A dog named Luna overheated and died after daycare workers reportedly confined her in a tiny crate in scorching hot temperatures. The dog reportedly could not stand up, straighten her legs, or properly pant in the restrictive cage. Demand justice for Luna.
The puffin is rapidly moving towards extinction, in part due to trophy hunting. Tours, advertised primary to British hunters, boast that one hunter can kill up to 100 puffins at a time. Ban importation of these vulnerable birds as trophies.
They are shot, stabbed, beaten, and sometimes killed for doing their jobs. Law enforcement service animals endure a dangerous existence and little reward for their sacrifices. Ensure justice for these brave animals harmed or felled in the line of duty.
There are more than 100 endangered species in North America, and many are at a very high risk of extinction. Current penalties for harming these creatures are not strong enough. Demand that anyone who hurts or kills an endangered species gets a far harsher penalty.
Multiple raccoons have been killed and placed in gory displays throughout a small town. Hung by the intestines or nailed to buildings, these poor animals did nothing to deserve this cruelty. Demand that this killer be brought to justice.
By Paola Rosa-Aquino on Aug 27, 2019
The Bronx’s City Island docks are a strange mixture of outer-borough New York and New England coast. There are crusty boatyards and pristine yacht clubs, seedy seafood joints and fancy oyster bars, “my she was yar” schooners and “I’m on a boat” party cruisers. But the love of the ocean has always had the ability to bring disparate-seeming forces together — including, in this case, climate activism and the American Sailing Association.
On a recent summer morning, I headed to the docks to watch Captain Dave Jenkins of Soul Sailing prepare a small sailboat. Life vests and nautical maps in hand, Jenkins — a charismatic middle-aged man decked out in an appropriate sailing ensemble (boat shoes included) — boarded a vessel which was moored at the Harlem Yacht Club. We had been going back and forth for months trying to find the right time to head out on the water, only to be forced to reschedule several times due to unfavorable weather conditions. First it was the cold, then the heat, then torrential rain — the kinds of extremes that climate scientists say we should expect more of in the near future.
But on that day, with the sun shining bright and a slight breeze in the air, Jenkins assured me conditions were “ideal for sailing.”
“This is my playground,” Jenkins said of the open water. But it’s not just his alone — the way he sees it, the water belongs to everyone. He takes his sailboat, the Betty Lou, out regularly, showing students how to explore the five boroughs by way of its many waterways. While many people think of sailing as an exclusive endeavor, Jenkins says there are ways to keep the sport accessible. For example, there are a lot of old sailboats out there that sell for cheap and don’t require expensive fuel compared to one of those pesky motorboats.
“There’s so much to do in the city, they forget about the sixth borough — the water,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins’ love of the water is infectious. But in order for future generations to continue to enjoy it, he knows seafarers like himself need to do more than attract new talent. They also need to keep the ocean as clean as possible. And so every time he takes the sailboat out to open water, whether he’s hanging out with friends or instructing students, he keeps an eye open for any plastic debris.
Grist / Paola Rosa-Aquino
Jenkins says cleaning up trash while you are out on the water is something many sailors have been doing for a long time. But thanks to a new ocean cleanup program by the American Sailing Association, one of the world’s biggest coalitions of sailing enthusiasts, trainers, and charter companies, the habit is becoming formalized.
The group started the crusade, called Operation Plastic Pollution Purge, last year. The campaign, which, according to the American Sailing Association’s website, has exposed around 111 million people to the concept of ocean conservation, urges boaters to reduce or eliminate the number of plastic items they bring on their vessels and to collect and properly dispose of any trash they see while they’re out on open water. It’s an especially important value to instill in new sailing enthusiasts, and something organization says it is uniquely situated to do given its 300 schools and 7,000 instructors.
“It has to start with one person, and what better group of people than sailors,” Lenny Shabes, CEO and founder of the American Sailing Association, told Grist.
Granted, not all types of boats are great for the environment. Big cruise ships, for example, run off of diesel fuel and can actually end up being more harmful to the planet per mile even compared to air travel. But sailboats are largely wind-powered, and when decked out with solar panels like the one currently transporting 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City, can provide a net-zero means of transportation even across long distances.
More than that, Shabes says sailing can benefit the planet because it can make people realize they have a special responsibility to the water. “It’s a very spiritual thing. There’s no propulsion involved, other than what the good earth gives you. The difference between living in New York City and going sailing in the Long Island Sound, which is one of the most beautiful places in the world to sail is immense. To see it become polluted because some yahoo doesn’t care and throws the plastic bottle overboard — it irks me.”
And between the planet’s warming waters and humanities’ growing trash problem, the oceans need all the love they can get. Scientists don’t know exactly how much plastic trash is in the ocean, but some estimates suggest that as much as 244,000 metric tons might bob on the surface. Another 8.5 million metric tons are though to settle on the ocean floor per year. The United Nations estimates that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic debris in our oceans than fish.
“It’s as if you took a New York City garbage truck and dumped it full of plastic into the ocean every minute of every day,” Jenkins said.
If that trash stays at sea, it could cluster up in trash hot spots, the most famous of which is a swirling mass of garbage twice the size of Texas. The patch is located somewhere between California and Hawaii called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. There, currents deposit waste like abandoned fishing gear, bottles, and tiny pieces of pulverized plastics.
Back at the City Island docks, Jenkins and I were just about ready to set sail on our trash-finding venture. As the Betty Lou pulled out from the Bronx and into the open water, it felt like an escape from city life. To the east lay the Sound, Connecticut to the north and Long Island to the south. We headed toward the Long Island Sound.
