Posts Tagged ‘extinction’

Nature Ramble

A little different this week. Looking at extinction. It has been going on for millions of years, Mother Nature herself has been doing it.

‘Animal Pompeii’ wiped out China’s ancient creatures

The fossils of a dinosaur (l) and two primitive birds (m,r) show the creatures locked in their death throes

The puzzle of how a 120-million-year-old animal graveyard in China formed may have been solved.

Scientists believe that the creatures from the lower Cretaceous era were instantly killed by volcanic eruptions similar to the violent blast that hit the Roman city of Pompeii.

Much like the residents of the city, the animals were entombed in ash and frozen in their death throes.

The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

Lead researcher Baoyu Jiang, from Nanjing University in China, said: “Scientists have been curious for a long time in how these animals were killed and became exceptionally preserved.”

The blast of hot gas, dust and ash from volcanic eruptions would have killed the animals instantly

The fossil beds of Liaoning province in north-east China, which date to 120-130 million years ago, have long baffled scientists.

An eclectic array of animals – known as the Jehol Biota – have been unearthed there: they include the first-known feathered dinosaurs, early mammals, birds, fish and insects.

The site is so rich in fossils and well preserved that it has transformed palaeontologists’ understanding of this ancient era, shedding light on evolution and the diversity of life at this time.

Buried together, they are remarkably well preserved – and the apparent victims of major deadly events.

Now scientists say eruptions were responsible.

The conifer forests and lakes where these animals once lived were surrounded by volcanoes, and the researchers believe deadly blasts would have sent a surge of incredibly hot gas, ash and rock – known as pyroclastic flow – across the landscape.

The team says this would have been similar to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, which wiped out Pompeii.

Like the people who lived in the city, the ancient animals would have been killed in an instant, and then buried under a dense layers of ash.

The creatures are captured mid-movement, with their limbs flexed and spines extended.

 

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Nature Ramble

How the threat to lions, leopards and wolves endangers us all

Though fearsome killers, big carnivores are also a precious resource, as their feeding habits keep many delicate ecosystems in balance. But too many predators are now facing extinction

Lions kill a buffalo in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Photograph: Jonathan & Angela Scott/Getty Images/AWL Images RM

They are the planet’s most prolific killers – and also some of nature’s most effective protectors. This is the stark conclusion of an international report that argues that lions, wolves, pumas, lynxes and other major carnivores play key roles in keeping ecosystems in balance. It also warns that the current depletion of numbers of major predators threatens to cause serious ecological problems across the globe.

The paper, written by a group of 14 leading ecologists and biologists from the US, Europe and Australia and published in the journal Science, calls for the establishment of an international initiative to conserve large carnivores and help them to coexist with humans. Failure to protect our top predators could soon have devastating consequences, they warn.

“Globally, we are losing our large carnivores,” said William Ripple, the report’s lead author. “Many of them are endangered and their ranges are collapsing. Many are at risk of extinction, either locally or globally. And, ironically, they are vanishing just as we are learning to appreciate their important ecological effects.”

The report has been produced, in part, to show that the classic vision of a large predator, such as a lion or a wolf, being an agent of harm to wildlife and a cause of widespread depletion of animal stocks is misguided. Careful analysis of predators’ food chains reveals a very different picture. “In fact, the myriad social and economic effects [of large carnivores] include many benefits,” it states.

Ripple, a professor at Oregon State University’s department of forest ecosystems and society, and his colleague Robert Beschta, have documented the impact of wolves in Yellowstone and other national parks in North America. When wolf numbers have been reduced, usually by hunters, this has led to an increase in numbers of herbivores, in particular the elk.

Elks browse on trees such as aspen, willow, cottonwood, and various berry-producing shrubs, and the more elks there are, the more browsing damage is done to these trees. The knock-on effect is striking, says the report.

“Local bird populations go down because they have fewer berries to eat,” added Ripple. “The same is true of bears, which also eat berries. Beaver populations are also affected. They have less plant life to eat and less wood for making their dams.

“For good measure, the roots of the willow and other shrubs help to hold the soil of river banks together, so they do not get washed away. This does happen, however, when you have no wolves, lots of elks and, therefore, poor levels of vegetation. So you can see that the wolf – which sits at the top of the food chain in midwest America – has an impact that goes right down to having an effect on the shapes of streams.”

