Black piano keys: Do you know?

Black piano keys
At Carnegie Hall, gospel singer Wintley Phipps delivers perhaps the most powerful rendition of Amazing Grace ever recorded.

He says, “A lot of people don’t realize that just about all Negro spirituals are written on the black notes of the piano. Slaves were not permitted to use the white keys.

Probably the most famous on this slave scale was written by John Newton, who used to be the captain of a slave ship, and many believe he heard this melody that sounds very much like a West African sorrow chant. And it has a haunting, haunting plaintive quality to it that reaches past your arrogance, past your pride, and it speaks to that part of you that’s in bondage. And we feel it. We feel it. It’s just one of the most amazing melodies in all of human history.” After sharing the noteworthy history of the song, Mr. Phipps delivers a stirring performance that brings the audience to its feet! 

Shell ‘Warned Nigeria Pipeline could Leak before Spills’

Shell ‘warned Nigeria pipeline could leak before spills’

A man walks on slippery spilled crude oil on the shores and in the waters of the Niger Delta swamps of Bodo, a village in the famous Nigerian oil-producing Ogoniland, which hosts the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Nigeria's Rivers State on June 24, 2010.Shell and the Bodo community disagree on the amount of damage from the spills

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Oil firm Royal Dutch Shell was told a pipeline had reached the end of its life years before it spilled up to 500,000 barrels of oil, according to court documents seen by the BBC.

Two spills in 2008 affected about 35 sq miles (90 sq km) in southern Nigeria, according to a group suing Shell.

The area included sensitive mangroves.

Shell “dismisses the suggestion that it has knowingly continued to use a pipeline that is not safe to operate,” it told the BBC.

The emails, letters and internal reports submitted to a court in London show that senior Shell employees were concerned before the spill that Shell’s pipelines in the area had reached the end of their lives and needed replacing to avoid danger to lives, the environment and the economy. …

It is, as I would write about a friend: Africa´s Western black rhino officially declared extinct

Northern White Rhino, ZOO Dvůr Králové, Czech ...

Northern White Rhino, ZOO Dvůr Králové, Czech Republic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Africa’s Western black rhino officially declared extinct


AFRICA – Africa’s western black rhino is now officially extinct according the latest review of animals and plants by the world’s largest conservation network. The subspecies of the black rhino — which is classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species — was last seen in western Africa in 2006.

The IUCN warns that other rhinos could follow saying Africa’s northern white rhino is “teetering on the brink of extinction” while Asia’s Javan rhino is “making its last stand” due to continued poaching and lack of conservation. “In the case of the western black rhino and the northern white rhino the situation could have had very different results if the suggested conservation measures had been implemented,” Simon Stuart, chair of the IUCN species survival commission said in a statement. This update offers both good and bad news on the status of many species around the world. “These measures must be strengthened now, specifically managing habitats in order to improve performance, preventing other rhinos from fading into extinction,” Stuart added. The IUCN points to conservation efforts which have paid off for the southern white rhino subspecies which have seen populations rise from less than 100 at the end of the 19th century to an estimated wild population of 20,000 today. –CNN

source: the extinction protocol

copied from – thank You!

Why Pangolins are the new Rhinos:The Heartbreaking Poaching Epidemic You Haven´t Heard of Yet

This image was first published in the 1 st (18...

This image was first published in the 1 st (1876–1899), 2 nd (1904–1926) or 3 rd (1923–1937) edition of Nordisk familjebok. The copyrights for that book have expired and this image is in the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Heartbreaking Poaching Epidemic You Haven’t Heard of Yet

Why pangolins are the new rhinos.

November 8, 2013

panolin rescue
(Photo: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters)

Pangolins are among the oddest and least-familiar animals on Earth. They’re mammals, but they’re armor-plated. Their chief defensive posture is to tuck their heads under their tails and roll up, like a basketball crossed with an artichoke. (It works: Even lions generally can’t get a grip.) They have tongues that are not only coated with a sticky, fly paper–like substance but can also extend up to 16 inches to probe into nests and snag ants for dinner. They’re shy, nocturnal and live either high up trees or deep underground.

Lisa Hywood has lately discovered just how charismatic these obscure creatures can be. At the Tikki Hywood Trust, her rescue center in Zimbabwe, one of her current guests, named Chaminuka, recognizes Hywood and makes a soft chuffing noise when she comes home. Then he stands up to hold her hand and greet her, she tells me. (Bit of a snob, though: He doesn’t deign to recognize her assistants.) Hywood finds working with pangolins even more emotionally powerful than working with elephants.

