Tag Archives: deforestation
Man and beast have tussled for eons on who gets to be on top of the food chain. In the end, man came out on top with guns blazing. Such the tables have turned, that it has sent the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in to a scramble to protect a fledgling yet endangered leopard population in the wildlife reserve of Ayubia National Park, Galiyat.
“The focus of advance research is to find out threats to common leopard, check out its migration range and for adopting latest measure on scientific grounds for conservation of wild cats in the region”, Wasim Ahmad, a coordinator for the international non-governmental organisation, working to save the endangered species of wild cat.
Talking to APP, Wasim said that their target was to install radio collars on at least two leopards in order to track their movement. For this purpose traps have been set up around the park.
Though the population of big cats in Galiyat is satisfactory, but still the species continues to face numerous threats like a fast shrinking habitat, human-leopard conflicts and reducing forests, Waseem added. Galliyat, he continued, is home to the largest population of common leopards in the country and reduction of habitat for the rare wild species is posing a threat to its survival in the region.
Kuito — The head of department of the Forest Development Institute (IDF) in central Bié province, Rosário Lopes Teixeira, Thursday in Kuito admitted the extinction of some species of trees in the region, given the disorderly cutting of trees by coal makers.
The official was speaking to Angop while assessing the activity carried out by the institution in 2012.
He underlined that among the trees threatened with extinction, stress goes to the native species of Ombango, Ossesse and Omanda.
The official stated as well that another factor threatening the survival of some species is the cutting of trees for timber.
Rosário Teixeira said three inspectors are required in each municipality to arrest the situation crippling mainly the localities of Kuito, Andulo, Kunhinga, Chinguar, Chitembo, Kamacupa, Katabola, Kuemba and Nhârea.
According to him, Andulo is currently the municipality suffering most with the threat owed to the cutting of trees for coal.
The province of Bié has an area of 70,314 square kilometres and about two million inhabitants. It hosts a dense game forest, mainly in the municipalities of Chitembo, Kuemba, Chitembo, Kamacupa and Andulo.
New Zealander Pete Bethune, founder of marine activist group Earthrace Conservation, who lost his boat ‘Ady Gil’ in a collision with Japanese whalers in 2010, has sent a strongly worded message to his Prime Minister John Key, asking him to immediately implement increased protection measures for the last remaining Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins, indigenous to the country.
There are only an estimated 50 Maui’s dolphin remaining, and the population of Hector’s dolphins has declined by 75% over the last 40 years.
Despite denials to the contrary by those in the industry, the dolphins’ biggest threat is acknowledged by experts to be fisheries by-catch from the use of commercial and recreational set and gill nets and trawling.
Bethune says he has spoken to commercial fishermen who have admitted to ‘accidentally’ killing multiple Hector’s dolphin through by-catch on numerous occasions but not reporting it in order to avoid fines. Fishing is also allegedly regularly happening under the radar within the current small exclusion zone designed to protect Hector’s and Maui’s.
Other threats include seabed mining, the introduction of tidal energy turbines, disease and recreational pursuits within the boundaries of the dolphins’ habitat.
The Ministry of Primary Industries (which includes fisheries) and the Department of Conservation invited interested parties to submit recommendations and comments to inform a review of the Threat Management Plan for the Maui’s last year. So many animal welfare, environment, marine conservation and other groups and individuals from all over the world responded that it crashed the DOC website.
As yet, nothing more has been heard about the introduction of additional protection measures since the closing date for submissions in November 2012 and Bethune is demanding answers.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, copied to the Ministers for Primary Industries and Conservation, Bethune accuses the Government of stalling tactics, saying, “I have genuine concerns that the New Zealand Government’s real Threat Management Plan is to avoid any confrontation with the fishing industries and continue prevaricating until there are no more Maui’s dolphin remaining, perhaps in the hope that once they’re gone, the world will simply forget about them. I can promise you, we won’t.
A review of the Hector’s component of the TMP is scheduled to be undertaken this year. Bethune hopes that things will progress a great deal more speedily than they have for the Maui’s or as he warns the Prime Minister, ‘you risk global condemnation and irreparable damage to New Zealand’s reputation as a leading proponent for the environment. You will find yourself having to explain why a complete lack of action has resulted in the loss of the last remaining Hector’s dolphin too.’
