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Explore the world through this map. The number of countries listed should grow fast. This is a marketplace for wild travel as well as wildlife news, so click here to read more and put in your destination – or to become more involved in other ways.

Is global warming true – YES, and expert shows

As if it is needed, here is a list of evidence that global warming is true, laid out by someone with a doctorate in the subject material. Do share with friends who have suggested that there is not. 

It is simple, the world is warming and we are causing it by burning fossil fuels. We are responsible and so we can do something about this.

At a time, when there is a high probability that someone who denies all obvious facts on this subject, is leading the race to return to the white house, we need to stop debating facts and fix the problem.

USA, you are currently a pariah around the world, because you cannot pass meaningful climate action. You have 4.23% of world population, emit around 16 tonnes per head on average – which amounts to 14% of global emissions or around 1/7. It is true that China  (29.18% of global emissions), however India emits just 7.09% of global emission. Yet the per capita emissions of these countries are 7.44 in China and just 1.89 tonnes in India.

The UK, a similarly developed country, only has emissions of 5.6 tonnes per head

We’re hoping to return to a more normal amount of blogposts in the near future. Time is currently going into building a database of species of the world.

Many species pages are going live

For those who visit this website regularly, there will be periods where it looks like I am not active. While there are periods where I am away from the computer, more often than not it is because I am concentrating on other aspects of the website. In recent times, I have been working hard on the list of species that the website lists.

The long-term aim of the website, is still for it to become a one-stop shop for wild travel. We continue to work towards this. Do look at the Species watch page.

5 Northern buff-cheeked gibbons released back into the wild

Gibbons are lesser apes – lesser than the great apes, anyway. This means that they generally need far less space per individual. Unfortunately, so much of their forests have been lost, that they are increasingly isolated in small scraps of the forest, unable to socialize or breed.

It is becoming clear that in many parts of the world, the survival of specific animals is going to rely on humans regularly translocating animals – that is, we will have to treat the whole population as one large population, and connecting artificially by transporting the animals. The success of this, is perhaps most noticeable in South Africa, where there are many small reserves. Cheetah survive in these reserves and the surrounding areas, but find it hard to connect with their own kind. By regular translocation, the cheetah population grew substantially, as well as their health. In other countries lions leopards, and many other species are likely to require this in the near future.

Each had been kept as pets, with one handed over voluntarily, and the other 4 were seized. While the park is not vast (covering around 200 square km) it would be able to support a significant number of this endangered primate.

There needs to be a change in these countries so that it is no longer acceptable for people to keep these as pets.

Elephant death mystery solved, but no nearer to a solution

In Zimbabwe, elephants started dropping dead, no-one knew why. This has now been solved, but were not any nearer to ending the problem, and now its spreading.

It is unfortunately a fact, that in the majority of instances, sudden deaths from an unknown illness are impossible to prevent until we know more.

In total, 300 died in Botswana with another 35 dying in Zimbabwe just 2 months later. 50 more elephants have died since in Botswana.

It turns out that these animals have fallen as a result of an obscure bacteria, and scientists are concerned that it could spread to other species.

Should something similar happen amongst, say the lions of an area, we could quickly see all the lions die.

It took 3 years but a wildlife veterinarian at the Victoria Falls wildlife trust has worked out what happened. Although initially thinking it was anthrax, it was spreading in a strange way, and killing to many animals.

It turns out that a bacteria called Pasteurella Bisgaard taxon 45 was responsible. It is relatively rare, and had not been known to kill elephants. Unfortunately, in previous heatwaves, similar issues have been known to jump the species barrier and kill large numbers of antelope – particular during a heat wave. This bacteria caused blood poisoning, and mostly killed recently weaned young, which are generally weaker anyway.

It is unfortunate that outbreaks like this are so easily linked to high temperatures, as our behaviour means that these high temperatures occur more often – so deaths like this may become a way of life. Given the slow rate of reproduction in elephants, this could threaten populations if not dealt with rapidly.

The same bacteria is thought to have been responsible for 200,000 saiga antelope dying on the steppe of Kazakhstan in 2015.

Oddly, this bacteria is thought to live happily in the mouths of a variety of animals from elephants and antelope, to lions tigers and even chipmunks. If all it takes for this bacteria to become deadly is an increase in temperature, we have a hard task ahead of us.

Currently, there are 350,000 savannah elephants in Africa, but this number is already declining by around 8% a year (around 26,000 animals each year, or the equivalent of twice the total elephant population of the Kruger national park – one of the largest in the world. While it is possible to turn this around it is not easy.

