How a hunger for teeth is driving a bat toward extinction

first_imgBat teeth are more valuable than paper money on the island of Makira, in the eastern Solomon Islands.The use of bat teeth as a currency means that bats on the island are commonly hunted. One species, the Makira flying fox, is found only on the island and is being threatened with extinction due to human pressures.In addition to direct hunting, human population growth and logging are also threatening the bats.To save the species, researchers recommend developing quotas for sustainable harvesting, as well as an outreach campaign connecting the survival of this key piece of Makiran culture with the need to conserve the bats. On the island of Makira, in the eastern Solomon Islands, bat teeth are more valuable than paper money. But their use as a currency has contributed to widespread hunting of flying foxes and is driving one species toward extinction. Now, conservationists are trying to use this local tradition to save the bats and build local support for their conservation.Known to some as the “forgotten island,” Makira attracts few tourists. Those that make the trek do so primarily to see its rare and endemic birds, such as the rare yellow-legged pigeon (Columba pallidiceps), white-headed fruit dove (Ptilinopus eugeniae) and endangered chestnut-bellied imperial pigeon (Ducula brenchleyi). The island’s mammals, reptiles and amphibians are poorly understood by comparison.Researchers Tyrone Lavery and John Fasi, who was born in Makira, surveyed 197 Makirans to learn why they hunt the bats. While the bats are mainly hunted for food, their teeth are more valuable to the Makirans than the paper money of the Solomon Islands, according to the results of the study, published in Oryx on Oct. 16. The teeth are strung into necklaces or bracelets and exchanged during significant cultural events such as weddings, or to apologize and settle disputes.Two species of flying fox live on Makira; one, the Makira flying fox (Pteropus cognatus), is only found on this island and is considered Vulnerable by the IUCN. Flying foxes are large, fruit-eating bats with dog-like faces. Globally, 31 of the 65 species of flying fox are dangerously close to extinction. Twenty-eight of these threatened species are found only on islands, where they play vital ecological roles.A Makira flying fox (Pteropus cognatus) hangs from a branch. Photo by Tyrone LaveryA Makiran girl shows off a bat-tooth necklace. Photo by Tyrone LaveryFlying foxes are considered ecosystem engineers. As consumers of nectar and fruit they pollinate and spread the seeds of the plants they feed on. Hurricanes can level entire forests on Pacific islands like Makira, but the fruit- and nectar-eating bats help forests regenerate by dispersing seeds and pollinating flowers.Makira’s population is growing by 2 percent annually as of 2016, which has increased hunting pressures on the flying foxes that many Makirans rely on as a source of protein. The communal roosting habits of the flying foxes make them vulnerable to mass killing by Makirans searching for food both for themselves and to sell in markets.Hunting represents the most imminent threat to the flying foxes of the island, Lavery said. But habitat loss is also affecting them as foreign logging companies continue to tighten their grip on the island’s extensive but finite forest resources. Lavery told Mongabay that eight logging companies, mostly from Asia, currently operate approximately 14 camps on the island. Logging companies routinely violate environmental regulations on the island — for example, felling trees too close to rivers, failing to construct proper roadways, and logging at altitudes above 400 meters (1,300 feet), which is prohibited by law. The reliance of many Makirans on the forest for food and water means the negative effects of logging — polluted rivers, loss of forest-dwelling wildlife, and increased flooding — force Makirans off lands that have provided for them for generations.Satellite data from the University of Maryland show logging roads penetrating into Makira’s forests. Data source: Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, accessed through Global Forest WatchSatellite imagery of expansion of logging roads between early 2016 and late 2017 in southern Makira. Images from Planet LabsA logging road cuts through forest on Makira. Photo by Tyrone LaveryA sign tries to discourage logging of a Makiran forest. Photo by Tyrone LaveryA tree felled along a logging road in the Solomon Islands. Photo by Tyrone LaveryThe most obvious way to save the bats is to ban hunting, but researchers say that the cultural significance of the bat teeth combined with the bats’ value as a food source means this approach is unlikely to be successful. In 2010, an international conservation group paid locals on another of the Solomon Islands to stop hunting dolphins for their teeth, which are also used as currency. But by 2013, hunting had resumed and the price per tooth had risen dramatically, motivating additional hunting.Any effort to conserve flying foxes on Makira will require ongoing local support to succeed. Instead of a ban on hunting, the researchers recommend developing quotas for sustainable harvesting of the flying foxes, as well as an outreach campaign connecting the survival of this key piece of Makiran culture with the need to conserve the bats.“You have to convince people in a different way,” Fasi said. “You can’t just use figures and facts. Appeal to something that makes sense and is important to them.” He added that the pitch to Makirans should be simple: “If you hunt the bats into extinction, a part of your culture will go extinct too.”