The loud explosion heard over SW PA earlier may have been a meteor explosion. This GOES-16 GLM Total Optical Energy product shows a flash that was not associated with lightning. No confirmation, but this is the most likely explanation at this time. pic.twitter.com/ArtHCEA1RT
What an incredible day for @SanDiegoZoo Wildlife Alliance and conservation at the 133rd Rose Parade! Thanks to all who made today possible and creating such an incredible float to represent our work. pic.twitter.com/Z6MGFsL7Yj
On October 25, 2021, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction in favor of the wolf and halted the state’s wolf hunts scheduled to commence only 2 weeks later.
Idaho passed legislation in the spring of 2021 that incentivizes and sanctions the slaughter of 90% of Idaho’s wolf population using a variety of cruel tactics like chasing wolves with dogs and automobiles until they tire out.
In Montana, the state government has sanctioned the killing of up to 85% of its wolf population starting in fall 2021.
The new laws allow for the use of choke-hold snares and extend trapping and hunting further into breeding season. Montana Governor Gianforte personally slaughtered a Yellowstone wolf in violation of state law and was given a warning by state agencies. So far over 25 wolves have been confirmed to have been killed in Montana, including at least 3 Yellowstone wolves around the boundary of the park.
Nevertheless, Wyoming is allowing a virtually unregulated hunt in 2021. In 85% of the state– including regions that border Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park– hunters can slaughter wolves using “whatever means necessary,” including snares, explosives, and ATVS to capture and kill the animals.
Myths vs. Fact
The federal government consulted all relevant stakeholders when deciding to delist wolves
President Trump did not consult Indigenous representatives when he chose to delist wolves, even though wolves are sacred creatures in many Native American cultures. By delisting wolves without the consultation or consent of Tribal nations, the federal government ignored its treaty and trust obligations.
Non-lethal methods provide another option for addressing livestock depredations. Implementation of nonlethal tools, like range riders and fladry, which involves creating a perimeter of colorful flags around livestock, combined with other techniques like strobe lights and loud noises have effectively reduced interaction between livestock and wolves. However wolves can become habituated to nonlethal tools over time, therefore, proactive methods to prevent wolves from being attracted to a livestock operation – such as removing bone piles – can further minimize livestock loss to wolves.
Wolves threaten the livestock industry.
Wolves are killing all of the elk in the Northern Rockies, making it more difficult to hunt large game.
Wolves and elk can live in ecological balance, as predator-prey relationships stabilize the populations of both species. Elk naturally defend themselves from the risks of predation by adopting more cautious behaviors when faced with predators. These behavioral adaptations help sustain the elk population.
The wolf population has already bounced back to a stable size. As such, the species does not need the protections of the Endangered Species List.
While the wolf population has reached the recovery thresholds that were determined in 1978, these metrics are woefully outdated. As the field of conservation biology has evolved and climate change has posed new threats to endangered species, it is critical to update recovery thresholds according to modern science.
Dan Ashe, the former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director who oversaw the delisting of wolves in the Northern Rockies, has argued that the wolf population is in jeopardy because state hunts “are erasing progress made to conserve this species.” Ashe has publicly called for the federal government to reinstate protections for American wolves.
Data-driven science helps determine state wolf-hunt quotas in order to prevent massive population declines
Across the country, state legislatures have established wolf hunting quotas that ignore the recommendations of biologists and land managers.
In October 2020, the Trump Administration officially removed the Gray Wolf from the endangered species list as part of its broader goal of undermining and weakening the Endangered Species Act. Since then, states like Idaho and Montana have passed legislation that both allows and encourages the mass slaughter (up to 90%) of wolf populations.
There was a widespread outpouring of sadness and positive words expressed on social media on Friday following the death of Betty White, a beloved television star whose career lasted more than eight decades.
“White’s death was confirmed Friday by Jeff Witjas, her longtime agent and friend,” the Associated Press reported. “She would have turned 100 on Jan. 17.”
“I truly never thought she was going to pass away,” Witjas said. “She meant the world to me as a friend. She was the most positive person I’ve ever known.”
Notable responses to White’s death included:
Joe Biden, president: “Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.”
Ryan Reynolds, actor: “The world looks different now. She was great at defying expectation. She managed to grow very old and somehow, not old enough. We’ll miss you, Betty. Now you know the secret.”
The U.S. Army: “We are saddened by the passing of Betty White. Not only was she an amazing actress, she also served during WWII as a member of the American Women’s Voluntary Services. A true legend on and off the screen.”
Nancy Pelosi, House speaker: “Today, we lost a beloved TV icon. Betty White was a pioneering actress, who blessed generations of Americans with her talent and humor for 8 decades. May it be a comfort to her loved ones and many admirers that so many mourn with them during this sad time.”
Megyn Kelly, political commentator: “I am feeling so grateful right now for the many years of enjoyment #BettyWhite brought me and my family (esp when my mom was newly widowed & we lived on Golden Girls). Rest In Peace you wonderful, beautiful, talented woman. And thank you.”
Kayleigh McEnany, former WH press secretary: “Betty White was an American icon with an infectious spirit and a zest for life. Betty was such a joy to watch as “Rose” from Golden Girls. She lit up the screen and quickly became America’s sweetheart. We will miss you, Betty!”
Comedy Central: “Betty White showed that funny was ageless.”
Debra Messing, actress: “Betty White. Oh noooooooo. I grew up watching and being delighted by her. She was playful and daring and smart. We all knew this day would come but it doesn’t take away the feeling of loss. A national treasure, indeed. Fly with the Angels.”
Ryan Seacrest, entertainer: “All of us in Times Square and around the world are grieving the loss of Betty White. She was a TV pioneer who paved the way for so many people. Beyond that, she showed us what you can accomplish in a lifetime through kindness and humor. Rest in peace to a true American icon.”
Kevin Sorbo, actor: “I was lucky enough to meet Betty White many years ago. Very gracious and amazing lady. Rest In Peace.”
Ellen DeGeneres, comedian: “What an exceptional life. I’m grateful for every second I got to spend with Betty White. Sending love to her family, friends and all of us.”
Kirstie Alley, actress: “Wow… what a legacy what a gal what an icon.. Betty White is simply the best. What an inspiration to all humans and a god send to all animal.”
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