Sign Petition: In 15 Years This Parrot Could Be Extinct, But Australia Wants to Bulldoze Its Home Anyway

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Minister of the Environment is The Hon. Melissa Price

43,266 SUPPORTERS – 45,000 GOAL

The Australian native swift parrot is a sight to behold. With a brilliant green, blue, red and yellow plumage, anyone who gets a chance to see it should count themselves lucky. Lucky, not only because it’s such a stunning ave, but also because it’s disappearing.

The bird, which breeds only in Tasmania and then flies across to the mainland to forage for nectar is now critically endangered federally. One might think that the government, after recognizing its endangered status would do all they can to protect their habitat. But they’d be wrong. In fact, the parrot’s most vital habitat, their nesting grounds in Tasmania, could be on the chopping block.

That’s because, despite their protected status, the environmental minister could rule to allow a local council to bulldoze around 40 hectares of the birds nesting area — all in order to build a dam for fish farming and a golf course.

If this happens, not only will the parrots lose out, but it will prove that Australia doesn’t take conservation seriously.

According to a 2015 study, the swift parrot, on its current decline, is doomed for extinction within 15 years. That’s why the federal government’s threatened species commissioner made it a special priority with a goal of improving its trajectory by 2020. And yet, constant threats to its survival keep popping up.

Australia is among the top 10 countries with the highest amount of endangered species. They should be taking action rather than destroying habitat.

Please sign the petition and ask Australia’s Minister of the Environment is The Hon. Melissa Price to say no to the proposed dam and fish farm that could push the swift parrot over the edge.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/523/271/460/

 

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National Geographic: Snaring is now the Dominant Threat to Africa’s Lions

The Jaguar

Lions like this female are increasingly falling prey to an indiscriminate killer: snares. Lion Eyes by Jeremy Vandel. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I recently read another great story from National Geographic. In it, author Rachel Nuwer and photographer Steve Winter detail the rise of the new dominant threat to African lions: snaring.

I am not going to summarize the story in much detail here, because it would be far better if you read the original. However, as a brief synopsis, people have eaten wild game (bushmeat) in Africa for millennia. Snares are a cheap and effective way to catch game, since they can be constructed from easily-accessible materials and work while the hunter is away.

Unfortunately, snares are also indiscriminate and brutal. They catch any animal that is unlucky enough to walk into them, regardless of which species is being targeted, and often cause horrible injuries and painful deaths. In…

View original post 211 more words

Sign Petition: Sea Lions Are Being Found Shot Dead and Decapitated

by: Care2 Team
recipient: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries (NOAA Fisheries)more

64,962 SUPPORTERS – 65,000 GOAL

Someone is brutally murdering sea lions in the state of Washington, and they must be found now.

Six sea lions were recently found along the Washington coast, each dead from a gunshot wound. Another sea lion was found decapitated. In total, 13 sea lions have been found dead since September, the remaining having died from acute trauma, most likely from forceful interactions with humans.

Please sign this petition demanding that NOAA Fisheries do everything they can to find whoever is responsible for these horrific deaths and file appropriate charges now.

Marine animals, like these sea lions, are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop fishermen from savagely killing these adorable creatures in order to get rid of competition for fish — which authorities believe is the case here. Similar attacks occur each year during the winter months, but sadly, most of the killers are never held accountable.

NOAA Fisheries is investigating these deaths, but we must keep pressure on them to find the killers and file charges now — before they kill again.

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/674/563/189/?z00m=31115454&redirectID=2785125044

 

Legal Battle Continues; a herd in danger

Wild Horse Education

LLeigh_OutsideMag - 1 (13) Winter Velvet; His herd is in serious danger

(Informal short update on the legal fight against mine approval). Reading list at the bottom of the page.

This summer many of you remember the way we found out about the Canadian Fiore Gold project? It was a bit of a shock after BLM announced an “emergency” that would afford absolutely no transparency of the removal of wild horses in a subset population of Pancake.

We had to engage legally to simply be able to observe wild horses held at temporary, that BLM placed on reservation land (always makes me suspicious and can often indicate some other project where a bit of “cash in pocket” can create a more conducive climate for agreements). Then BLM cancelled the operation and was supposed to notify if it resumed. BLM did not notify. BLM did not create a tour of the Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes)…

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Sign Petition: The Koala Is Heading Towards Extinction

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Premier Gladys Berejiklian

Count to sixty. In that one minute period, 19 animals perished in the Southern Australian state of New South Wales (NSW). They are dying because of tree clearing that has become rampant in the state under the government of Gladys Berejiklian, who has written off the environment as a concern for her administration.

19 animals a minute equals a whopping 10 million animal deaths a year in NSW. According to conservative figures, the government estimates that nearly 2000 square miles of forest have been felled between 1998 and 2015, toppling a forest and woodland area that equals twice the size of Luxembourg. In that time 10.7 million birds, 67.1 million reptiles and 9.1 million mammals have disappeared.

One of those mammals is the koala. It might seem unbelievable, but one of Australia’s most iconic animals is now under threat of disappearing.

In fact, if things don’t change, researchers say that the animals could go extinct within our lifetime. This previously unthinkable headline is mainly because states like NSW have been far too lenient when it comes to clear-cutting in the koala’s last remaining ranges. Their survival depends on having enough habitat where they are able to thrive. But without a sound policy that protects vegetation and wildlife, the famous marsupial and many other animals are likely to disappear in short order.

Is this how the Berejiklian government wants to be known? As the administration that let the last remaining koalas in NSW go extinct? We certainly hope not, but we must make sure.

Speak up and tell Premier Berejiklian’s government that they have a duty to protect New South Wales’ koala populations.

Sign and ask them to demand tree-clearing restrictions today.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/268/366/574/the-koala-is-heading-towards-extinction-and-new-south-wales-is-doing-nothing-to-save-it./

 

Trump Administration Withholding Life-Saving Protection For 78 Species That Are At Risk Of Extinction – World Animal News

By WAN –
October 22, 2018

Photo from Defenders of Wildlife
For the second year in a row, the Trump administration has fallen short in protecting species under the Endangered Species Act, ultimately putting dozens of native animals at heightened risk of extinction.
According to a new analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to make protection decisions for 57 species or designate critical habitat for another 21 promised under a seven-year workplan developed by the agency in 2016.The agency is under the leadership of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
“Zinke and other Trump officials are preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from doing critical work to protect species from extinction,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director in a statement. “The wolverine, lesser prairie chicken, and Hermes copper butterfly are all species Trump and Zinke left high and dry.”
The workplan was created to address a backlog of more than 500 imperiled species awaiting protection decisions. In fiscal year 2018, the workplan called for 82 separate decisions about listing species or designating critical habitat. Another 13 decisions were never completed in fiscal year 2017, for a total of 95 decisions.
Instead, the agency only managed to make 18 decisions in 2018, resulting in listing of only four species and proposed protection for only eight species. Another six species were denied protection, including one, the beaverpond marstonia, which had gone extinct while waiting for protection.
“The Trump administration’s anti-regulatory agenda is turning it into the extinction presidency,” said Greenwald. “The vast majority of the American public wants to see endangered species protected, but administration officials are flushing these imperiled plants and animals down the toilet for their patrons in the oil industry and other polluters.”
Delays in protecting species have real consequences. At least 46 species have become extinct while waiting for protection since the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973. During the Obama administration, a total of 357 species were protected for a rate of 37 per year. Likewise, under the Clinton administration, a total of 523 species were protected, for a rate of 62 species per year.
So far, the Trump administration, which has protected just 14 species — all but one proposed under the previous administration — is shaping up to be even worse than the Bush administration, when only 62 species were protected.

