first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Conflict, Conservation, Corridors, Elephants, Featured, Forests, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Human-wildlife Conflict, Mammals, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Corridors The herd of about 25 elephants is “trapped” within dense human habitation in an area called Athgarh in the state of Orissa in India.The elephants take shelter in some of the small forest patches during the day, and go out to look for food in the evenings, which mostly constitutes of crops, getting harassed in the process.Conservationists say that harassing elephants has now become a form of entertainment in the area. In the state of Orissa in India, a herd of elephant faces a grim situation.A video shot by the NGO Sanctuary Nature Foundation shows hundreds of men descending upon the elephants nearly every time they move out of the forest patches in search of food. The men can be seen pelting stones, hurling abuses, and blocking the elephants’ path.Trapped within slivers of forests amid a sea of dense human habitation in an area called Athgarh, the elephants are in constant state of conflict with the people living there. “This is why we call them giant refugees,” Aditya Chandra Panda, an Orissa-based wildlife conservationist said in a telephonic interview.The Athgarh herd of about 25 elephants originally lived in the Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary, a protected area on the fringes of Orissa’s capital city Bhubaneshwar. Until 2001, the sanctuary was estimated to have about 90 elephants. An elephant census in 2014-15 estimated a population of eight elephants in the park. Now, there may be even fewer animals left.Following years of habitat destruction and unrestrained expansion of cities into the forest, the elephants moved out in search of food, water and better wild spaces. Some herds made it to patches of forests elsewhere, plodding through once-contiguous corridors now broken by highways, industries, villages and towns. Some elephants were killed during the course of their journey, while others are now trapped within human-dominated landscapes.The Athgarh herd, which arrived in the Athgarh area some five years ago, is one such “refugee” herd. Living in an agriculture-dominated area has meant that the animals are always at loggerhead with people. The elephants take shelter in some of the small forest patches during the day, and go out to look for food in the evenings, which mostly constitutes of crops, getting harassed in the process. Even in areas where there are no standing crops to protect, men come out in large numbers to block the elephants’ movements. Conservationists say that harassing elephants has now become a form of entertainment.“I personally witnessed the horrific harassment of the herd in December 2016, and can say that it was a vile experience,” Cara Tejpal, a wildlife conservationist with Sanctuary Nature Foundation, who recorded the clash between villagers and elephants in December 2016, said in an email. “I watched these beautiful animals, so many little elephant calves included, being tormented for three hours that evening! And this is a routine that plays out regularly, week after week.”Athgarh elephants are in constant conflict with people. Photo by Karan Tejpal.Unfortunately, little is being done to resolve the conflict, Panda said. While the forest department keeps track of the movement of the elephant herd, trying to provide them with a safe passage, the local police has been inactive in controlling the mobs and keeping them away from the animals, he added.To tackle the problem, Tejpal, Panda and their colleagues, with the Sanctuary Nature Foundation, have launched a public campaign to appeal to Orissa’s Chief Minister to come up with immediate solutions. The campaign uses the hashtag #GiantRefugees on social media.One form of immediate solution would be for the police to intervene to allow safe passage of the elephants, Panda said.“The Forest Department has very accurate information about the movement of the elephants. Once this information is given to the police, the police should come well in advance and if needed impose section 144 [law prohibiting unlawful assembly of five or more people] in that area until the animals have been moved away safely, because this is a situation where both wildlife and human lives are at stake.”Harassing elephants may have become a form of entertainment for the people, conservationists say. Photo by Karan Tejpal.The conservationists also seek long-term solutions. These include protecting Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife sanctuary and allowing its wildlife to recover, and reviving corridors and improving connectivity between Chandaka and Kapilas Wildlife Sanctuary and the Satkosia landscape in the state.The situation in Athgarh is dire, conservationists say. Elephants have died in this conflict, and people, too, have been injured and killed. And the conflict needs to be resolved soon.“What is happening in Athgarh and Chandaka is a very good example of what is happening all over India, where large forested landscapes are getting smaller, corridors are getting broken and wildlife populations are getting decimated,” Panda said. “We have been trying to get the Chief Minister of Orissa to issue a statement on this issue, about any plan of action they may have, but there’s been no response yet.”The Athgarh herd has about 25 elephants. Photo by Aditya Chandra Panda.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Shreya Dasguptacenter_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

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first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Black Rhino, Conservation, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Mammals, Rhinos, White Rhino, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Crime, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Article published by Shreya Dasgupta Commercial rhino breeders have welcomed the decision, arguing that an open, legal trade in rhino horns will end the poaching of rhinos and will help pay for their protection.However, several conservationists argue that there is no domestic market for rhino horns within South Africa and that a legal domestic trade would only worsen rhino poaching in the country.The Environment Affairs Minister said that all domestic trade in rhino horn would be subject to obtaining the relevant permits and to applicable provincial legislation being obtained. A top court in South Africa just made it legal to trade in rhino horns within the country.The South African government, in 2009, imposed a moratorium that banned domestic trade in rhino horns. But after years of legal battle between commercial rhino breeders and the government’s Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), the constitutional court has now issued an order rejecting the government’s appeal to retain the national ban on the trade in rhino horns. The international trade in rhino horns still remains banned.Commercial rhino breeders have welcomed the decision, arguing that an open, legal trade in rhino horns will end the poaching of rhinos and will help pay for their protection.“This judgment is a victory for the concept of sustainable use of natural resources to the benefit of the conservation of rhino as a species, as well as to the benefit of the people protecting such species,” the Private Rhino Owners Association, one of the respondents in the case, said in a statement.A southern white rhinoceros in South Africa. The country is the last remaining stronghold of rhinoceroses, but is facing an unprecedented poaching crisis. Photo by Rhett Butler.However, several conservationists argue that there is no domestic market for rhino horns within South Africa and that a legal domestic trade would only worsen rhino poaching in the country.“Legal trade in rhino horn is not the way to stop rhino poaching,” Susie Watts of WildAid’s Africa Program, said in a statement. “All it does is stimulate demand and provide a cover for illegal trade. Legalizing trade in ivory, for example, did not saturate the market, but encouraged consumption. Elephant poaching skyrocketed as a result.”“There is no domestic demand for rhino horn products and, as the pro-trade lobby very well knows, the reason why the moratorium was implemented in the first place was to prevent domestic trade from being used as a cover for smuggling,” Watts added.Completely irresponsible w/o controls yet n place. Shame on SAfrican court permitting domestic trade in #rhino #horn https://t.co/zpjcIWRma4— IntlRhinoFoundation (@RhinosIRF) April 6, 2017South Africa, home to 70 percent of the world’s 29,500 rhinos, is currently reeling from a poaching crisis. In 2016, an estimated 1,054 rhinos were poached, while 1,175 rhinos were killed in 2015, and another 1,000 were poached in 2014. In February this year, armed poachers broke into a rhino orphanage, took the staff hostage and killed two rhinos.The biggest markets for rhino horns — made of the same material as fingernails and hair — occur in Vietnam and China, where they’re primarily used in traditional medicine as cures for anything ranging from hangovers to cancer.“Whilst we are studying the implications of the order handed down by the Constitutional Court, it should be noted that the court’s decision should not be construed to mean that the domestic trade in rhino horn may take place in an unregulated fashion,” Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa said in a statement.Molewa added that all domestic trade in rhino horn would be subject to “obtaining the relevant permits and to applicable provincial legislation being obtained.”Banner image by Rhett Butler/Mongabay.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

