Archive | August 2015

“South Africa Sees Poaching Intensify as 749 Rhinos Killed”

Crime scene investigator examines a recently poached rhino in Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Rhino poaching in South Africa has intensified this year after a record number of animals were killed in 2014, according to Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.

In the period to Aug. 27, 749 rhinos were poached compared with 716 in the same time frame last year, Molewa told reporters on Sunday in the capital, Pretoria. Of that total, 544 were killed in the 2 million-hectare Kruger National Park, which borders Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World’s ‘rarest’ sea creature spotted for the first time in 30 years”

Peter Ward, University of Washington: Allonautilus scrobiculatus, photographed by Peter Ward off the coast of Papua New Guinea

One of the “rarest creatures in the world” has been spotted for only the third time ever off the coast of Papua New Guinea by a US biologist.

The creatures, which are thought to have survived two ice ages and pre-date dinosaurs, have only been seen by two people in the world – making them one of the planet’s most elusive and unknown inhabitants.

A species of nautilus, distant cousins of squid and cuttlefish, they have been christened the “living fossils” of the oceans’ waters due to the distinctive shells that appear as fossils over a 500 million year period.

“New Zealand hunters apologise over accidental shooting of takahē”


An inquiry is under way into how a cull of somewhat similar-looking pukeko birds has led to the slaughter of 5% of the wild population of takahē. The head of New Zealand’s national deerstalkers’ association has apologised “to the country at large” after four critically endangered takahē were mistakenly shot by hunters carrying out a cull of a somewhat similar-looking bird.

“Fashion chain H&M offers $1m recycling prize for reusable clothing”


Hennes & Mauritz, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, is launching an effort to promote recycling as it seeks to cut its environmental impact, boost its ethical credentials and address looming shortages of raw materials.

The move comes as critics point out the damage being caused by a throwaway culture fuelled by cheap clothing that has seen a sharp rise in the number of garments sold annually around the world.

“Hottest Month On Record Portends Global Warming Speed Up”

Last month was not just the hottest July on record. Since July is “the warmest month of the year globally,” NOAA’s latest monthly State of the Climate Report, notes that July 2015 “was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880.”

“The Circus Animal Unemployment Crisis”

The Wild Animal Sanctuary

A new-found awareness of the often bleak circumstances of exotic animals bred for profit has led to overloaded refuges. The crisis for overloaded refuges was spurred by a new-found awareness of the often bleak circumstances of those bred for profit; a baby lion can fetch $1,000, a white tiger cub as much as $30,000. They may be kept in corn cribs, horse trailers, basements or worse.

“Earth on Track for Back-to-Back Records for Highest Temperatures”

Source: NOAA

With an El Nino growing in the Pacific Ocean and climate change spurring global temperatures ever higher, almost nothing can stop Earth from breaking 2014’s mark for the warmest year on record.

“Islamic Leaders Call For Phasing Out Global Fossil Fuels”

Islamic leaders from 20 countries have unveiled a sweeping new declaration on climate change, calling on their fellow Muslims to care for the planet and asking world leaders to phase out their use of fossil fuels.


“Meat-Eaters Are The Number One Cause Of Worldwide Species Extinction, New Study Warns”

A meat-inclusive diet often comes with a side of environmental caveats, including livestock’s contribution to global warming, its contribution to deforestation, and the stress it places on a bevy of increasingly precious resources, from water to land. Now, a group of researchers want to add another concern to the meat-eater’s plate: worldwide species extinction.

According to a recent study published in Science of the Total Environment by researchers at Florida International University in Miami, livestock production’s impact on land use is “likely the leading cause of modern species extinctions” — a problem the researchers think will only get worse as population growth increases the global demand for meat.


“Linking two rivers threatens to displace tigers”


Panna national park, home to 24 tigers, will be destroyed if the proposed linking of the rivers Ken and Betwa goes ahead, fear wildlife activists. Work was scheduled to start in December 2015. But the project isn’t likely to receive environmental clearances by then.