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Dying reefs bigger threat to coasts than rising seas

Placing pressure transducers in the inner lagoon of Temae, Moorea. Photo by V. Parravicini

The death of coral reefs is a more significant factor in the erosion of tropical coastlines than rising sea levels, an international study has revealed.

University of Queensland School of Earth and Environmental Sciences researcher Dr Daniel Harris said tropical coastlines are at a greater immediate risk of erosion from increases in wave heights due to the loss of live corals. 

“The study shows that you don’t need higher sea levels for there to be coastal erosion, just the loss of healthy coral reefs,” Dr Harris said.

Dr Alessio Rovere from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences of the University of Bremen and the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Research contributed to the study.

“We examined wave processes at coral reefs in Moorea and Tahiti in French Polynesia, and modelled future wave heights near the coastline by changing variables such as coral reef health and sea level,” Dr Rovere said.

“The findings suggest that actively maintaining the health of coral reefs  could reduce some of the negative impacts of sea level rise on tropical coastlines.”

Dr Harris said the study showed that authorities and scientists need to adjust the methods of determining the erosion risk on tropical coastlines to include measurements of the health of coral reefs.

The research is published in Science Advances.

Shades of Mark Twain. The reported death of shopping centres is, somewhat, premature.

It’s a catch-all, generalised statement that is selectively true in small parts. Perhaps the premise (orientation?) of the statement is questionable.
Rather, we have entered an era in which the rebirth of shopping centres is self-evident, and growing.
Allocated capital expenditure totals are impressive. External upgrades and remodelling of tenancy mixes are only parts of the total story.

It is inevitable that the sprawling metropolitan areas of Australian cities will be subjected to redevelopment, centred on increased density. Infrastructure, mass public transport in particular, will be a pillar of the new concepts and planning visions.
Therefore, one can confidently project the construction of multi-storey, integrated complexes with the lower floors being occupied by retail outlets complemented by commercial tenancies on the first or second floors, and the higher premises being residential.
That’s right, primary, target audiences will be living and working on-site. Retail tenancy mixes will be refined to include alfresco dining, complementing existing fast service food halls.
Service precincts, featuring health, insurance and business support facilities will become commonplace.
Our mobile society will be acknowledged, with the introduction of new motor vehicle dealerships, finance agencies and yes, collection points for goods, services and applications which have been purchased on-line. Click and collect, together with multi-channel marketing will be alive, well and operating in a shopping centre near you.
Indeed, many of the transactions undertaken in bricks and mortar premises will be concluded, and paid for, on-line. Alas, the buying, delivery, possession and utilisation phases of the purchase process will be delineated, differentiated and integrated.
Progression from convenience to access will be part of the transformation.

Many public statements about the shopping experience are, in reality, shallow references about enhanced ambiences. Few detail, or give extended consideration to engagement with and by the customers.
Most important will be the need for, a character of a seamless experience. In short, there should be no boundaries.
Integration will be fundamental. Shopping centre lessors and managing agents will need to be true collaborators (read: strategic alliance partners) with retailers. That will include a remodelling of tenancy, and rental agreements. Mutual respect, benefits and rewards will be the essence of sustainable relationships.
Doubtless, some agreements will founder.

Personalisation and differentiation will, in the near, intermediate and longer terms become virtues.
Commoditisation, evident in almost identical tenancy mixes between larger shopping centres, will impinge on development and consumer loyalty, ultimately leading to the demise of an increasing number of tier 2-sized complexes.
Rebirthing is an exciting prospect – for shopping centre owners, managing agents, retailers and consumers.

