New big fish species discovered in Brazil


This video is called Unbelieveable Stuff: Bizarre Gelatinous Fish Found in Brazil.

From National Geographic, with video there:

An unusual fish, previously unknown was discovered recently off Brazil’s Bahia coast.

The fish is over 6 feet long, with a long tail was found floating in the sea by researchers from the TAMAR Project, a sea turtle conservation project.

TAMAR project coordinator Guy Marcovaldi captured the first images of the fish, which was dead and lying near the surface of the water. His special underwater camera is normally used for tracking and filming sea turtles. …

Specialists observing the fish told Brazils TV Globo the animal weighs about 88 pounds (40 kilos).

It has small teeth and no scales. Due to its large body fat content and gelatinous consistency, researchers do not believe it would be edible. …

The fish will be preserved in formaldehyde and maintained in the zoology department of the Federal University of Bahia, where experts hope to discover more about the fish, including its origins.

There are over 200,000 known species of sea plants and animals in the world, but scientists believe there may be more than a million others that are still unknown.

In this second paper dedicated to report on deep-sea fishes from Brazilian waters, mainly from Bahia, the presence of one family and three species of Aulopoidei is reported for the first time from Brazilian waters: the aulopid Aulopus filamentosus (royal flagfin), the synodontids Saurida normani and Synodus poeyi (shortjaw lizardfish and offshore lizardfish, respectively). The presence of Synodus saurus and Saurida suspicio in Brazilian waters is discussed, and a key to the Western Atlantic Aulopoidei is provided: here.

Fernando de Noronha islands in Brazil: here.

Leatherback turtle beaches in the Netherlands


This is a video of a leatherback turtle laying eggs on the beach in Galibi, Suriname.

According to Dutch nu.nl, today a leatherback turtle has beached near Den Helder in the Netherlands. Probably a young animal, as it was said to be one meter twenty in size, and adults are much bigger. It was already dead when it beached.

There are plans to preserve the dead turtle, and to exhibit it in Ecomare on Texel island.

Leatherback turtle swimming near Texel: here.

Leatherbacks recorded nesting on Georgia coastline alongside 1000 Loggerheads: here.

Police in Vietnam free hundreds of endangered [hawksbill] sea turtles: here.

Loggerhead turtle beaches in Ireland: here. And here.

USA: In Maryland, environmental officials are working to save one of the smallest and rarest turtles in North America. The bog turtle had the power to move an entire highway project in the state of Maryland. The tiny turtle is listed as an endangered species. It faces a disappearing habitat as well as poachers: here.

Parent–offspring conflict and selection on egg size in turtles: here.

July 2010: Initial data from a Emirates Wildlife Society-WWF turtle-tagging project in the Middle East has thrown up some surprises for conservationists. The programme, which is being run in partnership with the Marine Research Foundation, is attempting to follow more than 75 Hawksbill turtles in the area over the course of three years in the hope of gaining an insight into their migration patterns and the findings already disprove one long-held scientific theory about turtle movements in the area: here.

August 2010: After nearly two years, 13 Vietnamese poachers caught with the corpses of 101 endangered Hawksbill Turtles have been convicted of poaching. Since the poachers have been detained in Puerto Princesa [in the Philippines] since September 2, 2008 and the longest jail term was 18 months, the court ruled that only the fines which in some cases are as much as £64,000, remain to be served: here.

New study reveals high levels of illegal turtle harvesting: here; incl. green & hawksbills.

Rare African golden cat photographed


This video is called African and Asian Golden cat – (Profelis aurata and Pardofelis temminckii).

From the Smithsonian Magazine blog in the USA:

September 21, 2009

Rare Kitty Caught on Film

Biologists aren’t certain how many African golden cats (Profelis aurata) remain in central Africa. The IUCN Red List places the the cat in the “Near Threatened” category, saying that there are probably around 10,000 or so left, though that is little more than an educated guess. People are more likely to have seen an African golden cat skin than a live animal; in fact, the cat had only been photographed once, in Congo. And there have been no studies of its social behavior, range or ecology.

