UN development agency honours baseball stars for relief aid Dominican Republic Haiti

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has joined the Dominican Ambassador in honouring Dominican stars from the United States Major League Baseball at a pre-game ceremony at Boston’s Fenway Park for their successful efforts to raise funds and public support for the rebuilding of flood-destroyed areas of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, including their personal contributions. “UNDP is thrilled to get the chance to express our gratitude, and the gratitude of the people of Jimaní, to these players for their good work off the field,” said Niky Fabiancic, the chief UNDP Resident Coordinator in the Dominican Republic, of the baseball superstars, Pedro Martínez, David Ortiz and Manny Ramírez, on Thursday evening.At the sold-out Fenway Park Red Sox/Mets game, the Boston fans joined Dominican Ambassador Flavio Dario Espinal and UNDP’s Fabiancic in saluting the three players as well as Red Sox principal owner John Henry and the team’s charitable foundation. As the Fenway Park scoreboard displayed a message saluting the United Nations Development Programme “for recognizing these three gentlemen,” Mr. Ortiz, Mr. Ramirez, Mr. Martinez and Mr. Henry accepted plaques in honour of their leadership in the effort. The stadium crowd cheered loudly for Mr. Martinez, a former Red Sox pitcher who now plays for the Mets, and cheered even louder after viewing a video presentation of thanks from the people of Jimani. John Henry spoke of the players and the rebuilding effort: “The generosity of Pedro Martínez, David Ortiz, Manny Ramírez, and the entire ‘Red Sox Nation’ was extraordinary during a time of need in the Dominican Republic and Haiti,” he said. “Through their efforts, the United Nations Development Programme has been able to rebuild not only homes but the lives of people in these two countries. I salute these accomplishments.” On May 24, 2004, torrential tropical rains in the Dominican Republic caused catastrophic flooding of River Blanco and the town of Jimaní, in the country’s mountainous southwest, was swiftly inundated by the raging waters. More than 700 people perished; more than 250 homes were destroyed and 620 others suffered major damage; roads were swept away and telecommunications connections destroyed. The town with population of 5,800 was left almost completely destroyed and isolated.“We have so many guys coming out of the Dominican Republic, and we keep together, especially when something bad happens,” said Mr. Ortiz before the game. “It was a tough situation in Jimani; we just feel so proud, so happy, to help out.” “A lot of people lost their lives, and a lot of people lost their homes. When you see that going on anywhere, especially in a place you’ve been or you know, it just makes you more sensitive about it,” said Mr. Ortiz, who initiated the effort with a collection box in the Boston clubhouse. “All the fans helped us out – it was unbelievable. And then the Red Sox doubled the money we collected. It made me so proud of being part of New England, being a part of this team.”After the flooding, UNDP immediately launched its emergency response to the disaster in Jimaní and other flood-ravaged areas of the country and neighbouring Haiti, working with government institutions and civil society to provide short-term relief and begin the process of recovery. After helping organize rescue operations in the hours and days after the floods, UNDP provided financial assistance and counselling to victims and began the task of rebuilding Jimaní. The sluggers Mr. Ortiz and Mr. Ramírez and ace pitcher Mr. Martínez responded to news of the floods with donations, and soon rallied their teammates, ball club and Red Sox fans to pitch in. The result: More than $200,000 in funding support for relief and recovery in Jimaní, including $100,000 from Red Sox owner John Henry and over $31,000 from fans. Athletic gear maker Majestic chipped in with 1,200 T-shirts and 1,000 pairs of shorts for flood victims. Other companies and individuals also gave money and goods. UNDP and its local partners put the money to work, supporting the construction of 50 new homes in the first phase of the Jimaní project. The reconstruction effort was guided by the people of Jimaní themselves as UNDP sought to help them find solutions that would maximize the impact of outside aid and enable the town to heal its wounds and build a secure future. It also convened a housing commission to conduct a census of affected families and determine exactly what needs existed. The two- and three-bedroom residences have kitchens, dining areas, bathrooms and back porches – and innovative architecture designed to withstand future flash flooding, according to UNDP. The government has built entirely new roads, power lines and sewage systems for the rebuilt village. Now, two years later, the flood victims of Jimaní are ready to move into their new homes, with hopes for a better life. read more

