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Saturday, 28 April


Kilauea volcano: Magma system becomes increasingly pressurized, Hawaii "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Observations and measurements of the Puu eruption on Klauea Volcanos East Rift Zone during the past month suggest that the magma system beneath Puu has become increasingly pressurized, the Hawaiian Volcano...... Read more

Brazils actual forest-related CO2 emissions could blow by Paris pledge "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Primary forest in Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Primary forests are more efficient at storing carbon than secondary forests. Photo credit: Paulisson Miura on Visualhunt / CC BY Brazil is likely underestimating its actual emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases in its annually reported United Nations statistics, say scientists interviewed by Mongabay. If this missing data were included in official reporting, they add, it would show Brazil unlikely to meet its Paris Climate Agreement carbon reduction commitments. Low-resolution satellite forest surveys and overlooked sources of emissions, especially those due to forest degradation and wildfires, mean that Brazils reported national greenhouse gas emissions statistics may be too low. Experts note that Brazil is likely meeting United Nations guidelines in its yearly reporting. However, those U.N. rules ignore significant sources of national greenhouse gas emissions by disregarding carbon emitting processes related to forests. None of this underreporting is likely unique to Brazil, but it is perhaps more acute there than in other nations due to Brazils vast Amazonian forests. Aerial view of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest near Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil. Deforestation is a leading cause of carbon emissions in Brazil, but far from the only cause related to forests. Photo credit: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA The challenges of counting carbon emissions As part of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, now ratified by 175 countries, Brazil pledged to reduce its national greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent by 2025, relative to 2005 levels.

Unified land-use map for Indonesia nears launch, but concerns over access remain "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

JAKARTA An effort by the Indonesian government to compile a single map of land-use cover across the vast archipelago is nearing completion seven years after it began, but continues to be hampered by the very problem it seeks to overcome: bureaucracy. The one-map policy, conceived in 2011 to establish a single database for all government maps to eliminate disparities between the various maps currently in use by different government agencies, was initially slated for launch in mid-August this year, to coincide with the countrys independence anniversary. However, the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy has now decided to bring the launch date forward to early August, although no specific date has been set. The prevalence of mixed and often contradictory sources of reference across the different levels and arms of government is one of the biggest impediments to sustainable development in the country, experts say. This is particularly true for land-use maps, which are just as crucial in the management of Indonesias forests and natural resources as they are for infrastructure planning and development projects. Darmin Nasution, the coordinating minister for the economy, last month highlighted the importance of a unified map by pointing to a major gas leak in Jakarta that occurred after workers building a light-rail line accidentally drilled into an underground gas pipeline. The synchronization [of various government maps] is needed to avoid overlapping data, whether theyre for infrastructure projects or others, Darmin said as quoted by news site If we have a synchronized [map], then

3 killed, over 300 buildings damaged after shallow M4.4 quake hit Indonesia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A shallow earthquake registered by the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) as M4.4 hit Central Java Province, Indonesia at 06:28 UTC on April 18, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 4 km (2.4 miles). EMSC is reporting M4.4 at a...... Read more

Winter storm Xanto brought historic April snowfall, US "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A powerful late-season winter storm named Xanto by The Weather Channel brought record April snowfall to the upper Midwest and Great Lakes in mid-April 2018. Xanto was the heaviest April snowstorm on record in Minneapolis/St. Paul, it also was the second-heaviest...... Read more

Shallow M5.9 earthquake hits near Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Iran "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the Iranian Seismological Center as M5.9 hit southern Iran at 06:34 UTC on April 19, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 18 km (11.2 miles). USGS is reporting M5.5 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The epicenter was...... Read more

Scientists stumble upon hundreds of octopus moms in the deep sea "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Scientists exploring a patch of the seafloor some 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) deep inside the Pacific Ocean have accidentally stumbled upon a large nursery of octopus mothers. A team of geochemists had gone looking for warm water seeping out of cracks on the Dorado Outcrop, an expanse of rocky seafloor made of cooled lava from an underwater volcano, located about 250 kilometers (155 miles) west of Costa Rica. The researchers did find the warm seeps, but they also discovered hundreds of purple octopuses clustered around those seeps, nearly all of them guarding a clutch of eggs. When the researchers returned the next year in 2014, they saw the same thing: octopuses with eggs huddled around a network of cracks on the rocky bottom. The focus of [our] expeditions to Dorado Outcrop was to study a cool hydrothermal system. In doing so, we discovered this fascinating congregation of brooding octopuses, Geoffrey Wheat of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said in a statement. To maximize the scientific return of the expeditions, we shared the video with deep-sea biologists, whose research led to this publication. Footage of this unusual octopus assembly surprised Janet Voight, associate curator of zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago, U.S. When I first saw the photos, I was like No, they shouldnt be there! Not that deep and not that many of them, Voight said. To my knowledge there had been no reports of octopuses at this or comparable depths off between southern California and Peru. One of

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: April 11 - 17, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes between April 11 and 17, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 13 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Ambae, Vanuatu | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Sinabung, Indonesia. Ongoing...... Read more

eDNA may offer an early warning signal for deadly frog pathogen "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When Colleen Kamoroff and her graduate advisor Caren Goldberg collected water samples to look for the DNA of non-native fish species, they could not have guessed the potential importance of their timing. One month after they sampled water from 13 lakes in Californias Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park in 2015, endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs in three of the seven lakes theyd inhabited died in large numbers. Kamoroff and Goldberg, assistant professor at Washington State University, suspected the presence of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) fungus. Bd, a.k.a. chytrid fungus, causes Chytridiomycosis, which has devastated populations of at least 200 species of frogs and salamanders across the globe. A healthy mountain yellow-legged frog. Photo credit: Michael Hernandez The fungus feeds on keratin in a frogs skin, causing the skin to thicken and peel. Frogs use their skin to breathe, so chytrid makes breathing difficult and causes the frog to move sluggishly and react slowly to danger. It also damages the nervous system and causes them to behave abnormally, including sitting out in the open rather than protecting themselves. Chytrid doesnt kill frogs immediately, so they will first hop and swim around, spreading the fungus to other ponds and streams. This also makes infection difficult to detect prior to a major outbreak that can kill whole frog populations. Moreover, once chytrid has infected a pond, the fungus may remain in the water forever. Detecting disease through distributed DNA Kamoroff and Goldberg analyzed the water samples for environmental DNA, or eDNAgenetic material from the

Entire island of Puerto Rico loses power "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The power grid has collapsed in Puerto Rico and the entire island lost power on the morning of April 18, 2018. The cause of the outage wasn't immediately known, but island officials and media confirmed electricity was out. The outage comes shortly after a tree...... Read more

Severe weather claims 12 lives, affects thousands in Colombia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

At least 12 people have been killed and 1 341 families affected by severe weather since the start of the current rainy season in Colombia (April - May), the country's National Disaster Risk Management Agency (UNRGD) reports. Since the start of the season, the...... Read more

Huge rockslide in Castell de Mur buries a vehicle after heavy rainfall, Spain "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A major, fatal rockslide event took place at Castell de Mur in Catalonia, Spain on Monday, April 16, 2018, killing at least 2 people. According to first estimates, this rock slope failure had a mass of about 50 000 tonnes and a volume of 20 000 cubic meters (706 300...... Read more

Indonesia to punish state firm over litany of failures behind Borneo oil spill "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

JAKARTA The Indonesian government is preparing to punish state-owned oil and gas firm PT Pertamina over a major oil spill stemming from one of its undersea pipelines in eastern Borneo last month. An official investigation of the spill in Balikpapan Bay, in the province of East Kalimantan, which was first reported on March 31, found faults in the companys operational procedures. Among the findings by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry: the Pertamina refinery in Balikpapan, which was served by the pipeline, lacked both an early-warning system and an automated monitoring system. If the system was good, there wouldnt have been [a delay] of five to seven hours [before the oil spill was detected] and no need [to wait] until a fire broke out, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said on the sidelines of a hearing at the House of Representatives in Jakarta. An automated monitoring system would have alerted Pertamina immediately to changes in the pressure level in the pipeline, and thus allowed the firm to respond swiftly, Siti said. Instead, it took Pertamina four days to admit that the oil spill came from its 20-year-old pipe. By then, the slick had spread across an area greater than the city of Paris. Their emergency systems response to the leak from the pipe was very slow, said Rasio Ridho Sani, the environment ministrys director general for law enforcement. Thats why there needs to be an improvement. Part of that initial response involved setting fire to the slick

Anglo American iron ore pipeline suffers second rupture in Brazil "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The ruptured pipeline moves a mix of iron ore dust and water under pressure. When the pipe broke the mining material shot high into the air, then flowed away, contaminating a local river and pastureland. Image courtesy of MPMG On 12 March, Anglo American Brasil halted iron ore production in Minas Gerais state after the rupture of a mineral duct in the rural area of Santo Antnio do Grama, which leaked 318 tons of mining material into a local stream near its EB2 pumping station. Seventeen days later, on 29 March, a second pipeline leak occurred only 200 meters (656 feet) away from the first. It spilled 647 tons of iron ore, including 174 tons into the Santo Antnio do Grama River as well as contaminating nearby pastureland according to IBAMA, Brazils environmental agency. The mining company stated that the accident was caused by a failure in a weld, according to the communications office of the Secretary of State and Environment (SEMAD) of Minas Gerais. Heavy equipment moves in to try to deal with the Anglo American pipeline iron ore spill in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Image courtesy of MPMG The iron ore duct, which allows ore powder to remain suspended in water for transport, is part of Anglo American Brasils Minas-Rio system a US$ 3.6 billion project intended to carry ore to the Atlantic Ocean export terminal Port of Au in Rio de Janeiro state. The Brazilian company is a subsidiary of Anglo American, a transnational global mining firm based in London. On 10 April, IBAMA charged Anglo

Earth Day founder calls for an end to plastic pollution "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Denis Hayes was the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, and he took the event to the international stage in 1990. He is board chair of the international Earth Day Network, and President of the Bullitt Foundation. Earth Day 2018 is slated for April 22 and focuses on plastic pollution, so Mongabay took the opportunity to ask him about this years event and find out what else is on the mind of this key leader of the international environmental movement. INTERVIEW WITH DENIS HAYES Erik Hoffner for Mongabay: What was the impetus for the first Earth Day, nearly 50 years ago now? Denis Hayes: There were hundreds of important environmental issues before the first Earth Day: DDT & bird deaths. Air & water pollution. Oil spills. Herbicide use in Southeast Asia. Wilderness areas. But they were commonly viewed as unrelated. One prominent leader actually asked me, What the hell does air pollution have to do with birds? Earth Day took all these myriad strands and wove them into the fabric of modern environmentalismlinked by a coherent set of values and grounded in an ecological framework. When added together, they formed the basis for a formidable new political force. New York Times front page, April 1970. Mongabay: Whats the theme of this years Earth Day, and how can people get involved? Denis Hayes: The 2018 theme is End Plastic Pollution.  There is not much that the average person can do about the Pacific Garbage Patch or to ban

Conservationist known as a caretaker for Kenyas orphaned elephants dies at 83 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Daphne Sheldrick, a conservationist known for her work to care for and return orphaned elephants to the wild, died of breast cancer on April 12 at the age of 83. Her husband, David, was the first warden at Kenyas largest national park, Tsavo East. After his death in 1977, she started the Nairobi-based David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Daphne Sheldrick pioneered methods to rear milk-dependent elephant and rhino orphans. The organization, responsible for rearing more than 200 baby elephants to date, said that other orphanages around the world have used this knowledge to save other animals separated from their mothers. Daphne Sheldrick and her daughter Angela with Eleanor, an elephant that Daphne raised. Image The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Daphnes legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide, because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled, said Sheldricks daughter, Angela, in a statement from the organization. Angela Sheldrick has been its CEO for 17 years. From the daily chores required to nurture orphan elephants and other wildlife, to speaking out for the protection of wild elephants, Daphne Sheldrick lived a life driven by her belief that elephants, and other wild species, have a right to live a free and protected life just like us, the trust said. Research published in 2016 found that African elephant numbers are sliding by 8 percent every year. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust now fields teams that have gotten rid of more than 125,000 snares and have assisted in

20 killed, 33 000 displaced as floods continue affecting Kenya "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

More than 20 people were killed and 33 000 displaced from their homes over the past 10 days as floods continue affecting Kenya. According to FloodList, this is the third wave of flooding in the country since March this year. At least 15 people died and hundreds...... Read more

Massive flood hits Martinique after 250 mm (9.8 in) of rain in 6 hours "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Thousands of people were trapped in buildings and vehicles after extreme rainfall event accompanied by lightning and hail hit the Caribbean island of Martinique on April 16 and 17, 2018. According to Meteo France, Saint-Joseph recorded 175 mm (6.88 inches) of rain...... Read more

Major dust storm sweeps over Yazd province, Iran "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A massive dust storm swept over Yazd province in central Iran on April 16, 2018. Hadi Hadinasab, the director-general of the crisis management department of Yazd governorate, said the storm has fortunately left no casualties or damages. The dense cloud dramatically...... Read more

Its time to confront the collusion between the palm oil industry and politicians that is driving Indonesias deforestation crisis (commentary) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Two decades on from the fall of the Suharto dictatorship, Indonesias transition to democracy is regarded as a global success story. But lurking beneath the surface is an ugly truth. A now irrefutable body of evidence shows that regional elections, for the town mayors, district chiefs and provincial governors who hold huge sway over the lives of citizens in a decentralized state, are overwhelmingly corrupted by dark money. Political scientists, civil society observers and enforcement agencies have documented the race to the bottom as candidates compete to outspend one another, employing an array of nefarious and illegal methods collectively referred to as money politics. Indonesia Corruption Watch, a non-profit that monitors elections across the country, has described regional elections as brutal and shambolic. Many informed observers believe the phenomenon is growing worse. This system pushes to the top of the pile the candidates with the greatest tolerance for the dark arts of money politics and the ability to find wealthy backers. A study released earlier this year by the KPK, Indonesias anti-graft agency, found the majority of candidates are forced to make Faustian bargains with private interests to generate the funds required to mount a serious challenge. The donors want something in return: government contracts, jobs, policy influence and, above all, business licenses. Across much of rural Indonesia, the most valuable commodity these corrupt politicians have to offer is land. The largest demand for that land, meanwhile, is for the development of giant plantations. Predominantly to produce palm oil, a

14 killed after severe floods hit Dar es Salaam, Tanzania "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Heavy rains that hit Tanzania over the past couple of days caused buildings to collapse and widespread flooding in Dar es Salaam, a major city and commercial port on Tanzanias Indian Ocean coast. A statement released by Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA)...... Read more

Ghosts in the Machine: The land deals behind the downfall of Indonesias top judge "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

(Baca dalam Bahasa Indonesia.) Prologue: Jakarta, 2013 It was long after the close of business when Indonesias highest-ranking judge stepped out of his official residence in Jakarta to greet some guests, one night in October 2013. It had been a busy few months for Akil Mochtar. In his capacity as chief justice of the Constitutional Court, he had been called upon to preside over a flurry of cases brought by candidates who had recently taken part in regional elections. Those who felt they had been cheated out of victory through bribes, vote tampering or any of a number of ruses used to gain an edge in close-fought contests could challenge the result in Akils court. Akil was working late because he had a lucrative side job. By day he fulfilled his official role, running one of the nations most trusted institutions while presenting the face of an impartial judge. By night he peddled his verdicts, negotiating with litigants who sought to buy his decisions for cash. Akil had become a part of the corrupt system he was supposed to police. Waiting for Akil, sitting on a bench next to the manicured bushes on his terrace, was a businessman with four envelopes underneath his shirt stuffed with a total of $250,000 in U.S. and Singapore currency. He was accompanied by an austere woman wearing a hijab and spectacles, a member of parliament who had brokered the deal about to go down. But as soon as Akil stepped out of his front door, more

Boom and bust cycle of deep-sea trawling unsustainable, study finds "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Fishing in the remote waters of the deep sea isnt easy. But with technological advancements, fishing boats have pushed farther and deeper into the oceans, frequently using bottom trawl gear giant fishing nets weighted down with metal attachments that drag along the seafloor to scoop up huge amounts of fish from depths of up to 2,000 meters (6,560 feet). Deep-sea trawling, however, can be extremely destructive for fish populations, while providing minimal economic benefits, researchers have found. Catches from deep-sea trawling are also grossly underreported, the researchers conclude in a new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science. Considering that the search for fishable resources, though partly buffered by some recent regulatory positions is progressively moving deeper and deeper, the picture that emerges from this study is definitely worrying, Antonio Pusceddu, professor of ecology at the University of Cagliari, Italy, who was not involved in the study, told Mongabay. Pacific sleeper shark. Image by NOAA. Bottom-trawling in the deep sea likely unsustainable Between 1950 and 2015, bottom trawls caught about 25 million tons of 72 fish species at depths greater than 400 meters (1,310 feet), the researchers found. Many of these fisheries followed a boom and bust pattern, with fish harvests first thriving, then quickly crashing. This shows that deep-sea bottom-trawled fisheries are not sustainable, lead author Lissette Victorero, a doctoral student at the National Oceanography Centre, U.K., told Mongabay. Most of them last only a decade or two. Additionally, this cycle is so rapid that the management and

Audio: Impacts of agriculture on Brazils Cerrado region "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

On todays episode: the impacts of agriculture on Brazils Cerrado region. Listen here: Brazils Cerrado region is incredibly biodiverse, supporting more than 10,000 plant species, 900 birds, and 300 mammals. But it has long been overlooked by scientists and environmentalists alike, and as protecting the Amazon has become more of a priority in recent decades, much agricultural production in Brazil has moved from the rainforest to the vast Cerrado savannah. In February, Mongabay sent journalists Alicia Prager and Flvia Milhorance to the Cerrado region of central Brazil to report on the impacts of rapid expansion of agribusiness on the regions environment and people. Prager and Milhorance filed a series of six reports and theyre here to tell us what they found. Heres this episodes top news: Bowhead whales in the Arctic sing hundreds of complex songs Six staff killed in deadliest attack at Congos Virunga National Park Rubber plantation in Cameroon edges closer to UNESCO World Heritage Site Lost fairy lantern spotted in Malaysian Borneo after 151 years Colombia grants historic protections to rainforest, indigenous groups You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Android, Google Play, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn, or RSS. If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, we ask that you please consider becoming a monthly sponsor via our Patreon page, at Just a dollar per month will really help us offset the production costs and hosting fees, so if youre a fan of our audio reports from natures frontline, please support the Mongabay Newscast at

Suspected poisoning takes down 11 lions in Uganda park "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Eleven lions were allegedly poisoned to death in a Ugandan national park in early April. Authorities discovered the bodies of three lionesses and eight cubs, members of the same pride, on April 11 in Queen Elizabeth National Park around Hamukungu, a fishing village in southwestern Uganda. They were believed to have eaten meat laced with poison. Ugandas lion population is around 500. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. Ephraim Kamuntu, Ugandas minister of tourism, wildlife and antiquities, pointed out the importance of lions in drawing tourists. We condemn in the strongest terms possible such an act of deliberately killing animals which are now a top foreign exchange earner to the country, he said in a statement posted on the Facebook page of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Kamuntu said nature tourism was worth $1.4 billion to Ugandas economy. Thats more than 5 percent of its annual gross domestic product, according to the United Nations. But in a country where each persons share of that total works out to less than $650, the loss of a herders livestock to big cats can be devastating, leading communities to seek retribution and contributing to a decline in the lion population across Uganda. Fewer than 500 lions remain. According to Kamuntu, the wildlife authority distributed a share of the profits from park entry fees totaling more than 929 million Ugandan shillings (about $252,000) in 2017 to districts around Queen Elizabeth National Park for schools, health clinics and small business projects. Scientists believe that all of Ugandas