Yet wolves were once considered to be such a menace that they were exterminated inside Yellowstone national park in 1926. The park’s ecology slowly transformed with their absence until, in 1995, they were reintroduced.

“Very quickly, the park’s ecosystems returned to normal,” said Ripple. “I was impressed with how resilient it proved.”

Another example of the ecological importance of large carnivores is provided by lions and leopards. Both animals prey on olive baboons in Africa, and as numbers of these key predators have declined, numbers of olive baboons have increased. The population of lions in particular has been so reduced that it now only covers 17% of its historical range, while numbers of olive baboons have risen in direct proportion.

The consequence of this increase has been significant, say the authors. Olive baboons are omnivores and eat small primates and deer. When olive baboon numbers rise, populations of local monkeys and deer plummet. There is also an effect on human populations.

“Baboons pose the greatest threat to livestock and crops in sub-Saharan Africa, and they use many of the same sources of animal protein and plant foods as humans,” states the Science paper. “In some areas, baboon raids in agricultural fields require families to keep children out of school so they can help guard planted crops.”

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Make you Fink on Friday

Do we really need this?

Fresh effort to clone extinct animal

Celia can now be seen at the reception centre of the National Park of Ordesa and Monte Perdido in Aragon

Scientists in Spain have received funding to test whether an extinct mountain goat can be cloned from preserved cells.

The bucardo became extinct in 2000, but cells from the last animal were frozen in liquid nitrogen.

In 2003, a cloned calf was brought to term but died a few minutes after birth.

Now, the scientists will test the viability of the female bucardo’s 14-year-old preserved cells.

The bucardo, or Pyrenean ibex, calf born through cloning was an historic event: the first “de-extinction”, in which a lost species or sub-species was resurrected.

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Opinion:

Too much money and time is spent on this type of thing. The ibex is extinct, let her rest in peace. Obviously it became extinct for a reason.

There are more important things like world hunger, poverty, lack of education, health, etc that could make better use of these funds.

To me the idea of de-extincting is a backward step in evolution, what’s next? Jurrasic Park!

 

Monday Moaning

split_endsMy Monday moaning could well be about the fact that I didn’t get to moan on Monday.

I am suffering a terrible affliction at the moment, it’s called work. Not just work, but it’s worse than split ends, it’s split days. Split days do not bode well with my post load.

It’s now Tuesday late p.m.

So here is Monday Moaning.

Generation Cool: Self-obsessed Millennials having so much fun

I saw this BBC Headline, the rest of the article was not so much about the topic, but it did give me an idea for a moan.

“We will not be a great generation, we are too self-absorbed, spending most of our time on frivolous things, like posting photos of ourselves. We are cool kids, we are the cool generation.” – That’s the last paragraph from the BBC article.

The Millenials, as opposed to my own time called the Baby Boomers, are about as a miserable generation as I could ever have depicted; totally frivolous and wasteful, like never before.

milk_and_honey

Milk and honey, even the oatmeal is a GMO

What was the ‘land of milk and honey’ is no more. We’ve polluted and destroyed the milk and , as the Brits are finding out, we’ve poisoned the bees with insecticides; so there goes the honey. What we have left is bland white liquid and honeyless love.

Of course, all this is helped along by the devious politicians. This is exactly the way they want it because there are too many people around, 7 billionish at the last count, and rising.

The cure is piss poor education to keep us stupid, and chronically shocking health ideals to help some of us to die off, being so stupid that we can’t see the wood for the trees.

steamlocomotive

Next station: Extinction

We, as a race, are barreling along like a driverless steam locomotive heading directly for the last station on the line:

“Extinction! All out!” Cried the conductor.

We are all too busy being cool, wasting stuff and having fun, that we aren’t capable of noticing our arrival at the last station.

Make you Fink on Friday

We often ask ourselves, at least the those who think do, questions like, “Why are we here?” “What is our purpose?”

We come up with various answers, the most popular is to do God’s bidding, others say we are here to propagate and evolve.

I don’t believe in the first, but the second has a ring of truth, but then I don’t think that is the answer either.

