COSMIC RHINO

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  1. Currently, there is movement of tigers and genetic exchange between protected areas. However, unplanned development, especially loss of forest cover around protected areas will have a strong negative impact on tiger connectivity in the future," says Prachi Thatte, a PhD student in Dr Uma Ramakrishnan's lab at NCBS, and lead author of the study. She adds, "Our results highlight the need for informed development plans that consider biodiversity and connected wildlife populations in addition to human development goals." The good news is that tigers do not go extinct in the entire landscape! But several populations do go extinct. Depending on whether development and land-use change is unrestricted or managed to maintain forest cover, the extinction outcomes for tigers are different. Unrestricted landscape development results in 25% lower genetic diversity and reduction in tiger numbers as several small populations in the landscape go extinct. Pro-active measures -- such as notifying buffer areas, protecting corridors and maintaining populations between Protected Areas (PAs) -- are critical to maintaining viable long-term tiger populations at a landscape scale. report continues https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180111101416.htm a whole lot of action is needed to achieve the goal of doubling the national population under the Global Tiger Recovery Program by 2020
  2. this is most unlikely the wallaby was seen on the harbour bridge a bit after 5 AM it is thought that the wallaby came from a golf course near busy roads, hopped along them including the harbour bridge and ended up at the Sydney conservatorium of music (not far from the botanic gardens ) and the zoo has been called in for a health check please see Wallaby hops along Sydney Harbour Bridge, surprising early morning motorists http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-16/wallaby-hops-across-sydney-harbour-bridge-surprising-motorists/9332050 includes a video link
  3. Permanent Secretaries from key government ministries held a joint ministerial meeting in capital city Dodoma to chart out implementation plans for construction of the 2,100 Megawatt hydro-power plant inside the Selous Game Reserve, at Stiegler’s Gorge as to implement President John Magufuli’s decision to boost power supply in Tanzania. The estimated cost is US$ 2.6 billion. Senior official in charge of the project engineer Leonard Masanja said the tenders to secure a contractor for the implementation scheduled to start in February. report continues Hydropower station raise alarm on wildlife conservation in Tanzania https://www.eturbonews.com/174173/hydropower-station-raise-alarm-wildlife-conservation-tanzania this will certainly bring changes , not necessarily all the best campaigners have suggested using natural gas as an alternative power source in the region
  4. well the agent messed it a bit I have about 20 hrs between arriving in Johenesburg and flying onto Nairobi those winds were a real freak and should not repeat hotel room prices can be interesting a suite which is 2 meters larger on the expedia estimates is AUD 70 for the premier hotel than the standard room
  5. there were strong winds on the runways at Sydney airport in September 2017 causing delays on departure for nearly all flights by several hours there has been nothing reported in the media since I have been thinking about possibly leaving a day earlier as the consequence of arriving late and missing connecting flights are massive I have noticed that Sydney winds have become a whole lot stronger , such as a baseball cap easily blows of my head what do people think of the extra day ?
  6. World Heritage is highly regarded , what practical protection it offers may not be that much it says this is precious but in practice governments will try to do whatever they want having a WH listing is something local campaigners can invoke to various effect
  7. Timpe, K. and Kaplan, D. (2017) The changing hydrology of a dammed Amazon. Science Advances 3: e1700611 mentions 30 year plans by the Brazilian government for over 30 large dams and over 170 small dams on the Amazon
  8. this sounds great , I hope that the policy stays , and yes definitely dams are as major problem for the Brazilian Amazon but not the only one Brazil’s government this week announced a major shift away from its policy of building mega-dams in the Brazilian Amazon which began during their military dictatorship (1964-1985) and vigorously carried forward down to the present day. The Temer government claims the decision is a response to intense resistance from environmentalists and indigenous groups, but while that may be part of the reason, a major factor is also likely to be the decline in political influence of Brazil’s gigantic construction companies caused by the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption investigation this is a very welcome change but many threats to the Amazon remain, including pressure by Brazil’s ruralist lobby to open up conserved areas and indigenous lands to agribusiness, along with threats posed by new road, rail, waterway and mining projects. report continues by Sue Branford on 3 January 2018 MONGABAY NEWS https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/brazil-announces-end-to-amazon-mega-dam-building-policy/
