Centre for the protection of penguins

first_imgRescued penguins at the Samrec centreoutside Port Elizabeth line up to be fed.(Image: Emily van Rijswijck) Pengiuns at the Boulders colony inCape Town live in prefabricated igloos.(Image: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Libby SharwoodSamrec+27 41 583 1830Emily van RijswijckHis name is Jay and he is a born and bred African. Originally from the biggest colony of African penguins on the continent, St Croix Island in Algoa Bay, Jay now lives the good life at the South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre (Samrec) at Cape Recife Nature Reserve in Port Elizabeth.After two attempts to release him back into the wild – without success, perhaps because Jay believes he is not yet ready – volunteers at the centre have adopted him as a permanent fixture and fellow volunteer.“Clearly Jay finds the rehabilitated life more agreeable, so we have decided that he can stay and become our mascot,” says Samrec volunteer Libby Sharwood.Sharwood has been involved with the rescue and rehabilitation of African penguins since 2000 when she started work as a volunteer at Bay World, the Port Elizabeth natural and cultural museum.With Bay World facilities running at capacity and stray birds putting the healthy penguin population there at risk, Sharwood decided to move the rescue facility to her house – a daunting task if one considers the smell and noise factor that comes with the little creatures.Finally, in 2009, with the help of funding from the National Lottery, the Samrec centre finally opened at its new facilities in Cape Recife, a headland at the southwestern tip of Algoa Bay.The centre works on the principles of the four Rs: rescue, rehabilitate, research and release with a strong emphasis on education. Over 2 000 schoolchildren visit every year, as well as the general public.The programme also has a school adoption component. The latest beneficiary is the Lonwabi Primary school, which caters for disabled children at an informal settlement outside Port Elizabeth.“Some of these kids have never seen a shell, let alone a penguin,” says Eddy Molekoa, educational manager.Saving the African penguin Jay is one of about 120 African penguins which make it to the centre yearly, thanks for the most part to the help of caring individuals who pick up stray animals on their daily beach walks.“The public is amazing,” admits Sharwood.Jay first washed up at Pollok Beach in 2010, “a very cold, underweight baby,” recalls Sharwood. With his many quirks, he has since stolen the hearts of volunteers, especially when he tries to catch dragonflies and mosquitoes.Recently, the centre released 23 penguins at Port Elizabeth’s Hobie Beach. Says animal manager Jared Harding: “We are not a zoo. We try to release the penguins back into the wild as soon as they are healthy. Keeping them at the centre is actually stressful to them.”But their rescue efforts remain a drop in the ocean.“For the extinction rate to be halted, we need to save about 1 000 animals a year.” Sharwood likens the severity of the situation to the similar fate facing rhinos.“In 2000, we were told that if nothing is done, in 30 years no more African penguins would exist. The situation is now worse, with extinction looming within five years,” she says.This month has been a particularly busy one for Samrec as the breeding season kicked off early and with fish numbers dwindling and penguin parents having to venture further off, a number of stray chicks have been found on the beaches, some still kitted-out in their fluffy coats.Like other facilities in Cape Town, Mosselbay, Jeffreys and Tenikwa, Samrec is constantly challenged to find enough fish for the centre, as well as meet the monthly vet’s bill, especially during breeding time.Ocean temperaturesHuman interference and global warming are the biggest risk factors for these vulnerable birds. With water temperatures rising, sea currents are moving further offshore, and this is where the schools of sardines and pilchards are found.Having to swim further for food has a severe impact on the amount of food the chick receives when the parent returns from hunting, and on the population in general.St Croix and Bird islands are where the two biggest colonies gather, with a healthy population also thriving at Boulders Beach in Cape Town. The latter colony is a fine example of how man and beast have learnt to live together in peaceful harmony.It is estimated that there are about 6 000 African penguins left.last_img read more