“The great thing about Tyrone’s work is that it looks at Western models of capitalism and conservation and recognizes that they’re not always the right things to appeal to,” said Nathan Whitmore, a biologist working in Papua New Guinea with the Wildlife Conservation Society, who was not involved in the study.A plume of sediment washes from a Makiran river into the ocean. Deforestation often increases erosion, which can sully water sources. Photo by Tyrone LaveryThe next step in developing a long-term conservation plan for flying foxes on Makira is to conduct population surveys to establish baselines for sustainable harvesting. By virtue of its status as the “forgotten island,” Makira may have enough time to curb the negative effects of population growth and logging with strategic interventions.But Lavery is somber when asked what the future may hold for wildlife on Makira.“So far the only extinctions we’ve documented have been due to introduced species like feral cats,” he said. “But that will probably change fairly quickly in the coming decades with the increasing population and logging.” Citation:Tyrone H. Lavery, John Fasi. Buying through your teeth: traditional currency and conservation of flying foxes Pteropus spp. in Solomon Islands. Oryx, 2017; 1FEEDBACK: 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. Agriculture, Animals, Bats, Deforestation, Environment, forest degradation, Forest Loss, Habitat Loss, Hunting, Islands, Logging, Mammals, Rivers, Sustainability, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

Easter Island votes for world’s newest marine reserve

first_imgThe Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area encompasses 740,000 square kilometers (286,000 square miles) of Pacific Ocean surrounding Easter Island, or Rapa Nui. The reserve was approved by a 73 percent majority in a September 2017 referendum of islanders.The MPA is intended to eliminate the pressures of commercial fishing and mining on the unique and isolated ecosystem of Rapa Nui. Supporters of the project cite public support and participation as an encouraging sign of the reserve’s long-term potential.The Rapa Nui people and government of Chile are currently planning how the reserve will be enforced and monitored, prior to the official signing ceremony on February 27. Many in and outside Rapa Nui believe the reserve will aid relations between the island and the mainland, although there is lingering distrust among some islanders toward Chile. Stone heads loom in the imagination of most people when they think of Easter Island. Known as Rapa Nui to its inhabitants, who also go by the name Rapa Nui as a people, the island sits in a remote corner of the Pacific Ocean, 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) west of Chile. Like the mysterious stone Moai that line the landscape, there is more to this place than is visible from the surface.Easter Island’s world-renowned Moai statues were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. Photo: Eduardo Sorenson/The Pew Charitable Trusts.Some 142 marine species found nowhere else on Earth (27 of which are at risk of extinction) and 77 percent of the Pacific’s fish abundance thrive in the waters around Rapa Nui. An expedition in early 2017 uncovered even more species, some new to science, in the depths surrounding the island, many of which were striking shades of red and orange.In the depths of the ocean, as the sunlight fades, red wavelengths of light are absorbed first, rendering many of the new discoveries, such as the sunset-colored Anatolanthias fish and the ochre-hued sea biscuit (a burrowing, urchin-like creature) virtually invisible in the twilit water.Nearer the surface, coral reef fish like Pseudolabrus semifasciatus, a wrasse species splashed in purple, yellow and monochrome tiger stripes, are a vivid reminder of the region’s unique biodiversity. Almost one-quarter of all fish swimming off the island reside permanently near the surface.In a bid to preserve these species, a new marine reserve covering 740,000 square kilometers (about 286,000 square miles) of ocean, an area greater than the size of France, has been officially designated by the Chilean government. The Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area will be off-limits to commercial mining and fishing, while the local people will be free to continue the traditional fishing methods of their ancestors.The announcement of the marine protected area (MPA) in 2017 was met with praise from environmental advocacy groups such as the Pew Charitable Trusts, which helped assess the economic consequences of a Rapa Nui reserve. Matt Rand, director of the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project, hailed the decision as a democratic triumph: a referendum in September 2017 found 73 percent of locals in favor of the reserve following the highest instance of voter turnout in the island’s history. With local and international support rallying behind the project, hopes are high for a conservation success story.