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We call this residential care I call it institutionalisation of trauma Group

first_img“We call this residential care, I call it institutionalisation of trauma”: Group calls for better child protection The Irish Care Leavers’ Network is dedicated to supporting people coming out of State care. SHANE GRIFFIN spent eight years of his childhood in State care.In that time he was moved through multiple foster placements, suffered sexual and physical abuse, and ran away from his place of residence multiple times.“I’m an adult child of the Irish State,” Griffin told listeners gathered in room in Leinster House on Wednesday.“The State was also my parent. My birth parents – my late mother – was deemed unfit to parent my siblings and I,” he said. Sunday 26 Feb 2017, 8:00 AM Image: Shutterstock/TORWAISTUDIO Short URL By Cormac Fitzgerald https://jrnl.ie/3253530 Share317 Tweet Email1 center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Feb 26th 2017, 8:00 AM 11,079 Views My mother also happened to be a vulnerable adult. This is how my siblings and I became her vulnerable children.Wayne Dignam also spent much of his childhood in care. He grew up in different foster and residential care placements from the age of three – before being placed in long-term foster care from the age of eight.“I was on the scrap heap,” Dignam told the crowd gather in the AV Room of Leinster House.“Living in a residential home in Bray after suffering a huge amount of trauma, multiple placements. I really had no concept of where I was going to be.”He said he met his future foster parents on the promenade in Bray, and they were the ones who decided to care for him.“Somebody said ‘I care, I care about your life’,” said Dignam.Your life is going to improve as a result of the care I give you.Dignam is the chairperson and founder of the Irish Care Leavers’ Network, while Griffin is it’s advocacy manager.The ICLN is a peer-led support service for people coming out of State-care after the age of 18. People in this situation can be extremely vulnerable and supports can be lacking.As people who grew up in care, Dignam and Griffin saw the need for a network of people who have lived in State care and been through the system to support others in need. Fianna Fáil TD Fiona O’Loughlin (left), Shane Griffin (centre), and Wayne Dignam (right). Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ieFalling through the cracksIn November of last year, TheJournal.ie spoke to a young woman Natasha, who was homeless at the time in Cork city.Natasha (20) had spent much of her childhood in State care, and when she was released at the age of 18 she found there weren’t enough supports available for her.She felt she had slipped through the cracks of the system and that her outlook ahead was bleak.“I know so many alcoholics in my life. I don’t want to be 40, living in a tent in this weather, waking up with a bottle of vodka beside me,” she said at the time.“Slipping through the cracks” was one of the main themes of the presentation when Griffin and Dingman gathered together TDs, senators, NGO and Tusla representatives and others in the AV Room of Leinster House on Wednesday.The event was facilitated by Fianna Fáil’s Fiona O’Loughlin, with Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on children Anne Rabbitte present also. Anne Rabbitte addressing the AV in Leinster house during teh week. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ieThe men gave a presentation on the difficulties facing those in care and the need for action on addressing issues within the system.Dignam spoke about the need to implement changes and reform to the care system. He called for stronger supports for children, for foster families, and for young adults after they leave State care.He said the issues facing vulnerable children were not properly understood and that more public outrage and engagement was needed.“I’m really questioning whether the public are engaged with this conversation,” he said.And I don’t think politics and government take it seriously. I don’t think there’s enough outrage about this in society.He pointed to the Children’s Rights Alliance Report Card for 2017, which was published this week and rates the Government on its children’s rights record.Overall, the Government scored a D+ for its record on children, with the report identifying serious failings in the care of homeless children, Traveller and Roma children and child refugees or asylum seekers. Members of the Children’s Right Alliance launching the Report Card this week. Source: MAXWELLS DUBLIN“Institutionalisation of trauma”There were 6,276 children in State care as of last November. Of these, nearly 6,000 are in foster care homes. Over 325 children are in residential care homes.Both Dignam and Griffin spoke of the traumatic effect being moved through different foster homes and placements can have on a child.Shane Griffin laid out a number of recommendations that should be implemented in order to improve the outcomes and care for children.He spoke about how vulnerable children were “falling through the net” while living in residential care homes – which are group homes run by Tusla or independent charities.“We call this residential care, I call it institutionalisation of trauma,” he said.Community supports, 24 hour care units that open on weekends, and more resources being diverted to different bodies were all listed as ways to improve the care of children.There was a consensus among people gathered – which included representatives from Barnardo’s, EPIC, the Irish Foster Care Association and others – of the need to work together to improve the level of support afforded to children.“We need to make our collective voice heard for children who are vulnerable,” said Dignam.I don’t think we’re doing enough of it. I really don’t and I don’t think the public get it.Read: Minister reveals that over 6,000 children in State careRead: ‘Imagine the trauma, fear and confusion’: 55% surge in child homelessness Image: Shutterstock/TORWAISTUDIO 9 Comments last_img read more