Using technology to fight poaching

first_imgDenel will provide game reserves with the latest technology in surveillance and skills training for rangers, in aid of the rhino crisis in South Africa.(Image: Denel) Rhino Hero revolves around Zama, a rhino, and his efforts to protect his species.(Image: Rhino Hero)MEDIA CONTACTS • Chris Masters ShortBlackMocca+27 71 520 4764RELATED ARTICLES• A legacy for the African rhino• Giving rhinos a voice through art• Sangomas join the rhino force• Taking the plunge for our rhinos• Special anti-poaching weapon for SA• Rhinos to get revenge on poachersCadine PillaySouth African National Parks (SANParks) and state-owned Denel, the largest arms manufacturer in the country, have signed a memorandum of understanding under which Denel will use its law enforcement technology to assist in the fight against rhino poaching.The country’s rhino death toll for 2012 currently stands at a shocking 549 – 61 more than the total for the whole of 2011. Out of this figure, 320 were poached in the Kruger National Park, which straddles the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces in the north east of the country.Figures released by the Department of Environmental Affairs show that more than 1 600 rhino have been killed by poachers over the past five years and on average South Africa is losing one rhino every day and a half.“We are convinced that this technology will build the ability to detect and deter would-be poachers and provide early warnings to law enforcement officials deployed on the ground,” said Riaz Saloojee, CEO of Denel.Sophisticated technology for game reservesSaloojee said that Denel has, over the years, developed highly sophisticated law-enforcement technology for use at home and abroad. The technology is currently used to combat perlemoen (abalone) poaching on South Africa’s west coast. As a result of excessive poaching, perlemoen was declared an endangered species in terms of CITES regulations in 2007, but the status was removed in 2010 when the illegal trade seemed to have subsided.SANParks spokesperson Wanda Mkutshulwa explained that Denel will provide game reserves with cutting-edge surveillance technology and will also assist in training rangers to operate and interpret data from the technological devices.Dr David Mabunda, CEO of SANParks, is confident that the latest initiative will help reduce incidences of poaching and keep the numbers of poached rhino down.“Though we admit that we have lost a few battles, and suffered a few bloody noses, we have no intention of losing this war,” he said. “We will fight until the last man or woman standing to save the nation’s heritage.”The details of the technology could not be revealed due to security reasons.Rhinos get their own appWhile Denel’s technology will hopefully detect poachers before they get to the rhino, two South Africans are also using modern technology to raise funds and awareness for the same cause.Anyone with a smartphone or tablet will now be able to download Rhino Hero, an application developed by social entrepreneurs Chris Masters and Alasdair Muller. At present the app works only on Apple devices but will shortly be available for Android.The pair, who started their company ShortBlackMocca together earlier this year, said that 50% of the proceeds raised from the app’s downloads will be donated to the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), a leading conservation effort that has been at the forefront of the poaching war.Everyone can be a rhino heroRhino Hero revolves around the rhino Zama (isiZulu, meaning “to make an effort”) and his efforts to protect his species. According to Masters, the game was designed to create awareness and drive support by giving people a fun way to interact with the cause, which is close to the hearts of many South Africans.Zama does not have x-ray vision or super strength, but his strength comes from the people who support his cause.  The player launches Zama into poachers’ camps, driving him to take charge and destroy the camps, one by one, scoring points and going up a level after reaching a certain number of points.“The beauty lies in the way the game mirrors the Save the Rhino campaign,” said Masters. “One person, or in the case of the game, one rhino, really can make a difference.”The popularity of apps and the large number of people downloading them regularly through their smart devices inspired the ShortBlackMocca team to focus on this ever-growing market. According to the Apple app store, as many as 25-billion apps have been downloaded through the store, while a further 10-billion were downloaded through Google’s Android app store.“It was a business opportunity,” said Masters, “but also a way to raise awareness through the types of apps they created.”Persecution victory The number of arrests made by South African authorities in relation to rhino poaching so far stands at 222. The recent sentencing of a syndicate member, Thai national Chumlong Lemtongthai, to an unprecedented 40 years in prison, was welcomed by the South African government.Lemtongthai pleaded guilty to 59 counts in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court earlier this month.Justice minister Jeff Radebe commended the country’s National Prosecuting Authority for their work in bringing Lemtongthai to book.“Rhino poaching and smuggling threatens the government’s efforts in preserving our environment and economic stability of the country,” said Radebe in a statement.last_img read more

