Nebraska’s Proposed Puma Hunt Threatens the Species’ Eastward Expansion

The Jaguar

Ridiculously, the state of Nebraska wants to open a hunt on its estimated 59 pumas. Attention Grabber by Valerie. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Pumas (AKA mountain lions, cougars, and Puma concolor) are adaptable cats that live throughout western North America and much of South America. But a large part of their range has been lost. Pumas have been extirpated from the eastern two-thirds of North America, largely due to indiscriminate hunting and targeted extermination efforts by the United States government.

Thanks to more responsible management practices in the western US since 1965, pumas are beginning to recolonize some of their former range. They are slowly moving east, with small breeding populations now present in states like Nebraska. But their recovery in that state is threatened by a senseless hunting proposal.

Nebraska’s Game and Parks Commission wants to allow 20 percent of its Pine Ridge puma population, which numbers only 59…

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Petition: A Hunter Lured Skye the Lion Out of His Refuge and Shot Him – Demand Justice Now

by: Care2 Team
target: Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA)

40,990 SUPPORTERS – 45,000 GOAL
Do you remember Cecil? He was the lion that American dentist Walter Palmer shot in cold blood near Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. When the world learned of Cecil’s death, they were rightfully enraged. The lion was one of the most famous in Zimbabwe, if not Africa, and he had grown up wild but used to being in the presence of humans.

Well, now a similar tragedy has come to Zimbabwe’s southern neighbor. This time the lion’s name is Skye. Skye was one of the most beloved lions in South Africa’s famed Kruger National Park (KNP). He was not only a pride leader but he was a father to very young cubs. But none of that mattered to a big game hunter who paid around $75,000 to take his life.

Skye has been missing for about a week. The day he disappeared a hunter on the adjacent Umbabat Private Nature Reserve (UPNR) shot and killed a male lion that authorities believe to be Skye. If the lion had stayed within KNP he would have been safe. Animals in the national park are fully protected and have grown used to relative up-close contact with humans.

Unfortunately, hunting is allowed within UPNR. Previously, the two properties were separated by a fence, but because the environment was under stress, officials agreed to take it down so that animals would be able to feed in a far less concentrated area.

But now that the fence is gone, feckless hunters and safari guides can take advantage. In fact, according to some accounts, the hunter in question did just that. Similar to what happened to Cecil, Skye was lured out of his refuge and killed.

Authorities know who this lion killer is and they should act now to investigate and prosecute Skye’s killer. Please sign the petition and demand justice for Skye.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/605/800/161/

 

Petition: Join the Movement to Stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in 2018

by: Care2 Team
target: President of China – Xi Jinping

173,959 SUPPORTERS -“180,000 GOAL
Every summer, thousands of dogs — many just puppies — are killed during the ten days of the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. And it’s going to happen all over again, unless people like you speak out to stop this year’s horrific festival.

One of the most terrifying things about the annual festival is that many household dogs, cats and other pets are abducted by kidnappers trying to make a quick buck as the dog festival begins. Local animal lovers often try to buy the dogs before butchers can, but dog sellers often refuse to sell to activists.

The good news is that the Chinese government is feeling the pressure to stop the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. During the first few years of the festival, which began in 2009, between 10,000 and 15,000 dogs were killed each year. However, due to worldwide outrage, that number has dropped to about 1,000 in recent years due to restrictions on how many dogs vendors can sell.

Tens of thousands of dogs have been saved, but we can’t stop until zero dogs are killed for the festival.

Sign the petition urging Chinese President Xi Jinping to save the puppies and stop the 2018 Yulin Dog Meat Festival now!

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/228/934/251/?z00m=30601447&redirectID=2687638792

 

A lion too far

International Wildlife Bond

Banner Image – ROAR PAIN It is feared that the lion killed by an American hunter last week was the dominant lion in a pride with cubs. The lion has been missing since the hunt and on Friday one of his cubs was found dead. Picture: Nadine Dreyer

By Don Pinnock, “A lion too far,” 17 June 2018

The killing of a lion in the Greater Kruger National Park last week sparked outrage. The lion was shot by an American hunter on a reserve adjourning the park, even though Africa’s population of wild lions has plunged 90% in the past century.

