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Decline In African Elephant Populations

August 18, 2016 Jamie Schuman 0

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The Great Elephant Census with a fund of $7 million, conducted over a time period of three years has reported that there has been a population decrease in the African Elephant populations by almost a third between 2007 and 2014. The Census effectively took a count of every Savannah elephant in 18 countries all over Africa. The Savannah elephants in these 18 countries account for 93% of the total population. The Census concludes on a very sobering note stating the decline in the population of African elephants by an alarming number of 144,000 within the seven years studied.

Although the world over there are major initiatives and talks on wildlife conservation, we have not succeeded much if we have failed to protect the world’s largest land mammal. The results of the study were published in PeerJ journal. The survey was funded partly by American philanthropist, Paul Allen and was a collaborative effort by the elephant conservation group based in Botswana called Elephants Without Borders and other government and non-government groups in the 18 countries involved.

african-elephantsBefore the study even though each country was responsible for keeping a check on their elephant populations, the data was not standardized. Each followed different methods and different frequencies. The Great Elephant Census team followed elephants in an aircraft and took efficient measures to segregate data and to avoid counting the same elephants twice as the elephants are always on the move. Earlier elephant population estimates ranged from 400,000 to 630,000 but the Census reported there are just 352,271 elephants. According to NPR reports such great decline in the elephant population has been caused by illegal poaching for elephant tusks sold on the Chinese market.

Governments have made their best efforts to prevent illegal hunting of elephants and tried to disrupt the ivory market. In April the world awed at the recent Kenyan act of burning tusks of almost 7000 elephants. In Kenya, the public ivory burning events have been witnessed in earlier years too. The recent study will greatly contribute to the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) an international body that regulates trade of threatened animals.

Read More: Future Concerns For Quinoa Cultivators

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Turkey On Agreement With European Union Arrests 1300 Migrants

November 8, 2015 Jamie Schuman 0

agreementTurkey on an agreement with the European Union on Monday, arrested 3 people smugglers with 1300 migrants from Turkey to Greece in a single operation. The migrants belonging to Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran were seized on the Turkish countryside near Ayvacik a town that lies north of the Greek island of Lesbos. According to reports by the UN about 425,000 refugees arrived in Lesbos via smuggling boats and another 300,000 refugees reached other Greek islands from Turkey. This led to the European Union blaming Turkey for poor police control on its borders. This arrest made by Turkish officials is probably one of the largest single mass arrests of migrants made in recent months.

In return for Turkish cooperation, the European Union has offered $3.2 billion dollars as aid for about 2.2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. The agreement made by the EU and Turkish government also suggests that Turkish citizens may be allowed to travel visa-free in Europe as early as October 2016. In separate operations, Turkey said it has arrested nearly 80,000 migrants since 2014 along with 200 major smugglers. Recent Guardian highlighted the lack of police patrolling in certain areas from where the smugglers help migrants leave for the Greek islands. It has also reported that the smugglers conduct their business not very far from police facilities. While EU makes stricter measures to curb the flow of refugees into Europe there are those who are concerned for the migrants who will be forced to try dangerous and more expensive measures.

Smugglers say that it will never be possible to curb the large inflow of refugees. Turkey has about 2.2 million Syrian refugees without a legal work permit. These workers are being exploited by employers and it is quite apparent that they will try to find their way out to Europe to earn lives of dignity.

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27 Killed In Fire In A Romanian Nightclub

October 11, 2015 Jamie Schuman 0

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In a shocking incident in Bucharest, a fire in a nightclub killed 27 people and injured 184 others during a rock concert on Friday night the 30th of October. This was one of the worst mishaps in the capital of Romania in decades. 400 people mostly youngsters stampeded towards the single exit in order to escape the fire. The Colectiv club was located in the basement of a Communist era sport-shoe factory. The club was hosting a night show that featured the metal band Goodbye to Gravity on Friday night to launch a new album. Witnesses said that the fireworks began on stage and the pyrotechnic effects were the cause of the fire.

While many suffered burns and smoke inhalation others were injured by being trampled in the stampede. A pillar covered with foam panels and the ceiling erupted in flames followed by an explosion. The Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Oprea had already initiated a criminal investigation into the cause of the incident while the health minister Nicolae Banicioui sent out a public appeal for blood donations. The Government on Saturday declared three days of national mourning in memory of the lives lost. Some of the worst disasters in nightclubs have been due to fireworks in the recent past.

Following the public appeal for blood donations, hundreds of people crowded the Bucharest Blood Transfusion Center and other centers to donate blood in the early hours of Saturday. The donors were from all walks of life including 40 local policemen and 50 anti-terrorist operatives. Leaders of political parties and churches joined the cause as best as they could with support for the bereaved families and those suffering injuries. National Research Development Institute for Mining Security and Antiexplosive Protection sent their specialists to investigate the cause of the fire. Prosecutors are already investigation crimes of willful destruction and manslaughter.