September 3rd is Amazon Rainforest Day and The Nature Nook/Palm Oil Detective would like to celebrate. The Amazonian Royal Flycatcher is a member of a family of birds called the tyrant flycatchers, which occur throughout North and South America. This is the biggest family of birds in the world, with more than 400 species. AsContinue reading “The Amazonian Royal Flycatcher: A flurry of feathers”
Author Archives: Palm Oil Detectives
Meet Chimbu, the blue-eyed, bear-eared tree kangaroo
Tree kangaroos are so unusual that when Europeans first encountered them in Australia in 1872, they were sceptical. Who would believe a kangaroo could climb a tree? The Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo is a threatened species found in forests in the Central Cordillera mountain ranges of Papua New Guinea, from sea level to high in theContinue reading “Meet Chimbu, the blue-eyed, bear-eared tree kangaroo”
Species Extinction: just how bad is it and why should we care?
Euan Ritchie, Deakin University “Dad, the world is missing amazing animals. I wish extinction wasn’t forever”. Despite my wife and I working as biologists, our five-year-old son came to make this statement independently. Euan Ritchie, Deakin University He is highlighting what I and many others consider to be society’s biggest challenge, and arguably failure: theContinue reading “Species Extinction: just how bad is it and why should we care?”
Demand for meat is driving deforestation in Brazil – changing the soy industry could stop it
Angela Guerrero, Stockholm University and Malika Virah-Sawmy, Humboldt University of Berlin Soy may have a pretty innocuous reputation thanks to its association with vegan food and meat alternatives. But don’t be fooled – crops of this pale legume are behind much of Brazil’s epidemic of deforestation. Since 2000, Brazil has doubled its total area ofContinue reading “Demand for meat is driving deforestation in Brazil – changing the soy industry could stop it”
One-fifth of reptiles heading towards extinction
Almost one-fifth of the world’s reptiles are currently threatened with extinction. A recent study assessed 1500 species for extinction risks. From the 19% found to be in danger, 12% were classified as Critically Endangered, 41% as Endangered and 47% Vulnerable. Three of the species listed as being Critically Endangered are believed to be possibly extinct.Continue reading “One-fifth of reptiles heading towards extinction”
Climate Explained: what would happen if we cut down the Amazon rainforest?
Sebastian Leuzinger, Auckland University of Technology What would happen if we cut down the entire Amazon rainforest? Could it be replaced by an equal amount of reforestation elsewhere? Removing the entire Amazon rainforest would have myriad consequences, with the most obvious ones possibly not the worst. Most people will first think of the carbon currentlyContinue reading “Climate Explained: what would happen if we cut down the Amazon rainforest?”
Why you should stop buying new clothes
Alana James, Northumbria University, Newcastle The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, producing 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions – and it’s estimated that by 2050 this will have increased to 25%. A staggering 300,000 tonnes of clothes are sent to British landfills each year.Continue reading “Why you should stop buying new clothes”
How plywood started the destruction of Indonesia’s forests
Indonesia now has the has the fastest rate of deforestation in the world, driven largely by clearing for palm oil plantations. But the process began long ago, with one of the most common building materials: plywood. As far as commodities are concerned, it was plywood that defined the rainforests of Borneo in the 1970s andContinue reading “How plywood started the destruction of Indonesia’s forests”
Video: Slowing deforestation is the key to preventing the next pandemic – but what does that cost?
Les Kaufman, Boston University In a recent journal article, a team of biologists, medical scientists, environmental scientists and conservationists proposed a number of measures to reduce the likelihood of future pandemics, many of which originate with wild animals such as bats. They argue that spending billions of dollars per year – a fraction of theContinue reading “Video: Slowing deforestation is the key to preventing the next pandemic – but what does that cost?”
Explainer: What is a tipping point, and why should we care?
Our ability to understand and act thoughtfully around this single concept could determine the fate of life on Earth. August 20, 2020 — Lately, you may have heard someone say that we have reached a “tipping point.” This year alone, with the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the sustained civil unrest sparkedContinue reading “Explainer: What is a tipping point, and why should we care?”
Can we feed the world and stop deforestation? Depends what’s for dinner
If we all woke up vegan in 2050, we would require less cropland than we did in the year 2000. This could allow us to “reforest” an area around the size of the entire Amazon rainforest – somehow fitting considering 70-80% of deforestation in the Amazon is due to the livestock industry.
African Greys: How politics killed the parrot
Here at The Nature Nook, we don’t shy away from uncomfortable truths or harsh realities concerning the natural world. But today’s article, about the tragic story of the Congo African grey parrot, is a particularly harrowing read that I don’t recommend to anyone who is sensitive to descriptions of animals in distress. The Congo AfricanContinue reading “African Greys: How politics killed the parrot”
How does COVID-19 affect Wildlife Conservation?
How does COVID 19 affect Wildlife Conservation? This pandemic has affected several continents, and everyone seems to be at its mercies. It’s sad to see people lose lives, property, jobs, among others. It’s crippling the economy and results to be a pandemic pushing us to a very difficult corner. No Money = No Tourism ApartContinue reading “How does COVID-19 affect Wildlife Conservation?”
What is a ‘mass extinction’ and are we in one now?
Frédérik Saltré, Flinders University and Corey J. A. Bradshaw, Flinders University For more than 3.5 billion years, living organisms have thrived, multiplied and diversified to occupy every ecosystem on Earth. The flip side to this explosion of new species is that species extinctions have also always been part of the evolutionary life cycle. But theseContinue reading “What is a ‘mass extinction’ and are we in one now?”
On Overcoming Activism Exhaustion and Burn-Out
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay, But Not Okay to Remain That Way We all go through stuff that makes us feel no okay, maybe a phase/season/period/stage, etc. It’s okay for this to happen, and our feelings are totally valid. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just allow yourself to outgrow the situations. Remember, you areContinue reading “On Overcoming Activism Exhaustion and Burn-Out”
Inside the colourful world of animal vision
As humans, we live in a colourful world, but differences in visual systems means that not all animals see the world in the same way. Unlike other aspects of an object such as size or mass, colour is not an inherent property of an object but a result of the sensory system of the viewer.Continue reading “Inside the colourful world of animal vision”
The Rarest Rhino: The Two Last Northern White Rhinos of Kenya
The rarest rhino in the world can be found wallowing in the mud at the Ol Pejeta Nature Conservancy in Kenya. Constantly guarded by vigilant rifle-clad guards, these two animals have no idea that they are the last members of their kind. They are northern white rhinos – the very last northern white rhinos anywhereContinue reading “The Rarest Rhino: The Two Last Northern White Rhinos of Kenya”
Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire: Let’s Sort the Plastic Menace
Smoke is a clear sign of something brewing up. The decision taken afterward determines the outcomes. If ignored, the fire may destroy everything. But if we bother to check out, we may save the day. It has been more than a month now since we heard the rumors of Kenya being used as a hubContinue reading “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire: Let’s Sort the Plastic Menace”
The lengthy childhood of endangered orangutans is written in their teeth
Orangutan populations in the wild are critically endangered, and one of the things that may hamper their survival is the time they take to rear new offspring. An orangutan mother will not give birth again until she’s finished providing milk to her previous offspring. Nursing can take a long time and vary across seasons, asContinue reading “The lengthy childhood of endangered orangutans is written in their teeth”
Every Living Organism Has a Way of Communicating
Every living organism has a way of communicating. We may not be able to understand each other’s language. But its there and communication get passed from one organism to another. How do forests speak to us? If you have ever been into the woods and feel different ways nature talks to us. From the windContinue reading “Every Living Organism Has a Way of Communicating”