Barry Urquhart
Marketing Focus
Increasing Australia’s detector dog capability

Australia’s world-class detector dog capability will be further enhanced with dogs from the Australian Border Force, Australian Federal Police and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to be co-located at a new facility at Banksmeadow in Sydney.
The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, officially opened the new Australian Government Detector Dog Facility during a ceremony today.
“These remarkable animals play a significant role in protecting Australians from prohibited and restricted goods including narcotics, firearms, explosives, currency and tobacco,” Mr Dutton said.
“Last year ABF Detector Dog teams made almost 2,000 detections of illicit substances and prohibited items across airports, seaports and postal gateways. AFP canine teams also detected hundreds of kilograms of drugs and millions of dollars’ worth of undeclared currency at the borders and in police operations around Australia.
“These agencies already work closely together in both training and development of detector dogs and by co-locating these resources here in Sydney they will be able to quickly deploy to Australia’s busiest airport and one of the country’s largest maritime ports, as well as police operations across Australia.
“This is another example of the Government’s commitment to bringing together the very best of Australia's border and law enforcement agencies and fostering coordination and cooperation across departments and agencies.”
The Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said detector dogs help protect our valuable agricultural industries and unique environment.
“Last month alone, Australian biosecurity detector dog teams at the Sydney International Airport sniffed out over 1100 biosecurity risk items including chicken feet, duck tongues and cooked eggs,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Any one of these items could have threatened Australia’s $63 billion agricultural industries, the environment and community health.
“Dogs are man’s best friend and detector dogs are agriculture’s best friend, protecting are valuable industries from foreign pests.”
Initially almost 50 dogs will be kenneled at the facility, with 31 staff also working on site.
The new centre will complement world-class training and breeding facilities across Australia, including existing joint facilities in Adelaide, Brisbane and soon Perth and the ABF’s breeding and training facility in Melbourne.
Detector dog teams undergo rigorous training to search in a range of challenging environments and are routinely tasked to search luggage, mail, air and sea cargo, vessels, vehicles, aircraft, buildings and people.
Stockman & Paddock

For two generations now, our roots have been firmly planted in regional New South Wales, working long and hard to become experts in crafting quality foods. Stockman & Paddock is a culmination of that experience and passion, taking wholesome Australian-sourced produce to craft complete and balanced nutrition which is tailored specifically for active Australian dogs.
Our rural background means we understand the unique needs of Australian Working Dogs. Our High Performance Working Dog food is designed to meet these needs. Real Australian Beef is the number one ingredient, providing quality protein for strong, lean muscles, with a high 26% protein and 16% fat in this food for sustained endurance. The natural Australian wholegrains provide an excellent source of carbohydrates to ensure this formulation keeps working dogs in peak condition, working harder, for longer.
Our nutrient-dense Grain Free Dog food is ideal for active dogs. With real Australian Beef as the number 1 ingredient, it is free from wheat, rice and other grains, as well as gluten, corn and soy, to promote maximum vitality. Wholesome vegetables including peas, sweet potato and carrots are included to boost the essential nutrients, and the formulation contains a carefully crafted blend of fish oils and flaxseeds for balanced omega 3 and 6 to aid skin and coat health and natural prebiotics to assist gut health.
The Stockman & Paddock range provides complete & balanced nutrition for adult dogs with all the essential vitamins and minerals they need for maximum vigour and energy. It contains everything a dog needs for sustenance and no artificial colours or flavours. Available in great value 20kg bags, Stockman & Paddock provides superior quality food for Aussie Dogs at an affordable price.
The ARA securing a brighter future for retailers

As Australia’s largest retail peak body industry, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) have once again secured a brighter future for retailers across the country by defeating the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association’s (SDA) application to provide additional public holiday entitlements to full-time and part-time employees.
 Russell Zimmerman, Executive Director of the ARA, said the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) recent decision to reject the SDA’s application is a great outcome for the industry as retailers are already struggling with rising cost pressures in a overwrought market.
 “Although the SDA continues to add pressure to retailers already facing a volatile trading environment, the FWC has once again understood the serious implications this would have had to the industry and the overall economy,” Mr Zimmerman said.
The SDA’s application sought retailers to provide additional entitlements to full-time and five-day per week part-time employees when a public holiday fell on their non-working day.
“This application would have entitled part-time and full-time employees to a day’s pay, a day off with pay or a day added to their annual leave, not only crippling the retailers bottom line but also impacting on their ability to open their doors seven days a week,” Mr Zimmerman said.
 “With Australian retail workers already receiving one of the highest penalty rates in the world, the SDA’s application to provide additional entitlements would have had serious implications to retailers across the country.”
The ARA strongly opposed the application last year, engaging their legal partners, FCB, to defend the application.
“We would like to thank those who assisted with this defence, and hope more progressive decisions like this one will bring further opportunities to employees and employers working in the sector,” Mr Zimmerman said.
“Retail employees are a vital part of the industry, and the ARA will continue to support those working in the sector to ensure these workers - at all levels - are recognised and validated for their hard work in the industry.”

