How acoustic monitoring gave us a last chance to save the vaquita

first_imgMonitoring the vaquita’s vocalizations has allowed scientists to closely and accurately monitor the species’ unfortunate decline.Illegal fishing for totoaba is the biggest threat to the vaquita. They are killed as bycatch, drowning in nets meant for the fish.Conservationists say the next step is to capture vaquitas for captivity, a highly controversial plan with major risks. Thanks to a five-year acoustic monitoring program, conservationists have detected the rapid decline of the vaquita before it is too late – giving them one last shot to save the species. By monitoring the vaquita’s clicking vocalizations, a new paper in Conservation Biology announced that the population of the vaquita has dropped to fewer than 30 animals. Until recently the exact population size was unknown, hindering conservation efforts and further risking the species’ survival.The size of a large dog, the vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is the world’s most endangered porpoise. Unlike most cetaceans, its range is restricted to a small northern portion of the Gulf of California. Only discovered in 1958, the vaquita was already considered Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List by 1986. Today it is Critically Endangered.Beginning in 2011, the Acoustic Monitoring Program is an international collaborative effort between scientists from NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center and Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change. Since the project commenced, scientists estimate the total vaquita population has declined a staggering 90 percent, taking the global population down from an already troublingly low 200 individuals to less than 30.While researchers knew the vaquita was critically endangered, they were not expecting to document anything like this.“The [Acoustic Monitoring Program] was designed to detect the anticipated recovery of vaquitas. Instead we documented the consequence of the rise of the illegal [totoaba] fishery,” Dr. Barbara Taylor, lead author of the study, said.An acoustic monitoring program has revealed that there are fewer than 30 vaquitas left in the wild. Photo by Paula Olson, NOAA.The totoaba (Totoaba macdonaldi) is a fish roughly the size of a vaquita that is prized for its swim bladder in China. The illegal trade is so lucrative that a single swim bladder can fetch up to $5,000 on the black market. Unfortunately, the gillnets used to capture these fish are the perfect size to ensnare and kill vaquitas, and the secretive nature of the enterprise has made it impossible to measure the extent to which vaquitas are caught as bycatch.While the Mexican government declared a fishing ban inside the Gulf of California’s Vaquita Refuge in 2008, the illegal toataba fishery has only continued to expand.Until the results of the monitoring program were released, scientists were unsure about the impact of this secretive illegal fishery within the refuge.“[I had thought that] our ability to monitor vaquitas was so poor that they were likely to go extinct before we could prove they were declining,” said Taylor. “Fortunately, acoustic methods changed all that.”Unlike visual surveys or estimating population decline from bycatch, passive acoustic monitoring does not require scientists to see the notoriously shy vaquita to know they are there. Instead, the researchers, led by Dr. Jaramillo-Legoretta, deployed 48 acoustic detectors in the Vaquita Refuge over a five-year period. These detectors pick up the vaquitas’ echolocation clicks, allowing researchers to develop a population estimate based on the total number of clicks per 24-hour period. In order to ensure that seasonal or tidal variations did not compromise the data, researchers deployed detectors 24 hours a day during the same three-month period each year.Preliminary results released in 2014 led to a two-year gillnet ban throughout the vaquita’s entire range. Updated results released in 2016 led to the launch of an emergency action plan called VaquitaCPR just last month. According the plan, researchers will locate and capture a number of vaquitas using Navy trained dolphins under the leadership of Mexico’s Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT).This solution of holding vaquitas in temporary captivity for safekeeping is not without controversy. Vaquitas have never been successfully kept in captivity before, let alone successfully bred. And cetaceans are notoriously difficult to keep alive in captivity. Some scientists argue that this plan could wind up killing the very vaquitas it sets out to protect. However, conservationists are running out of options.“Given the rapid and continuing decline, saving at least some vaquitas is a wise conservation course recommended by the recovery team,” said Taylor. She stressed that it is a temporary fix. Long-term actions that protect vaquitas in their natural environment, including a permanent gillnet ban and development of alternative fishing gear, will still take top priority.The vaquita Acoustic Monitoring Program proves that continuously monitoring endangered species is critically important. Without such measures, scientists might not notice unexpected or unseen threats until it is too late to save the species. In the case of the vaquita, there is still a very real risk of extinction – but without acoustic monitoring, that risk could have been an inevitability.Citation:Jaramillo‐Legorreta, A., Cardenas‐Hinojosa, G., Nieto‐Garcia, E., Rojas‐Bracho, L., Ver Hoef, J., Moore, J., Tregenze, N., Barlow, J., Gerrodette, T., Thomas, L., & Taylor, B. (2016). Passive acoustic monitoring of the decline of Mexico’s critically endangered vaquita. Conservation Biology. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12789 Animals, Biodiversity, Cetaceans, Conservation, Endangered Species, Extinction, Fisheries, Illegal Trade, Interns, Oceans, Technology, Vaquita, Wildlife, Wildtech 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 Maria Salazarlast_img read more

