Scientists discover 163 new species in Greater Mekong region: WWF

zsp1A newt discovered in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province, Tylototriton anguliceps, has stunning red and black markings that resemble a Klingon from the movie Star Trek. Photo: Porrawee Pomchote/ WWF

A rainbow-headed snake resembling David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character, a dragon-like lizard and a newt that looks like a Klingon from the movie Star Trek are three of the 163 new species discovered recently in the Greater Mekong region, according to a report released today by WWF.

The report “Species Oddity” documents the work of hundreds of scientists who discovered nine amphibians, 11 fish, 14 reptiles, 126 plants and three mammals in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam.

The discoveries also include a rare banana species from Thailand, a tiny frog from Cambodia and a gecko with pale blue spotted skin and piercing dark eyes that was found hiding in the remote mountains of Laos. This brings the total new species of plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians discovered in the region to 2,409 since WWF began compiling new species reports in 1997.

“The Greater Mekong region is a magnet for the world’s conservation scientists because of the incredible diversity of species that continue to be discovered here,” said Jimmy Borah, Wildlife Programme Manager for WWF-Greater Mekong. “These scientists, the unsung heroes of conservation, know they are racing against time to ensure that these newly discovered species are protected.”

Here are some of the highlights in the discovery:

Highlights of the report include:

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A rainbow-headed snake, Parafimbrios  lao, that some at WWF have likened to David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character. It was found among steep karst cliffs in Northern Laos. While originally thought to exist in only one location, it has since been seen in a second one, increasing its chances of survival.

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The Phuket Horned Tree Agamid, Acanthosaura  phuketensis, has a fearsome set of horns on its head and spine and was found among the few remaining forest patches on the popular Thai tourist island of Phuket. It is threatened by rapid habitat loss and collection for the pet trade.

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A rare banana species discovered in Northern Thailand, Musa nanensis, is already considered critically endangered due to increasing deforestation and the fact that only a handful of individual plants have been seen. However, the recent discovery of another small population has given researchers hope for the species.

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A newt discovered in Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province, Tylototriton anguliceps, has stunning red and black markings that resemble a Klingon from the movie Star Trek. Its porous skin makes it especially sensitive to pesticides, the main threat alongside deforestation of its habitat.

The Greater Mekong region is under intense development pressure from mines to roads to dams, threatening the survival of the natural landscapes that make it so unique. Poaching for bushmeat or the multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade puts additional pressure on the region’s wildlife, meaning many species could be lost before they are even discovered.

“Many collectors are willing to pay thousands of dollars or more for the rarest, most unique and most endangered species, often buying them at the region’s illegal wildlife markets, especially in the Golden Triangle region where China, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar meet,” Borah said. “To save them, it’s crucial that we improve enforcement against poaching and close illegal wildlife markets as well as the tiger and bear farms that openly flaunt wildlife laws.”

WWF recently launched an ambitious project to disrupt the trade by closing down the biggest markets in the Greater Mekong region. Working with partners and across borders, WWF will attempt to significantly reduce illegal trade in key threatened species such as elephants, tigers and rhinos by promoting species protection legislation, supporting effective transboundary cooperation and improving law enforcement effectiveness at key border crossings.

Source: Coconuts.co

 

Paris – Phuket – Bangkok – Magazine

cover-magazine-paris

NEW IS OUR PARIS / PHUKET / BANGKOK MAGAZINE

In a short time, our magazine has known quite a few improvements: a more luxurious formula earmarked to seduce a wider audience, a new name to rubber stamp its national-scale calling (le Paris Bangkok outside Phuket), and content now fully translated into English in order to reach the whole expatriates community as well as Thai readers.

This cycle of evolution is coming to an end with a last innovation: as of September, the magazine comprises 100 pages (16 more pages) and becomes bimonthly (every two months). In order to guarantee an ever-growing exposure to our advertisers, its circulation is doubled to ensure its presence all the way through the two months that each issue will henceforth cover. Distribution will be widened and a restocking will occur for every distribution spots after one month.

The additional pages at the end of the magazine will be devoted to highlight businesses through a “Hot Spot” formula, offering our readers a choice of places to go and services to use.

