Decoding evolution and transmissions of novel pneumonia coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) using the whole genomic data

Phyloepidemiologic analyses indicated the SARS-CoV-2 source at the Hua Nan market should be imported from other places. The crowded market boosted SARS-CoV-2 rapid circulations in the market and spread it to the whole city in early December 2019. 

Link to Study: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339351990_Decoding_evolution_and_transmissions_of_novel_pneumonia_coronavirus_SARS-CoV-2_using_the_whole_genomic_data

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand

The Imperial College report that made the UK government change track. It says population-wide social distancing applied to the population as a whole would have the largest impact, and in combination with other interventions – notably home isolation of cases and school and university closure – has the potential to suppress transmission to rapidly reduce case incidence.

Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID-19 mortality and healthcare demand

COVID-19 Resources

Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – A digital illustration of the coronavirus shows the crown-like appearance of the virus.

In the public’s interest and because of uncertainty and fake news, we’ve opened up this site to include the sharing of carefully curated scientific and government reports on #Covid-19COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).  Our goal is to inform, not to alarm, and to provide a resource for people to use. Please note that the science is evolving, and the information is updated as it comes.

In this article, Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah, Nature Seychelles Chief Executive, expounds on the reasoning behind this effort: An Interview with Dr. Nirmal Jivan Shah on Nature Seychelles’ new awareness and educational resource on COVID-19

ResponSEAble – Protecting the ocean: our collective responsibility, our common interest

For the last three years, the ResponSEAble project has been looking at ways to help people understand their connection to the sea. Whether they live on the coast or inland, the project’s goal has been to figure out how to encourage Europeans to take a more interest in their oceans, improve their understanding and to treat them with greater respect.

A part of the project a series of 6 short documentary films have been produced. The videos are designed to help inform the public about key ocean health issues and how we as consumers can adopt ocean-friendly behaviours.

They are free to watch online on this channel 

Sierra Club: 5 Organizations That Are Transforming Eco Curricula

Easily downloadable resources help educators bring nature into the classroom (PHOTO BY RAWPIXEL/ISTOCK)

Sierra Club:  BY ALISON CAGLE | AUG 27 2018 For children, nature is an opportunity to engage in a world of vibrant sensory experiences: toes curling on sand, the icy crunch of a snowball, the thrill of spotting a deer among trees, watching a brilliant caterpillar explore a leaf.

Yet opportunities to connect with nature often get reduced to special occasions as children get older and spend more time indoors at school. Educators are increasingly realizing that this isolation from nature isn’t great for kids’ health or their school experience. Teachers are coming to learn that the environment can be a dynamic educational resource, as both a tool for teaching and as a classroom in itself. Read more

Seychelles News Agency: New legless amphibian species discovered around mountains of Seychelles’ main island

Photo: Another caecilian, the Hypogeophis pti, locally called petite Praslin caecilian, was discovered on Praslin, late last year. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency)

(Seychelles News Agency) – A new legless amphibian known as the caecilian has been discovered on the Seychelles’ main island of Mahe by scientists from the UK, according to an article published by the University of Wolverhampton last week.

The new species called montane Mahé (Hypogeophis montanus) was discovered through an ongoing study led by the University of Wolverhampton lecturer Simon Maddock and colleagues from London’s Natural History Museum.

UNV and AIESEC launch the Young Person’s Guide to ‘Changing the World’ to help you achieve the SDGs

AIESEC, a global youth-led organization, has partnered with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to produce a guide of daily actions and activities that can be carried out to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The guide was produced building on ideas from 500 young leaders from 126 countries.

The Young Person’s Guide: Changing the World Edition combines inputs from youth leaders and young people worldwide with expertise coming from 13 partner organizations in the private sector, civil society and international financial institutions. Read more

Marine litter: Vital graphics

Every year, the sum of humanity’s knowledge increases exponentially. And as we learn more, we also learn there is much we still don’t know. Plastic litter in our oceans is one area where we need to learn more, and we need to learn it quickly. That’s one of the main messages in Marine Litter Vital Graphics. Another important message is that we already know enough to take action.

