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Planned Road would cut through Florida Panther Habitat

The Jaguar

Panther Release in Rotenberger WMA by Florida Fish and Wildlife. CC BY-ND 2.0

Here’s a disturbing story from National Geographic about a planned road that would slice through Florida panther habitat.

As writer Douglas Main explains, the state of Florida recently authorized the addition of three new toll roads. While all of these roads could negatively affect a vital wildlife corridor, one of them would directly traverse the habitat of Florida’s iconic panthers.

Florida panthers are actually pumas (Puma concolor) that have managed to survive after the rest of their species was driven out of the Eastern United States. It hasn’t been easy, though. Main writes that there were only around 20 Florida panthers left in 1967, when the cats were listed as an endangered species.

Thanks to the Endangered Species Act – the extraordinary piece of legislation that was just gutted by the Trump administration – Florida…

View original post 180 more words

“Born Free Podcast | Episode #1| Wild animals as exotic pets”

Petition To Nigeria: keep cocoa growers out of gorilla habitat!

rainforest-rescue.org

Gorilla habitat is shrinking day by day, and one of the main drivers is the chocolate industry. In Nigeria, cocoa farms are penetrating the last refuges of the endangered primates, driven by demand from chocolate lovers the world over. We can’t let the last remaining tiny patches of gorillas’ forests be trashed for candy.

Call to action

To: Governor Ben Ayade, via the Cross River State Forestry Commission (Mr Ogbang Akwaji)

Cocoa plantations are endangering the last rainforests in Cross River State. Strengthen nature conservation and fight illegal deforestation by cocoa producers.

Read letter

Nigeria gives rise to despair and small glimmers of hope: 96 percent of the country’s forests are gone. One remaining bright spot is Cross River State in the southeast – its forests, which are among the world’s most biodiverse, are still home to gorillas.

Yet Cross River’s forests are also dying by a thousand cuts: More than 16,000 hectares were destroyed in 2017 – four times the previous year’s toll. The main causes of deforestation are illegal logging, palm oil plantations and the production of charcoal. Increasingly, cocoa plantations are encroaching on protected forests.

The ultimate driver of destruction, however, is the sweet tooth of consumers in the global North. Nigeria is the third-largest cocoa exporter in the world. The country is responsible for ten percent of the EU’s imports. Exports have grown by 65 percent over the past three years to 248,000 tons in 2018, with the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium being the largest importers.

In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana – the world leaders in cocoa production – the destruction of forests has reached extreme proportions. Nearly all of Côte d’Ivoire’s protected areas have been plundered, and Ghana holds a sad world record for its rate of deforestation in 2018. The close link between cocoa cultivation and deforestation makes us fear the worst for Nigeria.

Chocolate companies buy whatever cocoa they can get, no questions asked. While environmentalists in Brussels are in fact pushing for the EU to regulate the market, the gorillas can’t wait that long.

The governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has it in his hands to protect the gorillas and their habitat. Please sign our petition to the governor – we can’t let the last remaining tiny patches of gorilla habitat be trashed for candy.
Back­ground

Cross River State is already taking first steps toward preventing further deforestation for cocoa. The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is currently expanding an ongoing project to villages in Afi, Mbe and Okwangwo. Its aim is to produce cocoa in an environmentally sound way. The EU is supporting the project financially.

The state government is planning a cocoa processing plant in the city of Ikom. The impact that this will have on the expansion of the plantations is currently unclear.
Cocoa in Omo Forest Reserve

Cocoa plantations are also a problem in Omo Forest Reserve. Thousands of smallholders have planted fields in the protected area in the state of Ogun. The reserve is home to at least 80 forest elephants and a crucial source of drinking water for the Nigerian metropolis of Lagos. Some settlers have already been there for decades, and the government would rather not evict them, as it would destroy their livelihoods and compensating them would be very costly. Rangers patrol the forest to stop others from encroaching, but the ranger units are too understaffed to protect the forest effectively.
Letter

To: Governor Ben Ayade, via the Cross River State Forestry Commission (Mr Ogbang Akwaji)

Your Excellency,

Rainforest Rescue is a nonprofit organization based in Hamburg, Germany. We are dedicated to preserving rainforests, protecting their inhabitants and furthering social reform.

Cross River State brings Nigeria – a country which has already lost 96 percent of its forest cover – to prominence in global discussions on the environment because it is home to some of the most biodiverse forests of Nigeria, and habitat of endangered species such as gorillas, chimpanzees and forest elephants.

It is therefore very worrisome that in Afi River Forest Reserve – a biodiversity hotspot – forest is being cut illegally for the production of cocoa. The reasons for this are manifold, amongst them the search for alternative livelihoods to replace logging for timber by local communities and a lack of knowledge about sustainable cocoa farming systems. We also observe that law enforcement within the protected areas seems ineffective.

To prevent further destruction, we call on you to implement the following measures:

  1. Strengthen the protection and management of forests in Cross River State in collaboration with local communities.
  2. Educate small-scale cocoa farmers in sustainable cocoa farming systems.

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/petitions/1188/nigeria-keep-cocoa-growers-out-of-gorilla-habitat?mtu=434678884&t=5562

Yours faithfully,
This petition is also available in the following languages:

German
Spanish
French
Portuguese

Take that you SCUMBAG!!!!

BREAKING: Popular Lion Killed by Hunters on World Lion Day, in Zimbabwe

sapeople.com
Jenni Baxter

A popular male lion, which had been photographed frequently by hundreds of visitors to Hwange National Park in west Zimbabwe, was shot dead by hunters this last weekend on World Lion Day (10 August).
Male lion Seduli has been shot dead by hunters in Zimbabwe. Photo: Drew Abrahamson

In a heartbreaking message on social media on Wednesday evening, Captured in Africa (CIA) Foundation founder Drew Abrahamson announced the devastating news, which she had found out today.

The lion was apparently on the outskirts of the park. CIA had regularly published posts about Seduli and another male lion, Mopane, who had been photographed together by many international safari visitors over the past few years.

Abrahamson said: “Despite our previous attempts as a community online to prevent these two males from being hunted, Seduli has unnecessarily lost his life at the hands of hunters and Mopani now roams the wilds without his companion.”

She posted two photos – one of Seduli, and another showing other Hwange male lions who have been killed in this region over the past decade. One of the most famous lions to be killed was one named Cecil in 2015.

Other Hwange male lions killed by hunters in the past decade. Photo: Drew Abrahamson

“Does this number of male lions shot over 10 years in one region appear sustainable to you given that lion populations have declined across Africa by 43% in the last 25 years?

“Add to this that with each of these males taken out of a pride, came the loss of either lionesses and cubs dying in the change-over or conflict it caused.

“Dispersal of youngsters fleeing into external areas creating potential human-wildlife conflict issues with communities living on the borders of the park is not uncommon and is proven in some cases to be as a direct result of these pride males being taken out by hunters,” said Abrahamson.

Supporters of hunting claim that the sport’s focus is on sustainability, and that the areas in which hunting takes place are not suitable for photographic safaris and therefore by using them for hunting it generates revenue to maintain these wild habitats.

“But how are you protecting the wildlife if you are taking out males from prides who frequent the National Park?” asks Abrahamson.

It’s time, she says, for an independent scientific study on the sustainability of the numbers taken from this region, and the impact these losses are having on the lion pride dynamics, as well as the knock-on affect to communities in these areas.