https://worldanimalnews.com/trump-administration-withholding-life-saving-protection-for-78-species-that-are-at-risk-of-extinction/

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Watch “Rescued Scottish Wildcat Kittens Among Last of Their Kind | National Geographic”

Protect Belize’s Endangered Jaguars

Endangered Jaguars are facing extinction as deforestation runs rampant in Belize’s jungles. Sign the petition to demand that the government of Belize work to end deforestation and protect the nation’s endangered jaguars.

Source: Protect Belize’s Endangered Jaguars

PETITION| Save the monarch butterfly!

https://go.saveanimalsfacingextinction.org/page/s/Save-Monarch-Butterfly?source=MS_EM_FR_2018.10.03_B2_Save-Monarch-Butterflies_X__F1_S1_C1__all

Last Chance: Fight This Vicious Attack on Wildlife Petition

Bald eagle

Sept. 24 is the last day to let the Trump administration know that you firmly oppose its disastrous plan to gut protections for threatened wildlife at the bidding of industry.

Bald eagles, blue whales and alligators wouldn’t exist today without the Endangered Species Act. It’s our nation’s most successful environmental law and has prevented the extinction of 99 percent of the animals and plants in its care. But now the law itself is in danger.

If we’re going to stop President Trump and Secretary Zinke from destroying the Act’s key provisions, we all need to speak up with one voice.

Using the form on this page, tell Zinke and Trump to immediately withdraw their vicious proposal.

The Trump administration’s proposed changes would dismantle protections for polar bears, jaguars and hundreds of other endangered species, as well as the places they live.

It would also mean that hundreds of at-risk species waiting to be granted protection under the Act — like the monarch butterfly — would face delays or be denied help. We can’t let it happen.

Act now to help save the law that has saved bald eagles and scores of other iconic wildlife from disappearing. Let’s make sure this fierce and vital law remains so well into the future.

https://act.biologicaldiversity.org/onlineactions/TkeADTm-40qUeAp1iTfj1A2?sourceid=1004296&utm_source=action&utm_medium=email&emci=4bc40129-6bb8-e811-bce7-000d3a12b7e6&emdi=d9c7b3a2-e0bf-e811-af11-28187847c89e&ceid=111331&smartlinkdata=JmZuPU5hbmN5JmxuPUtlaXRlciZlbT1uYWNrcGV0cyU0MGdtYWlsLmNvbSZhZGQxPTIyNStIZWF0aGVyK0RyKyZjaT1IYXJyaXNidXJnJnN0PVBBJnBjPTE3MTEyJnA9TXJzLg%3d%3d

Center for Biological Diversity | Saving Life on Earth

Photo of bald eagle by Jerry McFarland/Flickr.

Petition: This Town Could Kick 400 Endangered Turtle Eggs Off Their Private Beach

by: Care2 Team
recipient: Belleair Shore town commissioners

22,265 SUPPORTERS – 25,000 GOAL

Florida is the most important nesting area for the various species of sea turtles that inhabit the United States. From loggerheads to greens and leatherback these turtles rely on the Florida beaches to survive.

Since they are all threatened or endangered you would think that most people would do all they can to help protect them. But that isn’t the case in one small Florida town who at this very moment is trying to kick turtle nests off their private beach.

In an attempt to give the this season’s sea turtle hatch a fighting chance the Clearwater Marine Aquarium relocated some 400 eggs from non-ideal beaches to a better beach within Belleair Shore.

In Florida, beaches that are rebuilt with government funds after hurricanes or other disasters are, by law, public lands. So when the affluent town of Belleair Shore was offered help, they said “no thanks!” in favor of keeping their beach private. But as David Yates, the CEO of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium suggests, the fact that Belleaire’s beach hasn’t been rebuilt is what makes it so perfect for turtle nests.

Now the locals say the cordoned off areas on their beach which are protecting the eggs from being disturbed is an eyesore and want them gone. What’s worse, is even though the eggs are due to hatch within the next sixty days, at their next meeting, the town commissioners are considering passing an ordinance that might give the eggs the boot.

One would hope that the people of Belleaire would reconsider and vote to protect these endangered creatures rather than toss them from their private beach. But we can’t be sure. Their next meeting is slated for August 21 so it’s up to us to let them know we are watching and we want them to protect the sea turtles of Florida.

Please help by signing the petition and tell the Belleair Shore town commissioners to share their private beach and do their part to help save the sea turtle.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/816/174/525/

 

Petition · Rick Scott: Florida’s Gulf Coast is Dying! Millions of Dead Fish, Sea Turtles, Manatees and Dolphins! #ToxicTide · Change.org

Florida’s Gulf Coast is Dying! Millions of Dead Fish, Sea Turtles, Manatees and Dolphins!
Florida Naturekeepers, Inc. started this petition to Governor Rick Scott

We are witnessing the death of our entire ecosystem.

First to die were the fish: smaller fish first then medium sized and all the way up to 250 lb Goliath Groupers. (Endangered)

Then went the endangered sea turtles: first the newly hatched babies and now the adults.

Then the sharks began to die: from harmless nurse sharks all the way up to whale sharks. (1st ever recorded whale shark to die from this.)

Then the manatees started dying: another of our endangered species. (With the body count nearing the thousand’s.)

Now the dolphins are washing up on shore and the birds have disappeared.

The convergence of four unique harmful blooms, including the deadly Cyanobacteria resulting from unfiltered toxic water being released en masse into the ocean from Lake Okeechobee, are killing Florida’s endangered coastal marine life, including large mammals, faster than the bulldozers can haul away the endless mountains of dead carcasses lining the beaches that reappear daily for hundreds of miles. We demand that Governor Rick Scott take immediate and drastic action to ensure this #ToxicTide never happens again.

Sign and share today to tell Governor Scott to join 22 other states in creating an action plan to tackle harmful blooms.

We are witnessing the collapse of our entire ecosystem and we will not sit idly by and do nothing, so today we stand together and fight back to #SaveFL! We fight back for our fish. We fight back for our manatees. We fight back for our dolphins. We fight back for our turtles. We fight back for our families. We fight back for our way of health and our way of life. Today we say ‘No More Death’ and we fight back to #SaveFL from the #ToxicTide!

