New small frog species discovery on Brazilian mountaintops


This 2007 video from Brazil is about a Brachycephalus pernix frog, a relative of the recently discovered species.

This is another 2007 video about Brachycephalus pernix.

And this 2013 Brazilian video is about Brachycephalus tridactylus, another relative.

And this 2012 Brazilian video is about Brachycephalus nodoterga.

And this December 2014 video, recorded in Brazil, is about Brachycephalus pitanga.

This March 2014 video is about the skeleton of Brachycephalus ephipium.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Seven new species of miniature frogs discovered in cloud forests of Brazil

Tiny frogs smaller in size than bumblebees have evolved with fewer fingers and toes to reduce their size to adapt to life on isolated mountaintops

Karl Mathiesen

Thursday 4 June 2015 17.08 BST

Seven new species of miniature frog, smaller than bumblebees, have been discovered clinging to survival on isolated mountaintops in Brazil.

The largest of the new discoveries has a maximum adult length of just 13mm. The frogs, which are among the smallest land vertebrates, have evolved with fewer fingers and toes in order to reduce their size.

Miniaturisation allows the frogs to emerge from their eggs as fully-formed, albeit tiny, adults. This means they do not go through a tadpole stage and can survive far from standing water. Highly efficient absorption allows them to stay hydrated by soaking water from damp ground through the skin on their bellies.

Marcio Pie, a professor at the Universidade Federal do Paraná, led a team of researchers on a five-year exploration of the mountainous cloud forests on the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil. They published their study in the journal PeerJ on Thursday.

“Although getting to many of the field sites is exhausting, there was always the feeling of anticipation and curiosity about what new species could look like”, said Pie.

The frogs are all species from the Brachycephalus genus, which are often tiny in size.

They live on ‘sky islands’, areas of high forest on mountains surrounded by lower altitude rainforest. The tiny frogs are highly adapted to their conditions and sometimes restricted to a single mountain. There they have evolved in isolation over millennia – much like the unique species on separate Galapagos islands that so fascinated Charles Darwin.

Pie said this extreme endemism makes them exceptionally vulnerable to changes in their habitat. Their major threats are illegal logging and changes to cloud forests caused by climate change. None of the newly-described species are in reserves and many live relatively close to cities where the forest can be more easily impacted.

“The really big concern is climate change because the cloud forest depends on the delicate balance between the water that comes form the ocean and the topography. If there’s some sort of warming it’s possible that that sort of really humid forest will disappear and with that all the endemic species, not only our frogs but other types of organisms,” he said.

The study increases the number of recognised species in the genus by 50% to a total of 21.

Luiz Ribeiro, a research associate to the Mater Natura Institute for Environmental Studies, said the new discoveries suggested there were many more to find. “This is only the beginning, especially given the fact that we have already found additional species that we are in the process of formally describing.”

The find comes against a background of catastrophic amphibian decline worldwide caused by a chytrid fungus. At least 200 species of frog have been driven to extinction or declined because of the disease the fungus causes. Pie said the frogs may be protected from chytrid by their ability to survive away from the water sources where the fungus is often found.

Stopping deforestation in Brazil


This 2012 video is called How Brazil is halting deforestation in the Amazon.

From Nature journal:

Stopping deforestation: Battle for the Amazon

Brazil has waged a successful war on tropical deforestation, and other countries are trying to follow its lead. But victory remains fragile.

Jeff Tollefson

01 April 2015

Oziel Alves da Silva reins his horse to a stop near the edge of a pasture, and adjusts a baseball cap that has done little to protect his leathery skin from the tropical sun. Keeping an eye out for his herd, he surveys his 274-hectare ranch located in the eastern Amazonian state of Pará. Where he once dreamed of a vast open field covered with grasses and cattle, he sees nothing but palm trees that he cannot cut down.

