TVC News Nigeria Interview: Paolo Bray – Nigeria is highest exporter of Pangolin scales

person

Nigeria is highest exporter of Pangolin scales – Cites
#Pangolin #Scales


Stop COVID-19 and prevent new pandemics by closing down wet markets selling illegally traded species

Every signature counts! http://chng.it/4gVSPRM2Vy

Help Friend of the Earth and Friend of the Sea to request governments, companies and populations involved in animal trade to close down wildlife wet markets selling illegaly traded endangered species.

Wet markets and slaughtered wildlife, such as pangolins and bats, are the probable origin of COVID-19 and other recent pandemics.

Make sure to support the mission and make a change by signing our free petition. Every signature counts! http://chng.it/4gVSPRM2Vy

Pangolins are endangered also because of the illegal trade of their scales. A pangolin is killed on average every 5 minutes by poachers. To stop this nonsense, please also sign our petition to save the pangolins. Sign here: http://chng.it/bPLLgW8G2G

Thank you for Your time.

Friend of the Earth – www.friendoftheearth.org
Friend of the Sea – www.friendofthesea.org

This content was originally published here.

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Red tide concentrations appear to be declining off south Lee, Collier

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Red tide appears to be declining off south Lee, Collier counties


Chad Gillis


Fort Myers News-Press
Published 5:11 PM EST Nov 29, 2019

A red tide bloom that’s lingered along the coast for several weeks may be waning as counts in south Lee and parts of Collier County have improved in the past week. 

Reports from the Sanibel area south to Marco Island show that the outbreak appears to be subsiding, which would be a welcome reprieve from an area that’s seen red tide in all but seven months out of the last two-plus years. 

“Counts appear to still be elevated, but patchy, varying from beach to beach,” said Rhonda Watkins, an environmental specialist with Collier County. “However, it appears on the most recent satellite imagery that the entire bloom has dissipated, so fingers crossed, that trend continues.”

Fish kills and breathing irritation can start once levels reach 10,000 cells per liter, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the state agency that monitors red tide. 

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FWC’s Friday report was not available at press time. 

“We had quite a few dead fish at our north Naples beaches and some on Marco (Monday),” Watkins said. “We are getting respiratory irritation reports whenever the wind is blowing onshore.”

Levels this year have upwards of 15 million cells per liter and higher, according to samples taken by local water quality scientists. 

The bloom is strong enough to show up on satellite imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. 

Recent satellite images have shown clearer patches of water along the Southwest Florida coast, although there are areas where red tide levels are still high. 

Red tide is caused by the organism Karenia brevis and is naturally occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, although many water quality scientists say it can be fed by human-sourced nutrients when the blooms get close to shore. 

Relatively small fish kills have been reported in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties for several weeks.  

Rick Bartleson, a chemist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, said samples he’s taken this week have improved and that some waters off Sanibel are actually clear and blue. 

“It looks like the big patch that’s been hanging off the south end of the Sanibel for weeks is about gone, and from our samples since Monday we haven’t seen any high levels,” Bartleson said. 

This outbreak is more of a “normal” bloom than the one that devastated the region between October 2017 and earlier this year. 

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That bloom killed millions of pounds of marine life and shut down the local tourism, real estate and recreational fishing industries. 

“This year continues to be a fairly normal year when you look at the cell numbers and where we’re seeing the high concentrations,” said Mike Parsons, Florida Gulf Coast University professor and Blue-Green Algae Task Force member. “They’re at about the same frequency we usually see.” 

Water quality scientists at the University of Miami say red tide blooms are more frequent, stronger and longer in duration than they were before modern development, farming and urbanization of coastal areas. 

Onshore winds push red tide blooms toward the coast, and offshore winds push any outbreak further into the Gulf of Mexico. 

Winds have been blowing out of the east, or offshore, in recent days, and that trend is expected to continue much of this week, according to the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

The bloom seems to have started south of the Naples area in late summer/early fall and is now centered around Lee waters. 

Strong counts of 1 million cells per liter and higher have been recorded in the northern reaches of Pine Island Sound for several weeks. 

“The (daily incoming) tide will be moving the water in, and we don’t necessarily have the outflow because we don’t have a lot of freshwater discharge (from the Peace River and its watershed),” Parsons said. “So once it gets into Pine Island Sound the wind can’t push it around.”

The University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science predicts that the bloom will drift southwest and away from the coast over the next three days. 

