Chinese ship runs into protected UNESCO reef in Philippines — while transporting 11 tons of illegal Pangolin meat
A Chinese vessel that ran into a protected coral reef in the southwestern Philippines held evidence of even more environmental destruction inside: more than 22,000 pounds of meat from a protected species, the pangolin or scaly anteater.
The steel-hulled vessel hit an atoll on April 8 at the Tubbataha National Marine Park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site on Palawan island.
Coast guard spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo said Monday that 400 boxes, each containing 25 to 30 kilograms of frozen pangolins, were discovered during a second inspection of the boat Saturday.
The World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines said the Chinese vessel F/N Min Long Yu could have been carrying up to 2,000 of the toothless, insect-eating animals rolled up in the boxes, with their scales already removed.
The boat’s 12 Chinese crewmen are being detained on charges of poaching and attempted bribery, said Adelina Villena, the marine park’s lawyer. She said more charges are being prepared against them, including damaging the corals and violating the country’s wildlife law for being found in possession of the pangolin meat.
Here’s a NatGeo video of the endangered pangolin.
White-nose syndrome has invaded Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge, home to more than 1 million endangered gray bats and other vulnerable species.
Family: Vespertilionidae (Bats)
Habitat: Rainforests inPapua New Guinea
Fun Fact: This tube-nosed bat species was discovered last year and was named after its resemblance to the “Star Wars” character.
-By Sara Tan
Conservationists are hoping that fertilized eggs of the wild cat can be implanted into a surrogate mother of a related species.
Their intelligence. Elephants understand that ivory is the reason they’re being killed. There are very, very few big bulls with big ivory left in the world, and the two or three still in Tsavo have become nocturnal. I’ve seen a bull with big tusks by the road turn his back, trying to hide the ivory.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about elephants?
Daphne Sheldrick, interview in TIME Magazine, June 4, 2012
This makes me so sad.
Just like humans are either left or right handed, elephants have a dominant tusk that’s usually shorter than the other from being worn away. Now, elephants are purposefully grinding their tusks against trees and rocks to wear them out and shorten them. Many aren’t being born with long tusks or even tusks at all because those who survive maintain the genes that make their tusks virtually nonexistent. So through evolution and poaching, elephants are slowly losing their tusks all together.
Thousands of gallons of pollution recovered from oil & gas spill in Colorado
March 23, 2013
Cleanup continues at the site of an underground spill of thousands of gallons of pollution related to the oil and gas industry in the heart of Colorado’s fracking country.
The underground leak is located near the town of Parachute and has threatened to contaminate Parachute Creek, which flows into the Colorado River. State officials continue to report that buffers have kept the creek safe, so far.
Colorado regulators reported that nearly 6,000 gallons of “hydrocarbons” had been recovered from the site. At least 102,564 gallons of contaminated water have been recovered, as well.
The spill site is near a natural gas plant operated by Williams Energy, and another company, WPX Energy, operates underground oil and gas pipelines in the area. Both companies are working to contain the spill but neither company has taken responsibility, publicly revealed the source of the pollution or identified the type of hydrocarbons contaminating the area.
Spokespeople for Williams did not respond to several inquiries from Truthout.
Todd Hartman, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, said that work had begun on Wednesday to excavate a large pipe in the spill area, where workers are “proceeding with care and deliberation.”
Earlier this week, the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission issued notices of “alleged violation” to Williams and WPX. The commission ordered both companies to continue working to contain the spill and submit a cleanup plan to regulators.
Williams Energy workers first identified the spill on March 8, but the company did not alert the nearby town of Parachute until five days later, which frustrated local officials who visited the site this week. It’s unclear how long the underground plume of pollution was growing before Williams discovered the contamination in an area adjacent to its gas plant.
A local cattleman told The Denver Post that such spills are common in the area and often remain secret, and state records show that the oil and gas industry is responsible for hundreds of spills each year, the newspaper reports.
Advancements in drilling technology, such as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” have facilitated an oil and gas rush in Colorado and several other states. The environmental group Earthjustice reports that at least eight fracking-related accidents, mostly involving contaminated wells, have occurred across the state.
In a statement, the Colorado Wildlife Federation said the spill might have been detected earlier with better monitoring.
“This is one more strong argument for keeping oil and gas wells and related infrastructure a safe distance from waterways,” said Suzanne O’Neill, the organization’s executive director. “Regulators pledged to form a stakeholders’ group to develop standards for riparian setbacks a while ago. We’re still waiting.”
In 2008, Colorado regulators failed to include protections and buffer zones for waterways as they overhauled regulations for the oil and gas industry, the group noted.
Indian Man Single-Handedly Plants Entire 1,360 Acre Forest!
Read his AMAZING story:
A little over 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav “Molai” Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India’s Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site where he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acre of jungle that Payeng planted single-handedly.
It all started way back in 1979 when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng , only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.
“The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested,” says Payeng, now 47.
While it’s taken years for Payeng’s remarkable dedication to planting to receive some well-deserved recognition internationally, it didn’t take long for wildlife in the region to benefit from the manufactured forest. Demonstrating a keen understanding of ecological balance, Payeng even transplanted ants to his burgeoning ecosystem to bolster its natural harmony. Soon the shadeless sandbar was transformed into a self-functioning environment where a menagerie of creatures could dwell. The forest, called the Molai woods, now serves as a safe haven for numerous birds, deers, rhinos, tigers, and elephants — species increasingly at risk from habitat loss elsewhere.
Despite the conspicuousness of Payeng’s project, Forestry officials in the region first learned of this new forest in 2008 — and since then they’ve come to recognize his efforts as truly remarkable, but perhaps not enough.
“We’re amazed at Payeng,” says Assistant Conservator of Forests, Gunin Saikia. “He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero.”
I just don’t get why we laud celebrities tirelessly for simply driving Priuses , when people like this exist worldwide and we barely hear about their efforts.
This is amazing.
Just one day after the deadly white-nose syndrome was confirmed in South Carolina, authorities report outbreaks at two bat caves in North Georgia.
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