Bring the sea otters back

environmentamerica.webaction.org

Sea otters are one of the most beloved animals on earth. Unfortunately, over a hundred years ago, people hunted sea otters to near-extinction off of the Oregon coast. We, along with our ocean, are still paying the price.

Without otters around to keep them in check, purple sea urchin populations have exploded in recent years, mowing down critical kelp forests and creating a nearshore wasteland where few other species can survive. Without kelp, many fish and sea creatures are left without shelter, habitat, or their primary food source.

I support efforts to reintroduce sea otters off the Oregon coast to help bolster the endangered species and restore the health of the kelp forest ecosystems.

Sea otters are one of the most beloved animals on earth. Unfortunately, over a hundred years ago, people hunted sea otters to near-extinction off of the Oregon coast. We, along with our ocean, are still paying the price.

Without otters around to keep them in check, purple sea urchin populations have exploded in recent years, mowing down critical kelp forests and creating a nearshore wasteland where few other species can survive. Without kelp, many fish and sea creatures are left without shelter, habitat, or their primary food source.

I support efforts to reintroduce sea otters off the Oregon coast to help bolster the endangered species and restore the health of the kelp forest ecosystems.

https://environmentamerica.webaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=44536&supporter_KEY=1220798&uid=0d0236e6916ce0fdcb06085fe49b10fc&utm_source=salsa&utm_medium=email&tag=email_blast:93612&utm_campaign=AME4-FCNS:WILDLIFE:OTTER-0521&utm_content=EM9:00C:0HH-APP

SIGN: Stop Bunny Torture and All Animal Cruelty at TJ Maxx

angora bunny

ladyfreethinker.org

Lady Freethinker 2 minutes

Image via Alamy

PETITION TARGET: TJX Companies, Inc. CEO Ernie Herrman

At barbaric wool farms, workers snatch Angora rabbits from filthy, crammed cages, violently pin the helpless bunnies down, and forcefully rip their fur from their skin. Their ear-piercing screams are ignored for years until the animals are no longer considered profitable; then, their throats are slit and they’re thrown away like trash.

Global retailer TJX Companies, Inc. — which owns TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Sierra Trading Post, and more — sells cruel Angora fur and other inhumane products, despite hundreds of other major retailers throughout the world dropping Angora fur from their inventories.

TJX has no animal welfare policy in place, and it’s time to adopt one, ending the pain and suffering of defenseless bunnies and all animals abused for profit.

A proposal to conduct a report on animal welfare in their supply chain in June 2020 earned 7.59 percent shareholder support — a substantial result for this type of proposal. A second, similar proposal requesting that the company analyze the risks of continuing to operate without an animal welfare policy is now on the ballot for a June 8 company meeting —  and the reintroduced initiative needs your support. 

Tell TJX that it has a moral and social responsibility to ensure its products are cruelty-free and appropriately sourced.

Sign this petition urging TJX CEO Ernie Herrman to immediately conduct a report on animal welfare in their supply chain, and implement an effective policy that keeps cruelty off of store shelves.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/tjx-animal-cruelty-angora-bunnies/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email

By Creating a ‘Landscape of Fear,’ Wolves Reduce Car Collisions With Deer

A photograph of a deer walking across the road while a car approaches

www.smithsonianmag.com

Theresa Machemer

A new study in Wisconsin suggests the predators keep prey away from roads, reducing crashes by 24 percent

Each year, nearly 20,000 Wisconsin residents collide with deer each year, which leads to about 477 injuries and eight deaths annually. (Photo by Ken Mattison via Flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

smithsonianmag.com
May 26, 2021

Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights an underappreciated benefit of wild wolf populations: the large predators frighten deer away from dangerous roadways, saving money and lives in the process.

According to the analysis 22 years of data, a county’s deer-vehicle collisions fall by about 24 percent after wolves take up residence there, Christina Larson reports for the Associated Press. Nearly 20,000 Wisconsin residents collide with deer each year, which leads to about 477 injuries and eight deaths annually. There are 29 counties in Wisconsin that have wolves.

“Some lives are saved, some injuries are prevented, and a huge amount of damage and time are saved by having wolves present,” says Wesleyan University natural resource economist Jennifer Raynor to Ed Yong at the Atlantic.

The study estimates that wolves save Wisconsin about $10.9 million in losses each year in prevented car crashes, which is far greater than the compensation paid by the state to people who lose pets or livestock to wolves.

“Most economic studies of wolves have been negative, focusing on livestock losses,” says wolf expert Dave Mech, who works at the U.S. Geological Survey in Minnesota and was not involved in the study, to the AP. “But wolves also reshape ecosystems in many ways, although that’s hard to measure economically.”

Most of the reduction in collisions was due to the “landscape of fear” that wolves create. Wolves tend to follow clear paths through the landscape, like streams. In an area that has been developed by humans, wolves follow roads, trails and pipelines. Deer adapt to the wolves’ presence by staying away, which would reduce the chance that they would get hit by a car.

“The icing on the cake is that wolves do this work all year long at their own expense,” says Western University ecologist Liana Zanette, who was not involved in the study, to the Atlantic. “It all seems like a win-win for those wolf counties.”

Wolves killing deer only accounted for about six percent of the drop in deer-vehicle collisions, reports Jack J. Lee for Science News. The drop in collisions didn’t just happen because wolves kill deer, so culling deerduring hunting season wouldn’t necessarily limit car collisions to the same extent as having wolves present.

The deer that the wolves do manage to kill would likely be the least risk-averse, and most likely to run in front of cars. But a detailed understanding of wolf and deer behavior would come from research that tracks the animals with collars, which was not a part of the new study, says University of Wyoming ecologist Matthew Kauffman to the Atlantic.

The research stands out from other studies of wolves’ impact on the environment because it highlights a benefit that wolves bring to the humans that live nearby. The regions that support wolf reintroduction tend to be urban, while rural communities generally oppose it. That was the case in Colorado, where wolf reintroduction narrowly passed in a vote in November. In sharp contrast, the Idaho state government recently passed a law to kill 90 percent of its wolves.

“The most interesting thing to me about choosing Wisconsin as a case study is that this is a human-dominated landscape,” says Raynor to Science News.

The estimated savings to Wisconsin are about 63 times higher than the cost of compensating people for losses caused by wolves. Raynor adds to Science News there are economic factors that weren’t taken into account in the new study, like the cost by deer to agriculture and through Lyme disease.

Adrian Treves, a conservation biologist at the University of Wisconsin, tells the AP that the study “adds to growing awareness that scientists should consider both the costs and the benefits of having large carnivores on the landscape.”

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wisconsin-counties-wolves-see-fewer-collisions-between-cars-and-deer-180977819/#.YL14eBQzoH4.twitter