first_imgThe thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus) was declared extinct in 1936. But anecdotal reports of sightings of the marsupial inspired a recent media frenzy, leading to speculation that some might still be living in the forests of northern Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula.A biological survey conducted via camera traps had been planned for the region before news of the reported sightings spread. The aim of the survey is to find out why so many of Australia’s native marsupials – and those of Cape York in particular – are disappearing. They also hope to figure out if there are any as-yet undocumented mammals living there, such as a small, endangered rat-kangaroo called the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica).A bettong expert says cattle ranching, invasive animals, and changing fire management regimes may be hurting native mammals in Australia.The researchers caution that the possibility of finding evidence of thylacines living in Cape York is vanishingly small. But, if the near-impossible happens and they do manage to document some, they say news of the rediscovery likely won’t be released until protections are enacted. The 1980s rock band Cinderella had its biggest hit with the song, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till it’s Gone),” riffing off the age-old proverb. Of course, Cinderella’s song is about a love affair, but the sentiment could speak as easily to the state of the thylacine, once the world’s largest marsupial carnivore. Representing its own family, capable of opening its mouth 80 degrees, and striped like a tiger (or maybe the tiger is striped like a thylacine), the last one died in 1936 after a decades-long campaign to wipe out the animal as sheep-killing vermin. But true to human nature, people only really began to love the thylacine after it was gone. The species has since taken on a potent afterlife by capturing the public’s imagination and inspiring thousands of reported sightings of an animal that’s supposed to be dead and gone. It has become a favorite of cryptozoologists – people who believe creatures from folklore or history are still roaming the world undocumented – and of those interested in bringing back species from the dead via their DNA.So, it’s not exactly surprising that when a team of scientists – serious scientists with impressive careers and credentials – announced they were planning to look for thyalcines (Thylacinus cynocephalus) in Cape York Peninsula on mainland Australia the news went global and the Internet a little wild.But the media largely failed to report some important points: the survey was planned long before the thylacine became a part of it; the sightings of the purported thylacine were more than thirty years old; the survey is taking place in mainland Australia where the thylacine is believed to have gone extinct over a thousand years ago (not Tasmania where the last known individual was shot by a hunter in 1930); and those involved are keen in tamping down any expectation of them bringing home evidence of living, breathing, extinction-defying thylacines.The survey will be taking place in northern Australia’s Cape York Peninsula, thousands of miles from the thylacine’s last stronghold of Tasmania. Satellite data show the region still boasts significant expanses of intact forest landscape  —  areas of native vegetation cover that are large and undisturbed enough to retain their original biodiversity levels.“We’ve always said that we think the probability of encountering a thylacine is very, very remote,” said Bill Laurance, a professor with James Cook University well known and long respected for his work on tropical ecosystems around the world.“People are just going batshit over this thing and the reporting made it sound as though the thylacine was practically, just waiting out there,” he added.Laurance is working on the survey with Sandra Abell, also a professor at James Cook University and one of the world’s foremost experts on bettongs, small marsupial rat-kangaroos that are threatened with extinction – but have received zero press compared to the thylacine.To illustrate the chances of finding actually finding thylacines, Abell pointed to a study published soon after their survey announcement that calculated the chances of a thylacine surviving: 1 in 1.6 trillion.“So my task is huge but tongue in cheek I say challenge accepted!” Abell, who will be leading the survey on the ground, wrote in an email. “If they are there we have a good chance of getting them on camera, if they aren’t nothing is lost.”According to the study – entitled “The thylacine is (still) extinct” – the most optimistic view is that the thylacine survived on Tasmania unrecorded until the 1950s, but then – again most optimistically – met its end.“There are a whole set of assumptions built into models like this,” Laurance said, “but I think it interjects a needed note of sobriety.”Thylacines could open their mouths 80 degrees. But while their maws were large, their jaws were relatively weak.Laurance and Abell are not saying there is any physical evidence that thylacines survive on Cape York today; what they do say is that two sightings from the 1980s are intriguing enough to investigate. This is, after all, what scientists do: investigate.Seeing redHundreds – if not thousands – of people have claimed to have seen thyalcines since their extinction, but what really got Laurance and Abell’s attention was the purported eye shine of these mystery animals.“Eye shine is a very distinctive characteristic when an animal is looking directly at you,” explained Laurance who has done spotlighting of animals at night around the world. “Species have species-specific eye shine features and they are even age specific in some species.”This all started in March, when Brain Hobbs, a former tourism operator, went public with a story that he saw four thylacine-like animals on Cape York – two adults and two pups – in 1983 with red eye shine.Red is key. If indeed the animals in question had red eye shine then what Hobbs saw was probably not dingoes, dogs or feral pigs, according to Laurance and Hobbs. Known animals in the Cape York rainforest with red eye shine include Lumholtz’s tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) and the green ring-tail possum (Pseudochirops archeri), neither of which any experienced outdoors person would mistake for a thylacine.“You got a guy who’s claiming credibly, on-the-record, both in an extended taped conversation and then later when I spoke to him at length in a very open-ended, very careful interview, who says that he’s got four individuals, twenty feet away looking straight at him. He’s dead certain, dead, dead certain, they were red eye shines,” said Laurance. “He says they are canid-sized animals and he saw distinctive lateral striping beginning from behind the front haunch going back to the backend of the animal. You know, that was when we said look.”Eyeshine is produced when light is reflected off the tapetum lucidum, a special layer of tissue behind the retina that helps provide night vision for many nocturnal animals. Humans and other primates lack the tapetum lucidum and, thus, eyeshine. Photo is of an aye-aye by Tom Junek via Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0)No one knows what color eye shine thyalcines actually had – it may not have been red. But Hobbs’ story – if true – means he wasn’t looking at an animal that researchers would most expect to be mistaken for a thylacine on Cape York.The other sighting is from a ranger, Patrick Shears, who worked in Cape York during the 1970s and 1980s. He did not get the color of the eye shine, but he did see the animal at close range one night. He said indigenous people in the area know of it and call it the “moonlight tiger.”Laurance said such sightings are “compelling” enough to “[make] the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”Of course, this doesn’t mean Hobbs and Shears actually saw undead thylacines. Abell said it’s possible they were dingo-dog hybrids. Another option may be foxes. Fox can have red eye shine – and south of Cape York, thylacine sightings are often just foxes, especially those with mange, which makes them look striped like the thylacine. However, Laurance and Abell said to date there is little evidence that foxes can survive in Cape York.