According to Abrahamson, these are healthy lions being taken out of the gene pool, and lions which are still breeding and actively part of a healthy pride. These lions traverse the park and viable protected photographic areas. She says their loss contradicts the hunters’ philosophies.

Abrahamson asked that readers “share this far and wide to raise awareness of the continued unsustainable hunting taking place on the outskirts of Hwange, and to raise a call for the photographic operators and stakeholders in dialogue with Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority to address the issue of continued losses of lions known to and photographed by the hundreds of visitors who pay to visit Zimbabwe annually.”

https://www.sapeople.com/2019/08/14/breaking-popular-lion-seduli-killed-by-hunters-on-world-lion-day-in-zimbabwe/amp/

Supermarket Owners Lose Their Store After Vile Trophy Hunting Photos Go Viral

ladyfreethinker.org
Image Credit: Facebook

A French couple who posed with the dead animals they’d slaughtered during a trophy hunt in Africa have lost their jobs after the grotesque pictures were posted on social media, causing public outrage.

Jacques and Martine Alboud (pictured above, left and right), who ran a branch of the Super U co-operative supermarket in L’Arbresle, eastern France, were pictured standing over the bodies of a number of lifeless animals — including a zebra, lion, leopard and hippopotamus — that they had ruthlessly killed during safaris in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Tanzania in 2014 and 2015.

After the images went viral on Twitter and there were calls on Facebook for customers to boycott the store, last week the supermarket group announced that the couple had given up their franchise with immediate effect.

“In the face of condemnation provoked by these actions at the heart of the co-operative and the legitimate public feeling, the store managers have decided to quit immediately the brand and their l’Arbresle store,” Super U said in a statement, adding that it did not condone safari hunting and that the couple’s actions were “in total opposition with the values defended by us.”

The French animal rights organization 30 Millions d’Amis commented that this story was reminiscent of the death of Cecil the lion — who was murdered in Zimbabwe in 2015 by an American dentist and hunter, Walter Palmer — that sparked widespread condemnation. It says that around 8,000 lions have been reared specifically to be hunted down and killed in the last decade in South Africa, and that there has been a 90% fall in the lion population over a century. “The species could disappear by 2050,” it adds.

The couple have so far declined to comment on their actions.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/supermarket-owners-lose-their-store-after-vile-trophy-hunting-photos-go-viral/

GOVE explains why he is launching drive to stamp out big-game hunters

dailymail.com

By Michael Gove, Secretary Of State For Environment, Food And Rural Affairs For The Daily Mail 21:04 14 Jul 2019, updated 22:01 14 Jul 2019

During the passionate debates inspired by Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species, one churchman sceptical of evolution asked his contemporaries, ‘are we the relatives of apes or angels?’

We know now, of course, that we are indeed related genetically to our primate cousins. Indeed, more than that, we are connected by the process of evolution to all the other species with which we share this planet.

That knowledge should incline us to treat animals with thought and care. Not least because we know they are, like us, sentient beings who can experience fear and pain alongside contentment and comfort. If we abuse and mistreat animals we are diminishing our own humanity. To accord them the dignity they deserve is to be true to what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the better angels of our nature’.

One of the practices we must look to tackle is the phenomenon called trophy hunting – whereby tourists pay huge sums to kill some of our planet’s most iconic species and then bring home parts of the animal’s corpse to decorate their homes. Pictured: Michael Gove with Tusk Trust rhino art statues outside the Foreign Office

Improving the welfare of animals, both domestic pets and farm livestock, has been one of the missions of this Government. And we have also been determined to do all in our power to protect wildlife from exploitation and cruelty.

That is why we have taken steps to end puppy farming, ban wild animals in circuses, increase sentences for those who abuse animals, protect service animals, invested in higher standards of animal welfare in our farms, installed CCTV in abattoirs to eliminate cruel practices, and will restrict the live export of animals for slaughter when we leave the EU.

We have also introduced one of the toughest bans on ivory sales in the world. But there is still more to do. And one of the practices we must look to tackle is the phenomenon called trophy hunting – whereby tourists pay huge sums to kill some of our planet’s most iconic species and then bring home parts of the animal’s corpse to decorate their homes.

This practice raises profound ethical concerns for me. Trophy hunting involves pursuing another animal in conditions which cause it stress, fear and pain. Trophy hunters do not kill for food, to control pests or to protect other species. For them it is a form of entertainment.

This practice raises profound ethical concerns for me. Trophy hunting involves pursuing another animal in conditions which cause it stress, fear and pain. Trophy hunters do not kill for food, to control pests or to protect other species. For them it is a form of entertainment. Pictured: Outrage – Hunter Larysa Switlyk (far right) posted this picture after shooting an alligator

And what often makes this practice worse is when these hunters glory in the animal’s death with pictures of its slaughtered body by their side on social media. But we must ensure we proceed on the basis of evidence and respect for others. There are thoughtful voices and concerned organisations who do make the case for some measure of ‘conservation hunting’ as a way of bringing income into countries with rich wildlife populations but poor economies.

They argue that commercial hunting provides a strong incentive for those nations to manage and safeguard their wildlife populations. It is said that without income from hunting, the countries would be under pressure to replace wildlife-rich habitats with farmland or other economically productive land uses – which would mean the precious species were without a home. And many say the money raised can be used to safeguard other valuable natural resources from exploitation.

I appreciate the sincerity with which those arguments are made. And I recognise that there must always be, from time to time, the culling of some species to keep nature in balance and the control of predators to protect other species.

And what often makes this practice worse is when these hunters glory in the animal’s death with pictures of its slaughtered body by their side on social media. But we must ensure we proceed on the basis of evidence and respect for others. Pictured: Gove (right) and Zac Goldsmith with Tusk Trust rhino art statues outside the Foreign Office

But I find it hard to see how those justifications can be used to defend those who ‘hunt’ animals which have been bred in captivity for the specific purpose of dying for others’ entertainment. We need to act to stop this sort of exploitation, and because we need to establish just how defensible the arguments for ‘conservation hunting’ are, I plan to issue a call for evidence on trophy hunting overall.

I want to know whether countries with rich wildlife populations couldn’t make just as much, if not more, income from wildlife tourism than from hunting. I want to establish what we can learn from other nations, such as Australia and the Netherlands, which have much tighter restrictions on importing these ‘trophies’.

I hope that as we gather the evidence, we also gather the momentum for action.

And we ensure that this Parliament is remembered for what we did for nature.

Michael Gove aims to crackdown on big-game hunters by banning them from bringing trophies from their kills back to the UK

by Claire Ellicott and Jack Doyle

Michael Gove will take the first steps towards banning imports from trophy hunting, he tells the Mail today.

The Environment Secretary will issue a call for evidence to decide whether to outlaw hunters bringing the souvenirs into the country.

He will also consult on what the UK can do to end its role in the rearing of animals in fenced reserves where they are shot by trophy hunters.

Trophy hunting is the shooting of certain animals – usually big game such as rhinos, elephants, lions, pumas and bears – for pleasure.

The trophy is any part of the animal – its head, skin or any other body part – that the hunter keeps as a souvenir.

Mr Gove said there was an important debate about whether trophy hunting in poorer countries could be used to enhance their economies.

But he added that it was important to explore whether these countries would not benefit more from wildlife tourism.

He also criticised the practice of ‘lion canning’ which involves thousands of lions in South Africa being bred and kept in fenced areas to be shot by wealthy travellers.

