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.

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Sandals Resorts To Eliminate All Styrofoam At Caribbean Resorts – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com
by Alex Larson →

Sandals Resorts is set to eliminate all styrofoam from its 19 Sandals and Beaches-branded resorts across the Caribbean, the company announced this week.

The company said the elimination of styrofoam was particularly important in the Caribbean, with its abundant marine life.

Ocean pollution continues to grow daily and the fact that cooperations are starting to recognize this is extremely important. A recent study found that 100% of all sea turtles tested on seven species of sea turtles across three different oceans all had micro plastics inside of them which also includes styrofoam.

In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of plastic end up in the world’s oceans.

“As we enter the New Year, it’s incredibly important to our Sandals family that environmental sustainability remains a key priority,” said Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of SandalsResorts International. “After eliminating plastic straws, stirrers, laundry bags and gift shop bags last year, we’re choosing to eliminate Styrofoam from our resorts. We’re proud that many of the islands in which we operate are also making this shift to ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean.”

The company also said it would explore ways to eliminate other plastic across its resorts this year.

While this is move is a positive step, a much bigger change than having almost 20 resorts ban an item is needed. Most top notch resorts such as Sandals have programs in place that already due handle waste very well but trash and plastic can be found littering the pristine beaches of the Caribbean.

To take the next step, we need to push the countries such as the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and others to ban single-use plastics and styrofoam altogether.

http://seavoicenews.com/2019/01/08/sandals-resorts-to-eliminate-all-styrofoam-at-caribbean-resorts/

7 Year Old Jazmine Murder Solved? Police Have Arrested Two

truthtroubles.com
7 Year Old Jazmine Murder Solved? Police Have Arrested Two
5-6 minutes

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS NEWS)
A 20-year-old man in Texas was arrested Saturday and charged in the death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes, who was shot and killed while riding in a car with her family in Houston. Another man is being held in connection with the shooting but has not yet been charged, a lawyer for the girl’s family said.

Eric Black Jr., 20, was charged with capital murder and appeared in court early Sunday morning, wearing handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit. He was ordered held without bail. A prosecutor said Black admitted to driving the car when his passenger opened fire.

Lee Merritt, an attorney for the Barnes family, told CBS News another suspect had also been arrested.

The shooting occured in Houston on Dec. 30 when a car pulled alongside the vehicle carrying Barnes and her family at a stoplight and a gunman opened fire. Jazmine died of a gunshot wound to the head, and her mother was hit in the arm.

LaPorsha Washington, Jazmine’s mother, said in the days following the shooting that she believed it was racially motivated. Her 15-year-old daughter, who was also in the car, initially said the shooter was a white man in a red truck, and police released an artist’s sketch Thursday showing a thin, white man with a 5 o’clock shadow. Black, the alleged driver, is African American. The full name of the alleged gunman is not yet known, but Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez said Sunday the individual is also African American.

In a press conference Sunday afternoon, Gonzalez said there was indeed a red truck at the stoplight when shots rang out, but said investigators now believe the person or people in the truck were nothing more than witnesses. He urged the unidentified driver of the truck to come forward.

Gonzalez said investigators don’t believe “in any way” that family members were involved in anything “nefarious.” He added that investigators believe two people were involved in the shooting, but would not comment further since Black is the only individual who has been charged.

“We feel that they were truthful. This just went down very quickly when the gunfire erupted,” Gonzalez said. “You’re talking about small children — they witnessed something very traumatic. And it is possible that the last thing they did see was indeed that red truck and that driver that was in that truck, and that’s what they remembered last.”

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Jazmine Barnes.HARRIS COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Earlier Sunday, a prosecutor presented details of the case against Black at a hearing at Probable Cause Court in downtown Houston. Appearing by video conference, the prosecutor said Gonzalez had received an anonymous tip passed along by journalist and activist Shaun King. The source implicated two men identified as “LW” and “EB” in the shooting after authorities asked the public for help identifying the assailants.

The source for the tip said the suspects thought the vehicle carrying Jazmine was another vehicle they had seen earlier in the day, the prosecutor said, and didn’t realize they had hit the wrong vehicle until seeing the news later that day.

The source provided the sheriff with the name of an Instagram account used by one of the suspects, which investigators determined belonged to Black, the prosecutor said.

On Saturday, police stopped Black in a grey Kia for failing to signal when changing lanes, and held him for suspected marijuana possession after a deputy said he saw a plastic bag with what appeared to be marijuana in his glove box when Black opened it to find his insurance card. The officer searched Black’s car, found more marijuana and detained him, the prosecutor said.

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Eric Black Jr. appears in court for a probable cause hearing on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.ONSCENE.TV

Homicide detectives interviewed Black on Saturday, and the prosecutor said Black admitted to driving the vehicle involved in the shooting. Black told investigators “LW” — identified in court only as “Larry” — was seated in the front passenger seat of a rental car and fired at the vehicle carrying Jazmine. Black returned that rental car after the shooting and picked up the car he was driving when he was pulled over Saturday.

The prosecutor said in Sunday’s hearing that Black then agreed to a search of his residence, where police found a 9 mm pistol consistent with shell casings found at the site of the shooting.

Gonzales, the sheriff, said Sunday that police had received more than 1,000 tips in the case. A reward of $100,000 had been offered for information leading to an arrest. At a rally in Houston on Saturday, more than 500 people honored Jazmine and helped raise money for the family.

Zachary Hudak contributed reporting.

http://HP://truthtroubles.com/2019/01/06/7-year-old-jazmine-murder-solved-police-have-arrested-two/#like-37107

#RallyForRangers – Rhino Protection Units in Java, Indonesia

The International Rhino Foundation Blog

Photo by Stephen Belcher

Rhino Protection Units in Java, Indonesia

The world’s sole remaining population of the Javan rhino – numbering merely 67 individuals – lives in Ujung Kulon National Park on the island of Java. Javan rhinos have survived in Ujung Kulon because they are protected year-round by Rhino Protection Units (RPUs), four-man units that patrol the park a minimum of 15 days per month, year-round, tracking rhinos, and apprehending poachers and encroachers.

Onpatrol, RPUs also collect data on all rhinos signs they encounter – footprints, wallows, feces, and evidence of feeding. These data tell us about population distribution, ranging behavior, new births, and more – critical information that helps park authorities and government officials decide how to manage and protect this Critically Endangered rhino population.

