Monday, January 31, 2011

48th Annual Meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology (ATBC) and 2nd Regional Meeting of the Africa Section of the Society of Conservation Biology (SCB Africa)

for the
48th Annual Meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology (ATBC) and 2nd Regional Meeting of the Africa Section of the Society of Conservation Biology (SCB Africa)

“Adaptability to Climate Change and Attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)
 for Tropical Ecosystems”

The Local Organising Committee of the Joint Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation AND the Society for Conservation Biology-Africa Section has the pleasure to invite you to join us for five days in Arusha, Tanzania to address this year’s meeting theme: “Adaptability to Climate Change and Attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for Tropical Ecosystems”

This year’s meeting promises to be a very exciting one. It will be the first ATBC meeting to be hosted in Africa; the first joint meeting between ATBC and SCB, and only the second regional meeting of SCB Africa. Notwithstanding 2011 is also the United Nations Year of the Forests.

We invite conservation biologists, tropical ecologists, conservation practitioners, policy makers, students, professors, NGOs and government agencies to register for the meeting and to submit abstracts under the numerous themes and symposia that have been developed for the meeting. Interesting Workshops and Short courses reflecting broad contexts of the meeting theme are also being offered.

The 2011 meeting is being hosted by the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) and the College of Natural and Applied Sciences (Botany Department) of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM).

The meeting will take place in Arusha, Tanzania, at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) between 12 to 16 June,  2011. Arusha is also the half-way point between Cape Town and Cairo, and the launching pad to some of the greatest natural wonders of the World: The Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara and many more.

Register NOW!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


As our region is plunged in cold and snow
Cloaked in ice and winds that blow
Spring will come to all that sleep
Dreams of warmth for those to keep!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Biodiversity Matters Youth Board

On Saturday January 22nd, the well established Biodiversity Matters Youth Board had their very first meeting for 2011. It was held in Ottawa with 8 youth from around the Ottawa Region and we had two youth that skyped in for Mexico and Panama. The meeting discussion covered a number of different issues including possible activities for May 22nd  2011- Biodiversity day, activities for the year of youth, and the year of forestry! There was also talk about different issues we could contribute to in helping protect the environment during the winter, an example being the use of different salts on the roads and the effects on the environment. There was agreement to us all doing some more research and bringing it to our next meeting. We also discussed how to get more youth communicating on our blog- please spread the word! We want to hear from you! We are planning our next Biodiversity Youth Board Meeting on Saturday February 26th at ASLA. We would like to expand the group of youth, so if you are interested bring a friend, please contact myself or Michael Leveille. All are welcome! 

Friday, January 28, 2011


Published online 28 January 2011 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news.2011.56

As Malaysia prepares to convert around 7,000 hectares of forest into an oil-palm plantation, ecologists are starting one of the biggest environmental projects ever run.
The ten-year-long Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems project will be launched on 29 January in the forests of the Maliau Basin on the island of Borneo, where the study is based.
It is being funded with 30 million ringgits (US$10 million), from Sime Darby, a Malaysia-based company involved in palm-oil production, and will look at changes to biodiversity and the resources and processes provided by the ecosystem as the forest is logged and replanted with oil palms.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

International Youth Meeting- January 22, 2011

Last Saturday, our youth team met to discuss the International Year of Forests and the International Decade of Biodiversity.   Stay tuned for updates from this meeting.  We skyped with youth from Panama and Mexico. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I am always amazed at the diversity that exists under the sea, especially the deep sea.  Here are some images of the deep sea and the life it contains.  Image credits given below.

Deep Sea Vents
Credit: Image courtesy of Submarine Ring of Fire 2006 Exploration, NOAA Vents Program

Weird Fish, Crustaceans/ Credit: Personnel of NOAA Ship DELAWARE II

Yellow Picasso sponge (Staurocalyptus sp.)
Credit: NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tropical Biology Association


Calling all young biologists!
Do you have a keen interest in conservation and tropical ecology?
Are you looking to gain valuable experience in the field?
Would you like to improve your biological skills?
If so, one of our month-long field-based training courses is for you!
In 2011, we will be returning to Danum Valley, Sabah and our course will give you the opportunity to: -
Build on your theoretical understanding with 'hands on' field practice
Design & carry out your own research project Collaborate with a committed
group of international students and biology teachers
For further information and applications, visit our website at: -

