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 61 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:31 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Man charged after jumping zoo fence to pet cougars – and posting video

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium presses charges against Joshua Newell, 35, after clip shows affectionate meeting with big cats

Associated Press in Columbus, Ohio
27 July 2015 20.02 BST

Ohio zoo officials say they are pressing charges against a man who jumped a fence to pet cougars, then posted a video on YouTube.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium said the Delaware County sheriff’s office has charged a suspect with a misdemeanor count of trespassing. Sheriff’s spokeswoman Tracy Whited said 35-year-old Joshua Newell was served on Friday with a summons to appear in court on Wednesday.

The video posted earlier this week shows an outer fence being jumped, then two cougars being petted through another fence as a voice says things such as “kitty, kitty, kitty”.

Columbus Zoo’s chief executive, Tom Stalf, said in a statement that animal welfare and safety are top priorities. He called the video “alarming”.

A telephone listed to Newell’s suburban Gahanna address rang busy on Saturday.

Click to watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeaztQK9If0

 62 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:21 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Gentle Tasmanian devils may be key to species' survival, study shows

Aggressive devils are more likely to contract an infectious cancer which is threatening to wipe out the species in the wild

Flora Malein
Guardian
July 27 2015

Tasmanian devils must evolve to be less aggressive if they are to avoid becoming extinct, suggests new research.

The study sheds new light on an infectious cancer threatening to wipe out the species' wild population, which only exists on the Australian island of Tasmania. The tumours caused by the devastating disease, known as devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), interfere with feeding and affected animals often starve to death.

Rodrigo Hamede and his team at the University of Tasmania investigated the connection between the infection of DFTD, which is spread when one animal bites another, and the number of bites that an animal received.

They found that devils with fewer bites – the more aggressive ones – were more likely to develop the disease. "Our results, that devils with fewer bites are more likely to develop DFTD, were very surprising and counterintuitive," said Hamede. "In most infectious diseases there are so-called super-spreaders, a few individuals responsible for most of the transmission. But we found the more aggressive devils, rather than being super-spreaders, are super-receivers.

"This means that more aggressive devils do not get bitten as often, but they bite the tumours of the less aggressive devils and become infected," said Hamede.

They hypothesise that evolution should favour less aggressive types of devil, which could reduce the rate of transmission of the disease.

"We are hoping that there will be some sort of co-evolution towards coexistence between the devil and the disease," said Hamede, whose work was published in the Journal of Animal Ecology on Monday. "There may be some indication that devils can somehow learn to behave in a way that makes them less susceptible to acquiring the disease."

The team caught devils using traps over a period of three years and recorded any pattern of injuries and any tumours they could observe.

Understanding the behavioural and ecological circumstances associated with the transmission of DFTD is the key to controlling its spread in devil populations. There is no treatment for, or vaccine against, DFTD.

Since it was first identified in 1996, sightings of the Tasmanian devil have declined by more than 80%. As of 2009, the Tasmanian devil has been listed as endangered on the IUCN red list, the benchmark for the global conservation status of plant and animal species.

DFTD is one of only two infectious cancers in the world, the other one is the canine transmissible venereal tumour in domestic dogs. DFTD, however, is the only one to be considered 100% fatal. It is a clonal disease which means that the same cancerous cell line developed in a single Tasmanian devil 15-20 years ago and has survived by direct transmission between the devils.

 63 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:18 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Parakeets force out native birds, researchers find

Native birds stay away from food sources when the colourful invasive species is present, reports Conservation Magazine

Roberta Kwok for Conservation Magazine, part of the Guardian Environment Network
Guardian
July 27 2015

With their cheery green feathers and red beaks, rose-ringed parakeets might seem like a welcome addition to cities. But this invasive species, which has infiltrated urban areas around the world, is keeping native birds away from their food.

Researchers studied the effects of rose-ringed parakeets at 41 gardens in and around London. At each site, they set up a feeding station with sunflower seeds and peanuts. Then the team recorded the behaviour of visiting birds, including how long they stayed at the feeder and whether they ate anything, under different sets of conditions.

Sometimes a caged parakeet was present, or an audio recording of a parakeet call was playing, or both. As a control, the researchers also tested the effects of having a caged native woodpecker present, a woodpecker call playing, or simply an empty cage.

The study authors observed 10,893 bird visits to the sites and identified 18 native species. Most of the birds were blue tits or great tits. At sites in the parakeet’s range, fewer native birds visited the feeder if a caged parakeet was present; they also spent less time eating and more time acting vigilant. Woodpeckers deterred visitors too, but not as much as the parakeets did.