Jenkins surveyed a nautical chart as we headed south and the ship neared the Throgs Neck Bridge. It wasn’t long before we spotted our first piece of refuse — a bright yellow bag floating on the waves. Jenkins quickly redirected the Betty Lou, grabbing a handy net. As we cruised by, he dipped it into the water and lifted it up to reveal a soggy bag of Funyons. After about three hours of sailing, we’d amassed a modest bag’s worth of trash. Jenkins said that if we’d gone sailing on a Monday after people were in surrounding beaches over the weekend, he would have expected even more prices of plastic surrounding the ship.
Of course, it will take more than a few sailing trips to solve the ocean’s plastic problem. That’s why many countries are either restricting or even wholesale banning single-use plastics. But Bonnie Monteleone, executive director of the Plastic Ocean Project, says these small-scale clean-ups can still do a lot of good. As part of a separate cleanup effort, she hired charter fishermen to pick up trash they see offshore. “Just that exposure of getting people to become aware of how much trash is out there — I call it “the magic eye,” Monteleone told Grist. “Once you do you can’t unsee it. I think any opportunity that will get people out on the water [for this kind of effort] will cast a wider net and get more people proactive at picking up what they see. “
And the stakes are high: The billions upon billions of items of plastic waste choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers and piling up on land is more than unsightly and harmful to plants and wildlife. According to Lauren Coiro, the American Sailing Association’s marine conservationist, plastic Pollution is a very real and growing threat to human health. “In terms of the health of marine life, it’s not good,” Coiro told Grist. “In terms of our own health, it’s not good.”
Indeed, the toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and can be found in the blood and tissue of nearly every one of us. Exposure to these substances is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption and a whole slew of other ailments. What’s worse, instead of breaking down, plastic breaks into smaller and smaller pieces called microplastics, making it even harder to clean up.
But on a macro level, ocean cleanups can still do their part to help rid the ocean of its plastic scourge. And who better to lead the way than people who are already on the waves? “Sailors are naturally a really easily motivated group of people,” Coiro says. “When we asked sailors to start talking about this and take leadership … a lot of sailors [were] happy to do it..”
At the end of our rendezvous on open water, Jenkins packed the sails away, a process that requires the utmost care to avoid twists, tears, and tangles. With the lines finally coiled and the sails covered, and Betty Lou was tucked in for the day — but perhaps not for long.
If weather conditions are favorable, Jenkins says he’ll go back out and do the same thing all over again tomorrow.
This 29 August 2019 CBS TV video from the USA says about itself:
Ring security system program with law enforcement raises privacy concerns
Amazon-owned Ring sells low-cost home security systems. Ring said Wednesday more than 400 law enforcement agencies use its “Neighborhood Watch” program. That gives police potential access to customers’ videos. Jamie Yuccas shows how guarding your home could compromise your privacy.
By Kevin Reed in the USA:
Home video security systems increasingly linked to US police departments in violation of democratic rights
31 August 2019
Home video security systems across the United States are increasingly being integrated with police and law enforcement systems that access an expanding network of residential photos and recordings. In many cases, video streams and images are being uploaded into cloud storage accounts, categorized and shared via “neighborhood crime” databases that violate the basic democratic rights of the public.
In the case of…
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The Malawi Police Service, in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, have arrested one of Malawi’s most wanted suspected wildlife trafficker, Yunhua Lin.
Lin, 46, a Chinese national, was arrested on Friday, 16 August 2019, in Lilongwe after a three months manhunt. He has been placed on remand in Maula prison, Lilongwe until 11 September when the next hearing will take place.
He is allegedly involved in the smuggling of elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales among other trophies and has been on the run following the arrest of nine other Chinese nationals and four Malawians in May this year including his wife Qin Hua Zhang.
Police received a tip that Lin was in hiding and managed to arrest him in Lilongwe during a joint operation with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
He is connected to the recovery of, a number of wildlife trophies including 3 live pangolins, 556 pangolin scales, 103 pieces of rhino horns, 2 hippo teeth, ivory made chopsticks and processed ivory.
Currently Lin is facing charges of ; illegal possession of listed species contrary to section 86 of National Parks and Wildlife Act as read with section 110 and Dealing in Government trophies contrary to section 91 of National Parks and Wildlife Act. Investigations are on going.
His arrest comes barely three months after nine other Chinese nationals were arrested in connection to the syndicate.
The nine–Yanwu Zhuo (37), Guohua Zhang(47), Jinfu Zeng(58), Guozong Zhang, Lio Hao Yuan(42), Qiang Chen(43), Shine He, Ya Shen Zhuo(51) and Qin Hua Zhang (43)- are currently being remanded to Maula Prison.
Four Malawians suspected accomplices James Mkwezalamba, Cosmas Sakugwa, Julius Sanudia and Steven Daza were also arrested in May this year and are remanded at Maula Prison.
Lin Hao Yuan was previously convicted of attempting to export processed Ivory at KIA in 2014. His wife Qin Hua Zhang and others are on court bail, case under senior resident magistrate , His Worship Msokera, following their arrest in Wildlife related offences in December 2017.
Please spread the information and petition far and wide by reblogs, social media-networks, email, word of mouth. While the petition seems to primarily target New York Governor Cuomo, it is important that this summary of what’s wrong with Holtec get spread far and wide. This excerpt from the Riverkeeper petition neatly summarizes the Holtec nuclear “problem”: “We the undersigned believe that Holtec is not a suitable company to undertake the decommissioning of Indian Point and take control of the $2 billion trust fund because it has bribed its way into contracts, lied about the bribes, and has a history of risk taking in an area where safety is critical. Plus it has little experience with actual nuclear plant decommissioning and is not backing the project with any of its own money” Sign the petition here: https://secure.riverkeeper.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=Indian_Point_Petition&_ga=2.164135871.1625657990.1566891780-938481784.1566891780
“Stop Holtec from taking over at Indian Point
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Noxious Cloud of Carbon Monoxide Pollution Spills Out of the Burning Amazon
NASA has detected a gargantuan cloud of noxious carbon monoxide (CO) rising from the Amazon blaze into the atmosphere.
