Posts Tagged ‘Endangered’


Moscow birds suffer in heat wave

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
Moscow birds suffer in heat wave

Moscow birds suffer in heat wave

Moscow’s bird populations are suffering from the severe heat wave, which settled in the city in mid-June, a representative of the Russian Bird Conservation Union (RBCU) said on Tuesday.

“Birds…find it very difficult to live in such heat. Members of the crow family are the worst affected as their black feathers heat up very fast from the sun,”

Meteorologist say temperatures will reach 36 degrees Celsius (97 degrees Fahrenheit) this week.

The conservationist said it was difficult to help the suffering bird populations.

“We don’t have many options available for helping the birds… The only thing we can do is put bird baths on our balconies and render first aid to heat-affected birds,”

According to an animal census held in Moscow from February 13 – March 5, 2010, more than 200 bird species live in Moscow. Of these, 66 are listed in the Moscow Red Data Book of endangered species.

Source: Moscow birds suffer in heat wave –

Date: 13 July 2010

Over 25% of flowers face extinction – many before they are even discovered

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The giant carnivorous plant, Nepenthes attenboroughii, is under threat of extinction - along with 25% of all others on earth

The giant carnivorous plant, Nepenthes attenboroughii, is under threat of extinction - along with 25% of all others on earth

Scientists say human activity could spell end for a quarter of all flowering plants, with huge impact on food chain

More than one-in-four of all flowering plants are under threat of extinction according to the latest report to confirm the ongoing destruction of much of the natural world by human activity.

As a result, many of nature’s most colourful specimens could be lost to the world before scientists even discover them.

One-in-five of all mammals, nearly one-in-three amphibians and one-in-eight birds are vulnerable to being wiped out completely.

The researchers started by carrying out an independent review of how many flowering plants – which make up most of the plant kingdom – exist. The team calculated that there is another 10-20%, which has still to be officially discovered.

The second stage was to assess the level of threats from habitat loss due to clearing land for planting crops or trees, development, or indirect causes such as falling groundwater levels and pollution.

A study published in the journal Endangered Species Research in 2008, which estimated that one-in-five known species were vulnerable to extinction.

The warning comes as there is growing international recognition of the value of the natural world to humans in providing ecosystem services, from flood protection and medicines to spiritual spaces and enjoyment.

“Plants are the basis for much of life on earth with virtually all other species depending on them; if you get rid of those you get rid of a lot of the things above them,” David Roberts, at the University of Kent added.

Source: Over 25% of flowers face extinction – many before they are even discovered -

Date: 07 July 2010

Environmentalists to set up trust fund to save dolphins

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Eight wildlife conservation and environmental protection organizations from central Changhua County announced yesterday the establishment of an environmental trust fund to purchase a vast wetland to save the Taiwan Sousa, also known as the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinesis), living along Taiwan’s west coast.

This is the first ever campaign in Taiwan launched by environmentalists to purchase state land to be reserved for the endangered animals in the form of an environmental trust, with signatures from more than 30,000 people supporting the cause.

The organizers also held a rally in front of the Presidential Office in Taipei to urge the government to respect the people’s wish to safeguard the rare dolphins, commonly known as “white dolphins” or “Mother Sea-Goddess (Matsu) Fish” for local people.

The environmentalists are concerned that the government’s possible approval for constructing a giant petrochemical complex in southwestern Taiwan will cause extensive pollution to farmland and agricultural crops while hampering animal conservation in the area.

Officials at the Environmental Protection Administration said there is no need to purchase the wetland since a panel conducting the environmental impact evaluation project has included a proposal to leave a safe swimming corridor with a width of 800 meters for the dolphins.

Source: Environmentalists to set up trust fund to save dolphins –

Date: 07 July 2010

Biologist Warns Of Danger From Rising Sea Levels

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

In his new book, Flooded Earth, Peter D. Ward argues that even if humans stopped all carbon dioxide emissions today, the oceans will still rise up to 3 feet by 2050, wreaking havoc on many coastal cities and their infrastructure. In the worst case scenario, Ward tells host Guy Raz, the world may see water levels rise as much as 65 feet by 2300 causing massive human migration and a spread of tropical diseases.


