Deforestation could wipe out over 50 percent of species in Haiti

January 16, 2019 by  
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According to new research from Temple University scientist Blair Hedges, the Caribbean island nation of Haiti is undergoing a mass extinction event, and the country is close to losing its rich biodiversity. Hedges — who has spent decades in Haiti’s rain forests — says that the results of his latest study are shocking. In a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hedges and his co-authors revealed that Haiti , which was once full of lush trees and teeming with wildlife, has now lost almost all of its virgin forests because of deforestation, and is at risk of loosing more than half of its species by 2035. “Up until this analysis, nobody had any idea it was that bad,” Hedges said. “Haiti is in the middle of a mass extinction, and it’s already lost a large number of species because entire areas where unique species exist are no longer present.” Hedges and his colleagues used NASA satellite imagery to analyze Haiti’s current landscape and found that the country has about one percent of its primary forest left since people have resorted to cutting trees down in order to make way for farming and charcoal production needed for cooking. Related: Deforestation in South America causes extinction of 8 bird species He also explained that no one on his research team expected the forest to disappear so quickly. The team of researchers realize that Haiti is at a forefront of a global mass extinction as the country’s species are disappearing at the alarming rate of 100 to 1,000 times the normal rate. Haiti’s loss of wildlife and forestry is largely due to habitat destruction (cutting down trees), but that is just one component in worldwide mass extinction. Other factors across the globe include climate change , invasive species and other human-related activity. Hedges says people often associate deforestation as just removing plants and trees, but in reality everything is being removed. Stuart Pimm, professor of conservation ecology at Duke University, says that Hedge’s study is a “tragic and brutal” instance of the lengths of human destruction. Primm added that Haiti’s story should resonate, and should be a lesson that everyone should heed when managing wild areas, watersheds and rivers. Via Whyy.org Image via 753tomas

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Deforestation could wipe out over 50 percent of species in Haiti

Kick your cold to the curb with these natural cold remedies

January 16, 2019 by  
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Have you ever wondered if natural cold remedies really work? When you catch a cold, chances are you are going to be sick for a week or two. But you don’t have to be miserable. There is no cure for the common cold, but there are natural ways to help yourself feel better faster. Here are some of the most common natural cold remedies that actually work, and what they do to help ease those cold symptoms. Vitamin C There is no proof that vitamin C prevents colds, but it does boost your immune system. Studies have shown that vitamin C can reduce a cold’s lifespan. The best way to get vitamin C is in your diet from fruits like oranges, cantaloupe, grapefruit and kiwi. You can also get a high dose of vitamin C from wild rose hips . One hundred grams of wild rose hips has more than 1,250 grams of vitamin C, which is 30 times the amount in citrus fruits. You can make a rose-petal infusion by immersing the plant in hot water and letting it simmer (or steep in a slow cooker), and it will soothe a sore throat and reduce swelling. If you opt for vitamin C supplements, be careful. They can upset your stomach or cause kidney stones. Related: How to make your own herbal tinctures Cinnamon Cinnamon has antifungal and analgesic properties, which makes it a fantastic natural cold remedy. Dr. Patrick Fratellone, a registered herbalist with the American Herbal Guild, said that cinnamon is warming for the body and dilates blood vessels, plus it lowers blood sugar concentration and improves insulin sensitivity. When you get a cold, try making a tea by putting the cinnamon into a mug and pouring boiling water over it. Drink the cinnamon tea two to three times a day. You can also sprinkle cinnamon on your food, or add a little bit to your morning coffee . Water, sleep and an extra pillow The best way to naturally recover from a cold is to drink a lot of water, get plenty of rest and sleep with an extra pillow. When you stay hydrated, it allows your body to naturally flush the germs out of your system, and drinking more water keeps the mucus thin and flowing.  Sleeping gives your body the chance to fight off the infection, and the extra pillow under your head helps your sinuses drain. Oregano Oregano is an antioxidant that is antibacterial and antifungal. The herb is perfect for treating a bad cough. You can take oregano capsules two times a day with a meal, or make an oregano tea. To make the tea, all you have to do is mix 8 ounces of boiling water with a teaspoon of dried oregano and let it stand for about 10 minutes before drinking. To make the tea sweeter, add a little bit of honey. If you can drink two cups a day, it will make a big difference. Related: Make your own simple herbal remedies Garlic Not only does this plant make your food taste way better, but garlic is also antibiotic, antimicrobial and antibacterial. Clinical herbalist Steve Sietos said that the perfect time to reach for garlic is when you have yellow or green phlegm. “It’s highly antiviral, immune stimulating, and it’ll kill any upper respiratory infections,” Sietos said. To make a garlic elixir, press or chop a clove of garlic and let it sit for 15 minutes. The chemical reaction of garlic hitting the air will allow the clove to become a powerful antibiotic. Another recommended remedy? Garlic bread. Spread garlic and olive oil on a piece of bread and enjoy to help ease an upper respiratory infection. Soups and hot liquids Hot soups and liquids will help reduce mucus buildup, and chicken soup in particular has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a natural weapon against colds. According to a study in the Chest medical journal , the ingredients in chicken soup (like onion and garlic) help reduce inflammation and reduce congestion, plus the hot liquid will keep you hydrated. Hot liquids will also relieve nasal congestion and soothe the inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. A hot toddy, which is a cup of hot herbal tea with a teaspoon of honey (a natural cough suppressant) and a shot of whiskey or bourbon, will reduce severe congestion and help you sleep. Just be careful with the alcohol, because too much can inflame the membranes and worsen your symptoms. Nasal irrigation Dry and cracked nasal passages can inhibit the skin’s protective barrier against viruses. Nasal irrigation with a neti pot can help keep those nasal passages hydrated. There are a few things to remember. First, never use tap water; if it is contaminated, it could cause a rare but deadly brain infection. Instead, use a saline solution of 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 8 ounces of warm water (boil it first, then let it cool). Use a neti pot to pour the saline solution into one nostril and out the other. This will clean out your nasal passages and thin the mucus, which will reduce swelling, congestion and nasal irritation. Be sure to talk with your doctor before using the neti pot. Get well soon! Via Reader’s Digest , WebMD and Piedmont Images via Brooke Lark , Ulleo , Sylvie Tittel , Ariesa66 , Public Domain Pictures , Biopresto , Rawpixel and Shutterstock

