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Urban development is an increasing threat to the integrity of formerly remote protected areas, in some cases resulting in their downgrading, downsizing or degazetting. One-quarter of previously remote protected areas are now within 17 km of a city and thus face the threat of urbanization. Here we describe a case of avoided downgrading, downsizing and degazetting of a protected area in the Mondah forest of Gabon, north of Libreville. Since its creation in 1934 the Forêt Classée de la Mondah has been downsized regularly, losing 40% of its area over 80 years. During this time the forest surrounding the Forêt Classée was subject to usage for urban and peri-urban needs, including agriculture, sand extraction, collection of medicinal plants, ceremonies, and housing construction. In 2010 the area was threatened with further downsizing. The presence of narrowly endemic plant species in the area was suspected, and mapping and evaluation of these species was proposed in an effort to maintain the protected area boundaries. Botanical field work, including ex situ conservation measures and participant observation in nearby forest communities, was conducted; 24 endemic species, all threatened by urbanization, were evaluated using the criteria for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The borders of the protected area were maintained because of its role in maintaining irreplaceable habitat for threatened species. The area was renamed Raponda Walker Arboretum in 2012.
Major depressive disorder and subthreshold depression have been associated with premature mortality. We investigated the association between depressive symptoms and mortality across the full continuum of severity.
We used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between depressive symptom severity, assessed using the eight-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D; range 0–8), and the risk of all-cause mortality over a 9-year follow-up, in 11 104 members of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
During follow-up, one fifth of study members died (N = 2267). Depressive symptoms were associated with increased mortality across the full range of severity (ptrend < 0.001). Relative to study members with no symptoms, an increased risk of mortality was found in people with depressive symptoms of a low [hazard ratio (HR) for a score of 2 was 1.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40–1.82], moderate (score of 4: HR 1.80, 95% CI 1.52–2.13) and high (score of 8: HR 2.27, 95% CI 1.69–3.04) severity, suggesting risk emerges at low levels but plateaus thereafter. A third of participants (36.4%, 95% CI 35.5–37.3) reported depressive symptoms associated with an increased mortality risk. Adjustment for physical activity, physical illnesses, and impairments in physical and cognitive functioning attenuated this association (ptrend = 0.25).
Depressive symptoms are associated with an increased mortality risk even at low levels of symptom severity. This association is explained by physical activity, physical illnesses, and impairments in physical and cognitive functioning.
High-redshift quasars are unique probes of the evolution of supermassive black holes and the intergalactic medium at the end of the epoch of reionization. We present the optical spectra of eight new z ~ 6 quasars selected from the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System 1 (Pan-STARRS1). Details of the selection strategy can be found in Bañados et al. (2014). With this work we increase the number of known quasars at z < 5.7 by more than 10%. The quasars discovered here span a large range of luminosities (19.6 ≤ zP1 ≤ 21.2) and are remarkably heterogeneous in their spectral features: half of them show bright emission lines whereas the other half show weak or no Lyα emission line. We find a larger fraction of weak–line emission quasars than in lower redshift studies, although still based on low number statistics, this may imply that the quasar population could be more diverse than previously thought.