About Exposing the Big Game

Jim Robertson

A rare outbreak at a wildlife center kills three seals and one fox from bird flu

Vaagisha Singh1 week agoFacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest


An unusual bird flu outbreak in the United Kingdom has killed five swans. seal According to a new report, the fox at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Outbreaks in late 2020 surprised researchers for birds Influenza virus It rarely “spreads” to infect mammals. However, in this case, two different mammalian species were infected and developed a serious illness.

Genetic analysis revealed a single mutation in the avian influenza strain known as H5N8, which could allow the virus to fly from birds to mammals, the authors said. However, the mutation itself is not strongly associated with human transmission, and the authors determined that the strain in this case does not appear to pose a risk of transmission to humans. In addition, no human cases were identified in relation to development.

Nonetheless, “genetic analysis did not show an increased risk of human transmission by the H5N8 virus in this outbreak, but studies show that these viruses can pose an unexpected and serious health risk to mammalian species. “It shows,” the authors wrote in a report released on October 13.In the journal Emerging infectious diseases.. The findings further “emphasize the importance of monitoring wildlife diseases,” they conclude.

Related: 11 (sometimes) deadly illnesses that jumped over species

The avian influenza virus is adapted to birds and does not easily spread to other animals, including humans. However, in rare cases, certain strains of bird flu are known to infect humans. These strains include H5N1, H7N9, H5N6, and more recently, H5N8, which was first reported in humans in February 2021 among workers in Russian poultry factories. Live science previously reported..

Some bird flu strains are also known to infect other animals such as pigs, cats, horses, dogs and ferrets. Iowa State UniversityHowever, these spillover events are uncommon.

Outbreaks in the UK are five mute swans (Mute swan) Will be brought to a wildlife rehabilitation center to care for sick, injured or orphaned wildlife in October and November 2020, according to a report from researchers at the British Agency for Animal and Plant Health (APHA). You got me. Like all animals admitted to the center, birds were first housed in a quarantine unit. The swan suddenly weakened between 25 and 29 November 2020 and recovered steadily until his death, the report said.

About a week later, from December 5th to December 6th, 2020, four common seals (Phoca vitulina), Gray seal (Gray seal) And red fox (((Vulpes vulpes) I got sick at the facility and died. Seals and foxes were housed in the quarantine unit at the same time as the swans, but each species had its own individual cube. Before the animals died, the seals had seizures and the foxes developed weakness and loss of appetite, the report said.

All five swans tested positive for H5N8, but the other birds in the center were unaffected. Researchers initially did not believe that seal and fox deaths were associated with swan deaths.But a few weeks later, researchers were surprised to examine animal tissue — samples from three seals and foxes, including samples from animals. brainlung And other organs were tested positive for H5N8.

The sequence of the H5N8 strain infected with swan is 99.9% similar to the sequence of the strain infected with seals and foxes, which means that swan is likely to have been the source of infection for other animals. The authors concluded that infections from swans to other animals were most likely caused by contact with air or contaminated objects.

The exact reason why this avian influenza virus strain jumped over the species and caused such a serious illness in mammals is unknown. A mutation called D701N found in seal and fox-infected strains is also found in other cases of avian influenza-infected mammals. However, the mutation alone is not believed to increase the risk of bird-to-mammalian influenza transmission, the authors said.

The authors also note that seals and foxes had an underlying condition that could make them more susceptible to infections. Some of the seals were parasitic infections called paragonimiasis, and the fox was malnourished and had mange.

The report says, “Cross-species transmission. [of H5N8] It can happen if conditions permit, “but the risk to humans remains low. A separate report from APHA We reviewed cases of domestic bird flu from November 2020 to April 2021.

Center staff were not evaluated for bird flu at the time of the outbreak, as authorities did not detect H5N8 infection in mammals until weeks after the animal died. However, because it occurred during a COVID-19 pandemic, staff monitored themselves for flu-like symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and also wore an N95 mask. No staff illness has been reported.

In the months following the outbreak, no further cases of H5N8 or abnormal illness and death were seen in the center animals.

Across the UK, 26 cases of bird flu were reported in poultry and wild birds between November 2020 and March 2021, but on September 3, 2021, the country declared no cases of bird flu. .. Statement from APHA..

Originally published in Live Science.