Response to critique on Conservation Effectiveness series (commentary) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The other members of the team behind Mongabays Conservation Effectiveness series and I appreciate the feedback on our series offered by Madeleine McKinnon and her colleagues. We believe that we and the authors of the commentary share the common goals of encouraging and enabling conservation actions based on the available scientific evidence, and increasing the standard of scientific studies that evaluate the impact of conservation. Before addressing the specific points made by McKinnon and her co-authors, we would also like to emphasize that our series and visualizations have additional goals: To make scientific evidence accessible to non-scientists. To increase the ease with which practitioners can orient themselves in and interact with scientific evidence in order to make informed opinions given the limited time they have. To demonstrate to a broad audience the complexity of scientific evidence and the different ways in which conservation success can be viewed. To inspire discussion about what conservation success means for different stakeholders, beyond scientists. Importantly, our goal was not to carry out a systematic review  an intensive, sometimes years-long process beyond the scope of our resources. We believe that systematic reviews are invaluable and crucial for answering specific, relatively narrow research questions. At the same time, they are not suitable for providing an overview of evidence of a wide range of outcomes, across a broad spectrum of evidence types, as we have tried to do with this series. Bias First, we disagree that the alternative to a systematic review is

Seek higher standards to honestly assess conservation effectiveness (commentary) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

This commentary is in response to Mongabays Conservation Effectiveness series. You can read Mongabays response here. Scientists are keen to get better data and evidence into the hands of decision-makers and the public in general. However, systematically sorting, assessing and synthesizing scientific data from reams of journal articles takes time and resources. In an effort to get faster results, rapid methods for evidence synthesis are desirable, but their use can have substantial drawbacks and limitations that ultimately affect the accuracy and validity of findings. We applaud the launch of the Conservation Effectiveness series on Mongabay and its spotlight on the effects and effectiveness of prominent conservation strategies to a broad readership. However, some of the compromises made in expediting and simplifying their approach to synthesis have implications for replicability of the methods and confidence in the final results. Given that the series has the potential to reach new and influential audiences, we highlight several areas for caution and clarity. Bias One of the major benefits of systematic reviews and evidence syntheses is their ability to bring consensus around which strategies or actions are effective without motive or manipulation. The alternative is choosing single data points or cherry-picking results to fit a desired narrative. Thus efforts to avoid bias in determining which studies are included in a synthesis, and how they are assessed, are critical to facilitate a true reflection of an existing evidence base. Certified timber in Peru. Photo by Rhett Butler. The recent Conservation Effectiveness series was susceptible to

Heavy rain and floods killed 41 people, destroyed 3 000 homes in Rwanda "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Heavy rains that flooded Rwanda since the beginning of March killed at least 41 people and injured more than 160, Rwanda's Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs said April 16, 2018. The agency added that floods unleashed by heavy rains also killed...... Read more

Rhea Fire: Deadly Oklahoma wildfire has now consumed over 100 000 ha (246 000 acres) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Rhea Fire that started on April 12, 2018 in Western Oklahoma grew quickly with Red Flag fire weather conditions and has now consumed over 100 000 hectares (246 000 acres). The fire is blamed for the death of 1 person so far. This fire is located in Dewey County,...... Read more

Ice storm wreaks havoc across Toronto area, Ontario "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A powerful ice storm brought freezing rain and ice pellets to much of southern Ontario on April 14 - 15, causing power outages, fallen trees, flooding and an almost unprecedented over 1600 collisions on slippery Toronto-area roads. Ontario Provincial...... Read more

Cooperative agroforestry empowers indigenous women in Honduras "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

GUALCINCE, Honduras The Lenca call it a sacrificial stone, where their indigenous  ancestors went to make offerings to deities. A triangle of rock with different circles inscribed on its surface, it has remained intact despite the passage of time. The woods that surround the village of Gualcince, almost at the border with El Salvador, bear marks of their past, too. It was here on Congoln Mountain that Indio Lempira, the famed Lenca leader of Honduran indigenous resistance, died. Lenca culture flourished here in the pre-Columbian epoch, and people still find ancient artifacts. The Lenca villages ancient sacrificial stone. Image by Monica Pelliccia for Mongabay Despite the great depth of history, there are new traditions starting here as well. Amanda Abrego, a 36-year-old mother of four who lives near the sacred stone, is a board member of the Cosagual Lenca cooperative of women coffee growers. Like 21 other female cafetaleras, she is now cropping organic coffee under the shadow of timber- and fruit-yielding trees, following the traditional agroforestry system that the Lenca indigenous group to which the famous environmental activist Berta Cceres belonged before she was assassinated two years ago developed before the arrival of Spanish conquerors, and they are selling it in a new way. In 2014, the women launched an all-female growers cooperative as a part of the Cosagual coffee growers organization. Eva Alvarado, 60, is one of the founders of the cooperative. All of my life I worked as a cafetalera, she says. When I was

Over 1 500 houses damaged, farms devastated as hailstorm hits northern Vietnam "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Hailstorms and strong winds hit Vietnam's northern mountainous region on the evening of April 14, 2018, damaging houses and destroying crops. The storms have left many without a roof over their heads and destroyed crops that were ready for harvest. In the...... Read more

One person killed after tornado hits Greensboro in Guilford County, North Carolina "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Significant damage was reported in the Greensboro area of North Carolina's Guilford County on Sunday, April 15, 2018 after an apparent tornado swept through the area. An apparent tornado touched down near Greensboro about 17:15 EDT on April 15, damaging hundreds...... Read more

Asteroid 2018 GE3 flew past Earth at 0.5 LD "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A newly discovered asteroid designated 2018 GE3 flew past Earth at a very close distance of 0.5 LD or 0.00129 AU (~192 981 km / 119 912 miles) on April 15, 2018. This is the 28th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 lunar distance since the start of the year and...... Read more

Dogs in India are a problem for wildlife, study finds "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Dogs may be a humans best friend, but can be a deadly menace to wildlife, including endangered species, according to a survey in India, home to the worlds fourth-biggest population of dogs. The findings, reported in a new study published in Animal Conservation, highlighted dog attacks on some 80 species, including threatened ones dwindling in numbers, such as the golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), the great Indian bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) and the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas). Nearly half of these attacks took place in or around protected areas, the survey found. India is home to about 60 million of the worlds estimated 1 billion dogs. In a bid to understand the impacts of free-ranging dogs on native wildlife in the country, which many experts claim is an underreported fact, Chandrima Home of the Bangalore-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and colleagues zoomed in on dog-wildlife interactions in India through an online survey and scrutinized reports from national print media. We found it is largely a problem across India, despite the limitations of an online survey, Home told Mongabay-India. Dogs were reported to attack nearly 80 species of wildlife and most of the attacks were on mammals, largely ungulates like cattle and small carnivores. In some places, respondents reported multiple attacks. Majority of these attacks were by free-ranging dogs unaccompanied by humans and in packs. Nearly half of the attacks led to the death of the animal. A pack of dogs predating on a hog deer across the

Record-shattering rains trigger destructive floods in Hawaii, 699 mm (27 inches) in 24 hours "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

An upper level low west of Kauai and ample deep moisture have worked together to produce record-shattering rains in parts of Hawaii over the weekend. At least two homes were swept away by raging floodwaters and dozens more damaged. The hardest-hit area is between...... Read more

Massive storm system sweeps through US, at least 3 deaths reported "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A massive storm system reaching from Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes has afflicted the central United States on April 13 - 15 with heavy snow, tornadoes, rain, and hail, forcing flight cancellations, creating dangerous road conditions and killing at least three...... Read more

Destructive flash floods, rare tornado hit Algeria "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Severe weather conditions hit northern parts of Algeria on April 14, 2018, bringing heavy rain, flooding, and hail. A rare tornado was spotted in Batna Province. Rainfall of 25 - 50 mm (1-2 inches) was reported across north-central Algeria through the afternoon of...... Read more

Our star is rotating on a helical orbit while spiraling up and down (spiral oscillation) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

According to my understanding, all structures in the Universe, including the largest one, are magnetically ordered and centrally powered. The Milky Way follows this standard cosmic model. The astronomical objects and celestial bodies of our galaxy are connected to...... Read more

Colombia grants historic protections to rainforest, indigenous groups "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

In a move described as unprecedented, Colombias president Juan Manuel Santos announced Tuesday that the country intends to add 8 million hectares (80,000 square kilometers or 31,000 square miles) to its protected areas. That same day, Santos also signed a decree granting indigenous communities the ability and autonomy to govern their own territories. According to a speech by Santos, these new protections will increase Colombias protected area coverage by 30 million to 38 million hectares or by 27 percent. He said this expansion will protect forest against the encroachment of agriculture and will include strategic areas for biodiversity conservation. The announcement comes as agricultural activity has rushed to fill the vacuum left by demobilization of the FARC rebel group, the presence of which held off development in much of the Colombian Amazon for decades. It aims to effectively freeze agricultural expansion into rainforest areas. As reported by Thomson Reuters, Santos said once and for all, we (will) know where we can farm, produce and from what boundary we will protect all the forests and the entire Amazon. He said the government will be spending the next two weeks defining the bounds of the new protected areas, and that residents of local indigenous communities will be granted land titles giving them the autonomy to manage them. Santos delivered his speech in the Colombian Amazon city of Leticia, flanked by members of indigenous communities, as well as Norways prime minister Erna Solberg. Norway has committed $250 million towards Colombias initiative,

Understanding bird behavior key to developing risk reduction technologies "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Years of studying birds and their relationship with their environment taught John Swaddle, professor of biology at the College of William & Mary, the importance of understanding animals instincts and behaviors when developing methods for improving human-wildlife interactions. Swaddle used what he knew about different bird species tendencies to create a pair of systems that minimize collisions with tall man-made structures, such as skyscrapers or wind turbines, and keep birds away from areas where their presence may be unwelcome or a hazard, such as on farmland or airports. He presented his findings in February at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas. In his presentation, Swaddle introduced two different technologies, the Sonic Net and the Acoustic Lighthouse. A bald eagle surveys the landscape from a treetop. Eagles and other large birds seeking a high perch or looking down for prey below may accidentally collide with wind turbine blades. Photo credit: Martin Keus, courtesy of Quoddy Tours CC 2.0 Testing Sonic Nets to remove birds from risky areas When working on the Sonic Net, Swaddle kept the long-standing practice of scarecrows on farmland in mind. He recognized that scarecrows only temporarily discourage birds from visiting an area because birds learn that they are not a real threat. Birds are pretty smart, they habituate, and if the threat is not real they know and they stick around, Swaddle said. Those kinds of technologies just show diminishing returns, no matter how high-tech the technology gets. Birds will still habituate

More than 840 000 people in Puerto Rico without power again "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

More than 840 000 people across Puerto Rico lost power on April 12, 2018, as the U.S. territory continues to struggle after the damage caused by Hurricane "Maria" last fall, according to islands Electric Power Authority. The 2018 Atlantic hurricane...... Read more

Certified weaknesses: The RSPOs Liberian fiasco (commentary) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Its late March and the latest news about the future of communities traditional lands has yet to reach the towns and villages in southeastern Liberia. On February 13, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, the industry certification system for production of conflict-free palm oil, confirmed what many in rural Sinoe County have been saying all along: Golden Veroleum Liberia (GVL), a palm oil company operating since 2010, did not properly receive the consent of local communities to acquire their traditional lands. A letter issued to GVL by the RSPO Complaints Panel says that the company coerced and intimidated community members into signing agreements ceding their lands, did not conduct adequate participatory mapping, destroyed communities sacred sites, and continues to develop disputed lands, all in violation of RSPO Principles and Criteria. The charges against GVL and its parent company, Golden Agri-Resources, are not new. The first complaint filed against GVL with the RSPO came in 2012. Over the years, multiple civil society reports have documented GVLs land grabbing, human rights violations, and environmental degradation. In 2015, a riot erupted on GVLs plantation. Six years and various investigations by the RSPO later, the situation for these communities is largely the same. A bulldozer lies in Golden Veroleums palm oil plantation. Photo by Gaurav Madan. Across Sinoe County, many villagers have long decried the impacts of GVL on their lives. They claim that despite the companys promises, GVL has destroyed their sacred sites, polluted their drinking water, and curtailed their access to their

Population of worlds rarest giant turtle rises to 4 with new discovery "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When Cu Rua, an old Yangtze giant softshell turtle, died in Vietnam in 2016, he left behind only three of his kind: an elderly pair in a Chinese zoo, and a wild individual in a Vietnamese lake called Dong Mo. This meant that the Yangtze giant softshell turtle (Rafetus swinhoei), one of the worlds largest known freshwater turtle species, also became one of the worlds rarest. Now, some turtle experts are confident theyve identified a fourth specimen of this critically endangered turtle in Vietnams Xuan Khanh lake. Its a good feeling to confirm the presence of a fourth turtle; it gives us hope something can be done to bring the species back, Timothy McCormack, program coordinator of  the Hanoi-based Asian Turtle Program of Indo-Myanmar Conservation (ATP/IMC), a U.K.-based conservation charity, told Mongabay. Ive put a lot of time into looking for this species and have always believed it has a chance. Nguyen Tai Thang of the ATP/IMC surveying Xuan Khanh Lake in Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Nguyen Van Trong/ATP. But this confirmation comes after a long and winding journey. Reports of a plausible giant softshell turtle in Xuan Khanh Lake first surfaced in 2012 in the form of a photograph, McCormack said. The image wasnt sufficiently clear to confirm the species, though, and intensive surveys of the lake over subsequent years failed to confirm the turtles presence. Then, in May 2017, Nguyen Van Trong, a former fisherman who now works with ATP/IMC, photographed what looked like a giant softshell turtle. Again, the blurry

In other news: Environmental stories from around the web, April 13, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Tropical forests A government agency in Indonesia aims to restore peatlands and help communities (CIFOR Forests News). Planting cocoa trees could help farmers and ranchers avoid further deforestation in the Amazon (Reuters). Leeches help scientists assess the array of species present in forests (The New York Times). CITES finds that some reptiles and amphibians sold as captive bred are actually captured from the wild (The New York Times). Pollution appears to be changing the chemistry of the air in the Amazon (Phys.Org). Habitat loss killed most of the koalas that died in recent years in Queensland, Australia (The Guardian). The proliferation of wildlife on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi happened more recently than scientists previously estimated, according to a new study (Phys.Org). Other news Sperm whale succumbs to 29 kilograms (64 pounds) of trash in its gut, according to an autopsy (The New York Times). Animals charismatic status may increase their risk of extinction, a new study finds (PLOS Biology/EurekAlert). Increased snowfall in Antarctica over past 200 years isnt enough to compensate for the sea-level rise caused by melting ice (BBC News). Now a different dodo, a small pigeon in the South Pacific, is facing extinction due to hunting (The Guardian). Scientists debate the danger that climate change poses to polar bears, and denialists use the discord to sow doubt (The New York Times). New research suggests that as mountains erode, they release climate-warming gases (Science Magazine). In a bid to save dugongs, conservation groups are trying to set up

Small farmers not ready as Indonesia looks to impose its palm oil sustainability standard on all "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

JAKARTA The Indonesian government aims to impose its homegrown sustainability standard for palm oil on all operators, but concerns persist over the readiness of the previously exempt small-scale farmers who manage two-fifths of total plantation area nationwide. Mandatory participation in the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil scheme, or ISPO, was initially aimed at farmers and companies managing plantations of more than 25 hectares (62 acres) in size. This, however, exempts from certification the vast number of smaller plantations that, combined, account for 40 percent of oil palm plantations in the country. To date, less than 1 percent of independent smallholder farms are certified as sustainable under the ISPO and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the worlds largest association for ethical production of palm oil. The industry has long been associated with social and environmental problems such as forced labor and massive deforestation. The government, aware that any meaningful reform of the industry would have to include small-scale farmers, plans to make ISPO certification mandatory for these smallholders by 2020. The need to do so will only grow more urgent as the number of such operators continues to increase, expanding their share of Indonesias oil palm plantation area to 60 percent by 2030. Independent smallholders are thus critical players for bringing sustainable, conflict-free palm oil into reality, the World Resources Institute (WRI) said in a recent blog post. However, there are concerns that smallholders, long overlooked by both industry and government for assistance in adopting agricultural best practices, are not

Most Popular Stories from Mongabay Latam, April 2 8 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

These are the most popular stories at Mongabay Latam from April 2 8. The oil spill in Colombia is an ongoing environmental disaster. The search for the causes of the tragedy and the work to save affected animals were the most read stories of the week. The image above, a spectacular vista of the Grand Canyon in Colorado from the vast Mongabay Latam archive, was the most popular on Latams social networks. Oil spill in Colombia: the environmental emergency continues and the causes are unknown The crude oil spill extends for 24 km in the La Lizama and Cao Muerto tributaries in western Colombia. Image credit: Journalists for Peace Foundation. A mysterious, month-long oil spill is finally under control, but the effect of more than an estimated 16,000 barrels of crude oil are still being felt, notably in a tributary of Colombias most important river, the Magdalena . While the countrys state oil company, Ecopetrol, waits for the arrival of US equipment to determine why an abandoned oil well suddenly exploded, a troubling hypothesis points to pressures from a new hydroelectric dam. Bolivia: Why is the Sama Reserve in danger? The Tajzara basin in the Sama Reserve. Image credit: National Service of Protected Areas (Bolivia). Overgrazing, highway construction and intense, prolonged droughts are wreaking significant impact on the fragile ecosystem of the Sama plateau. Water is the most affected resource, despite the reserves status as a protected area and an internationally important wetland. A nearby city could lose its

Global warming may poison monarch butterflies, study finds "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Monarch butterflies depend on milkweed and its poisonous compounds that are deadly to most other insects. But a new study finds global warming may be making the very plant monarch butterflies need to survive too toxic even for them. Their vibrant red-orange wings with contrasting black veins and white dots make monarchs (Danaus plexippus) easy to recognize not only to humans but also to birds on the lookout for a snack. Its a warning that tells would-be predators an important message: Poisonous do not eat. Monarchs get their protective poison from the milkweed plant, which is actually a group of species nested under the genus Asclepias. The great Swedish botanist and founder of modern taxonomy Carl Linneaus named this group after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, because of the plants use in traditional medicine. But milkweed plants also have a deadly side. They produce compounds called cardenolides that are steroids capable of stopping the heart. Scientists believe milkweed plants produce cardenolides as a defense against plant-eating insects and other animals. But some species have coevolved around this defense. And some, like monarch butterflies, dont just cope with these toxins theyre able to sequester them in their tissue to make themselves poisonous and bad tasting to their own predators. A monarch caterpillar feasts on a milkweed leaf. Photo by USFWS Mountain-Prairie Because of their unique defense, monarch butterflies are obligate feeders on milkweed, and their caterpillars cannot eat anything else. This relationship is a risky one, and monarchs

Indigenous environmental activist killed in Myanmar "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Indigenous and environmental activist Saw O Moo was reportedly killed in Myanmars Karen State on April 5. According to the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), Saw O Moo, who worked with KESAN as a local community partner, had attended a community meeting that day to help organize humanitarian aid for villagers displaced by renewed hostilities between Myanmars military and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), an armed ethnic group. Despite a nationwide ceasefire agreement signed in October 2015, recent hostilities between the two sides are said to have displaced as many as 2,300 local people. Saw O Moo was reportedly returning to his home in Ler Mu Plaw village by motorbike when he offered a ride to a soldier of the KNLA who was assigned to provide security for Karen civilians in the Ler Mu Plaw area. At 5:20 PM, just as the two men were nearing Saw O Moos home in Ler Mu Plaw, they were ambushed and shot at by Burma Army soldiers at a place called Wah Klo Hta on the edge of the TRi Plaw plain, KESAN reports. According to The Irrawaddy, the Myanmar military has denied any wrongdoing in the killing of Saw O Moo and claimed he was in fact a rebel fighter and that he had grenades on his person. The Irrawaddy reports that, in a statement released early Wednesday, the military says its troops shot at two fleeing plainclothes men who were suspected of being involved in sabotage attacks and

