Study finds more than 350k trees illegally felled in Madagascar’s protected areas in five-year span

first_imgArticle published by Mike Gaworecki Environment, Forestry, Forests, Illegal Logging, Illegal Timber Trade, Illegal Trade, Law Enforcement, Logging, Research, Rosewood, Timber, Timber Laws, Trees More than 350,000 trees were felled between March 2010 and March 2015, the study states, despite being in areas that have been granted official protected status.At least one million logs were illegally exported from Madagascar during those years — that’s more than 150,000 metric tons-worth of logs, per the study.The primary target of illegal loggers is rosewood and palisander, both species belonging to the genus Dalbergia, though other precious hardwood species like ebony (in the genus Diospyros) are targeted as well. A study released this month by TRAFFIC, an NGO that monitors the wildlife trade, finds that governance has been so lacking in the forests of Madagascar in recent years that hundreds of thousands of trees have been illegally cut down in protected areas.More than 350,000 trees were felled between March 2010 and March 2015, the study states, despite being in areas that have been granted official protected status. At least one million logs were illegally exported from Madagascar during those years — that’s more than 150,000 metric tons-worth of logs, per the study.The primary target of illegal loggers is rosewood and palisander, both species belonging to the genus Dalbergia, though other precious hardwood species like ebony (in the genus Diospyros) are targeted as well.“Poor governance and corruption led to an anarchic situation with no control over timber harvesting resulting in an all-out ‘timber-rush’ with widespread felling of rosewood and ebony trees in protected areas across Madagascar, from which it will take years for the environment to recover,” Roland Melisch, TRAFFIC’s Senior Programme Director for Africa, said in a statement.Madagascar’s precious hardwood timber species are in high demand in Europe and the United States, where they’re used in the manufacture of musical instruments, and in Asia, where they’re used in high-end furniture, especially in China.The TRAFFIC study cites numerous factors that contribute to the poor management of precious timber in Madagascar, including a lack of consistent regulations governing the logging of the selectively targeted species, allegations of governmental authorities colluding with traffickers of illegal timber, a general lack of laws governing forestry (and precious hardwood species in particular), and a failure to hold well-known traffickers accountable.Madagascar adopted a prohibition on the cutting, transport, and export of precious hardwood by governmental decree in 2010. In order to bolster this measure, the country’s government also requested in 2013 that its precious timber species be listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which requires that any authorized international trade be proven to not threaten the survival of the species before permits can be issued.“The application for an export permit must therefore be preceded by the issuing of a non-detriment finding (NDF),” the authors of the study note, adding that “such a finding should not be issued without having appropriate and adequate information on the status of populations in the wild, quantitative logging data, trade history and associated management systems.”Among the TRAFFIC study’s findings, however, were that information on how many rosewood and ebony trees exist in Madagascar’s forests today (what’s known as “standing timber inventories”) is “at best partial or is non-existent.” And there is no data collected by the country on timber harvests at the species level, even while data on illegal harvesting activities is “general,” meaning that the number and location of trees being cut down is not readily discernible.The study also found that “The precious timber management policy is characterized by a disconnect between management decisions (i.e. political declarations and international commitments) and their implementation on the ground.”In other words, the TRAFFIC study found that Madagascar’s precious timber management system cannot possibly guarantee that current logging activities are not a threat to the future survival of rosewood and ebony species.Mongabay’s requests for comment were not returned by Madagascar’s Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests.The study authors make a number of recommendations for how the government of Madagascar can address the situation, but there are already signs that change may be at hand. The country faced intense international pressure at the 2016 CITES meeting in South Africa, for instance. The CITES Secretariat ultimately called on Madagascar to audit stockpiles of precious timber species that have been seized by the government and to step up enforcement actions against illegal timber harvesting. If the country fails to adequately implement this “Timber Action Plan,” it could face trade sanctions.And during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in December 2015, China signaled its willingness to help by increasing its cooperation with African countries on sustainable forest management, among other measures. As the main importer of Madagascar’s timber, China’s assistance could prove crucial.But Madagascar itself appears to be well aware of the situation, as well, having joined the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and signed on to the Zanzibar Declaration on timber trade as well as the Southern African Development Community’s Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching Strategy. According to TRAFFIC, these forums will not only allow Madagascar to get financial and technical support to combat the illegal trade of its precious timber, but also represent an acknowledgement that a regional strategy to combat the illegal trade in fauna and flora is required.Still, the country has a long way to go before it can ensure logging activities aren’t threatening its rosewood and ebony stocks. “Madagascar is signalling it sees the need for reform in management of its timber resources, but such agreements need to be accompanied by hard action at the highest level of government,” Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, Country Director for WWF Madagascar, said in a statement.TRAFFIC’s Melisch said that he’s hopeful the new research will help rein in the “timber rush” underway in Madagascar’s forests: “This latest study should help the government of Madagascar to understand the issues that led to this catastrophic situation and to begin the long process of mitigating the ensuing mismanagement crisis.”Illegal rosewood stockpiles in Antalaha, Madagascar. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Climate change driving widespread local extinctions; tropics most at risk