He said: ‘I find it hard to see how those justifications can be used to defend those who ‘hunt’ animals, who have been bred in captivity for the specific purpose of dying for others’ entertainment.’

Trophy hunting is rife in certain parts of the world, with 1.7 million trophies legally traded between 2004 and 2014. About 200,000 were from threatened species.

Of those, 2,500 were brought home by British hunters, including hundreds of heads, feet, tails, hides, tusks and horns from some of the most endangered species, including rhinos and elephants.

Lions were hit with the biggest increase in trophy hunting among the big five – despite their numbers decreasing by 43 per cent between 1993 and 2014.

Quite often, hunters cause outrage by showing off their prizes in pictures on social media.

And not all have to travel to far-flung plains to satisfy their blood lust.

Last year, a self-styled ‘Hardcore Huntress’ proudly posted pictures of herself beside the carcasses of sheep and goats she had shot on a trip to Scotland.

American television host Larysa Switlyk had been on a two-week hunting trip to Islay, a remote Scottish island, when she tweeted the images.

The 33-year-old labelled one picture of a dead goat ‘such fun’, prompting a furious online backlash.

Mr Gove has already banned ivory to prevent its trade in the UK and protect threatened species.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7246745/amp/MICHAEL-GOVE-explains-launching-drive-stamp-big-game-hunters.html?__twitter_impression=true

NC animal rescue group wants your old bra to help save injured turtles

Exposing the Big Game

By Amanda Foster  |

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – It sounds bizarre, but it’s also true. The clips on the backs of bras can save a turtle.

It sounds bizarre, but it’s also true. The clips on the backs of bras can save a turtle. (Carolina Waterfowl Rescue)

“It acts like a little fixator, it’s the eyelets that we need,” Keenan Freitas at the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue says.

The group, you could say, is after your unused unmentionables. These are the same people who spend most of their time among a team of injured turtles.

“80 percent of them are hit by cars,” Freitas says. “The other five percent are hit by boats, the remaining are environmental.”

When these sometimes shattered shells come in, they’re not in good shape, and in the summer, there are quite a bit more of them.

“It’s when it…

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Iconic desert-adapted elephant ‘Voortrekker’ killed by trophy hunter in Namibia – Africa Geographic

africageographic.com

Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant before his tusks snapped off © Ingrid Mandt

In yet another blow to big elephant genes, the iconic desert-adapted elephant bull known by millions of fans worldwide as ‘Voortrekker’ was killed by a trophy hunter after being declared a ‘problem-animal’ by Namibian authorities. The surgical removal of Africa’s big-gene animals by trophy hunters continues, and Namibia’s desert-adapted elephants now rely on a small population of mature bulls after two were killed in 2016.

In their announcement on Facebook, Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) said “the elephant bull concerned was put down after it was declared a problem. The animal alongside others have been destroying properties and infrastructure in the area of Omatjete.” On the issue of whether this bull was the legendary Voortrekker, MET responded to Facebook questions by refusing to name the hunted elephant. Several conservation charities have confirmed that the bull in question is indeed Voortrekker. ‘Voortrekker’ is Afrikaans for ‘pioneer’.

MET spokesperson Romeo Muyunda Lee advised that the price paid was N$120,000 (+/- US$ 8,500), but it is unclear at this stage whether this was the total price paid or the portion paid to communities.

A study published in Ecology and Evolution in 2016 found not only that the Namibian desert-adapted elephants were different from their savannah cousins, but that their adaptations are also not genetically transferred to the next generation, rather through the passing on of knowledge by mature individuals. Morphological differences, like the adapted elephants’ thinner bodies and wider feet, also distinguish them from typical savannah elephants.

Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant before his tusks snapped off © Ingrid Mandt

WAS THE WRONG ELEPHANT KILLED?

A Facebook post, written by Informante reporter Niël Terblanché, asks whether it was in fact Voortrekker who was causing problems for inhabitants of the Omatjete area.

Terblanché reports that an urgent letter addressed to MET official Christoph Munwela by management of conservancies neighbouring the Ohungo Conservancy in the area of Omatjete to prevent the killing of Voortrekker, suggests that a flagrant error was made when the hunting license was issued. The letter points out that Voortrekker is in fact not part of the herd that has been bothering the community of the Ohungu Conservancy in the area of Omatjete.

MET responded publically that “The communities who objected to the hunt were not affected by the elephants as the elephants were mainly causing problems in the Omatjete area.”

Prior to the hunt, the management committees of the Otjimboyo, Sorris Sorris and Tsiseb conservancies asked Munwela for a meeting to discuss ways to avoid the killing of Voortrekker, one of the oldest living bull elephants in Namibia. Their letter said: “Our people are in general accepting of the elephants’ presence and want them to remain in the area … it is our belief that the shooting of elephants does not solve the problem. In fact, this only makes it worse. We want to keep our communities safe and to do this we need to ensure that our elephants are calm and relaxed when entering villages. It is our belief that the shooting of elephants or scaring them off with gunshots, screaming or chasing them off results in aggressive animals and this cannot be tolerated.”

ELEPHANT DAMAGE

MET published photographs that they feel illustrates damage caused to property and infrastructure by Voortrekker, to justify the issue of the hunting license. Some of the images appear to show poorly neglected fences and other infrastructure, but some easily-replaced water pipes and tanks do appear to reflect damage.

Damage to infrastructure by Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant, as per MET © MET

VOORTREKKER WAS PREVIOUSLY SAVED FROM TROPHY HUNTERS

In 2008 Voortrekker fans donated US$12 000 to MET in an effort to save him from professional hunters who had their eyes on his trophy tusks. At the time, six hunting permits were issued and only Voortrekker was saved from trophy hunter guns – the remaining five elephants were killed.

According to Johannes Haasbroek of Elephant Human Relations Aid, in the period since then, “the hunting outfitters and their sick clients conspired to get this gentle giant declared a problem to justify a hunt”. He went on to say: “We remember Voortrekker as an incredibly gentle, peaceful and magnificent elephant. His presence has often calmed other inexperienced elephants around him. He was known locally as the ‘Old Man’, that was always welcome because he never caused any problems or induced fear.”

Voortrekker the desert-adapted elephant after his tusks snapped off. This photo was taken 7 weeks before his death © Aschi Widmer

VOORTREKKER’S STORY

According to respected safari guide Alan McSmith, Voortrekker was a pioneer elephant for the desert-adapted elephant population in the Ugab and Huab rivers region. This giant elephant was one of the first to venture back to the region after populations were decimated during the turbulent warfare years in southern Africa. A small group of these uniquely desert-adapted elephants took refuge during the war in the remote and desolate gorges of Kaokaland in the north.

Says McSmith: “Voortrekker, one of the bulls to trek north during the conflict years, returned home in the early 2000’s, commencing a relay of south-bound expeditions, penetrating deeper and deeper into the dry and uncertain landscape before commencing with an epic traverse through to the relative bounty of the Ugab River. It was a marathon across arid plains and ancient craters that would ultimately redefine what we know of elephant endurance, intuition and behaviour. Just how he navigated, or knew where to find water, is anyone’s guess. For over two successive summer seasons he returned north to Kaokaland, returning each time to the Ugab with a small family unit in tow. An elephant patriarch. These elephants are still resident in the region and have formed the nucleus of three distinct breeding herds, making the Ugab/Huab Rivers perhaps the most viable desert elephant habitats in the world. Voortrekker continues as the Godfather, a true legend of the Ugab. His ancestral knowledge has been passed down to a new generation of desert dwellers. What a legacy! For me, all of this addresses one of the most crucial fallacies of elephant conservation, trophy hunting, and the notion of sustainable consumption: that older bulls have no value to an elephant community and can be hunted under the banner of ecological benefit.”