If an earthworm asks the same questions, the answer is easier. “We are here to process compost into viable soil.”

worms

Earthworms

Consider this: Earthworms are more than just fish bait. They are the main contributors to enriching and improving soil for plants, animals and even humans. Earthworms create tunnels in the soil by burrowing, which aerates the soil to allow air, water and nutrients to reach deep within the soil. Earthworms eat the soil which has organic matter such as decaying vegetation or leaves. Plants cannot use this organic matter directly.  After organic matter is digested, the earthworm releases waste from their bodies called castings. Castings contain many nutrients that the plant can use. Some people even use earthworm castings as garden fertilizer.UPenn

Maybe our purpose is inline with that of the earthworm, in that we are here to process aspects of nature into more useful aspects.

But somewhere along the line we lost the plot. We found God who gave us the right to rape the planet, which we continue to do with ever increasing efficiency.

The Earth formed ~4.5 billion years ago along with the rest of the solar system from the disk of rock and gas left over after the formation of our star. Image: Science World

Now, the Earth has existed for billions of years, and more trillions before that as pre-planetary matter. The more or less million years that man, in his various forms, has existed is totally inconsequential when compared to spacial time

Man moved from being a hunter-gatherer to being a farmer, hence from being a nomad to a being of fixed abode in the space of 10,000+/- years. The rate at which we have developed has increased on an exponential curve. We have gone from cheese and beer 7,500 years ago to hamburgers and Coca Cola today, we have gone from being lean mean hunting machines to fat lazy creatures who rely on technology.

Was this in Mother Nature’s design?

Who knows?

But what of the planet before we were here?

The planet underwent cycles, ice ages, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and interglacial periods.

We were not here, so our influence was not an issue.

But now the planet is undergoing changes and we are here. We have a collective guilty conscience. We believe that we are responsible for global warming, greenhouse gases and climate change.

But I challenge you. The changes that are occurring are all a part of the natural cycle, our influence may have exacerbated the changes to a greater or lesser degree than we imagine.

The above are thoughts that have been coursing through my grey matter for some time, yesterday I read an interesting post that confirms that I am more than just a pretty face…

The Cause Of Extreme Weather Events

By Richard Mills

“Over the last few months we have been witness to many extreme weather events – heat waves, Europe suffering from a severe cold snap, the worst in twenty five years, extreme flooding in Australia, Brazil and China, to drought in the U.S. Many say the cause is global warming, and lay the blame squarely on greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity. Are we, and our activities at fault? What can we look forward to if/as the earth continues to warm?The Earth’s climate has been continuously changing throughout its history. From ice covering large amounts of the globe to interglacial periods where there was ice only at the poles – our climate and biosphere has been in flux for millennia.

Last Glacial Maximum:

This temporary reprieve from the ice we are now experiencing is called an interglacial period – the respite from the cold locker began 18,000 years ago as the earth started heating up and warming its way out of the Pleistocene Ice Age. Approximately every 100,000 years or so our climate warms up temporarily. These interglacial periods usually last somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 years before another ice age starts. Presently we’re at year 18,000 of the current warm spell.

Serbian astrophysicist Milutin Milankovitch is best known for developing one of the most significant theories relating to Earths motions and long term climate change. Milankovitch developed a mathematical theory of climate change based on the seasonal and latitudinal variations in the solar radiation received by the Earth from our Sun – it was the first truly plausible theory for how minor shifts of sunlight could make the entire planet’s temperature swing back and forth from cold to warm.

Milankovitch’s Theory states that as the Earth travels through space around the sun, cyclical variations in three elements of Earth/sun/geometry combine to produce variations in the amount of solar energy that reaches us. These three elements are:

* Variations in the Earth’s orbital eccentricity – the shape of the orbit around the sun, a 100,000 year cycle
* Changes in obliquity or tilt of the earth’s axis – changes in the angle that Earth’s axis makes with the plane of Earth’s orbit, a 41,000 year cycle
* Precession – the change in the direction of the Earth’s axis of rotation, a 19,000 to 23,000 year cycle

These orbital processes are thought to be the most significant drivers of ice ages and, when combined, are known as Milankovitch Cycles.