When you donate to IRF’s Rally for Rangers campaign, you’ll help Rhino Protection Units get the equipment they need to monitor and protect…

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Fish bones could help us trace the toxic path of coal ash

grist.org
By Greta Moran on Dec 29, 2018

When Hurricane Florence flooded the Carolinas in September, the rivers turned from blue to a sickly gray. The water ran so thick with soil, dead leaves, and pollution that you could see murky ink blots forming from outer space. Duke Energy admitted that the intense floodwaters had caused a breach in one of its dams, setting loose a gross sludge known as coal ash — a toxic byproduct of burning coal.

Laden with arsenic, lead, mercury, and other toxins, coal ash tends to be stored near low-income communities and communities of color. For this reason, Mother Jones reporter Julia Lurie noted that the sludge has “quietly become one of America’s worst environmental justice problems.”

Scientists have found a new, unlikely tool to help track the spread of coal ash contaminants: fish bones. Researchers at Duke University discovered that the pearlescent, calcified structure in a fish’s inner ear — known as the otolith — can provide a picture of coal ash contamination in rivers and lakes.

Looking at the otolith under a microscope, you can see a new layer laid down for almost every day of the fish’s life, says Jessica Brandt, the lead author of the new Duke study. “They grow like tree rings,” Brandt says. The layers contain a lot of information, from the fish’s age to its migration patterns — as well as if and when it came across coal ash contamination.

This knowledge could help researchers track changes over time with more accuracy and ease. “If you go and collect a water sample at any given point, you’re only getting information for the time of collection,” explains Brandt, who is also a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey.

The scientists from Duke examined fish from two North Carolina lakes with a history of coal contamination, Mayo Lake and Sutton Lake (the lake that was contaminated by coal ash from a Duke Energy plant during Florence). In the wake of the hurricane, Duke Energy claimed that the leaked coal ash posed no environmental or health risks. But experts aren’t convinced.

“The fact that we are finding fish, which is the top of the predator system, with a ‘fingerprint’ suggests that the system is already affected by coal ash,” said Avner Vengosh, one of the authors on the study and a professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke University. Exposure to coal ash can lead to cancer and a number of other long-term health problems.

Vengosh’s previous research on coal ash was used in a lawsuit in 2017, when a judge ordered the Tennessee Valley Authority to clean up coal ash that had been leaking into nearby rivers in eastern Tennessee for decades. The ruling was recently overturned by a higher court. Still, the more we know about coal ash contamination, the better. Perhaps the pearly, inner ear of fish could also prove to be a useful tool for protecting people from the dangers of coal ash.

https://grist.org/science/fish-bones-could-help-us-trace-the-toxic-path-of-coal-ash/

Endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Severely Entangled By Fishing Nets – Sea Voice News

seavoicenews.com

by Alex Larson

With the help of technology and social media, we are starting to see just how often endangered species are being caught as a result of bycatch and the increase in reportings is very disturbing. The latest to marine animal to be found entrapped by fishing gear tossed into the sea is the severely endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle.

Reported on Facebook by Animal Rehabilitation Keep (http://seavoicenews.com/2018/09/23/photos-endangered-kemps-ridley-sea-turtle-severely-entangled-by-fishing-nets/) at UT Marine Science Institute, the group found the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle severely entangled in fishing netting. In a statement on their Facebook page the stated, “Horrible case of entanglement today of a Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle entangled in shark fishing gear. Unfortunately, we see entanglement cases way too often. Please help by removing and properly disposing of all fishing line debris. Together we can make a difference!”

Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles numbers are starting to slowly increase but yet are still the most endangered in the world. The turtle only lives in the Gulf of Mexico and part of the east coast of the US. With incidents such as this becoming more frequent due to pollution from humans, it is now more important than ever to do our best to keep our beaches and oceans clean. You can do your small part by picking up any trash that you may see, you never know the impact you may have on another creatures life.

http://seavoicenews.com/2018/09/23/photos-endangered-kemps-ridley-sea-turtle-severely-entangled-by-fishing-nets/

MALAWI REMAINS FREE FROM TROPHY HUNTING! – Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

lilongwewildlife.org
December 21, 2018 5:49 am

Great news…the Government have confirmed that they have rejected the hunting proposal!

Following debate on the introduction of trophy hunting inside Malawi’s protected areas, we collected over 3,500 petition signatures in the first 48 hours – thank you so much to all who signed and shared it. Read the statement here.

Special thanks go to the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus for their strong stance. Hon Commodius Nyirenda, MP and MPCC Spokesperson, said, “Public opinion reflects that of the Malawi Parliamentary Conservation Caucus: that trophy hunting is not welcome in Malawi. We value our reputation as a tourism destination too highly. And – where legal hunting can be used as a cover for illegal wildlife trade and undermine community sensitisation efforts – we believe that the questionable revenue is not worth the associated risks that could ultimately undermine conservation efforts.”

Thanks also to PASA, the Born Free Foundation, Olsen Animal Trust, Love Support Unite and Green Paw for their extra support.

Merry Christmas everyone!

https://www.lilongwewildlife.org/2018/12/21/malawi-free-from-trophy-hunting/

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…

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Breaking! Norway Will Become The First Country To Get Rid Of High Deforestation Palm Oil Biofuels – World Animal News

