UNESCO calls for concerted action to strengthen resilience of coral reef

The initiative aims to establish an effective strategy for climate change resilience in five coral reefs inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France), the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), the Ningaloo Coast, and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia).

The event brought together those who launched the initiative, and experts and managers of marine World Heritage sites to present the effects of climate change on their sites. Beyond the five sites concerned, the event also provided an opportunity to present a strategy to support all World Heritage sites’ adaptation to climate change.

“Coral reefs are the major witnesses of climate change,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “The health of our planet and the future of our humanity can be seen today in the poor condition of these reefs. Swift action is needed to reverse the trend and limit the rise in temperatures. Such action can only be undertaken on a global scale, and UNESCO presents the most appropriate platform to accelerate this effort.”

Read entire post UNESCO calls for concerted action to strengthen resilience of coral reef | Mirage News
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Resilient Animals – Invasive species, explained

Invasive species cost the global economy over a trillion dollars each year. Find out how these non-native organisms are introduced into an ecosystem, how they impact local communities, and which measures can be taken to help prevent the introduction of invasive species.

Endangered river dolphin species’ numbers on the rise

Once believed to number in the thousands, the dolphins of the Mekong River were devastated by war, hunting, and indiscriminate net fishing.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2019/04/irawaddy-river-dolphin-population-biggest-20-years/

Dogs can detect an odor humans emit during epileptic seizures

Dog’s miraculous sense of smell allows them to do many things that no human technology can achieve, such as sniffing out drugs, explosives, and even diseases like cancer. Dogs are trained to respond to and even sense epileptic seizures before they occur—though effectiveness varies widely, and there’s been little solid scientific evidence that such a thing is possible.

Further, it hasn’t been understood how dogs might be capable of such a feat. Could it be subtle alterations in behavior, movement, or some odorous giveaway? A new small study suggests that humans emit a specific odor during epileptic seizures that some dogs can recognize.

In a paper published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers took sweat samples from seven patients with different types of epilepsy across a range of activities, such as resting, exercising, or having a seizure.

Read entire post Dogs can detect an odor humans emit during epileptic seizures | National Geographic

New bill proposed to make leaving animal during a natural disaster a crime in Florida

Howling wind and pounding rain send families seeking shelter during hurricanes, but you better make sure to take your furry friend with you.

A new bill moving through the Florida Senate would punish pet owners who abandon their dogs during the storms.

Under the proposed legislation leaving a dog outside, unattended, and restrained during a natural or manmade disaster is considered animal cruelty, a first degree misdemeanor.

Read entire post New bill proposed to make leaving animal during a natural disaster a crime in Florida | Beth Rousseau | Action News Jax

Mysterious Orcas confirmed alive in new video

They were first documented in 1955 when more than a dozen unidentified animals were found beached on the coast of New Zealand. Compared with other types of orcas, these killer whales have a more rounded head, a narrower and more pointed dorsal fin, and a small white eyepatch.

The orcas were seen off the tip of southern Chile in January 2019. Type D killer whales live in the subantarctic, home to some of the world’s stormiest waters. This inhospitable environment, and the fact that they aren’t usually found near shore, makes them nearly impossible to study. The scientists expect lab results to show that the Type D killer whale is a new species, and the largest undescribed animal left on the planet.

Watch more by National Geographic: https://www.youtube.com/user/NationalGeographic/videos

Resilient Animals – Sea Turtles

Find out about the ancient mariners’ oldest known ancestor, how certain adaptations may have helped the reptiles survive, and the conservation efforts being made to save these creatures.

10 longest living animals on Earth

Humans have a relatively long lifespan with a maximum age of around 110 years. However, there are many other animals on earth which can live much, much longer than this.

These include certain reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds. The lifespan of animals is usually measured in terms of the average age that members of the species die at, rather than the oldest age they can reach.

#1 Immortal Jellyfish
This is one of, if not the only animal species on earth which never dies. Members of this species are able to turn themselves from an adult into a baby through a process known as “transdifferentiation”. The jellyfish then reproduces via asexual reproduction, creating hundreds of identical copies of itself, and therefore never dying – in theory!

#2 Ocean Quahog
This species of Arctic clam is the longest living species known to man. Many specimens of the shellfish have been collected that were over 400 years old. The oldest ever know died in captivity aged an incredible 507 years. It was collected during a scientific expedition, and may have lived even longer if left alone.

Read entire post 10 Longest Living Animals on Earth | GreenThumble

How wildlife bounced back after Civil War

Gorongosa National Park, in central Mozambique, along the southeastern coast of Africa, is rising anew from the ashes and ruination of war. The latest numbers from its 2018 aerial wildlife count, just released, show that the park’s populations of large mammals, devastated during the conflict, continue to rebound.

This is a place—rare in Africa, cause for jubilation—where most species of big fauna are vastly more numerous now than in 1992, at the end of the civil war. Surveys then found just 15 African buffalo, six lions, 100 hippo, and a handful of blue wildebeest.

By the latest counts, the buffalo population is above one thousand head, hippo are at nearly 550, wildebeest above 600. Lions, though harder to count, are thriving too amid the expanded prey base.

Read entire article Devastated by war, this African park’s wildlife is now thriving | National Geographic

Why it’s so hard to help pets in natural disasters

The Camp Fire started with a spark — and, thanks to the wind, it turned into a terrifying blaze in a matter of hours. The fire burned so fast that evacuation orders sometimes couldn’t keep up.

With thousands of structures destroyed and a growing death toll, the Camp Fire is the deadliest blaze in California history — and in addition to human victims, it’s claimed a number of animals, as well.

Among those who survived, some are safely sheltering with their people or settled into foster homes, but thousands more are being picked up and cared for by rescue groups. The process of reuniting pets and humans may take weeks or months, and it will involve an extended sheltering and rescue effort. In Santa Rosa, California, where a massive wildfire tore through the city last October, rescuers are still trapping “fire cats” and helping them get home to their people.

Read entire article Why It’s So Hard to Help Pets in Natural Disasters | Care2

The unique wildlife of the Scottish Highlands

Watch reindeer forage for food and mountain hares seemingly vanish into a snowy backdrop. The Sense of Place series offers an intimate view of the most wild and remote habitats still left in the U.K, aiming to show the true value of these rare and fragile ecosystems.

Why snakes are disappearing from Southeast Asia’s largest lake

Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake is one of the most biodiverse bodies of water on Earth. Zeb Hogan, a biologist and National Geographic Explorer, is examining how fishing in Tonle Sap is affecting aquatic life.

Fish stocks in the lake have dramatically declined over recent decades. Large-scale commercial fishing is regulated by the government, although not effectively. Hundreds of thousands of fishermen operate on the lake. As large, valuable species such as giant catfish disappear from overfishing, fishermen target smaller species.

According to a study in 2000, around 7 million water snakes were collected from Tonle Sap each year. The population of water snakes, some of them vulnerable species, has been declining since the 1990s. The non-venomous snakes are used for food, leather, and traditional medicines. Water snakes are important to the life of the lake—they eat fish and frogs and provide food for birds. The effects of the declines of water snakes and other species aren’t yet known.