The plume first appears as a greenish blob over Brazil before rapidly spreading out past the eastern and western coasts of South America, gradually darkening from green to yellow to red. This color shift signifies an increase in CO concentration in the atmosphere from about 100 parts per billion by volume (ppbv) to 160 ppbv in less than two weeks.
Gorilla habitat is shrinking day by day, and one of the main drivers is the chocolate industry. In Nigeria, cocoa farms are penetrating the last refuges of the endangered primates, driven by demand from chocolate lovers the world over. We can’t let the last remaining tiny patches of gorillas’ forests be trashed for candy.
Call to action
To: Governor Ben Ayade, via the Cross River State Forestry Commission (Mr Ogbang Akwaji)
Cocoa plantations are endangering the last rainforests in Cross River State. Strengthen nature conservation and fight illegal deforestation by cocoa producers.
Nigeria gives rise to despair and small glimmers of hope: 96 percent of the country’s forests are gone. One remaining bright spot is Cross River State in the southeast – its forests, which are among the world’s most biodiverse, are still home to gorillas.
Yet Cross River’s forests are also dying by a thousand cuts: More than 16,000 hectares were destroyed in 2017 – four times the previous year’s toll. The main causes of deforestation are illegal logging, palm oil plantations and the production of charcoal. Increasingly, cocoa plantations are encroaching on protected forests.
The ultimate driver of destruction, however, is the sweet tooth of consumers in the global North. Nigeria is the third-largest cocoa exporter in the world. The country is responsible for ten percent of the EU’s imports. Exports have grown by 65 percent over the past three years to 248,000 tons in 2018, with the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium being the largest importers.
In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana – the world leaders in cocoa production – the destruction of forests has reached extreme proportions. Nearly all of Côte d’Ivoire’s protected areas have been plundered, and Ghana holds a sad world record for its rate of deforestation in 2018. The close link between cocoa cultivation and deforestation makes us fear the worst for Nigeria.
Chocolate companies buy whatever cocoa they can get, no questions asked. While environmentalists in Brussels are in fact pushing for the EU to regulate the market, the gorillas can’t wait that long.
The governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has it in his hands to protect the gorillas and their habitat. Please sign our petition to the governor – we can’t let the last remaining tiny patches of gorilla habitat be trashed for candy.
Cross River State is already taking first steps toward preventing further deforestation for cocoa. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is currently expanding an ongoing project to villages in Afi, Mbe and Okwangwo. Its aim is to produce cocoa in an environmentally sound way. The EU is supporting the project financially.
The state government is planning a cocoa processing plant in the city of Ikom. The impact that this will have on the expansion of the plantations is currently unclear.
Cocoa in Omo Forest Reserve
Cocoa plantations are also a problem in Omo Forest Reserve. Thousands of smallholders have planted fields in the protected area in the state of Ogun. The reserve is home to at least 80 forest elephants and a crucial source of drinking water for the Nigerian metropolis of Lagos. Some settlers have already been there for decades, and the government would rather not evict them, as it would destroy their livelihoods and compensating them would be very costly. Rangers patrol the forest to stop others from encroaching, but the ranger units are too understaffed to protect the forest effectively.
To: Governor Ben Ayade, via the Cross River State Forestry Commission (Mr Ogbang Akwaji)
Rainforest Rescue is a nonprofit organization based in Hamburg, Germany. We are dedicated to preserving rainforests, protecting their inhabitants and furthering social reform.
Cross River State brings Nigeria – a country which has already lost 96 percent of its forest cover – to prominence in global discussions on the environment because it is home to some of the most biodiverse forests of Nigeria, and habitat of endangered species such as gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants.
It is therefore very worrisome that in Afi River Forest Reserve – a biodiversity hotspot – forest is being cut illegally for the production of cocoa. The reasons for this are manifold, amongst them the search for alternative livelihoods to replace logging for timber by local communities and a lack of knowledge about sustainable cocoa farming systems. We also observe that law enforcement within the protected areas seems ineffective.
To prevent further destruction, we call on you to implement the following measures:
- Strengthen the protection and management of forests in Cross River State in collaboration with local communities.
- Educate small-scale cocoa farmers in sustainable cocoa farming systems.
This petition is also available in the following languages:
Blue-Green Algae is finding its way onto the radar of dog owners after a number of locations across the U.S. have seen incidents of dogs getting sick and even dying from it. The latest place it has shown up is New York City.
The toxic blue-green algae that is potentially lethal to dogs has now been found in three New York City park ponds––the latest place it’s cropped up after leaving a trail of sick and dead pets across North Carolina, Texas and Georgia.
According to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the blue-green algae was found in two Central Park ponds and another pond in Prospect Park.
Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, is a microorganism that is caused by high nutrients, stagnant water, high temperatures and low oxygen…
“Most algae are harmless and are important parts of aquatic ecosystems, but blooms that produce blue-green…
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Spending so much time on the Internet and being there all the time these days, reading everything that is served to us – good or bad – sadly enough, often are the times we hear or read stories of dogs being used for experiments.
And, truth be told, it breaks my heart every time.
