Notes from a rare planet: Tiger populations are up 20% in India but concerns remain

Tiger. With no bars between us.

Tiger populations are up 20 percent in India, but habitat loss continue to be a problem (World Wildlife Fund)

  • “Despite the good news, the detailed report warns that tigers are still in danger due to an overall 12.6 percent loss of habitat, meaning more tigers are being squeezed into smaller areas, which could lead to a lack of dispersal and consequent loss of genetic exchange between populations, and an increase in human-tiger conflict.”

Climate change could reduce New England fisheries revenues (Climatide)

    “Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) examined the potential economic consequences of [ocean acidification] on commercial fisheries, which led to eye-opening results. WHOI found that current rates of [ocean acidification] would lead to an estimated 25% loss in mollusk revenues, and that this would decrease New Bedford’s total revenues by $67 million annually, resulting in a net loss of $2.2 billion by 2060 – a staggering amount.”

Shark “Massacres” Happen Every Day…We Just Don’t Hear About It (Conservation International)

  • “I’ve also had the unfortunate experience of watching shark populations decline, mostly due to overfishing and illegal fishing in protected areas. However, thanks to improved policies to reduce shark fishing, better enforcement capacity through a state-of-the-art Vessel Monitoring System, and growing political commitment in Ecuador to control the hemorrhage of shark products — especially fins destined for the lucrative Chinese market — shark fishing in the Galápagos Marine Reserve has been greatly reduced in the past few years. Which is why news of last week’s “shark massacre” has come as such an unsettling surprise.”

Small fish play a big role and need protection (Climatide)

  • “Little fish play a pivotal role since they mainly eat tiny plankton and are in turn food for predators such as large fish, whales or seabirds. Small fish account for more than 30 percent of world fish production and are a key food source for many people in developing nations.
    The scientists, who used computer models to study stocks of small fish off Peru, the California current, southern Africa, the North Sea and Australia, suggested that catches of should be cut sharply, perhaps backed up by no-fishing zones.
    They said some stocks were harmed even by a level of catches known as the “maximum sustainable yield” (MSY) of a stock.”

A man was arrested at the Thai airport for trying to smuggle 50 live snakes wrapped in socks in his carry on (The Guardian)

  • Last week, an Iranian man was stopped by customs officials trying to smuggle 50 live snakes on to a plane in Bangkok, hidden in rolled-up socks in his hand luggage. The “snakes on a plane” headlines have once again focused attention on Thailand as an international hub for the illegal trade in wildlife, a trade worth a staggering £6bn a year.