Best of our wild blogs: 3 May 17

Awesome April with R.U.M.
Restore Ubin Mangroves (R.U.M.) Initiative

Nitrite pollution puts warming waters at risk

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Public reminded not to release animals into the wild, checks to be conducted

Channel NewsAsia 2 May 17;

SINGAPORE: The authorities will be patrolling 18 nature areas such as parks and reservoirs in May, to look out for anyone releasing animals into the wild.

Called Operation No Release, it will be carried out on May 6-7 and May 13-14, which are the weekends before and after Vesak Day, which falls on May 10 this year.

To mark Vesak Day, some Buddhist devotees set free turtles, fish and birds as a symbolic gesture of compassion.

However, releasing animals that have been bred and kept in captivity is harmful to them and the ecosystem, said the National Parks Board (NParks), in a joint news release with national water agency PUB and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) on Tuesday (May 2).

"These animals will find it difficult to fend for themselves in the wild and are unlikely to survive," said NParks group director of conservation Wong Tuan Wah. "The few that are able to adapt to the new environment may disrupt the ecological balance of our natural habitats by competing with our native species for resources."

The list of 18 nature areas where the agencies will be conducting checks include Dairy Farm Nature Park, Bedok Reservoir, MacRitchie Reservoir Park and the new Windsor Nature Park.

Pet owners who are unable to look after their pets any longer are reminded that they should find a suitable home for the animals, or approach an animal welfare group for help.

Those caught releasing animals may be charged under the Parks and Trees Act and could be fined up to S$50,000.

NParks, PUB teaming up to warn against releasing pets into the wild
Today Online 2 May 17;

SINGAPORE — Ahead of Vesak Day next Wednesday, the authorities will fan out to various nature spots across the island this weekend to educate the public on the dangers of releasing captive animals into the wild.

Volunteers will join officers from the National Parks Board (NParks) and PUB in visiting 18 parks, nature reserves and reservoirs for the initiative, dubbed “Operation No Release”.

The locations they will visit this weekend and next include Dairy Farm Nature Park, MacRitchie Reservoir Park, Labrador Nature Reserve and the newly opened Windsor Nature Park, the two agencies and the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in a joint press release on Tuesday (May 2).

To mark Vesak Day, some Buddhists release animals into the wild as a symbolic act of liberation.

The officers and volunteers will look out for signs of animal release, and educate the public about the harmful impact this would have on the ecosystem.

NParks’ group director of conservation Wong Tuan Wah said that not only would the animals have difficulty fending for themselves, but those that do survive “may disrupt the ecological balance of our natural habitats by competing with our native species for resources”.

“The release of non-native species into our waters will not only have an impact on the ecology and water quality of our freshwaters, but may also pose a risk to users of our waterbodies,” added Mr Ridzuan Ismail, PUB’s director of catchment and waterways.

The AVA advises pet owners to approach animal welfare groups if they are unable to re-home their pets, adding that abandoning the animals is “cruel and irresponsible”.

Pet owners who are considering releasing their pets into the wild are reminded that it is an offence chargeable under the Parks and Trees Act. Offenders could be fined up to S$50,000.

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Monkey that attacked residents in Segar Road caught: AVA

Channel NewsAsia 2 May 17;

SINGAPORE: The monkey that was harassing and attacking residents at Segar Road in Bukit Panjang was captured on Tuesday (May 2) evening, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said.

The monkey is currently in the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and will be handed over to the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) for rehabilitation, AVA said in a Facebook post thanking WRS and ACRES for their help.

An elderly man was hospitalised after being bitten by the wild monkey about a fortnight ago. Another resident told Channel NewsAsia that the aggressive monkey has also been climbing into houses and attacking people.

Later on Tuesday, Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa said he was happy to be told that the monkey that "caused public safety concerns to residents" has been caught.

He thanked the team from AVA, ACRES and WRS for the "unenviable task" of camping out at the estate for the last few weeks as they tried to trap the monkey, and noted that some residents even volunteered their homes to AVA to set up monkey traps.

AVA reiterated that monkeys should not be fed as it would alter their behaviour and cause them to become reliant on humans for food.