  9. we have militias financing themselves on poaching , now this comes along The study found that more than 70 percent of Africa's protected areas were touched by war between 1946 and 2010, an era during which the overthrow of European colonial rule was followed in many countries by violent post-colonial power struggles. Elephants, hippos, giraffes, and other large mammals perished as combatants and hungry citizens hunted animals for meat and for marketable commodities such as ivory. The ecological costs of war: Conflict a consistent killer of African megafauna Phys.Org January 10, 2018 https://phys.org/news/2018-01-ecological-war-conflict-killer-african.html
  10. thanks all for your comments snow and sleet are major things to think about for Europe , USA and Canada my concern was the strong winds came without warning so who knows if it will happen again Since I am of the next day to Nairobi then Lewa , the extra day is probably next
  11. looking more closely at the article it states "according to O Globo, the Ministry of Mines and Energy has announced that it will “no longer fight for the [São Luiz do Tapajós] project.” well that is the project which involved masses of dams and rainforest cleafelling to turn Amazon tributaries into a soy transport canal great to see that cancelled the International rivers network and amazon watch have issued a joint press release The Era of Mega Hydropower in Brazilian Amazon Appears Over Statements by Brazilian Government Officials Indicate Major Shift in Policy January 4, 2018 Share & Comment http://amazonwatch.org/news/2018/0103-the-era-of-mega-hydropower-in-brazilian-amazon-appears-over this also says that mega dams will no longer be built on the project just mentioned above they declare "Despite suspending development of the proposed São Luiz de Tapajós Dam last year, planners have not definitively canceled it; they have simply stated that it can't be finished by 2026 while the environmental and indigenous issues remain unresolved. " my comment is that the first peoples and environmental issues are so serious that they could never be resolved comments are also made about the possibility od Brazilian dams being built with Chinese fiancé in place of Brazilian state subsidized financed
  12. the article is ok , elephants are complex and need more space to properly explain things
  13. yes the Tanzanian government is not respecting the reserve , there are objections, world heritage is of little meaning to them , it has been suspended but not yet revoked, something which UNESCO is reluctant to do
  14. This does not look good Hong Kong endangered species adviser quits over illegal ivory possession, fined HK$8,000 Ernest Kao, The South China Morning Post January 10, 2018 An adviser for a Hong Kong government panel on endangered species has resigned after being fined HK$8,000 by a local court on Tuesday for illegal ivory possession. William Lau Sai-yuan said he decided to step down from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’s 13-member Endangered Species Advisory Committee. https://sg.news.yahoo.com/hong-kong-endangered-species-adviser-090005562.html
  15. Just released at the end of Dec 2015 BLENDING IVORY CHINA'S LOOPHOLES , NEW HOPES from the Elephant Action League is an interesting mix of existing well researched reports and their own undercover work. it can be found at http://www.elephantleague.org I have checked the link and it works, please go to latest news amongst other things it has a good summary of the extent of the ivory trade and the risks of extinction, together with the extensive braking of the rules which are meant to control the trade. very importantly it mentions that China is not going along with the terms of the CITES authorized legal ivory sale, the 62 tons was intended to be sold quickly to carving factories etc , those drastically decreasing black maket prices . (page 10) this was not done , the Chinese government enterprises who purchased the ivory actually on sold it in relatively small quantaties at a high profit , thus developing the black market as a source of cheaper ivory. The prices that the CITES authorized ivory was resold at were actually more expensive than the black market. The report deals with enterprises in Bejing who have direct ownership of ivory factories in Hong Kong which onsell to them in Beijing , other Chinese centres and sometimes Taiwan as the prices are better .. This is supported by concealed recordings with sales staff. Using a finding from the David Sheldrick trust report DEAD OR ALIVE ? VALUING AN ELEPHANT l metric ton of ivory comes from 108.99 dead elephants , so the illegal stockpile is equal to 108,990 dead elephants . I find that sickening. there is extensive abuse of mammoth ivory , antique ivory , ivory ID cards and safari hunting. an enterprise in Beijing has direct ownership of a sth African hunting outfit who export whole stuff rhinos to them in crates , the horn is then removed in China and replaced with a fake one to give the pretence that regulations are being followed. The report deals in detail with the rhino situation. Beijing mammoth art is a major operator and supplies many . their boss brokered the deal with Zimbabwe for importing live elephants for Guangzhou zoo there is some material also on tigers. in the press release they state that from sources over 1,000 metric tons of illegal ivory is being stockpiled at secret locations in China by investors and traders who are betting on future profits regardless of what the Chinese government does .
