Sierra Leone’s Missing Crab Found Again
Most biologists dream of being that one scientist who is able to find a species already declared extinct and being able to prove it’s still alive and hanging on. Typically, biologists and similar can spend a career chasing after a single species and not finding anything. However, in the case of a particular crab, Pierre A Mvogo Ndongo seemed to have won the scientific world’s version of a lottery ticket prize.
In January 2021, Ndongo was in Sierra Leone trying to track down a particular type of land-based crab. The last time the given species had actually been recorded as observed was as far back as 1796, some 225 years earlier. Given the lack of siting for more than two and a half centuries, the Afzelius’ crab was considered officially extinct. The last one was seen in Sierra Leone, so Ndongo decided that was the place to start on a blind treasure hunt otherwise.
Officially known as Afrithelphusa leonensis by scientific record, the suspect land crab was clearly a prize in the biology world, and a good number of other scientists had been working to find it for years. This particular creature was even more challenging. Typically, inland crabs can be found near or in freshwater, generally living in burrows in the bank. The Afzelius’ crab was different; it could easily travel far from water being able to breathe air just as well on land as it did in water. Even more notable, the species had the ability to climb, which could easily locate it up in trees, between rocks, marshes and deep in natural holes. Essentially, just about anywhere the crab could fit it could get to.
However, the Afzelius’ crab is only found in a few regions. Sierra Leone and Liberia make up two locations, while Guinea is the other. When Ndongo arrived, the first three weeks pretty much ended up with no results. He had an additional disadvantages – where many research projects have extensive notes and prior research to work with, Ndongo had nothing except a very dated record from two and half centuries earlier.
Some logic did apply. Knowing that motor vehicles didn’t exist at the time, a foreigner would have had to find the animal within walking distance. Freetown was the most likely location a visitor researcher would have been based out of at the time, so that was a rational starting point. Ndongo spent much of his early time in the nearby forests as a result. Additionally, the research teach he led canvassed the area for anyone seeing anything remotely looking like a land crab. As it turned out, one fellow on a farm had seen something. Ndongo and staff went to the farm, talked with the owner, and began searching the location intensively. The tip paid off.
The particular land crab was found in a nearby forest near Guma Lake. They were a hardy bunch and well-talented at hiding. The crew had to practically dig the creatures out of their burrows with shovels and picks. Then, after cleaning off the crabs, the suspicion was confirmed. Ndongo had indeed rediscovered the “extinct” crab once again. Ndongo’s work has now re-established the endangered status of the species, as well as confirmation of related types of crabs in the area as well. All are threatened by local development as well, a classic story. Whether they survive now depends on local conservation efforts in Sierra Leone, a region that for decades as been torn apart by war. It’s going to be a tough road ahead.
Growing Trends Of Women Opening Independent Bookstores in the UK
In recent years, there has been a growing trend in the UK of women opening and running independent bookshops together. These bookshops cater to local communities and offer a personalized touch that larger booksellers cannot provide. One such duo is Amber Harrison and Karen Brazier, who were both burnt out from their careers and wanted to pursue a more fulfilling path.
Harrison and Brazier were neighbors and good friends who shared a love of books and a desire to own a shop in their hometown that they could walk to and feel like part of the community. They decided to open a local bookshop together, and their success has been an inspiration to other women looking to pursue their dreams.
Their story is not unique, as many female friendship duos are opening bookshops across the UK. The pandemic has been a significant factor in this trend, providing the push many women needed to take the leap of faith and start their own business.
For these women, running a bookshop is more than just a business. It’s a passion project that allows them to introduce people to new titles and share their love of reading with others. They pride themselves on offering a range of books that cater to their community’s interests, including key themes such as land, sea, and self.
Independent bookshops like these offer a personalized touch that larger booksellers cannot provide. Customers can build a relationship with the owners and feel like they are part of a community. This sense of community is especially important in today’s world, where many people are feeling disconnected and isolated.
The success of these women-owned bookshops has been a welcome addition to the UK’s literary landscape. They provide a unique perspective and offer a diverse range of books that larger booksellers may overlook. They also serve as an inspiration to other women who are looking to pursue their dreams and start their own businesses.
$25 Million Granted To Help With Bison Conservation
The United States is taking steps to restore more bison herds on tribal lands with the help of indigenous knowledge. Bison are an important symbol of the American West and the U.S. government is making an effort to conserve and protect their populations.
Bison, also known as American buffalo, once roamed the grasslands of North America in large herds numbering in the millions. However, commercial hunting in the 1800s led to their near extinction. By the end of the century, only a few hundred bison were left in the wild. Today, the population has bounced back to approximately 500,000.
Across the U.S., 82 tribes have more than 20,000 buffalo in 65 herds. The numbers have grown in recent years and Native Americans are eager to reclaim the buffalo. The bison holds significant cultural and spiritual importance for many tribes, and they have been working to restore bison herds on tribal lands for decades.
To aid in these efforts, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced $25 million in federal spending to help with bison conservation. The funding will be used to build new herds, transfer bison from federal to tribal land, and form new bison management agreements with tribes.