read more

first_imgAnimals, Biodiversity, Birds, Birds Of Prey, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecotourism, Environment, Forests, Human-wildlife Conflict, Interviews, Poaching, Predators, Rainforest Animals, Top Predators, Tropical Deforestation, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Article published by Mike Gaworecki The Whitley, which has been nicknamed “the Green Oscars,” is one of the biggest and most important awards in the conservation world.Alexander says he is honored to have received such recognition for his work: “I have devoted my entire life as a student and, after that, in the professional field, to the conservation of the biological diversity and to the dissemination of its importance and role as an essential element of the planet.”Alexander studied veterinary medicine and was determined to specialize in working with wild animals. It was while rehabilitating harpy eagles at a Venezuelan zoo that he had his first contact with these magnificent birds of prey. This is the second in a two-part series. Read part one: “Goddesses of the wind: How researchers saved Venezuela’s harpy eagles.”When Fábio Olmos talks about a “civilizing leap” in his ((o))eco article titled “The country in which feeding birds is a crime” (in Portuguese), he’s talking about a coming age when all forms of life will be seen as fellows on our journey through the cosmos, with the same right to existence. He’s talking about old ideas of so-called “environmental philosophy.” But, as many other good innovations proposed by the “hippie dream” of the 60s, we are still waiting for this ethical expansion to happen for a big portion of humankind. This does not apply to Alexander Blanco, however.Just like his mentor Eduardo Álvarez Cordero (read more about Eduardo in part one of this two-part series), Alexander grew up in close relationship with wild things and natural phenomena. “I was raised in the field, and my parents always encouraged an active care for nature,” he says. A life dedicated to this care fits perfectly a person with a great love for biodiversity, and the combination of this passion with decades of hard work has earned Alexander the honor of receiving the 2017 Whitley Award.The Whitley, which has been nicknamed “the Green Oscars,” is one of the biggest and most important awards in the conservation world. Alexander says he is honored to have received such recognition for his work: “I have devoted my entire life as a student and, after that, in the professional field, to the conservation of the biological diversity and to the dissemination of its importance and role as an essential element of the planet.”Driven by this personal philosophy, Alexander studied veterinary medicine, determined to specialize in working with wild animals. It was while rehabilitating harpy eagles at a Venezuelan zoo that he had his first contact with these magnificent birds of prey. Interested in learning more about the biology, ecology, and behavior of the species, Alexander learned that the main authority and pioneer researcher on the topic of harpy eagles was his fellow countryman, Eduardo Álvarez. When Eduardo gave a lecture at Simon Bolívar University, Alexander had the opportunity to meet the renowned biologist, and shortly after joined the staff of the Harpy Eagle Conservation Program.A few months later, an invitation came from Eduardo, Alexander says: “They found an active nest with a young animal [that] was at the ideal age for banding and for the attachment of a satellite transmitter. It was the opportunity to band my first wild eagle and evaluate the habitat where it lived. We were able to stop the deforestation close to the nest, preserve the forest, and attach a satellite-based monitoring device on the chick. And we also created a small, protected area close to the nest, inside a logging concession. From this moment on, with the satisfaction of accomplishing all of these goals, I was inspired to keep working. It’s been more than twenty years dedicated to protecting this eagle and its environment.”Doctors Eduardo Álvarez Cordero (left) and Alexander Blanco (right) in the field. Photo courtesy of Eduardo Álvarez Cordero and Alexander Blanco.Alexander summarizes what he learned about working close to these nests over the past twenty years: “The first platforms we built were situated between thirty to forty meters away from the nesting tree. As the years passed, we kept shortening the distance and we managed to build platforms in trees and towers only fifteen meters away from the nest, with no harm to the activities of the eagles on their kingdom of heights.”In the kingdom of heights“The twenty nests which are open to visits already had students, locals, researchers, photographers, filmmakers, and ecotourists. Always silent and respectful, observing the eagles in their nests, from platforms installed between 15 and 25 meters away from the nesting tree, at the same height. In none of those twenty nests we’ve seen any sign of discomfort for the eagles, and there was no case of nest abandonment,” Alexander explains.In fact, as Eduardo had already highlighted, more extreme cases exist. “For making his first harpy eagle movie, Neil Rettig — the award-winning nature filmmaker and author of the world’s second scientific paper on harpy eagles — had built a platform right on the nesting tree, and he got the whole movie done. This was during the 70s, and it’s still one of the best footage of harpy eagles we have. And the eagles didn’t get stressed, nothing happened.”Neil Rettig became a kind of mentor to Eduardo, taking the then-young biologist to nests and imparting everything he knew about monitoring harpy eagles. The platform used in Rettig’s film was actually a mere 8.5 meters away from a nest with a chick. Thanks to this, it was possible to observe in detail the aspects of parental care and the process that turns a young eagle to a mature individual. Obviously, no one is suggesting that tourists should get this close to the eagles, but the fact that it’s possible to come so close while carrying old filming equipment without bothering the animals is really exciting. Compared to that, a group of silent birders observing the nest 20 meters away wouldn’t mean anything for the eagles.Still, caution is needed. Alexander confirms what Eduardo has said in the past: “We don’t approach nests which are on the phases of building and rebuilding, or when the female is about to lay or in the process of incubating the eggs. When we find a nest which is not going through any of those phases, the first thing we do is to assess the adaptability degree of the eagles. We do this by performing small tests, like the approach of only one person at a large distance like 100 to 150 meters. This allows us to monitor them for our research and for the activities of controlled and sustainable ecotourism activities.”Alexander takes this to a bigger scale. The possible results are unbelievable. “Each well-managed nest can receive hundreds of people a year. Having a lot of located nests which are also protected and monitored, to be sure there aren’t any negative effects to the eagles’ behavior, some thousands of people a year could observe nests from minimal distances of 20 to 30 meters. It is likely there are enough nests to create a new green industry which could help the protection of the forests.”A juvenile harpy eagle who’s starting to explore the neighborhood of its nest. Photo courtesy of Bruno Moraes.The eagle that resistsWhen I ask Alexander what impresses him most about harpy eagles, I have no idea what he will say. Harpy eagles, also called “goddesses of the wind” in the Imataca region, are more than simply gigantic eagles. Something as majestic as seeing one of these adult eagles arriving at the nest with prey for its young is a unique experience in the life of a birder or photographer. The eagles specialize in sudden and powerful dives, and is capable of plucking heavy prey like sloths and big monkeys right off of tree branches. This caught the attention of the Swiss naturalist Carl Linnaeus, who christened the species with a mythological reference: the harpies, winged specters of ancient Greek mythology, who suddenly captured people and punished them in the name of Zeus.We don’t know exactly what the sloths and capuchin monkeys did to upset Zeus this much, but harpy eagles have flown over South and Central American forests for over a million years, hunting these animals way before human arrival.“What impresses me the most about the harpy eagles is the capacity they have to resist and adapt to changes on their habitat,” Alexander says. “In spite of all the hardships they face, these eagles have the capacity of keeping their unconquerable spirit intact, giving them a reason to survive.”In the course of his work, Alexander once suffered a serious, near-fatal fall from 35 meters high — a fall that was caught on film during the shoot of the BBC documentary ‘The Hunt.’ “It was a fluke accident, but against all odds, I somehow survived and have bounced back,” he says. “Of course the probability of surviving a fall of 35 meters is very small, but I was very lucky.“The fall was caused by human error on the ground, when someone outside my own ropes team foolishly untied a critical rope without checking with me, and I fell all the way from the nest to the forest floor while trying to hold a baby harpy eagle in my arms. I suffered fractures of my femur, my radius, and my ulna, as well as serious bruises and a bad concussion. The eagle that I was cradling in my arms popped free during my fall and flapped its partially-grown wings enough to land softly next to me without experiencing any injuries whatsoever.