Photographer Captures Stunning Arctic Wildlife


Elephant trophy hunting, and Trump’s confusing positions on it, explained

Exposing the Big Game

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Here’s a seemingly simple question: Is it legal to bring elephant body parts collected in hunting exhibitions in Africa back to the United States?

During the Obama administration, the answer became a clear “no” — the import of elephant trophies was banned outright under the Endangered Species Act. But in November, President Trump’s US Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was set to lift the ban. Hunting groups like the National Rifle Association and the Safari Club International Foundation, which had opposed the ban, were thrilled by the news.

But after a flood of criticism (including from conservatives), Trump himself suddenly was not.

In a tweet, Trump announced that the lifting of the ban was on hold, pending further review. In a follow-up tweet, he went on to say he’d “be very hard pressed to change my mind that…

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Save National Park Wildlife From Railway Construction

Black rhinos, giraffes, over 400 bird species, and other wildlife are threatened by plans to build a Chinese-backed railway bridge through Nairobi National Park. Sign the petition below to urge Kenya’s Ministry of Environment to step in and halt construction.

Source: Save National Park Wildlife From Railway Construction

Urgent: Bobcats’ Lives Are on the Line in Ohio!

Exposing the Big Game

Although bobcats are native to Ohio, hunting and habitat destruction in the late 1800s and early 1900s nearly caused these majestic animals to disappear from the state. In 1974, their numbers were still so low that the species was added to Ohio’s first endangered species list. Bobcats are a keystone species, meaning that their absence significantly affects the stability of the ecosystem in which they live. Despite this, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is considering a rule change that would allow bobcats to be trapped and hunted. These animals desperately need your help!

The DNR is accepting public comments on this proposed rule change until Monday, March 5. Please visit the comment submission page, scroll down to reach the form, and follow these instructions:

·         Next to “Do you have a comment on a specific rule?” click “Yes.”

·         Next to “Select the proposed rule change you are commenting…

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Mussa The Rescued Baby Chimp Arrives Safely At Primate Sanctuary In The Democratic Republic Of Congo – World Animal News

Mussa The Rescued Baby Chimp Arrives Safely At Primate Sanctuary In The Democratic Republic Of Congo
By Lauren Lewis –
March 1, 2018

Virunga National park pilot Anthony Caere and Mussa, Facebook
It has been a busy few days for Mussa, a baby chimpanzee that was rescued from poachers in the Congo earlier this week.
Fortunately, Mussa has arrived safely at his new home at the Lwiro Primates Rescue and Rehabilitation Center located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Every rescue is an effort from a lot of people from different organizations who work together to save lives,” the organization which is the only sanctuary in the DRC to accept all great ape and monkey species, shared in a post on its Facebook page. “It is a beautiful moment to see the result of everybody’s implication, in this case, we saved the life of Mussa.”

In a previous post, the organization credited Virunga National Park for rescuing Mussa from an uncertain future and for facilitating his transport further noting that, “Rescues are always a mix of feelings… happy because we are saving them but sad at the same time for what it means for wild populations.”
A remarkable Virunga National park pilot Anthony Caere, who assisted with Mussa’s rescue from poachers earlier this week, is among those responsible for sparing this young animal’s precious life.
A heartwarming video also posted on Facebook documents the two as they bonded while en route to safety at the sanctuary.
“This looks cute but is actually a sad story,” Caere posted on his Facebook page. “He should be with his mum… But happy we could give him a new good home! Thanks to the whole team! This is conservation!”

Mussa is reportedly playful while being treated for intestinal parasites and responding well to treatment.
According to its website, the CRPL currently cares for 72 chimpanzees and 92 monkeys of 11 different species, along with parrots, turtles, hyrax and porcupine. Sadly, all the animals have been victims of poaching and the pet trade.
“It is illegal in the DR Congo to keep any primate as a pet. As with chimpanzees, all of the CRPL residents are removed from the forests illegally by poachers and have been confiscated by the ICCN before being transported to the CRPL for long-term care,” the organization explains on its website. ”Most of these animals arrive in very bad physical and psychological condition due to the trauma they experience during the hunting process, and as a result of being kept as a pet. It is the long-term goal of the CRPL to be able to reintroduce our monkeys to the forests of DRC if their forest homes can be made safe enough to do so.”
You can contribute to Mussa’s rehabilitation at the Lwiro Primates Rescue and Rehabilitation Center by Donating HERE!

