Stop Allowing Trophy Hunters to Slaughter Puffins | Take Action @ The Rainforest Site

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Ask Iceland's Minister of the Environment to stop allowing trophy hunting of puffins

Sponsor: Free The Ocean

Ask Iceland’s Minister of the Environment to stop allowing trophy hunting of puffins

Iceland’s iconic puffins are incredibly friendly and social birds who spend most of their lives on the ocean. These remarkable birds have been rapidly declining over the years1 – the population of Atlantic Puffins in Iceland has recently shrunk by over 2 million and the numbers of puffins have declined by as much as 42% in the last five years2.

One reason for their decline? Hunting, including the trophy hunting of puffins for ‘fun.’ As many as 100 of these defenseless birds are killed per trophy hunter and taken back to their homes to show off as evidence of this cruel ‘sport.’

Puffins already face other threats out of our control, but we do have the power to shut down the slaughter of these threatened birds3. We can help ensure that puffins can thrive and survive in their natural environment without the additional threat of trophy hunting driving them to extinction.

About 60% of the puffin population lives in Iceland4. Sign the petition to tell Iceland’s Minister of Environment to STOP the slaughter of puffins!


  1. Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica. ICUN Red List, retrieved June 2020. 
  2. The threats behind the plight of the puffin. Gentle, L., June 8, 2020
  3. From Iceland – Environmental Minister Wants To Protect The Puffins. Grapevine.is., September 25, 2019 
  4. PETITION: Stop the Mass Slaughter of Puffins by Cruel Trophy Hunters. Wolfe, J., 2019, August 7, 2019

The Petition:

Dear Minister of Environment, Guðbrandsson, 

Even though the hunting season for puffins in Iceland has been shortened, it still allows for 10’s of 1,000’s of puffins to be killed each year – including by trophy hunters paying a premium to hunt up to 100 puffins per hunter, sometimes for their feathers alone.

According to the globally renowned ICUN Red List, puffins are classified as vulnerable, or “considered to be facing high risk of extinction in the wild.” A full ban on the trophy hunting of puffins is urgently needed to help protect them from disappearing entirely. 

We know you’re aware of the troubling numbers of puffins and are reviewing actions to help protect them… but not enough has been done yet. It’s a critical time for the puffin and we ask you to take action NOW, before we lose these iconic birds forever.

Sincerely,

https://therainforestsite.greatergood.com/clicktogive/trs/petition/fto-save-puffins?utm_source=trs-ta-enviro&utm_medium=email&utm_term=06292020&utm_content=takeaction-f1&utm_campaign=fto-save-puffins&oidp=0x4a568a63ec7cab2cc0a82937

Rough start to the year for Mexican gray wolves, cattle

abqjournal.com

FILE - This Jan. 30, 2020, file photo, shows members of the Mexican gray wolf recovery team preparing to load a wolf into a helicopter in Reserve, N.M., so it can be released after being processed during an annual survey. One Mexican gray wolf died after being caught in a trap in April and another was found dead in the wild, bringing the total to more than a dozen of the endangered predators that have died so far this year in New Mexico and Arizona. Environmentalists say a combination of lethal management by U.S. wildlife officials and private trapping is making it difficult to recover the species. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

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FILE – This Jan. 30, 2020, file photo, shows members of the Mexican gray wolf recovery team preparing to load a wolf into a helicopter in Reserve, N.M., so it can be released after being processed during an annual survey. One Mexican gray wolf died after being caught in a trap in April and another was found dead in the wild, bringing the total to more than a dozen of the endangered predators that have died so far this year in New Mexico and Arizona. Environmentalists say a combination of lethal management by U.S. wildlife officials and private trapping is making it difficult to recover the species. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

More photos

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One Mexican gray wolf died after being caught in a trap in April and another was found dead in the wild, bringing the total to more than a dozen of the endangered predators that died in the first four months of the year in New Mexico and Arizona.

Environmentalists say a combination of lethal management by U.S. wildlife officials and private trapping is making it difficult to recover the species.

But ranchers say they face constant pressure from the wolves, pointing to the more than two dozen cattle that were killed just last month.

The latest wolf and livestock deaths come as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service begins wading through the process of revamping a rule that guides management of wolves in the Southwest.

The public has until June 15 to comment on the issues to be considered by officials. So far, nearly 800 comments have been submitted.

Some say it’s shaping up to be a deadly year for the wolf following an encouraging survey that found more wolves in the wild last year than at any time since efforts began more than two decades ago to reintroduce wolves along the New Mexico-Arizona border.

At least 163 wolves were counted during the survey that wrapped up in February. That marks a nearly 25% jump in the population from the previous year and puts wildlife managers about halfway to meeting the goal set for declaring the species recovered.

Monthly reports show 10 wolves have died in the first four months of 2020. That doesn’t include the alpha female of the Prieto Pack of wolves in New Mexico that died after being trapped in late April and four others that were killed in March due to livestock issues.

“It demonstrates the vagaries of the program and how quickly things can turn bad for the wolves,” Bryan Bird, the southwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife, said Tuesday.

He said changes to the management rule now under revision could address these ups and downs by limiting the circumstances in which wolves can be lethally or non-lethally removed from the wild and addressing trapping on public lands in the wolf recovery area.

Michael Robinson with the Center for Biological Diversity said one problem that has been ongoing for years is the wolves feeding on live cattle after being drawn in by the carcasses of cows that die from other causes. He’s among those who have been pushing for a requirement for ranchers to remove carcasses as one way to avoid conflict.

“Though the feds claim they’re looking at the population as a whole, this recurring mismanagement is precisely why the Mexican wolf is in worse genetic shape now than when reintroduction began more than two decades ago,” he said.

Some ranchers say they have tried everything from hiring cowboys on horseback to installing flagging and other devices to scare away the wolves. But they are still having problems.

Last year marked a record year for livestock kills. Several dozen kills have been reported so far this year.

The Arizona House last week passed a Senate-approved measure that would allow a board set up to reimburse ranchers for livestock losses to also compensate ranchers for things like range riders to keep wolves away from their herds.The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey for his consideration.

Federal officials say they conducted 24 days of hazing efforts in April, removed two carcasses, set up several food caches in hopes of diverting the wolves and talked with dozens of ranchers via phone, text and email in an effort to reduce the conflicts.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1459850/rough-start-to-the-year-for-mexican-gray-wolves-cattle.html?amp=1&__twitter_impression=true

“Earth Day 2020- Message from Wildlife SOS co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan”

March 16 the deadline to speak up for Heber Wild Horses

Tuesday's Horse

HEBER, AZ — March 16 is the deadline for public comment on the fate of the Heber Wild Horses. Comment link and talking points at the end of this post.

Why it is so important

Last week, the Forest Servicereleased its proposed management plan for the Heber Wild Horse Territory.

