Best of our wild blogs: 6 Jul 12

Green Drinks: Singapore’s National Climate Change Strategy 2012
from Green Drinks Singapore

Collaboration with Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Private Lives: An Exposé of Singapore’s Rainforests
from My Itchy Fingers

Rainy yet spectacular at Changi
from wonderful creation and wild shores of singapore

hammering laced woodpecker @ bidadari - June 2012
from sgbeachbum

Paint it red
from The annotated budak

Singapore's Nature Deficit
from Twocentlines

On Supertrees, neo-colonialism and globalisation
from Yawning Bread

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Shark lovers: Seven safe havens in Singapore

Where you can go to avoid shark's fin
Nicholas Yeo Today Online 5 Jul 12;

SINGAPORE - With the Chinese government officially banning shark's fin soup at state banquets in three years, Singaporeans were divided over whether the Republic should follow suit.

A post on the TODAY Facebook page garnered 300 likes and drew mixed responses. Mr Tan Keng Hua said: "It's the right thing to do." Others disagreed - Mr Darren Lim Eng Hwee said: "Since the Chinese are not eating, there is bound to be oversupply."

According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), 73 million sharks are killed each year. The anti-sharks fin campaign has garnered support from local figures, with the likes of Hossan Leong, Adrian Pang and NMPs Nicholas Fang and Eugene Tan. Apart from this, major companies have pledged no to shark's fin.

Here are some places where you won't be able to find shark's fin:

1. The Peninsula Hotels

The Hong Kong based hotel chain announced it would stop serving the dish at all hotels around the world from Jan 1. "To support the conservation of marine bio-diversity, and given the difficulty of identifying shark fin products that come from non-threatened species"

2. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

The hotel chain ceased serving the dish at its 72 hotels and resorts worldwide this year. The company said the move is "a continuation of Shangri-La's journey towards environmental support". It has also taken the initiative to ban Bluefin tuna and Chilean sea bass.

3. Swissotel The Stamford / Fairmont Singapore

The hotel chain removed shark's fin from its menus in March this year, and it has been reported that the move has garnered "tremendous support". The hotel has also stopped serving Chilean seabass and Bluefin tuna.

4. IndoChine Group Restaurants

Group CEO Michael Ma has been a long supporter of the environment and have not served shark's fin since 1999. "Being an eco-friendly company, the IndoChine Group does not serve dishes such as shark's' fin, caviar, sturgeon, blue and yellow finned tuna and sailfish".

5. Cold Storage

The supermarket chain was the first to initiate a "No Shark's Fin" policy, which it did last year. It said: "We are committed to maintaining and supporting the Earth's marine habitat."

6. NTUC FairPrice

Singapore's biggest supermarket chain promised to remove shark's fin products from its shelves after a disparaging remark by one of its suppliers sparked protest online. Its CEO Mr Tan Kian Chew said: "FairPrice has always strived to incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility into our business operations".

7. Carrefour

The French supermarket chain has pledged to stop selling shark's fin after its stock runs out.

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Night at the parks

Singapore's many green spaces are often a hive of activity after dark
Goh Shi Ting and Walter Sim Straits Times 6 Jul 12;

WHEN night falls, courting couples are not the only ones who flock to Singapore's many parks on a weekday.

At Gardens by the Bay, camera-toting folk come to snap a perfect night shot of the new attraction.

On this particular Monday evening, Mr Jonathan Danker does not simply point and shoot. Instead, he dangles an empty plastic bottle in front of the camera and waits 10 seconds before he fires off a shot.

The result is an out-of-focus but psychedelic night shot of the Supertrees' reflection in the lake.

It is 10pm, and other shutterbugs there are also in no hurry to go home. But unlike Mr Danker, 26, a professional photographer, they are more content to snap whatever catches their fancy.

It is the novelty factor of the new place, says Mr Danker, whose passion for his craft has seen him photographing Marina Bay Sands for two years.

'Even though the buildings don't change, the skies change so my pictures look different,' he notes. 'As for Gardens by the Bay, this will be the last time I come here in a while. I'll be back only when the crowd is gone, so I can take pictures without people wandering into the shot.'