Other Climate Change Drivers:

* Changes occurring within the sun affects the intensity of sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface. These changes in intensity can cause either warming – stronger solar intensity – or cooling when solar intensity is weaker.
* Volcanoes often affect our climate by emitting aerosols and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Aerosols block sunlight and contribute to short term cooling, but do not stay in the atmosphere long enough to produce long term change. Carbon dioxide (CO2) has a warming effect. For about two-thirds of the last 400 million years, geologic evidence suggests CO2 levels and temperatures were considerably higher than present. Each year 186 billion tons of carbon from CO2 enters the earth’s atmosphere – six billion tons are from human activity, approximately 90 billion tons come from biologic activity in earth’s oceans and another 90 billion tons from such sources as volcanoes and decaying land plants

These climate change “drivers” often trigger additional changes or “feedbacks” within the climate system that can amplify or dampen the climate’s initial response to them:

* The heating or cooling of the Earth’s surface can cause changes in greenhouse gas concentrations – when global temperatures become warmer, CO2 is released from the oceans and when temperatures become cooler, CO2 enters the ocean and contributes to additional cooling. During at least the last 650,000 years, CO2 levels have tracked the glacial cycles – during warm interglacial periods, CO2 levels have been high and during cool glacial periods, CO2 levels have been low

* The heating or cooling of the Earth’s surface can cause changes in ocean currents. Ocean currents play a significant role in distributing heat around the Earth so changes in these currents can bring about significant changes in climate from region to region

In 1985 the Russian Vostok Antarctic drill team pulled up cores of ice that stretched through a complete glacial cycle. During the cold period of the cycle CO2 levels were much lower than during the warm periods before and after. When plotted on a chart the curves of CO2 levels and temperature tracked one another very closely – methane, an even more potent greenhouse gas, showed a similar rise and fall to that of CO2.

Temperature Anomaly: Small rises or falls in temperature – more, or less sunlight – seemed to cause a rise, or fall, in gas levels. Changing atmospheric CO2 and methane levels physically linked the Northern and Southern hemispheres, warming or cooling the planet as a whole. In the 1980s the consensus was that Milankovitch’s Cycles would bring a steady cooling over the next few thousand years. As studies of past ice ages continued and climate models were improved worries about a near term re-entry into the cold locker died away – the models now said the next ice age would not come within the next ten thousand years.

Effect: It’s obvious that the orbital changes, as explained by Milankovitch’s Theory, initiate a powerful feedback loop. The close of a glacial era comes when a shift in sunlight causes a slight rise in temperature – this raises gas levels over the next few hundred years and the resultant greenhouse effect drives the planet’s temperature higher, which drives a further rise in the gas and water vapor levels and so on. The earth will continue to warm, polar ice caps will melt, so will the Greenland ice sheet and most glaciers. More sunlight will be absorbed by the Earth’s oceans, causing increased evaporation. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas and amplifies twofold the effects of other greenhouse gases. With Earth’s ice gone there will be significantly less sunlight reflected back into space, vast expanses of Arctic tundra will thaw releasing unbelievable amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more potent then CO2.New weather patterns next century: By the end of this century scientists expect our weather to have changed substantially. Because of increased average global temperatures the tropical rain belt will have widened considerably and the subtropical dry zones will have pushed pole-ward, crawling deep into regions such as the American Southwest and southern Australia, which will be increasingly susceptible to prolonged and intense droughts. The polar jet stream has already been altered, wide swinging north-south deviations (meanders) have become the norm – deviating far from its normal path and meandering north into Canada, the jet stream brings warm air while dipping far south over Europe, the polar jet stream brings record cold and snow. Ocean currents will be altered, further impacting our climate, and sea levels will rise. Freshwater aquifers will suffer from saltwater intrusion, once habitable zones will become uninhabitable. As the meanders meander extreme weather follows.

Conclusion: According to science the world is going to continue to get warmer, cyclical variations in three elements of earth/sun/geometry combined to produce more sunlight reaching the earth. Increased sunlight caused a slight rise in temperature – greenhouse gas levels rose and the resultant greenhouse effect is driving the planet’s temperature higher, which drives a further rise in gas levels and so on.A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that climate change will amplify extreme heat, heavy precipitation, and the highest wind speeds of tropical storms. Extreme weather events are going to happen with increasing frequency, the climate for the area you live in is going to change, regardless of what you/we do. We are all watching and experiencing the events and changes in real time.

We should be talking, we should be discussing how best to prepare ourselves, we should not be wasting resources fighting a battle – greenhouse gas reduction – we can’t win. Preparation for the changes we know are coming should be on all our radar screens. Is preparation on your radar screen? If not, maybe they should be.”

