The Cassowary Tales

The Cassowary is a flightless bird, found in Australian Rainforests. This huge bird is the most dangerous bird on earth, mostly because of his powerfull legs and spike-like toe, always ready for defending himself and offspring.

The unique feature is the helmet (casque): Grey in colour and slightly directed forward this vertical bony helmet protects the birds head as it makes its swift way through the thick undergrowth of the rainforest. The Cassowary is the only bird in the world to have any type of protective armour.

Much of Australian rainforest has now been cleared, and the Cassowary that remain are vulnerable to dogs, shooting, traffic when crossing roads, starvation and, possibly, disease (Tuberculosis and aspergillosis-related diseases) and nest predation and competition from feral Pigs. The main reason for decline in the southern Cassowary population has been clearance of the prime habitat, rainforests. Clearance for agriculture has virtually ceased but continues for residential and tourist development. Adult Cassowaries are occasionally shot, though this is illegal.

This guy in the picture is a lucky one! Plenty of food and attention, permanent health care, and luckiest thing of all: he lives in the wonderful city of Sydney
;-) .

The Earth from Above (II)

The Earth From Above Exhibition, in Sydney.
Each photograph is accompanied by a related text about environmental
impact in the area.

The Earth from Above (I)

"The Earth from Above" Exhibition, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
To raise awarness and concern for all the damage the planet is suffering.
Sydney, August 2007

City birds

An Ibis strolling in Darling Harbour
Sydney, August 2007

Where will Chinese White Dolphins go to?

WWF worries further reclamation of Chinese white dolphins habitats

WWF is dismayed about the Hong Kong Government's plan to reclaim up to 100 hectares of sea off northern Lantau for the construction of Boundary Crossing Facilities ("BCF") for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
The proposed reclamation, a new idea clearly not included in the Revised Concept Plan for Lantau ("the Plan") published in May 2007 by the Government's Lantau Development Task Force. WWF worries that such uncoordinated proposal not only will deviate from the conservation intentions set by the Plan, but is incompatible with the sustainable development of Lantau, particularly to the Chinese white dolphins.

Cumulative impacts on Chinese white dolphins

The Chinese white dolphin has already been subject to intense disturbance to its habitat in Hong Kong . In the past 12 years, over 1,700 hectares of sea have been reclaimed within the relatively small area inhabited by the Chinese white dolphin ("CWD") in Hong Kong's western waters. Reclamation has not only caused a direct loss to the CWD's habitats, it also removes habitat for the fish on which the dolphins feed.
The cumulative impacts incurred by the past, present and future projects to the Chinese white dolphin are alarming. In addition to the Bridge, as well as CLP Holdings's proposed LNG terminal at Soko Islands, WWF is seriously concerned about the cumulative impacts of other large proposed engineering projects in dolphin habitat including a third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport, Container Terminal 10 and others.

WWF calls for a conservation strategy to protect Chinese white dolphins from further encroachment of habitats

"Our Government currently lacks a comprehensive strategy to assess impacts of development projects on CWD to ensure the continual survival of CWD in Hong Kong waters," said Dr. Alan Leung, Senior Conservation Officer of WWF Hong Kong. "The Government also lacks an overall policy to assess the cumulative impacts on CWD when considering reclamation works from infrastructure projects," he said.
If we continue to increase the disturbance to the long-lived animals such as Chinese white dolphins, at some point their population will go into serious decline in Hong Kong from which it may never recover. For a long-lived species such as CWD, a decline may not be easily noticeable. But once such a decline is discovered, remedies may be too late. Such a phenomenon has already happened to green turtles in Hong Kong.

WWF calls on the Government to:

  • avoid and minimize further reclamation of seas inhabited by CWD;

  • swiftly formulate a conservation strategy to protect CWD, a mascot of Hong Kong, from the various threats pushing them towards extinction;

  • adopt strategic planning for any development or reclamation work to be constructed within CWD habitats and assess potential cumulative impacts on CWD.

All information comes from WWF Hong Kong. More actions to save dolphins here.

Benvinda Eva!

"Chama-se Eva e é a mais nova habitante no Zoomarine. Foi a primeira foca-comum a nascer no parque oceanográfico algarvio, um nascimento que teve muito de simbólico, já que a pequena Eva é “prima” de um dos mamíferos mais ameaçados do planeta: a foca-monge.
A mãe Xina – uma foca com 18 anos e 70 quilos – teve a cria em Julho, numa área de maternidade especial, isolada de outras fêmeas e machos do parque. Foi a forma encontrada pelos tratadores para evitar perturbações e garantir um parto tranquilo e sem riscos, tanto para a progenitora como para a cria. O parto durou apenas 15 minutos e, pouco depois, mãe e filha já nadavam juntas." (resto da notícia aqui)

From Sydney with love ;-)

Bloom is represented in this yearly world wide encounter of veterinarians ;-)
A lot of people moving towards the same: the care of animals.
It feels good to be among those who chose the same destiny as my own, even though there are many variations on the way each one looks at the profession and of course, the use one makes of this great "weapon" that may help us save our world.
The conference consists in many subjects divided into many lecture rooms. Amongst so may interenting titles, one was a no-miss for me, of course: Problems in developing a gene bank for endangered species: Does human race even care?, wonderfully presented by I. Gunn, from Australia.

Of course, it always hurts to hear the truth. Of all the extincted species of the world, at least 50% of them were Australian native. What was the Man doing, hunting down to extinction an animal or a plant. Who has the right to do end our heritage and biodiversity? Natural disasters are already enough to endanger all.

Deceptionaly, less than a dozen delegates attended this lecture. A vet has the knowledge and power to do something saving endangered species....but still, in a group of about 2000, only 12 cared enough to come and listen. "Does human race even care?"
Tasmanian Tiger is not such a distant loss, and there are even photographs of the last specimen seen alive on this earth.
See you tomorrow dear bloomers. I'll post some pics soon.

Para todos os dias

Que a campanha permaneça acesa. Os incêndios não.

De Rio Claro....

De Rio Claro, no Brasil veio esta iniciativa. A "Semana do Ambiente", organizada pelo Rotaract Club Rio Claro-Sul.
Uma campanha que foi de "mail em mail" de Rio Claro para a Bahia e chegou a Macau!

Recycling symbols

Many of us wonder what do these symbols mean.

The Plastic Bottle Material Code System was designed to be easy to read at a glance and distinguishable from any other marking on the bottom of a plastic container. The symbol consists of a triangle formed by three "chasing arrows", with a specific number in the center that indicates the plastic resin from which the bottle is made.

Unfortunately, the presence of one of these symbols doesn't mean that these materials may be recycled everywhere....

Moon Bear

Asiatic black bear, Tibetan black bear, Himalayan black bear, moon bear
Ursus thibetanus

Their ability to balance proficiently on their hind feet mean that they are sometimes trained as cubs to dance for human amusement.

Life span 25 years.