It includes plans to limit the horses’ range to 21 square miles. The surrounding Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest covers more than 43 thousand square miles of public land.

Horse advocates say existing fencing prevents many of the horses from even accessing the designated territory. The Forest Service also intends to remove most of the horses from the area. They estimate there are currently between 292 and 471 horses.

The goal of the Forest Service is to limit the number of horses to 50 to 104. Critics say that would not allow for enough genetic diversity in the bands, or families…

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Laws for Animals

Petition: Save Globally Important Arctic Habitat | Audubon

Yellow-billed Loons nest in the wetlands around Teshekpuk Lake.

In 2013, Audubon and supporters like you submitted comments to help protect 11 million acres of globally important Arctic bird habitat within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The resulting land management plan safeguarded one of the world’s most important Arctic wetlands, Teshekpuk Lake—the home for hundreds of thousands of shorebirds, nesting loons, and vulnerable molting geese—while allowing for energy development in less-sensitive areas. It also recognized the importance of areas along the Colville River where raptors nest, such as Rough-legged Hawks, Arctic Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and Gyrfalcons.

But now, the Bureau of Land Management is rewriting this plan, seeking to overturn protections for these irreplaceable wetlands and making them available for sale to the oil industry. In a place experiencing the effects of climate change at an accelerated rate, opening additional areas to oil production is irresponsible. Please send public comments to oppose drilling in the special Teshekpuk Lake wetlands and maintain recognition of the Colville River.

Note: Your name, city, state, and comment will become part of the public record.

Photo: Tom Wilberding/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

To Bureau of Land Management:

Personalize your message
I oppose increasing oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). The NPR-A contains world-class wilderness areas and wildlife habitat, including the globally-significant Teshekpuk Lake wetlands complex. For the past forty years, Teshekpuk Lake and its surrounding wetlands have been recognized and protected for its extraordinary wildlife values. A new land management plan in the NPR-A should continue to exclude oil and gas development in and around Teshekpuk Lake and consider the additional effects development would have on a changing landscape that is already feeling the impacts from climate change.

The Teshekpuk Lake wetlands comprise one of the premiere habitats in the entire circumpolar Arctic. The wetlands are a haven for molting geese. The coastline north of the lake provides denning habitat for polar bears. More than half a million shorebirds nest around Teshekpuk Lake. South of the lake, loons and ducks find optimal breeding conditions. The Teshekpuk Caribou Herd gives birth to calves, forages, and winters in habitat around the lake. The sheer number of so many birds and wildlife make Teshekpuk a place that merits stronger, not weaker, protections.

The cliffs along the Colville River provide important nesting habitat for several species of raptors, including Rough-legged Hawks, Arctic Peregrine Falcons, Golden Eagles, and Gyrfalcons. In an otherwise flat tundra landscape, the relatively tall cliffs provide both safety and better vantage points for hunting for these predators.

The oil industry is already undertaking a program of exploration and development in areas nearby at an accelerated rate. Rapid climate change in the Arctic means that oil and gas development should be curtailed, not expanded, in the NPR-A. Maintaining the decades-long protections to the Teshekpuk Lake wetlands and the recognition of the Colville River Special Area demonstrates a core principle of responsible Arctic management for this and future administrations.
Sincerely,

https://act.audubon.org/onlineactions/UoQuuwIkVkyJpcqUiqpDNg2?ms=policy-adv-email-ea-x-advocacy_20200115_npra_alert&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=advocacy_20200115_npra_alert&emci=0e479e6b-a137-ea11-a1cc-2818784d084f&emdi=920d910c-d137-ea11-a1cc-2818784d084f&ceid=89005&contactdata=Lg5I5eGYk6bmD%2fXotf2jjBhqklw1L0ssVR8%2fBLafjOHa5oqGSOb0L15a37JeaW1LY4O%2bVh%2f83bfRma%2bFNAQNyaa76mCghUB%2fsj%2fT9iqxdeEffwOrDjaZ1Kjke3jHVZBL7bsuITvd7zkmCIv59bbrhDyOIG70gIAHEWalkzbSZvU%3d

Copyright 2019 National Audubon Society, Inc.

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Stop oil and gas development from harming Alaska’s wildlife – Defenders of Wildlife

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Stop oil and gas development from harming Alaska’s wildlife
Spotted Seal (c) Jay Verhoef (NOAA)

Alaska’s wildlife is in jeopardy. A newly proposed development by oil giant ConocoPhilips would build a huge oil field with hundreds of oil wells that would impact critical polar bear habitat and protected lands in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released their Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the development, but they’re rushing through the process to open up leasing as quickly as possible, with little regard for the harm this development could bring to local wildlife.

Tell the BLM: Don’t turn a blind eye to wildlife!

Dear BLM State Director Chad Padgett,

  • Personalize your message
    I am writing to you with significant concerns about BLM’s Willow Master Development Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) regarding the proposed Willow oil and gas development located in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A). In particular, I am concerned about the Willow development’s proposed size and proximity to some of the most valuable wildlife habitat in America’s Arctic found adjacent in the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area and Arctic Ocean, and its impacts to polar bear critical habitat. I am also concerned that the analyses and decision-making around this very significant development is happening virtually in tandem with BLM revising its overall management plan for the NPR-A, the Integrated Activity Plan, where the size and protections of established Special Areas may be changed.

ConocoPhillips has proposed developing a major industrialized zone, including up to five drill sites of up to 50 wells each, a central processing facility, an operations center pad, miles of gravel and ice roads, pipelines (including under the Colville River), a gravel mine just west of the community of Nuiqsut, and a gravel island in Harrison Bay. This human-made, modular island just off-shore and north-east of the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area would impact polar bear critical habitat and likely would also impact to threatened ice seals and whales. These species are already experiencing significant effects from climate change and other oil and gas activities in the Alaskan Arctic. The DEIS understates impacts to polar bears and seals, and completely omits impacts to cetaceans including listed bowhead and beluga whales.

I urge BLM to slow this analysis process down to make sure that the agency is getting sufficient public input; properly analyzing issues raised by a cross-section of stakeholders; and especially sufficiently analyzing impacts to imperiled polar bears, ice seals, whales and other wildlife.

Sincerely,
https://secure.defenders.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3552&s_src=3WDW2000PWX5X&s_subsrc=tw-deiswillow&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=deiswillow

UVic bows to outside pressure and rescinds my adjunct professor status

polarbearscience

As you may have heard, this summer I lost my status as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada (UVic), a position I had held for 15 years. This action followed my expulsion from the roster of the university’s volunteer Speakers Bureau in May 2017. However, until April 2017 the university and the Anthropology department proudly promoted my work, including my critical polar bear commentary, which suggests someone with influence (and perhaps political clout) intervened to silence my scientific criticism.