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Now, if you got this far, congratulations on your perseverance if you did; you’ll see that my hypothesis is not that far from reality.
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The planet, and thereby us, are in the latter part of an interglacial period. It is not surprising, therefore, that we should experience/or begin to experience some changes as we head into the next glacial period, or ice age.
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In this respect, we are running around the farmyard like the proverbial chicken sans head trying to plug up the holes we have created. Whereas, we should be concentrating on how were are going to adapt to the new era.
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This is inadequate for survival

This is inadequate for survival

Think about this…

Every dwelling, house, apartment building, skyscraper on this planet is totally inadequate for us to survive an ice age and the coming climatic changes.

So sorry, but that includes your place.

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The last ice age saw the extinction of the woolly mammoth, you know, the ones we are finding buried in the permafrost of Siberia today.
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Will some future ‘human’ species be finding us under the permafrost in a few thousand years?
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Have we got our priorities in the right order?
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It seems as though it doesn’t matter one iota if you are a global warming or global warming hoax pundit. Man cannot see further than the next dollar!
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Are we doomed to become known as the intelligent species who couldn’t save themselves?

Change the World Wednesday – 28th Nov

I have to do it!

I have to do it to remain sane.

I have to write a CTWW post.

Oh, yum, yum, yum…

Wednesdays just aren’t Wednesday without one. I tried to give them up last week, but it made the week seem so empty, it was like trying to give up chocolate.

I know that Small Footprints needs a break, that she devotes a lot of time to CTWW and has a household to run and a 3D life to lead, whereas some, like me, live in a 2D world and housework involves doing the dishes and my washing once a week. The world for a hermit is vastly different to real people, so simple and undemanding.

There is no challenge as such, but rather a thought. A wander, if you like, into the far far distant future…

The Age We Made

Gaia Vince concludes her journey through the geological age humans have launched. After climate change and mass extinction, she now explores moves how the world’s cities and manufactured artefacts (from mobile phones to plastic bottles) might become ‘fossilised’ and incorporated into the geological record. Some are bound to survive in crushed form for the rest of the Earth’s existence. Any distant-future geologist would recognise them as strange features unique in the planet’s 4 billion year rock record: chaotic rock layers preserving urban rubble and underground tunnels – mudstones unnaturally rich in zinc, cadmium and mercury – and the occasional crushed mobile phone or plastic bottle transformed from polymer to delicate coal. These rocks and artificial ‘fossils’ will be evidence of a planetary shift into the new time period, which today’s geologists call the Anthropocene.

Click to listen to the BBC Discovery broadcast

So, as we have epochs of the past like the Jurassic and Triassic, those in the distant future will have the Anthropocene, us.

We are doomed to become the ‘past’ and studied much in the same way as we study our past… and so it will go on.

But a crucial question will be, if these intelligent beings from the past (us) could build and create such a world, why couldn’t they have prevented their own extinction?

Good question… next, that one is too hard to answer.

You can also listen to other episodes by visiting the BBC link.

Nature Ramble

This week we are looking at ‘ugly’.

Not so much ugly as unbecoming creatures, but creatures that never-the-less are endangered.

Are these animals too ‘ugly’ to be saved?

Clockwise from top left: Sunda pangolin, Chinese giant salamander, Mallorcan midwife toad, long-beaked echidna and Ganges river dolphin

People are used to being asked to help save photogenic pandas, but are there animals whose strange appearance hinders conservation?

Creatures that achieve world fame for being under threat – the panda, the mountain gorilla, the tiger – tend to be conventionally aesthetically pleasing, even cute.

But the scientists who study the planet’s rarest beasts say that many of the most precious and threatened creatures have physical characteristics that, although perhaps not adorable in the most orthodox sense, make them truly unique.

A project run by the Zoological Society for London (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) is trying to raise awareness of these less appreciated creatures.

“I love all the species on the Edge list,” says Carly Waterman, director of Edge.

“But I think some do need a little extra help to get them a place in hearts of the general public.”

Here are a few of the less doe-eyed and fluffy and more spiky, scaly, big-nosed and slimy animals that might be conservation icons.

Click on the BBC icon and you can read facts about each of these strange creatures.

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Make you Fink on Friday

Let them die out

Extinction!

We hear this word all the time; it has become a by-word.

Everything is becoming extinct, even us, because of us.

