Saved Alba: freedom with the risk of life

The albino orangutan returns to the wild

Reading time 5 minutes

The infrequent orangutan albino was saved from inhabitants of one of villages in the Borneo Island last year.  The other day, after successful rehabilitation, female was released back into the wild nature but the threat of animal’s life  remains.

Альба
Альбу выпускают на волю

The Kalimantan Central agency of preservation the natural recourses (BKSDA) and the Borneo Orangutan Survival Fund (BOSF) saved Alba at the beginning of 2017. She was captured by inhabitants of Tanggiranga, remote village in the Indonesian part of Borneo. Alba had a stress, dehydration and suffered from parasitic worms. The animal was taken to Nyaru Menteng orangutan rehabilitation centre.  

Alba was planned to be released into the wild nature in a few month, but her recovery convalescence took more time than it was expected. As an albino, she is susceptible to many diseases, she has poor eyesight and hearing, oversensitiveness to the light and predisposition to skin cancer. Alba is the only known albino orangutan in a history of this species. 

According to BOSF, Alba together with Kika, other rehabilitated orangutan female (not albino), were released to Borneo national park (BBBR). Originally, BOSF planned to surround a 5 hectares of the forest area and keep Alba under constant observation, but ultimately it was decided that orangutan should move freely in its natural habitat. 

«Thanks to intensive care provided by our special veterinary team and tutors of Nyaru Menteng Orangutan rehabilitation centre, Alba recovered and showed excellent skills of ascension and socialising», — noted BOSF in the statement. 

Транспортировка орангутангов происходила в специальных клетках
Транспортировка орангутанов происходила в специальных клетках

After hard 16-hour travel by land and the river, which Alba and Kika spent in the cages, BOSF team arrived into the BBBR National Park. BOSF published the video showed Alba and Kika’s travel. 

Currently Alba actively moves in the forest area, usually at the hight of 115 feet (35 metres). Her fast adaptation to the forest life is not surprising, as she doesn’t have the «inferiority complex» and feel herself confident in comparison with the other orangutans, said veterinarian Agus Fatoni to the Associated Press. 

Альба в естественной среде
Альба в естественной среде

Albuanadela has a tracking bracelet, and she will regularly be examined by the medical team  within the next six months. Environmentalists are concerned about her health, but they are even more concerned about potential poachers: Alba with her white wool and blue eyes is really vulnerable. The national park staff and nature conservation agencies organized the patrol in this area, however they recognize that opportunities for this purpose are limited.

«It’s really big adventure, but we hope that we will manage to implement this project successfully», — said BOSF executive director Dzhamartin Sikhit soon after Alba’s  releasing into the wild nature. 

Rescue of a rare giraffe species in Africa

Eight West African giraffes have been transferred to the Gadabedja protected area in Niger

Reading time 4 minutes

Until now, there were no giraffes from West Africa in the Gadabedji biosphere reserve in Niger. These animals still need protection. Illegal hunting, climate change and habitat loss all contributed to the decline in population size. According to the Nigerian publication, eight giraffes were moved to the reserve, this is the first such case for the West African subspecies.  

Биосферный заповедник Гадабеджи (Нигер)
Биосферный заповедник Гадабеджи (Нигер)

In accordance with the initiative of the Nigerian authorities, eight giraffes were caught approximately 60 km south-east of the city of Niamey. There, these animals share their habitat with local communities and compete with humans for natural resources. Often, giraffes come into conflict with people who manage their pastures. Because of this, some individuals go to restless areas on the border with Mali. 

Жирафов перевозили в специальных контейнерах
Жирафов перевозили в специальных контейнерах

The animals were placed in enclosures for three weeks to prepare for the upcoming journey in special trailers. Then they were transported to a new place of residence in the central part of Niger. 

According to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF), over the past 30 years, the number of giraffes has declined throughout the African continent. The West African giraffe subspecies was once common in many countries, including Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal, but is now only preserved in Niger. In the nineties of the twentieth century, only 49 individuals remained in the wild, and in 2008 the subspecies was listed in the Red Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as endangered.    

Западноафриканские жирафы - самый малочисленный подвид
Западноафриканские жирафы – самый малочисленный подвид

The efforts of the Niger Government in collaboration with local and international partners have led to the revival of the West African giraffe. Since 2005, conservation efforts in Niger have also intensified thanks to the Giraffe Conservation Fund (GCF) and the Sahara Foundation for Nature Conservation.   