Or, contact: -
TBA Courses, Tropical Biology Association,
Department of Zoology,
Downing Street,
Cambridge, CB2 3EJ,
United Kingdom.
Tel: +44 (0)1223 336619.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Durrell is celebrating 25 years of conservation efforts in Madagscar

Gentle Lemur credit James Morgan

Madagascar is the heart of Durrell Wildlife Trust’s conservation programme; it is an island with unique, wondrous and sometimes bizarre species of animal and plant. But unfortunately Madagascar is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Most of the population rely on the natural world for survival and the iconic species have become restricted to tiny remaining patches of habitat.  To read more on this subject see

Ploughshare tortoise credit Gerardo Garcia

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Purple gallinule-Porphyrio martinica

The Purple gallinule is a beautifully coloured wetland bird.
It can often be seen walking on floating vegetation.
Its legs are yellow and can swim on the surface of the water like a duck.
The juvenile is more of a tan colour.
Their habitats are in marshy areas with lots of floating vegetation.
They are omnivores. Their diet consists of : seeds, flowers, fruits, grains, and some invertebrates.
Their nests are floating ones, like a bowl of floating grass.
They are also ground foragers while foraging for food.
Both males and females are about the same size.
At about 14.6 - 14.2 in or  37 - 36 cm.
This particular gallinule's wingspan is 21.7 in or 55 cm.
The Purple gallinule's weight is 7.3 - 10.2 oz or 208 - 288 g
In spanish they would be called "Gallineta morada."
I have observed this bird at Gamboa Resort next to the Chagres River.

Mr. Panamá

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Panama Audubon Society

The Panama Audubon Society is fortunately located near my home here in Panama.
It is near the " Parque Natural Metropolitano" a conserved strip of land that is next to the city.
Although it is close to a highly polluted area it is quite isolated at the same time.
Its amazing ecosystem provides an excellent home to a diverse variety of birds.
From the heart of the rainforest to urban areas their well educated staff can always find birds.
The "Parque Natural Metropolitano" is a jewel in Panama,
for its great hiking trails where you can find a wide range of birds to other wildlife.
The Audubon has many projects currently running.
For example the : Raptors from Ocean to Ocean with the raptor migration I explained this in a previous post.
Also there's the Plan for Conservation of the Bay of Panama.
They will give information freely and easily about birds.
They have monthly meetings showing how beautiful birds can be and what is going on. 
Anybody can attend these meetings.
The Macoun Marsh, in Ottawa, is similar to The Park because it is so small, surrounded by city, and so diverse with biodiversity.
The link to the Panama Audubon Society is at the top under their logo visit and check it out.
They even have a main office nearby the park.
They try to help conserve what they have by the simple education of Panamanians, youth, and anyone else willing to learn.

Mr. Panamá


Monday, January 17, 2011

The Environmental Youth-Adult Partnership (EYAP) Symposium (Canada)

Hey Everybody,
if anyone is interested in attending the AYAP Symposium on April 2nd-3rd you should check this out!!

The EYAP Symposium takes place April 2-3, 2011 at Pretty River Academy in Collingwood. It will be a weekend, of fun, learning, action planning and socializing -
we’d be pleased to have your youth-adult team there!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Update on Rieko's Owl Project in Japan

In winter, we have much snow in Nagano. So it is hard to go to the mountain to observe owls and set traps for owls preys. But we can study about owls and their preys. We  look into owls which were killed by accidents. We want to conserve owls so we have to know owls. We analyzed owls pellets to learn what they ate. If we can find prey’s skull, it give us identify them.
Rieko Kusama

Saturday, January 15, 2011

International Meeting of Youth next Saturday Morning (January 22)

Join our meeting with skype.  We are planning a monthly environmental youth meeting on Saturday mornings from 10:00 to 12:00am Eastern (Ottawa, CANADA time or -5 above).  If you would like to be part of the meeting please contact us (Only youth aged 16 to 25 please).  Our first meeting will be on January 22nd and will explore how we can develop and work with the theme of forests this year.  If interested please contact me at  Mike Leveille

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

United Nations Decade on Biodiversity!!!!!!!