By Karen Lane –
December 10, 2018

The Norwegian parliament has voted to make Norway the first country in the world to exclude biofuels based on high deforestation risk feedstocks such as palm oil from 2020.
A majority in the Parliament, including the ruling coalition, has requested that the government develop measures to avoid high deforestation risk biofuels.
“This is a victory in the fight for the rainforest and the climate,” the Rainforest Foundation Norway, said in a statement.
The decision follows an all-time high consumption of palm oil based fuels in Norway last year. In 2017, 317 million litres of biodiesel – around 10 percent of the total diesel consumption in Norway – were based on palm oil. Norwegian politicians, including prime minister Erna Solberg, have raised concern over the use of palm oil based biofuels, due to the link between increased demand for palm oil and deforestation.
Norway has a set of policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport, including policy incentives to increase the use of biofuel – such as a volume blending mandate for road transport rising to 20 percent in 2020, and a road tax exemption for biofuel supplied above the volume blending mandate threshold. An unintended consequence of these policies is that almost half of all biofuels consumed in Norway in 2017 were based on palm oil. The Norwegian government acknowledges that the demand for palm oil for fuel results in deforestation, due to indirect land use change effects.
The EU earlier this year agreed to phase out the use of biofuels with high indirect land use change risk by 2030, and Norway’s decision goes far beyond this, as the Norwegian parliament requests that the measures be effected beginning on January 1, 2020.
“The Norwegian parliament’s decision sets an important example to other countries and underlines the need for a serious reform of the world’s palm oil industry,” said Nils Hermann Ranum of Rainforest Foundation Norway.
Europe has seen an aggressive growth in demand for palm oil, stimulated by policies to increase the consumption of renewable energy in transportation.
The increase in demand in Europe has in turn driven the expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia, at the expense of carbon and biodiversity-rich rainforests and peatlands.
The report ‘Driving Deforestation‘, released by Cerulogy and Rainforest Foundation Norway earlier this year, showed that should the current and proposed targets for future consumption of biofuels be implemented without strong measures against using palm oil feedstock, biofuel driven demand for palm oil could potentially see a sixfold increase by 2030 – a total of up to 67 million tonnes. This would exceed today’s total global production of palm oil.
Beyond the obvious disaster this demand increase would spell for biodiversity and indigenous and other forest-dependent communities, the planet’s climate would be impacted by 7 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over the next two decades, resulting from deforestation and peat drainage. This is more than the total annual greenhouse gas emissions of the USA.
Also in 2017, the Norwegian parliament voted in favor of a ban on palm oil-based fuels in public procurement. However, the government has failed to implement the parliamentary decision, opting instead to propose voluntary measures in its earlier proposal for the 2019 national budget, which was put forward previous to the budget agreement adopted yesterday by a parliamentary majority.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-norway-will-become-the-first-country-to-exclude-high-deforestation-palm-oil-biofuels/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! Beginning On December 18th, Delta Air Lines Bans Support Animals On Flights Longer Than 8 Hours – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
December 11, 2018

With little more than one week’s notice, Delta Air Lines has announced more restrictions that will negatively affect pet parents and their support or service animals; especially those planning to travel during this busy holiday season.
As per its website, beginning on December 18th, Delta Air Lines will not allow any service or support animals under four months of age on any flight due to USDA vaccination requirements.
The new rules also ban emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours.
According to the Atlanta-based airline, it will honor tickets that were purchased prior to December 18th with a request to travel with an emotional support animal.
As of February 1, 2019, however, emotional support animals will not be allowed on these longer flights regardless of when the tickets were purchased.
Perhaps Delta Air Lines should also update their website and their statement welcoming both emotional support animals and service dogs, “we know that both types of animals provide invaluable services and we welcome both on our flights.”
All airports in the United States are now required to provide designated animal relief areas to accommodate service animals and pets.
The discriminatory move follows a July 10th announcement by Delta Air Lines that it is “no longer accepting pit bull type dogs as service or support animals.”
Further information about Delta Air Lines support and service animals’ policies can be found on its website or by calling 404-209-3434.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-beginning-on-december-18th-delta-airlines-bans-support-animals-on-flights-longer-than-8-hours/

 

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Legal Battle Continues; a herd in danger

Wild Horse Education

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

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

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

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

View original post 1,175 more words

Two more blood pressure drugs recalled for potential cancer risk

usatoday.com
Two more blood pressure drugs recalled for potential cancer risk
Brett Molina
5-6 minutes
| USA TODAY Updated 5:56 p.m. EST Nov. 30, 2018

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2018/11/30/blood-pressure-drugs-two-more-medications-recalled-cancer-risk/2159850002/

More blood pressure pills recalled for cancer concerns

Teva Pharmaceuticals has launched a voluntary recall into two drugs used to treat high blood pressure as more medications face concerns over a possible cancer risk.

Teva Pharmaceuticals has launched a voluntary recall into two drugs used to treat high blood pressure as yet more medications face concerns over a possible cancer risk.

In a statement from Teva posted by the Food and Drug Administration, the recall affects all lots of combination tablets featuring the drugs amlodipine and valsartan and another combo drug featuring amlodipine, valsartan, and hydrochlorothiazide.

The drugs could contain an impurity called N-nitroso-diethylamine (NDEA), which has been classified as a possible human carcinogen, the FDA said.

Patients taking either drugs should contact their doctor or pharmacist for advice or alternative treatments. Stopping the drugs immediately with no comparable alternative could pose a greater risk to patients’ health, said Teva.

More: Doctors: Blood pressure drug substitutes are available for patients affected by recalls

More: FDA chief: Blood pressure medicine recalls reflect increased scrutiny on drug safety

More: Want more news like this? Subscribe to get the Daily Briefing in your inbox.

Customers and patients with questions can contact Teva by phone at 888-838-2872, or email at druginfo@tevapharm.com.

In August, the FDA announced an expanded recall of valsartan because products may contain the impurity. Last month, two more recalls were announced: one for the drug irbesartan and a second recall for losartan potassium hydrochlorothiazide tablets.

During an interview in November with USA TODAY, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the blood pressure drug recalls reflect an increased focus on drug quality to ensure no impurities are present.

Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
Originally Published 6:07 a.m. EST Nov. 30, 2018

Updated 5:56 p.m. EST Nov. 30, 2018

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2018/11/30/blood-pressure-drugs-two-more-medications-recalled-cancer-risk/2159850002/

Breaking! Court of Appeals Upholds U.S. Ban on Mexican Seafood Imports To Help Save The Remaining 15 Vaquita From Extinction – World Animal News

