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On World Turtle Day: Meet the odd “bum-breathing” turtle

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019

May 23 was World Turtle Day!

via GIPHY

To celebrate, meet the white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula), or also known as the bum-breathing turtle.

These turtles are native to Connors River in Queensland, Australia. It prefers to live in clean, free-flowing water.

Given by its nickname, they have the ability to breath out of their anus. The process is called cloacal respiration which allows the turtles to extract oxygen directly from the water.

Meaning they can dive up to three hours to search for yummy aquatic plants.

Amazing.

via GIPHY

Aside from eating plants, they also eat a few species of insects. They lay 13 eggs for each batch and weighs around 5 kilograms. Like most turtles they can also live up to 100 years old.

But sadly, they are among the fresh water turtles that are critically endangered.

via GIPHY

The Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Energy listed the white-throated snapping turtle as critically endangered. This is due to various construction projects like dams.

Among the over 250 species of freshwater turtles, over half of them are at risk of extinction due to threats of habitat destruction, hunting and illegal trafficking.

READ: 1 million species threatened with extinction, study says

According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) majority of the earth’s wetlands have been lost which includes the habitat of these fresh water turtles.

“We’ve converted large amounts of our forests, we’ve converted large amounts of our grasslands, we’ve lost 87% of our wetlands… we’ve really changed our land surface in the last several hundred years,” IPBES chairman Robert Watson said.

What should we do?

Love the planet, save the environment.

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Japanese national: Let’s clean up Baguio City together!

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

(Left) Masakazu Nose voluntarily paints an overpass in Baguio City. (Right) Masakasu inviting netizens to join him in a cleanup drive.

Masakazu Nose used to run a small takoyaki store in Baguio City.

Born in Tokushima, Japan, Masakazu is known to be a silent man in his 40’s. Some people would even describe him as gentle.

He came to the Philippines in April 2014 to learn English. One month later, he began cleaning overpasses along Magsaysay Avenue, Abanao Street, and lower Session Road.

Every morning, with a pair of tongs in one hand and a garbage bag in the other, Masakazu would go around the streets collecting trash like candy wrappers and plastic cups.

Masakazu even bought paints at his own expense to repaint walls. In a report, he said he did these things because he has time to spare.

This earned the admiration of the locals as well as the media. He was interviewed by various news outlets. Netizens still continue to share their admiration for Masakazu a few years after he first became viral.

Did You Know ?. . . . . Mazakasu Nose is a Japanese National who has lived in Baguio City for a number of years. He owns…

Posted by Romeo del Carmen on Sunday, 14 July 2019

After staying in the Philippines for three years, Masakazu returned to Japan to manage an oil soba store near Okubo station in Tokyo.

But he has never forgotten about his life in the Philippines, which he calls his second home.

Masazaku will return on August 1-3 to clean up the city—this time, he is inviting everyone.

“Let’s clean up the city together!” his Facebook post reads.—AAC

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We will never sell Manila Zoo—Mayor Isko Moreno

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 4th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Manila Zoo

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has vowed not to sell Manila Zoo during his inspection in the area on Thursday (July 4).

“We will never sell Manila Zoo. It will be run by the local government unit. No matter how, we are going to modernize to address the demands of our time,” according to Moreno.

Despite being closed to the public for six months since January, the facility still has no sewerage treatment plant (STP).

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shut down the operations of Manila Zoo after discovering it is contributing waste in Manila Bay.

Aside from the STP, Manila Zoo also needs a proper drainage system and water pipes.

Domagoso said there is no timeline yet on the reopening of Manila Zoo since the facility needs to pass DENR standards. He added that they would still need to manage the budget to construct an STP.

“Kung next month, na-comply namin iyong problema or requirements ng DENR, sa amin, bilang local government, we’ll open (If we are able to comply with the DENR requirements by next month, we will resume operation),” he said. —AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

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DENR calls on gov’t, business sector to address problem of plastic pollution

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 4th, 2019

DPWH personnel collect plastic waste from polluted esteros | Courtesy: DENR

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has urged the government and business sectors to work together in addressing plastic pollution in the country.

Assistant Secretary and Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Ricardo Calderon said lessening the use of plastics can help prevent marine creatures from ingesting plastic.

“We urge everyone to join the pledge for our environment; a pledge that will institutionalize our collective and collaborative action towards addressing the issue of marine debris,” he said.

Meanwhile, the DENR eyes on rehabilitating Baguio City’s Balili River, which coliform level is even worse than that of the Manila Bay.—AAC

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