Stop rhino horn quackery, save rhinos


This video says about itself:

30 August 2015

Anneka Svenska blows open the MYTH surrounding RHINO HORN and WHY IT does NOT CURE AILMENTS!

Also why poaching Rhino Horn is contributing to the EXTINCTION of the world’s RHINOS including the SUMATRAN RHINO from MALAYSIA in 2015.

Two-headed sea slug discovery off Malaysia


This video says about itself:

Borneo From Below: Ep 02 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Sea Slug!

11 August 2015

World’s weirdest nudibranch found off Borneo.

Have you ever seen anything quite as bizarre as this two-headed sea slug!? With over 3,000 species and coming in all shapes, sizes and colours, nudibranchs are fascinating critters. Some steal their prey’s defences to use as their own, whilst others power themselves using the sun. And now Scubazoo’s presenter Aaron “Bertie” Gekoski discovers they can even grow TWO HEADS! Come and see the weird world of nudis in Episode 2 of Borneo From Below, which includes this world-first. Found off the coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

From the Daily Mail in Britain:

Two heads are better than one! Double-headed psychedelic sea slug is discovered off the coast of Borneo

Two-headed sea slug with neon colouring was found near a sandbar off the coast of Sabah in eastern Malaysian Borneo
Abnormality may have been caused by a birth defect or even pollution
Creature also has two sets of sexual organs – one male and one female

By Sarah Griffiths

Published: 17:05 GMT, 14 August 2015 | Updated: 17:05 GMT, 14 August 2015

Divers have discovered what is believed to be the world’s first two-headed sea slug.

A diver came across the psychedelic creature near a sandbar called Kapalai off the coast of Sabah in eastern Malaysian Borneo.

The abnormality may have been caused by a birth defect or even pollution.

Divers have discovered what is believed to be the world's first two-headed sea slug (pictured). The psychedelic creature is thought to have two heads sue to a birth defect or even pollution

As well as having two heads, the slug, or nudibranch as they are also known, also possesses both female and male sex organs because all nudibranches are hermaphrodites.

The creature, measuring around an inch-long (2.5cm) is part of the species Nembrotha kubaryana, but is more commonly known as a variable neon slug due to its incredible colouring of neon green and bright orange which warns predators of their toxicity.

They feed on sea squirts – tiny creatures with bag-like bodies – removing chemicals from them which it then stores, before exuding as a slimy mucus if it is threatened by predators.

Dive master Nash Baiti made the find while he was working for film company Scubazoo, making a new series called ‘Borneo from Below’.

He showed the creature to Clay Bryce, a nudibranch expert and marine biologist at the Western Australian Museum in Perth.

‘I have never seen another two headed marine creature like this before and I have spent 10,000 hours underwater chasing nudibranchs,’ said Mr Bryce.

‘Usually this sort of deformity sets the animal up for an early death, but it does appear to be adult or at least sub-adult so perhaps this is a case of two heads being better than one,’ he quipped.

‘It is a birth defect. Just a slight mix up of genes or perhaps damage caused by pollution.

‘However, the latter one would expect more incidences to have occurred.’

The crew were searching for the island’s most interesting underwater inhabitants to feature in their film, but had not expected to find a one-off.

The film’s presenter, Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski said: ‘When Nash came back from the dive and reported his find we didn’t believe him at first!

‘Due to our film schedule we couldn’t get out there for another 72 hours, so were very sceptical that it would be found again.

‘However, Nash managed to locate it in exactly the same place as before.

‘Perhaps its two heads pulled in different directions, bringing it to an eternal standstill?

‘I spent nearly an hour with the nudibranch, waiting for it to get in the right position for a head shot.

‘It’s not just its two heads, but amazing neon colouring that make it really stand out.’

While the unusual specimen found was just one inch (2.5cm) long, the sea slug species can grow to measure five inches long (12cm).

Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia wildlife, new study


This 3 August 2015 video is about a recent study of Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia wildlife.

About this, from Naturalis Biodiversity Center, in Leiden, the Netherlands:

Evolution peaks on tropical mountain

Posted on 12-08-2015 by Rebecca Reurslag

Tropical mountains have an exceptionally high number of animal and plant species. What caused this high diversity?

Mount Kinabalu is such a mountain. The 4,095 meter high mountain is on the world Heritage list of UNESCO and is home to hundreds of unique species. These species, otherwise known as endemic species, do not occur anywhere else in the world. The question how these species evolved triggered an expedition to the mountain in 2012. Are the species on top of the mountain relicts of animals and plants that used to live in the lowlands and valleys? Or are they young, recent evolutionary offshoots from lowland species adapting to the colder climate at the top? The results of the research are published in the high impact journal Nature.

The researchers collected a great variety of organisms: from snails, fungi and carnivorous plants to jumping spiders, stalk-eyed flies and reptiles, both from the summit and the foot of the mountain. All species were taken back home to Leiden to be analyzed in the DNA lab to unravel their evolution.

The researchers showed that most of the species that occur on the mountain are younger than the mountain itself. They also demonstrated that the endemic biodiversity consists of two groups. Some of the unique species drifted in from other areas such as the Himalayas or China, which were already adapted to a cool environment. The other endemic species evolved from local species that occurred at the foot of the mountain and gradually crept up the mountain where they adapted to the cooler conditions.

This is important for the protection of the endemic species on this and other mountains.. The unique species that evolved on the summit are often related to species that were already adapted to a cooler climate. Therefore it is likely that they are not very well able to adapt to climate change.

At the conclusion of a large scale expedition on the island of Borneo, researchers of the Malaysian nature conservation organization Sabah Parks and Naturalis Biodiversity Center in The Netherlands collected some 3500 DNA samples of more than 1400 species. Among these are approximately 160 species new to science: here.

NatureWatch, new app launched


This video says about itself:

7 mei 2015

NatureWatch is a new iPhone application from BirdLife International which allows you to plan your wildlife adventures, share your experiences, and help conserve some of the best sites for wildlife in the world.

NatureWatch is available in the App Store and covers 533 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in Australia, Cyprus, Fiji, Lebanon, Malaysia and South Africa.

Download the App from here.

From BirdLife:

NatureWatch App Launched! Watch nature, share moments, conserve sites

By Nick Askew, Mon, 11/05/2015 – 12:10

NatureWatch is a new iPhone App from BirdLife International which allows you to plan your wildlife adventures, share your experiences, and help conserve some of the best sites for wildlife in the world.

“Covering 533 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas in Australia, Cyprus, Fiji, Lebanon, Malaysia and South Africa, NatureWatch gives people who care about these sites a global voice”, said Patricia Zurita – BirdLife’s Chief Executive.

By downloading NatureWatch from the App Store, you can easily find all the information you need to enjoy your next adventure through accessing the latest maps, information sheets and sightings from each site.

The new App also allows you to share your magical moments with nature as they happen with your family, friends, colleagues and other NatureWatch users.

NatureWatch users can view lists of key bird species at each site, share their latest sightings and report any threats to the sites in real time.

“With NatureWatch in your pocket, you’re helping BirdLife and our Partners to monitor each site, plan the best actions, and respond to threats”, added Zurita.

“As you leave behind the smells of the forest and the sounds of the birds, with NatureWatch you can also give something back for the conservation of the site you have visited.”

NatureWatch has been generously supported by the IBAT Alliance (BirdLife International, Conservation International, IUCN and UNEP-WCMC), the Aage V. Jensen Foundation and UK Darwin Initiative, and has been developed in Partnership with BirdLife Partners in Australia, Cyprus, Fiji, Lebanon, Malaysia and South Africa.