“It’s just way too warm for them there – they suffer from all kinds of diseases,” Laurance explained. Feral cats are another possibility. But Laurance said, contrary to media reports, feral cats are not that common in some parts of Australia, including Cape York.“I’ve done a lot of field work – three years of field surveys across a lot of these different regions – and you just don’t find many feral cats,” he said, adding that he didn’t think experienced observers like Hobbs and Shears would confuse a cat for a thylacine.“We still regard this as highly unlikely,” he cautioned. “Cops will tell you that human observers are just inherent unreliable.”However, he added, those observers who are “the most unshakable and detailed…are the most credible.”For Laurance, Hobbs and Shears fit this latter category.But what they saw could still fall under any number of things. It’s possible they saw a new, undescribed species. It’s also possible that they did see thylacines, but the animals are since gone. Scientists believe that thylacines went extinct on the mainland around a millennium ago in part due to competition from bigger and more adaptable dingoes, which humans brought to Australia 4,000 years ago (there are no dingoes in Tasmanian and experts say that’s why it was able to persist there so much longer). But dingos are present on Cape York, making it harder to imagine the thylacine’s survival there. And, perhaps even more worryingly, small mammals on the peninsula are vanishing, which means that if thylacines somehow survived in this unexplored wilderness until the 1980s – they may not have been able to hold on during the last thirty years given ongoing prey decline.But even if the team doesn’t rediscover the thylacine, it has much to discover.Just as excited for bettongsThe primary objective of Abell and Laurance’s survey has always been to gather better data to answer the question: why are so many of Australia’s native mammals vanishing? But the thylacine news has usurped this objective, swamping out news of all the other species the researchers are looking for.One species the team hopes to document is the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica). Currently classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, Abell said it’s only known from two locations, including one population she recently helped discover on Mount Spurgeon. Abell said she would be “as excited” to find the northern bettong in Cape York as the thylacine. Admittedly, she is probably alone in this sentiment, but it shows just how keen the researchers are to document any animal on the peninsula that hasn’t been cataloged yet, especially threatened ones.Northern bettongs (Bettongia tropica), also called rat-kangaroos, are small, nocturnal marsupials. Truffles comprise a major portion of their diet. Photo by Sandra AbellIndeed, the team has a list of 74 mammal species they will be looking for on the Cape York Peninsula, some of them native and endangered and some invasive and potentially damaging to local wildlife. Whatever they find – thylacine or not – it will help them better understand what’s behind the mammal decline in northern Australia.Researchers have put forward a number of ideas on why mammals are declining, including cattle grazing, invasive plants, drought, changes in fire regimes and predator pressure from animals like fox, cats and dingoes. Abell said that in the case of northern bettongs, she feels that habitat changes due to fire regimes and cattle grazing is key. However, she added that one possibility that that needs more exploration is disease. The eastern coast of northern Australia is ringed by tropical forests. Satellite data from the University of Maryland indicate the region shown lost around 4 percent of its remaining tree cover between 2001 and 2015, and its intact forest landscapes were reduced by about a third between 2000 and 2013. Of the two known locations with viable northern bettong populations, imagery from Google Earth shows one is sandwiched between the city of Cairns and an agricultural area.What the addition of the thylacine has changed – aside from media coverage – is the intensification of the survey and some of the specific areas that will be explored.“There are huge areas of the Cape that are still very poorly explored biologically,” Laurance said, adding that the thylacine sightings have provided a “rationale” for using helicopters to get into some of the most remote areas of the peninsula. A number of ranchers in the area employ helicopters to wrangle cattle.Cape York is arguably the wildest place in Australia and the least explored, so if thylacines – or an undiscovered population of northern bettongs – are hiding out anywhere, it’s most likely here.“There are weird things popping up. There’s two or three species being found every year on Cape York peninsula – new species of frogs and lizards,” Laurance said.Heading out next month, the team plans to strategically place around 50 camera traps on the ground along with scent baits to attract carnivores. They will leave out the traps for two to four weeks before collecting them again. They also plan to do spotlighting on foot to see what they can find in person.“[Sandra Abell] and I have both discovered or rediscovered presumed extinct populations of things, or gigantic range extensions of things,” said Laurance, adding, “new stuff is being found.”Indeed, in 2013 wildlife photographer, John Young, got photographic evidence of the night parrot, a species in Australia that no one had confirmed since 1912. The night parrot came back from the dead after being “gone” for a longer time than the thylacine has. However, it’s also easier for a bird to stay hidden than a good-sized carnivore – and the night parrot was never officially declared extinct as credible sightings trickled in over the decades.All this is to say, while it’s not likely the thylacine will be discovered – it’s not impossible either. After all, what would scientists have pegged the chances of a fisher pulling up from the sea a coelacanth, a fish that was supposed to have gone extinct 66 million years before?Maybe 1 in 1.6 trillion?A thylacine family in a zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, 1910.Abell promised that if thyalcines are still roaming Cape York, “I will find them.”And if they aren’t?