Currently, the population size has increased to 600 individuals, and last month this subspecies was reduced by the IUCN to the category of “vulnerable”. Environmentalists believe that the relocation of eight giraffes is a key step in the development of Gadabedzhi as the leading reserve in Niger. They hope that this will help revive the population of the West African giraffe.

Elephants transmit information through the ground

Researchers found out that animals use signals similar to seismic

Reading time 4 minutes

While using instruments intended to detection of earthquakes, Oxford scientists Bet Mortimer and Tarje Nissen-Meyer discovered that various kinds of elephants activities – walking, running, sniffing, grunting – сreate different seismic signals in the ground. According to the research published in Current biology magazine, in several cases these vibrations are distributing through the ground much longer than through the air enabling animals to feel each other even over long distances.

Study’s author Dr.Mortimer

Earlier studies demonstrated that elephants capture ground fluctuations by their body. For instance, elephants were noticed running away to the uplands in the moments preceding tsunami emergence. The elephant feeling a threat began to stomp in order to avert others. The study expands the understanding of how animals can communicate. Beside, it provides new possibilities for researchers and ecologists who would like to observe animals remotely. This method can be fruitful for the save the species. «This information can be used as a strategy of remote monitoring», – Dr.Mortimer said.

An African battalion struggling with poachers

Despite the international affords to prohibit trade of elephant bones tens of thousands of african elephants are proceeding to die because of their tusks every year.

In order to hold the study scientists established devices known as geophones near the place of living of Kenia wild elephants. Like seismographs geophones convert soil fluctuations into measurable electronic signals, yet they are better to use in field work. With the help of these instruments researchers will presumably be able to pursue and defend animals.

Elephants are able to recognize hooves and fluctuations of the herd over several kilometres distance

Due to the fact that elephants live in complicated and spatially divided communities, animals use long-range communication in order to survive. The ground vibrations can be used for warning each other of danger and for partners seeking during very short period of mating. Supposing that elephants not only bring on distinct vibrations in various activities but also are able to perceive these signals from huge distances, scientists are intending to learn how to use these signals.

Vibrations created by elephants can be found and recognized on almost four miles in optimal conditions. However, any noise impact, even automobile noise, sharply decreases the ability to find and recognize these vibrations.

China continues to support coal projects

The risk of environmental consequences does not stop investors from the Middle Kingdom

Reading time 4 minutes

Environmentalists are sounding the alarm: China is funding dozens of coal projects far beyond its borders. Coal is considered the most environmentally hazardous of fossil fuels, including because of the amount of carbon dioxide that it emits during combustion (about one and a half times more than natural gas). According to the latest research of the World Meteorological Organization in 2017, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached its highest level in the last 5 million years. Last month, the UN climate expert group said that the use of coal in production should be stopped by 2050. This solution should bound the global temperature rise to a limit of 1.5 degrees.   

Угольная электростанция в Китае
Coal power station in China

China-supported coal projects are being implemented in South America, Africa, Southeast Asia and the Balkans. The contracts concluded between the participants of such projects are often not completely transparent, but groups of environmental companies, including the non-governmental organization Bankwatch, try to monitor the situation. Energy Group Coordinator Ioana Chiuta says that efforts to combat the dirty air of Chinese cities have led many energy companies to limit their investments in coal-fired power plants in China and instead have targeted their technology and capital to foreign markets. 

Coal smoke must be cleaned, but this is not always done

Тепловая электростанция Kostolac
Thermal power station Kostolac

In Serbia, one of the country’s main coal-fired power stations is being expanded with a loan from a Chinese bank. Works have been carried out since 2017 under the leadership of a large construction company in China. An hour east of the capital city of Belgrade, in the coal-rich valley of the Danube, construction takes place on a site known as Kostolac B3. The power plant is managed by the national Serbian electric power company EPS, which provides about 70% of the country’s electricity by burning coal, while the rest is electricity produced by hydroelectric power stations. It is expected that Chinese investment in the project will amount to 613 million US dollars. The installation of the new power unit will bring Serbia 350 MW of additional capacity. The project must be implemented in accordance with environmental standards. 

Смог в Пекине
Smog in Beijing

However, the Serbian Center for Environment and Sustainable Development (Cekor) questions the project’s compliance with all environmental standards. After a series of relevant inspections of the project, Cekor found it impossible to ensure that EU standards for environmental pollution are in force.

