AMA to select 1st, Tanduay 2nd in PBA D-League Draft

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town PBA IMAGESFailing to advance to the semifinals in both conferences last season, AMA Online Education has the rights to the first overall pick in the 2016 PBA D-League Draft on Dec. 20 at PBA Cafe in Metrowalk, Pasig.AMA head coach Mark Herrera had already bared the Titans are eyeing Jeron Teng as the top selection.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Ginebra teammates show love for Slaughter EDITORS’ PICK Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH READ: Teng set to be top pick by AMA in PBA D-League DraftThe 22-year-old Teng is coming off a memorable fifth year with La Salle where he led the Green Archers to the UAAP Season 79 championship and was also named Finals MVP.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad AliFoundation Cup runner-up Tanduay will select second, followed by Racal, Aspirants’ Cup bridesmaid Cafe France and Wangs Basketball.There will also be a lottery come draft day for newcomers Cignal, Jose Rizal University, Manuel L. Quezon University, and Province of Batangas to decide their placing in the draft order. Senators to proceed with review of VFA Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modescenter_img We are young As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise MOST READ As a guest team, Blustar Malaysia will be ineligible to pick in the draft proceedings.There are 113 local and 15 Fil-foreigners eligible to be selected in the draft.The 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup kicks off on January 19 next year.ADVERTISEMENT Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports NBA: Westbrook’s streak stopped, Warriors rebound from loss Where did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine View commentslast_img read more

Fire and agroforestry revive California indigenous groups’ traditions

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored In Northern California, the Karuk and Yurok indigenous peoples are burning away decades of forest management practices and revitalizing their foodways and communities.Prescribed burning is the main tool in the groups’ agroforestry system, which encourages proliferation of traditional foods like huckleberries, acorns, salmon and elk, medicinal herbs like wormwood, plus willow, bear grass and hazel for basket making.Agroforestry is the conscious tending of groups of trees, shrubs and herbs in a forest system that benefits biodiversity, sequesters carbon from the atmosphere, improves water quality, and also provides traditional foods that these indigenous peoples need to carry on their customs.At a time when California is repeatedly ravaged by wildfires, these groups’ fire management practices are being studied by state and national agencies to inform their own fire management techniques. ORLEANS, California — Frank Lake stoops beside a low-growing shrub, cups one hand beneath a cluster of cobalt berries and swiftly claps it to his mouth. The purple-lipped grin he flashes leaves no doubt. Huckleberries!Lake offers me a taste: They’re wilder than blueberries, with a tangy sweetness. Huckleberries are just coming in season, says Lake, glancing around for other fruits to sample on the hillside that rises behind him.Bright green bushes are scattered across a carpet of bronze tanoak leaves. Knee-high bracken ferns spread broad flat fronds at the edges of thickets, where seedling pines and cedars poke out of the undergrowth. Towering above them are 30-meter (100-foot) tanoak trees. Beyond are the rugged Klamath Mountains, a geologically jumbled range jutting along California’s northwest border into Oregon.Frank Lake, a PhD research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service and a Karuk descendant, at the start of huckleberry season. Image by Jane Braxton Little for MongabayA distinctive drumming resonates from somewhere up the slope, bringing Lake to his feet with an imitation of the shrill piping call of the pileated woodpecker. As he listens for a response, Lake, a Ph.D. research ecologist with the U.S. Forest Service and a Karuk descendant, surveys the scene above the Klamath River a few miles from Orleans. He sees what I see: a productive late-summer forest understory. But Lake also sees a supermarket, where Karuk people can gather berries and acorns; a pharmacy, where they can find herbs to treat coughs and inflammation; and a hardware store, with hazel and bear grass for making baskets.For centuries, the Karuk tribe has nudged this interlocking ecosystem toward producing these beneficial plants through practices known as agroforestry. An ancient technology developed through time by the Karuk tribe and indigenous people around the world, agroforestry integrates crops and livestock into the grasses, shrubs and trees of native forests. After this 2-hectare (5-acre) stand burned in a wildfire in 2001, Karuk and Forest Service crews intentionally burned the land again in 2016 as a research plot. They’re using it to study how fire affects the food and other forest