Thai police arrested suspects after serial bombings

Trang Bomb 4-9

Thai police arrested suspects after serial bombings

Fire trang

After the series of bombings and arson attacks last month in tourist areas in the south of Thailand (Trang, Hua Hin, Surat Thani, Phangnga, Phuket), is the first suspect arrested. Reported Theerasawat Suchart, deputy chief of the national police.

On 11 and 12 August exploded eleven bombs within 24 hours, mainly in tourist resorts in Hua Hin and Phuket. While four were killed and dozens injured, including four Dutch people.

When we warning about the safety in Thailand, after so many requires from scary customers, we post this on Google #LocalGuides, but @CorrieD  #+Corrie Davidson moderator on Google see our post warnings only as #Spam and we get unexpected blocked.
Her answer was clear, my postings has no value and was spam.

How we can explain such bullshit to the public and our very scary customers ???

Happily the police make progress and arrest the first suspects.

Read more on: Bangkok Post / The Nation

The 6 Yacht Weeks

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Yachting 2016

Perhaps you’ve heard about this thing called The Yacht Week, an exclusive seven-day, spring break-like flotilla for kind-of grownups that involves sailboats, exotic locales, and hard-partying young people from around the world. Days are spent drinking onboard chartered boats while nights are spent drinking in clubs you’ve only seen on Wild On! Somewhere in between people sleep and probably quote that Andy Samberg & T-Pain song waaaay too much.

But how can you get in on the action and live like a billionaire playboy for the week? For less than $2,000. And where, exactly, is all this partying going on? To sort it out, we talked to Kiersten Rich — aka, The Blonde Abroad — a travel blogger and one of our favorite Instagrammers on the planet. She’s been to Yacht Week a time or five, and broke it all down for us. Here are her insider tips for all six routes.

Yachting 2016-2

So, what is The Yacht Week?
Yacht Week is not like Fashion Week or Music Week, where you just show up and party. It’s a private trip full of private parties that you buy your way into. Old and new money are accepted.

Actually, The Yacht Week isn’t just one trip but a series of flotillas throughout the year organized by European Travel Ventures. You join the fun by either rounding up your friends and chartering a boat or, if you’re flying solo, reserving a cabin on an existing yacht using their handy website. The number of boats on each route is limited, so in either case, you should book early.

Also, there’s the catch: The Yacht Week regulates the guy/girl ratio on every trip, aiming for an even 50/50 mix. So when you book, you’ll see a percentage next to the boat you’re trying to reserve; this is the minimum percentage of female patrons that must be in your party to set sail. It’s kinda like going to a high-end club, except instead of getting seven hours of pounding techno music, you get seven days of it.

Once onboard/on location, participants receive a weeklong schedule of events planned by TYW that includes everything from exclusive parties, to snorkeling adventures, to day trips around nearby islands; again, it all depends on the itinerary. And again, ONLY people from the organized Yacht Week itineraries can attend those crazy parties you keep watching on YouTube. Participants are easily identified by their brightly colored wristbands that scream, “Yes! I’m one of the cool kids!”

The exact routes aren’t planned until a few weeks before the trip, so you’re kind of flying blind when you book. But nobody (to our knowledge) has ever come back and called it “the worst week of my life.” So, you can probably trust in The Yacht Week’s planning skills.

Yachting 2016-3

Where is The Yacht Week?
There are six locations where The Yacht Week operates: Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, Thailand, and the British Virgin Islands (BVI). As mentioned, each route runs during a specific time of year (although there is some overlap), typically summer in Europe, winter in Thailand, and winter/spring in BVI.

Here’s the thing though, despite the name, it’s not just ONE set week. In fact, participants typically have six or seven weeks to choose from throughout the season for EACH destination. This summer, there are actually 13 weeks for the Croatia route.

How much does it cost?
Again, that depends on the itinerary, how many people are in your group, and what kind of boat you charter. It can range from about $600-$1,000 a person, not including food, plane tickets, or transfers from the nearest airport to the marina. The rate also doesn’t include fuel or port fees for your boat (which can range from $25-$100 per night) or the cost of a skipper/hostess should you not know how to sail the damn thing and/or want to make your own sandwiches.

And speaking of skippers and hostesses?
Most people on The Yacht Week can’t sail. And even for the people who do know how, the amount of partying involved typically doesn’t lend itself to a long day at the helm. So participants often hire a skipper who will both lovingly refer to you as “Lil Buddy” and drive your rig. He’ll also teach you how to sail if you want to actually learn something during your week of debauchery. But no pressure.