Crockford skull

Journalist Donna LaFramboise has exposed this travesty in the National Post (16 October 2019), which you can read here. I have provided more background below and Donna’s blog post is here.

Losing my adjunct status

An adjunct professorship is an unpaid position with a few responsibilities that in return allow a scholar to operate as a qualified member of…

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8 Takeaways From The Most Important Wildlife Event You’ve Never Heard Of

nationalgeographic.com.au

By DINA FINE MARON AND RACHEL FOBAR 02 September 2019

GENEVA – Nine animals received increased protections from international trade, and more than 130 species won protections for the first time at a two-week summit aimed at managing the multibillion-dollar cross-border wildlife trade while preventing endangered animals and plants from sliding to extinction.

Not every country went home happy. “What I sense in the room, and what I’m concerned about is there’s a bitterness,” says Ivonne Higuero, secretary-general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). “There’s a discussion of ‘This is not working for me, it hasn’t been working for me for some time.’”

From August 17 to August 28, 182 countries and the European Union considered proposals for more than 500 species, and their votes often broke down based on political, economic, and geographic lines. Southern African nations, for example, squared off against many other African nations on their differing approaches to elephant conservation and how to fund it.

Until now, CITES decisions about levels of protection for species have been based exclusively on science—knowledge accumulated by biologists and ecologists, for example—but disagreements arose over how much weight CITES should now give to other factors, including the needs and desires of rural communities that live alongside wildlife. Economic and social benefits, for example, such as revenue from hunting and ecotourism to benefit villagers, are increasingly seen as integral to discussions about levels of protection.

Every three years CITES members convene to discuss the treaty, which was enacted in 1975. Eight themes emerged from this year’s conference. (Read more about the major CITES decisions here).

1. Marine animals are gaining a needed safety net.

Decisions to increase protections for mako sharks, wedgefish, and guitarfish came on the heels of a resolution proposed by Antigua and Barbuda to stop all marine species from being listed under CITES until it can be demonstrated that CITES protections do in fact make a difference. The resolution was roundly rejected, but this wasn’t a new notion.

“There’s long been this idea that somehow CITES isn’t a tool for marine species, and that idea to us is absurd,” says Matt Collis, director of international policy at the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

CITES was set up to deal with terrestrial species, leading some to say that marine species should be excluded and that regulation should be left to regional fishery bodies. This idea is a relic from when CITES began in the 1970s, says Luke Warwick, assistant director of the sharks and rays program for the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society.

This year, Warwick says it seems that a consensus was finally reached: In a “weird” but “positive anticlimax,” Japan, which opposed the mako shark proposal, surprised conservationists when it didn’t reopen the mako shark debate in the final session. That’s when proposal decisions must be confirmed or rejected and countries have a chance to reopen debates. This shows the idea that CITES is for sharks is becoming mainstream, Warwick says.

“There’s a growing recognition that CITES does marine and it does it well,” he says.

2. The exotic pet trade is putting an increasing strain on dozens of threatened species.

The Indian star tortoise, considered a “vulnerable” species, is one of the world’s heavily trafficked tortoises. CITES members voted to ban it from international commercial trade.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

More than a third of the proposals this year related to reptiles and amphibians that are now threatened, largely because of their popularity as exotic pets in the United States, the EU, and elsewhere. Those species include the Indian star tortoise and the tokay gecko. Two otter species—the Asian small-clawed otter and smooth-coated otter—similarly have suffered from their popularity among exotic pet collectors, particularly in Southeast Asia. Collectively, more than 20 of the 56 proposals up for CITES consideration had listings spurred by the pet trade. Almost all mustered enough votes to increase protections. Only one proposal—to list all 104 species of glass frogs—failed to pass.

3. How should countries fund conservation? CITES didn’t provide answers.

The long-standing debate over how to fund conservation efforts came up again this year, notably in the debate over elephant and rhino protections.

Eswatini proposed opening its commercial rhino trade, which would allow it to sell abroad its nearly 332-kilogram stockpile of horn, valued at US $9.9 million. Fears that a legal trade would stimulate demand and smuggling of rhino horn led to the rejection of the proposal, but the question remains unanswered: How will countries such as Eswatini fund conservation?

Some conservationists have suggested ecotourism or donations could help. During the debates, the representative from Eswatini angrily invited opposing countries and nonprofit organizations to step up and pay to protect its rhinos.

“Opinion seems to come not with responsibility,” he said of the opposition. “If the finance is not available to protect them, rhinos will continue to die, and so will people.”

4. Frustrations persist between southern African countries and the more than 30 countries that make up the African Elephant Coalition.

Debate about how to manage the trade in charismatic large animals and products from them, including ivory and rhino horn, was intense. Southern African countries, such as Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, had very different views from the countries that have come together as the African Elephant Coalition, a consortium of more than 30 countries that seek to preserve African elephant populations and want a world free from trade threats to the animals. Officials from the former said they should have the right to trade their animals and products from them and believe they should be rewarded for their conservation. Coalition members such as Kenya, for example, argued that these species still need to be preserved and shouldn’t be involved in global commerce beyond current levels.

5. The EU, which stands as a 28-vote block, wields the power to make or break proposals.

At the start of the conference, not all 28 EU countries had been fully credentialed. As a result, when a major vote came up about banning the sale of wild African elephants to countries outside where they live, the EU, even though it opposed the proposal, couldn’t vote. Had the EU voted, the proposal would have failed. (The EU later reached a compromise with other countries and, after adding amendments that create certain exceptions for such sales, ultimately supported the proposal.) Yet the EU’s outsize influence enabled it to scuttle a separate effort to protect glass frogs (popular in Europe as exotic pets) from trade, despite impassioned defense of the proposal by Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Honduras—countries where the animals live in nature. Meanwhile, a new level of protection for mako sharks squeaked by. Observers say the vote would have gone the other way if the EU hadn’t signed on as a co-sponsor.

“The 28 EU member states are a powerful force at CITES—and generally a force for conservation,” says Susan Lieberman, of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

6. Is CITES acting quickly enough?

Glass frogs, so named because of their transparent skin, are regularly traded as pets, particularly in the United States and Europe.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

A 2019 United Nations report on extinction rates found that about one million species of animals and plants are in danger of disappearing, many within decades, because of humans. The vast majority of animals traded from country to country aren’t protected under CITES.

Neil D’Cruze, global wildlife advisor for the international animal welfare nonprofit World Animal Protection, wonders if CITES decisions come quickly enough to save species. D’Cruze says he’s spent years researching the vulnerable, and declining, Indian star tortoise, one of the world’s most heavily trafficked tortoises. Despite discussions about its trade status at previous CITES meetings, a ban on their international commercial trade wasn’t instituted until now. Similarly, all eight species of pangolins weren’t given the highest level of protection until 2017, although, according to the wildlife trade monitoring group Traffic, an estimated million were trafficked between 2000 and 2013.