No safe forest left: 250 captive orphan chimps stuck in sanctuaries

first_imgAgriculture, Animals, Apes, Biodiversity, Bushmeat, Chimpanzees, Conservation, Drivers Of Deforestation, Ecology, Endangered Species, Environment, Farming, Featured, Forests, Great Apes, Hunting, Industrial Agriculture, Mammals, Over-hunting, Palm Oil, Pet Trade, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Rubber, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherer Cameroon currently has more than 250 rescued chimpanzees living in three chimp wildlife sanctuaries. Attempts to find forests into which to release them — safe from the bushmeat and pet trade, and not already occupied by other chimpanzee populations — have failed so far.The intensification of logging, mining and agribusiness, plus new roads into remote areas, along with a growing rural human population, are putting intense pressure on un-conserved forests as well as protected lands.Unless habitat loss, poaching and trafficking are controlled in Cameroon, reintroduction of captive chimpanzees may not be achievable. Some conservationists argue, however, that reintroduction of captive animals is needed to enhance genetic resilience in wild populations.If current rates of decline are not curbed, primatologists estimate that chimpanzees could be gone from Cameroon’s forests within 15 to 20 years. A chimpanzee behind a solar-powered electric fence at the Mefou Primate Sanctuary in central Cameroon. Photo by Eugene Nforngwa/Africa AssignmentsYAOUNDE, CAMEROON — Two male chimps, Avi and Max, take turns inside an electric-fenced compound where eight Central chimpanzees are housed at the Mefou Primate Sanctuary not far from Cameroon’s capital. The broad-chested dominant males aren’t allowed in the enclosure together because keepers fear their rivalry could degenerate into vicious fighting and endanger the entire Pan troglodytes troglodytes community.Avi and Max are survivors of a brutal bushmeat and pet trade that seriously threatens the Central African nation’s great apes and often leaves infants orphaned. The two males have lived at the sanctuary almost since it was created in 2000.After the country’s first attempt to release them failed in 2015, it now seems that life in captivity might be their ultimate destiny. Hundreds of other captive chimpanzees face the same fate inside Cameroon’s three ape sanctuaries.While life inside the sanctuaries is a great deal safer than that in the forest — with chimps well-fed and receiving round-the-clock medical care — some primatologists and animal defenders say the great apes and other primates belong back in the wild.“Chimpanzees don’t belong in any form of captivity,” contends Sheri Speede, founder and director of In Defense of Animals-Africa (IDA-Africa), which runs the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in Cameroon’s eastern region. “They are better off living free in protected forests, where they can have normal family groups and natural demographics.”The problem: where to create new protected areas in Cameroon, a nation with rapidly expanding agribusiness and extraction industries, plus a fast growing rural population — all of which are encroaching on un-conserved forests and are a recipe for habitat loss, great ape trafficking and the bushmeat trade.Dominant chimpanzee male Avi, at the back, co-reigns with Max in one of three enclosures at Cameroon’s Mefou Primate Sanctuary. But the question remains as to whether Avi and Max, along with other sanctuary chimps, will ever be able to return to the wild. Photo by Eugene Nforngwa/Africa AssignmentsNot a single site leftA little more than a decade ago, several non-governmental organizations, including IDA-Africa, the Pandrillus Foundation, and Ape Action Africa, along with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, began discussing possibilities for Cameroon’s first chimpanzee reintroduction attempt. Those talks moved ahead slowly.Eventually, the NGOs — jointly known as the Cameroon Chimpanzee Reintroduction Group (CCRG) — commissioned a study running from 2012 to 2015 to find a suitable forest site into which to release captive chimpanzees.Switzerland-based Cameroonian researcher Lawrence Baye led the survey. He and his team combed four forests, looking for existing or historical chimp populations, talking to locals, observing current human activities and learning about planned land uses.“The goal of the three-year-study was to identify a large area of intact habitat forest that was under-protected and depleted of chimpanzees, which could serve as a reintroduction site for the subspecies Pan troglodytes troglodytes,” says Speede.“We based our search on criteria pertaining to the quality of the habitat, importance from a conservation perspective, use by existing wildlife populations, presence of natural boundaries, and use by human populations locally.”But the three-year search proved futile — no forests were seen as safe for the chimpanzees, and the reintroduction effort has now been temporality called off.“The human populations in proximity to the forests were too dense and depended on ongoing extractive and agricultural activities in the forests; planned development projects near the forests promised to bring an unavoidable influx of people in the future; and largescale commercial enterprises, such as logging or mining, were already operating or were slated to begin operations in the forests,” Speede explains.“The difficulty with reintroduction is that the good, [well-protected] chimpanzee habitats… already have chimpanzees living there,” explains Pandrillus founder Liza Gadsby. And “those [forests] with low populations that could absorb more animals have low populations for a reason — generally poaching.”Captive chimps, like this one inside a sanctuary in Cameroon, frequently lack the skills to survive in the wild. Chimpanzees must be carefully prepared before being reintroduced to the rainforest. Photo by Eugene Nforngwa/Africa AssignmentsFinding sanctuarySpeede has been at the forefront of Cameroon’s effort to release its captive chimpanzees. A doctor of veterinary medicine, she has spent the better part of her life, including 13 years of fulltime residence in Cameroon from 1998 t0 2011, trying to conserve critically endangered great apes.A major part of her work is offering refuge to the orphaned primates that manage to escape slaughter in the wild. Working with a team that includes local caregivers, Speede currently houses, feeds and medically cares for more than 70 rescued chimps at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, a two-kilometer-square “tract of lush habitat” within the Mbargue Forest in eastern Cameroon.Sanctuaries like this one are essential for dealing with the rising number of rescued primates orphaned in Cameroon each year. These facilities provide a safe haven for young chimps after family groups are shattered by hunters feeding a national appetite for bushmeat, as well as an international demand for pets.Great apes defenders estimate that Cameroon now has more than 250 chimpanzees trapped behind electric fences in its three wildlife sanctuaries — many of these animals, experts say, could be released to the wild, if they but had a place to go.The largest population is confined behind tall wire fences that cut through densely packed undergrowth in Mefou Natioal Park — home to Avis, Max and others for more than a decade. Run by Ape Action Africa, the Mefou Primate Sanctuary houses 110 chimps in three enclosures, out of a total of 350 captive primates.Pandrillus, which runs the Limbe Wildlife Center at the foot of Mount Cameroon, says it is presently caring for 55 chimps at its facility. At the time of rescue, most of these great apes were stranded, malnourished, sick and frightened infants.Many more of Cameroon’s chimps are caged in private homes as pets and are unaccounted for, notes James Jeta, head of education at Ape Action Africa.“Dignity and joy” Cazza, a member of the Mefou sanctuary chimp community, was six months old when rescued from “inside a cardboard box, strapped to the back of a wildlife trafficker’s motorbike.” Likely her mother was killed and harvested as bushmeat. When Cazza was brought to the Mefou sanctuary, the animal was “frightened,” dehydrated and needed lice treatment, according to her profile written up by the Ape Action Africa staff.“Other [chimps] languished years, sometimes decades, on chains or in tiny cages before we could change their lives,” notes IDA-Africa on its website, referring to the animals in its care.Signs directing visitors to different sections of the Mefou Primate Sanctuary near Cameroon’s capital Yaounde. Cameroon currently has more than 250 rescued chimpanzees living in three chimp wildlife sanctuaries. Photo by Eugene Nforngwa/Africa Assignments“Their personal histories are all compelling but not unique,” Pandrillus reports on its website, adding that great ape “atrocities continue to play out daily across Africa in the 22 habitat countries where chimpanzees still survive, despite strict laws against hunting, legally protected habitat areas, conservation NGO input, and international treaties against trade.”Through its work, IDA-Africa says it is offering orphaned chimps “a second chance to live with dignity and joy,” shielded from the combined impacts of poaching, the bushmeat trade and habitat destruction.In spite of the safe haven that sanctuaries now offer orphaned chimps — some of which were rescued just “hours from death” — keeping the animals behind electrified fences is not anyone’s idea of an ideal solution to the problem, says Jeta of Ape Action Africa.Africa’s dwindling wild chimpanzeesAfter the failure of finding a forest in which to safely release captive great apes, Speede says she and her colleagues are focused now on preventing further habitat destruction in Cameroon and tackling the other root causes that pluck wild chimps out of the forest:“The primary threats to chimpanzees are habitat destruction, hunting and disease,” says Save the Chimps, an NGO: “The increasing human population is encroaching ever deeper into even protected areas of chimpanzee habitat, and large scale logging is now a major threat to the forest primates of Africa.” In addition “there is now a thriving but unsustainable commercial market for bushmeat, including chimpanzees.”And then there is disease: As rural human populations grow, people increasingly come into contact with wild primates, increasing the odds of infectious diseases jumping from species to species. Common diseases “which may be mild in humans [can be] lethal to chimps,” notes the NGO.In the past, chimpanzees inhabited forests from Senegal to western Uganda and Tanzania — an area the size of the United States. They have already disappeared from the wild in four African nations — Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo, mostly due to habitat loss and poaching, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Today, they are found in just 22 countries, according to Pandrillus.A tea plantation in Cameroon. Agribusiness, logging and mining, new roads into once inaccessible areas, and a rapidly growing rural population are making it difficult for the nation’s three chimpanzee sanctuaries to find forests that would provide for a safe haven for chimp reintroductions to the wild. Photo by Nancy ButlerAccording to WWF, “Senegal, Mali, the Cabinda enclave of Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Sudan contain small, dispersed populations that are seriously at risk. Populations have severely declined in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Burundi and Rwanda. Côte d’Ivoire, for example, once harbored an important population; however a recent survey found this had declined by 90 percent over the last 20 years.”Current wild population estimates across all of Africa range from 150,000 to 300,000 chimpanzees. Heavy concentrations are found in Central Africa, where WWF believes Pan troglodytes troglodytes, the Central chimpanzee, may total “115,000 individuals, mostly in Gabon, Cameroon and Congo.” Pandrillus offers a lower estimate of 93,000 for the region.Based on the current rate of decline, primatologists estimate that chimps could be gone from Cameroon’s forests within 15 to 20 years.Reintroduction vs. protection As wild populations decline, Cameroon’s sanctuaries expect to see the number of incoming chimps go up. Better law enforcement and more efficient rescue operations over the last two decades have improved the chances of orphaned chimps being confiscated from poachers and traffickers and ending up in sanctuaries.Proponents of reintroduction say that a return to the wild of these once-wild orphans is only natural, and would give the chimps a chance to live where they were meant to live. These proponents point to a successful release in 2008 by the Chimpanzee Conservation Center in Guinea — the reintroduction of six male and nine female Western chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) — as “an historic event for chimpanzees in Africa.”That accomplishment demonstrated that “releasing rehabilitated wild-born orphan chimpanzees can make a positive contribution to the conservation of the species and the release habitat,” according to Tatyana Humle, Christelle Colin, Matthieu Laurans and Estelle Raballand. Writing in the International Journal of Primatology in 2010, the four researchers saw the injection of genetic materials into endangered wild populations as a plus for reintroduction.The quarantine enclosure at the Mefou Primate Sanctuary, where new arrivals are kept for disease control before joining existing sanctuary groups. Photo by Eugene Nforngwa/Africa AssignmentsConservationists also point out that captivity is expensive. Reintroduction can free up money for protection in the wild that currently goes to running costly sanctuaries.“The three chimpanzee sanctuaries in Cameroon are having a hard time accommodating all the chimpanzees needing a home,” admits Gadsby. But even though “it would relieve pressure on the sanctuaries if some chimpanzees [were] released, this is not justification for a reintroduction.”Some conservationists argue that returning chimps to the wild may not be beneficial or even possible. Reintroduction can be risky for captives, who may find it hard to adapt, and for wild chimps too, as there is always the risk that the captives may infect wild chimps with disease. That’s why the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) prescribes strict best practices for reintroduction, including veterinary considerations, the nature of the habitat, the behavior of captive animals, and existing or planned human activities at the release site. “Without fulfilling these conditions, it is hard to proceed with reintroduction,” agrees Jeta.Evaluating the fitness of reintroduction candidates can also take many months, even several years.“The sad reality is that many of these chimpanzees simply cannot be reintroduced to the wild because they have suffered too much trauma,” said Gwendy Reyes-Illg, a doctor of veterinary medicine, in an interview published on the website of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, a U.S. non-profit.Shifting priorities The lack of suitable forest reintroduction sites for captive chimpanzees has forced Cameroon’s NGOs to focus more on traditional wildlife conservation strategies, with the hope that better protecting forest habitat, and reducing poaching and trafficking, will eventually make the sanctuaries obsolete.“The real solution to the problem is to protect chimpanzees in the wild so that sanctuaries are not needed,” contends Gadsby. “That is the urgent need and the most important goal to achieve.”A chimp peers through wire gauze at the Mefou Primate Sanctuary, home to more than 110 captive chimpanzees. Conservationists have so far been unable to find acceptable forests in Cameroon — without already established chimpanzee populations — where the animals can be restored to the wild. Photo by Eugene N Nforngwa/Africa AssignmentsSpeede says her organization is also acting on this goal, and is now working with Cameroon’s government to increase protection for chimpanzees and other endangered wildlife still living free.Part of that strategy, she says, includes better education: her organization has launched an education program in primary schools to create a new generation of Cameroonians who will see great apes proudly as part of the country’s natural heritage, rather than as bushmeat, pets or a natural resource to be hunted and exploited.“The education program is designed to instill in young people an understanding of chimpanzees as kindred beings, who deserve respect and protection, as well as [instilling] an appreciation of their own roles as future wildlife stewards,” she says.In the meantime, the fate of Cameroon’s captive chimps hangs in the balance. “We would still love to accomplish reintroduction of some of our rescued chimpanzees, but factors beyond our control would need to change” for that to happen, says Speede.last_img read more

