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)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

In October alone, Indonesia hit by three natural disasters

Antara News, Sunday, By Fardah, October 31, 2010

Another week of disaster - The Jakarta Post/Irma Rahmi Damayanti

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Earth is getting older, judging by the increased frequency of natural disasters in the world lately, especially in Indonesia.

During this October alone, parts of the country have been seriously affected by three major disasters. The first one was a flash flood in Wasior, West Papua Province, on October 3.

The second was a magnitude-7.7 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in Mentawai Island District, West Sumatra Province, on October 25.

And the third is still going on, namely the Mount Merapi eruption, a process which began on October 26 on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta.

The Wasior flash flood killed 124 people, left 123 others missing, injured 185 others seriously, and 535 lightly.

Wasior is a town densely inhabited by around 7,000 people. The flood made around 4,000 people homeless. Some 1,955 displaced Wasior residents were evacuated to Nabire, 890 to Manokwari and some others to the Teluk Wondama area. A total of 12 school buildings and one hospital were damaged by the flash flood.

The flash flood was triggered by incessant heavy rains that had fallen in the region from Sunday to Monday (Oct 3 and 4). Those who died in the disaster were those who drowned after being carried away by the flood currents that also carried logs and rocks from a lake in the mountain.

The emergency response lasted until end October 2010, with priorities to search and evacuate victims, town cleaning up, house and school reconstruction.

Coordinating Minister for People`s Welfare Agung Laksono said the government was studying the possibility of relocating the flood victims.

"The government will find the best and most secure place for them," the minister said recently.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited flash flood-devastated Wasior to meet the victims and he ordered the setting up a trauma center and temporary shelters for them.

While the Indonesian people were still grieving about the devastation and fatalities caused by the flash flood in Wasior, a magnitude-7.7 earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck Mentawai Island District, West Sumatra Province, on October 25, 2010.

The earthquake and tsunami killed at least 408 people, caused 303 others to go missing, injured 270 badly and 142 lightly .

The disaster devastated 517 buildings and caused minor damage to 204 buildings. Around 23,000 people have been left homeless and forced to stay in refugee camps.
Ade Edwar of a local mitigation agency said the powerful earthquake and tsunami devastated 517 buildings and caused minor damage to 204 buildings, including four elementary school buildings, one junior high school building, four churches, 426 houses, and 10 bridges, while more than 200 houses suffered minor damage.

Around 22 aftershocks with magnitudes ranging from 5 to 6.2 on the Richter scale, had jolted the district up to Saturday (Oct 30).

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was forced to leave the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi to visit Mentawai last Thursday (Oct 28). He asked the West Sumatra governor and Mentawai district head to coordinate efforts at relocating the tsunami victims.

Just one day after the Mentawai earthquake and tsunami, Mount Merapi, one of Indonesia`s most active volcano has started to erupted on October 26, 2010.
A total of 32 people, including Mbak Maridjan, "the spiritual caretaker" of the volcano, were killed, and tens of others were injured.

Mount Merapi erupted again several times early Saturday morning (Oct 30) causing residents living closest to the volcano to abandon their villages or settlements in panic.
Around 40,000 people have so far been evacuated to safer places following the eruption of Mt Merapi which is located in the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta and has erupted regularly since 1548.

Indonesia is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world because it is located on the Pacific Ocean`s "ring of fire" of volcanoes and earthquakes.
One of the worst disasters hitting Indonesia was a 8.9 earthquake and a subsequent deadly tsunami which devastated Aceh Province (northern Sumatra) and Nias Island (North Sumatra Province) on December 26, 2004.

The gigantic tsunami killed at least 200,000 people and left around one million people homeless in Aceh and on Nias alone. The impacts of the tsunami had also affected badly other countries such as Sri Lanka, Thailand, and India.

In 2006, at least two major earthquakes rocked Java Island. In May 2006, Yogyakarta and its surrounding areas were shaken by 6.3 earthquake which killed over 5,700 people and injured at least 38,000 others. In July, a 6.8-earthquake and a subsequent tsunami affected southern coast of West Java and killed more than 650 people, while at least 65 others missing.