For a mixed or all-female boat, the skipper will cost you between $800-$1,200, depending on your route and exchange rate. For an all-male group, it runs between $1,300-$1,800.

You can also hire a hostess for the week to do all the cooking and cleaning, and have meals (and drinks) ready when you return to the boat after a hard day of partying. This will set you back an additional $750-$1,000, plus the cost of food (all of which, she’ll buy).

Yachting 2016-4

YACHTING VIDEO IN THAILAND

Source: thrillist.com

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Asia commemorates tsunami of 11 years ago

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Tsunami 26a

In Southeast Asia was Saturday commemorated the 2004 tsunami. The tsunami that followed a massive earthquake in the Indian Ocean cost in that year to about 230 000 lives. Most people died in Indonesia, where the memorial according to media is primarily used to draw attention to measures to ensure that such a disaster does not have to take place once. With the commemorations and processions the inhabitants of the affected areas are hoping to keep up the momentum in improving safety measures. In Sri Lanka, where some 40,000 people were killed by the tsunami, the disaster is commemorated with two minutes of silence.

Tsunami 26b

Thailand and other nations in and around the Indian Ocean held memorial services yesterday on the 11th anniversary of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that killed about 230,000 people.

Tsunami 26c

The southern provinces of Phuket and Krabi held religious rituals to make merit for the deceased and to remember those who were lost, as well as the heroes who rescued others. Similar activities were held in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere in and around the Indian Ocean where the tidal waves reaped death and destruction, as far away as coastal Africa.

A total of about 230,000 people died from the December 26, 2004 tsunamis, one of the deadliest natural disasters on record.

Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada led officials in white and members of the public offering alms to 26 Buddhist monks at the city hall yesterday morning, while Laem Phet monastery near Patong Beach hosted a Buddhist merit-making event.

An Islamic ritual was also held at Bang Tao Beach in Tambon Cherng Thalae.

At the Mai Khao tsunami memorial cemetery, the “Eleven Year in Memory of Tsunami” event was held with a ceremony for Buddhists, plus Christians and Muslims. It was attended by the relatives of victims, officials and representatives from various embassies.

At the tsunami memorial stone area behind Sunwing Hotel, the Phuket Longstay mid and advanced Aged Japanese Association (PLAJA) hosted a tsunami anniversary event and a religious ritual in which three Japanese monks prayed for the deceased and missing in the disaster. In the evening, a tsunami anniversary exhibition, a mourning ceremony, a Christian ritual and a Buddhist teaching were due to be held at Patong.

Similar events were held in Krabi, while those who survived the deadly waves said they still could not forget the drama.

Krabi governor Pinit Boonler hosted the ceremonies for three faiths on Koh Phi Phi yesterday, during which divers also went underwater to lay wreaths at the undersea memorial at Ao Ton Sai.

Bee-ah Changreu, 58, who came to remember her friend and relatives who lost their lives in the waves said she still had the horror of tsunami – with bodies lying on beaches – vivid in her mind as she was also on Koh Phi Phi when the disaster occurred.

Ranong province did not host a tsunami anniversary service yesterday. Officials opted instead for a campaign for public knowledge on how people can protect themselves and survive disasters in the future. Provincial governor Suriyan Kanchanasil said related agencies would soon survey evacuation routes and re-arrange them, as well as fix disaster warning towers to be ready for use, to boost public confidence.

But several people still showed up at memorial sites in Ranong to lay flowers in memory of the deceased.

On December 26, 2004, the 9.1-magnitude earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit coastal communities across the Indian Ocean. The waves hit six provinces on the Andaman coast – Krabi, Phang Nga, Phuket, Ranong, Satun and Trang. It left at least 5,400 people dead and 2,800 missing.

Residents in Aceh held services yesterday also in memory at least 165,000 people killed in Indonesia’s westernmost province.

“We can never forget this day. It brings us a lot of pain. My heart sinks as I think of my son,” 42-year-old resident Anjammal Thangadurai said. She lost her 5-year old son in the tragedy.

Sources: AD.nl & The Nation

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#Phuket calm after riot

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Dozens of cars burnt out and Thalang police station damaged after mob protest over a hot pursuit that led to death of two young men.

