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Thursday, 19 April


Kilauea volcano: Magma system becomes increasingly pressurized, Hawaii "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Observations and measurements of the Puu eruption on Klauea Volcanos East Rift Zone during the past month suggest that the magma system beneath Puu has become increasingly pressurized, the Hawaiian Volcano...... Read more

Brazils actual forest-related CO2 emissions could blow by Paris pledge "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Primary forest in Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Primary forests are more efficient at storing carbon than secondary forests. Photo credit: Paulisson Miura on Visualhunt / CC BY Brazil is likely underestimating its actual emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gases in its annually reported United Nations statistics, say scientists interviewed by Mongabay. If this missing data were included in official reporting, they add, it would show Brazil unlikely to meet its Paris Climate Agreement carbon reduction commitments. Low-resolution satellite forest surveys and overlooked sources of emissions, especially those due to forest degradation and wildfires, mean that Brazils reported national greenhouse gas emissions statistics may be too low. Experts note that Brazil is likely meeting United Nations guidelines in its yearly reporting. However, those U.N. rules ignore significant sources of national greenhouse gas emissions by disregarding carbon emitting processes related to forests. None of this underreporting is likely unique to Brazil, but it is perhaps more acute there than in other nations due to Brazils vast Amazonian forests. Aerial view of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest near Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil. Deforestation is a leading cause of carbon emissions in Brazil, but far from the only cause related to forests. Photo credit: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA The challenges of counting carbon emissions As part of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, now ratified by 175 countries, Brazil pledged to reduce its national greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent by 2025, relative to 2005 levels.

Unified land-use map for Indonesia nears launch, but concerns over access remain "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

JAKARTA An effort by the Indonesian government to compile a single map of land-use cover across the vast archipelago is nearing completion seven years after it began, but continues to be hampered by the very problem it seeks to overcome: bureaucracy. The one-map policy, conceived in 2011 to establish a single database for all government maps to eliminate disparities between the various maps currently in use by different government agencies, was initially slated for launch in mid-August this year, to coincide with the countrys independence anniversary. However, the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy has now decided to bring the launch date forward to early August, although no specific date has been set. The prevalence of mixed and often contradictory sources of reference across the different levels and arms of government is one of the biggest impediments to sustainable development in the country, experts say. This is particularly true for land-use maps, which are just as crucial in the management of Indonesias forests and natural resources as they are for infrastructure planning and development projects. Darmin Nasution, the coordinating minister for the economy, last month highlighted the importance of a unified map by pointing to a major gas leak in Jakarta that occurred after workers building a light-rail line accidentally drilled into an underground gas pipeline. The synchronization [of various government maps] is needed to avoid overlapping data, whether theyre for infrastructure projects or others, Darmin said as quoted by news site If we have a synchronized [map], then


30 percent of Great Barrier Reef Coral Died in Catastrophic 2016 Heatwave "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Extent and severity of 'mass mortality' event documented in report has shocked scientists


3 killed, over 300 buildings damaged after shallow M4.4 quake hit Indonesia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A shallow earthquake registered by the Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics (BMKG) as M4.4 hit Central Java Province, Indonesia at 06:28 UTC on April 18, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 4 km (2.4 miles). EMSC is reporting M4.4 at a...... Read more

Winter storm Xanto brought historic April snowfall, US "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A powerful late-season winter storm named Xanto by The Weather Channel brought record April snowfall to the upper Midwest and Great Lakes in mid-April 2018. Xanto was the heaviest April snowstorm on record in Minneapolis/St. Paul, it also was the second-heaviest...... Read more


Shallow M5.9 earthquake hits near Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, Iran "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A strong and shallow earthquake registered by the Iranian Seismological Center as M5.9 hit southern Iran at 06:34 UTC on April 19, 2018. The agency is reporting a depth of 18 km (11.2 miles). USGS is reporting M5.5 at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles). The epicenter was...... Read more

Scientists stumble upon hundreds of octopus moms in the deep sea "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Scientists exploring a patch of the seafloor some 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) deep inside the Pacific Ocean have accidentally stumbled upon a large nursery of octopus mothers. A team of geochemists had gone looking for warm water seeping out of cracks on the Dorado Outcrop, an expanse of rocky seafloor made of cooled lava from an underwater volcano, located about 250 kilometers (155 miles) west of Costa Rica. The researchers did find the warm seeps, but they also discovered hundreds of purple octopuses clustered around those seeps, nearly all of them guarding a clutch of eggs. When the researchers returned the next year in 2014, they saw the same thing: octopuses with eggs huddled around a network of cracks on the rocky bottom. The focus of [our] expeditions to Dorado Outcrop was to study a cool hydrothermal system. In doing so, we discovered this fascinating congregation of brooding octopuses, Geoffrey Wheat of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said in a statement. To maximize the scientific return of the expeditions, we shared the video with deep-sea biologists, whose research led to this publication. Footage of this unusual octopus assembly surprised Janet Voight, associate curator of zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago, U.S. When I first saw the photos, I was like No, they shouldnt be there! Not that deep and not that many of them, Voight said. To my knowledge there had been no reports of octopuses at this or comparable depths off between southern California and Peru. One of


Switzerland: Butcher Shop Sabotaged "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

from Bite Back

Butcher shop windows were targeted on the night of the 12th of April. Smashing multiple targets including doors and with small bits of glass flying in all directions over the animal corpses, the media has reported a cost of about 15,000 Swiss francs (11,000 approx) for the company.