Members of the public can also help minimise the risk of monkey nuisance by keeping windows and doors closed as much as possible, AVA said, as well as keeping food out of sight from the monkeys and practising good refuse management.

Wild monkey that terrorised Segar Road residents finally caught
SIAU MING EN Today Online 3 May 17;

SINGAPORE – After a two-week joint operation, a female long-tailed macaque that was responsible for harassing some of the residents living near Segar Road was captured by the authorities on Tuesday evening (May 2).

Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, Liang Eng Hwa, told TODAY the monkey was captured by personnel from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), animal welfare group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Singapore) (Acres), and Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) at around 6:45pm.

The monkey, a sub-adult, was subdued by a dart from a tranquilliser gun before it fell onto a netting supported by the personnel on the ground.

An AVA spokesperson said the monkey is currently in the care of WRS and it will be handed over to Acres for rehabilitation.

It was reported last month that the monkey bit an elderly resident Tan Leng Choo, when he was lounging at the void deck of Block 472 Segar Road on Apr 17.

Following the incident, AVA issued an update noting that there were 160 instances of wild monkeys attacking people or causing a nuisance in the Segar Road area in the last six months. The agency also described the situation as a “public safety risk” and was working with Acres to capture the monkey, after another monkey was removed.

The cluster of flats at Segar Road face Zhenghua Nature Park, which was recently expanded to provide a larger green space for residents and to increase the green buffer for the Central Catchment Nature Reserve.

An Acres spokesperson told TODAY that personnel from the joint operation had been monitoring the monkey’s movements in the last two weeks. Whenever the monkey had been sighted, the team on the ground had tried to administer a dart on the monkey where possible.

The spokesperson added that this particular monkey had been conditioned to human feeding, which was why it had been entering homes.

Over the next few months, Acres will try to recondition the monkey to reduce its dependence on humans for food and, at the same time, provide it with a wild diet to condition it to eat the natural food available in the wild. The rehabilitation process could take between a month and a few months.

Mr Liang said that, while monkeys had previously been spotted near Segar Road given the area’s proximity to the nature reserve, this particular one had posed some safety concerns as it had bitten a few residents.

It took a while to capture the monkey as the authorities wanted to do it in a safe manner, he said.

He added that residents were happy and relieved to hear that the monkey was captured as they had concerns about it attacking people.

Going forward, the agencies will continue to remind residents not to feed the animals to prevent them from returning for more food, said Mr Liang.

Cameras set up to catch elusive monkey
Alysha Chandra AsiaOne 2 May 17;

After 14 days of not being able to catch an aggressive monkey around Segar Road, the authorities have turned to installing surveillance cameras to monitor its movements.

A spokesman for the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) told The New Paper last Friday that five cameras were deployed last week at the Housing Board estate in Bukit Panjang and nearby Zhenghua Park.

The spokesman said the cameras will give the AVA a better understanding of the monkey's movements, allowing for more targeted operations.

"Depending on the situation and the behaviour of the monkey, we will modify our operations accordingly."

For the last few months, residents in Segar Road have been attacked by a monkey. The AVA had said it received about 160 reports of monkey attacks and nuisance in the area since last October. It caught one monkey in November, but the attacks since then have been caused by another monkey.

A joint team made up of personnel from the AVA, Animal Concerns Research and Education Society and Wildlife Reserves Singapore have been on the ground daily since April 17, trying to nab the monkey by deploying traps and using tranquiliser darts.

MP for the area, Mr Liang Eng Hwa, told TNP last Friday: "I have been speaking with AVA and going down to the blocks around Segar Road almost every day. Darting the monkey is a challenge as AVA personnel have to take care not to injure passers-by."

At around 7.30am last Friday, TNP saw the monkey climbing along the walkways near Block 465, Segar Road. AVA personnel were present, but none of them were carrying tranquiliser guns.

They warned residents to stay quiet and move away from the area while they called for more AVA personnel.

By 7.55am, the monkey had run back into Zhenghua Nature Park, before more AVA personnel could arrive.

The attacks are believed to be by a single monkey.

A resident, Mr Partha Biswas, 35, whose son was bitten by the monkey which entered their flat two weeks ago, told TNP: "We don't know when the monkey will be caught. We are concerned and are still taking precautions, like keeping our windows closed most of the time and not leaving our son alone."