“I [will] still have important data that will be useful and help inform my projects on declining mammals.”What if the unimaginable happens?Around a thousand years ago, the thylacine was wiped out from most of mainland Australia. Victims of humans, dingoes and ongoing prey decline, most thylacine populations winked out like cities going dark. But we know that even as that happened, a population survived offshore in Tasmania for nearly a thousand years.Now let’s say – hypothetically – a small population also survived in the wilds of Cape York.Let’s say this Cape York population became adept at avoiding humans and dingoes; let’s say it only came out at night and stuck to well-known paths where it could hide from predators and competitors with ease; let’s say, in a sense, these animals learned to become living ghosts – this is not contrary to the literature on thylacines, which considers them nocturnal and shy. And as the peninsula filled up with cattle – as forests were felled – this small population retreated to the refugia of still-standing forests and continued, there, to hunt, to breed, to survive – unnoticed by the ever-spreading Homo sapiens.Let’s say, however, that many aboriginal people knew this animal persisted, but held their tongues – knowing it was rare and threatened. Plus, when they talked, few outsiders believed them. Let’s say a few wilderness-lovers like Hobbs and Shears saw these animals, these thyalcines – but kept it quiet for decades because they didn’t want to be labeled as kooks (because that’s what happens when someone says they’ve seen a thylacine).Now let’s say, against all odds, this small remnant population somehow squeezed through the last few decades – until a troupe of scientists showed up with camera traps, bait, and a local knowledge of just where these sightings occurred. Let’s say one moonlit night, a young animal, tiger-striped and pouched, walks along its silent trail until it crosses a laser that triggers the camera – and boom. Photographic proof. The thylacine is back.Now, what the hell happens?“Silence would be the best indicator that we actually discovered something interesting, whether it was the thylacine or something else,” Laurance said. He explained that if they got a good photo there would likely be a “government lockdown” on the news for months.“There would be some really serious behind-the-scenes discussions and you’d probably go out and put out a bunch of hair traps to make sure you’ve got DNA samples just to verify it. And then it would be some really serious thinking about what to do about it.“Scientists would try and answer basic questions under a veil of silence: what the thing actually is (Abell said if they do find a thylacine it would probably be a subspecies or even a different thylacine species than the one that existed in Tasmania), where exactly it occurs, and how threatened it is. Protection would come immediately.“My first concern would be to ensure that in the short term the habitat is protected and security provided to prevent too many people trying to get access to the area,” Abell said.The last thylacine killed in the wild was reportedly shot by farmer Wilf Batty in 1930. In the unlikely event of a thylacine rediscovery, researchers say they hope the government would enact swift, strict protections.Then would begin quiet negotiations with stakeholders, in this case likely indigenous groups, landowners, cattle ranchers, and maybe even mining concessions.“My main concern is to make sure it doesn’t turn into some kind of a circus,” Laurance said.And the end result? Both Laurance and Abell said a World Heritage Site designation could be a real possibility. And once the world knew, the region would have to figure out how to deal with a meteoric rise in people wanting to show up and have their own encounter with the moonlight tiger.And then everyone will have to figure out how you protect a species that will suddenly become the most famous and desirable animal on the planet – overnight. “But that’s ‘if’ built upon ‘if’ built upon ‘if’ built upon ‘if’ built upon ‘if’. There are a whole series of ‘if’s that would have to align,” cautioned Laurance, who told New Scientist that he thought the actual chances of rediscovering the thylacine were one to two percent. Not one in 1.6 trillion.“We’re not talking about Loch Ness Monster here, we’re not talking about yetis, something that has never been documented. We’re talking about something that was known to have [existed],” he said.If the discovery happened, it, according to Laurance, would be “world changing” in how scientists view extinction. He said it would also give the world a much-needed dose of optimism when it comes to our global mass extinction crisis, and would likely spur a frenzy searches for other supposedly vanished species.But for all the excitement, all the hope, all the hype, all the fun what-ifs, Laurance wants to make sure people really understand that the thylacine is most likely still extinct. It’s easier, probably, to explain various sightings – even those experienced by veterans – than to assume an animal of this size survived a thousand years undocumented in Australia.“I had this documentary guy came to my house, he said ‘what do you think the likelihood of this is?’,” Laurance said. “And I said ‘somewhere between exceedingly unlikely and vanishingly unlikely.’ And he was really disappointed. And I said, ‘well that’s just the truth. That’s the reality’. If you want to do a documentary on this you’d better make it like the Blair Witch Project because you’re probably not going to see the witch.”In Cinderella’s song, the rock band sings, “Now I know what I got / It’s just this song.” That’s probably all we have left of the thylacine – just remnants: a few stuffed dead animals, some written accounts, our overactive imaginations. Perhaps the best lesson from all this will be that we lost the thylacine due to ignorance, greed, and cruelty – so maybe we should be doing a lot more to save other species on the edge, like the vaquita, the saola, the Hula painted frog, and the giant ibis.But while there’s wilderness, there’s hope. Hope that every night when we go to sleep and dream, some mysterious mammals – tiger-striped and large-mawed – emerge from their dens and go hunting, their breath vanishing in the cool night air. Citations:Hansen, M. C., P. V. Potapov, R. Moore, M. Hancher, S. A. Turubanova, A. Tyukavina, D. Thau, S. V. Stehman, S. J. Goetz, T. R. Loveland, A. Kommareddy, A. Egorov, L. Chini, C. O. Justice, and J. R. G. Townshend. 2013. “High-Resolution Global Maps of 21st-Century Forest Cover Change.” Science 342 (15 November): 850–53. Data available on-line from:http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest. Accessed through Global Forest Watch on May 25, 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgPotapov, P., M. C. Hansen, L. Laestadius, S. Turubanova, A. Yaroshenko, C. Thies, W. Smith, I. Zhuravleva, A. Komarova, S. Minnemeyer, and E. Esipova. 2017. “The last frontiers of wilderness: Tracking loss of intact forest landscapes from 2000 to 2013.” Science Advances 3: e1600821.Editor’s note: William Laurance is a member of Mongabay’s advisory board. 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. Agriculture, Carnivores, Cattle, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Featured, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Mammals, Marsupials, Rainforests, Ranching, Rediscovered Species, Research, Surveying, Tropical Forests, 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