The 39-year-old rancher is one of thousands of Brazilian landowners stymied by a historic campaign to halt the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest. He was fined 720,000 reals (US$230,000) and banned from selling cattle after trying to clear this field in 2009. Now Alves da Silva is once again operating legally, and he has little hope of expanding his pasture and increasing his herd. Along with many fellow ranchers in the county of Brasil Novo, he has stopped cutting down trees and is trying to make peace with the law.

“We came together and decided we needed to change,” he says.

Over the past decade, while the world has been busy haggling over future commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, Brazil has lowered its carbon dioxide output more than any other country through a historic effort to slow forest loss. The deforestation rate here last year was roughly 75% below the average for 1996 to 2005 — just shy of Brazil’s pledge to achieve an 80% reduction by 2020. The country has managed this feat while increasing the amount of food it produces, much of it for export to a growing and hungry world.

Brazil’s experience suggests that humanity has a chance to control agricultural expansion and preserve the planet’s most diverse ecosystems. If other countries follow suit by protecting and expanding forests, which lock carbon up in trees and soils, they could slow the growth of global CO2 emissions and buy the world some time to solve the thornier problem of curbing emissions from cars, power plants and industrial facilities.

“There is no question that Brazil has made a fundamental departure from the past,” says Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme. “And it has given credence to the notion that forest conservation may be an important mechanism for international cooperation on climate.”

Although Brazil’s downward trend in deforestation has been evident for nearly a decade, it is only in the past couple of years that researchers have pieced together how the country put the brakes on an epidemic of illegal development that has eliminated roughly 20% of the Brazilian Amazon over the past half century. Even today, the story varies depending on who is telling it. This is what drew me to the Brazilian Amazon for two months last year. I travelled throughout the region, talking to scientists, ranchers, politicians, loggers and members of indigenous tribes — all with the aim of understanding how Brazil altered its environmental trajectory and where it goes from here.

Various factors conspired to curtail deforestation. The federal government designated areas in the Amazon basin for protection, cracked down on ranchers, farmers and land speculators, and put pressure on local governments, while environmentalists ramped up campaigns against companies that were exporting beef, leather and soya beans from illegally cleared land. States and communities recognized that their economies were at risk, which drove them to develop their own policies (see ‘How fish and condoms can save the forest’).

Brazil’s success thus far offers potential lessons for other tropical countries where deforestation is on the rise, but the situation in the Amazon remains precarious. Enforcement has increased, but the basic factors driving deforestation — including poverty and the profitability of agricultural land — have not changed. Although the rate of land clearing in Brazil last year fell to its second lowest level since 1988, it had spiked in 2013, and some scientists expect another increase in 2015.

“Brazilians do not want deforestation,” climate scientist Carlos Nobre told me when I visited him in Brasilia, where he was finishing his term as secretary for research and development at the Ministry of Science. But clearing and planting new land remains the primary force for economic growth in the Amazon, he says. “We do not yet have an alternative model.”

Incendiary measures

The battle against illegal deforestation in Brazil starts with satellite images of the land surface. Since 1988, researchers have been compiling high-resolution maps of the forest cover each year. They obtain low-resolution images more frequently to spot fresh openings in the forest. Over the past decade, scientists have begun providing real-time information to Brazil’s environmental enforcement agency, the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).

In June last year, I joined an IBAMA team and its heavily armed police escort as they launched raids in southwestern Pará, which remains a hotbed for deforestation. We spent hours barrelling down shoddy roads in search of fresh clearings seen on satellite imagery. One day, the team interrogated landowners, searched homes and confiscated guns and chainsaws, but did not find the suspicious spot. A second outing in a different area looked like it was going to end the same way, but towards evening the crew found a couple of trails off the road. We hiked 50 metres through the underbrush and the sky opened up over a field of felled trees. On the other side of the road was an encampment, complete with a large tarpaulin-covered A-frame, hammocks and a propane stove. The team promptly burned the camp to the ground, putting an end to that operation — at least for the moment.