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the period from 2011 to 2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity in its Resolution 65/161:

Decides, following the invitation of the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, to declare 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, with a view to contributing to the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity for the period 2011-2020, requests the Secretary-General, in this regard, in consultation with Member States, to lead the coordination of the activities of the Decade on behalf of the United Nations system, with the support of the secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the secretariats of other biodiversity-related conventions and relevant United Nations funds, programmes and agencies, and invites Member States in a position to do so to contribute, on a voluntary basis, to the funding of the activities of the Decade;



Here is today's winter experience: Overcast, High of -8°C/ Low of -12°C

Friendly chickadees!

Everyone wants to feed a chickadee!

One mustard plant refuses to give up it's flowers!

Deer mice tracks

Iron bacteria in a spring that never freezes.

Monday, January 10, 2011


The International Year of Forests 2011 (Forests 2011) logo is designed to convey the theme of “Forests for People” celebrating the central role of people in the sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of our world’s forests.  Our website has been approved to display this logo as events take place with youth and forest biodiversity over the next year!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Environmental Youth Meetings on Saturdays!

We are planning a monthly environmental youth meeting on Saturday mornings from 10:00 to 12:00am Eastern (Ottawa, CANADA time or -5 above).  If you would like to be part of the meeting please contact us (Only youth aged 16 to 25 please).  Our first meeting will be on January 22nd and will explore how we can develop and work with the theme of forests this year.  If interested please contact me at  Mike Leveille

Youth Opportunity

Check out this link for an exciting opportunity for youth interested in deforestation! Selected youth will be living in Borneo for five months surveying biodiversity, rescuing orangutangs and planting trees! The youth will also be featured in a 3D Movie!

Friday, January 7, 2011

What is going on with the crazy weather?

We know that weather and climate are always changing.  Geological evidence demonstrate this fact.  The sun is the primary cause of the Earth's climate.  It is believed that the sun is becoming more intense over time.  Despite this, according to climate scientist James Lovelock, the Earth's ecosystems maintain our climatic stability.  Here is a short list of some severe weather over the past few months.  It means that we must protect our ecosystems to protect our children's climatic future.     

July 20, 2010 — Recent studies show that June was the hottest month on record worldwide.

August 8, 2010 — Smog is choking Moscow because of Russia's deadliest wildfires in decades and the country's worst heat wave in more than a century.

August 8, 2010 — Heavy rain has triggered devastating flooding and deadly landslides in Pakistan and China.
While Pakistan struggles with the worst floods in its history, China is swamped by its most severe seasonal flooding in a decade.

August 9, 2010 — Senior health official says 700 Muscovites dying every day amid pollution and brutal heatwave.

August 9, 2010 — A 260 square kilometre iceberg has broken free from the Petermann Glacier, one of the two largest remaining glaciers in Greenland. It is not clear if the latest Arctic ice instability can be linked to global warming, although scientists have said global temperatures in the first half of 2010 are the highest on record.

August 9, 2010 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today unveiled a new panel on global sustainability that is tasked with finding ways to lift people out of poverty while tackling climate change and ensuring that economic development is environmentally friendly.
“I have asked the Panel to think big,” the Secretary-General told reporters in New York today. “The time for narrow agendas and narrow thinking is over.”

August 17, 2010 Mass Die-off at Coral Reef Triggered by 93-Degree Ocean
One of the most destructive and swift coral bleaching events ever recorded is underway in the waters off Indonesia, where water temperatures have climbed into the low 90s, according to data released by a conservation group this week.

August 19, 2010 Evidence of Climate Change PRINCE.EDWARD.ISLAND (CBC) - Researchers collecting bugs in the Canadian Arctic this summer have confirmed wasps are breeding on Baffin Island, which they say is further evidence of climate change.

December 10, 2010 – Rain in Panama- Panama declared a state of emergency on Friday (December 10) as heavy rains and flooding left at least 10 people dead.  Recent rains have caused havoc in nearby Venezuela and Colombia and the recent rainfall caused authorities to close the Panama Canal after rivers and reservoirs were at historic high levels.

December 15, 2010 - Snow in the Middle East- The Syrian Weather Agency said this was the first time Damascus had seen this type of snowfall in 25 years. Syria had been suffering from drought, especially in the eastern parts of the country with locals worried due to the lack of the rainfall in 2010.