products that have sustained Native Americans in the Klamath River watershed for millennia.For these tribes, plots like this are “our orchards, our gardens, and we cultivate them with fire,” says Lake, a slim man with a crew cut and multiple studs in his ears.This site is part of an ambitious venture aimed at restoring the 5,700 square kilometers (2,200 square miles) that comprise Karuk aboriginal lands. The tribe is working in collaboration with the Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), U.C. Berkeley, and numerous other partners to restore the territory, now almost all federally administered, to the functional landscape Karuks once stewarded. Their plans include a 22-square-kilometer (86-square mile) project near Orleans, approved in July by Forest Service officials for a management plan that incorporates Karuk traditional techniques. The partners are also using many of the principles of multi-story agroforestry, increasingly popular in the developing world, while reconnecting with tribal ways.Maintaining healthy ecosystems not only assures tribe members of the food, medicines and materials they need to survive, says Bill Tripp, deputy director of the Karuk Department of Natural Resources, it also embodies a sacred commitment integral to their social fabric, their ceremonies, and most deeply held beliefs.“There’s no reason for us to exist if we can’t fulfill our responsibility to take care of this place,” Tripp says.Bill Tripp, deputy director of the Karuk Department of Natural Resources, is encouraged by the tribe’s cooperative management of ancestral lands but he worries about salmon disappearing from the Klamath River. Photo by Jane Braxton Little for MongabayFood securityFor the tribe scattered along the banks of the Klamath River, salmon and acorns have traditionally been dietary mainstays. Today, neither is abundant. The natural wealth that the region’s 10,000 Native Americans once depended on has been in a steady two-century decline, starting with the arrival of fur trappers and worsening with miners and loggers.As ecosystems collapsed, the Karuks and their downstream neighbors, the Yuroks, were left with their livelihoods disrupted, their ceremonies forbidden, and their cultures disintegrating. Tribal leaders see a direct connection between the breakdown of their social fabric and the precipitous decline in salmon populations, now blocked from spawning grounds by dams. They relate the collapse of community functions to acorn production, which has been poor since the Forest Service introduced management favoring pines over tanoaks.Despite this devastation, during my visit in late August there was a palpable buzz of optimism among Karuk tribal officials — a sense that they are returning as stewards of the land that has always nurtured and sustained them. Most were preparing for the World Renewal Ceremony, held annually to fix the world spiritually and physically. Lake shows me the pelt of a Pacific fisher, a furry, cat-sized carnivore native to the region, fashioned into a garment that he will wear during the ceremony, along with other handmade regalia.These are times for re-embracing traditional knowledge and skills, and reapplying ancient practices, says Lisa Hillman, a Karuk tribal member. “We think we’ve sustained considerable losses since Euro-American contact, but people know more than they think they do,” she says. “And collectively, we know a lot.”Hillman manages the Píkyav CQ Field Institute, named for the Karuk word meaning “to fix it.” The curriculum she helped develop for kindergarten through 12th grade brings acorns, berries, salmon and other traditional foods into the classroom. It also takes students out of the classroom to listen to elders’ stories while they pick huckleberries and gather hazel for basket making. Involving multiple generations in land management helps strengthen local communities and is a significant benefit of agroforestry.Huckleberries, a mainstay of Karuks’ traditional diet, are a deliberate consideration in how the tribe manages forestlands. Photo by Jane Braxton Little for Mongabay“It’s fine to learn about Alexander Hamilton from a book, but we have always learned from the outdoors, and directly from our elders and their stories,” Hillman says.She and other tribal leaders throughout the Klamath watershed used a five-year, $4 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to build a digital library and community gardens as well as the K-12 curriculum focused on tribal cultural heritage. They also held food production workshops emphasizing traditional foods — how and where they are grown. Now Hillman is working with two federal grants to promote college and career readiness for tribal youth, and study Native food, fiber and medicinal plants in fluctuating environmental conditions that include persistent drought and devastating wildfires.