first_imgCitations:BirdLife International and National Audubon Society (2015) The messengers: what birds tell us about threats from climate change and solutions for nature and people. Cambridge, UK and New York, USA: BirdLife International and National Audubon SocietyChen, I-C, Hill, JK, Shiu, H-J, Holloway, JD, Benedick, S, Chey, VK, Barlow, HS and Thomas, CD (2011) Asymmetric boundary shifts of tropical montane Lepidoptera over four decades of climate warming. Global Ecology and Biogeography 20: 34-45Forero-Medina G, Terborgh J, Socolar SJ, Pimm SL (2011) Elevational ranges of birds on a tropical montane gradient lag behind warming temperatures. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28535. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028535Freeman, BG and Freeman, AMC (2014) Rapid upslope shifts in New Guinean birds illustrate strong distributional responses of tropical montane species to global warming. PNAS 111: 4490-4494Raxworthy, CJ, Pearson, RG, Rabibisoa, N, Rakotondrazafy, AM, Ramanamanjato, J-B, Raselimanana, AP, Wu, S, Nussbaum, RA, and Stone, DA (2008) Extinction vulnerability of tropical montane endemism from warming and upslope displacement: a preliminary appraisal for the highest massif in Madagascar. Global Change Biology 14: 1703-1720Schloss, CA, Nuñez, TA and Lawler, JJ (2012) Dispersal will limit ability of mammals to track climate change in the Western Hemisphere. PNAS 109: 8606-8611Şekercioğlu, C, Schneider, SH, Fay, JP and Loarie, SR (2008) Climate change, elevational range shifts, and bird extinctions. Conservation Biology 22: 140-150Wiens JJ (2016) Climate-related local extinctions are already widespread among plant and animal species. PLoS Biol 14(12): e2001104. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2001104 Amphibian Crisis, Amphibians, Animals, Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Biodiversity Hotspots, Birds, Carnivores, Cats, Climate Change, Climate Change And Biodiversity, Climate Change And Conservation, Climate Change And Extinction, Climate Change And Forests, Climate Science, Conservation, Ecology, Ecosystems, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Extinction And Climate Change, Featured, Frogs, Global Environmental Crisis, Global Warming, Habitat, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Herps, Mammals, Mass Extinction, Monkeys, Overpopulation, Primates, Rainforest Conservation, Reptiles, Tropical Deforestation, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Article published by Glenn Scherercenter_img Climate change forces three fates on species: adapt, flee or die. A new meta-analysis compiled data from 27 studies to see how species distributions have changed over timescales of 10-159 years, and included 976 species. Almost half (47 percent) had seen some local populations disappear along the warming edge of their ranges.The tropics were especially vulnerable to climate change-driven local extinctions. The data showed that 55 percent of tropical and subtropical species experienced local extinctions, whereas the figure was only 39 percent for temperate species. Though the tropical data set was not large, this higher tropical risk concurs with past studies.Tropical species are at greater risk due to climate change because they live in some of the world’s hottest environments, so are already at the upper limit of known temperature adaptation, are restricted to small areas, particular rare habitats, and narrow temperature ranges, or have poor dispersal ability and slow reproductive rates.Scientists see multiple solutions to the problem: beyond the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions, they recommend conserving large core areas of habitat, and preserving strong connectivity between those core areas, so plants and animals can move more freely between them as required as the world warms. A red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus), a species found in the western Amazon, a region where many mammal species are unlikely to be able to keep pace with climate change. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerA species has just three options in the face of environmental change: move, adapt or die. As global temperatures rise many species are shifting their ranges, particularly towards the cooler poles and upslope to higher elevations. But if they can’t adapt or move, populations can be lost along the warmer edge of their range. These local population extinctions could have major implications for individual species, ecosystems and global biodiversity.New research, published in PLOS Biology, warns that local extinctions caused by climate change are already widespread. The meta-analysis, by John Wiens of Arizona University, compiled data from 27 studies that resurveyed sites to see how species distributions had changed over time. These studies spanned a range of timescales between 10 and 159 years, and encompassed 976 species. Almost half of these (47 percent) had seen some local populations disappear along the warm edge of their range. Local extinctions were prevalent in all geographic regions and taxonomic groups.“As Yogi Berra said, it is tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” said Wiens, whose research has contributed to a growing body of work that tries to forecast how biodiversity will respond to climate change. “And it is hard to tell whether your predictions are actually accurate or not. So, for this study, I changed my focus and instead asked: what has happened [due to climate change] already?”The extent of local extinctions came as a surprise, Wiens said, “given that climate has changed little relative to the much greater changes predicted in the future.”Stuart Butchart, director of science at BirdLife International expressed alarm over the results: “The fact that evidence of such population extinctions was found for about half of species, and that the pattern held across plants and animals, tropical and temperate regions, and in marine, terrestrial and freshwater systems is striking.”Keel-billed toucans (Ramphastos sulfuratus) along with other lowland species have been recorded shifting their range to higher elevations in response to rising temperatures, just one of many impacts climate change is having on biodiversity. Recent research has found that 47 percent of species studied have undergone local extinctions along the warmer edge of their range, with local extinction rates higher in the tropics than in temperate regions. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerA resplendent quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno) in the cloud forest of Costa Rica. Tropical lowland and montane species are especially at risk from increasing temperatures due to climate change. Photo by Keith Carver on Flickr licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic licenseLocal vs. global extinctionIt’s important to note that local extinction doesn’t necessarily mean that a species is in danger of global extinction: if its range is expanding elsewhere, and it is able to move in a timely fashion, the species could be successfully responding to the changing climate.On the other hand, population extinction could indicate trouble for species that are unable to expand their range into areas with more suitable conditions — either because they can’t move quickly enough, or because there is nowhere else for them to go.So how should we interpret the widespread local extinctions that have been recorded so far?Wiens agrees that “is the big question: will these local extinctions of populations turn into global extinctions of entire species?”“The short answer is: I don’t know.” But given their prevalence, “and that global warming is predicted to increase by an additional two- to five-fold, it seems hard to think that there will not be many global extinctions also.”Trouble in the tropicsWhen Wiens compared taxonomic groups, he found that the percentage of local extinctions was higher in animals than in plants, and in freshwater over marine and terrestrial species. A geographic trend was also apparent, with 55 percent of tropical and subtropical species experiencing local extinctions, whereas the figure was lower, at 39 percent, for temperate species. This might seem counterintuitive when temperatures are rising fastest at higher latitudes — as seen in the more rapidly warming Arctic — but it is something that scientists have previously predicted based on the biology and ecology of tropical species.Tropical species live in some of the world’s hottest environments, so are already at the upper limit of known temperature adaptation. More heat means more stress, potentially beyond their ability to adapt.What’s more, tropical environments tend to be more stable throughout the year, so tropical species are adapted to a much narrower range of temperatures than their temperate counterparts.The fact that tropical species are already showing higher levels of local extinctions is especially worrying. “I think that the most important implication of this pattern is that climate-related extinctions are most likely in the part of the world that has the most species, the tropics,” said Wiens. “So, the prognosis is worse for global biodiversity than if extinctions were just spread randomly across the planet.”But others caution that more data is needed to gain a clear picture of geographic variation in local extinction rates. “A major limitation of the Wiens study is the utter lack of data from the tropics,” said Kenneth Feeley, of the University of Miami, who pointed out that once subtropical climatic regions such as Arizona were excluded, only 5 of the 27 studies that Wiens examined were from the true tropics, and only one focused on plants. “Given this lack of data it is premature to draw conclusions about local extinctions of tropical species and especially tropical plant species,” he said.Despite this caveat, Wiens’ overall conclusions tally with what Feeley and colleagues have already been observing in their own research in the forests of Central and South America. “[M]any tropical tree species in Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru are shifting their ranges to higher elevations and [..] in many cases these shifts are due primarily to species dying back, and going locally extinct, from the lower, hotter portions of their ranges.”Reptiles and amphibians such as the Tsaratanana chameleon (Calumma tsaratananensis) on Madagascar’s highest mountain may soon run out of cold-edge habitat to expand into. Photo by Christopher RaxworthyThe devil is in the detailsA great number of variables make a thorough assessment of tropical extinction potential challenging, but many factors added together tip toward higher future local extinction rates. For species in the middle of a vast lowland tropical region, such as the Amazon or Congo basins, for example, cooler temperatures, and suitable habitats, can be many hundreds of kilometers away, making a timely escape along a temperature gradient almost impossible.Common traits of tropical species don’t bode well either: “In general, species with certain characteristics, such as being restricted to small areas, restricted to particular rare habitats, having poor dispersal ability and slow reproductive rates are most extinction-prone. These are characteristics of many tropical species,” explained Jane Hill, a professor at York University, UK.“Given the long generation times and narrow niches of many tropical tree species, there is good reason to predict that many […] simply won’t be capable of tolerating hotter temperatures and will go locally extinct,” said Feeley.Though we might not see the impacts immediately, cautions Naia Morueta-Holme, an ecologist at University of California, Berkeley: species that might look as though their range is stable could be building up an “extinction debt” — a time delay in which the extinction of a species in the future is due to events in the past.