Many reports claim that this is merely a naturally occurring Red Tide, that it’s not a serious public safety issue and that it has nothing to do with human pollution – this is false. The government and some media outlets are trying to sweep this under the rug and lull you into a false sense of safety.

In reality, we are under attack from four unique blooms, two of which are toxic: Red Tide, Cyanobacteria, Brown Seaweed and Red Seaweed. These combine to create the perfect recipe for the toxic soup that is decimating our marine life, sending people to the hospital, causing permanent neurological and immunological damage to many of our most vulnerable loved ones, and causing human death in some instances.

Conditions are so dangerous and critical that Governor Rick Scott issued a State of Emergency to attempt to “combat” the toxic blooms. However, declaring a State of Emergency does nothing to address the root issues of agricultural runoff from Florida’s Big Sugar industry, Radioactive Phosphorus Mining, lack of oversight for septic-tank use, fertilizer use by resorts and golf courses, and the warming waters of climate change (a term Governor Rick Scott banned government employees and agencies from using) contributing to this life-threatening situation.

That is why Governor Scott needs to follow the lead of 22 other states, like New York and Michigan, by creating an immediate action plan to address the destruction of our environment and mitigate the causes of toxic blooms in Florida’s priority waterbodies.

The State of Emergency temporarily halted the release of water from Lake Okeechobee, but that only lasted until people changed the channel. The toxic water releases began again to the tune of 1 billion gallons a day refueling the #ToxicTide as it continues to spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico and along the coast, creating a massive Dead Zone that will likely take the better part of this century to heal.

On Sanibel Island beach alone, as of 8/12/18 they have collected over 276 TONS of dead marine life in just under two weeks. This is one of hundreds of such beaches.

For the future health of Florida’s marine life and residents, sign and share today to tell Governor Scott to act now to establish an action plan for harmful toxic blooms.

https://www.change.org/p/rick-scott-florida-s-gulf-coast-is-dying-millions-of-dead-fish-sea-turtles-manatees-and-dolphins-toxictide/sign?placement=aa_email&pt=AjpQZXRpdGlvbjoxMzQyOTE0NDoxNTM0MjU0OTY2OhMsCyxbLAU6OTdlMzg1ODk=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=aa_sign_human&utm_campaign=400461&utm_content=&sfmc_tk=Y65ELrEVwnOSO7%2bDYTtOcUPa4K0uPXuE9UGoyLd3LMEYyMyP3bI%2bGFqEL4dckt9M&j=400461&sfmc_sub=61374949&l=32_HTML&u=64995281&mid=7233053&jb=1926

WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN!

Petition: 95% of Lemur Species Could Disappear From This Earth if Madagascar Doesn’t Take Action to Save Them

by: Care2 Team
recipient: President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina

45,478 SUPPORTERS – 50,000 GOAL
Madagascar is one of the world’s richest nations in biodiversity but they may not be able to carry that title for much longer. One of their most famous animals, the lemur — a primate found only on the east African island, is under threat. And without immediate action, nearly every species of lemur could be lost.

According to a new study, of the planet’s more than 110 species and subspecies of lemur 105, a full 95% of them, qualify as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable to extinction in the wild; making them the most at risk mammal on the planet.

Imagine if 95% of all humans ceased to exist on Earth.

Lemurs are under attack from all sides. The island nation has lost nearly 80% of its forests since the 1950s. One study suggests that between 2005 and 2013, 2.47 million acres of forest were cut down. That’s an area only slightly larger than the island of Puerto Rico. With so much deforestation, the lemurs are losing habitat at an exacerbated rate.

What’s more depressing is that while they are losing habitat due to logging, mining, and agriculture, they are also being hunted for food. They are killed for bushmeat by villagers but are also sold in some of the country’s nicer restaurants in urban areas. Restaurant-goers can use special code words to order the dish that is technically illegal albeit all too abundant.

While laws are on the books to stop deforestation in protected forests and penalize killing lemurs rampant corruption, bribe-taking and other factors mean that many culprits get off scot-free, or if they go to court they are rarely penalized.

It’s time for Madagascar to ask itself, do they want to be the nation that let their own, unique natural heritage disappear from the Earth when they had a chance to stop it? Are they willing to take conservation seriously in order to save this unique species and ensure that it can live on for centuries?

The country must take serious action and change policy to bring lemurs back from the brink. That means punishing those responsible for illegal mining, clear cutting and poaching to the fullest extent of the law.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/543/353/808/

 

Petition: Why Is Peru Illegally Slaughtering 15,000 Dolphins Each Year?

by: Kevin Mathews
recipient: Vice Minister Javier Fernando Miguel Atkins Lerggios

46,140 SUPPORTERS – 50,000 GOAL

A new report by the Animal Welfare Institute finds that over 100,000 cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and small whales) are intentionally killed each year by fishers so they can be chopped up for bait. This inhumane practice is most common off the coast of Peru, where fishers catch up to an estimated 15,000 dolphins.

These dolphins aren’t just being killed, they’re being brutalized. Once they’re pulled on to the boat, they’re stabbed with harpoons and knives and left to slowly die in agony.

Hunting dolphins is already against the law in Peru, but the lack of enforcement isn’t preventing the fishing industry from carrying on with killing dolphins and the like anyway. Though there have been some initial efforts to fix this problem, it’s going to take a serious commitment from Peru to scare this thriving black market out of existence.

That’s why we’re calling on Vice Minister Javier Fernando Miguel Atkins Lerggios, the man in charge of fisheries and aquaculture in Peru, to commit himself to aggressively

If undercover investigations by conservation groups can discover how prevelant this practice is, surely some government stings can catch the fishing industry in the act, too.

Protect the dolphins, Peru!

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/103/306/410/

 

A Mother’s Cry to Justin Trudeau Please Sign the Petition

greenpeace.org
https://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/story/3817/a-mothers-cry-to-justin-trudeau/

by Keith Stewart
It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to watch (and hear).

Photograph: Michael Weiss/Hysazu Photography

For the past nine days a grieving mother orca has carried the body of her dead calf.

The calf was the first in years to be born into the endangered Salish Sea orca population, but it died within just hours. The mother Orca however refused to leave her baby behind and instead carried its body with her. She pushed it by herself for days.

When she started falling behind the rest of the pod — the pod joined her in pushing and supporting the infant’s body.

It’s a truly inspiring and heartbreaking story – watching another species mourning its loss in such a dramatic manner. It speaks to the deep love that a mother has for her child, and the importance of a community especially in a time of grieving.

Unfortunately, while we all try to deal with this immediate loss, the future of the pod is also dire.