“This kind of accident never should occur, but despite all precautions, bad things sometimes happen.”There is also another kind of risk when you’re climbing up to harpy eagle nests. A kind that is much harder to avoid. “The first time I was attacked was in the 90s, and I was climbing a tree. The nest was active, with a really small chick born just a few days before. I had already climbed three-quarters of the way up to the nest when the mother eagle, who had been sitting on her nestling to keep it warm, flew off the nest and attacked me. On the first and second passes, I managed to avoid her talons, but by then, I was spinning on the rope and she took advantage of my vulnerability to hit me hard with one foot, tearing a 3-inch-long gash in my back, even puncturing one of my lungs. Fortunately, I recovered without serious problems.” Over the years, Alexander has suffered two further attacks by harpies, but without significant injuries.Real conservationAlexander Blanco climbing a tree to access a nest. Photo courtesy of Eduardo Álvarez Cordero and Alexander Blanco.This resistance to human presence is what allowed the Harpy Eagle Conservation Program to monitor the animals with observation platforms. It is also what allowed the flourishing of a tourism industry that shifted the desperate scenario Eduardo saw in the 80s.“After so many years telling people about the project, everybody in town knows where the harpy eagles are and where the harpy eagle people are,” says Eduardo. Having in mind the former rate of eagle killings, which alarmed him so much it became the basis for his PhD dissertation, Eduardo says the transition has been incredible. “So now people come to report any problem, and the discovery of a new nest. And that’s how we find nests, and it’s the best way of finding more of them. So, eventually, everyone is protecting the eagles, and everyone knows that if you mess with the eagles, you’re going to get into trouble. This is real conservation.”Alexander Blanco, after working in a project with such impressive positive results for biodiversity and people, articulates a beautiful call to action:“The forces of destruction are huge, gigantic, and there are a lot of private and public economic interests which are based on exploring natural resources (gold, diamonds, coltan, wood, among others). A lot of those, under the premise of sustainable development, are actually destroying primary forests. We have to do something… By combining scientific inquiry, environmental education, local communities, and ecotourism, among other measures, we can make a positive change on the collective thinking, directed to the conservation of the ecosystems.”One of the most iconic stories about harpy eagles, hardship, and survival is that of the orphaned juvenile harpy eagle Pancho, who thrived even after the loggers who chopped down the tree holding his nest went away, taking with them the plucked chickens they once fed him as a sort of atonement for having destroyed his home. Like other harpy eagles transitioning between the juvenile and adult ages, he had no option but to catch his own food. But he had no harpy eagles to teach him the proper way to hunt.“I have a photograph somewhere of Eduardo, the logger, next to Pancho on the ground,” says Eduardo, the scientist. “It seems that he survived for a while by hitting the ground and hunting lizards, snakes, whatever he could find there. That was the way he fed himself to survive. His feathers and tail feathers were muddy and all broken up. He turned into a roadrunner, hunting on the ground.”The small harpy eagle who survived the fall of a tree and was rehabilitated by loggers took some time before becoming a “wind goddess” and starting to capture the prey for which those talons were made. But Pancho did it, reinforcing the point that these eagles can tolerate even this kind of situation.“That bird is somewhere in the forest, with a big band on his leg. It is the furthest place from Imataca that I ever went, and it’s not an easy place to go anymore, because the bridges are gone. But Pancho is out there, making a living as an adult, I’m sure. And he was completely saved and hacked by the loggers,” says the man who started, with courage and bold ideas, the project that reconciled harpy eagles and people.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 Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Animals, Biodiversity, Commentary, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Ex-situ Conservation, Extinction, Javan Rhinos, Mammals, Rainforest Animals, Rhinos, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife The Javan rhino survives in a single population of roughly 60 individuals in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park.Despite successful efforts to protect the park’s rhinos from poachers, the species remains at risk due to multiple threats including lack of genetic diversity, disease and natural disasters.Designing effective conservation strategies requires filling crucial gaps in knowledge about the population’s size, status and behavior.This post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author, not necessarily Mongabay. Around 4,300 years ago, mainland mammoths had died out and only 300 remained on Wrangel Island off the Siberian coast. Isolated on an island in the Arctic Ocean, these woolly mammoths (Mammuthus primigenius) were not only the last of a dying species, they were also swamped with “bad genes.” In a recent study, geneticist Rebekah Rogers and biologist Monty Slatkin found that mammals in this isolated population had accumulated multiple harmful genetic mutations, diminishing individual animals’ fitness and accelerating the species’ descent into extinction.There are few species for which this warning is as relevant as it is for the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus). The last Javan rhino surviving outside of Indonesia was killed by poachers in Vietnam in 2010. Now, the sole — and tiny — population of this Critically Endangered species is confined to a single national park in the Ujung Kulon peninsula at the western tip of Indonesia’s Java Island.Ujung Kulon National Park sits on the southwestern tip of Java. Map created using Map For Environment.How many Javan rhinos survive?Reliable assessment of animal populations is a longstanding challenge in wildlife ecology and the Javan rhinoceros is one of the most complex and difficult cases in conservation history. Following recovery from the low point of 25 individuals in the 1960s, the population in Ujung Kulon National Park is believed to have reached about 60 animals by the middle of the 1980s, thanks to the efforts of the Indonesian Park rangers.Since then, attempts to survey the population of this solitary and elusive creature have yielded highly variable population estimates, ranging from 40 to 60 individuals, although these surveys do consistently indicate a sex-ratio that is highly skewed pro-males.Given the small size of the population, it is highly unlikely that the variation in these surveys accurately reflects actual variation in the population (for example, between 2010 and 2015 surveys show a 50 percent jump in the population, an improbable increase for a slow-breeding species). Rather, we may assume the surveys suffered from methodological problems, such as having insufficient cameras, relying on now-outdated counting methods, or including highlands in the study areas while the Javan rhino is a lowland forest dweller.The most recent major census, published in 2015, relied on 120 remote controlled cameras, which shot thousands of frames proving the presence of 35 males and 23 females, including eight calves.This recent census, combined with past surveys, suggests it is possible that the Javan rhino population in Ujung Kulon has stabilized at 50-60 individuals for decades. This, in turn, means we must seriously consider the possibility that Ujung Kulon National Park has reached its maximum carrying capacity and the Javan rhinoceros population its maximum density.Has this population reached the tipping point, teetering on the edge of an extinction vortex due to the lack of genetic diversity?A very recent study confirms the urgency of action,​ highlighting the additional danger of Ujung Kulon’s vulnerability to natural disasters like tsunamis, which could wipe out the world’s entire population of Javan rhinos in a single event.At present, the Javan rhino appears to be heading for extinction. Meanwhile, despite years of work by conservationists, no tangible signs have emerged for a much-discussed plan to relocate some of Ujung Kulon’s rhinos to a second site, nor to launch a much-needed captive breeding program of carefully selected individuals — the safest option in my opinion — which, among other considerations, would give an optimum chance to study at length this enigmatic species alive.We do not know enough about the Javan rhinoceros to be able to prioritize effective conservation actions with certainty, though in my opinion ex-situ breeding and translocation should be on top of the list.The Javan rhino is so rare and reclusive that this image, by conservationist and photographer Alain Compost, is one of very few that exist. Photo courtesy of Alain Compost.What we do know about Javan rhinosThe Sundaic or Lesser one-horned Asian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus), popularly known as the Javan rhinoceros, once ranged throughout the lowland mangrove forests of Southeast Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sumatra, and Java. Only