Another major earthquake was recorded on September 30, 2009, with a magnitude of 7.9 on the Richter scale which devastated Padang city and several other towns in the provincial capital of West Sumatra, killing at least 1,117 people.

A total of 1,214 people were suffering from serious injuries, and 1,688 others were lightly injured. However, unofficial estimates put the number of victims at thousands, as many were still buried under the ruins of the collapsed buildings.The earthquake also destroyed 101,653 houses, and caused damage to 97,995 others in West Sumatera.

In 1883, Krakatoa, a volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, exploded and killed around 40,000 people.

The explosion is still considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard nearly 3,000 miles from its point of origin. The shock wave from the explosion was recorded on barographs around the globe.

And the lists of possible disasters might add as currently besides Mt Merapi, some other volcanoes especially Mt Anak Krakatau on the Sunda Strait and Mt Dempo in Pagaralam district, South Sumatera, are also showing increaded activity.

Solar Weather NASA/SDO

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupts again

BBC News, 29 October 2010 Last updated at 21:14 GMT

Mount Merapi volcano has erupted for a third time, with local people reportedly saying this was louder and stronger than the previous eruption on Tuesday.

Mount Merapi is the most active of
Indonesia's volcanoes
The latest eruption happened at around 0100 on Saturday (1800GMT Friday).

Agence France Presse reported that it caused panic, with hundreds of people, including police and soldiers, trying to flee in cars or on motorbikes.

Ash was raining down in Yogyakarta, about 30km (19 miles) away.

"I heard several sounds like thunder," Mukimen, a mother-of-two who was fleeing with her family, told AFP. "I was so scared I was shaking."

There had been a number of small eruptions earlier on Friday but with no casualties reported.

Earlier, officials said two people who suffered burns from Tuesday's eruption had died from their injuries, bringing the confirmed death toll to 35.

At least 47,000 people who live around Mount Merapi are staying in government camps or with friends and relatives, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.

But there are frequent reports of displaced people returning to check on their properties or livestock.

Government volcanologist Subandrio told AFP the new eruption suggested the government should be "more serious" about enforcing the exclusion zone and possibly widening it.

Alert levels have been raised on four other volcanoes, two of which are definitely showing signs of activity - Anak Krakatau and Mount Semeru.

Related Article:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Three Volcanoes Show Signs of Increased Activity

Jakarta Globe, October 29, 2010

Jakarta. The Anak Krakatau volcano located along the Sunda Strait produced 117 small eruptions on Thursday. The sound of the eruptions was audible to the Serang district in Banten, which is 40 kilometers away.

The Anak Krakatau volcano on the Sunda strait
erupted 117 times on Thursday. (Wikipedia Photo)
“Anak Krakatau's activities has been escalating since Oct. 27,” said Sikin, a staff member at the Anak Krakatau monitoring post in Cinangka, Serang, as quoted by SCTV on Friday.

According to Sikin, the volcano's status was increased to “be alert,” or two levels before a big eruption, since September. However, the situation is still considered safe for fishermen.

“Fishermen must be cautious and try not to get too close to the mountain and maintain a minimum 4-kilometer distance,” Sikin said.

Increased activity is also building up at the Galunggung volcano in Tasikmalaya, West Java. Heri Supartono, head of the Galunggung monitoring post, said that the volcano had triggered 34 earthquakes this month.

“In September, there were only four volcanic earthquakes, but Galunggung's status is still normal because the water temperature around is still normal,” Heri said.

“We monitor it every day and report the result to the Tasikmalaya municipal government,” he added.

The 2,167-meter high volcano has erupted three times between 1822 and 1983.

Another volcano, Dempo, at Pagaralam, South Sumatra, also showed signs of increased activity.

“There have been tens of volcanic or tectonic earthquakes, but the magnitudes are relatively small so they don't affect the normal status of Demo volcano,” Slamet, the head of Dempo monitoring post, told state news agency Antara on Friday.

Antara, JG
Related Article:

Activists warn rising permits on mining in forests

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, JAKARTA | Fri, 10/29/2010

A year after the government’s vow to cut emissions, activists say they have yet to witness the government’s real actions to meet the target, while hundreds of mining firms are ready to dig forests.

The Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam) and the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) warned of the rising demand for new permits for mining activities in protected forests in several provinces.