This population of orcas is on the edge of extinction. There are only 75 Southern resident orcas left in existence. Another adolescent has already been observed as extremely emaciated and because of dwindling food supplies, and increased marine traffic, the entire population is at risk.

Add to this already bleak situation the pipeline Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau just pledged to buy for $4.5 billion – the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX). TMX is a massive new tar sands pipeline that would bring a very toxic substance called bitumen from Alberta, Canada to British Columbia and right through the heart of the whales’ habitat.

Only 75 Southern Resident Orcas remain.

One of the reasons these orcas are struggling to survive is because the Chinook salmon they depend on for food are in decline. Without enough salmon to eat, the orcas are literally starving to death. They’re severely emaciated — observers can even see the ribs of some of the whales.

The TMX pipeline would cross over 1300 streams and rivers on its way to the ocean and would put this key food supply even further at risk.

If it goes ahead, the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion could also turn the home of the 75 remaining orcas into a tar sands tanker superhighway – bringing over 400 tankers through their critical habitat every year.

The noise from a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic may interfere with the orca’s ability to find what little food there is left to eat. It will put them at greater risk of being struck by a tanker. And a catastrophic oil spill could be the final nail in their coffin (as the Exxon Valdez spill devastated other orca pods).

These whales can’t just move on to another area. Their home is in the Salish Sea. We can’t let it be put at risk.

Justin Trudeau promised to protect these beautiful animals (in fact it’s a Federal responsibility). Buying a pipeline that would further endanger these fragile creatures and virtually ensure their demise isn’t the way to do it.

The whales are crying out for our help. Listen to their cries.

Tell Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to protect the orcas and stop the pipeline bailout.

With hope,

Mike

PETITION:Add you name today at: https://act.gp/2MdSyS3

World’s Largest King Penguin Colony Has Declined By Almost 90 Percent

Scientists haven’t visited the Île aux Cochons, an island in the southern Indian Ocean, since 1982 when it had the distinction of being home to the world’s largest colony of king penguins, and the second largest colony of all penguins.

At the time, there were estimate to be 500,000 breeding pairs, and over two million penguins in total, but since then things have taken a worrying turn and scientists aren’t sure why.

According to a study just published in the journal Antarctic Science, their population has declined since that last visit by almost 90 percent, leaving just 59,200 breeding pairs by 2017.
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To come to that conclusion, researchers from the Chizé Centre for Biological Studies (CNRS/University of La Rochelle) examined three decades worth of high-resolution satellite images and aerial photos taken from a helicopter to measure changes in the in the population’s size.

“It was really a surprise for us,” Henri Weimerskirch, the study’s lead author and a member of the research teams in 1982 and 2016, told the New York Times. “It’s really very depressing.”

While the exact cause of the decline remains a mystery, researchers believe climate change could be playing a role. It’s believed the decline started in the late 1990s, when there was a climactic event in the Southern Ocean related to El Niño, which pushed their food sources farther away.

As the authors note, less food with such a large population could seriously increase competition and cause a fast and rapid drop in numbers. Some other theories they have include disease and parasites, or predation by invasive feral cats and mice, but they don’t think those theories offer a “satisfactory explanation” for such a huge loss of penguins.

Right now, king penguins are listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but this study has raised questions about whether they may be endangered and need to be reevaluated.

A separate study published earlier this year already raised the alarm about whether they’ll be able survive on the Crozet archipelago that contains Île aux Cochons, which are about half way between Africa and Antarctica, in the face of climate change. That study projected that half of the king penguin population, which nests on the Crozet and Prince Edward Islands, would lose their habitat by 2100.

Researchers won’t be able to draw any further conclusions until they can do an actual head count to confirm their conclusion, but that won’t happen until at least next year.

Hopefully they’ll be able to find more answers about what’s happening here, which could also help with our understanding of threats other penguin colonies are facing.

https://www.care2.com/causes/worlds-largest-king-penguin-colony-has-declined-by-almost-90-percent.html

Photo credit: Thinkstock

(ICELAND) Disgraceful & Barbaric: Icelandic whalers appear to have killed an endangered blue whale ‘ before chopping it up to be eaten as a delicacy in Japan: Photos of the massive mammal, which can grow to 3 3 metres long, were posted online by conservation groups claiming it was slain by Kristján Loftsson’s w haling company: The huge carcass was seen being hauled in to port by the Hvalur 8 ship while tied to the sid e of the vessel before being dragged on to the dock on Saturday evening #AceNewsDesk reports

Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – July.12: Crew members then took turns posing for photo straddling its back, having needed run-ups to clamber on top of the world’s biggest animal, video from the scene showed: Blue whales were almost hunted to extinction last century and there are only 10,000 to 25,000 left alive……………One has not been slaughtered for more than 50 years……………………..Sea Sheperd said it was the 22nd whale killed by Loftsson’s outfit in the past three weeks, the others being endangered fin whales…………’Loftsson ordered his crew to butcher the whale just like it was another Fin whale,’ the anti-whaling group claimed……………….’The meat, skin, blubber and bone all now mixed in with the fin whales previously caught, which will make it difficult or impossible to locate during potential inspections by the authorities.’ #AceNewsDesk reports

Blue whales were almost hunted to extinction last century and there are only 10,000 to 25,000 left alive. One has not been slaughtered for more than 50 years

Blue whales were almost hunted to extinction last century and there are only 10,000 to 25,000 left alive. One has…

View original post 517 more words

Save Declining Southern Resident Orcas

The number of Southern Resident Orca whales has hit its lowest point in 30 years thanks to the disappearance of the species’ food source and plans to build an oil pipeline in the ocean. We cannot risk the possibility of these whales dying out completely within just a few short years. Sign this petition to demand stronger protection and conservation efforts to save this species.

Source: Save Declining Southern Resident Orcas

Celebrate National Pollinators Week By Protecting These Endangered Species

ecowatch.com
Olivia Rosane
As summer enters into full bloom, it’s time to celebrate all the birds, bees and bugs that make the fruits and flowers possible. From June 18 to 24, Pollinator Partnership (P2) is celebrating National Pollinator Week, which was designated by the U.S. Senate 11 years ago and has grown into an international event.

Pollinators are birds, bees, butterflies, beetles, bats and other small mammals that help plants reproduce by moving pollen grains from the male to female part of a plant. Plants can also self-pollinate or be pollinated by the wind, but one third of every bite of food we eat is thanks to animal pollinators, P2 reports.

You can support pollinators by creating a habitat for them in your yard, planting native or non-invasive plant species and avoiding pesticides, among other actions.

Here are some unique pollinators listed as endangered species in the U.S. to celebrate and protect this National Pollinators Week.