But it is uncertain if he will ever have total privacy, for groups of teenagers have made the gardens their new hip and cool hangout. Among them is Syed Faris, who is celebrating his 18th birthday with two friends along the banks of the scenic Marina Bay, facing the Singapore Flyer and the Marina Bay Sands.

'It is a quiet and peaceful way to celebrate my birthday,' says Faris, who is waiting to be enlisted for national service.

It is quiet - until they blast American punk rockers Green Day's song Boulevard Of Broken Dreams from a laptop.

But the night joggers go about their exertions with a lot more calmness. Mr Daniel Ho, a retiree in his 60s who hardly looks his age, has run for two hours from the Botanic Gardens to the Gardens by the Bay.

'It is not tiring, especially at night,' he says, adding that he jogs two to three times a week. His favourite park is the Botanic Gardens near his house, where plants have had time to bloom. 'But I'm looking forward to the day when the trees at Gardens by the Bay mature,' he says.

Elsewhere, other community parks are also a hive of activity when night falls. The revamped Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, which reopened in March, is a magnet for couples, who snuggle on the full-body length benches, and groups of people with a hunger for late-night snacks and drinks at the several food outlets.

One lone figure stands out in the dark. The woman, who wants to be known only as Madam Rani, does not want strangers to come close and frighten the 10 stray cats she is feeding.

She introduces herself as 'Tiger' and 'Mother' to the cats.

She says she stopped keeping cats at home after a neighbour allegedly poisoned her one-year-old kitten, Lakshmi.

'My heart cannot take it,' she says in tears.

She adds that her love for cats stems from her mistrust in human beings after she was cheated of her money many years ago, leaving her with 'not five cents, not even one cent left'.

Over at Bedok Reservoir Park, an eatery called Wawawa Bistro is where a steady stream of patrons gets fed every evening.

The place, which serves Western fare over a mix of Top 40 hits and 1990s pop, opened early this year near a segment of the Berlin Wall that is on display at the park.

'There is a trend of young Singaporeans chilling out over the relaxed ambience of a bistro,' says co-founder Chiam Wee Leong, 28, citing options such as Canopy in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park and Wild Oats in Punggol Park.

'Dempsey Hill and Mohamed Sultan Road have somewhat quietened down over the years,' he claims. He notes that families with children visit in the evenings while, after 10pm, the crowds are mostly young working adults.

For Ms Rosamund Tong, a 30-something sales accounts manager who works in the Central Business District, the casual atmosphere at Wawawa prompts her and her friends to visit at least twice a week.

'It is busy, cramped and crowded in town. Besides, we live around here, and the bistro is a secluded area where we can relax and chit-chat over dinner and drinks.'

A healthy weekday night crowd also park themselves at a park connector called @Punggol that has a cluster of food and drink outlets, pool tables and a fishing spot. There, onlookers and fishermen cheer when a huge fish is caught.

In comparison, a little-known fishing spot nearby is much quieter. Off the Lorong Halus Wetland Park where Sungei Serangoon meets Sungei Dekar, about 10 enthusiasts prefer the challenge of the unpredictable open sea, even as mosquitoes make a meal of them.

Businessman Hazlee Suip, 34, may wait four hours before catching a sea bass that weighs less than 1kg, but that catch is enough of a reward for him.

'I don't like the pond. I like the sea as it is more challenging,' he says, before rushing off to cover his fish bait and thousand-dollar equipment with a waterproof sheet to protect them from the midnight rain.

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Bat expert joins grad medical school

Eminent researcher leads infectious diseases programme at Duke-NUS
Grace Chua Straits Times 6 Jul 12;

NOT many researchers can say that their lab work inspired a medical thriller film.

But Professor Wang Linfa's groundbreaking studies of bat viruses contributed to the 2011 movie Contagion, in which a bat virus is transmitted to humans.

Prof Wang, 52, is the new director of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School's emerging infectious diseases programme. On July 1, he took over from Professor Duane Gubler, who will continue with his tropical medicine research at Duke-NUS.

The China-born, California- trained Australian, based for the last two decades at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, helped identify the Hendra virus that killed horses and a trainer in Queensland in 1994. He traced its origin to fruit bats in the area.