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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 Rhett Butler Amazon Soy, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change, Commentary, Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Fires, Forest Fires, Forests, Green, Impact Of Climate Change, Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests center_img Forbes columnist Michael Shellenberger gets a few things right about the Amazon fires, but he also spreads misinformation not founded in fact or science.What Shellenberger gets right: The Amazon is being mischaracterized by the media as “the lungs of the planet”, the number of fires have been higher in the past, and there is a need to engage Brazilian ranchers and farmers to help curb deforestation and burning.What Shellenberger gets wrong: According to scientists, the big issue is that the Brazilian Amazon stores a vast amount of carbon. Increased deforestation combined with climate change is pushing the Amazon ever closer to a forest-to-savanna tipping point, triggering a large release of carbon and worsening global warming.Also downplayed: the role Jair Bolsonaro is playing in the crisis. Since January, he has dismantled environmental enforcement agencies and used incendiary language to incite ranchers and farmers to illegally clear forest. This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. I understand the desire to correct misinformation that proliferates in the aftermath of breaking news events. And I understand the frustration of sensationalist headlines that mislead readers. But columnist Michael Shellenberger’s attempt in Forbes to correct the record on fires burning in the Brazilian Amazon was sloppy at best, and deceiving at worst.Shellenberger is right on several points, including the poor choice of “Lungs of the Earth” as a moniker for the Amazon rainforest, the fact that both deforestation and fires have been substantially higher in the recent past, the widespread use by the media of old or irrelevant photos to depict the current fires, the need to meaningfully engage ranchers and farmers in Amazon preservation, and the under-appreciation of the impact of sub-canopy fires.But he’s wrong about some other important points. These are listed and refuted below.Cumulative fire hotspots in the Brazilian Amazon according to INPE. Note: August 2019 data is through August 24.Cumulative deforestation through July for each year from 2008 according to INPE’s DETER system. Note that the chart switches from DETER to DETER-B in August 2016.What about The New York Times claim that “If enough rain forest is lost and can’t be restored, the area will become savanna, which doesn’t store as much carbon, meaning a reduction in the planet’s ‘lung capacity’”?Shellenberger’s hang up on oxygen here misleads and misdirects the reader. Scientists, including Dan Nepstad who is quoted extensively in the Forbes piece, have indeed warned that large-scale loss of tree cover in the Amazon rainforest could tip the ecosystem toward a drier, savanna-like ecosystem similar to the adjacent Cerrado. This new ecosystem would store vastly less carbon than a rainforest, increasing emissions and potentially escalating the rate of global climate change.“As I’ve written on extensively, the Amazon forest dieback—savannization, as it is sometimes called—is the biggest threat to the Amazon forest in my opinion,” said Nepstad.Importantly, some scientists argue that a vegetation transition of this magnitude would disrupt local transpiration and could even shift the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone affecting regional precipitation patterns and potentially impacting hydropower output, urban water supplies and agriculture production across Brazil—even to the point of threatening the Latin American nation’s position as a global agribusiness powerhouse, potentially endangering the food supply to millions in the EU and China who rely on Brazil for meat, soy and other vital commodities.This image, based on measurements taken by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), shows the areas of the Amazon basin that were affected by the severe 2005 drought. Areas in yellow, orange, and red experienced light, moderate, and severe drought, respectively. Green areas did not experience drought. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech /GoogleOne of Brazil’s leading environmental journalists agrees that media coverage of the fires has been misleading. “It was under [Workers Party President] Lula and [Environment Secretary] Marina Silva (2003-2008) that Brazil had the highest incidence of burning,” Leonardo Coutinho told me over email. “But neither Lula nor Marina was accused of putting the Amazon at risk.”Shellenberger is quoting Leonardo Coutinho here, but it is certainly not true that the world turned a blind eye to deforestation and burning under the Lula Presidency. A simple search of any news archive will produce reams of stories reporting on the issue, public outrage over Amazon deforestation at the time, as well as Nepstad’s studies warning of an Amazon forest to savanna tipping point. And in fact Marina Silva very publicly resigned as Environment Minister in May 2008, a story which garnered significant press attention. Shellenberger failed to do his due diligence here.Reached by Mongabay, Nepstad added that it was international attention that led the Lula government to pursue its successful deforestation reduction program, which resulted in massive emissions reductions that went largely unrewarded by the rest of the world.“The reason President Lula prioritized the Amazon was the very high level of international outrage expressed through media coverage of the high deforestation rates in 2002-2004,” Nepstad told Mongabay.Amazon forest fires are hidden by the tree canopy and only increase during drought years.While sub-canopy fires are far more pervasive in drought years, especially during strong El Niño events, Amazon forest fires do not only increase in drought years as the burning this season—which isn’t historically dry—demonstrates. Overlaying satellite data from NASA with recent tree cover loss detected by Global Forest Watch’s GLAD system shows that fires are burning in close proximity to rainforests in the Amazon. Given that fires are burning hotter than normal this year, it’s almost certain that sub-canopy fires are burning from agricultural areas and slashed forests into rainforests. We’ll know for sure once the smoke clears and scientists are able to assess the situation on the ground. Shellenberger is wrong here.CANDEIRAS DO JAMARI, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL: Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)What increased by 7% in 2019 are the fires of dry scrub and trees cut down for cattle ranching as a strategy to gain ownership of land. There is no evidence to support Shellenberger’s contention here that dry scrub and “trees cut down for cattle ranching” represent 100 percent of the increase in fires in 2019.Half of the Amazon is protected against deforestation under federal law. Incursions into protected areas and indigenous territories as well as the weakening and widespread disregard of the Forest Code means that while half the Amazon may be protected on paper, it is not protected in practice. Invasions of conserved areas, illegal logging and the terrorizing of rural populations by loggers, miners and land grabbers under past governments, and especially under the government of Jair Bolsonaro have been regularly reported.For example, Jamanxim National Forest lost 3 percent of its forest cover — 44,800 hectares (110,700 acres) — in May alone. Meanwhile, the much heralded Surui Paiter indigenous carbon offset project in Rondônia has been invaded by illegal miners, forcing