  1. Mexican Long-Nosed Bat (Leptonycteris nivalis)

A Mexican long-nosed batUSFWS

While fellow agave-pollinator the lesser long-nosed bat was removed from the endangered species list this spring, the population of the Mexican long-nosed bat is still declining. These bats spend the winter in Mexico’s Central Valley feeding on a variety of flowers. In the spring, mother bats and their babies move north, some of them crossing the border into Texas and New Mexico to feed on agave and cacti. They then follow late-blooming agave south again in the fall, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

According to a Center for Biological Diversity report, the bat is one of 93 endangered, threatened or candidate species likely to be harmed by President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, and its migration patterns serve as a reminder that borders are artificial, not natural, barriers. In addition to opposing the border wall, if you live in Texas or New Mexico, you can support the Mexican long-nosed bat by avoiding entering caves or other potential roosting sites where bats may be resting, refraining from cutting plants the bats may depend upon and planting agave in your yard, Texas Parks and Wildlife advises.

  1. ‘Ākohekohe (Palmeria dolei)

The ‘ĀkohekoheEric VanderWerf / USFWS

The ‘Ākohekohe, or crested honeycreeper in English, is the largest bird of its type on the island of Maui. It used to have a range of 485 square miles on both Maui and Moloka’i but now just inhabits five percent of its historic territory, living mostly on the Haleakala volcano. It pollinates the ōhia plant, which is also its main food source, according to its U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) page.

Long threatened by deforestation and invasive species, the ‘Ākohekohe is now further at risk as climate change expands the range of malaria-carrying mosquitoes into Maui’s mountains, the Audubon Society reported in 2015. Scientists are working to reduce the mosquito population by removing larvae and introducing sterilized mosquitoes.

  1. Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis)

The rusty patched bumble beeSusan Carpenter; University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum / USFWS

In 2017, the rusty patched bumble bee became the first wild bee species in the continental U.S. to be listed under the Endangered Species Act, Reuters reported. The species has declined by 87 percent in the last 20 years, according to its USFWS page. The USFWS blames disease, climate change, pesticides, habitat loss and intensive agriculture.

The USFWS also provides tips for backyard conservationists. It is important to plant a range of native, flowering plants that bloom from April through October. Here is a list of species the bees have been known to favor. Avoiding pesticides is also crucial. Because bees and other pollinators need safe places to nest and winter, the USFWS further recommends leaving part of your yard unmowed during the summer and some leaves unraked during the fall.

  1. The Karner Blue Butterfly (Lyceaides melissa samuelis)

A male Karner blue butterflyPaul Labus / USFWS

The Karner blue butterfly depends on specialized habitats in the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S. where wild blue lupine bloom, since Karner blue caterpillars only feed on wild blue lupine leaves, according to the species’ USFWS page. Wild blue lupine grow in the sandy parts of pine barrens, oak savannas and lakeshore dunes and usually require fires or other disturbances to open sunny spots for them.

As fire suppression and general habitat destruction have increased, patches of wild blue lupine have decreased and with them the Karner blue butterfly’s habitat. More butterflies now live in Michigan and Wisconsin, where the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge provides a haven. The USFWS is working to reintroduce the butterflies and their unique habitat in Ohio, New Hampshire and Indiana since habitats that support lupines and butterflies also support other rare species like frosted elfin (
Incisalia iris

), phlox moth
(Schinia indiana),

persius dusky wing (
Erynnis persius

), prairie fameflower
(Talinum rugospermum

) and the western slender glass lizard
(Ophisaurus attenuatus).

https://www.ecowatch.com/national-pollinators-week-2579504767.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=647d2ab285-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-647d2ab285-86074753

Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead

onegreenplanet.org
Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead
Arianna Pittman

For years, balloon releases have been used to celebrate events or honor the memory of someone lost. Schools release them during football games, they’re sent floating into the air at running events, and released by crowds of people at weddings, funerals, and memorials. And while those who organize and participate in balloon releases have the best of intentions, what they fail to consider is what happens when those balloons eventually land – and when they do the results are detrimental to wildlife and marine animals.

The Long-Lasting Impact of Balloons

Balloons negatively impact our environment by littering streams, lakes, and beaches. It’s basically the same as intentionally throwing trash on the ground or into the ocean. Even balloons marketed as biodegradable or “eco-friendly” can still take years to disintegrate, meaning they’re not any better for the environment than standard balloons.

The Devastating Effects Balloon Releases Have on Wildlife and Marine Animals and What You Can Do About ItBalloonsBlow.Org/Facebook

When balloons make their way into the water, their tattered ends and floating pieces can resemble jellyfish or other sea life consumed by marine animals such as sea turtles, fish, and dolphins. When the pieces of latex or Mylar are mistaken for food and ingested, they can get lodged in the digestive tract, inhibiting animal’s ability to eat and causing a slow and painful death by starvation.

Wildlife can also fall victim to balloons and balloon strings when the pieces fall to the ground or onto trees and bushes. Birds have been found injured with ribbons wrapped around their beaks or wings, and have strangled themselves when they become entangled in strings attached to trees or power lines. And just like marine animals, they can succumb to a painful death after ingesting balloons.

The negative impact on animals and the environment prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local chapters of the National Audubon Society to urge people to stop releasing balloons and instead find more humane alternatives that are safer for animals and our planet. Several states and cities in the U.S. and abroad have also passed laws regarding mass balloon releases after years of witnessing their detrimental effects.

The Devastating Effects Balloon Releases Have on Wildlife and Marine Animals and What You Can Do About It

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

What You Can Do

If you know of someone planning a balloon release, please urge them to consider one of these earth- and animal-friendly options instead. There are so many other symbolic acts that don’t involve the use of balloons. We’ve listed a few options for you below, and you can find more by that offers not only fun alternatives but educational materials to help you spread awareness about the dangers of balloons and balloon releases.

Bubbles

Bubblesare not only fun but can create stunning photo ops. Watching hundreds of bubbles float up into the sky can be mesmerizing and just as symbolic as seeing a balloon float away, but without the resulting of litter and endangerment to wildlife and marine animals.

Luminaries

Luminaries are a beautiful way to honor and memorialize loved ones. Instead of writing messages on balloons and releasing them, you can write messages on recycled paper bags or reusable glass jars with candles placed inside to create a lighted path, or spell out a word or name. Each person can bring their bag or jar home afterward as a personal keepsake to remember the event.
Plant a Tree

Planting native trees and wildflowers is a beautiful way to create a memory that lasts for years to come – and give a little something back to nature. Another fun idea is to have people release milkweed seeds, which helps populations of monarch butterflies thrive by replenishing depleted supplies of the milkweed plant that is essential to their survival. Just remember: If you choose to plant trees or flowers somewhere other than your own yard, make sure you have prior permission if it’s a public park or nature area, as they often have restrictions about potentially invasive species of plants.