Natural cycles: A link between formation of supercontinents and strength of ocean tides "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A new study suggests there is a likely link between the cyclic strengthening and weakening of ocean tides over tens of millions of years and another, longer cycle - the formation of Earth's supercontinents every 400 to 600 million years. The new research...... Read more

3D infrared animation of Jupiters north pole "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

NASA's Juno scientists have unveiled their 3D infrared movie depicting densely packed cyclones and anticyclones that permeate Jupiters polar regions, and the first detailed view of a dynamo, or engine, powering the magnetic field for any planet beyond...... Read more

Brazils high court curbs executive power to dismember protected areas "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Provisional Measures (MPs) were originally instituted as a means of taking emergency action. But over the years, MPs have been employed by the executive branch to dismember conservation units in the Amazon rainforest and elsewhere. Last weeks Supreme Court ruling disallows that practice. Photo by Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay In a ruling welcomed by environmentalists, Brazils Supreme Court decided unanimously on 5 April that it was unconstitutional for the executive branch to have used MP 558, a Provisional Measure (Medida Provisria), to reduce the size of seven conservation units by 100,000 hectares (247,000 acres). Five of the units are located beside the Tapajs River, in one of the Amazons most biodiverse regions. The judgement is far reaching: it precludes the Temer government and all future administrations from using MPs to change protected area boundaries. Instead, the executive branch will need to submit such changes in draft bills to Congress. This approach gives civil society an opportunity to express its views regarding proposed reductions to conservation units. Importantly, the executive can still use provisional measures to push through other policies potentially harmful to the environment. The Supreme Courts decision is both important and necessary, given the power of the lobby against protected areas, said Daniel Azeredo, Brazils Attorney General. These areas are vulnerable because of inadequate government structures and competing land claims. A large number of provisional measures to reduce the size of protected areas are in the pipeline. Areas known to be vulnerable included the Nascentes da Serra do

NGOs acquire land in Brazil to create wildlife corridor "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Brazils Atlantic Forest is one of the worlds biodiversity hotspots. However, over the last 500 years its extension has been dramatically decreasing, and today it occupies roughly 15 percent of its original area and 7 percent of its original forest cover. The remaining forest areas are severely fragmented, causing habitat loss and increasing the pressure on the remaining species. Conservationists have found that a way to alleviate the impact of fragmentation is to implement wildlife corridors that connect interspersed patches of remnant forests. On April 9, three conservation NGOs announced they had acquired land for one such corridors also known as a land bridge. The area will be created in the vicinity of the Biological Reserve of Poo das Antas, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The corridor will include a bridge overpass over a large highway that runs north of the reserve and will allow animals to circulate beyond the limits of the reserve. A golden lion tamarin. Photo courtesy AMLD. Among the species that will benefit from the corridor is the endangered golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia), endemic to the region. The golden lion tamarins protection has been at the core of the project. SavingSpecies is one of the three non-profits that have joined efforts to create the corridor. The other two are the Associao Mico-Leo-Dourado (AMLD), a Brazilian NGO that has been working on the conservation of the golden lion tamarin for the last 25 years, and the Netherlands-based DOB Ecology, a philanthropic organization that supports

16 killed, 100 injured as storm hits northwestern India, 80% crop loss "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

At least 16 people were killed in unprecedented storms and rainfall in the state of Rajasthan, India on April 11, 2018. Five people were killed in Bharatpur district and 11, including five children, in Dholpur district. At least 100 people got injured. Local farmers...... Read more

April Blizzard: Major storm brings heavy snow, strong winds and hazardous travel, US "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A powerful late-season winter storm named Xanto by The Weather Channel will sweep over the United States this week with some very heavy snow and incredibly strong winds. The heaviest snow is expected from the northern Plains to the Upper Midwest. Strong winds are...... Read more

Coal company fined 2 billion rupiah for illegal waste dumping in Borneo "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Residents of villages in Indonesian Borneo who have long complained that a coal company is polluting local waterways have won their first victory in court, but activists say the sanctions against the company dont go far enough. On Dec. 4, 2017, the Tenggarong District Court in East Kalimantan ordered PT Indominco Mandiri to pay a fine of 2 billion rupiah ($145,400) after finding it guilty of dumping waste without a permit, a violation of Indonesias Environmental Protection and Management Act. The court found Indominco had dumped some 4,000 tons of fly ash and bottom ash, both residues of burning coal and classified as toxic and hazardous waste, in the vicinity of its coal-fired power plant. Indominco operates mines in three districts in East Kalimantan province: Kutai Kartanegara, Bontang and East Kutai. The company also owns a 2X7-megawatt power plant that straddles the villages of Central Santan and Santan Ilir in Kutai Kartanegara. The company is a subsidiary of publicly listed mining holding company PT Indo Tambangraya Megah, which in turn is majority-owned by Bangkok-based Banpu Public Company, Thailands largest producer and distributor of coal. An October session of the trial of PT Indominco in the Tenggarong District Court. Photo by Tommy Apriando/Mongabay-Indonesia. Calls for tougher sanctions In response to the verdict, the Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), a civil society organization focused on supporting communities affected by mining operations, urged the government and the court to impose stiffer penalties on the company and its officials. Under Indonesias environmental law, any person

Has Africa run out of water? - Prof. Alan MacDonald "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Many people in Africa still lack reliable access to safe water, which affects health, livelihoods and the potential for sustainable growth. Why is this still a problem, given that in other areas, such as mobile phone coverage, Africa is seeing spectacular growth in...... Read more

Indias new forest policy draft draws criticism for emphasis on industrial timber "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Indian government has initiated the process of revamping its national forest policy, but the new draft has critics on edge. The current National Forest Policy 1988 (NFP-1988) was announced 30 years ago. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has now published the Draft National Forest Policy 2018 (DNFP-2018), open for public comments until April 14. The new draft policys overall goal is to safeguard the ecological and livelihood security of people, of the present and future generations, based on sustainable management of the forests for the flow of ecosystem services. The draft policy also aims to maintain at least one-third of Indias total land area under forest and tree cover. In the hills and mountainous regions, the policys goal is to maintain two-thirds of the area under forest and tree cover to both prevent soil erosion and land degradation and also to ensure the stability of the fragile ecosystems. The draft policy lists multiple other objectives, including the maintenance of environmental stability and conservation of biodiversity; reversal of the degradation of forests; improvement of the livelihoods of people through the sustainable use of ecosystem services; and meeting Indias greening goals under its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). Further, it talks about maintaining soil quality; safeguarding forestlands; managing protected areas and other wildlife-rich areas; protecting watersheds; and increasing tree cover outside forests. Forests in the mountains provide ecosystem services and climate resilience to those living in the plains. Photo by S. Gopikrishna Warrier / Mongabay. The draft also

How a family of local elites is still pitching to control a district in Borneo "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

In the leadup to the release of the second installment of Indonesia for Sale, our series examining the corruption behind Indonesias deforestation and land-rights crisis, we are republishing the first article in the series, The Palm Oil Fiefdom.  This is the seventh and final part of that article. The first part described a secret deal between the son of Darwan Ali, head of Indonesias Seruyan district, and Arif Rachmat, CEO of one of Indonesias largest palm oil companies. The second part gave Darwans backstory, and the third part chronicled the palm oil boom that hit Seruyan after he took office. The fourth part examined the corruption behind that boom. The fifth part focused on Seruyans people as they organized against Darwan. The sixth part asked why he was never prosecuted.  The article can be read in full here. Indonesia for Sale is co-produced with The Gecko Project, an initiative of the UK-based investigations house Earthsight. Cover image for The Palm Oil Fiefdom. Despite his son Ruswandis defeat in the 2013 election, Darwan Alis family remained embedded in the political establishment in both Seruyan and Central Kalimantan province. Darwan moved to a new political party, which he now chairs at the provincial level. It is an influential position for trading support in elections. Last year, he used it to back the current governor, the nephew of a timber baron who plundered Tanjung Puting National Park, for a second term. Darwan did not respond to multiple interview requests, delivered via text messages and calls to a number provided by his partys office at the House of Representatives in

Volcanic eruptions during Roman times plunged Eurasia into hunger and disease "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A joint research project of the Chronology Laboratory of the Finnish Museum of Natural History and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) suggests that large volcanic eruptions in the years 536 and 541544 CE resulted in unusually gloomy and cold period...... Read more

List of 100 most unique and endangered reptiles released "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

What do the worlds tiniest chameleon, a color-changing snake, and a turtle that breathes through its genitals have in common? Each of these reptiles sits perched on its own unique branch of life and, according to Zoological Society of London (ZSL), is headed for extinction unless urgent steps are taken for their protection. The ZSL has released a list of 100 Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered Reptiles through its EDGE of Existence program. Using a formula published in a PLOS ONE Study, each species receives a score that takes into account how evolutionarily unusual it is as well as its risk for extinction. ZSL hopes these rankings will provide a scientifically rigorous and standardized method to assign conservation priority to vanishing species. The worm-like Madagascar blind snake (Xenotyphlops grandidieri) has no use for eyes as it burrows through the forest floors of Madagascar. Photo by: Jrn Khler courtesy of ZSL. A juvenile Minute leaf chameleon (Brookesia micra) perches on a match head. This is the smallest chameleon in the world and is found exclusively in the forests of Madagascar. Photo by: Glaw et al When EDGE launched in 2007, said EDGE of Existence Program Manager Nisha Owen, our vision was to shine a light on those species that, if they were allowed to go extinct, would effectively take an entire branch of the Tree of Life with them. EDGE has published lists for mammals, birds, amphibians, and corals in the past and has partnered with other organizations to fund work

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: April 4 - 10, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

New activity/unrest was reported for 5 volcanoes between April 4 and 10, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 14 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Ambae, Vanuatu | Kirishimayama, Kyushu (Japan) | Lascar, Chile | Nevados de Chillan, Chile |...... Read more

A wish list for an environmentally friendly NAFTA "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The NAFTA flag. The fate of the three-nation trade agreement is now in the hands of negotiators operating in secret. Photo by Keepscases licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 generic license With the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations (lets call it NAFTA 2.0) still in a state of limbo, experts worry Mexico, Canada and the U.S. may bail out of what President Donald Trump has repeatedly called the worst deal ever made. The possibility of a tariff and trade war over steel and aluminum has complicated and delayed the negotiations. And earlier foot dragging has already resulted in Brazil being the recipient of large scale corn and other commodities sales to Mexico that would have otherwise gone to U.S. farmers. If NAFTA negotiations fail, U.S. agriculture could take a further blow, along with American automotive and electronics industries; even potentially upsetting global economic stability. But the unlikely winner in this newest rendition of the Art of the Deal could be North Americas, and by extension the worlds, environment. Though the original NAFTA agreement included environmental add-ons that appeared progressive, those provisions mostly existed on paper. And the three-country agreement has done little environmental good, and a whole lot of bad. The secret NAFTA 2.0 negotiations now underway which include input from government and transnational corporations but not environmental NGOs seem unlikely to enforce those add-ons. So once again, it seems whatever negotiators agree to, theres little hope tough environmental standards will be included or implemented.

Swarm tracking changes in oceans' magnetic field in more detail that ever before "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

ESAs Swarm mission is continually yielding more insight into how our protective shield is generated, how it behaves and how it is changing. Adding yet another string to its bow, Swarm is now tracking changes in the magnetic field produced in the oceans in...... Read more

Severe storms hit Saudi Arabia again less than a week after hailstorm killed hundreds of animals "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Less than a week after a powerful hailstorm killed hundreds of sheep and lambs in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert, severe storms are again affecting the country. The city of Mecca and neighboring regions were hit hard by torrential rain today. Rainwater...... Read more

Significant eruption at Ambae volcano, more sulfur released than in any eruption over the past 3 years "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Ambae volcano remains at the Alert Level 3 with sustained volcanic ashes/gases and villages from east to southeast of Ambae island can continue expecting ash fall and gases. Acid rain may occur during rainfall, Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD)...... Read more

Wildlife trade detective Samuel Wasser receives prestigious Albert Schweitzer Medal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

From dogs to poop, Samuel K. Wasser has used it all to monitor wildlife and track down poachers. A conservation biologist at the University of Washington, U.S., Wasser has pioneered methods that use DNA from elephant dung to identify poaching hotspots and pinpoint where seized ivory originates from work thats been instrumental in prosecuting some of Africas biggest ivory poachers. He has also spearheaded the use of detection dogs to sniff out the feces of wild animals over large landscapes. This innovative strategy has helped researchers monitor the health of threatened species without needing to actually spot any individuals in the wild. In recognition of his achievements, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) has awarded Wasser with the Albert Schweitzer Medal. The medal, instituted in 1951 in honor of the philosopher and theologian Albert Schweitzer who would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize a year later, recognizes outstanding achievement in the advancement of animal welfare. Past recipients of the medal include British primatologist Jane Goodall and American biologist Rachel Carson. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington presented the award to Wasser in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on April 10. Dr. Wassers groundbreaking work has paved the way for remarkable strides in the fight against wildlife trafficking, especially ivory trade, Cathy Liss, the AWI president, said in a statement. The Animal Welfare Institute feels privileged to have this opportunity to acknowledge his accomplishments with the Albert Schweitzer Medal. Samuel Wasser examining seized ivory. Photo by Kate Brooks. Mongabay caught up

From galaxies far, far away to endangered species just over the hill "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

An unlikely group of experts have teamed up to apply software developed to find distant stars to help solve problems in conservation ecology. The astro-ecology project at Liverpool Johns Moores University  (LJMU) uses machine-learning algorithms to train the software, normally used to detect distant galaxies, to recognize wild animals in thermal-infrared imagery taken by a camera attached to an unmanned aerial system (UAS, a.k.a. drone). Project leader Claire Burke, an astrophysicist at LJMU, and her colleague, Maisie Rashman, presented the project at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science last week in Liverpool, U.K. A need for automation How did a group of astrophysicists take on a down-to-earth wildlife and human detection challenge? Team member Serge Wich, professor of ecology at LJMU, has studied wildlife through drone imagery for several years. He and other researchers have begun putting thermal cameras on small drones to find animals and people in the dark. Studying nocturnal animals and finding wildlife poachers, who typically hunt at night, requires special thermal-infrared cameras. These sensors detect heat, not light, so they see living organisms, such as birds, rhinos, or people, against a background of cooler vegetation, soil, or water. A project drone carrying a thermal-infrared camera ready to fly over the Karoo desert region of South Africa to search for large and endangered mammals. Photo credit: Claire Burke Drones offer an aerial view of a landscape and, despite their short flight duration, provide access to dangerous or remote areas. They are also relatively inexpensive to run,

Indonesian billionaire using shadow companies to clear forest for palm oil, report alleges "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The owner of Indonesias largest conglomerate has been accused of participating in the illegal deforestation of Borneos Ketungau peat swamp to make way for oil palm plantations. The Salim Group, owned by tycoon Anthoni Salim, Indonesias fourth-richest man according to Forbes, is reportedly linked either by ownership or association with the two companies that cleared nearly 10,000 hectares of the protected rainforest. The Salim Group notably includes Indofood, a joint-venture partner with major brands such as PepsiCo and Nestle, as well as First Pacific, the joint owner of Goodman Fielder, a leading food producer in the Asia-Pacific region. In a new report released today, Aidenvironment, a sustainability consultancy, said that the Salim Groups continuing reliance on shadow companies to sidestep legal oversight also raised questions over the complicity of major banks, such as Citibank, Mizuho, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas and Rabobank, that finance the Salim Group. This report provides clear evidence of shady business dealings and inaction at the highest levels of business, all while tropical rainforests continue to fall for Conflict Palm Oil, said Gemma Tillack, forest policy director of Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which commissioned the research along with Rainforest Foundation Norway (RFN) and SumOfUs. The report, titled Palm oil sustainability assessment of Salim-related companies in Borneo peat forests, also alleged that The Salim Group was made aware of the deforestation carried out by PT Duta Rendra Mulya majority owned by Anthoni Salim and PT Sawit Khatulistiwa Lestari linked with the tycoon through business associates

Deadly landslide hits Nakatsu City, Oita Prefecture, Japan "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A massive landslide hit the mountainous area of Nakatsu City in Kyushu's Oita Prefecture, Japan on April 11, 2018, leaving at least 1 person dead and 5 missing. There was no significant rain in this region over the past 24 hours, leaving the cause of disaster...... Read more

Unprecedented 200 000 homes without power as storm hits Auckland, New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A powerful storm that hit Auckland, New Zealand on April 10, 2018 left widespread damage and an 'unprecedented' 200 000 properties without electricity. In addition, cell phone network was severely damaged, leaving many citizens without service. Another front...... Read more

Multiple tornadoes spotted in Fort Lauderdale, Florida "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Severe storms dumped heavy rain and produced multiple tornadoes in Florida's Broward County on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Weather officials said at least two tornadoes were spotted in Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday. The first touched down just north of Las Olas...... Read more

Most detailed map of Earth's magnetic lithosphere "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

European Space Agency's used data provided by their trio of Swarm satellite and combined it with historical data from the German CHAMP satellite and observations from ships and aircraft to produce the most detailed map of the Earth's lithosphere. The map is...... Read more

Deadly floods, landslides hit West Java, Indonesia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

At least 1 person was killed and 1 781 people affected by floods and landslides on April 7, 2018, in Bogor, Indonesia's West Java Province. Heavy rainfall caused landslides and caused the Cisarua river to overflow in Sukamakmur district. At least three...... Read more

Severe thunderstorm, snow and tornadoes wreak havoc across New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A complex low crossed New Zealand on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and destructive tornadoes, tens of thousands of lightning strikes and low-elevation snow. At least 30 000 homes were left without electricity. This was the season's...... Read more

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Thursday, 19 April


30 percent of Great Barrier Reef Coral Died in Catastrophic 2016 Heatwave "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Extent and severity of 'mass mortality' event documented in report has shocked scientists


Switzerland: Butcher Shop Sabotaged "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Bite Back

Butcher shop windows were targeted on the night of the 12th of April. Smashing multiple targets including doors and with small bits of glass flying in all directions over the animal corpses, the media has reported a cost of about 15,000 Swiss francs (11,000 approx) for the company.

We want to create economic damage to the speciesist system and draw media attention on the movement to show that it is taking a more offensive form, especially if others get inspired by this and decided to join the fight.'


Explainer: How Shared Socioeconomic Pathways explore future climate change "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Over the past few years, an international team of climate scientists, economists and energy systems modellers have built a range of new pathways that examine how global society, demographics and economics might change over the next century. They are collectively known as the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs).

These SSPs are now being used as important inputs for the latest climate models, feeding into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report due to be published in 2020-21. They are also being used to explore how societal choices will affect greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, how the climate goals of the Paris Agreement could be met.

The new SSPs offer five pathways that the world could take. Compared to previous scenarios, these offer a broader view of a business as usual world without future climate policy, with global warming in 2100 ranging from a low of 3.1C to a high of 5.1C above pre-industrial levels.

They show that it would be much easier to mitigate and adapt to climate change in some versions of the future than in others. They suggest, for example, that a future with resurgent nationalism and a fragmentation of the international order could make the well below 2C Paris target impossible.



A sustainable future for frankincense and forests? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A sustainable future for frankincense and forests?

brendan 19th April 2018
Teaser Media


Trumps Attack on the Earth Continues, Now to Destroy NASA Like EPA "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

NASA conducts global studies of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

After failure to launch, Republican senator switches vote to save Trumps NASA nominee

By Ted Barrett and Daniella Diaz, CNN Report, April 18, 2018

(CNN) The Senate deadlocked 49-49 for about an hour Wednesday on a vote to break a filibuster of Rep. James Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, to be the next NASA administrator until Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, returned to the floor and switched his vote to yes.