“There is a Polynesian concept called ‘Rahui,’ which is to make an area off-limits from exploitation. Community leaders proposed this ancient concept and led the way in building strong support in the referendum that supported the creation of an MPA,” Rand told Mongabay. “It was a historic moment for this island, but it should be a signal to other island and coastal communities that they can conserve their ocean environments and their own cultural heritage with marine protected areas.”Since the referendum, the Chilean government and the Rapa Nui people have worked together to finalize how the reserve will be overseen and its protections enforced once signed into law. Islanders have begun training as monitors, while Chile, which administers the island as a special territory, plans to assist with satellite observation of the MPA to ensure foreign vessels abide by its rules.The autonomous waters of Rapa Nui which will be protected from foreign extraction through the new marine reserve. Photo: The Pew Charitable Trusts.In recent years, the Rapa Nui have watched the distant lights of fishing boats on the horizon at night grow larger and more numerous. Meanwhile, the size and number of fish they catch with rock weights and lines has shrunk. Local landings of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares), known as kahi ave ave in Rapa Nui, peaked around 2000 at 70 metric tons per year, but the following decade saw catches stagnate. In recent years, confidence in the ocean’s capacity to provide has diminished among the Rapa Nui — with encroaching foreign fleets and fishing regulations remote from the local culture getting the blame.Rand believes the experience has fueled support on the island for autonomy over the region’s resources, creating common cause for a reserve with the outgoing administration of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who is keen to shore up her record on environmental protection.“The government of Chile believes that public participation leads to better policy with a deeper connection to those who are affected, and we were committed to consultation with the Rapa Nui,” Marcelo Mena, Chile’s minister of the environment, said in a statement after news of the referendum result broke.“This marine protected area adds to the legacy of President Bachelet and the 1.5 million square kilometers [579,000 square miles] of protected areas created by this government.”Ludovic Burns Tuki, director of the Roundtable of the Sea, a coalition of more than 20 Rapa Nui groups, agrees that the participation of locals is crucial to the reserve’s long-term viability.“I think the government of Chile made a big step in understanding the worldview of Rapa Nui and our connection with the ocean,” Tuki told Mongabay. “For any MPA, it is important to work together, and what happens in Easter Island is an example for the entire world.”Like many islanders, however, Tuki is mindful of the missteps taken by Chile in relation to Easter Island in the past. In 2010, a no-take marine park was declared around the nearby island of Motu Motiro Hiva (known in Spanish as Salas y Gómez) without any consultation with the Rapa Nui themselves.“Because in Chilean law, Rapa Nui and Motu Motiro Hiva are two different islands,” Tuki explained. “For us, there was always a connection between the two islands.”Despite prior disagreement, the referendum result has encouraged many who foresee a more progressive and prosperous relationship with the mainland. Tuki is among them, highlighting the importance of cooperation and the potential for the Rapa Nui to sustainably manage their own waters.“We must work with strategy and union to get success for our community. It is important to know that 62 percent of the Rapa Nui have a Chilean surname, that is why we must keep good relations with respect and heart,” he said. “Today Rapa Nui is in a very good moment because of tourism and help from Chile.”For others, the influence of Chile is rooted in centuries of misrule, which sustains modern distrust of Santiago’s authority. As the Chilean presidential election thundered on in the distance, one local politician ran on a parliamentary ticket of self-determination for the Rapa Nui. Though her campaign fell short in December’s vote, the movement behind Annette Rapu Zamora suggests there are underlying problems that will not be swept away by the referendum.Outside of the political environment, scientists have applauded the reserve and what it could achieve for the region’s ecology. Donald Olson, a coral ecologist at the University of Miami, studied the reefs of Rapa Nui in 2007 and found an oasis of unique and unusual species.“[Rapa Nui] is the southeastern-most point for coral ecosystems in the Pacific, with no great connection to the West and elsewhere,” Olson told Mongabay.Ocean currents have restricted the dispersal of creatures to the island’s waters, acting as a natural boundary that Charles Darwin termed “the Great Eastern Pacific Barrier.” The result for Rapa Nui is a marine haven of “distinct, separate [life] forms” which evolved in isolation and occur nowhere else.Easter Island is home to at least 142 species found nowhere else, including the Easter Island butterflyfish (Chaetodon litus) pictured right. Photo: Eduardo Sorenson/The Pew Charitable Trusts.Olson believes the exclusion of foreign fishing and mining interests will promote healing in both the natural environment and social milieu of Rapa Nui, by ensuring “local people and the greater ecosystem are big winners.”He added: “The biggest thing the protected area will do is keep commercial fishing out and protect local interests, so that people can derive income from livelihoods that won’t harm the ocean.” Biodiversity, Conservation, Environment, Fish, Fisheries, Fishing, Interns, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Protected Areas, Oceans, Protected Areas, Research Banner image: Rapa Nui fishers rely on traditional fishing methods perfected through centuries of practice, using rock weights and lines in the small boats pictured above. Photo: Eduardo Sorenson/The Pew Charitable Trusts. Article published by Maria Salazarcenter_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 CITATIONS:Aburto, J. A., Gaymer, C. F., Haoa, S., & González, L. (2015). Management of marine resources through a local governance perspective: Re-implementation of traditions for marine resource recovery on Easter Island. Ocean & Coastal Management, 116, 108-115.Glynn, P. W., Wellington, G. M., Riegl, B., Olson, D. B., Borneman, E., & Wieters, E. A. (2007). Diversity and biogeography of the scleractinian coral fauna of Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Pacific Science, 61(1), 67-90.Zylich, K., Harper, S., Lidandeo, R., Vega, R., Zeller, D., & Pauly, D. (2014). Fishing in Easter Island, a recent history (1950-2010). Latin American Journal of Aquatic Research, 42(4).last_img read more