“Food is connected to all of what we do and who we are as tribal people, and education is key to changing the trajectory of the tribe’s trauma,” Hillman says.Fire as a management toolMore than workshops, more than libraries, what the Karuks and Yuroks need to restore their traditional foods and culture is fire. Fire clears oak groves of encroaching conifers and kills the weevils that ruin acorns. It renews the meadow grasses for grazing deer and elk. And fire also allows willow and hazel trees to produce the straight shoots needed for baskets.“Fire is part of everything we do,” says Bill Tripp.A heavyset man with pale blue eyes and unruly dark-blond hair, Tripp, 44, got his first lessons on fire after his great-grandmother caught him playing with matches. If he was going to play with fire, she said, he better do something good with it, as his ancestors had. She handed the 4-year-old a box of strike matches with instructions to burn a small patch of black oak leaves covering her yard. It took the whole box and the rest of the day, Tripp recalls, but the experience helped teach him how and when to burn, and what fire means to Karuk culture.As a summer intern on the Six Rivers Forest, Jonathan White, a student at Salish-Kootenai College in Montana, helped to monitor how plants return to this area, burned in 2016 as a Forest Service and Karuk Tribe research plot. Image by Jane Braxton Little for MongabayOn an afternoon when smoke from regional wildfires fills the air, Tripp drives up a winding dirt road just west of Orleans and stops beside a stand of tanoaks and madrones. Three years ago a crew of Karuk, federal, private-sector and community partners set fire to this 28-hectare (70-acre) stand, one of the few places the Karuk have been able to purchase. They started at 6 p.m. and burned through the night, scorching invasive Himalayan berries and decades of accumulated fuel on the forest floor.Today, the ground beneath the trees is open, and a meadow just downhill is so lush that elk have claimed it as a calving area. Wild raspberry and trailing blackberry bushes share the forest floor with tanoak sprouts as high as Tripp’s waist. He points out a fire-carved cavity in an orange-red madrone tree — a perfect hideout for fishers, whose population has been declining.Stands like this, and Lake’s huckleberry hillside across the river, mark the beginnings of a return to traditional Karuk forest stewardship that encourages the growth of traditional Native foods including tanoak acorns, camas bulbs and more. Although they sometimes intentionally planted tobacco and other medicinals, the Karuks focused on using fire at the right time for the right reasons for their essential forest products, says Tripp. Huckleberry and acorn production surges when fire removes the shrubs competing with berry bushes, and encourages tanoaks over pines.The newcomers who began arriving in the 1800s changed the land management in the area radically, but it was the loss of fire on the landscape that proved catastrophic. Rather than the regular use of cleansing fire to encourage the growth of plants the Karuks needed, federal legislation adopted in 1911 called for extinguishing all fires, with a goal of complete suppression by 10 a.m. In the complex tug-of-war then characterizing Native American and U.S. government relationships, a Forest Service ranger dismissed traditional Native American fires as “pure cussedness or a spirit of don’t-care damnativeness.”Now, as state and federal officials rethink the role of natural fire, some are starting to recognize the benefits of small-scale burning to both communities and ecosystems. Downstream on the Klamath River, members of the Yurok tribe are working with Cal Fire to return the cultural burns that replenished the forest products their grandmothers depended upon.A firestarter for cultural revivalOn another afternoon clouded with the smoke from a nearby wildfire, Margo Robbins and Elizabeth Azzuz are scrambling around on the banks of a dirt road just outside Weitchpec, where the Trinity River flows into the Klamath. Azzuz shouts out at the sight of knee-high hazel sprouts, a staple for Yurok basket weavers. “They’re shooting up like gangbusters,” she yells.Elizabeth Azzuz and Margo Robbins, leaders of the Cultural Fire Management Council, have been helping Yurok Tribal members burn their land to improve the growth of basket materials and other traditional plants. Photo by Jane Braxton Little for MongabayRobbins, Azzuz and their partners intentionally burned the area this spring. Like Karuk families, Yuroks traditionally set carefully tended fires in the tanoak groves where generations of their ancestors had gathered acorns. But that ended over a century ago. “We grew up knowing we could be killed for setting fire on the land,” Azzuz says.She and Robbins are part of a team working with the Cultural Fire Management Council, created in 2013 to focus on encouraging traditional foods and generating long straight shoots of hazel that local basket weavers had not had for decades. Since their first cultural burn in 2015 they’ve increased the annual burn area to 68 hectares (167 acres). Along with hazel, these controlled burns are rejuvenating wormwood and other medicinal plants, and bear grass for baskets. Acorns, raspberries, thimbleberries, vines for teas, and other