PH2

TENSION between police and local residents in Phuket province that escalated into a riot at a local police station yesterday appeared to ease, after an inquiry panel was formed to look into the death of two young men during a police hot pursuit on Saturday.

Police representatives met with families and relatives of Pathomwat Panarak, 22 and a 17-year-old teen, whose name was withheld, at a school yesterday with a military officer as a mediator. The meeting was held under a tense environment as supporters of the pair gathered around the venue occasionally booing and jeering.

The meeting was held after local residents, including families of both victims, rallied in front of Thalang police station, angry over the death of the pair. They claimed police used excessive action on the young victims – who allegedly refused to be searched and rode off on a motorbike near a police checkpoint – without solid evidence.

Dozens of vehicles parked before the police station were burnt and police buildings damaged during the clash that involved hundreds of residents and officials on Saturday night and early yesterday. Four police involved in the case were transferred out of the area at about midnight on Saturday.

PH1

Suksri Kaentakian, mother of the teenage victim, said if her son was involved in drugs, her family would certainly be very rich. “Police involved in the death of my son should be sacked from the service and face legal action like ordinary people. I cannot accept that the incident came to the end after concerned police were transferred out of the area.”

Thaweesit Panarak, father of the 22-year-old, wept and said he had only one son. He admitted that his son used to use crystal meth or ‘Ice’ and was in jail. “I don’t think that my son would have had narcotics, as I believe he did not want to go back to jail again.”

However what the police had done was considered excessive. “It is not acceptable that my son and his friend had to end their lives this way. When police conducted the hunt, they had no evidence in hand that they had narcotics,” the father said.

Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada said after a committee would be set up to investigate the case and a fund set up to help the victims’ families.

At 3pm, protesters demanded that police discuss the case and bring the officers responsible for the pursuit to talk with them. However police did not heed their demand.

The situation escalated in the evening when the protesters threw sticks and stones into the station, then hurled Molotov cocktails that burnt vehicles at the station.

The protesters were angered by the police’s claim that they found 50 pills of amphetamine and one kilogram of kratom leaves in the young men’s bags.

The tension seemed to decrease at 3am after the intervention of Major General Theenachat Jinda-ngen, chief of Military Circle 41, came to stop the protest. After talks, they agreed to attend the meeting yesterday at Wat Bandon School. The protest dispersed at about 3.30am, ending a 12-hour stand-off.

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The Phuket governor said preliminary agreements were made at the meeting to set up an inquiry between police and local authorities to investigate the case, and set up a fund for the men’s families. “The case will be investigated without any bias and will bring justice to both sides,” he said.

Damage to the police station was yet to be calculated, but all windows in the three-storey police building were shattered, while the fence and signpost outside were wrecked and some 27 vehicles belonging to the authorities and private owners were burnt. Fourteen police officers suffered minor injuries.

The riot also forced the road outside the station to be closed, which affected transport to Phuket Airport. Officials at the airport said 35 people missed their flights and nine planes were delayed on Saturday night.

Police spokesman Lt General Prawut Thavornsiri said National Police Chief General Chakthip Chaijinda had ordered police to investigate the case in a straightforward manner to bring justice to everyone and ordered the officers responsible to get people to understand the situation, so tension was relieved.

“The next thing we’ll do is investigate the police who were responsible for the chase – and if they were really excessive [in their actions], they will be punished and aid given to the teenagers’ relatives,” he said.

He said police, doctors, local authorities and soldiers would conduct the autopsies, which would be done as soon as possible, so results could be known within seven days.

The prime minister expressed sympathy to the families of the deceased.

Source: The Nation

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Orangutans found in cages on Phuket to return to #Indonesia

Oran

Thailand will return 14 orangutans to Indonesia five years after they were found in cages on the side of the road in Phuket.

Authorities found 13 Sumatran orangutans in Phuket in 2010, apparently bound for a private zoo.

The 13 orangutans were held in Khao Pra Thab Chang wildlife breeding centre in Ratchaburi province, where they bred one more orangutan.

Indonesia submitted a letter this month to request their return and agreed to pay for the transportation of the orangutans.

A C-130 Hercules transport aircraft will fly to Thailand to pick up the orangutans on Sept 7, reported the Bangkok Post.

Orangutans are listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and there are just over 7,000 Sumatran orangutans left.

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