Concluding the week with an uplifting bundle of positive news nuggets.
In the past decade, Gabon, in central Africa, has increased its elephant population by over a third to 95,000 animals. The success is attributed to tough penalties for poachers and legislation to protect Gabon’s equatorial rainforest, which boasts the largest populations of gorillas and forest elephants in the world.
Battery Good News
Electric vehicle batteries are lasting far longer than predicted, meaning there's plenty of life after use as backup storage in big solar arrays. The big worry was that all the batteries would end up in landfill, but it now looks like the opposite problem is taking shape - there's more recycling capacity coming online than there is battery scrap available, reports Bloomberg.
US Public Opinion
The tides of public opinion are shifting in America, with 66 percent of voters now supporting a woman's right to choose, up from 55 percent in March, says The Wall Street Journal. Furthermore, approval of interracial marriage continues to climb too. According to Gallup, it's reached a new high of 94 percent - up from just 4 percent when the poll was first taken in 1958.
Fit in the Corner?
A 150 million-year-old dinosaur skeleton, found on private land in Colorado, will go up for auction in Paris next month, with an estimated price of around $450,000. The iguanodon is small by dinosaur standards at roughly 10.7 feet long, 2.5 feet wide and 4.3 feet tall. The auction house reckons that could be good news for certain types of buyer who are "looking for such a small-sized specimen... as so many clients and collectors are asking for 'a dinosaur that can fit my living room.'"
A 19th century British slang term for a really lame excuse. As in: “I can’t go out because I have to, uh … wash my hair!”
Every Bit Helps
Florida has acquired nearly 20,000 acres of land for conservation, rounding off the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a recently designated network of connected lands that provide crucial habitat for wildlife. Meanwhile, says The Nature Conservancy, South Carolina is linking ecologically significant landscapes across its Hampton and Jasper counties to create a 12,000 acre stretch of protected land; and in New Mexico, a collaboration between private landowners, government, and conservationists has protected over 54,000 acres.
In Australia, 362,000 hectares of national park and freehold land in Queensland’s Cape York have been returned to its traditional owners, heralding a “new era” for the peninsula. Over the past 27 years the Queensland government has handed back over 4.3 million hectares of land, an area the size of Switzerland. Meanwhile, farmers and landowners across England are leading a ‘once in a generation’ landscape recovery scheme to revive biodiversity in 22 areas, while still producing food. Collectively, the project aims to restore nearly 700km of rivers across farmed and rural landscapes and revive 263 species including water vole, otter, pine marten, lapwing, great crested newt, European eel, and marsh fritillary.
Quote of the Day
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
On this Day
16 September 1620: English colonists set sail for America aboard the Mayflower, where they founded Plymouth, Massachusetts.
If you've splashed out for a Jetson One electric flying device, you'll soon be heading to Tuscany for pilot training.