This is a Dutch roe deer video.
A few days after seeing my first comma butterfly at the cemetery, I sit down on the bench at the far end of the burial ground.
About one meter and half above the ground, a hole in a tree, where blue tits nested two years ago.
Now, a red squirrel, walking slowly on a three meter high branch of that tree to the end.
I hear migratory geese calling.
This video is called Racism in Multicultural Britain – Part 1.
And this is Part 2.
Toughen up if you want to close gender pay gap: here.
UK behind South Africa and Phillipines in annual Global Gender Gap Report: here.
Progress ‘grinding to a halt’ on equal pay for women, ethnic minorities, disabled and other minorities: here.
UK rights organisation warns of “triple jeopardy” facing women: here.
Mother Country: Britain’s Black Community On The Home Front 1939-45: here.
US Tea party linking up with Koran-burning British far right: here.
Tea Party Motto: Don’t Get Your Way? Get Violent: here.
Racist, Anti-Obama Billboard Goes Up in Colorado: here.
Unknown carnivore discovered in Madagascar lake
Rhett A. Butler, wildmadagascar.org
October 11, 2010
Researchers have identified a previously unknown species of carnivore lurking in one of the world’s most endangered lakes.
Durrell’s vontsira (Salanoia durrelli), named in honor of the late conservationist and writer Gerald Durrell, was first photographed swimming in Madagascar’s Lake Alaotra in 2004. Subsequent surveys by scientists at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Natural History Museum, London, Nature Heritage, Jersey, and Conservation International confirmed the mongoose-like creature was indeed a new species.
“We have known for some time that a carnivore lives in the Lac Alaotra marshes, but we’ve always assumed it was a brown-tailed vontsira that is also found in the eastern rainforests,” said Fidimalala Bruno Ralainasolo, a conservation biologist working for Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust who originally captured the new carnivore. “However, differences in its skull, teeth, and paws have shown that this animal is clearly a different species with adaptations to life in an aquatic environment.”
Durrell’s vontsira is the first new carnivorous mammal discovered in Madagascar in 24 years. Little is known about the species, which is roughly the size of a cat and is described in the latest issue of the taxonomic journal Systematics and Biodiversity.
“It is a very exciting discovery. However, the future of the species is very uncertain.”
Lac Alaotra is Madagascar’s largest, and most endangered lake. Sedimentation from deforested watersheds, pollution from pesticides and fertilizers, and burning and agricultural conversion of the lake’s reed beds have left Lac Alaotra’s ecosystem in dire straights.
“The Lac Alaotra marshes are extremely threatened by agricultural expansion, burning and invasive plants and fish,” said Ralainasolo.
Habitat loss and introduction of alien plants have already driven at least well known species to extinction: the Alaotra grebe (Tachybaptus rufolavatus), which was last seen in 1985.
“This species is probably the carnivore with one of the smallest ranges in the world, and likely to be one of the most threatened,” said Frank Hawkins of Conservation International. “The Lac Alaotra wetlands are under considerable pressure, and only urgent conservation work to make this species a flagship for conservation will prevent its extinction.”
Photos are here.
This video includes news on the discovery.
TAKE ACTION to put an immediate stop to all illegal logging of precious hardwood species in Madagascar: here.
Evading extinction: latest IUCN Red List study proves that species conservation works: here.
This video is called Wild Chronicles: Madagascar Poison Frogs.
From Wildlife Extra:
Another ‘extinct’ poison frog rediscovered in Colombian jungle
Drug trafficking and gold mining threaten it with extinction
October 2010: Examples of the mysterious La Brea poison frog have been found in the jungles of Cauca along the Colombian Pacific Coast.
Many details about the elusive frog remain unknown as it has been so rarely seen. Indeed, the name of this species (occultator) was given because of its ‘hidden’ conduct in the middle of the jungle. The first few times it was seen in the wild during the Seventies it was found that preferred the upper parts of trees and branches, where it mimicked the environment of the forest. It was said that it sang at heights over 1.50 cm and their song was rarely heard. However, now they have been seen singing up to 10 cm off the ground, in severely deforested areas and in different locations to La Brea.
Although some scientists have been able to enter the area in years past (in the 90s and early 2000), nobody has seen any more pictures of this magnificent and little known species in its natural environment.
However, the frog faces must overcome several obstacles if it is not to become extinct.