the tribe to suspend the initiative.And just 3% of the Amazon is suitable for soy farming. The biggest driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is cattle ranching, not soy farming.But even so, Nepstad said “3 percent of the forests outside of protected areas are suitable for soy cultivation”. That’s far different than the entire Amazon.Both Nepstad and Coutinho say the real threat is from accidental forest fires in drought years, which climate change could worsen. Shellenberger is misleading here. “Accidental fire” makes it sound like fires aren’t intentionally being set, but that’s not the case.Nepstad: “Virtually all fires in the Amazon are started by people. They often escape their intended boundaries, into neighboring forests.” There is nothing accidental about Amazon deforestation via the use of fire as a tool. Importantly, land speculators also regularly employ fire intentionally in the Brazilian Amazon as a primary tool of illegal deforestation, as preparation for illicit land sales at highly inflated prices to cattlemen and farmers.Today, 18 – 20% of the Amazon forest remains at risk of being deforested.There is absolutely no evidence to support Shellenberger’s claim here.Nepstad said Shellenberger could be referencing land in the Brazilian Amazon that is still undesignated.“About one fifth of the Amazon forest is still undesignated—it is “up for grabs”, terra devoluta,” he said. “This is certainly not the only forest that is under threat of deforestation or fire.”CANDEIRAS DO JAMARI, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL: Aerial view of a large burned area in the city of Candeiras do Jamari in the state of Rondônia. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)Missing the big pictureIn his eagerness to critique the media and lambast celebrities, Shellenberger effectively dismisses the broader concerns over recent developments in the Amazon. The fear is that Brazil’s past progress in reducing deforestation and fires is being reversed as a result of the Bolsonaro administration’s undercutting of the regulatory framework, the institutions, the civil society groups, and the science that enabled the country to achieve those outcomes.This reversal also comes as a warming planet makes the world’s largest rainforest more vulnerable to drought and fire. A return to the peak deforestation of the mid-1990s through mid-2000s would be even more damaging today given the greater frequency of drought and elevated temperatures in the Amazon as well as the higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, which gives us even less time to curb emissions.And while Nepstad’s comments in Shellenberger’s piece seemed to also be dismissive of the global attention currently paid to the situation in Brazil, the scientist reiterated that now is a very important moment for the Amazon. In his own words:“Fire is a huge problem in the Amazon region. Large-scale fires in standing forests during extreme dry periods are the biggest threat to these forests in a warming world. Once burned, forests become more vulnerable to further burning. And as deforestation and repeated fire reduce forest cover, rainfall is inhibited.A deforestation and forest loss scenario for 2030 developed by Dan Nepstad and colleagues at the Woods Hole Research Institute in 2008.“In 2019 this problem is getting the attention it deserves. The number of fires and the amount of smoke they are producing has increased, probably because of the large number of felled forests that have been dried and are now burning. The good news is that there is no evidence that the area of standing forests catching fire is significantly greater than the area of forest that typically burns this time of year. It is still early, however. The bad news is that weather forecasts indicate that the dry season the Amazon is currently in could become quite severe. Forests could begin to burn over large areas.“Brazil has a rare opportunity to focus on fire now and design some systemic solutions to fire, including short-term and long-term components, as described in the blog. These solutions start on the ground—there is enormous expertise in fire prevention and fire control among the farmers, communities, fire brigades and local governments of the Amazon. In the long-term, a shift to more tree crops, agroforestry systems, aquaculture, and more intensive cattle production could greatly reduce the use of fire and greater increase investments in fire control.”Chart showing deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, 1988-2018Chart showing deforestation alerts in the Brazilian Amazon since 2010Andrew Revkin, the former New York Times reporter and current Founding Director of the Initiative on Communication & Sustainability at The Earth Institute at Columbia University who was also quoted in Shellenberger’s column, agreed that the current reporting around the Amazon fires by mainstream media has often been problematic, failing to distill important nuances. But he told Mongabay that he wasn’t thrilled with Shellenberger’s framing.“I don’t endorse the framing of the article and absolutely don’t agree with the caricatured distillation of the situation,” he wrote via email. “Amazon threats and solutions are as varied and widespread as the basin itself. Simple characterizations of catastrophe — as in a lot of media coverage — miss substantial opportunities to slow loss and even turn the tide toward restoration and sustainability.”“As with doomism around climate change, they can prompt paralysis and disengagement when the opposite is needed. But simplistic interpretations of the motives of those challenging Brazil’s current leadership are as unhelpful.”PORTO VELHO, RONDÔNIA, BRAZIL. Aerial view of burned areas in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of Porto Velho, Rondônia state. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)Header image: Aerial view of burned areas in the Amazon rainforest, in the city of Porto Velho, Rondônia state. Photo taken August 23, 2019. (Photo: Victor Moriyama / Greenpeace)last_img read more

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first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Climate Change, Climate Change And Forests, Commentary, Deforestation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Editorials, Environment, Forest Fires, Forests, Global Warming, Indigenous Peoples, Ranching, Researcher Perspective Series In New York’s Battery Park last Friday night, Greta Thunberg rightly said, “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire.” She continued, “This Monday, world leaders are going to be gathered here in New York City for the U.N. Climate Action Summit. The eyes of the world will be on them. They have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us.”In Mesoamerica, leaders are listening and acting. During the Climate Summit, Mesoamerica’s leaders announced their commitment to protect the “Five Great Forests of Mesoamerica” and shared some of their governments’ lessons learned to date to reduce forest fires and tackle deforestation.We are supporting them by promoting an initiative in which governments, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society are coming together to protect 10 million hectares and restore 500,000 hectares in these critical forest areas, thereby helping safeguard the world’s climate.