The motion then passed on a partisan 50-48 vote. Flake, a vocal critic of the Presidents, had been the only Republican to vote against Bridenstine.

Typically, when a vote like this is tied, Vice President Mike Pence would come to the chamber and break it. But he was in Mar-a-Lago with the president making that an impractical alternative.

Both Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, who is ill, and Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who just had a baby, were absent.

The party-line vote against Bridenstine reflects the steep opposition from Democrats about President Donald Trumps nominee to head the space agency, who they believe is not a space professional in the words of Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat. One Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, had previously expressed concerns about Bridenstine but voted for him in the end.

Democrats also complained about his views on climate change.

NASA is one of the few remaining areas that has largely avoided the bitter partisanship that has invaded far too many areas of government and our society today, Nelson said in a floor speech.

When he was nominated, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called Bridenstine a strong, principled and effective leader who will work hard to advance our national space policy goals, expand human space exploration and secure Americas leadership in space.

A final confirmation vote for Bridenstine is expected Thursday.


NASA-led Study Solves a Methane Puzzle

From an Article by Carol Rasmussen, NASAs Earth Science News Team, January 3, 2018

A new NASA-led study has solved...


Here are our ten tips for plastic-free tourism "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Here are our ten tips for plastic-free tourism

Ethical Living
Catherine Harte 19th April 2018
Teaser Media


Iceland to resume hunting endangered fin whales "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Iceland to resume hunting endangered fin whales

Catherine Harte 19th April 2018
Teaser Media


UCIL Prevents Activist Meeting to Discuss Impacts of Uranium Mining in Kadapa: Read NAPMs Statement "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Detention and prevention of activists from participating in public meeting on uranium mining impacts at Kadapa, Unlawful and Undemocratic. UCIL-BARC must come clean on its operations and ensure that all its activities are subject to strict environmental and legal regulations

The post UCIL Prevents Activist Meeting to Discuss Impacts of Uranium Mining in Kadapa: Read NAPMs Statement appeared first on


Dog Who Lost Family In Hurricane Maria Can't Believe She's Seeing Them Again "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Daya's life, like those of many dogs, was thrown into disarray when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico last September. She'd gotten separated from her family and, as weeks turned to months, it must have seemed as though she'd be lost forever.

Recently, however, Daya's family, who have since moved to Massachusetts, learned that Daya had finally been found. She was being flown to the mainland and driven to meet them at Second Chance Animal Services, near their new home.

Credit: Puerto Rico Animal Unite

Daya, of course, had no idea who would be awaiting her.

"She was really shy," Diane Tillotson, marketing manager for the shelter, told The Dodo. But then Daya recognized a familiar scent, and that all changed.

The moment the nervous little dog realized it was her family, she was absolutely ecstatic.

The happy reunion was made possible by Puerto Rico Animal Unite and the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, who arranged the transport needed to get Daya, and many dogs like her, back home where they belong.


Knife-Wielding Seal Pup Sends A Sad And Shocking Message "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

There is no shortage of images depicting the threats ocean pollution poses to marine life. But while the problem can feel too immense to grasp, and its victims too easy to overlook, the imperiled animal in this case isn't just anyone.

She's among the last of her kind on the planet.

This is Manu'iwa, an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Her birth in the wild on the Big Island of Hawaii last February made headlines, and for good reason she's now just one of three seals in existence there. (Elsewhere, her species' population is composed of only about 1,400 individuals.)

The seal pup's progress has been closely monitored by the Marine Mammal Center since her happy arrival, and people have been respectful of conservationists' urging them to keep their distance from her. Manu'iwa seemed to be thriving, having recently weaned from her mother.

But recently, Manu'iwa found something that threatened her life in an instant.

Credit: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

"Last Sunday the people observing the seal spotted it playing with a bright orange object in its mouth," Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) wrote online. "As they watched the seal dive beneath near-shore rocks and come back up, they realized Manu'iwa was holding a knife in [her] mouth by its handle."

A DLNR officer captured the shocking scene on video.

Manu'iwa was oblivious to the dangers of the object she'd found an object apparently left behind or discarded by some neglectful person.

It was feared that the playful seal pup might swallow the blade, b...


Dog Abandoned Because Of His Face Finds Mom Who Thinks He's Perfect "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Beaux Tox has a face thats hard to forget. His perpetually pensive, deeply wrinkled forehead seems at odds with his wagging tail and happy-go-lucky attitude.

Credit: Jamie Hulit

Some might be put off by Beauxs unique look, but for Jamie Hulit, a single photo was all it took to convince her that the yellow Labs life was worth saving.

A friend of mine posted a picture of Beaux on Facebook saying he needed a foster or to be adopted anything, Hulit told The Dodo. That day I sent him a message saying, I would love to take that dog in and give him a home.

Credit: Jamie Hulit

Beaux has stood out since before he was born. With little room to grow in his moms womb due to his six brothers and sisters, he developed a sunken cranium and close-set eyes, according to Hulit.

He just kind of got pushed out of the way, and formed how he formed, Hulit noted, but it has nothing to do with his intelligence. An MRI confirmed that the head deformity did not affect his personality or his chances at living a long, healthy life, she said.

Credit: Jamie Hulit

Beaux's early years were difficult nonetheless. Because of his facial deformity, the people who were breeding couldnt sell him, Hulit said. So they gave him away for free. A man who lived nearby in Austin, Texas, took in the odd little puppy, but when Beaux Tox, named Lucky at the time, didnt get along with the mans cats, he was banished to the backyard, according to Hulit.

For five years, the gentle dog remained outside, Hulit said, severely neglected by his owner and all alone without even a dog bed for comfort.


Dog Who Lost Her Puppies Is The Best Mom To Her New 'Babies' "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A pug named Fergie spent the first seven years of her life at a puppy mill, trapped in a tiny cage, producing litter after litter of puppies only to have them taken away from her immediately. During these seven years she lost an eye, went mostly blind and deaf, and developed deformed feet, terrible arthritis and many other health issues but somehow, she never gave up hope, and stayed the sweetest dog throughout it all. 

Credit: Instagram/fergiemamathepug

When Fergie could no longer give birth to any more puppies, she was abandoned and taken in by West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove, Illinois. The poor dog was so shut down when she arrived at the shelter, all she could do was sit in the back of her kennel and shake. She refused to eat or do much of anything at all, and so the shelter found a foster home for her, hoping that having a quiet home would help her relax and come out of her shell a little bit. 

She changed the minute she got in the door, Jenny, Fergies foster mom, told The Dodo. First night she was scared but the next morning she was completely different. 

Credit: Instagram/fergiemamathepug

Once Fergie realized she was finally safe, she began to thrive in her foster home, bonding quickly with her bulldog foster siblings. She loved bossing them around and always being by their sides, and quickly became very protective of them. She also claimed three toys as her own as soon as she arrived in her foster home, and refused to play with any other toys. The three toys became her babies babies that finally wouldnt be taken away from her before she was ready. 



Cat Who Lost Owner Won't Stop Cuddling Beloved Stuffed Animal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A 16-year-old cat named Hoonie has seen a lot of changes in his life lately, but one thing has remained the same Hoonies favorite stuffed animal, a gray and white cat, is still at his side.

Sadly, Hoonies owner recently died, leaving Hoonie without a home. The owners daughter initially took Hoonie in, but unfortunately, both she and her own son are allergic to cats, and they couldnt keep him. So Hoonie and his stuffed cat went to a shelter run by Alley Cat Rescue in Maryland.

Credit: Alley Cat Rescue

Hoonies doing really well, but hes still adjusting to the new sights and sounds at the shelter, Brianna Grant, communications associate at Alley Cat Rescue, told The Dodo. His stuffed cat, which probably still smells like home, is his greatest comfort.

Credit: Alley Cat Rescue

Weve never seen a cat that is so attached to a stuffed animal, Grant said. It really seems to be his support system.

Hoonie spends all of his time with his stuffed cat  he sleeps with it, cuddles with it and wrestles with it.

Credit: Alley Cat Rescue

Its been a long-time companion, Grant said. She [the owners daughter] sent us photos of Hoonie roughhousing with the stuffed animal, so I think Hoonie has a lot of fun with the stuffed animal and seems so attached to it. Hes been in the cage just cuddling next to it, and it seems to really help him out.


Chained-Up Pit Bull Transforms When Someone Touches Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When a pit bull named Frankie was just a puppy, he was a beloved part of the auto body shop where his owner worked. But as Frankie got bigger and his needs became the needs of a big dog with a lot of energy, his life got more and more restricted.

By the time Summer Parker heard about Frankie, the dog's life had become quite sad; even Frankie's owner recognized that this was no life for his dog. 

Fortunately, Parker 
is a board member and volunteer coordinator with BFF Pet Rescue, an all-breed rescue that focuses mainly on large dogs, especially pit bulls.

Credit: Summer Parker

"I found out about Frankie through a person who lives in and works in the area where he was chained up," Parker told The Dodo. "I was able to start communication with the owner and began discussing a time to meet and the option of surrendering Frankie into rescue."

Within 24 hours of hearing about Frankie's situation, Parker was driving down to the auto body shop to meet him. 

Credit: Summer Parker

When she arrived, Parker saw gray-colored Frankie sitting in dirt and trash, looking eagerly up at anyone who passed by. 

"The owner of Frankie knew that his life chained up at the shop was not the bes...


Cat Walks 12 Miles To Reunite With Family Who Abandoned Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

In February, Toby the cats family gave him away to a new home.

He had no idea why he was being forced to leave his family but he missed them so much.

So he decided to run away. After walking 12 miles back to his old familys home, he arrived at their doorstep. But instead of being welcomed back, he was met in the worst way.

Credit: SPCA of Wake County

They took him to a shelter and asked them to euthanize him, Tara Lynn, communications director for the SPCA of Wake County, told The Dodo. It was just so heartbreaking to know he made it all the way back to his family, and that was their response.

The public shelter refused to put Toby down, and instead contacted the SPCA, which took him in right away. The SPCA started giving him the medical care he needed to get him ready to find a new home.

Credit: SPCA of Wake County

He tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus, and also had an upper respiratory infection, Lynn said. We got him treated for the infection, which took a little while.

While he no longer had his family, Toby quickly warmed up to the shelter staff.

He was very friendly, Lynn said. Just your sweet, typical cat they want to get love and to love you.

Credit: SPCA of Wake County

Once the rescue posted on social media about Toby, the calls came rolling in. Michele Puckett, of Raleigh, North Carolina, rushed over to the shelter to meet him and the rest was history.

She had no hesitation whatsoever, Lynn said about Puckett. She was on a job site and just dropped everything to co...


Horse Couple From Viral Video Reunites In Time For Tiniest Surprise "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When a famous wild horse named Goliath reunited with his mate, Red Lady, after six months apart, it was hard to imagine their story could have a happier ending but there's been a new development at the Oregon sanctuary where they live. 

After the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had separated the couple during the course of its usual roundups of wild horses last year, so many people worked to make sure the couple could get back together. "Goliath had lived his whole life in the wild with a close family of mares and babies he had over the years," Clare Staples, founder and president of Skydog Ranch, a sanctuary for horses, told The Dodo earlier this year. "Last October, the horses were chased by helicopters with their babies into pens and then the families were torn apart."

Through several near-miracles and a lot of help from people who donated even a few dollars here and there, Staples managed to bring both Goliath and Red Lady to her sanctuary and people cried as they witnessed the couple reuniting in March.

"Goliath spotted her and ran half a mile to her side in the snow," Staples said. "She trotted to him, tail high, floating through the snow, and he immediately put his nose to her belly as if he knew she was carrying his baby." 

Credit: Skydog Ranch

Goliath's intuition was right: Red Lady was pregnant. And this week, the reunited couple who very nearly got separated forever got to welcome their little foal to the world together. 

"It is truly hard to describe this journey we have been on together," Staples wrote on Saturday, the day the foal was born. "We reunited them over a month ago and it was truly the most beautiful thing to see them recognize each other and they have not been apart from each other since. And then this morning their last foal together was born to give this story an e...


Bear Spent 9 Years Living In 'Hell Hole' Next To Restaurant "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

April the bear was 9 years old, and shed been living inside a concrete pit for her entire life. At the top of the pit was a metal grille, and April had to grip onto the bars and hoist herself up to get a glimpse of the sky.

Rescuers described Aprils cage as a hell hole.

Credit: IAR

April was actually being kept next to a restaurant in Armenia to amuse customers but neither the restaurant owner nor the patrons paid much attention to her. They occasionally threw her scraps of food, which is how she managed to survive for so many years. But that was the most care she was given.

But two weeks ago, Aprils life changed forever when rescuers arrived to free her.

Credit: IAR

Last October, team members from International Animal Rescue (IAR) and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) launched a project called the Great Bear Rescue, which aims to free all bears from captivity around Armenia.

Like April, many of these bears are displayed as attractions next to restaurants, while others are exhibited at bus depots, tourist hot spots or private properties. In January, the team even found a starving bear locked up in a dark warehouse.



Therapy Dog Gets Surprise Birthday Party And Cant Stop Smiling "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

During his trips to Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Westborough, Massachusetts, Maui the therapy dog usually spends his time visiting the residents in their rooms or hanging out in the common area.

But last weekend, they had a very special surprise planned for him.

Credit: Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

His owner mentioned to me that his birthday was coming up, so I thought it would be fun to get him a cupcake for the next time he came in, Nicole Croteau, director of nursing for the center, told The Dodo. It just evolved from there and we ended up planning a whole party for him.

When Maui arrived for his usual visit on Friday, staff and residents were excitedly gathered in the recreation room to welcome him. Not only were all Mauis friends there, but there were also gifts, cake and even a birthday crown for him to wear.

Credit: Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

We gave him a new hairbrush and toys from the residents, Croteau said. And everyone had cake.

Maui couldnt stop smiling and neither could the partygoers.

Credit: Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

One resident in particular, who has dementia, was really enjoying the party. Croteau couldnt help but see how much Maui meant to him.



45 Tiny, Matted Dogs Can't Believe They're Finally Getting Help "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Just looking at the group of filthy, matted dogs, it was clear no one had cared for them in a long time.

Kept in wire pens inside a British Columbia home, each of the 45 dogs were completely covered in a thick blanket of knotted fur, soaked in urine and feces.

The house where they were kept wasnt much better.

Credit: BC SPCA

Our staff had to use ventilators because they couldnt even breathe, Lorie Chortyk, community relations manager for British Columbia SPCA, told The Dodo. All of them were kept inside the house, so there were high levels of ammonia from the urine buildup.

The SPCA was tipped off about the home through an animal cruelty hotline, and after visiting the property, learned the dogs owner was a former breeder who hadnt sold any dogs for the past five years. The dogs she was keeping ranged from 1 to 15 years old.

Credit: BC SPCA

The dogs were admitted to the rescue last Thursday, where theyve been getting groomed, bathed and examined by veterinarians. The mats are so thick that most dogs will need to be fully shaved to be freed.

Credit: BC SPCA

Some dogs are also infected with ringworm, so theyre in quarantine until theyre no longer contagious. Others have severe dental disease from lack of care, which will require cleanings in the coming days.



Why Do Cats Scratch? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The claws of an everyday house cat may not be quite as impressive as those of a lion or tiger, but they are sharp enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone with a mid-century modern sofa. Just like their wild cousins, who prefer to leave deep scars in tree trunks, domestic cats are prone to scratching pretty much anything, as any cat owner knows.

So why do all cats scratch? Its not that todays felines have a particular vendetta against attractive seating cat scratching behavior is actually instinctual and can benefit cats in many ways.

Drawing their claws across the nubby texture of furniture helps cats maintain healthy nails, according to Dr. Emily Levine, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in New Jersey. While scratching and stretching, house cats extend and retract their nails, which removes the dead outer nail sheath. This keeps their claws sharp and at a manageable length (though they still may need some trimming now and again).

Another important reason todays cats are prone to the destruction of couches and armchairs is marking, explains Levine, just like their ancestors.

There are two ways that they can mark, Levine tells The Dodo. One is to leave visual cues when you think of cats out in nature, theyre scratching on tree trunks or they can also leave scent from their paws as well. By marking, your cat is claiming his territory, and making sure all other felines pick up on the signals.

When do cats scratch?

When it comes to scratching, every cat and household is a little bit different. For some cats, when they get up in the morning and theyre stretching, scratching is part of their grooming wake-up routine, Levine says. If theyre marking, they may do it at certain times when they feel they have to mark, depending on intercat communication.

Marking often depends on the social dynamics in the home, especially in multi-cat dwellings where the cats roam freely. Marking via visual cue or by leaving behind a scent released from the glands in a cats paws is a way of saying to other cats, Hey, Im her...


Bear Forced Onto Field To 'Entertain' Russian Soccer Fans "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

On Saturday, fans at a soccer game in Russia were "surprised" by an unexpected guest: a captive bear who was brought onto the field to deliver the ball.

In a video of the performance, a trainer walked the bear onto the track surrounding the field while the crowd applauded. Then the trainer directed the bear to sit on his hind legs and clap his front paws together. When the bear did what he was told, the trainer gave him a small piece of food. After that, the bear was instructed to take a soccer ball and deliver it to one of the players, which incited more cheers from the audience.

But not everyone was impressed. The video quickly went viral, with many fans and viewers criticizing organizers for promoting a display that likely wasnt much fun for the captive bear whose name is Tim, and who belongs to a Russian traveling circus.

No wild animal should be used as a prop or forced to perform unnatural acts for our entertainment, DJ Schubert, a wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), told The Dodo. What may appear to a spectator to be a few moments of levity at the beginning of an athletic competition conceals the true story of these animals lives. Theirs is a tedious, barren, wholly unnatural existence that all too often involves abusive training techniques, inadequate housing, and poor veterinary care. There is simply no place in sport for wild animal mascots.

Credit: YouTube/ESPN UK

Traveling circuses are known for their brutal training processes and difficult living circumstances for the animals. During training sessions, animals may be whipped, hit or shocked with electrical prods. When theyre not performing, theyre tethered with chains or locked up inside tiny, barren enclosures. Not only that, but animals...


PAN in Rome: Agroecology as the future "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

PAN in Rome

In early April, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International participated in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) second International Symposium on Agroecology in Rome.

From nine countries and five regions including North America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America  PAN leaders highlighted the need to transition from chemical-intensive practices to just, thriving and resilient food systems around the world.

PAN in Rome

PAN in Rome

The symposium focused primarily on the need to spread and scale agroecological practices to meet the FAOs Sustainable Development Goals.

While the spread of on-farm agroecological practices are an important part of our transition to better food and farming systems, civil society organizations in Rome urged attendees to embrace a broader understanding of agroecology that encompasses its political, social and cultural dimensions and is grounded in principles of equity, human rights and food sovereignty. In particular, PAN called for the dismantling of the political and economic structures that perpetuate our dependence on chemical-intensive agriculture.

PAN in Rome


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Wednesday, 18 April


Dad Goes On Epic Mission To Save His Dog's Best Friends "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Sure, there's no doubt that this darling dog named Papi thinks the world of his family but there is one special someone who holds an even loftier place in his little pup heart.

This moose toy, affectionately known as Moose.

Credit: Marissa Moreno

Since Papi was first gifted Moose about a year and a half ago, the two have been inseparable. Indeed, wherever Papi goes, Moose is sure to always be right there alongside him.

The two are rarely seen apart.

Credit: Marissa Moreno

"The moose is like his little friend," Papi's sister Marissa Moreno told The Dodo. "Whenever he gets stressed or needs attention, he runs to grab his toy."

Credit: Marissa Moreno

What Papi has been blissfully unaware of, however, is that there's never been just one Moose.

Though the plush, antlered chew toy might feel like a steady companion, Moose has actually been a series of separate moose dolls. As each had become raggedy from use, Papi's family would secretly replace it with a fresh new Moose. No other animal would do.