Last week a lion was baited and then shot in Umbabat, a private reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park.

As an environmental journalist, my profession requires me to be objective, to give all sides of the story and let readers make the judgment call. But somehow that lion kill was a lion…

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Petition: Why Does the EPA Get To Ignore the Chemical Research Law?

by: Kevin M.
target: U.S Congress; Senator Tom Udall

31,825 SUPPORTERS -35,000 GOAL

In 2016, Congress passed a law mandating more research into the potential harms of dangerous chemicals. Two years later, the EPA has decided to interpret this law to mean that it should only need to test the effects of direct exposure to chemicals.

Sign the petition to ask Congress to pass more airtight legislation so the EPA would have to keep us safe!

The current interpretation would intentionally leave out the bad things that happen when these chemicals get into our air, ground and water supply. Since most people actually come into contact with chemicals in these manners, the lack of research would more easily allow the EPA to deregulate existing chemical safety rules.

It’s worth noting that the EPA’S Office of Chemical Safety is being led by Nancy Beck, a Trump appointee who until recently worked for the American Chemistry Council and lobbied against the law Congress passed. Talk about a conflict of interest.

The EPA’s overly generous interpretation of the law is infuriating, but the agency could easily get away it if we don’t step up. The best way for Congress to get the EPA to follow the law as intended is to pass a second more specific law requiring the testing of chemicals when they are released into the water/air/etc.

Please sign the petition to ask U.S. Congress to pass a law that would help keep dangerous chemicals away from us.

A bipartisan effort helped to pass this commonsense law the first time around, so let’s make sure the EPA actually follows its responsibility to protect American citizens from hazards with even clearer legislation.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/379/070/152/?z00m=30597306&redirectID=2687570323

 

Celebrate National Pollinators Week By Protecting These Endangered Species

ecowatch.com
Olivia Rosane
As summer enters into full bloom, it’s time to celebrate all the birds, bees and bugs that make the fruits and flowers possible. From June 18 to 24, Pollinator Partnership (P2) is celebrating National Pollinator Week, which was designated by the U.S. Senate 11 years ago and has grown into an international event.

Pollinators are birds, bees, butterflies, beetles, bats and other small mammals that help plants reproduce by moving pollen grains from the male to female part of a plant. Plants can also self-pollinate or be pollinated by the wind, but one third of every bite of food we eat is thanks to animal pollinators, P2 reports.

You can support pollinators by creating a habitat for them in your yard, planting native or non-invasive plant species and avoiding pesticides, among other actions.

Here are some unique pollinators listed as endangered species in the U.S. to celebrate and protect this National Pollinators Week.

  1. Mexican Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis)

A Mexican long-nosed batUSFWS

While fellow agave-pollinator the lesser long-nosed bat was removed from the endangered species list this spring, the population of the Mexican long-nosed bat is still declining. These bats spend the winter in Mexico’s Central Valley feeding on a variety of flowers. In the spring, mother bats and their babies move north, some of them crossing the border into Texas and New Mexico to feed on agave and cacti. They then follow late-blooming agave south again in the fall, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

According to a Center for Biological Diversity report, the bat is one of 93 endangered, threatened or candidate species likely to be harmed by President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, and its migration patterns serve as a reminder that borders are artificial, not natural, barriers. In addition to opposing the border wall, if you live in Texas or New Mexico, you can support the Mexican long-nosed bat by avoiding entering caves or other potential roosting sites where bats may be resting, refraining from cutting plants the bats may depend upon and planting agave in your yard, Texas Parks and Wildlife advises.