GUY RAZ, host:

Welcome back to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I’m Guy Raz.

Peter Ward is a biologist at the University of Washington. He’s not a historian but in his new book, “The Flooded Earth,” he writes as a historian, but a historian describing the year 2120. And here’s what happened to the city of Miami.

Professor PETER WARD (Biology and Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington; Author, “The Flooded Earth”): (Reading) Miami had become an open city. It was also an island, although to the north it was still contiguous with the vast peninsula that had been Florida. The flooding had cut off all freeway and railroad ties while the airport itself was now a vast a lake. All this was because the level of the world’s oceans had risen 10 feet.

The reason for this vast geographic change, one that rendered every school child’s world atlas obsolete, was readily apparent: Greenland had lost its ice cover.

RAZ: That’s Peter Ward reading from his new book, “The Flooded Earth.” It paints a pretty bleak picture of how life on this planet will begin to change dramatically – as early as 2050, as sea levels continue to rise. Peter Ward joins me from KUOW in Seattle.

Welcome to the program.

Prof. WARD: Thank you so much for having me.

RAZ: You paint a picture of Miami. The city becomes kind of an archipelago of little islands, many islands, barely habitable. Is that really going to happen based on your projections?

Prof. WARD: It may not happen that early – that’s the worst case scenario – but it will absolutely happen if we continue to be producing emissions at the rate that we are. I’ve now spent two field seasons in Antarctica. I’ve been able to look there at the recession of the glaciers and also of the ice sheets.

Remember, everybody worries about icecap, but ice floating on the sea, even if it all melts, has no direct effect on…

RAZ: Right. It’s like ice in a glass. If ice melts…

Prof. WARD: Exactly.

RAZ: …it doesn’t change the level.

Prof. WARD: But, see, ice on land – and the two critical places are Greenland and Antarctica. I mean, those are really what we must worry about. I almost want to print out T-shirts: Keep the Ice Sheets, because we need to stabilize these.

RAZ: You focus on mass extinction of humans, of animals. You’re saying that sea levels will rise – they rise every day, they’re rising as we speak. What’s the best case scenario by the end of this century in terms of how high the sea will rise?

Prof. WARD: Best case scenario that I can see is going to be a little less than three feet.

RAZ: So if we do nothing now, if we freeze…

Prof. WARD: We do nothing.

RAZ: …mm-hmm. We do nothing, we freeze or emissions now, the seas will still rise by about three feet by the end of this century.

Prof. WARD: Three feet. And from all the engineers I’ve talked to – and it’s been an interesting ride for me – civilization can deal with up to a five-foot sea level rise without major dislocation. But anything above five feet and you’re talking tremendous economic and biological dislocation.

RAZ: Worst case scenario?

Prof. WARD: Worst case scenario would be five feet by 2100. But the problem with the five-foot rise, a sea level rise is something that doesn’t take place at a constant level. It’s accelerating. So once you have a five-foot rise by 2100, you might have a 50-foot rise by 2200.

So the five-foot rise would be catastrophic economically but it would also really be pointing the gun to the head of all of the coastal cities. Sooner or later, within a century or two after that, you’re going to be dealing with triage, trying to figure out what do we save and what don’t we.

RAZ: Where in the U.S. are we likely to see the effects? I mean, we think about, let’s say, the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and we can imagine what that looks like on a map, right? Will that look the same in 100 years?

Prof. WARD: In some senses. The place that will be most mitigated in terms of geography will be the entire Gulf region. I mean, that poor benighted place where we have all that nasty oil going to shore, that is the area where sea level will have the greatest impact.

RAZ: So when you talk abut the Gulf, are you talking about, for example, the Mississippi Delta?

Prof. WARD: Yes. The Mississippi Delta and every other delta on this planet is an endangered species. Deltas are completely tied into sea level. Even a one-foot rise in sea level tremendously affects the sedimentology of delta formation.