"We got him a raccoon once, but he wont even go near it," Moreno said. "I guess he just prefers the moose."

But then something happened to threaten Papi's sweet friendship.



Climate Justice Forum: Lake Pend Oreille Coal Pollution & Bi-Directional Rail Bridges, Millennium Coal Terminal Health Study & Lawsuit, Postponed Spokane Train Blockader Trial, Eagle Oil & Gas Ordinance, State Oil & Gas Meetings in Payette, Delta Five Court of Appeals Hearing, Tacoma LNG Plant Resistance, Earth Day Gatherings 4-18-18 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on railroad coal pollution and bi-directional train bridge expansion in Lake Pend Oreille, a coal impacts health study and lawsuit on the Millennium train terminal, a postponed, Spokane, fossil fuel train blockaders necessity defense trial, a protective, city, oil and gas ordinance in Eagle, Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Committee meetings in Payette, the Delta Five, oil train blockaders Court of Appeals hearing, resistance to Tacoma liquefied natural gas plant construction, and upcoming, Earth Day gatherings.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Montana Labels Head of the Hardrock Mining Lobby a Bad Actor "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

What does it say about the mining industry if the Chairman of the National Mining Association has defaulted on his cleanup obligations?

Last month the State of Montanas Department of Environmental Quality sent formal letters to Hecla Mining Company CEO Phillips Baker, notifying the company and its CEO that they are in violation of the Bad Actor provision of the states Metal Mine Reclamation Act. Mr. Baker is also the Chairman of the National Mining Association, the industrys lobbying arm which claims to be the U.S. mining industrys advocate in Washington, D.C.

Montana labeled Mr. Baker and Hecla Mining a Bad Actor because the state law prohibits mining companies and their executives from getting a new permit to mine if theyve failed to clean up past operations unless they reimburse the State for those cleanup costs. Mr. Baker was Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Pegasus Gold, which has cost Montana taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to clean up three cyanide-leach gold mines it abandoned when the company went bankrupt. Because the Zortman Landusky Mine will pollute water in perpetuity, the state estimates it will cost 1 to 2 million dollars more each year to treat that polluted water, costs presently borne by Montana taxpayers as well.

Earthworks is part of a coalition represented by Earthjustice that requested Montana enforce the bad actor provision.....


But its the truth, even if didnt happen. Chief Bromden "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ IGE OCT TML TWM One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Ken Kesey Introduction Summary Living in an Oregon psychiatric hospital God; you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. Its hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But []


Great Barrier Reef at unprecedented risk of collapse after major bleaching event "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The record-breaking marine heatwave in 2016 across the Great Barrier Reef has left much of the coral ecosystem at an unprecedented risk of collapse, research shows.

A new study published in Nature finds that the surge in sea temperatures during the 2016 bleaching event led to an immediate and long-lasting die-off of coral.

This, in turn, led to vast swathes of the reef being transformed into highly altered, degraded systems, which are now vulnerable to total ecological collapse, the authors conclude.

The large-scale loss of coral is a harbinger of further radical shifts in the condition and dynamics of all ecosystems, they add, if global action on climate change fails to limit warming to 1.5-2C above the pre-industrial baseline.

Turning white

The Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest coral reef, stretching 2,300km from Papua New Guinea to the coast of Queensland, Australia. Over the past two decades, the Great Barrier Reef has seen four mass bleaching events, most recently in 2016 and 2017.

Coral bleaching is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to high sea temperatures. Under continued heat stress, the corals expel the tiny colourful algae living in their tissues known as zooxanthellae leaving behind a stark white skeleton.

The algae provide the corals with energy through photosynthesis. Without them, the corals can slowly starve. Healthy corals can live from two to several hundred years.

The mass bleaching event of 2016, which took place in the summer months of February, March and April, was the most devastating on record, affecting 94% of reefs surveyed...


2018 Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence in Pittsburgh June 8 11 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


Once again, the Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence will occur coinciding with June 11 weekend, building off the 14 years of organizing solidarity with snared saboteurs and caged liberationists of the ecological resistance. The Pittsburgh gathering will be the third annual nationwide convergence of FTP, or the #FightToxicPrisons movement.

This year we will gather in Pennsylvania to highlight struggles led by prisoners and their allies across that state, including repeated instances of contaminated water, black mold and toxic land adjacent to, or directly underneath, Pennsylvanias prisons. The state is also home of the worlds best known prisoner journalists, Mumia Abu Jamal, and political prisoners from the MOVE organization, who have long advocated for organizing at the intersection of prisons and ecology.

Pennsylvania has been the site of many prisoner-led struggles against mass incarceration, f...


UN Permanent Forum 2018: Bears Ears Prayer Run Alliance Statement "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

[caption id="attachment_66370" align="alignleft" width="300"] Bear Ears Prayer Run Alliance with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Corpuz-Tauli[/caption] I would like to thank the Special Rapporteur, for the opportunity to address Agenda Item 10: Human Rights, to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. I would like to take this moment to acknowledge your safety and wellbeing today. In spirit of the many generations of strong females, our voices will not be extinguished! The Creator positioned each and every one of us in these sacred places to create our sacred spaces. We, the Bears Ears Prayer Run Alliance, an affiliate of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, are a delegation from the Pueblo of Laguna, Acoma, Hopi, Navajo and Ute. We take this time to thank the Indigenous Peoples of this land for welcoming and allowing our visit. I would like to acknowledge the spirits of the Indigenous Peoples that came before us.


Coming to the Rescue of the Endangered Philippine Eagle "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Can captive breeding and community-based conservation save this great raptor?


Italy: Goats Saved from Slaughter "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Bite Back

In March, 28 goats who were to be killed for Easter dishes were freed from a farm in Italy.



Pipeline Spills 290,000 Litres of Crude Oil Emulsion in Northern Alberta "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by Carol Linnitt / Desmog Canada

A pipeline owned by Paramount Resources Ltd. released an estimated 100,000 litres of crude oil and 190,000 litres of produced water near Zama City, in northwest Alberta, according to an April 11 incident report filed with the Alberta Energy Regulator.

The release was discovered after company personnel looked into a low-pressure alarm from the companys leak detection system, the incident report states. The emergency status of the spill ended April 16.

The report says that although the release was initially believed to be minor further investigation shows the spill to be around 290,000 litres and has impacted an area of 200 metres by 200 metres.

The pipeline was isolated and depressurized, and clean-up is underway, the incident report states. No reported impacts to wildlife.

The cause of the spill is still under investigation, Paul Wykes, spokesperson with Paramount Resources, told DeSmog Canada.

The spill is located approximately 10 kilometres northeast of Zama City, Wykes said.

The remote pipeline is part of a network in the Zama area obtained by Paramount Resources when it acquired Apache Corp for $487 million in 2017.

Between May 2013 and January 2014 Apaches pipeline infrastructure was plagued by a series of incidents that included one of the largest recent pipeline spills in North America.



Bridging the gap between the three major faiths and nature "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Bridging the gap between the three major faiths and nature

brendan 18th April 2018
Teaser Media


Climate apathy could mean disaster but it isnt inevitable "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Climate apathy could mean disaster but it isnt inevitable

brendan 18th April 2018
Teaser Media


The Big Oil & Gas Companies Negligent on Climate Change "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Ann Carlson, Professor of Environmental Law at UCLA

LOE: Making Big Oil Companies Pay for Climate Disruption

STEVE CURWOOD: From Public Radio International, this is Living on Earth.

CURWOOD: Im Steve Curwood. Fossil fuel companies are increasingly under legal attack for selling a product that damages the climate. The science that connects what the defendants did to what the cities and counties are experiencing is much stronger than it used to be. Scientists can really connect now the emissions that the defendants put into the atmosphere to harms like sea level rise.

CURWOOD: From PRI, and the Jennifer and Ted Stanley Studios at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, this is Living on Earth. Im Steve Curwood. Major fights over the fallout of climate change are heating up in state and federal courts in California. The odds are long, but a win by the municipalities could prove historic. San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, and other towns and some counties have filed several actions against Chevron, Shell, Exxon Mobil and other fossil fuel companies, claiming the use of their products raises sea level.

The plaintiffs want these companies to pay for some of the infrastructure that is needed to protect against floods. Exxon Mobil and some other defendants allegedly knew for decades about the damaging impacts of carbon fuel on climate stability. To learn more, we called UCLA Law School professor, Ann Carlson. Welcome to Living on Earth Ann!

CURWOOD: So, why now? Why are these cities and counties moving forward with these lawsuits?

CARLSON: Well, theres several reasons I think the cities and counties are moving forward with suing oil companies for the damages they are beginning to incur from climate change.

First, I think the science that connects what the defendants did to what the cities and counties are experiencing in sea level rise and other harms from climate change is much stronger than it used to be. Scientists can really connect now the emissions that the defendants put into the atmosphere to harms like sea level rise.

Second, theres really good information that the defendants knew about the harms of climate change long ago, as early as the mid-1960s, planned their own business operations around risi...


WWF urges French president to stop mining project "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

WWF urges French president to stop mining project

Catherine Harte 18th April 2018
Teaser Media


Baboon Friends Team Up To Break Out Of Research Lab "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A group of baboons, held captive at a Texas research facility, succeeded in escaping from their captors over the weekend experiencing, perhaps for the first times in their lives, what its like to be free.

Their stint on the run was ultimately short-lived. But now, as new details have emerged describing just how they pulled it off, its clear that the breakout was no accident.

The incident took place at the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC), on the grounds of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio. SNPRC is described as having the world's largest captive baboon population housing some 1,100 baboons used as test subjects in laboratory studies.

Those not being used in active studies apparently live here, in an open-air enclosure surrounded by walls.

Credit: Google Maps

On Saturday afternoon, four young male baboons managed to get up and over those walls, leaving the enclosure. Three of the baboons went on to breach the facility's perimeter fence escaping the compound entirely.

One baboon was seen by a passerby making his getaway do...


People Spot Strange Blue Ball Scurrying Through Their Yard "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A family was out in their garden one day when they suddenly saw something small and blue scurry by. Concerned, and a little baffled, they contacted the RSPCA, who quickly came out to investigate and found it was a tiny hedgehog, completely covered in thick, blue paint. 

Credit: RSPCA

Concerned for the poor animals health, animal collection officer Clara Scully secured the hedgehog and rushed her to the RSPCAs West Hatch Wildlife Center, so she could get cleaned up as quickly as possible.

Thankfully she was still alive and is now getting the help she needs, Scully said in a press release. Were unsure what happened to her whether she was painted intentionally, or if she fell into the paint somehow.

Credit: RSPCA

Due to her blue coloring, staff at the shelter decided to name the hedgehog Sonic, after the popular video game character. Removing the paint has been an ongoing process, but luckily Sonic has been a good sport about it, and seems to be doing well in the RSPCAs care. 

Credit: RSPCA

Sonic has been eating well and is getting stronger, Dr. Bel Deering, center manager at the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Center, said in a press release. She had to be anesthetized to have the substance removed and there is still a blue tinge on the spines. The substance was very rubbery and hard to remove....


Matted Dog At Gas Station Knew Just Who To Go To For Help "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Leaving a gas station in San Antonio, Texas, two years ago, Donna Killough was met with what looked like a ball of knotted fur with eyes.

This little mop of a dog just walked up to me, Killough told The Dodo. She wouldnt let me touch her, but I think she was looking for food.

Credit: Donna Killough

Killough put a few potato chips on the ground, and when she turned her back, the little dog shuffled over and gobbled them up. Seeing how hungry and matted she was, Killough knew she couldnt go home without bringing the dog with her. (Killoughs son is also a video editor for The Dodo.)

Credit: Donna Killough

A man in the parking lot saw the dog, too, and luckily, he had a trap in his car to help Killough catch the dog. They placed some food inside, and after a few minutes, the dog went right inside.

Credit: Donna Killough

I brought her home and got her set up in a crate in the garage, Killough said. You could tell she was interested, but we werent sure if she wanted us to get too close. Then my husband put his hand near the crate and she started licking him. We opened it up and she just climbed into my lap. I told my husband right then, I love this dog!

They named her Daisy.

Credit: Donna...


2.3 Million Animals Were Killed By The U.S. Government Last Year "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

It was just announced that 2.3 million animals were killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services in 2017 and it wasn't just wild animals caught in the cross fire.

In March, a dog named Casey was out walking with his favorite boy, Canyon, behind their home in Idaho when he came across an M-44 a capsule planted in the ground by Wildlife Services. These devices are full of cyanide and meant to attract and kill coyotes by poisoning them.

When the dog triggered the capsule, it exploded and poisoned him to death. Canyon was rushed to the hospital to make sure the poison didn't claim his life too. 

Credit: Theresa Mansfield

Credit: Theresa Mansfield

Since that shocking day, the Mansfield family has been taking action. They started speaking out about how much they miss their dog and how dangerous these M-44 devices really are. And their courage and persistence paid off the M-44 device was locally banned in Idaho thanks to them. 

But it wasn't just Casey a total of 149 dogs were killed last year by Wildlife Services, according to its newly released death tally from 2017. The overall tally of intentionally killed native animals, including bobcats, foxes, cougars, bears, wolves, coyotes and beavers who are killed by traps, snares, guns and poisons reached a staggering 1,320,075. When counting invasive species killed by the agency, the total increases to 2.3 million animals. This is down slightly from 2016, when...


Police In This City Have Been Secretly Shooting Stray Cats "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

In Jefferson, Iowa, its commonplace for local law enforcement to trap feral cats across the city but many residents assumed they were just brought to animal shelters.

They were being shot and killed instead.

Credit: Shutterstock

Scott Wilson, animal welfare intervention coordinator for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, learned this last week when he traveled to Jefferson to look into calls from citizens who had heard rumors that trapped feral cats werent ending up at shelters.

We met up with the citys mayor and police chief, and they admitted that officers who didnt think cats could be adopted were euthanized by gunshot, Wilson told The Dodo. We discussed that, not only was this not the best solution to the problem, but it could also be in violation with Iowa state law.

Credit: Shutterstock

There are about three main cat colonies across the city, consisting of around 10-30 cats each. There is currently not a trap-neuter-return program implemented there, which means cats have been trapped and shot by police as means of population control for years. One city councilman told local news outlets that cats dont belong outside.

Credit: Shutterstock

If one started becoming a nuisance, police would be called, and if they didnt think it was owned by someone, they would take it out to be shot, Wilson said. We arent sure how long this has been taking place, but my guess is that it has been a long...


Little Girl Spots Something Unusual While Out For A Walk "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Anja Boot, her daughter and a few friends were hiking through Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania, Australia, a couple weeks ago when they encountered something quite unusual a baby wombat hitching a ride on his moms back.

It was actually Boots 11-year-old daughter, Ruby, who first spotted the wombat duo.

Ruby called out to me, Mum, there's a wombat here on top of another one, Boot told The Dodo. I must admit, I had no idea what she could have been meaning as I had never seen this before.

Credit: Anja Boot

When Boot went to have a look, she was pretty surprised.

"I saw Mama wombat about 10 meters [32 feet] away from us, with her baby trying to keep its balance on her back, Boot said. I had one of those overwhelming feelings of the wonder of nature. It was just so special  I've never seen anything like that before.

From a safe distance, they watched the wombat pair crawl through tufts of grass for several minutes while Boot snapped a few photos. Mama wombat would take a few steps to a new patch of grass and the baby would just manage to stay on, Boot said.

Credit: Anja Boot

But when the mother wombat decided to leap over a stream, the baby wombat ran into a touch of trouble.

There had been a huge amount of rain the week before, and the baby literally did a somersault in the air and landed down in the water, Boot said. I stood anxiously on the track waiting to see baby reemerge. The mama...


Exhausted 'Pet' Hadn't Had Anything To Eat In A Month "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When a woman arrived at a wildlife hospital in Thailand, she was carrying something truly chilling. 

She told the people at Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) that she had received a gift last year; a relative from the southern region of the country had brought two animals up and given them to her.

Since then, she'd been keeping them in her house as pets. She named them Phet and Reang. They were Sunda slow lorises, and the moment they became pets they started slowly wasting away. 

Credit: WFFT

By the time their owner brought Phet and Reang to WFFT, they were in terrible shape, emaciated and very weak. 

"They were kept in a small cage in her house for a year until they both became very sick," WFFT wrote. "At this point she realized that she should not keep them as pets. The lady said she had fed them a diet of fruit, and one of them had not eaten for a month ... We were all shocked."

Credit: WFFT

Because of their wide, emotional eyes and sweet-looking demeanors, slow lorises suffer from being too "cute;" the vulnerable little animals are often stolen from the wild to be sold as pets. This often involves having their sharp front teeth painfu...


This Country Just Started Hunting Baby Seals Again "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Canadas annual seal hunt has started up again, much to the dismay of animal lovers around the world. In the past nine days, hunters have killed over 30,000 baby seals on the ice floes of eastern Canada and theyre planning to kill a lot more.

While seal hunting takes place year-round in Canada, the majority happens in the spring after new pups are born. Instead of allowing these baby seals to grow up, hunters kill them for their silvery gray pelts, which are sold to manufacturers to make fur coats and other clothing items.

Credit: Michael Bernard/HSI

This years seal hunt began last week, and it will continue until mid-May or even June, according to Rebecca Aldworth, executive director of Humane Society International (HSI).

Warning: Graphic photos below.

Aldworth has spent 18 years documenting Canadas seal hunts, and she finds this time of year to be particularly difficult.

For me, its the knowledge of how much those baby seals are suffering, Aldworth told The Dodo. Every year, I witnessed wounded seals left to crawl through their own blood, conscious seals impaled on boat hooks, dragged across the ice and cut open; and wounded seals escaping beneath the water's surface, where they die slowly and painfully.

Credit: Michael Bernard/HSI

The hunters mainly target baby harp seals, although they take grey seals and hooded seals as well. But no matter what type...


April WIRT & Allied Events "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Wednesday, April 18: Sandpoint WIRT Meeting & Film Screening

Invite your friends and families, and join the regional, climate activist community, #No2ndBridge group members, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) organizers for the April, third-Wednesday, monthly, WIRT gathering at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, at 7 pm on Wednesday, April 18.  Discussions and action plans include Earth Day and Farmers Market outreach in Moscow and Sandpoint, an oil and gas waste injection well protest and petition presentation in Boise, and ongoing, dirty energy transportation monitoring and reporting.  We especially need your participation in work on a #No2ndBridge petition, banner, brochures, comment talking points, Sandpoint rally and demonstration with speakers on Saturday, April 28, information sessions around the inland Northwest, regional attendance and expert testimony at the May 23 hearings in Ponderay and Sandpoint, and summer, direct action training camp, all opposing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway track and bridge expansion of the coal, oil, hazmat, and possibly tar sands pipeline-on-wheels across Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille in north Idaho.

All are welcome to bring their creative ideas and energies and potluck food and beverages, to share current, issue updates and background, and to explore strategies and tactics in support and solidarity with grassroots, Northwest, fossil fuels resistance.  At this convergence, we will also view the 2016, Break Free documentary Disobedience, a brief film that describes the global, climate justice movement led by common people taking courageous actions against the power and pollution of the fossil fuel industry, and accelerating the clean energy revolution on the front lines of every continent [1, 2].  Contact WIRT via email or phone, with your questions and suggestions about potential meeting topics and activities.

Sunday, April 22: North Idaho Earth Day Celebration

Hosted and sponsored by 350Sandpoint, North Idaho Women, and the Sandpoint Annual Earth Day Festival, this 48th, public, Earth Day celebration and march will highlight local concerns over HiTestSands silicon smelter proposed for Newport, Washington, and planned construction of doubled railroad tracks and three bridges across Lake Pend Oreille and Sandpoint [3, 4].  Other event offerings include free health screenings, activities for children, live music, and an Earth-themed, costume contest with prizes for kids aged 12 and younger and adults.  Organizations working to keep Idaho healthy, wild, and beautiful, by educating and activating the local community, will offer information booths, voter registration, the Idaho Medicaid petition, and much more.  Enjoy and learn with your friends and family, between 12 and 3 pm on Sunday, April 22, at Farmin Park, Oak and Fourth streets in Sandpo...