The researchers found similar trends at sites outside the parakeet’s range. But even fewer of the visiting birds ate at the feeders with parakeets, perhaps because they weren’t as used to the invasive birds.

The results are probably conservative, the authors add, because feeders are often swarmed by entire flocks of rose-ringed parakeets. Native birds that stay away from those food sources may suffer from lower energy levels, and their numbers could eventually drop.

To protect them, people may need to figure out ways to let native birds eat at the feeders — but keep parakeets out.

Source: Peck, H.L. et al. 2014. Experimental evidence of impacts of an invasive parakeet on foraging behavior of native birds. Behavioral Ecology doi: 10.1093/beheco/aru025.

 64 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:16 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Birders flock to see exotic bee-eaters

Brightly-coloured birds, normally found in the Mediterranean, have produced eight chicks on the Isle of Wight

Press Associaton
July 27 2015

Exotic bee-eaters have had their best ever breeding attempt in the UK with eight chicks fledging from two nests, conservationists said.

Two pairs of the brightly-coloured birds, which are normally found in the Mediterranean, have nested on the Isle of Wight this year.

Three chicks fledged from one nest on National Trust land, in a small valley on the Wydcombe Estate, and another five from a second nest. There were originally thought to be nine chicks, but one did not survive.

An adult bee-eater was first spotted at Wydcombe in mid-July by dragonfly survey volunteer Dave Dana.

A nest – a burrow in the ground – on the estate was located and a 24-hour operation to protect the site from egg thieves was launched by the National Trust, RSPB and Isle of Wight naturalists.

Their efforts paid off, with chicks first sighted on 15 August. The second nest, on nearby farmland, went undiscovered until last week.

National Trust film of Mediterranean Bee-eaters breeding on the Isle of Wight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hvqJ3HLA0A

Dana said of his sighting of the adult bird: “I’d just come from counting golden-ringed dragonflies at a stream and I thought ‘that bird looks a bit different!’. Its flight path seemed almost triangular. I didn’t really appreciate the bird until I got home and looked at the photos.

“I’d always wanted to see a bee-eater in this country but I never thought it would turn out to be a major wildlife event.”

More than 3,000 people have come to see the bee-eaters since news of their nesting attempt broke, with part of the site opened to public viewing once the eggs had hatched and the threat from egg collectors had subsided.

With eight chicks from two nests, it is the most successful breeding attempt on record by the birds in the UK. The last successful attempt, in County Durham in 2002, produced two chicks, and was the first for 50 years. Before that two pairs raised seven young in Sussex in 1955.

The birds are expected to leave for southern Africa within the week, flying thousands of miles to reach their winter feeding site, but they – and other exotic species – could be increasingly seen in the UK, according to experts.

National Trust wildlife adviser Matthew Oates said: “Climate change may well lure other Mediterranean birds, and migratory insects, to our shores. There are exciting times ahead for UK nature lovers.

“Bee-eaters are usually faithful to breeding sites so we’re hoping that they return in 2015, but this will be dependent on weather and other perils of migration that birds face.”

Keith Ballard, site manager at the RSPB’s Brading Marshes reserves on the Isle of Wight, added: “To have four bee-eaters arrive on the Isle of Wight, nest safely, and return as 12 is a fantastic result, exceeding all expectations. It’s been hard work but a great pleasure protecting these birds whilst allowing people to enjoy seeing them as well.”

 65 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:13 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Zimbabwean authorities hunt Spaniard accused of killing Cecil the lion

European allegedly paid €50,000 for chance to kill tourist attraction, who was found headless after being shot with a bow and arrow and tracked for 40 hours

Stephen Burgen in Barcelona
Sunday 26 July 2015 12.01 BST
Guardian

Authorities in Zimbabwe are trying track down a Spaniard who allegedly paid park guides €50,000 (£35,000) for the chance to kill Cecil, one of Africa’s most famous lions, who was the star attraction at the Hwange national park. The creature was found skinned and headless on the outskirts of the park.

The 13-year-old lion was wearing a GPS collar as part of a research project that Oxford University has been running since 1999, making it possible to trace its last movements when it was tricked into leaving the park and shot with a bow and arrow. The hunters then tracked the dying animal for 40 hours before they killed it with a rifle.

Bait, in the form of a freshly killed animal, was used to tempt Cecil out of the park, a technique commonly used so that hunters can “legally” kill protected lions.

“Cecil’s death is a tragedy, not only because he was a symbol of Zimbabwe but because now we have to give up for dead his six cubs, as a new male won’t allow them to live so as to encourage Cecil’s three females to mate,” said Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. “The two people who accompanied the hunter have been arrested but we haven’t yet tracked down the hunter, who is Spanish.”

The Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association admitted that its members were involved and that the case was being investigated. It claims it was a private safari and therefore not illegal, but the government insists that the lion lived on the reserve and came under its protection.

The Oxford University study was looking into the impact of sports hunting on lions living in the safari area surrounding the national park. The research found that 34 of 62 tagged lions died during the study period. 24 were shot by sport hunters. Sport hunters in the safari areas surrounding the park killed 72% of tagged adult males from the study area.

Dr Andrew Loveridge, one of the principal researchers on the project, said that “hunting predators on the boundaries of national parks such as Hwange causes significant disturbance and knock-on effects” such as infanticide when new males enter the prides.

Police are seeking the lion’s remains among the country’s taxidermists. The Spanish conservation organisation Chelui4lions has written to Cites de España, the body that oversees the import of endangered species, asking it to prevent the importing of Cecil’s head as a trophy.

“From 2007 to 2012 Spain was the country that imported the most lion trophies from South Africa. During this period it imported 450 heads, compared to 100 in Germany. Europe needs to ban these lion hunting trophies altogether,” said Luis Muñoz, a Chelui4lions spokesman.

“What hunter, what sort of demented person, would want to kill a magnificent adult lion, known to and photographed by all the park’s visitors?” Muñoz said. “We’re ashamed of the fact that in Spain there are rich madmen who pay for the pleasure of killing wild animals such as lions.”

Bryan Orford, a professional wildlife guide who has worked in Hwange and filmed Cecil many times, told National Geographic that the lion was the park’s “biggest tourist attraction”. Orford calculates that with tourists from just one nearby lodge collectively paying €8,000 per day, Zimbabwe would have brought in more in just five days by having Cecil’s photograph taken rather than being shot by someone paying a one-off fee of €50,000.

The incident, which occurred earlier this month and has only just come to light, has caused outrage in Zimbabwe, coming only days after the ZCTF revealed that 23 elephant calves had been separated from their herds in Hwange and exported to zoos in China and the United Arab Emirates. The Zimbabwean government insists the trade is legal and measures are in place to guarantee the animals’ wellbeing.

    This article was amended on Sunday 26 July. An earlier version said Cecil had been wearing a GPS collar since 1999. It should have said that the GPS project has been running since 1999. A reference to elephant cubs has also been corrected to calves.

 66 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:10 AM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Orangutan escapes from Perth zoo enclosure and mingles with visitors

Zoo is conducting a review after Teliti, a five-year-old female, appears to have climbed a shade sail and jumped over enclosure outer wall onto boardwalk

Calla Wahlquist
Monday 27 July 2015 02.25 BST
Guardian

Perth zoo is conducting a security review of its award-winning orangutan enclosure after one curious inhabitant managed to escape and mingled with human visitors in the public viewing area on Sunday.

Teliti, a five-year-old female orangutan who was born at the zoo, appears to have climbed up one of the exhibit’s shade sails about 11.30am before jumping to the outer wall of the enclosure and climbing onto the boardwalk.

It wasn’t an expected method of escape.

“She actually jumped from her exhibit, and jumping is a very unusual activity for orangutans – it’s not something they usually do,” Danielle Henry, a spokeswoman for Perth zoo, told Guardian Australia.

“She then went for a bit of a wander along the visitor boardwalk, then decided it was much better to be with her orangutan family and climbed back into the enclosure.”

    — Perth Zoo (@PerthZoo)
    July 26, 2015

    Teliti our curious 5 yr old orang went for a stroll earlier she's now back with her family #NaughtyCorner #5YearOlds pic.twitter.com/AJxDgETDKa

Keepers then coaxed the young orangutan into her night enclosure for a check-up, but found she was none the worse. Henry said that they weren’t sure exactly when she made her escape but she hadn’t been on the boardwalk for more than a few minutes.

“Our keepers had just checked her, so she clearly made the most of her opportunities when our back was turned,” he said. “She was actually having a grand old time and really enjoyed her Sunday stroll. She was really calm and behaving exactly normal when she got back to the zoo.

“She’s a very curious youngster, she’s very gregarious. She is a little bit of a ratbag and that runs within that family line, they’re all a little bit boisterous.”

Orangutan escape from enclosure at Melbourne zoo prompts review...Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jul/14/review-after-sumatran-orangutan-escaped-enclosure-at-melbourne-zoo

It’s the second time an orangutan has escaped from its enclosure at an Australian zoo this month, prompting questions about whether they are mobilising.