“CITES is an important conservation and wildlife protection tool, but given the rapid rate of global biodiversity loss, there is always the wish that CITES, government, and NGOs could move faster,” D’Cruze says.

7. CITES is flawed. A path to fix it remains unclear.

A frequent complaint is the lack of transparency at many of the controversial votes at CITES meetings, including those relating to marine animals and elephants. The convention allows for secret ballot votes, and in such cases, one country can ask for a matter to be voted on by secret ballot. As long as 10 countries second that bid, the public will never know how a given country voted—unless that country asks for its vote to be put on the record. That’s a problem because countries need to be accountable to their public, says Lieberman.

Another common complaint: Now that the treaty has 183 members and scientists have learned a lot more about the dire situation facing a variety of species, the conference agenda has grown dauntingly long. Before this year’s meeting, CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero told National Geographic, “With each Conference of the Parties, we are increasing the number of documents and proposals that are being considered. This one has 20 per cent more than the last, at South Africa. And that [conference] had a larger agenda than the one before.” She added, “A very big concern of mine as the new secretary-general is: Are we going to be as effective in general at CITES?”

Another criticism of the treaty is that the emphasis now is too heavily on restricting trade. Moreover, many observers say that CITES doesn’t treat poorer nations on par with richer ones—disproportionately sanctioning the former for failing to comply with or enforce the treaty. “It’s also fair to say that countries with well established and well staffed CITES authorities are much better versed at defending themselves,” says John Scanlon, who served as secretary-general from 2010 to 2018.

CITES meetings generally happen every three years, although they’re meant to occur biannually. More frequent meetings would drive up the costs of managing the treaty but could shorten agendas, streamlining the process. Still, the three-year cadence seems unlikely to change: At the conclusion of this meeting, the next Conference of the Parties was announced for 2022, to be hosted by Costa Rica.

8. New elephant protections underscore evolution in thinking about these intelligent, sensitive creatures.

Although public attention is drawn toward charismatic creatures such as elephants and rhinos, most illegal wildlife trade actually involves timber, plants, and marine life. Still, the most contentious debates at this summit, as in previous ones, swirled around elephants—with proposals about opening up ivory trade, closing down domestic ivory markets, and loosening the restrictions limiting Zambia’s elephant sales. All three failed to pass, leaving the status of elephants largely unchanged.

But one elephant measure was approved: a near-complete ban on capturing and sending African elephants from some countries to zoos and other captive facilities abroad. The issue, which stemmed largely from concerns about recent sales of young elephants to China and the U.S., preoccupied the concluding discussion. Zimbabwe, in particular, has recently sought to sell some of its elephants.

Lead Image: Glass frogs were among the more than 500 species considered for protections at this year’s CITES international wildlife trade meeting in Geneva.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JOEL SARTORE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK

Or more on this related story click here.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/animals/8-takeaways-from-the-most-important-wildlife-event-youve-never-heard-of.aspx

End Trophy Hunting of Vulnerable Puffins – ForceChange

The puffin is rapidly moving towards extinction, in part due to trophy hunting. Tours, advertised primary to British hunters, boast that one hunter can kill up to 100 puffins at a time. Ban importation of these vulnerable birds as trophies.

Source: End Trophy Hunting of Vulnerable Puffins – ForceChange

CITES, the world’s biggest conference on wildlife trade, is happening. Get the details.

relay.nationalgeographic.com
By Dina Fine Maron By Rachel Fobar

Every three years, there’s a global meeting to talk about the international wildlife trade—worth billions of dollars annually. At issue is an overarching question: How to balance this international commerce—which includes exotic pets, furs, and timber—without driving species to extinction.

The meetings are convened by the members of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a treaty enacted in 1975. (Learn more about the treaty here: CITES, explained.)

Among the matters the 183 members will address at the latest meeting—which runs from August 17 through August 28 in Geneva, Switzerland—are the future of the ivory trade, illegal killings of rhinos and the rhino horn trade, management of African elephant populations, and the booming exotic pet business.

Wildlife Watch will be closely tracking the conference. Find our stories from CITES here and read briefs below on this regularly updated news ticker. You can also follow our tweets at @Dina_Maron and @rfobarand @Rachael_Bale.

August 20—Black rhino trophy hunting in South Africa

Parties have voted to allow South Africa to increase its annual export quota for black rhino hunting trophies. The current quota allows for five adult male trophies, but the new quota will allow a number not exceeding half a percent of the country’s total black rhino population—a maximum of about 10 animals. Adult males will be targeted to protect breeding females.

South Africa argued that the money raised from trophy hunting helps support conservation. Black rhinos are threatened by poaching, but according to the conservation nonprofit Save the Rhino, populations in the country increased from about 800 in 1992 to more than 2,000 by the end of 2017.

Botswana, Zimbabwe, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), the EU, and Canada also supported the measure.

This matter must now be confirmed or rejected at the plenary, at the end of the Conference of the Parties, when all appendix change proposals, resolutions, and decisions passed in committee are officially adopted.

-Rachel Fobar

August 18—Export of live, wild-caught elephants

In a surprise early vote, parties voted in committee to amend a resolution to limit the trade in live, wild-caught African elephants to range countries only. This issue has received international attention following the shipment of young elephants from Zimbabwe to China in 2015 and from eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) to U.S. zoos in 2016.

Zimbabwe, the U.S., and the European Union spoke against the move. “Live sales are part of our management tools,” the Zimbabwe delegate said, and those sales raise funds for conservation.

Kenya, Niger, and Burkina Faso spoke in support of it. “We all agree these are intelligent creatures with complex social links,” the Burkina Faso delegate said of elephants, arguing that they cannot thrive in captivity.

The European Union, which acts as a bloc but has 28 individual votes, asked for the vote to be postponed, but the chair rejected the call.

There were 46 yes votes and 18 no votes, with the European Union neither voting nor abstaining. Had they voted no, the resolution would not have passed. The proposal must now be confirmed or rejected at the plenary, which comes at the end of the Conference of the Parties and is where all appendix change proposals, resolutions, and decisions passed in committee are officially adopted. While many elephant campaigners were pleased at the show of support, they are concerned that the debate could be reopened at the plenary and that the EU parties would vote no, reversing today’s approval.
-Rachael Bale

August 16—Setting the scene

-Dina Fine Maron

Wildlife Watch is an investigative reporting project between National Geographic Society and National Geographic Partners focusing on wildlife crime and exploitation. Read more Wildlife Watch stories here, and learn more about National Geographic Society’s nonprofit mission at nationalgeographic.org. Send tips, feedback, and story ideas to ngwildlife@natgeo.com.

