Green duffers, animal capers

25 Jul 2012

At ... how much did humans impact on the landscape - or for how much are they responsible for the destruction of eco systems, especially in the tropics. A paper in PNAS shows that even in pre-human environments natural events have caused near extintions of wildlife - taking as the perfect field of study the island of Madagascar, uninhabited until a few thousand years ago. Pre human Madagascar was affected by a series of Holocene droughts, or natural disasters that involved the removal of large sections of tropical forest cover, up till 2000BC. It was this series of events that created the open habitat in the far north of the island - and impacted disastrously on lemurs. Environmental research has clearly been based on a number of assumptions and the authors decry conservation that alienates or excludes local communities.

At ... amazing feats by unfazed gorillas, captured on film. They are clearly seen investigating and then dismantling a series of snares set up by poachers to catch small game.