Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Can Heavily Deforested Sebangau National Park Be Saved?

Jakarta Globe, Liberty Jemadu, July 21, 2012

A worker carrying saplings at Sebangau National Park. Less than
1 percent of the park’s total area has been reforested. (Antara Photo)

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Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan. Rosdy Abaza is under no illusions about the task before him as the person in charge of restoring the sprawling Sebangau National Park in Central Kalimantan to pristine condition.

“We’re attempting to restore a forest that has been comprehensively destroyed, so you could say this is a mission impossible,” he tells the Jakarta Globe at one of the observation posts scattered across the 568,700-hectare park.

The park, between the Katingan and Kahayan rivers, was only formally established in 2004. Between 1980 and 1995, it was the site of 13 massive logging concessions that left the formerly dense and pristine peat forest stripped bare and dried out.

In the unregulated years between being a logging forest and a national park, the Sebangau area was the target of massive illegal logging that was estimated to have cleared some 66,000 hectares of forest.

Rosdy says the park area previously covered by peat swamp — a meters-deep layer of hundreds of years’ worth of decaying vegetation — makes up 85 percent of the total area, and to restore it back to its pre-logged state would take another several centuries.

One of the first things the loggers did when they came in was to carve out a network of more than 1,000 canals, two to four meters wide, to drain the peat swamp to make it easy to transport the logs downstream. That left the exposed peat layer, in some places up to 12 meters deep, highly vulnerable to forest fires.

Also to blame was the government’s misguided Mega Rice Project of 1996, a scheme to clear-cut the centuries-old peat forests in Kalimantan, drain the soil and set up a million hectares of rice paddies.

Part of the land for the MRP was a wide swath between the Sebangau and Kahayan rivers. When the MRP was abandoned, there was no attempt to restore the peat forest and the affected area on the eastern third of the Sebangau National Park remains severely degraded.

The key to restoring the condition of the peat forest is to get the water back into the ground, which Rosdy acknowledges is a daunting task.

The park management’s two main conservation programs deal with blocking the former logging canals and reforesting the denuded land. The success of the latter is contingent on that of the former, but the canal-blocking program has stumbled on funding issues.

Of the 428 dams built since the start of 2011 to block up the canals, only one was funded by the park. The rest were funded by the World Wide Fund for Nature.

“Ideally we should be building 100 dams a year,” Rosdy says, adding that the cost for each dam is about Rp 80 million ($8,500).

Like the canal-blocking program, the reforestation program has also been slow to take off.

Just 4,868 hectares — less than 1 percent of Sebangau’s total area — have been reforested. Of that figure, less than half was funded by the state, with the rest coming from conservation groups and corporate social responsibility programs.

But against the overwhelming odds, Rosdy says there is reason to be hopeful about the future of the park.

Thanks to the damming program, the water level in the peat layer in some areas has begun rising since 2005, leading to the return of native tree species, including the critically endangered red balau, the hardwood jelutong and the softwood pulai.

The recovering water levels have also meant less frequent forest fires. “We haven’t had any major forest fires in this area since 2009,” Rosdy says.

As the forest slowly recovers, there is also hope for the survival of the various wildlife species native to the area. These include Bornean orangutans, proboscis monkeys and Bornean gibbons, all of which are endangered species.

Sebangau is home to an estimated 6,000 orangutans, the largest wild population of the ape anywhere in the world.

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