A Facebook page has been set up to ‘actively pursue the truth behind the killing of Voortrekker, the Iconic Desert Elephant, and then decide on appropriate action’

https://africageographic.com/blog/iconic-desert-adapted-elephant-voortrekker-killed-by-trophy-hunter-in-namibia/

Another Mississippi rise threatens to trigger Morganza Spillway opening

The Morganza Spillway is seen with a few bays open on Sunday morning May 15, 2011 in Batchelor, La. The Army Corps of Engineers could open the spillway again — for the third time in its history — on June 2 because of rising water on the Mississippi River.

By Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

Heavy rains expected in the Midwest portion of the Mississippi River Valley during the next week have prompted Army Corps of Engineers officials to warn interests within the Morganza Floodway portion of the Atchafalaya River Basin that the Morganza Spillway structure could be opened as soon as June 2.

More than 5 inches of rain is expected to fall across parts of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa over the next seven days, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

The river will crest at 62 feet on June 6 at Red River Landing, only a foot and a half below that location’s all-time high crest, according to Wednesday’s forecast by the weather service’s Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center, based in Slidell.

Red River Landing is only about 16 miles above the Morganza Spillway.VSB5DDMSMJC3PESOZF2ZYUB7JQ

Forecast rainfall in the Midwest could total more than 5 inches during the next seven days, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

Forecast rainfall in the Midwest could total more than 5 inches during the next seven days, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center.

Red River Landing is one of several locations along the river where records have been set or about to be set for the number of days above flood stage. At Red River, the record is 152 days, set in 1927, the year of the great Mississippi River Flood. On Wednesday, the location had seen 146 days above flood stage this year.6ecekz6rhfea5jxw3rtwxkve241670628639.jpg

This chart shows how many days various locations have seen river heights above official flood stages, and how that compares to record flood stage years.

This chart shows how many days various locations have seen river heights above official flood stages, and how that compares to record flood stage years.

The forecast also calls for the river to remain at 16.7 feet at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans through June 19, well into the beginning of the 2019 hurricane season. Water heights aren’t predicted to rise in New Orleans because the corps already has opened a number of bays in the Bonnet Carre Spillway, which funnels part of the river’s water into Lake Pontchartrain.

But it’s the rising river at the Morganza location that has the corps worried, said spokesman Ricky Boyett on Wednesday evening.

“We have not made a decision on operation (of the spillway) but we did send a notice this evening to stakeholders that have a role in Morganza,” Boyett said in an email response to questions about the rising river.

“Based on the current forecast – specifically projected rain in the valley over the next several days – we could encounter the potential of overtopping the Morganza Control Structure,” he said, adding that the spillway structure – which contains 125 gates that are opened and closed by two cranes rolling on special tracks atop the structure – “cannot be safely operated if overtopped.”

“There are a couple of factors regarding safety that we must consider, but primarily it is unsafe for our personnel. Additionally, the structure is designed to hold back water, but was not designed to be operated while overtopped,” he said.

Boyett said the corps believes the overtopping might occur even before the river reaches a flow speed of 1.5 million cubic feet along the structure, which is the usual trigger for opening gates. “Based on today’s data, that could occur as soon as 5 June.”

 

But Boyett said the corps could move more quickly to open the structure because it agreed to a “slow opening” strategy to help with evacuating wildlife from the broad floodway leading from the spillway into the Atchafalaya River basin, after the spillway’s opening during a 2011 high river threatened a variety of wildlife species, including protected Louisiana black bears.

The slow opening also expected to reduce scouring in the tail bay area, where the water is released into the floodway, which also occurred in 2011.

The forebay – mostly farmland on the river or batture side of the structure – has been flooded for months during this year’s unusually long high-water season.

Boyett stressed that the decision to open Morganza still will depend on the actual rainfall that occurs over the next few days in the Mississippi floodplain upriver.

Meanwhile, the corps, local river forecast center hydrologists, and the National Hurricane Center’s storm surge prediction team have been conducting a series of drills to assure they can all predict the consequences of storm surge from an early tropical storm or hurricane attempting to push up what will be a near-full river bed through June, and now possibly well into July.

Barges and tugs lines the west bank levee of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Pairsh on Sept. 10, 2005, left there by storm surge that moved up the river during the storm.

THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

Barges and tugs lines the west bank levee of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Pairsh on Sept. 10, 2005, left there by storm surge that moved up the river during the storm.

During both Hurricane Isaac in 2012 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, surge pushed well upriver, swelling the river significantly. But in both cases, the river was at 3 feet or less when the surge moved upriver.

Hurricane Isaac, which became a Category 1 storm with top winds of 80 mph before making landfall at Southwest Pass on Aug. 28, caused the Mississippi to rise to 9.5 feet in New Orleans, from a height of only 3 feet on Aug. 26.

Hurricane Katrina, which was a Category 3 storm with top winds of 125 mph when it made landfall at Buras on Aug. 29, 2005, caused the river to swell to at least 15.24 feet that day before the gage stopped measuring water heights. Several barges ended up beached near the top of the river levee in Algiers, which was then about 17 feet above sea level. On Aug. 27, the river height was only about 3 feet.

“An elevated river is obviously a concern,” said Jamie Rhome, the National Hurricane Center’s lead surge forecaster, during a May 17 interview. “In this case, projections have the river keeping up during the first few weeks of the hurricane season and we have that factored into operational readiness along the coast.”

The testing has included making sure the surge modeling systems used by the center are operating properly, and how they would handle early storms forming in the Gulf, which will have different characteristics from storms occurring later in the hurricane season.

Using the modeling results and applying information about how the river will react to incoming surge – how the weight and speed of the river’s fresh water moving south will in part lessen the effect of the surge moving north – officials have been running case studies aimed at developing strategies for forecasting surge effects on the river, and the kinds of warnings that might have to be given to both emergency managers who have to plan for evacuations, and to the public, Rhome said.

“We look at the output collectively as a team,” he said. “How to interpret the results, what to do, what decisions are made.

“We have several warning tools in our toolbox, and we have to determine which one is most appropriate to clearly address the risk,” he said.

“Thankfully, we have one of the most advanced and interactive river forecast centers in Louisiana,” which has provided key information about how the high river’s water flow will affect surge heights in the New Orleans area and farther upstream, he said.

https://www.nola.com/environment/2019/05/another-mississippi-rise-threatens-to-trigger-morganza-spillway-opening.html

Mark Schleifstein covers the environment and is a leader of the Louisiana Coastal Reporting Team for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Email: mschleifstein@nola.com. Facebook: Mark Schleifstein and Louisiana Coastal Watch. Twitter: MSchleifstein.

The snow leopard has been hiding in plain site

 

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Find the Snow Leopard

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Find the snow leopard, but please when you spot it, don’t give it away just comment…done!

But if you can’t… you’ll need to wait till Sunday May 12th, when I reveal this gorgeous snow leopard exact location.

Good luck

SIGN: Don’t Kill Adorable Bear Cub Just for Being ‘Too Friendly’

ladyfreethinker.org
Image credit: Youtube/Halfcabking

Petition Target: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

A sweet bear cub may lose her life because she innocently approached a group of snowboarders in Truckee, California.

