Photo Credit: Mother Manatee and Calf (c) Sam Farkas/NOAA
Over 670 manatee deaths has shocked scientists and wildlife lovers alike – we must act immediately to save Florida’s state marine mammal!
This has been one of the deadliest winters ever recorded for threatened manatees. Pollution is destroying the seagrass they depend on for survival, causing hundreds of manatees to turn up dead across the central and south Atlantic coast of Florida, many with signs of starvation.
This crisis needs an immediate and powerful response. We’re calling on the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to protect manatees and their habitat to save manatees right now and to prevent similar crises from happening in the future.
Urge the FWS to protect and restore manatee habitat – click here to add your signature!
Dear U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: As a member of Defenders of Wildlife and an advocate for imperiled species, I’m asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prioritize safeguarding and securing manatee habitat to prevent further unprecedented loss of manatees. The past few months have been some of the deadliest on record for manatees. In just three months, over 670 manatees have died, with many showing signs of starvation as the seagrass habitats they depend on for survival have disappeared, leaving them with nothing to eat. I urge you to work with the state of Florida to address excessive runoff from various sources, including agricultural,residential and industrial uses, that is polluting our waterways and leading to widespread manatee deaths. Runoff into our precious waterways is fueling algal blooms that have shaded out and killed tens of thousands of acres of seagrasses. Sediment washing into the water from agriculture and land development can also damage seagrass beds by smothering the seagrass and blocking sunlight. Waterbodies around the state, including Indian River Lagoon, the St. Lucie River estuary, Biscayne Bay, Florida Bay, Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay, are all experiencing devastating impacts from pollution generated by agriculture, development and industry. In addition to comprising a primary food source for manatees, seagrass meadows are one of the most productive ecosystems in Florida. They provide food and shelter to a biologically diverse community of species, from seahorses and commercially important fish, to sea turtles, marine mammals, and birds. The greatest long-term threat to the manatee is lack of warm-water habitat that they need to survive. Coastal development continues to degrade natural habitat, like rivers and springs. Manatees become susceptible to cold stress, which is often lethal, at water temperatures below ~68F. Due to habitat loss, more than 60% of the manatee population depends on warm-water outfalls at electric power plants to survive cold winter days — an unsustainable situation. Restoring natural warm water winter habitat, such as the Great Florida Riverway, is essential to ensuring the long-term recovery of the species. FWS must coordinate with Florida Power & Light to convene a meeting that focuses on establishing and securing regional networks of natural warm water where manatees can take refuge in cold weather that have healthy, adequate food sources nearby. As the number of manatee deaths continues to rise, FWS must ensure that all protections for manatees remain in place and are expanded as necessary. I’m asking you to please take urgent steps to protect manatees and their habitat before the future of this species is once again in jeopardy. Sincerely,
Abusive barbaric CAMEL weight lifting competitions are being held in Pakistan on an annual basis. Camels are forced to lift tons and tons of heavy bricks and sacks so that their owners can win monetary cash prizes at the end of these atrocious so called competitions!
PETA director Elisa Allen said: ‘If anyone wishes to enter a weight-lifting contest, they should train and have to go at it, but leave the animals out of it.
‘Camels are intelligent, sensitive individuals, and treating them as living cranes for human amusement adds to the many types of abuse, including their eventual slaughter.
Sheezada ( camel) lifted 1.7tons to win the contest, the equivalent of a small car
we request Imran Khan and Government of Pakistan to ban such competitions and strictly enforce the law so that such merciless brutal events are not arranged illegally
The Americas are home to 365 species of hummingbirds. Fifteen types of hummingbirds can be found living in the United States, along with nine vagrant species that occasionally wander inside our borders.
Even though hummingbirds might weigh less than your pocket change, don’t let their tiny size fool you! These small birds can be feisty and were even considered to be the reincarnations of warriors by the Aztecs. Take Rufous Hummingbirds, for example: They are known to stand their ground against much larger birds and will even chase chipmunks away from their nests.
For the purposes of this list, we’ve used Partners in Flight (PIF) population and conservation data exclusive to the United States and Canada, which do not reflect global numbers for many of these species, along with data from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Our taxonomic list includes all regularly occurring types of hummingbirds in the continental United States and Canada.