edible plants have burgeoned since they began burning. By thinning out forest undergrowth, fires also improve habitat for the elk and deer, important Yurok foods.Fire also benefits salmon. By reducing streamside brush and invasive weeds, burning improves water quality and the amount of water returned to streams where salmon spawn, says Robbins. All this is essential for the health of salmon.The Cultural Fire Management Council burns are also providing protection from wildfire for communities scattered in the hills along the Klamath. Last year Ken Pimlott, the Cal Fire director, honored the council for its work using burning as a fire-safe tool that enhances the landscape and restores cultural plants.So many people needed to have their own land burned that Robbins and Azzuz began hosting cooperative training exchange sessions using a model initiated by The Nature Conservancy. “We realized we ignited a lot more than hazel,” Robbins says.She and Azzuz work with property owners to prepare their private lands for burning. Along with traditional food production, the effort is reviving cultural practices that transcend burning. “Restoration of the land is restoration of the people,” Robbins says.As these small-scale burns contribute to an understanding of fire at the level Yuroks and Karuks once practiced it, some state and federal officials are turning to them to guide management on federal lands. The project plan, signed in July by Forest Service officials, marks the start of a new Karuk-influenced management approach that could eventually include the 5,700 square kilometers of the tribe’s ancestral territory. Designed to protect communities from wildfire while restoring beneficial fire, the project was years in development, led by the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership.Wooley Creek flows into the Salmon River near Somes Bar, where the Karuk Tribe and the U.S. Forest Service are planning a 5,000-acre restoration project. Photo by Jane Braxton Little for MongabayThe Six Rivers National Forest is the first national forest in California to combine the Karuk’s broad, holistic vision with lidar (a laser-based radar-like technology), geographic information system (GIS) mapping, and other Western technology. Regional forester Randy Moore personally endorsed the project as a model of integrating traditional and contemporary knowledge to help improve forest health across all jurisdictions.Forward-looking traditionAs society grapples with learning how to live with fire under changing climate and environmental conditions, Tripp is hopeful that this will be the first of many projects using traditional burning techniques to enhance the safety of communities and conditions for growing native foods.“We’re on the verge of true co-management of our aboriginal homeland. That’s huge,” Tripp says, allowing himself a faint smile.From his spot on the huckleberry hillside, Frank Lake, the Forest Service ecologist, envisions the essential link between fire and the health of both the land and Karuk culture. “If we’re going to restore fish, we have to use fire. If we’re going to restore acorns and huckleberries, we have to use fire,” he says. “It’s not just waiting for lightning to strike.”This article is part of an ongoing series on agroforestry worldwide and was published in partnership with Civil Eats, the daily news website focused on sustainable food and farming.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. Agriculture, Agroforestry, Archive, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Conservation Solutions, Featured, Fires, food security, Forest Fires, Forests, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Indigenous Peoples, Sustainable Development center_img Article published by Erik Hoffnerlast_img read more

The odor side of otters: Tech reveals species’ adaptations to human activity

first_imgAnimal Behavior, Animals, Camera Trapping, cameras, Carnivores, Conservation Solutions, Deforestation, Drones, Fish, Forests, Human-wildlife Conflict, Mammals, Mangroves, Mapping, Monitoring, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Sensors, Technology, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildtech Recent studies of an elusive otter species living in the highly modified mangroves and reclaimed lands on the coast of Goa, India offer new insights into otter behavior that could inform future conservation efforts.Researchers have studied these adaptable otters with camera traps, ground GPS surveys, and satellite images; they’re now testing drone photogrammetry to improve the accuracy of their habitat mapping.Using data gathered over a period of time, the researchers aim to pinpoint changes in the landscape and, in combination with the behavioral data gathered by the camera traps, understand how otters are reacting to these changes. Human-dominated mangroves are far from what is considered an ideal environment for otters. And yet an estuarine island on India’s western coast is home to a thriving population of the threatened smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata). Recent studies of this elusive species living in the brackish waters of Chorao island—far from the freshwater sources that otters are typically believed to rely on—offer new insights into otter behavior that could inform future conservation efforts.A smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) pauses for a camera trap. These otters eat mostly fish but also birds, reptiles, and rodents found near water. Image courtesy of Wild Otters Research.