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Nearly 150,000 Orangutans Lost to Logging, Palm Oil, and Human Conflict National Geographic

Deer from Lancaster County farm found in Wisconsin tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease | WPMT FOX43

Deer from Lancaster County farm found in Wisconsin tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease
Posted 11:29 AM, February 15, 2018, by Keith Schweigert, Updated at 11:32AM, February 15, 2018


HARRISBURG — A deer that originated from a Lancaster County breeding farm now under quarantine tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease after being harvested in a Wisconsin hunting preserve, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

DNA testing conducted Tuesday confirmed that the deer was born and raised at a West Cocalico Township breeding farm. Another deer from the same farm tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease earlier this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture says. Neither deer showed signs of the disease prior to its death, the department says.

The farm has been quarantined since Dec. 15, 2017, when Wisconsin’s stae veterinarian notified the PA Dept. of Agriculture of a potential traceback. The deer’s identity was confirmed via DNA testing due to the absence of official identification tags for the deer.

The department, along with the United States Department of Agriculture, is currently evaluating the farm in cooperation with the herd owner to establish a Herd Management Plan to mitigate the threat of this disease spreading.

The plan, which all three parties sign, may include indemnification of the herd by the USDA or a continuous quarantine with mandatory testing. A quarantine would be extended five years every time a positive is detected.

CWD attacks the brain of infected deer, elk and moose, producing small lesions that eventually result in death. Animals can get the disease through direct contact with saliva, feces and urine from an infected animal or contaminated environment.

Clinical signs include weight loss, excessive salivation, increased drinking and urination, and abnormal behavior like stumbling, trembling, and depression. Infected deer and elk may also allow unusually close approach by humans or natural predators. The disease is fatal and there is no known treatment or vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report no strong evidence that humans or livestock can contract CWD.

Deer from Lancaster County farm found in Wisconsin tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease

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Petition: Stop Wyoming’s Wolf Hunts!


In 2017 why only started giving permits for Wolf hunts. This is entirely unnecessary wolf management strategy resulted in 44 wolves being needlessly killed.

Proponents of hunting say that it is necessary necessary to protect livestock, but wildlife management experts believe that if ranchers used non-lethal means like electric fences, most livestock losses could be minimized.

Gray wolves are not the problem. Human encroachment into wolf territory and a failure to manage land properly is.

Petition update · B.C. Government Ends Grizzly Bear Hunt, calls it ‘No Longer Socially Acceptable’ ·

B.C. Government Ends Grizzly Bear Hunt, calls it ‘No Longer Socially Acceptable’
Salty Dog
Pacific Palisades, CA

Dec 24, 2017 — The British Columbia government is bringing an end to the hunting of grizzly bears throughout the province, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, announced today.

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Wild Orangutan Steals GoPro Camera And Takes Expert Selfies – The Dodo

“I went through the images and found a few which were remarkably decent photos.”
By Sarah V Schweig
Published On 12/07/2017

Encountering a wild orangutan is an increasingly rare phenomenon.

Because of threats to the rainforests where they live, the animals are considered critically endangered. That’s why Ian Wood, a wildlife photographer based in the UK, partners with the Orangutan Foundation UK to lead annual trips to Indonesia’s island of Borneo, helping to raise money for these rare apes.

It was on a recent trip that Wood was lucky to have a very rare encounter with the animals — when they decided to steal his camera.
Wild orangutan in Borneo taking selfie with stolen camera 

Wood has been photographing orangutans for decades. And this time he wanted something a little different.

Wood decided to hide the GoPro camera in a patch of forest where the orangutans often congregate. He figured that at the very least he’d get some closer images of them — but he had no idea he’d get, well, selfies. 

Some of the images Wood retrieved from his camera have the uncanny resemblance to the selfies people accidentally take when figuring out how to use a new device; others, however, were surprisingly more sophisticated.
“I went through the images and found a few which were remarkably decent photos,” Wood wrote.

“When a 3-year-old orangutan picked [the GoPro] up I was amazed at the level of interest he showed,” Wood wrote at The Guardian. “My emotions quickly turned to concern when he put it in his mouth and bit it.”