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Demand for ie websites falls in Ireland but is on the rise

first_img 6,573 Views By Gráinne Ní Aodha Friday 3 Feb 2017, 6:05 AM Demand for .ie websites falls in Ireland – but is on the rise internationally Leinster registered the greatest number of new .ie domains in 2016. 11 Comments Short URL Feb 3rd 2017, 6:05 AM Share10 Tweet Email http://jrnl.ie/3218841 Image: Shutterstock/everything possible NEW FIGURES SHOW that there’s much love for Irish websites internationally, while the demand for them on the island of Ireland is falling.Of the 34,615 new website domains that were registered last year, 31,665 were registered in the Republic of Ireland, a 2% decrease on 2015; but 2,390 were registered internationally, a 4% increase on 2015.At the end of 2016, a total of 221,871 .ie domains were registered in Ireland and around the world, according to new figures released today by the IE Domain Registry (IEDR).Figures from IRDR, which is responsible for managing and maintaining Ireland’s country code domain name extension ‘.ie’, showed that 34,615 were registered last year alone – the second highest year for new registrations since 2011.That equates to approximately 94 new .ie registrations every day in 2016. 72% of all new registrations in 2016 were made by businesses (corporate bodies and sole traders). Source: Shutterstock/alice-photoLeinster registered the greatest number of new .ie domains in 2016 (67%), followed by Munster (19%), Connacht (8.5%) and Ulster (5%).Divided further, Dublin accounted for 44% of all new .ie registrations, or 14,187, followed by Cork (9%, 2,837) and Galway (5%, 1,512).Fermanagh registered only 31 .ie domains in 2016, the smallest number in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland overall. Leitrim registered the fewest .ie domains in the Republic – just 130.Compared to 22 European countries, Ireland, with 47, ranks joint 18th with France for the number of country code domains per 1,000 people. Many other countries with similar and smaller populations fare far better, including Denmark (233 .dk domains per 1,000 people), Norway (136 .no domains) and Lithuania (63 .lt domains).Read: Almost two billion people are on Facebook nowRead: Irish tech executives say Trump’s travel ban ‘makes no sense morally or economically’ Image: Shutterstock/everything possible Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Greeks treated unfairly

first_imgCouncillor for Stonnington, Tasos Athanasopoulos, has hit back at his critics in Stonnington Council following revelations last week that he is being investigated by Local Government Victoria for a potential conflict of interest.When contacted by Neos Kosmos English Edition (NKEE), Local Government Victoria confirmed the investigation.“The Minister for Local Government received a written complaint alleging that Councillor Athanasopoulos did not declare a conflict of interest in relation to a number of planning matters that came before council. Local Government Victoria has commenced an investigation into the allegations which is ongoing,” read a statement form Local Government Victoria. One of the matters investigated relates to a donation in the amount of $3,000 to Cr Athanasopoulos from the Greek Media Group, of which Harry Stamoulis was the director at the time. The potential conflict of interest is that Cr Athanasopoulos did not declare the donation while sitting at two council meetings where he voted in favour of a development that Mr Stamoulis pursued on Chapel Street. The vote of Cr Athansopoulos proved insignificant as the majority of the council voted against the development, which is a 27-storey building. As it turned out, the construction of the building is underway after the Victorian Government endorsed the development.When asked by NKEE about the $3,000 donation, Cr Athanasopoulos claimed that he didn’t know that Mr Stamoulis was, at the time, the director of the Greek Media Group. In The Age it was reported that a spokesman for Mr Stamoulis argued that the donation was in the form of free air time on 3XY Radio and that it was part of a wider policy to help Greek Council candidates, hence there was no connection with the South Yarra development. But, Cr Athansapoulos raised the ante, claiming that the issue in Stonnington Council is that “Greeks are treated unfairly.” He further argued that during last Monday’s council meeting this fact became even more clear. During that meeting two motions were put to a vote regarding the Greek Orthodox parishes of St. Catherine and Sts Constantine and Helen. The one regarding St. Catherine, was a motion put forward by Cr Athanasopoulos, for the Council to give $10,000 to the parish that had recently been hit by a fire that destroyed its community hall. The motion regarding the Sts Constantine and Helen was the granting of a Liquor licence to the church that was also supported by Cr Athanasopoulos. Both motions were voted down. Another Councillor of Stonnington, Anne O’Shea also expressed her concerns about the dealings of the City Council with the Greek community. “I fear that there is a pattern developing within the Stonnington Council that can give the wrong impression to the Greek community and I also believe that this is tied to an effort in the Stonnington Council of denying Cr Athanasopoulos credit for certain of his initiatives,” Cr O’Shea pointed out. The Mayor of Stonnington Claude Ullin categorically denies any misunderstanding between the Council and the Greek community. “One of the most important groups within the City [of Stonnington] is the Greek community and we enjoy their participation over a large number of areas where they have contributed greatly over a long period of time.” Cr Ullin clarified that the issues that were voted down regarding the two Greek parishes were done so on their merits. And in no uncertain terms he stressed: “There is nothing personal, there is nothing racist there is nothing against the Greek community.” In the case of St. Catherine, Cr Ullin explained that they are just following the process since they have not received a formal request from the parish to provide them with financial support. “Our officers have done some research about this [St. Catherine] and they have indicated that they don’t require money at this stage but only a place for elderly citizens to meet within that community and that’s what we’re looking at the moment,” Cr Ullin said. On the case of Sts Constantine and Helen he explained that there were many objections to that application from nearby residents. “We’ve had a lot complaints and letters about the noise from the Church,” he added. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