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FIRE-EARTH Alert: FSCT 041702 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

ALERT UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA FIRE-EARTH PULSARS! CJ OCT TML FIRE-EARTH Alert: FSCT 041702 Alert FSCT 041702 issued by FIRE-EARTH Science. Details available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Alert FSCT 041702 . . . . . .


Attack on Construction Vehicle in Solidarity with the ZAD and Camp White Pine "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Submitted to Philly Anti-Capitalist

Dear international anarchist thugs, illegalists, casseurs, and defenders of wildness,

we are reporting live from Philadelphia. An attack has just been made, throwing a wrench in the cogs of the machinery of progress well more literally some wires were cut and windows smashed on one of their bullshit bulldozers.

We have word that this attack was done in solidarity with the ZAD and Camp White Pine (hi! both of which are facing their own local bullshit bulldozers. The attackers have also sent rebel greetings to area anarchists whove been keeping it live (and especially those who share the specifics of their attacks to allow others to reproduce them).

Fuck work
Fuck progress

Signing off for now,
Team Illegal


Poland Violated Law by Logging UNESCO-protected Biaowiea Forest, Court Rules "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

At least 10,000 trees are believed to have been felled in the ancient forest since 2016


From Olympia: Long Live the Commune, Long Live La ZAD "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Its Going Down


The following report back was originally posted to the counter-info site, Puget Sound Anarchists.

We gathered on the railroad tracks where the Olympia Commune has been to send insurgent greetings from Olympia, Washington to the brave ones currently defending La ZAD from eviction by the French state.

La ZAD is an autonomous zone in France populated by farmers, squatters, anarchists, and others resisting the construction of a new airport. Their struggle was successful and the airport was halted, but contrary to the wishes of liberals and many socialists, they continue to occupy La ZAD to build the world in which they want to live.

While the commune in Olympia didnt last nearly as long, we twice blockaded railroad tracks carrying fracking equipment, and experimented with new liberated ways of living. It is with the memory of the freedom that we found behind the barricades that we send our love and solidarity. La ZAD is an inspiration to rebels and communards around the world.

Tout le monde deteste les flics!

With love,

-some Olympia anarchists


One Week At War for La ZAD: A Timeline "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Its Going Down

Since last Monday, the French State has been fighting to evict La ZAD, or the Zone to Defend, a stateless and autonomous region of French farmland that for decades has resisted the construction of an airport.

Over the last 6 years, hundreds of people have moved onto La Zad to stop the construction and in doing so, have built homes as well as a communal, anti-capitalist, and ecological way of life. The infrastructure found at La ZAD is extensive, from community meeting and banquet halls, a radio station, a weekly newspaper, and extensive farms and gardens. La ZAD has also grown to feature a wide variety of collectives, from farmers who have lived on the land for generations, to those who came experiment in new forms of life. In 2014, 21 year old Remi Fraisse was killed when a police flash bang grenade exploded during clashes over the construction of a dam, resonating with many at La ZAD and kicking off a fresh round of riots, attacks, and rowdy demonstrations.

In 2016, tens of thousands marched onto the territory and placed spears by the thousands into the ground in a statement that should the State move to evict La ZAD, that they would return to defend it. In January of 2018, it was then announced that the State would abandon the project, but still wanted to evict the hundreds of squa...


CO2 emissions from wildfires have fallen over past 80 years, study finds "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The annual amount of CO2 emitted as a result of wildfires has fallen over the past 80 years, a new study finds.

The research finds that, over the past few decades, large areas of forest and savannah have been converted to cropland, meaning that the overall area that could be burned by wildfires has decreased.

However, this drop in wildfire emissions has not led to a large net drop in CO2 emissions from land use, the lead author tells Carbon Brief. This is because a rise in emissions from deforestation for cropland largely counteracted the decline in wildfire emissions over the past century.

The new research is innovative, but may overlook some factors, such as how wildfire severity has changed over time, other scientists tell Carbon Brief.

Feeling the burn

Most wildfires are triggered by humans as much as 90% in the US, for example while natural causes include lightning and lava. But the weather is the biggest driver of how far wildfires can spread. Temperature, humidity, rainfall and wind speed all play a role in providing the right conditions for a fire.

Wildfires play an important role in flammable ecosystems, such as forests, grasslands, savannahs, and shrublands. They can be managed to disperse plants, clear forests and promote grazing, or suppressed to protect human lives and property.

As plants burn, they release the carbon stored within their leaves, roots and trunks. This is why, on a large scale, wildfires can contribute CO2 to the atmosphere and, therefore, to the rate of climate change.

The new study, published in Nature Communications, estimates...


Connecticut: DAPL Protester Vic Lancia Arrested and Fined 1 Year After Wells Fargo Lockdown "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by Dragonfly Climate Collective / Its Going Down

Update on Vic Lancia, who locked down to a Wells Fargo branch in Connecticut over a year ago against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

This an update and thank-you message for those who have supported our friend Vic Lancia. Almost one year after Vic shut down a Wells Fargo branch in Middletown, CT in April 2017, Vic was arrested in February 2018 and fined in March 2018.

On April 7 of last year, Vic, then about to turn 77 years old, locked himself to concrete barrels blocking the entrance to a Wells Fargo branch in Middletown during a protest against the banks funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and other fossil fuel infrastructure. Vics lock-down shut down the branch for nearly two hours. Meanwhile, 9 Wesleyan University students blocked the drive-through ATM. Police were unable to extract Vic from the barrels and made no arrests.

At the time, Vic offered the following statement:

Wells Fargo is a major funder of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Its full speed ahead for fossil fuels even as the destructive consequences of their use become more and more evident by the day. Their ONLY concern is profit! This is corporate tyranny! We, the people, will not continue to ignore th...


Poland Violated EU Laws by Logging in Biaowiea Forest, Court Rules "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by Arthur Nelsen / The Guardian

The EUs highest court has ruled that Polands logging in the Unesco-protected Biaowiea forest is illegal, potentially opening the door to multi-million euro fines.

At least 10,000 trees are thought to have been felled in Biaowiea, one of Europes last parcels of primeval woodland, since the Polish environment minister, Jan Szyzko tripled logging limits there in 2016.

Greenpeace says that as many as 100,000 conifers and broad-leaved trees in the lowland forest may have been lost.

Poland had claimed that the chainsaws were needed to excise a spruce beetle outbreak but, in a damning ruling, the EU judges found that Polands own documents showed that logging posed a greater threat to Biaowieas integrity.

A minimum fine of 4.3m potentially rising to 100,000 a day  could now be levied against Poland unless the tree felling is stopped.

James Thornton, the chief executive of the green law firm ClientEarth, said: Thi...


Analysis: UK to seek advice on strengthening long-term climate goal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The UK government has announced that it wants official advice on the implications of aligning its climate goals with the Paris Agreement.

Claire Perry, the UKs energy and clean growth minister, confirmed the move earlier today during a speech at the meeting of Commonwealth leaders taking place in London this week.

The UKs current aim is to cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, based on avoiding 2C of global warming above pre-industrial temperatures. The Paris deal set a higher ambition of staying well below 2C and striving for 1.5C. It also called for net-zero emissions in the second half of the century.

The government will ask what this higher ambition means for the UKs long-term climate targets, after the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishes a special report on 1.5C in early October.

Its official climate adviser, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), has already said that a global 1.5C limit would mean a more ambitious 2050 goal for the UK, in the range of 86-96% below 1990 levels, as well as setting a net-zero target at some point, while the government has long accepted the need to set a net-zero goal at an appropriate point in the future. The UK may also need to tighten its legally binding five-yearly...


Campaigners hail 'huge victory' for forest defenders "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Campaigners hail 'huge victory' for forest defenders

Catherine Early 17th April 2018
Teaser Media


DANGER: Earth May Warm by 2 Celsius Degrees in the Coming Decade "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Prof. Ingraffea: Methane gas is increasing rapidly

World May Hit 2 Degrees of Warming in 10-15 Years, Due to Fracking

From an Article by Sharon Kelly, DeSmog Blog, April 11, 2018

In 2011, a Cornell University research team first made the groundbreaking discovery that leaking methane from the shale gas fracking boom could make burning fracked gas worse for the climate than coal.

In a sobering lecture released this month, a member of that team, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Professor of Engineering Emeritus at Cornell University, outlined more precisely the role U.S. fracking is playing in changing the worlds climate.

The most recent climate data suggests that the world is on track to cross the two degrees of warming threshold set in the Paris accord in just 10 to 15 years, says Ingraffea in a 13-minute lecture titled Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble That Should Not Have Been Taken, which was posted online on April 4.

Thats if American energy policy follows the track predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which expects 1 million natural gas wells will be producing gas in the U.S. in 2050, up from roughly 100,000 today.

The Difference of a Half Degree



Video: All you need to know about the shipping sectors new climate deal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Last week countries agreed to a new emissions reduction target for the shipping sector, as part of a wider climate deal.

The headline target, agreed at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting in London, is to peak and then reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 50% by 2050, compared to 2008 levels. This is the first-ever international climate goal for the shipping sector.

Carbon Brief highlights the main things to know about the the new deal.

Absolute target

Most significant is the fact that the new climate deal includes an absolute emissions reduction target for shipping. It also calls for emissions to be phased out completely, though without any timeline. This is shown in the third point from the agreed strategy, below.

Extract from the initial strategy on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships, adopted on 13 April 2018 at IMO headquarters in London.

Many countries were pushing for more ambitious targets, arguing that the 50% goal is not in line with the Paris Agreement. However, other...


Enzyme which can digest most commonly polluting plastics discovered "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Enzyme which can digest most commonly polluting plastics discovered

brendan 17th April 2018
Teaser Media


Puppy Found With Zip Tie Around Mouth Now Has A Whole New Life "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Driving down a country road in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, Liz Heatherly spotted something unusual out the window. It took a while to realize exactly what she was looking at, but when she did, it broke her heart.

A small, black puppy, barely 10 weeks old, was hobbling down the side of the curvy back road covered in fleas and ticks a cable tie, or zip tie, had been tightened around his jaw.

Heatherly parked the car in the first driveway she spotted, and doubled back on foot with her mom and sister. But wrangling the abandoned Lab-hound mix, who was spooked by passing cars, proved to be a difficult task.

Credit: Liz Heatherly

Once we walked back to the spot where we had seen him, he ran from us into a drainage ditch that was about 6 feet down, Heatherly told The Dodo. We had to slide on our bottoms to get down and my sister pulled us back up with a spare leash we had in the car.

The family immediately snapped the nylon cord off the puppys mouth, revealing open sores and severe scabbing where the plastic had rubbed his skin raw, and rushed him to the nearby Cleveland Park Animal Hospital.

Credit: Liz Heatherly

After a full medical exam, the vet, Dr. Bryant Phillips, determined the young pup was dehydrated, malnourished and suffering from intestinal parasites, but, in a stroke of luck, the zip tie had not caused any significant...


Woman Gets The Sweetest Surprise For Her 103rd Birthday "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

It's never too late to make a new best friend just ask this sweet centenarian named Lillian.

Credit: Ridgeview Gardens Assisted Living

Earlier this month, Lillian celebrated her 103rd birthday.

Her friends threw her a surprise party to mark the big day at Ridgeview Gardens Assisted Living in Utah, where she lives.

Credit: Ridgeview Gardens Assisted Living

There was plenty of good food, great company and birthday decorations but the biggest surprise was yet to come.

Credit: Ridgeview Gardens Assisted Living

A few years back, Lillian lost someone very dear to her her cat, Sammy. Her passing had left a hole in Lillian's heart, and she'd expressed a desire to have a feline in her life once again. In fact, that was her one birthday wish.

Meanwhile, across town, there was a homeless cat who had a wish, too. She wanted to find someone to love her.

And soon, both of their wishes were granted.

Credit: St. George Animal Shelter

Ahead of Lillian's birthday, staff at the assisted living facility contacted the ...


Dog Abandoned In Parking Lot Is So Grateful To The Woman Who Saved Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Someone spotted the pit bull in a lot near a busy road in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was all alone, and hed been sitting in front of a chain-link fence for at least an hour. Most likely, someone had dumped him there.

Last Thursday, Janine Guido, founder and president of Speranza Animal Rescue, received a phone call about the pit bull along with a photo and she immediately leapt into her car to get him.

Credit: Speranza Animal Rescue

Every time you get called in for a stray, your adrenaline is pumping and youre not sure if theyre going to run off or anything, Guido told The Dodo.

When Guido arrived at the site, animal control was already there, and the officer (whom Guido is on friendly terms with) had caught the dog and put him in his truck.

I went up to Fred [the officer] and I said, How is he? Guido said. He was like, He was growling and snapping a bit. I had to catch pole him. I said, OK. Can I see him?

Credit: Speranza Animal Rescue

The officer obliged and opened the back of his truck, revealing a trembling pit bull.

I see this poor little dog, Guido said. He was cowered down with the saddest look in his eyes. I looked at his tail, and it was tucked so tight. He was terrified.

The dog, whom Guido named Vincent, also had...


People Find Someone Unusual Hidden In Paris Apartment "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A little lion cub now named King is finally feeling what it's like to be treated kindly but that was far from the case when he was found cowering in a wire cage last October in an abandoned apartment just outside Paris, France.

Credit: Born Free

After images surfaced on social media showing his "owner," a 24-year-old man, mistreating the scared little cub, the authorities managed to track the images to an apartment in Noisy-le-Sec. Firemen arrived just in time to save the starving cub. 

Thanks to the work of animal rescue organizations Fondation 30 Million dAmis and Refuge de lArche, King was transferred to a temporary enclosure at Natuurhulpcentrum rescue center in Belgium. 

King has already been through so much at just a few months old and he symbolizes so many thousands of other wild animals who are sold into the exotic pet trade just to be used and abused as playthings before being discarded.

That's why so many people want to do even more for him than just keep him safe they want him to truly feel at home.

Credit: Born Free

That's why the people at Born Free want to give King the...


Woman Does The Sweetest Thing For Dog Who Can't Sleep During Thunderstorms "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Bentley was adopted into his family three years ago after his former family moved overseas and couldnt take him with them. His new family is so happy they decided to take him in and couldnt imagine life without him. The 8-year-old Chihuahua is very tiny, and loves following his family around all day long because they make him feel loved and safe

Credit: Melanie Barr

Bentley is the most loyal little guy; he follows me and his human dad around the house trotting behind us to see what we are doing, Melanie Barr, Bentleys mom, told The Dodo. If you sit, he is instantly on your lap. He loves us unconditionally. I am lucky to work in a great environment that I can take Bentley to work with me; he visits everyone in the office, sitting on laps and generally being adorable. 

Bentley is definitely a very happy little guy but the one thing he is not at all a fan of is thunderstorms

Credit: Melanie Barr

Whenever a thunderstorm rolls in, Bentley immediately gets very on edge, and has a lot of trouble sleeping. He gets shaky and anxious, and ends up being up all night, even when his parents let him sleep in bed with them to try and ease his fears. 

Chihuahuas react to all emotions by shaking; their little bodies shudder uncontrollably, Barr said. Bentley has big wide eyes that get concerned. I think secretly he does like storms because he knows he gets extra special treatment! 

Credit: Melanie Barr



Rescue Cat Loves Rock Climbing With New Family "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When Sandra Samman decided to adopt a cat, she knew she wanted one who shared her love for adventure, and could keep up with her fast-paced, outdoorsy lifestyle. When she met Denali, she immediately knew he fit the role but had no idea just how adventurous he really was, or how much he would love rock climbing with his new family. 

Denali and his littermates were rescued from a barn in New Mexico and brought to Foothills Animal Shelter in Colorado. The 2-month-old kitten had only been at the shelter for a few days before his new mom found him, and she immediately knew he was meant to be a member of her family. 

Credit: Instagram/denaligato

He is extremely curious, has an adventure spirit which I noticed right away at the shelter and knew he would be a great fit, Samman told The Dodo. He is brave and not at all shy, timid or scared. If he enters a new place he walks around like he owns it. 

Samman became an avid rock climber after a trip through Southeast Asia; she spends a lot of time climbing at the rock climbing gym as well as outdoors. From the very beginning, Denali wanted to be with his mom all the time, going wherever she goes, so she started bringing him to the climbing gym, and was amazed by how much he loved it. 

Credit: Instagram/denaligato

Sometimes he follows me up the boulder problems, Samman said. Sometimes I put him in his pack and let the kids take him up climbs; they love it! People literally lose their minds. Everyone loves it and...


No One Knew What Would Happen When 'Feral' Cat Met Family's Dog "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Running an animal sanctuary means that you hardly get any time off there's always another (adorable) mouth to feed or belly to rub. 

So when Kara Burrow who runs Ralphy's Retreat Animal Sanctuary in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, Kris finally had a night off, she planned to enjoy it with her husband. But the universe apparently had other plans. 

Through the sliding glass door that leads from her kitchen into the yard was a pair of gleaming eyes staring her down. 

Credit: Ralphy's Retreat

"As I walked into the kitchen, I saw a little black and white face peering in through the sliding doors," Burrow told The Dodo. "The cat had scratches all over his face. When he turned and ran away, I saw his tail was very badly injured."

Burrow's rescue focuses mostly on rescuing and rehoming pigs, but she had to do something. "I contacted a local trap-neuter-release program and borrowed a live trap," she said. But then she didn't see the little tuxedo cat for two days. "I thought he had gone."

Thankfully, the gleaming eyes revisited her. "One night, while shutting up the shipping container [a storage space for the sanctuary], I saw two eyes peering at me!" Burrow said. "I put the live trap in the container and locked the door. By morning, Ralph was in the trap."

And he did not seem happy. "Ralph was wild, hissing and running at the side of the trap," Burrow said. "He was also badly injured and needed a vet urgently."

Credit: Ralphy'...


Very Lucky Dog Has Scariest Potty Break Of Her Life "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

This sweet dog named Sprocket is one lucky pup. Thanks to her lightning-fast reflexes, she was able to make it out unscathed when a near-tragedy struck.

Credit: Ben Lucier

On Sunday, a powerful ice storm hit Sprocket's home in Ontario, Canada setting the scene for potential disaster. Little could Sprocket have guessed, of course, as she stepped out to do her business in the backyard afterward, that she was about to have the most perilous potty trip of her life.

High overhead from where she was standing, a large tree branch was about to snap.

A camera outside the home captured what happened next, and the dog's quick thinking that ultimately saved her life.

Sprocket's owner, Ben Lucier, was there to watch the whole thing unfold.

"I was at my back door calling for Sprocket to come in after her bathroom break, but she was dawdling," Lucier told The Dodo. "You can tell when the tree branch snapped because she started to run when she heard the crack. Nobody was hurt, except our fence and maybe the BBQ."

Things could have been much, much worse if it weren't for Sprocket's fast response.

Credit: Ben Lucier

"It was shocking," Lucier said. "Were really lucky. We could be mourning the loss of our little furball."

Lucier has some cleaning up to do now, of course, but what matters most is that Sprocket is safe.