BirdLife logos

New fanged frog species discovery in Indonesia


This video says about itself:

17 February 2013

Male Rough Guardian Frog (Limnonectes finchi) protect their tadpoles. Look carefully and you will see the tadpoles on this males back, Danau Girang Field Centre, Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysia. Endemic to Borneo.

From PLoS One:

A Novel Reproductive Mode in Frogs: A New Species of Fanged Frog with Internal Fertilization and Birth of Tadpoles

Djoko T. Iskandar, Ben J. Evans, Jimmy A. McGuire

December 31, 2014

Abstract

We describe a new species of fanged frog (Limnonectes larvaepartus) that is unique among anurans in having both internal fertilization and birth of tadpoles. The new species is endemic to Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. This is the fourth valid species of Limnonectes described from Sulawesi despite that the radiation includes at least 15 species and possibly many more. Fewer than a dozen of the 6455 species of frogs in the world are known to have internal fertilization, and of these, all but the new species either deposit fertilized eggs or give birth to froglets.

See also here.

Harry Roberts, British colonial war soldier and cop killer


This video from Britain says about itself:

24 March 2008

Harry Roberts shot dead three policemen in London on 12 August 1966. He was eventually caught after a manhunt lasting several weeks and was convicted. 42 years later and well into his 70’s he still remains behind bars and is refused parole.

By Peter Frost in Britain:

Harry Roberts: He Kills Coppers

Saturday 25th october 2014

Harry Roberts, who killed three policemen in 1966, is to be released on parole. PETER FROST looks back at the life of this colonial soldier turned murderer

Harry Roberts, now aged 78, is Britain’s longest-serving incarcerated murderer. He is due to be released on parole this week. Roberts, a professional gangster, was sentenced to life in 1966.

He has served nearly half a century in prison.

I well remember the long hot summer of 1966. Ann and I were planning our wedding. England beat Germany in the World Cup, Harold Wilson was having beers and sandwiches while talking to the TUC about a wage freeze. Groovy Kinda Love was the most popular choice on the jukebox.

On a sunny afternoon in quiet residential Braybrook Street in Shepherd’s Bush, not far from Wormwood Scrubs prison, and not far from where I was living at the time, three gun-toting London gangsters shot down three unarmed police officers.

The incident started when plain-clothes officers approached the van in which Roberts, Jack Witney and John Duddy were sitting planning the final details of an armed robbery nearby.

Roberts opened fire shooting dead two of the officers, while one of his accomplices fatally shot the third.

The shots would reverberate around the nation. Britain had finally abolished hanging just eight months before and the shooting reopened all the old arguments.

Harry Maurice Roberts was born in 1936 in Wanstead, Essex, where his parents ran The George public house.

His was a criminal family. Mother sold stolen and black market goods and fake ration books. Later the bent family business would move to a café in north London.

In his late teens, Roberts was jailed after using an iron bar to attack a shopkeeper during a robbery. He served a 19-month borstal sentence and was released in January 1956.

Just a week after leaving borstal, Roberts was called up for national service. He loved it. They gave him a gun and taught him how to kill Britain’s enemies in both Kenya and Malaya.

Later in life and in many prison interviews Roberts would boast of how many Mau Mau Kenyan freedom fighters and Malayan communists he had shot and killed. This was at a time of the worst excesses of British imperialism.

The freedom fighters of the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army were branded as Mau Mau terrorists and jailed, hanged and shot in their thousands.

In Malaya it was communists that Roberts and his fellow soldiers were encouraged to murder. This was the time when the Daily Worker published pictures of British soldiers holding up the severed heads of murdered Malayan communists.

Journalist and former armed robber John McVicar met Roberts in prison. Roberts gloated about his killings, telling McVicar that he had acquired a taste for killing prisoners of war on the orders of his officers.

Back in civvies Roberts returned to his criminal career. Often with Witney and Duddy he carried out scores of armed robberies, targeting bookmakers, post offices and banks.