And here’s why deltas are so important: an enormous proportion of the world’s rice comes from the deltas in the tropical areas of the planet. When we have a rise even of a foot in sea level, we have many feet of lateral salt migration, the problem isn’t the vertical rise of the sea. It is the fact that salt has this nasty habit of migrating sideways. And sideways into soil kills off agricultural crops.

Salt and plants that produce crops just don’t mix. Mangroves, if we could eat mangroves, we’d be in great shape. But we’re looking at this confluence, and this is why I’m so disturbed. We’re looking at a global population that’s going from 6.6 billion to nine billion. We’re looking at a sea level rise from one to three feet, and we’re looking at a reduction in arable land because of that sea level, so the equation is more people less food.

RAZ: You say that there are three possible outcomes of global warming. One, that scientists are wrong and that the icecaps won’t actually melt; the second that the icecaps will melt but humans will adapt and they’ll begin to cooperate; and the third is kind of a, I would call, “Mad Max” scenario where the ice caps melt and you have something akin to global anarchy. Which of these do you see as the most likely outcome?

Prof. WARD: I hope it’s number two. I mean, this is just a hope. And we’re looking back at history to try to understand how things happened and yet we’ve never had an industrial civilization of our level in history encountering rising sea level.

The fastest rise we know of in the past from Ice Age melting, though, is about five meters a century. So that’s 15 feet in one century. We know from geological records it can go that fast. And this was in consequence to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide far less than what we’re doing now.

RAZ: And that would’ve been the results of volcanoes, for example?

Prof. WARD: What we’re doing to the atmosphere now is very similar to what I studied in the deep past, which is that the Permian extinction and the Triassic extinction, when there were enormous volcanic vents of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at rates that seem to be akin to what we’re doing now.

Now, we just came through a horrible global recession and yet emissions globally did not reduce to where we hope they were. Even with the recession, emissions keep going up. Carbon dioxide levels keep going up. If we return to full employment, with all these extra people, what happens? Higher emissions, less ice sheet, higher sea level.

RAZ: Peter Ward, all of the scenarios you lay out are quite shocking and they’re fascinating, but I wonder at what point does all you say become tangible, become something that people can actually see and be affected by, because, you know, one could argue that until that point, this is just theoretical and it’s difficult to get people to respond and to make changes.

Prof. WARD: Look, what if we’re wrong about the sea level rise? What will we have done to mitigate it? We will have searched for alternative forms of energy all good. We will have tried to do defenses on our coastlines, and with rising temperatures we’re going to get stronger hurricanes; all good. So even if the sea level doesn’t rise, the attempts to defense it are actually very powerful and positive things.

The alternative, doing nothing, well, maybe we’ll get away with it. Maybe we’ll dodge the bullet, but what if we don’t?

RAZ: That’s Peter Ward. He is a professor of biology and Earth and space sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle and author of the new book, “The Flooded Earth.”

Peter Ward, thank you so much.

Prof. WARD: Thank you.

Source: Biologist Warns Of Danger From Rising Sea Levels -

Date: 03 July 2010

Endangered cockatoo numbers down by half

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
Survey finds half as many red-tailed black cockatoos this year (ABC News: Bob McPherson)

Survey finds half as many red-tailed black cockatoos this year (ABC News: Bob McPherson)

Sightings of the endangered red-tailed black cockatoo have dropped by more than half in the south-east of South Australia and western Victoria.

Annual research on the numbers has just ended and this year’s sightings have dipped to 680 birds from about 1,400 last year.

The decline has the volunteers from the south-east cockatoo recovery project scratching their heads.

One of the group Bronwyn Perryman says 159 volunteers checked 2,800 square kilometres.

“This year we’ve only had two reasonable size flocks located up in western Victoria, so most of the other birds counted were in pretty small numbers,” she said.

Source: Endangered cockatoo numbers down by half -

Date: 23 June 2010

Billions spent to protect world water: study

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Billions of dollars — mainly from China — are being poured into a fast-growing global system of rewards for people who protect endangered water resources, according to a study released Wednesday.

