Forest Elephants Are Our Allies in the Fight Against Climate Change, Say Researchers

Forest Elephants Are Our Allies in the Fight Against Climate Change, Say Researchers

Forest elephant extinction would exacerbate climate change. That’s according to a new study in Nature Geoscience which links feeding by elephants with an increase in the amount of carbon that forests are able to store.

The bad news is that African forest elephants – smaller and more vulnerable relatives of the better known African bush elephant – are fast going extinct. If we allow their ongoing extermination to continue, we will be also worsening climate change. The good news is that if we protect and conserve these elephants, we will simultaneously fight climate change.

One of the Largest Subspecies of Giraffes Is Declared Endangered: the Masai

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One of the Largest Subspecies of Giraffes Is Declared Endangered: the Masai

Conservationists have been sounding the alarm bells on giraffes for several years. In 2016, the IUCN listed giraffes as a whole as vulnerable, the status just above endangered after finding that over three decades giraffes suffered up to a 40 percent population drop, plummeting from an estimated 157,000 individuals to 97,500.

Currently, two of the nine giraffe subspecies—the Kordofan and Nubian—are critically endangered, while the Reticulated is endangered. Now, after a recent assessment, the Masai subspecies has also been listed as endangered. It’s the first time the population has been analyzed on its own, and the status is a big deal since there are an estimated 35,000 individual Masai left, making it one of the largest-remaining subspecies of the gentle giants and, therefore, a key population for keeping the species numbers up.

Previously, the Masai subspecies was the most-populous group of giraffes, with an estimated 71,000 individuals. That drop of 49 to 51 percent of the subspecies in the last 30 years was what prompted the listing, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Forgotten History of Segregated Swimming Pools and Amusement Parks

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The Forgotten History of Segregated Swimming Pools and Amusement Parks

By Victoria W. Wolcott

Summers often bring a wave of childhood memories: lounging poolside, trips to the local amusement park, languid, steamy days at the beach.

These nostalgic recollections, however, aren’t held by all Americans.

Municipal swimming pools and urban amusement parks flourished in the 20th century. But too often, their success was based on the exclusion of African Americans.

As a social historian who has written a book on segregated recreation, I have found that the history of recreational segregation is a largely forgotten one. But it has had a lasting significance on modern race relations.

Swimming pools and beaches were among the most segregated and fought over public spaces in the North and the South.

Botswana Has An Elephant Poaching Problem, Not An Overpopulation Problem

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Botswana Has An Elephant Poaching Problem, Not An Overpopulation Problem

The Botswana government recently reintroduced trophy hunting after a five-year moratorium. It did so on the pretext that Botswana has “too many elephants”.

But a new academic paper shows that this argument doesn’t hold.

The researchers compared the results of two aerial surveys in northern Botswana. The first was conducted in 2014, the second in 2018. Both were conducted during the dry season. This allowed for easy detection of changes over time.

A 94,000km2 area was studied and the elephant population estimated at 122,700 in 2018. This was roughly similar to the 2014 numbers.

But comparing results from the 2014 and 2018 aerial surveys, the scientists found that the numbers of elephant carcasses have increased, especially for newer carcasses dead for less than roughly 1 year. Populations can remain stable despite increased carcass counts because of new births and immigration from other range states.

The Botswana government recently reintroduced trophy hunting after a five-year moratorium. It did so on the pretext that Botswana has “too many elephants”.

But a new academic paper shows that this argument doesn’t hold.

The researchers compared the results of two aerial surveys in northern Botswana. The first was conducted in 2014, the second in 2018. Both were conducted during the dry season. This allowed for easy detection of changes over time.

A 94,000km2 area was studied and the elephant population estimated at 122,700 in 2018. This was roughly similar to the 2014 numbers.

But comparing results from the 2014 and 2018 aerial surveys, the scientists found that the numbers of elephant carcasses have increased, especially for newer carcasses dead for less than roughly 1 year. Populations can remain stable despite increased carcass counts because of new births and immigration from other range states.

Prince Harry, Nat Geo, Steve Boyes Take Us 'Into The Okavango' A Fragile Ecosystem We Simply MUST Save

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Prince Harry, Nat Geo, Steve Boyes Take Us 'Into The Okavango' A Fragile Ecosystem We Simply MUST Save

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, discussed his ‘20 year connection’ with Angola and Botswana, posting a heartfelt Instagram message on Thursday. The tribute was created in conjunction with a fundraising event promoting National Geographic’s ‘Into The Okavango’ documentary film.

Harry explained that he is ‘grateful’ to see National Geographic partnering with both the Angolan government and The Halo Trust to promote the sustainable management of the Okavango Delta’s resources.

Mozambique's Niassa Reserve Celebrates One Year Of No Elephant Kills | The Women Of Gorongosa Park

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Mozambique's Niassa Reserve Celebrates One Year Of No Elephant Kills | The Women Of Gorongosa Park

Beautiful Girls Meet Animals in Central Mozambique’s Gorongosa Park,

Researching the Niassa Reserve story, AOC found this exquisite video from Mozambique’s Gorongosa Park that’s a total respite — a small escape — from the world’s tragic events on The Guardian website.

Before you watch it, consider that in March 2019, Cyclone Idai devastated the communities around Mozambique's Gorongosa Park. There was no escape, no respite for the people of Mozambique as we steal precious moments with this video.

National Geographic reminded us just now of the cyclone, with the coincidence of a feature story on Grongosa National Park in the May 2019 issue of National Geographic. Click here to learn how you can help on the National Geographic website. Also, Gorongosa itself has information about devastation from the cyclone and how to help.

Landmines in Angola: How African Elephants’ Amazing Sense of Smell Could Save Lives

CHISHURU, A MALE AFRICAN ELEPHANT, INDICATES A TARGET SCENT DURING TRIALS. IMAGE BY GRAHAM ALEXANDER.

CHISHURU, A MALE AFRICAN ELEPHANT, INDICATES A TARGET SCENT DURING TRIALS. IMAGE BY GRAHAM ALEXANDER.

Landmines in Angola: How African Elephants’ Amazing Sense of Smell Could Save Lives

By Ashadee Kay Miller, PhD Candidate, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand. First published on The Conversation.

For 27 years Angola was gripped by civil war. Half a million human lives were lost and wildlife, too, was decimated to sustain troops. Rhino and elephants became valuable targets – rhino horn and ivory served as currency for arms among rebel forces.

During the conflict elephant populations fled across the border into Botswana, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When the war ended in 2002 animal populations slowly started to return to their pre-conflict grazing grounds. But a huge problem remained: millions of landmines were still in situ and undetonated across Angola. Many elephants were killed and maimed by the explosives as they attempted to recolonise.

Data collected from collared elephants moving through the affected areas showed herds avoiding minefields. This suggested that at least some of the returning elephants had associated minefields with danger. What could this association be based on? Had the minefield-avoiding elephants seen others killed in those areas? Or had they associated the smell of landmines with danger, extrapolating risk to other areas where the odour was present?

We couldn’t answer all these questions. To narrow down our search my colleagues and I set about finding out whether elephants could smell the main component of landmines – Trinitrotoluene (TNT).

LVMH Acquires Botswana Luxury Safari Camps, Joins High-Level UNESCO Conservation Effort

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LVMH Acquires Botswana Luxury Safari Camps, Joins High-Level UNESCO Conservation Effort

British actress, poet and filmmaker Greta Bellamacina boards the Orient Express, headed for Venice in a fashion journey that’s pure ‘Poetry in Motion’. Photographer Tom Craig is behind the lens with styling by Leith Clark for Harper’s Bazaar UK July 2019./ Hair by Sebastien Bascle