We want to create economic damage to the speciesist system and draw media attention on the movement to show that it is taking a more offensive form, especially if others get inspired by this and decided to join the fight.'


Explainer: How Shared Socioeconomic Pathways explore future climate change "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Over the past few years, an international team of climate scientists, economists and energy systems modellers have built a range of new pathways that examine how global society, demographics and economics might change over the next century. They are collectively known as the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs).

These SSPs are now being used as important inputs for the latest climate models, feeding into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report due to be published in 2020-21. They are also being used to explore how societal choices will affect greenhouse gas emissions and, therefore, how the climate goals of the Paris Agreement could be met.

The new SSPs offer five pathways that the world could take. Compared to previous scenarios, these offer a broader view of a business as usual world without future climate policy, with global warming in 2100 ranging from a low of 3.1C to a high of 5.1C above pre-industrial levels.

They show that it would be much easier to mitigate and adapt to climate change in some versions of the future than in others. They suggest, for example, that a future with resurgent nationalism and a fragmentation of the international order could make the well below 2C Paris target impossible.



A sustainable future for frankincense and forests? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A sustainable future for frankincense and forests?

brendan 19th April 2018
Teaser Media


Trumps Attack on the Earth Continues, Now to Destroy NASA Like EPA "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

NASA conducts global studies of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

After failure to launch, Republican senator switches vote to save Trumps NASA nominee

By Ted Barrett and Daniella Diaz, CNN Report, April 18, 2018

(CNN) The Senate deadlocked 49-49 for about an hour Wednesday on a vote to break a filibuster of Rep. James Bridenstine, R-Oklahoma, to be the next NASA administrator until Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, returned to the floor and switched his vote to yes.

The motion then passed on a partisan 50-48 vote. Flake, a vocal critic of the Presidents, had been the only Republican to vote against Bridenstine.

Typically, when a vote like this is tied, Vice President Mike Pence would come to the chamber and break it. But he was in Mar-a-Lago with the president making that an impractical alternative.

Both Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, who is ill, and Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who just had a baby, were absent.

The party-line vote against Bridenstine reflects the steep opposition from Democrats about President Donald Trumps nominee to head the space agency, who they believe is not a space professional in the words of Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat. One Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, had previously expressed concerns about Bridenstine but voted for him in the end.

Democrats also com...


Here are our ten tips for plastic-free tourism "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Here are our ten tips for plastic-free tourism

Ethical Living
Catherine Harte 19th April 2018
Teaser Media


Iceland to resume hunting endangered fin whales "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Iceland to resume hunting endangered fin whales

Catherine Harte 19th April 2018
Teaser Media


UCIL Prevents Activist Meeting to Discuss Impacts of Uranium Mining in Kadapa: Read NAPMs Statement "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Detention and prevention of activists from participating in public meeting on uranium mining impacts at Kadapa, Unlawful and Undemocratic. UCIL-BARC must come clean on its operations and ensure that all its activities are subject to strict environmental and legal regulations

The post UCIL Prevents Activist Meeting to Discuss Impacts of Uranium Mining in Kadapa: Read NAPMs Statement appeared first on


The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: April 11 - 17, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

New activity/unrest was reported for 3 volcanoes between April 11 and 17, 2018. During the same period, ongoing activity was reported for 13 volcanoes. New activity/unrest: Ambae, Vanuatu | Langila, New Britain (Papua New Guinea) | Sinabung, Indonesia. Ongoing...... Read more


Dog Who Lost Family In Hurricane Maria Can't Believe She's Seeing Them Again "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Daya's life, like those of many dogs, was thrown into disarray when Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico last September. She'd gotten separated from her family and, as weeks turned to months, it must have seemed as though she'd be lost forever.

Recently, however, Daya's family, who have since moved to Massachusetts, learned that Daya had finally been found. She was being flown to the mainland and driven to meet them at Second Chance Animal Services, near their new home.

Credit: Puerto Rico Animal Unite

Daya, of course, had no idea who would be awaiting her.

"She was really shy," Diane Tillotson, marketing manager for the shelter, told The Dodo. But then Daya recognized a familiar scent, and that all changed.

The moment the nervous little dog realized it was her family, she was absolutely ecstatic.

The happy reunion was made possible by Puerto Rico Animal Unite and the St. Hubert's Animal Welfare Center, who arranged the transport needed to get Daya, and many dogs like her, back home where they belong.


Knife-Wielding Seal Pup Sends A Sad And Shocking Message "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

There is no shortage of images depicting the threats ocean pollution poses to marine life. But while the problem can feel too immense to grasp, and its victims too easy to overlook, the imperiled animal in this case isn't just anyone.

She's among the last of her kind on the planet.

