Via @theWCS: 17 Rare Siamese Crocodiles Released in Lao PDR by WCS and Partners / Fewer than 1,000 critically endangered Siamese crocodiles remain in the wild.
 
NEW YORK (August 28, 2014) – The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today the successful release of 17 juvenile critically endangered Siamese crocodiles into a protected wetland in Lao PDR.
 
The one-to-two-year-old crocodiles, which range between 50-100 cm (20-39 inches) in length, were raised in facilities managed by local communities working with WCS to protect the endangered reptiles and their habitat.

The juvenile crocodiles were released this week into the Xe Champhone wetland, Than Soum village, Savannakhet Province.  This is one of two RAMSAR wetland sites in the country. Lao PDR became a signatory to the RAMSAR convention in 2010.

A ceremony observing cultural traditions was held prior to the release and involved participants from local communities, government and WCS staff.  Local communities have traditional beliefs about Siamese crocodiles, and events on the day included welcoming the crocodiles to the village area and wishing both them and community residents good luck in the future.

Following the completion of the release ceremony, the crocodiles were transported by boat into the heart of the wetland complex that is managed by local communities to provide habitat and protect the species.

It is estimated that there may be fewer than 1000 Siamese crocodiles remaining in the wild, with a significant proportion of this population located in Lao PDR.

The release of these crocodiles is the culmination of several years of conservation action implemented by WCS, local communities, and the Government of Lao PDR, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Forest Resources and Environment.

Alex McWilliam of the WCS’s Lao PDR Program said: “We are extremely pleased with the success of this collaborative program and believe it is an important step in contributing to the conservation of the species by involving local communities in long term wetland and species management.”

Classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, the Siamese crocodile grows up to 10 feet in length. The species has been eliminated from much of its former range through Southeast Asia and parts of Indonesia by overhunting and habitat degradation and loss.

WCS’s Lao PDR Program designed and implemented the Community-based Crocodile Recovery and Livelihood Improvement Project, whose goal is the recovery of the local Siamese crocodile population and restoration of associated wetlands, linked by socio-economic incentives that improve local livelihoods. 

The program has three key objectives: contributing to local livelihoods by improving coordination of water resource use and zoning of lands used in local agriculture; conserving and restoring crocodile wetland habitat important for local livelihoods, crocodiles, and other species; and replenishing the crocodile population in the wetland complex and surveying and monitoring the current population.

The program has worked with nine villages – each village has a “Village Crocodile Conservation Group” (VCCG) to coordinate implementation of program activities in the Xe Champone wetland complex and surrounding areas.

The program has received extensive financial support from MMG Lane Xang Minerals Limited Sepon. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and IUCN support ongoing components of the program. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Francaise de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.  A fundamental goal is to ensure society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. 
 

Via @theWCS: 17 Rare Siamese Crocodiles Released in Lao PDR by WCS and Partners / Fewer than 1,000 critically endangered Siamese crocodiles remain in the wild.

 

NEW YORK (August 28, 2014) – The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today the successful release of 17 juvenile critically endangered Siamese crocodiles into a protected wetland in Lao PDR.

 

The one-to-two-year-old crocodiles, which range between 50-100 cm (20-39 inches) in length, were raised in facilities managed by local communities working with WCS to protect the endangered reptiles and their habitat.

The juvenile crocodiles were released this week into the Xe Champhone wetland, Than Soum village, Savannakhet Province.  This is one of two RAMSAR wetland sites in the country. Lao PDR became a signatory to the RAMSAR convention in 2010.

A ceremony observing cultural traditions was held prior to the release and involved participants from local communities, government and WCS staff.  Local communities have traditional beliefs about Siamese crocodiles, and events on the day included welcoming the crocodiles to the village area and wishing both them and community residents good luck in the future.

Following the completion of the release ceremony, the crocodiles were transported by boat into the heart of the wetland complex that is managed by local communities to provide habitat and protect the species.

It is estimated that there may be fewer than 1000 Siamese crocodiles remaining in the wild, with a significant proportion of this population located in Lao PDR.

The release of these crocodiles is the culmination of several years of conservation action implemented by WCS, local communities, and the Government of Lao PDR, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Forest Resources and Environment.

Alex McWilliam of the WCS’s Lao PDR Program said: “We are extremely pleased with the success of this collaborative program and believe it is an important step in contributing to the conservation of the species by involving local communities in long term wetland and species management.”

Classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, the Siamese crocodile grows up to 10 feet in length. The species has been eliminated from much of its former range through Southeast Asia and parts of Indonesia by overhunting and habitat degradation and loss.

WCS’s Lao PDR Program designed and implemented the Community-based Crocodile Recovery and Livelihood Improvement Project, whose goal is the recovery of the local Siamese crocodile population and restoration of associated wetlands, linked by socio-economic incentives that improve local livelihoods. 

