Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.5 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.7 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.5 earthquake hits near the east coast of Honshu, Japan.

Two 5.3 earthquakes hit Vanuatu.

5.3 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.

5.2 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.2 earthquake hits Vanuatu.

5.1 earthquake hits Java, Indonesia.

5.1 earthquake hits Costa Rica.

Four 5.1 earthquakes hit Vanuatu.

5.0 earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands.

5.0 earthquake hits the Galapagos triple junction region.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

There are no current tropical storms.

Newsbytes:

Mozambique – A low pressure system brought heavy rainfall to parts of southern Mozambique over the last few days, causing flooding in Maputo and Gaza Provinces.

Wildlife

Wildlife Trafficking Driving Species into Extinction

Wildlife populations decline by an average of 62% in areas where species are traded, pushing some closer to extinction, according to a new report.

The first analysis to quantify the impact of the legal and illegal wildlife trade looked at 133 land-based species and found the most endangered – which typically have smaller populations – are most at risk, with average declines of 81%. In some cases this resulted in local disappearances, with certain populations of spider monkeys and Baird’s tapir declining by 99.9%, according to an international team of researchers led by Sheffield University.

Some estimates suggest the illegal wildlife trade could be worth as much as $23bn (£16.5bn) a year, with more than 100 million plants and animals trafficked annually.

The main drivers of wildlife trafficking are the pet industry, bushmeat (defined as wildlife traded for food consumption), traditional medicine, ivory and laboratory use. The study did not include subsistence-based bushmeat eaten by the communities that hunted it. Local wildlife trade involving the extraction or commercialisation of bushmeat supports an estimated 150 million households.

National and international trade – which were found to be more significant drivers of decline than local trade – generally involve the extraction and trade of species of high commercial value, such as ivory from African elephants, horns from Javan rhinoceros and pangolin scales from across Asia and Africa.