“When the Southeast Sulawesi administration proposes a conversion of 481,000 hectares of conservation areas into mining area, the central government allowed it to happen,” Jatam campaigner Hendrik Siregar said Thursday.

Data from Jatam showed that the 481,000 hectares of conservation and protected forests would be allotted to 253 mining companies in the province.

He said that the latest case was when the government approved the conversion of 14,000 hectares of Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park for commercial purposes in Gorontalo this year.

Jatam said that four mining companies had secured permits to operate in the national park.

Data compiled by Jatam showed that a number of permits had also been issued for mining activities to operate in national parks such as in Batang Gadis National Park in North Sumatra, Laiwangi Wanggameti National Park in East Nusa Tenggara, Tangkoko Dua Saudara National Park in North Sulawesi and Lalobata National Park in North Maluku.

The activists said the proposals were in addition to 153 companies, which had secured permits since the New Order. The companies have yet to operate but for various reasons. “In addition, thousands of permits on small-scale mining firms have been issued since the regional autonomy period,” he said.

The government has promised to cut 26 percent in emissions by 2020 with a national budget and an additional 15 percent with the support of foreign countries.

The commitment was made last year with half of the target to be reached by improving forest management and cutting forest fires.

Indonesia has also signed a US$1 billion climate change deal with Norway requiring Indonesia to reduce the forest-loss rate with a two-year moratorium on new permits to dig natural forests and peatland.

Forests have become central in international talks on climate change as forest-related emissions contributed about 20 percent of global emissions.

Walhi forest campaigner Deddy Ratih expressed doubt that the government would reach the 26 percent target, provided there was no breakthrough in forest management. “Allowing conversion of protected and conservation forests into the mining sector is a serious threat to the commitment to cut emissions,” he said.

He said without shifting to more sustainable forest management and less extractive and exploitative enterprises, Indonesia would likely fail.

Forest Minister Zulkifli Hasan denied that his office had issued permits to shift protected and conservation forests into mining activities.

4.0-magnitude quake shakes Yogyakarta

Antara News, Friday, October 29, 2010 00:30 WIB

Bantul, Yogyakarta (ANTARA News) - A 4.0-magnitude techtonic quake shook the Yogyakarta special region on Thursday at 8.39 am.

According to the operational control center of the Bantul People`s Protection Office, and based on information of the Yogyakarta Meteorology and Geophysisics Agency, the quake was located 8.02 degrees southern latitude, and 110.49 degrees eastern longitude, and the quake`s epicenter was located on land in a depth of 10 kilometers, and 13 kilometers west of Wonosari, Yogyakarta.

No reports on fatalities and serious material damage have been received, but the residents were merely shocked by the tremor, he added.

Related Articles:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Merapi claims more lives and its guardian

Slamet Susanto and Sri Wahyuni, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta | Thu, 10/28/2010

Blanketed: Rescue workers evacuate the people from Kinahrejo village, Sleman, Yogyakarta, on Wednesday. Volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Merapi blanketed the village. At least 31 people were killed in Tuesday’s deadly eruption. JP/Indra Harsaputra

Rescuers combed the slopes of Mount Merapi on Wednesday, one day after the country’s most active volcano was rocked by an eruption that spewed hot clouds, killing 31 people, including a man known as the volcano’s guardian.

Hot clouds — known as wedhus gembel, a Javanese expression for sheep-shaped pyroclastic clouds — were expelled from the mountain at an estimated speed of 300 kilometers per hour at a temperature of 600 degree Celsius.

On Wednesday, the stench of sulfur and dead livestock was in the air with thick ash covering flattened houses, turning the area eerie white.

Most fatalities came from Kinahrejo hamlet in Cangkringan district, Sleman regency, Yogyakarta, or the home of the volcano’s spiritual keeper Ki Surakso Hargo, better known as Mbah Maridjan. The 85-year-old’s body was found at his home in the hamlet, located 5 kilometers from the mountain’s raging crater. The burnt and prostrated body, presumed to be in prayer, was identified by relatives and this image was instantly circulated through mobile phones.

The disaster also killed journalist Yuniawan Nugroho and two volunteers, Tutur Priyono from Bantul Red Cross and Slamet Ngatiran from Tagana (Taruna Siaga Bencana) Yogyakarta.