Statistics Body length: 130-190cm, Weight: males: 100-200kg, female: 50-125kg.

Physical Description Asiatic black bears have long black fur with a distinct white patch on the chest that is often crescent-shaped. The fur around the shoulders and throat is particularly long, and their ears are relatively large.

Distribution Asiatic black bears live in eastern Asia, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Habitat They inhabit forested areas, particularly hill and mountainous regions.

Diet Asiatic black bears are more carnivorous than their American counterparts, although only a small part of their diet is made up of meat. This includes small mammals, birds, fish, molluscs and carcasses. They also feed on grasses, fruits, berries, seeds, insects and honey. In autumn they fatten up for the winter by feeding on nuts.

Behaviour Asiatic black bears are solitary except for maternal family groups, and occupy a home range of 10-20 square km. They are most active at night, although in some areas they may be active during the day as well.

Reproduction Asiatic black bears mate from June to July and give birth during January and February. Females give birth to 1-4 cubs, which are born blind and helpless.

Conservation status The subspecies U.t.gedrosianus (Baluchistan) is listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered, but other subspecies are classified as Vulnerable. They are on CITES: Appendix I. Deforestation and loss of habitat are the main problems they face. They are killed by farmers due to the threat they pose to livestock, and they are also unpopular for their habit of stripping valuable timber trees of bark and reducing the value. Asiatic black bears are also hunted for their gall bladders, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Notes Unlike American black bears, Asiatic black bears are notoriously aggressive towards humans and there are numerous records of human attacks and killings. This is mainly due to the fact that they are more likely to come into contact with humans, and they will often attack if surprised.
Source: BBC Science & Nature.

If you want to know more about Moon Bears and their disturbing reality in the gall bladder farming in China, please check Animals Asia, an organization that aims to ban bile farms in China and Vietnam.

That's Andrew in the photo, the famous 3-legged Moon Bear, the icon of Moon Bear rescuing, as he was the first Bear to be rescued in China by Animals Asia. Andrew died last year.

Going black to save the planet!

Did you know that whenever your computer screen is all white, it consummes much more energy than when it is all black?

Well, Google came up with a solution....the Blackle....a black version of google searching engine.
Take a look, and why not make it your home page? It's the same, except that it saves energy and helps saving the environment! ;-) (learn more about black google)

Have a green holiday! (II)

Throughout your holidays, you have the option to have a lesser impact on the place you are visiting.

During your stay:
Even if you're not spending the night in an ecolodge or green hotel, there are still several easy steps you can take to make your stay more eco-friendly.
*Keep your showers short, and shut off the water while you're brushing your teeth.
*When you leave the room, turn off the air conditioning, heat, television, lights or any other electric devices.
*Reuse your sheets and towels instead of having them changed every day. Many hotels will not replace your towels if you leave them hanging up neatly; if you're not sure, write a note for the housekeeping staff or notify the front desk.
*Bring your own toiletries and drinking cup rather than using the prepackaged ones provided. If you do use the hotel's toiletries, take them with you and use them at home or during the rest of your trip.
*Know your hotel's recycling program and sort your trash accordingly. If your hotel doesn't recycle, consider taking your empty bottles or other items home with you to recycle them there. *Give your hotel feedback. Express your appreciation for any eco-friendly programs it currently offers — or if it doesn't, encourage the management to go green in the future.

Getting around:
Transportation — particularly air travel — is where most travelers have the biggest environmental impact. According to USA Today, a flight from New York to Denver produces as much carbon dioxide per passenger as an SUV produces in a month. To minimize your environmental footprint, try the following steps:

*Offset the carbon emissions produced by your flight.
*For shorter trips, take the train instead of flying — especially in Europe or other regions where train service is fast and frequent.
*When renting a car, choose the smallest vehicle that can comfortably accommodate you. *Decline any "free" upgrades (which will cost you more in gas).
*Rent a hybrid car.
*Taking a long road trip? If your personal vehicle is large and not very fuel-efficient, consider renting an economy car instead. You'll save gas and avoid putting miles on your own vehicle.
*Whenever possible, use public transportation instead of a taxis or rental cars. Better yet, walk or bike.

Responsible sightseeing:
When it comes to visiting the world's most beautiful places, the old adage rings true: Take nothing but photographs, and leave nothing but footprints.

*Travel with a tour operator that's environmentally responsible. Before you book, be sure to ask about group size (smaller groups tend to make less of an environmental impact), whether the tours are led by locals, how the tour operator gives back to the community, and what kind of lodging is included.
*When hiking, always stay on marked trails and maintain a safe distance from any animals you encounter. Deposit your trash in marked receptacles or take it with you when you leave. Light campfires only in established fire rings and be sure they're completely extinguished before you leave.
*When snorkeling, do not touch the coral or stir up sediment, as these actions can damage the reef's fragile ecosystem.
*Try to buy local products whenever possible instead of those that have been flown or shipped in from overseas. You'll support the local economy and get a taste of native cuisine. Do not, however, buy souvenirs or other products made from endangered animals or plants — in most cases you can't get them through Customs anyway.
*Treat the locals with respect. Learn a few words in the native language, be open to cultural differences, and read up on the area before your trip so you're sensitive to issues of dress and behavior.
*Consider taking a volunteer vacation to give back directly to the place you're visiting.

By Sarah Schlichter, Independent Traveller

Have a green holiday! (I)

Summer holidays have arrived, everybody going on vacation. The winds of change also have come to our holidays. Not just at home or work, but we can also have a green attitude on holidays and still enjoy them!

What is green travel?
"Green travel" is one of many catch phrases — like ecotourism, sustainable tourism and responsible travel — that are bandied about with increasing frequency these days. But what exactly do these terms mean?
There are various shades of difference among all these terms, but at the heart of the matter is the importance of protecting the natural and cultural environment of the places you visit. That means conserving plants, wildlife and other resources; respecting local cultures and ways of life; and contributing positively to local communities.

Why go green?

With nearly 1 billion tourists crisscrossing the globe every year, it's more important than ever for travelers to minimize their individual impact on the earth's natural and cultural treasures. The potential negative effects of tourism are both local and global; oceanfront hotels contribute to beach erosion in Hawaii, rising numbers of visitors threaten the fragile ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands, and carbon dioxide emissions from planes are a growing contributor to global warming.
Taking a green approach to travel is an easy and essential way to protect the places you love to visit, not just for yourself but for the travelers who come after you and for the people who will continue to live there long after you've flown home. As an added bonus, it often makes for a more rewarding, authentic travel experience, encouraging deeper connections with the people and places you visit.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't necessarily have to pay more in order to travel green. While offsetting the carbon emissions from your air travel will set you back a negligible amount (usually between $10 and $40 per flight, depending on the length), you can find green lodging options in all budgets, from hostels to luxury hotels. And earth-friendly transportation options like biking, walking and taking public transit are often cheaper than taking a cab or renting a car.