“[L]ong-lived plants like trees can often survive in more extreme environments, long after they have stopped being able to reproduce,” she noted. “In such cases, it will take longer time for us to see climate-driven local extinctions.”A valley in the upper Amazon, where lowland forest begins to rise towards the Andes in southern Peru. Lowland tropical species can be challenged by distances of hundreds of kilometers between their current range and cooler regions that might offer suitable habitat in the future. Characteristics typical of many tropical species — such as poor dispersal and slow reproductive rates — exacerbate the threat. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerWho’s at risk?Aside from the trees themselves, lowland forest species at greatest risk of being left behind in the race to reach suitable habitat include understory birds, primates and small mammals.A study of nearly 500 Western Hemisphere mammal species conducted by University of Washington scientists identified the western Amazon as the region in greatest trouble, with 14.5 percent of species predicted to be unable to keep up with habitat shifts. Primates in Central and South America face average range reductions of 75 percent over the coming century, the study concluded; many of these species are already threatened with extinction, such as the Endangered white-bellied spider monkey (Ateles belzebuth), and white-nosed saki monkey (Chiropotes albinasus) — which raises another point; climate change is just one of many human-caused stressors in the tropics, ranging from soy and oil palm agribusiness expansion, to logging and wildlife trafficking.On tropical mountains, species may face another problem, even though cooler temperatures are more easily and immediately available to wildlife and plants further upslope: they might simply run out of room at the top. As the world warms, species pushed higher find themselves struggling to survive on smaller and smaller mountaintop islands of habitat.A study of moths on Borneo’s Mount Kinabalu by Hill and colleagues revealed that most species’ ranges had shifted significantly upwards over 42 years, but cool edge expansion had proceeded faster upslope than warm edge contraction. Although this has kept range sizes stable for the time being, at high elevations movement upwards is likely to be limited by the geology of the mountain, which makes it unsuitable habitat for the moths. As a result, several endemic species could be at risk of extinction with continued warming.Mount Karimui, New Guinea. Montane species may be able to shift their range upslope — as has been seen in a range of species including trees, insects and birds — but higher elevations may not always offer suitable habitat and species can also end up being “pushed off” the top of the mountain. Photo by Benjamin FreemanWhite-winged Robin (Peneothello sigillata), caught as part of a study of New Guinea birds’ responses to climate change, and identified as one of four species likely to become extinct on Mount Karimui by 2100. Photo by Benjamin FreemanBirds on New Guinea’s Mount Karimui face a similar problem. A study by Benjamin Freeman, of the University of British Columbia, found that 40 out of 64 bird species had seen range contractions at lower elevations, with four upper elevation species likely to be lost from the mountain by 2100.So far, “[t]here haven’t been many documented cases of such mountaintop extinctions,” he said. “For example, the two bird species that [renowned researcher] Jared Diamond found living only on the top of Mount Karimui in the 1960s were still living only at the top of Mount Karimui in 2012.”Freeman, whose work was included in Wiens’ study, also emphasized that “[w]hat Wiens terms a local extinction could be a population shifting upslope 50 meters, and on a steep mountain slope this might not be what we typically think of as an ‘extinction.’”Çağan Şekercioğlu, of the University of Utah, has studied how the elevational range of bird species affects their chances of extinction under climate change projections. In a study of the world’s land birds “[the] already endangered scissor-tailed hummingbird (Hylonympha macrocerca) ended up as one of the most vulnerable species,” he said, “as it is a tropical forest understory resident limited just to the Paria Mountains of Venezuela and to elevations between 530-1,200 meters [1,700-3,900 feet].” The population stands at just 3000-4000 individuals, and habitat conversion to agriculture, coupled with the relatively low height of the mountain at just 1,371 meters (4,500 feet), means the species is rapidly running out of space. Overall, the study predicted that hundreds of bird species would go extinct, and thousands would be at risk of extinction, by 2100 due to the interaction between narrow elevational range, loss of habitat and climate change.In the Peruvian Andes, the picture for some bird species is more hopeful, thanks to the availability of high quality, protected habitat, said German Forero-Medina, of the Wildlife Conservation Society Colombia.Forero-Medina’s study of birds in the Cerros del Sira of central Peru, also featured in Wiens’ analysis. He found that although upwards shifts were evident, they were smaller than predicted due to warming. “The area is protected by the Reserva Comunal El Sira and the vegetation is in good condition, so [most birds] should have space to move.” However, he highlighted the endemic Sira Tanager (Tangara phillipsi), with a narrow elevational range, as a species in need of close monitoring for population declines.The only African data in Wiens’ study was for frogs and reptiles on the highest mountain in Madagascar. For these species, living on the Tsaratanana massif in the north of the country, things are not looking good. “They have very little available cold edge habitat left for them to expand into,” explained Christopher Raxworthy, curator of herpetology at the