Connect with this reporter: @ChadGillisNP on Twitter. 

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I wanted to make our problems known, says FUNAAB student expelled over Facebook post – TheCable Lifestyle

Michael Ifemosu, a student of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), expelled over his critical Facebook post made about the institution, says he was only trying to bring the school’s attention to the students’ plight.

Ifemosu, who is the convener for the Youth In Good Governance Initiative (YIGGI) and an Ogun state secretary for African Action Congress (AAC), recently made the headlines after he received a letter of expulsion for criticizing the university authorities in an open letter addressed to the VC.

Speaking with TheCable Lifestyle on Monday, the student activist described the school’s move as a “collective slap on the face of Nigerian students” and an “infringement” of his rights.

He stated that he only wrote the piece to bring the authority’s attention to the “lingering issues affecting” the students — not to fight the powers that be, “as the school interpreted it.”

According to him, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and the Student Union Government (SUG) in FUNAAB, have moved to dialogue with Felix Salako, the vice-chancellor of the institution, but there are fears that it might not yield the desired outcome.

“The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in line with the Student Union Government (SUG) of my school told me they would meet with the vice-chancellor today to solve the situation. But I’m not sure the result would be positive. It is the aftermath of the meeting that would determine the next line of action,” Ifemosu said.

“The picture they’re painting now is that I’m trying to fight the university authorities. I was only trying to bring their attention to what is happening. On the basis of all that I’ve done so far, I’m not convinced I should be expelled because I held an opinion on something that personally affected me and the rest of the students. I’m not happy.”

While the struggle to reinstate me is ongoing, I want to take up the internship training by Leventis Foundation (Nigeria) One-Year Training Programme 2019 / 2020 in Modern and Sustainable Agriculture (Fully Funded). #ReinstateIfemosu

— Ifemosu Michael Adewale®️ (@ifemosumichael) November 3, 2019

Bola Adekola, the FUNAAB registrar, had, on Friday, confirmed Ifemosu’s expulsion after the 200 level student of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management had been summoned to “defend himself” in front of the institution’s disciplinary committee.

“You would recall that in July 2019, you posted an open letter on the Internet to the vice-chancellor of the school in which you raised allegations and misrepresentation of fact about the university,” the letter read.

“At the Student Disciplinary Committee meeting held on August 29, 2019, you were invited for the purpose of giving you fair hearing on the allegation of an act perpetrated through the Internet, that is inimical to the integrity and corporate image of the university.

“Senate, at its 217th Statutory Meeting held on Thursday, October 17, 2019, considered the report of the Student Disciplinary Committee on the allegation and thus decided that you have been found culpable of insubordination to university officials, defamation of character and act perpetrated through the Internet.

“That is inimical to the integrity and corporate image of the university based on the extant rules and regulations on penalties for various offenses by students of the university. Consequent upon the decision of Senate, you’re hereby expelled from the university as provided for the offenses committed by you.”

It is Saddening and Weakening!

This is my Reward for calling the attention of the Vice Chancellor on lingering challenges rocking Funaab ecosystem! This is

We play Politics with everything in this country 💔😭😭 https://t.co/6SY7fANBY1

— Ifemosu Michael Adewale®️ (@ifemosumichael) November 2, 2019

Read the Facebook post that prompted the expulsion below:

It’s no more news that Funaabites queue, fight, and struggle to attend classes or leave the school premises. However, the vice-chancellor and the university management team are seen with one or two official car(s). This makes transportation easier for them while students languish in an unending tragedy,” he wrote.

“The Funaab Bureau of Transport (FUNAABOT) has performed below expectations despite millions of naira allotted and allocated to the department for the purchase and renovation of MANCOTS but all went down the drain. Those monies remain carpeted till this moment.

“Again! I read in the News that the Vice-Chancellor of Funaab wrote to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) that they are free to arrest students found wanting and guilty of cybercrimes.

“I would have said it was a good move not until I became a victim and also received report of the arrest and detention of innocent students who were unjustly harassed, extorted and brutalized. This is what you get when people who, if managing poultry, would make sure eggs are stolen, are given a University to manage.

“It is rather unfortunate that we have accepted the sad reality that relegates our ‘scholars’ to chasers of political appointments — people who are ready to lick butts to be made INEC returning officers, political aides, VCs, directors, deans, and even Head of Departments.”