Choosing a green hotel:
There are a number of Web sites that list environmentally friendly hotels, B&B's and lodges around the world; these are a good place to start. Keep in mind that each site has its own guidelines for rating properties, so you'll want to do your homework to make sure that the hotel meets the standards you're looking for.

A few questions to ask before booking your hotel:
Is the hotel locally owned and operated? If not, is it at least staffed by local employees?
What kind of recycling programs does the hotel have (aluminum, plastic, paper, gray water, composting)?
Do guests have the option to reuse towels and sheets instead of having them changed every day?
What programs does the hotel have to reduce consumption? Examples include energy-efficient lighting, low-flow toilets and showers, and alternative energy sources like solar or wind power.
How does the hotel contribute to the local community?
Sarah Schlichter, Independent Traveller

Kite on wheels

Forget biodiesel and fuel cell-powered vehicles, how about a whip that doesn't require any fuel whatsoever? The Venturi Eclectic, touted as an "autonomous energy vehicle," gets its charge from wind gusts and 8.2 square feet of solar cells atop its roof. The four-person ride boasts a 22-horsepower purely electric engine, is powered by liquid-cooled NiMH batteries, and can reach a (yawn-inducing) top-end speed of nearly 32mph. While it's no Wrightspeed X1, the designers had "daily driver" in mind when the Ecletic was crafted, but considering it'll only roll 31 miles on a full charge, you best take the scenic (read: sunny) route to work if you're facing a long commute. The car does sport an option to recharge via AC power, should you face darker (and calmer) than expected conditions, but since it weighs just 772 pounds, a foursome shouldn't have too much trouble using the tried and true "push method" if worse comes to worst. Scheduled for production in June 2007, this oh-so-green automombile will run you €24,000 ($30,511) -- if you can manage to score one of the 200 that'll be built, that is.

Só falta uma resposta...

O meu pedido de informações relativamente ao ambiente foi reencaminhado a 3 instituições do Governo de Macau: Instituto para os Assuntos Cívicos e Municipais (IACM), Direcção dos Serviços de Solos, Obras Públicas e Transportes (DSSOPT) e Conselho do Ambiente (CA).

Como não enviou a resposta que lhe competia, ao fim de 30 dias, de acordo com a carta de qualidade, a pergunta foi reenviada pelo CAIP à DSSOPT.

Aqui está a resposta ao pedido de informações! (II)

Parte 2 - Conselho do Ambiente

Relativamente à questão que colocou neste Centro, levamos ao conhecimento de V.Exa. a tradução para português, feita por este Centro, da resposta em chinês que recebemos do Conselho do Ambiente em 08.06.2007:

…este Conselho do Ambiente efectuou dois estudos no ano 2002 sobre a poluição atmosférica provocada pela emissão de gases poluentes dos veículos. Actualmente, tendo em consideração a importação de novos motociclos e ciclomotores, está a elaborar um projecto de diploma sobre a definição do limite de emissão de gases poluentes dos veículos. Em relação aos estudos e procedimentos legislativos acima referidos, sugerimos que consultem o Relatório do Estado Ambiente de Macau que consta no website:
Centro de Atendimento e Informação ao Público

Aqui está a resposta ao pedido de informações! (I)

Parte 1 - Resposta do IACM:

Relativamente à questão que colocou neste Centro, levamos ao conhecimento de V.Exa. a tradução para português, feita por este Centro, da resposta em chinês que recebemos do Instituto para os Assuntos Cívicos e Municipais em 14.06.2007:

Agradecendo, desde já, a carta enviada pelo cidadão e as opiniões preciosas apresentadas, informamos que as duas companhias de autocarro e o sector de táxi de Macau introduziram recentemente veículos ecológicos, tendo uma dessas companhias introduzido veículos híbridos que funcionam a gasolina e electricidade.

Em virtude da existência de limitações no domínio da construção de infraestruturas, manutenção e conservação de equipamentos, pessoal especializado em reparação, oficinas de reparação e postos de fornecimento de energia, a utilização de veículos a gás ou gás natural em Macau exige um período de tempo para proceder a análise. Além disso, é do nosso conhecimento que o Gabinete para o Desenvolvimento do Sector Energético está a fazer estudos sobre a utilização de gás natural para produção de energia e de veículos a gás natural.
De acordo com o Quadro IV anexo ao Regulamento das Inspecções e da Fixação de Diversas Características dos Veículos Automóveis vigente, o valor máximo admissível para a emissão de gases de escape por unidades de fumo (HSU) nos veículos a gasóleo é de 60 (sessenta).”

Centro de Atendimento e Informação ao Público

Hybrids big kick off?

The New York City Hall has recently announced its ambitious plan of converting 13,000 taxi gasoline cabs into hybrids by 2012. Already close to 400 hybrid taxis are circulating in the streets and by October 2008 additional 1,000 are expected to replace part of the fleet. According to Michael Bloomberg, the City Mayor, this programme will help reduce in 50% the carbon dioxide emissions by taxis in New York in the coming decade, roughly the equivalent to the emissions of 30,000 individually-owned gas-powered vehicles in New York. See more details here.

This can really be the kind of incentives automobile industry needs for mass production of hybrids, cars that are powered by gasoline and electricity. In fact, why not implement the programe in other cities in the world, particularly those plagued by heavy traffic, strong air pollution and less efficient public transportation alternatives? Macau would benefit much in doing so. Well, for now hybrids are comparatively much more expensive, but advantages in the long term are worth to consider: reduction of urban air pollution and less pressure on the greenhouse effect problem, as well as lower fuels costs.

Wild-caught caviar? Think again!

A fish that can live for 150 years and grow to six meters (almost 20 feet) long and as much as 1,200 kilograms (more than 2,500 pounds) appears doomed to extinction.

For this expensive delicacy, wild Beluga sturgeons are indistinctly caught from the Caspian Sea and are on the brink of extinction.
This amazing living fossil fish is a beauty of the seas but chances that it may survive in the wild are almost none. It takes many years for the sturgeons to mature, but as always, our greed leads us to destruction, and all sturgeons are being taken, including the young, immature juveniles, males and females , even though only mature females (only 7% of the catch) bear the eggs.
The scenario is not so good for these sturgeons, as soon they will not be enough for the species to thrive in the wild.

Farmed sturgeons pose an alternative, and if you really wish to have some caviar, choose the farmed one.
Trade of wild caviar is CITES - regulated and the trade of some sturgeon species has been banned.

We are in the hub of a globalizing world, information is widely available to almost everyone, then why does the world keep sinking?
Info and pic from BBC and WWF - where you may find out more about caviar and sturgeons.

Only this week, but we should try to do it everyday!

Macao Energy Conservation Week” launches on the 10th June.