By WAN –
November 28, 2018

This is an illustration of the vaquita made by Greenpeace Mexico.
In a victory for one of Earth’s most endangered marine mammals, the vaquita, a federal court sided with conservationists and, for the third time, upheld a four-month-old ban on the United States importing Mexican shrimp and other seafood caught with gillnets that drown vaquita porpoises.
Rejecting a Trump administration legal challenge, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirmed a preliminary order implementing a federal law that requires a ban on seafood imported from Mexico’s Upper Gulf of California and caught with gillnets that threaten the vaquita porpoise. Gillnets kill about 50% of the rapidly dwindling vaquita population every year.
“The U.S. government is wasting its time and money trying to reverse the court’s order, which will only accelerate the extinction of the critically endangered vaquita,” DJ Schubert, a wildlife biologist for the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) noted in a statement sent to WAN this morning. “It’s time for the government to accept the courts’ decisions, ensure full implementation of the ban, and continue to work with the government of Mexico to save the vaquita.”
Yesterday’s decision is critical to the survival of the estimated 15 remaining vaquita on earth.
Vaquita are now relegated to only one place on the planet, the upper Gulf of California. Fishing with gillnets is driving the vaquita to extinction because the small porpoise is easily entangled and drowned in these dangerous nets.
Conservation groups, including AWI, initially filed suit in the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York City in March and secured a preliminary ban in July on seafood imports from Mexico caught with gillnets that kill the vaquita. The departments of Commerce, Treasury and Homeland Security, which are charged with banning imports that are contributing to the vaquita’s extinction, have tried and failed to modify or undo the import ban three times.
“The federal agencies charged with protecting the vaquita should focus their resources on saving the last of these animals, rather than continuing to lose in the courtroom,” said Giulia Good Stefani, staff attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “Immediate pressure on Mexico to ban all gillnets in the upper gulf and to clear the area of illegal nets is necessary now for the vaquita’s survival.”
The Marine Mammal Protection Act requires the U.S. government to ban seafood imports from foreign fisheries that kill or injure marine mammals, including the vaquita, at a rate above U.S. standards. The rate of vaquita killing by Mexico’s fisheries in the Gulf of California is above U.S. standards, and its efforts to stop this bycatch do not meet U.S. guidelines.
Over the past 20 years, 95% of the vaquita population has been lost. In recent years, the vaquita’s decline has accelerated. Sadly, it is predicted that vaquita will become extinct by 2021 if Mexican fishing practices and law enforcement efforts remain unchanged.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-court-of-appeals-upholds-u-s-ban-on-mexican-seafood-imports-to-help-save-the-remaining-15-vaquita-from-extinction/

Please consider adopting a vaquita or donating to the Porpoise Conservation Society Here! https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-court-of-appeals-upholds-u-s-ban-on-mexican-seafood-imports-to-help-save-the-remaining-15-vaquita-from-extinction/

Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

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

ECEC49F9-7219-46B4-A1DA-8FC73A33D183.jpeg

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/

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Why It’s So Hard to Help Pets in Natural Disasters | Care2 Causes

The Camp Fire started with a spark — and, thanks to the wind, it turned into a terrifying blaze in a matter of hours. The fire burned so fast that evacuation orders sometimes couldn’t keep up. With thousands of structures destroyed and a growing death toll, the Camp Fire is the deadliest blaze in California history — and in addition to human victims, it’s claimed a number of animals, as well.

Among those who survived, some are safely sheltering with their people or settled into foster homes, but thousands more are being picked up and cared for by rescue groups. The process of reuniting pets and humans may take weeks or months, and it will involve an extended sheltering and rescue effort. In Santa Rosa, California, where a massive wildfire tore through the city last October, rescuers are still trapping “fire cats” and helping them get home to their people.

In Butte County, men like Jeff Evans are feeding and checking on animals inside the disaster zone since their families can’t reach them. Meanwhile, a feline burn victim is making headlines after falling in love with a firefighter — and firefighters have been spending time at local veterinary clinics visiting with rescued animals, in addition to benefiting from the presence of therapy animals traveling to the front lines to offer comfort.
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Another fire crew rescued Charlie the cat, who was ultimately reunited with his family thanks to publicity. First responders like firefighters tend to be first to see animals like “Camp” the dog in need, but a TV crew helped rescue some trapped dogs, too! For instance, Sacramento Beereporter Ryan Sabalow rescued a badly burned cat, London, and successfully located its guardian.

Rescuers range from trained professionals to volunteers from all walks of life, and their efforts are vital whether they’re cleaning enclosures, sorting donations or providing skilled veterinary care.

The story of the people coming together to support the animal victims of the Camp Fire is remarkable and inspiring, but it’s also a reminder that fire evacuation sometimes happens so fast that people — and their pets — have difficulty getting out alive.

While some on social media have been swift to criticize people who couldn’t get their pets out, that elides people who had animals at home while they were at work and unable to get into the evacuation zone, as well as those with pets who escaped before they could be evacuated. Many of those panicked, heartbroken people are hoping they recognize the faces of their animals on the news and also fearing the worst.

We’ve learned a lot about handling animal care and sheltering needs in disasters, with experienced groups like the San Diego Humane Society, the Humane Society of the United States, and RedRover moving in quickly to provide on the ground support, alongside the North Valley Animal Disaster Group and Butte Humane Society.

Another lesson we’ve learned is the value of evacuating animals from shelters as quickly as possible — and getting adoptable animals distributed to out-of-area shelters, like the San Francisco ASPCA, to make room for evacuees and rescues. The magnitude of this disaster means that some fire pets are being evacuated to out of area shelters for care, but they won’t be made available for adoption until every possible effort has been made to reunite them with their families.

Rescue groups are also swift to set up sheltering and care facilities; the Chico Airport has turned into a massive animal care site, with 1,500 temporary residents. Meanwhile, the University of California, Davis is treating badly injured animals — you can learn more about the animals in their care, look for your pets and find out how to donate here. NVDAG is also maintaining a growing database of animals in care for pet guardians to search, and VCA Valley Oak Veterinary Center is cataloging burn patients.

Be advised that fire injuries can change the way animals look quite dramatically, including distorting features and discoloring fur. Having photographs and documentation of the animal’s chip can help with a successful reunion.

A similar animal rescue has sprung up around Southern California’s Woolsey Fire, where a news reporter took up the cause of a cat rescued from a burning home and has been providing regular updates. Rescue groups have also raised concern about the evacuation of large animals, including exotics, from the Woolsey fire zone; a now-famous picture of exotic animals seeking shelter on a beach has been making headlines around the world.

https://www.care2.com/causes/why-its-so-hard-to-help-pets-in-natural-disasters.html

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Heartbreaking News! 145 Pilot Whales & 4 Pygmy Killer Whales Died After Washing Ashore In New Zealand Over The Weekend – World Animal News