In 1959 Roberts and an accomplice posed as tax inspectors to gain entry into the home of an elderly man. Once inside the man was tied up and beaten about the head with a glass decanter.

Roberts was captured and tried for the savage crime. Mr Justice Maude said as he passed sentence: “You are a brutal thug. You came very near the rope this time.”

Roberts was given seven years. The victim, who never recovered from his injuries, died one year and three days after the attack. Had he died two days earlier, Roberts could have been tried for his murder under the year and a day rule.

The victims of the Shepherd’s Bush shooting were 41-year-old police constable Geoffrey Fox, detective sergeant Christopher Head, aged 30, and 25-year-old temporary detective constable David Wombwell.

Roberts went on the run with a £1,000 reward on his head. He hid in woods in Hertfordshire to avoid capture. He knew the woods from games as a child and, using his army survival skills, he evaded capture for 96 days. Roberts was finally captured by police while sleeping rough in a barn.

He was convicted of all three police murders and sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommended minimum term of 30 years.
While in prison he showed no remorse. On the contrary he made macabre apple pies decorated with pastry cut-outs of policemen being shot. Numerous appeals for release on parole were turned down over the years.

The trial judge at the time of sentencing told him that it was unlikely that any future Home Secretary would “ever think fit to show mercy by releasing you on licence… This is one of those cases in which the sentence of imprisonment for life may well be treated as meaning exactly what it says.”

Theresa May, always keen to upset the police it seems, has decided otherwise.

Peter Frost blogs at www.frostysramblings.wordpress.com/

Gangs of more extreme football hooligans, some of whom would go on to form the fascist English Defence League, used Roberts’s name to antagonise the police. They chanted “Harry Roberts is our friend, is our friend, is our friend. Harry Roberts is our friend, he kills coppers.”

Borneo orangutans saved by wildlife corridors?


This video is called 16×9 – Jungle Survivors: Saving Orangutans in Borneo.

From Wildlife Extra:

Wildlife corridors could offer new hope for orangutans

Researchers from Cardiff University, University of Adelaide, NGO HUTAN, and Sabah Wildlife Department have been looking at ways to improve wildlife corridors in Borneo as a new method of protecting the endangered orangutan.

According to the researchers, more than 80 per cent of the primate’s habitat has been destroyed in the past 20 years due to demand for agricultural land, leaving the remaining forest fragmented, isolating orangutans from one another and resulting in a major threat to their survival.

The study highlights that establishing wildlife corridors that connect fragmented protected areas will allow animals to move freely from one territory to another. This will be beneficial to gene diversity, as it will minimise the negative impact of inbreeding caused by animals being forced to live in small, isolated territories.

Dr Benoît Goossens from Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences stresses that the study should not be limited to orangutans, but can apply to other wildlife species affected by climate change and decreasing, fragmented territories. “In this study we used the orang-utan as a model, but the knowledge gleaned will be useful for other mammal species,” he explains. “The next phase of our research will focus on corridor establishment and enhancement by recovering riparian reserves from oil palm plantations, to inform land managers about best corridor scenarios.”

The research team included Dr Benoît Goossens from Cardiff University, Stephen Gregory, Damien Fordham and Barry Brook from Australia, and Marc Ancrenaz, Raymond Alfred, and Laurentius Ambu from Sabah Wildlife Department.

You can read the full paper, [in] Diversity and Distributions, here.

New conservation research conducted by Dr Matthew Struebig from the University of Kent’s Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology has discovered that up to 74 per cent of current orang-utan habitat in Borneo could become unsuitable for this endangered species due to climate or land-cover changes. However, the research has also identified up to 42,000 sq km of land that could provide a safe haven for the animals: here.

Do orangutans talk like humans? Lip smacking could hold key to evolution of language – Mirror Online: here.

Tanzania launches $14.5m plan to open up “wildlife corridors” across the country to curb urban encroachment: here.