Monsanto merger approved: What's next? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Downcast farmer

Despite widespread opposition, The U.S. Department of Justice has green-lighted the Bayer-Monsanto merger. Next steps? Learn more

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Study finds glyphosate in pregnant women "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Pregnant woman outdoors

A new study on glyphosate in pregnant women from Indiana confirms that this widely used herbicide ends up in peoples bodies. Learn more

Slideshow Category: 


Climate Engineering Insanity, Manufacturing Winter Weather With Tropical Moisture "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

a6e76Dane Wigington Planet Earth is being forced into an abrupt climate shift, the ongoing global climate engineering operations are further fueling the overall process. The combination satellite / radar image below reveals an extremely anomalous and alarming scenario: a massive, bizarre, and completely unnatural, straight, south to north flow of tropical moisture from the record warm waters


Farmworkers and Immigration "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Farmworkers in field

The vast majority of farmworkers in the U.S. are immigrants, and at least half are undocumented. The U.S. immigration system has created an unjust situation for many. Learn more

Slideshow Category: 

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Monday, 16 April


Unistoten Camp Spring 2018 Fund Drive! "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


This winter has seen the greatest snowfall in living memory in the northern interior where the Unistoten Camp is located. This is addition to the extreme cold, and one more example of how the climate is changing and creating weather extremes of all kinds.

Around the healing centre the snow level reached the roof overhang of the kitchen/mess hall section. And of course the camp is located in the valley of the Wedzin Kwah (Morice River) so spring break-up could bring flooding both from the immediate vicinity and upstream.

The Camp has launched an urgent appeal for funds to purchase a used back hoe to do essential repair and protection work to prevent damage to the buildings and infrastructure that has been built with so much effort over the past number of years. Please go to our GoFundMe page, contribute what you can,  and share widely with friends and other land defender supporters to help us reach our goal.

You can always sustain the camp on a regular basis by becoming a monthly donor or by making a direct one-time donation on the Unistoten Camp DONATE page...


[Announcement] FIRE-EARTH Tribunal in Absentia: High Crimes Against Nature "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ OCT TML FIRE-EARTH Tribunal: Rape, Pillage and Plunder of Planet Earth FIRE-EARTH Tribunal in Absentia for the Prosecution of Persons and Entities Responsible for High Crimes Against Nature, RPP of Planet Earth UPDATE The Tribunal hearings will resume on September 24, 2018. Full details and Record of Proceedings available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. FIRE-EARTH Tribunal []


Law Enforcement Has Quietly Backed Anti-Protest Bills in at Least 8 States Since Trumps Election "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by Simon Davis-Cohen and Sarah Lazare / In These Times

MINNEAPOLIS POLICE UNION PRESIDENT LT. BOB KROLL told In These Times that he lobbied Minnesota lawmakers to advance a statewide law clamping down on protestslegislation that civil liberties advocates say targets Black Lives Matter.

The pending bill, HF 390/SF 676, would significantly increase fees and jail time for protesters who block highways, a common civil disobedience tactic, including at protests against police killings. According to the ACLU of Minnesota, the proposed legislation chills dissent and constitutes an attempt to silence Black Lives Matter movement.

I knew they were trying to pass it last year, and I encouraged them to do it again, Kroll told In These Times.

His acknowledgement of the lobbying by his union, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, raises concerns that law enforcement is pressuring legislators to clamp down on protestsand specifically, on protests against police violence. Cops are go...


France: Report from April 15, or, The Magic of the ZAD! "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Contra Info

Despite the state of siege imposed by the government, a crowd of 15,000 to 20,000 people has succeeded, whatever the cost, in reaching different points of the ZAD this Sunday. This afternoon new groups are arriving all the time. Since this morning, the state has done everything possible to break this huge surge of solidarity: there are road blocks and checkpoints everywhere; police checkpoint policeman at the exit lanes of the motorways, asking drivers not to to try to go to the solidarity gathering. This is the first time that the state has tried to prevent a big demonstration of this kind on the ZAD, and to wind up the tension. But here the collective spirit has not allowed itself to be intimidated by any such thing: the ZADs supporters know the country paths, and the fields, and they have been moving in groups in order to get round the police blockades. The movement that succed in forcing the abandonment of the airport project is here again today, in all its strength and diversity, to defend the ZAD.

At 2.00pm there was a solemn moment at the Bellevue Farm. The thousands of sticks and clubs (batons) planted on the 8th of October 2016 were dug up from the ground. We had made a solemn promise to come and collect them if ever the ZAD came under renewed attack. That time has now come!



Frack Off April Newsletter: Fracking Industry Counts Cost Of More Delays "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Contents Jump straight to: Introduction Take Action Latest News Actions & Events Planning Applications & Appeals Local Anti-Fracking Groups Introduction Over a year into the fracking industrys latest offensive against local communities the sustained resistance it has provoked its having []


I'm skeptical of the synthetic age, says ecology philosopher Christopher Preston "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

I'm skeptical of the synthetic age, says ecology philosopher Christopher Preston

brendan 16th April 2018
Teaser Media


Cape Town Nurtures its Water Supply in Anticipation of Taps Running Dry "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

If the South African city cant avert Day Zero, it will be the world's first metropolis to run out of water


Guest post: The impact of climate change on mental health is impossible to ignore "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Prof Helen Berry is the inaugural professor of climate change and mental health at the University of Sydney.

It is now widely accepted that climate change is one of the worlds leading health risks. From driving up the number of people exposed to heatwaves to increasing the risk of infectious diseases, such as dengue fever, climate change is already causing significant harm.

Similarly, the body of evidence that climate change is increasing the frequency and ferocity of weather-related extremes is increasing year-on-year. More people are being exposed or, worse still, the same people are exposed more frequently to injury, loss of homes and businesses, environmental damage and even loss of lives.

All of these have profound, often long-term effects on mental health. Yet there remains relatively little research on this topic, and even less commitment to doing anything about it.

This is a mistake. Good mental health is essential to our capacity to cope with and make the best of what life throws at us, including climate change. But it is not something we can take for granted.

Neglected research

Each year, hundreds of millions of people around the world experience mental illness. For mo...


The New Mail: Letters on Scott Pruitt at EPA "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

There are 1344 Superfund Sites in the U.S.

Letters on Margaret Talbots article about Scott Pruitt and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

From The New Yorker Magazine, April 16, 2018 Issue, Page 5.

TITLE: Pruitt vs. the E.P.A.

Margaret Talbots article about Scott Pruitt paints a scathing picture of his assault on the Environmental Protection Agency (Dirty Politics, April 2nd). I was the first, and then the fifth, administrator of the agency. The environment is far healthier today than it was forty-seven years ago, when the E.P.A. was created, precisely because of the science-based standards that the agency implemented. Pruitt is systematically attacking both the E.P.A.s budget and its scientific framework. If he is successful, the very reason for the E.P.A.s creationillness and disease from pollutionwill remerge, and we will have to start from square one. The country must challenge the Trump Administrations war on science. Otherwise, as a result of actions taken by Pruitt and this Administration, the uncontrolled pollution that we have greatly reduced in the past five decades will return.

William D. Ruckelshaus, Seattle, Wash.


Pruitt is not, as he claims, an E.P.A. originalist. He is merely a se...


British public overwhelmingly support greater fisheries protections after Brexit "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

British public overwhelmingly support greater fisheries protections after Brexit

brendan 16th April 2018
Teaser Media


Hardwood forests cut down to feed Drax Power plant, Channel 4 Dispatches claims "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Hardwood forests cut down to feed Drax Power plant, Channel 4 Dispatches claims

brendan 16th April 2018
Teaser Media


FIRE-EARTH Alert: FESC 041602-2 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

ALERT UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA FIRE-EARTH PULSARS! CJ OCT TML FIRE-EARTH Alert: FESC 041602-2 Alert FESC 041602-2 issued by FIRE-EARTH Science. Details available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Alert FESC 041602-2 . . . . . .


FIRE-EARTH Alert: FESC 041602 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

ALERT UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA FIRE-EARTH PULSARS! CJ OCT TML FIRE-EARTH Alert: FESC 041602 Alert FESC 041602 issued by FIRE-EARTH Science. Details available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Alert FESC 041602 . . . . . .

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Sunday, 15 April


New York: Prominent Gay Rights Lawyer Dies After Setting Himself on Fire in Protest of Environmental Destruction "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by Jeffery C. Mays / New York Times

Jose F. Moreno/Associated Press

A lawyer nationally known for being a champion of gay rights died after setting himself on fire in Prospect Park in Brooklyn early Saturday morning and leaving a note exhorting people to lead less selfish lives as a way to protect the planet, the police said.

The remains of the lawyer, David S. Buckel, 60, were found near Prospect Park West in a field near baseball diamonds and the main loop used by joggers and bikers.

Mr. Buckel left a note in a shopping cart not far from his body and also emailed it to several news media outlets, including The New York Times.

Mr. Buckel was the lead attorney in Brandon v. County of Richardson, in which a Nebraska county sheriff was found liable for failing to protect Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Falls City, Neb. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Mr. Teena in the 1999 movie Boys Dont Cry.

While serving as marriage project director and senior counsel at Lambda Legal, a national organization that fights for the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, Mr. Buckel was the strategist behind important same-sex marriage cases in New J...


FIRE-EARTH Alert: FESC 041502 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

ALERT UPDATES AVAILABLE VIA FIRE-EARTH PULSARS! CJ OCT TML FIRE-EARTH Alert: FESC 041502 Alert FESC 041502 issued by FIRE-EARTH Science. Details available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Alert FESC 041502 . . . . . .


The Facts Behind Bombing Syria "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

REVISED CJ OCT TML Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons V.  Prolific Use of DU Background Summary: Israel Saudi Arabia Chemical weapons versus depleted uranium (DU; also called Q-metal, or D-38). The US and NATO forces used 350 tons of DU penetrator rounds in the 1991 Gulf War, as well as in the Bosnia war, the []


Promoting Development, Local Chambers of Commerce Insensitive to Environment "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

North Central West Virginia Business Summit (4/9/18)

Tearing down the walls for economic development

Editorial by John Miller (Executive Editor), WV News, April 13, 2018

Since its inception four years ago, weve touted the Bridges Without Boundaries Business Summit, which brings together members of four area chambers of commerce: Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Preston, counties in WV.

The focus of the summit is to bring business and government leaders together to network, looking for opportunities to work together to enhance our economic development efforts.

This years event, held Tuesday, was the largest since its beginning and featured a number of guest speakers who shared insight into the regions economic future as well as ways to partner together.

The summit also featured dozens of booths set up by area businesses, which allowed visitors and participants to stroll the event hall and learn at their own pace.

As would be expected, a good amount of time focused on the regions role in the Marcellus Shale development, with WVU Energy Institute Director Brian Anderson sharing his expertise.

We have, in North Central West Virginia, a lot of natural gas resources, Anderson told the crowd. There have been some natural gas power...

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Saturday, 14 April


Geoengineering Watch Global Alert News, April 14, 2018, #140 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

5574rDane Wigington Biosphere collapse will push power structures to total desperation. As has been stated so many times on the Global Alert News hour, the rapidly unfolding implosion of the global climate and countless ecosystems, along with the quest for remaining resources, is (and will continue to) fuel unbridled aggression from military industrial societies like the


Global Epidemiological Emergencies Forecast "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ IGE OCT TML TWM Global Epidemiological Emergencies Forecast 041402.2 Prepared by FIRE-EARTH Science (FSCT & FESC). Forecast available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. All Groups Latest FIRE-EARTH ALERTS, FORECASTS, BULLETINS and MESSAGES available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Epidemiological Emergencies . . . . .


The Facts Behind Bombing Syria "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ OCT TML Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons V.  Prolific Use of DU Background Summary: Chemical weapons versus depleted uranium (DU; also called Q-metal, or D-38). The US and NATO forces used 350 tons of DU penetrator rounds in the 1991 Gulf War, as well as in the Bosnia war, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, []


Indigenous Environmental Campaigner Killed by Myanmar Government "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

by Jonathan Watts / The Guardian

Indigenous activists in Myanmars Karen state are mourning the killing of a community leader who campaigned for a peace park to protect a local forest and its residents land rights.

Saw O Moo was ambushed by government troops on 5 April as he was riding a motorbike with a soldier from the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), a rebel group that is fighting for autonomy.

The military has claimed both men were pain-clothes rebels suspected of sabotage who were armed with grenades at the time of the shooting, according to the Irrawaddy newspaper.

But colleagues who worked with Saw O Moo say he was a peaceful campaigner who had simply given a ride to the KNLA soldier.

He was a civilian, and the allegations by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) that he was a plain clothes soldier are blatant lies, said Hsa Moo, media coordinator for the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network, which works for indigenous rights in the region.

Saw O Moo worked for the network for 12 years and was involved in the campaign to create a Salween Peace Park....


A Call For Intergalactic Solidarity Actions Everywhere To End The Destructio of the ZAD of Notre Dame Des Landes "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from ZAD

All the versions of this article: [English] [franais

We are writing with the smell of tear gas rising from our fingers. The springtime symphony of birdsong is punctuated by the explosive echo of concussion grenades. Our eyes are watering, less from the gas than the sadness; because our friends homes, barns and organic farms are being destroyed. Bulldozers, supported by 2500 riot police, armored vehicles, helicopters and drones, are rampaging through these forests, pastures and wetlands to crush the future we are building here on the to the zad (The zone defendre).

We are calling on you to take solidarity actions everywhere, it could be holding demos at your local french embassy or consulate, or taking actions against any suitable symbol (corporate or otherwise) of France ! And if you are not too far away, bring your disobedient bodies to join us on the zone. If the French government evicts the zad, it will be like evicting hope.

For fifty years, this unique chequerboard landscape was the site of a relentless struggle against yet another climate wrecking infrastructure a new airport for the nearby city of Nantes. Farmers an...


Can PA Townships Control Drilling & Fracking via Zoning? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Suburban Pittsburgh (Westmoreland County)

Penn Township Fracking Dispute Heads to Court in Westmoreland County, PA

From an Article by Reid Frazier, Allegheny Front, April 10, 2018

A dispute over a local law that opens up much of a Pittsburgh suburb to oil and gas drilling has made it to a Westmoreland County courtroom.

The citizens group ProtectPT is challenging Penn Townships zoning ordinance, finalized in 2016, that allowed drilling in parts of the township zoned as rural resource areas.

These are typically open parts of the community, like farms and other sparsely populated areas. The community, about 20 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, contains a mix of planned suburban subdivisions and farmland.

The group is arguing that the ordinance deprives residents in more densely populated parts of the township their rights under the Pennsylvania Constitution to a clean environment.

The group wants the judge to limit fracking to a handful of industrial zones inside the township.

We are saying this infringes on those rights because it pollutes the air, it pollutes the water through forcing chemicals into the earth and (by) polluting groundwater, as well as surface water for spills on the surface, said Ann LeCuyer, of Trafford, Pa., whi...


More Examples: Using Propaganda as Social Conditioning "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Sincere Questions in a World of Lies, by Doug Uncola Lynn When I was in high school we had an English teacher who had the kids carry the ring of a toilet seat to the bathroom instead of asking him for a hall pass.  Although this took place before the selfie and social media days, []


Biological Hazard Bio-control agents: Mass Poisonings quasi-cannabinoids (Multistate Outbreak, USA) "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

DRUG ABUSE USA (03): (ILLINOIS) SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS, BLEEDING DISORDER ************************* Published Date: 2018-04-11 23:31:05 Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Drug abuse USA (03): (IL) synthetic cannabinoids, bleeding disorder Archive Number: 20180411.5740877 Date: 10 Apr 2018 Source: Fox 6 Now [edited] Fake marijuana likely contaminated with rat poison has killed 3 people in Illinois and caused severe []


Baby Owls Won't Stop Staring Through Office Window And It's Making Things A Little Awkward "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

If folks working in offices in this building of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have the uncanny feeling that they're being watched it's probably because they are.

After all, those doing the watching are hardly being subtle about it.

Credit: Facebook/UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

In a tweet this week, Professor Michael Lens introduced the world to a group of baby owls who'd hatched from a nest just outside his colleague's window a few weeks ago.

While the chance to get an up-close look at these adorable birds growing up might seem like a wholly positive thing, it comes with one slightly unnerving caveat: They can stare right back.

As the birds have gotten older, they've evidently begun directing their curiosity through the window fixing a wide-eyed, unflinching gaze on people trying to go about their business inside this building in the Luskin School of Public Affairs. It's apparently made work a little difficult, as Lens noted:

 "I. Just. Cant. Even."

Credit: Twitter/Michael Lens

Before long, Lens' tweet went viral and others started weighing in on the little owls.


Bloodthirsty Pup Hunts Down Google Street View Car "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

There have been a lot of questions in recent weeks about the risks of sharing data online but evidently internet users arent the only ones who should be concerned about the digital spread of their personal info.

Ironically, however, one little dogs apparent attempt to lash back at Google's prying ways ended up backfiring miserably.

And now, as a result, everyone on the web knows precisely where he likes to hang out.

Credit: Google Street View

This little dog-centered drama all began when a Google Street View mapping car rounded the corner on a dead-end road leading to a small harbor in Japan's Kumage District.

Credit: Google Street View

As the offending vehicle approached, it caught the attention of the local pup, who was just hanging out by a boat minding his own business and, no doubt, expecting others to do the same.

Credit: Google Street View

The Google car didn't comply, of course so the pup sprang into action.

Credit: Google Street View

From there, a chase got underway.



Ape Only Walks Upright After Spending 9 Years Stuck In This Cage "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Its been more than two decades since Poco the chimpanzee was rescued but anyone who visits Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, where Poco now lives, is reminded of where he came from. Poco spent nine horribly long years locked inside a tiny cage, which is now displayed on the sanctuary grounds.

Pocos cage used to be suspended from a shop roof in Bujumbura, Burundi. He was kept there to attract customers, who would buy bananas and other snacks to feed him. While no one really knows how the shop owner got Poco in the first place, rescuers believe he was stolen from the wild when he was 3 years old.

Credit: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Poco was never let out of his metal prison, which forced him to live standing in an upright position. Not only would this have been uncomfortable, but its unnatural for a chimp to stand like this. Poco was also exposed to the sun and wind and rain.

In the early 1990s, things finally changed for Poco. Authorities managed to confiscate him from the shop owners, and transferred him to a rescue center run by the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) in Burundi. After spending two years being rehabilitated at the JGI center, civil war broke out in Burundi and Poco was transferred to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya, which is run by Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Credit: Glyn Edmunds/Ol Peje...


Dog Dumped At Shelter Was So Shy He Hid Behind His Owner's Legs "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Its hard to miss the sign on the way in to the Davidson County Animal Shelter in Lexington, North Carolina. It reads: The shelter is full and owner surrenders can be humanely euthanized at any time.

Beagle mix Jasper couldnt see the sign as he entered the small county shelter, but he could tell something was very wrong. The shy 8-year-old dog was surrounded by strangers and odd smells.

Credit: Donna Grooms

As his owner stood at the counter filling out surrender paperwork, Jasper sought protection by hiding behind his dads legs.

He peered out nervously, then hid his face once more.

When shelter volunteers reiterated that the shelter was full and that leaving the dog could be tantamount to a death sentence, the man bent down and took Jaspers collar and leash for him and his wife to remember him by, according to Donna Grooms, the shelters director.

Credit: Donna Grooms

No clear reason was given for Jaspers surrender, Grooms said, though the man hinted that Jasper didnt get along with their 3-year-old grandchild. We dont know that to be true, Grooms told The Dodo, thats just what we were told.

As his owner left through the glass door, passing the sign once more, Jasper tried to follow, but the man didnt turn back. Jasper was all alone.

Credit: Donna Grooms

He was upset. He wanted to leave with his daddy, Grooms sai...


Dog Living On Train Tracks Was Too Scared To Let Anyone Near Her "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

After Tweedy was abandoned on the streets of Los Angeles, she took shelter around some train tracks and lived there until someone finally noticed her and called for help. Hope for Paws got the call about the abandoned Shar-Pei and immediately went out to rescue her. Train tracks can be a dangerous place for an animal, and rescuers wanted to get Tweedy to safety as quickly as possible but they soon realized that rescuing her was going to be a little trickier than they had hoped. 