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Kick your cold to the curb with these natural cold remedies

This great ape species was discovered 6 months ago and it’s already threatened by a dam

April 23, 2018 by  
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The Tapanuli orangutan was only discovered six months ago — and it’s already under threat of extinction from human development. Only 800 Tapanuli orangutans live in the wild today — however state-run Chinese company Sinohydro plans to construct a dam in northern Sumatra that will result in the deforestation of the orangutan’s habitat. If completed, the dam could pose an existential danger to the animals. Researchers fear that the construction of the  510 megawatt dam in the fragile Batang Toru ecosystem will result in the extinction of certain communities within the already vulnerable Tapanuli population. “Building the dam means chopping the orangutan population in half,” Borneo Futures director and orangutan expert Erik Meijaard told The Guardian . “You end up with two smaller populations, and these will have much reduced chances of survival, because a small population is more likely to go extinct than a large one.” Although Sinohydro did not include the orangutan in its environmental management plan, the Indonesian government approved the project. “The impact will not just be the destruction of the habitat where they want to build the dam and roads, tunnel, electricity lines,” scientist Gabriella Fredriksson explained to the Guardian , “but it will cause the extinction of two of the three sub-populations, and in addition create access and destroy the most important habitat of the only viable population left.” Related: UK researchers are developing an orangutan-safe alternative to palm oil “The Indonesian government needs to respect its own laws,” Meijaard said. “Orangutans are protected species. The Indonesian law clearly prohibits any actions that harm a protected species or its nests. It is obvious that the hydrodam is harming a protected species, so why does the government allow this?” Instead of building a dam, researcher Serge Wich suggested that the government pursue a geothermal project farther north from the orangutan habitat. According to Wich, this proposed project could yield one gigawatt of power, significantly more than the dam. The newly discovered orangutans are suffering under a broader extinction crisis, in which the large mammals of Sumatra, such as the Sumatran tiger , the Sumatran rhino and the Sumatran elephant have become critically endangered. Via The Guardian Images via Tim Laman and Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme

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This great ape species was discovered 6 months ago and it’s already threatened by a dam

WWF predicts wild animal populations will plummet 67 percent by 2020

October 27, 2016 by  
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Two-thirds of wild animals around the world could be gone in less than five years , according to a new report compiled by researchers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London. The latest edition of Living Planet Index (LPI), released this week, warns that loss of habitat due to environmental destruction, global warming, hunting, and pollution will result in a sixth mass extinction. Using 1970 animal population data as a baseline, scientists have measured the state of biological diversity and now warn that the world will have lost 67 percent of its animals by 2020 if major conservation efforts are not implemented immediately. The LPI report measures the condition of the world’s biodiversity by evaluating population trends of animals that live on both land and in the sea. The new report recognizes that dangers to animals worldwide are not new. In fact, researchers point to a 58-percent overall drop in global populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish between 1970 and 2012. That translates to an approximate 2-percent loss of species each year. Environmental destruction has continued, both directly at the hands of humans in the form of hunting and deforestation, as well as secondary effects such as rising global temperatures, making the threat even more severe. Related: Vanishing land snail signals the 6th mass extinction is well underway The LPI warns that we are approaching a crucial threshold and, without major conservation efforts, the worldwide decline in animal populations will reach 67 percent by 2020. “We are no longer a small world on a big planet. We are now a big world on a small planet, where we have reached a saturation point,” said Prof Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, in a foreword for the report. Of all animals on earth, those dwelling in rivers and lakes have been impacted most severely by human activity. Animal populations in freshwater wetlands are down by 81 percent from 1970 figures, which the LPI report says is attributed to excessive water extraction, pollution, and dams. Global warming, which forces animals to adjust their habits, lifestyles, and even territories, amplifies the negative effects of human action and accelerates the loss of life. Via The Guardian Images via Wikipedia ( 1 , 2 , 3 )

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WWF predicts wild animal populations will plummet 67 percent by 2020