A series of activities of the “Macao Energy Conservation Week” will
be held in different areas of Macao from the 10th to 16th of June. This is the
first time Macao organized the “Macao Energy Conservation Week”. The theme of
the week is “A Great Life Starts From Energy Conservation!” By means of the
promotional activities within the Week, it is hoped to arouse people’s
consciousness of conserving energy, and to learn how important it is to the
society and to the sustainable development of Macao.
Business parties are the major energy consumers. Hence,
casinos, hotels, banks and companies etc. are invited to join one of the
activities within the Week – “Switching Off the Lights for 5 Minutes”. On the
11th June, 9pm, the participating parties will switch off the outdoor decorating
lights for 5 minutes to cope with the aim of saving energy. Meanwhile, part of
the decorating lights of three bridges which connect Macao and Taipa will be
switched off at midnight, earlier than usual practice, in order to save energy.

The “Switching Off the Lights for 5 Minutes” activity
gains major attention from the society. Casinos which have registered by now to
join the activity includes: SJM, Galaxy Entertainment Group, Melco PBL Gaming
(Macau) Limited and STDM. Companies in other industries like Bank of China
(Macau), hotels and shops will also participate. Almost all the business parties
along the Macao coast, opposite to Taipa, have joined the activity to switch off
the outdoor decorating lights at 9 pm, 11th June. It is believed that more and
more parties will join the activity, thus help to spread the message of energy
Regarding local residents, those who will be at
home at 9 pm, 11th June, are encouraged to switch off the lights for 5 minutes.

Rest of the news here.

The world is melting too

Farewell to a melting glacier

Latin America analyst James Painter returns to the Chacaltaya glacier in Bolivia for the first time in 15 years to find it is melting fast.

Full story here.

Glaciers are a vital source of water for the surrounding villages and for the wildlife. Glaciers freeze and thaw, but such a fast decline can only be attributed to global warming. What will be reserved for us...we don't know. Will we survive such aggression to our planet?

Protect us from ourselves

UN Urges Protection of Animals from Climate Change

June 04, 2007 — By Anna Mudeva, Reuters

THE HAGUE -- A senior United Nations official urged a 171-nation U.N. wildlife forum on Sunday to take action to help protect animals from climate change.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will also discuss measures at its two week-week meeting to help commercially valuable animal and tree species threatened by over-use.

A U.N. report has said human activities were wiping out three animal or plant species every hour and has urged the world to do more to slow the worst spate of extinctions since the dinosaurs by 2010.

Global warming, blamed mainly on human use of fossil fuels, is widely expected to add to existing threats and wreck habitats like the Amazon rain forest.

"CITES is not a forum for discussing climate change but decisions taken here do have an impact on species in a climatically challenged world," Shafgat Kakaklhel, deputy head of the U.N. Environment Programme, told the opening session.

"We will need robust species populations if they are to survive rising temperatures and more extremes," he said.


Many of the 37 proposals to be discussed at the meeting in The Hague reflect growing concern about rapid depletion of marine and forest resources.

Commercially valuable species like the spiny dogfish, the porbeagle shark and the European eel -- all threatened by over-use -- feature high on the agenda.

The focus will also be on coral jewellery, wooden musical instruments and furniture. Threatened species like pink or red coral and rosewood and cedar trees are facing tighter trade regulations.

Elephants are expected to trigger heated debate. African countries are split over the protection of the elephant, with some saying elephant populations have grown at an unsustainable rate.

CITES is widely credited with stemming the slaughter of the African elephant by imposing a ban on the international ivory trade in 1989.

But scientists say the killing of elephants for their tusks, mainly in central Africa, has reached levels not seen since 1989 because of Asian-run crime syndicates.

The talks will also help shape the future of CITES, which has banned trade in 530 animal species and more than 300 plant species.

CITES also regulates trade in 4,460 animal species and 28,000 plant species.

Source: Reuters

Give me a call, says the leopard.

India Uses 'Mooing' Ringtones To Catch Leopards

AHMEDABAD, India -- Forest guards in western India are using cell phones with ringtones of cows mooing, goats bleating and roosters crowing to attract leopards that have wandered into human settlements, officials said on Monday.
The wild cats in the state of Gujarat often roam into villages near forests in search of food, say officials, adding that this results in attacks on people.
But rather than use methods such as live bait like goats tied to trees to lure the leopards, which then fall into large pits dug by guards, officials say they have found a safer method to trap the cats.
"The moos of a cow, bleating of a goat from the phone has proved effective to trap leopards," said D. Vasani, a senior forest official in Gujarat. "This trick works."
Vasani said forest guards have downloaded the sounds of over a dozen animals as ringtones on their mobiles which they attach to speakers and fix behind a cage.
They then play the ringtone continuously for up to two hours until the curious leopard appears and moves into the cage looking for its easy meal.
Five leopards have so far been lured from villages since the new ringtone method was introduced a month ago. The cats have all been released back into forest areas.
Wildlife activists welcomed the new initiative saying that previous methods of trapping the cats using pits often resulted in the animals getting injured.
Source: Reuters

Protect the Green Turtle babies!

Green Turtle Nesting Season Starts in June in Hong Kong!

The Green turtle nesting season has run from June to October in the past but numbers returning have dropped to perilously low levels in recent years. Ever since 2003, no Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) have nested at the Sham Wan beach on Lamma Island, which is the only site where Green turtles have nested regularly in recent decades.

Without better protection, such as a multiple-juristiction action plan for conservation, marine turtles in the South China Sea are at risk of extinction. Scientists estimate only one of 1,000 baby green turtles lives into adulthood. These signs are worrying as marine turtles have the inborn habit of going back to their original natal beach where they are born, for nesting.

Actions from You
Support WWF's Save our Seas (SOS) campaign to prevent our marine ecosystem, where marine turtles rely on, from collapsing.
Beach visitors, divers etc should avoid disturbing any marine turtles in the water or at beaches identified for marine turtle nesting, i.e. Sham Wan and Tai Long Wan, as a passive effort to encourage turtles coming back to Hong Kong for nesting.
Report any sightings to AFCD by calling 1823 during this coming June to October nesting period!
Photo and info from WWF.
Full story here.

What kind of footprint will you leave?

Today I bought a pair of Timberland sandals. Inside the plain looking box I found:

And yes, of corse, this box is made from 100% post consumer recycled material, built with no glue and printed with soy and water-based inks. Reuse it. Then recycle it.

There is even a label with Timberland's footprint: impact on environment and on community.

Interesting box....What kind footprint will you leave?

Ice in South African beach

In a Durban beach of South Africa the water of the sea froze, after a strong snow fall in the region, creating white landscapes that we would only think possible in northern and cooler regions of the world. This is one more aggravated sympton of climate change to join many previous ones and others that will follow through. Climate changes, which are already reshaping coastlines and river flows, destroying agricultural cycles and other economic activities highly dependable on weather conditions, are being felt all over the globe, and will more severely affect the poorer regions, with less resources to invest in protective or adaptable meausures.