In addition to those that took part in the submission process including Bethune and others from Earthrace Conservation, many thousands signed petitions like that organised by renowned US surfer, artist and activist, Peggy Oki, who to date has collected 5,341 photographs of people from across the world including Australia, USA, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Indonesia, Afghanistan, and South Africa, all of whom want action for the Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins.
Peggy Oki said, “I sent a follow up to my initial submission to DOC and MPI to the Prime Minister before Christmas, anticipating a possible announcement of the new Threat Management Plan just prior to the holidays, with a link to all the visual petitions we’d collected. It now seems the announcement has been postponed indefinitely.
“The NZ government seem unwilling to take any necessary actions to fully protect and prevent the extinction of the critically endangered Maui’s and Hector’s Dolphins. The dolphins are running out of time but the public can still stand up for them by taking part in Let’s Face it. We need to keep the pressure on Prime Minister John Key.”
Another petition organised by NABU International – Foundation for Nature collected almost 15,000 signatures.
Bethune, who says he was lucky enough to see a small pod of Maui’s whilst on board his vessel, Earthrace in 2006, concludes his letter to John Key by saying, “There has already been one cetacean (Lipotes vexillifer) that has become extinct as a result of human activities. I hold you responsible for ensuring that my country, under your stewardship, avoids the dubious honour of being wholly and directly responsible for the disappearance of the second and third, replacing the Dodo – last seen over 300 years ago – as being synonymous with extinction for generations to come.
“The New Zealand Government must stop prevaricating, grow some balls, stand up to the fishing industries and act now.”
New Delhi: Sundarbans, one of the largest sanctuaries for the Royal Bengal tiger in the world, is undergoing changes in its ecosystem due to “human pressures” which threaten the population of endangered species including the big cat, a new study says.
The study conducted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also says that the Indian side of Sundarbans is being subjected to various anthropogenic and natural processes affecting the distribution, quality and diversity of its mangroves.
“Human pressures and ecosystem changes are combining to threaten the population of endangered Royal Bengal tigers, one of the iconic species of the Sundarbans,” says the report titled ‘Sharing Lessons on Mangrove Restoration’.
The Sundarbans, covering 10,000 sq kms of land and water (more than half of it in India, the rest in Bangladesh) in the Ganges delta, contains the world’s largest area of mangrove forests. A number of endangered species live in the forests, including tigers, aquatic mammals, birds and reptiles.
Currently, over 4.2 million people live on the fringes of the Indian Sundarbans, resulting in high anthropogenic pressures on the mangroves and their resources.
“In recent years, climate change, regulation of freshwater flow, illicit mangrove felling, poaching and unplanned embankments for settlements have emerged as the main threats to the ecosystem,” the report says.
It says that the central part of the Indian Sundarbans receives almost no fresh water because of heavy siltation and clogging of the Bidyadhari channel.
“Seawater intrusion has further affected the growth of dominant mangrove species such as the freshwater-loving Heritiera fomes. The influence of salinity and effects of climate change, though not well-understood, appear to be promoting the invasion of alien species in some parts of the Sundarbans,” the report adds.
Two endangered tortoises found in the van of a man who had travelled from Morocco have been seized at a British port, Border Force officials have said.
The juvenile Spur-Thighed tortoises survived the 2,000-mile road trip inside a cardboard box before being discovered in the back of the van at Newhaven, East Sussex.
The man, who attempted to smuggle the animals to an address in London via Dieppe, told officials he was unaware of licensing restrictions on importing such animals into the UK.
The tortoises, both around three inches long, were seized by Border Force officers on November 17 under EU Wildlife Trade Regulations, which affords them the highest level of protection for a wildlife species within the EU.
The importation of tortoises is restricted under the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and they can only be brought into the UK if the correct permits have been issued.
No proper paperwork or permits were found in this case.
Tortoise smuggling is one of the five CITES priorities for Border Force, and they are offered the same level of protection within Europe as the giant panda or Bengal tiger.
Andy Lumb, of Border Force, said: “This illicit trade is a serious contributory factor to the threat of extinction faced by many endangered species.
“There is a complete ban on bringing live animals into the UK unless you have the necessary permit.”
The tortoises are now being cared for while plans are drawn up to rehouse them.