Releasing Asian elephants into the wild


This 2 February 2019 video says about itself:

Elephants Released into the Wild | BBC Earth

In Thailand, realising elephants into the wild is one of the highest forms of making merit.

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Asian songbirds’ nests and roads, new study


This video shows a white-rumped shama singing.

From the American Ornithological Society Publications Office in the USA:

Road proximity may boost songbird nest success in tropics

January 29, 2019

In the world’s temperate regions, proximity to roads usually reduces the reproductive success of birds, thanks to predators that gravitate toward habitat edges. However, the factors affecting bird nest success are much less studied in the tropics — so does this pattern hold true? New research published in The Condor: Ornithological Applications shows that interactions between roads, nesting birds, and their predators may unfold differently in Southeast Asia.

Rongrong Angkaew of King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi and her colleagues placed 100 next boxes for the cavity-nesting White-rumped Shama in forest interior and 100 near a road at an environmental research station in northeast Thailand. Monitoring nests and radio-tracking 25 fledglings from each site for seven weeks, they found that nest success was 12% higher and post-fledging survival 24% higher at the edge versus the interior — the opposite of the pattern commonly observed in temperate regions.

“There were some special challenges involved in carrying out the field work,” says Angkaew. “When we started setting up the nest boxes in the field, we found a lot of tracks and other signs of poachers and illegal hunting, so we had to avoid some parts of the forest edge in order to reduce human disturbance to our nest boxes, which could have affected nestling and fledgling survival rates.”

Predators caused 94% of nest failures and 100% of fledgling mortality, and locally important predators of small birds, such as green cat snakes, northern pig-tailed macaques and raptors appear to prefer interior forest habitat. Fledglings also preferred to spend time in dense understory habitat, which provides cover from predators and was more available near roads.

Overall, the study’s results suggest that the effects of roads on birds’ reproductive success depend on local predator ecology — the same rules don’t necessarily apply in different biomes. Angkaew and her coauthors hope that more studies like theirs will help identify key nest predators and assess their foraging behaviors in multiple landscapes, in order to determine the best ways to conserve vulnerable bird species in areas affected by human development.

Thai hermit crab’s new home, a food tin


This video says about itself:

Crafty Hermit Crab Finds a New Home in a Food Tin | BBC Earth

1 June 2018

With shells disappearing because of tourists, hermit crabs in Thailand have turned to rubbish to solve their housing crisis.

Thai people demonstrate against military dictatorship


Thai demonstrators against military dictatorship, Reuters photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

In Bangkok hundreds of people have taken to the streets to protest against the military regime in Thailand. They took action at the regional headquarters of the United Nations. The estimated 900 demonstrators want the regime to stop what they believe is intimidation of activists.

The demonstration is one of the biggest against the government in months. It is organized by the People’s Movement for a Just Society, a network that stands up for people who have lost their land because the government has expropriated it.

Fear

Protests against the junta are relatively special in Thailand because Thai people did not dare to demonstrate in recent years.

“Two years ago no one would have taken to the streets to demonstrate against it, but now the irritation about the junta has won the fear”, says correspondent Michel Maas. “These are not the first and certainly not the last demonstrations that will be held there.”

Coup

The army seized power in Thailand in 2014 and thus put an end to a protracted period of protests. The junta promised that free elections would be held, but they have been postponed several times, to the displeasure of the population. The elections are now scheduled for next year.

Maas thinks that the Thai protest movement will become bigger in the coming period.

The Thai election held on March 24 was a sham, engineered by the country’s military junta to try to give some legitimacy to its autocratic rule. After seizing power in 2014, the regime promised to hold an election the following year, but even after ramming through a new anti-democratic constitution in 2016, has repeatedly delayed any poll, fearing a voter backlash: here.

Thai dictatorship jails blind woman for Facebook share


This video says about itself:

4 January 2018

Blind Thai woman is jailed for 18 months for sharing a ‘royal insult‘ on Facebook. A blind woman was jailed for 18 months by a Thai court on Thursday for sharing a Facebook post deemed defamatory to the royal family, her lawyer said, the latest victim of a tough law that shields the monarchy from criticism.

Nuhurhayati Masoe, 23, who hails from Thailand‘s Muslim-majority Yala province, was punished for publishing an excerpt from an article on the social media platform in October 2016. She heard the article through an audio application for blind people.

Translated from Dutch RTL news today:

Blind Thai woman jailed in prison cell for sharing a Facebook post

A court in Bangkok sentenced a young blind woman to a one-and-a-half-year prison sentence because she had shared a critical post about the monarchy on Facebook.

The lèse majesté laws are particularly harsh in Thailand. Violators can be sentenced to years of imprisonment.

The military in power

The 23-year-old woman had shared an article by royal family critic Giles Ungpakorn.

The woman has confessed that, but she did not expect that only sharing would cause such a severe punishment.

Since the military have been in power through a coup in 2014, more than a hundred people have received long penalties for lèse majesté.