The silent killer...(II)

Beijing blames pollutants for rise in killer cancers

Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Tuesday May 22, 2007

Foul air, filthy water and contaminated soil have led to a surge of tumours in
China, where cancer is the main cause of death, the state media reported
Raising fears that breakneck economic growth is having a dire
impact on the nation's health, a government survey blamed pollution for a sharp
rise in cancer cases.
According to the health ministry, the disease is ahead
of cerebrovascular and heart ailments as the nation's biggest killer.

Full story here.

Can you believe this?

'Noah's Ark' of 5,000 rare animals found floating off the coast of China·

Cargo of abandoned vessel destined for restaurants·
Illegal trade drives species closer to extinction

Jonathan Watts in Beijing
Saturday May 26, 2007
The Guardian

Endangered, hunted, smuggled and now abandoned, 5,000 of the world's rarest
animals have been found drifting in a deserted boat near the coast of China.
The pangolins, Asian giant turtles and lizards were crushed inside crates on
a rickety wooden vessel that had lost engine power off Qingzhou island in the
southern province of Guangdong. Most were alive, though the cargo also contained
21 bear paws wrapped in newspaper.
According to conservation groups, the
haul was discovered on one of the world's most lucrative and destructive
smuggling routes: from the threatened jungles of south-east Asia to the
restaurant tables of southern China.

Full story here.

A pause for famous thinkers

"Tenderness and pity should never be taken as weakness. Men who have been great in the true sense have never been indifferent to the rights, nor blind to the needs, of the helpless. The education of the heart should ever go in hand with the education of the mind. Kindness toward all sentient creatures and suffering in all its forms are the hallmarks of the enlightened community and the badge of the cultural individual."
George Farnum

"We need a moral philosophy in which the concept of love,so rarely mentioned now by the philosophers, is made central."
Iris Murdoch

The recycling labels

Many times we wonder, in our daily life, while separating the garbage, what do all the symbols in the packaging mean!

Here's an explanation of the most used ones. Just follow this link and this one too!

Sustainable solutions for a healthy planet - RECYCLE

Third and last: Recycle

There is a reason why "recyle" comes last in the mantra "reduce, reuse, recycle". Most people tend to forget that the processes involved in recycling including collection, transportation, processing and conversion. All require energy- often derived from oil! That's why REDUCE and REUSE are the best preventive way to avoid waste!

1. Recycle Bins: Create designated holding "bins" for each type of recycled product and place in convenient locations in your home/garage asdgadgafgadgxcvgasdfgadsgadfgjal'ksdkghas;hgajksdhgak;sjhga;jksdhgalk;shgalksdhfgal;sjhgad;fg
2. Recycling Fact Sheet: Create a local recycling fact sheet for yourself and interested neighbors. The local Yellow Pages, Internet Consumer Recycling Guide and Recycling Resources are great resources. Find out in your hometown where you can recycle:
*paper products
*plastic grocery bags (better yet - use cloth bags)
*plastic - including 1 - 7 identification codes
*tin cans
*scrap metal
*motor oil (one quart of oil can kill fish in thousands of gallons of water)
*ink cartridges
*household appliances such as refrigerators
*computer equipment and other electronic devices
*aseptic packaging (square boxes used for liquids)
*athletic shoes (contact a local sporting goods or athletic shoe store - some donate used shoes, others recycle them)

3. Recycled Content: Ask your local retailers to stock more products made from recycled materials and buy products made from the highest recycled content whenever possible.

4. Green Paper: In general, try to buy products/containers made from recycled material as often as possible to support the recycled product market. When purchasing paper products (toilet paper, etc,), look for paper that has been recycled using a minimum of 50% post-consumer waste. Also, purchase from companies that do not use chlorine to bleach their paper products (which creates dioxin waste).

5. Natural Fertilizer: Leave grass clippings on the lawn as fertilizer.

6. Composting: Start a compost pile with yard trimmings and food scraps. Learn more at Wikipedia's Compost page.

7. Pack-it-Out: If you are traveling and no recycle bins are available, pack your recyclables home with you whenever possible.

8. Eco-Friendly Burials: For the ultimate in recycling, consider the growing movement in eco-friendly burials that allow the body to recycle back into the earth and help to restore the land.

9. Hazardous Waste: The other key aspect of dealing with waste effectively is to dispose of toxic products at a hazardous waste facility. Products requiring special handling include:
*Building Materials - paint , varnish, paint thinner, solvents, rust remover, wood preservatives and driveway sealer
*Automotive products - gasoline, transmission oil, brake fluid, kerosene, charcoal lighter fluid, power steering fluid, used motor oil,used oil filters, used antifreeze
*Household cleaners - spot removers, rug cleaners, metal cleaners, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaner, drain cleaner
*Pesticides - insect killers, weed killers, flea products, moth crystals, fertilizers with weed killer
*Miscellaneous - photographic chemicals, acids and corrosive chemicals, pool chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, Ni-Cd batteries.

Words are needless....The image speaks for itself...

Do you care?

Óleo de cozinha: um poluente do nosso quotidiano.

Deitar o óleo de cozinha pela rede de esgostos é um erro gravíssimo e que traz consequências muito negativas para o ambiente. A presença de óleos e gorduras na rede de esgoto pode originar sérios problemas de entupimento e mau cheiro. Além disso, o óleo de cozinha pode chegar ao oceano através das redes de esgotos. Em contacto com a água do mar, esse resíduo líquido passa por reacções químicas que resultam em emissão de metano, através da acção anaeróbica de bactérias. O metano é um dos principais gases que causam o efeito estufa que contribui para o aquecimento da terra. Outra situação que poderá acontecer é o facto do óleo ser mais leve que a água, ficando na superfície e criando uma barreira que dificulta a entrada de luz e a oxigenação da água, comprometendo assim a base da cadeia alimentar aquática.
Por essas razões NUNCA se deve deitar o óleo de cozinha usado pela rede de esgostos!
Infelizmente, não parece existir alternativas ideais para nos livrarmos da melhor forma desse líquido poluente que utilizamos no dia-a-dia. No entanto, alguns profissionais sugerem colocar os óleos utilizados numa garrafa de plástico (por exemplo, as garrafas de bebidas ou até a do próprio óleo) fechá-las bem, ou num saco de plástico bem fechado e sem ar e, posteriormente, colocá-los no contentor normal de lixo indiferenciado. Está referenciado que em algumas cidades existem uma espécie de óleo-ecopontos.

Existem alternativas interessantes para reaproveitar o óleo de cozinha e uma delas é fazer sabão. Outras formas de reutilizar o óleo de cozinha é transformá-lo numa alimentação animal ou em biodiesel. Como não são processos simples, o melhor seria haver entidades/empresas especializadas na reciclagem que se responsabilizassem pela recolha do óleo usado e seu, posterior, reaproveitamento.

Sustainable solutions for a healthy planet - REUSE

Second: Reuse

The media has done a wonderful job of selling us on the attractiveness and benefits of buying "new", "improved", "special", etc. products. However, we already collectively own so much that we could all survive for quite a while on the existing products - if we just reused them a few times!