Rescuers only managed to evacuate 12 of 15 bodies from Maridjan’s house Tuesday night due to bad weather, hot cloud and ash. The rest were evacuated early Wednesday.

Yogyakarta Police Disaster Victim Identification Unit spokesman Comr. Agung Hadi Wijanarko said identification of the victims was expected to be completed late Wednesday.

“We hope the identification will have finished for the scheduled mass funeral tomorrow at 10 a.m.,” Agung said at Yogyakarta’s Dr. Sardjito General Hospital Wednesday.

Most victims suffered 70 to 80 percent burns to their bodies and were hardly recognizable.

Head of Dr. Sardjito’s public relation division, Heru Nugroho, said the hospital received 13 bodies until after midnight on Tuesday and received another 12 bodies the following morning. Twenty victims were men and five women. The number of fatalities may increase.

The volcano is situated in four regencies – Sleman, Magelang, Klaten and Boyolali – in Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces.

Merapi’s eruption, which took place the day it was put on top-alert status, took residents by surprise, forcing many, including those living outside the 10-kilometer danger zone, to flee to shelters.

Resident Tukirah of Pangukrejo hamlet in Cangkringan, said the disaster happened quickly. “Suddenly we heard loud roars followed by sirens,” after which everyone fled.

About 19,000 residents took refuge in seven shelters in Yogyakarta, which in all can only accommodate 12,000 evacuees. Some 30,000 others took to 39 shelters in Magelang.

Many locals from Yogyakarta who arrived in the shelters after the 5:03 p.m. eruption on Tuesday were not provided with food supplies.

“Supplies such as bottled water arrived at shelters at 1:30 a.m. [on Wednesday],” said Agusti Handayani, who took refuge with her family.

Sleman Regent Sri Purnomo expressed regret that a high number of fatalities resulted from reluctance to evacuate. “Residents should have obeyed instructions to evacuate since it was made based on scientific calculations. We can’t fight nature but we must avoid disaster"

Related Articles:

Merapi erupting again

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 10/28/2010

The Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) reported that Mount Merapi, which had erupted Tuesday killing at least 33 people, erupted again on Thursday afternoon.

PVMBG said Merapi began erupting again at around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, spewing hot clouds of ash.

“It's not as big as the eruption on Oct. 26. Its clouds only traveled a distance of 3.5 kilometers,” said Surono, PVMBG chief, as quoted by

Most of the residents have been evacuated from the area. It was unclear whether the new activity was a sign of another major blast to come.

Related Article:

4.5 magnitude earthquake jolts Pangalengan

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 10/27/2010 10:50 PM

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake rocked Pangalengan, Bandung at 9.48 p.m. on Sunday.

The Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said the epicenter was located 54 kilometers southeast of Bandung at a depth 33 kilometers.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Major 7.5 earthquake strikes off Indonesia

BBC News, 25 October 2010

A major earthquake has struck off the coast of western Sumatra, Indonesian officials say.

The 7.5 magnitude quake near the Mentawi Islands at a depth of 14km (8 miles) triggered a tsunami watch, but officials later gave the all clear.

Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the quake struck at 2142 (1642 GMT) and was felt in towns in Bengkulu and west Sumatra provinces.

There have so far been no reports of damage or casualties.

Related stories

Initial reports put the depth of the quake at 33km (20.5 miles), but this was later revised by the US Geological Survey.

Indonesia is regularly affected by earthquakes.

More than 1,000 people were killed by an earthquake off Sumatra in September 2009.

In June at least three powerful earthquakes struck the region, bringing down homes and leaving three people dead.

In December 2004, a 9.1-magnitude quake off the coast of Aceh triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean that killed a quarter of a million people in 13 countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire", one of the world's most active areas for earthquakes and volcanoes.

Related Article:

Magnitude 5.8 quake rocks Gorontalo

Antara News, Monday, October 25, 2010 22:34 WIB

Gorontalo (ANTARA News) - An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale rocked Gorontalo city in Sulawesi island on Monday night, prompting scores of panic-stricken residents to rush outdoors.

The epicenter of the quake which struck at 08.05 p.m. local time was in the sea about 189 km southeast of the capital of Gorontalo province at a depth of 10 km, Head of the Gorontalo Climatology and Geophysics Office Muhammad Makmur said.

The quake was not significant enough to trigger a tsunami so that there was no need for residents to panic, he said.

There was no immediate report of casualties or material damage caused by the quake which lasted for a few seconds.

Citra Lestari, a resident of Gorontalo city, said she strongly felt the quake which caused her to panic.

She said the temblor prompted scores of her neighbors to rush outdoors for fear of undesired happening.

However, they resumed their activities as usual after the condition returned to normal, she said. Gorontalo is one of Indonesia`s provinces prone to earthquakes.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Two Marble Companies Suspected of Exploitation in Protected Forests

Tempo Interactive, Friday, 22 October, 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Maros:Two major mining companies, PT Makassar Indah and PT Bosowa Mining, are suspected of violating mining rules as they have been carrying out marble exploitation in a protected forest area in Maros, South Sulawesi.

“If they are proven to have mined marble in the production site, we will report this to the police because both companies were only granted the right to use the forest area as a production site, not the right to mine, based on the Forestry Minister’s decision,” said Suardi S, the Maros Mining and Energy Mining Office chief in charge of mining, yesterday.

Both companies denied the accusation. Abdul Hafid, the marble mining production chief of PT Makassar Indah, said his company is still mining marble at the mountain areas around the production site and has opened new spaces outside the protected forest in Leang-leang, Bantimurung sub district.

PT Bosowa Mining’s staff, Arif, said his company is still mining in the production site while other activities are carried out in PT Semen Bosowa’s areas.

On a separate occasion, Muhammad Amin and Muhammad Arsad, from the Maros Regional House of Representatives’ (DPRD) Commission I, assumed there are certain people in the Mining Office suspected of colluding with the mining businessmen. For instance, some companies are still operating although their licenses have expired.

IIt’s true the companies provide job opportunities, but what will happen to our grandchildren in the next 30 years if the natural resources are exploited without any time limit,” Amin said. Earlier, Suardi denied the rumors about some officials in the Mining Office conspiring with mining businessmen. “If the DPRD can prove that, I am ready to be dismissed,” he said.

He also said if the DPRD wanted to, his office is ready to close down all marble mining operations. “We are only doing our job according to our superior’s policy,” he said.


Merapi showing increasing volcanic activity: Research center

Slamet Susanto, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta | Fri, 10/22/2010 10:28 AM

Since it was declared under alert status on Sept. 23, 2010, Mount Merapi has continued to show increasing volcanic activity.

Mt. Merapi July 2005
According to head of the Volcanic Technology Development and Research Center (BPPTK) Yogyakarta, Subandrio, Merapi, which borders Yogyakarta and Central Java provinces, it has been changing form as a result of pressure from its magma fluid, which is seeking a way out.

“The deforming is speeding up. It swells every day,” Subandrio said.

He added that compared to the deformation the volcano experienced ahead of the latest 2006 eruptions, which claimed two lives, the deformation this time was more rapid as shown on the four reflectors installed at its peak.

The BPPTK has installed a total of 16 reflectors at the peak of Mt. Merapi, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, to help monitor its volcanic activities.

Deformation, according to Subandrio, occurs because of the movement of magma fluid, both in the form of liquid and gas, which pushes volcanic rocks upward to the peak.

“Merapi is getting fatter, like a person that is fed too much food,” he said, adding that the changing form of the volcano currently had reached 9 centimeters but the direction was still unpredictable.

Subandrio also said that the prediction regarding Merapi’s eruption cannot be made as the time needed by the magma to reach the peak and to form a lava dome and then to erupt cannot be predicted as well.

“It’s different from Mt. Kelud in [East Java], in which the magma pressure would prompt eruptions. For Merapi it is difficult to predict as anything is possible,” he explained.

Because Merapi’s eruption process is very complex and anything is possible, Subandrio warned, preparedness from both the local administrations and community is urgent and has to be well planned.

“People living on the slopes of Merapi have to be very cautious as quick changes in volcanic activity is possible although it remains on alert status,” he said.

