Sea turtle nesting attempts are impeded by lost or abandoned logs that accumulate along the country’s coastal beaches. Logs are floated downriver from forests to coastal lumberyards in the Gabonese Republic, but some float out to sea and then wash ashore, where they form large tangles.
In an aerial survey, Laurance’s team—co-coordinated by J. Michael Fay of the Wildlife Conservation Society—counted more than 11,000 logs along Gabon’s beaches. In the most important area for turtle nesting, Pongara Beach, more than one-third of the beach was blocked by logs. In some places, scientists found up to 247 logs per kilometer of beach.
“It’s really sad to see what the logs are doing to the turtles,” Laurance said. “Sea turtles move very slowly on land. When a log blocks their path, sometimes they just give up and return to the sea. In other cases they lay their eggs too close to the waterline, where the eggs are killed by seawater. Turtles also become entangled among the logs and die.”
The authors estimated that 8 to 14 percent of all turtle nesting attempts are thwarted by logs, sometimes with fatal results for the female. Most of the turtles nesting in this area are leatherback turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), a critically endangered species according to the IUCN Red Data Book.
“Survival of the leatherback turtle is threatened by fishing, environmental degradation and predation. It’s really unfortunate that logging is a threat as well, because plans are afoot to dramatically increase the logging of African rainforests,” said Laurance.
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Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
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For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
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At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
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