ByLauren Lewis –
November 26, 2018

More than 150 pilot whales were found either dead or dying in numerous separate incidents over the weekend in New Zealand.
A staggering 145 pilot whales from two pods were discovered stranded on a beach in Stewart Island late Saturday evening.
According to the Department of Conservation (DOC), half of the whales had already died by the time they were found, and the remaining ones tragically had to be euthanized.
“Sadly, the likelihood of being able to successfully re-float the remaining whales was extremely low. The remote location, lack of nearby personnel, and the whales’ deteriorating condition meant the most humane thing to do was to euthanize,” DOC Rakiura Operations Manager Ren Leppens said in a statement. “However, it’s always a heart-breaking decision to make.”
The DOC reportedly responds to an average of 85 marine mammal strandings per year, but they are mostly of single animals, not pods.
Exactly why whales and dolphins strand is not fully known, but factors can include: sickness, navigational error, geographical features, a rapidly falling tide, being chased by a predator, or extreme weather. More than one factor may contribute to a stranding.
A number of strandings occurred on New Zealand shores over the weekend, however these events are unlikely to be related.
“Of the 12 pygmy killer whales which stranded just over 24 hours ago, eight are alive and are being moved from Ninety Mile Beach on the west coast to Rarawa Beach on the east coast,” Project Jonah New Zealand shared on its Facebook page yesterday, explaining that there was a stream in which the whales could survive in overnight.
As per the nonprofit, medics have been mobilized and the re-floating phase of the rescue is scheduled to begin on Tuesday at 6:30am.
Members are needed to assist with this crucial phase of the rescue.
Volunteers should report to the Rarawa Campground upon arrival on Tuesday morning. Those with wetsuits will help with the release of the pygmy killer whales into the water. Volunteers without wetsuits can help care for whales on the beach before the re-float attempt takes place.
All volunteers should bring warm clothing, a sunhat and sunblock and plenty of food and water.
Tragically, the DOC also reported that a sperm whale also beached in Doubtful Bay on Karikari Peninsula in Northland. The male whale, which is thought to have beached around 3:00pm on Friday, sadly died overnight on Saturday. A dead female pygmy sperm whale also washed up at Ohiwa over the weekend.

https://worldanimalnews.com/heartbreaking-news-145-pilot-whales-4-pygmy-killer-whales-died-after-washing-ashore-in-new-zealand-over-the-weekend/

 

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ACTION ALERT: Send letter below by Nov. 26th to National Archives to prevent Department of the Interior massive records purge

Straight from the Horse's Heart

SOURCE:  Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Department of the Interior’s request to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will purge massive amounts of records that involve documents about oil and gas leases, mining, wild horses and burros, livestock grazing, dams, wells, timber sales, water, marine conservation, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, land acquisition, and much more.  You can help stop this.

You can copy and paste the text below, edit or add your comments, then date, sign and fax or email to the National Archives.  Or, underneath the letter text, we’ve also attached 2 pages at the bottom of this page that you can click on and print, then sign, date, and fax or email.  Comments are due Nov. 26th.  You can learn more and read Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s complete comments HERE.

NARA (ACRA)                         …

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Breaking! Did China Postpone Lifting The Ban On Rhino Horn & Tiger Bones Due To International Pressure? – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
November 12, 2018

The Jane Goodall Institute in Canada took to social media this morning to share the news today that China has postponed lifting the ban on the trade of rhino horn and tiger parts for medicine and other so-called uses.
The “detailed regulations for implementation” of last month’s highly-controversial change has been “postponed after study”, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing State Council Executive Deputy Secretary-General Ding Xuedong.
According to Xinhua, no official reason was given as to why the postpone occurred or if it would be permanent. The most obvious reason would be due to international outrage and pressure from governments worldwide, as well as from animal advocates and conservationists who have been working tirelessly to save tigers & rhinos from extinction in the wild.
General Ding Xuedong only confirmed that as of now, that strict bans are still in place regarding the trade, transport, and use of rhino and tiger byproducts, and that any infractions of them will be “dealt with severely.”
As previously reported by WAN, late last month the Government of China shocked animal welfare advocates throughout the world with the announcement that it had legalized the trade of tiger bone and rhino horn from farmed animals for use in traditional Chinese medicine research and clinical treatments; drastically undermining international efforts for tiger and rhino conservation.
The Environmental Investigation Agency stated at the time, that the Government was evidently far more interested in stimulating and appeasing its traditional medicine and burgeoning tiger farming industries, than it is of protecting tigers and rhinos by working towards ending the vast demand in the country for their parts and products.
“In a single stroke, China has shattered its reputation as a growing leader in conservation following its domestic ban on the sale of ivory at the start of the year,” Debbie Banks, EIA Tiger Campaign Leader, said in a statement. “It is instead revealed as a sham, its international image is in tatters, and its credibility destroyed; and all for the sake of deeply questionable business sectors which serve only to drive consumer demand for the parts and products of endangered species.”

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-china-postpones-controversial-reversal-of-ban-on-rhino-horn-tiger-bones/

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The problem with paper receipts

treehugger.com
The problem with paper receipts
Katherine Martinko feistyredhair November 7, 2018
4-5 minutes

They seem so innocuous, but they’re becoming an environmental nightmare.

In recent months, the one statement I always make at checkout counters – “I don’t need a bag” – has been joined by another – “No receipt, please.” I began doing this after learning about the harmful effects of thermal paper, the shiny smooth paper that most retailers now use to print receipts.

Thermal paper uses heat rather than ink to form letters and numbers, and it relies on bisphenol A to do so. (If you scratch a receipt and see a dark line, then you know it contains BPA or its common substitute BPS.) BPA is a hormone disruptor and is absorbed through the skin, which means that even reaching for a receipt poses a risk of contamination.

Turning down receipts at the time of purchase also saves me having to deal with all those annoying slips of paper that fill up my wallet. I used to be amazed at how many I’d unearth every few months, but when you think about it on a global scale, the amount of receipt waste is staggering. In the UK an estimated 11.2 billion receipts are handed out annually, costing around £32 million to make and generating 1.5 billion pounds of waste.

To make matters worse, thermal paper cannot be recycled. Its only ‘safe’ destination is the landfill, because the recycling process would only release more BPA into the environment and cause further damage. Stop and chew on that for a minute. All that contaminated trash, just so you can remember six months down the road that you paid $3.50 for a crappy muffin and weak coffee at a truck stop somewhere.

Now, I understand that not all purchases are an unmemorable as that muffin-coffee combo. Many others, particularly more expensive ones, do require proof of purchase, so what are the alternatives?

  • Digital receipts, emailed from retailer to customer, are becoming more common. But this can also mean handing over your email address, which enables a company to inundate you with promotional material. Whenever I feel I have to do this, I make sure to say I don’t want to receive any other communication.
  • Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay can be used on your smartphone to make small purchases. As Sanjana Varghese writes for Wired, some retailers are moving to plug-ins such as Flux, which “creates an itemized record of a user’s transactions.” Similar apps include Transaction Tree and Yreceipts.