The culprits that IBAMA encounters on the ground are often bit players, but the government is also investigating criminals higher up the chain, who make money by speculating on illegally cleared land. After I left, last August, the agency cracked down on a crime syndicate in Pará, arresting 22 people. And in February, IBAMA announced the arrest of the “largest deforester of the Amazon”: Ezequiel Castanha, a businessman in Novo Progresso who allegedly headed the syndicate and had spent months on the run. Officials say that deforestation in the region has dropped by 65% since August.

The basic outline of this enforcement strategy emerged in 2004 under former environment minister Marina Silva, a lifelong environmentalist and candidate in last year’s presidential elections. As minister, Silva tackled deforestation by strengthening IBAMA and bringing other government agencies on board. One key change she made was instituting a sophisticated system to root out corruption within IBAMA.

In parallel, the environmental group Greenpeace increased public pressure on companies by documenting the link between soya-bean farming and deforestation in media campaigns in Brazil and internationally, which pushed supermarket chains and food companies such as McDonald’s to declare a boycott on the purchase of illegally farmed soya. All of these changes helped to push the country’s major exporters to sign a moratorium in 2006, banning the purchase of soya beans from recently cleared land. Two years later, IBAMA published a blacklist of counties with the highest deforestation rates. Areas on the list faced increased enforcement by IBAMA, and landowners encountered tighter standards when they tried to take out agricultural loans. Brasil Novo was on the inaugural list, and IBAMA quickly descended on ranchers such as Alves da Silva.

Brasil Novo has since reduced its deforestation rate and is one of the latest counties to make it off the blacklist, but it was a hard road, says Zelma Campos, the region’s secretary of the environment. At a public meeting on land regulation in May last year, Campos told me that all ranchers — even law-abiding ones — had trouble marketing their beef when the blacklist came out. As a result, the local economy shrank and the tax base contracted, which undermined public services. Eventually, Brasil Novo’s only slaughterhouse was shut down. “No one wants to invest in a municipality with environmental problems,” explained Campos.

But this was just the beginning. In 2009, a 27-year-old federal prosecutor named Daniel Azeredo filed a lawsuit against various ranchers and 11 of the largest slaughterhouse operators in Pará, the state with the most deforestation in the Amazon. He warned major purchasers of beef and leather — including the supermarket chain Walmart, McDonald’s and the Adidas clothing company — that they could be held accountable for marketing illegal products. Greenpeace mounted another international public-relations campaign, and the cattle industry in Pará briefly ground to a halt.

For Azeredo, the fundamental problem was that nobody knew who owned what, which enabled outlaws to rule with violence. In a series of legal settlements, he pushed companies and local governments to support a rural land registry in Pará that was designed to help resolve conflicts over land ownership and allow the government to formally license agricultural operations. Greenpeace followed up by pushing major slaughterhouses into signing a moratorium — like the soya-bean companies had three years earlier — on the purchase of beef from recently deforested lands.

The upshot is that the land registry has expanded from around 500 properties in 2009 to more than 112,000 today, covering 62% of the private land in the state. Deforestation in Pará has dropped by more than 57% over the same period (see ‘Food and forests’).

“This was huge,” says Paul Barreto, a senior scientist with the Amazon Institute of People and the Environment, an environmental group based in Pará’s capital, Belém. “The lawsuit was against the big companies but in the end it brought along everyone.”

In 2012, faced with rural protests over the new enforcement regime, the Brazilian Congress revised its forest code. The new law scaled back various forest protections and let some landowners off the hook for past deforestation, but it also created a national land registry that was designed to serve as the basis for federal land management.

The move has triggered its own controversies. The soya-bean industry says that because the federal registry will enable the government to improve monitoring of landowners, the 2006 moratorium on sales is now unnecessary. But environmentalists argue that the registry is not ready. The debate has intensified questions about what caused the drop in deforestation, and what should come next.

Forces in the forest

Scientists have been looking into these questions, trying to pick apart the factors that influence deforestation. In a study published last year, a research team confirmed suspicions that broader economic forces — which reduced agricultural profitability a decade ago — deserve partial credit for the initial drop in deforestation (D. Nepstad et al. Science 344, 11181123; 2014). But deforestation rates remained low even when the economics improved; stricter enforcement and initiatives such as the moratoria seem to be why.