1. Garage Sales: Shop at and hold garage sales - this is a great way to reuse products.

Reusables: Switch from disposable to reusable products: food and beverage containers, cups, plates, writing pens, razors, diapers, towels, shopping bags, etc.

3. Donations: Donate your old:
*household items - clothes, furniture, dishes, books, sports equipment, magazines, appliances, electronics, business attire, wedding attire, etc. (to charity)
computer equipment
*building material (to companies who specialize in selling used material)
*cell phones and ink cartridges
*extra hangers (to your local dry cleaners)
*art materials (to a school or cultural organization)
*unwanted boxed/bagged/canned food (to homeless shelters, food banks, or soup kitchens)

4. Buy/Sell Used Items: Buy and sell your items on sites such as:
*Local second hand stores

5. Community Swap: Organize a community swap program (i.e., designate a place where people can leave unwanted items for others to use).
6. Buy Durables: Buy products that will last and take care of them.

7. Teach Thrift: Teach your children the value of being thrifty (the wise economy in the management of money and other resources; frugality).

8. Frugal Printing: Use both sides of each piece of paper -- for note taking or printing documents from your computer (at home or work). Create note pads by stapling together once-used paper.

9. Kitchen Reuseables: Instead of buying these items new, save and reuse all: paper bags, rubber bands, twisties, boxes, and packaging material. Reuse your plastic bags with a handy bag dryer.

10. Library: Pick up books from your local library or used book store. The library is also many times a great place for finding magazines, CDs, books-on-tape, and videos.

11. Rechargeable Batteries: Purchase rechargeable batteries and a battery recharger (some battery rechargers will also recharge regular alkaline batteries).

Unplug them

Did you know that even after disconnecting the charger from your mobile phone, but not from the power source, it continues to accumulate energy?

Yes, it's true, so please unplug all charging devices - laptops, mobile phones and others, after charging is complete! It's only a simple gesture that is worth a lot!


We could do more

This 12 years old girl statement at the United Nations Environment and Development meeting back in 1992 reminds us that so much is still to be done. Everyone could do more.

Sustainable solutions for a healthy planet - REDUCE

FIRST: Reduce

The critical first step of waste prevention has been overshadowed by a focus on recycling. Please help to promote a greater awareness of the importance of the "Reduce" part of the Reduce-Reuse-Recycle mantra.

To reduce is the first priority in the waste reduction heirarchy. Using less in the first place, sometimes called source reduction, is the easiest way to solve the world's mounting garbage problem. Source reduction means reducing the amount of material that enters the waste stream. It avoids disposal and pollution problems right from the start, and it conserves natural resources and energy. Reducing waste at the beginning means there will be less waste to be recycled or landfilled. Try some of these ideas at home, school or work today!

1. Simplify: Simplify your life as much as possible. Only keep belongings that you use/enjoy on a regular basis. By making the effort to reduce what you own, you will naturally purchase less/create less waste in the future.

2. Tree-Free Home: As much as possible, create a tree-free home:
*replace paper napkins with cloth napkins
*replace paper towels with a special set of cloth towels/napkins - store the used ones in a small container in your kitchen and just wash and reuse
*purchase bleach-free, toilet paper that is made from the highest post-consumer waste content you can find (80% minimum)
*if you print documents, print on once-used paper and/or bleach-free, recycled paper with the highest post-consumer waste content available (or hemp/alternative-source paper, if you can afford it)
*create and use note pads from once-used paper
*leave messages for family members/roommates on a reusable message board
*make your own cards/letters from once-used products or handmade paper

3. Reduce Purchases: In general, think before you buy any product - do you really need it? How did the production of this product impact the environment and what further impacts will there be with the disposal of the product (and associated packaging materials)? When you are thinking about buying something, try the 30-Day Rule -- wait 30 days after the first time you decide you want a product to really make your decision. This will eliminate impulse buying.

4. Bulk Purchases: Avoid products that are packaged for single use (i.e., drinks, school lunches, candy, cat and dog food, salad mixings, etc.). Instead, buy in bulk and transfer the products to your own reusable containers. Many health food stores have bulk bins where they sell everything from grains to cereal to cleaning products.
For additional ideas, read the Precycling information page.

6. Avoid Trash: Avoid creating trash wherever possible: when ordering food, avoid receiving any unnecessary plastic utensils, straws, etc. (ask in advance), buy ice cream in a cone instead of a cup, don't accept "free" promotional products, buy products with the least amount of packaging, etc. Every little bit of trash avoided does make a difference!

7. Shopping Bags: While shopping, if you only buy a few products skip the shopping bag. For larger purchases, bring your own.

8. Junk Mail: Find the way to avoid junk mail in your hometown.

9. Green Hotels: When staying at a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast let the management know that you like to support businesses that adopt environmentally responsible practices (including reducing waste). Print out and drop off the Sustainable Solutions for Green Hotels list. To locate environmentally friendly hotels, search on the Internet under "ecotourism" and/or visit Green Hotels Association.

*Mug-to-Go: Carry a mug with you wherever you go for take out beverages.

*Protect Children: Protect your child from mindless consumption.

And more tips for REDUCING waste go to here!

Baby diapers facts

Facts for mommies and mommies-to-be:
Your baby will spend about 25,000 hours in diapers and need about 6,000 diaper changes during the first years of life. Since your baby will spend so much time in diapers, let’s take a closer look at disposable diapers. On the market since the early 60’s, the disposable diaper changed from a plastic diaper with a lot of paper fluff to a diaper constructed of a waterproof plastic outer layer, an absorbent pad with super absorbent chemicals, and an inner liner. The super absorbent chemical, sodium polyacrylate, absorbs and holds fluids in the diaper. This chemical has been linked to toxic shock syndrome, can cause allergic reactions, and is lethal to cats if inhaled. This chemical is toxic. Dioxin, the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is a byproduct of bleaching paper. The disposables also use dyes, potencially harmful. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) received reports that fragrances caused headaches, dizziness, and rashes. Problems may arise if plastic parts of diaper are torn by the babies and taken to the mouth or nose!

About 5 million tons of untreated body excrement, which may carry over 100 intestinal viruses, is brought to landfills via disposables. This may contribute to groundwater contamination and attract insects that carry and transmit diseases. In 1990, 18 billion disposables were thrown into United States landfills. Is it wise to use 3.4 billion gallons of oil and over 250,000 trees a year to manufacture disposables that end up in our already overburdened landfills? These disposables are not readily biodegradable. The paper must be exposed to air and sun to decompose. Thirty percent of a disposable diaper is plastic and is not compostable. Even if the rest of the diaper could be composted, these plants could only handle 400 of the 10,000 tons of diapers tossed in landfills EACH DAY, assuming they didn’t have to process any other compostable garbage. Biodegradable diapers have cornstarch added to the plastic to break it into tiny pieces. The pieces still end up in landfills.