Is the snow leopard actually 3 distinct subspecies?

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 Mike Gaworecki All snow leopards were believed to belong to one monotypic species, Panthera uncia, prior to the present study.Though the cats’ range is immense, extending across 1.6 million square kilometers (more than 600,000 square miles) and 12 Asian countries, while also being largely inaccessible to humans, as it includes some of the highest and coldest mountain ranges in the world, hunting and poaching still pose such a serious threat to snow leopards that an estimated population of just 3,500 to 7,000 individuals remains in the wild today.After performing the first-ever range-wide genetic survey of snow leopards, researchers determined that there are three primary “genetic clusters” of the big cats, each of which qualifies as its own subspecies. New research published in the Journal of Heredity suggests that there are three subspecies of snow leopard, which researchers say could create new conservation opportunities for the elusive species that inhabits remote, high-altitude habitat across Central and South Asia.All snow leopards were believed to belong to one monotypic species, Panthera uncia, prior to the present study. Though the cats’ range is immense, extending across 1.6 million square kilometers (more than 600,000 square miles) and 12 Asian countries, while also being largely inaccessible to humans, as it includes some of the highest and coldest mountain ranges in the world, hunting and poaching still pose such a serious threat to snow leopards that an estimated population of just 3,500 to 7,000 individuals remains in the wild today.Because of the forbidding terrain they call home, snow leopards are the last of the big cat species — which also includes jaguars, leopards, lions, and tigers — to have been subjected to a subspecies assessment. A research team led by Dr. Jan E. Janecka, a professor of biological science at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, conducted the first range-wide genetic assessment of snow leopards by analyzing the DNA in scat samples collected on wildlife trails and other areas frequented by the cats.Janecka and team determined that there are three primary “genetic clusters” of snow leopards, each of which qualifies as its own subspecies: a Northern subspecies in the Altai region, a Central subspecies in the core Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau regions, and the Western subspecies in the Pamir, Tian Shan, and trans-Himalaya mountain ranges.“Accordingly, we recognize 3 subspecies, Panthera uncia irbis (Northern group), Panthera uncia uncia (Western group), and Panthera uncia uncioides (Central group) based upon genetic distinctness, low levels of admixture, unambiguous population assignment, and geographic separation,” Janecka and his co-authors write in the study. “The patterns of variation were consistent with desert-basin ‘barrier effects’ of the Gobi isolating the northern subspecies (Mongolia), and the trans-Himalaya dividing the central (Qinghai, Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal) and western subspecies (India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan).”The researchers also discovered, based on their DNA analysis, that snow leopards experienced what’s called a “genetic bottleneck” or “population bottleneck” about 8,000 years ago, meaning their population size and genetic diversity were greatly reduced at a time when the Tibetan Plateau was significantly warmer and the tree-line was shifting to higher elevations. This finding might suggest that snow leopards are particularly sensitive to climate change, the researchers said.The snow leopard is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.Because about 40 percent of the species’ global range straddles international borders, snow leopard conservation requires collaboration between multiple countries. In fact, the range for each of the three new snow leopard subspecies proposed by Janecka and team crosses at least one border, demonstrating the need for international cooperation to protect the cats, the researchers added.The 12 countries that contain some part of the snow leopard’s global range — Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan — have already created an initiative called the Global Snow Leopard & Ecosystem Protection Program (GSLEP), with the goal of protecting 20 landscapes by 2020, each of which is meant to be capable of harboring at least 100 breeding pairs of snow leopards.While their work will help scientists to better understand snow leopard evolution and ecology, Janecka and team say that they hope it will also aid GSLEP in conferring protected status on key areas of the cat’s range as quickly as possible and implementing other conservation measures that take into account the genetic distinctness of the three subspecies.According to Dr. Rodney Jackson, founder and director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy in Sonoma, California and a co-author of the study, the “results from our genetics study help us better understand how snow leopard populations are connected and could benefit from strategically-targeted conservation actions to ensure continued genetic interchange.”Close-up of a male snow leopard. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.CITATIONJanecka, J. E., Yu-guang, Z., Di-qiang, L., Munkhtsog, B., Bayaraa, M., Galsandorj, N., … & Zhi, L. (2017). Range-Wide Snow Leopard Phylogeography Supports Three Subspecies. Journal of Heredity. doi:10.1093/jhered/esx044center_img Animals, Big Cats, Conservation, Environment, Mammals, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation last_img read more