“It’s basically a diffusion of different instruments, some of which have gained traction,” says lead author Daniel Nepstad, a tropical ecologist who heads the Earth Innovation Institute, an advocacy group based in San Francisco, California. “It’s impossible to quantify any of these factors individually, but they are all pushing in the right direction.”

Holly Gibbs, a geographer at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, says it is possible to identify some of the more successful policies. She and her colleagues found that deforestation was higher in areas not covered by the soya-bean moratorium, including on properties that are already on the federal land registry (H. K. Gibbs et al. Science 347, 377378; 2015). Unpublished results suggest that the beef moratorium has had a similar effect on ranchers, who fear being banned from markets if they clear land.

“These moratoria are really leading to huge changes on the ground in Brazil,” says Gibbs, and that raises questions about what will happen if the soya-bean moratorium is lifted as scheduled next year.

Brazilian officials nonetheless see the registry as the foundation for a new brand of land management. Government researchers are working on a monitoring system to classify and track different kinds of land use across the entire country as a complement to the national land registry. This could lead to an unprecedented capacity to track, study and promote better land use nationwide, they say.

“If we are successful in implementing this, it’s going to be a revolution,” says Francisco Oliveira, who heads the forest enforcement programme at the Ministry of the Environment in Brasilia.

Even if the registry is successful, a fundamental challenge remains. It is cheaper for landowners — and more profitable for rogue speculators — to slash and burn forest than to rejuvenate soils and replant fallowed fields. Brazil is looking for ways to tilt the balance by improving and expanding operations on tracts of land that have already been cleared, using an influx of money designated for forest protection. In 2008, Norway agreed to pay $1 billion if Brazil successfully reduced deforestation and thus CO2 emissions. It was the world’s first large-scale demonstration of a strategy called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). And Norwegian officials visited Brazil last month to talk about a second investment.

Brazil has dispersed more than $150 million so far for projects on issues such as agricultural productivity, biodiversity research and land-use planning. But relatively little money has gone to landowners or programmes that noticeably benefit them. “The farmers are sort of sitting there bewildered, because they are not getting the incentives they were promised,” Nepstad says.

He is working with major soya-bean and beef companies, as well as government officials, on an approach that would help farmers by rewarding those who meet key standards instead of punishing them for poor performance. Landowners in counties that reduce deforestation could get easier access to low-interest loans, for instance. This approach could also involve direct payments to counties and landowners.

Brazil’s experience could inform the rollout of an international REDD programme created in 2013 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Although it is a shadow of the plan that many had imagined, the basic idea remains the same: industrialized nations pay for carbon to be maintained or increased in trees and soils through better forest management.

This approach has received more than $7 billion from countries such as Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. Much of that money has been invested in projects that are intended to demonstrate the idea and help governments to improve their forest-monitoring expertise. Last year, Brazil became the first country to submit its baseline forest assessment documenting deforestation to the United Nations. In December, five other countries announced their own submissions.

Initial payments could begin as early as 2017. Although there are no current provisions for long-term funding, negotiators hope to secure money in a treaty that nations plan to sign in Paris this year. Brazil is hoping for some of that cash but is not counting on it; officials say that they will continue to focus on domestic efforts.

International attention is shifting now to Indonesia, which is clearing more forest than any other country. Norway has committed $1 billion to the country if the government can demonstrate reductions in deforestation and emissions. Environmentalists are also transferring their experience in Brazil to Indonesia, and have extracted promises to tackle deforestation from various international corporations that are active in the palm-oil industry there.

Scepticism remains about whether these strategies will succeed in Indonesia, which is building a monitoring and enforcement programme from scratch. But Nepstad points out that a decade ago, nobody would have believed Brazil was about to turn a corner. “There are seeds of what we saw in Brazil ten years ago in Indonesia today,” Nepstad says.