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Une nouvelle population de gibbons découverte au Vietnam

first_imgUne nouvelle population de gibbons découverte au VietnamLundi 18 juillet, les naturalistes d’une ONG environnementale ont annoncé avoir découvert, dans les forêts reculées du Vietnam, une colonie jusqu’alors ignorée du très rare et très menacé gibbon à joues blanches. Parcourant les hauteurs du parc naturel de Pu Mat, dans le nord du Vietnam, les chercheurs de l’ONG Conservation International (CI), identifiant le chant matinal “fort, élaboré et prolongé” du gibbon à joues blanches, ont repéré une colonie d’environ 500 de ces singes : elle représente les 2/3 de la population totale recensée au Vietnam, mais aussi et surtout l’unique “population viable confirmée” de cette espèce dans le monde.À lire aussiLa réaction hilarante d’un orang outan face à un tour de magieEn effet, au bord de l’extinction, le gibbon à joues blanches a vu sa population totale décliner de 80% en l’espace de 45 ans, selon l’Union internationale pour la conservation de la nature (UICN). Souffrant de la perte de son habitat et chassé pour alimenter la pharmacopée traditionnelle, il est déjà “fonctionnellement éteint” en Chine.”C’est une découverte extrêmement significative, qui montre bien que les zones protégées fournissent un dernier refuge aux espèces décimées de cette région”, a commenté le Dr. Russell Mittermeier, président de CI, qui craint toutefois que la construction d’une route à travers la zone de Pu Mat, actuellement en projet, ne permette aux braconniers de pénétrer plus facilement le territoire de ces primates. Découvrez ces gibbons en images sur Maxisciences.[Article publié le 18 juillet 2011, édité le 21 juillet 2011] Le 21 juillet 2011 à 14:42 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

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Nigéria une conférence internationale sur lempoisonnement au plomb

first_imgNigéria : une conférence internationale sur l’empoisonnement au plombLe Nigeria accueille les 9 et 10 mai une conférence internationale sur l’épidémie d’empoisonnement au plomb, un fléau en nette régression mais que les pouvoirs publics doivent juguler rapidement. Alors que les contaminations au plomb s’atténuent enfin, le Nigeria reçoit pendant deux jours une conférence internationale sur l’épidémie d’empoisonnement à cet élément chimique. Responsable d’une véritable hécatombe depuis 2010 – 400 enfants tués selon l’ONG Human Rights Watch (HRW)- “la pire crise de l’histoire récente” dans le pays le plus peuplé d’Afrique mobilise le monde entier. Experts de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), des agences de donataires et des organisations non gouvernementales s’entretiendront ainsi dans la capitale nigérienne Abuja jusqu’à demain.À lire aussiPourquoi certains s’évanouissent-ils à la vue du sang ?Les mines d’or clandestines plus lucratives que l’agriculture demeurent une source majeure de contamination au plomb. Les plus touchés par ces affections sont les enfants qui travaillent à la recherche artisanale d’or dans des environnements anormalement concentrés en plomb émanant des terres exploitées, indique HRW. “Plus de 400 enfants sont morts depuis mars 2010 contaminés par du plomb à la suite d’orpaillage clandestin. Des milliers d’autres enfants sont toujours malades et risquent à long-terme d’être invalides ou de mourir, précise encore HRW cité par l’AFP. Et la diffusion du métal dépasse les lieux d’exploitation d’or : l’utilisation du minerai pour l’extraction a répandu du plomb jusque dans les villages.A ce jour, plus de 2.500 enfants souffrant d’un taux élevé de plomb dans le sang ont dû être pris en charge par l’ONG Médecins sans Frontières organisatrice de la conférence. “Toutefois, des milliers d’autres ne peuvent être soignés car ils continuent à être exposés au plomb. Pour ces enfants, le traitement ne serait pas efficace ou pourrait entraîner des problèmes plus graves”, estime HRW. L’ONG demande ainsi instamment au gouvernement nigérian d’assister à la conférence et de s’engager à prendre des mesures contre l’empoisonnement au plomb des enfants. “Le gouvernement nigérian doit agir maintenant pour sauver les milliers d’enfants de Zamfara exposés au plomb et risquent la mort ou l’invalidité”, prévient le directeur adjoint du programme de HRW Babatunde Olugboji.Le 10 mai 2012 à 15:37 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