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THE DEATH OF ‘ALAGBA’

Government could do more to protect wildlife

The death recently of a famous tortoise, named ‘Alagba’, at the palace of the traditional ruler in Ogbomosho, Osun State, has elicited reactions from across the world. Said to have outlived several kings in the town, and very popular as a pet, it is no surprise that many feel a sense of loss.

However, the death of ‘Alagba’ has raised concerns among conservationists who believe these reptiles are almost extinct in the wild in Nigeria due to the activities of traditional institutions, particularly monarchs, native doctors, sorcerers and, of course, rich people who keep tortoise illegally as pets.

Ordinarily, the tortoise is highly vulnerable, particularly because it cannot take flight from danger, so people simply pick them from forest floors. While there are several species in Nigeria, the ‘Alagba’ specie is ‘centrochelys sulcata’. It is commonly called Desert Spurred Tortoise, according to Edem A. Eniang, Professor of Wildlife Resources Management, Herpetology and Biodiversity Conservation Department of Forestry and Natural Environmental Management, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. This specie of tortoise used to exist in Nigeria, and was originally found around Borno, Yobe, Katsina and Kano States. But the few of them in the country today are in captivity and because these species are almost locally extinct in Nigeria, what is seen in most places is trafficked into the country from Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso, and other West African countries.

Sadly, habitat destruction and fragmentation are among the biggest threats to their survival. Moreover, there is also heavy internal market within Nigeria that is fed by hunters who forage for tortoises in the thick forests of the southern parts of the country. This internal trade is also fuelled by an understanding that the tortoise has become more or less a status symbol collector’s item for the monarchs and the rich in the country. This is completely bizarre and puts Nigeria in a negative light in the comity of nations. Also, people in some communities eat the flesh as a delicacy. Interestingly, the exact number of tortoises in existence, in the wild or in captivity, in Nigeria is unknown because no one has done such research.

The major problems of tortoise conservation in Nigeria include habitat degradation (through uncontrolled logging, agricultural projects, industrial plantations, highway and urban development, and exploitation for fuelwood), over-hunting and poaching. Steps taken so far to protect wildlife include the creation of one National Park and 18 Game Reserves, enactment of wildlife laws, signing of international treaties, and manpower development. These measures have however failed to produce the desired effect owing largely to public apathy, low level of funding, inadequate game laws and weak enforcement of existing legal provisions. Several laws protect the tortoise, like other wildlife species, in Nigeria and these are: The Endangered Species’ Act; Convention on Biological Diversity; NESREA Act; National Park Service Act; Convention on migratory species; several states environmental protection laws and edicts.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is the strongest global law protecting endangered animals, tortoises inclusive. All protect different endangered tortoises in Nigeria. The federal government should intervene more positively in favour of conservation by creating more national parks and assume joint responsibility with the states government for formulating wildlife laws. Also, communities where tortoise exists must play a prominent role in their conservation.

Meanwhile, there is a controversy around the exact age of ‘Alagba’ which was believed to have lived 344 years before its death. This claim can be fact-checked by scientists if the carcass is well-embalmed. Conservationists say the carapace (shell) can help indicate the age of the tortoise by the number of concentric rings, much like the cross-section of a tree. If it is not too late, scientists should be brought in to confirm the real age of the late ‘Alagba’.

The post THE DEATH OF ‘ALAGBA’ appeared first on THISDAYLIVE.

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The climate crisis explained in 10 charts

From the rise and rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to possible solutions

Alps

The problem rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere

The level of CO2 has been rising since the industrial revolution and is now at its highest for about 4 million years. The rate of the rise is even more striking the fastest for 66m years with scientists saying we are in uncharted territory.

c02

The causes fossil fuel burning

Billions of tonnes of CO2 are sent into the atmosphere every year from coal, oil and gas burning. There is no sign of these emissions starting to fall rapidly, as is needed.

carbon

The causes forest destruction

The felling of forests for timber, cattle, soy and palm oil is a big contributor to carbon emissions. It is also a major cause of the annihilation of wildlife on Earth.

deforestation

The consequences global temperature rise

The planets average temperature started to climb steadily two centuries ago, but has rocketed since the second world war as consumption and population has risen. Global heating means there is more energy in the atmosphere, making extreme weather events more frequent and more intense.

temp

The consequences ice melting in Greenland

Greenland has lost almost 4 trillion tonnes of ice since 2002. Mountain ranges from the Himalayas to the Andes to the Alps are also losing ice rapidly as glaciers shrink. A third of the Himalayan and Hindu Kush ice is already doomed.