“I do wonder if the orangutans in Melbourne had a chat to our guys here; it’s a very, very rare event,” Henry said.

On July 13, Malu, an 11-year-old male orangutan, prompted a lockdown at Melbourne zoo when he managed to get into an area reserved for the public.

It is also the second time an orangutan has escaped in Perth. In 2009, Pulang, a then 15-year-old female whose name translates to “come home”, pulled one of the ropes in the exhibit free of its moorings and used it to swing into the public viewing area, in what zookeepers at the time referred to as “a planned escape”. The zoo was evacuated while Pulang was coaxed back to her enclosure.

 67 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:05 AM 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
July 27, 2015

Earliest known evidence of plant cultivation discovered in Galilee

by Chuck Bednar
Red Orbit

A team of archaeologists, botanists, and ecologists have discovered evidence of early agriculture at a site in the Middle East that the claim pre-dates previously known attempts at establishing a farming community by approximately 11,000 years.

Writing in the journal PLOS One, the study authors explained that they found higher-than-usual amounts of domestic-type wheat and barley dispersal units at Ohalo II, a 23,000-year-old camp site belonging to a community of hunter-gatherers which lived on the shore of the Sea of Galilee in Israel, which is located 5.5 miles (9 km) south of the modern city of Tiberias.

In addition, Professor Ehud Weiss of Bar-Ilan University’s Martin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology and his colleagues observed a high concentration of a type of plants known as proto-weeds, which tend to flourish in fields that contain domestic crops. Also, they found tools at the site that would be used for cutting and harvesting cereal plants.

“The plant remains from the site were unusually well-preserved because of being charred and then covered by sediment and water which sealed them in low-oxygen conditions,” Weiss said in a statement. “Due to this, it was possible to recover an extensive amount of information on the site and its inhabitants – which made this a uniquely preserved site, and therefore one of the best archaeological examples worldwide of hunter-gatherers’ way of life.”

Evidence indicates sowing of domestic cereal crops, processing of flour

He added that the discovery at Ohalo II, which included excavations of six brush huts, a human grave, multiple sets of plant and animal remains and evidence of flint tool manufacture and use, showed that “repeated sowing and harvesting of later domesticated cereals” took place there.

While the Middle East has been called the “Cradle of Civilization” because of its status as the place where our hunter-gatherer ancestors originally established sedentary farming communities, this new discovery indicates that they started cultivating plants earlier than previously believed. It marks the earliest example of small-scale cultivation found to date, Weiss said.

He and colleagues from Haifa University, Tel Aviv University, and Harvard University reported finding a rich collection of roughly 150,000 plant remains at the Ohalo II site, demonstrating that the people living there had collected more than 140 different species of plants, including edible cereal crops such as barley and wild oats, from their surrounding environment.

They also found 13 different species of “proto-weeds,” which are the predecessors of the weeds that currently flourish in cultivated, single-crop fields; a grinding slab found entrenched on the floor of a brush hut, a stone tool used to extract microscopic cereal starch granules, and several other tools that provided evidence that the hut was used to process flour from cereal grains.

“We are witnessing the earliest trial of cultivation combined with land-use changes that led to the appearance of the earliest weeds,” said co-author Professor Marcelo Sternberg, an ecologist at the Tel Aviv University Department of Molecular Biology. “The findings are a clear indication of early human disturbance of the natural ecosystem.”

 68 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 06:04 AM 
Started by Sabrina - Last post by Rad
Hi Dav,

"I would also otherwise post questions regarding the paradigm (which I have also done in the past), but question about one particular chart factor cannot be answered alone from the entire dynamics of the chart itself. "

*****

All chart factors are interrelated within themselves because they correlate to the total context of any individual Soul's evolutionary journey. If you do have such questions go ahead and ask them. As you know we have done an extensive amount of work already on the practice of the EA paradigm. As such, I don't feel we need to duplicate what has already been done.

God Bless, Rad


 69 
 on: Jul 27, 2015, 03:48 AM 
Started by Sabrina - Last post by Linda

Hi All,

There is the Pluto in transit on its own South Node thread where we apparently will be doing some practice charts relative to the South Node of Pluto. So why not join in that thread Sabrina and Dav and in combination with the Pluto/S.Node approach, also focus on the core EA paradigm and the phasal relationships?

This is the thread: http://schoolofevolutionaryastrology.com/forum/index.php?topic=1159.0

All the best



That's a great idea, Skywalker.  All practice charts

begin with the EA paradigm anyway.


Linda



 70 
 on: Jul 26, 2015, 06:53 PM 
Started by Rad - Last post by Wei
Thank you!!

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