a few records of R. sondaicus report its presence in northeastern India, Eastern Bangladesh and Borneo.It has since been exterminated over that range, except for the single population remaining in Java.This rhino species is a retiring and solitary wanderer, only present in lowland areas, to avoid steep hills which it can’t climb. Thus, despite the vast distribution range, it was nowhere common but in Java, the species’ southernmost location, for reasons not yet defined.The Javan rhinoceros is biologically dependent on evergreen sub-tropical woodlands and rainforests. These habitats protect the rhinos against sunlight and ensure a stable water supply, while the trees produce the saplings and leaves that the rhinos eat.Javan rhinos can travel up to 15–20 kilometers (~10-12.5 miles) in a single day, but will also confine themselves to a much smaller patch for as long as three weeks at a time if feeding conditions are attractive.Males occupy larger territories, up to three times those of females. The home range of one male typically overlaps with several females’. This makes it easy for the male to breed as often and with as many females as possible. While females’ territories overlap each other a lot, males’ territories do so only a little, at the periphery.This behavior is in many respects similar to that of the Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), a folivore (leaf-eating) rainforest dweller. Both species need undisturbed, vast and contiguous habitats to thrive, a condition no longer present in any present distribution area.A Javan rhino feeding in Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park, the species’ sole remaining habitat. Photo courtesy of Alain Compost.Mother and calf relationship Unfortunately, almost no data exist on the breeding of the Javan rhino.Though there are only a few images available of R. sondaicus, it is worth noting an aspect of mother and calf behavior that has been observed: it appears that Javan rhino females usually precede their calves, as displayed in the few images and videos available (additional examples can be seen here, here and here).By contrast, Indian rhinos’ calves precede their mothers, as is visible in a number of images.The same difference in behavior is recognized in the black and the white African rhinos: black rhino calves follow their mothers and white rhino calves precede theirs. This contributes to the faster decline of Black rhinos, due (besides poaching), to predation by spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta), compared to no records of predation on white rhino calves by the same predator.Tigers (Panthera tigris) likely killed significant numbers of Javan rhinos. This trait could well be a further cause of the Javan rhino demise in its former range and is an example of the necessity of knowing much more about this distinctive species.The habits of the Indian- or greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), a member of the same genus as the Javan rhino, are well-known thanks to the restricted range and openness of its habitat and in-depth studies that have described the species and collected extensive data. The Javan rhinoceros, on the other hand, has a much more complex history, with few records, some not confirmed. For example, a 2016 study by Kees Rookmaaker concluded that previously cited reports of Javan rhinos in Bhutan actually referred to Indian rhinos — additional proof that the critically endangered Javan rhinoceros needs to be further researched.Rhino patrol in Ujung Kulon park. Successful anti-poaching efforts have been crucial in maintaining the park’s rhino population in recent decades. Photo by Rhett A. Butler for Mongabay.What can be doneBeyond the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) 2002 guidelines to assist in identifying when ex-situ management may contribute to species recovery, and because the necessity of linking surveys to ecological processes, there is an urgent need for a program to pinpoint and constantly monitor Ujung Kulon’s rhinos by conservation personnel as well as via technological aides like tracking equipment and still- and video-camera traps.No non-intrusive option should be discarded in order to oversee these invaluable rhinos and collect as much data as possible. Far-from-accurate information about the size and status of the population could jeopardize any conservation efforts.It is also necessary to carry out extensive and accurate soil and fecal analyses to identify the presence, location and type of pathogenic agents affecting Javan rhinos, and to devise strategies to halt their spread and eventually to get rid of them.In addition, it’s critical to intensify the search for optimum habitat for R. sondaicus outside the Ujung Kulon NP peninsula for translocation of some individuals. Translocation areas could perhaps be determined using the Habitat Suitability Index, a simple scoring system for evaluating the quality of potential habitats.However, before any transfer is attempted, several prerequisites should be met, taking account of biological and health considerations, the suitability of the habitat at the release site and its ‘free of infectious agents’ status, the genetic makeup of the founder population and pre-release necessities of the animals in question.After these assessments are completed, some selected individuals can be captured with the pitfall traps method. Once settled down, I believe these rhinos should be moved to the various release sites and be confined in large enclosures for the time necessary to become accustomed to new conditions physiologically and behaviorally.Nineteenth century illustration of a Javanese rhino. The species is so elusive few photographs exist. Image courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.Whether due to present factual or future uncertain events, the Javan rhino is on the brink of extinction.Research is urgently required to enhance the condition and ecological needs of this still poorly known species on time to improve ongoing efforts and put new specific actions at work. Examples of species saved from extinction and reintroduced into the wild are now so numerous that ex-situ breeding should today be considered a priority, not a last resort.Otherwise, the Javan rhino could soon go the way of the woolly mammoth.Citations:Amman H. 1986. Contributions to the ecology and sociology of the Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desm.). Inaugural dissertation, Basel University. pp i–x, 1–229.Haryono M. et al. 2015. Monitoring of Javan rhino population in Ujung Kulon National Park. Pachyderm 56: 82-86Kruuk H. 1972. The spotted hyena: a study of predation and social behavior. University of Chicago Press. Chicago, IL. 335 p.Laurie, W.A. 1978. The ecology and behaviour of the greater Indian one-horned rhinoceros. PhD dissertation. University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 450 pp.Nardelli F. 2016. Current status and conservation prospects for the Javan rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822. International Zoo News 63 (3): 180-202Rookmaaker L.C. 2016. On the alleged presence of the two-horned Sumatran rhinoceros and the one-horned Javan rhinoceros in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan. Pachyderm 57: 116-117Rogers RL, Slatkin M (2017). Excess of genomic defects in a woolly mammoth on Wrangel island. PLoS Genet 13(3): e1006601. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006601Setiawan R. et al. 2017. Preventing Global Extinction of the Javan Rhino: Tsunami Risk and Future Conservation Direction. Conservation Letters, April 2017, Wiley Periodicals.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 Article published by Isabel Estermanlast_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 Shreya Dasgupta Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Dams, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Hydropower, Illegal Mining, Mining, Wildlife center_img China is home to about 500 green peafowls, all of which are known to occur only in the Yunnan province.The mining operations — that include construction of roads, mine shafts and storehouses — are all illegal, the report says.Greenpeace’s investigation also revealed that two roads servicing a hydropower project have been built inside the core area of Konglong River Nature Reserve. Illegal mining and hydropower expansion could spell doom for China’s green peafowl, according to a new report by Greenpeace East Asia.The extremely rare green peafowl (Pavo muticus) is a close cousin of the more common blue peacock (Pavo cristatus) found across the Indian subcontinent. The green peafowl, too, was once widespread, but less than 20,000 individuals remain in the world today, mostly scattered across Southeast Asia. The green peafowl’s populations are in serious decline and the species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.China is home to about 500 of these birds, all of which are known to occur only in the Yunnan province. However, illegal mining could be wiping out their last remaining habitats in the country, Greenpeace has found.Fewer than 20,000 green peafowls are thought to occur in the world today. Photo by Dr. Raju Kasambe via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)Through field surveys and analysis of satellite images of the region, Greenpeace East Asia claims to have found evidence of mining within the core zone of the Konglong River Nature Reserve in Shuangbai County of Yunnan Province, a key habitat of the green peafowl. The mining operations — including construction of roads, mine shafts and storehouses — are illegal, the report says. This is because the activities are in violation of China’s 1994 regulations on nature reserves that prohibits “production installations” from being built in the core area and buffer zone of nature reserves.  