According to News 4, the cub, whose mom may have died, was looking for food when she discovered newfound friends on the slopes. The bear was extremely friendly, and a video of the encounter is going viral on social media.

This behavior is out-of-character for most bears, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has taken the cub in for evaluation.

Soon, they will determine if the bear will be sent to a sanctuary or put down.

“They were feeding her, handing her sandwiches, in other words taming her…she’s old enough, almost, to be alone, but she’s still dependent. And now, she’s dependent on people,” said Ann Bryant, executive director for the Bear League, a non-profit dedicated to keeping bears safe and wild in their natural habitat, to News 4.

But a helpless, likely-orphaned bear cub doesn’t deserve a death sentence just for approaching humans.

Sign this petition urging The California Department of Fish and Wildlife to spare this innocent cub and send her to a sanctuary where she can gain independence, roam free, and live a safe and happy life.

https://ladyfreethinker.org/sign-dont-kill-adorable-bear-cub-just-for-being-too-friendly/

Sign Petition: This Jerk Shot a Lion While It Was Sleeping and Celebrated as It Slowly Died on Video

thepetitionsite.com

by: Care2 Team
recipient: Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Climate

For years, Guy Gorney, 64, of Manhattan, Illinois got away with the perfect crime. It was premeditated, plotted down to the very minute and, with the help of another man, he walked up to his prey, aimed and pulled the trigger. His victim stood little chance, he was unaware he was even being stalked. In fact, he was sleeping when the first bullet entered his body, jolting him awake with burning pain. Seconds later he was dead after Guy shot him twice more.

But now that video evidence has come to light and made its way to the internet, everyone knows exactly what Guy did, and what type of person he is — a coward and a killer. Guy’s victim was an African lion, laying down, basking under the African sun when he and his guide took aim and murdered the feline.

In the clip, Guy’s guide whispers instructions on how best to kill the sleeping beast and then the two celebrate as the lion — that was alive just minutes before — slowly extinguishes.

The video has now gone viral and people all over the world are shocked at what this “hunter” did. But Guy couldn’t care at all. In an interview, he showed no remorse. He bragged about having killed at least 70 other big game animals including elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and buffalo. One might ask how many of those poor creatures were also sleeping.

There really is nothing more pathetic than a tiny man with a big gun who bases his manhood on his ability to shoot animals.

Is this the type of “hunting” Zimbabwe allows in their country? Where wealthy men pay large sums of money to kill defenseless animals? Is this considered “sportsmanship” and good for conservation? People who behave in such despicable ways, don’t deserve to own guns, and they definitely shouldn’t be allowed to travel and kill animals willy nilly just to stroke their ego.

Zimbabwe should make an example of Gorney’s deplorable behavior and permanently ban him from hunting within their country. Sign the petition if you agree.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/894/706/592/this-jerk-shot-a-lion-while-it-was-sleeping-and-celebrated-as-it-slowly-died-on-video/?TAP=1007&cid=causes_petition_postinfo

Sign Petition: Bald Eagles And Other Animals Are Dying Slow and Painful Deaths From Lead Poisoning!

Lead ammunition and fishing tackle pose an urgent threat to wildlife species across our country, including our national emblem: the bald eagle. We cannot stand idly by as lead poisoning kills our wildlife and threatens the survival of threatened and endangered species.

Lead ammunition not only poisons wildlife through direct contact when an animal is shot but also when animals scavenge on the carcass of another animal shot with lead bullets or ingest fragments of lead bullets and fishing tackle left behind in the environment. Since bald eagles enjoy feasting on dead animals, they are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning.

The American Bird Conservancy estimates that 10 to 20 million animals are killed by lead poisoning in the United States every year. These animals can die a painful death through starvation, paralysis and damage to the nervous system or live with the symptoms of lead poisoning for a prolonged period of time before finally dying.

Lead ammunition was the principal cause of the near extinction of the California condor, which is currently listed as critically endangered. Even though California banned lead ammunition in the state, lead ammunition still threatens the survival of the condor and other species as other states have more relaxed laws.

The Obama administration recognized the severe threat lead poses to our nation’s wildlife and enacted a national ban on lead ammunition and tackle. This was revoked, threatening the welfare and survival of many species across the country.

Please restore the ban on lead ammunition and fishing tackle on federal lands to preserve our country’s heritage and pride: our wildlife. Our country’s beautiful and iconic bald eagle should not be forced to suffer a slow and painful death from lead poisoning.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/347/989/280/?TAP=1007&cid=causes_petition_postinfo

A Heartwarming Story! Wolf That Rescuers Thought Was A Dog Saved From Freezing River In Estonia – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
February 22, 2019

A wolf, first thought to be a dog, is warming hearts everywhere after being rescued this morning from a freezing river in Estonia, a country in Northern Europe.
The heroic rescuers, reportedly named Robin Sillamae and Rando Kartsepp, were working nearby when they noticed the distressed animal in the Parnu River.
After pulling the wolf, who was described as exhausted, hypothermic, and frozen,” from the icy water, the kind-hearted men covered the animal in a blanket and placed it in their car to warm up.
The Estonian Union for the Protection of Animals (EUPA), which received the call for “help with a dog that might be a wolf,” shared the news on its Facebook page; admitting that the situation presented a bit of a challenge.

Fortunately, the young men who saved the wolf were able to drive the animal to a clinic where he received immediate treatment that was funded by the EUPA.
The organization shared an update from the clinic which confirmed that the wolf, believed to be born last year, is slowly recovering and sustained no other injuries.
“We have been contacted by the head of the environment agency’s Wildlife Department, Marko Hat, who confirmed that if the wolf is in top-notch health, then they will put a collar on him and release him into the wild,” noted the organization.
The EUPA shared their appreciation for the young men who saved the struggling young wolf, as well as the staff of the clinic, and Marko Hat, who gave them peace of mind, ensuring that the animal would be released to freedom.
The Estonian Union For The Protection Of Animals is a donation-based organization. Please consider making a contribution to the work that they do to save animals in their region.

https://worldanimalnews.com/a-wolf-that-rescuers-thought-was-a-dog-saved-from-freezing-river-in-estonia/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Higher Order Thinking: Orangutans Compare Apples to Bananas, Evaluate Tool Use – FIREPAW, Inc.

Apes are so intelligent that they weigh their options. This is the conclusion of a new animal cognition study that tested orangutans ability to compare, contrast and make decisions based on the best option.

Continue reading here…

https://firepaw.org/2019/02/21/higher-order-thinking-orangutans-compare-apples-to-bananas-evaluate-tool-use/#respond

This Winter’s Top 5 Wildlife Webcams | Sierra Club

As the biting cold rips through civilization, people seek refuge in blankets and huddled by crackling fires. But many critters brave the elements and they don’t seem to mind. While winter keeps us somewhat evolved primates in hiding, we still can appreciate this round up of wildlife webcams, all of which showcase some of the amazing adaptations and quirky behaviors. So grab a hot beverage and enjoy the show.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/winters-top-5-wildlife-webcams-0?utm_source=insider&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

Sign Petition: Threatened Species, Pets and All Fur Bearing Animals Are Cruelly Trapped and Killed!

thepetitionsite.com

Over the past few decades, trapping in California has had a devastating impact on wildlife populations and continues to put furbearing animals, non-target animals, including threatened and endangered species, people and pets at risk.