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Library Foundation to sell used books for kids

first_imgThe Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation will hold a sale of used children’s books from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.The sale will be in Library Hall, downstairs at the regional headquarters, 1007 E. Mill Plain Blvd. — formerly the downtown Vancouver library building. Free parking is available.The sale features surplus library books. More than 10,000 books will be available, all priced at $1.There will be material for pre-readers, including infant board books and picture books.For older readers, there will be fiction and nonfiction, classics, adventure, graphic novels, science fiction and many popular series.Proceeds will support the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District’s summer reading program.For more information, call the foundation at 360-906-4700 or go to www.fvrlf.org.last_img read more

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RAB says dead hijacker suspect is named Palash

first_imgGunman, who was killed in a brief army command operation, lying on the floor of Chattogram airport on Sunday. Photo: Prothom AloRAB has claimed to have identified the man who was killed in a commando operation at Shah Amanat International Airport in Chattogram, while he was trying to hijack a Biman aircraft.According to an SMS sent by the Rapid Action Battalion on Monday morning, the man has been identified as Md Polash Ahmed, according to RAB’s criminal database.RAB said that the fingerprints of the young man killed in the commando attack matches those of a criminal appearing in the database.According to their records, his name is Md Ahmed Polash, son of Peyar Jahan Sardar from Pirijpur of Sonargaon in Narayanganj.Also, according to the passenger list of the ‘Mayurpankhi’ flight (BG 147), Polash Ahmed was a domestic passenger flying from Dhaka to Chittagong. His name on the list appeared as AHMED/POLASH and his seat number was 17A.The Biman aircraft, dubbed ‘Mayurpankhi’, was supposed to take off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Sunday, at 5:05 in the afternoon for Dubai, via Chattogram.Immediately after taking to air, the hijacker emerged and it took around two tension-filled hours for the drama to finally end. The armed young man within the aircraft was killed in an eight minute commando operation at 7:24 in the evening on Sunday at the Chattogram Shah Amanat International Airport.last_img read more

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Worlds First FiveSeater Electric Air Taxi Completes Test Flight

first_img Watch: Plane Lands on Highway, Gets ‘Pulled Over’ in WashingtonWatch: Wild Turbulence Throws Flight Attendant Into Cabin Ceiling Stay on target German electric air taxi startup Lilium unveiled Thursday its jet-powered, five-seater prototype, which conducted its first flight earlier this month.The Lilium Jet is part of an app-based flying taxi service that the company expects will be “fully-operational in various cities around the world by 2025.”The full-scale, full-weight prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically. The aircraft design has no tail, no rudder, no propellers, no gearbox and only one moving part in the engine.AdChoices广告“In less than two years we have been able to design, build and successfully fly an aircraft that will serve as our template for mass production,” Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand said in a statement. “Moving from two to five seats was always our ambition as it enables us to open up the skies to many more travelers.”The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 186 miles in 60 minutes on a single charge. (Photo Credit: Lilium)The battery-powered jet is capable of traveling 300 kilometers (186 miles) in 60 minutes on a single charge, and will connect cities through a network of landing pads. Commuters will be able to book rides from their nearest landing pad through the Lilium smartphone app.“At the push of a button, passengers will be able to use the Lilium app to locate their nearest landing pad and plan their journey with ease,” the company said in a press release. “Choosing from a network of pads across cities and regions, passengers will enjoy journeys that are comparable in price with a taxi, yet four times faster.”The Lilium air taxi service, operational in 2025, allows commuters to book rides from their nearest landing pad through a smartphone app. (Photo Credit: Lilium)The Lilium Jet took flight for the first time on May 4, after completing extensive ground testing at Lilium’s HQ in Munich, Germany, the company said. The prototype aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, has also begun a rigorous flight test campaign, the first step toward certification of the aircraft to safety standards comparable to those of large commercial aircraft.The full-scale, full-weight Lilium Jet prototype is powered by 36 all-electric jet engines that allow it to take-off and land vertically. (Photo Credit: Lilium)In 2017, Lilium completed testing of a two-seater prototype, which first demonstrated Lilium’s “signature transition flight maneuver,” where the aircraft shifts from vertical to horizontal flight, and laid the groundwork for the five-seater prototype.More on Geek.com:Watch: Brand-New Airbus A330neo Plane Assembled in Two MinutesWorld’s First All-Weather Autonomous Bus Rolls Out in FinlandThis $5 Million Solar-Powered Super Yacht Cruises in ‘Pure Silence’last_img read more