He also led the World Health Organisation team that tracked the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus back to bats in 2005, though civet cats were the direct source of the human infection.

Professor Mariano Garcia-Blanco, who co-led the search for a new director, said Prof Wang embodies a 'rare combination' of leadership, outstanding scientific research in emerging infectious diseases, and respect and understanding of various cultures.

The committee asked some 100 people if they were interested in the post, or to recommend someone. Seven were shortlisted, he added, and Prof Wang stood out.

As the new director, Prof Wang said his experience dealing with unknown animal viruses complements the five-year-old programme's existing strengths in dengue, influenza and other aspects of infectious disease.

In the next five years, he aims to consolidate what the programme is doing and recruit three more faculty members - preferably medical doctors.

The programme already monitors local bird and bat populations for viruses, and has done so for about a year.

He also wants the infectious diseases community here - comprising entities such as the Health Ministry, which monitors illnesses like mosquito-borne dengue fever; the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, which checks domesticated animals for diseases such as bird flu; and public and private research institutes - to work together more closely.

His efforts started even before he took the job. 'I met 100 people before I signed on the dotted line.'

He hopes to beef up local and regional emergency responses to new diseases that could spread quickly with globalisation.

Hence, clear policy is vital, he said. In Australia, for example, local government scientists who are unable to identify a virus must send specimens to the country's central lab within 48 hours. Without such policies, local vets and scientists might hold on to samples and not share information.

Detecting and identifying new pathogens early, and showing clear links between diseases and pathogens, is another priority.

Prof Wang said: 'With Singapore's technologies and skills, if we work together, we can be as competitive as Australia or the US.'

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Malaysia: Syndicates use Johor's coastline to smuggle exotic animals

The Star 6 Jul 12;

JOHOR BARU: Syndicates are now using Johor's lengthy coastline as entry points to bring in exotic animals from Indonesia, for supply to other countries including China.

According to a source involved in the illegal trade investigations, Johor's close proximity to Indonesia makes it a main gateway for the smuggling of the animals.

"Johor is now the main transit for syndicates smuggling exotic animals from Indonesia," the source told Bernama.

The source said, anteaters were among the highly sought after animals, commanding RM300 per kilogramme for its meat.

Due to the high demand, the syndicates were currently doubling their efforts to smuggle them in from Indonesia, said the source.

Local syndicates with links in Indonesia used several secluded beaches in Muar and Batu Pahat, Johor to land their exotic cargo, said the source.

"As soon as the boats come ashore, the local syndicates would unload the animals into their luxury cars for the next leg of their journey to the northern boarder," the source said.

They have become smarter and no longer use lorries to minimise the risk of their entire precious cargo from being confiscated, but transport them in luxury cars instead to fool the enforcement authorities, said the source.

"Although lorry transport is cheaper, the risk of detection and its entire load being seized is also higher compared to using a few cars.

"If the authorities detain one car, they hope for the other five or six vehicles to escape and continue north to the border," said the source.

The source explained that other syndicates take over at the border and continue overland to China.

Questioned as to why the authorities found it difficult to eradicate the syndicates, the source said the groups spied on the local enforcement agencies' every move.

"They (syndicates) also place informants at the beaches to warn the boats about the presence of enforcement personnel and seem to be always one step ahead from being detected," said the source. - Bernama

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Asian nations want to sink South Korea whale hunt plan

Elida Moreno PlanetArk 6 Jul 12;

South Korea's proposal to resume whaling for scientific research has angered other Asian countries and conservationists who said the practice would skirt a global ban on whale hunting.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she would fight the proposal, which was made on Wednesday at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission in Panama City, while the United States said it planned to take the matter up with the South Korean government.

Critics said the move to pursue whaling in domestic waters was modeled on Japan's introduction of scientific whaling after the IWC imposed a 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling.

Japan says it has a right to monitor the whales' impact on its fishing industry. South Korea says whaling is a long-standing cultural tradition.

Anti-whaling activists regularly harass Japanese vessels engaging in their annual whale hunt in the Southern Ocean off Australia and Antarctica, with the two sides sometimes clashing violently. At least one activist boat has sunk in recent years.

In Seoul, a government official said South Korea abided by international regulations and it would be up to the IWC to assess its proposal.