Wood said he wasn’t worried about his camera but the possibility that the young orangutan might try to eat it and choke. “After cracking the LCD screen he took it out of his mouth and accidentally took hundreds and hundreds of photos by pressing the main button,” Wood said. “After about 30 minutes he ran off with it up a tree and I thought that was the last I would see of it.”
Perhaps the orangutan lost interest, because the next moment, a stroke of luck sent the device plummeting back down.
“Eventually he dropped it and I was able to recover my damaged — but still working — camera,” Wood said.
Wood hopes that more people become interested in these amazing creatures so that they’ll be around for much longer.
“Orangutans are critically endangered mainly due to forest clearance for the palm oil industry,” Wood told The Dodo. “However, there are some beacons of hope. These photos were taken in Tanjung Puting National Park, which is well protected and home to over 4,000 of these great apes.”

President Trump Holds Off on Allowing Reversal of Wildlife Rule For Trophy Hunting… | The Last Refuge

Petition: Oppose Creation of Federal Council to Promote Trophy Hunting – ForceChange

Petition: Stop Plans to Slaughter Endangered Wolves – ForceChange

See Why the Mysterious Mountain Lion Is the ‘Bigfoot’ of Big Cats 

Chubby raccoon rescued after getting wedged in sewer grate opening | WPMT FOX43

Zion, Illinois police officers, responded to a very unique call Friday morning.

Petition Update: You Have Less Than 48 Hours to Sign To Stop the Trophy Hunt | Pacific Wild

Petition: End the Senseless Slaughter of Hundreds of Yellowstone Bison

Federal state and tribal officials overseeing the Interagency Bison Management Plan for Yellowstone bison, now plan to kill as many as 1,250 Yellowstone bison this winter.

Watch “WATCH NOW: Safari Live | National Geographic” on YouTube

Petition: Save 200 reindeers from HS2 plans at Blithbury Reindeer Lodge!

Bison in the balance: Save our national symbol – The Animal Rescue Site

Watch “Coca-Cola – Stop choking our oceans” on YouTube


Rare White Giraffes Spotted in Kenya, Captured on Camera for First Time


Lorranie Chow
Sep. 14, 2017 12:27PM EST
Rare White Giraffes Spotted in Kenya, Captured on Camera for First Time

Two white reticulated giraffes, a mother and her calf, were captured on camera at the Ishaqbini Hirola Conservacy in Kenya.

Their creamy coloring is due to a genetic condition called leucism, in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal’s skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes.

The Hirola Conservation Programme, an NGO which manages the area, wrote in a blog post that the giraffes were first spotted by a local villager.

“They were so close and extremely calm and seemed not disturbed by our presence,” the post states. “‘The mother kept pacing back and forth a few yards in front of us while signalling the baby giraffe to hide behind the bushes.”

According to the post, the only two known sightings of white giraffes have been made in Kenya and Tanzania: “The very first reports of a white giraffe in the wild was reported in January 2016 in Tarangire National park, Tanzania; a second sighting was again reported in March 2016 in Ishaqbini conservancy, Garissa county, Kenya.”

Reports say this is the first time these animals have been filmed on camera. The conservancy first shared video on YouTube last month, but the clip is now going viral. YouTube commenters have expressed concern that sharing the animals’ location could attract potential poachers.

It is unknown how many white giraffes roam the Earth, but Africa’s giraffe population as a whole has plunged almost 40 percent in the past 30 years and now stands at just more than 97,000 individuals due to habitat loss, hunting for meat and the international trade in bone carvings and trophies.

Be a Voice for Wildlife in the Borderlands 091817 – Defenders of Wildlife

The Winds of Change Bring Peril for Bats – Defenders of Wildlife Blog

Defenders of Wildlife Blog
14 September 2017
The Winds of Change Bring Peril for Bats
Posted by: Pasha Feinberg

Wind power is on the rise and with it is an uptick in bat deaths.

Developing renewable energy is critical to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing climate change. Wind energy is an important source of American renewable energy and the success of this industry is crucial to our green energy future. However, like all energy types, wind energy is not without its challenges. In the early 2000s, researchers realized that wind turbines were killing bats at record rates.
A Fatal Attraction

Findings from the last decade reveal that wind turbines kill more than half a million bats each year in the United States. The overwhelming majority of the bats killed are migratory bats that are not affected by white-nose syndrome, the pathogenic fungus causing precipitous declines in hibernating bat species.