The mine is being operated by local miner Yinyang Mining Company, Greenpeace said.“The mining activity in this area is in flagrant disregard of the law, endangering a protected habitat and contributing to the threat of extinction of one of the world’s rarest birds”, Greenpeace East Asia forests campaigner Yi Lan said in a statement.Map by Greenpeace showing the spatial relationship between Yinyang’s mining activities and the nature preserve. Copyright: Greenpeace.Another major threat to the green peafowl’s disappearing habitat is the ongoing construction of a hydropower project on the Jiasa River. Greenpeace’s investigation revealed that two roads servicing the project have been built inside the core area of Konglong River Nature Reserve. Conservationists fear that the construction of the hydropower dam, which is scheduled to be completed this year, could push the bird to the brink of extinction in China.“In the dry season the birds rely on the seeds of aquatic plants found along the river to survive,” Wan Rong of Chinese NGO Wild China wrote in China Dialogue in April 2017. “The development of the riverside will completely destroy this habitat, while the wider civil engineering works associated with the hydropower plant will encroach on Yunnan’s last expanse of unspoiled, seasonal, tropical forest, causing a wider ecological disaster.​”Greenpeace and other conservationists have called for an immediate evaluation of green peafowl populations in China and urgent protection of the bird’s habitat.“We do not quite clearly know about the green peafowl’s distribution and activities and further surveys to clarify this are urgently needed,” Han Lianxian, a professor of zoology at Southwest Forestry College in Kunming, told Mongabay. “And until we get these details, all commercial development in the area should be temporarily halted. The system of environmental impact assessment and the process of establishing national nature reserve in China also needs a big change.”Green peafowls are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Photo by Arddu via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)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.Follow Shreya Dasgupta on Twitter: @ShreyaDasguptalast_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 The Indonesian government has been trying to collect penalties from three companies found guilty of damaging the environment.One of the companies is PT Kallista Alam, an oil palm plantation firm convicted of cut-and-burning rainforest in the Leuser Ecosystem.Another is PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari, a timber plantation firm that was ordered to pay more than a billion dollars for illegal logging.The government plans to establish a task force for the express purpose of collecting the penalties. JAKARTA — The Indonesian government is struggling to collect fines from companies found guilty of damaging the environment, leaving trashed rainforests and peat swamps to stay barren as restoration work cannot begin in earnest before the money is paid.Since 2014, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry has stepped up its prosecution of environmentally destructive companies, such as plantation firms that use fire to clear land and miners operating illegally.Amid public pressure to prosecute rogue firms, the ministry has filed one lawsuit after another, coming away with several victories. Forcing them to pay, however, has proved an entirely different matter.PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari: 16 trillion rupiahThe ministry’s biggest win was against PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari (MPL), a timber plantation firm convicted of illegally clearing 5,590 hectares of forest — roughly the size of Manhattan — near Sumatra’s eastern coast.The company was ordered to pay 16 trillion rupiah ($1.19 billion) in fines, the highest penalty for an environmental case in the nation’s history.But almost a year after the Supreme Court’s verdict in 2016, the ministry has yet to collect.The ministry has twice asked the Pekanbaru District Court in Sumatra to execute the verdict, said Jasmin Ragil Utomo, the ministry’s director for dispute settlement. The company has also challenged the Supreme Court’s ruling by filing a case review.Local media quoted MPL’s lawyer as saying it was filing the case review because it had found new evidence. The company did not return repeated requests for comment.Besides PT MPL, the ministry is struggling to collect from two other firms: plantation firm PT Kallista Alam and miner PT Selat Nasik Indokwarsa.Cleared land is seen at an oil palm plantation belonging to PT Kalista Alam in the Tripa peat swamp, in Aceh, Indonesia, in 2012. Photo by Dita Alangkara/CIFOR via Flickr.PT Kallista Alam: 366 billion rupiahPT Kallista Alam, an oil palm company operating in Aceh province, was convicted of using fire to clear 1,000 hectares of land in the Tripa peat swamp region on Sumatra’s northwest coast. Tripa is integral to the Leuser Ecosystem, one of Indonesia’s last best rainforests. The verdict against PT Kallista came down in 2015, at the height of the devastating wildfires that burned across Sumatra and Borneo that year. In a verdict upheld by the Supreme Court, the firm was ordered to pay a staggering 366 billion rupiah — more than $27 million — in fines and reparations. It was the first major victory for President Joko Widodo’s administration in its campaign to prosecute plantation firms for causing fires.Two years later, however, PT Kallista has yet to pay.“First, we issued a warning to PT Kallista Alam to finish [paying the fines]. But they didn’t do that,” Utomo said. After that, the ministry asked the court to execute the verdict. “But when we did that, PT Kallista Alam filed a case review. And then the head of the Meulaboh District Court declared that the execution should be postponed while waiting for the case review.”The court rejected the case review; after that, it should have been able to execute the verdict, according to judge Said Hasan. But that had to be postponed after PT Kallista sued the government in July, he said. The company reportedly alleges that the coordinates for its concession used by the ministry in court were wrong. The penalty consists of 114.3 billion rupiah as compensation to the state and 251.7 billion rupiah to fully restoring the affected forests back to their original condition.“This new lawsuit challenge by PT Kallista Alam against the Indonesian government is rather odd,” said Nurul Ikhsan, legal counsel for the Aceh Citizen’s Lawsuit Movement, which fights for environmental justice. “Why didn’t they raise their objections at the time of the trial? The company seems to be looking for a loophole to avoid paying the fines.”Utomo too is confused by the company’s decision to sue the government for allegedly putting the wrong coordinates in the original lawsuit.“The process [of raising their objections] should happen during the trial [of the original lawsuit],” he said.Kallista’s lawyer, Khairi Rahmadani, did not reply to repeated requests for comment.Some also questioned the Meulaboh District Court’s decision to postpone enforcement of the verdict.According to Utomo, Indonesian law states that any legally binding Supreme Court ruling can be executed even if the defendant files a case review or another lawsuit. Even still, “It all comes back to the court who has the authority [to enforce the ruling]. We as the plaintiff can only ask” the court to execute the verdict. Ikhsan hopes the council will reject the company’s lawsuit so that the peat swamp forest of Tripa can be restored.“The burning by PT Kallista Alam damaged the surface layer of peat which needs intervention to recover, so disturbed was the balance of the natural ecosystem,” he said.Indonesian forest rangers patrol the part of the Tripa peat swamp forest occupied by oil palm firm PT Kallista Alam in 2012. Photo by Dita Alangkara/CIFOR via Flickr.Selat Nasik Indokwarsa: 31.5 billion rupiahThe ministry also trying to collect a penalty from PT Selat Nasik Indokwarsa, a miner found guilty of damaging the environment on Belitung Island in western Indonesia. It has been more than three years since the company was ordered to pay 31.5 billion rupiah.The company initially asked to pay in installments over 15 years, but the ministry refused.“We rejected their request because the legal basis is not strong for a 15-year payment,” Utomo said. “It seems that there’s no history of such a long-term payment for non-tax state revenue.”The ministry has submitted a request to execute PT Selat Nasik Indokwarsa’s verdict to the North Jakarta District Court.“But the court asked us to prepare data like assets [first],” Utomo said.Technical difficultiesA variety of technical barriers have also made the environment ministry’s job harder. Before it can collect a penalty, the ministry must wait for the official record of the verdict to become available, something that can take more than a year, said Rasio Ridho Sani, the ministry’s law enforcement chief.The ministry sometimes has trouble tracking a verdict’s official record, such as in the case of PT MPL, the timber plantation firm in Sumatra. Sani said his team had to travel back and forth between the Pekanbaru District Court in Riau and the East Jakarta District Court in Jakarta to track the company’s verdict record before the ministry found the documents it was searching for in a subdistrict office in East Jakarta. Even after it has obtained the records, the ministry still must iron out the details of how to collect the penalties so that the payments adhere to the law, since there is no official guideline for how to do so. The ministry is presently working with the Supreme Court to devise such a guideline, Sani said.A burned peat swamp on Indonesia’s main western island of Sumatra. Tropical rainforests rarely burned in the past, but are seeing serious wildfires as climate change worsens. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.‘We are not stopping now’The ministry is taking new measures to force companies to pay. One step is to establish a task force consisting of various government agencies, such as the Financial Transaction Reports and Analysis Center, the Financial Services Authority, the Attorney General’s Office and the Ministry of Law and Human Rights.“We are not stopping now,” Utomo said. “We are tracing their assets and we have obtained the reports from the PPATK. And we will form a task force to speed up [the execution process] so that we could immediately enforce the verdicts.”Through the task force, the ministry hopes the government will have more power to enforce the rulings.Among the first steps taken by the task force would be legal attempt to repeal the Meulaboh District Court’s decision to postpone the execution of PT Kallista Alam’s verdict.“It seems that we have to go through legal means again so that the court’s decision could be cancelled so that the verdict could be executed. Because if the decision is not cancelled, then we would just go round and round. We could file an appeal [for the court’s decision],” Utomo explained.The task force would also send letters to respective courts which handle PT Selat Nasik Indokwarsa and PT Merbau Pelalawan Lestari’s cases.The government hoped to use the collected penalties to fund the restoration efforts in the degraded land and forests. Without the penalties, no restoration work could start, according to Utomo.“The point is if they haven’t paid, [we can’t start the restoration work], because the penalties include money for the compensation and the recovery,” he explained. Article published by Hans Nicholas Jong Banner image: A peat swamp in Sumatra smolders during the 2015 haze crisis. The drainage canals were dug in order to prepare the land for planting with oil palm, but the practice renders the land vulnerable to catching fire. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Deforestation, Degraded Lands, Ecosystem Restoration, Environment, Environmental Crime, Environmental Law, Fires, Forest Fires, Forest Recovery, Forestry, Forests, Haze, Illegal Logging, Law Enforcement, Logging, Palm Oil, Peatlands, Rainforests, Restoration, Southeast Asian Haze, Tropical Forests last_img read more

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first_imgAgriculture, Animals, Avoided Deforestation, Cattle Pasture, China Logging, China-s Environmental Problems, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecology, Ecotourism, Endangered Species, Environment, Forests, Livestock, Mammals, Pandas, Parks, Protected Areas, Research, Video, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation A new study finds that a 9-fold uptick in livestock near Wanglang National Nature Reserve has diminished giant panda habitat by more than a third.More than half of the panda’s range is protected in China, but overlap with grazing livestock, which eat bamboo leaves, maybe putting pressure on the country’s national symbol.The study’s authors call for investment in alternative livelihoods, in sectors such as tourism and forest management, to steer people away from livestock rearing. A recent spike in livestock rearing, once seen as an alternative to farming and timber harvesting that would allow China’s forests to recover, is now impinging on the habitat of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), according to a new study.“If grazing is left uncontrolled, we are going to lose huge amounts of suitable panda habitats, to which we have devoted so much effort to protect in the past decades,” said Binbin Li, a conservation biologist at Duke University, in a statement. Li is the lead author of a study published in the Oct. 3 issue of the journal Biological Conservation.Side-by-side photos show the effects of 10 years of livestock grazing on bamboo forests in Wanglang National Nature Reserve. Photos and caption by Binbin LiThe research revealed that increasing pressure from a 9-fold uptick in livestock — comprising mostly horses and cattle — in just 15 years around Wanglang National Nature Reserve in southern China has strained the growth of bamboo, which is the mainstay of the giant panda’s diet.“What is worse, overgrazing has reduced the regeneration of these bamboos,” Li said. “Local communities leave their livestock to free range in the forests and only come to feed them salt twice a month. So the livestock feed on the bamboos year-round, especially in winter.”The park is home to China’s largest population of pandas, which are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN, but researchers have noticed the impact on their numbers.“We have found many fewer signs of pandas in these areas in recent years,” said Luo Chunping, a scientist at Wanglang National Nature Reserve and coauthor of the study, in the statement.But until now, the degree of that impact hasn’t been clear. To answer that question, Li and her colleagues mined 20 years of data that tracked the presence of pandas, bamboo and livestock in the park. From that knowledge base, the team was then able to model changes to the panda’s habitat.That model revealed that grazing could be slashing panda habitat in the reserve by more than one-third.A giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) eats bamboo in Wanglang National Nature Reserve. Photo and caption by Binbin Li“This long-term monitoring shows that the pandas are being driven out of the areas that are heavily used by the livestock, especially the park’s valleys,” said Stuart Pimm, a biologist at Duke University and one of the paper’s authors, in the statement. “These lower elevation areas are crucial for giant pandas, especially during winter and spring.”Horses frequent these valleys year-round and are particularly destructive to bamboo, shearing off up to half of bamboo leaves as they graze.Paradoxically, protections for China’s forests may have ultimately led to such a steep increase in the overlap between panda habitat and the area used for livestock grazing, as the government has introduced initiatives to encourage people to move away from farming and logging. Reserves such as Wanglang National Nature Reserve, which was created in 1965, were meant to protect the country’s national animal.“The success in reducing logging and agriculture may have led to more livestock, however, which then compromised the goals of protected areas and panda conservation,” the authors write.At the same time, rising incomes in China have increased the demand for meat, making livestock a more lucrative investment. And a 2008 earthquake in the region has stifled the local tourism trade, leaving fewer options for people to support their families.Livestock grazing has damaged one-third of all giant panda habitat in one of China’s oldest and most important panda preserves. Image and caption by Binbin LiThe authors caution that Wanglang is representative of the situation that pandas face in other parts of the country. About 54 percent of the animal’s range is protected.“These problems are not unique to our study area, but common throughout the panda nature reserves and habitats,” said Li Sheng, a conservation biologist at Peking University and an author of the study, in the statement. “It is not just an ecological problem, but also a gamble between the communities, the nature reserves, local governments and other stakeholders.”One way to help the people who currently depend on grazing their livestock in these areas is to provide them with choices in how they make a living, Binbin Li said.“Instead of just a livestock ban, we need to find alternative livelihood practices for the local community, like job opportunities in tourism or forest stewardship, which are preferred by the locals we interviewed,” she added. “Reduce the number of livestock in panda habitats, promote better ways of raising livestock, and find the balance between panda conservation and local development. These are our goals.”Banner image of a giant panda by Binbin Li.CITATIONLi, B. V., Pimm, S. L., Li, S., Zhao, L., & Luo, C. (2017). Free-ranging livestock threaten the long-term survival of giant pandas. Biological Conservation, 216, 18-25.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more

