Monday, March 31, 2014

National Moth Week 2014, July 19-27

National Moth Week 2014, July 19-27,
Invites Citizen Scientists Around the World to Celebrate Moths

The third annual National Moth Week, July 19-27, a global event, will celebrate the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths, encouraging “moth-ers” of all ages and abilities to learn about, observe, and document moths in their backyards, parks, and neighborhoods.

National Moth Week (NMW) shines a much-needed spotlight on moths and their ecological importance as well as their incredible biodiversity. This nine-day global event encourages children and adults to become “citizen scientists” and contribute photos and data to online databases. Last year, more than 400 events were held in all 50 states and 41 countries.

Why study moths?
  • Moths are among the most diverse and successful organisms on earth.
  • Scientists estimate there are 150,000 to more than 500,000 moth species. 
  • Their colors and patterns are either dazzling or so cryptic that they define camouflage. Shapes and sizes span the gamut from as small as a pinhead to as large as an adult’s hand. 
  • ost moths are nocturnal, and need to be sought at night to be seen – others fly like butterflies during the day. 
  • Finding moths can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark. Serious moth aficionados use special lights and baits to attract them.
A moth-ing event could involve turning on a porch light at night and watching what happens, or going outside in daylight to find caterpillars and diurnal moths. Participants can use ordinary light bulbs, UV lights, or mercury vapor lights to draw moths, or brush sweet moth bait on tree barks for a bigger response.

Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories such as BAMONA, Project Noah, Encyclopedia of Life, Discover Life, and iNaturalist, National Moth Week encourages participants to record moth distribution and to provide information on other aspects of their life cycles and habitats.

Last year, moth-watching and educational events were held throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South, Central, and North America. Events included “moth nights,” museum exhibitions, a “moth ball,” educational programs at parks and camps, urban mothing parties, and tours of the insect collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

IndianMoths is partnering this year too in this international citizen science initiative. To participate in the event visit Locations page to go to event locations in India. Find a public event near you or volunteer to organize a public or private event.

Please post your records on India Biodiversity Portal or iNaturalist project to get identification help from members.

If you have any questions about the event feel free to contact me at vijay at

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Evil hackers are eyeing the endangered animals

Hackers are selling the location of animals monitored by GPS for hunters, who profit from the sale of animals on the black market

Bengal tiger running in the water
Bengal Tiger: species was attacked by hackers in India last year

São Paulo - Endangered animals monitored by collars with GPS are becoming the target of cyber attacks. Hackers are selling the location of animals for hunters who profit from the illegal animal trade market.

An action of the type was registered on July 24 last year in Panna, bengal tiger reserve located in India. At the time, hackers attempted to gain access to the location of one of the tigers - provided by email only three researchers. However, the attack was unsuccessful, reports the website of the magazine Popular Science .

According to data from the Global Fund for Wildlife, a Bengal tiger gets to be sold for $ 50,000 in the pet trade, which sum would move next year to $ 10 billion market, after the recent push enabled for online sales.

Monitored worth much 

Among other problems, the monitoring of endangered animals by GPS implies heavy investment in electronic devices. Currently, implement technology that indicates the exact position of an animal does not leave for less than $ 5,000.

The high cost of operation makes researchers choose to monitor only the most endangered species - that, in general, reached this condition to be more valuable in the poaching market.
So, know where an animal of this kind can be worth a lot of money - which encourages further attacks from hackers.

Among the solutions to the problem pointed out by experts, are investing in a tracking system with enhanced security (as is already happening in Namibia) or even by reserves surveillance drones - that should be implemented soon in Kenya.

Until then, endangered wildlife will continue targeted by hackers and hunters.

Original Portuguese  Source
News on Popular Science