PUBLISHED August 17, 2019

https://relay.nationalgeographic.com/proxy/distribution/public/amp/animals/2019/08/breaking-news-from-cites?__twitter_impression=true

Protect the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo and the Endangered Species Act

670864110

Natural History Wanderings

The deadline to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to roll back protections for the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo is next Wednesday, June 26. More than 16,000 Audubon supporters have already sent comments—will you join them?  It’s quick and easy to send your own comments through our Action Center.

Read more at  National Audubon Society

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Stop Selling Wildlife for Relief Funds

Over 1,000 wild animals will be auctioned off in exchange for emergency relief funds. Not only is selling wildlife like property inhumane, but the measure is also counterproductive as it risks the lives of many animals to save others. Help stop these cruel auctions as soon as possible.

Source: Stop Selling Wildlife for Relief Funds

Keep vital protections for gray wolves

secure.earthjustice.org
Keep vital protections for gray wolves

Gray wolves in the United States stand at a pivotal point in their history. After hunting them to near extinction in the first half of the 20th century, the American people had a change of heart and gray wolves have begun a modest recovery under varying degrees of protection under the Endangered Species Act. Now, just as they’re starting to return to their former homes in places like northern California, the Trump administration is proposing to strip wolves of these crucial federal protections.

Earthjustice has been instrumental in protecting gray wolves for more than two decades, and we will continue that fight — but we need your help. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to abandon its plan to remove much-needed protections for wolves across the lower 48 states.

Today, wolves are still functionally extinct across the vast majority of their former range. These cherished keystone predators cannot be considered fully recovered until they are found in wild forests across the country. And yet in states where wolves have already lost federal protections, they’ve been shot and trapped in staggering numbers — nearly 3,500 killed in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming since 2011.

The U.S. Department of the Interior, under newly confirmed Secretary David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, is finalizing plans to significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act itself — part of a series of efforts by the Trump administration to slash protections for our most vulnerable wildlife and which amounts to a virtual extinction plan.

Interior Secretary Bernhardt wants to stop wolf recovery before it’s complete. Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep federal protections in place so wolves can return to the wild places where they used to roam.
Important Notices and Resources

All information submitted with your comment (name, address, etc.) may be placed in the public record for this proceeding. Do NOT submit confidential or sensitive information.

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Take Action For Endangered Species Day by Asking Your Senators to Support The Endangered Species Act

act.endangered.org
Save the #EndangeredSpeciesAct

The Trump Administration has proposed a series of drastic changes to the way they carry out the Act, and there have been dozens of legislative attempts to weaken this crucial law. The Endangered Species Act is one of the most effective and successful tools to protect plants, fish, and wildlife. A recent study found that the Act has saved 99 percent of listed species from vanishing into extinction.

Please email your senators and tell them that you support the Endangered Species Act and ask them to protect this vital conservation law from legislative and regulatory attacks.

https://act.endangered.org/U2F4qoO?link_id=4&can_id=7ad351936beea88858e90dc36b567b29&source=email-tomorrow-is-endangered-species-day-send-your-senators-an-email-today&email_referrer=email_547981&email_subject=tomorrow-is-endangered-species-day-send-your-senators-an-email-today

Sign Petition: End the Cruel and Inhumane Trapping and Hunting of Bobcats!

thepetitionsite.com
by: Prairie Protection Colorado
recipient: Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioners, Coloradomore

Help us pass a Citizen’s Petition that is asking the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commissioners to ban the trapping and hunting of bobcats throughout Colorado.

Bobcats are mostly hunted for their fur, which is then sold to China and Russia to make high-end fashion items. The rest of the carcass is discarded. Due to Amendment 14, trappers in Colorado are only allowed to use box traps. When trappers catch bobcats, they usually strangle them with “choke poles” or kill them by drowning or standing on their chests to suffocate them. The reason they do this is because they don’t want to get blood on their pelts, “there is less of a mess to clean up,” and “the fur is worth more.” Trappers typically don’t shoot the bobcats because they don’t want a hole in the fur or their traps to get damaged.

As wildlife advocates, we must organize and resist by raising our voices for the bobcats and for Colorado’s rapidly diminishing wildlife communities. We need each and every one of you to help support this ban and one way to do that is to sign this Care2 petition illustrating just how many of us want our wildlife communties to be protected not destroyed.

Join with us and help change these outdated, cruel and inhumane practices during this urgent time when habitat fragmentation is occurring at disastrous rates.

Sign this petition today and please sign up for our newsletters to get more information on how you can help protect Colorado’s wildlife!

For Colorado’s Bobcats!!

 

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/931/371/256/

 

ACTION ALERT: Please Send Comments to Help the Fifteenmile Wild Horse Herd In Wyoming

Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Carol Walker, Dir. of Field Documentation, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The Bureau of Land Management has released the Environmental Assessment for the Fifteenmile Herd Management Area in northern Wyoming, proposing rounding up and removing wild horses down to the low end of the Appropriate Management Level, 70 wild horses, or 100 if the AML is adjusted up, but which would leave the herd at well below the number needed to maintain genetic viability, which is 150 adults.

The Fifteenmile Herd management Area is a wild and remote place, consisting of 70,534 acres of public land, and it is 35 miles west of Worland. It is a starkly beautiful and, with mesas and buttes and hoodoos and red rock, and very few people visit the horses there.

This area is unique because these wild horses have been unmolested for 10 years, with the last roundup and removal taking place in…

View original post 719 more words

Sign Petition: Reject Trump’s Animal-Hating, Oil-Loving Nom for Interior Secretary

by: Kevin Mathews
recipient: Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats

10,334 SUPPORTERS – 11,000 GOAL

With the departure of Ryan Zinke, President Donald Trump has nominated David Bernhardt, the Interior Department’s deputy secretary, to take over the department entirely. As a career lobbyist for major corporations – the same businesses that often do business with and apply for permits from the Interior, Bernhardt is immediately inviting countless conflicts of interest.

In his time in the government, he’s gone the extra mile to help oil giants drill freely, even if it means giving away public lands or calling back furloughed workers during the shutdown to keep the permit process moving. Bernhardt has also been instrumental in chipping away at endangered species protections so that corporations don’t have to be mindful of vulnerable critters.

Bernhardt faced appropriate scrutiny in the confirmation process for deputy secretary, and he deserves an even more thorough examination before heading the whole department. We call on the Dems to do everything they can to block this confirmation and get a non-lobbyist in this role.

Sign Petition: Reject Trump’s Animal-Hating, Oil-Loving Nom for Interior Secretary

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/559/013/072/

Sign Petition: Instead of Relocating Them, These Cougar Kittens Are Now Dead

thepetitionsite.com
by: Care2 Team
recipient: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

18,848 SUPPORTERS – 19,000 GOAL

A mother and her three kittens. Those are just some of the casualties of urban sprawl in Colorado.

Since the beginning of the year, Glenwood Springs residents had noticed they weren’t alone in their neck of the woods. Over the past several weeks they had seen a family of mountain lions lurking about, and after one neighborhood dog was killed people began to worry.

