twitter: @mikeg2001FEEDBACK: 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 Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Kaziranga’s rhino census finds the population is growing, but more slowly than expected

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 Isabel Esterman Kaziranga National Park in India’s Assam state is home to the majority of the world’s greater one-horned rhinos.A census completed in March counted 2,413 rhinos, an increase of 12 individuals since 2015.Officials believe rhinos were undercounted, likely due to poor visibility. Other observers suggest changes should be made to survey methodology.If the numbers are accurate, it could suggest the park has reached its carrying capacity. However, a large number of young rhinos were counted, indicating that the population remains healthy and breeding. The good news for conservationists is that the population of greater one-horned rhinos in India’s Kaziranga National Park is still on the rise. According to the official rhino census, concluded on March 28, the park’s population now stands at 2,413, up by a dozen from the last tally in 2015.The not-so-good news, however, is that officials had anticipated a higher number. “The results indicate that there has been undercounting and there are plans to conduct the census once more next year,” said N.K. Vasu, chief wildlife warden of the state of Assam.The total number of greater one-horned rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis) counted in the park included 642 adult males and 793 adult females, plus 206 adults whose sex could not be determined. Among sub-adult rhinos, aged roughly 3 to 6 years, there were 116 males, 149 females and 122 of unknown sex. The census also counted 155 calves under a year old and 230 between 1 and 4 years old.Park officials, however, had expected a higher total, given that the last census, in 2015, tracked an increase of 111 rhinos in two years.A team consisting of a mahout, an enumerator and an armed forest guard prepares to count rhinos. Some 300 people, 45 elephants and 30 vehicles were directly involved in the census. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.Rabindra Sharma, a research officer at Kaziranga, cited low visibility caused by overgrown vegetation in the grasslands as one possible factor for the unexpectedly low number of rhino sightings. Large tracts of tall grass are burned annually as a part of rhino habitat management, Sharma said. This encourages new growth, providing the rhinos with fresh vegetation to graze on, while also keeping woody species in check.Normally these tall grasses start drying up in January, and around 70 to 80 percent can be burned by the end of February. This year, however, a longer-than-usual flood season meant that barely 15 to 20 percent of the grasslands could be burned. As a result, Sharma said he suspected many rhinos were simply not spotted in the tall, dense grass.Other factors may have also been in play. Uttam Saikia, a Kaziranga honorary wildlife warden, speculated that the rhinos might be avoiding areas of the park where heavy machinery was being used to shore up the artificial highlands that provide shelter to animals during floods.With floods receding late this year, tall grasses could not be burned before the census, limiting visibility. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.Saikia also pointed to the privately owned elephants that were hired along with their mahouts to escort the census takers through the park. Unlike the forest department’s own elephants, these animals were not well acquainted with the landscape or accustomed to wild animals, Saikia said. This made it difficult for some of the census-takers to go through the dense grass thickets or woodlands, and could have resulted in potential rhino sightings being missed.Indeed, some of the census takers reported a number of incidents during their work. Indumoni Chetia, one of only two women in the group of 60 enumerators, said she was startled by the sound of a gunshot while scanning the grasslands through her binoculars. It turned out the ranger assigned to her had fired a blank to scare away a wild buffalo that appeared to be about to attack their elephant. The elephant, in turn, “got so petrified that it began running here and there and our mahout [elephant rider] had to spend nearly 15-20 minutes to get it on track,” Chetia said.Sangita Medhi, the other female enumerator, told of her elephant and its calf being chased by rhinos on two occasions during the second day of counting. Each time the calf saw a rhino after that, it got spooked and began running erratically, prompting its mother to follow suit, Medhi said. “Even the forest guard was about to fall off once from the elephant’s back,” she said. Nonetheless, she still managed to sight about 70 rhinos.Indumoni Chetia rides high on elephant for rhino sighting. Photo courtesy of Indumoni Chetia.