Do Dogs Sleep As Much as Cats?

Cats have the reputation for sleeping all day long.  But, dogs are actually very good sleepers too and can and do sleep all day long.  So how many hours do dogs sleep each day?  More or less than cats?

Dogs usually sleep about 12 – 14 hours a day (not slackers in the sleeping department)

The average amount of sleep for adult dogs is 12–14 hours per day, although it really depends on a number of factors, such as breed and age.  Adult dogs sleep 12–14 hours a day, while puppies often sleep more than that, usually up to 18 hours a day!  Unlike humans, dogs don’t have a regular sleep regimen. They take several short naps during the day.

Cats sleep 14 – 16 hours a day or two-thirds of their lives asleep

While cats do spend at least two-thirds of their lives asleep, they’re not asleep in the same way we are. Their hours of sleep do not happen in a row. Cats don’t have daily sleep-wake cycles like many mammals. While they are not nocturnal, they are often up at odd hours during the night and this can cause disturbances for many of us!

Dogs spend about half their day sleeping!

Dogs often spend fifty percent of the day sleeping, thirty percent lying around awake, and just twenty percent being active. But unlike humans, dogs are flexible sleepers and can awaken easily. Dogs also sleep less when they have more to do. Working pups, like farm dogs, sleep less than those that have little more to do than sit around a house all day.  Which is why we need to exercise our dogs every day!

The size and age of the dog impacts the amount of sleep they require

Large breeds sleep far more than small breeds. It’s not uncommon for owners of Saint Bernards and Mastiffs to believe their dogs spend more time sleeping than they do in wakeful activities. A simple walk for a large dog can be enough to send the pooch into a two-hour nap.

As a dog matures, he will sleep a bit less, but once a dog reaches its golden years, it’s likely that a dog will sleep early and often. As the body slows down and conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia set in, dogs are far less apt to romp around the house or the yard.

Like humans, exercise both physically and mentally helps dogs sleep better!

Dogs that do not engage in exercise and mentally stimulating play throughout the day will sleep far longer than active dogs. And while it may seem counterintuitive, inactive dogs may also suffer from insomnia. If a dog sleeps all day, he won’t be ready to turn in for a long night with the rest of the family. Insomnia from inactivity is especially common in small breeds or among dogs that live an urban lifestyle, where they don’t get out and run regularly.

If your dog sleeps a lot, it could be that your dog is bored. As always, make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and interaction. Play with them, walk them daily and leave dog toys where they are easily accessible to them. If your dog gets stimulation and exercise during the day, they will sleep better at night.

And, of course, if you are worried about how much your dog sleeps (if none of the above applies) or you see some extreme change, it’s always good to see your vet to see if there is an underlying medical issue.