"We've submitted a proposal to the IWC's Scientific Committee to resume scientific whaling in our waters and will await the committee's assessment," said an official at the Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry.

"If it says it is not adequate in their assessment of the legitimacy of scientific research, we'll make further preparations."

South Korea said its fishermen were complaining that growing whale populations were depleting fishing stocks, an assertion the World Wildlife Fund said had no scientific basis.

Environmental activists dismissed the term scientific whaling as a thinly veiled ruse to conduct commercial whaling.

"It's an absolute shock this happened at this meeting and it's an absolute disgrace because to say that hunting whales is happening in the name of science is just wrong," James Lorenz from Greenpeace told Australian television. "Essentially, it's commercial whaling in another form."

The minke whales that South Korea proposes hunting are considered endangered, the World Wildlife Fund said in a statement.

Former Australian Environment Minister Ian Campbell, now on the board of the anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd, said the organization would "have to get organized to go out to the oceans and save the whales off South Korea."


Australia has long opposed Japanese whaling and Gillard said it would lodge a diplomatic protest against South Korea's move.

"We will make our voices heard today," she told reporters. "Our ambassador will speak to counterparts in South Korea at the highest levels of the South Korea government and indicate Australia's opposition to this decision."

Australia has filed a complaint against Japan at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to stop scientific whaling. A decision is expected in 2013 or later.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully said the announcement was a setback to global conservation efforts as whales in its waters were already targeted by Japan.

"The portrayal of this initiative as a 'scientific' program will have no more credibility than the so-called scientific program conducted by Japan, which has long been recognized as commercial whaling in drag," he said in a statement.

In Washington, the State Department repeated that the United States remained committed to the moratorium on commercial whaling.

"We're concerned about South Korea's announcement," State Department spokeswoman Patrick Ventrell said. "We plan to discuss this with the South Korean government."

Panama's delegate to the IWC conference, Tomas Guardia, denounced the South Korean proposal "because it goes against the ban ... we don't support whale hunting under any circumstances".

Twitter was awash with condemnations.

"I don't care what justification you give," wrote a user identifying herself as Savannah, from Australia. "It's crap. Stop killing whales."

Many Koreans view whale meat as a delicacy. Murals some 5,000 years old depicting whaling have been excavated around Ulsan, center of the whaling industry on the southeastern coast since the late 19th century.

Officials say that before South Korea joined the moratorium in 1986, its average annual catch was 600 whales, most of which were consumed. Whaling is now subject to prosecution and punishable by a jail or fines, but meat is available from mostly minke that get caught in fishing nets "by accident" or wash ashore.

(Additional reporting by; Jack Kim and Laeticia Ock in Seoul, James Grubel and Maggie Lu YueYang in Canberra and Andrew Quinn in Washington. Writing by Ron Popeski; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and Peter Cooney)

South Korean whale hunt plan attacked
Proposal to kill creatures for scientific research met with anger from Australia, New Zealand and campaign groups
Justin McCurry 5 Jul 12

moratorium that South Korea aims to exploit. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

Australia and other countries have condemned a South Korean plan to begin killing whales in its coastal waters in the name of scientific research.

The proposal, announced at a meeting of the International Whaling Commission [IWC] in Panama, would allow South Korea to use a loophole in the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling to hunt the mammals under the guise for of scientific research.

Japan uses the same clause to kill hundreds of whales in the Antarctic every year, although for the past two years its fleet has returned with a fraction of its planned catch following confrontations with the marine conservation group Sea Shepherd.

The South Korean delegation did not say how many whales it would kill, but insisted it did not need foreign approval. It added that minke whale numbers in its coastal waters had recovered since the moratorium went into effect.

Citing a tradition of whale meat consumption in South Korea, the country's head envoy to the IWC, Kang Joon-Suk, said: "Legal whaling has been strictly banned and subject to strong punishments, though the 26 years have been painful and frustrating for the people who have been traditionally taking whales for food."

Kang said South Korean whalers would operate in coastal waters, unlike Japan, which has angered Australia, New Zealand and other countries by sending a fleet to the Southern Ocean every winter.

The Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard, said she would fight condemned the new proposal, whilst"We will make our voices heard today," she told reporters. "Our ambassador will speak to counterparts in South Korea at the highest levels of the South Korea government and indicate Australia's opposition to this decision." Australia's former environment minister, Ian Campbell, told Australian television from aboard a Sea Shepherd vessel that the group would "have to get organised to go out to the oceans and save the whales off South Korea". New Zealand's envoy, Gerard van Bohemen, condemned the proposal and urged South Korea to consider non-lethal research methods. He said the plan was "unnecessary and borders on the reckless. New Zealand is strongly opposed to Korea's proposal"."

An official in Seoul said South Korea had every right to monitor the impact whales were having on the country's fishing industry. "We've submitted a proposal to the IWC's scientific committee to resume scientific whaling in our waters and will await the committee's assessment," the official told Reuters. "If it says it is not adequate in their assessment of the legitimacy of scientific research, we'll make further preparations."

The World Wildlife Fund said there was no evidence for claims by South Korean fishermen that whales were depleting coastal fish stocks, adding that minke whales are considered endangered.

James Lorenz, a Greenpeace spokesman, told Australian televisionsaid: "It's an absolute shock this happened at this meeting and it's an absolute disgrace because to say that hunting whales is happening in the name of science is just wrong.Essentially, it's commercial whaling in another form."Most international criticism has been directed at Japan's insistence on hunting whales and selling their meat on the open market, but many Koreans also consider whale meat a delicacy.

Before the 1986 ban, South Korea said it caught about 600 whales a year and that most of the meat was consumed. It currently sells whale meat from animals accidentally caught in fishing nets.

In Japan, however, the appetite for whale meat is in decline, according to a recent report.

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International Whaling Commission calls for net bans to prevent extinctions

WWF 6 Jul 12;

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has taken up the cause of some of the world’s most critically endangered marine mammals by calling on governments to keep fishing nets out of their waters to prevent entanglement deaths.

Mexico’s vaquita porpoise and the Maui’s dolphin of New Zealand were a focus of discussions today between countries gathered in Panama City for the commission’s annual meeting. Governments urged Mexico and New Zealand to take all possible measures immediately to save the animals from extinction.

“It’s time for diplomatic niceties and step-wise strategies to take a back seat to immediate, concrete action with no compromise,” said Michael Stachowitsch, delegate of Austria to the IWC.

There are believed to be fewer than 200 vaquitas left, and only 55 remaining Maui’s dolphins over a year old. Both animals are severely threatened by accidental bycatch in gillnet fisheries. A total ban on the use of gillnets in the entire ranges of both populations is needed to secure their survival, according to the IWC Scientific Committee’s report.

Scientists say that unless immediate action is taken the vaquita population could soon be extinct. The only known loss of a mammal species from human causes was the Chinese baiji, or Yangtze river dolphin, which was declared functionally extinct by the IWC in 2006. Governments cautioned that this worst case scenario is near for vaquita.

“Mexico has the power to save this unique species by banning all gillnets in vaquita habitat,” said Aimee Leslie, WWF’s marine turtle and cetacean manager.

A similar ban on gillnets and trawl nets is urgently needed throughout the whole habitat of Maui’s dolphin, which is found only in the shallow waters surrounding the North Island of New Zealand. Protection measures announced by the government last week are not enough to save the animals from extinction.

“Advances in technology mean that fishermen and Maui’s dolphins can safely share New Zealand’s waters. We urge the government to deploy alternative fishing gear that is dolphin-friendly and keep all gillnets and trawl nets out of Maui’s habitat,” Leslie said.

Incidental capture in fishing operations is the biggest threat to cetacean species today. It is estimated that more than 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die each year from entanglement in many types of fishing gear, which is an average of one cetacean killed by bycatch every two minutes.

Despite their small numbers, hope remains for vaquitas and Maui’s dolphins. If bycatch is eliminated, scientists believe populations can recover. WWF is supporting the development of alternative fishing gear that is safer for cetaceans and marine turtles.

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El Nino may strike in third quarter: forecaster

Rene Pastor PlanetArk 6 Jul 12;

The feared El Nino weather phenomenon could strike as early as the third quarter of 2012, raising prospects of wreaking weather havoc from North and South America to Asia, the U.S. Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said on Thursday.