Which makes the recent capture of three images of the cougar-like cat by a digital infrared camera trap in Kibale National Park, Uganda, all the more special. Yale anthropologist Gary P. Aronsen, who described his find in the Africa Journal of Ecology,

Actually, the African Journal of Ecology

had set up seven camera traps in the park. The only one that captured African golden cat images had been set up for two weeks in June 2008 along a game trail. Aronsen believes that all three images are of the same cat.

“For the most part, the cameras capture amazing images of elephants, monkeys, chimpanzees, duiker and buffalo. The cameras also can record movies, so you can see multiple animals in a group, such as chimpanzees,” [Aronsen told the BBC]….

The [cat] images were taken in an old-growth forest patch located within a place called Mainaro, which is a patchwork of old-growth, regenerating, and replanted forests, Dr Aronsen explains.

“Given that three images were captured within an old-growth patch, I’d say that the Kibale golden cats may prefer this habitat. But the range of any cat is large, and so they can go anywhere to hunt.”

Aronsen hopes that finding the cat, a top predator, is a sign of the good health of the forest. Like many places, though, Uganda’s forests are shrinking. The IUCN says that deforestation is the African golden cat’s greatest threat.

What’s worse, the African golden cat is only one of many threatened kitties worldwide; here are seven more.

New species record for Nairobi National ParkRed duiker! Here.

Fast Fact Attack: Endangered Species No. 92 – The Asiatic Golden Cat: here.

Eastern Cougar Declared Extinct from East US: here.

Tony Blair’s torture scandal


From British daily The Independent:

Blairtorture policy‘ inquiry demanded

By Ben Padley, Press Association

Monday, 21 September 2009

Tony Blair must not be allowed to become EU President while it is “unclear” what his role was over allegations of British complicity in the torture of terror suspects, Liberal Democrats demanded today.

Delegates at the party’s annual conference in Bournemouth backed calls for the former Prime Minister not to be nominated for any future position of EU Council President.

It is thought Mr Blair may wish to accept an invitation to the powerful position if it is approved by the Lisbon Treaty, but he has not commented on it publicly.

During a debate on torture and extraordinary rendition, supporters cheered as foreign affairs spokesman Edward Davey demanded: “No Government can in good conscience support Tony Blair as a potential President of the European Council while it remains unclear what his role was in the development of British policy on torture.” …

The motion, which was backed overwhelmingly by a show of hands, calls for a “full and independent public inquiry into the facts relating to the involvement or knowledge of the British Government on matters relating to torture, extraordinary rendition and the illegal transfer of detainees to foreign jurisdictions between September 11 2001 and January 20 2009.”

It also demands Mr Blair should “not to be supported by any British or EU government for the post of President of the European Council as it would be wholly inappropriate for him to occupy such a position before an inquiry has established his role in the formulation of British policy on torture.”

An Iraqi hotel worker beaten to death by British soldiers screamed that he feared he would die while being tortured, the inquiry into his killing has heard: here. And here.

“Blair’s wars” show that Britain’s Labour Party has converged with the Tories into a single state of ideology, by John Pilger: here.

USA: In response to a public campaign waged by the CIA, the Obama administration has scaled back the already narrow investigation into CIA torture announced last month by Attorney General Eric Holder: here.

The hypocrisy of New Labour. Why pretend you never loved the Sun? Here.

I got a sense of the complete exhaustion of the new Labour project when Will Hutton launched a crushing attack on 12 wasted years at a fringe meeting at the party’s conference: here.

Snipe and teal


Today, again to Polders Poelgeest, like two days ago.

Where the Baillon’s crakes used to nest, today a water rail.

Two gadwall ducks. At least ten snipe, resting or looking for food. About ten teal.

A bit further, a dabchick.

Across the bridge: shovelers. And tufted ducks: this time both male and female.

On the meadow: still Canada, grey lag, and domestic geese. A bit further away, three Egyptian geese.

Black-headed, common, and herring gulls.

A painted lady butterfly.

A great crested grebe, near muscovy ducks.

Goldfinches on thistles.

Foxes removal from Scottish Island boosts nesting ducks: here.