Wind turbine blades disproportionately strike these migratory bats as they pass through wind farms to forage or migrate. It’s unclear why there are so many collisions, but bats are well-known to be curious creatures and have been documented to change course to check out turbines. Although there’s no scientific consensus on why bats are attracted to turbines—theories range from mistaking turbines as trees for roosting, to seeking out insect prey that congregate near turbines—this behavior puts them at increased risk for collision with the spinning blades.
Bat Numbers Give Us Cause for Pause

As more information becomes available about the interaction of bats and wind energy production, scientists are growing increasingly concerned. Bats are long-lived mammals (many bats live more than a decade, and at least one Brandt’s bat lived for 41 years!) that reproduce slowly, meaning that bat populations are very sensitive to losses of breeding-age adults.

A recent study led by UC Santa Cruz professor Winnifred Frick, whose findings were published in Biological Conservation earlier this year, set out to identify whether mortality from wind turbines could cause bat populations to decline. Professor Frick and her colleagues focused on the bat species most commonly killed by wind turbines: the hoary bat.


The  hoary bat, named for its silver-tipped fur that resembles hoar frost, is a wide-ranging, migratory bat found throughout the United States, into Mexico and Canada. Hoary bats are solitary animals, spending their days roosting in trees until sunset. As it gets dark, these charismatic critters emerge to feed, foraging over great distances as they search for moths and other insects.

Unfortunately, hoary bats seem particularly susceptible to wind turbines, representing over a third (38 percent) of all bats killed at wind energy facilities. Professor Frick and her colleagues sought to determine whether the high mortality rate for hoary bats at wind facilities was sustainable.

Their results were alarming. According to the best available estimates for population size and growth rate, they projected hoary bat populations would decline by 90 percent in the next 50 years due to mortality at wind turbines. If wind energy development continues at expected rates and nothing is done to decrease bat mortality, the fate of the hoary bat will only become more dire.

Unfortunately, the hoary bat is not alone in facing such a bleak future – other migratory bat species may also be at risk. While hoary bats are the hardest hit bat species, other species of migratory bats are also frequently killed by wind turbines. Hoary bats, eastern red bats, and silver-haired bats collectively account for almost 80 percent of all bats killed at turbines. Future research is needed to determine whether there are population-level impacts to eastern red bats and silver-haired bats from wind energy.
What Can Be Done?

Fortunately, there are techniques that the wind industry can adopt so that we do not have to choose between wind energy and these important bat species. Wind industry leaders have stepped up and are proactively working with researchers and government agency staff to create technological solutions to overcome these bats’ fatal attraction to turbines. Technologies to deter bats from approaching turbines, such as playing high frequency noises, lighting the blades with ultraviolet light, using textured turbine coatings, are in development and being tested at pilot sites. We are optimistic that these technologies will be commercially available within the next five years or so, but continued funding and research are needed.

Until these technologies are available, operational changes, such as “feathering” turbine blades so that they don’t spin at low wind speeds (when bats are most active) during important migration periods, can drastically reduce bat deaths. These operational changes can be adopted immediately, but they come with a catch: they reduce the amount energy being produced from each turbine.

It’s not that wind facility operators don’t want to do the right thing–most are aware of the problem and want to minimize bat kills. However, until there is industry-wide adoption, any wind facility that does implement operational curtailment (by strategically feathering turbine blades) is at a competitive disadvantage because it would be producing less energy than a comparably-sized facility that’s not endeavoring to protect bats. In addition, some facilities are contractually obligated to produce a certain amount of energy that leaves little room for seasonal curtailment to protect bats.

If wind facilities trying to protect bats go out of business, that’s a losing scenario for both wildlife and the climate. Thus, saving these bats can’t solely rest on industry – energy consumers need to value wind operators who take measures to protect bats.

It’s a rare opportunity to be able to protect a species before it’s on the verge of extinction, but in order to do any good, we must act swiftly. Allowing hoary bat numbers to continue to decline at a precipitous rate isn’t just bad for bats, it’s bad for industry, too. Protecting bats through preventative solutions available to us now will help keep these species off the Endangered Species List, at which point options may be limited to more expensive conservation measures.
Unlike Vampires, Bats Don’t Live Forever (Plus Vampires are Fake)

Time is of the essence and we cannot afford to delay action. The wind industry, conservation organizations, academia, government, and energy users need to work together to find solutions. Defenders of Wildlife is fully committed to a strong wind energy future while conserving bats. We are working to educate corporate buyers about the importance of purchasing wind energy from responsible operators, while simultaneously advocating for federal, state, and private investment to advance and commercialize technical solutions to reduce the industry’s impacts on wildlife. Tackling this issue now is critical to securing a strong future for the wind energy industry and bats.

Follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the latest developments concerning wildlife from Capitol Hill and other news important our work. Don’t forget to sign up for our emails where you will get all the latest news and action alerts to support wildlife.
Pasha Feinberg, Renewable Energy & Wildlife Research Associate
Pasha Feinberg is a research associate for the Renewable Energy and Wildlife team, providing scientific research in support of the team’s efforts to ensure that renewable energy development does not occur at the expense of wildlife. Prior to joining Defenders, Pasha earned her B.S. and M.S. in environmental science from Stanford University and conducted ecology research in Mexico, Australia, Tanzania, Kenya, and the United States to better understand the relationships between biodiversity, human health, and other ecosystem functions and services.
Categories: Bats, bats, hoary bats, Living with Wildlife, Renewable Energy, renewable energy, wind power, wind turbines

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The War on the Wild: Alaska at the Forefront – Defenders of Wildlife Blog

The War on the Wild: Alaska at the Forefront
21 September 2017

Posted by: Mary Price | 

The administration’s war on the wild zeroes in on Alaska

There has been a steady drumbeat from the Trump administration and many like-minded members of Congress who are pushing to wring every last available resource out of America’s wildest frontier – Alaska.

This fervent pursuit of profits above all else on our public lands and waters has put our wildlife and wild places at greater risk than ever before. It is clear this administration has little regard for the health and future of wildlife and our natural heritage, and Alaska has become a favorite target in its war on the wild.
Selling Out Alaska

Just this past week, The Washington Post revealed that the Trump administration is secretly pushing oil and gas exploration in the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System. The contentious battle to open the refuge to drilling has been raging for decades, but has gained renewed momentum from an administration eager to profit from every last drop of oil they can bleed from our public lands and waters. In this case, the Trump administration is even willing to illegally alter regulations that have prohibited oil and gas exploration in the refuge for more than 30 years.

The Coastal Plain is the biological heart of the Arctic Refuge, home to some of America’s most iconic and imperiled species, including polar bears, caribou, and hundreds of migratory bird species that migrate from all 50 states and six continents. Drilling could forever destroy this delicate ecosystem. While full-blown oil development on the Coastal Plain still requires an act of Congress, the Trump administration’s effort to allow harmful exploratory activities in this wildlife haven is the first step to drilling. And Congress could get in on the action: the House FY2018 budget resolution currently under consideration is an opportunity for the legislative branch to authorize oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

The Trump administration’s unprecedented move against the Arctic Refuge should come as no surprise given the president’s directives targeting Alaska last spring. Specifically, the “America First Offshore Energy Strategy” would rewrite the country’s five-year development plan that guides the lease sales for oil and gas development in federal waters offshore. The current plan excludes lease sales in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Trump’s executive order would put those “off-limits” areas back on the auction block. In addition, it seeks to fast-track harmful seismic testing and roll back safeguards for marine wildlife like dolphins, porpoises, whales and other creatures who can suffer devastating impacts from seismic testing.
Rescinding the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule

Just months into the new administration, Congress and the president revoked the Obama-era Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule that prohibited extreme hunting practices on refuges in Alaska. The elimination of the regulation could allow the state of Alaska to pursue its unscientific predator control policy on these federal public lands that sanctions killing mother bears with cubs, killing wolves with pups during denning season, and baiting, snaring and scouting bears from the air for hunting.

Now Congress is taking aim at similar protections on National Park Service preserves in the state. The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, deceitfully dubbed the SHARE Act, is anything but generous to wildlife, as it threatens to allow the same objectionable practices on Alaska’s national preserves. Through the SHARE Act, the House is doubling down on this attack since, as part of the FY2018 Interior Appropriations bill, it passed a separate measure that does the same thing.
Clearcutting “America’s Rainforest”

Alaska is home to our nation’s largest national forest and the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. The vast Tongass National Forest spans 17 million acres and contains the largest remnants of intact old-growth forest habitat in North America. Sadly, it is still logged on an industrial scale – in fact, it is the last forest in the country where old-growth clearcutting is allowed.

