Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has dismissed the capture of settlements by al Shabaab militants in the country this month, saying they were of no strategic value and cannot be used to signal a resurgence of the Islamist group.Al Shabaab is keen to topple Mohamud and his western backed government.The militia group has already retaken the central town of Buqda and two other southern settlements this month and has as well attacked African troops.The raids follow a military campaign by the African Union’s AMISOM forces and Somali troops that pushed the rebels out of towns on the coast and drove them into increasingly small pockets of the countryside, mostly in the south of Somalia.Mohamud said that the Somali National Army have liberated most of the major towns in Somalia and have taken over strategic locations.He said that the Islamist group that once ruled most of the country now had had limited access to the sea, which experts said was its major source of generating money and smuggling arms.Even though it is allegedly weakened, al Shabaab is still a threat to Somalia’s gradual reconstruction and state building process.Just last week, the militia group killed at least three soldiers who were waiting to collect their salaries at the military camp in Kismayu.
Tag: 夜上海论坛VU Island’s fox-breeding program ends
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“Come on, it’s OK,” Dave Garcelon, president of the Institute for Wildlife Studies, whispered to the fox. The setting sun cast a long shadow behind the cat-size animal as it looked around its new home on the western edge of Santa Cruz Island. All the captive-bred island fox had to do was scamper from the open kennel and run into the grass-covered hills where hundreds of other tiny island foxes are living. One minute passed. Two. The fox sniffed the ground and the air and took it all in but still didn’t budge. Finally, with a bit of prodding, it ran into the hills away from the crowd of scientists, politicians and journalists gathered to watch the momentous event. Nine other endangered island foxes would join it before the end of the day, marking the end of captive breeding on Santa Cruz and the start of what biologists hope is the recovery of the species. WILDLIFE: Biologists believe the population of about 300 is enough for comeback of the small animals. By Zeke Barlow SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE VENTURA – After a life inside a fence, the fox had found freedom. The only thing was, it didn’t want to go. The pioneering program to re-establish the foxes found only on the Channel Islands began six years ago. Biologists have now decided the population of about 300 foxes should be enough to stop the breeding program and let the foxes rebound naturally. “This is a great success story,” said Garcelon, whose organization bred more than 85 pups under a contract from the Channel Islands National Park and The Nature Conservancy, which owns 76 percent of the island. And their population should continue to grow. The fox populations on Santa Cruz, San Miguel and Santa Rosa islands nearly crashed in the past decade as non-native golden eagles feasted on the 5-pound foxes, which were unaccustomed to predators swooping down from the sky. Bald eagles, which mainly eat marine life, had traditionally occupied the island, but years of DDT poisoning decimated the population. With no bald eagles to compete for territory, and lured by the presence of non-native pigs and their edible piglets on Santa Cruz Island, golden eagle populations grew as the foxes dwindled. Only about 15 foxes were left on Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands and fewer than 100 on Santa Cruz. In 1999, biologists started trapping and relocating the golden eagles. Three years later, they started reintroducing bald eagles and breeding foxes. Bald eagles are now nesting on the islands. In 2005, a New Zealand company was hired to kill every one of the 5,036 pigs on Santa Cruz Island. The controversial process led an animal rights group to file a lawsuit to stop it, but it was unsuccessful, and the last pig was killed in 2006. Once the stage was set, breeding still wasn’t as easy as setting up a date between two young foxes. “It was dicey,” said park biologist Tim Coonan, who has been working with the foxes for years. There was a steep learning curve in getting the foxes to mate because nobody had bred them before. They learned that females preferred to have a number of males to choose from and that they only started ovulating when a male was present. Females would sometimes get roughed up during intense mating sessions; still, they mated for life. DNA was gleaned from blood samples to make sure no inbreeding occurred. On Santa Cruz, 18 “founding” foxes produced 85 offspring. On San Miguel Island, eight adults were used to beef up the population. Two of the founding female foxes on San Miguel are so old – about 12 years – they are too frail to return to the wild, so biologists will keep them the remainder of their lives. They’ve earned the moniker “The Golden Girls.” Visitors to Santa Cruz’s Prisoner’s Cove campsite have a good chance of seeing the gregarious creatures that scamper about the area. They’ve eaten boxes of cookies, run across sleeping campers and urinated on tents there. “They are like campground dogs,” said Coonan, who half-joked about issuing squirt guns with onion water to keep the foxes at bay. About 30 percent of the foxes on the islands have radio collars, which will be used to track the population in studies that are expected to continue for years. The foxes are considered an indicator species for the islands that help biologists monitor the health of the ecosystem.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!