Future of the forest

Despite a decade of progress, the future of the Amazon rainforest remains uncertain. Some lawmakers want to scale back protected areas, and President Dilma Rousseff is encouraging investments in ports and hydroelectric dams, which could trigger more deforestation. Added to that is concern over the impacts of climate change, which threatens both the rainforest and existing crops.

Paulo Moutinho, former executive director of the Amazon Environmental Research Institute in Brasilia, fears that the government is overlooking more obvious solutions, such as designating more land for permanent protection. “It’s stupid,” he says, “but there’s a sense in Brasilia that we have too much protected area.”

Others are more sanguine. Back in Pará, Azeredo told me that Brazil’s march towards law and order on the frontier is slowly paying off. With a little persistence, he says, the beef industry could achieve a reasonable level of compliance in several years’ time. “We are creating a system of governance,” he says. “Before, we didn’t even know where to start.”

This is a message that ranchers such as Alves da Silva seem to have taken to heart. “Every day that passes, government enforcement is going to increase,” he says. “It’s only going to get harder to break the law.”

With little hope of expanding his operation, Alves da Silva concentrates on the herd at hand. He ropes and vaccinates a pair of newborn calves and then finishes for the day. As the light fades, we mount our horses and set off through his pasture. Behind us, the silhouette of the forest looms large.

Holocaust denying ultra-right Catholics’ war against Pope Francis


Women sat on one side of the aisle, their heads – even the youngest girls – covered in scarves. Photograph: Jonathan Watts for the Guardian

This photo shows women during the illegal ordination of a priest in Nova Friburgo in Brazil by ultra-right Roman Catholics. The women sat on one side of the aisle, their heads – even the youngest girls – covered in scarves. This tendency within Roman Catholicism is Islamophobic. However, one hears their fellow Islamophobes far more about similar seating in some mosques (definitely not in all mosques) than about these Catholic fanatics.

Unfortunately, the existence of these fanatics has nothing to do with it being April Fools’ Day now …

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Ultra-traditional Catholics rebel against pope in Brazil: ‘He is less Catholic than us’

In Dutch there is a proverb: ‘To be more Roman than the pope’, meaning fanatical extremism.

Hailing from around the world, a group led by an excommunicated bishop call themselves a ‘resistance’ movement against Vatican reforms. The response from the Vatican was swift and unequivocal: ‘Excommunication is automatic’

Jonathan Watts in Nova Friburgo and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

Wednesday 1 April 2015 11.00 BST

In a secluded monastery in south-eastern Brazil, a breakaway group of ultra-conservative Catholics gathered to participate in an act of rebellion against the pope.

The setting could hardly have been more tranquil: rolling green hills, purple-glory trees, palm leaves swaying in the wind and a temporary chapel made of breeze block walls and a tin roof left partially open to the elements.

But the 50 or so priests, Benedictine monks, nuns and other worshippers who file into Santa Cruz monastery on Saturday were no ordinary congregation. Hailing from Europe, the US and Latin America, they described themselves as a “resistance” movement against Vatican reforms.

In favour of Latin services – and fiercely opposed to ecumenism, freedom of religion and closer relations with Judaism – they had come to defy the authority of Rome with the ordination of a new priest by an excommunicated bishop, Jean-Michel Faure.

It was the second such ceremony in the past month: Faure was consecrated here without papal approval only two weeks ago by the Holocaust-denying British bishop Richard Williamson. In response, both clerics were automatically ejected from the church, but this has not stopped the group’s drive to build an unsanctioned clergy.

The ceremony harked back to an earlier, more conservative age. Women sat on one side of the aisle, their heads – even the youngest girls – covered in scarves. Over three hours, the liturgy was almost entirely in Latin, as were the hymns sung by a choir of monks accompanied by a nun on an electric organ.

Before his ordination, brother André Zelaya de León prostrated himself before the altar and then rose to his knees for a blessing on his tonsured head by Faure. At times, the prayers were so quiet that they almost drowned out by the cicadas and birds in the trees.