  16. UNESCO has made Selous a world heritage site at risk
  17. then there is the issue of the proposed uranium mine Sep 16, 2016 - In a powerful public appeal, the Tanzanian president has been advised to discontinue plans for uranium mining in Tanzania including in areas near the fragile Selous Game Reserve World Heritage site. https://phys.org/news/2016-09-letter-uranium-selous-world-heritage.html in this case protected area does not mean that much
  18. All they have to do to make it look older is to mark it with tea the only way to actual age ivory is to have it radio carbon dated which involves having a small piece of it burnt an outright ban is the only practical way to go
  19. it is good to see that the rhino genetic data base is used for law enforcement multiple institutes were involved in the research including the well known university of Pretoria team The study, published today in Current Biology titled "Robust forensic matching of confiscated horns to individual poached African rhinoceros," describes a comprehensive effort to create a large database of individual rhinos' composite short-term repeat-STR (also called microsatellite) genotypes so they could match confiscated tissue-DNA to real time crime scenes for prosecution. The team developed an extensive database of rhinoceros DNA profiles and demographic information named RhODIS® (Rhino DNA Index System), modeled after CODIS, which is the U.S. FBI's criminal DNA database. report continues Journal Reference: 1. Cindy Harper, Anette Ludwig, Amy Clarke, Kagiso Makgopela, Andrey Yurchenko, Alan Guthrie, Pavel Dobrynin, Gaik Tamazian, Richard Emslie, Marile van Heerden, Markus Hofmeyr, Roderick Potter, Johannes Roets, Piet Beytell, Moses Otiende, Linus Kariuki, Raoul du Toit, Natasha Anderson, Joseph Okori, Alexey Antonik, Klaus-Peter Koepfli, Peter Thompson, Stephen J. O’Brien. Robust forensic matching of confiscated horns to individual poached African rhinoceros. Current Biology, 2018; 28 (1): R13 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.11.005 Nova Southeastern University. "DNA evidence used to protect the rhinoceros from extinction: Genetic evidence helping match confiscated rhinoceros horns to crime scenes -- Already used in scores of successful prosecutions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2018. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180108105929.htm>.
  20. I tend to mention this from time to time , high altitude mountains is not something which everyone is suited to my first trip to Africa included climbing Mount Kenya , the brochure says do a bit of general fitness training and you will be ok, the guide on the actual trip said that people are either suited to high altitude or not, no advance medical testing is possible I badly hyperventilated from 10,000 feet upwards anyone who has done high altitude climbing before without a problem will be ok , anyone else should go to so regional high altitude location and try a stiff walk first before booking kili
  21. In many places a formal declaration of protection means almost nothing In August 2017, the Bolivian government passed a contentious law that paved the way for construction of a new 190-mile road cutting through one of the country's most iconic and biodiverse protected rainforests. But a new report shows that the Isiboro-Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (or TIPNIS) has been subject to alarming levels of deforestation within its borders for many years, a reality that is too often overlooked report continues https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180108121629.htm so the government protects it then assists in its plunder
  22. Anything on the move is nearly impossible to count to 100% accuracy , you can't really tell if anyone has been missed out or counted more than once intensely monitored and researched elephant populations who are even known as individuals like those at Amboseli and Samburu- Buffalo Springs would have the best most accuarate numbers, but these are not likely to be released for security reasons
  23. this is how the information was released , the minister gave details at a press confrence , it does not look like there is any detailed PDF report available the press section of the KWS site is not often updated please see Results of Censuses of Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra Counted In Five Key Ecosystems (Kenya) Coastweek December 31, 2017 this comes from aerial surveys in savannah ecosystems of Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit, Meru Conservation Area and Mwea National Reserve, whereas ground surveys using the dung count method have been carried out in the forested ecosystems of Aberdare Forest, the Mau Forest Complex and the Mount Kenya Forest all the trends are good with good growth, or a slowed decline in the case of Grevy's zebras no recent dead elephants were found
  24. Working in conjunction with the NGO elephant action league EAL the Thai authorities have arrested Kampanart Chaiyamart, a “kingpin” who is suspected of trading not just ivory and rhino horn, but also pangolins, orangutans and illegal timber please see https://news.mongabay.com/2018/01/rhino-horn-seizure-taps-into-southeast-asian-trafficking-ring/ https://elephantleague.org/thailand-eal-wildlife-bach-syndicate/ https://elephantleague.org/thailand-wildlife-trafficker-arrested/ he is part of a group revealed in THE GUARDIAN newspaper in 2016 please see The crime family at the centre of Asia's animal trafficking network https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/26/bach-brothers-elephant-ivory-asias-animal-trafficking-network as well as the usual research and report writing the EAL has an intelligence division which aims to locate major illegal wildlife crime operators
  25. Almost the entire green turtle population in parts of the northern Great Barrier Reef is now female, and scientists are concerned about their future. Warmer temperatures generally produce more female hatchlings In northern areas 99pc of the juvenile and subadult populations were female Scientists found for the past 20 years in some areas there had been no male hatchlings http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-09/pacific-green-turtles-future-under-threat,-scientists-warn/9311280 Global warming is making a real mess, we don't really know what will happen the talk is cloud seeding to make it rain and cool the sand

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