Sadly, hundreds of furbearing animals continue to be trapped every year in the state for nothing more than their pelts, which are being sold in foreign markets. Not only is this harming individuals animals, and posing a risk to others, it’s also harming local ecosystems — especially when top predators are targeted.

Now, however, conservationists and animal advocates are hopeful that new legislation will end the practice in California for good.

The bill (AB 273), which was just introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, would protect furbearing animals from this cruel and archaic practice by banning commercial trapping in the state.

Not only will it end the suffering of animals who are trapped for their fur, it will also save taxpayers who are currently subsidizing this practice because it’s bringing in far less than what’s being spent to oversee this program. Additionally, it will also help increase wildlife viewing opportunities, which generate far more revenue than trapping does.

While this bill is bound to face opposition, it’s being cosponsored by organizations including the Center for Biological Diversity and Social Compassion in Legislation, and will hopefully garner enough public support to pass.

You can help by signing and sharing this petition urging California lawmakers to protect wildlife by banning commercial trapping throughout the state.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/341/881/149/

15 Fascinating Facts About Groundhogs | Care2 Causes

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15 Fascinating Facts About Groundhogs | Care2 Causes
5-6 minutes

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on February 1, 2017.

A lot of us probably don’t give much thought to groundhogs until February 2 rolls around each year, but here are some interesting facts to help you appreciate these unique critters.

According to Groundhog Day legend, their shadows can predict how much longer winter will last. No matter the outcome, it’s bad news the most famous groundhog, “Punxsutawney Phil.”

1. They’re called whistle pigs

Groundhogs are also called ground beavers, woodchucks and whistle pigs, thanks to the high-pitched warning sound they make. Incidentally, the name woodchuck has nothing to do with wood. It’s derived from the Native American word “wuchak,” which means “digger.”

2. They’re essentially giant squirrels

Groundhogs are rodents — marmots, specifically — that are very closely related to squirrels. ”They are giant ground squirrels is what they are,” Richard Thorington, curator of mammals at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, told National Geographic.

3. They live in giant burrows with several “rooms”

Groundhogs build huge burrows for themselves that can be as long as 66 feet. These homes have multiple levels with several “rooms” and exits. “They have a burrow for hibernating, and then they have another section of the burrow that’s more like their summer home where they can come out more easily,” Stam Zervanos, a retired Pennsylvania State University biology professor, told National Geographic.

4. …including separate “bathrooms”

Just like our homes, the burrows have separate “bathrooms” in which groundhogs relieve themselves.

5. They may build multiple burrows.

It seems like a lot of work, but groundhogs may build more than one burrow. They can move around from burrow to burrow, but most stay in the same territories every year.

 

 

 

6. They’re climbers

Groundhogs can climb trees to escape from predators like dogs, wolves and coyotes.

7. They have good taste in food

Although they weigh less than 14 pounds, groundhogs can eat over a pound of vegetation every day. As for their diet, groundhogs are gourmets. “They’re selective,” Thorington told National Geographic. “They’ll go for your best cabbages and best foods that you have out there.”

8. Farmers aren’t major fans of groundhogs

Given the groundhog’s preferred diet, it’s no surprise that farmers aren’t the biggest fans of these critters. Not only do groundhogs eat the best of their crops, but tractors can also easily break an axle driving over their burrows.

9. Groundhogs are not social butterflies

Groundhogs prefer to be alone, and that includes moms. “The mother nurses the young, and then shortly after they’re weaned, they tend to go off on their own,” Thorington said, adding that groundhogs are “about as asocial as you can get.”

 

 

 

 

10. They greet each other with Eskimo kisses

According to Scientific American, one groundhog touches his or her nose to the mouth of the other groundhog.

11. Groundhogs hibernate from late fall until early spring

Males wake up early to check out their territory for a mate — “and there’s some competition for that territory,” Zervanos told National Geographic. “They try to defend that territory, and they go from burrow to burrow to find out if that female is still there.” Once a male finds a female he can mate with … nothing happens. He returns to his burrow and goes back to sleep for a month or so.

12. Their mating season lasts only 10 days

Groundhogs mate in early March. Thanks to their natural good timing, groundhogs are able to stop hibernating just in time to produce more groundhogs.

13. The Groundhog Day tradition originated in Europe

In Europe, other animals predicted how long winter would last. “When the Europeans came over here, they didn’t have any hedgehogs or badgers to lay the blame on, so I think the groundhog got it by being here and being a good size,” Thorington said.

14. Groundhog Day isn’t much fun for “Punxsutawney Phil”

Instead of being allowed to hibernate, the chosen groundhog is put on a display in a local library. On February 2, he’s subjected to a stressful parade and news conference.

15. A prior tragedy was fatal for a famous groundhog

During a 2014 Groundhog Day celebration in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped Chuck, a famous groundhog from the Staten Island Zoo. Chuck died from his injuries.

 

 

This seems like a really good reason to drop the use of live animals on Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania, New York and everywhere else, doesn’t it?

https://www.care2.com/causes/15-fascinating-facts-about-groundhogs.html

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sign Petition: Cinder The Bear Survived Wildfire Burns Only To Be Shot By Hunter

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Washington Officials

87,977 SUPPORTERS – 90,000 GOAL

Cinder was a 30 lb young black bear in Washington state. In 2014, she miraculously survived severe wildfire burns and won the heart of us humans. Tragically, she was shot and killed almost immediately upon being released back into the wild.

Sign the petition to demand justice for Cinder!

It’s illegal to kill a black bear in Washington state unless you have a license and it’s open season. Whoever killed her probably did not have that because they just left her body there. If a bear gets hurt or killed in self defense, the killer is supposed to notify the authorities. But Cinder’s body was just left to rot instead.

Scientists had hoped her collar had just stopped working because she was hibernating for the winter. That’s why they were so dismayed when they found her skeleton and realized it was because she and her collar had been shot.

Cinder lived through a horrible tragedy and healed, just to be shot by a selfish hunter and left to rot.

It’s heartbreaking that Cinder survived and then died so quickly after being able to return to her home. Please help us honor sweet Cinder by demanding that authorities find Cinder’s killer and hold them accountable!

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/240/061/319/

 

Breaking! American Trophy Hunter Kills Endangered Markhor Goat In Pakistan – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
January 18, 2019

Yet another American trophy hunter proudly standing over an animal that he killed with a boastful smile, clouded eyes, and the misguided conscious of a heartless sub-human who kills innocent animals, including endangered species, for so-called “sport.”
It’s a haunting image, yet tragically familiar.
This week, according to the National Parks of Pakistan Facebook page, one such American hunter, identified by the Pamir Times as Christopher, paid $92,000 for one of four permits allotted by the government of Pakistan to kill a Markhor Goat, the country’s national animal.
Strange, especially since with an estimated population of only 6,000 of these rare goats living in the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are supposed to be protected by local and international laws under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Christopher reportedly hunted, shot and killed the poor animal in the Chitral Region of Pakistan, then displayed his bloodied so-called “trophy” next to him and his team in photos.
As per the post, “Although hunting the markhor is illegal in Pakistan, the government has introduced a scheme which makes the hunt legal. The scheme is known as trophy hunting.”
A hunting trophy license was issued to Christopher after a “proper auction by Peshawar’s wildlife department.” The highest bidder earns the opportunity to hunt one markhor. Without the appalling human conflict, the endangered animals, also known as screw-horn goats, are estimated to live between 10 to 12 years in the wild.
There are reports that permits were also granted to another American trophy hunter who recently killed his fourth markhor, as well as a tourist from New Zealand.
These hunting expeditions are reportedly monitored by village representatives, as well as government officials to ensure that laws are not broken.
What? Ensure that laws are not broken? Remember the part about the “scheme” called trophy hunting!

