Newsletter 2022-01-13 –

Newsletter 2022-01-13 –


The thick of it: Delving into the neglected global impacts of human waste by Sean Mowbray [01/11/2022]

– Though little talked about, our species has a monumental problem disposing of its human waste. A recent modeling study finds that wastewater adds around 6.2 million tons of nitrogen to coastal waters worldwide per year, contributing significantly to harmful algal blooms, eutrophication and ocean dead zones.
– The study mapped 135,000 watersheds planetwide and found that just 25 of them account for almost half the nitrogen pollution contributed by human waste. Those 25 were pinpointed in both the developing world and developed world, and include the vast Mississippi River watershed in the United States.
– Human waste — including pharmaceuticals and even microplastics contained in feces and urine — is a major public health hazard, causing disease outbreaks, and putting biodiversity at risk. Sewage is impacting estuary fish nurseries, coral reefs, and seagrasses, a habitat that stores CO2, acting as a buffer against climate change.
– Waste is often perceived as mostly a developing world problem, but the developed world is as responsible — largely due to antiquated municipal sewage systems that combine rainwater and wastewater in the same pipes. As a result, intense precipitation events regularly flush raw sewage into waterways in the U.S., U.K. and EU.

Wild release marks return of giant forest tortoises to Bangladesh hills by Carolyn Cowan [01/10/2022]

– Researchers and villagers last month released 10 captive-bred Asian giant tortoises into Bangladesh’s Chattogram Hill Tracts to boost numbers of the threatened species in the wild, once thought to be extinct in the country.
– Asian giant tortoises are critically endangered throughout their range in South and Southeast Asia due to heavy hunting pressure and habitat loss.
– The rewilding of the batch of juvenile tortoises is the first wild release of offspring reared at a dedicated turtle conservation breeding center that was set up in the Chattogram Hills in 2017 to safeguard the future of several rare and threatened species.
– Through tortoise conservation, researchers are working with local hill tribes to monitor local wildlife, curb hunting, and protect community-managed forests.

Tom Lovejoy’s enduring legacy to the planet by Jeremy Hance [01/07/2022]

– Conservation biologist Tom Lovejoy died on Christmas day, 2021 at the age of 80.- Through his innovative ideas, leadership, and advocacy, Lovejoy leaves an enduring legacy to the field of conservation, writes Jeremy Hance.
– “Among career highlights, Lovejoy published one of the first estimates of global extinction rates in 1980; invented the debt-for-nature swap, a massive boon to conservation areas the world over; he helped raise awareness of the plight of rainforests worldwide, and the Amazon in particular, during the 1980s during the peak save-the-rainforest movement; and he was an advisor to the PBS program, NATURE,” Hance writes.
– “Lovejoy’s work lives on, not only through his fragments project in Brazil, but through years of advising and collaborating with other researchers, celebrities and world leaders, including four US presidents, to preserve the …….


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