Tigers are still moving between reserves, we must make it easier

Tigers once numbered 100,000 in India. My great great grandfather spent time in India, and I grew up hearing my great grandmother talking about the time that she went with her father on her pet elephant (as you do) to find a tiger that had been maimed during a failed hunt. This was essential, as a maimed tiger (or indeed lion leopard or jaguar) is of great danger to those living nearby. A maimed tiger cannot hunt as it normally would, and humans are far easier prey.

We have never learnt to live alongside tigers. As a result, as the human population has grown, the tiger population has been squashed into less and less land. If a healthy population can survive for the next century the human population may fall again and allow the tiger to thrive once more

These days the situation is very different. Currently there is a little over 3000 tigers living in the wilds of India, a number that has doubled in a surprisingly short period of time.

Continue reading “Tigers are still moving between reserves, we must make it easier”

When was human caused climate change first noticed?

There are still a large number of people with vested interests, who are arguing that climate change science is not settled and we need to wait a bit more.

How long should we wait?

Guy Callendar released a paper in 1938 – considered revolutionary at the time, which linked fossil fuel burning to the warming of the earths atmosphere. Indeed in 1896 Svante Arrhenius a Swedish scientist first predicted that increasing carbon emissions could significantly increase surface temperatures.

In other words it is now 126 years since a scientist predicted that global warming would be likely if we continued to release carbon emissions, and a paper was released 84 years ago confirming that Scvante Arrhenius prediction was correct.

So why are we still arguing about it? Does the free market truly allow profit to be prioritised over a scientific fact that was proposed more than a century ago, and confirmed nearly a century ago? Had the world dealt with carbon emissions back then we would be looking at a very different situation.

Leprosy identified in wild Chimpanzees for the first time

Leprosy has been identified by an international team of scientists in two countries in west africa – Ivory coast and Guinea-Bissau.

Chimpanzees showing the effect of leprosy

Leprosy has never been documented in wild Chimpanzees and the strain in each country was different (suggesting that the two causes are different.

Seemingly, one of the hardest things about studying leprosy is that it will not grow in lab conditions. It must either be harvested from animals or on occasion the feet of mice. As a result most studies are done on people with the disease. The Ivory coast strain has a history in Ethiopia and medieval Europe so there is some research still to be done. It has not yet been identified if it was transmitted from local villages or if it was brought to this part of Africa by tourists.

We have bought a used electric car: does it make financial sense? Why should you consider doing the same.

So we have recently bought an electric car!

This is what a tesla looks like

For any regular readers, you would have seen my article from a few days ago. When people are writing articles comparing the emissions from generating electricity to the tailpipe emissions of the combustion engine – any one with a brain is asking why? Given you are not comparing like for like. We estimate that our carbon emissions reductions from replacing our car may reach 10 tonnes a year. Each fill up of our petrol car meant about 40kg of petrol, which took 110kg of emissions to dig it out of the ground and transport it (often around the world).

So from an environmental position, yes it certainly makes sense.

But what about from a financial position?

Continue reading “We have bought a used electric car: does it make financial sense? Why should you consider doing the same.”

New baby girl! Sumatran rhino born in captivity in a breeding centre in Sumatra

Today the Sumatran rhino is critically endangered. It is thought that not more than 80 exist in the wilds of Sumatra. Not particularly closely related to the Javan rhino, the Sumatran rhino once had a much larger range extending from foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Bhutan and eastern India, through Myanmar, Thailand, possibly to Vietnam and China, and south through the Malay Peninsula. Indeed the Sumatran rhino is thought to have lost its last remaining mainland member as recently as 2015.

with only 80 remaining in the wild, and so far little success in captive breeding this baby Sumatran rhino is incredibly important Courtesy Indonesian ministry of environment and forestry

As a result, a breeding centre has been set up on Sumatra to create a captive population with which to boost the wild population.

Unfortunately, they have not done well. This calf is just the third born since the foundation of the centre – the centre was set up in 1996. There have only been another 3 calves born elsewhere in captivity.

As with other Sumatran wildlife, the Sumatran rhino has suffered the dual threats of loss of habitat and the fragmentation of what is left.

Fossil fuel cars make ‘hundreds of times’ more waste than electric cars – according to a Guardian article, despite what most media tries to claim

This should not be news to people, but because of the rubbish that is spread by many with vested interests in the current situation, it needs to be dealt with again.

So the argument is that because electric cars battery does not last forever, but every part of the combustion engine car does, the electric car is going to make more waste.

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Only Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have a higher proportion of climate change denial than the USA

The USA has rather embarrassed itself. A large minority of the country has kept stating things that were obviously foolish. In particular, Donald Trump has spent the 4 years of his administration undermining all of the science and therefore the gradual move towards acceptance of the the facts that most of the rest of the world has already accepted.

In particular, while the Republican party has in the past advanced science, they have completely abandoned this position. Climate change needs universal support for dealing with it if we are to succeed.

Given all this, it is not a surprise that so many people in the USA actually believe it.

Continue reading “Only Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have a higher proportion of climate change denial than the USA”

Whales are at 95% lower population than historical. This means they no longer fertilize the oceans

Whaling caused all sorts of issues. Many whale populations were decimated, and while some have recovered to some degree, few are anywhere near their population before humans started hunting them.

While we expect the human population to allow the whales to return to their former glory, this experiment may allow humans to fill their niche in the food chain for the time being

One of the things that has been missed is the incredible impact that they have on the ocean environment.

A new experiment aims to put these nutrients into the water and see if it restores dwindling fish populations. Although the nutrients that they release are usually found in the depths, the pressure means that they have to come to the surface to release their waste. This waste creates food for phytoplankton, which then is eaten by fish.

This experiment will happen off the coast of Goa, and will consist of taking rice husk waste from local factories and putting it out at sea, mixed with other nutrients. While this first experiment will be small in size, if it works it can be repeated. This will provide large amounts of food for fish, as well as absorbing carbon dioxide

Issues, hopefully resolved, and future progress

This website was set up to do a few things.

It was set up to highlight important wildlife news. While it is always possible for it to do more of this, I believe that it is succeeding on this front to some degree.

The next aim was to simplify wildlife travel. This is obviously far harder. We have begun, but with Covid having put paid to most wildlife travel for the last few years, this is yet to take off in any meaningful way. We aim for the website to make it easier to find interesting wildlife and to be able to go and visit it.

We have a few destinations that are live, however there are millions of potential wildlife destinations around the world (ranging from the huge to the tiny). It is obviously not possible for these to all be listed by one person (or even one organisation).

This is where our latest phase comes in. We are building members areas. Now there are 2 different groups of people who we wish to cater for.

MEMBERS The first is those who live alongside wildlife: We wish to help these people gain a positive impact from living near wildlife. The aim is that whether their primary occupation is to do with the wildlife or not, they can make money from it. We are building a page builder for anyone to list their wild place, and start hosting visitors – in return for money which can offset any damage done.

AFFILIATE MEMBERS This is for anyone else who wishes to save the natural world. This membership will cost a little bit a month, but will give a range of benefits. This includes discussion forums, but also includes the ability to help the website grow by listing places which you have visited (and the people you encountered) and therefore helping us protect it by giving it a financial bonus – which will be lost if the wildlife is lost.

The software has had a bit of a conflict which is what has resulted in the pause in posts, but we hope we have solved this problem. If we have, we hope to go live with our members areas in the next few days, and be able to partner with you all in a more practical way

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