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To achieve their conservation goals individuals, communities and organizations need to acquire a diversity of skills, knowledge and information (i.e. capacity). Despite current efforts to build and maintain appropriate levels of conservation capacity, it has been recognized that there will need to be a significant scaling-up of these activities in sub-Saharan Africa. This is because of the rapid increase in the number and extent of environmental problems in the region. We present a range of socio-economic contexts relevant to four key areas of African conservation capacity building: protected area management, community engagement, effective leadership, and professional e-learning. Under these core themes, 39 specific recommendations are presented. These were derived from multi-stakeholder workshop discussions at an international conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2015. At the meeting 185 delegates (practitioners, scientists, community groups and government agencies) represented 105 organizations from 24 African nations and eight non-African nations. The 39 recommendations constituted six broad types of suggested action: (1) the development of new methods, (2) the provision of capacity building resources (e.g. information or data), (3) the communication of ideas or examples of successful initiatives, (4) the implementation of new research or gap analyses, (5) the establishment of new structures within and between organizations, and (6) the development of new partnerships. A number of cross-cutting issues also emerged from the discussions: the need for a greater sense of urgency in developing capacity building activities; the need to develop novel capacity building methodologies; and the need to move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.
EMU is a wide-field radio continuum survey planned for the new Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) telescope. The primary goal of EMU is to make a deep (rms ∼ 10 μJy/beam) radio continuum survey of the entire Southern sky at 1.3 GHz, extending as far North as +30° declination, with a resolution of 10 arcsec. EMU is expected to detect and catalogue about 70 million galaxies, including typical star-forming galaxies up to z ∼ 1, powerful starbursts to even greater redshifts, and active galactic nuclei to the edge of the visible Universe. It will undoubtedly discover new classes of object. This paper defines the science goals and parameters of the survey, and describes the development of techniques necessary to maximise the science return from EMU.
We analysed the Spitzer maps of Stephan's Quintet in order to investigate the nature of the dust emission associated with the X-ray emitting regions of the large scale intergalactic shock and of the group halo. This emission can in principle be powered by dust-gas particle collisions, thus providing efficient cooling of the hot gas. However the results of our analysis suggest that the dust emission from those regions is mostly powered by photons. Nonetheless dust collisional heating could be important in determining the cooling of the IGM gas and the large scale star formation morphology observed in SQ.
Beginning in 1970, the potential of remote sensing (RS) techniques, coupled with geographical information systems (GIS), to improve our understanding of the epidemiology and control of schistosomiasis in Africa, has steadily grown. In our current review, working definitions of RS, GIS and spatial analysis are given, and applications made to date with RS and GIS for the epidemiology and ecology of schistosomiasis in Africa are summarised. Progress has been made in mapping the prevalence of infection in humans and the distribution of intermediate host snails. More recently, Bayesian geostatistical modelling approaches have been utilized for predicting the prevalence and intensity of infection at different scales. However, a number of challenges remain; hence new research is needed to overcome these limitations. First, greater spatial and temporal resolution seems important to improve risk mapping and understanding of transmission dynamics at the local scale. Second, more realistic risk profiling can be achieved by taking into account information on people's socio-economic status; furthermore, future efforts should incorporate data on domestic access to clean water and adequate sanitation, as well as behavioural and educational issues. Third, high-quality data on intermediate host snail distribution should facilitate validation of infection risk maps and modelling transmission dynamics. Finally, more emphasis should be placed on risk mapping and prediction of multiple species parasitic infections in an effort to integrate disease risk mapping and to enhance the cost-effectiveness of their control.
Schistosoma haematobium is refractory to praziquantel (PZQ) during the prepatent period of infection. A hypothesis based on this observation is that in areas where S. haematobium transmission is seasonal, the outcome of chemotherapy depends on the timing of the treatment relative to the annual transmission pattern. To examine this hypothesis, a study was carried out in southern Mozambique. Following demonstration of seasonal transmission, PZQ was administered separately to two cohorts of S. haematobium-infected schoolchildren in (1) the high and (2) the low transmission seasons and followed up after two months when levels of infection and intensities were measured. The prevalence of infection decreased from 54·2% and 51·7% in cohorts 1 and 2 to 30·3% and 1·8%, respectively. The geometric mean intensity of infection decreased from 23·3 eggs/10 ml of urine at baseline to 15·6 eggs/10 ml of urine in cohort 1 (treated during high transmission season), and from 23·5 eggs/10 ml urine to 7·3 eggs/10 ml of urine in cohort 2 (treated during low transmission season). The observed cure rates in cohorts 1 and 2 were 69·7% and 98·2%, respectively. Differences in infection between the cohorts in terms of cure rate and level of infection two months post-treatment were statistically significant and indicate that in areas with a seasonal transmission pattern, the effect of PZQ can be enhanced if treatment takes place during the low transmission season. We conclude that appropriately timed PZQ administration will increase the impact of schistosomiasis control programmes.
An assessment of the natural radiation dose to wildlife in England and Wales was made to determine the contribution it may make to the total radiation dose estimated during environmental impact assessments. Significant use was made of systematic datasets for environmental media (stream sediments, stream waters and soils), in particular those produced by the Geochemical Baseline Survey of the Environment (G-BASE) project. This provided extensive, although variable, coverage for different elements and sample types after normalisation of data to account for changes in sampling and analysis over time. Almost complete coverage for K in stream sediments was achieved by merging G-BASE and Wolfson Atlas data. This required normalisation of the Wolfson data to the G-BASE results. Coverage was improved greatly for U and Th in sediments, and K, U and Th in soils, by using the strong relationship between soils and sediments and geology (both solid and superficial) to extrapolate the data. The total U, Th and K data were used to derive activity concentrations of 238U and 232Th series radionuclides and 40K. External dose rates to wildlife were then estimated from derived media concentrations; internal dose rates were estimated from measured activities in biota or activities predicted using recommended concentration ratios.
This article explores the antecedents of Americans' perceptions of global threat, which may influence people's policy preferences and ultimately public policy. Three predictors of global threat perceptions are in focus: news media use, global knowledge and global experience. Using the 2004 Survey of Attitudes and Global Engagement, it is discovered that media use best explains global threat perceptions, but its impact is largely conditional on the characteristics of the individual and on the type of threat.
Pink-headed Duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea is a Critically Endangered species that has not been confirmed in the wild since 1948–1949. Historical records of the species are concentrated in India, although there are also a few from Myanmar. Between 2003 and 2005, BirdLife International and the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA) conducted a series of field surveys of wetland habitats in the lowlands of Kachin state, an area with a cluster of historical records of the species. These were the first targeted efforts to assess the status of the species in Myanmar. These surveys were complemented by reviews of museum specimens and literature relating to the species in Myanmar. Two specimen records represent very strong evidence that the species occurred in Myanmar historically, although they shed little light on its seasonal status in the country. The surveys conducted by BirdLife International and BANCA were unable to confirm the continued occurrence of Pink-headed Duck in Myanmar. However, they did generate a limited amount of equivocal direct evidence, most notably two possible but unconfirmed sightings. There are several reasons for believing that the species may still persist in the lowlands of Kachin state and, perhaps, elsewhere in Myanmar. Shyness, combined with rarity, possible nocturnal habits and the impenetrability of its habitats, means that the species tended to be under-recorded historically, and may continue to be so currently. Further surveys are required to confirm this.