Image result for Drone footage shows hundreds of dogs kept in extreme stress for research
What took the internet by storm this time, is this video taken by a drone of hundreds of dogs being kept in horrible conditions and living the life no one would want. The video was uploaded on YouTube by Shark, and according to its caption, the dogs are there for experiments.
In a Covance Research facility, in Cumberland, Virginia you can see hundreds of Beagles in extremely stressful conditions.
Keeping them trapped and in such horrible conditions according to experts is developing them ‘very toxic and aggressive behavior patterns.’ In the video, you can hear the poor creatures barking and crying at all time.
Another thing noticed there, is the so-called ‘repetitive behavior’ of the dogs which is caused by stress, seeing many of them pacing in circles. This is an indicator of a serious problem with the mental state of an animal or person. It really breaks your heart!
The cages that the Beagles are being kept, are over-filled and you can clearly see they are under so much stress, where fighting and other signs of dominance occur. Who even blames them?
It is heartbreaking knowing that these lovely dogs are going under so much stress. While the barking and the crying of the Beagles – is the new sound of the Covance research facility.
Turns out that the Covance research facility has been blamed for illegal treatment in the past as well. They were accused by PETA for immoral practices in a monkey laboratory.
To help these loving creatures who are suffering from living a stressful life being trapped in cages, living a life they do not deserve, people have created a petition to shut down the Covance research facility and rescue the poor dogs.
Let’s hope the best for the life of these lovely Beagles.
Help Stop the Assault on Election Integrity – Judicial Watch
The integrity of our elections is under systematic assault by leftist activists and politicians whose objective is to manipulate elections for their own gain by not cleaning up voter rolls. And Judicial Watch is doing something about it!
Through our Election Integrity Project, Judicial Watch lawyers are in court fighting to clean up voter rolls – and winning! This includes:
Successfully suing the state of California and Los Angeles County to force them to begin cleaning up more than 1.5 million inactive names off their election rolls;
Judicial Watch lawsuits against the states of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky forced those states to clean up their voter rolls;
Now we are setting our legal sights onto several other states where there are more registered voters on the rolls than there are eligible voting-aged citizens.
Take action now to show your support for Clean Elections and the Judicial Watch Election Integrity Project by signing our petition of support.
Thu Aug 22,2019
GENEVAGENEVA (Reuters) – Countries voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to regulate international trade in giraffes, an endangered species, and in their skins and other parts, overcoming objections by southern African states and drawing praise from conservationists.
The provisional decision, taken in a key committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), is expected to be endorsed at a plenary next week, officials said. The requirements would come into force 30 days later.
“The giraffe is in the wild much rarer than African elephants, much rarer,” Tom De Meulenaer, CITES’ scientific services chief, told a news briefing before the vote.
“We are talking about a few tens of thousands of giraffes, and we talk about a few hundreds of thousands of African elephants. So we need to be careful,” he said.
After heated debate, countries easily defeated a proposal by four southern African states – Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – to allow controlled sales of their ivory stocks.
But in recognition of conservation efforts, countries rejected a motion that would have transferred southern African elephants to appendix I banning trade. The European Union was among those saying the move did not meet ‘biological criteria’.
“The decisions today … mean it’s status quo for elephants: No international commercial ivory trade is permitted and that is what needs to happen,” said Susan Lieberman of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Some 106 parties to the U.N.-backed treaty voted in favor of the giraffe motion, 21 voted against, with 7 abstentions.
Wildlife activists welcomed the move to list nine species of giraffes on CITES Appendix II that regulates trade. It came after the defeat of a motion by southern African countries to exclude their giraffe populations from any regulation.
Giraffes face “silent extinction”, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a conservation group, said in a statement.
“Thanks to today’s decision, the international trade in giraffe parts – which includes rugs and bone carvings – will be tracked in a manner that allows us to focus on problem trends in destructive trade, and fight for additional protections if necessary,” said Elly Pepper of the U.S.-based group.
Adam Peyman of Humane Society International said that it was a “huge win” for giraffes whose herds have shrunk.
“They have declined about 40 percent over the last 30 years and there are only about 68,000 mature individuals remaining in the world and they are really in trouble,” he told Reuters Television at the triennial talks.
Cassandra Koenen of World Animal Protection said: “This message is loud and clear: people care about wild animals and believe they should belong in the wild, not as a trophy in your office.”
(additional reporting by Cecile Mantovani in Geneva; Editing by Gareth Jones)
The Spotted Lanternfly has invaded the East Coast of the United States. This type of insect has no natural predators here and is an invasive species. The CDC and the Department Of Agriculture are urging residents throughout the East Coast to kill singles on sight and report infestations. The LanternFly, if not eradicated can destroy plant life, such as crops, trees and other resources we need to sustain livability.
In a Facebook post early Friday morning, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture warned that spotted lanternfly nymphs are beginning to change colors and are becoming more destructive.
The egg masses from spotted lanternflies can generally be seen on various species of trees through the month of May, before the lanternfly begins to hatch.
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To Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Governor Yuriko Koike, and all members of the Japanese government:
We call on you to close Japan’s domestic trade in ivory, end all ivory exports, and support efforts to ban the global ivory trade. As you prepare to welcome the world for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Japan must do all it can to create a lasting legacy and prevent elephants being driven to extinction.
The best type of ivory comes from the middle of the elephant’s tusk, where it’s firm and flawless. Poachers try to slaughter the largest elephant to get the most bang for their buck — often the matriarch, leaving her baby elephants left to fend for themselves.
How many of these majestic creatures must be slaughtered until our governments finally wise up and ban this sick trade?!
