Search Results for Tag: forests
Facebook of the forests
Put up a camera. Anywhere. You will be surprised by just how badly everyone wants to be on telly whenever they see a lens pointed at them. It’s why many kids think web cams are more important in a computer than a CPU, and also a reason why Big Brother revolutionized trash TV and Facebook made Mark Zuckerberg a Billionaire.
The urge to exhibit one’s private persona seems so deeply ingrained in the human psyche, that you begin to wonder if it’s an evolutionary trait also present in other species. And indeed it is. Forest animals love the camera. The TEAM network has put up camera traps in forests across the globe to snap photos of animal wild life. The experts of TEAM (or, more accurately and less sexy “Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring”) are now celebrating the 1 millionth photo taken.
TEAM makes the photos available to researchers and the public as “real-time” data to help track how biodiversity evolves. And, of course, also to show how wild life is impacted by changes in their environment – be it deforestation or warming temperatures. The primates shown below are an example of the quite entertaining footage collected by the scientists:
The TEAM network still has some way to go: With a million plus photos they are way behind Facebook – that other network providing real time data on a not so different type of primate: you and me.
DateFebruary 13, 2013
A comprehensive inventory of Tanzania’s forests
Nearly 20% of green house gas emissions worldwide are caused by deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. Estimating and reducing these emissions is therefore one of the key goals for the international community as the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development in June draws closer. One country attempting to do just that is Tanzania. The country is currently in the process of drawing up a comprehensive inventory of its forests as you can see in the video above by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The inventory is meant to help the East African country to better manage its natural resources. Today more than a third of Tanzania is forested, but almost 1% of that forest is being lost annually. The inventory will measure how much carbon is stored within Tanzania’s forests and will help the country to understand the role it can play in mitigating climate change.
DateMay 18, 2012
Cuc Phoung National Park – wildlife in danger
I go to national parks to see beautiful nature, endemic species and the last paradises on earth. After being in some, I know that I have to be lucky to see any animals. They are shy and wild – and won’t just jump in front of my camera. Still, I always hope they will. National parks are established to protect nature. But in Vietnam, that goal has not been reached and species are still more a product than something that has to be protected.
Some days ago I went to the Cuc Phoung National Park in Northern Vietnam. It is its oldest Nationalpark and was established in 1962. Walking though the deep rainforest it is said that you can see more than 200 different kinds of trees and several mamals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. And there are also caves of prehistoric humans you can visit. But the park is very quiet. From time to time I heard bird tweeting-but that’s all.
The reason is poaching – a big problem in Cuc Phuong. “Hunters are especially interested in chasing monkeys and turtles. And then they sell them to China,“ Ling, our tourguide, tells us. As the park is located in the middle of four different provinces, which means four different department are responsible, it is difficult to protect the area. To enhance awareness of endangered species and nature, the park has established conservation centers for primates and turtles. Let’s hope they will be successful.
DateDecember 22, 2011
Barbie the Destroyer?
Barbie might seem like a harmless toy to many, but according to Greenpeace, she’s one of the driving forces behind the destruction of Indonesia’s rich forest life and unique natural habitats. The environmental organization is blasting Mattel, the makers of Barbie, for packaging Ken and Barbie dolls in boxes made by a company called Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). Greenpeace says APP is recklessly destroying Indonesia’s forests just so it can continue pumping out packaging products, and it’s putting endangered species like the Sumatran tiger at risk, too. APP has denied those accusations.
Bustar Maitar from Greenpeace Indonesia said “Mattel, which makes Barbie, must stop wrapping the world’s most famous toy in rainforest destruction.”
BTW, according to the Greenpeace Campaign, Ken is not amused:
What do you think? Do companies like Mattel have a responsibility to choose green-friendly producers for their own toys?
DateJune 8, 2011
Madagascar’s New Species
For scientists looking to discover new species, Madagascar is the treasure trove: according to a new World Wildlife Fund study, scientists have found more than 600 new types of plant and animal life in the last decade alone! Why is Madagascar such a breeding ground for diverse creatures? The island is pretty isolated, and it’s stayed that way for centuries. Plus, the landscape is varied: there’s mountains, rainforest, and everything in between.
Researchers have discovered everything from the 10 cm-long Berthe’s mouse lemur to the “Glam Rock” chameleon in the picture above. National Geographic has some great shots of the new species, from tiny and furry to scaly and thorny.
But the report is also a reminder that some of these very special – and unique – creatures are under threat due to climate change and the practice of clearing forests in Madagascar for wood and other natural resources.
The WWF says the only way to protect all those species is for the locals themselves to get involved.
DateJune 7, 2011