Source Pet Pav
LLOYD MARSHALL from Talking Birds reports on the Export of native birds to Germany

THREE of Australia’s leading aviculturists, all well-known breeders of native parrots, have expressed their disgust about the export of 74 native Australian birds to a breeding facility in Germany in December last year.
Those people told Talking Birds they deplored the recent consignment of birds sent to Europe.
The first breeder was upset because rare mutations, including galahs and other parrots, were sold to Germany for big money.
“That means those birds are lost to Australian aviculture forever, they will end up in collections overseas and it will take many years to breed numbers of those mutations up again in Australia,” he said.
Talking Birds was sent the photograph of mutation galahs on this page, which was taken near Berlin at the facility operated by a group called the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots.
The photo was sent to two Australians who have visited ACTP and both said the shot was taken at the German operation.
The second breeder, a specialist in lories and lorikeets who lives in Victoria, was scathing about the loss of pied rainbow lorikeets.
“Those birds came from a breeder in Queensland who wanted to scale back his numbers,” he said.
That breeder is long-time Toowoomba bird man Les Banks, who sold ACTP representative Simon Degenhard 10 pieds and 10 splits.
“Simon told me he was going to set them up for breeding at his place,” Mr Banks said.
“I call them speckled pieds and they came from birds which I got from a mate of mine in Toowoomba.”
Talking Birds asked Mr Degenhard if the pied rainbows had been sent to Germany. No reply was received.
The birds sold by Mr Banks were believed to be the only pieds of their type but it has since been confirmed that another breeder has some of those birds.
Lory and lorikeet breeder Jordan Lewis said rumours that he sold split blue rainbows to be sent to Germany had no foundation.
The third breeder who contacted Talking Birds, a man who lives in New South Wales and has an extensive set-up for breeding black cockatoos, said he was appalled that the German breeding facility had most Australian black cockatoo species.
“None of those birds are part of any recognised conservation breeding program so why are they needed in Germany?” he asked.
“I’m familiar with all of the major recognised conservation breeders around the world and ACTP is not one of them. As far as I am aware ACTP has no connection with any conservation breeding program for any black cockatoo species.
“It bothers me that good breeding birds, particularly glossies, are going out of the country, because they are not easy to breed and we should be hanging onto them.”
Talking Birds spoke to a breeder in Queensland who sold a pair of yellow-tails in strange circumstances.
“I needed money and a mate told me a man in Victoria wanted yellow-tails, so I called him, told him about the birds and he agreed to buy them for $4000,” he said.
“I sent the birds off and was paid $2000, I asked where the balance was and the buyer said it was being paid by Simon Degenhard, which I eventually got.
“I later heard that the birds had gone to Germany.
“The mate here who told me about the Victorian bloke later received an email from a man in Germany thanking him for selling the yellow-tails to him. He had nothing to do with the sale of the birds.”
The breeder said there was no discussion about whether the birds were aviary bred.
One phone caller and two email correspondents suggested to Talking Birds that Dee Patterson, who runs a black cockatoo rehabilitation centre in south-west Western Australia, was supplying birds for export to Germany.
Mrs Patterson said that was definitely not the case.
“No, I have supplied no birds to go anywhere like that, it is illegal to do that,” Mrs Patterson said.
A spokesperson for the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy told Talking Birds any person may, in accordance with regulations, apply for a permit to export native Australian birds.
The spokesperson said live native birds may only be exported from Australia for eligible non-commercial purposes such as for exhibition in a zoo or menagerie, for scientific research or for conservation breeding.
“Permit applications to export live birds must be accompanied by exhibition information, specimen details to demonstrate the appropriate source of the birds, and the destination facility must meet conditions for the care, housing, feeding and treatment of the birds, known as an Ambassador Agreement,” the spokesperson said.
CTP’s Australian representative Simon Degenhard  said on Facebook on December 16 last year that he had exported 74 birds to Germany.
“Last week, despite the fictitious and elaborate stories going around in an effort to discredit me, I achieved my first export of native parrots from Australia to Germany,” he said.
“I legally exported 74 birds including cockatoos, lorikeets and parrots, all done with the complete backing of both the authorities in Australia and their counterparts in Germany,” he said.
“So, I guess if being under ‘Federal investigation’ ends in the issuing of ex-port permits, then I welcome this to occur each and every time!
“I am extremely proud of what I have achieved so far. And through the close relationship that I have built up with ACTP I have also been able to facilitate the direct backing of parrot conservation within Australia.”
A spokesman for the Department of the Environment and Energy  could not confirm that Mr Degenhard had that department’s “complete backing”.
Birds asked Mr Degenhard these question
  • did he mean by “the direct backing of parrot conservation within Australia.”
  • Please provide details of credentials that qualify you to be a member of the threatened species group which met officials in Canberra in mid-December?
  • As an Australian citizen how do you reconcile your actions in assisting Martin Guth to export Australian native birds to Germany, to be sold to wealthy collectors, thereby depriving Australian aviculture of those birds?
  • Are you aware of any conservation programs for Australian native birds which involve ACTP?
No replies were received.
Martin Guth, the man behind the Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots in Germany was asked the questions below. No replies were received.
  • Can you please tell me how many St Lucia and St Vincents Amazons you have bred, and how many have been repatriated? 
  • Can you please tell me how many of the 74 birds sent to you last month by Simon are still at ACTP? 
  • Does ACTP have regularly-scheduled exhibition sessions, please supply details? 
  • How many people attended exhibition sessions during the past 12 months? 
  • Is ACTP involved with any Australian Government sanctioned breeding operation? 
  • Your website says 15 staff are employed at ACTP, can you please tell me how much is spent annually on their salaries and where those funds come from?
A person who has worked at ACTP told Talking Birds it was an extremely secretive place.
“Everyone had to sign a confidentiality agreement where we could not discuss our work or anything about ACTP with anyone,” he said. “It was like something out of a spy movie, often it felt like there was always someone looking over your shoulder, it was not a very healthy atmosphere.”
A copy of Mr Degenhard’s Facebook post referred to in this report can be found at www.talkingbirds., in the documents section under the heading Simon Facebook.
* EDITOR’S NOTE: The four bird keepers quoted in this story spoke to Talking Birds on the condition that their names would not be published.