A rare outbreak at a wildlife center kills three seals and one fox from bird flu

Source link A rare outbreak at a wildlife center kills three seals and one fox from bird flu

Critically endangered Sunda pangolin caught on camera trap | Candid Animal Cam

by Romina Castagnino on 22 October 2021

  • Every month, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This month we’re meeting the world’s most trafficked mammal: the Sunda pangolin.https://www.youtube.com/embed/toxC22tM6Zg

The Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), also known as the Malayan or Javan pangolin, is a unique mammal native to Southeast Asia. Pangolins are covered by many rows of overlapping scales, which are made from keratin, the same protein that forms human hair and fingernails. The scales never stop growing and are constantly filed down as the animals dig burrows and forage for insects. Pangolins use their acute olfactory senses to find insects and their powerful claws to dig into the ground in search of ant nests or to tear into termite mounds. To collect the insects, they use their extremely long and thin tongues, capable of extending about 25 cm, which are covered with sticky saliva. To protect themselves from ant or termite attacks, pangolins have special muscles that can seal their nostrils, ears, and mouths.

These solitary and nocturnal animals are predated by many animals like tigers, leopards, clouded leopards, wild dogs and pythons. When threatened, they roll into a ball, like armadillos do, hiding their vulnerable belly and other parts not covered by the tough scales. Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world. The Sunda pangolin is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN and there is a complete international ban on commercial trade in the species. Watch the video to learn more about this species!

Special thanks to Mr Jonathan Moore and Dr Matthew Luskin for sharing their camera trap footage. Dr Luskin conducts wildlife sampling in Southeast Asia to study the impacts of oil palm on wildlife communities and Mr Moore’s research focuses primarily on animal-plant interactions. You can follow them on Twitter @Jonatha81270041 and @matt_luskin.

Banner image of a Sunda pangolin at a rescue center in Cambodia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Greta Thunberg: ‘We need public pressure, not just summits’

Published44 minutes agoShareRelated Topics


https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.44.0/iframe.htmlMedia caption,Watch: Greta Thunberg says she’s ‘completely different’ in private

Climate activist Greta Thunberg has told the BBC that summits will not lead to action on climate goals unless the public demand change too.

In a wide-ranging interview ahead of the COP26 climate summit, she said the public needed to “uproot the system”.

“The change is going to come when people are demanding change. So we can’t expect everything to happen at these conferences,” she said.

She also accused politicians of coming up with excuses.

The COP26 climate summit is taking place in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, from 31 October to 12 November.

It is the biggest climate change conference since landmark talks in Paris in 2015. Some 200 countries are being asked for their plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming.https://buy.tinypass.com/checkout/template/cacheableShow?aid=tYOkq7qlAI&templateId=OTBYI8Q89QWC&templateVariantId=OTV0YFYSXVQWV&offerId=fakeOfferId&experienceId=EXAWX60BX4NU&iframeId=offer_0e763acc7b457c03340a-0&displayMode=inline&widget=template&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com

Ms Thunberg, who recently launched a global series of concerts highlighting climate change called Climate Live, confirmed she would be attending COP26. She said her message to world leaders was to “be honest”.

“Be honest about where you are, how you have been failing, how you’re still failing us… instead of trying to find solutions, real solutions that will actually lead somewhere, that would lead to a substantial change, fundamental change,” she told the BBC’s Rebecca Morelle.

“In my view, success would be that people finally start to realise the urgency of the situation and realise that we are facing an existential crisis, and that we are going to need big changes, that we’re going to need to uproot the system, because that’s where the change is going to come.”

More on Climate Change bottom strapline

COP26 climate summit – The basics

  • Climate change is one of the world’s most pressing problems. Governments must promise more ambitious cuts in warming gases if we are to prevent greater global temperature rises.
  • The summit in Glasgow is where change could happen. You need to watch for the promises made by the world’s biggest polluters, like the US and China, and whether poorer countries are getting the support they need.
  • All our lives will change. Decisions made here could impact our jobs, how we heat our homes, what we eat and how we travel.

Read more about the COP26 summit here.

More on Climate Change bottom strapline

Ms Thunberg did not believe that UK plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions to reach a target of net zero by 2050 were sufficient, or that the UK was a climate leader.

“Unfortunately there are no climate leaders today, especially not in the so-called global north. But that doesn’t mean that they can’t suddenly decide that now we’re going to take the process seriously,” she said.