That’s when they decided to call (CPW). Perhaps residents thought CPW officials would be able to scare the cougars back to the mountains or relocate them to a more remote area where they wouldn’t pose a threat. Unfortunately, officials had another solution in mind. They trapped the mother and her one-year-old kittens and killed them.

Parks and Wildlife defended their action by saying it was their “only option.” But that simply isn’t the case. Colorado is a vast, mountainous state with wide swaths of unpopulated lands where these mountain lions could have been released to live a long and wild life. Instead, officials decided to take the lives of five pumas — a mother, her three cubs, and another adult.

The land these animals were roaming is theirs not ours and they should not be punished simply for being the predators that nature intended them to be.

Obviously, we must take the safety of Glenwood Springs residents into account but euthanization should have never been an option when they could have easily been relocated. Especially since their location could have been monitored with collars.

It’s too late for the five mountain lions that were killed by CPW but hopefully, it won’t be for the next family of pumas that encroach into a Colorado town. Please sign the petition and demand that Colorado Parks and Wildlife stop using lethal methods to deal with animal nuisances and ask them to use relocation instead.

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/698/524/585/

Sign Petition: This Imperiled Bumble Bee Can’t Wait Any Longer for Help

thepetitionsite.com

The rusty patched bumble bee, which can be identified by a rust-colored patch on its abdomen, was once a commonly seen pollinator from the midwest to the east coast.

Unfortunately, scientists believe that they have disappeared from 87 percent of their historic range since just the 1990s and that their population has declined by more than 90 percent.

While conservation organizations have been working for years to help them, it wasn’t until 2016 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) agreed that protection was warranted, and it wasn’t until 2017 that they were actually protected.

The listing marked the first time in history a bumble bee species has been federally protected, and the first time any bee has received federal protection in the continental U.S.

Still, this little bumble bee has continued to wait for the help it desperately needs. Under the Endangered Species Act, the FWS is legally required to designate critical habitat for protected species within one year of their listing, but has still managed to miss that date for this bumble bee – even with a one-year extension.

The agency is now facing a third lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council on behalf of this bumble bee, which seeks to compel it to take action to protect their home from further destruction.

You can show your support for protecting the rusty patched bumble bee by signing and sharing this petition urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take immediate action to designate critical habitat for them.

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/198/488/489/

Sign Petition: The Silent Extinction of Giraffes Just Got Even Worse

thepetitionsite.com

by: Care2 Team
recipient: Government leaders of Nigeria, Malawi, and Senegal

48,660 SUPPORTERS – 50,000 GOAL

Giraffes haven’t been having a good few months. First, last November, a newborn calf died just weeks after it had been born. Then, at the same zoo, another giraffe gave birth resulting in the death of both the cow, a beloved giraffe named Cami and her calf.

But as if that wasn’t bad enough, the news for Giraffes has just gotten worse: they have just been added to the endangered species list.

Many people are unaware that the Giraffe is in danger. According to a 2016 survey, there are less than 100,000 of them in the wild. In fact there are are more elephants on Earth than giraffes. Since over the last generation, almost 40% of the species has been lost, their slow disappearance, has been called the “silent extinction.”

Giraffes are in this dire situation because of two main reasons; human encroachment into their habitat and poaching. Construction and other industries have pushed the giraffe off their principal grazing lands and locals in some areas rely on giraffe meat for food or sell it for profit. According to the Rothschild’s Giraffe Project, “freshly severed heads and giraffe bones” can bring in nearly $150. Considering that over half the people in Africa live on less than a $1.25 day. Giraffe poaching is a lucrative business.

While some giraffe species are holding stable, others are so close to disappearing that they have been designated “critically endangered”. The next classification is “extinct in the wild,” meaning the animal can no longer sustain its population naturally.

Giraffes are some of the most famous animals in Africa, but now, like elephants, rhinos and cheetahs they too are in trouble. The countries in which the giraffe roam must do more to protect these iconic African beasts. Nigeria, Malawi, and Senegal, for example, all have declining giraffe populations. They must take action.

Please sign the petition and ask government leaders of Nigeria, Malawi, and Senegal to implement programs to save their giraffes from poaching and habitat loss.

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/827/824/560/the-silent-extinction-giraffes-have-just-been-given-some-really-bad-news/

Petition: Save 6M acres of Florida wetlands from destruction

by: Ellen Fishel
recipient: Rick Scott DEP Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

35,827 SUPPORTERS – 40,000 GOAL

It was just published today in the paper that the Trump Administration is looking into developing 6 million acres of Florida wetlands for commercial development. This came about after a huge rollback in environmental regulations, which will cause half of Florida wetlands to lose federal protection.

This will destroy not only the delicate environment of the Everglades, but also the precious water supply that is so desperately needed here.

The Everglades are already in danger because of development 30 years ago!!! Scientists are trying to restore the Everglades! It can never go back to its original state. We seem to always overlook our precious environment, our beautiful planet as $$$ always seem to be at the forefront!!

I am saddened to think our government would even think of destroying such a delicate ecosystem and all the animals and wildlife who live there. What are we leaving for future generations? We already have red tide here in part due to contaminated water that is feeding this bloom. What happens when the Everglades are turned upside down???

I would like to see this stopped and legislation passed that cannot be turned over by ANYONE to save the Wetlands. Please sign the petition to demand that the Trump administration and the Environmental Protection Agency REVERSE this rule change, and to demand that Congress pass laws to protect this precious land, once and for all!

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/910/168/211/?z00m=31189648&redirectID=2798991659

 

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/

Breaking! Fin Whales & Mountain Gorillas Gain Improved Status On Updated IUCN Red List; Conservation Efforts Must Continue – World Animal News

By WAN –
November 14, 2018
Photos from IUCN
The Fin Whale and the Mountain Gorilla are among the species with improved status, according to today’s update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The IUCN Red List now includes 96,951 species of which 26,840 are threatened by extinction.
The Fin Whale has gone from Endangered to Vulnerable following bans on whaling, while the Mountain Gorilla subspecies has moved from Critically Endangered to Endangered as a result of collaborative conservation efforts.
“Today’s update to The IUCN Red List illustrates the power of conservation action, with the recoveries we are seeing of the Fin Whale and the Mountain Gorilla,” Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General said in a statement. “These conservation successes are proof that the ambitious, collaborative efforts of governments, business and civil society could turn back the tide of species loss.”
“Unfortunately, the latest update also underlines how threats to biodiversity continue to undermine some of society’s most important goals, including food security,” continued Andersen. “We urgently need to see effective conservation action strengthened and sustained.”
Previously listed as Endangered, the Fin Whale is now listed as Vulnerable, as the global population of species has roughly doubled since the 1970s. The recovery follows international bans on commercial whaling in the North Pacific and in the Southern Hemisphere which has been in place since 1976, there has been a significant reduction in catches in the North Atlantic since 1990. The status of the western subpopulation of the Gray Whale has also improved, moving from Critically Endangered to Endangered. Both of these whale species were historically threatened by overexploitation for their blubber, oil and meat.