‘Worrying’ growth rateWhile individual census takers were pleased with their tallies, the overall rate of increase in the rhino population did not cheer the conservationists. “This 0.5% growth rate of the rhino population in KNP during the past three years since 2015 is worrying as it indicates the possibility that the rhino numbers in KNP may be nearing its carrying capacity, and more area is required to accommodate them,” said Anupam Sarmah, head of the Assam landscape program at WWF-India.While senior officials at the Assam Forest Department are considering holding a rhino census next year, rather than in 2021 as scheduled, Saikia, the honorary warden, recommended that any future plans and habitat preparedness be evaluated by a committee of experts. Privately owned elephants can be requisitioned for census work, he said, but must be trained beforehand to acclimate them to forest conditions. He also advocated for the use of more up-to-date surveying techniques. “It is time for the park to upgrade the census technologically giving more stress on accuracy with scientific inputs,” he said.Others point to weaknesses in the survey methodology. According to Sarmah, the total-count method that was used is more appropriate for smaller areas. For a park the size of Kaziranga, he argued a system known as the line transect method would be more appropriate. This method is based on distance sampling: lines are drawn at random across a study region, and an observer travels each line using a rangefinder and a compass to record the perpendicular distance from the line to each of the detected animals. Traveling along a straight line, observers cannot spot all of the animals in the surveyed strip, but their findings can be used to model the probability of detection in the study area, and thus estimate the density or abundance of the species.This method, which is already in use for estimating herbivore population density in India, greatly reduces the odds of both double-counting and failing to spot animals, Sarmah said.Sandwiched between a mahout and a forest guard, a census-taker enters the woods on elephant back. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.‘Labor of love’The census relied on a mass effort by more than 300 forest personnel, members of conservation groups and wildlife-loving volunteers to perform a headcount of the rhinos in the species’ most important stronghold, said Kaziranga divisional forest officer Rohini Ballav Saikia. “It was a juggernaut,” he said.Officials divided the 430-square-kilometer (166-square-mile) park into a grid of 74 compartments, each assigned to one census taker. Sandwiched between an elephant and mahout in front and an armed forest guard behind, the census takers set out for the forests at 5 a.m., scanning their areas for rhinos and marking the GPS locations for the next seven to eight hours.Those who participated called it a labor of love.“Our first reaction on sighting a rhino was obviously a squeal of delight. Adjusting the binocular further for a closer view, we simply gaped at the magnificent animal in awe for the first few seconds,” said Chetia and Medhi, both researchers from Gauhati University’s Department of Zoology.It was the first rhino census for the pair. On the first day Chetia was given a compartment in the Bagori (western) range of the park, where she covered about 5 square kilometers (1.9 square miles). “I sighted nearly 60 rhinos,” she said excitedly.Beyond the excitement of simply spotting rhinos, census takers looked for signs of each animal’s sex and age. Kamal Azad, a wildlife biologist at the regional office of the National Tiger Conservation Authority in Guwahati, said overall size was the most easily perceptible difference. Males, he said, are bigger and bulkier than females, with thicker skulls, bigger shoulder muscles and a prominent arch on their backs. It’s also sometimes possible to spot a male’s genitals from behind. Calves, meanwhile, are smaller with undeveloped horns, are generally found close to their mothers, and lack the prominent knobby skin folds found in adults. In between are sub-adults, who are beginning to show signs of maturity, such as developing horns.Around 3,500 greater one-horned rhinos live in India and Nepal, roughly 70 percent of them in Kaziranga. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.The two-day census on March 26 and 27 was followed by random sampling of the rhino population in 16 compartments of the park on March 28. The figures were then scrutinized and collated by a technical committee before being announced on March 29.WWF’s Sarmah said the census was not just about generating a number. The exercise also keeps park management abreast of the status of the habitat and the population, giving insight into the distribution of rhinos in the park and how best to carry out habitat management in the future.Sarmah also pointed to encouraging signs in this year’s figures: the abundance of calves and sub-adults indicates that the park’s rhinos are healthy and breeding, while the male-to-female ratio of 1:1.2 offers reason to hope the population will continue to grow.Banner image: One of the 2,413 rhinos counted during the 2017 census. Photo by Moushumi Basu for Mongabay.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 Animals, Biodiversity, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, In-situ Conservation, Mammals, One-horned Rhinos, Protected Areas, Rhinos, Wildlife last_img read more