U.S. Population Estimate: <5,000 Population Trend: Unknown Habitat: Pine-oak forest Threats: Habitat loss, possibly climate change Note: At 420 to 1,200 beats per minute, the Rivoli’s Hummingbird has one of the highest vertebrate heartrates on record.
U.S. Population Estimate: <2,000 Population Trend: UnknownHabitat: Pine-oak forest Threats: Habitat loss, invasive species Note: The Blue-throated Mountain-gem is the largest nesting hummingbird in the U.S. and Canada; it weighs about three times more than the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
U.S. Population Estimate: <5,000 Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Desert scrub Threats: Habitat loss, possibly climate change Conservation Status: PIF Yellow Watchlist Note: Male Lucifer Hummingbirds visit females during the breeding season, performing courtship displays at the females’ nests. This is in contrast to many other hummingbirds that perform courtship displays away from nests.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 34 million Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Eastern forest Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have become accustomed to urbanization and have been known to nest in surprising locations, including loops of extension cords, wires, and chains.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 7.7 million Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Western forest Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: The Black-chinned Hummingbird’s eggs are smaller than jellybeans!
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 8.2 million Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Chaparral shrubland Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: The breeding range for the Anna’s Hummingbird was originally exclusive to northern Baja California and southern California; however, this bird’s range has expanded thanks to the planting of exotic flowering trees. It now nests north to southern British Columbia.
U.S. Population Estimate: 1.6 million Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Desert scrub Threats: Habitat loss, cat predation Note: They breed in the Southwest, but Costa’s Hummingbirds have been spotted several times in the Pacific Northwest and have even ventured as far as Alaska and British Columbia.
U.S. Population Estimate: 7.6 million Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Western forest Threats: Cat predation, possibly climate changeNote: Like many hummingbirds of mountainous areas, the Broad-tailed Hummingbird can enter torpor, a slowed metabolic state, on cold nights in order to maintain a body temperature of roughly 54° Fahrenheit.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 19 million Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Western forest Threats: Habitat loss, possibly climate changeConservation Status: PIF Yellow Watchlist Note: The Rufous Hummingbird breeds as far north as southeastern Alaska — the northernmost breeding range of any hummingbird.
U.S. Population Estimate: 1.7 million Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Chaparral shrubland Threats: Habitat loss, cat predation, possibly climate changeConservation Status: PIF Yellow Watchlist Note: Even though the Allen’s Hummingbird only breeds in a narrow strip along coastal Oregon and California, there are two subspecies; Selasphorus sasin sasin and Selasphorus sasinsedentarius. S. s. sasin winters in Mexico, while S. s. sedentarius (as its name suggests) remains in the U.S.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 4.5 million Population Trend: Decreasing Habitat: Western forest Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest type of hummingbird in the United States and Canada. It weighs roughly the same as a ping pong ball.
U.S. Population Estimate: 200,000 Population Trend: Unknown Habitat: Dry forest Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: During courtship, male Broad-billed Hummingbirds fly in a pendulum-like arc to impress females.
U.S. Population Estimate: 100,000 Population Trend: Unknown Habitat: Dry forest Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions, possibly habitat loss in breeding areas Note: Even though their U.S. breeding ground is in South Texas, Buff-bellied Hummingbirds regularly venture toward the northeast, a behavior unique to the species.
U.S. Population Estimate: <200 Population Trend: Unknown Habitat: Dry forest Threats: Habitat loss, cat predation, possibly climate change Note: The Violet-crowned Hummingbird was first spotted nesting in the U.S. in 1959.
U.S. Population Estimate: <200 Population Trend: Unknown Habitat: Pine-oak forest Threats: Habitat loss, cat predation Note: White-eared Hummingbirds have been beloved summer visitors to Arizona since the 1890s. They will sometimes remain near well-maintained feeders for weeks at a time.
Our weekly bird profiles provide an inside look at captivating species with video, birds calls, and fast facts dashboards.
A number of hummingbird species can be spotted in the United States and Canada on occasion, outside of their normal range in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. These vagrants can be exciting to see; however, their presence could possibly be linked to climate change.
The following list is a taxonomic catalog of vagrant types of hummingbirds that have been spotted in the United States.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/AGlobal Population Trend: StableHabitat: Montane forest clearings Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: The Mexican Violetear is known to move nomadically. They have been recorded more than 90 times in Texas and have even been observed as far north as Canada.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A Global Population Trend: Stable Habitat: Forest edge and open areas with scattered tall trees Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: There have been at least 20 sightings of the Green-breasted Mango in Texas. This species has been known to venture as far north as Wisconsin.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A Global Population Trend: Stable Habitat: Arid to semiarid forest and forest edge, thorn forest, and semi-open areas with scattered trees Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions Note: The Plain-capped Starthroat can appear quite dull; this bird’s brilliantly colored throat feathers are only visible under the right light conditions.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A Global Population Trend: Stable Habitat: Humid evergreen and pine-oak forest in mountainous areas Threats: Cat predation, glass collisions, possible habitat loss Note: The first recorded sighting of an Amethyst-throated Mountain-gem in the United States occurred in Texas in 2016.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A Global Population Trend: Stable Habitat: Wooded and scrubby habitats, including gardens Threats: Glass collisions, cat predation Note: The Bahama Woodstar does not usually migrate; however, it has been observed in southeastern Florida.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A GlobalPopulation Trend: Stable Habitat: Humid evergreen forests in mountains; favors shrubby clearings with banks of flowers Threats: Possible habitat loss, glass collisions, cat predation Note: The Bumblebee Hummingbird is the second-smallest bird in the world, after Cuba’s Bee Hummingbird.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A Global Population Trend: Stable Habitat: Scrubby woodland, pine-oak woods in mountains, desert scrub Threats: Possible habitat loss, glass collisions, cat predation Note: Xantus’s Hummingbird breeds in the southern portion of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, but has been spotted along the Pacific Coast far north as British Columbia.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A Global Population Trend: Stable Habitat: Mountain forests Threats: Habitat loss Note: Berylline Hummingbirds were first spotted in the U.S. in 1964. They have since become consistent summer visitors to the mountains of southeastern Arizona, and have even been observed nesting there several times.
U.S./Canada Population Estimate: N/A Global Population Trend: Stable Habitat: Dry, tropical lowlands Threats: Habitat loss, possibly climate change Note: Like types of hummingbirds, the Cinnamon Hummingbird is known to be aggressive near feeding areas and will defend its territory.
How can I help?
We all can do our part to protect North America’s hummingbirds.
American Bird Conservancy and our Joint Venture partners have improved conservation management on 6.4 million acres of U.S. bird habitat — an area larger than the state of Maryland — over the last ten years. This is a monumental undertaking, requiring the support of many, and you can help by making a gift today.
Policies enacted by Congress and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have a huge impact on America’s birds. You can help shape these rules for the better by telling lawmakers to prioritize birds, bird habitat, and bird-friendly measures. To get started, visit ABC’s Action Center.
Finally, don’t overlook the impact you can have at home. Living a bird-friendly life can have an immediate impact on the birds around you. Doing so can be as easy as adding native plants to your garden, avoiding pesticides, and keeping cats indoors. To learn more, visit our Bird-Friendly Life page.
Kathryn Stonich teaches English for the Community College of Baltimore County and Bryant & Stratton College online. She is an avid backyard birder and advocate for pigeon and dove rescue.
Warm weather is here and that means ice cream for dessert! Finally. Nothing better than delicious Gluten-Free Vegan Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches on a hot summer day. Rich, chocolatey, and soft dark chocolate brownies filled with creamy vanilla bean ice cream! Who wouldn’t love that?!
Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 8×8 baking pans with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix together the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and salt.
Whisk together the flaxseed and the water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Add the coconut oil and 2oz of dark chocolate to a small pot on medium heat. Once melted and smooth, turn off heat. Add this mixture to the dry mixture along with the brown sugar, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and flax eggs. Mix until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly into the two 8×8 baking pans. Sprinkle on more chocolate chips if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it’s just set on top. Be sure not to over-bake. Let cool completely. If you have the time, place in freezer overnight.
Mix the two pints of vanilla ice cream until soft and add on top of 1 layer of the brownie. Keep the brownie in the baking pan. Add the second brownie on top and place in fridge overnight or until completely set. Cut in to 8 or more bars and serve! Enjoy.
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