Avaaz has campaigned hard to shut down the ivory market in Hong Kong, and we won. China followed suit which was a HUGE victory for elephants. But there’s one major problem: Japan still allows a booming domestic ivory trade! Not only does this fuel illegal smuggling into neighbouring countries, it could also result in more poaching … and more orphan elephants.
Japan is hosting the Olympics in 2020, and they’re worried about negative press ahead of the Games! This is our chance to win them over — add your name now, and once enough join, Avaaz will launch a global media campaign to expose Japan’s bloody secret and shut down their market for good.
By Dina Fine Maron By Rachel Fobar
Every three years, there’s a global meeting to talk about the international wildlife trade—worth billions of dollars annually. At issue is an overarching question: How to balance this international commerce—which includes exotic pets, furs, and timber—without driving species to extinction.
The meetings are convened by the members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty enacted in 1975. (Learn more about the treaty here: CITES, explained.)
Among the matters the 183 members will address at the latest meeting—which runs from August 17 through August 28 in Geneva, Switzerland—are the future of the ivory trade, illegal killings of rhinos and the rhino horn trade, management of African elephant populations, and the booming exotic pet business.
Wildlife Watch will be closely tracking the conference. Find our stories from CITES here and read briefs below on this regularly updated news ticker. You can also follow our tweets at @Dina_Maron and @rfobarand @Rachael_Bale.
August 20—Black rhino trophy hunting in South Africa
Parties have voted to allow South Africa to increase its annual export quota for black rhino hunting trophies. The current quota allows for five adult male trophies, but the new quota will allow a number not exceeding half a percent of the country’s total black rhino population—a maximum of about 10 animals. Adult males will be targeted to protect breeding females.
South Africa argued that the money raised from trophy hunting helps support conservation. Black rhinos are threatened by poaching, but according to the conservation nonprofit Save the Rhino, populations in the country increased from about 800 in 1992 to more than 2,000 by the end of 2017.
Botswana, Zimbabwe, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), the EU, and Canada also supported the measure.
This matter must now be confirmed or rejected at the plenary, at the end of the Conference of the Parties, when all appendix change proposals, resolutions, and decisions passed in committee are officially adopted.
August 18—Export of live, wild-caught elephants
In a surprise early vote, parties voted in committee to amend a resolution to limit the trade in live, wild-caught African elephants to range countries only. This issue has received international attention following the shipment of young elephants from Zimbabwe to China in 2015 and from eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) to U.S. zoos in 2016.
Zimbabwe, the U.S., and the European Union spoke against the move. “Live sales are part of our management tools,” the Zimbabwe delegate said, and those sales raise funds for conservation.
Kenya, Niger, and Burkina Faso spoke in support of it. “We all agree these are intelligent creatures with complex social links,” the Burkina Faso delegate said of elephants, arguing that they cannot thrive in captivity.
The European Union, which acts as a bloc but has 28 individual votes, asked for the vote to be postponed, but the chair rejected the call.
There were 46 yes votes and 18 no votes, with the European Union neither voting nor abstaining. Had they voted no, the resolution would not have passed. The proposal must now be confirmed or rejected at the plenary, which comes at the end of the Conference of the Parties and is where all appendix change proposals, resolutions, and decisions passed in committee are officially adopted. While many elephant campaigners were pleased at the show of support, they are concerned that the debate could be reopened at the plenary and that the EU parties would vote no, reversing today’s approval.
August 16—Setting the scene
-Dina Fine Maron
Wildlife Watch is an investigative reporting project between National Geographic Society and National Geographic Partners focusing on wildlife crime and exploitation. Read more Wildlife Watch stories here, and learn more about National Geographic Society’s nonprofit mission at nationalgeographic.org. Send tips, feedback, and story ideas to email@example.com.
PUBLISHED August 17, 2019
By Sharon Vega
Some giraffe subspecies are endangered due to habitat loss, poaching, human-wildlife conflict and more. These wild animals suffer enough. They don’t belong in zoos. Yet many are forced to live there in confinement. One giraffe recently went through a terrible ordeal when a drunk guy in the zoo climbed on top of a fence and got on top of him. It was all caught on video. How and why was this allowed to happen? These wild animals are not even supposed to be there, and to top it all off, they aren’t being protected or guarded?
People who are reluctant to recognize the truth about zoos are probably unaware that animals in zoos suffer more than just being in captivity. They are subject to the behaviors of the human spectators around them. For instance, some zoos host parties and play loud music right next to the animal enclosures. This is completely unfamiliar to them and is terrifying and can even be damaging to their hearing or health. What’s worse is that when alcohol is served at zoos, there are cases of belligerent people not just putting themselves in danger but terrifying the animals by climbing into their enclosures or throwing things at the animals.
In the case of this giraffe, the man appears to have arrived drunk at the zoo. He was filmed by someone as he climbed a fence and then got on top of a giraffe and proceeded to actually ride the poor animal. This happened at the Shymkent Zoo in the city Shymkent in Kazakhstan, Central Asia. The zoo has over 1500 animals, including a herd of giraffes. If animals are going to be kept in captivity this way (which they shouldn’t), there should at least be security measures that keep the animals safe.
How was the drunk guy not stopped while attempting to climb the fence. He should never have been able to get on top of the giraffe. It’s a prime example of why animals shouldn’t be kept in captivity this way. Giraffes, like all wild animals, belong in the wild.
Apparently police are searching for the drunk guy in the video. Sign this petition to put pressure on the police to catch him. People have to know this is unacceptable behavior.