American Museum of Natural History, who led the research. “Essentially warming could push them up and off the top of the mountain,” with the same issue facing endemic species on at least 9 other mountain systems in Madagascar, he said.Madagascar giant treefrog (Cophyla alticola). Endemic species on at least 9 other mountain systems in Madagascar are also at risk. Photo by Christopher RaxworthyEcosystem impactsIt’s not just the potential loss of individual tropical species that’s a cause for great concern. Species interactions will also be disrupted as animals and plants move, adapt or die, which will irrevocably alter complex interrelationships within habitats, ecosystems, and even biomes. “It is likely that we will see considerable disruption to ecological communities, with changes in the dynamics between predators and prey, competitors, diseases and parasites and their hosts,” said Butchart.“The other worry is: what happens to tropical forests at sea level?” said Freeman. Without species coming into the lowlands from somewhere even hotter, these biodiverse regions may undergo a depopulating transformation. “Do lowland plants and animals shift up and leave sea level tropical forests impoverished (termed “biotic attrition”) or not? We really don’t know the answer yet.”Local extinctions, with or without biotic attrition, “will lead to changes in forest composition, structure and function,” said Feeley. “Given the extreme interconnectedness of tropical forest species and systems, these changes can in turn lead to more and more extinctions.”Adding to all these hazards, tropical animals will likely find their movements in response to climate change blocked by all things human: long built and newly built fences, roads, railways, soy and oil palm plantations, cities and towns all offer impediments to movement and could add to extinctions.Forest only survives along a river in an agricultural landscape in Costa Rica. Keeping habitat connected by protecting corridors, especially those spanning elevational gradients, is an urgent priority in mitigating climate impacts on biodiversity. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerConservation prioritiesWhether in the mountains or the lowlands, ever-growing barriers to movement — the result of habitat loss and deforestation, infrastructure development and industrial agriculture — will make keeping up with climate change even harder.When it comes to taking action to mitigate these impacts, there is a lot of agreement among scientists: make sure that habitat stays connected. “Overall, I would say that the highest priority is to protect corridors of intact habitat that span from the lowlands to the highest elevations,” said Wiens.Hill agrees: “[i]n more connected landscapes species can reach new areas and hence maintain their overall range size (even though the range location has shifted),” she said. “Intact rainforest plays an important role in buffering forest species from the detrimental impacts of climate change. So conserving large tracts of well-connected rainforest is key in this context.”Protecting habitat will benefit people as well as biodiversity: “Local extinctions of plant species could have devastating impacts for human populations in the developing world,” said Wiens. “Many people rely on just a few grass species to prevent starvation.”“In some cases, conserving montane forest may make a ton of sense for people-focused conservation as well,” agreed Freeman, who added that “watershed protection and forest conservation go hand-in-hand.”Morueta-Holme thinks these arguments are especially relevant in the tropics where “millions of people are highly dependent on local natural resources.”Scientists ask: what happens to tropical forests at sea level? Without species coming into the lowlands from somewhere even hotter, these biodiverse regions, like this coastal area in Brazil, may be depopulated as climate change advances. The question remains largely unstudied. But such issues urgently need to be addressed as temperatures rise. Photo by Rhett A. ButlerOther scientists emphasize the importance of getting a better handle on the specific ways in which species are responding to climate change, especially because not all species respond in the same way, or to the same environmental triggers: for some, rainfall determines habitat suitability more than temperature, for example. Sensitivity to different environmental factors may explain why, counter intuitively, some species have been recorded moving downslope rather than up, or are maintaining stable ranges, despite climate change.“The first thing is establishing monitoring programs, so that elevational shifts can be detected if they are occurring,” said Raxworthy.Feeley concurs: “In my opinion, the number one conservation priority for the tropics is collecting and collating more data. We cannot hope to protect forests from future climate change if we don’t know how species are already responding to current climate change.”“[T]here is an urgent need to better understand the mechanisms involved” in how the most threatened species respond to climate change, said Forero-Medina. “It is time to move from patterns to mechanisms, this will help guide conservation decisions for those species.”“I think that the highest priority is to reduce global warming in addition to mitigating its effects. The potential consequences for global biodiversity and humans are just too severe,” concluded ​Wiens. “Two of the biggest threats to global biodiversity are habitat destruction and climate change, and they seem to have synergistic effects,” he said.But this synergism could also be beneficial if appropriate action is taken in time. “Preserving habitats can help reduce the negative impacts of climate change,” Wiens explained. “And intact forests and other habitats can help suck up the carbon that causes global warming in the first place.” FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.last_img read more