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. This week’s Climate Strike mobilized and inspired millions of people around the world, including us.On Friday, we stood with young protesters in New York’s Battery Park, listening to Greta Thunberg’s speech. Her courageous words, her grit, her honesty, her powerful presence, the overwhelming gravity and urgency of her message coming from such an unlikely leader… Greta brought us to tears.We both belong to conservation organizations and have dedicated our lives and careers to protecting forests and wildlife. In other words, we are already believers in Greta’s message. We know that the world’s intact forests, along with the ocean, sequester half of humankind’s carbon emissions every year, and that protecting them and working to restore ecosystems around the planet are the most efficient ways to mitigate climate change.We have seen firsthand the magic and majesty of Mesoamerica’s last five great, intact forests. Spanning from Mexico to Colombia, this “Amazon” of Mesoamerica covers an area three times the size of Switzerland and is home to more than 7.5 percent of the planet’s biodiversity, such as the jaguar and endangered Baird’s tapir. The five forests hold nearly 50 percent of the region’s forest carbon stocks and provide important ecosystem services to 5 million people, including clean water, clean air, food security, and climate stability.The jaguar’s range currently extends from Mexico through Central America to South America. The species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and the population is declining. Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher.Yet we have also seen the devastation. Since 2000, an insatiable global demand for beef has driven reduction of three of Mesoamerica’s five great forests by more than 23 percent. Ninety percent of deforestation in the five forests results from illegal cattle ranching — sometimes used as a front for organized crime and drug trafficking and sometimes connected to international markets.To make matters worse, climate change-induced drought has sparked widespread forest fires, with smoke eclipsing the sun and choking both humans and wildlife. At times, it feels apocalyptic.Greta rightly said, “This is an emergency. Our house is on fire.” She continued, “This Monday, world leaders are going to be gathered here in New York City for the U.N. Climate Action Summit. The eyes of the world will be on them. They have a chance to take leadership, to prove they actually hear us.”In Mesoamerica, leaders are listening and acting.During the Climate Summit, Mesoamerica’s leaders announced their commitment to protect the “Five Great Forests of Mesoamerica” and shared some of their governments’ lessons learned to date to reduce forest fires and tackle deforestation. We are supporting them by promoting an initiative in which governments, Indigenous Peoples, and civil society are coming together to protect 10 million hectares and restore 500,000 hectares in these critical forest areas, thereby helping safeguard the world’s climate.The Five Forest Initiative follows four key principles that give us hope for its success.A movement, not a projectThe Five Forests Initiative will convene and support a “Five Forests Alliance,” including the region’s governments, civil society, universities, and local and indigenous communities, collectively working along a single, coherent strategy. Through mass mobilization of resources channeled to an alliance of the most effective partners in each of the forests, the initiative will effect broad and lasting impact.Addressing the primary threatGreater than 90 percent of the deforestation within the Five Forests is caused by illegal cattle ranching that has been allowed to invade protected areas and indigenous territories. The Five Forests Initiative will work to address illegal ranching while providing economic alternatives for local people that result in more trees and fewer cows and that are compatible with local and indigenous cultures.Local solutionsNearly half of the Five Forests of Mesoamerica are governed by Indigenous Peoples who have lived and worked sustainably in them for centuries. They have time-tested solutions for how to live and work in these landscapes in ways that promote biodiversity conservation and limit forest degradation and deforestation. The Five Forests Alliance is committed to integrating local and indigenous voices as leaders to understand, promote, and scale community-based solutions.Trust in local capacityThe Five Forests Initiative endeavors to empower the conservationists of Mesoamerica to create the conditions in which they can implement their own innovative ideas and generate the change needed to save the region’s forests, including consistent and well-paid employment.Mesoamerica’s people, culture, biodiversity, economic health, resilience to climate change—the very essence of Mesoamerica—all depend on these five great forests. To survive as a planet and stave off the worst effects of climate change, we all depend on the success of movements like Mesoamerica’s Five Great Forests Initiative.As Greta famously said, “I want you to act. I want you to act as if our house is on fire.”Mesoamerica’s forests are literally on fire. The region’s governments, Indigenous Peoples, civil society, and the broader conservation community now commit to protect them.La Mosquitia is a region of rainforest in the easternmost part of Honduras. Photo Credit: John Polisar, WCS.CITATION• Baccini, A. G. S. J., Goetz, S. J., Walker, W. S., Laporte, N. T., Sun, M., Sulla-Menashe, D., … & Samanta, S. (2012). Estimated carbon dioxide emissions from tropical deforestation improved by carbon-density maps. Nature climate change, 2(3), 182. doi:10.1038/nclimate1354Dr. Jeremy Radachowsky is Regional Director of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean for WCS and has worked for more than two decades to conserve Mesoamerica’s forests.Dr. Chris Jordan is the Central America and Tropical Andes Coordinator for Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC).FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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first_img Partager Horacio Sala, le père du footballeur argentin Emiliano Sala tragiquement disparu dans un accident d’avion au-dessus de la Manche le 21 janvier, a succombé vendredi à une crise cardiaque chez lui à Progreso, a annoncé le maire du village.“La femme de Horacio m’a appelé à cinq heures du matin. Les médecins étaient déjà sur place. Il n’a jamais réussi à surmonter la mort d’Emi”, a annoncé Julio Müller, le maire de Progreso, petit village au nord de Buenos Aires où Emiliano Sala avait passé son enfance.Horacio Sala avait 58 ans. La famille était déjà en deuil après la disparition du fils, joueur du FC Nantes qui devait être transféré à Cardiff en janvier. C’est lors de son voyage vers la ville galloise que l’Argentin était décédé dans le crash de son avion. Le corps d’Emiliano Sala avait été retrouvé plus de deux semaines après la disparition de l’appareil, à 67 mètres de profondeur. L’attaquant avait 28 ans.AFPlast_img read more

