Notes from a rare planet: Using biomass briquettes instead of habitat-destroying charcoal

Rwanda Mountain Gorilla.

This photo of a mountain gorilla in Rwanda comes courtesy of Flickr user puddlepuff.

How Biomass Briquettes Could Save the Endangered Mountain Gorilla

  • “Illegal charcoal production in the Congo is threatening mountain gorilla habitat, but an elegant solution in the form of hand-operated biomass briquette presses may help gorilla populations rebound.”
  • “According to WWF, 400-600 gorillas are killed each year in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo. And without adequate cover, the illegal poaching of mountain gorillas is also intensifying in Virunga National Park, where somewhere between one-quarter and one-half of the world’s 700 remaining mountain gorillas live. “
  • “Without a suitable–and affordable–alternative to charcoal, mountain gorilla habitat will continue to shrink. That’s where the simple solution of biomass briquettes made in the Congo, and in places as far away as Boulder, Colorado, could be the saving grace for the people and mountain gorillas of the Congo.”

Size matters when it comes to lobster tails (and how social marketing can help create sustainable fisheries)

  • “This poster wonderfully depicts the characteristics of a great social marketing poster.  It portrays the ‘pride’ of Abaco… its beautiful beaches and lobster dinners; it has a clear and targeted message… ‘Do you measure up?’; it has a clear call to action… ‘Insist that the lobsters are at least the legal size of 5.5 inches”;  and it reinforces the main slogan… that ‘Size Matters!”
  • “This poster already symbolizes change for Abaco.  Fishermen have directly approached d’Shan (by phone and office visits) to become certified (the campaign’s barrier removal strategy), fishermen have requested posters to distribute amongst other fishermen, and even previously-skeptical wholesalers are getting involved in the campaign and are REQUESTING posters to hang in their businesses.”

Top 20 countries with amount of endangered species (U.S. is No. 2)

  • The U.S. has 1,203 endangered species and has a lot of endangered fish and mollusks.
  • Ecuador is No. 1 with 2,211 endangered species.
  • Indonesia has the most endangered mammals.
  • There are only about 3,200 tigers left in the world. Their global population has fallen almost 97 percent in the last century.

Simply stunning depths of humanity: Tiger cubs poisoned in Indian national park

  • “The reserve—one of several in India helping to contend with the shocking decline in tiger populations earlier in the decade—is located in the north-western province of Rajasthan. Investigators believe that the cubs were poisoned as part of a revenge killing. A goat that the tigers had poached was found nearby.”

California sushi bar caught selling whale meat

  • “In a covert operation, the team behind the Academy Award-winning documentary film “The Cove” has captured video footage that they say proves a popular California sushi bar illegally sold whale meat, according to a New York Times report.
  • “Word got out that the Hump was serving whale, so Psihoyos and his colleagues sent in two vegan animal activists wearing small hidden cameras. The resulting video, not yet released to the public, captured a waitress serving what she called “whale,” which looked like thick pink slices. The vegans took bites, looked revolted, and then placed the meat into a plastic bag that was then tucked away into a purse. Scott Baker, associate director of Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, later analyzed the meat and determined it belonged to a Sei whale, which is endangered, but still hunted by the Japanese.”
  • “Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the United States attorney for the Central District of California, told the NYT that the restaurant was being investigated and charges against it could be filed this week.”
  • “Baker told the Times that he was “pretty shocked” by the discovery. Although Japanese fish markets sell whale meat, he said he didn’t believe, until now, that it was being served in American restaurants.”

Here is a nice little video of Bison on the plains in North America. A plan is underway to restore their populations.