“Fin Whales and Western Gray Whales were severely depleted by hunting and it is a relief to finally see their populations on the rise. These whales are recovering largely thanks to bans on commercial hunting, international agreements, and various protection measures,” stated Randall Reeves, Chair of the IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group. “Conservation efforts must continue until the populations are no longer threatened.”
The nearly complete protection of Fin Whales throughout their range, has allowed the global population to reach around 100,000 mature individuals.
This update of The IUCN Red List also brings hope for the Mountain Gorilla, which has improved in status from Critically Endangered to Endangered, thanks to collaborative conservation efforts across country boundaries and positive engagement from communities living around the Mountain Gorilla habitat. The Mountain Gorilla is one of two subspecies of the Eastern Gorilla; the Eastern Gorilla species remains Critically Endangered.
Intensive conservation action, including anti-poaching patrols and in-situ veterinary interventions, such as the removal of snares, has contributed to the growth of Mountain Gorilla populations since the previous IUCN Red List assessment, published in 2008.
The 2008 Mountain Gorilla population was estimated to be around 680 individuals, but 2018 estimates show that it has increased to over 1,000 individuals, the highest figure ever recorded for the subspecies. The population growth has been confirmed through coordinated and improved survey methods.
Mountain Gorilla habitat is restricted to protected areas in two locations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda – The Virunga Massif and Bwindi-Sarambwe. Both locations are bordered by land intensively cultivated for agriculture by a growing human population. Threats to this subspecies remain high, including poaching, recurring civil unrest, and human-introduced diseases ranging from respiratory infections to Ebola.
“While it is fantastic news that Mountain Gorillas are increasing in numbers, this subspecies is still Endangered and therefore conservation action must continue,” said Dr. Liz Williamson of the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group. “Coordinated efforts through a regional action plan and fully implementing IUCN Best Practice guidelines for great ape tourism and disease prevention, which recommend limiting numbers of tourists and preventing any close contact with humans, are critical to ensuring a future for the Mountain Gorilla.”
Sadly, the largest North American tortoise species, the Bolson Tortoise, is one of the species that had its status change from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red List due to exploitation for subsistence consumption, as well as widespread habitat loss.
The population of the tortoise, found in isolated areas in the Bolsón de Mapimí basin in Mexico, has plummeted by over 64% in the past 30 years. The species is endangered under Mexican federal wildlife laws and captive breeding programs aiming to reintroduce the species to New Mexico and Texas in the United States.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-fin-whales-conservation-efforts-must-continue/

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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,endangered species,fin whales,IUCN Red List,Mountian Gorillas

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© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Sign Petition: The Koala Is Heading Towards Extinction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Petition: Humanity has a new cousin

secure.avaaz.org
Humanity has a new cousin
3-4 minutes
To President Joko Widodo, the Indonesian legislature, and all members of the Indonesian government:

We call on you to ban the North Sumatera Hydro Energy’s 510MW Batang Toru Hydroelectric Power Plant and any and all industrial development in the Batang Toru forest. These types of projects put some of the world’s last remaining orangutans at risk. Orangutans are critically endangered and this project would put this precious species further at risk of extinction.

Already an Avaaz member?
Enter your email address and hit “Send”.

First time here? Please fill out the form below.

This is wild! Scientists just announced there’s a new species of orangutan that we never knew existed before… and they need our help.

They’re called Tapanuli orangutans and they have their own distinct genes and features.
But there’s only 800 of them left — and a new dam project is about to rip through their forest in Indonesia.

But there’s still hope: the scientific announcement has made headlines, and investors are backing away from the project. Let’s end it once and for all by getting the Indonesian government to stop all industrial projects in the Tapanuli’s home land!

Sign now
, then share everywhere – when we reach a million signers we’ll take our call directly to the Indonesian authorities!

https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/a_world_without_orangutans_23/

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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Contact us: contact@worldanimalnews.com
© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Avaaz Petition – Stop Trump’s elephant slaughter

secure.avaaz.org
Avaaz – Stop Trump’s elephant slaughter
3-4 minutes
Sign the petition to President Trump, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and conservation authorities around the world:

Elephants are facing extinction and this is no time to strip them of protection. Trophy hunting drives the slaughter of elephants, increases demand for their body parts, and projects a double standard that makes it harder to tackle ivory poaching. We call on you to do all you can to reverse the US decision to allow the import of elephant trophies, before it is too late.

2,672,438 have signed. Let’s get to 3,000,000

Sign the petition to President Trump, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and conservation authorities around the world:

“Elephants are facing extinction and this is no time to strip them of protection. Trophy hunting drives the slaughter of elephants, increases demand for their body parts, and projects a double standard that makes it harder to tackle ivory poaching. We call on you to do all you can to reverse the US decision to allow the import of elephant trophies, before it is too late.”

More information:

Trump just gave a sickening gift to his son, changing the law to let bloodthirsty American hunters murder elephants in Africa and bring their heads home as trophies.

Trump Jr. shot and mutilated an elephant — and now his dad is rewarding him by making it so anyone can join the slaughter and bring home elephant body parts as souvenirs, even as ivory poaching threatens to wipe these amazing creatures out.

Let’s build a massive global outcry to shame the US into dropping this disgusting plan, and when it’s huge, Avaaz will work with key African countries to deliver it at a major wildlife protection meeting days away.

https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/trump_vs_elephants/?bFAfecb&v=100017&cl=13505251035&_checksum=6621df59855e203035dcd3cacfc7eb29227c4a83a4c8a213e2100116e36a5710

Petition:Conserving Ontario’s Mountain Lions · Change.org

Carina Lai started this petition to Ian Arthur and 2 others

5-6 minutes

We, the undersigned, hereby urge the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to publicly release a recovery strategy for the mountain lion (Puma concolor) by December 31, 2019.

Background:

In 2007, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of Ontario was established with the intent of protecting over 200 species at risk. Under the ESA, the government of Ontario is required to play an active role in conserving native species. However, a decade after its enactment, the ESA has unfortunately not been effectively implemented, leaving species at risk in a vulnerable position.

One of the defining features of the ESA is the mandatory formation and implementation of recovery strategies by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for all endangered and threatened species in Ontario. Recovery strategies are based on scientific findings and provide a framework of recommended measures to ensure the survival and recovery of a species. However, the MNRF may delay the release of a recovery strategy for a number of reasons.

