Thousands of endangered snails raised in captivity returned to natural habitat in Bermuda

first_imgDue mostly to predation by invasive species of carnivorous snails and flatworms, greater Bermuda land snails (Poecilozonites bermudensis) were driven nearly to extinction in their native habitat on the oceanic islands of Bermuda over the past several decades. In fact, the snails were believed to have disappeared altogether until 2014, when a small population was discovered.It’s believed that there are less than 200 of the snails remaining in the wild, but that population has now been joined by 4,000 individuals bred in captivity in the UK and reintroduced on Bermuda’s Nonsuch Island — a nature reserve with strict quarantine protocols designed to ensure that alien species detrimental to the snails will not be introduced to the island.Following the 2014 rediscovery of the greater Bermuda land snail, scientists at the UK’s Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London launched a collaborative captive breeding program for the snails at the request of the Bermudian government. Over the past three years, the breeding program has built up a population of the snails with sufficient numbers to begin reintroductions in the wild. Thousands of captive-bred greater Bermuda land snails are heading home.Due mostly to predation by invasive species of carnivorous snails and flatworms, greater Bermuda land snails (Poecilozonites bermudensis) were driven nearly to extinction in their native habitat on the oceanic islands of Bermuda over the past several decades. In fact, the snails were believed to have disappeared altogether until 2014, when a small population was discovered.It’s estimated that there are less than 200 of the snails remaining in the wild, but that population has now been joined by 4,000 individuals bred in captivity in the UK and reintroduced on Bermuda’s Nonsuch Island — a nature reserve with strict quarantine protocols designed to ensure that alien species detrimental to the snails will not be introduced to the island.Following the 2014 rediscovery of the greater Bermuda land snail, scientists at the UK’s Chester Zoo and the Zoological Society of London launched a collaborative captive breeding program for the snails at the request of the Bermudian government. Over the past three years, the breeding program has built up a population of the snails with sufficient numbers to begin reintroductions in the wild.Thousands of the rare snails have been returned to the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.“It’s incredible to be involved in a project that has prevented the extinction of a species,” Gerardo Garcia, Chester Zoo’s curator for lower vertebrates and invertebrates, said in a statement.Garcia described the greater Bermuda land snail as “one of Bermuda’s oldest endemic animal inhabitants.” He added that “It has survived radical changes to the landscape and ecology on the remote oceanic islands of Bermuda over a million years but, since the 1950s and 60s, it has declined rapidly. Its demise is mainly due to changes to their habitat and the introduction of several predatory snails. Indeed, in the early 1990s, it was actually believed to be extinct until it was discovered again in one remote location in 2014.”Mark Outerbridge, a wildlife ecologist with the Bermudian government, joined Chester Zoo zookeeper Heather Prince and snail specialist Kristiina Ovaska in transporting the snails back to Bermuda for release. A select number of the snails were outfitted with fluorescent tags, a technique for tracking the snails that was tested by Ovaska and the team at the Chester Zoo. The tags will allow scientists to observe the snails’ dispersal across Nonsuch Island, as well as their growth rates, activity patterns, and population size — all of which will help monitor the snails’ success at adapting to and, hopefully, proliferating in their new home.Fluorescent tags will allow scientists to track the reintroduced snails’ progress in adapting to their new life in the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.Further releases of the greater Bermuda snail and the lesser Bermuda snail, another species of land snail that is being bred at the Chester Zoo, are planned in the near future, following work to restore critical habitat on many of Bermuda’s offshore islands.“It has been tremendously gratifying for me to see [the snails] return to Bermuda for reintroduction,” Outerbridge said in a statement. “We have identified a number of isolated places that are free of their main predators and I am looking forward to watching them proliferate at these release sites.”Four thousand greater Bermuda snails, which have been bred at Chester Zoo, are being returned to the wild. Photo courtesy of Chester Zoo.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki Captive Breeding, Critically Endangered Species, Endangered Species, Environment, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Invertebrates, Molluscs, Reintroductions, Saving Species From Extinction, Wildlife center_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredlast_img read more