This is Manu'iwa, an endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Her birth in the wild on the Big Island of Hawaii last February made headlines, and for good reason she's now just one of three seals in existence there. (Elsewhere, her species' population is composed of only about 1,400 individuals.)

The seal pup's progress has been closely monitored by the Marine Mammal Center since her happy arrival, and people have been respectful of conservationists' urging them to keep their distance from her. Manu'iwa seemed to be thriving, having recently weaned from her mother.

But recently, Manu'iwa found something that threatened her life in an instant.

Credit: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources

"Last Sunday the people observing the seal spotted it playing with a bright orange object in its mouth," Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) wrote online. "As they watched the seal dive beneath near-shore rocks and come back up, they realized Manu'iwa was holding a knife i...


Dog Abandoned Because Of His Face Finds Mom Who Thinks He's Perfect "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Beaux Tox has a face thats hard to forget. His perpetually pensive, deeply wrinkled forehead seems at odds with his wagging tail and happy-go-lucky attitude.

Credit: Jamie Hulit

Some might be put off by Beauxs unique look, but for Jamie Hulit, a single photo was all it took to convince her that the yellow Labs life was worth saving.

A friend of mine posted a picture of Beaux on Facebook saying he needed a foster or to be adopted anything, Hulit told The Dodo. That day I sent him a message saying, I would love to take that dog in and give him a home.

Credit: Jamie Hulit

Beaux has stood out since before he was born. With little room to grow in his moms womb due to his six brothers and sisters, he developed a sunken cranium and close-set eyes, according to Hulit.

He just kind of got pushed out of the way, and formed how he formed, Hulit noted, but it has nothing to do with his intelligence. An MRI confirmed that the head deformity did not affect his personality or his chances at living a long, healthy life, she said.

Credit: Jamie Hulit

Beaux's early years were difficult nonetheless. Because of his facial deformity, the people who were breeding couldnt sell him, Hulit said. So they gave him away for free. A man who lived nearby in Austin, Texas, took in the odd little puppy, but when Beaux Tox, named Lucky at the time, didnt get along with the mans cats, he was banished to the backyard, according to Hulit.

For five years, the gentle dog remained outside, Hulit said, severely neglected by his owner and all alone wit...


Dog Who Lost Her Puppies Is The Best Mom To Her New 'Babies' "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A pug named Fergie spent the first seven years of her life at a puppy mill, trapped in a tiny cage, producing litter after litter of puppies only to have them taken away from her immediately. During these seven years she lost an eye, went mostly blind and deaf, and developed deformed feet, terrible arthritis and many other health issues but somehow, she never gave up hope, and stayed the sweetest dog throughout it all. 

Credit: Instagram/fergiemamathepug

When Fergie could no longer give birth to any more puppies, she was abandoned and taken in by West Suburban Humane Society in Downers Grove, Illinois. The poor dog was so shut down when she arrived at the shelter, all she could do was sit in the back of her kennel and shake. She refused to eat or do much of anything at all, and so the shelter found a foster home for her, hoping that having a quiet home would help her relax and come out of her shell a little bit. 

She changed the minute she got in the door, Jenny, Fergies foster mom, told The Dodo. First night she was scared but the next morning she was completely different. 

Credit: Instagram/fergiemamathepug

Once Fergie realized she was finally safe, she began to thrive in her foster home, bonding quickly with her bulldog foster siblings. She loved bossing them around and always being by their sides, and quickly became very protective of them. She also claimed three toys as her own as soon as...


Cat Who Lost Owner Won't Stop Cuddling Beloved Stuffed Animal "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A 16-year-old cat named Hoonie has seen a lot of changes in his life lately, but one thing has remained the same Hoonies favorite stuffed animal, a gray and white cat, is still at his side.

Sadly, Hoonies owner recently died, leaving Hoonie without a home. The owners daughter initially took Hoonie in, but unfortunately, both she and her own son are allergic to cats, and they couldnt keep him. So Hoonie and his stuffed cat went to a shelter run by Alley Cat Rescue in Maryland.

Credit: Alley Cat Rescue

Hoonies doing really well, but hes still adjusting to the new sights and sounds at the shelter, Brianna Grant, communications associate at Alley Cat Rescue, told The Dodo. His stuffed cat, which probably still smells like home, is his greatest comfort.

Credit: Alley Cat Rescue

Weve never seen a cat that is so attached to a stuffed animal, Grant said. It really seems to be his support system.

Hoonie spends all of his time with his stuffed cat  he sleeps with it, cuddles with it and wrestles with it.

Credit: Alley Cat Rescue

Its been a long-time companion, Grant said. She [the owners daughter] sent us photos of Hoonie roughhousing with the stuffed animal, so I think Hoonie has a lot of fun with the stuffed animal and seems so attached to it. Hes been in the cage just cuddling next to it, and it seems to really help him out.


Chained-Up Pit Bull Transforms When Someone Touches Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When a pit bull named Frankie was just a puppy, he was a beloved part of the auto body shop where his owner worked. But as Frankie got bigger and his needs became the needs of a big dog with a lot of energy, his life got more and more restricted.

