The virungas national park continues to be dangerous for rangers

6 more rangers have been killed in the Virunga national park on the border between the DRC Uganda and Rwanda. Likely, currently one of the most dangerous places to try to protect wildlife – many rangers have been killed over the years. Lying where 3 countries meet; Democratic republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, there has been regular flare ups, of fighting. Also militia groups have regularly taken refuge in this huge wilderness, hunting all wildlife for food.

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Absurd green washing of an environmental failure

One of the most reliable forms of renewable electricity generation is hydro. Create a dam, and then make electricity when ever you release the water from behind it. However, there are clearly places where this is not going to be good for the environment.

The Belo Monte dam is sold as part of the fight against global warming. This is however not a green project, indeed apart from the destruction of a huge area of rainforest, its construction will emit more carbon than it could possibly save in the next several hundred years

If the river that is dammed is running through a forest, then the flooding will cover the rainforest. What happens then? Well all the carbon that is stored in the trees, and the ground is released back into the air.

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Elephant counting from space

For the first time the population of elephants in addo elephant park in South Africa has been counted from space using computer learning.

Counting elephants from space is increasingly possible. Why is this good? it can be done cheaply, and therefore can be done regularly. This allows remote reserve poaching epidemics to be noticed early. As elephants are often the first animal to be targeted, automated satellite counts could give early warning about parks in danger.

The satellite images now taken are detailed enough to show each individual elephant has a separate grey blob. Then by using computer learning, a program can be taught to count these accurately.

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White rhino population in the Kruger has crashed by ⅔ in a decade

The white rhino recovery was a huge success story- from a low of just 60 animals the population rose to over 20,000, the biggest single population, lying within the huge Kruger national park.

Unfortunately, while China has slowly got their illegal wildlife trade under control (still a big problem, but for rhino, nowhere near the biggest) Vietnam and Laos, have seen a demand for rhino horn rocket.

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Tar sands pipeline cancelled

This is a foolish project that is survived for far too long in the USA. The pipeline that Joe Biden has promised to cancel was meant to bring oil from the tar sands of Canada.

Not a particularly cheap a source of oil, and one of the most polluting in the world this is the wrong way to improve oil security in the US.

There are obviously many more steps to be taken but Joe Biden has within hours of being installed started the process of making sure that some of the foolish decisions of the last administration are undone. The majority if not all are highly unpopular in the USA- indeed the reason that it is so easy for Joe Biden to reverse them is because they were put in place with trump signing executive orders and therefore can be reversed as easily.

Help me spread the word

The aim of this blog has always been two-fold. The first is to raise the profile of important goings-on in the natural world conservation, and highlight exciting and alarming news.

The second, perhaps more significant aim, is to simplify wild travel and to increase the number of people doing it. I realize at the moment for the majority of people travel is the last thing on their mind. However, the huge reduction of tourism numbers is hitting protected areas around the world.

I have added social media buttons to the posts. Please do consider sharing articles of interest. In the last few days we have added the ability for people to request to work with the website, and in the long-term this is what is going to be necessary if our goals are going to be met. If you find articles that interest you, do share them.

Likewise, as the epidemic comes under control and people can travel, please do highlight our site to businesses working with wildlife. We are particularly keen to grow our “in the shadow of mankind” listings. These are wildlife that lives alongside humans, not in a reserve away from us. Animals living in this sort of situation, cover almost all species, but as you can imaging these are the most at risk. If the site can increase visitors to these places, perhaps they will remain wild?

Please help spread the word, help the site grow to try to meet the huge task we have set ourselves, as we cannot do this on our own. Also to note, we have recently added a translation plugin- I hope that this is of use. Unfortunately, the translated versions will not get picked up by google, word of mouth is likely to be the best way around this.

5 viable northern white rhino embryos have been created

The Northern white rhino, an animal that existed in the DRC and parts of the world like that, still had numbers of about 2000 in the 1980s. Unfortunately there are now only two.

The BBC seven worlds one planet series, included a short clip about the last 2 northern white rhinos, With thousands living wild, just 35 years ago, can we save these animals?

Humans are belatedly trying to do something about this, and have managed to create 5 seemingly viable northern white rhino embryos.

These can then be put in the surrogate Southern white rhino mothers, giving the ability to increase the population from the current 2, to a potential 7.

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CO2 has only been pushed 400 parts per million by humnas, so why should we care

Climate denialists (which is a more accurate word than climate skeptics) would continue to claim well there’s only 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide, that can’t be caused for the global warming. However looking at historical data, in 1750 around the time that the industrial revolution in the UK got going and we started burning significant amounts of coal, the carbon dioxide concentrations at that points were around about 280.

In other words carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere and now roughly 50% higher than they work historically.

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Some of the plans Biden has, for positive Carbon emission changes

Biden is making it a rule that all government vehicles should be electric from now on. Given that across the country the government owns hundreds of thousands of cars and other vehicles, and this change alone will reduce global emissions by several tonnes per vehicle each year. More to the point, this requirement would guarantee significant income for electric vehicle made that could meet requirements. How many of these, would be supplied by Tesla would be interesting, however it still something that would encourage other manufacturers to work harder on filling this space.

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Pittsburg still fully supports the Paris climate accord, as do the majority of Americans so who does Ted Cruz support?

Ted Cruz foolishly highlighted Donald Trump’s comment about how he was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh not Paris. This is obviously a foolish comment, as the Paris climate accord is not in place to protect Paris, but the whole world. Ted Cruz also attack Pete Buttegig on cancellation of keystone pipeline, suggesting this decision is somehow anti-democratic despite more than 80 million people voting for the Democrat climate policy. Just to note: Ted Cruz’s argument is foolish as there are far more jobs in clean energy than fossil fuels in America, even more so around the world.

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