• "Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented."

  • "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

  • "What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”

  • "I can find God in nature, in animals, in birds and the environment."

  • "We won't have a society if we destroy the environment."

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SPIRAL ISLANDS / ISLA MUJERESGeneral Information about Spiral Island

Spiral Island is the name given to two world famous floating artificial islands built by British expatriate and eco-pioneer Richart "Rishi" Sowa.

Sowa, a musician, artist, and carpenter started constructing the original Spiral Island in 1998 in the Maya Riveria of Mexico. The first Spiral island was located in a lagoon near Puerto Aventuras, on the Caribbean coast of Mexico south of Cancún. Rishi began filling nets with empty discarded plastic bottles to support a structure of plywood and bamboo, on which he poured sand and planted numerous plants, including mangroves. The floating bottle island sported a two-story palapa structure, a solar oven, a self-composting toilet, and three beaches. Some 250,000 bottles were used to construct the 66 feet (20 m) by 54 feet (16 m) floating island structure. Rishi planted mangroves to help keep the island cool, and some of the mangroves rose up to 15 feet (4.6 m) high.

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Habitat quality is better than quantity for species survival

Habitat quality is better than quantity for species survival

A new study suggests that improving the quality of existing wildlife habitat is more important than creating new habitat, when attempting to counteract the negative effects of climate change on species survival. This suggests that resources would be better directed towards habitat rehabilitation and reforestation than building new habitat features.

Two main drivers of biodiversity loss are climate change, which causes shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns, and the destruction of natural habitat for agriculture and urban development. However, most studies look at these drivers independently of each other when, in fact, they often happen in combination and can be strongly linked.

In the new study, which received funding through the EU FEMMES project1, scientists used a conceptual model to simulate the effects of a gradual improvement or deterioration in habitat quality over time on a hypothetical regional population. They represented this by changing the total number of individuals that the habitat could support, known as the ‘patch capacity’.

The scientists also considered the effect of decreasing or increasing the total area of high-quality habitat, representing habitat loss or gain. In each scenario, the scientists imposed the same reduction in growth rate for the population to represent a negative response to climate change. The scenarios were compared by calculating the mean time taken for the population to reach extinction.

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