Activists seek protection for Indonesia’s karst amid building boom pressure

first_imgArticle published by Basten Gokkon Activists in Indonesia demand the government to issue a new regulation aimed at better protecting the country’s karsts, the unique rocky landscapes that are home to species found nowhere else on Earth.The current regulation governing the management of this limestone topography fails to frame karst preservation in terms of its role as an ecosystem supporting a diverse range of animal and plant life.Activists argue that efforts to regulate the protection of the landscape have received opposition from influential powers that depend on the mineral deposits that make up the karst. YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia — Activists in Indonesia have called for the government to issue a new regulation aimed at better protecting the country’s karsts, the unique rocky landscapes that are home to species found nowhere else on Earth.The current regulation governing the management of this limestone topography dates from 2012, issued by the ministry for mines and energy, which frames karst preservation in terms of its geological importance rather than its role as an ecosystem supporting a diverse range of animal and plant life.“We need a regulation with a special agency that oversees the function, exploitation and protection of karst ecosystems,” said Wahyu Perdana, campaign manager for food, water and essential ecosystems at the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi), at a public discussion last month.Mining activities in a karst area in Rembang, Central Java. Photo by Tommy Apriando/Mongabay-Indonesia.Petrasa Wacana, coordinator for conservation, advocacy and campaign at the Indonesian Speleology Community (MSI), called for a government regulation — which would supersede the ministerial one — that would more holistically govern the management of karst ecosystems, including allowing better conservation efforts and imposing stricter punishment for damage to or destruction of these landscapes.A draft government regulation, known as an RPP, has been in the works since 2010, but opposition from the ministry of mines and the cement industry — which has long eyed the mineral deposits that make up the karst — has prevented it from being issued, according to Petrasa.“If the government continues to be weak in protecting karst ecosystems, the damage will expand and increase the threat of an ecological disaster, particularly drought,” he said. “The importance of a government regulation for karsts is for us to be able to calculate the damage and to design efforts to protect the ecological system.”There’s increased urgency to strengthen the protection of these unique landscapes, as the administration of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo pushes an ambitious infrastructure-building program that has seen cement companies ramp up their production. Mining activities, plantations and large developments such as roads and resorts also continue to pose a threat to Indonesia’s karsts, which span an estimated 154,000 square kilometers (59,500 square miles), or more than 8 percent of the country’s territory.The extractive industries, including mining of limestone for cement, accounted for 48 percent of Indonesia’s total carbon dioxide emissions, according to a 2014 report from the environment ministry.More than 40 percent of the 72,500 square kilometers (28,000 square miles) of karst in East Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan, two provinces on the Indonesian part of Borneo, are currently under threat from miners, according to Walhi. Similar activities also threaten the biodiversity in karst ecosystems in other provinces, including 190 square kilometers (73 square miles) in South Sulawesi, 254 square kilometers in Aceh and 6.5 square kilometers in West Sumatra.Limestone mining site in Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta. Photo by Tommy Apriando/Mongabay-Indonesia.Formed millions of years ago by sea life, the eroded limestone ridges, towers, sinkholes, caves and other geological features that comprise karsts are home to a diverse range of plant species as well as insects, bats and other fauna found nowhere else on Earth.The animals that inhabit these ecosystems are important to the people who live near them, serving as pest control, pollinators and a sustainable source of income — in the case of swifts whose nests are a prized delicacy in Chinese cuisine. Karst landscapes also play an important role in groundwater management.“We must not be partial in understanding the karst ecosystem,” said Walhi’s Wahyu. “We need to take into account the environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts of damaging these landscapes.”This story was reported by Mongabay’s Indonesia team and was first published on our Indonesian site on Dec. 3, 2017.Banner image: Limestone mountains in Papua. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Biodiversity, Biodiversity Crisis, Conservation, Ecosystems, Environment, Environmental Activism, Habitat Degradation, Habitat Destruction, Habitat Loss, Karst, Mining center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

ROUND 2: Pacquiao continues offense

first_imgBenefits of township living MRT-3 files raps vs engineer who brought ammunition to station View comments ‘Marawi hero’ is new commander of Army’s 1st Infantry Division MOST READ LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Manny Pacquiao prepares to fight Keith Thurman in a welterweight title fight Saturday, July 20, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)MANILA, Philippines—Keith Thurman, who was knocked down in the first, looked to gain momentum early in the second round leading with his jab against Manny Pacquiao.Pacquiao, however, asserted his superior offense that backed Thurman off.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: LJ Reyes, Paolo Contis celebrate 1st birthday of baby Summer Pacquiao then sneaked in a clean jab that stopped Thurman on his tracks in the final 1:30 of the round.Thurman, looking to establish his offense, continued to lead with his jab but his power punches only hit Pacquiao’s forearms.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsPacquiao came forward in the final 10 seconds and even taunted the undefeated American. Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite PLAY LIST 02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award03:05Malakanyang bilib sa Phivolcs | Chona Yu01:26Homes destroyed after Taal Volcano eruption02:48ABS-CBN franchise has ‘natural deadline,’ no need for quo warranto — Gatchalian Sons Of Apollo releases new studio album ‘MMXX’ Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LOOK: Phil Younghusband marries longtime girlfriend Margaret Hall Steaming fissures on Taal Volcano Island spotted Duterte lambasts Catholic Church anew in curse-laden speech before Filipino Baptists Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Mentally ill man wandered off in Parfaite Harmonie

first_img…distressed sister seeks assistance in locating her brotherA distressed Gladys Prince is asking the public to very kindly help her locate her brother, 63-year-old Leo Prince, who last Wednesday wandered away from her Lot 977 La Parfaite Harmonie residence, on the West Bank of Demerara, and has since not been seen or heard from.She has reportedly made several attempts to locate the man, but all have provenMissing: Leo Princefutile.According to the woman, on the morning of her brother’s wandering away, she had departed for work, leaving him in the care of her daughter, a student of the University of Guyana. And when this young lady was about to offer her uncle his breakfast, she realised that he had departed the yard. Upon launching a search for her uncle, neighbours informed the girl that he had been seen leaving the yard at around 10:30hrs.Several searches since undertaken have all proven futile in locating the man. A report was accordingly filed at the La Grange Police Station, but feedback in regard to an update is yet to be offered.This publication understands that Prince – who is neither married nor has ever fathered children — was six years ago diagnosed at the Georgetown Public Hospital as “mentally ill.”Moreover, Prince’s sister has relayed to the Guyana Times that this is not the first time her brother has gone missing. She explained that her brother had, sometime in July, similarly wandered away, but had returned home early the following morning.She recalled he had told her he had forgotten his way home, and had to ask persons along the roadway to assist him.Given that 5 days have passed since her brother had last been seen, Ms Gladys Prince is quite naturally fearful for the safety of her loved one, and is apprehensive that something might have gone wrong with him… She is nevertheless hopeful for his safe return, and is urging members of the public, especially those residing within the area, to venture out in search efforts, reports of which may possibly lead to locating the missing man.Prince was last seen wearing a white jersey, black pants and a pair of slippers.Anyone with information regarding the man’s whereabouts is asked to very kindly contact his sister, Gladys Prince on 638-9748 or 638-9219, or the nearest police station.last_img read more