  • Be selective about the receipts you accept. Only take receipts for items that you know may have a higher chance of needing to be returned, or that you can claim as a business expense, or that come from cash transactions that can’t be tracked online. For example, I’d take a receipt for a pair of shoes, but not for a meal eaten out or even groceries.

  • Track your expenses elsewhere. Don’t use receipts to keep track of your expenses. Make a habit of writing down that information in a special place that you can reference any time. For me, that’s in my phone, but a small notebook could do the job too. As soon as I leave a store, I add the amount to my monthly expense tally with a brief description.

  • Ask stores to reconsider their system. If you’re a regular shopper at a store that uses thermal paper, bring it up in conversation. It doesn’t hurt to ask and educate. After all, if every store finds that customers are rejecting their receipts, they will be more inclined to come up with an alternative.

Veronique Barbossa, the co-founder of Flux, is absolutely right when she tells Varghese, “Paper receipts are non-recyclable, consume oil, trees, and water, and they don’t fit into the digital lifestyle that we currently have.” They seem nearly as outdated as paper cheques, which I haven’t owned in several years because e-transfers make life so much easier.

It’s not a problem that’s going to be solved overnight, but it is something I suspect we’re all going to start hearing more about.

They seem so innocuous, but they’re becoming an environmental nightmare.

https://www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/problem-paper-receipts.html

Why Are Travel Associations Blatantly Disregarding Animal Cruelty At Wildlife Attractions Worldwide? – World Animal News

World Animal Protection’s (WFPA) new research revealed that a shocking high number of the world’s travel trade associations are lagging in providing Animal Welfare guidelines to travel companies. The majority are doing nothing to prevent Wildlife cruelty in tourism.

Over 550,000 wild animals are suffering endlessly just to entertain tourist. The research shows that travel associations must do more to protect them.

Continue reading here..

https://worldanimalnews.com/why-are-travel-associations-blatantly-disregarding-animal-cruelty-at-wildlife-attractions-worldwide/

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

screen-shot-2018-11-06-at-61525073838.png

 

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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TAGS:Africa,Animal Protection,black rhinos,Rwanda,South Africa

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Breaking! New Report Reveals 99.9% Of 108,124 People Surveyed In North Carolina Want Federal Protection For Red Wolves – World Animal News

By WAN –
November 1, 2018

Photo from the Center for Biological Diversity
The controversial plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to drastically reduce protection for the nation’s only wild population of endangered red wolves, has met nearly unanimous opposition from more than 100,000 members of the public.
Out of 108,124 comments submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Service on the proposal, 99.9% spoke out in favor of the red wolves and their need for strong federal protections.
In June, the service solicited public comments on its management plan for the red wolf, which survives only in Eastern North Carolina with only as few as 30 individuals remaining.
The service suggested reducing the recovery area where the wolves can safely roam by more than 90%. The revised recovery area would only be expected to provide sufficient space for 10-15 red wolves.
The proposal would eliminate protections for any red wolves that wander off Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and Dare County Bombing Range.
The plan would shockingly allow anyone to kill red wolves on private lands for any reason.
“People overwhelmingly oppose the Trump administration’s dangerous plan to slash the red wolf recovery area,” Perrin de Jong, a Center for Biological Diversity staff attorney based in North Carolina, said in a statement. “This reckless proposal would put these unique animals in immediate jeopardy of being lost from the wild forever. Citizens from the recovery area, across the state, and around the country, clearly want the feds to do more, not less, to protect the world’s most endangered wolf.”
“Every voice raised in support of wildlife can make a difference, and Americans overwhelmingly support the Red Wolf Recovery Program,” said Maggie Howell, executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center. “We’re counting on the service to take notice and follow the best available science to ensure that the world’s most endangered wolves remain a living, breathing part of the landscape in Eastern North Carolina.”
People living in the areas most directly affected by red wolves also expressed strong support for their conservation. Out of 2,923 comments submitted by the people of North Carolina, 2,898 comments, or 99.1%, spoke out in favor of red wolves. From the current five-county recovery area in Eastern North Carolina where the wolves live, 75 out of 95 comments submitted were also pro-wolf.
North Carolina’s governor also spoke out against the service’s proposal and expressed support for red wolf recovery.
“There is a viable path forward for North Carolina’s red wolves living in the wild, and I have directed relevant departments in my administration to work with USFWS to continue the recovery program and build upon its success to date,” Governor Roy Cooper said in a comment submitted to the Service on July 30th.
Only 19 comments specifically supported the agency’s plan to eliminate red wolf protections and shrink the recovery area. Of 30 additional comments opposing red wolf recovery, 13 came from a single real estate developer.
Volunteers from the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Wildlands Network, and the Wolf Conservation Center reviewed each of the thousands of comments submitted to produce this analysis.
In the past, the service released inaccurate tallies of wolf public comments it had received. In 2017, during the initial scoping period for the current plan, the agency reported only 12,000 out of 55,000 red wolf comments, ignoring extensive compilations of comments submitted by conservation organizations.
“Wildlife, including red wolves, are managed by the USFWS in trust for the American people,” noted D.J. Schubert, Wildlife Biologist at the Animal Welfare Institute. “The people have now spoken loud and clear of their support for the protection and recovery of the red wolf in the wild, it is time that the government starts to listen and comply with the public’s clear message. Less than 20 years ago, there were more than 130 red wolves in the wild. These numbers can be achieved again if the USFWS complies with federal law.”

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-new-report-reveals-99-9-of-108124-people-surveyed-in-north-carolina-want-federal-protection-for-red-wolves/

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Elephants can do Maths – FIREPAW, Inc.

firepaw.org
Elephants can do Maths – FIREPAW, Inc.
Published by firepawinc View all posts by firepawinc
3-4 minutes

The results of a new animal cognition study have demonstrated that Asian elephants have math skills similar to humans.


Experimental evidence shows that Asian elephants possess numerical skills similar to those in humans

Overview

Asian elephants demonstrate numeric ability which is closer to that observed in humans rather than in other animals. This is according to lead author Naoko Irie of SOKENDAI (The Graduate University for Advanced Studies and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) in Japan. In a study published in the Springer-branded Journal of Ethology, Irie and her colleagues found that an Asian elephants’ sense of numbers is not affected by distance, magnitude or ratios of presented numerosities, and therefore provides initial experimental evidence that non-human animals have cognitive characteristics similar to human counting.

The study

In this study, the researchers aimed to replicate the results of previous research that already showed that Asian elephants have exceptional numeric competence.