It’s also more urgent: Pangolins, she says, are “the new rhinos,” with illegal trade now raging across Asia and Africa. They are routinely served up as a status symbol on the dinner plates of the nouveaux riches in China and Vietnam. Their scales are ground up, like rhino horn, into traditional medicines. Pangolin scales, like rhino horn, are made from keratin and about as medicinally useful as eating fingernail clippings. When poachers get caught with live pangolins, Hywood rehabilitates the animals for reintroduction to the wild.

But a lot of pangolins aren’t that lucky. By one estimate, poachers have killed and taken to market as many as 182,000 pangolins since 2011. And the trade seems only to be growing bigger. In northeastern India early this week, for instance, authorities nabbed a smuggler with 550 pounds of pangolin scales. Something like that happens almost every week. Many more shipments make it through.

There is little prospect that this trade will stop, short of extinction for the eight pangolin species. Two of the four species in Asia are currently listed as endangered and likely to be moved soon to critically endangered status. As pangolins have vanished from much of Asia, demand has shifted to Africa, which also has four species. The price for a single animal there can now run as high as $7,000, according to Darren Pietersen, who tracks radio-tagged pangolins for his doctoral research at the University of Pretoria.

Hunters use dogs to locate arboreal pangolins or set snares outside the burrows of ground-dwelling species. That rolled-up defensive posture, which works so well against lions, just makes it easier for human hunters to pick them up and bag them, says Dan Challender, cochair of the Pangolin Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. His research has taken him to a restaurant in Vietnam where, by chance, he witnessed a pangolin being presented live to a diner, then killed to be eaten. At such restaurants, stewed pangolin fetus is a special treat.

The trade is already illegal in many countries, and it is also banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. But enforcement is minimal, and even poachers seized with tons of smuggled animals often get away with a wrist slap. Authorities sometimes dispose of these shipments by auction, cashing in on the illegal market

It could be worse than what’s happening to elephants and rhinos.

Zoos at least know how to breed those species in captivity, says Hywood. But so far, no one has managed to captive-breed any of the eight pangolin species. That means that if Chaminuka and his ilk go extinct in the wild before scientists can figure that out, these curious creatures will be gone forever.                   HERE YO´LL FIND THAT PETITION, too

Tanzania: Serengeti Marathon Takes On Poachers

Lac Manyara - Tanzanie 2011 (148)

Lac Manyara – Tanzanie 2011 (148) (Photo credit: Valerie Hukalo)

English: Lioness on rocks in Serengeti Nationa...

English: Lioness on rocks in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Map of Tanzania in French. Français :...

English: Map of Tanzania in French. Français : Carte de la Tanzanie en français. Español: Mapa de Tanzania en francés. Equirectangular projection. 1° N, 28° W, 42° E, -13° S. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tanzania: Serengeti Marathon Takes On Poachers

By Iman Mani,  5 November 2013

THIS year’s Serengeti Marathon is being run under the theme “Let us be more radical to wildlife poaching.” The event is being held for the second time next month by the Serengeti Sports Centre in Busega District, Simiyu Region.

The organisers have received support from the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Tanzania Country Office. …

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Horrific footage of seal clubbing in Namibia – Video (The Guardian)

  • A colony of Cape Fur Seals at Cape Cross on th...

    A colony of Cape Fur Seals at Cape Cross on the Skeleton Coast, Namibia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Marine life

Horrific footage of seal clubbing in Namibia – video

This film, shot in 2011 but only just released by Earthrace Conservation, shows sealers clubbing Cape fur seals to death in a nature reserve. The seals are killed in an annual cull which the Namibian government says is needed to protect fish eaten by the seals, but campaigners say is carried out to sell fur and fat

  • Source: Earthrace Conservation
  • Length: 1min 18sec
  • Thursday 4 July 2013

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Bill Gates and Monsanto and Africa?

ECOTERRA Intl.   Bill Gates and Monsanto Bully Africa to Grow Defective Bt Maize Today the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) released a new report ‘Africa bullied to grow defective Bt Maize: the failure of Monsanto