The AVA has received reports of two monkey sightings in Beacon Primary School, which borders Zhenghua Nature Park. The monkeys did not attack anyone.

Shree, a Primary 3 pupil in the school, told TNP: "The monkey entered a Primary 2 classroom, took my friend's lunch box and ran out."

A Primary 2 pupil said after the incident, the pupils left the classroom and the doors were locked.

A school spokesman said: "Monkeys do visit the school occasionally, especially when students are not around. The safety of our students remains a priority.

"We will continue to work closely with the AVA and share its public advisories with our students... including safety tips and precautionary measures, such as not feeding the animals."

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Singapore Airlines launches biofuel-powered flights

Channel NewsAsia 3 May 17;

SINGAPORE: Flag carrier Singapore Airlines (SIA) has launched its first flight powered by sustainable biofuels, the airline said in a joint press release with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Wednesday (May 3).

Flight SQ31 departed San Francisco on Monday at 11.21am (Tuesday, 2.21am, Singapore time) and arrived in Singapore on Tuesday at 7.10pm (Singapore time) with 206 passengers on board.

It is the first of 12 “green package” flights the airline is operating over a three-month period on its nonstop San Francisco-Singapore route. The flights are the first in the world to combine the use of biofuels, optimised flights operations and fuel-efficient aircraft, SIA said.

The flights will be powered by a combination of hydro-processed esters and fatty acids, a sustainable biofuel produced from used cooking oils and conventional jet fuel. The biofuel, produced by AltAir Fuels, will be supplied and delivered to San Francisco by SkyNRG in collaboration with North American Fuel Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of China Aviation Oil (Singapore), and EPIC Fuels.

The International Air Transport Association has said that sustainable biofuel is a promising technological solution which will reduce the airline industry’s carbon emissions. It has been certified safe for use in commercial aviation since 2011, and has been used by airlines such as Lufthansa, Finnair, Jetstar and KLM.

All 12 flights will use the Airbus A350-900, SIA’s most fuel-efficient aircraft. CAAS will facilitate the use of optimised flight operations and air traffic management best practices, which reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions for the flights.

The initiative supports efforts under the Sustainable Singapore Blueprint 2015 to encourage businesses to reduce their resource and environmental impact. The flights will also raise awareness of sustainable biofuels for aviation and provide the industry with insight on the economics, logistical requirements and performance of biofuels, SIA said.

“Singapore Airlines’ fleet is already among the most modern and fuel-efficient in the world. We now want to push ourselves further and are embarking on this initiative to help promote the use of sustainable biofuel in an operationally and commercially viable manner. This is in line with our long-term commitment to further reduce carbon emissions while improving the efficiency of our operations,” said the airline’s CEO Goh Choon Phong.

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Malaysia: Construction of second phase of Forest City project to start this month

YEE XIANG YUN The Star 2 May 17;

PETALING JAYA: The second phase of construction of the Forest City project on an 800-ha site near Gelang Patah will start this month.

The second phase is located some 7km away by road from the existing Forest City sales gallery on the main island, said Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd (CGH) chief strategy officer Dr Yu Runze, who added these included building three international standard 18-hole golf courses, luxury hotels and low-density residential buildings.

“The first of the golf courses, which will be designed by Jack Nicklaus, is set to be completed at the end of this year,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Yu said agreements with several global enterprises were signed for Phase II of Forest City in March, which would further push the project as a futuristic development.

He added that the details and development value of the second phase would be revealed at a press briefing at the end of this month.

Forest City is a mega mixed-development project built across four reclaimed islands, and is expected to contribute some RM66bil in tax revenue to Malaysia over the next 20 years. It is being developed by CGH and Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor.

Yesterday, 132 purchasers of Kylin Apartments received their keys from the developer.

The apartments, located above Forest City’s Phoenix Hotel, took a year to build, with keys being handed over to buyers in stages.

Among those who received their keys were Peng Guo Qiang, 41, from Chengdu, China, who moved to Malaysia a year ago with his family and parents.

“My three children are studying here, and we like it in Malaysia. I purchased this unit as an investment to rent out, as there is demand for houses here,” he said.