Fire a rising threat to Sulawesi’s black macaques

first_imgArticle published by mongabayauthor Almost half of the black macaques on Sulawesi island live in the Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve, which is still home to ancient forest.Hunting of the macaques has declined, and the local population is showing signs of a rebound.But fires set by local people to clear land for planting is seen as a major threat to the species. TANGKOKO BATUANGUS NATURE RESERVE, Indonesia — For 55-year-old Nestor Mirontoneng, the years he has spent guiding visitors as they trek this sloping landscape on Sulawesi island have brought him a new purpose: to protect the forest from fires.As he traversed it last month, Mirontoneng told stories of hiking the terrain that started when he was only 17 years old, when he began to slow down to avoid stepping on noisy fallen branches.“Look, a hornbill is hiding behind those leaves,” he whispered, pointing up at a bird in the trees.Knobbed hornbills (Rhyticeros cassidix) at Tangkoko. The species is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.The rapid destruction of the bird’s forest habitat coupled with widespread hunting have caused its population — and that of other dwindling species — to plummet.For decades, hunting and eating bushmeat was considered an inherited tradition by local communities here in northern Sulawesi, a top reason for the drastic decline of some of these animals, especially the Sulawesi black macaque (Macaca nigra).The creature has unusually striking reddish-brown eyes for a primate. The Macaca Nigra Project estimates that about 40 percent of the some 5,000 macaques in Sulawesi live in Tangkoko, which still has a large extent of primary forest.The alarming rate of population drop of these species was what prompted Mirontoneng, who lives within the landscape, to be a civil partner of the forest ranger and help the government’s Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA) protect the zone.Efforts to stem the macaque’s decline appear to have shown success. The number of macaques per square kilometer in the area jumped to 61.5 in 2011 from 53.8 in 2005 and 32.4 in 1999, according to research published in 2013.“Fifteen years ago it looked like this macaque population would continue its decline and eventually disappear,” said Randall Kyes, a University of Washington professor who led the inquiry. “[It] doesn’t mean that everything is fine now and that we no longer need to worry about the fate of these animals, but it is good news compared with what we’ve seen over the past 30-plus years in this reserve.”Jenly Gawina, a government official who manages tourism in Tangkoko, agreed.But if hunting has declined, the macaques are now threatened by recurring fires, typically started by local community members as a cheap way to clear land for planting.“The worst fires happened in 2015,” Gawina said.A black macaque in Tangkoko. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.That year, fires across Indonesia ravaged more than 2 million hectares (7,722 square miles) of land, mainly in the vast peat swamp zones of Sumatra and Borneo which have been widely drained and dried for agriculture.It isn’t clear what caused the fires here. “But it is strongly believed that men did it on purpose,” Gawina said. “We often receive threats from local people who claim the nature reserve belongs to them, that it was inherited by their ancestors.”Eight attempts to deploy water-bombing aircraft failed to douse the flames. Finally the rain put them out.Some 2,000 hectares of Tangkoko Batuangus were destroyed in fire between August and October of that year, with reports of animal deaths, including two green paper snakes, three pythons, and two cuscuses. No macaques died.Tangkoko Batuangus is home to some of Sulawesi’s most ancient rainforest. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.Gawina said his office continuously campaigns to local communities about the importance of conserving the forest and protecting wildlife in Tangkoko Batuangus.“Our staff may be small in number, but that doesn’t discourage from continuing our efforts to protect the conservation zone of Tangkoko.”Banner: A Sulawesi black macaque in the Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published on our Indonesian site on May 29, 2017.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. Animals, Biodiversity, Endangered, Environment, Fires, Hunting, Mammals, Primates, Protected Areas, Wildlife 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

Investigation finds ‘thriving’ rhino horn trade in Asia

first_imgAnimals, Black Rhino, China wildlife trade, Conservation, Corruption, Defaunation, Elephants, Endangered Species, Environment, Environmental Crime, Extinction, Ivory, Ivory Trade, Mammals, Megafauna, Northern White Rhino, Poaching, Rhinos, trafficking, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade, Wildlife Trafficking Over 11 months, EAL investigators posed as potential buyers and identified 55 ‘persons of interest’ involved in the trade of rhino horn.The group mapped out the routes by which rhino horn – valued at tens of thousands of dollars per kilogram – arrives in China.Recorded conversations during the investigation allude to the fact that dealers and traders understand that rhinos face the threat of extinction. The trade in rhino horn is still flourishing in China and other parts of Asia, despite a worldwide squeeze on the illegal trafficking of wildlife, according to a report by the Elephant Action League (EAL) released today.“It is too easy to find rhino products in China,” said Andrea Crosta, leader of the effort and executive director of EAL, in a press release. “Given the growing size and wealth of potential Chinese consumers, we are facing a real existential threat for rhinos, even more than that for elephants, now that there are only about 25,000 rhinos left in Africa.”Rhino horn offered to EAL’s undercover investigators. Photo courtesy of EAL.EAL’s 11-month investigation involved dozens of undercover interviews with participants in a diffuse illicit network. Several Asian countries were involved, but EAL focused their efforts on China and Vietnam.“The largest market [for rhino horn] is China, but Vietnam continuously undermines whatever efforts the Chinese do to stop this,” Crosta said in an interview with Mongabay.The report describes the sophisticated underground trade network in which suppliers in Vietnam arrange to move rhino horn into southern China. From that point, brokers in China take over, getting the horn and products made from it into the hands of deep-pocketed consumers.Prices of rhino horn – the sale of which is illegal in China and Vietnam – start at about $26,000 per kilogram ($11,818 per pound), Crosta said, and the team was quoted prices as high as $60,000 a kilogram ($27,272 per pound) for raw rhino horn. That dwarfs the price of ivory, which tops out at about $2,500 a kilogram ($1,136 a pound). China is phasing out its legal ivory trade this year in response to international pressure.Crosta said that Vietnam is home to a few select traders who have connections both in African countries, where nearly all of the rhino horn comes from, and in China, home to the bulk of the consumer demand, and the Vietnamese government is willing to look the other way.The team discovered that, from Vietnam, porters shuttle rhino horn on their backs across the border. Men and women of all ages, and children as young as 10 years old, haul up to 6 kilograms (13.2 pounds) across unpatrolled parts of the border in the mountains or through established checkpoints. Or boats may ferry it across.Traders assured EAL’s undercover operatives, posing as interested buyers, that the hired transporters pass back and forth between the countries more or less freely. If they are caught with the horn, the traders said that a small fee paid to border guards would often be enough to allow them to pass.Smuggling – of many types of illegal goods including other wildlife products and drugs – is a significant part of the economy in Vietnam’s border regions.“Most of the people on the border, that’s their job,” Crosta said.A porter carrying goods across the China-Vietnam border. Photo courtesy of EAL.A driver that EAL spoke with in Guangxi province figured that 80 to 90 percent of people in the city of Dongxing work in trafficking goods. “If you do not do smuggling, you will be starving,” he said.Taxi drivers who drive smuggled goods across the border, typically into the provinces of Guangxi or Yunnan, can make $880 a month. And border police can pull in $150 a day in bribes to allow the passage of transporters without inspection into the country, the EAL team reported.Once in China, traders don’t hold onto their wares for long. Keeping a stockpile could open them up to prosecution in the event of a raid by law enforcement officials, Crosta explained, so they often order the horn from Vietnam only when they have a prospective buyer.Rhino horn dealers in Vietnam also know which shipping companies they can use to get the products to their final destination, often large cities like Beijing, and EAL reports that traders in China will arrange couriered delivery service.The network allegedly even has tentacles in the Chinese military: A leader from a local collectors’ association said that he knew of officers in the Chinese navy who would willingly transport rhino products from Africa to Asia.In addition to the public report, EAL also shared a 200-page “confidential intelligence brief” with law enforcement officials in China, Vietnam and the United States, as well as with Interpol. It contains evidence of illegalities and the paths of entry for rhino horn into China, as well as the names, locations and contact information of 55 people involved in the trade, Crosta said.He added that it’s clear the trade won’t stop until all of the rhinos are gone. In one of the most telling exchanges the team recorded, one of the traders appeared to say that he only expected rhino horn to be available for another 10 years, implying that he understood that rhinos face the threat of extinction.Those involved have developed elaborate systems to remain undetected and resilient to pressure brought to bear by the police.Only around 25,000 rhinos are left in Africa. Photo © Richard Ladkani/Malaika Pictures courtesy of EAL.“They are very good at adapting to any kind of cracking down or changing of the rules,” Crosta said. One-off raids aren’t likely to inflict much damage on the trade, he added, “because they pop up again like mushrooms.”It’s also why he considers the brief that EAL shared with authorities so important.“This is the perfect operational scenario for a serious intelligence operation,” Crosta said. EAL has provided officials with the information necessary to hold the high-volume traders in this trade accountable to the law in China.Now, he added, “They just have to enforce it and choke this demand.”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.Banner image of African rhinos © Richard Ladkani/Malaika Pictures courtesy of EAL. Article published by John Cannoncenter_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