January 2, 2011 - 'Biblical' floods hit Queensland and leave tens of thousands homeless. The floods have already struck a vast swath of territory the size of France and Germany combined. More than 20 towns have been cut off or have been swamped by rivers that have burst their banks.

January 4, 2011 - Cuba is experiencing its coldest temperatures in over fifty years, according to meteorologists. Temperatures on the Caribbean island have fallen to a minimum of 1.9 Celsius (35 Fahrenheit) in some areas, with December thought to have been the coldest month on record since 1951.


Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on a massive scale, usually resulting in damage to the quality of the land. According to National Geographic, forests still cover about 30 percent of the world’s land area, but swaths the size of Panama are lost each and every year.  Many believe that the world’s rain forests could completely vanish in a hundred years at the current rate of deforestation. 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Both of Durrell’s spectacled bears celebrated their 25th birthday last month. Barbara reached her quarter of a century milestone on 17th December, closely followed by Wolfgang who reached 25 on the 30th.

The pair of Andean bears, also known as spectacled bears because of the distinctive markings around their eyes, arrived at Durrell’s wildlife park back in 1987 and since then they’ve become firm favourites with visitors who are often entertained with their playful antics. The lifelong partners have produced 6 cubs, 3 sets of twins, all born during the 1990s and all of these offspring have been placed at other zoos around the world as part of a co-operative, managed breeding programme for this species.
Bear images credited to James Morgan

Sunday, January 2, 2011

International Year of Forests 2011

Please send us your stories connected to trees, forests, and forest biodiversity!  Contact us at

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Our International Youth Accord was our main focus this year as was getting as many youth as possible to COP10 in Nagoya.  Here is a look back at some of our favourite moments!

Green Week in Belguim

Presenting Jane Goodall with our Accord

Working with the CBD

Presenting the Accord to David Suzuki

Building our website

Working with the Durrell Wildlife Trust in the UK

Presenting at COP10 in October

Presenting the Accord to Harrision Ford at COP10

What adventures will 2011 bring?


1. Argentina- 3
2. Australia- 17
3. Austria- 3
4. Bahamas- 2
5. Bangladesh- 2
6. Barbados- 2
7. Belize- 2
8. Belgium- 3
9. Bermuda- 2
10. Bolivia- 1
11. Botswana- 1
12. Brazil- 14
13. Bulgaria- 8
14.Cameroon- 4

15. Canada- 1199 
16. Cayman Islands- 1
17. China- 20
18. Columbia- 2
19. Cuba- 1
20. Cyprus- 1
21. Denmark- 1
22. Dominican Republic- 1
23. Egypt- 2
24. England/ UK- 14
25. "Europe"- 4
26. Republic of the Fiji Islands- 1
27. France- 4
28. Germany- 11
29. Greece- 1
30. Guyana- 1
31. Honduras- 2
32. Hungary- 4
33. India- 15
34. Indonesia- 15
35. Ireland- 2
36. Israel- 2
37. Italy- 5
38. Iraq- 1
39. Japan- 30
40. Jamaica- 1
41. Kenya- 4
42. Korea- 2
43. Lebanon- 5
44. Macau- 1
45. Malaysia- 2
46. Malawi- 1
47. Mexico- 2667
48. Mongolia- 2
49. Namibia- 1
50. Nepal- 3
51. Netherlands- 1
52. New Zealand- 3
53. Nigeria- 5
54. Panama- 2
55. Pakistan- 1
56. Paraguay- 1
57. Peru- 1
58. Philippians- 2
59. Portugal- 4
60. Rwanda- 1
61. Senegal- 2
62. Serbia- 3
63. Singapore- 2
64. Slovakia- 2
65. South Africa- 4
66. Spain- 88
67. Sudan- 1
68. Sri Lanka-2
69. St. Lucia- 1
70. Sweden- 2
71. Switzerland- 1
72. Taiwan- 4
73. Tanzania- 75
74. Thailand- 1
75. Tunisia- 1
76. Uganda- 54
77. Ukraine- 1
78. United Arab Emirates- 3
79. United States- 106
80. Vietnam- 3
81. Venezuela- 1
82. Zambia- 1
83. Zimbabwe- 1
(Duplicates not counted here)
GRAND TOTAL: 4727 signatures (includes hard copies from Spain, Canada, Mexico, Tanzania, and Japan)