“There’s not much written about smooth-coated otters in mangroves…especially in a human-dominated landscape,” said Katrina Fernandez, a member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group and director of Wild Otters Research (WOR), a research and conservation organization. “The fact that the smooth-coated otter is so adaptable to change and to human-dominated landscapes, enabling it to coexist within this ecosystem, is fascinating,” she added.Although the smooth-coated otter has been documented across large parts of South and Southeast Asia, their presence on Chorao, in the state of Goa, has required them to adjust to a variety of vegetation types, most of which are subject to anthropogenic change.The most obvious of the adaptations that these otters have made is learning to live within the constraints of the khazans, a type of human-created landscape unique to Goa. According to Nandkumar Kamat, assistant professor at the Department of Botany at Goa University, “generally any low-lying land close to a mangrove-fringed estuary reclaimed by salinity control structures can be called as khazan land.” Also known as communidade lands, they are typically owned and maintained by local communities and used for agriculture and acquaculture.Setting a fishing net around the mangroves. Image by Atul Borker.Fernandez and her team have observed unique behavioral adaptations by otters living in this human-dominated khazan ecosystem. For example, the otters routinely make dens on the banks separating the khazans from the estuary and scale the retaining walls of these banks to defecate and to groom themselves. WOR’s researchers have also gathered extensive evidence of the threat stray dogs pose to Chorao’s otter population.Stray dogs on Chorao island can harass and pose a threat to otter families already facing challenges. Video courtesy of Wild Otter Research.These discoveries have so far combined ground-based surveys, which require researchers to manually walk the periphery of the island looking for signs of otter defecating and grooming sites, with camera-trapping, which involves positioning a still or video camera at these sites to study otter behavioral patterns. These cameras are triggered by heat or motion sensors and use an infrared light source to capture visuals at night, while ensuring the otters are barely aware that they’re being watched.Although these cameras are currently WOR’s primary source of data, they are also a source of frustration for the researchers, as they have sometimes proven to be unreliable in the mangrove environment. “We choose the middle ground in terms of price, because functionality is decent and you don’t feel too much of a pinch if they are stolen,” Fernandez said.However, extreme temperature changes in the monsoon and summer months led to numerous malfunctioning cameras.Theft and displacement by curious locals also threaten the cameras. “We’re always wary of putting cameras in new places and very public spaces,” Fernandez said. The researchers have to hide cameras under vegetation to make them inconspicuous, an onerous requirement in a wetland terrain which already offers limited opportunities to position a camera. The need to frequently change batteries and the lack of high-quality microphones on these cameras are also pain points for the researchers. “At some point, I want to look into just manufacturing our own,” she added.Otter researchers and volunteers set up a camera trap to capture otter behavior, which may help explain how this population has adapted to pressure from human activity. Image courtesy of Wild Otters Research.Even when they’re not fiddling with the cameras, nearby humans inform the way WOR designs its research and conservation efforts. Although direct human-animal conflict is low, the impact of humans on the otters through habitat destruction is immense. The reclaimed khazan lands in particular, which are under perennial threat of being overrun by the mangroves that originally owned them, are the subject of a constant tug of war. Local residents cut, burn, and/or remove what they see as invasive vegetation using earthmovers to maintain the economic viability of these lands.“Development, or human encroachment, is going to increase,” Kshitij Garg, WOR’s Communications Director, told Mongabay. “If you can know the extent to which this species can adapt and survive, then you can direct human activity in the right way. This is why most of our work is outside of protected areas. We aren’t only studying their behavior. Knowing which actions of the human community are affecting the animal and which are not is paramount to any realistic conservation efforts.”Surveying from above and belowTo improve their understanding of these effects, the Wild Otters researchers are incorporating new technologies to help them map the Chorao landscape and document its changing land-use patterns. Currently at a nascent stage, their efforts will combine satellite imagery and drone mapping with ground-based GPS surveys to target their actions to ensure the otters’ continued survival on the island.