Marine Litter Graphics

Marine plasctic debris and microplastics:Global lessons and research to inspire action and guide policy change

Plastic litter in the ocean can be considered a ‘common concern of humankind’. This study summarizes the state of our knowledge on sources, fate and effect of marine plastics debris and microplastics, and describes approaches and potential solutions to address this multifaceted issue. The study is divided into four main sections: Background, Evidence Base, Taking Action, and Conclusions and Key Research Needs.

Download

Longevity and survival of the Endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum

The Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum was once one of the most threatened birds in the world, but was downgraded from Critically Endangered to Endangered after a long-term recovery programme was successfully implemented. Comprehensive long-term monitoring of this species was conducted on the islands of Cousin and Cousine over an 18-year period. We report here on the species longevity and annual survival at these two sites.

Julie Gane and April Burt Longevity and survival of the Endangered Seychelles Magpie Robin Copsychus sechellarum

Turn Down the Heat

The report Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal is a result of contributions from a wide range of experts from across the globe. The report follows Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience, released in June 2013 and Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided, released in November 2012. 

“Dramatic climate changes and weather extremes are already affecting millions of people around the world, damaging crops and coastlines and putting water security at risk. Across the three regions studied in this report, record-breaking temperatures are occurring more frequently, rainfall has increased in intensity in some places, while drought-prone regions like the Mediterranean are getting dryer. A significant increase in tropical North Atlantic cyclone activity is affecting the Caribbean and Central America. There is growing evidence that warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is locked-in to the Earth’s atmospheric system due to past and predicted emissions of greenhouse gases, and climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable.” Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group

Read the full report

Our Friends the Pollinators

Nature Kenya’s (BirdLife Partner in Kenya) Insect Committee have made available for free download a pollinators conservation handbook. “Our Friends the Pollinators: A Handbook of Pollinator Diversity and Conservation in East Africa” is written and illustrated  by Dino J Martins. According to the publishers The goal of the book “is to inspire excitement about pollinators, and make the link with food, and people’s livelihoods.”

The book “also aims to create awareness, provide practical information on the diversity of pollinators in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burundi), and introduce you to a few of them.” An excerpt from the book says: “The relationships between insects and flowers are ancient, intricate, and fragile. Working with pollinators helps us to glimpse, and understand some of the most wonderfully beautiful, and complex interactions on the planet. We expect that the learning shared in this book will help to shape a strong grassroots movement that works for the protection of habitats, better farming practices, and the restoring of pollination services. We hope that our sense of wonder at pollinators, and their interaction with flowers, will pass to future generations through this book.” Download and share the handbook from this link

Price or Worthless? The World’s most threatened species

A new list of the species closest to extinction released today by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) includes three Seychelles’ species: Seychelles Sheath-tailed bat, the Seychelles earwig (insect, Antisolabis seychellensis), Moominia willii (mollusc). For the first time ever, more than 8,000 scientists from the IUCN Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) have come together to identify 100 of the most threatened animals, plants and fungi on the planet. But conservationists fear they’ll be allowed to die out because none of these species provide humans with obvious benefits. Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction? Read the report online.

Free conservation biology textbook

Oxford University Press makes conservation biology textbook by some of the world’s most prominent ecologists and conservation biologists available as free download. Conservation Biology for All provides cutting-edge but basic conservation science to a global readership. A series of authoritative chapters have been written by the top names in conservation biology with the principal aim. Download

Wildlife Clubs of Africa Manual

The BirdLife Africa partnership has published a manual – Guidelines for the Establishment, Development and Management of Wildlife Clubs in Africa. The manual is based on information and experiences from 16 BirdLife Africa Partners (including Nature Seychelles), most of whom have been involved in wildlife clubs establishment, development and management for more than two decades. Download it here.

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