Five instances in which Peru won the battle against deforestation

first_imgCacao in LoretoSince it began clearing Loreto’s rainforest at the end of 2012, Melka-owned company United Cacao, through its Peruvian subsidiary Cacao del Perú Norte, has attracted criticism. Some accusations have linked the company to land trafficking, and others have accused it of threatening farmers who refused to sell their lands. But what resonated the most in Loreto was that the company had deforested large tracts of forest, as reported by Mongabay Latam and other media sources.Previous analysis by MAAP showed that more than 2,300 hectares of forest was cleared by the plantation company between 2012 and 2016.Because of pressure from civil and international society over its cacao and oil palm plantations, United Cacao was delisted from the London Alternative Market and its operations have halted in the Peruvian Amazon.“We have not detected new records of deforestation in over a year,” said Sidney Novoa, a MAAP investigator. Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davis Illegal gold mining in Tambopata National Reserve According to satellite images analyzed by MAAP, miners illegally entered Tambopata National Reserve in the Madre de Dios region in September 2015. The greatest level of activity occurred between 2016 and 2017, when MAAP calculated that 550 hectares of forest were cleared within the protected area.Due to pressure from the media and civil society and indigenous organizations, a series of operations called “interdictions” were launched in late 2016 by SERNANP, Peru’s Public Ministry, and the Peruvian Navy that were able to halt the expansion of illegal mining activity in Tambopata National Reserve.More than 500 hectares were deforested in Tambopata National Reserve due to illegal gold mining activities. Images courtesy of MAAPEven though these cases each show a reduction in forest loss, the threat of deforestation has not disappeared. According to Julia Urrunaga of the EIA, more work needs to be done.“We have to keep coordinating, keep paying attention, maintain our pressure, and work with the government so that this risk disappears permanently. We’re still far from that. But I think the evidence shows that we’re going down the right path,” Urrunaga said. 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 Agriculture, Cacao, Deforestation, Environment, Forests, Gold Mining, Illegal Mining, Industrial Agriculture, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Rainforests, Research, Satellite Imagery, Tropical Forests Palm oil in LoretoDeforestation for palm oil in Peru has also been linked to a Peruvian company: the Romero Group. In a conversation with Julia Urrunaga, Director of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in Peru, the most significant finding of MAAP’s analysis is that four oil palm cultivation projects appear to have been stopped before they even began. “If they had been carried out, [the projects] would have deforested more than 23,000 hectares in Loreto,” Urrunaga told Mongabay Latam.According to a report by Chain Reaction Research, an organization that conducts sustainability analyses of commercial activities, the Romero Group is now searching for activities that do not rely on deforestation because of the international pressure they face.“These four planned plantations weren’t viable, and [Romero Group] desisted from them,” MAAP analysts write in their report.The Santa Catalina and Tierra Blanca concessions, two of the four allocations of land for the Romero Group (Grupo Palmas), contain large tracts of primary forest. Image courtesy of MAAP This story was first reported by Mongabay Latam on August 2, 2017. It was translated to English by Sarah Engel.Banner photo of deforestation for an oil palm plantation in Ucayali, Peru. Image courtesy of the Forest Peoples Programme.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Palm oil in UcayaliDennis Melka’s business interests include palm oil as well as cacao. The company Plantaciones de Pucallpa, which has ties to Melka, established oil palm plantations in the Amazonian region of Ucayali. Using satellite imagery, MAAP calculated the company cleared more than 5,700 hectares of tropical forest between 2011 and 2016.The native community of Santa Clara de Uchunya, which neighbors the plantation, denounced the deforestation as an environmental crime to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) – the world’s largest palm oil sustainability certification body – in December 2015. The RSPO investigated, finding the company had violated the ethics code of the organization by deforesting primary forests and encroaching into indigenous territory. In response, Plantaciones de Pucallpa ceased operations in the region in November 2016.The report from MAAP indicates that the majority of the area administered by Plantaciones de Pucallpa consisted of a mixture of primary and secondary forests in 2011, the year before deforestation began. In 2013, satellite images showed a severe loss of forest cover, reaching a peak in 2015. But since authorities intervened in 2016, not a single deforestation event has been detected, according to MAAP.Satellite images show the progression of deforestation for Plantaciones de Pucallpa oil palm plantations. Images courtesy of MAAP Illegal gold mining in Amarakaeri Communal Reserve Since 2013, MAAP’s images have recorded illegal gold mining encroaching into the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve, a natural protected area in the Madre de Dios region. In June 2015, reports confirmed the deforestation of 11 hectares within this protected area.Due to the intervention of the National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP) and the Contract Executor for the Administration of Amarakaeri, the advancement of the illegal miners was stopped.“From 2011 and 2012, the miners were getting closer to Amarakaeri. Between 2013 and 2015 is when they entered and started deforesting. But between 2016 and 2017, I haven’t seen new cases of deforestation nor the expansion of illegal mining,” Novoa told Mongabay Latam.Satellite images show mining-caused deforestation nearing and then entering Amarakaeri Communal Reserve. Images courtesy of MAAP Most of the deforestation for Cacao del Perú Norte’s cacao plantation occurred in 2013. Images courtesy of MAAP The main activities that have threatened forests in these areas include illegal gold mining and the advancement of industrial agriculture.Satellite images show deforestation for large oil palm and cacao plantations in central and northern Peru is no longer expanding.Illegal mining-driven deforestation within Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and Tambopata National Reserve has ceased. In Peru, five major instances in which deforestation has successfully been prevented from expanding were detected by the Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP). MAAP followed the development of these five deforestation “hotspots” in the Peruvian Amazon using satellite images that recorded, in near-real time, how the loss of forest cover by illegal gold mining and agro-industrial farms.The first two cases are related to agroindustrial business in the Amazon owned by Czech-American entrepreneur Dennis Melka that have established oil palm plantations in the Ucayali region and a cacao plantaiton in the Loreto region. MAAP also highlighed Peru’s Romero Group corporation and its palm oil operations, also in the Amazonian region of Loreto.The two remaining cases were detected within two natural protected areas affected by the encroachment of illegal gold mining. This occurred in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and Tambopata National Reserve, both in Peru’s Madre de Dios region.last_img read more

Trade in silky and thresher sharks now to be strictly regulated

first_imgAll three species of thresher sharks and the silky shark were included under Appendix II of CITES in 2016.Countries were granted a one-year grace period “put the necessary regulations and processes into place”. The trade restrictions came into force yesterday.However, merely listing the species under CITES will not protect the sharks, some conservationists warn. International trade in silky and thresher sharks will now be strictly regulated, according to a press release by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).All three species of thresher sharks (Alopias spp.) and the silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis) were listed under CITES last year at the 17th Conference of Parties to the CITES held in Johannesburg, South Africa. But given the high commercial value of the sharks and the challenges involved in identifying products derived from these species, countries were granted a one-year grace period to “put the necessary regulations and processes into place”.The rules came into force on October 4, 2017.The four sharks are included within the Appendix II of CITES, which means that the sharks, or any product from them, can be globally traded. However, the exporting countries must be able to show that the products were sourced legally and were fished sustainably, at levels that do not threaten the survival of the shark species.“Contrary to certain misconceptions, CITES Appendix II does not prohibit the harvesting or international trade in any shark species, rather it has brought them under its strict trade controls to ensure that any such trade is legal, sustainable and reported,” CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon said in the statement. “These efforts will in turn contribute towards achieving enhanced sustainable fisheries management, and ending destructive fishing practices, including illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and thereby supporting the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”Trade in thresher sharks will now be strictly regulated. Photo by Thomas Alexander (Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)However, merely listing the species under CITES is not enough, some conservationists warn.Many countries are yet to present reliable data on what constitutes sustainable levels of fishing and whether trade endangers a species, TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, noted in a statement. Measures to control overfishing, too, are inadequate in several countries.So the listings mark a starting point, not an end goal, said TRAFFIC’s Fisheries Trade Programme Leader Glenn Sant.Andy Cornish, Shark & Ray Initiative Leader at WWF International, added: “While some controls on fishing these species exist, they have largely been inadequate to prevent serious population declines. We anticipate that many countries and regional fisheries management bodies will need to tackle overfishing through new management measures to allow population recoveries. The sooner they do so, the sooner the prospect of sustainable fisheries.”All three species of thresher sharks are listed as Vulnerable to extinction in the IUCN Red List. The silky shark — the second most caught shark species, according to the IUCN — is listed as Near Threatened.The silky shark is the second most caught species of sharks in the world. Photo by Alex Chernikh (Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.5). 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, Conservation, Endangered Species, Environment, Fishing, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Illegal Fishing, Marine, Marine Animals, Marine Conservation, Oceans, Overfishing, Sharks, Sharks And Rays, Wildlife center_img Article published by Shreya Dasguptalast_img read more

Will the bird that dodged a bullet pay the price of peace?

