Archive for the ‘African World’ Category

Dung Beetle In The Battle Against Global Warming

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Dung beetles can be found on almost every continent including Africa, where it is almost impossible to set out on a safari without rolling past one of these scarabs hard at work! Though it may seem the most unlikely of environmental heroes, the dung beetle might just be a weapon in the battle against global warming.


Agriculture, you see, is a gassy business. The 1.3 billion large ruminants—dairy cows and beef cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats—that burp, pass gas, and and fertilize grounds around the world emit more greenhouse gases than does the transportation industry, according to the UN.

These animals are responsible for about a third of global emissions of methane, a gas that makes up half of farming’s contribution and is even more potent than the much-maligned CO2. (The other big methane offenders: the natural gas/petroleum industries and landfills.)

So any animal helping to quell gas release invites investigation. In a paper published August 7 in the journal PLOS ONE, Atte Penttilä and colleagues from the University of Helsinki report on experiments designed to see whether dung beetles affect how much methane is released from cow patties, the dung heaps that dot farm pastures. Dung beetles, by the way, dig burrows into pasture feces and feed on the droppings of cows and other ruminants. They also deposit their eggs in the excrement, and their hatchlings feed on the same stuff.


The answer to the methane question was yes. The scientists found that cow patties with beetles, specifically Aphodius species, rummaging around in them released nearly 40 percent less methane over a summer period than beetle-free cowpats did.

The beetles’ good work happens mainly as they dig around in the dung. Methane is born under anaerobic, or oxygen-free, conditions. So as the insects tunnel through the dung, they aerate it, changing the conditions so that less methane is produced within the pats. This translates to less methane gas released into the atmosphere.

“In terms of the net effect on global warming, I’d say the jury is still out,” said study co-author Tomas Roslin. “Much of the methane emission from cattle escapes from the gases emitted from the animal; less escapes from the dung pats. But the beetles’ actions should be weighed into any calculations of net effects, so we don’t miss the mark,” he said.

Story courtesy of National Geographic


Friday, August 8th, 2014

Cause an Uproar with the Big Cats Initiative and celebrate World Lion Day on August 10!


This celebration of the animal kingdom’s most beautiful and fearsome creature was founded by Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited sanctuary dedicated to big cats. August 10th is a day for people to come together from across the world to pay tribute to the mighty lion in as many ways as possible. Though a fun and exciting occasion for all, its foundations are based in a very serious matter.


Images of lion can be seen everywhere. From the iconic statues on the steps of the New York Public Library, to your favorite team mascot, to movies and Broadway musicals, lions are cultural icons. The list of lions in public spaces, artwork and the media is endless, all tributes to the magnificent and fearless “King of the Jungle.”


But did you know there are more lion statues and images than actual wild lions roaming across Africa? In the last 50 or so years we’ve seen the lion population decline nearly 95%. These amazing creatures have fallen victim of habitat loss as well as unfortunate human conflict. Without immediate action, we may one day live in a world where the only lions we know are those cast of stone.


In response to the critical situation facing lions and other big cats in the wild, National Geographic has teamed up with Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert to launch the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a comprehensive program that supports on-the-ground conservation and education projects in conjunction with Cause an Uproar, a global public-awareness campaign. To date, BCI has given more than $1.75 million toward big cat conservation projects that are making a difference on the ground.


In celebration of World Lion Day on August 10, National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative invites you to cause an uproar! Here are some ways to get involved and help save lions and other big cats.

• Explore other ways you can take action and help spread the word: Get Involved And to say thanks for your support from our big cat friends, please enjoy this lion photo gallery and download any of the images as wallpaper.

Helping to spread the word through social media and with your friends, family and co-workers. Africa’s lions are in trouble, and the loss of this beautifully majestic animal would be a loss to the entire world and it’s generations to come.

ExOfficio Gives Back!

Thursday, July 31st, 2014


ExOfficio, a leading manufacturer of adventure travel apparel, has partnered with Insect Shield Repellent Technology and Sunshell Manufacturing to provide uniforms to the global volunteers at Medical Teams International and World Concern.

With input from Derek Sciba, Senior Director of Annual Programs at World Concern, the design team at ExOfficio created a shirt that was lightweight, breathable, quick-drying, and resilient to the wear-and-tear from long days in the field. As part of the partnership, Insect Shield will provide treatment of the uniforms with their long-lasting, EPA-registered repellent technology, while Sunshell Manufacturing will cover the sewing costs. Those who work in the global health arena are especially at risk for malaria, dengue fever and other devastating insect-borne diseases, so protection from mosquitoes is extremely important. “We recently had a country director come down with malaria, so the threat of mosquito borne disease is real,” Sciba said. This partnership will result in more than 2,000 uniforms for World Concern and Medical Teams International to wear in the field as they conduct their important humanitarian work.

“ExOfficio partners with Medical Teams International by equipping our disaster response teams with field-tested essential gear specially designed for the often difficult environments in which we operate. Thanks to their generous support, our teams are well protected from sun and insects as they provide urgent medical care to those impacted by disaster, conflict and poverty.” Jeff Pinneo, President and CEO, Medical Teams International.

Here at African Safari Company we never set out on an adventure without our ExOfficio gear and want to recognize and thank such a wonderful company for giving so much to those who give their all to a wonderful cause!

Blog & Photo Courtesy of Adventure Travel Trade Association

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