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Where in the world is Riccardo?

Our ship at Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, nestled between forested karst islets that are the poster image for the region Our ship at Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, nestled between forested karst islets that are the poster image for the region

At Wayag, visitors experience some of the most iconic scenery Raja Ampat has to offer.  This labyrinth of karst islets is the poster image for the entire region.  Given that Wayag is a microcosm of Raja Ampat as a whole, we had a very full day of exploration in and around the forested limestone peaks that bejewel a turquoise lagoon – with Zodiac cruising to explore the terrain and then SCUBA diving and snorkeling in the protected lagoons (sorry, your blogger doesn’t have an underwater camera, so no underwater photographs).

Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia #2; our Zodiac cruising took us through the labyrinth of karst islets Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia #2; our Zodiac cruising took us through the labyrinth of karst islets

Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia #3 Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia #3

Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia #4; a few of the islands had enough erosion through the eons to have white sandy beaches Wayag, Raja Ampat, Indonesia #4; a few of the islands had enough erosion through the eons to have white…

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news from (and about) the trees

DSD_8846-galapagos-super-tortoise-768x509Diego, the Tortoise Whose High Sex Drive Helped Save His Species, Retires

With the future secured, he’s finally going home. Good job, Diego.

By Aimee Ortiz
Jan. 12, 2020

A member of the giant tortoise species indigenous to Española Island in the Galápagos in Ecuador, Diego was one of 15 tortoises in a captive breeding program at the Fausto Llerena Tortoise Center on the island of Santa Cruz.

Among the males, Diego displayed an exceptional sex drive, so much so, he’s credited with helping save his species from extinction. Approximately 40 percent of the 2,000 tortoises repatriated to Española Island are estimated to be Diego’s descendants, officials said.

Now, more than 100 years old, he is retiring, since the Galápagos National Park announced the end of the breeding program, saying an evaluation showed it had met its conservation goals. (Maybe he doesn’t want to quit now!!)

Begun in 1965, the…

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News from The Treetalker

news from (and about) the trees

Nature.comSorry, haven’t posted much in a while.

I check out the headlines of the NY Times every day, and have made note of a few recent articles, of which I will give a brief rendition, over the next few days. Here’s the first 3:

The Church Forests of Ethiopia, by Jeremy Seifert, Dec. 3 2019

From an interview and video by Dr. Alemayehu Wassie, Forest Ecologist, working with priests and communities since 1992 to save Ethiopia’s rapidly shrinking church forests.

“In Ethiopian Orthodox teaching, a church–to be a church–should be enveloped by a forest. It should resemble the garden of Eden.

A hundred years ago the highland was one big continuous forest. That big continuous forest has been eaten up by agriculture. It is the church who has protected these forests and only their patronage has safeguarded them from destruction.

Over the past century, nearly all of Ethiopia’s native…

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Natural History Wanderings

NPR  reports

It was a lifesaving mission as dramatic as any in the months-long battle against the wildfires that have torn through the Australian bush.

But instead of a race to save humans or animals, a specialized team of Australian firefighters was bent on saving invaluable plant life: hidden groves of the Wollemi pine, a prehistoric tree species that has outlived the dinosaurs.

Wollemia nobilis peaked in abundance 34 million to 65 million years ago, before a steady decline. Today, only 200 of the trees exist in their natural environment — all within the canyons of Wollemi National Park, just 100 miles west of Sydney.

Read more at  Aussie Firefighters Save World’s Only Groves Of Prehistoric Wollemi Pines : NPR

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Those Who Came Before~

Leave messages,

that are fascinating,

to try,

and interpret.

Ghostly chalk,

on the walls of time.

Left by people,

speaking to us,

telling their tales,

from 4,000 years ago.

Cheers to you from the ancient messengers~

Note: Petroglyphs are carved into rock and pictographs are painted onto rocks using dyes or resins. These petroglyphs and pictographs near Moab Utah are all around. You come upon them as you hike. They are 1500 to 4,000 years old and depict people hunting, both male and female, who appear to be wearing feathers and have weapons. There are antelopes, deer, bears, snakes, birds and other animals, as well as rivers, lakes, the sun and much more. Look and see what you can find, after all, art is open to your interpretation.

Check out: https://www.myutahparks.com/things-to-do/petroglyphs-moab

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The Okefenokee Swamp

Jet Eliot

Alligator, Okefenokee Swamp

Here’s a place I have heard about my whole life. Catchy name. I got to visit it this past November, and it is as unusual and quirky as it’s name…and far more exotic and beautiful than I had ever imagined.

The Okefenokee Swamp is a peat-filled wetland that straddles the U.S. Georgia-Florida border. A vast and shallow bog, it covers nearly a half-million acres (177,000 ha). In ancient times it was part of the ocean floor.

Cresser Prairie, Okefenokee Swamp

There are hiking trails, a self-guided auto tour, an observation tower, camping, and more. But being on the water is decidedly the best way to experience the Okefenokee.  You can rent boats, take your own out, or pay for a boat tour.

We took the guided 90-minute boat tour, and it was excellent.

Alligators peered out from beneath the water’s surface.

Alligator

Pond cypress trees Pond-cypress trees and Suwannee Channel

It…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 6 January 2020 video says about itself:

How to Identify Individual Whales

Through a number of clues, wildlife filmmaker Tom Mustill is determined to find the whale that breached on his kayak in a viral moment.

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Saving jaguars in Belize

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This July 2017 video is called A Jaguar Family in Belize.

From the University of Bristol in England:

Protecting two key regions in Belize could save threatened jaguar, say scientists

January 6, 2020

Scientists studying one of the largest populations of jaguars in Central Belize have identified several wildlife corridors that should be protected to help the species survival. The study, led by the American Museum of Natural History and the University of Bristol and published in BMC Genetics, provide a new insight into where conservation efforts should be concentrated.

Jaguars are top predators inhabiting large areas of Belize’s tropical forests and have a vast range spanning thousands of square miles. However, high deforestation rates for large-scale agricultural development and a constantly changing landscape mean jaguars are under increased threat and now listed as ‘near threatened’ on the IUCN red list of threatened species.

Dr Angelica Menchaca…

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Lecutre-Invitation

Dear Kitty. Some blog

These four videos are about great grey owls in Sweden.

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