And the good news are:
Nowadays there are several alternatives to normal disposable diapers. You may find organic diapers (biodegradable, without bleach or other chemicals that may harm the baby's skin and the environment, you may even order with or you may turn to old-style reusable diapers. Don't be scared right away! These diapers don't need to be tied with pins or anything. They already come in the shape of the disposable diaper, with elastics and attachable strips, and experienced mommies say it's easy to clean....

It's cool and easy on your purse, your baby's skin and spares the environment ;-)

And if you are a mommy-to-be in Macau, it will not cost you a thing to take a peek at THIS! It may sound strange at first, but the info may be useful!

Beautiful and new campaign, sad and old subject

Singapore Veterinary Authority launched a new and spectacular "Responsible Ownership Campaign" for protection of pets, on a postcard format. New, modern, true and the image gets inside us. This campaign was awarded with the most popular advertisement prize!

It appeals to pet owners to think before they adopt an animal, and that all creatures, great and small deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and can't be filed or shelved as we please or as best suits us.
The advertisements' deliberate attempt to juxtapose the animals with toys and memorabilia brought across the message that pets cannot be shelved away but require their owner's lifelong commitment and care.

Still, in Singapore, the city of rules and progress, hundreds and hundreds of pets, from hamsters to dogs, are abandonned and finally put to sleep.

Sadly, and despite all the efforts, people still don't think twice before getting a new pet into their lifes.
It is, after all, a commitment with another life. It's not just for the fun of it.

And in the end, it all should be simple as this: If you don't like them, just don't get one! End of story!

Get out of the way!

GRAND PRIZE PHOTO CONTEST (National Wildlife Magazine) Kim Steininger Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania"I took this picture right before I ducked," says Steininger. On a bird-watching trip in Ontario, Canada, last winter, the network administrator noticed that one of the great gray owls she was photographing was staring back at her. "I didn’t think anything of it until it started flying at me," she says. Before getting out of the way, Steininger captured this digital photo, the WINNER of the contest, with a 500mm telephoto lens.

Up in Flames

An animal rescue team in Indonesia treated more than 40 orangutans for respiratory problems and burns toward the end of 2006 following fires that drove them from their forest home. More.

When will WE start thinking ahead and not only for now?
Items to avoid and protect the rainforest, be aware of them here.

A certain light at the end of the tunnel...

When you least expect, we receive good news! The Macau government has just announced the building of the future light-train network to begin next year and if everything goes smooth, it may be concluded within 4 years, in 2012. The new transportation network will cover most of the new areas of Macau peninsula, as well as Taipa and Cotai sections. I am personally very happy with the route because one of the train stops will be near my residential area!! Despite still a few years to go before we can benefit from it, these are excellent news for the environment in Macau, teresa!

Hoping for changes

This week in Bangkok the UN sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is telling the world that efforts to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases over the next two to three decades will largely define the long-term global mean temperature increase and the subsequent climate change impact on the planet. Gathering hundreds of climate scientists, economists and diplomats, this panel is finalizing a report to propose policy decision-makers the best options for curbing those harmful emissions. See more details here and here.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away in the capital city of the world wealthiest and largest producer of greenhouse gases, and during the recent US-European Union Summit, George W. Bush finally recognized that climate change was a problem which is related with oil dependency and there was a need to address greenhouse emissions. But officials in backstage say that nothing in fact is expected to change, at least in this presidency. (See additional info in this article). However, he insists that the best way to address the problem is investing in technology, while accepting caps would damage economic competitiveness. Differently from the EU countries, Japan and many others, he US refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, unless developing countries such as China and India would also join the curbing programme. In the Kyoto Protocol compulsory cuts of emission are only applied to developed countries.

Is there any hope of persuading American politicians to go for more consequential and responsible efforts regarding greenhouse emissions? Some voices within the Democratic Party that recently took control of both houses of Congress express hope that climate change and environmental issues might gain a momentum. Still, confidence is not in abundance. Public opinion should be the driving force for change, but the issue seems to be exactly the lack of support from citizens at large. According to a poll recently carried by the Pew research Center, the report suggested that among five Americans two consider global warming is caused by human activity, and only one was personally worried with the problem. See more details here. I hope for change to come sooner...

Just dropped my questions in the portal of Macau Government.

Deixei as minhas questões aqui.

Bom dia,
Gostaria de indagar junto de vós se existe algum plano para a introdução de autocarros movidos a electricidade em Macau. É uma iniciativa já visível em muitas cidades do mundo e visa acompanhar o desenvolvimento sustentável das cidades e promover uma melhoria na qualidade do ar.
Gostaria igualmente de perguntar quais são as perspectivas e planos de melhoria da qualidade do ar e redução da poluição que existem para Macau, face ao aumento exacerbado do número de carros e motas em Macau.
Uma última questão, gostaria ainda de saber qual a legislação aplicável para a emissão de gases poluentes dos veículos automobilizados visto haver centenas de carros, motas e autocarros que à vista de todos emitem do tubo de escape um desagradável fumo preto, que julgo resultar de falta de vistoria e avarias e que aparentemente sobre eles não há qualquer controlo ou medidas no sentido de serem multados ou forçados a resolverem o problema.
Agradeço e aguardo a vossa resposta.


Ficaremos à espera da resposta!

The silent killer...

Each morning, when I leave home to work, and drive my car I think about it. It's there. We all know about it and tend to ignore it, like we do with all problems that affect us and the planet.
Air pollution is everywhere, exactly because it's the air, it is everywhere...with all the pollution in it.
So far we have been talking about the future of the planet and the future generations.
What about now? I live in such a polluted city that if I stop to think about it, it makes me feel sick that we are condemning ourselves to a pollution-related disease. Does anybody think about this?
The air in Macau is thick and grey and is getting into our lungs with every breath we take.
Even in Coloane...which seems a last resource for fresh air, is not pollution-free at all.
There is the stone grinding industry which releases stone powder dust that has already condemned to lung cancer many workers from the near-by Seac Pai Van Park, supposedly the place we go for pure and fresh air ....
Waiting in traffic jams and red lights with all those high-pollutant motorbikes and old buses blowing black smoke from the engine pipes into our faces?
So many casinos and money flowing around and we have to take all this smoke? So much money here and still no improvement in the air quality. So much money and still no electric or hydrogen buses....
Can you imagine when the bridge Macau-Hong Kong-Guangzhou is ready? How many cars and buses will there be in Macau then?
Nobody seems to care and improve the situation. It doesn't make you wealthier and that's it.
Seems hopeless. Looks like it will never get better.
And what can the normal citizen do in a place where apparently there is no law governing the release of pollutants by cars, buses and cars, because we keep seeing those vehicles releasing black smoke, which would be forbidden in other countries but here is still allowed? Why?
The government is somewhat sensitive to the power of the press. However, the press doesn't always use its powers to exert pressure. So, here is a suggestion to our fellow local journalists... and for the government ;-)
Many cities are promoting the use of electric buses and the result is less pollution and less noise too!
And for the normal citizen, like me, we can always drop our opinions and suggestions here or here. It will not take you long ;-) and the more comments we drop the better chance for our voices to be heard!
I grew up in a fairly fresh-aired small village in Portugal and had a fortunate childhood in the countryside together with trees, green places and animals. Never thought that some years later I would be deprived of it and missing it so much.
But here.... kids can't even enjoy green, pollution free places unless they fly away. . Isn't this terrible? Forcing them and us to constantly breathe the polluted air of Macau? There is no countryside in Macau. Depriving kids from enjoying a grass field, with poppies and butterflies and a blue sky? What will their future be like? Where will they be in 10 years?
Well, this is the place where I wish to be in 10 years, and hope everybody can find a place like this and finally live a healthy life:

Do you drive a car?