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PETITION TARGET: SA Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy
Canned hunting is a grotesque industry in which hunters pay to kill endangered creatures confined to fenced-in enclosures with no way of escape. Facilities force-breed animals, steal young from their mothers, raise them in appalling conditions and profit from hunters who kill the animals for fun.
This abhorrent practice exploits animals and abuses them from the day they are born to the day they are slaughtered by paying killers.
Raised in factory farms, these animals spend most of their lives in tiny, crowded cages, often without water or adequate nutrition. Malnourished and deprived of natural behaviors, their short lives end when they are put into a fenced area to be shot with a crossbow or shotgun. Animals may be baited or drugged to make them an easy target.
Lions are big business in this industry, particularly in South Africa. Cubs as young as three days old are stolen from their mothers, bottle-fed and used in fake “sanctuaries,” where naïve volunteers pay to care for them under the pretense of conservation. Lion walks and lion petting are further avenues to profit from their suffering.
In reality, these beautiful creatures are forced to live in filthy conditions and often fall ill due to poor nutrition and stress. Once older, they are violated through forced impregnation and eventually killed for paid ‘hunts’ — if they survive that long. Many also suffer severe illnesses from inbreeding.
South Africa has around 200 lion breeding facilities containing an estimated 6000 big cats. There are three times more lions in captivity in South Africa than in the wild. Tigers and other exotic animals also fall victim to this ruthless trade.
Canned hunting does not benefit conservation. It is purely a money-making endeavor that supports abusing and murdering majestic animals for a quick thrill.
Sign this petition urging South Africa’s Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries Barbara Creecy to call for a ban on all canned and captive hunting in South Africa, saving thousands of animals from needless torture and cowardly slaughter.
The fate of the last wolf from that pack will be determined at trial.
A King County Superior Court judge ordered state officials on Friday morning to temporarily stop killing members of a wolf pack in the Colville National Forest, in northeastern Washington — but their fate had already been decided.
Hours earlier, state officials had already killed most of the pack, known as the Old Profanity Territory pack.
They had killed four of them early Friday morning — before the 9:30 a.m. court hearing started. And they’d already killed four others between July 31 and August 13.
That left only one wolf still alive when the restraining order was issued. That animal’s fate will be decided at a trial.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife was killing the wolves because the pack had killed or injured 14 cattle over the past 10 months.
“Lethal removal” of wolves that attack livestock is part of the state’s strategy for managing wolves in the eastern third of the state, where the animals are not federally listed as an endangered species.
It costs the state about $20,000 to kill one wolf.
Before the state kills wolves, ranchers have to prove they took reasonable steps to protect their livestock, such as employing cowboys known as range riders, using light and noise to scare wolves away from cattle, and removing sick and injured animals from the range.
The Center for a Humane Economy, the organization that sued the state to stop killing the wolf pack, said the rancher did not take adequate steps.
In fact, the rancher asked those state range riders – meant to scare the wolves – to leave his range on July 8. Nine of the 14 wolf attacks on cattle occurred that day and in the following month.
The judge ruled that there was enough of a question about whether or not the rancher had taken adequate preventative steps to allow the case to go to trial.
By killing four of the wolves in the early morning hours the day of the hearing, the state was acting in “tremendously bad faith,” said Wayne Pacelle, president of the Center for a Humane Economy.
“It’s like, ‘Okay, we’ve got to get these wolves now, in case the judge stops us,’” he said.
Staci Lehman, a spokesperson for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said it was just a matter of “unfortunate timing.”
“It’s always unfortunate whenever we have to remove wolves,” Lehman said. “It’s never taken lightly by anybody at the department.”
This is the second wolf pack state officials have eliminated from the same territory in less than three years. State agents killed seven members of the pack that previously occupied the area, known as the Profanity Peak pack, in 2016.
The area has lots of elk and deer and potential den sites, so both environmentalists and the state agree that a new pack is likely to form there soon.
But, Lehman said, a new pack wouldn’t necessarily attack livestock.
“If we start off with a new pack using preventative measures” that teach wolves not to prey on livestock, she says — measures such as range riders and light and noise — “then hopefully we can prevent that.”
But Pacelle said he’d rather that the Forest Service end grazing allotments in wolf habitat such as this. He says that would be the best way to minimize conflict between wolves and livestock.
The eight wolves from the Old Profanity Territory pack are unlikely to be the last ones state wildlife officials kill this year.
State agents have a current lethal removal order for one to two members of the Togo Pack, another northeast Washington wolf pack accused of attacking livestock.
That would bring the number of wolves killed by state agents this year to nine or 10 — seven to eight percent of Washington’s total wolf population.
A popular male lion, which had been photographed frequently by hundreds of visitors to Hwange National Park in west Zimbabwe, was shot dead by hunters this last weekend on World Lion Day (10 August).
Male lion Seduli has been shot dead by hunters in Zimbabwe. Photo: Drew Abrahamson
In a heartbreaking message on social media on Wednesday evening, Captured in Africa (CIA) Foundation founder Drew Abrahamson announced the devastating news, which she had found out today.
The lion was apparently on the outskirts of the park. CIA had regularly published posts about Seduli and another male lion, Mopane, who had been photographed together by many international safari visitors over the past few years.
Abrahamson said: “Despite our previous attempts as a community online to prevent these two males from being hunted, Seduli has unnecessarily lost his life at the hands of hunters and Mopani now roams the wilds without his companion.”
She posted two photos – one of Seduli, and another showing other Hwange male lions who have been killed in this region over the past decade. One of the most famous lions to be killed was one named Cecil in 2015.
Other Hwange male lions killed by hunters in the past decade. Photo: Drew Abrahamson
“Does this number of male lions shot over 10 years in one region appear sustainable to you given that lion populations have declined across Africa by 43% in the last 25 years?
