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)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Scientists unwittingly discover new owl species in Indonesia

The Daily Star, AFP, February 14, 2013

This undated photo taken by independent researcher Philippe Verbelen and
 released by online scientific journal PLOS ONE, shows a Rinjani Scops owl
perching on a tree on Lombok island, Indonesia. (AP Photo/PLOS ONE,
Philippe Verbelen)
JAKARTA: Researchers in Indonesia unwittingly identified a new species of owl believed to be unique to the country, raising hopes of further new bird discoveries, a scientist said Thursday.

The brown-and-white Rinjani Scops owl was first spotted in 2003 on the island of Lombok, while researchers were looking for another nocturnal bird. It was formally identified by four scientists Wednesday in the online "Plos One" journal.

Prior to that, the bird had been mistaken for the related Moluccan Scops owl, found in the Maluku islands in central Indonesia.

"Ornithologists have long patted themselves on the back, believing that the taxonomy of birds was almost complete," researcher George Sangster from the Swedish Museum of Natural History, told AFP.

"Our study shows that even after more than 250 years of taxonomic research, we can still find new species, even of birds."

Sangster discovered the bird days before another researcher, Ben King made the same discovery independently when both were on the island to collect sounds of large-tailed Nightjars.

They noticed the owl's songs were "completely different" from the Moluccan Scops owl.

He said further research should be carried out on the nearby island of Sumbawa to verify if the bird was unique to Lombok.

Ornithologists have often overlooked Lombok during field work in the region, believing there were no endemic bird species there, Sangster said.

Sangster has called for more research on birds in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago of around 17,000 islands that he calls "a treasure trove for taxonomists".

The Rinjani Scops owl was named after the volcano in the heart of Lombok island.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Paper giant pledges to end deforestation

Deutsche Welle, 6 February 2013

Asia Pulp and Paper, one of the largest paper companies in the world, has promised to end its practice of destroying Indonesian forests to make products for Westerners. Is this a wave of change or greenwash?

Elephants, tigers and orang-utans once roamed freely in the lush forests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. But bulldozers belonging to companies like the Singapore-based Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) have torn out the rainforest, leaving behind scrubbed, welted earth. These tree stands have been subjected to some of the fastest deforestation activity on the planet.

The trees have been used to produce toilet paper, paper towels, napkins and facial tissue for consumers in the West.

 Orang-utans may be extinct within the next 20 years

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), APP and its suppliers appear to be responsible for more deforestation in Sumatra than any other company.

"Since it began operations in 1984, APP and its affiliates are estimated to have pulped more than two million hectares (five million acres) of tropical forests in Sumatra, and recently began aggressive forest clearing in West and East Kalimantan," WWF biologist Michael Stuewe told DW in an interview.

New forest protection deal

The pulp and paper giant has now brought its bulldozers to a standstill. In a new deal, brokered by the Forest Trust, APP announced that it will end all natural forest clearing in its supply chains in Indonesia. The company has promised to only develop non-forested areas and will protect forested peatlands, which store significant amounts of carbon. It also agreed to respect the rights of indigenous peoples that live where new plantations are proposed.

 APP is estimated to have pulped more than five million acres of tropical
forests in Sumatra

In a statement, APP Managing Director for Sustainability, Aida Greenbury, wrote, "Our new Forest Conservation Policy sets us on course to be a leading world-class paper company solely based on sustainable plantation sources."

Corporate pressure

Asia Pulp and Paper's turnaround on forest protection is the direct result of a campaign carried out by environmental protection group Greenpeace. In 2011, the group presented evidence that ramin trees from the Indonesian rainforest were logged, pulped and turned into paper. Ramin trees grow on peat swamps, where Sumatran tigers hunt. It is illegal to chop them down.

 APP produces toilet paper, paper towels
 and facial tissue for consumers in the
Greenpeace named 11 companies with links to APP – many, including Danone, Xerox and Tchibo, suspended their contracts. In Germany, publishers were urged to join the boycott, when it was revealed that many children's books had been printed on paper from Indonesian rainforests.

"The pressure that Greenpeace made has been very effective," said Julien Troussier, director of communications at the Forest Trust, a nonprofit organisation that helps companies improve their environmental record. Troussier told DW that the boycott campaign was an important step, but it was essential to support the company as it transitioned towards more sustainable practices.

In 2011, German children's books were found to contain fibers from
protected trees in Indonesia

It remains to be seen if APP will be able to draw back its lost customer base. Stefan Dierks is the senior manager of corporate responsibility at German coffee roaster Tchibo. The company broke ties with APP during the boycott bid.

"APP's actions didn't suit our vision of how to make profit in an environmentally friendly way," Dierks told DW. But he acknowledged that they were taking notice of APP's move to end natural forest clearing in its supply chains.

When asked if the company would renew its relationship with APP, Dierks said Tchibo welcomed APP's decision and would be watching the company's progress.

Wave of change or greenwash?

Scientists with the Centre for International Forestry Research in Indonesia said APP has made promises about sustainable forestry in the past, while continuing to destroy peat swamp forests which held dense carbon stocks.

"We hope this time the company does what it promised," said WWF biologist Michael Stuewe. "But we urge paper buyers to wait for confirmation of the claims through independent monitoring by civil society before doing business with APP."

APP has made promises to protect the forest in the past, while continuing
to destroy trees

But Forest Trust's Troussier is more optimistic. He agreed that the company had failed to follow through on earlier promises to improve its environmental record but said forest protection specialists would be on the ground monitoring operations this time.

"The level of commitment is very different," he said. "The level of transparency is different. They have given access to data to NGOs. We are deeply embedded in their operations from plantation to factory. There are satellites monitoring the areas to make sure commitment respected. We feel this is a turning point for the company, for the forests of Indonesia and hopefully for the world."

Two hurt in attack by komodo dragon in Indonesia

BBC News, 6 February 2013

Komodo dragons normally feed on large mammals, smaller reptiles
and birds

Related Stories 

Two men have been injured in an attack by a komodo dragon in a wildlife part in eastern Indonesia, park officials say.

The 2m (7ft) long lizard attacked a park ranger in his office, then turned on another employee who tried to come to his aid.

Both suffered serious leg wounds and were being monitored in hospital.

Komodo dragons are the world's largest lizards, growing up to 3m long, with razor-sharp teeth and a poisonous bite.

The dragons' jaws contain highly poisonous glands that can cause paralysis.

The reptiles are unique to a small group of islands in eastern Indonesia.

They live on a diet of mainly large mammals, smaller reptiles and birds, but have been known to attack humans.

The animals are endangered in the wild and protected by international law - fewer than 4,000 are believed to be alive.