“If we decided to use a satellite image, it might be a bit out of date. Also, it’s quite hard to tell what the actual habitat is from the satellite image alone,” said Sophie Darnton, a research intern with WOR.The researchers conduct ground surveys to collect GPS waypoints to update satellite-based maps of the habitats frequented by otters and areas of human activity. They walk several survey routes on the island using GPS devices to manually record the extents of different vegetation types, areas frequented by otters, and other points of interest, including sluice gates, farms, and fishing areas.Smooth-coated otters rolling in the dirt. Otters roll in dirt or vegetation to communicate their presence and possibly their identification through scent marking. Video courtesy of Wild Otters Research. They hope that over time, these updated maps, combined with the behavioral data on otters gathered using camera traps, can provide clues about the effect of human activity on the otters.WOR also collaborated with Technology for Wildlife, a geospatial data company helping groups use technology to conserve wildlife and the environment, to carry out a drone mapping pilot study in Chorao in May and June of 2018. Photogrammetic mapping using drones generates 3D models of the landscape below, allowing researchers to pinpoint even minor changes to habitats in areas that are inaccessible to humans.“You get a much more holistic view of an area when you have both groundwork and drone-imagery and satellite imagery on top of that,” said Shashank Srinivasan, director of Technology for Wildlife. “A dense mangrove forest where it is not possible for a boat or a person on foot to go into because its swampy or wet… you can use a drone to fly over that. In that way, drone imagery is very complementary to ground-based work, and it really fills a gap in the entire process.”A camera trap captures a family of smooth-coated otters. The pups reach adult size after about a year. Video courtesy of Wild Otters Research.Srinivasan said the results of the pilot study suggested that drone mapping can replace many components of traditional fieldwork. “Technologically, there were a bunch of experiments and research we were doing with that imagery,” Srinivasan said. “When you create a 3D model, can you ascertain the height of a dyke, can you use a bunch of analysis techniques to distinguish between vegetation and open water and even different kinds of vegetation? And the testing validated that we can actually put a project together around this.”Srinivasan conducts drone mapping using relatively inexpensive quadcopter drones that carry standard RGB cameras. Depending on the level of detail required, they can cover between one and 20 hectares (2.5 to 49 acres) in less than 45 minutes using an automated flight plan. Processing the resulting data, however, can take up to a week and constitutes the core value addition that Srinivasan and his company provide. “It’s easy to fly a drone but much harder to create meaning from the data,” he told Mongabay.The images captured by the drones are processed using a battery of software tools, including Pix4D, VisualSFM, Blender, QGIS and ArcGIS. The techniques involved—photogrammetry, making measurements from a set of overlapping images for 3D models and orthomosaics, creating overlapped, geometrically corrected aerial images for 2D maps—essentially boil down to extracting meaning from the individual pixels in the images. “There are statistical operations you can use which will allow you to identify which pixels in a particular image are vegetation, which are open water, and so on,” Srinivasan said.Using data gathered over a period of time, the researchers aim to pinpoint changes in the landscape and, in combination with the behavioral data gathered by the camera traps, understand how otters are reacting to these changes.A smooth-coated otter guides its young through the mangroves. Image courtesy of Wild Otters Research.Despite the promise of their pilot study, the researchers have had to delay its roll-out on Chorao due to funding and regulatory issues. The organizations are now awaiting responses to their grant proposals and clarity on India’s new regulatory framework for drone activity, which has left the rules for flight permissions in a state of uncertainty.Srinivasan said he remained optimistic about the use of these new techniques in the region. “It is an exciting time for drones in general and specifically for conservation work,” he added, “because there’s so much potential to help save wildlife and the environment.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Article published by Sue Palminterilast_img read more