Apart from the digital cameras, cellphones – and the electric organ – the ceremony would have been recognisable to centuries of Catholic believers before what today’s ultra-conservatives consider to be the wrong turn taken by the Catholic church with the democratising reforms of the 1962 Second Vatican Council.

After the mass, Faure told the Guardian the Vatican was smashing tradition, and going against the teachings of Pius X, a staunch conservative who was pope between 1903 and 1914.

“We do not follow that revolution. The current pope is preaching doctrine denied by Pius X. He is less Catholic than us,” he said. “He does not follow the doctrine of the faith that are the words of Jesus Christ.”

The Vatican’s response to the ordination was unequivocal.

“Excommunication is automatic,” a spokesman said. He added: “For the Holy See, the diocese of Santa Cruz in Nova Friburgo does not exist. Faure can say what he wants, but a Catholic, and even more so a bishop, obeys and respects the pope.”

Faure, a French cleric who has worked in Mexico and Argentina, said he did not accept this ruling.

“Canon Law states that excommunication is valid if it follows a mor[t]al sin. But ours is not a mortal sin. We’re just following our religion. To do this, we need priests, and to have priests we need bishops.”

He compared his situation to that of other Catholics in history, such as Joan of Arc, who were initially excommunicated but later recognised for their contribution to the Church. “Although we are a minority now, if you look at history, we are a majority. There [are] all the saints, 250 popes and all the Catholics who think exactly as we think.”

Faure said he only reluctantly become a bishop in case Williamson died in an accident, which would leave the group without the means to ordain priests.

Though he did not say it, the French bishop may also be replacing his British counterpart as a spokesman for the movement. Williamson has repeatedly stirred up controversy with comments denying the Holocaust, … warning that Muslims are taking over Europe, and claiming that women are dominating corporations and the military because they are not fulfilling their natural role “making babies”.

Williamson was one of four bishops illegally ordained in 1988 by a French Roman Catholic archbishop called Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of St Pius X and an outspoken critic of the liberalisation of certain church practices following the Second Vatican Council, including the widespread use of vernacular language rather than Latin in mass, inter-faith dialogue and efforts to communicate with the secular world.

Lefebvre and all four bishops were immediately excommunicated for participating in the illicit ordinations, but their movement has been a thorn in the Vatican’s side ever since.

Only about one million Catholics – or .01% of the Catholic population – describe themselves as followers of St Pius X, but successive popes have attempted to heal the rift with them.

In 2009, Pope Benedict ignited controversy by lifting the excommunication of the four bishops and even promised the rebel group autonomy from bishops they considered too liberal.

This quickly backfired when it was revealed that Williamson had alleged that no Jews were killed in gas chambers, that the US orchestrated the 9/11 terrorist attacks and that freemasons were conspiring to destroy Catholicism.

The Vatican said at the time that Benedict had not been aware of Williamson’s views on the Holocaust. …

In contrast to his predecessor, Pope Francis has paid little attention to the ultra-conservatives.

Williamson has declared that he does not intend to start a new society, but the movement has now created a new bishop and a priest, and Faure claimed that there were at least two bishops in the Society of St Pius X who sympathised with the self-styled “Resistance”.

“If Bishop Lefebvre makes a deal with Rome, many people will leave the society. They won’t accept capitulation,” he said.

In conversation, the traditionalists appear to be hoping for a divine and dramatic intervention. Williamson, who describes himself as a “bloody-minded Brit”, has said he expects a “gigantic chastisement” such as Noah’s flood.

Faure talks more of a coming third world war.

“It would be horrible, but it would change the world. But the day after wouldn’t be like the day before,” Faure said, pointing to the conflicts in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq. “It would change many things in the world. It would be a new approach in many aspects and why not, in religion.”

For the moment, however, their group of roughly 55 rebel clergy has to rely on stubborn faith.

René Trincado, a priest from Chile, who was expelled from the Society of St Pius X in 2013 because he opposed an accord with the Vatican, is among those at the Santa Cruz monastery, which he described as the base of the resistance operations in Brazil.

“We’re not afraid of excommunication. It has no validity,” he said.