 

Plastic is not fantastic

Plastic will replace fish in 35 years

Reading time 5 minutes
Circular economy

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a charitable organization created to make people think about the future of the planet and move to a circular economy: restore natural resources, process and reuse waste. 

Today there are more than 170 million tons of plastic in the world ocean. Every minute the contents of one garbage truck falls out into the ocean. 

A study published by the foundation showed that by 2025 the ratio of plastic and fish would be this: for every three tons of fish there will be one ton of plastic. And by 2050, there will be more plastic garbage in the ocean than fish, unless decisive action is taken to recycle garbage. 

Seahorse clings to a cotton swab, considering that it is an alga

The fund report states that 14% of plastic is utilized, and only 5% is recycled repeatedily. Plastics recycling is much lower than paper (58%), iron and steel (90%). 

Today, to imagine a world without plastic is almost impossible. In economics, plastic is a key raw material for sectors such as packaging, construction, transport, health care and electronics. Plastic brings these sectors benefits from a combination of low cost, versatility and durability. 

Growth in global plastics production

Plastic packaging accounts for about 30% of total plastic production. The main types of this package include bottles for water, alcohol, milk and juice, bottles for coolers, food containers, plastic cutlery and glasses, cosmetics containers, shampoos.  

The main use of plastic in the package
Albatross, swallowed plastic

A large garbage patch in the Pacific consists of garbage thrown into the ocean. According to oceanographer Charles Moore, eighty percent of garbage enters the ocean from land, and twenty percent is thrown from ships.  

In the ocean, plastic breaks into millions of small pieces that are difficult to see. In his study, marine biologist Richard Thompson called these pieces «microplastic.”  

According to Greenpeace, marine litter harms at least 300 species of animals. For example, jellyfish and fish confuse bunches of plastic particles with zooplankton and take them for food. Bottle caps and rings fall into the stomachs of seabirds and animals, especially turtles and albatrosses.  

Fur seal stuck in a plastic can

Only one bottle, just one juice tube, just one single-dose bottle, just one pack, but there are more than seven billion of us!

 

 

The greenest browser

By sending a request through the Ecosia service, you restore forests in Africa

Reading time 3 minutes

Ecosia is a search engine that directs 80% of its income to finance reforestation programs. To participate in the landscaping of the planet, you need to spend 1.1 seconds on a search query.

The company spends about 28 cents on planting a single tree. Each search query in Ecosia brings in about 0.5 cents. The service is an alternative to charitable foundations, allowing users to do good without spending their own money.

The company was established in 2009. The founder and leader of Ecosia is Christian Kroll. Initially, the creators of the service planned to plant 1 billion trees by 2015. However, the program was not implemented, and Ecosia noted only the second million trees in 2015. The creators deferred the goal – now they plan to plant a billion trees by 2020. The company currently carries out more than 15 million searches per month.

Christian Kroll – the creator of Ecosia

Ecosia provides fast operation, privacy and security. Personal data and requests are not transferred to third parties. The service allows you to hide your search history, be in private mode and block ads. Also, Ecosia does not track visited websites and encrypts data. The system is constantly improving: now the search query is performed by 34 percent faster than last year.

Ecosia landscapes South America and Africa

The tree planting campaign takes place in areas of South America and Africa. Half a century of drought has devastated these regions, and now they need to be restored. More than 25 percent of the world’s population depends on forest resources, it is the foundation of a stable existence. Planting trees prevents climate change, reduces the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The creators of Ecosia regularly publish financial reports, demonstrating the transparency of their accounting.

To use the service and help plantation of the planet, just go to the site and install the extension in the browser.

Older than ancient

Ученые обнаружили следы микроорганизмов возрастом 4,28 миллиарда лет

Reading time 5 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

What happened?
Nuvvuagittuq
Picturesque plateau Nuvvuagittuq

A group of scientists from the UK headed by Matthew Dodd found in Canada the traces of ancient bacteria, whose age, according to experts, is at least 3.7 billion years. The study was conducted in the mountains Nuvvuagittuq near Quebec and, according to Dodd, provides convincing evidence that life appeared on Earth much earlier than is commonly believed now.

What exactly is found out?

Traditionally it is believed that the first life forms were born from the underwater heat sources, where they received necessary for their existence minerals and heat. During research Matthew Dodd and his colleagues studied sedimentary rocks that formed due to these sources, for the presence of traces of microorganisms. As the result microscopic “tubes” were discovered with chemical composition and structure which correspond to previously discovered ancient forms of life.

"Tube"
“Tube” under the microscope

Dodd also claims that “tube” is in microscopic cavities, presumably formed due to decomposition of bacteria after their death, which is another proof of the organic origin of the findings. Researchers found out that these organisms existed more than 3.7 billion years ago, making it the oldest life forms on Earth.

Why is that interesting?

At the moment, scientists still do not have accurate data about when life originated on Earth. The first living organisms existed during the Archean era, and their birth allegedly happened 3.4 billion years ago. However, not all scientists agree with the official theory. So, mark Harrison, in his study claims that life on Earth appeared over 4 billion years ago. This conclusion was based on the study of zircons, which contained traces of activity of ancient microorganisms.

The study of Dodd and his colleagues supports the Harrison’s theory – the findings suggest that the age discovered “tubes” can reach of 4.28 billion years. Thus, microorganisms from Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone belt occurred almost at the same time with these mountains in just 200 million years after the formation of the Earth. This discovery turns the idea of scientists about life on our planet, and opens new opportunities to explore our cosmic home.

However, Matthew Dodd sees the prospects of their research as much more extensive. The scientist says that the data allows to assume possibility of existence of life on Mars. During the formation of the Solar system the red planet differed from Earth, had its oceans and, possibly, its forms of life. Later Mars became what we know it now, but traces of microorganisms on it still could be saved. Dodd believes that they can be found in rocks that formed about 4 billion years ago.

Review from HIT-Media expert
dodsworth AV
Belov, Andrey Valerevich, Professor of biology, senior coordinator HSE Lyceum

Similar findings were made repeatedly. In hydrothermal sources found bacteria that in the enormous temperatures and lack of oxygen got energy from sulfur compounds. However, there was no way to prove that they arose in the early stages of development of the planet. Now the arguments sound quite convincing and give the right to believe that life on other planets in the Solar system can exist beyond the atmosphere, similar to Earth, and look how these sulfur bacteria, which can significantly facilitate the search.

Additional information:

 

The flight from the ocean

Несколько сотен дельфинов выбросились на берег в Новой Зеландии

Reading time 6 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

What happened?

In Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, on the coast of Golden Bay on the night of 10 February were found 416 black dolphins – grindu. The exact number reported by the Department of conservation of New Zealand. The New Zealand Herald reports that during high tide was able to save only one-fourth of the total. However, the rescued dolphins are in no hurry to swim away from the shore – they remain in the Bay. Experts fear that with the low tide they can come back.

What are the reasons?

The causes of the accident are still unknown – the blood samples only were taken. But since this case is not the first in the entire history of observations, then there are several versions. Mass emissions resemble acts of suicide. Thus dolphins can make an escape from predators in the hope that the land will necessarily be people who can help them.

It is not excluded that at the hearing of dolphins affected by military sonar. According to a study by the Hawaii Institute of marine biology (2009), Dolphin under the action of sonar may lose hearing for 40 minutes, why loses orientation in space. According to Dr. Aran Mooney, a new theory will help to explain some of the earlier cases. For example, in March 2000 on the coast of the Bahamas beached whale 16 after testing American sonars for 16 hours. There is another hypothesis that the strange behavior of dolphins is nothing like the instinctive support of a comrade. In some form the shores sounds of the surf can be exactly similar to the call for help.

Where?

Marine animals are often dumped on land in Tasmania and Australia. New Zealand is also located in this region. The explanation for this regional specificity is not yet found. Such emissions occur ashore in Japan, South and North America.

Previous incidents

5 years ago on the beach of Cape cod in Massachusetts, was found on 30 of the dolphins, only 11 of whom survived and returned to the familiar surroundings. But when rescue professionals encounter difficulties. Katie Moore, Manager for marine mammal IFAWreported that the dolphins, whom have managed to return to the ocean, have made repeated attempts to return to shore to their dead relatives.

Dolphin
Biologist New England Aquarium Eric Payne examines a Dolphin is picked up on the coast of the beach Scusset beach, Cape cod.

 

And in September of 2016 received wide publicity in mass ejection horseshoe crabs in Japan. For the previous year killed about 490 species of these ancient arthropods. The latest incident was 20 years ago. Research fellow, Kyushu University, Hiroko Kioka believes that the problem lies in the shortage of oxygen in the water.

“the Rise in sea level caused by global warming, the shortage of places for laying their eggs and lack of power could lead to the death of horseshoe crabs”.

horseshoe crabs
the horseshoe crabs are considered to be among the oldest inhabitants of the Earth. Their distinguishing feature – a blue blood with great interest being studied by scientists around the world.
What do the experts say?

TV presenter and scientist-zoologist Nikolai Drozdov in comments RT:

Nikolay Drozdov“It is always associated with pollution. People harm the environment, in particular marine, so this response of the animals is obvious. You just need to be more careful about nature, and then we can avoid such terrible consequences.”

In continuation of the topic

As reported TASS on Sunday, February 12, some of the dolphins-whales were able to swim away from the Cape, Farwell during a night tide. However, they continue to be in shallow water. Herb Christophers, a representative of the environmental Agency of New Zealand reported that on the shore were 17 live mammals, which is all kinds of help to return to his native habitat.

Abnormally High Temperatures Can Become the Norm

В дальнейшем повышение температуры на десятки градусов сделает жизнь на Земле невозможной

Reading time 2 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!


Paleontological evidence indicates that Earth’s climate has never been stable. The annual average temperature on Earth is growing and it is predicted that this will occur in the future. The main reason for this growth is the work of man: to provide the needs for energy and food. Oil, expansion of agricultural land, livestock growth cattle generate extra emissions of greenhouse gases.

The scientific work of scientists found that less affected regional areas that is caused by minor emissions of greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse catastrophe – the unwanted scenario of global warming. The temperature is likely to rise to tens or hundreds of degrees, making life on Earth impossible.

“If immediate measures are taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, abnormally high temperature, probably not will be the” new normal, “- said the Australian climatologist Sophie Lewis (Sophie Lewis).

There are two main methods to combat global warming: a radical reduction in emissions and geo-engineering technologies. Today is absolutely clear that more than actually do: reduce emissions or accelerate the development of bioengineering methods.

Recall that in 2015 in Paris at the World Climate Conference adopted a new agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Countries participating in the signing of the contract, undertake as far as possible to invest in the study of this problem, as well as adjust their own economy and people’s lives to the inevitably changing climate.

The world will know about dangerous asteroid 5 days before his fall.

Новая система наблюдения за астероидами

Reading time 4 minutes

Sorry, this text was translated with Google machine. Mistakes and misunderstandings are possible!

NASA has created a system alerts “asteroid attack.”

According to the newspaper Universe Today, it can detect any threat object five days before his fall to the Earth.

In 2011, the event dedicated to the presentation of the catalog of NEOWISE, NASA officials said today it is known only about five thousand asteroids with a size of approximately one hundred meters. However, the total number of large and medium-sized asteroid of a few tens of thousands. The number of small meteorites reaching the million.

Asteroides in the space
Asteroides in the space

Many asteroids already discovered by the astronomers, however, ground-based telescopes is insufficient to detect and identify other heavenly bodies.

Cometa in the night sky
Cometa in the night sky

Researchers are not immediately able to notice the Chelyabinsk meteorite, because at that time (winter of 2013) was almost impossible to detect a celestial body in advance of approaching the Earth.

That is why NASA, Russia’s Roscosmos and major space organizations and other countries are working to create systems of detection of asteroids to their dangerous proximity to Earth and plan to create a “space of defense”.

The first such invention was the Scout engineering system from NASA, designed and already tested this fall. With her help was able to detect the asteroid 2015 UR36 five days before his approach to Land, calculate the size, compute the distance at which he can approach.

Five days is a short time, but scientists previously discovered asteroids only a few hours before their fall. Five days to really take security measures, to predict consequences, develop a plan to prevent the fall of a celestial body.

By 2018, NASA plans to launch several micro-satellites NEA Scout, which should help researchers to fill the gaps in the predictions relative to the asteroids. If a celestial body approaching the planet, one of the probes will fly up to him, make images of the surface and analyze chemical composition.

Recall that recently the Council of the Russian Academy of Sciences space was sent to Roskosmos list of promising research projects. Among them was a project to monitor asteroids.

In Russia there is a similar invention that allows to predict the approaching asteroids that threaten the planet: “SODA”. Using this system it is possible to detect flying from the Sun asteroids larger than ten meters.
The fall of the Chelyabinsk meteorite was sudden for the reason that it could not see any one ground-based telescope before the entry of a meteorite in Earth’s orbit. He flew in the direction from the Sun and fell in the daytime, so it was impossible to see due to the light that “kills” the image. To see the celestial body, it was necessary to place the telescope between the sun and the Earth towards the planet.

Chelyabinsk's meteorite in the museum
Chelyabinsk’s meteorite in the museum