But daily we hear of rhinos, black, white, Javan, of tigers and elephants, all under more immediate threat than us.

However, there is another group of animals that are being consigned to extinction, and nobody is saying “Boo!” In fact decisions have been made to let them die out.

Man is playing God again!

100 most endangered species: priceless or worthless?

Scientists working for the IUCN have identified 100 species they fear will be allowed to die out as they have no obvious benefits for humans. Published on Tuesday at the World Conservation Congress in South Korea, the list was compiled by 8,000 scientists, and is the first of its kind

Rio Pescado stubfoot toad, Atelopus balios Population size: Unknown Range: Azuay, Cañar and Guyas provinces, south-western Ecuador Threats: Chytridiomycosis and habitat destruction due to logging and agricultural expansion Action required: Protection of last remaining habitat – Photograph: Eduardo Toral-Contreras/ZSL/IUCN

See and read about another 28 species

Opinion:

Sloths, bats, chameleons, iguanas; and not only animals, plants too like the wild yam of South Africa are amongst the most endangered species.

Apparently, if they have no obvious value, man is not interested in saving them.

My thinking is that any animal or plant that is in danger of extinction because of man’s activities like destruction of habitats, the introduction of alien predators,  or over-harvesting, then efforts should be made to save them.

To say that one species should be saved, but another is not, is not man’s decision to make. We have interrupted the balance and we should redress the imbalance. It is our responsibility to do so.

I can understand not taking action where the inevitable demise is naturally generated, that is Mother Nature at work, in her infinite wisdom.

I am saddened beyond comprehension, actually, appalled would be a better word, to think that man has stooped this low.

Grunge Rock… Green???

Navicula to campaign for orangutan, tropical rainforest in Canada

Navicula – Grunge Rock band from Indonesia

The orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), one of Indonesia’s most endangered species, deserves and requires attention from all parties in the country as they are facing a variety of threats that could lead to their extinction.

Navicula is one of the most concerned groups of young musicians in the country. The grunge rock band is actively launching campaigns to protect and preserve the rare animal through their musical endeavors.

“The orangutan’s habitat in Sumatra and Kalimantan has been gradually destroyed by the expansion of palm oil plantations,” the band’s guitarist, Gede Robi Supriyanto, said.

The massive development of palm oil plantations has also degraded tropical rainforests on both islands.

“Forest destruction is the most crucial environmental issue we are now facing,” he said.

To launch their campaign internationally, the band will perform a song entitled “Orangutan” at the international music festival Envol et Macadam, one of the most prominent annual alternative rock, punk, grunge and metal music festivals in the world, in Quebec, Canada, on Sept. 7 and 8.

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Warning: Some of the images in this video clip are a little disturbing.

Now grunge rock is not entirely my ‘thing.’ In fact, it is about as far removed from being my ‘thing’ as is possible.

But the band is to be applauded for its conscious awareness on this issue.

Good luck at the music festival!

Good luck di musik festival yang!

Nature Ramble

Usually the news is bad, especially for those facing extinction. But, sometimes there is a ray of light that illuminates the future.

This weeks Nature Ramble is about one of those faint rays of hope.

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With a face that only a mother could love…

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Endangered Sumatran rhinoceros born in captivity

Ratu’s pregnancy lasted about 16 months

A Sumatran rhinoceros – one of the world’s most endangered species – has given birth at a sanctuary in Indonesia.

Conservationists at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park said the mother, Ratu, and her male calf were both “very well”.

It is only the fourth recorded case of a Sumatran rhino being born in captivity in a century.

There are thought to be fewer than 200 alive in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Their numbers have dropped by 50% over the past 20 years, largely due to poaching and loss of habitat.

‘Big present’

A spokesman for Indonesia’s forest ministry, Masyhud, told the AFP news agency that Ratu’s labour had gone “smoothly and naturally”.

“It’s really a big present for the Sumatran rhino breeding efforts as we know that this is a very rare species which have some difficulties in their reproduction,” he added.

“This is the first birth of a Sumatran rhino at a sanctuary in Indonesia.”

It was Ratu’s third pregnancy. The previous two ended in miscarriages.

The father of the baby rhino, Andalas, was born at Cincinnati Zoo in the US in 2001 – the first Sumatran rhino to be delivered in captivity in 112 years.

Source: BBC News Read more

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