Arsene has ‘no regrets’ for Alexis gamble

first_imgWenger was already without almost an entire team of stars as Mikel Arteta, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Tomas Rosicky are currently sidelined.Koscielny was forced off early on with a hip problem, Sanchez was next to depart with a thigh injury and although Cazorla was able to complete the game despite a knee injury, Wenger described the Spain midfielder as “playing on one leg”.Wenger knows Arsenal fans are bitterly disappointed about the loss of Sanchez above all as the Chile forward has been outstanding all season.Another factor is the admission Wenger made three days before the Norwich game that he had known Sanchez was carrying a hamstring problem yet still decided not to rest him.Wenger robustly defended that decision.“Do I regret playing Sanchez? No — the players are there to play football not to be rested when the press decide they need to be rested,” said the Frenchman.“Nobody is scientifically developed enough — not even the press — to predict exactly when someone will be injured. I must say with all humility we are not in a position where we can predict.“Despite all our tests he looked all right. We checked it, when you have normal force and normal stretch usually that means there is no problem.“There are plenty of players across Europe who play in every single game.”If Cazorla has to drop out of contention then Wenger will switch Aaron Ramsey to central midfield, the Wales star’s preferred position while Koscielny’s injury opens the door for Gabriel, the Brazilian, to stake a claim for a permanent place.“Cazorla got a kick on the knee, we don’t know if it is ligaments or just a kick on the nerve but the worrying thing is that it got worse during the game,” Wenger added.“Koscielny is a kick on his hip, he can’t move at all, even now. We have to assess that.”Mesut Ozil fired Arsenal ahead in the 30th minute at Carrow Road after Sanchez seized on a poor clearance by Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy that Gary O’Neil, the captain, could not control.Norwich equalised before half-time, however, through Lewis Grabban, who was making his first Premier League start since the opening day of the season.That was the result of disciplinary action by manager Alex Neil, who fined the forward and pushed him down the pecking order after Grabban walked out of the team hotel on the eve of a League Cup tie in September as a result of the collapse of a transfer to Bournemouh.“If it didn’t go to plan and we lost I would get criticised and he would too,” Neil said.“Credit to Lewis he showed everybody what a good player he is.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the sidelines during his side’s Premier League match against Norwich City at Carrow Road on November 29, 2015. PHOTO/AFPNORWICH, November 30- Arsene Wenger insisted he had no regrets over risking Alexis Sanchez in the 1-1 draw at Norwich despite the influential Chilean forward being forced off the pitch with a thigh injury.Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Laurent Koscielny were all added to a lengthy list of long-term casualties on Sunday after a match that left Arsenal in fourth place in the Premier League table.last_img read more

Instead of votes with meaning, like redistricting, we’re given Iraq

first_imgSo instead we get Iraq. No substance, just symbol. IF state legislative leaders get their way, Californians will get to vote on the Iraq war this February – never mind that California voters have no say on the matter. But that didn’t stop the state Assembly last week from following the Senate’s lead and voting to put the measure on the ballot. Now the bill awaits Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature (or veto). Yet while our leaders labor away on such symbolic gestures, it would be nice if they could also find the time to pass important measures on which state voters can actually make a difference. Redistricting is the state’s most needed political reform. But somehow, our politicians just can’t seem to put together a redistricting plan for the ballot. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Euro 2016 Day 5: Eye witness account of what REALLY happened in Marseille