By the time Summer Parker heard about Frankie, the dog's life had become quite sad; even Frankie's owner recognized that this was no life for his dog. 

Fortunately, Parker 
is a board member and volunteer coordinator with BFF Pet Rescue, an all-breed rescue that focuses mainly on large dogs, especially pit bulls.

Credit: Summer Parker

"I found out about Frankie through a person who lives in and works in the area where he was chained up," Parker told The Dodo. "I was able to start communication with the owner and began discussing a time to meet and the option of surrendering Frankie into rescue."

Within 24 hours of hearing about Frankie's situation, Parker was driving down to the auto body shop to meet him. 



Cat Walks 12 Miles To Reunite With Family Who Abandoned Him "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

In February, Toby the cats family gave him away to a new home.

He had no idea why he was being forced to leave his family but he missed them so much.

So he decided to run away. After walking 12 miles back to his old familys home, he arrived at their doorstep. But instead of being welcomed back, he was met in the worst way.

Credit: SPCA of Wake County

They took him to a shelter and asked them to euthanize him, Tara Lynn, communications director for the SPCA of Wake County, told The Dodo. It was just so heartbreaking to know he made it all the way back to his family, and that was their response.

The public shelter refused to put Toby down, and instead contacted the SPCA, which took him in right away. The SPCA started giving him the medical care he needed to get him ready to find a new home.

Credit: SPCA of Wake County

He tested positive for feline immunodeficiency virus, and also had an upper respiratory infection, Lynn said. We got him treated for the infection, which took a little while.

While he no longer had his family, Toby quickly warmed up to the shelter staff.

He was very friendly, Lynn said. Just your sweet, typical cat they want to get love and to love you.

Credit: SPCA of Wake County

Once the rescue posted on social media about Toby, the calls came rolling in. Michele Puckett, of Raleigh, North Carolina, rushed over to the shelter to meet h...


Horse Couple From Viral Video Reunites In Time For Tiniest Surprise "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When a famous wild horse named Goliath reunited with his mate, Red Lady, after six months apart, it was hard to imagine their story could have a happier ending but there's been a new development at the Oregon sanctuary where they live. 

After the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had separated the couple during the course of its usual roundups of wild horses last year, so many people worked to make sure the couple could get back together. "Goliath had lived his whole life in the wild with a close family of mares and babies he had over the years," Clare Staples, founder and president of Skydog Ranch, a sanctuary for horses, told The Dodo earlier this year. "Last October, the horses were chased by helicopters with their babies into pens and then the families were torn apart."

Through several near-miracles and a lot of help from people who donated even a few dollars here and there, Staples managed to bring both Goliath and Red Lady to her sanctuary and people cried as they witnessed the couple reuniting in March.

"Goliath spotted her and ran half a mile to her side in the snow," Staples said. "She trotted to him, tail high, floating through the snow, and he immediately put his nose to her belly as if he knew she was carrying his baby." 

Credit: Skydog Ranch

Goliath's intuition was right: Red Lady was pregnant. And this week, the reunited couple who very nearly got separated forever got to welcome their little foal to the world together. 

"It is truly hard to describe this journey we have been on together," Staples...


Bear Spent 9 Years Living In 'Hell Hole' Next To Restaurant "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

April the bear was 9 years old, and shed been living inside a concrete pit for her entire life. At the top of the pit was a metal grille, and April had to grip onto the bars and hoist herself up to get a glimpse of the sky.

Rescuers described Aprils cage as a hell hole.

Credit: IAR

April was actually being kept next to a restaurant in Armenia to amuse customers but neither the restaurant owner nor the patrons paid much attention to her. They occasionally threw her scraps of food, which is how she managed to survive for so many years. But that was the most care she was given.

But two weeks ago, Aprils life changed forever when rescuers arrived to free her.

Credit: IAR

Last October, team members from International Animal Rescue (IAR) and the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC) launched a project called the Great Bear Rescue, which aims to free all bears from captivity around Armenia.

Like April, many of these bears are displayed as attractions next to restaurants, while others are exhibited at bus depots, tourist hot spots or private properties. In January, the team even found a starving bear...


Therapy Dog Gets Surprise Birthday Party And Cant Stop Smiling "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

During his trips to Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Westborough, Massachusetts, Maui the therapy dog usually spends his time visiting the residents in their rooms or hanging out in the common area.

But last weekend, they had a very special surprise planned for him.

Credit: Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

His owner mentioned to me that his birthday was coming up, so I thought it would be fun to get him a cupcake for the next time he came in, Nicole Croteau, director of nursing for the center, told The Dodo. It just evolved from there and we ended up planning a whole party for him.

When Maui arrived for his usual visit on Friday, staff and residents were excitedly gathered in the recreation room to welcome him. Not only were all Mauis friends there, but there were also gifts, cake and even a birthday crown for him to wear.

Credit: Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

We gave him a new hairbrush and toys from the residents, Croteau said. And everyone had cake.

Maui couldnt stop smiling and neither could the partygoers.