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first_imgHaving been knocked out of the Walker Cup via a penalty shoot-out defeat, Jamaica College (JC) are determined to retain the ISSA/FLOW Super Cup football competition title. JC will start their defence against Vere Technical at the National Stadium, starting at 6 p.m. This game is one of eight scheduled in the first round of the knockout competition dubbed ‘The Champions League of Schoolboy Football’. The second edition of the Super Cup will once again see a ‘town vs country’ showdown in the opening round. The top-eight Manning Cup teams and the top-eight daCosta cup sides will be battling for the trophy, top cash prize incentive of $1 million and bragging rights. JC is not the same team as last year, but coach Miguel Coley has been doing a good job with the team. JC breezed through Group A in the Manning Cup preliminary round and are on course to defend all three titles they won last year – Super Cup, Manning Cup and Olivier Shield. JC will look to seasoned players such as captain Allando Brown, Donovan Dawkins, Ronaldo Brown, as well as former Charlie Smith midfielder Chevon Crooks. On the other hand, Vere Technical easily won their Inter-Zone group with maximum nine points from three games on their way to the FLOW Super Cup. The former daCosta Cup champions have been making steady progress and will be no pushovers in the game against JC. In the opening game of the double-header, St Jago High oppose Lacovia. This game could go either way. In the first round, each team will get $25,000 and an additional $50,000 for advancing to the quarter-finals, with the four semi-finalists set to receive another $100,000. Each finalist will be paid $200,000, with the winners pocketing a further $625,000 for a local cash prize for a total cash prize of $1 million.last_img read more

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first_imgBefore I became a cuddly infantBefore the dawning of new dayBefore the nurses held my tiny little formBefore I opened my pink purplish mouth to cryBefore they put me in swaddling white wrapYou Thought Of MeBefore food you fed me mannaBefore I stretched my tiny ligamentsBefore they saw the glow in my brown eyesBefore my kinky golden hair scooped into a highBefore the hands helped to make me this daughterYou Thought of MeBefore the trucks broke its breaksBefore the plan of bad faith to crush meBefore unhappiness filled my family heartBefore I even grew to sing loud for the LordBefore that Christmas carol night years agoYou Thoughts Of MeBefore the tides changed recentlyBefore the planes boarded and flewBefore sickness plagued to handicappedBefore the vile mouths of some cursed meBefore the wicked plan of the bad heart stoodYou Thought Of MeBefore reason prevailed muchBefore a place was in solid rockBefore the twisting branches brokeBefore the refining of earth’s best mineralsBefore anger destroyed on woman’s labourYou Thought Of MeShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgThe new Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) Matthew Langevine and his deputy Abiose Thomas will assume duties by September 19, as they have both entered into separate contracts with the Finance Secretary, Clerk of the National Assembly, SherlockFIU DirectorMatthew LangevineIsaacs said.At its last sitting before the August 8 recess, the National Assembly had unanimously appointed Langevine to the post of FIU director and Thomas as deputy director. Recommendations for the appointment were made by an Appointments Committee of the National Assembly.Langevine and Thomas’ appointments follow a recommendation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act 2015, Act No. 1 of 2015 to select and endorse persons for the appointment as director, deputy director, attorney and accountant to FIU.The FIU functions in collaboration with the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Ministry of Finance in identifying and tracking persons fingered in financial illegalities.The Parliamentary Committee consists of government ministers, Chairperson George Norton, David Patterson, Amna Ally, Annette Ferguson, Cathy Hughes, and PPP Members of Parliament Gail Teixeira, Dr Clive Jagan, Ganga Persaud, Bishop Juan Edghill.According to the Committee Report, Langevine was shortlisted from a list of 17 candidates who applied for the position. The initial list of 17 candidates was shortlisted to three. It was decided that he was the most suitable for the position. His selection is subsequent to several rounds of due diligence exercises and interviews.The committee, which was also mandated to select a suitable candidate for the post of deputy director, decided on the current legal adviser Abiose Thomas.Langevine has worked in the local banking industry for several years.The last functional head of FIU was Paul Ghir.The Financial Intelligence Unit of Guyana is an autonomous body responsible for requesting, receiving, analysing and dissemination of suspicious transaction reports and other information relating to money laundering, terrorist financing or the proceeds of crime.  It was established and operates within the ambit of the Anti Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act (AMLCFTA) 2009 and its Regulations.last_img read more

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first_imgAndrew Grove and the Sable Mining Africa Limited (SMAL) both indicted by the grand jury of Montserrado County have filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against them, terming it as null and void and without effect.Recently, the Special Presidential Taskforce, headed by Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa indicted several government officials, including House Speaker, Alex Tyler and Grand Cape Mount County Senator and former chairman of the ruling Unity Party (UP), Cllr. Varney Sherman, for alleged crimes ranging from bribery to criminal conspiracy, economic sabotage, criminal facilitation and solicitation.According to court documents, Grove and SMAL in a 37-count motion said the court lacks jurisdiction over them and it does not have the power to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction beyond the scope of its statutory powers.Quoting part I of the New Penal Code of Liberia, under the title general provisions, which states, “that if the accused participates outside Liberia or the offense against the Laws of Liberia committed in whole or in part within Liberia or offense constitutes an attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit an offense within Liberia, jurisdiction is conferred upon Liberia by treaty under such condition.”They said the indictment also alleges that they are based in London, Great Britain and criminally facilitated and collaborated with individuals for the alleged commission of the alleged crimes.They argued that the allegations in the indictment insinuate that Andrew Grove and SMAL are residents or are based in London, Great Britain, which “is absolutely incorrect and groundless in that, while it is true that Mr. Grove is a British by nationality, and Sable Mining Africa Limited is an international corporation, none is a resident in London as erroneously claimed by the indictment.”They said in another count such false allegations regarding their place of residence are further proofs that the indictment is nothing but mere speculations hatched by authors to unduly harass them. “Therefore, the indictment being product of falsehoods, it should be denied and dismissed,” they said. They further argued that the issuance of the indictment and writ of arrest “is incredibly impulsive and groundless and should be denied and dismissed, because the statute creating the Criminal Court “C” does not automatically confer upon it general jurisdiction or the power to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction, especially where the indictment alleges that they reside outside of Liberia and where there exists no extradition treaty between Liberia and their home country.