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More than a quarter of the globe is controlled by indigenous groups

More than a quarter of the globe is controlled by indigenous groups

Science
July 16 (UPI) -- New research suggests the role of indigenous people in land management and conservation is under appreciated. According to the new survey, indigenous groups own, use or have management rights over more than a quarter of Earth's land surface. Indigenous groups control approximately 14.6 million square miles. Roughly 40 percent of Earth's protected terrestrial land consists of acreage controlled by indigenous groups. The new research, published this week in the journal Wildlife Conservation Society, highlights the importance of indigenous groups to land conservation around the globe. "Understanding the extent of lands over which indigenous peoples retain traditional connection is critical for several conservation and climate agreements," Stephen Garnett, a professor at Cha...
UK to build record-breaking solar planes

UK to build record-breaking solar planes

Science
A solar plane which can stay aloft for weeks at a time is to be manufactured by Airbus in the UK.The unmanned craft flies high in the atmosphere to avoid commercial air traffic and adverse weather.Known as the Zephyr, its remote-sensing potential has already seen the UK MoD invest, but Airbus also hope to develop the craft as a communications platform.The Zephyr will now begin industrial production in Farnborough, after several years of testing.Named for the Zephyr's late inventor, the newly opened Kelleher facility has the capacity to produce up to 30 of the planes each year.Its inauguration was announced at the 2018 Farnborough Air Show. Powered by solar energy during the day, and solar-charged...
Lift-off for Scotland: Sutherland to host first UK spaceport

Lift-off for Scotland: Sutherland to host first UK spaceport

Science
A remote, boggy stretch of land on the north coast of Scotland is likely to become the UK's first spaceport. The A'Mhoine Peninsula in Sutherland has been chosen as the most suitable place from which to launch rockets vertically to put satellites in orbit. The UK Space Agency is giving Highlands and Islands Enterprise £2.5m towards the development of the facility. HIE will work closely with a consortium that includes the American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin. The goal would be to have launches as early as possible in the 2020s. Small rockets herald new wave UK satellite makes HD movies of Earth "The decision to support the UK's first spaceport in Sutherland is tremendous news for our region and for Scotland as a whole," ...
5,300-year-old iceman's last meal was remarkably high in fat

5,300-year-old iceman's last meal was remarkably high in fat

Science
July 13 (UPI) -- The oldest naturally preserved ice mummy ate a last meal extremely high in fat content, scientists have discovered. Researchers published a new study in Current Biology on Thursday, reporting insights into the nutritional habits of European individuals in the Copper Age, more than 5,000 years ago. The study is the first in-depth analysis of the stomach contents of the mummy known as Otzi, or the Iceman, providing a glimpse into our ancestor's ancient dietary habits. The Iceman was discovered in 1991 by German tourists in the Eastern Italian Alps. Scientists were initially unable to identify the Iceman's stomach because it had moved up during the mummification process. But in 2009, during re-investigation of CT scans, scientists spotted it and launched an effort to analyz...
Just 84 highly Amur leopards remain in the wild, study finds

Just 84 highly Amur leopards remain in the wild, study finds

Science
July 13 (UPI) -- Scientists estimate there are only 84 Amur leopards left in the wild in China and Russia. The leopards live along the southernmost border of the Primorskii Province in Russia and the Jilin Province of China, and they're highly endangered. This new estimate was recently reported in the scientific journal Conservation Letters by scientists from China, Russia and the United States. The scientists teamed up to gather information from camera traps on both sides of the border. There are no records of the leopards in other parts of its former range, so this estimate along the border represents the total global population of the subspecies in the wild, researchers say. The camera traps allow scientists to identify each leopard by its unique spot pattern, providing a precise esti...