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first_imgScientists have been urging conservation NGOs to make decisions based on scientific evidence.However, the big conservation NGOs run into many problems in trying to use the available science. Doing impact evaluations of their own projects is also hard and expensive, sources from the big conservation NGOs say.For their work to be effective, the conservation community needs to develop a common understanding of what credible evidence means, how to best use different strands of evidence, and how organizations can evaluate their work and create evidence that others can use, experts across the conservation spectrum seem to agree.This story is part of a special Mongabay series on “Conservation Effectiveness.” When a female Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), and then her daughter, died in India’s Burachapori Wildlife Sanctuary last year, conservationists were worried. The rhinos’ horns were intact, so they had not fallen prey to poachers. Their deaths were instead attributed to some “natural cause” that no one could pinpoint.The pair had been introduced to Burachapori, in the northeastern state of Assam, as part of an ambitious and expensive scheme called Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020). The plan aimed to increase rhino numbers in Assam and rewild protected areas like Burachapori and Manas National Park that once held their own rhino populations.For the first few years, it looked like IRV 2020 was working: introduced rhinos adapted well in their new homes, and some even mothered calves. But then, poachers killed 10 of the rhinos in Manas between 2011 and 2016. And about 260 kilometers away, in Burachapori, the newly introduced mother and calf succumbed to that mysterious, fatal natural cause.IRV 2020 is a collaboration between the Assam Forest Department and various conservation groups, such as WWF-India, the International Rhino Foundation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It took several years of planning and preparation. But with armed poachers and puzzling ailments looming in the background, the team decided to reassess the situation and put further translocations on hold.Poaching is a known threat. But fundamental knowledge about what factors affect the health of Indian rhinos in the wild is still lacking, Amit Sharma, WWF-India’s senior coordinator for rhino conservation, told Mongabay earlier this year.Conservation groups frequently work amid that kind of uncertainty in complex, ever-changing environments. So how do they determine which strategy will help a species the most? Is rewilding parks with an endangered species really good for the animal’s future? Is the money better spent working with the nearby communities to reduce poaching pressure on the few existing populations? Is it okay to take on an experimental rewilding project without having gained some fundamental knowledge about the biology of the species?There are no simple answers, of course. Conservation is about making hard decisions. Four of the world’s largest conservation groups that dominate today’s wildlife conservation landscape — the Switzerland-based World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and U.S.-based Conservation International (CI), the Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) — make these decisions constantly. These big conservation NGOs (BINGOs) employ thousands of people and spend millions of dollars spearheading projects on nearly every continent, from humid tropical rainforests to the ocean’s mysterious depths. In doing so, they often determine whether a species can avoid extinction.But how do the groups know what works?Indian rhinoceros in Assam, India. Photo by Anuwar Ali Hazarika via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0).How to save a species?For a long time, the conservation community has leaned on intuition, personal experiences, ideology, or random trial and error to decide on a conservation strategy. Sometimes, conservation groups are simply opportunistic, banking on the strategy that attracts the most funding or political support.But over the last few decades, scientists have been pushing for more evidence-based conservation. They have been urging conservation NGOs to use the best available science to prescribe strategies. Just as you would assume the treatment or drugs your doctor recommends are backed by evidence from medical research, so should the plans prescribed for saving species from extinction be supported by the best available evidence, scientists say.By scientific evidence, many researchers refer to peer-reviewed studies, which can take many forms. Studies can record how certain environmental outcomes have changed in a place since the implementation of a strategy, like, say, changes in tiger numbers since the creation of a protected area. Studies might use high-tech analyses of satellite images to measure changes in deforestation levels or record people’s personal experiences and perceptions to describe how a strategy affects communities or wildlife. Then there are systematic reviews that look at multiple studies that have asked similar questions, such as “Does trophy hunting help save African elephants?” These reviews then compare those individual studies’ results to discern patterns or trends.Like all fields of science, the quality of conservation effectiveness research varies a lot. The gold standard is completely experimental randomized control trials or quasi-experimental controlled studies (non-randomized experiments) that can definitively attribute the observed changes to the strategy and not to some other factor. Such studies might compare, for instance, a block of protected forest with a control site: another block of forest that is not legally protected, but is otherwise nearly identical to the protected forest.Overall, there has been a rise in peer-reviewed studies looking into the effectiveness of conservation strategies, experts say. But NGOs don’t seem to be using them, William Sutherland and Claire Wordley of the Conservation Evidence Project at the University of Cambridge, U.K., wrote in an article recently. They called it “evidence complacency:” the persistence of a culture in which conservation practitioners neither use available scientific evidence to make decisions nor measure the outcomes of their actions. This complacency is leading to a waste of money, time, and opportunities, the researchers wrote. And they worry that it could show conservation as “an unjustifiable investment.”Sources from the four BINGOs agreed that scientific evidence should be a key component of decision-making. They also said that there is a growing demand for evidence-based conservation not just from academic scholars, but from within the NGOs themselves. “I think practitioners are generally keen to use and gather evidence,” Edward Game, the lead scientist for TNC’s Asia Pacific region, told Mongabay.In fact, all four groups have either established new programs or updated existing ones to specifically look at generating and integrating evidence into their conservation decisions. TNC, for instance, upgraded their existing framework, “Conservation by Design,” to “Conservation by Design 2.0 (CbD 2.0)” in 2015. One of CbD 2.0’s major updates is to “robustly draw upon and build the evidence base for conservation.” In 2014, WCS launched the “5 Measures Program” to better track the effectiveness of its projects. WWF has also been building up its global science team, and, through its conservation impact initiative, moving toward a more evidence-based approach to tracking its projects over time. Similarly, CI has been working toward incorporating more evidence and monitoring into its programs.All of this sounds encouraging. “But the use of evidence in conservation decision-making is neither as effective nor rigorous as it could be,” Game said.Part of the problem, the sources at the BINGOs said, is that the kind of peer-reviewed studies the “evidence complacency” article’s authors and other researchers are urging conservation practitioners to pay more heed to offer only a narrow view of the evidence.last_img read more

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first_imgBanner image courtesy of Rainforest Foundation NorwayFEEDBACK: 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. On November 29, government officials declared the establishment of the Managalas Conservation Area. It is Papua New Guinea’s largest conservation area, encompassing 3,600 square kilometers of rainforest.Local communities, with the support of governments and non-profit organizations, have been working towards its incorporation as a protected area for 32 years.Managalas Conservation Area will be protected from large-scale agricultural and logging operations while allowing the communities that live there to use forest resources and grow crops in a sustainable manner.But stakeholders say mining is not officially excluded from the Conservation Arena’s management plan, and are worried about future encroachment by mining companies. Papua New Guinea has been granted its largest-ever conservation area, a 3,600-square kilometer (1,390-square mile) protected area of rainforest in the country’s southeast that stretches from near the ocean up into the mountains. Called Managalas Conservation Area, the move is being celebrated by conservation organizations and local communities that have been working for 32 years to establish more protections for the region.Managalas Conservation Area was officially declared on November 29 by Minister for Environment and Climate John Pundari and Northern Governor Gary Juffa at Itokama village.“Without environment, and without you and I, we will never enjoy the blessings of life,” said Pundari, as reported by PNG’s Post-Courier. “If we lose [the environment], we lose ourselves and that is also a global message.”Local communities held a party following the announcement to celebrate the declaration, the culmination of their decades of work towards protection of their forests.Minister for Environment and Climate John Pundari and Beate Gabrielsen from the Norwegian Embassy pose for photos at the declaration ceremony. Photo courtesy of Rainforest Foundation NorwayResidents of Itokama celebrate the declaration of Managalas Conservation Area. Photo courtesy of Rainforest Foundation NorwayThe region, called the Managalas Plateau, still has expansive tracts of primary forest. But it has been increasingly eyed by extractive industries like logging and mining, according to Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN), which is supporting conservation activities in the region. Industrial agriculture is also a big threat, with several areas of the plateau suitable for oil palm plantations.The Managalas Conservation Area will protect the plateau from most large-scale encroachment, RFN says, while safeguarding sustainable use of forest resources by the 21,000 people that call it home. These uses are described in the project’s long-term management plan, which was drawn up by the communities residing in the Conservation Area, and include both subsistence and livelihood activities like coffee cultivation.According to RFN, the development of the Conservation Area has already aided preservation of the region by deflecting mining and logging operations. RFN says that when it became known that mining exploration licenses were being issued, conservation organizations and local communities sent letters of protest to authorities arguing that mining should not be allowed in an area earmarked for conservation.