Human negligence causes deaths of 10 bears in Prince George this spring

myprincegeorgenow.com

Bear cubs being transferred to Northern Lights Wildlife Society (Cole Kelly, MyPgNow.com staff

Though it’s preventable, the problem still persists.

Prince George Conservation Officers have had to euthanize 10 bears since April, just over two months, due to human negligence.

Two more bear cubs were transferred to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society this week, luckily, they had not been habituated to human food sources, so they have the chance of being rehabilitated back into the wild.

For Sargent Steve Ackles, it’s a frustrating issue.

“I had a lady tell me this morning that it was inconvenient for her to put her garbage in the garage,” he told MyPGNow.

“We’re in the 21st Century and people know what they should do, they’re either just lazy, or don’t want to be inconvenienced and it results in the killing of bears that never should have been conditioned and habituated in the first place.”

When bears become accustomed to a certain food source, like garbage or bird feeders, they become physically defensive of them, making them a danger to the public.

Ackles said those two cubs would also have been killed had they been accustomed to human food, a task that he takes no pleasure from.

“It’s the most horrible thing we have to do in our job.”

“We got into this business to enforce the laws and protect fish and wildlife and the environment, and you know, a little bit of buy in from the public goes a long ways. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like they’re buying in.”

He wanted to reiterate that the Conservation Service does not just destroy a bear because they are present, but because of the behaviours they are exhibiting.

“A lot of times nowadays people don’t call it in because they think we are just going to come and euthanize them. Then first call we get about that bear is that it’s breaking into a car or something that is way over the behaviour spectrum that is considered allowable, that we consider to be a public safety issue.”

“We have no choices then. People have sealed that bear’s fate by not reporting it when it was just starting to come into a populated area and we can at least try to save that bear.”

https://www.myprincegeorgenow.com/101994/watch-human-negligence-causes-death-of-10-bears-in-prince-george-this-spring/

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Ottawa passes legislation that bans whale and dolphin captivity in Canada

ctvnews.ca
Liam Casey

Keeping whales and dolphins in captivity will no longer be allowed across Canada under legislation that passed Monday, drawing celebrations from activists and politicians who called it a significant development for animal rights.

The federal bill, which now only requires royal assent to become law, will phase out the practice of holding cetaceans — such as whales, dolphins and porpoises — in captivity, but grandfathers in those that are already being kept at two facilities in the country.

“Today’s a really good day for animals in Canada,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who sponsored the private member’s bill that began its journey in the Senate in 2015 before moving on to the House of Commons.

“Many scientists testified to why it was critical that we stop keeping cetaceans in captivity. We understand why because they are obviously not akin to other animals, for instance, livestock. Cetaceans require the ocean, they require the space, they require acoustic communication over long distances.”

Gord Johns, the NDP critic for fisheries and oceans said the bill’s passage marked “a celebration for cetaeans, for animals rights, the planet and our oceans.”

The legislation, which had its third and final reading Monday, received support from the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois, with some Conservatives opposed.

It bans the capture of wild cetaceans, but does allow for the rehabilitation and rescue of the aquatic mammals. The bill also changes the Criminal Code, creating new animal cruelty offences related to the captivity of cetaceans. Breeding is also banned.

Imports and exports of cetaceans will also be banned under the bill, with exceptions only for scientific research or “if it is in the best interest” of the animal, with discretion left up to the minister, thereby clamping down on the marine mammal trade.

“This is a watershed moment for whales and dolphins, and powerful recognition that our country no longer accepts imprisoning smart, sensitive animals in tiny tanks for entertainment,” said Camille Labchuk, executive director of advocacy group Animal Justice.

Marineland in Niagara Falls, Ont., and the Vancouver Aquarium in British Columbia are the only two facilities in Canada that currently keep captive cetaceans.

The Vancouver Aquarium announced last year that it would no longer house cetaceans and has one dolphin left at its facility. That came after Vancouver’s board of parks and recreation passed a bylaw amendment in 2017 banning cetaceans being brought to or kept in city parks after two beluga whales held at the aquarium died.

Marineland, meanwhile, has told the government it has more than 50 belugas at its facility.

It recently received approval to export two belugas, both owned by the Vancouver Aquarium, to a park in Spain. It also applied to move five more belugas to facilities in the United States, but hasn’t received those approvals yet, a Fisheries spokeswoman said late last week.