Celebrations and commemorative events are meant to allow us to reflect on important times in our lives, there is no reason these should come at the expense of wild animals.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/balloon-releases-are-killing-animals/

Lead image source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Flickr

Petition: This Couple Filmed Themselves Eating Rare Animals to Make a Buck. Ask Youtube to Ban Them!

by: Care2 Team
target: Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

51,961 SUPPORTERS – 55,000 GOAL
Here in America, not too many people will recognize the names Ah Lin Tuch and Phoun Raty. But in their homeland of Cambodia, they are making headlines for all the wrong reasons. The husband and wife team have enraged Cambodian netizens after they uploaded videos of themselves eating endangered and protected Cambodian wildlife on YouTube.

Ah Lin Tuch and her husband Phoun created a name for themselves and gain a following online in hopes of making a living from their disgusting clips. To date, they have already made $500 via Google sponsored advertisements.

The couple says they didn’t know the animals were endangered or special but ignorance is no excuse, especially since their actions could have encouraged others to do the same. One of the most disturbing videos is when they eat a rare fishing cat. In 2010 the cat was listed as endangered and has only recently been uplisted to the more hopeful status of “vulnerable.”

The couple also filmed themselves skinning, cooking and eating lizards, frogs, and birds including a large heron.

While the government is investigating them, there is one more way we can make sure Ah Lin Tuch and Phoun Raty’s dreams of making money off animal abuse never come to fruition.

We must ask YouTube to ban this couple’s channel from their website and ensure they can never profit again from killing endangered animals. Please sign the petition and help make sure their channel disappears from YouTube for good.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/812/236/762/?z00m=30548245&redirectID=2678567688

Photo credit: Natural Life TV / YouTube

 

America’s Last Woodland Caribou Herd Is Down to Just Three Animals

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ecowatch.com

America’s Last Woodland Caribou Herd Is Down to Just Three Animals on Earth
6-7 minutes

By Jason Bittel

Most people associate reindeer with the North Pole. And it’s true, the animals also known as caribou tend to live in remote, wintry landscapes most Americans will never see. But did you know that caribou once roamed as far south as Minnesota, Michigan, Vermont and New York? And that the Selkirk woodland caribou herd still spends part of each year in Idaho and Washington?

Well, three of them do. Because that is all that remains of the Selkirks. By next week, next month or next year, the Lower 48’s last remaining reindeer could be gone forever, making a sad irony of the animal’s nickname, the “gray ghost.”

Several kinds of caribou inhabit the world’s northern stretches (see “Mapping a Future for Boreal Caribou”), but the ones that spend time in the Pacific Northwest belong to an endangered subspecies commonly known as woodland caribou. This spring, aerial surveys confirmed that only three females remain in the Selkirk herd, named for the mountains that span the border between British Columbia and Washington. There were around 12 individuals in 2016, down from 50 in 2009.

Even if each of the Selkirk trio is pregnant—and there’s no evidence to suggest that this is true—the herd is a whisper away from disappearing forever.

Worse still, just two weeks after the approaching demise of the Selkirk herd became public, researchers announced that another group, known as the South Purcells herd, found a bit to the north in British Columbia, are in similar straits. Aerial counts identified just four individuals (three females and a male), where last year there were 16. “When you get in a situation of such small herds, it’s not unusual to expect a dramatic decline at some point,” said Chris Johnson, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Sadly, this is not the first time a caribou herd has died out. Over the past decade, Johnson, who lives in the city of Prince George, watched this happen with two other caribou herds practically in his own backyard. “We saw it coming,” he said. “They got smaller, smaller, smaller. And then you go and do a survey, and it’s like, ‘Hey, look at that. They’re gone.'”

A similar fate befell the woodland caribou herd in Alberta’s Banff National Park. The herd dwindled to a point where a single avalanche wiped out its last remaining members in 2009. Poof.

The losses aren’t so surprising, said Candace Batycki, a program director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, given what the animals face as they travel across their range. Their fate is the culmination of several ecological threats—deforestation, habitat fragmentation, climate change—occurring across Canada. “Here we have an animal that roams around, uses different habitats, is always on the move, doesn’t really do well with roads, needs old growth forests, and is very, very shy,” she said.

Woodland caribou once enjoyed the protection that dense forestlands provided them from wolves and mountain lions. The subspecies ranges about in much smaller groups than their cousins on the tundra, which roll hundreds of thousands deep on the open plains. This makes snagging a woodland caribou as a snack much more difficult, and the animals’ ability to forage through deep snow dissuades many predators from even bothering with them.

But these days, timber, mining, and oil and gas operations have punched holes in the gray ghosts’ habitat, letting in competitors like moose and deer as well as predators. According to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, as much as 70 percent of Alberta’s oil sands reserves are found within caribou habitats. In 2014, the Canadian government enacted a species recovery plan that set aside more than five million acres of mountainous caribou habitat. Unfortunately, Johnson said, the valleys below these high mountain escapes are “really chopped up” by logging and residential areas. Protecting large expanses of boreal forest, however, is definitely a step in the right direction, especially since other conservation approaches are falling short.

As the habitat degradation continues, some other strategies have tried to help woodland caribou by actively removing predators from their habitat and by capturing and relocating pregnant females into maternity pens, which provide some safety until the offspring are big and strong enough for the wild. Maternity pens, however, are labor- and resource-intensive affairs—and are not sure bets. The whole catch-and-release process can jack up the animals’ stress levels, which may cause low birth weights. In 2014, just two out of nine calves survived their time in a pen in Revelstoke, Canada. In 2016, that number rose to four out of ten. While those odds may still beat the 20 percent to 25 percent survival rate calves experience in the wild, at least one environmental group said the pens cause more harm than good.

Of course, setting up maternity pens for the Selkirk herd at this point would be like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Sadly, unless the herd is combined with another—an idea that has received a fair amount of talk for years—its three remaining females will be the last woodland caribou to tread below the Canadian border.

But the Selkirks and other lost woodland herds needn’t die out for nothing. Their losses send a message on how to save the rest of their kind, the continent’s remaining 51 woodland caribou herds. Their survival requires intact forests within which to roam, hide, and thrive. The answer, in fact, is quite obvious. Woodland caribou need woodlands.

Reposted with permission from our media associate onEarth.

https://www.ecowatch.com/americas-last-woodland-caribou-2567908795.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=263cdfd6f8-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-263cdfd6f8-86074753

Senators Call for Study on the Critically Endangered Right Whale

markey.senate.gov
Senators Call for Study on the Critically Endangered Right Whale
Thursday, April 26, 2018
2-3 minutes

Washington (April 26, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, sent a letter this week with 11 of his Senate colleagues requesting that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conduct an urgent assessment of the impacts to the North Atlantic right whale from fisheries in Canada. Under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, NOAA Fisheries conducts studies that inform whether the Department of Commerce will take action against foreign fisheries that do not protect marine mammals. Over the past decades, fishing communities across New England have taken steps to reduce impacts on marine mammals. Unfortunately, last year the significant majority of observed right whale deaths were in Canadian waters. This year, Canada’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries did announce new steps to address the right whale crisis. However, NOAA has not yet assessed if those efforts will be sufficient under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

“Now is the right time to do the right thing for the North Atlantic right whale,” write the Senators in their letter to NOAA Acting Administrator Dr. Timothy Gaulludet. “We need a rapid but sound assessment that can direct any next steps that will need to be taken to save this critically endangered mammal.”