“As a result, the boundaries for the licenses were amended, and the mining company withdrew,” RFN representatives told Mongabay. “And with the establishment of the Conservation Area, the areas marked for logging was also eradicated.”Thick rainforest covers much of the newly declared Managalas Conservation Area. Photo courtesy of Rainforest Foundation NorwayManagalas Conservation Area encompasses 3,600 square kilometers and particularly large, connected tracts of primary forest called Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs). Satellite data from the University of Maryland show tree cover loss and degradation in IFLs in the region; conservationists hope official protections granted to the area will help reduce deforestation and safeguard the area’s remaining forest cover. Data source: Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA, accessed through Global Forest WatchHowever, some stakeholders are still concerned about mining, which is not specifically excluded from Managalas Conservation Area’s management plan.“The decision from the National Executive Council on the Conservation Area states that activities like logging and large scale agriculture is to be excluded from the conservation area. However, it does not mention mining, so that is a concern to us … and the people of Managalas,” said Kenn Mondial of Partners with Melanesians (PwM), a non-profit that has been supporting establishment of Managalas Conservation Area.While declaration of Papua New Guinea’s newest and biggest conservation area represents a huge step forward in the protection of the region’s forests, much still needs to be done to get Managalas up and running. Next steps include government endorsement of the management committee, which is comprised of tribal leaders, community-based organizations, churches and local governments, and supported by outside organizations like RFN and PwM. After this is done, the committee will finalize the management plan for the area and rangers will be deployed to monitor its implementation in the Conservation Area’s different zones.Managalas Conservation Area is home to around 21,000 people who will be able to sustainably use forest resources in accordance with the Conservation Area’s management plan, which was drawn up by local communities. Photo courtesy of Rainforest Foundation NorwayStakeholders would also like to see improvement of the region’s roads so that crops grown by local communities, such as coffee, can reach outlying markets.“The condition of the roads here is not good. And the bridges are sometimes washed away in heavy rainfalls. So market access for the local produce is a big challenge,” Mondial said. “We need support from the government to improve this. We are also looking for any partner interested in promoting fair trade and organic coffee.”But for now, local residents and international supporters are focusing on celebrating their pivotal victory in protecting Papua New Guinea’s rainforests.“For me personally, after working on this project for 14 years, I am satisfied,” Mondial said, “and would like to thank the 21,000 people of Managalas, RFN and the people and government of Norway.” Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Agriculture, Community-based Conservation, Environment, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Rights, Industrial Agriculture, Logging, Mining, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Forest Management, Tropical Forests 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 Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by John Cannon Animals, Biodiversity, Birds, Community Development, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Coral Reefs, Defaunation, Ecotourism, Endangered Species, Environment, Fish, Fishing, Illegal Fishing, Mammals, Marine Animals, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Birds, Marine Conservation, Marine Ecosystems, Marine Mammals, Marine Protected Areas, National Parks, Oceans, Overfishing, Parks, Protected Areas, Reptiles, Tourism, Whales, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation center_img The conservation NGO African Parks signed an agreement to manage Bazaruto Archipelago National Park in Mozambique.Leaders established the park in 1971, but recent illegal fishing and unregulated tourism has threatened the ecosystem and its economic value, African Parks said.The park is home to 2,000 species of fish and hundreds of species of birds, reptiles and mammals, including some of the last dugongs in the western Indian Ocean. A sliver of ocean on the Southern Africa coast is getting a new chance at success thanks to an agreement announced Dec. 6.The National Administration of Conservation Areas of Mozambique has enlisted the help of the conservation NGO African Parks, which manages more than a dozen protected areas in eight other countries on the continent, to run Bazaruto Archipelago National Park for the next 25 years. The organizations hope the move will jumpstart tourism in the park and help safeguard its resident wildlife, including hundreds of species of birds, reptiles, mammals and fish.“Bazaruto has the tremendous opportunity to show how a national park can create a conservation-led economy, where the protection and management of wildlife and their habitats not only ecologically restores the park, but can create economic benefits for local communities,” said Peter Fearnhead, the CEO of South Africa-based African Parks, in a statement.Reef manta rays (Manta alfredi), pictured here in the Maldives, are found along Mozambique’s southern coast. Photo by Shiyam ElkCloner (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.The government set aside the 1,430-square-kilometer (552-square-mile) reserve in 1971. In an email to African Parks supporters, Fearnhead described Bazaruto as “a critical sanctuary for numerous species of marine megafauna including dolphins, sharks, whales, whale sharks, manta rays and turtles.”Around 2,000 fish species call the park home, along with some of the last remaining dugongs (Dugong dugon) in the western Indian Ocean, according to African Parks. The dugong, or sea cow, is an IUCN-listed Vulnerable marine mammal.Despite the presence of unique wildlife, recent threats have jeopardized its potential as a destination for tourists and a lynchpin of the local economy, Fearnhead said in his email. Illegal fishing outfits have moved in, and authorities haven’t been able to control the extraction of natural resources or the spike in “uncontrolled tourism activities.”Bazaruto Archipelago National Park is home to several species of marine mammal, including dugongs (Dugong dugon). Photo by Christian Schlamann, courtesy of African Parks.Fearnhead pointed out that these issues could cause problems for the park’s ecosystem, and he said that revenues from the park have already taken a hit — a problem for local communities already struggling with poverty.Nearly 6,000 people live on three of the five islands found in the park, and they depend on resources from the sea to survive, African Parks said.The NGO’s plan includes training local residents to work in tourism and hospitality, as well as helping them with launch businesses to generate income. It will also add airborne surveillance to complement boat and foot patrols by rangers in the park with the goal of warding off further illegal activity. And the team plans to monitor the conservation statuses of key species found in the park.Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are a major draw for tourists around the world. Photo By Abe Khao Lak (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.“Bazaruto is an extraordinary conservation area whose time has come to be sufficiently protected and revitalized,” said Celmira Frederico Pena da Silva, the vice minister of the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development in Mozambique, in the African Parks statement.She welcomed the partnership and said that with its help it could both protect the park’s natural resources and ensure that local communities benefit.Pena da Silva added, “Together, we can finally elevate Bazaruto to its rightful position as one of Africa’s greatest marine sanctuaries.”The park, shown here using Global Forest Watch, is located off the coast of Mozambique in southern Africa and covers 1,430 square kilometers.CITATIONIUCN and UNEP-WCMC (2017), The World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) [On-line], September, Cambridge, UK: UNEP-WCMC. Available at: www.protectedplanet.net. Accessed through Global Forest Watch in December 2017. www.globalforestwatch.orgBanner image of a dugong by Christian Schlamann, courtesy of African Parks.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

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