The facility told the government it had problems with the way the whale and dolphin captivity bill was written, noting that it would be in violation of the Criminal Code when the law comes into effect since some of its belugas are pregnant and set to give birth this summer.

On Monday, it said it will comply with “all animal welfare legislation in Canada.”

“Marineland began an evolution in our operation some time ago, and as that evolution continues we are confident that our operations remain compliant with all aspects of (the bill),” it said in a statement.

The head of Humane Canada, an animal welfare group, said the legislation was needed.

“If the bill didn’t do something to end captive breeding, we could have ended up with a beluga farm in Marineland,” said Barbara Cartwright.

Phil Demers, a former whale trainer at Marineland who testified at hearings on the bill, said he was “elated” at it passing.

“Marineland could never be again, if it wanted to start today,” said Demers, a longtime critic of Marieland who is engaged in a legal battle with the facility.

Marineland, for its part, has long said it treats its animals well.

“Marineland Canada continues to be a facility where children can learn about and be inspired by cetaceans without invading their natural habitats or disturbing cetacean populations that live in the ocean,” it said Monday. “We’re proud of our work, and our contribution to research, education, and conservation.”

https://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/ottawa-passes-legislation-that-bans-whale-and-dolphin-captivity-in-canada-1.4459753

Sign Petition: This Company Is Destroying an Island

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Manasseh Sogavare P.M. of the Solomon Islands, Xiang Lin

To most people, the Solomon Islands may seem like small specks of land in the huge expanse of the South Pacific. But to its more than 600,000 residents, it’s home. And they will do anything to protect it. The nation’s forests face the very real threat of disappearing in the coming years due to overexploitation spawned by the voracious demand for timber in Asia.

Since 1990, for example, Solomon Islanders have seen more than 20% of their forest disappear, putting both their livelihoods and their native species’ existence at risk. Now some residents are fighting back, but if the government has their way, they will spend years in jail for their resistance.

Sign to demand justice for the Nende Five.

There are many logging concerns now toppling old-growth forests throughout the archipelago, but according to activists, one company’s operations — Malaysia-based Xiang Lin SI Ltd — showed up on their southern island of Nende and started their operations illegally. But even though it is Xiang Lin Si Ltd that is accused of breaking the law, the government has decided to prosecute the brave activists that are trying to stop them.

According to villagers, Xiang Lin didn’t go through the proper steps and channels in order to acquire a license. They didn’t consult the locals, they didn’t give them the obligatory 30 day period to raise any grievances and — perhaps most troubling of all — there are signs that the previous provincial premier, Baddley Tau had accepted bribes that might have allowed logging companies like Xiang Lin to start operations without going through the correct channels.

With all the uncertainty into the illegality of the Xiang Lin’s practices, it’s no wonder that so many Nende Islanders have started fighting back. Some of them, now known as the “Nende Five” have been arrested and face serious jail time if they are found guilty.

Xiang Lin has encroached on the livelihood of an entire island of people, their culture, their ecosystem and their way of life. They have bulldozed and destroyed. And now, after all that, they are about to be the cause of unfair incarceration of people who were just want to protect their lands.

Sign the petition and ask the Solomon Islands to drop the charges against the Nende Five and tell Xiang Lin to cease operations on Nende immediately.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/562/724/087/?z00m=31710688&redirectID=2891548854

Saving the oceans — one place where Congress can agree

grist.org
By Francis Rooney and Sheldon Whitehouse on Jun 7, 2019

Republican Francis Rooney is a member of Congress representing Florida’s 19th District. He is a co-chair of the Climate Solutions Caucus and is also a member of the Oceans Caucus.

Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse is a U.S. Senator serving Rhode Island. He is a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and a Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus.

Human beings have not always been good stewards of our oceans. We have overexploited their natural gifts, polluted their waves with garbage, acidified them with carbon dioxide, and threatened their shores with offshore drilling.

Thankfully, there is bipartisan support in Washington to take action. We come from different regions, backgrounds, and political parties. Yet we are united by our passion for keeping our coasts and oceans healthy.

In New England, our fishing heritage has long been tied to cod. When the cod fishery collapsed under the weight of foreign fleets, industrialized trawlers, and warming waters, fishermen struggled to sustain themselves. We still have lobster, squid, groundfish, and scallop fisheries, but changing ocean conditions threaten them as well. Warming waters already force lobster and other valuable species to move offshore and northward in search of cooler waters.