Additional reporting by Shanna Hanbury

Dutch pedophile priest working with Brazilian children


This video from the USA says about itself:

Abuse Documentary: The Shame of the Catholic Church | Retro Report | The New York Times

31 March 2014

Sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been making headlines for years. Some priests have been punished, but what about the bishops who shielded them?

Read the story here.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Pedophile priest still works with kids’

Today, 03:54

The Dutch pedophile priest Cornelio still works with children. In Brazil he accompanies children in making toys, according to a broadcast of the EO [Dutch Protestant broadcasting corporation] television show Dit is de Dag Onderzoek. The program, which will be broadcast tonight, did research on sexual abuse by missionaries.

Cornelio (90 years old) worked from 1962 to 1988 as the leader of the Roman Catholic youth activities in Vught [Noord-Brabant province, the Netherlands]. He organized children’s camps and taught children crafts lessons.

Congregation

Three men have said to the hotline for reporting sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church [officially recognized by the Dutch Roman Catholic Church] that they used to be repeatedly abused by the priest. They also saw during camps how he abused other boys. The hotline has upheld all complaints and Father Cornelio is also said to have admitted this.

The congregation of the priest promised several years ago to take appropriate action against the man, but Cornelio says he never got any penalty.

According to the investigative journalists of the EO, there are still more pedophile priests not dealt with by their congregations. The congregation of Father Cornelio did not want to respond to the broadcast.

Dit is de Dag Onderzoek, NPO 2 TV, 21:15.

Nazi bishop Williamson wants consecration without pope’s consent


This video says about itself:

5 February 2009

“CBS News RAW:” Bishop Richard Williamson, who Pope Benedict XVI recently pardoned from excommunication, says that he does not think that Jewish people were sent to gas chambers during the Holocaust.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Holocaust-denying bishop plans consecration without pope’s consent

Richard Williamson risks excommunication if he ordains new bishop Thursday

Williamson said in 2009 that he does not believe the Holocaust happened

A Holocaust-denying Catholic bishop who made headlines in 2009 when Pope Benedict XVI rehabilitated him and members of his breakaway traditionalist society is heading for new trouble with the Vatican.

Bishop Richard Williamson is planning to consecrate a new bishop on Thursday in Brazil without Pope Francis’s consent – a church crime punishable by excommunication.

The Rev René Miguel Trincado Cvjetkovic confirmed the planned consecration of the Rev Christian Jean-Michel Faure in an email to the Associated Press. The consecration was first reported by the traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli.

Williamson, Trincado and Faure have all been, or are in the process of being, kicked out of the Society of St Pius X, which was formed in 1969 by the late archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in opposition to the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican council. They have opposed the society’s recent efforts at reconciliation with the Holy See.

In 1988, the Vatican excommunicated Lefebvre, Williamson and three other bishops after Lefebvre consecrated them without papal consent.

Benedict, first as cardinal and then as pope, tried to bring the group back into full communion with Rome, eager to prevent further schism and the expansion of a parallel, pre-Vatican II church.

In 2009, Benedict removed the excommunications – but an uproar ensued, since Williamson said in a television interview aired just before the decree was made public that he did not believe Jews were killed in gas chambers during the second world war.

New monkey species discovery in Brazilian Amazon


This video is called Callicebus modestus — An intimate portrait of an endemic Bolivian primate.

Recently, a relative of Callicebus modestus was discovered.

From BirdLife:

New monkey species discovered in the Amazon Rainforest

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 04/03/2015 – 10:12

Flaming orange tail and ochre sideburns set new Brazilian monkey apart from its closest relatives.

Scientists have discovered a new species of titi monkey in Brazil, according to a recent paper published in scientific journal Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia.

Titis (genus: Callicebus) are new world monkeys found across South America. These tree-dwelling primates have long, soft fur and live in small family groups consisting of a monogamous pair and their offspring. Rather touchingly, they are often observed sitting or sleeping with their tails entwined.