Credit: Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center

One resident in particular, who has dementia, was really enjoying the party. Croteau couldnt help but see how much Maui meant to him.



45 Tiny, Matted Dogs Can't Believe They're Finally Getting Help "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Just looking at the group of filthy, matted dogs, it was clear no one had cared for them in a long time.

Kept in wire pens inside a British Columbia home, each of the 45 dogs were completely covered in a thick blanket of knotted fur, soaked in urine and feces.

The house where they were kept wasnt much better.

Credit: BC SPCA

Our staff had to use ventilators because they couldnt even breathe, Lorie Chortyk, community relations manager for British Columbia SPCA, told The Dodo. All of them were kept inside the house, so there were high levels of ammonia from the urine buildup.

The SPCA was tipped off about the home through an animal cruelty hotline, and after visiting the property, learned the dogs owner was a former breeder who hadnt sold any dogs for the past five years. The dogs she was keeping ranged from 1 to 15 years old.

Credit: BC SPCA

The dogs were admitted to the rescue last Thursday, where theyve been getting groomed, bathed and examined by veterinarians. The mats are so thick that most dogs will need to be fully shaved to be freed.

Credit: BC SPCA

Some dogs are also infected with ringworm, so theyre in quarantine until theyre no longer contagious. Others have severe dental disease from lack of care, which will require cleanings in the coming days.



eDNA may offer an early warning signal for deadly frog pathogen "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

When Colleen Kamoroff and her graduate advisor Caren Goldberg collected water samples to look for the DNA of non-native fish species, they could not have guessed the potential importance of their timing. One month after they sampled water from 13 lakes in Californias Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park in 2015, endangered mountain yellow-legged frogs in three of the seven lakes theyd inhabited died in large numbers. Kamoroff and Goldberg, assistant professor at Washington State University, suspected the presence of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) fungus. Bd, a.k.a. chytrid fungus, causes Chytridiomycosis, which has devastated populations of at least 200 species of frogs and salamanders across the globe. A healthy mountain yellow-legged frog. Photo credit: Michael Hernandez The fungus feeds on keratin in a frogs skin, causing the skin to thicken and peel. Frogs use their skin to breathe, so chytrid makes breathing difficult and causes the frog to move sluggishly and react slowly to danger. It also damages the nervous system and causes them to behave abnormally, including sitting out in the open rather than protecting themselves. Chytrid doesnt kill frogs immediately, so they will first hop and swim around, spreading the fungus to other ponds and streams. This also makes infection difficult to detect prior to a major outbreak that can kill whole frog populations. Moreover, once chytrid has infected a pond, the fungus may remain in the water forever. Detecting disease through distributed DNA Kamoroff and Goldberg analyzed the water samples for environmental DNA, or eDNAgenetic material from the


Why Do Cats Scratch? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The claws of an everyday house cat may not be quite as impressive as those of a lion or tiger, but they are sharp enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone with a mid-century modern sofa. Just like their wild cousins, who prefer to leave deep scars in tree trunks, domestic cats are prone to scratching pretty much anything, as any cat owner knows.

So why do all cats scratch? Its not that todays felines have a particular vendetta against attractive seating cat scratching behavior is actually instinctual and can benefit cats in many ways.

Drawing their claws across the nubby texture of furniture helps cats maintain healthy nails, according to Dr. Emily Levine, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in New Jersey. While scratching and stretching, house cats extend and retract their nails, which removes the dead outer nail sheath. This keeps their claws sharp and at a manageable length (though they still may need some trimming now and again).

Another important reason todays cats are prone to the destruction of couches and armchairs is marking, explains Levine, just like their ancestors.

There are two ways that they can mark, Levine tells The Dodo. One is to leave visual cues when you think of cats out in nature, theyre scratching on tree trunks or they can also leave scent from their paws as well. By marking, your cat is claiming his territory, and making sure all other felines pick up on the signals.

When do cats scratch?

When it comes to scratching, every cat and household is a little bit different. For some cats, when they get up in the morning and theyre stretc...


Bear Forced Onto Field To 'Entertain' Russian Soccer Fans "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

On Saturday, fans at a soccer game in Russia were "surprised" by an unexpected guest: a captive bear who was brought onto the field to deliver the ball.

In a video of the performance, a trainer walked the bear onto the track surrounding the field while the crowd applauded. Then the trainer directed the bear to sit on his hind legs and clap his front paws together. When the bear did what he was told, the trainer gave him a small piece of food. After that, the bear was instructed to take a soccer ball and deliver it to one of the players, which incited more cheers from the audience.

But not everyone was impressed. The video quickly went viral, with many fans and viewers criticizing organizers for promoting a display that likely wasnt much fun for the captive bear whose name is Tim, and who belongs to a Russian traveling circus.

No wild animal should be used as a prop or forced to perform unnatural acts for our entertainment, DJ Schubert, a wildlife biologist with the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), told The Dodo. What may appear to a spectator to be a few moments of levity at the beginning of an athletic competition conceals the true story of these animals lives. Theirs is a tedious, barren, wholly unnatural existence that all too often involves abusive training techniques, inadequate housing, and poor veterinary care. There is simply no place in sport for wild animal mascots.