Credit: Hope for Paws

As soon as Tweedy saw JoAnn Wiltz and Lisa Arturo, rescuers with Hope for Paws, approaching, she began to back away from them. She clearly had had some bad experiences with humans in the past, and was incredibly anxious about interacting with the women trying to help her. They tried tossing some food her way, but unfortunately, she had absolutely no interest in it, and continued to refuse to come anywhere near them.

Credit: Hope for Paws

No matter how many times the women tried to get close to her, Tweedy just wouldnt let them  

Credit: Hope for Paws

until finally, Wiltz was able to slip a leash around Tweedys neck as she tried to run past her. 



No One Could Believe What They Found Hidden Inside This House "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The outside of the white house looked fairly ordinary but the inside held a sad, shocking secret. After receiving a tip-off, police broke into a home in Toliara, Madagascar, on Tuesday night, and found 11,000 critically endangered radiated tortoises trapped inside.

The entire house was filled, Rick Hudson, president and CEO of Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), told The Dodo. Every room was covered with tortoises. This is the largest confiscation that weve ever dealt with with any kind of turtle. Its just of monumental proportions.

Credit: TSA

The radiated tortoise is an unusual-looking animal with a high-domed shell decorated with a star pattern. Unfortunately, their unique appearance has made them highly desirable to pet owners around the world wildlife smugglers continually steal these tortoises from southern Madagascar and ship them to Asian countries to be sold as pets.

Hudson believes the 11,000 tortoises found in the house were also destined for the pet trade.

At the moment, no one knows how long the tortoises were kept inside the house, but they werent being properly cared for. Sadly, about 300 tortoises have already died from neglect.

Credit: TSA

We saw no evidence of food or water, Hudson said. Typically they [wildlife traffickers] dont seem to think that tortoises have any biological...


Tiniest Gibbon Spent Months Living In Basket After Losing Her Family "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When Mariani Ramli first laid eyes on Betsy, the baby gibbon was cowering in the corner of a plastic fruit basket. Betsy had been kept in there for over five months, and she was malnourished, weak and very scared.

Ramli learned about Betsy in 2015 when a stranger came to visit her gibbon rehabilitation center, which Ramli runs out of her own home in Peninsular Malaysia. At first, Ramli didnt really know why the man was there.

Credit: Mariani Ramli

He showed interest in gibbons and started asking me questions, Ramli, a gibbon expert and founder of Gibbon Protection Society Malaysia (GPSM), told The Dodo. He said he heard about the project that I've been doing from his friend.

The man left as mysteriously as he arrived. But then, a few days later, he returned to tell Ramli about Betsy. He said theres a gibbon being kept in a basket at his friends house, Ramli said.

Credit: Mariani Ramli

Ramli and a friend hurried to get Betsy as quickly as they could. Not only was Ramli worried about Betsys welfare, but she knew it was illegal for anyone to keep a gibbon this way.

In Malaysia and other parts of Asia, gibbon populations are plummeting, and at least three types of gibbons white-handed gibbons, dark-handed gibbons and siamang gibbons  are considered to be endangered species. Yet gibbons are frequently...


Baby Turtles Found Abandoned In Box Get Their Very Own Playground "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When a monk discovered a box left just outside his temple in Bangkok, Thailand, 20 tiny lives were saved. 

It actually happens quite often that animals are left outside temples in Asia. Traffickers or people who have purchased endangered species as pets get concerned about getting in trouble, and so abandon them on the monks' doorsteps. 

In this case, the box contained 20 baby Indian star tortoises a species considered vulnerable to extinction.

Credit: WFFT

"These little tortoises are some of the lucky ones," Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) wrote last month. WFFT is a safe haven and sanctuary for so many different kinds of animals in Thailand who have been stolen out of the wild or abused by human beings.

"It is thought that this species is being illegally smuggled from India into pet markets in Asia, Europe, and the United States," WFFT added. "[This species] is the most commonly seen tortoise at the infamous Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok."

Credit: WFFT

Turtles are not only being stolen out of the wild they're also losing their homes to land developers and farmers.

But the lucky 20 were transferred to WFFT for help, thanks to the monk who knew they needed special care. 



Doing This Simple Thing Could Save Your Pets Life "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Pet adoption can come with a laundry list of tasks from filling out paperwork to scheduling vaccinations and spaying or neutering. But there is one important step even the most conscientious pet owners may be unaware of:

A pet license.

A pet license simply means that a newly adopted dog or cat is registered within the state where he or she lives. It isnt just the law in most counties it can help save a pets life too.

Most city governments require dog (and sometimes cat) owners to register their pets with a database, much like a car. In order to obtain a license, many times the only requirement is that the animal be up-to-date on his rabies vaccinations, though regulations vary from state to state.

Dog owners can license their pets online or at a local government office, a participating animal shelter or a veterinarians office. Fees vary depending on the type of license a pet owner is looking to obtain (for example, a service dog license may cost more), the dogs spay/neuter status and where the pet lives. While in public, many places require that a license tag be attached to a dog's collar with his ID number displayed.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Opting not to get a pet license for your pup can sometimes result in...


People Couldn't Believe How Many Great Danes Were Hidden Inside This Mansion "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Glancing at the opulent white mansion from the sidewalk, it seems just as magnificent as the other homes lining the high-end Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, neighborhood.

But what rescuers found hidden inside was nothing short of a nightmare.

With months of urine and feces coating the floors under them, dozens of Great Danes sat huddled in corners and behind run-down furniture. They slid around on the thick layer of waste as they tried to walk.

Credit: HSUS

Some dogs stood on top of tattered mattresses and barked out in fear as rescuers walked around the 20-room mansion. Even more dogs were hidden behind doors and locked in filthy wire cells with no food or water. When a rescuer approached one dogs cage, he stood up and tried licking her hands through the bars.

Credit: HSUS

Lindsay Hamrick, the New Hampshire director of Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), said the smell was so strong that the team couldnt spend more than a few minutes inside without their eyes burning.

You walked into the front foyer of the house and were immediately met with a mix of ammonia and other disgusting scents, Hamrick told The Dodo. It was making people gag.

This was everyday life for more than 80 dogs living at the home of Christina Fay, a large-scale Great Dane breeder who, prior to her arrest, sold the dogs online for upwards of $2,000 each. An investigation into the suspected puppy mill...


Puppies Who Just Met Had Nothing But Each Other For Comfort "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Thrown into a pen together with nothing but a concrete floor to lie on, the scared, young dogs had never met one another before but that didnt matter to them.

They had both just been brought into a high-kill shelter by animal control in Texas, and, judging by how sickly they were, their future was almost certain: They would likely be put down as the public shelter didnt have the resources to treat them.

Noticing his pen-mate was going to lie down, Jeremiah, the small black dog, found the perfect place to cuddle, too. He sprawled out on Neals side, nuzzling his face into the dogs neck.

Then, they fell asleep.

Credit: Rescue Dogs Rock NYC

Jeremiah sought comfort, and Neal was accepting of it, Stacey Silverstein, founder of Rescue Dogs Rock NYC, told The Dodo. They knew they were in danger.

The dogs didnt know it yet, but their heartbreaking fate was changing by the minute. Wanting to save the dogs, the public shelter contacted Silverstein to see if her rescue group could sponsor the dogs care and she couldnt refuse.

Credit: Rescue Dogs Rock NYC

Most of the dogs there had been abandoned, found on the street and picked up by animal control, Silverstein said. Were kind of their go-to for the critically injured or sick dogs, and they have many. All we know is that these two definitely werent originally found together.



Abandoned Dog Was Trying To Keep Warm In A Cardboard Box "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Not so long ago, a homeless dog in Pennsylvania had absolutely no one who cared about her. 

She was wandering the streets, trying to find any hiding spot where she could keep warm. And that's when Janine Guido, founder of Speranza Animal Rescue, spotted her. 

It was Christmas Eve, and the homeless dog in an ironic kind of twist was curled up in an old, discarded box, which probably once contained supplies, or even Christmas gifts, for companion animals who have homes. 

Credit: Speranza Animal Rescue

That's when the homeless dog became known as Noel. And Guido, as she's done so many times before, started the hard work of earning the dog's trust so she could be saved.

Credit: Speranza Animal Rescue

Thankfully, it didn't take too long for Noel to trust Guido. Soon, she was in the passenger seat of Guido's car. But her exhaustion was obvious; she seemed too tired to even lift her head. 

It's suspected that Noel wasn't just a regular stray, that she was perhaps abandoned by her previous family and had been trying to fend for herself since. It's likely we'll never know what brought Noel to such desperate conditions but it's certain that she'll never have to be alone again.

Credit: Speranza Animal...

Friday, 13 April


FIRE-EARTH Conference: Global Epidemiological Emergencies & Alerts "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ IGE OCT TML TWM FIRE-EARTH Medical Conference (041302) Global Epidemiological Emergencies & Alerts Presented by FIRE-EARTH Science (FSCT). Details are available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. All Groups Latest FIRE-EARTH ALERTS, FORECASTS, BULLETINS and MESSAGES available via FIRE-EARTH PULSARS. Epidemiological Emergencies . . . . .


Climate Engineering Disinformation, How To Respond To The Source "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

GeoengineeringWatch 55443Dane Wigington The global climate engineering assault is becoming all but impossible to hide in plain sight as the climate and biosphere collapse accelerates. In response, the power structure's propaganda puppets are doing all they can to continue their attempt to cover up the critical climate engineering issue with carefully crafted disinformation. How do we counter


Visual Stories of El Durazno: The Power of Community Conviction "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

OLCA has created a video series about the conflict that the town of El Durazno, Chile sustained while defending its territory against the Ministry of Public Works MOP, which seeks to carry out plans to create a... Read More

The post Visual Stories of El Durazno: The Power of Community Conviction appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.


EARTH WATCH: Taking the Fight to Fracking, Drilling Near Colorados Great Sand Dunes National Park "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The most recent Earth Watch guest on the Sojourner Truth Radio show was Becca Fischer of WildEarth Guardians, which, along with the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Rocky Mountain Wild, San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council, Sierra Club, and Wild Connections, submitted... Read More

The post EARTH WATCH: Taking the Fight to Fracking, Drilling Near Colorados Great Sand Dunes National Park appeared first on Global Justice Ecology Project.


A federal Food and Farm Platform for the future "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


Yesterday, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) introduced a draft of the 2018 Farm Bill.

While federal food and farming policy and particularly the Farm Bill process can seem complex and far-removed, these laws and rules impact our daily lives in ways large and small. From food access and nutrition programs, to crop insurance and agricultural research, the Farm Bill determines much about the food we eat, how its grown and its impacts on rural workers and communities.

PANs platform is informed by our ongoing work with partners across the country who are calling for federal food and farm policy that works for farmers, workers and communities including National Famil...


La scurit dEmmanuel Elong "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Monsieur le Ministre,

Nous tenons par la prsente vous demander de bien vouloir vous assurer de la scurit de Monsieur Emmanuel Elong, Prsident de la SYNAPARCAM (Synergie Nationale des Paysans et Riverains du Cameroun) et Prsident de lAlliance des Riverains des Plantations Socfin-Bollor, venu Paris du 1er au 5 avril 2018 pour tmoigner au procs pour diffamation contre France Tlvision, relatif au reportage de lmission Complment denqute,  Vincent Bollor, un ami qui vous veut du bien ? , dont la premire partie porte sur la Socapalm, la plus grande entreprise dexploitation dhuile de palme du Cameroun.


Mike Pompeo Is a Disaster for the Planet. Why Do Democrats Back Him? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

We must pressure Democrats who have backed the CIA director nominee to change course


Two Spirit, Trans, and Womxns Action Camp (TTWAC) in So-Called Minnesota "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

submitted to Earth First! Newswire

Anti Line 3 Action Camp (+ long term encampment with no cis doods*!)

A direct action camp with workshops, skill shares and comraderie for people who identify as two-spirit, womxn, trans &/or gender variant to come together, establish a resistance camp & fight the patriarchy!

Interested in attending, set up, training or facilitation? Email

The action camp is May 2nd-6th but will continue on to be a long term encampment. Have you ever wanted to live in a pipeline resistance camp with no cis doods? Well this is your chance!

Come throw down in occupied Anishinaabe territory! So-called northern Minnesota.

Please bring your own shelter and a dog leash if you have a dog

*Cis dood: someone who identifies with the gender of male that they were assigned at birth

Who We Are

  • We are a collective of individuals, not a non-profit. We oppose the non-profit industrial complex, capitalism, white supremacy and heteropatriarchy.
  • We are a group of non-cis male p...


Pointing out those Superfluous and Inordinate double standards "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

It is what it is. Keep in mind. Pelosi is one of the richest members of Congress and worth more than $16 million. Caution: Useful idiots may agree.


The Effect$ of Climate Change are Extensive and Profound, Now & Later "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Climate Change Impacts to Increase with Time

What we face as the climate changes

Essay by S. Tom Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor & Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV

Rising ocean level causes migration. There are many reasons areas just above sea level are densely inhabited, ports are there, broad expanses of tillable or easily developed land are there, and close contact with the ocean makes it possible for people living there in the past to enjoy bounty of both land and sea.

One of the worst affected areas in the U. S. is the area around Norfolk, Virginia, home to so many military bases that it has been called the worlds greatest collection of military might. It is sinking, as well as the ocean rising. Since 1927, the tidal gauge at Sewells Point has recorded the highest relative sea level rise on the East Coast, nearly 15 inches. Storms bring water into residential streets. The military is already taking steps to preserve the usefulness of the new construction, but has no plans for overall protection.

Another is the coast of Louisana which now is losing a football field of land (an acre) to the sea every hour, due to a combination of subsidence, sea-level rise and reduced sediment flow from the Mississippi River. Extraction of oil and gas and removal of salt deposits causes the sinking. Dams on the Miss...


World can limit global warming to 1.5C without BECCS "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

It is possible to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures without using negative emissions from bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), new research says.

The study, published today in Nature Climate Change, throws open the debate about how to meet the stringent temperature goals of the Paris Agreement. It shows, for the first time, how a range of highly ambitious mitigation options can minimise  or, collectively, eliminate the need for BECCS.

BECCS is a controversial and largely untested negative emissions technology that has come to dominate pathways to 1.5C.

The new paper instead explores alternatives including lifestyle changes, agricultural intensification and lab-grown meat, as well as an even more rapid adoption of renewables and energy efficiency. Some of these have tended to be excluded from the conversation, because they are hard for scientists to model.

The debate over how to meet the Paris goals should be broader, the lead author tells Carbon Brief, because there are risks to relying on negative emissions from BECCS.

Stringent goals

The Paris Agreement, adopted by almost every country in 2015, says warming should be limited to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, wi...


Illegal hunt investigator tells of attack that left colleague with fractured neck "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Illegal hunt investigator tells of attack that left colleague with fractured neck

brendan 13th April 2018
Teaser Media


'Its more economic to cut down a tree than maintain it for twenty years' "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

'Its more economic to cut down a tree than maintain it for twenty years'

brendan 13th April 2018
Teaser Media


The benefits for businesses of environmental consulting firms "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The benefits for businesses of environmental consulting firms

Emily Folk 13th April 2018
Teaser Media


Family On Vacation Reunites With Dog They Rescued Years Earlier "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Two years ago, Laurie Webster and her family, of Illinois, were on what was intended to be a leisurely beach vacation in Cancun, Mexico, when they were suddenly compelled by a higher calling to help save the life of an animal in need.

On their very first night there, as the family stepped out from their resort to have dinner, they happened upon a sight that broke their hearts. Huddled all alone on the sidewalk in front of them was a dog in clear distress.

Credit: Laurie Webster

"She was curled up into a ball," Webster told The Dodo. "She was obviously sick, missing most of her hair. She was just laying there, and people walking by were just ignoring her."

That was the moment that the vacationing family's priorities changed.

"My daughter looked up at me and said we had to do something," Webster explained.

Credit: Laurie Webster

Back home, Webster and her family had been involved in rescuing and fostering many needy dogs but there in a foreign land, it was unclear at first whom they could turn to for help.

That didn't stop them from trying, though.

Credit: Laurie Webster

Webster's daughter carried the dog to the shelter of a nearby kiosk, and with the help of a person working there, began making calls.

"We tried calling many places to help, but it was late on a Sunday night, and rescue centers there are far and few between," Webster said. "We started calling vets, and found one open for 24 hours. He told us to bring...


Dead Dog Was Just Waiting For The Right Person To Save Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When Judy Obregon received a photo of a poodle mix lying on a concrete driveway, she thought the dog was dead. In fact, she was sure of it. But when Obregon went to collect the dogs body, she got the biggest surprise.

Before receiving the dead dog photo, Obregon, founder of a dog rescue group called The Abandoned Ones, had gone looking for the poodle mix in a neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas. A resident had explained that the dog was running around the area as a stray, and local kids were tormenting him.

Credit: Judy Obregon

Kids were throwing food out on the street, so the dog would run out onto the street, Obregon told The Dodo. Then neighbors saw some children tying a water hose around his neck.

Obregon visited the neighborhood three times, but each time she couldnt find the dog. Then she got the photo of the dog from the same resident who initially contacted her  this person thought the dog was dead as well.

I started crying because I felt like I didnt do enough, Obregon said. I felt like I wasnt there on time to get to this dog before he ended up in this situation.

But when Obregon returned to the neighborhood, she was astonished to find that the dog was still alive.

Credit: Judy Obregon



Video Shows Elephants Swaying In Fear Behind Scenes Of Circus "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

As music booms from speakers and lights flash around the bustling Garden Bros Circus ring, hidden behind a curtain is a much more solemn scene.

As noisy dirt bikes dart around the ring, two elephants stand huddled together behind metal barricades, swaying their heads and trunks back and forth in fear. Audience members cheer and clap from the grandstands, unaware of the animals suffering just feet away.

During the daily shows, the two female elephants, named Isa and Viola, are forced to perform for the loud crowds while wearing flashy costumes. But the rest of the time, theyre ushered behind the curtain to cower over the ear-shattering noises of the other performances.

For the past 50 years, this has been their everyday life.

Credit: ADI

The new video was filmed by Animal Defenders International (ADI) during a March 23 performance in Broomall, Pennsylvania.

They lined up right alongside the elephants, revving their engines prior to entering the ring, a representative from ADI told The Dodo about the bikers. It was loud.

Credit: Instagram/thesewingpiglet

The Garden Bros Circus, which travels across the country throughout the year, has a record of tasering and beating elephants with sharp metal bullhooks during training sessions. In 2014, ADI w...


Incredible 'Green-Haired' Turtle Might Not Be Around For Much Longer "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

With its punky green hairstyle, chin spikes and unique underwater abilities, the Mary River turtle is a true original but it might not be around for much longer.

The unique freshwater turtle holds the 29th spot on the Zoological Society of London (ZSL)s new list of the worlds most vulnerable reptiles, and has been categorized as endangered on the IUCN Red List since the 1990s.

Native to the Mary River in Queensland, Australia, the distinctive turtle has the ability to stay underwater for three consecutive days thanks to glands in an opening that serves as both the reptiles butt and genitals. The ZSL refers to this evolutionary wonder by the not-so-flattering nickname butt breather.

The freshwater turtles green mohawk, which gives it a Troll doll-like appearance, is the result of algae growing on its head while submerged for extended periods. Sadly, the docile turtles ability to hide underwater did not protect him from the Australian pet trade. From 1962 and 1974, people legally raided the turtles terrestrial nesting sites and sold...


Magnitude 4.6 21km W of Perry, Oklahoma- April 7, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

USGS Event Page
Magnitude 4.6 21km W of Perry, Oklahoma
2018-04-07 12:16:01 UTC
36.291N   -97.523W
5 km depth



Do I Think That Fracking Causes Earthquakes?

by Alan Kafka
Weston Observatory
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Boston College

Note: My analysis presented here is based on what was known about this issue at the time that I wrote this (June 2014). I dont think the essence of this story has changed (yet?), but as more earthq...


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