Wild life


A newborn Sitatunga calf and an orange-bellied parrot are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

Birds in Barbuda gather in one of the world’s largest bird colonies.
Prince Harry visited the colony during a boat tour of the Caribbean island.
Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA

Migrating birds fly over the Yellow River Delta in Dongying, China.
Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images

A white-tailed deer buck in Michigan, US.
Photograph: Eric Wengert/Alamy

Fishes swim in the tropical waters of a Polynesian archipelago,
which provided inspiration for the Disney film Moana.
Photograph: Valerio Berdini/Rex/Shutterstock

Johan Kloppers’ photo, entitled The Stare of Death, is a contender for wildlife image of the year. Kloppers captured the lion’s attack on a wildebeest in Kgalagadi Transfrontier park in South Africa.
Photograph: Johan Kloppers/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A newborn lora turtle on a beach at the Ostional national wildlife refuge
in Guanacaste on the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
Photograph: Jeffrey Arguedas/EPA

A newborn Sitatunga calf at ZSL Whipsnade zoo in the UK. T
he swamp-dwelling species is Africa’s only true amphibious antelope.
Photograph: Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Images

Snowfall covers Huangshan mountains In China.
Photograph: Xinhua / Barcroft Images

A squirrel eats a nut in Valentino Park in Turin.
Photograph: Marco Bertorello/AFP/Getty Images

A swan swims on a pond near Steingaden in southern Germany.
Photograph: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AFP/Getty Images

A wild tiger cub in India. A recent WWF report states that
Asian transport projects may thwart efforts to save the world’s tigers.
Photograph: Joseph Vattakaven/WWF

A sleeping dormouse, baby marine iguana and a frilled dragon are among this week’s pick of images from the natural worldA baby turtle emerges from its nest and ventures down to the water, Costa Rica Photograph: George Turner/Rex/Shutterstock

A baby turtle emerges from its nest and ventures down to the water, Costa RicaPhotograph: George Turner/Rex/Shutterstock

Migrating cranes at sunset near Straussfurt, Germany. The cranes rest in central Germany on their way from breeding places in the north to their wintering grounds in the south
Photograph: Jens Meyer/AP

A deer walks towards a receded lake Purdy where water levels have dropped several feet due to a sever drought, in Alabama, US
Photograph: Brynn Anderson/AP

National Trust ranger James Robbins was carrying out his final dormouse survey of the year in late October on Cornwall’s Cotehele Estate when he found this Hazel dormouse dozing ahead of its winter hibernation. Britain’s dormice are threatened by habitat loss – but at Cotehele conservation work means that numbers are booming
Photograph: James Robbins/National Trust Images

A herd of elephants in Amboseli national park, Kenya
Photograph: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

An aerial picture with a drone shows fall foliage among pine trees near Sieversdorf, Germany
Photograph: Patrick Pleul/Alamy

A grasshopper sits on flowers in Freiburg, southern Germany
Photograph: Patrick Seeger/AFP/Getty Images

Hoar frost on leaves near the village of Groebenzell, southern Germany
Photograph: Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images

A harlequin ladybird prepares to take flight in London, England. The invasive species, originally from Asia, have been seen in high numbers across the UK after a warm and dry summer
Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A little owl among some woodland mushrooms, Yorkshire, UK
Photograph: Jed Wee/Rex/Shutterstock

A ground pangolin in Zimbabwe, taken as part of a series on members of the Tikki Hywood Trust, who dedicate their lives to the most trafficked mammal in the world. The charity workers are assigned one pangolin each, and spend 24 hours a day rehabilitating and walking the endangered mammals so that they can forage naturally
Photograph: Adrian Steirn/Barcroft Images

Red deer fight during rutting season at a wildlife park in Bonn, Germany
Photograph: Markus Schreiber/AP

Group of sperm whales in the Atlantic Ocean near the Azores islands off of Portugal
Photograph: Mike Korostelev/Rex/Shutterstock

Sunrise, Syöte national park, Northern Ostrobothnia, Finland
Photograph: Tiina Törmänen/Rex/Shutterstoc

A warthog walks through the bushes in Kenya’s Maasai Mara
Photograph: Frank Liu/Barcroft Images

Source: Guardian Environment

Guardian November

Volcano on Rome’s doorstep is slowly reawakening

mount-vesuvius-0.jpg                                                                               The new findings raise fears that parts of Rome could suffer a similar fate to that of Pompeii after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius Rex

A dormant volcano just outside Rome could be slowly reawakening, scientists have said, raising fears of a Pompeii-style ash-and-rock cloud sweeping across the Italian capital.
An eruption in the Colli Albani Volcanic District (CAVD), which is around 10km from Rome, would have a devastating impact on much of the city. 
In a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, an international team of researchers reported that the ground in the region is rising by 2-3mm per year and underground chambers located several kilometres below the towns of Ariccia, Castel Gandolfo and Albano are filling up with magma – signs that the previously dormant volcano is rumbling back to life. 
Satellite imagery and seismographic charts also record the volcano’s slow awakening.    
However, while the volcano’s increased activity is a cause for concern, experts believe a possible eruption could still be 1,000 years away.
Previous studies have suggested the volcano tends to erupt around every 40,000 years.
But now scientists believe that could be narrowed to 30,000 years – bringing the prospect of an eruption much closer.
If the volcano did erupt, it would produce a huge cloud raining down ash and lava on parts of Rome. The cloud would obscure the sun in countries as far away as Latin America, scientists believe.
Experts say the long gaps between eruptions are a cause for concern because they allow time for large quantities of magma to build up and pressure to mount below the earth’s surface. This means the eventual eruption is likely to be bigger and more powerful. 
“When the eruption happens, it has an explosive effect, like opening a champagne bottle after shaking it,” Fabrizio Marra, who led the study, told La Repubblica.
“This sort of process has, for example, caused the string of earthquakes that hit this area at the beginning of the 1990s, with minor quakes and a few cases of magnitude four quakes.”
Mr Marra said people living near the volcano should not fear an eruption – at least not yet.
The more imminent threat is from earthquakes triggered by the increased activity under the earth’s crust.
Earthquakes can, in certain circumstances, trigger volcanic eruptions but this is not currently a risk in Rome because the volcano is still too far away from its next eruption. 
Mr Marra said: “It has been ascertained that a seismic event could trigger a volcanic eruption, as happened in the US with Mount St Helens. But it can only happen with a volcano on the verge of erupting, at these levels there is no possible disturbance that could reach the magma chambers.”
The team, from the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Rome, mapped 600,000 years of the region’s history and assessed the habits of the volcano. 
They concluded that the cycle of past eruptions suggest another is due within the next 1,000 years – a finding in line with the increased volcanic activity in the region. 
The warning comes as Italy’s biggest earthquake in 36 years left more than 15,000 people homeless in and around the town of Norcia in central Italy.
A number of historic buildings were damaged or destroyed by the 6.6 magnitude quake. In August, 200 people were killed by a slightly smaller earthquake that hit the nearby village of Accumoli.
Article: The Independent

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