Irie and her colleagues developed a new method to test how well the animals can judge relative quantity. They successfully trained a 14-year old Asian elephant called Authai from the Ueno Zoo in Japan to use a computer-controlled touch panel. The programme was specifically designed to examine the cognition of elephants, so that any unintended factors potentially influencing the results could be ruled out.

Authai was presented with a relative numerosity judgment task on the screen, and then had to indicate with the tip of her trunk which one of the two figures shown to her at a time contained more items. These ranged from 0 to 10 items, and contained pictures of bananas, watermelons and apples. The fruit were not all presented in the same size, to ensure that Authai did not make her choices purely on the total area that was covered with illustrations per card.

The results

Authai was rewarded whenever she chose the figures featuring the larger number of items. This she did correctly 181 out of 271 times — a success rate of 66.8 per cent. Her ability to accurately pinpoint the figure with the most fruits on it was not affected by the magnitude, distance or ratio of the comparisons. Authai’s reaction time was, however, influenced by the distance and ratio between the two figures presented. She needed significantly more time to make her selection between figures where relatively smaller distances and larger ratios were presented.

“This study provides the first experimental evidence that nonhuman animals have cognitive characteristics partially identical to human counting.”

-Dr. Naoko Irie of SOKENDAI, Graduate University for Advanced Studies and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Journal Reference: Naoko Irie, Mariko Hiraiwa-Hasegawa, Nobuyuki Kutsukake. Unique numerical competence of Asian elephants on the relative numerosity judgment task. Journal of Ethology, 2018; DOI: 10.1007/s10164-018-0563-y

Overview
https://firepaw.org/2018/10/23/elephants-can-do-maths/#comments

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

By WAN –
October 22, 2018

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

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

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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,conservation,endangered,
Endangered Species Act,Trump Administration

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Breaking! Urgent Help Needed For More Than 100 Small Dogs Rescued From Puppy Mill In Tennessee – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
October 10, 2018

Photos from Rhea County Animal Shelter
In what is being called “the worst puppy mill situation they have ever seen,” animal control officers and a local shelter rescued more than 100 Yorkies, Chihuahuas, and other “designer” breed small dogs from a home in Rhea County, Tennessee.
“These poor animals have known nothing but living in their own filth and darkness. These conditions are extreme and medical attention is needed for ALL of these animals. As of right now we cannot release any personal details of this case,” the Rhea County Animal Shelter posted on its Facebook page yesterday along with numerous heartbreaking photos of the poor and severely neglected animals. “If you can please donate to help with this case we are looking at thousands of dollars in medical expenses!”

T

he organization also issued a plea for help from animal rescues and volunteers to help place and process the dogs.
Fortunately, the compassionate community responded, but this situation remains crucial.

“It literally took 12 hours from a phone call about a welfare check to all of the animals being processed and cleared from the shelter,” noted an update posted last night which expressed its appreciation for everyone that helped in the large-scale rescue effort. “ALL animals that were placed in foster care tonight will begin vetting first thing in the morning! All animals will be spayed and neutered and fully vetted before they are available for adoption. All animals were cleared by our veterinarian before they left with their foster. We take this situation VERY seriously and only have the animals’ best interest at heart and will work closely with our veterinarian over the next few days to assess the rest of the animals we have in our care.”
“PLEASE CALL OR MESSAGE US IF YOU CAN HELP IN ANY WAY. THESE ANIMALS NEED YOU!”
The phone number for the Rhea County Animal Shelter is (423) 775-2029.
Checks can be made payable to ASA of Rhea and mailed to: 9118 Back Valley Road, Evensville, TN, 37332.
Financial donations to the Rhea County Animal Shelter to help care for the rescued dogs can be made https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-urgent-help-needed-for-more-than-100-small-dogs-rescued-from-puppy-mill-in-tennessee/

Help us continue to bring you the latest breaking animal news from around the world and consider making a Donation here: https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-urgent-help-needed-for-more-than-100-small-dogs-rescued-from-puppy-mill-in-tennessee/

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animal welfare organizations,puppy mill,Tennessee

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-urgent-help-needed-for-more-than-100-small-dogs-rescued-from-puppy-mill-in-tennessee/

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The Jane Goodall Institute Launches ForeverWild Campaign To Protect Endangered Species From Wildlife Trafficking – World Animal News

By WAN –
October 9, 2018

With the imminent publication of Horizon Scan, a ground-breaking report that, for the first time, identifies and prioritizes the most urgent issues fueling wildlife trafficking, and as delegates gather for the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London, UK, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) announces the launch of the ForeverWild campaign to help end trafficking of endangered species, many on the brink of extinction.
“Without a concerted global effort to stop trafficking, primates and other wildlife will be gone for good. My hope is that we can work together and end one of the most dangerous threats to the survival of chimpanzees, elephants, rhinos, and many other animals for whom, like us, this planet is their only home, Dr. Jane Goodall, world-renowned primatologist and ethologist, said in a statement.
“Wildlife trafficking is a global problem that demands a global response,” noted JGI’s Zara Bending, a legal expert in wildlife trafficking, who is a contributor to both Horizon Scan and JGI Australia‘s campaign to end the domestic trade in ivory and rhino horn. “There are actions everyone can take to turn the tide and put an end to the illegal wildlife trade. It starts with becoming informed and advocating for better law enforcement while eliminating demand for trafficked animals and animal parts.”
According to the most up-to-date analysis, as reported in Horizon Scan, emerging issues to watch closely range from rapid growth in urbanization in many African countries to increasingly active trading in endangered species through online platforms.
The ongoing migration of rural populations to urban centers has caused demand for bushmeat (wild animals including endangered chimpanzees sold as meat) to spike. At the same time, monitoring the global online sales of exotic pets and animal parts poses new challenges which must be addressed.
JGI is pushing back against wildlife crime on several fronts. JGI has contributed to the development of new facial recognition software to counter online marketing of great apes. JGI also operates one of Africa‘s largest chimpanzee sanctuaries where 138 rescued chimpanzees are protected and cared for under conditions that most closely mimic a natural life in the wild.
Providing sanctuary for chimpanzees that have been victims of trafficking is pivotal to ending the practice. Enforcement agencies can only be effective if there is a safe place to bring confiscated animals. Simultaneously, JGI is actively collaborating with local communities to educate people on how and why to protect great apes from the threat of illegal trade.
Through the ForeverWild (#4EverWild) campaign, the Jane Goodall Institute aims to raise awareness of the urgency with which we must end wildlife crime. In addition to JGI’s multiple approaches to stopping trafficking of chimpanzees, local JGI chapters around the world are engaged in efforts to save region-specific wildlife by reducing demand for exotic pets and animal parts, changing government policies, and public engagement activities.
“The Jane Goodall Institute is in a unique position in that we can use our world-wide network to fight illegal trade of great apes and other wildlife in many places and in many ways whether it’s reducing demand or supporting sustainable alternatives for income generation,” concluded Patrick van Veen, Chair of JGI Global.”If we come together, we can still secure a future where wild animals can live safely in the wild.”