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-american-trophy-hunter-kills-enangered-markhor-goat-in-pakistan/

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“One Person CAN Make A Difference”

TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,
endangered, hunting,Pakistan,Trophy hunting

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Scottish Wildcats are Virtually Extinct, but European Cousins Could Help | Care2 Causes

A new study finds that Scottish wildcats are now functionally extinct in the wild, with only a handful of so-called “pure” animals remaining in the wild.

The research, carried out by a team from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) at the Wildgenes Lab at Edinburgh Zoo, found that among the nearly 300 wildcats they tested, all of those living in the wild shared what has been dubbed a hybrid gene pool. This means that Scotland’s wildcats are now “virtually extinct”, the authors say, because the wildcats have bred with the now-ubiquitous domestic cats of Scotland, watering down their own genes to such an extent that there appears to be no true population of wildcats left.

Dr. Helen Senn, head of conservation and science at RZSS, told The Press and Journal, ”Crossbreeding with domestic feral cats has long been known to be a major threat to the Scottish wildcat. We now have genetic data which confirms our belief that the vast majority of Scottish wildcats living in the wild are hybrids to one extent or another.”

The population sample was an interesting mix. There were 125 “wild-living” cats who were deceased but whose cadavers had been collected over the last quarter of a century. In addition to these, there were the corpses of 60 cats believed to be wildcats that farmers had shot between 1895 and 1985. Added to this were 19 cats that were trapped by Scottish Natural Heritage, 72 confirmed wildcats, and 19 domestic cats (or their DNA) sampled from across Edinburgh. Together this allowed the researchers a good basis for unpicking the current makeup of Scotland’s wildcat population.

They found that there may be a small minority of wildcats whose genetics would put them in a class of “pure” wildcats, or at least close enough to that end of the spectrum to be a meaningful DNA source for future breeding campaigns. The vast majority of wildcats, however, are so hybridized that they are not viable. Until now, scientists suspected this to be the case, but they did not have concrete data to confirm it. Now they do, and it begs the question: how can we save Scotland’s majestic wildcats?
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How Do We Save Scottish Wildcats?

As few as 35 pure wildcats remain in the Scottish wilds, with feral cats outnumbering the wildcats 3,000 to one. To put it bluntly, there is now no way of helping the wildcat population in Scotland by relying on the population alone, as there are too few animals from which to build genetic diversity. However, there are some options.

Wildcats can be bred in captivity—which, for these purposes, means sheltered enclosures that are as close to their wild habitats as possible—but that alone is slow-going and would likely require greater genetic diversity than we currently have at our disposal in domestic zoos and wildlife facilities.

There is another option that can supplement and support this approach: introducing wildcats from abroad to enlarge the gene pool and create a more diverse platform on which to rebuild the wildcat population.

This kind of approach requires clearing a number of regulatory hurdles, and Scottish Natural Heritage would have to carry out the proper assessments and give approval, but there is precedent for an approach like this in Scotland. A 2009 project released Norwegian beavers in Argyll, then supplemented them with beavers from elsewhere in Scotland, helping to bring the beaver population back.

Wildcats live in several places across Europe, India and Africa, but they are on the IUCN Red List because of their low numbers. They are currently rated as “least concern”, but scientists say a new assessment is warranted. As is the case in many of these places, wildcat territory in Scotland has diminished rapidly over the past century. With the encroachment of feral domestic cats who, through sheer numbers can out-compete the wildcats, there is yet another layer of pressure as the wildcats—who aren’t choosy about their partners—cross paths with ferals and mate.

However, as serious as this situation is, there is hope. Unlike with issues facing other animals that involve complexities like fighting disease or finding a way to slow climate change, the wildcats’ problem is, while not simple, more easy to manage.

Researchers say that, as with other wildlife transplanting operations, we can build a framework and create reintroduction and management schemes to help the wildcats. This will take time, resources and financing from the government, but there seems no overriding reason why we can’t help the Scottish wildcats bounce back and protect their legacy for many years to come.

This research was a first step: by shining a light on just how bad the problem is we can take the first steps to solving it.
Take Action

Lack of diversity isn’t the only issue Scottish wildcats are facing. Deforestation is threatening their habitat. Join over 78,000 Care2 members and sign this petition asking the Scottish government to protect this endangered species.

https://www.care2.com/causes/scottish-wildcats-are-virtually-extinct-but-european-cousins-could-help.html

Photo credit: Getty Images.

Feds Begin Selling Wild Horses Captured in California for $1 Each

Straight from the Horse's Heart

as published on EcoWatch by Lorraine Chow

“The Forest Service is treating these national treasures like trash by selling them for one dollar a piece…”

About 200 horses are available for adoption and sale until Feb. 18. The fee for purchase “with limitations” has been reduced to $1 per horse, down from the original price of $25. The fee for adoption is $125.

“With limitations” includes a stipulation that prohibits using the horses for human consumption. Other requirements include appropriate transportation, adequate space and healthy accommodations for the animals, according to Ruidoso News.

The horses now up for sale and adoption are all 10 years and older. They were among the 932 mustangs that were gathered via helicopters in the territory near Alturas, California between Oct. 10 and Nov. 8.

The gathering of wild horses has prompted fierce debate about how to control populations. On the one hand, the…

View original post 421 more words

Breaking! Conservation Groups File New Lawsuit Against The Trump Administration For Failing To Protect Giraffes – World Animal News

By WAN –
December 6, 2018

Conservation groups have sued the Trump administration for failing to consider protections for Africa’s rapidly dwindling giraffe population under the Endangered Species Act.
Yesterday’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., comes weeks after the International Union for the Conservation of Nature updated its assessment of Africa’s remaining giraffes, reaffirming that the species is “vulnerable” to extinction, and classifying two subspecies as “critically endangered.”
Filed by the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, Humane Society of the United States, and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the suit challenges the refusal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to accept an April 2017 petition seeking Endangered Species Act protection for giraffes. The agency was required to respond within 90 days, but 19 months have passed without action.
“Giraffes capture our imaginations from childhood on, but many people don’t realize how few are left in the wild,” Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement. “Instead of throwing these unique animals a lifeline under the Endangered Species Act, Trump officials are twiddling their thumbs. Trump will be to blame if future generations know giraffes only as toys and not the long-necked icons of Africa.”
Fewer than 100,000 giraffes remain in the wild, and the population dropped nearly 40% over the past three decades. The species is gravely imperiled by habitat loss, civil unrest, and illegal hunting for their meat, they are also threatened by the international trade in bone carvings, skins, and trophies.
“The Trump administration would rather allow its rich donors to mount giraffe trophies on their walls than protect giraffes,” said Elly Pepper, deputy director of NRDC’s Wildlife Trade Initiative. “Giraffes are headed toward extinction, in part due to our country’s importation of giraffe parts and trophies. It’s shameful, though unsurprising, that the Interior Department has refused to protect them under the Endangered Species Act.”
On average, the United States reportedly imports more than one giraffe hunting trophy a day, and the country imported more than 21,400 giraffe-bone carvings between 2006 and 2015.
Protection under the Endangered Species Act would help track and curb imports of giraffe bones, trophies, and other parts, and increase funding for conservation efforts in Africa.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-conservation-groups-file-new-lawsuit-against-the-trump-administration-for-failing-to-protect-giraffes/