  1. ‘Ākohekohe (Palmeria dolei)

The ‘ĀkohekoheEric VanderWerf / USFWS

The ‘Ākohekohe, or crested honeycreeper in English, is the largest bird of its type on the island of Maui. It used to have a range of 485 square miles on both Maui and Moloka’i but now just inhabits five percent of its historic territory, living mostly on the Haleakala volcano. It pollinates the ōhia plant, which is also its main food source, according to its U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) page.

Long threatened by deforestation and invasive species, the ‘Ākohekohe is now further at risk as climate change expands the range of malaria-carrying mosquitoes into Maui’s mountains, the Audubon Society reported in 2015. Scientists are working to reduce the mosquito population by removing larvae and introducing sterilized mosquitoes.

  1. Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)

The rusty patched bumble beeSusan Carpenter; University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum / USFWS

In 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee became the first wild bee species in the continental U.S. to be listed under the Endangered Species Act, Reuters reported. The species has declined by 87 percent in the last 20 years, according to its USFWS page. The USFWS blames disease, climate change, pesticides, habitat loss and intensive agriculture.

The USFWS also provides tips for backyard conservationists. It is important to plant a range of native, flowering plants that bloom from April through October. Here is a list of species the bees have been known to favor. Avoiding pesticides is also crucial. Because bees and other pollinators need safe places to nest and winter, the USFWS further recommends leaving part of your yard unmowed during the summer and some leaves unraked during the fall.

  1. The Karner Blue Butterfly (Lyceaides melissa samuelis)

A male Karner blue butterflyPaul Labus / USFWS

The Karner blue butterfly depends on specialized habitats in the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S. where wild blue lupine bloom, since Karner blue caterpillars only feed on wild blue lupine leaves, according to the species’ USFWS page. Wild blue lupine grow in the sandy parts of pine barrens, oak savannas and lakeshore dunes and usually require fires or other disturbances to open sunny spots for them.

As fire suppression and general habitat destruction have increased, patches of wild blue lupine have decreased and with them the Karner blue butterfly’s habitat. More butterflies now live in Michigan and Wisconsin, where the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge provides a haven. The USFWS is working to reintroduce the butterflies and their unique habitat in Ohio, New Hampshire and Indiana since habitats that support lupines and butterflies also support other rare species like frosted elfin (
Incisalia iris

), phlox moth
(Schinia indiana),

persius dusky wing (
Erynnis persius

), prairie fameflower
(Talinum rugospermum

) and the western slender glass lizard
(Ophisaurus attenuatus).

https://www.ecowatch.com/national-pollinators-week-2579504767.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=647d2ab285-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-647d2ab285-86074753

Wear white on the solstice to celebrate polar bear success in a warming world

polarbearscience

Wednesday 21 June is the longest day of the year: wear something white tomorrow to acknowledge and celebrate the success of polar bears despite such low summer sea ice since 2007 that 2/3 of them were predicted to disappear.

white sunglassesWhite hats

White tie, white shirt, white socks work too. Keep cool and signal to the world that you love outstanding survivors of climate change,  fat though they may be.

Cover image_Twenty Reasons_polarbearscience

Read here and here.

Global sea ice extent at 19 June 2018, well past the end of the intensive spring feeding period for polar bears:

masie_all_zoom_4km 2018 June 19

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Spam Likes: Alert

Exploring Colour

Yesterday I left comments on a blogger-friend’s WP site and received back some spam ‘likes’ on my comments overnight – which really annoyed me because this problem also occurred in April this year (from a different WP blog-site).

For all I know, this may be happening to my followers too but no-one has alerted me to it. Its a real hassle trying to get definitive information about what’s going on but I persevered and thought I’d share what I found out – so that if you have the problem you don’t have to go through the search-process I did.

I ended up contacting Akismet directly (they handle the spam-management for WP) and got a reply from a staff member of Automattic:

Hi Liz, you’re not alone. We’ve seen an uptick in reports of “spam likes” today. It’s not possible to prevent all spam, but we are diligent about always improving…

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