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Alice Springs, Australia

Braby M.F.,Biodiversity Conservation | Braby M.F.,Australian National University | Braby M.F.,Khan Research Laboratories
Journal of Insect Conservation | Year: 2010

The Gove Crow butterfly, Euploea alcathoe enastri Fenner, 1991, is restricted to Gove Peninsula of north-eastern Arnhem Land, a remote area of northern Australia. The subspecies has been listed as an Endangered taxon under federal and Northern Territory legislation, and represents one of only a few cases in the Australian Region in which a tropical butterfly has been targeted for species-orientated conservation. However, accurate status evaluation and conservation management have been hampered by lack of detailed information on spatial distribution, critical habitat, and the extent and severity of threatening processes. Surveys carried out during 2006-2008 indicate that the subspecies has a limited geographical range (extent of occurrence approximately 6,700 km2) within which it is recorded from 11 locations or subpopulations embracing a total of 21 sites. Most sites comprise discrete habitat patches that are relatively small in area (<10 ha) within which adults are localised and occur in low abundance (<15 h-1). Of the four major habitat types in which E. alcathoe enastri was detected, only mixed paperbark tall open forest with rainforest elements in the understorey and rainforest edge (i.e. the ecotone between evergreen monsoon vine-forest and eucalypt/paperbark woodland) comprise breeding habitats. These habitat patches were always associated with permanent creeks or perennial groundwater seepages or springs that form swamplands, usually along drainage lines or flood plains in coastal or near coastal lowland areas. Major threats identified at the site level are habitat modification through altered fire regime and habitat disturbance by feral animals (buffalo, pig); potential threats at the landscape level include habitat loss through invasive species (grassy weeds, tramp ants) and global climate change. However, since critical breeding areas are subject to natural disturbance by both fire and flood, and occasionally cyclonic events, an optimal balance in disturbance regime is probably required to sustain breeding populations. Although E. alcathoe enastri is a narrow-range endemic that is ecologically specialised, there is no evidence of decline. Accordingly, the conservation status of the subspecies should be regarded as Near Threatened ('Conservation Dependent') under IUCN criteria. Components for an effective long-term conservation management plan of the butterfly and its habitat, which largely depend on the cooperation of traditional landowners and involvement of local indigenous ranger groups, are briefly discussed. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source


Geiser F.,University of New England of Australia | Stawski C.,University of New England of Australia | Bondarenco A.,University of New England of Australia | Pavey C.R.,Biodiversity Conservation
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2011

Bats are most diverse in the tropics, but there are no quantitative data on torpor use for energy conservation by any tropical bat in the wild. We examined the thermal biology, activity patterns and torpor use of two tree-roosting long-eared bats (Nyctophilus geoffroyi, 7.8 g) in tropical northern Australia in winter using temperature telemetry. Bats commenced activity about 20 min after sunset, ended activity about 2.5 h before sunrise and entered torpor everyday in the early morning even when minimum ambient temperatures (T a) were as high as 23°C. On average, bats remained torpid for almost 5 h, mean minimum skin temperature (T skin) measured was 22. 8∈±∈0.1°C and daily T skin minima were correlated with T a. Our study shows that even in the tropics, torpor is frequently employed by bats, suggesting that worldwide most bat species are heterothermic and use torpor for energy conservation. We propose that the ability of employing torpor and the resulting highly plastic energy requirements may partially explain why these small insectivorous bats can inhabit almost the entire Australian continent despite vastly different climatic and likely trophic conditions. Reduced energy requirements also may permit survival in degraded or modified habitats, reduce the need for foraging and reduce exposure to predators. Thus, the ability to employ torpor may be one important reason for why most Australian bats and other heterothermic mammals have not gone extinct whereas many obligatory homeothermic mammals that cannot employ torpor and have high energy and foraging requirements have suffered high rates of extinctions. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source


News Article
Site: http://www.reuters.com

The Volkswagen emission cheating scandal that affects up to 11 million diesel cars globally has spurred investigations, lawsuits and a major leadership shake-up at the company since it was first discovered in September. The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation said in a three-sentence statement on its website that it has filed a public interest suit in a court in the eastern port city of Tianjin. State-owned China Daily reported the lawsuit on Tuesday, quoting the group as saying it filed the case because Volkswagen "produced the problematic vehicles for the pursuit of higher profits and circumvented Chinese laws, which has worsened the air pollution and affected public health and rights". Volkswagen has said it made 3.2 million vehicle deliveries in China in the first 11 months of 2015. While the rigged testing software affects only 1,950 vehicles in the country, China's quality watchdog said in October it was "highly concerned" about the misleading software and would take appropriate follow-up measures. The German car maker's subsidiary responsible for importing the 1,950 affected vehicles has "learned and paid utmost attention to the legal action", although it has yet to receive the indictment from the court, a Volkswagen spokeswoman said in a written statement. Volkswagen plans to update the engine software on the affected vehicles and present a technical solution to authorities when it becomes available, the statement said. Executives at the German automaker apologized to Chinese consumers about the scandal at events connected to last month's Guangzhou auto show.