The programmes, implemented by governments as well as the private sector and community groups,

“could help avert a looming global water quality crisis,” according to the report by Ecosystem Marketplace, a project of US-based non-profit organisation Forest Trends.

It said the “emerging marketplace” of watershed payments and trading in pollution reduction credits was still dwarfed by the system of carbon trading aimed at limiting damaging greenhouse gases, but was expected to rise.

The study focused on two main instruments, Payments for Watershed Services (PWS), in which farmers and forest communities are compensated for maintaining water quality, and Water Quality Trading (WQT) where industry buys and sells pollution reduction “credits”.

Transactions support a range of activities including adjusting land management practices, technical assistance, and improving water quality, according to the report funded by the United States and The Netherlands.

The report conservatively estimated the total transaction value of active PWS and WQT initiatives at 9.3 billion dollars worldwide in 2008.

This included about 7.8 billion dollars, all of it in PWS schemes, from China where the central government has called for development of “eco-compensation mechanisms”.

Much of these Chinese payments — which compare with a figure of just over one billion dollars in 2000 — go to farmers to reduce their pollution around forested areas, the report added.

“The number and variety of PWS schemes in China have escalated in recent years, from around eight in 1999 to more than 47 in 2008… impacting some 290 million hectares (716 million acres),” it said.

“The picture in the rest of Asia is much less robust,” it added.

In the United States, PWS payments doubled to 1.35 billion dollars in 2008 from 629 million dollars in 2002, said Ecosystem Marketplace.

After China, Latin America had the largest number of active PWS programmes in 2008, with 36, it said.

Water Quality Trading is found mostly in the United States, and accounted for less than 11 million dollars globally in 2008, it added.

Among the threats to global water supply are years of unchecked fertilizer runoff that have led to oxygen-starved “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico, the researchers said in a statement.

Source: Billions spent to protect world water: study - france24

Date: 23 June 2010

Nature Reserves Maintain Biodiversity, Activate Ecotourism in Tartous

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010


Nature reserves play an important role in achieving sustainable development and preserving the stability and balance of the environment in the coastal Syrian Province of Tartous.

They also provide a suitable environment for conducting scientific research and protecting the biological diversity in addition to investing the marginal lands in addition to developing tourism industry in Tartous.

Tartous Province is famous for its natural and artificial forests which extend over the western cliff of the coastal mountains as the Province embraces four nature reserves; East al-Shaara, al-Nabi (Prophet) Matta, Qarkafti and al-Kahf (Cave) Forest.

Director of the Biological Diversity and Nature Reserve Department in Tartous Hiba Salhab said the reserves were established because they enjoy a biological diversity as they embrace various rare plants in addition to the fact that they are surrounded by several archeological monuments.

Salhab pointed out to the role of the reserves in activating ecotourism movement in a way that would preserve these natural areas.

She underlined the importance of these reserves in linking forests with each other and enhancing the environmental and preventive role of the forests in cleaning the air of pollutants and industrial gases.

“The reserves promote the public health of the locals and improve the vegetation cover through protecting the soil from water and air erosion and preventing torrents,” she added.

Director of Tartous Forest Department Hassan Salih said that his department works on protecting nature reserves through providing all the required infrastructures and the qualified technical staff for achieving the hoped-for goals behind establishing these reserves.

Salih added “the reserve of ‘East al-Sharaa’ in al-Kadmous is 70 Kms away from the city center. It consists of mountainous hills. It was established for preserving oak and terebinth trees in addition to protecting rare plant species such as maple, Syrian pear, Fir trees and some species of oak trees.”

The reserve also aims at increasing animal diversity in the area and protecting the perennial medical and seasonal plants in addition to qualifying the area for ecotourism and spreading awareness over the importance of forests.

Several plant species grow in al-Shaara Reserve such as terebinth, oak, wild pear, olive, basil, maple and other tree species. A lot of plant species have been introduced to the nature reserve such as wormwood, robinia, cedar, laurel and pine trees.

Medical plants also grow in the reserve such as thyme, wild garlic, hyssop, dandelion, narcissus, Artemisia and lilies.