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 Back in 1965, researchers reported that the Blue-billed Curassow was “becoming very rare.” But that same year a conflict began that may have bought the species some time.The conflict claimed 270,000 lives and displaced seven million people. Out of this darkness shines one ray of light: the violence protected large portions of the natural wealth that will be key to Colombia’s future.But researchers warn of risks to Colombia’s natural heritage as people return to rural areas from which they had fled, and as mining and agriculture expand into forests that were previously off-limits because of the fighting. These areas include the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de San Lucas, two mountain ranges that are among the last refuges of Crax alberti. So “new and beautiful” was the Blue-billed Curassow that when English zoologist Louis Fraser described this turkey-sized bird for science in 1850 he named it Crax alberti, after Queen Victoria’s “illustrious consort, His Royal Highness Prince Albert”.Fewer than two hundred years later, this regal bird may be reaching the end of its reign. It lives only in Colombia and is one of the world’s most critically endangered species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says just 150-700 remain.Paradoxically, many of these birds may owe their survival to violence — and could find a new enemy in peace. Their fate is now tied to Colombia’s like never before.The Blue-billed Curassow is a secretive bird that skulks in dark corners of moist forests, foraging for insects and fallen fruit. The males are black, with white bellies, the females are black above, ruddy-brown below. Both have a punky crest of curled-up feathers.Folktales say curassows got those quiffs when they stole fire from the jaguar and gave it to humanity. As the curassows carried a burning log on their backs, the flames burnt their crest feathers into crisp curls. If there’s any truth in that story, the birds might have torched their own future prospects in aiding humanity.Roads, mining, logging, and ranching — as well as illicit coca and marijuana production — have devoured nearly 90 percent of the habitat Crax alberti needs. Hunting has compounded the loss. Back in 1965, researchers reported that the species was “becoming very rare.” But that same year a conflict began that may have bought the Blue-billed Curassow some time.A male Crax alberti in the Aviario Nacional near Cartagena, Colombia. Photo Credit: Mike Shanahan.The guerrilla movement FARC — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — had formed. It disarmed only in June 2017, having waged war with the state for 52 years. The conflict claimed 270,000 lives and displaced seven million people. Out of this darkness shines one ray of light: the violence protected large portions of the natural wealth that will be key to Colombia’s future.“Armed conflict is good for preventing deforestation,” said Pablo Negret, a doctoral researcher at the University of Queensland, during a presentation at the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Cartagena, Colombia in July 2017. He has shown that there has been consistently less deforestation in areas of Colombia with more fighting. What’s more, to maintain protective tree cover in many of the forested areas where they hid, the guerrillas banned local people from logging and allowed trees to reclaim farmland.Negret warns of risks to Colombia’s natural heritage as people return to rural areas from which they had fled, and as mining and agriculture expand into forests that were previously off-limits because of the fighting. These areas include the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and the Serranía de San Lucas, two mountain ranges that are among the last refuges of Crax alberti.There are fears that, having survived half a century of war, the species cannot cling on for much longer. But Christian Olaciregui, ‎Head of Biology and Conservation at the Barranquilla Botanical and Zoological Foundation, is determined to make sure that Crax alberti’s extinction is not one of the prices Colombia pays for peace. With colleagues, he is developing a national action plan to save the species.Olaciregui says the Blue-billed Curassow should benefit from the creation, planned for 2018, of a new national park in the Serranía de San Lucas. But he is also eyeing other sites in northern Colombia, where captive-born birds may soon roam. If these sites have the right resources and if the local communities support conservation, the next challenge will be raising birds to release.There are just 27 Blue-billed Curassows in Colombian zoos, and Olaciregui says most of the females are old and only one male is actively breeding. “We still have to work a lot on breeding,” he says. But that work passed an important milestone when, in 2014, Colombia’s National Aviary became the country’s first institution to breed Crax alberti in captivity. Now three years old, the nine offspring should be ready to reproduce soon.With this boost to the captive breeding program, Olaciregui hopes reintroduction could begin in three to five years. It will be a critical period for Crax alberti, as Colombia manages the return of displaced people to rural areas and works towards its goal of ending the loss of its natural forests by 2030.Under the peace deal, former FARC guerrillas will retrain as forest guardians or may find other jobs in conservation, perhaps playing new roles in the story of Crax alberti. There is also huge potential for a birdwatching boom to foster a lucrative eco-tourism industry in post-conflict areas, according to research published in October 2017.“Crax alberti’s rarity and the fact it is found nowhere else on Earth mean it is highly-valued by birdwatchers,” says lead author Natalia Ocampo-Peñuela. “Many would go to great lengths to see this bird. Its presence would definitely spark the creation of birding lodges and jobs for guides.”The bird’s beauty has long drawn admirers. Generations before hunters gathered the birds that bred in Colombia’s National Aviary, two wild-caught Blue-billed Curassows ended up in England, in the private zoo of the 13th Lord Derby. It was these birds that the collection’s curator, Louis Fraser, described when he named the species Crax alberti in 1850.Within a year, Lord Derby had died and his animals were put up for auction. They included 70 passenger pigeons, a species that went extinct in 1914, and four Carolina parakeets, which went extinct four years later.If Crax alberti avoids joining them on the list of lost birds, it will be because Colombia has found a way to balance economic development with conservation. The Blue-billed Curassow has a second chance to bring light into people’s lives. This time it might avoid getting burned.A male Crax alberti in the Aviario Nacional near Cartagena, Colombia. Photo Credit: Mike Shanahan.Mike Shanahan is a freelance writer, and author of Gods, Wasps and Stranglers: The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees. He blogs at Under the Banyan. Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Birds, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Wildlife center_img Article published by Mike Gaworeckilast_img read more