You don’t need a bigger boat: AI buoys safeguard swimmers and sharks

first_imgArtificial Intelligence, early warning, Human-wildlife Conflict, Marine, Mobile, Oceans, Sharks, Software, Surveillance, Technology, Wildtech Article published by Sue Palminteri Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img A new tech-driven device may help reduce harmful interactions with sharks and improve people’s tolerance of one of the ocean’s top predators.The system, called Clever Buoy, combines sonar to detect a large object in the water, artificial intelligence to determine that the object is a shark close enough to threaten beachgoers, and automated SMS alerts to lifeguards that enable them to take action.Local governments have deployed the system at popular beaches and surfing sites to test its capacity to protect swimmers and surfers without harming marine wildlife. Sharks are in trouble worldwide, with one study estimating that people kill up to 100 million of them each year through illegal fishing, shark finning, and bycatch.The negative public view of sharks as aggressive killers limits empathy for the ocean’s largest fish, even though only 33 of over 500 species have been known to bite people, and 63 percent of reported attacks have been by three species: tiger, bull, and great white sharks.A sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus) swimming. These sharks inhabit coastal areas but dine on fish, crabs, and rays and are considered not dangerous to people. However, commercial fisheries targeted these sharks for their relatively large dorsal fins, and the species is now listed as vulnerable. Photo credit: Brian Gratwicke CC 2.0Shark-human interactions have increased as people spend more time in the ocean and as more attacks are actually reported. Of the 88 unprovoked shark attacks reported in 2017, five were fatal; to put that into perspective, more people die of lightning strikes than shark attacks.Limitations of existing shark attack prevention strategiesPrevious efforts in Australia to protect surfers and swimmers have relied on nets—which trap not just sharks but also rays, dolphins, and turtles—or drum lines, lengths of baited hooks attached to the seabed that aim to catch and drown passing sharks, as well as direct culling of sharks.These methods have not proved successful in eliminating shark attacks, and killing the ocean’s top predators, while harming other species in the process, negatively affects marine ecosystems.More recent non-invasive efforts to detect sharks have included trained shark-spotting teams, electromagnetic devices that attach to surfboards, and expensive seabed-to-surface barriers. Some areas in Australia and Brazil have set out non-lethal “smart” nets and drum lines to capture and tag passing sharks that are then monitored by beacons that receive the “ping” of the animal’s tracking tag.Each of these methods has had limited success. High-energy surfing zones along Australia’s coast present challenges to maintaining nets and other physical barriers, while tagged sharks may represent a fraction of a total population.The floating Clever Buoy tested at Bondi Beach near Sydney, Australia. The buoy is connected to sonar units installed on the sea floor that create a ‘virtual’ net, rather than a physical barrier that can harm not just sharks but other marine animals. Photo courtesy of Smart Marine SystemsSince 2016, the government of New South Wales, Australia, has been testing a series of new technologies to address the increased number of shark sightings. One of these, a tethered buoy integrating sonar, artificial intelligence, and cellular phone technologies, has shown promise as a non-lethal, non-invasive means of detecting and identifying sharks and alerting officials of their presence near beaches.Shark-finding technologyDetection: The 35-kilogram (77-pound) solar-powered Clever Buoys, developed by Smart Marine Systems (SMS), float on the ocean surface, communicate with devices on shore, and attach to sonar transducers mounted onto a pier or the ocean floor. Each system’s sonar sends out acoustic signals that bounce off objects in the water. It then measures the strength of the returning signal and the time it takes to return to determine the size, distance, and direction of the object.Installing the Clever Buoy’s seabed frame with the sonar transducer on the ocean floor. Photo courtesy of Smart Marine SystemsThe sonar reaches objects in the water column up to 120 meters (394 feet) away, so multiple units can be positioned to create a virtual shark net that “sees” underwater, which lifeguards and aerial surveillance cannot.  