Hundreds of hectares of jungle forest have been cleared to plant coca to fuel the drugs trade. As well as the destruction to the forest itself, the state response – to send planes with glyphosate to destroy the crops – has also killed off surrounding flora and fauna.
Gold-mining is also adding to the pressures. In June this year, 25 backhoes and dredges arrived at Timbiquí to tear up the edges of the river in search of the precious metals.
Area now too dangerous for animal traffickers
And, as well as the impact on the habitat itself, the frog is being targeted by animal traffickers, who during the Eighties and Nineties exported the frog to Europe and North America where it was bred in captivity and marketed to collectors.
Colombia: The golden poison dart frog, which is arguably the world’s most poisonous animal, is now residing in the first ever sanctuary established to save the deadly, yet endangered, amphibian: here.
October 2010: A new population of the critically endangered Todd’s parakeet has been found in Cesar, Colombia, during an expedition by run by ProAves: here.
Bright-eyed frog (Boophis calcaratus): here.
Australia: Water Plan will decimate Murrumbidgee frogs: here.
The Marbled Reed Frog – filmed on the series Nature’s Most Amazing Events: here.
Photos of The 12 Most Poisonous Frogs on Earth: here.
The world’s ten most venomous creatures: here.
The IMF semi-annual meeting on Saturday was dominated by fears of the impact of a weakening global economy amid mounting currency and trade conflicts. It failed to make progress towards a solution of either: here.
A strike against privatisation and pension cuts by dockers and terminal workers in the southern French port city of Marseille is blocking ships and energy supplies: here.
USA: Thousands of homeowners struggling with foreclosures and financial distress attended a “mortgage modification” event sponsored by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) in Sacramento, California on the weekend. The gathering followed a similar “Save the Dream” event in Los Angeles that NACA officials estimated was attended by 40,000 people: here.
The foreclosure mess: worst case scenario: here.
The superintendent of Boston’s schools has proposed the closure of six more public schools and the conversion of a seventh into a privately-managed charter school: here.
New York City transit fare increased for third time in three years: here.
An action committee has been established in Colombo to fight against the Sri Lankan government’s plans to evict 66,000 impoverished families and to hand over the land to big business: here.
This video from the USA is called Michael Parenti — Some Labor History.
By Gordon Parsons in Britain:
The Lean Years 1920-1933/ The Turbulent Years 1933-1941
by Irving Bernstein (Haymarket Books, £16 each)
Friday 08 October 2010
Apart from the conscientious reviewer and the dedicated student of labour history few readers can be expected to negotiate the 1,300 pages, forest of statistics and plethora of trade union acronyms of this two-volume, exhaustive and exhausting study of the epic struggles of US workers in the interwar years.
It is a fascinating story that holds essential lessons for our upcoming battles.
Bernstein has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the loaded legal framework which supported employers in every major industry in their ferocious and often murderous determination to prevent workers from organising.
The sheer weight of facts is complemented by vivid descriptions of the main protagonists on both sides. The great mine workers’ leader John L Lewis, for example, had “shaggy red eyebrows either one of which a French gendarme would be proud to wear on his lip.”
Bernstein notes how many of the workers’ leaders were from poor immigrant families who understood capitalist exploitation from their experiences back in Europe.
The first book charts the labour movement’s fortunes from before the Great Depression, when it was close to extinction, to the fightback and introduction of Roosevelt’s New Deal in the early ’30s.
Not only were employers happy to use subservient police and hired thugs to enforce their will, they also relied heavily on in-house company unions, which they controlled, in order to give the illusion of worker representation.
Obviously such matters as wages and working hours, injury compensation and old age pensions were not on the agenda, let alone strikes.
The US Constitution reduced the federal government largely to a spectator. Neither the employers nor the unions, under the auspices of the American Federation of Labour (AFL), expected the White House or Congress to intervene.
The devastation of the Great Depression, with one in three workers unemployed, made Roosevelt realise the need for progressive legislation to counter the ruthless hegemony of employers in industrial affairs, and the traditional craft union philosophy of the AFL, which which was resistant to the mass unionisation of workers advocated by Lewis’s Committee for Industrial Organisation.
Bernstein’s second volume details the tortuous path through widespread strike action and court proceedings that ultimately led to the workers’ victory, as World War II demanded that even Fordism had to face up to fascism.
The essential lesson of Bernstein’s work is summed up in the introduction by Frances Fox Piven, which notes that “popular moods and understandings that fuel protest movements can change, and change rapidly. We should hope for this in our own time, and we should do more than hope. We should work to make it true.”