Someone reading my posts in this blog asked me if I drive a car to assess my genuine commitment to environmental protection issues. Yes, I do drive a gasoline car, and yes, I am concerned with environmental degradation issues. If I could choose a public means of transportation to serve my needs, I would give up having a car. The problem is that currently in Macau – the city where I live in – cannot provide me with an efficient public transportation fulfilling my needs which I am sure to be common to many of my neighbours. There is only one public bus route going from my residential area to my son’s school and my work place, and buses on this route are also in reduced number.
This illustrates how public policies can in fact shape our behavior and determine its impact on the environment. Therefore, it is not surprising that Macau is one of the world cities with the highest per capita number of motor vehicles. If people are given good and efficient public transportation means, or if there were non-polluting cars at affordable prices in the market, there should be an improvement in the air quality and a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, and hence on climate change.
There is also a difference between being in favor of a sustainable human development and supporting the environment and nature protection at any cost. I support the first one. Men can no longer afford to leave large amounts of resources and lands of nature untouched, but can choose to minimize the damages caused by its continuous development and population growth. That is the challenge of pursuing the so-called policies of sustainable development: allowing humans to develop while preserving and reducing risks of nature destruction and depletion of its resources.

Sex drug better for some species, but of little help for the TIGER

The saviour of men's sex lives is also doing its bit for the future of seals, seahorses, green turtles and other endangered species.

Impotency drugs such as Viagra have proven such a success with Chinese men that they are turning away from traditional therapies, say researchers.

The findings by Bill von Hippel, a psychologist at the University of NSW, and his brother Frank, a biologist at the University of Alaska, emerge from a study of 250 men, aged 50 to 76, at a Chinese medicine clinic in Hong Kong.

The brothers believe this means less demand for seal penises, which are usually ground into a potion. Or green turtles - which are turned into a soup - and their eggs, which are eaten separately. Or seahorses and pipe fish, whose entire bodies are ground down.

The entire gecko is also cooked then ground into a potion, while some species of Asian deer are valued for their musk glands. Reindeer can also provide a boost when the velvet that covers its horns is stripped away. And don't forget the multi-purpose tiger, whose bones and penis are prized.

The research received funding from Viagra's developer, Pfizer. The findings, published in Environment Conservation, are consistent with previous research by the von Hippels showing that prices for seal genitalia fell from $100 to about $20 after Viagra was introduced in 1998.

"They have no use whatsoever for anything but the erectile dysfunction trade," Dr Bill von Hippel said. "We believe that over time it will be the same story with other animals."
But for other ailments such as arthritis, indigestion and gout, those surveyed stuck with traditional medicine.

"Erectile dysfunction was the one case where they were more likely to be currently using western medicine than Chinese medicine and nobody had switched from Viagra back to traditional therapies."

"The bottom line of this is that Viagra has huge potential to save endangered species. The men we interviewed chose the product that works best." But tigers may not be as lucky. "One tiger goes into millions of treatments. We don't think Viagra will help them."

Story and pic from here.


* A tiger can weigh 450kg and measure 3m from its nose to its tail.

* Tiger numbers in the wild are thought to have plunged from 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century to between 5000 and 7000 today. They now range in the forests of south Asia, southeast Asia, southeastern China and the Russian far east. Fewer than 1000 tigers are in zoos worldwide.

* A century ago, India had some 40,000 tigers. Now, officials estimate they number about 3700, although some environment groups put the number at less than 2000.

* The Bali, Javan, and Caspian subspecies, have become extinct in the past 70 years. The five remaining subspecies, Amur, Bengal, Indo-Chinese, South China, and Sumatran, live in Asia. All are threatened by poaching and habitat loss.

*The South China tiger is on the verge of extinction, with just 20 to 30 remaining in the wild.

Snakes, lizards and other weird pets

All sorts of strange animals for the most exquisite owners travel across the world and end!

Exotic pet trade happens everywhere. Even though I might disagree with it, it will not affect me negatively, as long as the animals are not taken from the natural wild stocks.

Boa constrictor imperator

First specimens were taken from the wild. And many still illegally are, unfortunately. Those animals are most likely to die, as a result of travelling stress, maladjustment, poor nutrition and unthriveness in captivity. Therefore, because the trade is growing in a fast way there are many farms that grow these animals, which are more adapted to living in a confined environment. The trade of some species is regulated by the CITES agreement, and need special permits.These animals demand very specific conditions for being kept and temperature, moist, feed, light must be given in the correct amount or animals may not thrive.
Snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises travel in cloth bags, polypropylene boxes, plastic cups, wooden boxes, and that's to way to do it....

There are a few shops in Macau that import exotic animals for sale, breeding and for their own personal collection. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaLeopard Gecko
Well, given the country where we are living in, it is expected that these animals may stimulate some desires in the most exquisite...eaters.... Yes, some people want to buy them just for the sake of tasting a new delicacy!!

One petshop owner said that many casino gambling winners frequently go there and want to buy those creatures just for tasting them!! Amazing!!

A nice fat raccoon would go well for dinner tonight...or a special Amazonian Frog..... or even a highly protect and trade-restricted Anatole lizard would be perfect for breakfast!

Huummm animal lovers are deeply offended by these hungry visitors and so they kindly (or not) request hungry customers to leave...bare handed and with an empty stomach. Of course!!!

Yellow footed tortoise

The owner of these rare animals that had just arrived at Macau airport from a 36 hour long trip all the way from USA has no less than 80 different species at HOME!
He loves all of them. Unluckily he recently lost his "normal" dog. Hope he found him! Should be easier to find than a lost snake or frog...

DICA QUE O AMBIENTE AGRADECE / A hint that will help the environment

Já se lembraram de colocar uma garrafa de plástico no autocolismo para que o espaço ocupado pela água seja menor, o que implicará uma redução nos gastos de água ao utilizar o autocolismo?
Vá lá, não custa nada! O ambiente agradece ;-)
Have you thought of placing a plastic bottle in the flushing water compartment, to reduce the space occupied by water, thus reducing the amount of flushed water?Give it a try, it doesn't cost you a thing and the environment will thank you ;-)