In addition to funding, the U.S. is also seeking help from those with indigenous knowledge to assist in bison conservation. Many tribes have been working to restore bison populations for years and have extensive knowledge about the animal’s behavior, habitat, and dietary needs. By tapping into this knowledge, the U.S. hopes to better manage bison populations and ensure their long-term survival.
Mexican Wolves Population Trends Upward Once Again
Mexican wolves, also known as “lobos,” are a gray wolf subspecies that are indigenous to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. They are a severely endangered subspecies. The Mexican wolf was once common throughout the area, but by the middle of the 20th century, hunting, trapping, and habitat devastation had all but eliminated it. Following the Mexican wolf’s inclusion on the Endangered Species Act’s list of threatened species in 1976, restoration attempts for the wolf population in the wild got underway.
The Mexican wolf population in the United States has finally surpassed 200 after decades of active protection efforts. This marks the seventh year in a row that population numbers have increased, which is an important milestone for the species. The increase in population size is a testament to the hard work of wildlife managers, biologists, and other conservationists who have been working tirelessly to restore the Mexican wolf to its historic range.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), state wildlife agencies, and countless other stakeholders work together on the Mexican wolf recovery program. The program includes managing existing wild populations to guarantee their survival and genetic diversity as well as releasing captive-bred wolves into the wild. The historic range of the wolves has been fragmented by human development, making it difficult for the wolves to disperse and establish new populations. This is one of the biggest challenges confronting the Mexican wolf recovery effort.
Despite these difficulties, the Mexican wolf Recovery Program has recently been effective in growing the species’ population. The population of Mexican wolves in the wild in the United States was estimated to be 186 in 2020, and the most recent census indicates that the number has risen to over 200 wolves. When compared to a few decades ago, when only a few wild Mexican wolves were remaining, this is a substantial increase.
Although the growth in the population is a reason for joy, it’s vital to remember that the Mexican wolf still confronts numerous threats and is in critical need of protection. Conflicts with livestock, habitat decline and illegal hunting are just a few of the difficulties the species faces. Some ranchers and lawmakers are also against the Mexican wolf because they see it as a threat to their livelihoods.
There is still hope for the survival of the Mexican wolf despite these obstacles. The expansion of the population is encouraging, and ongoing conservation efforts are essential to the long-term existence of the species. Together, we can make sure that the Mexican wolf, a representation of the wildness and majesty of the American Southwest, once again roams freely throughout the entirety of its historic range.
Could The Future Be 4-Day Work Weeks?
In recent years, there has been increased interest in the concept of a four-day workweek as a potential solution to the stress and burnout that many workers face. In England, a large-scale experiment was launched to test this concept on a national scale. The experiment involved reducing the standard workweek from five to four days while keeping workers’ pay levels constant.
The experiment’s premise is that by giving employees an extra day off each week, they will have more time to rest and recuperate, resulting in higher productivity and a higher quality of life.
The experiment’s preliminary results have been promising. A survey found that the vast majority of workers who took part in the experiment felt less stressed and more productive. They also stated that they had more time to spend with family and friends, pursue hobbies and other interests, and take care of personal responsibilities.
Aside from the benefits to workers, the four-day workweek experiment may have a positive impact on the environment and society as a whole. Reducing the number of hours people work would result in less energy consumption, less traffic congestion, and less pollution. It could also contribute to addressing the issue of income inequality by allowing workers more time to pursue education and training and by providing a more equitable distribution of work hours.
The four-day workweek does have some potential disadvantages, though. For instance, some companies could be hesitant to implement the new schedule out of concern that it will result in lower production or higher costs. Others might worry that it won’t be easy to coordinate schedules and guarantee that the work is finished on time.
Notwithstanding these difficulties, the English four-day workweek experiment is a crucial step in researching new workplace structures that put workers’ health and well-being first. We need to develop new ways to work smarter, not harder, as more and more individuals around the world start to feel the harmful impacts of overwork and burnout.
Washboards Make A Surprise Resurgence
Washboards, once a common household item, have seen a recent surge in popularity. And, with only one factory in the United States still producing them, they are flying off the shelves.
Washboards, also known as scrubboards, have been used to wash clothes for over a century and were once a common tool. The boards are made of corrugated metal and have ridges that agitate the clothes, allowing dirt and stains to be removed. Despite the introduction of washing machines and other modern laundry methods, washboards have maintained a small but devoted following.
The only factory still making washboards in the United States is located in Logan, Ohio, and has been producing washboards for over a century. The factory has been able to weather the decline of washboard usage by adapting to the changing times. They now offer washboards in various sizes and designs, including some with colorful graphics and decorative accents.
The factory has recently seen an increase in demand for washboards, with sales skyrocketing as more people seek sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives to modern laundering methods. Some customers are drawn to washboards because they are nostalgic, while others want a more hands-on and personal laundry experience.
The factory has responded to the renewed interest in washboards by increasing production to meet the increased demand. They have also formed alliances with retailers across the country to make it easier for customers to purchase washboards.
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