Indonesia’s New President Announces Action Against Rampant Deforestation

November 28, 2014 by  
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Indonesia has the worst rate of deforestation in the world, with much of its logging activity illegal and therefore unreported. However, the country’s new president, Joko Widodo, has taken an early stand against the destruction, announcing a review of plantation companies’ operations and protective measures for the country’s peatlands. Indonesia is the world’s third-largest carbon dioxide emitter, so curbing deforestation is a vital step for the country in achieving its substantial 26 percent emissions reduction targets  by 2020. Read the rest of Indonesia’s New President Announces Action Against Rampant Deforestation Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , carbon emissions , deforestation , habitat destruction , illegal logging , indonesia , mono cropping , palm oil , peat , peat forest , peatland , plantations , President Joko Widodo , timber plantation

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Indonesia’s New President Announces Action Against Rampant Deforestation

Is Malaysia’s Rare Malaria Spike Linked to Drastic Deforestation?

November 5, 2014 by  
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In Malaysia, a rare form of malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium knowlesi has leapfrogged other sources of the disease to cause 68 percent of the country’s malaria cases in 2013. While causality has not yet been proven, Dr. Balbir Singh , Director of the Malaria Research Center at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, believes that deforestation is putting macaque monkeys (which are common hosts of the parasite) in closer contact with humans, resulting in an increase in cross-species transmission . Read the rest of Is Malaysia’s Rare Malaria Spike Linked to Drastic Deforestation? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: contagious diseases , cross-species transmission , deforestation , Dr. Balbir Singh , habitat destruction , habitat loss , Logging , macaque , malaria , Malaysia , monkey , mosquito , palm oil plantation , parasites , Plasmodium knowlesi , transmissible diseases

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Is Malaysia’s Rare Malaria Spike Linked to Drastic Deforestation?

Half of World’s Coral Reefs Destroyed in Last 30 Years, According to New Survey

September 23, 2013 by  
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Half of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed over the past three decades, according to a recent Catlin Seaview Survey (CSS). In a race to document their decline, the CSS teamed up with Google Street View and scientists from across the globe to compile the Catlin Global Reef Record – a free online resource launched today that is comprised of more than 50,000 high resolution images of the disappearing seascape. Read the rest of Half of World’s Coral Reefs Destroyed in Last 30 Years, According to New Survey Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: catlin global reef record , catlin seaview survey , coral bleaching , coral reef , coral reef destruction , css , global awarness , Google maps , Google Street View , Great Barrier Reef , habitat destruction , international union for the conservation of nature , NOAA , online image database , Scripps Institution of Oceanography , survey data analysis , temperature alerts , University of Queensland , world resources institute        

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Half of World’s Coral Reefs Destroyed in Last 30 Years, According to New Survey

MOMA’s Rechargeable LED Bulb Flashlight Offers Three Hours of Emergency Light

September 23, 2013 by  
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MoMA ’s Bulb Flashlight has a built-in rechargeable battery that allows it to double as a regular bulb and an emergency flashlight. The $45 LED bulb is recharged while used as a lamp. It screws into a standard socket and produces as much as a 40W bulb using just 6W of electricity. Then, when there’s a power outage or some other emergency situation, the bulb can provide lighting for up to three hours. Read the rest of MOMA’s Rechargeable LED Bulb Flashlight Offers Three Hours of Emergency Light Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Bul Flashlight MoMA , eco-friendly flashlights , emergency lighting , energy efficient lighting , LED Bulb Flashlight , LED lighting , LED lights , low-heat light , moma , MoMA LED light , rechargeable lights        

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MOMA’s Rechargeable LED Bulb Flashlight Offers Three Hours of Emergency Light

Africa’s Western Black Rhino is Now Officially Extinct

June 26, 2013 by  
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Africa’s Western black rhino is now officially extinct, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The subspecies was last seen in 2006, the Northern white rhino is also “ teetering on the edge of extinction ,” and Asia’s Javan Rhino may not be far behind if strong measures are not taken to stem poaching and conservation measures. This news comes after IUCN conducted a new review of 60,000 species of animals and plants in order to update the Red List of Threatened Species . Read the rest of Africa’s Western Black Rhino is Now Officially Extinct Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: amphibian , fauna and flora , habitat destruction , IUCN , nature conservation , Northern white rhino , poaching , red list of threatened species , Southern white rhino , Western black rhino , Wildlife conservation        

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Africa’s Western Black Rhino is Now Officially Extinct

The World’s Love Of Coffee Is Causing The Destruction Of Natural Habitats And Ecosystems

June 11, 2012 by  
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Put down that cup of coffee! A new report published in Nature has revealed that one of the main causes for the destruction of natural habitats and the potential extinction of numerous species is the developed world’s “insatiable appetite” for commodities such as tea, coffee and palm oil. Read the rest of The World’s Love Of Coffee Is Causing The Destruction Of Natural Habitats And Ecosystems Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon emissions , coffee , deforestation , destruction , ecosystems , endangered species , extinction , habitat destruction , international trade , Nature , rio+20

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The World’s Love Of Coffee Is Causing The Destruction Of Natural Habitats And Ecosystems

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