In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service made plans to transition away from this outdated practice, but the new administration is putting that progress in reverse.

Now the Forest Service, operating under the Trump administration, is proposing to log an estimated 200-million board feet of old-growth forest on the Tongass over the next decade, in what would be the largest sell-off of old-growth forest the U.S. has experienced in decades. This colossal forest liquidation would destroy thousands of acres of high-quality wildlife habitat, threaten the persistence of Alexander Archipelago wolves, Sitka black-tailed deer, and northern goshawks, and potentially spell disaster for countless other species dependent on these unique and irreplaceable old-growth forests.
Bulldozing Wilderness in Izembek

For years, there has been spurious debate over proposals to build a road through wilderness wetlands in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, bisecting the refuge and destroying essential wildlife habitat. The dispute has now resurfaced with new potency.

The King Cove Road Land Exchange Act, which was recently passed in the House and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in the Senate, would trade away globally important habitat in the heart of the Izembek Refuge to allow construction of this destructive and unnecessary road.

If enacted, the bill would irreparably damage an internationally recognized conservation area, threaten the survival of imperiled species, like the Steller’s eider, and set a precedent that would undermine our nation’s bedrock environmental laws and jeopardize the integrity of wildlife refuges and wilderness protections on public lands across the country.

The proposed road would cost taxpayers tens of millions of additional dollars to solve a “problem” that the federal government previously addressed with a more effective, less destructive, transportation solution.
Mining for Trouble in Bristol Bay

Every year, tens of millions of wild salmon return to the Bristol Bay, Alaska, where they join an incredible diversity of wildlife ranging from Pacific walrus and beluga whales to brown bears. Despite the incalculable value of these species and the clear, clean water of the bay, or the very tangible value of these resources to the regional recreation and tourism economies, this administration is threatening to jeopardize it all to allow the permitting process to proceed for a Canadian company to open a massive gold and copper mine. This decision overturns a robust, public Obama-era review that declined issuing a permit to the company.

Mining in the bay’s watershed would require massive earthen dam construction, development of a 100-mile road through important salmon habitat, and diversion of nearly 35 billion gallons of water a year from salmon streams and rivers. These activities will expose all manner of species to habitat loss, increased vehicular and vessel traffic in Cook Inlet, which could impact endangered Cook Inlet belugas, and the potential for the mine’s massive earthen wall to collapse that would forever ruin this vital ecosystem.
Tribulations for Teshekpuk Lake

The area around Teshekpuk Lake in Alaska is incredibly important for wildlife – polar bears make their dens there, migratory birds spend their summers along the shoreline and tens of thousands of caribou call it home.

Teshekpuk Lake is located inside the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPRA) – an Indiana-sized expanse covering much of the western Arctic. Despite its name, the NPRA is required to be managed both for conservation of its remarkable wildlife values and oil and gas development. In 2013, after a lengthy robust planning process involving numerous local, regional and national stakeholders, the Bureau of Land Management finalized a management plan that allows oil and gas development on over 11 million acres in the area, but protects the important habitat around Teshekpuk Lake by designating it “unavailable for leasing.”

Unfortunately, this successful resource management plan could be short-lived. In May, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke signed an order requiring a review of the Obama administration’s plan for managing this area, but rather than holding a transparent and public process, and expedite the opening of Teshekpuk Lake up for exploitation by oil and gas interests.
Fighting for “The Last Frontier”

The Trump administration and some in Congress have a keen interest in Alaska, so do we – but for very different reasons. We and most Americans, want to enjoy and preserve Alaska’s wildlife, lands and waters, while current leadership is driven by greed, unfazed by what they could ruin in pursuit of their objectives.

Help us fight back against this administration’s relentless attacks against our wildlife and wild places.
Mary Price, Digital Copywriter
Categories: Alaska, Alaska, Arctic, Arctic, Arctic drilling, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, bears, imperiled wildlife, Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Public Lands, Trump administration, Wildlife, wolves

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Nevada’s Wild Horses Are In Danger, And So Are Thousands Of Others | Care2 Causes

Care2 Causes | Nevada’s Wild Horses Are in Danger, and So Are Thousands of Others
By: Alicia Graef
September 18, 2017

Thousands of wild horses are living peacefully on public lands in Nevada right now, completely unaware that the government is coming for them soon. They will be rounded up this fall, and their advocates are raising serious concerns that they will be sent to slaughter, along with thousands of others.
Tragically, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has failed, and continues to fail, to uphold its duties under the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, which was intended to protect wild horses from “capture, branding, harassment, or death.” It was enacted in 1971, after Congress officially recognized the value of wild horses as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.”