Heute um 2:31 PM
Bill Gates and Monsanto Bully          Africa to Grow Defective Bt Maize
Today the African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) released a new report ‘Africa      bullied to grow defective Bt Maize: the failure of Monsanto’s      MON810 maize in South Africai, showing how    Monsanto’s GM/GE (genetically engineered, transgenic) maize, which    utterly failed in SA, is now being foisted on the rest of the    continent, through ‘sleight of hand’.
Independent scientists have shown that Monsanto’s GM/GE maize    variety, MON810 – which has been growing in SA for 15 years     – has completely failed due to the development of massive insect    resistance, leading to the GM/GE maize being withdrawn from the SA    market. Monsanto has compensated farmers who were forced to spray    their crops with pesticides to control the pests, calling into    serious question the very rationale for GM/GE crops.
According to the Director of the ACB, Mariam Mayet, ‘Monsanto got    the science completely wrong on this one. Independent biosafety    scientists have discovered that the inheritance of resistance in    African stem borers is a dominant, not recessive, trait as    erroneously assumed. Hence the insect resistance management    strategies that Monsanto developed, and accepted by our regulators,    based on these erroneous assumptions, were utterly ineffective.’
Undeterred, Monsanto is now pushing its flop GM/GE maize onto the    rest of the continent. According to the ACB report, Monsanto has now    donated its MON810 GM/GE technology ‘royalty-free’ to a Gates    Foundation/Monsanto funded ‘philanthropic’ project, Water Efficient    Maize for Africa (WEMA). WEMA is being rolled out in Mozambique,      Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The defective GM/GE maize is set    to be approved for commercial growing by 2015.
WEMA was first touted for a good number of years, with much fanfare,    as a charitable project intent on bringing drought tolerant maize    varieties to resource poor African small farmers. However, with a    sleight of hand and stony silence, WEMA has included MON810 into the    mix. Field trials with MON810 are already running in Kenya and    Uganda. In response to the project, the Mozambican government is now    changing its biosafety laws to allow for the cultivation of GM/GE    crops while WEMA is pressurising the Tanzanian government to change    the country’s biosafety law that will hold Monsanto strictly liable    for damages that may arise.
According to researcher with the ACB, Haidee Swanby, ‘WEMA is a    convenient vehicle for Monsanto to gain regulatory approval for its    controversial technology in African countries. However,     “royalty-free” seed simply means that resource strapped commercial    farmers will get the seed at the same price as hybrid seed, which    means that these seeds will be prohibitively expensive. The patents    on the gene sequences still reside with Monsanto, and farmers will    have to pay premium prices for the GM/GE seeds.’
The ACB report also highlights that Monsanto’s MON810 GM/GE trait    has been genetically engineered into a local Egyptian maize variety    called Ajeeb. ‘Ajeeb Yieldgard’ has now been patented by Monsanto    and ‘approved’ for commercial growing through circumvention of the    Egyptian biosafety law. Significantly, the report highlights that    the Egyptian government has published peer reviewed independent and    publically funded biosafety studies on MON810 showing serious risks    to human and animal health.
Said Swanby, ‘The scariest revelation is that GM/GE producers and    regulatory authorities are making it all up as they go along, while    the massive biotech PR machinery spreads the myth that these crops    are connected to feeding the poor in Africa.’
i      The ACB report can be downloaded from our website
Contact:     Haidee Swanby 082 459 8548     Mariam Mayet 083 269 4309
The African Centre for Biosafety     PO Box 29170, Melville 2109 South Africa     Tel: +27 (0)11 486 1156


POACHERS kill more than 300 elephants in Zimbabwe’s largest game park using cyanide

By Agence France-Presse Monday, October 21, 2013 9:17 EDT
["Stock Photo: Elephant" on Shutterstock]

More than 300 elephants and other animals have died of cyanide poisoning by poachers in Zimbabwe’s largest game park, a wildlife conservation group said Monday.

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PANGOLIN, so beautiful, under threat: PANGOLIN is the only mammal with reptilian scales!

English: Pangolin Skeletons on Display at The ...

English: Pangolin Skeletons on Display at The Museum of Osteology. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


pangolin (Photo credit: Lebatihem)

Under threat: the pangolin is the only mammal with reptilian scales
Rex features

It is an enigmatic and highly intelligent animal known as a “mischievous escape artist”. However, the luck of the pangolin has finally run out, say conservationists. This extraordinary creature is being slaughtered on an industrial scale and faces being eaten to extinction.

Believed to be the world’s most trafficked animal, a single pangolin can fetch as much as $7,000 (£4,300) on the black market.

The pangolin – unique among mammals because of its reptilian scales – is considered a delicacy in parts of Asia. Its scales are also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat conditions that include inward-growing eyelashes, boils and poor circulation.

Its conservation status is being reviewed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and two species, the Chinese and the sunda (Malayan pangolin), are likely to be designated as “critically endangered” next year.

Pangolins, largely nocturnal ant-eaters, roll up in a ball when threatened and their scales are so tough that a lion cannot bite through them. But this defence mechanism makes it easy prey for poachers.

However, Dan Challender, of the IUCN said the “mischievous” animals were famed as “escape artists”. Traffickers have been known to nail their tails to the floor to prevent them running away.

The pangolin population in China is thought to have fallen by up to 94 per cent since the 1960s. This has driven traffickers to raid populations in India, Pakistan and Africa.

Mr Challender said the four species in Asia could be extinct in as little as 20 years. The four African species may last longer.

Lisa Hywood, who takes in rescued pangolins at the Tikki Hywood Trust, a conservation centre in Harare, Zimbabwe, said: “I believe that the pangolin is as much at risk of becoming extinct as the rhino.Probably more so.” …

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