Ohio farmland values continue gradual decline

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Due to a swing in commodity prices, there has been a softening of the farmland market in this region. The average prices paid per acre for high quality land in Ohio declined by $500 from June of 2015 to June of 2016.In comparison, during that same time an acre of high quality farmland in Michigan declined $100. The price decline was $500 in Indiana, $600 Illinois and $100 Mississippi. Missouri saw a slight uptick of $200 per acre and Tennessee saw a $150 increase. Prices paid per acre in Kentucky and Arkansas remained steady from last June.“There remained buyers with residual income from those high commodity price years with a continuous need for cropland acres, so the purchasing of land was led by their profitable years,” said Roger Hayworth, area sales manager for Farmers National Company. “Today, there remain buyers, but they’re cautious.”While commodity prices have had a significant impact on land values, location and quality remain major influencers on land values.“When higher quality farmland becomes available, it remains highly sought after and pricing remains pretty stable mostly, while we see mid- to lower-level quality land decline 3% to 8%, depending upon the specifics of the subject property, such as tiling, soils and any  improvements made,” Hayworth said.Hayworth noted that in the past six months, there has been a slowing of properties being put on the market, too.“The uncertainty of commodities, financial markets and maybe the election year have curtailed this market to stabilize and reflect on what may happen for the remainder of 2016. As with most transactions within regions, the local landowner/farmers were the buyers for land acres controlled. As farm income began to squeeze, the transactions overall dropped,” Hayworth said. “No doubt we’ve seen a drop in values of minimum quality land, as much as 3% to 5% from the last time we reported. There were a couple of sales that I felt were fairly strong, but they were really good properties. I just think farmers/landowners are being really cautious with what they’re doing with their land. They’re being less aggressive, but if something comes up in their area that they really want, they will go after if it’s high quality.”There also has been an increase among investor groups adding acres to their respective portfolios, which is good news for landowners.“This leads us to believe that farmland will continue to be viewed as a very favorable/viable investment,” Hayworth said. “Looking ahead, I believe we will continue to see sluggish offerings in this market and overall values swaying a little to stable until the end of the year. If commodity prices move slightly higher during the second half of 2016, expect land prices to remain stable with higher quality, maybe even clicking forward a little.”last_img read more

Email Will Never Die – The Man Who Invented It Reveals Why

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… markhachman In the fall of 1971, Tomlinson sent the first network email, using the SNDMSG program that ran on the TENEX time-sharing program for Digital PDP-10 computers. Email on a single computer had existed since the early 1960s, the equivalent of a digital post-it note that could be left to another user. But Tomlinson tweaked the CPYNET file transfer program, then appended it to SNDMSG. That gave one user the power to send a message to another on a remote machine, and email was born.The first email message has been lost to history; Tomlinson tells ReadWriteWeb that it was one of a number of “entirely forgettable” test messages. But that first email message, sent from one machine physically sitting next to another, functioned as a sort of “hello world” message explaining that, well, network email was up and running. The response was low-key.“I don’t recall any actual replies” to the first email, Tomlinson says. “I did get some comments from people in the hall.” Tomlinson was also the first person to use the now ubiquitous “@” symbol – a no-brainer, as it explained that a user was “at” a given host, Tomlinson said. There was one glitch, however: “I was later reminded that the Multics time-sharing system used the @ sign as its line-erase character. This caused a fair amount of grief in that community of users,” he notes on his own website.Email began to take hold as both a cultural and a technical phenomenon in 1972, when the next release of TENEX was shipped – on magnetic tape via snail mail – to some 15 other sites scattered around the country. Users could then send messages back and forth. As each site came online, email’s utility increased, Tomlinson recalls.Even back then, though, email was used in much the same way it is now.“I think it was mostly used as a replacement for telephone calls,” Tomlinson says. “You got a more immediate response. With time zone differences you didn’t have to have someone there to receive the call.”Email TodayForty years later, email use has grown to enormous proportions. But most of it is not legitimate communications and more than half of it never gets delivered. According to the Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (which has reformed to fight take on malware as well) between 88% and 90% of all email sent during the first three quarters of 2011 were spam, or unsolicited commercial email. For example, Microsoft’s Hotmail alone processes more than 8 billion messages a day. But only some 2.5 billion messages are delivered to the user’s inbox. Several types of methods of dealing with spam have sprung up: blocking or “blacklisting” domains notorious for sending spam; blocking everything except for approved“whitelisted” domains,” and various filtering techniques that use reputation or text analysis to try and block suspicious emails.Tomlinson supports whitelisting, where only users who pass through some additional level of security are allowed to send email. “If it’s a person out there he’ll send it again,” Tomlinson said. “If it’s a machine he’ll move on and send it to the other five million.”But the spam problem is also one of identity. When Tomlinson first sent networked emails into the ether, the address was a specific person. Today, email senders can use aliases, multiple accounts and even bots to communicate. Should users be forced to tie themselves to a single email identity? The debate has included both Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who has promoted user Facebook accounts as identity tokens, as well as 4chan founder Christopher Poole, a strong advocacy for privacy and anonymity online. Tomlinson takes a middle view.“In some ways the lack of an official identity when using email has compounded problems like spam, but I think that’s the convenience versus utility versus functionality,” Tomlinson says. “It’s more convenient if you don’t have to worry about identifying yourself. You don’t have to buy a [security] certificate, or authenticate the centers of email.“I think completely anonymous email would not be a good idea,” Tomlinson adds. “On the other hand, having email identities that you can link to very specific information is a definite problem. It’s one thing to say I am who I am, but I’m not going to tell you my life history at the same time.”The Future of EmailIn many ways, the future of email is already here today. SMS text messages are archived; instant message windows can be left open, and Facebook Messenger treats an instant message to an offline friend as, essentially, an email. This latter model is what Tomlinson sees email evolving into over time.“Whether the name will persist or not, I suspect email will be around for at least for a good long time,” Tomlinson predicts. “We may find that these other forms of communication may be merged with email, so you send an IM to somebody, and if they don’t respond it turns into an email-like thing without any intervention on your part.”Tomlinson image courtesy of BBN.Black and white image by Dan Murphy.Lead, spam and @ symbol images courtsey of Shutterstock. Texting, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter – we have dozens of ways to pass a message from one user to the next, and yet we keep coming back to email. Why? According to the man who sent the first one, because there’s still nothing quite like it.Possibly the most revealing statement that can be made about the power and persistence of email is that – unlike almost everything else in the technology industry – how we use it has remained virtually unchanged for more than 40 years.According to the Radicati Group, 144.8 billion emails are sent every day, and that number is projected to rise to 192.2 billion in 2016. There are about 3.4 billion email accounts worldwide, Radicati said, with three-quarters owned by individual consumers.The youngest users of email, however, have an enormous number of different methods to choose from to communicate – and many of them prefer these methods for most communications.This, in turn, has prompted to some to wonder whether email is a dinosaur, among them young people who say they actually mean “Facebook” when they say “email”. In 2010, comScore kicked off a fuss by noting that Web email use had dropped 59% among teens. So why would anyone continue to use email in the age of social media? “Because none of them really fill the space that email serves, which is you have a specific audience,” answers Ray Tomlinson, a principal engineer at BBN Technologies and the so-called “father of email.”“A lot [of the alternatives] are like a billboard, with limited utility – you put these things on the billboard, and if they choose to they [your audience] can look and see it.”“But email has the time difference – that is, you send it now, you read it later – you don’t have to have someone sitting there and ready to respond like you do with instant messaging to make it work and make it effective,” Tomlinson explains. “You can use instant messaging that way, but if they’re not there, nothing happens, and you gotta remember that there may be a message coming back to you and go back to the IM client and look for the response.”The Birth Of EmailIn 1971 Tomlinson worked as an engineer for Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), a contractor that had been assigned to develop ARPANET, a communication network that would allow scientists and researchers to share each other’s computer resources. 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Torres knocks out Osenio, Kelly scores stunner in ONE prelims