Despite that, the agency has continued to remove and warehouse thousands upon thousands of wild horses at the expense of taxpayers – a vast majority of who strongly oppose the agency’s incredibly cruel, wasteful and ongoing mismanagement of these American icons.

Unfortunately, those who are supposed to uphold the letter and spirit of the law are increasingly beholden to special interests, including livestock and extractive industries, that want to see wild horses exterminated from their rightful place on public lands.

Now, under the Trump Administration, the situation for wild horses could get even worse.

Charlotte Roe, a former science attache and environmental policy officer with the State Department noted in a recent op-ed, that in Nevada alone, the BLM intends to round up nearly 1,000 wild horses “to achieve its absurdly low population target of 60 adults and foals, leaving one horse per 10,000 acres. In the huge Antelope Valley and Triple A Complex, the BLM plans to remove over 7,000 mustangs.”

Sadly, Nevada’s wild horses aren’t the only ones being targeted for upcoming roundups, and their lives are all now in danger.

The House Appropriations Committee recently passed the Stewart Amendment as part of the 2018 budget, which would allow the BLM to kill 92,000 healthy wild horses who are currently in holding, in addition to those who are deemed excess on the range. Some lawmakers did step up to stop this, but they were shut down before their own amendments could go to the floor for a full vote.

Although the situation is looking increasingly dire for wild horses, there’s still hope that Congress will act to protect them from further roundups and slaughter. Wild horse advocates have continued to oppose any measures that would allow slaughter, and have continued to advocate for these American icons to be humanely managed on the range.

For more updates and ways to help, check out organizations including the American Wild Horse Campaign, Cloud Foundation, Equine Advocates, Wild Horse Education and Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation.

Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps

U.S. erred in declining protections for remote grizzly bears: judge


August23, 2017 / 6:22 PM / a day ago
SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – U.S. wildlife managers erred when they declined to list as endangered a small population of grizzly bears in the remote reaches of Idaho and northwest Montana, a federal judge has ruled in what conservationists on Wednesday hailed as a huge victory.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2014 determined the fewer than 50 grizzlies that roam the Cabinet Mountains and Yaak River drainage in the Northern Rockies were not in danger of extinction and did not warrant re-classifying as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Montana conservation group Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued, arguing the so-called Cabinet-Yaak population of grizzlies would go extinct unless U.S. wildlife managers tightened restrictions on logging, mining and other activities in bear habitat, all safeguards that would come with endangered status.

On Tuesday a federal judge in Missoula, Montana, sided with the conservation group in a ruling that found that the Fish and Wildlife Service had violated U.S. law in determining that the number of outsized, hump-shouldered bears in the Cabinet-Yaak ecosystem could reach a targeted recovery goal of 100 without added protections.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen found that the agency had long recognized that population of grizzlies was warranted for listing as an endangered species because of human-caused mortality and other threats.

The Fish and Wildlife Service in 2013 reported Cabinet-Yaak grizzlies were declining at an annual rate of about 0.8 percent per year and that the percentage of bears unlawfully or accidentally killed by humans had tripled by 1999-2012 compared with 1982-1998.

Yet the agency in 2014 reversed course, finding the bears did not need additional safeguards because their population trend had changed to stable from declining.

Christensen ruled that reversal was unlawfully arbitrary and capricious and ordered the Fish and Wildlife Service to rework any proposal that would downgrade the status of the bears.

Alliance head Michael Garrity on Wednesday said the judge’s decision was a victory for the grizzles.

“Now they have a chance at survival,” Garrity said.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not respond to a request by Reuters for comment.

Grizzlies in 1975 were listed as threatened in the lower 48 states after they neared extinction.

The Cabinet-Yaak bears are among just a handful of grizzly populations that exist outside Alaska. The grizzlies in and around Yellowstone Park, the second-largest group of bears in the Lower 48 states, were delisted this summer.

Reporting by Laura Zuckerman; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Sandra Maler
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