first_imgThere was a heavy police presence, a lot of fans – French and English – singing, but no fighting at that point. We spoke to a policeman who told us a significant number of French fans had arrived to provoke the English fans, who had reacted and there had been trouble before we arrived. Indeed, later we spoke to an England fan who had a head wound after a Russian had thrown a bottle at him. Even worse is the naive approach here in Marseille. I arrived at my hotel on Friday morning and spoke to the manager who said there had been a police briefing in recent weeks, which was in his words ‘casual’, about the threat of hooliganism. England still has hooligans, and it should have been obvious many would come out of retirement to re-enact the 1998 violence in Marseille. There are plenty of young hooligans, a new generation, who are also here looking for trouble.The notorious Russian and English hooligans converging on Marseille where there is a volatile and large fanbase of the local club must surely have spelled danger?Was enough done to try to prevent the trouble?Doesn’t look like it, does it?Listen, I’m not excusing the idiots involved, whatever nationality. Identify them and lock them up.But it didn’t take an expert to work out what would happen here, did it? 5 5 Adrian Durham will be bringing you the latest from France every day 5 talkSPORT’s Drivetime presenter takes you behind the scenes at Euro 2016 as he provides an account of what he saw during the trouble in Marseille on Friday night…What a long day!I was up at 5am to get a plane to Marseille – although we were nearly grounded before we started as the producer took us to the wrong airport! But with the help of a driver who could be an F1 legend, we just about made it.Went to the wonderful Velodrome Stadium, then to the Fan Park on the beach, and then did the show with Goughie and Joey Barton. Stan Collymore and Joey had a row about Wales, and then we found a bar to watch France v Romania. Dmitri Payet was quality, even before that stunning winner.And then the trouble. After the game was finished, the Senior Gooner, who has family in this part of the world and is a fluent French speaker, and I went to the Queen Vic pub on the Quai de Rive Neuve where there was some trouble on the first night. We wanted to see first hand what was going on. I then did a live phone interview into the Sports Bar with Andy Goldstein and Jason Cundy and as I went to air, police charged at an individual, nationality unknown, forced him to the floor and trod on his head, restraining him. It’s believed he had some kind of weapon on him, and earlier in a bar opposite where we watched the game, two Marseille fans had been showing off a weapon they had on them – this wasn’t unusual.A small group of Russians arrived singing a song about Putin, and at that point, police sprayed tear gas, the first time I’ve ever been affected by it. It wasn’t nice, but I remained coherent on air. And then police sprayed vast quantities of it to disperse the crowd, which worked. 5 5 I finished my piece on air, and we walked away from that area, but only two or three short streets away, near the Opera House, and found a bar to sit down and have a beer and chat about what we’d seen.It’s easy and lazy to just say it’s the fault of England fans. Not even that French policeman in riot gear I spoke to said that. You need to assess the facts on the ground – pull them all together. My report is what I witnessed, not the whole evening, not everything that happened in every part of Marseille, it is just what I witnessed at the time I was there on that street.It is also based on what I was told from authorities present, and from fans present.But what I do know for certain is this: hooliganism is on the rise again in England. I wrote about this last month: from Hull fans on the pitch goading Derby players, to West Ham fans bottling the Man United bus, to fighting at the Europa League final.We are still awaiting the investigation into what happened in Basel that night of the Europa final, but UEFA needed to get the message out quickly after that trouble. They failed. It won’t be out until next month. The FA are still investigating the bottling at Upton Park. Why so long? Make it a priority – it’s important!last_img read more

Arsenal BLOW: Bellerin ruled out for four weeks as Cazorla remains sidelined

first_img1 Arsenal’s title aspirations have suffered a severe blow with news Hector Bellerin has been ruled out for a month with an ankle problem.The Spain right-back was crocked by Tottenham defender Danny Rose in the recent north London derby and now misses Arsenal’s weekend showdown at Manchester United.Bellerin’s extended absence could mean a return to action for Carl Jenkinson, who was sent off in his first match at Old Trafford when Arsenal suffered an infamous 8-2 defeat in 2011.And as Arsenal’s regular November curse seems to be striking again as manager Arsene Wenger revealed they will also again be missing their most influential midfielder, Santi Cazorla.Wenger said: “Hector is out for four weeks. He was injured in the last ten seconds against Tottenham in a very strong tackle from Rose.“Cazorla is still out too. I do not know when he will be back because he is not even training.” Hector Bellerin last_img read more

Home-price drop expected in 2007

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’However, the report uses conservative estimates and the expected drop will be mild, Kleinhenz said. Due to rising interest rates, negative buyer psychology, housing affordability that’s near all-time lows and rising oil prices, “I think we had a perfect storm created,” Kleinhenz said. CAR began tracking the median data in the early 1970s, and since then, there have been only three periods of median home price declines. In the 1980s a drop in the median was attributed to recession. A downturn the 1990s was attributed to widespread job losses caused by dramatic changes in the state’s economy. That housing decline continued through 1996. Since then, prices have been on the rise – most dramatically since 2000, when appreciation began hitting double-digit percentage gains. LONG BEACH – California’s median home price will drop in 2007 for the first time in 10 years, according to a housing market forecast issued Wednesday. The California Association of Realtors annual forecast calls for a 2 percent drop in the state’s median home price for 2007 to $550,000. The drop, from a projected median of $561,000 for 2006, is a stark contrast to a year ago when experts were forecasting a soft landing. “The housing market has slowed down at a much faster pace than anybody has anticipated,” said Robert Kleinhenz, a CAR economist. The CAR forecast also calls for sales to continued to decline in 2007 by 7 percent to 447,500 units, compared with 481,200 units projected for 2006. “The cumulative dropoff in sales is consistent in what we’ve seen in each of the past downturns,” Kleinhenz said. During the falloffs in the 1980s and 1990s, there was a 30 percent drop over the first two years following a peak in the housing cycle. The projected falloff for 2006 is 23 percent, meaning the worst of the sales falloff may be behind us, Kleinhenz said. “I’ve become very fond of saying things will be less worse,” he added. The year started well for 2006, with a 14 percent year-over-year appreciation from the same period in 2005. By August the median had appreciated only 1.6 percent from a year ago. Kleinhenz said there are scenarios in which the state’s median could continue to rise. “If things go right, or may be a little bit better than what we have in our forecast in terms of the economy, and if Federal Reserve does some rate decreases further out in 2007, we can even see things turn out better than the 2 percent decline,” he said. CAR is not expecting action by the Fed, which has vowed to battle inflation by continuing to ratchet up the overnight lending rate if necessary. That rate indirectly impacts mortgage rates. Don Jergler can be reached at don.jergler@presstelegram.com or (562) 499-1281.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more