Al-Nabi Matta Nature Reserve is located in Dreikish area. It expands over an area of 650 hectares, 450 hectares of which are artificial forests and 200 hectares are planted with chestnut.

The reserve was established with the aim of preserving the mountainous ecosystem and the artificial forests in the area and protecting the endangered animals.

It enjoys a moderate temperature as the rate of rainfalls reaches 1800 millimeters annually. It includes several springs of pure water free of calcium. It is also surrounded by some important archeological sites such as ‘Shiekh Deeb Castle’, ‘Bait al-Wadi Cave’ and the archeological ‘ waterwheel’.

Qarkafti Nature Reserve was established in 1998 over an area of 41,0 hectares. The reserve aims at preventing soil erosion and torrents and preserving springs and water resources.

It also enhances sanitation and preserves the natural scene and the agricultural crops in the area.

Al-Kahf Forest reserve is a mountainous reserve surrounded by green valleys. At the center of the reserve there is an important archeological monument. The reserve was established for keeping the biological diversity and the wildlife in the area.

Source: Nature Reserves Maintain Biodiversity, Activate Ecotourism in Tartous –

Date: 22 June 2010

Disappearance of rare wetland bird could herald the beginning of Earth’s ‘sixth great extinction’

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

A rare Madagascan wetland bird has been declared extinct in what scientists believe may herald the beginning of a global catastrophe only recorded five times in Earth’s history.

The dying out of the Alaotra grebe, found only in Madagascar and not seen for 25 years, has led biologists to claim we are on the verge of the ‘sixth great extinction’.

The previous five cataclysmic events during Earth’s prehistory, such as the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago possibly caused by a meteorite hitting Earth, were naturally caused. This is the first time humans have been implicated in causing mass global extinction.

The Alaotra grebe has been declared extinct due to the introduction of carnivorous fish into its habitat and the use of fishing nets that caught and drowned the bird.

The disappearance of yet another type of bird has led scientists to believe that the rate at which species are vanishing from the planet could point to a period of mass global extinction.

Scientists now claim we could be on the verge of the next great extinction.

The RSPB’s international director Dr Tim Stowe said:

‘The confirmation of the extinction of yet another bird species is further evidence that we are not doing enough in the fight to protect the world’s wildlife. ‘Although there are some key successes, overall the trend is downward, bringing more species year on year to the brink of extinction and beyond.’

The inclusion of the Alaotra grebe on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, which is the most comprehensive inventory of extinct species, comes as experts warned an eighth of bird species now faced extinction.

Bird species alone seem to be disappearing at the rate of one per decade.

The wetland bird was last seen in 1985 and its disappearance comes as experts warned an eighth of bird species now faced extinction.

The number of birds threatened with global extinction now stands at 1,240 species, according to the latest assessment.

The IUCN Red List’s update for birds, carried out by Birdlife International, said 25 species had been added to the list of those at risk.

Other wetland birds are under increasing pressure from the introduction of invasive species, as well as from drainage and pollution of their habitats, the conservationists warned.

Dr Stuart Butchart, Birdlife’s global species programme officer, said:

‘Wetlands are fragile environments, easily disturbed or polluted, but essential not only for birds and other biodiversity but also for millions of people around the world as a source of water and food.’

Along with the Azores bullfinch, the yellow-eared parrot from Colombia and the Chatham albatross have been downlisted from critically endangered to endangered.

Dr Butchart said:

‘These successes show what is possible, and they point the way forward to what needs to be done by the global community. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity; world leaders failed to stem the decline of biodiversity. We cannot fail again.’


  • 65 million years ago: Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T extinction). About 75% of species became extinct, possibly caused by a meteorite hitting the earth. Wiped out dinosaurs.
  • 205 million years ago: Triassic-Jurassic extinction. Most non-dinosaurs were eliminated, leaving dinosaurs with little terrestrial competition.
  • 440-450 million years ago: Ordovidician-Silurian. Two linked events that are considered together to have been the second worst extinction on the list.
  • 360-375 million years ago: Late Devonian. A prologued series of extinctions that may have lasted 20 million years.
  • 251 million years ago: Permian-Triassic. Known as ‘The Great Dying’ after about 96% of marine species and 70% of land species disappeared.