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Study shows black bears able to count

first_imgBlack bear in the Canadian Rockies. Image: Wikipedia. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Study to monitor bears and hunters by GPS Journal information: Animal Behavior More information: Bears ‘count’ too: quantity estimation and comparison in black bears, Ursus americanus, Animal Behaviour, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2012.05.001AbstractStudies of bear cognition are notably missing from the comparative record despite bears’ large relative brain size and interesting status as generalist carnivores facing complex foraging challenges, but lacking complex social structures. We investigated the numerical abilities of three American black bears, Ursus Americanus, by presenting discrimination tasks on a touch-screen computer. One bear chose the larger of two arrays of dot stimuli, while two bears chose the smaller array of dots. On some trials, the relative number of dots was congruent with the relative total area of the two arrays. On other trials, number of dots was incongruent with area. All of the bears were above chance on trials of both types with static dots. Despite encountering greater difficulty with dots that moved within the arrays, one bear was able to discriminate numerically larger arrays of moving dots, and a subset of moving dots from within the larger array, even when area and number were incongruent. Thus, although the bears used area as a cue to guide their responses, they were also able to use number as a cue. The pattern of performance was similar to that found previously with monkeys, and suggests that bears may also show other forms of sophisticated quantitative abilities. , Animal Behaviour (Phys.org) — Most people who have worked with black bears tend to believe the animals are pretty smart compared to say dogs or cats; others who have seen them in action, e.g. riding a unicycle in a circus, tend to agree. But, oddly enough, very little actual research has been done to find out just where black bears sit on the animal kingdom’s brainiac scale. Now a pair of researchers in the US has decided to change that by testing some captive black bears to see how they measure up against other animals in discerning the difference in the numbers of things. They have written a paper describing their findings and have had it published in the journal Animal Behavior. The experiment they devised was very simple. Two black bears were trained to look at two groups of dots and to indicate which group they thought had fewer dots. Another bear was trained to do the opposite, i.e. indicate which he thought had more dots. As it turned out, all three bears were remarkably good at “counting” the number of dots in each group, comparing them, and then responding in a way that indicated they understood which group of dots had more and which less.So good were the bears at picking out which group was which, the team described them as equivalent in ability to non-human primates; not bad for an animal that is pretty much a loner. Prior to testing the bears, most researchers had concluded that the ability to count was something that developed among animals that formed social groups of one kind or another. Other than when they are young and still being raised by their mothers, bears tend to hang out alone. Thus, a rethinking of how or why animals brains develop the ability to count or at least recognize which group of something has more or less, will have to be done.To make sure the bears were really on target, the team changed the size of the dots, and the amount of space in which they were surrounded, ensuring that they weren’t just guessing based on the overall physical size of the group. After several such changes, the researchers became convinced that the only way to pick the right group as often as the bears did, was to count the dots. For the bear faced with choosing which group had more dots, the dots were even sent into motion, which for some reason, appeared to make the bear even more accurate.It’s not likely that the bears are actually counting the dots, and in fact, the research team itself doesn’t seem convinced, using quotes to indicate that describing what the bears are able to do as counting might be a big of a stretch. Most researchers would be more likely to describe it as an advanced comparison ability. Citation: Study shows black bears able to “count” (2012, June 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-06-black.html © 2012 Phys.Orglast_img read more

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