“There is a compelling documentary evidence to show that the claim upon which the Grand Jury’s indictment is based is groundless, because President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on August 20, 2010, apparently acting as head of government, wrote and submitted a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives to review the amended and restated version of the PPC (Public Procurement and Concessions) Act of 2006,” they stated. Court documents said Andrew Grove is a natural person and an executive employee of Sable Mining Africa Limited and neither a resident of Liberia nor an employee of any corporation doing business or operating under the laws of Liberia.Grove submitted that he has no dealing or interest whatsoever with business activities or officials in public service whether directly or indirectly and strongly rejects and denounces as grossly baseless any negative insinuations suggesting the commission of any crime or collusion for whatever actions or activities within Liberia. Grove, the motion said, is not a resident of Liberia and has nothing to do with officials in public service in Liberia.Sable Mining Africa Limited, the motion said, is a foreign corporation with no links with any official in public service whether directly or indirectly and categorically rejects and denounces any assertions from any source bordering on alleged collusion for the commission of any crimes within Liberia and, therefore, denounces the pretense of the issuance in absentia of a purported indictment against its corporate person, image and operations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgNo problem. Hall dribbled and shot a little less and passed a lot more, like in Tuesday night’s 61-48 playoff victory against Etiwanda at Fontana High School . The victory has catapulted the Rebels into the CIF-Southern Section title game on either Friday or Saturday against Norco at The Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. Although Hall played her newly adopted team game in the first three quarters Tuesday night, she turned it on offensively in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 of her 15 points. “I knew I had to step it up,” she said. “I wasn’t contributing very much until then. Everybody else was playing well, but it was time for me to pick up my game.” With her team ahead 40-34, Hall drained a 3-pointer from beyond the top of the circle, putting her team ahead by nine. FONTANA – Briana Hall checked her ego at the door this season. By the end of last season, it seemed Hall would be the unchallenged star and leader of the Miller girls basketball team in 2006-2007. But then the Wells sisters arrived. Junior Lola Wells transferred in from Jurupa Valley and her little sister Chloe, a freshman, enrolled at Miller as well. The Wells sisters are oozing with speed and talent, seemingly challenging Hall’s hold on the Rebels. center_img “That 3-pointer got me going,” Hall said. Miller coach Mel Wilkins had nothing but praise for Hall. “Everyone knows this is her team,” he said. “But she’s had to make a lot of sacrifices this year with the new girls coming in. But when it’s crunch time, we know who to go to.” At 5:13, Etiwanda forward Lyneeka Boyd muscled for a short bank shot to pull the Eagles within six points. Miller missed a shot at the other end and Etiwanda grabbed the rebound, but immediately threw the ball away. Then the omnipresent Hall made another field goal and the Rebels (29-2) zoomed away again to win their 19th consecutive game and earn the program’s first berth in a section title game. It was a disappointing loss for Etiwanda (24-6), which had a 10-game winning streak snapped. There were more than a few sets of teary eyes and some long hugs on the Etiwanda side as Miller was celebrating. In the end, too many missed Eagle free throws and layups, as well as mistakes against the Rebels’ pressure defense did in Etiwanda. “They have four absolutely tremendous guards,” Etiwanda coach Robert Siler said. “We did the best we could, but we’d get close and then they’d hit a 3. “We tried to keep the game at our pace and thought that if we could keep it in the high 40s or low 50s we’d have a chance, but every once in a while we’d start playing their game and throw it away.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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first_imgLANCASTER – The newly formed Antelope Valley Winegrowers Association will launch wine tours this summer to boost tourism, business and job growth, officials said Tuesday. The tours are scheduled to start in mid- to late June with the help of two limousine companies and will involve wineries and vineyards stretching from Agua Dulce to Tehachapi. “We have Napa to the north, and Temecula, Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. We are in the middle,” said Chantel Kilmer, association president and marketing director of Cameo Vineyards. “How difficult would it be to stop on the way through?” During a news conference, organizers noted that the Antelope Valley has a long and rich history of wine-making that ended with Prohibition in the 1920s. Designation as an American Viticulture Area would mean the Antelope Valley has unique topography and soil that can produce a unique grape, officials said. The four areas would be the Antelope Valley, Leona Valley, Acton and Agua Dulce area, plus the Tehachapi-Cummings Valley area. “Wine connoisseurs will buy wine for that extra distinction and nuance,” said Robert Woods, association spokesman and Leona Valley Winery technology director. Bob and Patty Souza, owners of Souza Family Vineyards in Tehachapi, where they grow grapes on four acres to make Primitivo Zinfandel wine, said they are excited about the tours. “We are thrilled they included us because we are sort of an outpost,” Bob Souza said. The Souzas said they are planning to add a wine-tasting room and establish a bed-and-breakfast this summer. The winegrowers association is a nonprofit organization that was formed last October to promote wine production and awareness about the industry in the greater Antelope Valley area. Membership is open to wineries, vineyards and wine enthusiasts. Also announced at the press conference was the third annual Gala Under the Stars wine-tasting fundraiser to benefit Leona Valley Heritage Park. The park is home to the 92-year-old, one-room Leona Valley schoolhouse and a building that will store and display historical artifacts and circa-1900 wooden vats, grape presses and winery equipment from the Belvino Winery, started by pioneer settlers John and Anna Marie Ritter after they came to the Antelope Valley in the 1890s. karen.maeshiro@dailynews.com (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Local vintners began replanting grapevines about 25 years ago, and the region now boasts five wineries, 33 vineyards and three tasting rooms. “People will stay at hotels, visiting areas and wine-tasting rooms,” Kilmer said. Kilmer said there will be four- and eight-hour tours, with the option of staying at a bed-and-breakfast inn that is planned at a winery in Tehachapi. Tour prices and information will be made available in May on the association’s Web site, www.avwinegrowers.org. Association officials also said they are applying to have four local areas federally designated as distinct wine-producing regions, which will increase the value of the grapes and local wine production. last_img read more

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