Amazon infrastructure puts 68% of indigenous lands / protected areas at risk: report

first_img68 percent of the indigenous lands and protected natural areas in the nine nations encompassing the Amazon region are under pressure from roads, mining, dams, oil drilling, forest fires and deforestation, according to a new report by RAISG, the Amazonian Geo-referenced Socio-Environmental Information Network.Of the 6,345 indigenous territories located within the nine Amazonian countries surveyed, 2,042 (32 percent) are threatened or pressured by two types of infrastructure activities, while 2,584 (41 percent) are threatened or pressured by at least one. Only 8 percent of the total are not threatened or pressured at all.In the case of the 692 protected natural areas in the Amazon region, 193 (28 percent) suffer three kinds of threat or pressure, and 188 (27 percent) suffer threats or pressure from two activities.“These are alarming numbers: 43 percent of the protected natural areas and 19 percent of the indigenous lands are under three or more types of pressure or threat,” said Júlia Jacomini, a researcher with the ISA, Instituto Socioambiental, an NGO and RAISG partner. Already completed and proposed infrastructure projects, along with infrastructure investment plans, either directly threaten or put pressure on 68 percent of the indigenous lands and protected natural areas in the Amazon region, according to a newly published report prepared by the Amazonian Geo-referenced Socio-Environmental Information Network (RAISG), a group of specialists from NGOs and other organizations within six Amazon region countries.The data sets are presented in the form of six maps, each corresponding to an infrastructure-related activity or practice present in the Amazon, including transport (ie. roads), energy (ie. hydroelectric dams), mining, oil, deforestation and fires. The 2019 edition takes account of development in the headwaters of Amazonian rivers, information not included in past reports. The nine nations evaluated are Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Guiana, Suriname and French Guiana.RAISG reveals that, of the 6,345 indigenous territories located within the nine Amazonian countries surveyed, that 2,042 (32 percent) are threatened or pressured by two types of infrastructure activities, while 2,584 (41 percent) are threatened or pressured by at least one. Only 8 percent of the total are not threatened or pressured at all.In the case of the 692 protected natural areas in the region, 193 (28 percent) suffer three kinds of threat or pressure, and 188 (27 percent) suffer threats or pressure from two activities.“These are alarming numbers: 43 percent of the protected natural areas and 19 percent of the indigenous lands are under three or more types of pressure or threat. The data demonstrate that the implementation of infrastructure works in the region clash with the way of life of the people in those areas, as well as [with] the preservation of both,” said Júlia Jacomini, a researcher with the ISA, Instituto Socioambiental, an NGO and RAISG partner.last_img read more

Deforestation for potential rubber plantation raises concerns in Papua New Guinea

first_imgThe project, ostensibly for a 125-square-kilometer (48-square-mile) rubber plantation, began in mid-2018.Satellite imagery shows that Maxland, working with a local landowner company, has built logging roads and deforested patches of the Great Central Forest on Manus Island.Like Papua New Guinea as a whole, Manus is home to a wide variety of unique wildlife — just one aspect of the forest on which human communities have depended for thousands of years.Government forestry and environment officials were aware of the importance of the forest and a local forest management committee protested the project before it began, but it’s been allowed to continue anyway. PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea — The upstart deforestation over the past year and a half that’s sidling up to Pochon Lili’s land has him worried.“As a landowner, I’m concerned about the environment in which my land is located and has been affected,” Lili said.The 67-year-old environmental science professor’s property sits just to the southwest of a new “so-called agroforestry project” on Manus Island, part of Papua New Guinea and sitting in the South Pacific’s Bismarck Sea around 320 kilometers (200 miles) from the country’s mainland. The project has already begun to cut into the 700-square-kilometer (270-square-mile) Great Central Forest, one of the last remaining blocks of high-quality forest on Papua New Guinea’s outlying islands.As a leader of the Machom clan, Lili feels obligated to look out for the interests of his fellow community members. His clan did not sign on in support of the project spearheaded by a local landowner company called Pohowa Agriculture Ltd. and its partner, a Malaysian timber outfit called Maxland Ltd. The project is called the Pohowa Integrated Agro-forestry Project, though there are few indications that the “agroforestry” the project intends is the sort that aims to grow a mix of trees and crops in a way that maintains vital ecosystem services.Instead, the loss of forest and replacement with a monoculture of rubber could spell trouble for the communities living nearby, Lili said.“I wanted to see that the project does not end up in all sorts of problems for us,” he said.A mother with her children on Manus Island. Image by Elodie Van Lierde.Crews began clearing the way for a 125-km2 (48-mi2) rubber plantation in mid-2018, an area equal to nearly one-fifth of the Great Central Forest. But since that time, questions have swirled around whether the benefits to the communities that are part of the Pohowa company, such as timber royalty payments, road construction and a lasting source of employment in the form of nursery and plantation jobs, would materialize.The deforestation so far has left behind a patchwork of bare land and splintering logging roads cutting into the Great Central Forest. Though small in comparison to the forests that blanket Papua New Guinea’s mainland, Manus’ forests host a dizzying array of species, many of which live only on the island. They’ve also sustained local communities, like the Machom clan, for generations. The story of how the project has been able to proceed follows a murky trail from Manus’ highlands out to the Topol log pond on the island’s southern coast and through the government offices in the capital city of Port Moresby hundreds of kilometers away.The story’s end? It hasn’t been written yet, as three more years of the project remain. But skeptics remain concerned that the tale will follow a familiar pattern in Papua New Guinea, one in which foreign companies extract and export wholesale the country’s valuable hardwood timber, leaving once-forest-rich communities without the purported economic engine of an agriculture plantation as a replacement. And along the way, opaque legal processes involving the national and provincial governments seem to ease the process for the companies involved.last_img read more

Road restoration moves ahead in mountains

first_imgANGELES NATIONAL FOREST – Construction crews are moving more than 37,000 tons of dirt and rock to cut a new route for winding San Francisquito Canyon Road, a main commuting link between Santa Clarita and the Antelope Valley. Destroyed by January storms, the road is scheduled to reopen by early spring – as soon as a temporary bridge, made of three railroad flat cars, is completed across San Francisquito Creek. An aide said county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich has been encouraging the Public Works Department to expedite building of the road and bridge. “He understands the hardship it causes residents of Green Valley and other communities in this area,” Norm Hickling, field deputy to Antonovich, said about the missing road. “This is a major artery for all four of the mountain communities, as well as the Antelope Valley,” Wood said. The new segment is following a route roughly graded in the 1980s by county workers, but abandoned after the discovery of an ancient landslide farther south that would have made completing the realigned road too costly. Though that grading was done years ago, construction crews must widen cuts through hills and add fill in low spots because road safety standards have changed to require gentler curves and grades. The temporary bridge is being built by laying three railroad flat cars across a decades-old one-lane bridge. That bridge, expected to cost about $350,000, will commuters use the road while the permanent bridge is built a few feet upstream. The temporary bridge is needed because there is a time-consuming process to get federal and state approval of construction plans and environmental matters for a permanent bridge, said Mark Caddick, district engineer for county roads. The permanent bridge could cost $3.7 million to $3.9 million, which is included in the $7.5 million estimate. The construction could be completed by the end of January if no rain falls, Caddick said, but officials have set a reopening date of March 31 because of the likelihood of weather delays. A thunderstorm last month halted work temporarily. “There will be delays due to rain. We still think the end of March is a good date,” Caddick said. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 chuck.bostwick@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 To get the road out of a low-lying area that is easily flooded, a 1.8-mile section is being moved to a a hillside west of the creek, avoiding a marshy area, a narrow canyon and two bridges damaged by last winter’s storms. Moving the route and repairing other storm damage – as well as reconstructing pavement damaged by heavy construction equipment rolling along it – is expected to cost about $7.5 million, of which about $5.5 million will be paid by state and federal governments. The new route will be the last segment of the restored road, already repaired for more than two miles between Green Valley and Saugus. Since July, hundreds of commuters have been driving the roughly graded dirt in early mornings and evenings, led by a pilot vehicle. Residents of Green Valley and the communities of Lake Elizabeth, Lake Hughes and Leona Valley have been driving to Santa Clarita on Lake Hughes Road and Bouquet Canyon Road to the west and east of San Francisquito, since those roads were reopened within weeks of the winter storms. Residents are glad that San Francisquito Canyon Road is being repaired, Green Valley Town Council President Kimberly Wood said. Green Valley residents count on San Francisquito as an evacuation route if a brush fire approaches from the north. last_img read more