first_imgPhoto from ONE ChampionshipJomary Torres continued her sensational ascent to the top of the women’s atomweight division as she knocked out April Osenio in the preliminary matches in ONE: Global Superheroes Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.The 21-year-old Zamboangueña wiggled her way out of the Team Lakay bet’s armbar on her right arm, lifted Osenio and slammed her to the mat.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Photo from ONE ChampionshipAlso, Edward Kelly hardly broke a sweat as he scored a three-hit combo knockout of Meas Meul.The Team Lakay featherweight fired a pair of solid punches and immediately nailed the high knee to the Cambodian’s jaw, stunning the challenger and prompting the referee to call for the bell at the 21-second mark of the first round.It was an emotional victory for Kelly, who finally achieved success in front of his home crowd.“Last time, I trained really well and I ended up with a loss. I was really disappointed,” he recounted. “But now, this is what happened. I’m so happy, not just for myself, but for my team and I hope my teammates will also get the win.”Kelly bounced back from his loss to Emilio Urrutia back in August to rise to 10-4, while Meul suffered his first defeat and dropped to 8-1.ADVERTISEMENT Federer reaches 7th Australian Open final after Chung retires Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises In the other preliminary fights, Rajinder Singh Meena (9-7) made quick work of Zhang Ze Hao (2-1), making his Chinese foe tap out to his guillotine at the 42-second mark of the opening round.Indonesian strawweight Adrian Matehis (4-3) submitted Eddey Kallai (0-3) with a rear-naked choke at the 4:15 mark of the first round to keep his Malaysian foe winless in the promotion. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:42Stars face off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Torres punctuated her emphatic win by pummeling Osenio with strikes to take the knockout victory 40 seconds into the match, the fastest victory in the women’s division of ONE Championship.Triumphant in the clash between the Filipinas, the undefeated Torres (4-0) now looks on to bigger things, saying she’s willing to take on all comers in her continuing journey in the promotion.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“I’m thankful to God that He gave me this win and I also am grateful for my coaches who put their trust on me,” she said in Filipino. “I’ll just accept whatever ONE gives.”Osenio, meanwhile, remains in search of her first win since returning to the cage as she fell to a 2-4 record. LATEST STORIES Read Next View comments NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more