Thursday, 10 February 2011

Ecological Problems

Endangered animals in Madagascar - Fossa


Fossa is a cat-like predator endemic to Madagascar that is in great danger of becoming extinct, and the worst part is that this largest carnivore in the island of Madagascar is still not listed as endangered species.

Fossa adults have a head-body length of 70–80 cm (28–31 in) and they usually weigh between 5.5–8.6 kg (12–19 lb), and like with many other cat species males are larger than the females.

The main reason why fossas could be soon heading for extinction is habitat loss because their preferred habitat (the forests) are constantly shrinking in Madagascar, and they are finding it more and more difficult to find prey. Fossa is the predominant predator of lemurs but its prey include all small to medium-sized animals.

Official estimates suggest that there is little above 2000 fossas still left in the wild but there are some scientists who say that their actual number is in fact much lower.

The additional problem are also the frequent conflicts with villagers who not only kill fossas to protect their livestock but also hunt fossa for meat. For instance, 12 fossas had been killed recently by people living in just eight villages, to prevent the fossa from stealing their chickens.

German scientist Mia-Lana Lührs who spent last couple of years studying fossas in 2007 recorded 18 different males regularly visiting a particular tree that male and female fossa use to mate in, in 2008, this number decreased to 14 males, and in 2009 just ten. Last year, she only recorded two males.

Will there be any fossa left by the end of this year?

Climate change and what do people believe


Recent polls suggest that most people still believe that climate change is real thing. For instance according to the poll carried out by British Guardian 83% of people in Britain believe that climate change is current/imminent threat.

However, just believing in climate change is obviously not enough to change things for better. So many talks about climate change on global level, and still no sign of the new international climate deal.

That's pretty funny because if so many people believe in climate change then why isn't there much bigger public pressure on world leaders to do something about it, and why are failures on agreeing the new climate deal so easily accepted by the worldwide media?

Does the world really care so little about our planet, or are we just too naive by thinking that if we remain ignorant about climate change issue everything will work out for the best in the end?

Surprisingly so, even the most world leaders believe in climate change (well at least they say how they believe) but they still delay the necessary decisions for "better times". What better times? Do we really have to wait for disaster to happen before actually doing something, and is really our industry so important that we could gamble with the future of our planet and the future of our children and grandchildren?

Politicians are not be trusted, they say one thing during the elections, and then after the election all of the sudden a memory loss, and they delay the necessary decisions because "now is not the right time to act on this matter". Of course it isn't because powerful industrial lobbies say it so, and politics as always listens them blindly in to everything they have to say.

Our beliefs are so weakened by the power of money that we find it hard to see what's good and what's bad, and climate change is obvious proof to this.

What will our children and grandchildren think about us if we fail to act on climate change? What kind of legacy are we leaving to them? And for what? A few dollars more?

The connection between the endangered species and biodiversity


The more endangered species the bigger the biodiversity loss, this is a pretty simple equation. The number of endangered species is sadly growing all the time, and if the current trend continues it will be impossible to stop biodiversity loss, and world will soon find itself on a one-way road towards the total disaster.

The main reason why there are so many endangered species is habitat loss. The habitats of many animals are shrinking all the time because of the human population growth, and sadly humans are the main disruptive force responsible for destruction of many ecosystems around the globe.

Climate change is another reason to worry as scientists believe that many animals will fail to adapt to global warming, and many of them will likely forever perish from the face of the Earth which will add more impact to already huge biodiversity loss.

The diversity of life on our planet is currently in the state of rapid decline, and we are the main culprits for this state because our hunger for more resources, energy, and space has significantly grown in the last few centuries triggered by population explosion and the rapid industrialization.

We have the destiny of our planet in our own hands, and we already have to power to decide which species should be saved, and which should be considered as "unworthy" of conservation efforts. The main problem is that with such power also comes a great responsibility, and this responsibility is sadly so easily misunderstood by many people across the globe.

Basically, when you think about it the main link in connection between the endangered species and biodiversity are humans. The humans have the power to either stop biodiversity loss by protecting animals and plants from going extinct, or to continue the current trend of ignorance towards the environmental problem.

What will it be?

What needs to be done to protect birds in North America?

>> FRIDAY, JANUARY 21, 2011

According to the latest reports North America is experiencing rapid bird decline as according to the latest study by the scientists from US, Canada and Mexico 148 bird species need immediate conservation action or they could be soon going extinct.

These 148 most vulnerable bird species among others include Hawk-eagles and wood partridges. The main reason why many bird species are experiencing decline in population is because of the habitat loss, and this issue will require the most attention from conservationists, though of course there are also some other issues that will need to be solved too if we want to save these birds from going extinct.

Here are some things that need to be done to protect birds in North America from going extinct:

1. Since the loss of habitat is the main reason behind the decline in bird population birds definitely require more protected areas, which also means that our current legislation needs more endangered species laws because without such laws it is very difficult to establish effective protected areas for birds.

2. Agriculture, forestry and urban planning need to be more sustainable because this is the only way to conserve as much as possible current bird habitats and ecosystems on which their survival depends.

3. Bird mortality rates need to be decreased by introducing certain measures such as for instance reducing the amount of pesticides.

4. More scientific research in order to better understand the bird distribution patterns, and how certain management practice affects some bird population in certain location.

5. More media attention. People need to know what is going on, and media should promote benefits of conserving birds to average Joe, in order to put more pressure on politicians to come up with the adequate endangered species laws.

6. Partnerships and cooperation on national and international level. More people involved means more shared information and knowledge, so regional and international alliances would be certainly welcome thing that could significantly contribute to bird conservation efforts.

Connection between climate change and CO2 emissions


The increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are regarded by many scientists as the main reason for the ongoing climate change problem. Carbon emissions have started growing since the start of the industrial revolution, and the worst period was the end of the 20th century, after which world leaders started taking climate change issue more seriously. Sadly, still not serious enough to agree upon new climate deal that would oblige countries to significantly reduce their CO2 emissions.

What will happen if the world fails to reduce the level of carbon emissions in near future? According to scientists climate change could reach catastrophic proportions in form of frequent flooding, drought, global sea level rise, extinction of many animal and plant species, more hunger and new diseases.

According to the latest study from the U.S. scientist Jeffrey Kiehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research if industrial carbon dioxide emissions continue unabated, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide could by 2100 reach levels not seen by more than 30 million years, when Earth’s average temperature was 25 to 30 degrees F warmer than today.

This study also claims that if carbon dioxide continue with the current trend this will result in levels of carbon dioxide in to atmosphere of 900 to 1,000 parts per million by 2100 — triple levels two centuries ago.

This basically means that the world leaders by failing to agree new climate deal are putting our planet "on a trajectory that the human species has never experienced". According to Kiehl our planet is probably also twice as sensitive to CO2 as currently believed, since models do not factor in the amplifying effect that melting ice sheets and sea ice will have on warming.

The latest Cancun climate talks have provided us with some glimpses of hope that the new climate deal is still possible. But the world doesn't have the luxury of time and its disposal, so hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the new international climate deal to be agreed upon.