In 2011, researcher Julio César Dalponte spotted an unusual looking titi monkey on the east bank of the Roosevelt River, whose colouration did not match any known species. Intrigued, a team of scientists supported by the Conservation Leadership Programme headed back into the field to collect the information needed to formally describe what they believed to be a new species.

Over the course of a number of expeditions, the team recorded several groups of these unusual monkeys, whose ochre sideburns, bright orange tail and light grey forehead stripe set them apart from other known species in the genus.

Based on these morphological differences, scientists were able to formally describe the monkey as a new species, which they have named Callicebus miltoni (or Milton’s titi monkey) in honour of Dr Milton Thiago de Mello, a noted Brazilian primatologist who is credited with training many of the country’s top primate experts.

“More than luck”

C. miltoni is found in a small area of lowland rainforest south of the Amazon River in Brazil, and spends most of its time in the upper reaches of the forest, where it feeds on fruits.

Like its close relatives, C. miltoni lives in small groups consisting of a mated pair and their offspring. These groups are territorial and use warning calls to keep others at bay – they are particularly vociferous early in the morning and during the rainy season.

This species is not able to swim or cross mountainous terrain, which means that it is restricted to a small area, effectively hemmed in by a number of rivers and hills. This small range could put the species at risk from human activities, particularly because only around a quarter of this area is protected.

Deforestation rates are high in this region, with forest fires also posing a significant threat. Added to this, the Brazilian Government’s ongoing development programme includes several new hydroelectricity dams and an extension of the road system planned within the Amazon.

“It goes without saying that we are really excited about this new discovery”, said researcher Felipe Ennes Silva, who collected the data for the new species description. “It is always thrilling to find something new in the Amazon, as it reminds us just how special this rainforest is and how lucky we are to have it on our doorstep.

“But it will take more than luck if we are to keep making scientific finds like this. The rainforest is under threat like never before, and it will take dedicated, hard work – not just by conservationists but by the government and every other sector of society too – to make sure that this forest ecosystem can continue to support a wide diversity of life and help regulate our planet’s climate.”

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) is a partnership between BirdLife InternationalFauna & Flora International and the Wildlife Conservation Society that promotes the professional development of conservation leaders. Through training and mentoring, funding, and the provision of networking opportunities, the CLP ensures that these emerging leaders have the skills and knowledge required to address today’s most pressing conservation issues.

Brazilian seabirds news


This video from Britain is called Saving Our Seabirds. BBC Natural World Wildlife Documentary.

From the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels site:

Bianca Vieira (Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação de Aves Silvestres, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, Brazil) and colleagues have written in Check List (an online journal of biodiversity data) on bird surveys conducted within Brazil’s Arvoredo Marine Biological Reserve.  A total of 17 procellariiform birds was  recorded at sea within the reserve, among them nine species of ACAP-listed albatrosses and petrels.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“The Arvoredo Marine Biological Reserve (RBMA) is a protected area in southern Brazil created in 1990 to safeguard the marine biodiversity of the Arvoredo Archipelago.  There are only few studies about bird assemblage in most of the Brazilian coastal islands, including this protected area.  Therefore, this paper presents the first complete list of birds for RBMA based on data from literature and surveys between 1986 and 2012 on islands and surrounding waters.  Birds were recorded during captures using mist-nets and opportunistic observations on land in January 2012, as well as in monthly strip-transects and sectors on sea between 2010 and 2012.

The present list includes 84 species (15 captured) from primary data and 22 species from other sources, totaling 106 species from 37 families.  Bird assemblage in the RBMA is composed by 44 aquatic birds and 62 landbirds, whereas 13 are endemic to the Atlantic Forest and 12 are threatened.

As expected due to the diversity of habitats, Arvoredo and Galé Islands supported the richest assemblages in the RBMA.  The number of species in the whole RBMA is smaller than bigger islands elsewhere in the Atlantic Forest domain, but similar to same-sized and same-habitat ones.

Our results highlight the importance of this reserve as a suitable and isolated habitat to forest species.  Deserta Island is an important site for nesting, resting, and foraging seabirds.”