The project general manager also said the 34.4-sq-m (370-sq-ft) apartment was his first property investment in Malaysia.

Another buyer, known only as Liu, said he was attracted by Kylin’s amenities, as well as nearby developments such as the up-and-coming MJ Group healthcare institution, and a renowned American boarding school.

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Indonesia: The high cost of destructive fishing practices

Sebastian Partogi THE JAKARTA POST 2 May 17;

Indonesia, the largest archipelagic country in the world, has a vast water area, covering a total of 5.8 million square kilometers.

Indonesia’s territorial waters are more than twice the size of the country’s land area, which constitutes only 2.3 million square kilometers.

Indonesia’s marine habitat is also rich in resources, such as minerals, that are essential in preserving the ecosystem for the huge variety of fish species living in the surrounding waters.

According to 2016 data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Indonesia is the world’s second biggest fish producer, capable of generating 14.3 million tons of seafood per year.

Only China topped Indonesia on the list, with a production capacity of 58.8 million tons per year.

Tetra Tech Party Sustainable Ecosystem Advance (SEA) deputy chief Tiene Gunawan, however, said that being a big fish producer was not enough if Indonesia wanted to sustainably fulfill local and international demand for seafood.

Tiene stressed that Indonesia also needed to be more serious about conserving its marine ecosystems.

“Nature’s capacity is not unlimited; it has a finite capacity for supporting human activities. Therefore, economic development needs to be carried out line with ecological considerations,” she said during a discussion themed ‘Destructive Fishing vs. Conservation: Conflicting or Adjacent Issues?’ at the @america cultural center at the Pacific Place shopping center in Sudirman, Central Jakarta, recently.

Read also: Why these environmental documentaries are still relevant today

Despite Indonesia’s large seafood production figures, Tiene said destructive fishing practices that harmed the ecosystem were still prevalent.

For example, try typing “destructive fishing practices” into Google, and news headlines such as “Blast fishing hurts Sawu Sea’s marine habitats,” referring to a place in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), or “Dynamite fishing, trawl-nets ravaging Tomini Bay,” referring to a place in North Sulawesi, will show up in the search results.

The beautiful and exotic Raja Ampat area in Papua has also become an area which has been affected by such destructive fishing practices as well.

The economic consequences of the continuous destructive fishing practices are enormous, Tiene explained.

“Catching fish using such explosives can bring in profits amounting to US$15,000 per square kilometer per year. The annual financial losses caused by such practices, on the other hand, amount to $500,000 for the tourism sector, $150,000 for coastal area protection, as well as $100,000 for income from fish catchment,” Tiene said.

Destructive fishing practices also destroy coral reefs, which serve as important habitats for the marine ecosystem.

“It takes approximately 50 years for coral reefs to be restored after they have been destroyed,” Tiene said.

Accidents caused by explosives have also injured many fishermen and their children. Some injuries have been so severe that the fishermen or their children have needed to have their limbs amputated.

The explosive materials used by the fishermen have also polluted the water that they use for their personal consumption.

A research study by Cornell University ecologist David Pimentel estimates that 62 million deaths per year, equal 40 percent of total mortality, can be attributed to environmental factors, particularly organic and chemical pollutants that accumulate in the water.

In other words, pollutant accumulation is serious business.

“The concentration of pollutants increases by 10 million times after it goes up from little plankton at the bottom of the food chain to human beings on top of the chain,” Tiene said.

Read also: Green economy becomes more concrete in Sumatra

Meanwhile, a researcher from the Destructive Fishing Watch Indonesia, Muhamad Arifudin, said during the discussion that the patterns of destructive fishing practices in Indonesia were different in each fishing area and region.

In the Western part of Indonesia, the Natuna Islands in Riau for instance, fishermen tend to use sedatives to catch fish to cater to particular market demand from China and Hong Kong.

In central Indonesia, fishermen tend to use bombs and dy- namite and in the east, gunpowder-based explosives are more commonly used.

“The majority of the fishermen using destructive fishing practices are small ones who do not have the skills for more environmentally friendly fish-catching methods. These destructive practices are being transferred from one generation of fishermen to the next,” Muhamad said.

For Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry Fish Catchment General Director Sjarief Widjaja, however, the lack of environmentally friendly fish catching skills from the fishermen is not the only factor that has hindered Indonesia from being able to preserve its marine habitats.

Sjarief also blamed the destructive practice of illegal fishing, which hurts supply, and the presence of devious middlemen, who force small-scale fishermen, who constitute 60 percent of the total 2.7 million fishermen, to catch a large quantity of fish in the cheapest way possible.

To put an end to these destructive practices, Sjarief said the government had been implementing a number of programs that aimed to combat illegal fishing and to provide environmentally friendlier fish catching equipment to small-scale fishermen.

“To accomplish significant change has been difficult due to the heterogeneity of our society. In most cases, these fishermen sell their new equipment for money right after we provide them with training on how to use it,” Sjarief said.

While Sjarief suggested that the government try to end the destructive fishing practices from the supply side, Tiene also provided input on how to put an end on such practices from the consumer side.

Tiene said that she wanted to encourage consumers to be smarter and to ban fishes that were caught in an environmentally destructive way.

“You should buy fresh fish, despite the fact that they are a little more expensive, because by doing this, you help to decrease demand for fish caught in a destructive manner, thereby reducing the prevalence of such practices,” she said.

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Some -- but not all -- corals adapting to warming climate

WCS coral expert finds that some reefs were less sensitive to warming water over time

NEW YORK (May 2, 2017) - A new WCS study reveals evidence that some corals are adapting to warming ocean waters - potentially good news in the face of recent reports of global coral die offs due to extreme warm temperatures in 2016. The study appears in the latest issue of Marine Ecology Progress Series.

The study looked at responses to extreme temperature exposures in the same reefs over time, and found less coral bleaching in 11 of the 21 coral species studied. WCS Senior Conservation Zoologist Tim McClanahan, who has been studying coral responses to climate change since the extreme temperatures of the1998 El Nino, authored the study.

The study took place in two marine national parks of Kenya. Looking at two similarly severe warming events in 1998 and 2016, McClanahan found that the number of pale and bleached coral colonies declined from 73 to 27 percent, and 96 to 60 percent in the two parks with different background temperatures. Most of this change was due to about half of the most common species that did not bleach strongly in 2016. One rare species was, however, more sensitive than in 1998.

Bleaching takes place when stressed corals discharge beneficial algae that supply energy to corals causing them to turn pale or white and often starve. Worldwide, an estimated 60 percent of corals and 90 percent of coral species experienced bleaching due to unusually warm ocean water in 2016.

McClanahan says: "This was a rare chance to study bleaching responses during two separate times with very similar conditions. Adaptation is evident for some of the more important reef building corals but, sadly, many species are not adapting, so this is a good news-bad news story."

But McClanahan warns: "Evidence for adaptation in the past is not evidence for adaptation in the future. Nevertheless, I suspect this adaptation to hot water started before my 1998 work and could have begun during the 1983 and 1988 El NiƱos, when coral bleaching was first observed in the region."

Said Tim McClanahan: "Despite the many caveats and interpretation of these results, this study provides one of the first response-rate estimates for many common corals at the population level. It therefore provides a basis for future studies and improving model predictions and the types of evaluations needed to address the future health of coral reefs."

Global awareness continues to grow about the immediate threats facing coral reef ecosystems, and a global commitment to address those threats. In February, at the Economist World Ocean Summit in Bali, Indonesia, the '50 Reefs' initiative was launched by the Global Change Institute of the University of Queensland and the Ocean Agency. The initiative brings together leading ocean, climate and marine scientists to develop a list of the 50 most critical coral reefs to protect, while leading conservation practitioners are working together to establish the best practices to protect these reefs.

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'Shocking' levels of PCB chemicals in UK killer whale Lulu

Rebecca Morelle BBC News 2 May 17;

One of the UK's last killer whales was contaminated with "shocking" levels of a toxic chemical, scientists say.

The animal, called Lulu, was found dead on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland last year after becoming entangled in fishing lines.

But tests now reveal her body contained among the highest levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, ever recorded.

The chemicals were banned from the 1970s but are still in the environment.