Credit: YouTube/ESPN UK

Traveling circuses are known for th...


PAN in Rome: Agroecology as the future "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

PAN in Rome

In early April, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International participated in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) second International Symposium on Agroecology in Rome.

From nine countries and five regions including North America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and Latin America  PAN leaders highlighted the need to transition from chemical-intensive practices to just, thriving and resilient food systems around the world.

PAN in Rome

PAN in Rome


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Wednesday, 18 April


Entire island of Puerto Rico loses power "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The power grid has collapsed in Puerto Rico and the entire island lost power on the morning of April 18, 2018. The cause of the outage wasn't immediately known, but island officials and media confirmed electricity was out. The outage comes shortly after a tree...... Read more


Dad Goes On Epic Mission To Save His Dog's Best Friends "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Sure, there's no doubt that this darling dog named Papi thinks the world of his family but there is one special someone who holds an even loftier place in his little pup heart.

This moose toy, affectionately known as Moose.

Credit: Marissa Moreno

Since Papi was first gifted Moose about a year and a half ago, the two have been inseparable. Indeed, wherever Papi goes, Moose is sure to always be right there alongside him.

The two are rarely seen apart.

Credit: Marissa Moreno

"The moose is like his little friend," Papi's sister Marissa Moreno told The Dodo. "Whenever he gets stressed or needs attention, he runs to grab his toy."

Credit: Marissa Moreno

What Papi has been blissfully unaware of, however, is that there's never been just one Moose.

Though the plush, antlered chew toy might feel like a steady companion, Moose has actually been a series of separate moose dolls. As each had become raggedy from use, Papi's family would secretly replace it with a fresh new Moose. No other animal would do.

"We got him a raccoon once, but he wont even go near it," Moreno said. "I guess he just prefers the moose."

But then something happened to threaten Papi's sweet friendship.



Climate Justice Forum: Lake Pend Oreille Coal Pollution & Bi-Directional Rail Bridges, Millennium Coal Terminal Health Study & Lawsuit, Postponed Spokane Train Blockader Trial, Eagle Oil & Gas Ordinance, State Oil & Gas Meetings in Payette, Delta Five Court of Appeals Hearing, Tacoma LNG Plant Resistance, Earth Day Gatherings 4-18-18 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Climate Justice Forum radio program, produced by regional, climate activist collective Wild Idaho Rising Tide, features news and reflections on railroad coal pollution and bi-directional train bridge expansion in Lake Pend Oreille, a coal impacts health study and lawsuit on the Millennium train terminal, a postponed, Spokane, fossil fuel train blockaders necessity defense trial, a protective, city, oil and gas ordinance in Eagle, Idaho Oil and Gas Conservation Committee meetings in Payette, the Delta Five, oil train blockaders Court of Appeals hearing, resistance to Tacoma liquefied natural gas plant construction, and upcoming, Earth Day gatherings.  Broadcast for six years on progressive, volunteer, community station KRFP Radio Free Moscow, every Wednesday between 1:30 and 3 pm Pacific time, on-air at 90.3 FM and online, the show describes continent-wide opposition to fossil fuel projects, the root causes of climate change, thanks to the generous, anonymous listener who adopted program host Helen Yost as her KRFP DJ.


Severe weather claims 12 lives, affects thousands in Colombia "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

At least 12 people have been killed and 1 341 families affected by severe weather since the start of the current rainy season in Colombia (April - May), the country's National Disaster Risk Management Agency (UNRGD) reports. Since the start of the season, the...... Read more

Huge rockslide in Castell de Mur buries a vehicle after heavy rainfall, Spain "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

A major, fatal rockslide event took place at Castell de Mur in Catalonia, Spain on Monday, April 16, 2018, killing at least 2 people. According to first estimates, this rock slope failure had a mass of about 50 000 tonnes and a volume of 20 000 cubic meters (706 300...... Read more

Indonesia to punish state firm over litany of failures behind Borneo oil spill "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

JAKARTA The Indonesian government is preparing to punish state-owned oil and gas firm PT Pertamina over a major oil spill stemming from one of its undersea pipelines in eastern Borneo last month. An official investigation of the spill in Balikpapan Bay, in the province of East Kalimantan, which was first reported on March 31, found faults in the companys operational procedures. Among the findings by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry: the Pertamina refinery in Balikpapan, which was served by the pipeline, lacked both an early-warning system and an automated monitoring system. If the system was good, there wouldnt have been [a delay] of five to seven hours [before the oil spill was detected] and no need [to wait] until a fire broke out, Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar said on the sidelines of a hearing at the House of Representatives in Jakarta. An automated monitoring system would have alerted Pertamina immediately to changes in the pressure level in the pipeline, and thus allowed the firm to respond swiftly, Siti said. Instead, it took Pertamina four days to admit that the oil spill came from its 20-year-old pipe. By then, the slick had spread across an area greater than the city of Paris. Their emergency systems response to the leak from the pipe was very slow, said Rasio Ridho Sani, the environment ministrys director general for law enforcement. Thats why there needs to be an improvement. Part of that initial response involved setting fire to the slick