Colombian community leader allegedly murdered for standing up to palm oil

first_imgAgriculture, Cattle, Cattle Ranching, Conflict, Environment, Forests, Industrial Agriculture, Land Conflict, Murdered Activists, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Plantations, Protected Areas, Rainforests, Ranching, Social Conflict, 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 overSponsored Colombian community leader Hernan Bedoya, who defended collective land rights for Afro-Colombian farmers as well as local biodiversity in the face of palm oil and industrial agriculture expansion, was allegedly assassinated by a neo-paramilitary group on Friday, Dec. 5.Bedoya was owner of the “Mi Tierra” Biodiversity Zone, located in the collective Afro-Colombian territory of Pedeguita-Mancilla. The land rights activist stood up to palm oil, banana and ranching companies who are accused of engaging in illegal land grabbing and deforestation in his Afro-Colombian community’s collective territory in Riosucio, Chocó.According to the Intercelestial Commission for Justice and Peace in Colombia (CIJP), a Colombian human rights group, Bedoya was heading home on horseback when two members of the neo-paramilitary Gaitánista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) intercepted him on a bridge and shot him 14 times, immediately killing him.According to Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation (PARES), 137 social leaders have been killed across Colombia in 2017. Other observers have found lower numbers, but most track over 100 killed over the course of the year. Colombian community leader Hernan Bedoya, who defended collective land rights for Afro-Colombian farmers as well as local biodiversity in the face of palm oil and industrial agriculture expansion, was allegedly assassinated by a neo-paramilitary group on Friday, Dec. 5.Part of a rise in targeted assassinations of social leaders across the country, Bedoya was the second Afro-Colombian leader to be killed in the Bajo Atrato river basin region in less than 10 days after Mario Castaño was killed in late November. Overall, there have been three social leaders killed in the region over the course of the year.According to the Intercelestial Commission for Justice and Peace in Colombia (CIJP), a Colombian human rights group, Bedoya was heading home on horseback when two members of the neo-paramilitary Gaitánista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC) intercepted him on a bridge and shot him 14 times, immediately killing him.Bedoya was owner of the “Mi Tierra” Biodiversity Zone, located in the collective Afro-Colombian territory of Pedeguita-Mancilla. The land rights activist stood up to palm oil, banana and ranching companies who are accused of engaging in illegal land grabbing and deforestation in his Afro-Colombian community’s collective territory in Riosucio, Chocó.As one of more than an estimated 8 million people afflicted by five decades of armed conflict in Colombia, Bedoya had returned to his land with family in 2012 after being displaced by the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) paramilitary group in 1996.Following his return to the community, Bedoya fought alongside non-governmental organization to push back against powerful palm oil, banana and cattle interests. He wanted to ensure that the collective Afro-Colombian territory was protected from ongoing “invasions” that were cutting into his community agricultural lands and destroying protected areas set aside for their rich biodiversity.Bedoya allegedly began receiving threats from illegal armed groups beginning in 2015. According to CIJP, the Colombian state, through the National Protection Unit (UNP), had given Bedoya a cell phone and a bullet-proof vest in an attempt to protect his life.In June, CIJP denounced an industrial agricultural company for “destroying primary forests and resources for illegal industrial agriculture,” also claiming that their the group’s lawyer had singled out Bedoya’s biodiversity reserve as a target for parcelization and development.“They are cutting the forests, destroying subsistence crops and causing displacement when they take over the family farms to plant plantain and palm oil projects,” said CIJP to local media.The human rights group claims the agro-industrial projects that are planned for the collective Pedeguita-Mancilla territory have been supported by the neo-paramilitary group AGC, and that the murder of the social leaders benefits a group of industrial agricultural landowners who took advantage of the armed conflict to expand their commercial ventures into the region.The Colombian Ombudsman announced on Twitter that it “rejected the assassination of the land reclamation leader” and called on the authorities to “quickly clarify the facts” surrounding the killing.In response to the two killings, international human rights organization Amnesty International called on the Colombian government to provide a “comprehensive response… ensuring respect for the boundaries of the humanitarian zones, guaranteeing the safety of their members and [an increased] presence of state security forces.”On Thursday, 25 social leaders from Bajo Atrato and Urabá regions in Choco and Antioquia, who had received death threats or had relatives who were murdered, met in Bogotá to demand guarantees that they would be able to return to their territories. In order to protect their identities, the leaders wore masks to the press conference.Social leaders from Bajo Atrato and Urabá wore masks to their meeting in Bogotá. Photo courtesy of Contagio RadioThe activists said they know of plans to kill several other land rights leaders in the region: Miguel Hoyos, Eustaquio Polo and María Ligia Chaverra, as well as two local communal leaders.Hernan Bedoya: No more palm oil in Pedeguita-MancillaFilmmaker Nico Muzi met and interviewed Bedoya while producing 2016 documentary short Frontera Invisible, which explored the expansion of palm oil into Colombia and the effect it has had on local rural communities across the country.In the interview, Bedoya told the history of his community and their struggle with paramilitaries and industrial agriculture. He denounced the communal council, who he said had struck a deal to illegally allow cattle ranchers, banana and palm oil companies into the collective territory.“We are now hearing they want to plant another 1,000 hectares of palm [in our collective land],” Bedoya said. “But I don’t know where they will plant it because we are here in this land.They will have to remove us first from the territory if they want to plant those 1,000 hectares of palm.”Industrial agriculture taking advantage of armed conflictIn the 1990s, more than 8,000 individuals were forced to leave the Bajo Atrato region when the AUC launched a fierce attack to take over the strategically important drug-trafficking route along the Atrato river, which was previously controlled by left-wing guerrilla FARC and ELN, according to an investigative report by local media group Verdad Abierta.The report details that by 2000, local authorities and business leaders began pushing for the expansion of palm oil cultivation — or as they referred to it “green gold” — on lands that had been abandoned or sold at cut-rate prices by Afro-Colombian and mestizo farmers who had left the region fearing for their lives.Ex-paramilitary bosses reportedly testified that the Vicente Castaño — one of two brothers who led the AUC and its estimated 30,000 fighters from 1997 to 2006 — maintained relationships with the palm growers and cattle ranchers, inviting them to invest in the territory.To protect cultural heritage and identity, the Colombian Congress passed a law in 1993 that recognized the right of Afro-Colombian communities to hold communal lands. In 2000, 48,000 hectares in the Bajo Atrato region were granted to an Afro-Colombian community known as Pedeguita-Mancilla who had ancestral rights to the land.The AGC neo-paramilitary group accused of slaying Bedoya is a direct descendant of the AUC, which formed in 2008 following the extradition of AUC commanders to the U.S. The group has grown tremendously over the past decade, taking back most of the AUC’s drug trafficking routes along the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts, and is now the largest illegal armed group in Colombia.In the past few days, the AGC called an unilateral ceasefire as it prepares to surrender an estimated 7,000 members of the country’s largest drug trafficking organization to the Colombian government. The government in September asked Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez to talk with the group after leader “Otoniel” offered to surrender to justice.Dangerous situation for human and environmental rights leadersIn the past year, scores of human rights and environmental leaders have been killed in Colombia, provoking a human rights crisis that has international observers concerned for the long-term prospects for peace — even as the country’s former largest illegal armed group, the FARC, has demobilized over the past year.According to Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation (PARES), 137 social leaders have been killed across Colombia in 2017. Other observers have found lower numbers, but most track over 100 killed over the course of the year.“The vulnerability of leaders and human rights defenders in Colombia remains critical. The acts of violence against this population show high degrees of systematic behavior,” PARES stated in its report on the killings of social leaders.Hernan Bedoya. Photo courtesy of Frontera InvisibleThe PARES report said that the motivation of the killings are to “limit the participation of social leaders in politics, impede processes of truth-building, land restitution and environmental protection.”The United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR) agreed that there is a pattern to the killings of social leaders. William Spindler, spokesperson of the UN agency, pointed out that the majority of the killings have taken place in regions where the FARC gave up territorial control.“In many cases criminal activity has increased, in this case because of the [power] vacuum left by the FARC demobilization that was not filled by the state,” Splindler said in a press briefing.Colombia’s palm oil expansionWhile Indonesia and Malaysia account for around 85 percent of the world’s palm oil supply, Colombia is the fourth-largest producer globally and the largest in Latin America. The global commodity is widely used in food, and cosmetic products, and as as biodiesel — even though a European Commission study found the fuel source creates three times as much carbon as regular fossil fuel diesel.Driven by a worldwide boom in palm oil cultivation since the turn of the century, the amount of land cultivated with palm oil in Colombia has increased nearly 200 percent since 2000, according to palm oil producer organization Fedepalma, growing from 157,000 hectares to 466,000 hectares planted in 2015.The government and palm oil association Fedepalma have studied the country’s soils, and signaled that 16 million hectares around the country are suitable for oil palm cultivation. With the demobilization of the FARC, the government aims to open the doors to industrial agricultural development especially in areas that were previously off-limits due to the conflict.Proponents of the country’s palm oil boom boast it has not incurred the same levels of forest destruction that have been well documented in other countries, particularly in Southeast Asia.However, as illustrated by the death of Hernan Bedoya, the expansion of industrial agriculture may be coming at a social cost, with critics saying development is taking place on lands that were illegally seized by paramilitary groups or abandoned during the country’s half-century of armed conflict.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Article published by Morgan Erickson-Davislast_img read more

The tragedy of the fishermen of Ventanas, ‘the Chilean Chernobyl’