greenland

The consequences rising sea levels

Sea levels are inexorably rising as ice on land melts and hotter oceans expand. Sea levels are slow to respond to global heating, so even if the temperature rise is restricted to 2C, one in five people in the world will eventually see their cities submerged, from New York to London to Shanghai.

sea levels

The consequences shrinking Arctic sea ice

As heating melts the sea ice, the darker water revealed absorbs more of the suns heat, causing more heating one example of the vicious circles in the climate system. Scientists think the changes in the Arctic may be responsible for worsened heatwaves and floods in Eurasia and North America.

arctic

The upside (I) wind and solar energy is soaring

Huge cost drops have seen renewable energy become the cheapest energy in many places and the rollout is projected to continue. Analysts also expect coal use to fall. But much government action is still required to reach the scale needed, and solve difficult problems such as aviation and farming.

wind and solar

The upside (II) electric vehicles

The global fleet of electric cars and vans is still small compared with those running on fossil fuels. But sales are growing very fast. Electric cars are cheaper to run, suggesting they will become mainstream.

electric cars

The upside (III) battery costs

Renewable energy is intermittent, depending on when the sun shines or wind blows. So storage is vital and the cost of batteries is plummeting. But other technologies, such as generating hydrogen, will also be needed.

battery costs
  • This article was amended on 20 September 2019 to correct an error in the figure given for the rate of Greenlands ice loss. The correct amount is 4 trillion tonnes of ice lost since 2002.

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Eggs extracted from the last 2 northern white rhinos may save the species

Eggs extracted from the last 2 northern white rhinos may save the species - CNN

(CNN)Only beeps from medical monitoring equipment broke the silence as veterinarians harvested eggs from the last two northern white rhinos on the planet.

The team successfully gathered the eggs Thursday from the two female rhinos, who live at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The outcome was made possible by years of research, testing and practicing the procedure.
“Both the technique and the equipment had to be developed entirely from scratch,” Professor Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany said in a press release. “We were able to harvest a total of 10 oocytes – five from Najin and five from Fatu – showing that both females can still provide eggs and thus help to save these magnificent creatures.”
    news
    The egg extraction is just the one part of a long journey to keep the northern white rhino from becoming extinct.
    Najin and Fatu, the two rhinos, are not able to carry a pregnancy themselves. Researchers will attempt to artificially inseminate their eggs with frozen sperm from a northern white rhino. If researchers can produce embryos, they would be transferred to a female southern white rhino who would act as a surrogate.

    ‘A tangible reality’

    The last male of the species, named Sudan, died of natural causes in March 2018. Another male, Suni, died in 2014. Sperm from both males was cryogenically frozen with the hope that someday the technology would advance enough to use it in reproduction.
    “Yesterday’s operation means that producing a northern white rhino embryo in vitro — which has never been done before — is a tangible reality for the first time,” Cesare Galli from Avantea, an Italian laboratory that specializes in animal reproduction, said in a press release.
    The harvested eggs were airlifted from Kenya to Italy, where the Avantea laboratory will fertilize the eggs in vitro with the sperm from the decreased males.
    World
    A lot of humans from across the world were involved. It was a team effort by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany, Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic, Avantea laboratory in Italy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and the Kenya Wildlife Service.
    Having another species carry the embryos of the near-extinct species is something researchers have been exploring for awhile.
    While the northern and southern white rhinos are distinct subspecies, they are closer than previously thought, according to a study published last year in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
    In July, a southern white rhino gave birth to a baby boy at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. It was the first artificial insemination birth of the species in North America, the zoo said.
    Eggs extracted from the last 2 northern white rhinos may save the species - CNN
    The birth of the baby rhino was especially important because it meant the artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer worked. Once the whole process has been perfected in southern white rhinos, it could be used in other endangered species, the zoo said.
      “On the one hand Ol Pejeta is saddened that we are now down to the last two northern white rhinos on the planet, a testament to the profligate way the human race continues to interact with the natural world around us,” Richard Vigne, managing director of Ol Pejeta, said in a press release.
      “However we are also immensely proud to be part of the groundbreaking work which is now being deployed to rescue this species,” he said. “We hope it signals the start of an era where humans finally start to understand that proper stewardship of the environment is not a luxury but a necessity.”

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