Source: Disappearance of rare wetland bird could herald the beginning of Earth’s ‘sixth great extinction’ - Mail Online

Date: 26 May 2010

Cagayan, Palawan, Iloilo vulnerable to sea level rise

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

MANILA, Philippines – The world-famous sweet Guimaras mangoes might soon become an endangered variety as global warming could submerge Iloilo province, together with Cagayan and Palawan, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) warned yesterday.

The commission, chaired by President Arroyo, warned that many parts of the country, including the regions where the mangoes are grown, are “seen to go underwater due to climate change” due to the rise in sea level by at least a meter.

Citing a study of the University of the Philippines Los Baños, CCC vice chairman Secretary Heherson Alvarez said Iloilo ranks third among the provinces in the country that are most susceptible to the rise in sea level.

The study identified Cagayan province as the most vulnerable, followed by Palawan.

“We are extremely vulnerable because we are in the southwestern Pacific area where there is an occurrence of many depressions, (which) mature into storms, and violent storms sometimes enter the archipelago,” Alvarez said.

The Philippines has been calling for a deep and early cut of carbon dioxide emissions by Annex-1 countries under the Kyoto Protocol in order to moderate, if not avert, the accelerating destructive storms brought about by climate change.

“If people will not unite for a deep and early cut of carbon dioxide, the entire country will go under the surface because of the frequency of extreme weather disturbances entering the Philippines every year,” Alvarez said.

Aside from the possible sinking of many parts of Iloilo, he said climate change has started affecting mango production on the island of Guimaras, resulting in losses to mango farmers.

In 2009, the National Mango Research and Development Center (NMRDC) reported that erratic weather patterns attributed to climate change have already taken its toll on the production of the “sweetest” mango in the world.

The decline in mango production, according to the center, was shown in price increases despite the peak season last year.

Rhod Orquia, an NMRDC researcher, said mango production in Guimaras is being threatened by climate change since the shifting trend in the onset of rains already affects the planting process and harvesting schedule of mangoes.

Guimaras has more than 200,000 mango trees planted by 7,000 farmers.

Source: Cagayan, Palawan, Iloilo vulnerable to sea level rise - philstar

Date: 22 May 2010

Quarter of UK’s endangered species ‘declining despite government action’

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010

The Government is part of an international treaty to stop global biodiversity loss by 2010 in order to protect hundreds of endangered species like the bumblebee, common toad and house sparrow.

But an official report, published quietly this week by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) discloses that 88 species are continuing to decline such as sky larks, pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, fen orchid, freshwater pearl mussel and black grouse.

Of the 370 species identified as under threat only half are stable or increasing meaning the rest are in decline or there is simply not enough data. This includes wild asparagus, great yellow bumblebee, basking shark, lady’s slipper orchid and capercaillie.

Since 1994 when the UK first drew up its ‘Biodiversity Action Plan’ to stop species loss, it is thought 19 species have gone extinct, mostly insects and lichens but also the greater mouse-eared bat and colourful Ivell’s sea anemone.

Conservationists have pointed out that other species which are not including in the original action plan are also suffering including hedgehogs, wildcats and cuckoos.

Source: Quarter of UK’s endangered species ‘declining despite government action’ – Telegraph

Date: 22 May 2010

Results 1-10 of overall 18
REPORTS see all

Reversing Meat-Eating Culture to Combat Climate Change


Livestock Production and Shorter-Lived Climate Forcers


Plant-Based Diets - A solution to our public health crisis


Leaders Preserving Our Future - Insights Paper - WPF - November 2010


Maintaining a Climate of Life - Summary Report


Livestock's Climate Impact


Livestock & Sustainable Food


Reducing Shorter-Lived Climate Forcers Through Dietary Change


The global cost of biodiversity loss: 14 trillion Euros? - EU Commission (2008)


Forests, Fisheries, Agriculture: A Vision for Sustainability (2009)



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