Anglo American iron ore pipeline suffers second rupture in Brazil "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The ruptured pipeline moves a mix of iron ore dust and water under pressure. When the pipe broke the mining material shot high into the air, then flowed away, contaminating a local river and pastureland. Image courtesy of MPMG On 12 March, Anglo American Brasil halted iron ore production in Minas Gerais state after the rupture of a mineral duct in the rural area of Santo Antnio do Grama, which leaked 318 tons of mining material into a local stream near its EB2 pumping station. Seventeen days later, on 29 March, a second pipeline leak occurred only 200 meters (656 feet) away from the first. It spilled 647 tons of iron ore, including 174 tons into the Santo Antnio do Grama River as well as contaminating nearby pastureland according to IBAMA, Brazils environmental agency. The mining company stated that the accident was caused by a failure in a weld, according to the communications office of the Secretary of State and Environment (SEMAD) of Minas Gerais. Heavy equipment moves in to try to deal with the Anglo American pipeline iron ore spill in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Image courtesy of MPMG The iron ore duct, which allows ore powder to remain suspended in water for transport, is part of Anglo American Brasils Minas-Rio system a US$ 3.6 billion project intended to carry ore to the Atlantic Ocean export terminal Port of Au in Rio de Janeiro state. The Brazilian company is a subsidiary of Anglo American, a transnational global mining firm based in London. On 10 April, IBAMA charged Anglo

Earth Day founder calls for an end to plastic pollution "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Denis Hayes was the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day in 1970, and he took the event to the international stage in 1990. He is board chair of the international Earth Day Network, and President of the Bullitt Foundation. Earth Day 2018 is slated for April 22 and focuses on plastic pollution, so Mongabay took the opportunity to ask him about this years event and find out what else is on the mind of this key leader of the international environmental movement. INTERVIEW WITH DENIS HAYES Erik Hoffner for Mongabay: What was the impetus for the first Earth Day, nearly 50 years ago now? Denis Hayes: There were hundreds of important environmental issues before the first Earth Day: DDT & bird deaths. Air & water pollution. Oil spills. Herbicide use in Southeast Asia. Wilderness areas. But they were commonly viewed as unrelated. One prominent leader actually asked me, What the hell does air pollution have to do with birds? Earth Day took all these myriad strands and wove them into the fabric of modern environmentalismlinked by a coherent set of values and grounded in an ecological framework. When added together, they formed the basis for a formidable new political force. New York Times front page, April 1970. Mongabay: Whats the theme of this years Earth Day, and how can people get involved? Denis Hayes: The 2018 theme is End Plastic Pollution.  There is not much that the average person can do about the Pacific Garbage Patch or to ban

Conservationist known as a caretaker for Kenyas orphaned elephants dies at 83 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Daphne Sheldrick, a conservationist known for her work to care for and return orphaned elephants to the wild, died of breast cancer on April 12 at the age of 83. Her husband, David, was the first warden at Kenyas largest national park, Tsavo East. After his death in 1977, she started the Nairobi-based David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Daphne Sheldrick pioneered methods to rear milk-dependent elephant and rhino orphans. The organization, responsible for rearing more than 200 baby elephants to date, said that other orphanages around the world have used this knowledge to save other animals separated from their mothers. Daphne Sheldrick and her daughter Angela with Eleanor, an elephant that Daphne raised. Image The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Daphnes legacy is immeasurable and her passing will reverberate far and wide, because the difference she has made for conservation in Kenya is unparalleled, said Sheldricks daughter, Angela, in a statement from the organization. Angela Sheldrick has been its CEO for 17 years. From the daily chores required to nurture orphan elephants and other wildlife, to speaking out for the protection of wild elephants, Daphne Sheldrick lived a life driven by her belief that elephants, and other wild species, have a right to live a free and protected life just like us, the trust said. Research published in 2016 found that African elephant numbers are sliding by 8 percent every year. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust now fields teams that have gotten rid of more than 125,000 snares and have assisted in


Montana Labels Head of the Hardrock Mining Lobby a Bad Actor "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

What does it say about the mining industry if the Chairman of the National Mining Association has defaulted on his cleanup obligations?

Last month the State of Montanas Department of Environmental Quality sent formal letters to Hecla Mining Company CEO Phillips Baker, notifying the company and its CEO that they are in violation of the Bad Actor provision of the states Metal Mine Reclamation Act. Mr. Baker is also the Chairman of the National Mining Association, the industrys lobbying arm which claims to be the U.S. mining industrys advocate in Washington, D.C.

Montana labeled Mr. Baker and Hecla Mining a Bad Actor because the state law prohibits mining companies and their executives from getting a new permit to mine if theyve failed to clean up past operations unless they reim...