Speaking about the targets for reaching net zero – which means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – she said that it was a “good start”, but cautioned that it “doesn’t really mean very much in practice” if people continued to look for loopholes.

Kevin Mtai
Image caption,Kevin Mtai will be one of many activists attending COP26

COP26 will be attended by climate activists from across the world.

Kevin Mtai, a climate justice campaigner from Kenya, told the BBC that inclusivity at the summit was important.

“I hope this climate conference is going to be an inclusive conference, to include all voices in the talks. They need to use indigenous people in the talks, marginalised people in the talks, people from the most affected areas,” he said.

“It’s very important for people from the global south to speak for themselves, not other parts of the globe to speak on their behalf. Because we are the ones who have been affected by climate change, so it’s very important we can hear from our own people, with our own ideas, our own voice.”

From her home in Sweden, Ms Thunberg also spoke about her own role as a campaigner.

“I don’t see myself as a climate celebrity, I see myself as a climate activist… I should be grateful because there are many, many people who don’t have a platform and who are not being listened to, their voices are being oppressed and silenced.

“I’m a completely different person when I’m in private. I don’t think people would recognise me in private. I’m not very serious in private. I appear very angry in the media, but I am silly in private.”

When asked about why she sang a Rick Astley hit at the launch of Climate Live, she said that it was a climate movement in-joke. She has previously taken part in the internet phenomenon “rick-rolling” by tweeting out what she said was a link to a new speech, but actually linked to the music video for the song.

“Why not? I mean we have internal jokes within the climate movement, where we always rickroll each other.”

More on climate change top strapline

Poll: More than two-thirds of Republicans say climate change is ‘not an emergency’

Andrew Romano·West Coast CorrespondentFri, October 22, 2021, 11:51 AM·5 min readIn this article:

As President Biden pushes Congress to pass his climate agenda just days before world powers gather in Scotland to hash out a new international accord, more than two-thirds of Republicans (67 percent) continue to insist that climate change is “not an emergency,” according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

Coming on the heels of a summer that featured record-setting heat waves, wildfires and floods — all exacerbated by climate change — the result is a stark example of how U.S. politics imperils global progress on the issue.

The survey of 1,704 U.S. adults, which was conducted from Oct. 19 to 21, found that nearly all Democrats (78 percent) and a plurality of independents (45 percent) view climate change as “an existential threat that must be addressed now with major legislation.”

Yet less than one-quarter of Republicans (24 percent) agree. Instead, more than 6 in 10 believe, falsely, that global warming is either “not a real threat” (38 percent) or a threat that “the government has already done enough to address” (24 percent).

The poll underscores the challenge facing Biden as he aims to slash U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to half of 2005 levels by the end of the decade and set an example for other countries to follow. Both the public at large and all but one Democrat on Capitol Hill — centrist West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — favor Biden’s plan to transition the economy to sustainable sources of energy. But Republicans do not.

Joe Biden
President Biden speaking about his infrastructure plan during a recent visit to Scranton, Pa. (Susan Walsh/AP)

In little more than a week, leaders and representatives from nearly every country in the world will gather in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry has called the conference the world’s “last best hope” of keeping global temperature rise from exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius over preindustrial levels in an effort to avert a cascade of devastating consequences for the planet.

recent review of 88,128 scientific papers on climate change since 2012 has concluded that 99.9 percent of the studies agree that humankind’s burning of fossil fuels is responsible for the rise in global temperatures.

Yet even that fact is disputed by Republicans. According to the Yahoo News/YouGov poll, more Republicans continue to believe that human activity is not causing climate change (47 percent) than believe it is (34 percent). In contrast, just 4 percent of Democrats and 29 percent of independents deny the role of human activity in global warming.

The same pattern persists on issue after issue: A huge majority of Democrats and a substantial plurality of independents take climate change seriously and support the kind of major legislation Biden has proposed — while Republicans remain the outliers. The result is a consistent 15-to-20-point advantage for climate action among Americans at large. For instance:

● 48 percent of Americans favor cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030; just 27 percent are opposed.

● 48 percent favor limiting greenhouse gas emissions from gasoline-powered cars and coal-fired power plants; just 30 percent are opposed.