"Overall, the forecaster consensus reflects increased chances for El Nino beginning in July-September 2012," the agency said in a monthly update.

The monthly report is the strongest prediction yet about when the El Nino weather phenomenon could emerge this year. Last month, it issued an El Nino watch, warning the phenomenon could materialize in the second half of the year, but said conditions were still neutral between June and August.

El Nino is a warming of sea-surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific that occurs every four to 12 years, affecting crops from Asia to the Americas and reducing the chances of storms forming in the Atlantic basin during the hurricane season that runs to November 30.

The oil industry in the Gulf of Mexico, which produces over 20 percent of domestic output, has been on hurricane watch since the Atlantic storm season started last month. Strong winds can topple oil rigs and cut production.

"The oceanic heat content anomalies (average temperatures in the upper 300 meters of the ocean) increased during June as above-average sub-surface temperatures became more entrenched in the equatorial Pacific," the CPC said.

Apart from the energy sector, global food production could also suffer massive disruptions from the warming caused by El Nino.

Three years ago, it slowed development of India's vital monsoon rains, sparking a rally in sugar prices to 30-year highs as the No. 2 producer in the world produced a poor cane crop.

Unwanted rains also damage crops in agricultural powerhouses like Brazil and Argentina, while the normally dry areas of Chile, the world's No. 1 copper producer, could see rampant floods.

Brazil is the world's biggest producer of sugar, coffee and soybeans. Argentina is a major soybean exporter.

Further ahead to the end of the year, the pattern could trigger severe winter storms during the northern hemisphere's winter, particularly in California and other Western U.S. states.

El Nino, which means 'little boy' in Spanish, was first noticed by anchovy fishermen in Latin America in the 19th century.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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Natural climate change shut down Pacific reefs: study

AFP Yahoo News 6 Jul 12;

A period of intense, natural changes in climate caused coral reefs in the eastern Pacific to shut down thousands of years ago, and human-induced pollution could worsen the trend in the future, scientists said Thursday.

The study in the US journal Science points to sea temperature fluctuations -- brought on by the same phenomenon that causes El Nino and La Nina events every several years -- as the main cause for the coral die-off near the Panama coast.

The reef shutdown began 4,000 years ago and lasted about 2,500 years, said the research led by the Florida Institute of Technology and including experts from China and France.

"We were shocked to find that 2,500 years of reef growth were missing from the frameworks," said lead author Lauren Toth of FIT. "That gap represents the collapse of reef ecosystems for 40 percent of their total history."

Researchers did their analysis by driving 17-foot-long (five-meter-long) hollow pipes into dead frameworks of the coral reefs along Panama's Pacific coast.

They pulled out cross-sections of the reefs, and using radiocarbon dating and mass spectrometry techniques they were able to see what they described as a period of "hiatus" in their growth.

An examination of reef records in Australia and Japan showed similar gaps in growth, which Toth and co-authors believe is due primarily to historical changes in a phenomenon known as El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

"For Pacific reefs to have collapsed for such a long time and over such a large geographic scale, they must have experienced a major climatic disturbance. That disturbance was an intensified ENSO regime," Toth said.

Very strong El Nino events, bringing higher sea temperatures across the east-central equatorial Pacific, would likely have caused the initial collapse of the Panama corals due to bleaching-related die-off.

This ENSO activity began some 4,200 years ago and peaked about 3,000 years ago. Frequent abnormalities in water temperature would have made it impossible for the coral populations to recover, the study said.

The past may offer a hint of what is to come in the future, with eastern Pacific coral reefs again on the verge of collapse, but this time the situation is made worse by human-induced climate change.

"Climate change could again destroy coral-reef ecosystems, but this time the root cause would be the human assault on the environment and the collapse could be longer-lasting," said co-author Richard Aronson of FIT.

"Local issues like pollution and overfishing are major destructive forces and they need to be stopped, but they are trumped by climate change, which right now is the greatest threat to coral reefs."

However, researchers are hopeful that the world will take measures to curb pollution, allowing the reefs -- which have already proven their resilience -- to recover once more.

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