Environment

Record Number of turtles at risk of extinction hatch on Mexican beach

AZPM 

This year, a record number of endangered sea turtles hatched in the Gulf of California in Mexico. Usually, only 500-1,000 Olive Ridley turtles hatch in one year. Now there were over 2,250 released, with help of an Indigenous community; Tortugueros del Desemboque.

Due to the limited tourism and fishing, the place in Sonora was hit hard by the effect of the coronavirus, especially economically. But every disadvantage has its advantage: the empty beaches caused this miracle to happen, and it brought joy and healing for the community.

                                                                   AZPM

Although the Olive Ridley sea turtle is the most abundant of all sea turtles, they are still an endangered species. There is only a small number of beaches where they nest, and therefore any disturbance to one of those places can have a big impact on the total existence.

Couple from New Zealand refuse millions from developers and donate over 2,200 acres of land to nation

QEII National Trust

A gorgeous stretch of land near Queenstown, New Zealand, will be gifted to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII) to ensure the landscape and biodiversity in the area is protected.

Dick and Jillian Jardine, the owners of the land Remarkables Station, will hand over the land in 2022. It will ensure that this beautiful landscape will remain unspoilt forever. The gifted property is freehold land, currently leased as a working farm, and that will continue for the foreseeable future.

It’s located on the edge of the Wakatipu lake. Open landscapes in this area have come under pressure from subdivisions and commercial developers. The property is worth millions and the couple has received multiple offers from developers.

QEII National Trust

However, Dick and Jillian Jardine are determined to maintain the landscape as it is: “Having QEII as the caretaker of this property gives us the comfort and assurance to proudly pass over this gift for all New Zealand to enjoy and appreciate,” Dick said.

The property will be accessible for residents and tourists, to connect with nature. Especially during the COVID-19 restrictions, people have benefited from the calmness and beauty of nature, and realised the importance of looking after magnificent landscapes like the Remarkables Station.

A massive coral reef discovered in Australia

Schmidt Ocean Institute

Scientists have discovered a 500m (1,640ft) high coral reef, detached from the Great Barrier Reef in Northern Australia. It’s the first discovery of its kind in 120 years. The reef is taller than the Empire State Building, with the shallowest point at only 40 metres below surface level.

Scientists from the Schmidt Ocean Institute discovered it while 3D mapping the sea floor in the area, and explored the reef later using a the institute’s underwater robot.

       Schmidt Ocean Institute

This discovery is one of the many they did this year. The Schmidt Ocean Institute and its scientists found up to 30 new animal species and five coral species. This proves that the mysterious underwater-world is still far from fully explored, but every year we’re getting a tiny bit closer.

Don’t forget the planet’s beauty: here are some of the Siena Award winning photos.

Frozen Mobile Home, by Greg Lecoeur

Sometimes, we can get caught up with all the negative events, opinions and thoughts that are going on. We forget we live on this incredible planet, of which we happen to be part of. 

Here are a few of the Siena Award winning photos and honourable mentions, made by skilled artists who bring the tiny, precious details in perspective, to remind you of the art we call nature, which we often take for granted.

Icebergs are mysterious habitats that provide a source of life, and not only as shelter to big animals as Crabeater seals as seen in the photo. Icebergs fertilize oceans and help develop phytoplankton, as they slowly rotate through polar currents. Phytoplankton can take up carbon dioxide through photosynthesis just like trees and other plants do. Thich makes icebergs even more special.

Nipa Palm Forest by Khanh Phan

Nipa Palm Forest by Khanh Phan

The Nipa Palm Forest of Quang Ngai constitutes a rich ecosystem that serves as a green lung for the eastern part of the city of Quang Ngai and a fishing reserve for the local population.

Think different by Pietro Formis

Big-scale sand smelts swim in schools of fish to protect themselves from predators. This one curious fish takes a peak at a moon jellyfish, sacrificing its own safety for the rest of the group.

Sub Zero by Tobias Friedrich
www.below-surface.com 

Night diving at a temperature of minus two degrees Celsius in Eastern Greenland, swimming among icebergs under the ice of a fjord.

Green Crown by Juan Garcia Lucas

One of the most impressive beech trees forest in Europe is the “Enchanted Forest of Urbasa,” in Navarra. When the fog floods everything, the silence becomes deafening and the atmosphere enchanted.

Night Hunter by Jonas Classon

The Great Grey Owl is well known for its extreme hunting skills. Classon: “After working on a story about this owl for many weeks in a row, I finally got the shot conveying all I wanted to show in one single frame. I captured the owl seconds before it attacked a vole under a full moon night. It truly is a hunter of the night.”

The World is Going Upside Down by Thomas Vijayan

This Orangutan perfectly describes the world in 2020: upside down. . The name Orangutan origins from the Malay language, and means “man of the forest”.  Bornean Orangutans are recognizable by their broad face and big size (second-largest ape after the gorilla). Males can weigh up to 200 pounds