● 43 percent favor a proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions by rewarding utilities that switch to renewable energy and requiring utilities that continue to burn coal and oil “to pay more over time.” That is the $150 billion cornerstone of Biden’s clean energy plan, which Manchin has forced the administration to abandon. Just 27 percent are opposed.

● 45 percent favor “a program that requires polluters to pay a fee for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit” if it includes “a rebate for families making less than $400,000 per year” to offset potential price hikes on “gasoline, electricity or home heating fuel” — a description of the “carbon tax” plan Democrats floated as an alternative to Biden’s clean energy proposal. Just 25 percent are opposed.

● And 45 percent say a major effort to address climate change would be “good for the economy because it will create new industries and jobs,” while just 31 percent say it would be “bad for the economy because it will destroy existing industries and jobs.”

Icebergs which calved from the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier
Icebergs that calved from the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier floating near Ilulissat, Greenland. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

There are limits to how much Americans are willing to personally spend to combat global warming. Without a rebate, support for a carbon tax falls (to 36 percent) and opposition rises (also to 36 percent). When asked to select “changes you would be willing to make” to help solve the problem, far more say they’d be willing to buy an electric car or solar panels with a government rebate (35 percent and 42 percent, respectively) than without (15 percent and 18 percent). And the most popular changes are the ones that require others to pay more, such as raising taxes on Americans earning more than $400,000 a year (42 percent) or on corporations earning more than $5 million (40 percent). Very few Americans are ready to pay more for gas (14 percent) or meat (15 percent).

The message seems to be that government, not individuals, should bear the brunt of climate action — which is why Biden has proposed rebates for most Americans, along with higher taxes on corporations and the wealthy. Yet while a majority of Democrats (73 percent) and a plurality of independents (40 percent) agree with the president that “the U.S. cannot afford to wait any longer to pass major climate change legislation,” most Republicans (59 percent) say “the U.S. cannot afford to pass major climate change legislation right now.”

With additional reporting by David Knowles.

Rare Bird-Flu Outbreak Jumps to Mammals at Wildlife Center

Exposing the Big Game

India Reports First Human Death From Bird Flu

India Reports First Human Death From Bird Flu21Share Now15TelegramFacebookTweetEmailTellMeWeRedditCopy Link

A swan swims through a lake in the grounds of Osterley Park, a National Trust property in Isleworth Middlesex, west of London, on April 7, 2006. (Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)

A swan swims through a lake in the grounds of Osterley Park, a National Trust property in Isleworth Middlesex, west of London, on April 7, 2006. (Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images)INTERNATIONAL

The virus also infected poultry plant workers in Russia earlier this yearByEntrepreneurOctober 21, 2021Updated: October 21, 2021biggersmallerPrint

By Entrepreneur Staff

As the world continues to grapple with the effects ofCOVID-19,a small but concerning virus has also started to make headlines: the H5N8bird flustrain, which killed five swans, three seals, and a fox at an unnamed U.K. wildlife rehabilitation center in late 2020,according to a recent report.

The same virus alsoinfected poultry workers in Russiain February of 2021. H5N8 is one of a few rare strains—including…

View original post 239 more words

Macau reports new human case of H5N6 bird flu in Hunan

Macau’s Health Bureau (SSM) released a statement saying that a case of H5N6 avian influenza has been identified in a 60-year-old patient in Hunan province, China.HUMAN HEALTH AND NUTRITIONPOLICY AND REGULATIONBIOSECURITYAVIAN INFLUENZADISEASESHEALTH & DISEASEby The Poultry Site20 October 2021, at 10:17am

The statement says that the patient is in a 60-year-old female farmer who lives in Changde, a city in northern Hunan. She began displaying symptoms on 3 October and was admitted to hospital on 13 October. She is still in critical condition. Health authorities believe that she contracted bird flu after coming in contact with dead poultry.

prefecture-level city in the northwest of Hunan. The statement said that the patient started to feel unwell on October 3 and was hospitalised on October 13, pointing out that she was still in critical condition yesterday. The statement underlined that the patient had contact with dead poultry.

Chinese health authorities are encouraging the public to abide by biosecurity protocols and avoid contact with poultry droppings and dead birds.

Read more about this story here. https://www.thepoultrysite.com/news/2021/10/macau-reports-new-human-case-of-h5n6-bird-flu-in-hunan

Stunning Trove of Jurassic Fossils Is Earliest Evidence of Herd Behavior in Dinosaurs

The skeletal remains of nearly 80 dinosaurs and 100 eggs were uncovered at a fossil site in Argentina.

ByGeorge DvorskyToday 12:00PMComments (2)Alerts

Artistic reconstruction of a Mussaurus patagonicus nest. 


A single fossil site containing the remains of dozens of individuals from a range of age groups is the earliest evidence that long-necked, four-legged dinosaurs lived in herds.

“This is a stunning new fossil site,” Steven Brusatte, a paleontologist at the University of Edinburgh who wasn’t involved in the new study, wrote to me in an email. “This is convincing evidence that these plant-eating dinosaurs were social, and formed groups, and probably took at least some care of their eggs and young.”

A team led by Diego Pol from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio discovered the fossils in the Laguna Colorada Formation in Patagonia, Argentina. They belong to Mussaurus patagonicus—a long-necked sauropod from the Early Jurassic who stood on four legs. Over the past 15 years, the team has been conducting research and excavations at the fossil site, resulting in the discovery of more than 100 eggs and nearly 80 skeletons of Mussaurus.

The fossils, dispersed across an apparent breeding ground, spanned the entire dinosaur life cycle—from embryos still tucked away inside eggs through to fully grown adults. Incredibly, the fossils were clustered into age-specific groupings—a sign that these gigantic herbivores lived in herds. At an estimated age of 192-million-years-old, these Early Jurassic fossils predate prior evidence of this complex social behavior among dinosaurs by around 40 million years. Details of this finding were published today in Scientific Reports.

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“The specimens we have found showed that herd behavior was present in long-necked dinosaurs since their early history,” explained Pol in an email. “These were social animals and we think this may be an important factor to explain their success.”

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Artistic reconstruction of the Mussaurus patagonicus breeding ground. 

The shared Mussaurus breeding ground was located on the margins of a dry lake. The climate was warm, but evidence of drought points to a possible cause of death and a reason for why some of the dinosaurs were buried by wind-blown dust.

Most of the eggs were grouped into clusters containing anywhere from eight to 30 eggs and placed along a series of trenches suggestive of a common breeding ground. X-ray imaging was used to identify the embryos as belonging to Mussaurus.

Analysis of the fossilized skeletons revealed the surprising presence of age-specific groups, including a cluster of 11 juveniles (all younger than one-year-old), a group of nine adolescents, and two adults. The discovery of age-specific groupings is potential evidence that Mussaurus individuals lived in herds, that they did so across their entire lives, and that they preferred to hang out with members of a similar age. I asked Pol to explain the presence of age-specific groupings.

Mussaurus was tiny when it was born—the entire skeleton fits in the palm of your hand—but adults were 1.5 tons, which is roughly the weight of a hippo,” he responded. “The daily motion patterns, speed, and daily foraging was probably very different in newborns, youngsters, and adults.” He said it’s common for animals of the same size group to hang out together and coordinate their activities. This is especially the case, said Pol, “for youngsters that are small, inexperienced, and therefore more vulnerable to attacks from predators.”

Nest with eggs of Mussaurus patagonicus.

This complex social behavior may have emerged as a consequence of increasing body sizes, which started among the sauropods between 227 and 208 million years ago. These dinosaurs, in order to meet their tremendous energy requirements, had to forage over long distances, requiring a new set of adaptive social skills, according to the study.

Ryan Felice, an anatomist from University College London who wasn’t involved in the research, described it as a “really exciting discovery.” As he explained, paleontologists already knew that non-avian dinosaurs were good parents, as evidenced by clusters of nests belonging to the Cretaceous dinosaur Maiasaura—a name that literally means “good mother lizard.”

“From those types of discoveries, we could infer that dinosaurs had a reproductive strategy similar to crocodiles today—the mother protects the babies when they are very small, but once they can fend for themselves the family breaks apart and everyone goes their separate ways,” Felice said. “What makes this discovery so exciting is that there are [hatchlings], juveniles, and fully grown adults of Mussaurus all in the same place. This means that multifamily groups got together not just for breeding and nesting but that they potentially formed life-long herds, more like today’s elephants or wildebeests.”

What makes the new discovery especially important is that Mussaurus is a fairly ancient dinosaur species, “so the authors have hypothesised that maybe social groups and parental care were things that evolved early in dinosaur history,” said Felice.

Brusatte offered a similar take.

“Because these are Early Jurassic dinosaurs, from the early stages of dinosaur history, it is the oldest record, from that first stage of dinosaur history, it is the oldest record of dinosaur social lives,” he explained. “It seems dinosaurs were highly social animals from the very beginning, which may have factored into their stupendous evolutionary success.”

Looking ahead, Pol and his colleagues will continue to inspect the site in hopes of acquiring a better understanding of the nests and how they were structured, along with searching for evidence of predators and the plants consumed by Mussaurus.

After Manchin nixes clean energy budget provision, youth climate change activists go on hunger strike in front of White House

Ben Adler·Senior Climate EditorThu, October 21, 2021, 10:14 AM·3 min readIn this article:

  • Joe ManchinUnited States Senator from West Virginia
  • Joe BidenJoe Biden46th and current president of the United States

Five young activists began a hunger strike in front of the White House on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to preserve the most important measures to combat climate change in President Biden’s Build Back Better infrastructure investment proposal.

The protest arose in response to recent news that Democrats are reluctantly scrapping a plan that would have set a national standard for utilities transitioning to clean energy sources, in order to win the support of Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a centrist Democrat from a coal- and gas-heavy state whose vote is key to passing the budget bill in the evenly divided Senate.

The strikers, who are working with the youth-led Sunrise Movement, are demanding that Biden’s full climate agenda be included in the forthcoming budget reconciliation package. They gathered Wednesday morning across the street from the White House on the sidewalk next to Lafayette Park, and they intend to sit there in folding chairs, holding placards, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day until their demands are met.

The only flaw in their plan? It isn’t the White House’s occupant who needs to be persuaded.

Five young activists began a hunger strike in front of the White House on Wednesday. (Hunger Strike for Climate Justice)
Five young activists began a hunger strike in front of the White House on Wednesday. (Hunger Strike for Climate Justice)

“Joe Biden made these campaign promises, and we worked really hard on his campaign and to get him elected so that he could stop the climate crisis on these promises that he made,” Ema Govea, an 18-year-old high school student from Santa Rosa, Calif., told the Guardian. “I won’t let Joe Biden send a message to the world that he’s willing to give up on climate because I know that the American people, and young people across the country and across the world, are terrified but they’re ready to fight.”

Biden and his allies in Congress would dispute the notion that removing the Clean Electricity Performance Program from their legislation is to “give up on climate.” Congressional Democrats and environmental experts are currently trying to devise alternative paths, such as investing in reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions, that could help reach the president’s goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

Story continues: https://news.yahoo.com/after-manchin-nixes-clean-energy-budget-provision-youth-climate-change-activists-go-on-hunger-strike-in-front-of-white-house-171458276.html

One of world’s last two northern white rhinos dropped from race to save the species

FILE PHOTO: Najin and her daughter Fatou, the last two northern white rhino females, graze near their enclosure at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia National Park


Thu, October 21, 2021, 6:44 AM·2 min read

NAIROBI (Reuters) – One of the world’s last two northern white rhinos, a mother and her daughter, is being retired from a breeding programme aimed at saving the species from extinction, scientists said on Thursday.

Najin, 32, is the mother of Fatu who is now the only donor left in the programme, which aims to implant artificially developed embryos into another more abundant species of rhino in Kenya.

There are no known living males and neither of the two remaining northern white rhinos can carry a calf to term.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

Northern white rhinos, which are actually grey, used to roam freely in several countries in east and central Africa, but their numbers fell sharply due to widespread poaching for their horns.

A Biorescue team led by researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany has been racing against time to save the world’s most endangered mammal.

“The team has reached the decision to retire the older of the two remaining females, 32-year-old Najin, as a donor of egg cells,” Biorescue said in a statement, citing ethical considerations.

Najin’s advanced age, and signs of illness, were also taken into account, they said.

Scientists hope to implant embryos made from the rhinos’ egg cells and frozen sperm from deceased males into surrogate mothers.

“We have been very successful with Fatu… So far we have 12 pure northern white rhino embryos,” David Ndeereh, the acting deputy director for research at the Wildlife Research and Training Institute, a Kenyan state agency, told Reuters.

“We are very optimistic that the project will succeed.”

The team hopes to be able to deliver its first northern white rhino calf in three years and a wider population in the next two decades.

(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Is the UK’s green plan enough to halt climate change?

By Roger Harrabin
BBC environment analystPublished1 day agoShareRelated Topics


Storm causes large waves to hit coastal pier
Image caption,Climate change is contributing to extreme weather including storms and flooding in the UK

On Tuesday, the government set out a number of plans aiming to put the UK on course to achieve its climate goals. Funding for green cars, an end to gas boilers and tree-planting are some of the key announcements. But are they enough?

Let’s not be ungenerous: the government’s great over-arching green strategy is, on the face of, it a remarkable achievement.

Previous governments have theoretically espoused the need to live in harmony with the planet – but none has laid down a roadmap as to how that would be achieved.

It is especially important as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to welcome world leaders to Glasgow for the vital climate conference known as COP26.

Mr Johnson will brandish his sheaf of eco-documents at delegates and offer a challenge: My friends – if we can do it, you can do it.

But huge uncertainties remain:https://buy.tinypass.com/checkout/template/cacheableShow?aid=tYOkq7qlAI&templateId=OTBYI8Q89QWC&templateVariantId=OTV0YFYSXVQWV&offerId=fakeOfferId&experienceId=EXAWX60BX4NU&iframeId=offer_0e763acc7b457c03340a-0&displayMode=inline&widget=template&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.com

  • Are the government’s new initiatives potent enough to transform the UK into a near zero emissions economy?
  • Who will pay?
  • And (I really don’t want to ask this) are the government’s carbon-cutting targets ambitious enough to protect a natural world that already appears in angry rebellion.

Let’s tackle one and two because they’re both sides of the same question.

Mr Johnson, for instance, has gained widespread credit for his global leadership in calling a halt to petrol and diesel cars and to gas boilers for home heating.

The cars announcement has triggered a competitive rush in international car makers who’ve been preparing for this moment for decades. Motorists can just slip behind the wheel and drive away.

Boilers is a different issue. Heat pumps are expensive and a hassle to fit. The Treasury has agreed to subsidise them at £5,000 a time but the total pot for installations is far too low to make a difference – just 30,000 boilers a year for three years, a trifling number that’s not remotely high enough to kick-start an entire industry.

The business department BEIS wanted to offer more support, but the Treasury ruled it out.

What’s even worse, from an environmental standpoint, is the lack of funding to help people insulate their homes – because heat pumps simply won’t work unless homes are well-coddled.

So, the heat pumps policy looks like an illusion unless someone sorts out the finances.

That brings us on to question number two – who will pay for the strategy overall?

The Chancellor’s own document, the Net Zero Review, accepts that the costs of inaction on climate change outweigh the costs of action. This is a significant conclusion.

But there’s a sharp warning from the Treasury about the knock-on effect of the electric car revolution: it leaves an annual £37 billion black hole in its finances because fuel duty will evaporate.

Substitute taxes such as road pricing would not fill the gap, Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned, saying that people might face additional taxes or spending cuts.

Next year the Treasury will launch a review of how the green revolution can be funded fairly across society – this theme is regularly raised by members of the public.

The report warned that additional borrowing would be ruled out because it would be unfair to the future generations saddled with the bill.

That means innovative sorts of financing will be needed to fund that difficult but essential work to upgrade homes.

That could include loans from energy firms or conditions on mortgage lending. No details are provided.https://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.44.0/iframe.htmlMedia caption,WATCH: The BBC’s Nick Beake meets young climate activists trying to stop Norway drilling for oil and gas

And finally the third question – are the new policies tough enough to help rein back climate change? The prime minister hopes to persuade others to help him freeze temperature rise at 1.5C.

When that target was first mooted, scientists considered it the threshold to dangerous climate change. After a year of freak weather events with just 1.1C warming the climate is heating faster than our attempts to control it.

That’s what infuriates environmentalists so much. They say every lever in society must be pulled to face a global threat.

And they are contemptuous of a clutch of government policy areas that will allow emissions to actually grow.

These include building the £120bn rail project HS2, with all its energy-intensive concrete; construction of £27bn worth of roads; allowing the continued sale of gas guzzling SUVs; allowing aviation to grow even though the public wants it curbed; and allowing mining for oil, gas and coal drilling in defiance of international advice.

Any one of these issues could undermine the PM as he touts his green revolution in Glasgow.