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Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News
Natural history news and information for animals, plants, and habitats.  See more at http://garryrogers.com.
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Invasive Palm Threatens Java Rhino To Extinction

Invasive Palm Threatens Java Rhino To Extinction | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
The last of Indonesia’s critically endangered Javan rhinoceroses have survived poachers, rapid deforestation and life in the shadow of one of the archipelago’s most active volcanoes. But an invasive plant is now posing a new threat to the world’s rarest species of rhino.

Once the most common of the Asian rhinoceroses, the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) started its decline at least 3,000 years ago with the growth of human populations and increased hunting pressures. With its horn fetching $30,000 on the black market, poaching is considered the driver of much of its decline in modern times.

"As few as 58 Javan rhinos exist in the world today, and the species is quite possibly the rarest large mammal on earth. All are found in one small population in Ujung Kulon — a sprawling 1,200-square-kilometer (463-square-mile) national park on the westernmost tip of West Java and the island of Panaitan. In addition the rhinos, the park is home to dozens of other mammals, more than 270 species of birds and 57 rare plant species.

"But a single species of plant is threatening the park’s fragile ecosystem.

“The issue in Ujung Kulon is not deforestation — but an invasive species called the arenga palm,” said Elisabeth Purastuti, WWF’s Ujung Kulon leader.

"Once covered in old-growth forest, the cataclysmic eruption of nearby Krakatoa in 1883 wiped out much of Ujung Kulon’s primary forest cover, creating a patchy network of secondary forest where the rhino thrived."

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Garry Rogers's insight:

GR:  Conservation biologists have been saying that construction (total habitat elimination) and invasive species are the greatest threat to Earth ecosystems.  Though we now must place climate change in the number two spot, invasive species continue to be one of humanity's greatest destructive achievements.  Read more:

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Hot Arctic Water, High Pressure Domes Pushing Sea Ice Toward New Record Lows

Hot Arctic Water, High Pressure Domes Pushing Sea Ice Toward New Record Lows | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

It doesn't take much to shove Arctic sea ice toward new record low values these days. Human caused climate change has made it easy for all kinds of weather systems to bully the ice.


In the case of the past seven days, three moderate strength high pressure cells churned away over the central Arctic, bringing with them clear skies, air temperatures in the range of average for 1979-2000 above the 70 North Latitude line, and a clockwise circulation favoring sea ice compaction and warm water upwelling at the ice edge.

The highs measured in the range of 1020 to 1025 hPa barometric pressure. Moderate-strength weather conditions that during a typical year of the last century would have been almost completely non-noteworthy. Today, instead, we have sea ice extent testing new record lows in the Japanese Space Agency’s monitor.

Garry Rogers's insight:

On the chart, the red line for 2014 intersects the 2011 & 2012 as it reaches July. Will it fall below them as the year progresses?

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The Hunt for the Golden Mole review Richard Girling's 'entertaining and provocative' quest

The Hunt for the Golden Mole review  Richard Girling's 'entertaining and provocative' quest | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

Richard Girling's tale of an elusive burrowing mammal turns into a compelling study of humankind's devastating cruelty to animals. In 1964, in Jowhar, Somalia, zoologist Alberto Simonetta stumbled on a disused bakery oven in which barn owls had made...

Garry Rogers's insight:

The majority of Earth's creatures have not been identified.  The unknown species tend to be the smallest, but some belong to familiar groups.  For example, lepidopterists estimate that only about 10% of moth species have been identified.  Human impacts will extinguish many of them and there will be no evidence, not even a tiny pile of bones, to show that they ever existed.

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Save this critically endangered bird!

Save this critically endangered bird! | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it

Less than 500 are left, but if the government steps up to increase habitat protections we could save them. (23,536 signatures on petition)

Garry Rogers's insight:

This Francolin (Francolinus ochropectus) occupies two small areas in Djibouti in the horn of Africa.  It prefers dense African juniper habitat near the coast of the Gulf of Tadjora in the southern Sea of Aden.  Formerly abundant, the Francolin numbers were first reduced by hunting, and then more recently by destruction of the juniper woodland by livestock grazing and fuel-wood gathering.  Climate change appears to be involved too. 


The Francolin is surviving in the dying juniper woodland and in less suitable neighboring vegetation. Please sign the petition to the Djiboutian Prime Minister to extend protections back over the Forêt du Day and establish captive breeding programs for the Francolin before this rare species disappears forever.

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Don’t Forget Butterflies! Our Pollination Crisis Is About More Than Honeybees

Don’t Forget Butterflies! Our Pollination Crisis Is About More Than Honeybees | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
When the White House signed an order on pollinator health last week, it included all pollinators -- not just honeybees.
Garry Rogers's insight:

Dropping pesticides and interspersing food plants with crops will help pollinators, but there are other things to consider.  Construction, farming, logging, livestock grazing, invasive species, and toxic pollutants (including greenhouse gasses) are eliminating habitat much faster than farmers are recovering it.  Until humans control their population and correct the ways they use resources, pollinators and other species will continue to decline. 

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Climate change: historians will look back and ask 'why didn't they act?'

Climate change: historians will look back and ask 'why didn't they act?' | Garry Rogers Nature Conservation News | Scoop.it
Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes talks about her new book, which imagines that current inertia in the face of climate change will puzzle academics for centuries to come
Garry Rogers's insight:

Academics will be working on the explanation for centuries, but I doubt that the basic human weaknesses that lead to such a catastrophe will be a mystery to them. 


The same title could be applied to other subjects:  Extinction:  'why didn't they act?

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