A copy of the letter can be found here. https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-call-for-study-on-the-critically-endangered-right-whale.

Also signing the letter are Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), and Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

###

https://www.markey.senate.gov/news/press-releases/senators-call-for-study-on-the-critically-endangered-right-whale

Petition · The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) : Protect The Critically Endangered Goliath Grouper! · Change.org

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Deadline this Thursday April 26th 2018

Stop The FWC From Reopening Fishing Of The Critically Endangered Goliath Grouper
OneProtest started this petition to FWC Marine Department and 7 others

Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is considering reopening fishing of the critically endangered Goliath Grouper. Local fishermen have pressured the agency, stating that the grouper populations have recovered and they fear the groupers are consuming too many game-fish and lobsters.

What Does Science Tell Us?

  1. A recent Florida State University research team published a paper on their findings stating “The Goliath Grouper is still Overfished and Critically Endangered!”
  2. A recent research paper by Dr. Sarah Frias-Torres shows that overfishing is the reason for declining fish and lobster stocks; not Goliath Groupers.

  3. An analysis of Goliath Grouper stomach contents by the University of Florida found that 85% of their diet consists of crabs and other crustaceans. The other 15% was found to consist of slow moving fish such as pufferfish, catfish, and stingrays; not game fish.

  4. Florida State University researchers published a peer-reviewed paper showing that reef fish abundance and diversity is higher when Goliath Groupers are present on those reefs. This study shows that goliath groupers act as ecological engineers, creating life for many marine species.

  5. Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), along with other entities, have conducted several stock assessments of Goliath Groupers, with the most recent survey taking place in 2016. The FWC’s recent assessment concluded that Goliath Grouper populations had recovered. However, these results were rejected by a panel of independent scientists brought in by the FWC to review the study. The panel rejected the manner in which these assessments were conducted and labeled the findings as an inconclusive measure of population. Currently, the Goliath Grouper is still listed as ‘critically endangered.’

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) concludes that if permits to harvest the grouper are sold for $300 (an approximation), the current proposal to issue 400 Goliath Grouper permits could bring in roughly $120,000 to be used for ‘scientific research’ aimed to protect Goliaths. In addition, they state these captured fish can be sold for food.

Need More Information?

  1. The Goliath Grouper has become a huge, thriving, piece of the ecotourism industry along Florida’s East Coast. One, out of the roughly one-hundred, scuba operators in South Florida stated that he brings in an estimated $500,000 each year, generated by taking divers to see these groupers in the wild. By protecting these animals, the long-term economic benefits to the state of Florida far exceed the value generated by a one-time kill.
  • Dr. Chris Koenig’s research revealed that the flesh of the Goliath Grouper contains high levels of mercury. Mercury levels in these fish were found to approach 3.5 ppm, far exceeding federal health advisory warnings. The FDA prohibits the sale of any fish with mercury higher than 1.0 ppm. With mercury levels higher than 0.5 ppm, the Natural Resources Defense Council recommends avoiding consumption due to the danger of mercury poisoning.

  • Former Chief Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr. Sylvia Earle, warned that “Killing the Goliath Grouper would be killing the growing economic benefits derived from divers who want to see these Iconic animals, who are often as curious as us.

  • Some say that a ‘sustainable’ annual harvest of Goliath Groupers is possible, but many scientists agree that the current population would not last more than a year or two after opening such a fishery.
    Time Is Running Out!
    This Thursday April 26th, the fate of the Goliath Grouper will be decided at the FWC meeting.

  • https://www.change.org/p/the-florida-fish-and-wildlife-conservation-commission-fwc-protect-the-critically-endangered-goliath-grouper

    © 2018, Change.org, Inc.Certified B Corporation

    North Atlantic right whales may face extinction after no new births recorded | Environment

    A right whale feeding just below the surface of Cape Cod Bay offshore from Wellfleet, Massachusetts.  Photograph Right Whale Research /AP

    By Joanna Walters @Jonnawalters13

    Mon 26 Feb 201816:04EST

    The dwindling North Atlantic right whale population is on track to finish its breeding season without any new births, prompting experts to warn again that without human intervention, the species will face extinction.

    Scientists observing the whale community off the US east coast have not recorded a single mother-calf pair this winter. Last year saw a record number of deaths in the population. Threats to the whales include entanglement in lobster fishing ropes and an increasing struggle to find food in abnormally warm waters.

    The combination of rising mortality and declining fertility is now seen as potentially catastrophic. There are estimated to be as few as 430 North Atlantic right whales left in the world, including just 100 potential mothers.

    “At the rate we are killing them off, this 100 females will be gone in 20 years,” said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. Without action, he warned, North Atlantic right whales will be functionally extinct by 2040.

    A 10-year-old female was found dead off the Virginia coast in January, entangled in fishing gear, in the first recorded death of 2018. That followed a record 18 premature deaths in 2017, Baumgartner said.

    Woods Hole and other groups, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have been tracing right whale numbers in earnest since the mid-1980s.

    Federal research suggests 82% of premature deaths are caused by entanglement in fishing line. The prime culprit is the New England lobster industry. Crab fishing in Canadian waters is another cause of such deaths.

    A lobster fisherman in Maine. Right whales can become entangled and ropes used for fishing. Photograph: Daniel Grill/Tetra images/Getty Images/Tetra images RF

    Baumgartner said that until about seven years ago, the population of North Atlantic right whales was healthy. But then lobster fishermen began greatly increasing the strength of ropes used to attach lobster pots to marker buoys.

    Whales becoming entangled are now far less able to break free, Baumgartner said. Some are killed outright, others cannot swim properly, causing them to starve or to lose so much blubber that females become infertile.

    “Lobster and crab fishing and whales are able to comfortably co-exist,” Baumgartner said. “We are trying to propose solutions, it’s urgent.”

    Baumgartner said the US government should intervene to regulate fishing gear. He also said the industry should explore technology enabling fishermen to track and gather lobster pots without using roped buoys.

    The whales migrate seasonally between New England and Florida, calving off Florida and Georgia from November to February. They primarily feed on phytoplankton. Scientists believe rapid warming of the Gulf of Maine, linked to climate change, is drastically depleting that food source.

    Past measures to prevent ship collisions and to safeguard feeding areas have helped. Several environmental groups have sued the federal government, demanding greater protection for right whales.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/feb/26/north-atlantic-right-whale-extinction-no-births-fishing

    Mission to untangle female right whale highlights species’ precarious plight | Environment

    A mission to disentangle a particularly important North Atlantic right whale from a thick rope wrapped around its jaw has proved a partial success, amid growing fears that the endangered species is approaching a terminal decline.