Ecuador fish company builds pet food production facility

photo by FSerega,

In Ecuador, fishing and canning company Eurofish is preparing to move into the pet food market after serving the human food market since the 1990s.

In Ecuador, fishing and canning company Eurofish is preparing to move into the pet food market after serving the human food market since the 1990s, reported Undercurrent News. Eurofish has invested US$4 million into a pet food facility. The plant will become operational later this year according to Olmedo Zambrano, the facility’s general manager.

Eurofish is based in Manta, Ecuador along the central coast. Although its focus has predominantly been tuna, the company recently opened a facility for processing smaller fish, like sardine and mackerel, and purchased two boats to harvest the fish, according to the report. Eurofish processes 45,000 metric tons per year of tuna. That’s 190 metric tons per day of tuna, along with 10 to 20 tons of smaller fish.

Eurofish sells mainly to the European human food market, offering canned tuna and cooked pieces of fish to be canned later. However Eurofish expanded its sales in Latin America last in 2017 to 15 percent of the total, with plans to grow more in Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

Latin American pet food market growth potential

Latin America’s pet food market possibilities are a mixed bag of late-stage developing market numbers, but has significant future potential as pet ownership and disposable income both become more prevalent in the region, reported Petfood Industry in December 2017.

With a 6 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the pet food market between 2011 and 2016, according to a Euromonitor International global trends report presented at Global Pet Expo 2017, Latin America comes out on top in terms of developing regions to keep an eye on. In fact, according to Euromonitor, the area has the highest CAGR of all regions (Middle East/Africa comes in second, at 5 percent) when it comes to pet food, and the second-highest CAGR (7 percent, topped only by Australasia’s 8 percent) for other pet products between 2011–2016.

The obvious answer to this growth is that something else is growing, too: Latin America’s middle class. In 2006, the percentage of Mexico households with disposable income above US$25,000 sat at roughly 55 percent, according to Euromonitor. By 2016, that number had grown to roughly 63 percent. Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela — each of these countries had less than 50 percent of their households reporting disposable income above US$25,000 in 2006, but today at least half (and mostly more than half) of their households have extra money to spend.

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