It uses a frequency that is substantially higher than the hearing range of known marine animals, to avoid adverse impacts on wildlife.The units are set up in an array that is configured according to the form of the beach, SMS founder and executive director Craig Anderson told Mongabay-Wildtech. “Generally it is sitting 400-500 meters [1,310-1,640 feet] from the sand, and then it’s looking out to sea to basically create a virtual barrier or virtual net, and anything that comes within that zone gets identified and analyzed,” he said.The virtual net created by two Clever Buoys each connected to three sonar transducers at City Beach, near Perth, Australia. Photo courtesy of Smart Marine SystemsIdentification: Sharks swim in patterns that differ from those of dolphins, turtles, or rays. The Clever Buoy system runs software called SharkTec that uses AI to identify sharks over 2 meters (6 feet) long based on their movements and distinctive acoustic signature.“It’s a pattern recognition algorithm of the distinct swimming patterns of various marine life,” Anderson said.Engineers at SMS and sonar maker Tritech developed SharkTec by adapting software used to detect marine life around oil rigs and tidal turbines with data on shark movements collected over several years.They “trained” the software by incorporating the shark movement data into the AI algorithms to automate the recognition of sharks through these signature movement patterns; the resulting software distinguishes sharks from other animals by their size, speed, and swim pattern.Alert: When the system determines that a nearby object is likely a shark, it signals lifeguards, who can respond by closing the beach or other action. The system transmits the alert within a few seconds via text message and special mobile phone app with the shark’s location and likelihood that it is a threat. It can also integrate the alert into local emergency services messaging to the public.SMS is still adapting the system to distinguish among different shark species. Most species mainly avoid people, so the developers and collaborators have also installed the system inside Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium to test its ability to differentiate among shark species and prevent harmless species from triggering an alarm. A major objective of the NSW Shark Management Strategy is to reduce interactions between beachgoers and sharks while minimizing harm to the area’s marine wildlife.A SharkTec sonar capture of a tiger shark moving from right to left, based on its size and swim movement pattern. Tiger sharks are one of three species responsible for most attacks on humans. Image courtesy of Smart Marine SystemsTesting and retestingThe Clever Buoy developers, together with the NSW government and researchers from the University of Technology Sydney, tested the system, in combination with aerial surveillance, drone surveillance, shark tagging and mobile apps, as part of a larger shark management program to reduce the incidence of shark bites along the NSW coast.SMS has since tested the buoys at beaches near Sydney and Perth in Australia, as well as at a World Surf League competition in South Africa.Early tests consisted of placing the Clever Buoy system about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) offshore, beyond the surf zone, in about 10 meters (33 feet) of water, at well-used beaches. The testing team positioned an underwater video camera nearby to record for up to five hours each day and compared the captured images to the information received from the Clever Buoy to visually verify sharks that the sonar system detected.In this video from University of Technology Sydney, a curious great white shark investigates the Clever Buoy’s underwater sonar setup during a test off the central coast of New South Wales, Australia. The testing team used the video imagery to verify shark detections made by the Clever Buoy system.The Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association said in a statement that a three-month trial of the system in 2016 at Bondi Beach near Sydney was a success, “with Clever Buoy logging and alerting numerous shark detections, many of which were able to be positively validated through visual identification by the Bondi professional ocean lifeguards.”The system also successfully identified great white sharks on the NSW central coast, with video footage confirming the detection of the sharks during the trial.Tests around Perth had mixed results. Local newspaper The West Australian reported that two buoy units detected 38 “possible” sharks, which led to 19 beach closures, but that “the system was unable to distinguish between different types of marine animals, let alone species of sharks.”Anderson said the AI software was a developing technology. “The more time we spend in the water, the more the algorithm develops, the more accurate the system gets,” he said. “It’s a continuum of development, it never stops. Like any pattern recognition development, it’s all about having that library, that catalog of imagery to teach the system and for the system to continually learn.”Tiger sharks, such as this one with remoras, have stripes on their sides that fade with age. Second only to white sharks in terms of the number of attacks on humans, tiger sharks actually feed on a wide range of prey, including fish, birds, seals, turtles, crustaceans, sea snakes, and smaller sharks. Photo credit: Albert Kok, CC 3.0The company is now deploying a set of Clever Buoy units at beaches in Southern California. It will lease the system to the city of Newport Beach for between $10,000 and $15,000 per month for six transponders.The platform has been shown to operate continually in open ocean conditions, autonomously monitoring marine life and alerting authorities when large swimming objects appear to be sharks that may threaten beach users. The Clever Buoy is beginning to carry additional sensors that record environmental indicators, including wave height and swell, water temperature, and levels of certain pollutants and acidity.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