first_imgArticle published by Maria Salazar The sea near Ventanas, Chile, was generous in the 1980s. There were urchins, limpets, clams and fish. Tourists summered there and fishermen thrived.That all changed as the local industrial park grew. In 2000 the National Health Service discovered serious heavy-metal and fecal-bacteria contamination of local shellfish, and prohibited their sale, effectively shuttering the local seafood industry.Fishermen attempted to revive their aquaculture operations, despite a series of oil spills. But poisoning episodes in 2018 quashed that initiative.“Could they have seen us as a dumpsite? Like their backyard? … I don’t know how the government saw us,” said Carlos Vega, a longtime Ventanas fisherman. VENTANAS, Chile — The first time Carlos Vega saw white Japanese oyster flesh, he was surprised. He had only seen it in a shade of green. It was then that he realized that the seafood he harvested along the coast of Ventanas in central Chile was contaminated.Carlos and his fishing colleagues sold oysters on the beaches of Ventanas to wealthy tourists who spent summers there. Raw with lemon! Delicious oysters!They began cultivating oysters in 1996. But four years later, the National Health Service closed their operation down after a massive episode of poisoning that the service attributed to contamination by heavy metals. A stigma fell on Ventanas. The million-dollar investment in materials, labor and time that the fishermen had made with the help of a German NGO was suddenly lost.“It was the first time we fishermen realized what was happening,” Carlos told Mongabay Latam, looking at the industrial park by the sea. The park was home to four coal-fired power plants, a copper smelter and refinery, an oil refinery, a cement company, and five storage tanks for liquefied natural gas, among other installations. And it had brought them misery.View of the industrial park from Ventanas beach. Image by Michelle Carrere.The golden yearsIn 1964, when Carlos was only 20 years old, he started working for a copper smelter in Ventanas. He was also in charge of driving the truck that transported slag to a dumping site that continues to operate to this day. In his spare time, he scuba dived, a skill he learned from his father.When Carlos realized that he could earn more money from fishing, he quit his job and took up diving. The sea was generous in the 1980s. There were urchins, limpets, clams and fish to catch, and banks of big bivalves (Mesodesma donacium), known as machas in Spanish, “that we thought, ignorantly, would never run out,” Carlos said.Soon, Carlos raised enough money to buy modern diving equipment and a boat. He became a small-business owner, rented a house with a bathroom, and his business grew quickly. Others also invested in fishing. The boats would come back to the beach full of machas. But by the mid-to-late 1980s, the seafood stocks, which had seemed inexhaustible, were gone.Fishermen weigh seaweed, one of the only resources they can extract from the sea in Ventanas today. Image by Michelle Carrere.The elders chose Carlos and a few of his colleagues, the only ones who had completed their school studies, to lead a union they decided to create in 1987. Carlos became the secretary and Eugenio Silva was its president. “We understood that what we now call overfishing, existed,” Carlos said.Relying on their intuition and what they had observed underwater, the fishermen self-imposed extraction quotas to allow macha populations to recover. They also created a management area to sustainably cultivate and harvest resources, mainly abalone.In addition, as an alternative resource, they decided to plant a seaweed known as pelillo (Gracilaria chilensis) in a new cultivation area. It was in the bay, right in front of the growing industrial park, which the fishermen paid little attention to.“We were focused on our business. We did not worry about what the companies did or did not do. We did not suspect anything about what would happen,” recalled Carlos during a walk to a drain that runs directly to the sea without any treatment.Pelillo, sometimes called black gold and used to make agar-agar and as ingredients in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries, grows abundantly in southern Chile. With the support of the Catholic University of Valparaiso, the fishermen carried out studies and found that the local conditions were right to grow the algae. However, the pelillo did not take and the project failed.“Later we learned that the heavy metals that were in the seabed acted as an algicide and that’s why we lost the algae,” Carlos said. “When that happened, since we were stubborn, we decided to cultivate Japanese oysters, mussels and scallops in the water column.”Ventanas, community of Puchuncaví. Image by Michelle Carrere.In 1996, with the support of a German NGO, the fishermen obtained the resources to start cultivating shellfish. They put in the work: the hours of diving and maintenance, as well as the operating expenses such as fuel for the boats. The shellfish began to grow, as did the business. In the fourth year, they produced about 5,500 oysters. The market was still small, but they envisioned producing a million mollusks in the near future. The Japanese oyster was the star product.One day Carlos went to Horcón, a fishing cove located a few kilometers further north. There, local fishermen also harvested Japanese oysters. But the color of the oysters’ flesh surprised him. “The color was not the same as the ones we had,” he said. “Ours were greener.”The doomed yearsIn 2000, the National Health Service banned the commerce of green Japanese oysters and other marine resources from Ventanas because of contamination from heavy metals and fecal coliforms.“It was a dark and very sad time,” Carlos said, his voice almost breaking. The investment and their hard work over the years was reduced to nothing. “We still had the management area, but who was going to buy from us? We experienced the greatest misery.”The business with the canning company that bought the limpets, which were also contaminated, was as good as over, Carlos said. Tourists left the bay, scared. Restaurants closed and fishermen had to find jobs in the industrial park. Many emigrated. That same year, Carlos packed his things, said goodbye to his wife and three children and ventured south.Abandoned restaurant in Ventanas. Image by Michelle Carrere.Carlos began working as a diver for a salmon company in Puerto Montt, a community in southern Chile, more than a thousand kilometers (600 miles) from Ventanas and just over 12 hours by road. For 10 years, he worked 24 days a month, with six days of leave. In the last six years, that changed to 20 days of work for eight of rest. During each break, Carlos got on a bus and traveled to Ventanas to see his family, then returned to Puerto Montt. “That was my life until my children finished school. Professionals,” he said proudly.In May 2014, seated in front of a television, Carlos watched his colleagues in Ventanas hurled crabs at Codelco, the Chilean state-owned company that ran the copper smelter and refinery, and burn boats while screaming “When will it stop?!” He could not do anything from afar.The marine conservation organization Oceana and a laboratory run by Fundación Chile, which tested clams, limpets, abalone and crabs from the region, found that all the species were contaminated with copper, arsenic and cadmium. The highest rates of contamination were found among the abalone from the management area of Ventanas, with five times more copper and four times more arsenic content than Chilean regulations allow, and five times more cadmium than what European standards allow. The crabs had four times more copper and arsenic than Chile allows.Abandoned restaurant in Ventanas. Image by Michelle Carrere.The indignation and complaints of the fishermen had no effect. Four months after the protests, 38,700 liters (10,200 gallons) of oil spilled into the sea, according to a report from the Maritime Authority, after a connection broke between a ship and the port terminal. A second spill of about 500 liters (132 gallons) occurred in August 2015 when another ship was refueling. In 2016, another disaster joined the list when a ship leached slurry oil. The National Petroleum Company was liable for all three environmental accidents.Almost a year after the 2014 oil spill, the non-profit Fisheries Development Institute began to investigate the impacts of the accident on marine resources. It concluded that “in general, no evidence was found that the local populations of the main species of the management areas had been directly affected by any specific environmental disturbance event such as the oil spill.”Abandoned beach house in Ventanas. Image by Michelle Carrere.Environmental organizations claimed that the methodology of the study had serious irregularities. However, the complaints had no impact, and no new studies were initiated.After 16 years of exile, as Carlos likes to call that stage of his life, he returned to Ventanas to try and revive the management area — a patch of sea that has tried to survive despite everything — together with other fishermen. Today, he is the president of the union.The comebackThe fishermen now cultivate Chilean abalone. “A sacred place” is how Carlos refers to the area serving as a non-extractive reserve within the larger management area. They combine this harvesting kelp, a difficult and exhausting task, and fishing for hake, although it is scarce and its harvest is prohibited during the month of September.In addition, companies pay the fishermen $43 for a day of shoveling the coal that the sea throws onto the sand. “It’s an incentive for us to complain less,” said one of the fishermen, who prefers to remain anonymous because his son works for the company.Fishermen collect coal from the beach with shovels. Image by Michelle Carrere.Carlos has never wanted to collect coal. It’s “like a pride thing,” he said. But he does other jobs, also paid for by the companies, such as collecting algae from the Campiche estuary and cleaning the coastline. He also works as a commercial diver repairing boats and docks.On Aug. 21 last year, residents of the communities of Quintero and Puchuncaví began to arrive at the local hospital vomiting and fainting. The first to arrive were 50 children and two adults from three schools that were evacuated quickly. According to the Valparaíso branch of the National Emergency Office, at the end of that week, 408 people had suffered from food poisoning. Monitoring carried out by the Ministry of the Environment detected 120 gases in the air, all above permissible limits. Among them was methylchloroform, a volatile liquid prohibited in Chile since 2015.A few weeks later, on Sept. 4, a second poisoning episode affected another 100 people. Two days later, the environmental authorities delivered their verdict: “This Superintendency has reached the following conclusion: charge the company ENAP Refinerías SA, (…) for treating their liquid industrial waste under conditions other than those environmentally approved.” The company rejected the accusations and announced that it would resort to “all legal actions and rights to demonstrate that it has no connection whatsoever with the claims.”The charges were subsequently dismissed. One year after the mass poisoning, the government said it couldn’t establish the causes for the pollution. “The poisoning events are related to VOC [volatile organic compounds]. We haven’t been able to determine the origin of these VOC, but we’ve determined they are in the air. The rest is being investigated,” Felipe Riesco, the subsecretary of environment, told the newspaper La Tercera.Sales of abalone have stopped for now. No one wants to eat seafood from Ventanas, “the Chilean Chernobyl,” as some call it. Even the company that buys the kelp did not want to buy the last harvest. The fishermen have alternated between anger and resignation at living in a gray version of a community where they once prospered.“Could they have seen us as a dumpsite? Like their backyard? … I don’t know how the government saw us,” said Carlos, getting flustered.“My father died with deep anger toward these companies,” he said, his voice rising. “You can’t even imagine what he said about those scoundrels. That rage, when he died, he passed it on to me.”Banner image by Michelle Carrere for Mongabay.This story was first published in Spanish at Mongabay Latam on Sept. 10, 2018. Edits by Shreya Dasgupta. Conservation, Environment, Fisheries, Fishing, Oceans, Pollution, Water Pollution 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