Although the MNRF may sometimes be justified in deferring the release of a recovery strategy, we are concerned that this clause may serve as an excuse for the government to indefinitely postpone action towards the recovery of a species. According to the David Suzuki Foundation, as of June 13, 2017, the MNRF has failed to make available recovery strategies for over 40 species, with some recovery strategies being more than seven years late (1). One such species is Canada’s largest wildcat, the mountain lion, Puma concolor.

As a top predator, mountain lions play an essential role in the ecosystem, and severe declines in population numbers can have drastic implications on the food web (2, 3). The mountain lion was classified as endangered in 2008 and its recovery strategy is at least eight years late (4). The MNRF justifies this delay by claiming that it is giving “priority to other species” (4). However, as conservation initiatives for the species have been delayed for almost a decade, this reasoning is no longer acceptable. Because of the mountain lion’s potentially crucial role in Ontario’s ecosystems and its acute sensitivity to human activity (5, 6), we believe that every effort should be taken to conserve the species. In other words, a recovery strategy is long overdue.

As concerned citizens, we, Carina Lai and Mary Kathleen Hickox, intend to write a formal letter to three members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario: Ian Arthur, the MPP of Kingston and the Islands, the Hon. Rod Phillips, Minister of Environment, Conservation, and Parks, and the Hon. Jeff Yurek, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. In this letter, we will urge the government to release a recovery strategy for the mountain lion.

But there is something YOU can do. By signing this petition and giving us your support, you can show public servants that this issue matters to you. We hope to garner enough public support so that, combined with our letter, we will be successful in pressuring the provincial government to take action on the mountain lion’s dwindling numbers by the end of next year. Help us make a difference to stop the provincial government’s continued neglect of one of Canada’s most iconic species.

https://www.change.org/p/ian-arthur-conserving-ontario-s-mountain-lions?source_location=petition_footer&algorithm=promoted&original_footer_petition_id=13598647&grid_position=4&pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAFcJ0AAAAAAAW8pHj5yEwfQzOGNlNGI1NA%3D%3D

Check out this website to learn more!

https://mary14kathleen.wixsite.com/mountainlions

References

David Suzuki Foundation. (2017). Without a trace? Reflecting on the 10th anniversary of Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007. Retrieved from https://davidsuzuki.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/without-trace-10th-anniversary-ontario-endangered-species-act.pdf
Ripple, W. J., & Beschta, R. L. (2006). Linking a cougar decline, trophic cascade, and catastrophic regime shift in Zion National Park. Biological Conservation, 133(4), 397-408. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2006.07.002
Ripple, W. J., & Beschta, R. L. (2008). Trophic cascades involving cougar, mule deer, and black oaks in Yosemite National Park. Biological Conservation, 141(5), 1249-1256. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2008.02.028
Government of Ontario. (2018). Progress Updates and Forecasts for Selected Species at Risk in Ontario. Retrieved from https://files.ontario.ca/rs_progress_tracking_table_pdf_19april2018.pdf
Dickson, B. G., Jenness, J. S., & Beier, P. (2005). Influence of vegetation, topography, and roads on cougar movement in southern California. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 69(8), 264-276. doi:10.2193/0022-541X(2005)069<0264:IOVTAR>2.0.CO;2
Dyke, F. G. V., Brocke, R. H., Shaw, H. G., Ackerman, B. B., Hemker, T. P., & Lindzey, F. G. (1986). Reactions of mountain lions to logging and human activity. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 50(1), 95-102. doi:10.2307/3801496

Photo Credit:

Graham, D. (Photographer). (n.d.). Cougar, Puma concolor. [Digital image]. Retrieved from http://www.nature.ca/notebooks//english/cougar_p6.htm

Petition · Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board: Stop the Sport Killing of Foxes & Help Combat Lyme! · Change.org

Lindzey P started this petition to Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board and 1 othe

4 minutes

I am petitioning the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board to stop the trapping and hunting of foxes for sport, for recreation, or for commercial purposes.

Currently, VT is listed as the #1 state in the U.S for confirmed Lyme Disease cases according to the CDC. New research regarding the increase of mice population in connection to the decrease of key rodent predators, such as foxes, has prompted me to request that the Fish & Wildlife Board halt the recreational and commercial trapping and hunting of foxes. This moratorium will likely help reduce human exposure to the diseases contracted by ticks who feed heavily on mice, a major host. Mice are key hosts for ticks and they infect up to 95% of ticks that feed on them. Increasing mice populations means a higher likelihood to contract tick borne illnesses. Predators, such as foxes will help reduce mice becoming hosts and break the cycle of further spreading tick borne diseases.

Foxes not only kill what they’ll immediately eat, but they kill and cache large quantities of mice for future consumption. A recent study revealed that the very presence of foxes on the landscape may impede mice mobility – a greater presence of foxes cause mice to spend more time hiding (refuging), which means less time roaming and becoming key hosts for ticks. Disease ecologist at the Cary Institute, Dr. Richard Ostfeld, and Dr. Holt, ecologist with University of Florida, reason that predators can reduce disease transmission by lowering the density of reservoir-competent hosts, such as mice and other rodents. “The takeaway is, we shouldn’t underestimate the role predators can play in reducing Lyme disease risk,” said Ostfeld who originally speculated on the importance of small mammal predators in a 2004 paper. “Let’s not discount these cryptic interactions that we don’t see very often unless we put camera traps in the woods.” (1)

Recreational and commercial killing of foxes must not take priority over the health and the interests of the general public. Per the North American Fur Auction’s 2017 fur sale, red fox prices are down, with 100% of the offering selling for averages of $13-17. Very few grey fox sold at all. Also, foxes are not killed for food, so why are they killed at all when they offer the potential of helping Vermont fight its Lyme epidemic?

Foxes face a host of dangers from predators, such as fishers and eagles, to human-caused mortality, including cars and landowners killing in defense of property. Fox’s populations are managed based on available food and habitat; their presence on our landscapes is much more valuable alive than dead. Vermont Fish & Wildlife has little to no data on the number of foxes who are hunted or trapped each year, including those foxes who are killed under the nuisance wildlife provision.

In conclusion, the human health benefits of this proposal far outweigh any recreational benefits that a small number of Vermonters may experience. We have nothing to lose with this moratorium and so much to gain. For further reading on research as to the importance of predators in managing the spread of Lyme visit: Cascading effects of predator activity on tick-borne disease risk.

This moratorium will not impact a landowner’s right to kill foxes in defense of property under V.S.A. 10, §4828

1: New York Times | Lyme Disease’s Worst Enemy? It Might Be Foxes | 8.2.2017

https://www.change.org/p/vermont-fish-wildlife-board-stop-the-sport-killing-of-foxes-help-combat-lyme?source_location=petition_footer&amp;algorithm=promoted&amp;original_footer_petition_id=13271964&amp;grid_position=2&amp;pt=AVBldGl0aW9uAGS5vgAAAAAAW8pGBrIM3bIyZTJhZTI1Mw%3D%3D