BPPTK’s observation data Tuesday shows the volcano experienced 201 mass phase earthquakes (MP), 5 inner volcanic earthquakes (VA), 18 shallow volcanic earthquakes (VB) and 52 lava materials spewing.

People living on the slope of the volcano have been told to prepare for the worst.

“[The people’s] activities remain normal but alertness must be increased and coordination must be undertaken in case of disaster,” said Heri Suprapto, head of Kepuharjo subdistrict, Cangkringan district, Sleman regency, located Merapi’s slopes.

Eruption: Mt. Merapi eruption in 2006. -- AP

Related Articles:

U.S. urged to regulate 'backyard tigers'

CNN News, By Matthew Knight for CNN, October 21, 2010

The WWF and TRAFFIC say that there are yawning gaps
in U.S. regulation of tiger ownership which could fuel illegal trade

  • Slack or non-existent regulation governing tiger ownership in U.S. putting citizens in danger
  • "Patchwork of federal laws" could also be fueling illegal trade in tiger parts
  • WWF and TRAFFIC report calls on U.S. to set up a "centralized federal database"
  • There are more captive tigers in the U.S. than left in the wild in Asia, report says

(CNN) -- Rising numbers of captive tigers in the United States are putting citizens at risk and could be fueling illegal trade in animal parts, which threatens their survival in the wild, conservationists have warned.

"Tigers Among US," published by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network estimates that there are more than 5,000 tigers in captivity in the U.S. compared with around 3,200 that remain wild across Asia.

While some tigers are housed in zoos, many more are privately owned, often free to roam backyards, urban apartments and are generally kept in "deplorable conditions," the report says.

Leigh Henry, WWF senior policy officer for Species Conservation told CNN: "We've seen photos and there's a video on our website showing tigers walking around muddy wet cages."

But its the size of the enclosures that is most distressing, Henry says, "when you know tigers are supposed to be ranging over hundreds and hundreds of acres."

Current U.S. regulation on tiger ownership is "a patchwork of federal laws" full of "exceptions, exemptions and loopholes," the report says.

A majority of U.S. states (28) don't allow citizens to keep tigers as pets, while 17 have laws which regulate their ownership.

But in some states there are no regulations at all, making it easier to own a tiger than to adopt a dog, with sometimes tragic consequences.

In 2003, a 10-year-old boy was killed by his aunt's pet tiger in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

In the same year, celebrity tiger handler Roy Horn (of Siegfried and Roy fame) was mauled during a performance at Las Vegas's Mirage Hotel.

Nevada and North Carolina are two of eight U.S. states (Alabama, Idaho, Ohio, South Carolina West Virginia and Wisconsin are the others) which currently have no laws regulating private ownership of tigers.

These yawning gaps in regulation could be resolved by implementing "a central reporting system and database run by the federal government and that would be required for all tigers in the U.S. without exception," Henry says.

"We want to know where all these animals are, who owns them, when they're sold and transferred, when they are born, when they die, so we have a better grasp on what going on with this immense population of tigers to ensure they are not filtering into illegal trade," Henry said.

It is hard to put an exact figure on just how lucrative the black market is, Henry says, but she estimates that a tiger broken up and sold in parts could fetch anywhere between $30,000 to $100,000.

Find out more about captive tigers in the U.S.

Some states, like Iowa, are leading the way. They recently implemented a ban on private ownership, Henry says.

"They put in this great regulatory system which requires DNA identification, photo identification and very strict deporting and registration systems for the tigers already in the state," Henry told CNN.

The U.S. is one of the world leaders in the promotion of tiger conservation but the U.S. also has a responsibility to manage tigers in its own backyard, Henry says.

"By clamping down on this issue, we can better cooperate with other nations holding large numbers of captive tigers to prevent trade in these animals from threatening their wild counterparts," Henry said.

This latest assessment updates a 2008 TRAFFIC report "Paper Tigers? The Role of the U.S. Captive Tiger Population in the Trade in Tiger Parts."

World leaders will gather in St Petersburg, Russia at the end of November for a Global Tiger Summit to discuss proposals which will further protect breeding populations, habitats and inhibit poaching and international trade.

Their long term goal is to double the worldwide tiger population in the wild by the time the Chinese celebrate the Year of the Tiger again in 2022.