Researchers now fear that other animals in Lulu's pod also have similarly high levels of contamination. The group, which is found off the west coast of Scotland, is thought to consist of just eight animals.

Dr Andrew Brownlow, head of the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme and veterinary pathologist at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), told BBC News that Lulu had "shocking levels of PCBs".

He said: "The levels of PCB contamination in Lulu were incredibly high, surprisingly so. They were 20 times higher than the safe level that we would expect for cetaceans to be able to manage.

"That puts her as one of the most contaminated animals on the planet in terms of PCB burden, and does raise serious questions for the long-term survivability of this group (of UK killer whales)."

PCBs were used widely in industry during the last century.

The manmade chemicals are extremely stable, resistant to extreme temperatures and pressures, and have insulating properties. Because of this they were used in everything from plastics to paints and electrical equipment.

But after concerns about the toxicity to humans and animals was raised, a series of bans were put in place around the world from the 1970s onwards.

However the chemicals take a long time to break down and have lingered in the environment, particularly in landfill sites where they can leach into waterways and on into the sea.

They then build up in the marine food chain, which means top predators such as killer whales are particularly affected. Dolphins, porpoises are also susceptible.

Levels of PCBs are measured in milligrams per kilogram of lipids (fatty acids) in an animal's body.

Dr Brownlow said: "The threshold where we think that there is some form of physiological effect caused by PCBs is around 20-40mg/kg stored within the tissues.

"Lulu had a level of PCBs of 957mg/kg - and this has put her as one of the most contaminated individuals we have ever looked at."

Scientists believe Lulu's age, estimated to be at least 20, may be one reason that the levels of PCBs were so high, because they had built up over the years.

The chemicals have a range of effects. There is evidence that they can impair the immune system. They also affect reproduction, preventing killer whales from bearing young.

"That's certainly what we found in the case of Lulu," explained Dr Brownlow.

"Having examined her ovaries, there was no evidence that she had ever been reproductively active or had ever had a calf."

The chemicals can also affect the brain. Scientists believe the contamination could have been implicated in Lulu's death.

"Killer whales are incredibly intelligent, they are very nimble, socially aware animals. [Lulu] would have spent most of her probably very long life existing around the waters of the West Coast.

"It is potentially plausible that there was some effect of the PCBs that was in some way debilitating her so she wasn't strong enough or even aware enough to deal with this entanglement (in fishing line).

"We very rarely see entanglement in killer whales - actually this is one of the first cases we have documented."

PCBs are a global problem, but a recent study revealed that European waters are a hotspot because of the level of the chemicals once used.
It is estimated that there is a million tonnes of PCB-contaminated material waiting to be disposed in Europe.

But getting rid of them is expensive and difficult - they need to be incinerated at more than 1,000C to be destroyed.

Prof Ian Boyd, chief scientific adviser at the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), said that the issue was very concerning but also complicated.

He said: "The records show PCBs have been declining in concentration in the marine environment, so the regulation we have in place is working.

"It's just they take a very long time to disappear. Overall I think we are going in the right direction, but it is going to take many more years to get to a point where they are going to disappear entirely."

He added: "Lou Lou was fairly old, so she will have accumulated [PCBs] over her lifetime and that's the reason she had such high levels. It's a legacy she'd carried from her early years, probably."

But some scientists think more should be done. Dr Paul Jepson from the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London said PCBs were not an intractable problem in Europe.

"PCB levels in the United States have slowly declined in humans and other biota such as fish for many years now, and the overall PCB mitigation is generally considered to be successful in the US.

"This is partly related to numerous US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund sites, which the EPA is actively working to decontaminate. We urgently need a similar approach in Europe".

Killer whales - and other cetaceans - around the world are being hit by PCB contamination. But in the UK, with just eight remaining resident killer whales, the future looks very bleak.

Scientists have not seen any calves born in the 25 years they have been studying these animals, and it looks almost certain that they will eventually vanish from the UK's waters.

Lulu's skeleton is now stored at the National Museums Scotland collection centre, which has one of the largest whale collections in the world.
Principal curator of vertebrates' Dr Andrew Kitchener said the whales remains would be available for scientists to study.

"What these collections are here for is so we can use them for the benefit of living animals in the wild today and in the future. They do have a value for living populations."

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