    The individual female whale, known as Kleenex, is considered one of the most productive North Atlantic right whales left in existence, having given birth to eight calves. Its condition has deteriorated, however, since it was spotted off the coast of Delaware in 2014 with a thick fishing rope wrapped around its head and upper jaw.

    Conservationists, aware that the right whale population has dropped alarmingly due to a spike in deaths and a birth drought, attempted to remove the rope last week, after Kleenex was seen near the Massachusetts coast. A pursuing team used a crossbow to fire a bolt with razor blades attached at the rope, but did not successfully sever it.

    “The line was damaged and then the whale became more evasive and the weather got worse, so that was our best go at it,” said Bob Lynch, of conservation group Center for Coastal Studies, who was part of the rescue team.

    “Ideally you’d get them on a table for a surgery but you can’t really do that with a whale. We deteriorated the quality of the line so hopefully it will help it break up over time. Whether that will be enough for this individual is hard to say, though.”

    Kleenex is still able to feed but has lost weight, limiting her ability to have another calf. No new right whales were born off the south-east US coast over the winter calving season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed, meaning that the fate of even a single prodigious reproducer like Kleenex, thought to be aged around 50, could be crucial to the fate of the species.

    “She is a rockstar of reproductive females and the species cannot afford to lose her,” said Heather Pettis, a scientist at the New England Aquarium.

    “If the current rate of mortality continues, we will lose all reproductive females within the next 23 years, at which point the species is functionally extinct. If the line breaks up and she is free, she will be able to build up fat reserves and produce more calves in the future.”

    The confirmation that no known calves were born over the winter is a blow to a species that is now thought to have a population of fewer than 450. “It’s the worst scenario we could’ve pictured, given it’s on the heels of a devastating series of mortalities,” Pettis said.

    Scientists suspect that females are unable to put on enough weight to become pregnant, causing the birth rate to plummet. The feeding problems could, in part, be due to an increase in entanglements with more durable types of rope than those the whales were previously able to break.

    The whales are also altering their range, most likely because their plankton food base is shifting. This has brought the species into areas dotted with fishing boats and other shipping off the north-eastern US and Canada, leading to entanglements and ship strikes. Last year, the Canadian government introduced stricter speed limits in the Gulf of St Lawrence for vessels measuring more than 20m, to prevent more whale deaths.

    North Atlantic right whales have gone through years of lean birth rates before, such as in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and managed to bounce back. The species was nearly hunted to extinction before conservation efforts helped reverse its fortunes.

    However, scientists warn that the current low birthrate is a major concern given that it is combined with an increase in mortalities, a situation that presents a significant risk to the species.

    “I’m very concerned, the species isn’t in a good place at the moment,” said Mark Baumgartner, a marine ecologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

    “But we have it in our power the change our activities so right whales can thrive in our oceans. We can have profitable shipping and fishing industries and still have right whales.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/22/female-right-whale-entangled-endangered-species?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=272313&subid=18006728&CMP=GT_US_collection

    Petition: Prevent the Extinction of the North Atlantic Right Whale

    Update. It’s devastating news. The 2018 winter calving season for these critically endangered whales just ended without a single newborn calf being spotted off the southeast U.S. coast.

    The North Atlantic right whale is under threat of extinction. Only 450 still exist, and of these only about a hundred are breeding females.

    2017 was a particularly terrible year for these endangered marine mammals: 17 have been found dead, many as a result of collisions with vessels or entanglement with fishing gear. In 2018, reseaearchers haven’t spotted a single newborn all breeding season.

    https://www.thepetitionsite.com/549/897/838/prevent-the-extinction-of-the-north-atlantic-right-whale/?TAP=1724

    World’s last male northern white rhino dies

    msn.com
    World’s last male northern white rhino dies
    By Joshua Berlinger, CNN 8 hrs ago
    5-6 minutes
    TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY NICOLAS DELAUNAYA caregiver calms Sudan, the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies, on December 5, 2016, at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County — at the foot of Mount Kenya — that is home to the planet’s last-three northern white rhinoceros.As 2016 draws to an end, awareness of the devastation of poaching is greater than ever and countries have turned to high-tech warfare — drones, night-goggles and automatic weapons — to stop increasingly armed poachers. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at the African Black market, rhino horn sells for up to 60,000 USD (57,000 euros) per kilogram — more than gold or cocaine — and in the last eight years alone roughly a quarter of the world population has been killed in South Africa, home to 80 percent of the remaining animals. / AFP / Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images): A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya. © TONY KARUMBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya.
    FILE PHOTO: The last surviving male northern white rhino named ‘Sudan’ is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia: The last surviving male northern white rhino named ‘Sudan’ is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya, June 2017. The world�s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females of its subspecies alive in the world. World’s last male northern white rhino dies.

    Gallery by Reuters

    The world’s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females left to save the subspecies from extinction.

    The 45-year-old rhino named Sudan had been in poor health in recent days and was being treated for age-related issues and multiple infections.

    A veterinary team made the decision to euthanize Sudan after his condition deteriorated significantly, the conservation group WildAid announced Tuesday.

    Sudan lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading up to his death to protect him from poachers.

    “He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him,” said Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta.

    Researchers were able to save some of Sudan’s genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left, Sampere said.

    “We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn. While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.

    Rhinos are targeted by poachers, fueled by the belief in Asia that their horns cure various ailments. Experts say the rhino horn is becoming more lucrative than drugs.

    In addition to round-the-clock security, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy also put radio transmitters on the animals and dispatched incognito rangers into neighboring communities to gather intelligence on poaching.
    Old and frail

    At 45, Sudan was elderly in rhino years and suffered from problems associated with age.

    During his final years, he was not able to naturally mount a female and suffered from a low sperm count, which made his ability to procreate difficult.

    His daughter Najin, 28 and granddaughter, Fatu, considered young by comparison. Najin could conceive, but her hind legs are so weak she may be unable to support a mounted male.

    Sudan made headlines last year when the Tinder dating app named him the “most eligible bachelor in the world” in a campaign to raise funds to save the subspecies.

    The western black rhino was declared extinct seven years ago as a result of poaching. All five remaining rhino species worldwide are considered threatened, according to the conservation group Save the Rhino.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/worlds-last-white-rhino-dies/ar-BBKs7Ej?OCID=ansmsnnews11

    Revive Dying Water Vole Populations

    Water voles are going extinct because of habitat loss, pollution, and invasive species. Save this important and adorable animal from vanishing forever before it is too late.

    Source: Revive Dying Water Vole Populations

    Largest Chinook salmon disappearing from West Coast (Northeast Pacific Ocean)

    The ocean update

    February 27th, 2018. The largest and oldest Chinook salmon—fish also known as “kings” and prized for their exceptional size—have mostly disappeared along the West Coast.

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