But its the truth, even if didnt happen. Chief Bromden "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

CJ IGE OCT TML TWM One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest Ken Kesey Introduction Summary Living in an Oregon psychiatric hospital God; you think this is too horrible to have really happened, this is too awful to be the truth! But, please. Its hard for me to have a clear mind thinking on it. But []


Great Barrier Reef at unprecedented risk of collapse after major bleaching event "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The record-breaking marine heatwave in 2016 across the Great Barrier Reef has left much of the coral ecosystem at an unprecedented risk of collapse, research shows.

A new study published in Nature finds that the surge in sea temperatures during the 2016 bleaching event led to an immediate and long-lasting die-off of coral.

This, in turn, led to vast swathes of the reef being transformed into highly altered, degraded systems, which are now vulnerable to total ecological collapse, the authors conclude.

The large-scale loss of coral is a harbinger of further radical shifts in the condition and dynamics of all ecosystems, they add, if global action on climate change fails to limit warming to 1.5-2C above the pre-industrial baseline.

Turning white

The Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest coral reef, stretching 2,300km from Papua New Guinea to the coast of Queensland, Australia. Over the past two decades, the Great Barrier Reef has seen four mass bleaching events, most recently in 2016 and 2017.

Coral bleaching is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to high sea temperatures. Under continued heat stress, the corals expel the tiny colourful algae living in their tissues known as...


2018 Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence in Pittsburgh June 8 11 "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"


Once again, the Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence will occur coinciding with June 11 weekend, building off the 14 years of organizing solidarity with snared saboteurs and caged liberationists of the ecological resistance. The Pittsburgh gathering will be the third annual nationwide convergence of FTP, or the #FightToxicPrisons movement.

This year we will gather in Pennsylvania to highlight struggles led by prisoners and their allies across that state, including repeated instances of contaminated water, black mold and toxic land adjacent to, or directly underneath, Pennsylvanias prisons. The state is also home of the worlds best known prisoner journalists, Mumia Abu Jamal, and political prisoners from the MOVE organization, who have long advocated for organizing at the intersection of prisons and ecology.

Pennsylvania has been the site of many prisoner-led struggles against mass incarceration, f...


UN Permanent Forum 2018: Bears Ears Prayer Run Alliance Statement "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

[caption id="attachment_66370" align="alignleft" width="300"] Bear Ears Prayer Run Alliance with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria Corpuz-Tauli[/caption] I would like to thank the Special Rapporteur, for the opportunity to address Agenda Item 10: Human Rights, to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. I would like to take this moment to acknowledge your safety and wellbeing today. In spirit of the many generations of strong females, our voices will not be extinguished! The Creator positioned each and every one of us in these sacred places to create our sacred spaces. We, the Bears Ears Prayer Run Alliance, an affiliate of the Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, are a delegation from the Pueblo of Laguna, Acoma, Hopi, Navajo and Ute. We take this time to thank the Indigenous Peoples of this land for welcoming and allowing our visit. I would like to acknowledge the spirits of the Indigenous Peoples that came before us.


Coming to the Rescue of the Endangered Philippine Eagle "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Can captive breeding and community-based conservation save this great raptor?


April WIRT & Allied Events "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Wednesday, April 18: Sandpoint WIRT Meeting & Film Screening

Invite your friends and families, and join the regional, climate activist community, #No2ndBridge group members, and Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) organizers for the April, third-Wednesday, monthly, WIRT gathering at the Gardenia Center, 400 Church Street in Sandpoint, at 7 pm on Wednesday, April 18.  Discussions and action plans include Earth Day and Farmers Market outreach in Moscow and Sandpoint, an oil and gas waste injection well protest and petition presentation in Boise, and ongoing, dirty energy transportation monitoring and reporting.  We especially need your participation in work on a #No2ndBridge petition, banner, brochures, comment talking points, Sandpoint rally and demonstration with speakers on Saturday, April 28, information sessions around the inland Northwest, regional attendance and expert testimony at the May 23 hearings in Ponderay and Sandpoint, and summer, direct action training camp, all opposing Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway track and bridge expansion of the coal, oil, hazmat, and possibly tar sands pipeline-on-wheels across Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille in north Idaho.

All are welcome to bring their creative ideas and energies and potluck food and beverages, to share current, issue updates and background, and to explore strategies and tactics in support and solidarity with grassroots, Northwest, fossil fuels resistance.  At this convergence, we will also view the 2016, Break Free documentary Disobedience, a brief film that describes the global, climate justice movement led by common people taking courageous actions against the power and pollution of the fossil fuel industry, and accelerating the clean energy revolution on the front lines of every continent [1, 2].  Contact WIRT via email or phone, with your questions and suggestions about potential meeting topics and activities.


Wednesday, 11 April


Monsanto merger approved: What's next? "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

Farmers working

Despite widespread opposition, The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has green-lighted the Bayer-Monsanto merger.

The Bayer-Monsanto merger was approved on the heels of the authorization of the Dow-DuPont and Syngenta-ChemChina mergers. As a result, just three corporations will control 59 percent of the seed market and 64 percent of the pesticide market globally.

DoJs approval and farmer resistance

The coupling of the agribusiness giants was approved despite recent poll results indicating farmers across the country believe the merger of Bayer and Monsanto will be bad for farming and farm communities.

Farmers in...


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