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Breaking! World’s 2nd Largest Beauty Brand, Unilever, Announces Unprecedented Move To Help Support Global Ban On Animal Testing For Cosmetics – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
October 9, 2018

Prominent beauty brand, Unilever, announced its support today for a global ban on animal testing for cosmetics as part of an ambitious new collaboration with the Humane Society International (HSI).
Known for such popular brands as Dove, Degree, and TRESemmé, Unilever is the second largest beauty company globally and the first among the sector’s “top 10” to actively support legislative reform to prohibit animal testing for cosmetics. The organizations hope that this new collaboration will accelerate policy change in the cosmetics sector globally toward a shared goal of animal testing bans in 50 major beauty markets worldwide by 2023.
The unprecedented move is being hailed as the “beginning of the end for cruel cosmetics.”
“Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in the EU since 2013, and we hope that an adoption of similar bans in other countries will accelerate the regulatory acceptance of alternative approaches and thereby remove any requirements for any animal testing for cosmetics anywhere in the world,” David Blanchard, Chief Research and Development Officer at Unilever, explained in a statement.
Unilever announced its support for Humane Society International’s #BeCrueltyFree campaign which is aimed at banning animal testing for cosmetics across the globe within five years. Unilever’s support includes an ambitious new collaboration aimed at accelerating regulatory acceptance of modern, non-animal approaches to consumer safety assessment.
“Every company will tell you it supports alternatives to animal testing for cosmetics, but Unilever is the first of the beauty giants to throw its weight behind banning it altogether,” HSI Vice President for Research and Toxicology Troy Seidle said in a statement. “With hundreds of thousands of animals still used in toxicity tests for cosmetic purposes each year around the world, Unilever is to be commended for standing with Humane Society International to end this cruelty once and for all. We urge other large beauty brands to follow this example and join us on the right side of history.”
As a further demonstration of its commitment, Unilever also announced today that Dove, its largest Beauty and Personal Care brand, has gained accreditation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Dove’s cruelty-free status has been granted in recognition of the brand’s commitment to not conduct any tests on animals anywhere in the world. PETA’s cruelty-free logo will begin to appear on Dove packaging from January 2019 to assure customers that Dove does not, and will not, test on animals.
PETA will also now list Unilever as a ‘company working for regulatory change’, which indicates that Unilever conducts no tests on animals unless specifically required by law for any of its brands or products.
Across the globe, lawmakers in 37 countries so far have already enacted legislation to fully or partially ban animal testing for cosmetics. HSI played a key role in securing enactment of the final phase of the EU ban in 2013, and in subsequent victories in India, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea, Guatemala, and seven states in Brazil. Today HSI and its partners are driving forward 10 more legislative efforts in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and the United States.
Animal tests carried out in the cosmetics sector include eye and skin irritation experiments, in which a cosmetic product or ingredient is rubbed onto the shaved skin or dripped into the eyes of rabbits; skin allergy tests using guinea pigs or mice; and force-feeding studies that last weeks or months. These tests inflict considerable pain and distress, which can include blindness, swollen eyes, sore bleeding skin, internal bleeding, organ damage, convulsions and death. Pain relief is seldom if ever provided, and at the end of a test the animals are killed, normally by asphyxiation, neck-breaking or decapitation.
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Breaking! Central Indonesia Is One Step Closer To Banning The Horrific Dog & Cat Meat Trade – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
October 9, 2018

It’s a remarkable day for animal advocates worldwide as progress is being made in the fight to end the horrific dog and cat meat trade in Indonesia, beginning with Central Indonesian provinces.
“We are excited to announce that the Indonesian Central government issued an official letter to all provincial governments ordering them to take immediate action against the dog and cat meat trade,” Four Paws International shared on its Facebook page this morning. “We applaud the government for demanding immediate action to be taken, but won’t stop campaigning until we see an end to the brutal theft, slaughter, and sale of cats and dogs for meat!”
As reported by WAN in the beginning of August, the Indonesian Central government made the decision during the National Coordination of Animal Welfare meeting in Jakarta. As noted by Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) at the time, at the end of the conference, all necessary participants agreed to issue a ban on the trade of dog and cat meat and to prohibit the issuance of health certification for dog and cat meat for human consumption.

The coalition, which is comprised of local and international groups including Animal Friends Jogja, Jakarta Animal Aid Network, Change For Animals Foundation, Humane Society International, and Four Paws, have exposed the suffering of the dog and cat meat trade through shocking nationwide investigations where innocent animals were filmed being bludgeoned to death and blowtorched alive, as well as exposed the routine theft of pet dogs and the rabies risk the trade poses to locals and tourists alike.
In January, the DMFI coalition also coordinated a letter to President Joko Widodo calling for urgent action and signed by over 90 national and international celebrities including Cameron Diaz, Chelsea Islan, Dame Jane Goodall, Sophia Latjuba, Simon Cowell, and Ellen DeGeneres. DMFI’s global petition has also been signed by over 930,000 people from around the world.
Dog Meat Free Indonesia offers ways people can help Indonesia’s dogs and cats HERE: https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-central-indonesia-is-one-step-closer-to-banning-the-horrific-dog-cat-meat-trade/!

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Belgian Students Commemorate 100 Years By Restoring Graves of WW1 Soldiers «TwistedSifter

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Belgian students commemorate 100 years by restoring graves of ww1 soldiers 2 Belgian Students Commemorate 100 Years By Restoring Graves of WW1 Soldiers

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To commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I; Belgian students cleaned, repainted and restored 250 graves spread over 5 cemeteries in Oostkamp and surrounding municipalities.

The idea was to honour and remember the brave soldiers of World War I, and ensure that their identification and data remains clearly legible for all visitors wishing to pay their respects.

The pupils who volunteered for the effort were art students currently enrolled in painting classes.

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Tuesday Tip: How to stop robocalls, scams and phone spam | CREDO Mobile Blog

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