News Article
Site: http://www.reuters.com

A man walks past a Volkswagen Touran along a busy street in downtown Shanghai in this March 20, 2013 file photo. BEIJING A Chinese environmental group said it has sued Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) over its use of software to rig emissions tests, in what state-owned media calls the first public interest lawsuit over the scandal in the German company's biggest global market. The Volkswagen emission cheating scandal that affects up to 11 million diesel cars globally has spurred investigations, lawsuits and a major leadership shakeup at the company since it was first discovered in September. The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation said in a three-sentence statement on its website that it has filed a public interest suit in a court in the eastern port city of Tianjin. State-owned China Daily reported the lawsuit on Tuesday, quoting the group as saying it filed the case because VW "produced the problematic vehicles for the pursuit of higher profits and circumvented Chinese laws, which has worsened the air pollution and affected public health and rights". Volkswagen has said it made 3.2 million vehicle deliveries in China in the first 11 months of 2015. While the rigged tests only affect 1,950 vehicles in the country, China's quality watchdog said in October it was "highly concerned" about the misleading software and would take appropriate follow-up measures. A Volkswagen spokeswoman declined to immediately comment on the suit. Executives at the German automaker apologized to Chinese consumers about the scandal at events connected to last month's Guangzhou auto show.


"The Ministry of Environment and Forestry is focused on protecting the Tapir, along with 25 other endangered species in Indonesia, due to their endangered status. Our efforts are largely around conserving their habitat so that their numbers can recover," Ir . Bambang Dahono Adji , MM , Director of Biodiversity Conservation, Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MoEF), the Republic of Indonesia (RI). Dr. Ir. Tachrir Fathoni, MSc, Directorate General of Conservation of Natural Resources and Ecosystem, MoEF-RI asserted, "We need to build a special forum to develop a protection strategy for tapir, including creating a Sanctuary to protect this important species." In total, the study recorded and identified an impressive 29 species in the national park. Cameras were placed for over 30 days in the dry season and significantly documented five endangered species–the Sumatran tiger, the Sunda pangolin, the Asiatic wild dog, the Sumatran clouded leopard, and the Malayan tapir. This also included four of the five Sumatran wild cat species, the endemic Bronze-tail peacock pheasant and Salvadori's pheasant. These results further support the listing of over 60% of the park as an internationally recognized Key Biodiversity Area showcasing its global value and need for careful and effective management. Ketut Sarjana Putra, Vice President of CI Indonesia (CI) said, "This study has proven that the Batang Gadis National Park is an important haven for some of Indonesia's most unique animals and we hope it will further motivate all stakeholders to take great care of this highly important area." Mr Putra also noted the essential role of the national park to the livelihoods of the local communities, "Among other important services nature provides, this park ensures fresh water flows for agriculture which is the main income source for 80% of the local people making its protection key to local wellbeing." These findings follow the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Conservation International on October 8, 2014 and the BNGP authorities to work together to better protect the area. This landmark agreement aims to strengthen training and facilitate capacity building activities that improve the skill set of those managing the protected area. Bambang Harianto, the Head of BGNP stated, "Irresponsible behavior such as logging, hunting of animals, and forest fires have caused the decline of endangered fauna in North Sumatra. Our collaboration with CI is the capacity building part - for example the SMART (spatial monitoring and reporting tool) patrol program where our rangers and field management trained to conduct join patrols in supervising the national park, as well as collect data." Mr Putra said, "In addition to providing accurate data on biodiversity trends through such studies, we want to support the local governments in Mandailing Natal to encourage communities to maintain and protect the existence of endangered species in the region. For example, perhaps the endangered tapir could become an icon of the district to highlight it's significant biodiversity value. Further, through our Sustainable Landscapes Program, we have educated local farmers on how to farm efficiently and sustainably, so their productivity improves and the remaining forests can endure. We encourage them to understand the broader environment, and the importance of the national park to their own quality of life." Since the signing of the MOU, CI has worked closely with the BGNP through the Sustainable Landscapes Partnership program. This effort has built the capacity of forest rangers, and supported management of the national park. The facilitations include data collection and its transfer to a database through technical tools for monitoring and reporting, the use of mobile technology, and engagement with stakeholders so they are aware and onboard with this work. Malayan tapir, the only tapir native to Asia, has distinctive black and white coloring. Like the other types of tapir, they have small, stubby tails and long, flexible elongated snouts. In Indonesia tapir can only be found on Sumatra Island. Habitat loss due to deforestation and poaching are their greatest threat despite the animals is legally protected by the State through Government Regulation No. 7 of 1999. Because of the serious threat of extinction, the tapir has been included in Appendix 1 of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Since 2002 IUCN Red List has included Malayan tapir (Tapiricus indicus) in the category of 'endangered' because the amount has decreased by almost 50% in across its range and is predicted to halve again within the next 30 years if the current threats continue. Globally, there are four species of tapir, all vulnerable or endangered) inhabiting South America, Central America, and Southeastern Asia. The SLP is an integrated landscape initiative that works with local governments, communities, businesses and NGOs to design and develop innovative, landscape-scale solutions to challenges caused by human pressures on natural resources. Conservation International established SLP in Indonesia to promote and support this model through four primary areas of intervention: conservation of natural capital; developing sustainable production; improving governance and participation; and sustainable financing that aim to provide a range of benefits to people.

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