The program has three key objectives: contributing to local livelihoods by improving coordination of water resource use and zoning of lands used in local agriculture; conserving and restoring crocodile wetland habitat important for local livelihoods, crocodiles, and other species; and replenishing the crocodile population in the wetland complex and surveying and monitoring the current population.

The program has worked with nine villages – each village has a “Village Crocodile Conservation Group” (VCCG) to coordinate implementation of program activities in the Xe Champone wetland complex and surrounding areas.

The program has received extensive financial support from MMG Lane Xang Minerals Limited Sepon. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and IUCN support ongoing components of the program. The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Francaise de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the World Bank.  A fundamental goal is to ensure society is engaged in biodiversity conservation. 

 

China’s great emptiness & great fullness on display from air and ground.

Tags: china cities asia

What links tigers, feces, DNA and Nepal wildlife conservation? @KashishDS reports.
The seismic signature of North Korea’s big new nuke, via @earthinstitute.
Caption: Seismogram of waves picked up from a North Korean nuclear by a Chinese measuring station. The configuration and magnitude of the waves suggest a blast equal to some 7,000 tons of TNT. (Courtesy Won-Young Kim, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). 

The seismic signature of North Korea’s big new nuke, via @earthinstitute.

Caption: Seismogram of waves picked up from a North Korean nuclear by a Chinese measuring station. The configuration and magnitude of the waves suggest a blast equal to some 7,000 tons of TNT. (Courtesy Won-Young Kim, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory). 

Via @amarguriro, great to learn of launch of National Council of Environmental Journalists in Pakistan - first forum of environmental journalists at national level there. His note: 


"The forum comprises on 30 journalists from 21 cities of Pakistan. NCEJ members are attached with mainstream newspaper (Including Dawn, Express Tribune, Awami Awaz, Daily Duyna, The Nation, Sindhi Koshish, Daily Ibrat and others), FM Radios, television channels of English, Urdu, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtoo, Punjabi, Saraiki, Balti and Dari languages. 

The forum was established in June 2012 during an Environmental Journalism Training Workshop. our website www.ncejpak.org On November 13, 2012, we have formally launched the forum in PC Hotel Karachi.  


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World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

Giant one-ton saltwater crocodile caught by fearful villagers in Philippines.

Tags: wildlife asia

Master Dam/Canal/Road Builder of Southeast Asia

Retracing steps of an engineer who 100 years ago helped build the infrastructure of Southeast Asia. Sorry I missed this when first published. Thomas Fuller, following footsteps of his great grandfather. Fuller is one of my favorite NYT/IHT reporters.

"Don’t Know Squared: “It’s What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know” that can bring down any system designed by humanity."

Michael Schlesinger, an engineer and climate scientist at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, provided this comment on my Dot Earth post rounding up reader views on next steps for nuclear power in the wake of Japan’s extraordinary nuclear emergency following the great quake and tsunami. His full comment is below. My Dot Earth post on “Complexity and its Discontents" following the Gulf oil gusher explores these issues, as well.

"The out-of-control status of the 6 Fukushima nuclear reactors and their stored spent fuel rods is a textbook example of "Don’t Know Squared – It’s What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know" that can bring down any system designed by humanity. In the present case, the reactor behaved as designed to scram (= emergency shutdown) during an earthquake. But the cooling system for both the reactor cores and the onsite-stored spent fuel rods was not designed to withstand a "once-in-a-millennium" tsunami.

While we can and will learn from this disaster, there will still – and always – be “Don’t-Know-Squared Events” that can and will occur that will render any human-constructed system less than foolproof. This is the primary lesson that must be learned from Fukushima: We humans cannot foresee, and thus cannot protect against, all the awful events that can and will impact our best world-class-designed systems. Accordingly, we should not construct any additional nuclear reactors until and unless we devise a way to render the spent fuel therefrom harmless = not be more radioactive than the world Mother Nature has created in which we live. This is such a tall order that it may not be possible for humanity to accomplish it.”

The Tsunami Alert

The alerts generated by the international tsunami warning system that was expanded after the great Indian Ocean quake and waves are both understated and chilling:

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 004
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 0830Z 11 MAR 2011

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC
OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…
WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

… A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

 JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /
 TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /
 POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /
 NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /
 HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /
 WALLIS-FUTUNA / SAMOA / AMERICAN SAMOA / COOK ISLANDS / NIUE /
 AUSTRALIA / FIJI / NEW CALEDONIA / TONGA / MEXICO /
 KERMADEC IS / FR. POLYNESIA / NEW ZEALAND / PITCAIRN /
 GUATEMALA / EL SALVADOR / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / ANTARCTICA /
 PANAMA / HONDURAS / CHILE / ECUADOR / COLOMBIA / PERU

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