How viable is planting trees to mitigating climate change

Back in 2019 NASA wrote an article, talking about planting trees as a way of doing part of the work for mitigating climate change. By looking at satellite images they looked at areas that were recently deforested, or areas which would be easily turned into forests. They came up with an incredible number of 900 million hectares (2.2 billion square acres). If all these areas were reforested with the right trees for each area. Apart from suddenly increasing the worlds forests, and giving breathing space for many species on the verge of extinction, the calculations suggest that these lands would take around half a trillion trees – it would increase forest cover by 25%.

Calculations suggest that the carbon that would be emitted would account for around 200 gigatons of carbon, or reducing carbon emissions in the atmosphere by around 25%. Now alarmingly, this is only around 20 years of current emissions, so it is not the only thing that we would have to do.

Even planting half a trillion trees is not an end of climate change – this is how much emissions we have emitted – but it would be a fantastic start.

The director of the International Energy Agency has suggested the ‘staggering’ growth of green industries gives hope to the 1.5 degree target

This 1.5 degree Celsius target has been talked about as increasingly impossible to meet. However, this target is essential – many of the worlds low level islands long-term survival leans on this.

Here, an expert is suggesting that we might survive. This is some positive belief that we have been in short supply of, in the last few years.

“Despite the scale of the challenges, I feel more optimistic than i felt two years ago” he added “Solar photovoltaic installations and electric vehicle sales are perfectly in line with what we said that they should be, to be on track to reach net zero by 2050, and thus stay within 1.5C. Clean energy investiment in the last two years have seen a staggering 40% increase”.

We are by not yet there, it is very much the case that we need to keep working hard.

The targets that he set, include a tripling of clean energy by 2030 and a 75% reduction in methane emissions by the same date, and a desire to see these targets come out of the COP28.

Rishi Sunak is making a stupid decision – end of combustion car sales in 2030?

It was only 3 years ago that the government said from 2030 there would be no more combustion engine, yet his most recent decision rolls this back (though it should be noted that he is still aiming for 80% electric car sales by 2030) along with reducing the requirements landlords to insulate their homes so it is cheaper for their renters to heat their home.

Will this foolish back-track be undone after the next election? Will it be seen as a senseless foolish move in the future? I think that this government will struggle to claim climate responsibility in the future
Continue reading “Rishi Sunak is making a stupid decision – end of combustion car sales in 2030?”

Ecuadorians have voted to halt oil drilling in an Amazonian national park – GOOD NEWS!

The referendum on Yasuni reserve will benefit a huge range of species, along with several groups of uncontacted tribes of indigenous people. The vote was not close, with 90% of votes counted protection won by around 20%. It will also keep around 726 million barrels of oil in the ground. Given that one barrel is 158 litres, that is 114 billion liters of oil, and as each one emits at least 3 kg of carbon dioxide, this is going to save 350 billion kg of carbon dioxide released into the air. This is a huge win for the environment, but also for the wildlife of the Yasuni reserve.

Europe is heading towards it net zero goal but electric car costs might be a stumbling block

While an increasingly large number of people are switching to electric cars, there is a growing concern that this change is not happening fast enough.

Currently the EU sells 10 times more electric cars than just 6 years ago, which is impressive, so what is the concern.

Might this be the future of motorway rest stops?

For many people, they believe that their next car will be electric, but a large portion of people are awaiting a big crash in prices. This forgets two things, firstly that with electric cars, much more of the cost comes at the beginning, so it may well be that electric cars are always slightly more expensive. One of the things being learnt is that it is not enough to incentivise electric cars, you also have to disincentivise combustion engine cars.

There are places where this is working well, such as central London, which has a congestion charge, but this is not charged on electric cars. It is true that this is going to end soon, but still should give a reduction for those driving electric cars. However, it means that in places like South Kensington, the number of electric cars is shooting up.

There are a variety of help across Europe, with Romania offering over 11,000 to help, or France having a scheme for poorer households to allow them to rent an electric car for only 100 euros a month.

The dramatic rise in electricity prices since the start of the invasion in Ukraine has also not helped, as if there is not cheap electricity at night, the saving are far lower than they used to be. Will Europe hit its targets? I think there is still work to be done, but it is certainly moving rapidly in the right direction. I look forwards to every motorway stop being like the all electric gridserve (look at the fullycharged episode below).

Is Cambodia expanding protected areas by over a million hectares?

The expansion of 1.06 million hectares, or 2.62 million acres of protected land is in theory fantastic news. Unfortunately Cambodia has not shown that it is the best in protecting its land set aside for wildlife anyway.

A biodiverse corridor alongside land being used

Analysis suggests that much of this gained land appears to have come from nearby Biodiverse corridors, and many of these corridors are lived in and extremely degraded. As such, while it is a great move, it is just a first step. Instead Cambodia needs to be paying to move alll villages out of these corridors.

We will have to see what happens in the future. However what must be held in mind, is that changing the designation of land does nothing if action does not fallow – for an example look at Indonesia, where many parks are rapidly being transformed into palm oil plantations.

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