 

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© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Stop the Hunt On Canned Hunting Permits – Petition Deadline December 19, 2018 – Animal Legal Defense Fund

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https://aldf.org/issue/stop-the-hunt-permits/

Trump Administration Rejects Ban On M-44 ‘Cyanide Bombs’ That Killed More Than 13,000 Animals Last Year Alone – World Animal News

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By WAN –
November 29, 2018
In yet another unfathomable move taking place under the Trump Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has refused to ban M-44s, also known as cyanide bombs, which cause agonizing death for thousands of animals in the United States every year.
The agency’s decision comes in response to a 2017 petition calling for a nationwide ban of the lethal devices that was authored by The Center For Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians, as well as signed by several other wildlife conservation groups.
The devices spray deadly sodium cyanide into the mouths of unsuspecting coyotes, foxes, and other carnivores lured by smelly bait. The fact is that anything or anyone that pulls on the baited M-44 device can be killed or severely injured by the deadly spray.
As previously reported by WAN, M-44s temporarily blinded a child and killed three family dogs in two separate incidents in Idaho and Wyoming last year alone. A wolf was also accidentally killed by an M-44 set in Oregon last year. Idaho currently has a moratorium on M-44 use on public lands resulting from the tragedies.
“Cyanide traps are indiscriminate killers that just can’t be used safely,” Collette Adkins, an attorney and biologist at the Center, said in a statement. “We’ll keep fighting for a permanent nationwide ban, which is the only way to protect people, pets, and imperiled wildlife from the EPA’s poison.”The EPA has registered sodium cyanide for use in M-44s by Wildlife Services, the secretive U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife-killing program, as well as by certain state agencies in South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Texas.
“The government continues to prioritize the minority anti-wildlife ranching industry over making public lands safe for people, imperiled wildlife and companion animals,” said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director for WildEarth Guardians. “These dangerous, indiscriminate devices have absolutely no place on public lands, especially given no evidence exists that they actually reduce conflict.”
According to Wildlife Services’ own data, M-44s killed 13,232 animals, mostly coyotes and foxes, in 2017. Of these, more than 200 deaths were nontarget animals, including a wolf, family dogs, opossums, raccoons, ravens, and skunks.
Unfortunately, as per the Center, these numbers are likely a significant undercount of the death toll, as Wildlife Services is notorious for poor data collection and an entrenched “shoot, shovel, shut up” mentality.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-trump-administration-rejects-ban-on-m-44-cyanide-bombs-that-killed-more-than-13000-animals-last-year-alone/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Petition: This Zoo’s Dangerous Wild Animal Encounter Program Must End — One Small Child’s Already Been Hurt

thepetitionsite.com
This Zoo’s Dangerous Wild Animal Encounter Program Must End — One Small Child’s Already Been Hurt

by: Care2 Team
recipient: Potawatomi Zoo

3,363 SUPPORTERS – 10,000 GOAL

Earlier this month, a mother and son went to the zoo to see some wild animals, but they never could have expected exactly how wild their encounter would be.

It all happened when a group of children went to celebrate a birthday party at a zoo in Indiana. The Potawatomi Zoo has an “ambassador animal” program which they believe gives their guests a unique opportunity to get up close and personal to some of their collection. For a hefty fee, you and your party can “invite” a wild animal to your event at the zoo.

That’s how Copper a wild African serval cat ended up in the unnatural situation of being used as a prop for a “meet-and-greet” at a child’s birthday party. Surrounded by screaming children, under bright indoor lights is never a situation a serval would find itself in the wild. When one of the mothers knelt down with her child to get a close up with the cat, Copper decided he had had enough and struck out, swiping the boy with his paw and biting him on the head.

In the video, one could hear gasps and screams as the mother pulls her child away from the cat.

Zoos should know better than almost anyone that wild animals shouldn’t be forced to interact with people, especially children. Doing so puts both the animal and the child at risk. The child, in this case, was lucky, but it could have been much worse. For example, there is no vaccine for rabies for wild cats, the only way to know if a cat like Copper had rabies would be to put him down and test him. If the child’s mother was worried about her son catching rabies, the authorities would have to kill Copper. Risking his life, just so the zoo could make a little extra cash.

A spokesperson for the zoo says that Copper has now been taken out of the program for the time being. But he never should have been forced to participate in it in the first place. No wild animal is completely safe, especially around children.

The Potawatomi Zoo must stop endangering their pets and their public with this misguided program. Sign the petition and demand that they stop using wild animals in their ambassador animals program.more

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/682/951/283/

Heartbreaking News! 2 More Of The 6 Endangered Black Rhinos Relocated From South Africa To The Republic Of Chad Found Dead; Only 2 Remain – World Animal News

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By Lauren Lewis –
November 6, 2018

As reported by WAN earlier this year, six critically endangered black rhinos were translocated to a national park in the Republic Of Chad in North Central Africa from South Africa, to reintroduce the species after a nearly 50-year absence.
On October 22nd, WAN shared the tragic news that two of the six black rhinos died after their carcasses were found in Zakouma National Park.
Today, WAN sadly mourns the death of another two of the endangered black rhinos.
In a joint statement, the Governments of South Africa and the Republic of Chad, along with African Parks and SANParks, confirmed that the total mortalities has now grown to four, but stated that none of the deceased rhinos had been poached.
While the cause of their deaths are being investigated, the statement continued to explain that, “On the advice of a team of veterinarians experienced in working with black rhinos, the remaining two animals are being recaptured and placed in holding facilities in order to facilitate closer management.”
A SANParks veterinarian was dispatched to Zakouma National Park to assist with the process and one rhino has since been captured and is reportedly doing well in their enclosure.
Meanwhile, post-mortems have been conducted on the rhino carcasses and various samples of blood, tissue, and fecal matter were sent to specialist pathology laboratories in South Africa. Histopathological results thus far have not indicated infectious diseases or plant toxicity as the cause of death. Serological evidence has however indicated exposure to trypanosomes, a blood borne parasite transmitted by tsetse flies, but at this stage it is not suspected to be the cause of the mortalities.
Low fat reserves suggest that maladaptation by the rhinos to their new environment is likely the underlying cause, although tests to be taken on brain and spinal fluid may shed additional light on their exact cause of death.
The Governments of the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Chad, including SANParks and African Parks remain active, as efforts continue to be made to establish clarity around the exact cause of death of the four black rhinos, and to safeguard the remaining two animals.
The six rhinos had been held in bomas in the national park for two months after their arrival in Chad on May 4th, before being released into a temporary sanctuary for another two months to enable their acclimation to their new environment.
In late August, the sanctuary fence was removed and the rhinos were allowed to roam freely in the park where they continued to be monitored.
The translocation took place in terms of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries on the reintroduction of black rhinos in Chad, undertaken to restore critical biodiversity and aid the long-term conservation of the species on the continent.
There are only an estimated 5,000 black rhinos left in the wild in Africa.

https://worldanimalnews.com/heartbreaking-news-2-more-of-the-6-endangered-black-rhinos-relocated-from-south-africa-to-republic-of-chad-found-dead-only-2-remain/

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