In the Gulf of Mexico, fishing supports businesses and recreation, but climate change and human activities threaten the sustainability of these ecosystems. Intensive fishing pressure on red snapper has led to short seasons, the need to rebuild the fishery, and competition between recreational and commercial fishermen. Red tides, likely exacerbated by warming waters and increased CO2, have displaced and killed adult and juvenile groupers, and have been damaging to fishermen and their businesses. Low catches of red grouper last year have concerned fishermen and spurred managers to put emergency reductions in place to protect populations in the Gulf for this fishing season.

Fishing supports hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in economic impact in Florida alone. Growth in our coastal communities thus aligns with conserving coastal ecosystems and habitats. Fishing management decisions need to keep better pace with the changes our fishermen are seeing on the water. Surveys, modeling, and other federal research should prioritize at-risk stocks and those that are experiencing rapid shifts as oceans warm.

Internationally, the World Trade Organization seeks a new agreement by the next ministerial conference on the elimination of harmful fisheries subsidies. These subsidies too often support illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Pirate fishing operations harm critical ecosystems through damaging fishing practices, overfishing shared stocks, and overexploiting waters of foreign nations. Those operations also contribute to other serious problems, like human trafficking and forced labor. Ending these subsidies could help to reduce those harms.

While we’re taking fish from the sea, we’re unfortunately filling their bellies with plastic and other garbage from land. Each year, around 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans. Ten rivers serve as the pathway to the ocean for more than 90 percent of that trash. Most of these rivers run through rapidly developing economies in Asia, where growth and production have outpaced waste management. If we do nothing, by 2050 plastic will outweigh fish in the ocean.

Thankfully, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are coming together to do something about all this. Last October, we saw the bipartisan Save Our Seas Act signed into law. The bill brought together congressional cosponsors from across the political spectrum and supporters from the business and conservation communities. It is now boosting the federal government’s domestic and international response to the millions of tons of plastic waste and other garbage that litter our shores and pollute our oceans, endanger wildlife, and disrupt commerce.

While only a first step, the Save Our Seas Act set the stage for additional efforts on reducing plastic pollution in and around our oceans. We are now focusing on further strengthening the United States’ international efforts to combat marine debris and to improve domestic waste management and prevention.

Just as we don’t want our oceans and coasts littered with waste, we don’t want them soiled with oil, either. Last month, the Trump administration delayed plans to open new coastline to offshore drilling. However, the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management continued to review applications for permits to conduct seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean — a precursor to oil and gas drilling. We are united in the fight against opening up more of our ocean to oil and gas drilling. The risks are just too great.

It is hard to ignore that we have serious challenges to overcome, but we don’t want to leave readers pessimistic about our oceans. We know that when you give nature the chance, it can recover and even bloom again. We are committed to working with our colleagues to ensure that our oceans and the communities that depend on them stay healthy.

And we are not alone. People around the globe will celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8. In the lead-up, hundreds of ocean and coastal researchers, advocates, and industry leaders, convened by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, converged in Washington, D.C., for Capitol Hill Oceans Week. We had the opportunity to join these leaders in confronting the challenges facing one of our most precious global resources.

We can find common ground — across political lines, between private industry and environmental NGOs, and from all over the country — to protect our marine resources. Together, we can protect our oceans for generations to come.

https://grist.org/politics/saving-the-oceans-one-place-where-congress-can-agree/

Saving the Sumatran Rhino – While We Still Can

The International Rhino Foundation Blog

This is our last chance to save Sumatran rhinos.

In dense, steamy rainforests on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Borneo, Earth’s few remaining Sumatran rhinos are struggling to exist. Barely hanging on in fragmented sub-populations, this rhino is so rare – fewer than 80 survive – that only a handful of people have ever seen one in the wild. The decline of the species was initially caused by habitat loss and poaching for their horns, threats that still persist today.

Despite ongoing protection, the species faces extinction. Sumatran rhinos have become isolated in tiny pockets, decreasing the probability of breeding-age animals encountering one another. There simply aren’t enough rhino babies being born.

THE ALLIANCE

Indonesian government officials and rhino experts agree that the only way to bring the Sumatran rhino back from the brink is to consolidate the fragmented wild populations into managed breeding facilities designed specifically for their…

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