Paraguayan termites’ coup d’etat against coup d’etat president

This video says about itself:

Termites Attack Presidential Palace In Paraguay

12 May 2014

Architects say a termite infestation is threatening Paraguay’s presidential palace.

“They’re damaging the wood structure, the floors and the wooden covers, which support some parts of the palace,” architect Gustavo Glavinich said.

He said much of the iconic building’s west wing had been damaged.

Mr Glavinich also warned that other parts of the 19th-century building had not only been invaded by termites but also by bats.

“In 2012, we invested $5m (£3m) to save those parts of the palace which house the presidential office, the military cabinet, and the ceremonial room,” Mr Glavinich of the Public Works Ministry said.

But he warned that a lack of follow-up investment meant that other parts of the Palacio de Lopez been left to deteriorate.

The architect suggested taking immediate measure to tackle the termite infestation and to temporarily move the offices from the west wing to an annex.

The palace in the capital, Asuncion, is the seat of the Paraguayan government and home to the office of President Horacio Cartes.

Building work began in the 1850s under the direction of English architect Alonso Taylor, but the palace was not finished until 1892.

If the termites will manage to oust Horacio Cartes from the presidential palace, it would be the world’s first coup d’état by insects.

Horacio Cartes himself is in that palace due to a coup d’état by (oligarchic Right wing) humans. Elected President Lugo, accused of being too much on the side of poor people, was driven out by a coup d’etat, sharply condemned by elected governments in Latin America. Horacio Cartes is a member of the Colorado party, which used to be the party of infamous dictator Stroessner. Horacio Cartes has been accused of crimes several times, and spent time in jail.

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World Migratory Bird Day this weekend

This video is called World Migratory Bird Day 2013 – “Networking for migratory birds”.

From BirdLife:

World Migratory Bird Day 2013 highlights importance of site networks for migratory birds

Sat, May 11, 2013

This weekend 11-12 May World Migratory Bird Day 2013 is being celebrated in over 65 countries, including events held by BirdLife Partners around the world from Paraguay to Lebanon to China.

“I fully support the global campaign to raise awareness about the threats to migratory birds from habitat destruction, overexploitation, pollution and climate change,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “I call for greater international efforts to restore and preserve migratory birds and the network of sites they need to survive as an important part of the environment on which we all depend.”

“Very often migrant birds are under huge pressure at the exact points where they are most vulnerable,” said  Dr Marco Lambertini, Chief Executive, BirdLife International.

“Birds battling to reach the sea-shore descend into a limitless line of nets. Tiny falcons funnel through forests to be trapped in their thousands. Exhausted shorebirds find that the mudflats where they once refueled are now a sea of concrete, or circle wearily because their roosting sites have vanished.”

The Yellow Sea of north-east Asia is a very important araa for migratory shorebirds and is of particular concern to BirdLife International. The rates of decline in the region are among the highest of any ecological system in the world. At least 24 waterbird species using the East Asian-Australasian Flyway are heading towards extinction. The decline is mainly caused by the fast pace of coastal land reclamation occurring in this densely populated region, particularly around key coastal staging areas in the Yellow Sea. As much as  50% has been lost in the past 25 years due to human activities.

Another migratory bird hotspot is the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion and also faces increasing pressure.

“Sadly, the bay currently faces major environmental changes, which might severely alter habitat suitability for migratory birds which will affect their survival along the migration route network,” said Dr Alberto Yanosky , Guyra Paraguay CEO (BirdLife in Paraguay).

Guyra Paraguay is working in both conservation projects and educational campaigns in order to raise awareness on the importance of of the conservation of sites appropriate for birds, including  celebrating  World Migratory Bird Day. My hope is that we can create a true network across the Americas for migratory birds.

Similar to a human transport system of harbors, airports and roads, these migratory birds depend on international networks of natural sites for food, safety, breeding and moulting—as well as for stopover areas which act as refueling stations between breeding and non-breeding areas.

One of the main goals of BirdLife’s Important Bird Areas Programme is to identify a network of sites for migratory species.

See the WMBD Press Release.

New frog species discovery in Brazil

This video says about itself:

Dec 11, 2012

Trip into bamboo forest of Eastern Paraguay yields new tree frog.

From Zootaxa journal:

A new species of the Scinax catharinae group (Anura, Hylidae) from Serra da Canastra, southwestern state of Minas Gerais, Brazil


1 Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, São Cristóvão, CEP
20940–040, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
2 Richard Gilder Graduate School, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY, USA, 10024.
3 Laboratório de Herpetologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
4 Corresponding author.


We describe Scinax pombali sp. n. a new species of treefrog of the Scinax catharinae group from Serra da Canastra, municipality
of Capitólio (20o36’03’’S, 46o17’34.9’’W, 987 m a.s.l.), located in the Cerrado domains of the State of Minas
Gerais, Southeastern Brazil. The new species is characterized by its small size, blotches and color pattern on dorsal surface
and hidden regions of flanks and thighs, canthus rostralis lightly concave and well marked, absent nuptial pad, and lack
of externally differentiated inguinal gland. Additionally, we describe the tadpole of this new species, which is characterized
by the large-sized oral disc and presence of a large number of marginal papillae (two to three rows on its dorsal portion
and some rows in unorganized arrangement on its lateroventral portion).

Key words: Hylidae, Dendropsophini, Scinax pombali sp. nov., Serra da Canastra, Brazil

Save Latin American forests

This video is about vinaceous-breasted Amazon parrots.

From BirdLife:

Agreements that seek to protect 474 hectares of threatened forests in Argentina, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic are signed

Thu, Sep 13, 2012

During the 2012 BirdLife Americas Partnership Meeting three agreements were signed for land acquisition in key IBAs in Argentina, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic. These purchases, made possible through the support of the Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation, are part of BirdLife’s Forests of Hope program, and have the goal of securing at least 474 hectares of forest and contributing to the conservation of 72 species of global concern.

In Argentina, the BirdLife Partner Aves Argentinas will acquire 100 hectares in the buffer zone of Cruce Caballero Provincial Park (IBA AR122), the last remnant of primary forest in Argentina with the Critically Endangered Parana Pine (Araucaria angustifolia). A total of 314 bird species has been recorded at the site, of which 74 are endemic to the Atlantic Forest and 20 are of global conservation concern. This area is of particular importance to the Vinaceous-breasted Amazon (Amazona vinacea), an Endangered species, and the Vulnerable Helmeted Woodpecker (Dryocopus galeatus). The populations of threatened birds in the Park are dwindling due to isolation and edge effects, as a result of neighboring areas being cleared for agricultural purposes. Once purchased, the new reserve areas will be co-managed by a local conservation group and the Argentinian National Parks Authority.

Guyra Paraguay signs land purchase agreements.

In Paraguay, San Rafael Forest (IBA PY046) is the largest remnant of Atlantic Forest remaining in the country. Despite having been declared a protected area in 1992, all the land is privately owned and its effective protection is widely recognized as the top national conservation priority. San Rafael is home to 12 globally threatened bird species and 67 Atlantic Forest endemics (the highest diversity of any site in Paraguay).

Building a Foundation for Vinaceous Amazon Parrot Conservation in Paraguay: here.

Small mammals rapidly become extinct in small forest fragments: here.