“Add to this that with each of these males taken out of a pride, came the loss of either lionesses and cubs dying in the change-over or conflict it caused.
“Dispersal of youngsters fleeing into external areas creating potential human-wildlife conflict issues with communities living on the borders of the park is not uncommon and is proven in some cases to be as a direct result of these pride males being taken out by hunters,” said Abrahamson.
Supporters of hunting claim that the sport’s focus is on sustainability, and that the areas in which hunting takes place are not suitable for photographic safaris and therefore by using them for hunting it generates revenue to maintain these wild habitats.
“But how are you protecting the wildlife if you are taking out males from prides who frequent the National Park?” asks Abrahamson.
It’s time, she says, for an independent scientific study on the sustainability of the numbers taken from this region, and the impact these losses are having on the lion pride dynamics, as well as the knock-on affect to communities in these areas.
According to Abrahamson, these are healthy lions being taken out of the gene pool, and lions which are still breeding and actively part of a healthy pride. These lions traverse the park and viable protected photographic areas. She says their loss contradicts the hunters’ philosophies.
Abrahamson asked that readers “share this far and wide to raise awareness of the continued unsustainable hunting taking place on the outskirts of Hwange, and to raise a call for the photographic operators and stakeholders in dialogue with Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to address the issue of continued losses of lions known to and photographed by the hundreds of visitors who pay to visit Zimbabwe annually.”
Some health- and environment-conscious consumers and food retailers are starting to think they are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Even when they opt for the newer, “healthier and more eco-friendly” food packaging over plastic or Styrofoam for takeout meals there seems to be problems. In this case (as there was previously with Whole Foods food packaging for their deli offerings) there is evidence suggesting that the compost-based, eco-friendly food packaging used by some carryout restaurants and delis contain toxic PFAS chemicals which have been demonstrated to leach into the food–and therefore into the consumer’s body.
Toxic PFAS chemicals may be in your eco-friendly takeout food containers
A recent report released by the New Food Economy, a non-profit newsroom that investigates food-related issues, reported the “cancer-linked” presence of PFAS, also called “forever chemicals,” in the fiber bowls used at fast casual dining spots and other…
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August 14, 2019 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners not to feed certain lots of Texas Tripe raw pet food after samples tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes.
The FDA is issuing this alert because these lots of Texas Tripe Inc. raw pet food represent a serious threat to human and animal health.
Because these products are sold and stored frozen, FDA is concerned that people may still have them in their possession.
What’s Being Recalled?
The recalled products are sold frozen in 20-pound and 40-pound cases.
Each case contains multiple plastic pouches.
Lot codes to help identify recalled product are printed on the outside of the cases. But the lot codes are not printed on the individual sealed plastic pouches, also known as chubs.
So, if the case has been discarded, there are no unique identification numbers on the individual chubs that allow customers to determine that they possess the recalled products.
These products are manufactured by Texas Tripe Inc. and were sold direct to consumers online and by phone.
The chart below lists the recalled products and lot numbers provided by the firm to FDA on 8/6/2019. These include 35 lots for each of the following 23 product varieties.
Texas Tripe Dog Food Recall of August 2019
The FDA-sampled products below tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes (as of 8/13/19) but have not been recalled.
Texas Tripe Chicken Blend: Lot 19196-6
Texas Tripe Pork Blend: Lot 19190-09
Texas Tripe Beef Blend: Lot 19191-05
Where Were the Products Sold?
According to the company, recalled products have been sold directly to consumers in the following states:
What Caused the Recall?
The Office of the Texas State Chemist (OTSC) collected 23 finished product samples at Texas Tripe Inc. Of the 23 samples, 16 tested positive for Listeria and/or Salmonella.
The FDA followed up these findings with an inspection and collected and analyzed samples of unopened finished product, after the firm performed corrective actions, from additional lots of some of the same products tested by OTSC.
FDA testing showed some of the samples contained Salmonella and/or L. mono.
FDA and OSTC shared their test results with Texas Tripe Inc. The firm initiated a recall on July 3, 2019 by directly notifying some of its customers via email.
Why FDA Is Concerned
Pet foods and treats contaminated with Salmonella and L. mono are of particular public health importance because they can affect both human and animal health.
Pets can get sick from these pathogens and may also be carriers of the bacteria and pass it on to their human companions without appearing to be ill.
People can get sick from handling contaminated pet foods and treats or touching surfaces that have had contact with the contaminated pet foods and treats.
Additionally, if a person gets Salmonella or L. mono on their hands, they can spread the bacteria to other people, objects, and surfaces.
The FDA is aware of recent cases in which humans and/or animals have gotten sick from exposure to Salmonella-contaminated pet foods (Salmonella-human cases, Salmonella-kitten, Salmonella-kitten and dog).
Although FDA is not aware of a documented case of a person acquiring L. mono infection from a pet food, once Salmonella or L. mono get established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria in the feces when it has a bowel movement, and the contamination may continue to spread.
Because animals can shed the bacteria in the feces when they have bowel movements, it’s particularly important to clean up the animal’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed, in addition to cleaning items in the home.
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires that all animal food, like human food, be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.
Without an effective control for pathogens, such as cooking, animal food is more likely to contain pathogens such as Salmonella and L. mono.
Refrigeration or freezing does not kill the bacteria.
Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are very young, very old, or have weak immune systems.
According to the CDC, people infected with Salmonella can develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
Most people recover without treatment, but in some people, the diarrhea may be so severe that they need to be hospitalized.
In some patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics.
Consult your health care provider if you have symptoms of Salmonella infection.
Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level.
If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly.
You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.
Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) is a bacterium that can cause illness and death in humans and animals, especially those who are pregnant, very young, very old, or have weak immune systems.
According to CDC, listeriosis in humans can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the person and the part of the body affected.
Symptoms can include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions in addition to fever and muscle aches.
Pregnant women typically experience only fever and other flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle aches.
However, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection of the newborn.
Pregnant women and their newborns, adults age 65 and older, and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to get sick with listeriosis.
Anyone with symptoms of listeriosis should contact a health care provider.
L. mono infections are uncommon in pets, but they are possible.
Symptoms may include mild to severe diarrhea, anorexia, fever, nervousness, muscular and respiratory signs, abortion, depression, shock and death.
Pets do not need to display symptoms to be able to pass L. mono on to their human companions.
Once L. mono gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria in the feces when it has a bowel movement…
And the contamination may continue to spread, further contaminating the household environment.
What to Do?
If you have any recalled product, stop feeding it to your pets and throw it away in a secure container where other animals, including wildlife, cannot access it.
Consumers who have had this product in their homes should clean refrigerators/freezers where the product was stored and clean and disinfect all bowls, utensils, food prep surfaces, pet bedding, toys, floors, and any other surfaces that the food or pet may have had contact with.
Clean up the pet’s feces in yards or parks where people or other animals may become exposed.
Consumers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling the recalled product or cleaning up potentially contaminated items and surfaces.
If you believe you have symptoms of Salmonella and L. mono, consult your health care provider.
People who think their pets have become ill after consuming contaminated pet food should first contact their veterinarians.
Veterinarians who wish to have pets tested for Salmonella may do so through the Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN Network) if the pet is from a household with a person infected with Salmonella.
U.S. citizens can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.
Canadians can report any health or safety incidents related to the use of this product by filling out the Consumer Product Incident Report Form.
Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email
Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s emergency recall notification system.
August 13, 2019 11:44am
Scientists from the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland filmed the rare Greenland shark recently in the Canadian Arctic. Slow swimmers and effectively blind, the Greenland shark is one of the Arctic’s top predators. Scientist Brynn Devine says: The observation and monitoring of marine species can be challenging under the best of circumstances. But sampling at extreme depths and in seasonally ice-covered waters is especially difficult. The videos were recorded during summer sessions in 2017, and the scientists published results of their study of the sharks in the journal Nature in January 2018. Credit: Brynn Devine/Marine Institute via Storyful
Scientists believe they may have discovered the world’s oldest living vertebrate.
A shark believed to be the oldest living vertebrate has been discovered — and it could be older than Shakespeare.
The massive Greenland shark was found in the North Atlantic Ocean by scientists who estimated it is up to 512 years old.
Greenland sharks, which only grow 1cm a year, have been known to live for hundreds of years.
The scientists used the shark’s size to suggest its year of birth as early as 1505.
This was the year the future British King Henry VIII ended his engagement to Catherine of Aragon.
Experts used the length — a staggering 5.5 metres — and radiocarbon dating to determine its age as somewhere between 272 and 512 years old, according to a study in journal Science.
It was the oldest of a group of 28 Greenland sharks analysed for the study.
The shark would have been alive during major world events like the founding of the United States, the Napoleonic Wars and the sinking of the Titanic.
Greenland sharks mostly eat fish but they have never been observed hunting. Surprisingly, they have been found to have remains of reindeer and even horses in their stomachs.
Their flesh is considered a delicacy in Iceland, but the meat is toxic if not correctly treated.
A separate study of the ancient shark’s bones and tissues by the Arctic University of Norway may also provide clues about the effects of climate change and pollution over a long time span.
Already the researchers have mapped out all the shark’s mitochondrial DNA — genetic material held in tiny battery-like bodies in cells that supply energy.An ‘ancient’ Greenland shark is caught by fishermen. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: InstagramThe 5.5 metre Greenland shark was estimated to be up to 512 years old. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: Instagram
Now they are working on DNA from the cell nucleus, which contains the bulk of the animal’s genes.
The “long life” genes could shed light on why most vertebrates have such a limited life span and what determines life expectancy in different species, including humans.
Professor Kim Praebel, who is leading the research, said the sharks were “living time capsules” that could help shed light on human impact on the oceans.
Many were so old they predated the industrial revolution and the introduction of large-scale commercial fishing.
“The longest living vertebrate species on the planet has formed several populations in the Atlantic Ocean,” said Prof Praebel, who was speaking at the University of Exeter at a symposium organised by the Fisheries Society of the British Isles.
“This is important to know, so we can develop appropriate conservation actions for this important species.”Greenland sharks are known for their longevity, living for hundreds of years. Picture: @JUNIEL85 Source: Instagram
ANCIENT BEASTS: SOME OF THE WORLD’S LONGEST-LIVING THINGS
• Aldabra giant tortoise — Species has been known to live to up to 255 years old, making it the oldest terrestrial animal in the world.
• Glass sponges — Found in the East China Sea and Southern Ocean, examples have been found that are more than 10,000 years old.
• Great Basin bristlecone pine — One tree is the oldest in North America at 5067 years old.
• Endolith — A microscopic organism that lives inside rock. In August 2013, researchers found evidence of endoliths on the ocean floor perhaps being millions of years old.
• Hydra — an ocean species that does not age, making it technically immortal.
• Creme Puff — The oldest known domestic cat, who died in Austin Texas in 2005 aged 38 years and three days.
• Jeanne Calment — French great grandmother who died at 122 years and 164 days in 1997. She outlived both her daughter and grandson by several decades.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission