Check out Yosemite National Park Live on Facebook 3p.m. (PDT) April 22

“Born Wild”on National Geographic

Pretty in Pink

🐘🐘 Elephants in the room 🐘🐘

Now this is feeding the birds! 🦅

Ruby-throated hummingbirds will arrive soon, what you can do now to help their migration

61606908_2292770620991032_919141813300756480_ohttps://fox6now-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/fox6now.com/2020/04/08/ruby-throated-hummingbirds-will-arrive-soon-what-you-can-do-now-to-help-their-migration/amp/?usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Ffox6now.com%2F2020%2F04%2F08%2Fruby-throated-hummingbirds-will-arrive-soon-what-you-can-do-now-to-help-their-migration%2F#referrer

fox6now-com.cdn.ampproject.org

Eric Manges 2-3 minutes

SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN — Wisconsin’s only native hummingbird will be here soon! As the Ruby-throated hummingbird migrates north from the tropics, it follows the spring bloom until it can settle in its breeding range.

screen-shot-2020-04-08-at-1.05.07-pm

Zoomed in picture of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird

According to hummingbirdcentral. com, the approximate time they arrive in Wisconsin is the end of April and the start of May. Typically by then, flower producing plants and other insects, which it eats, are prevalent enough for it to head to our neck of the woods.screen-shot-2020-04-08-at-1.03.54-pm

Approximate timing of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird arrival

Based on satellite data collected by the National Phenology Network, we can see that plants have really started to leaf out as far north as Chicago.

Long term forecasts continue to keep temps cool for the mid part of April, but it’s safe to say you need to get ready for these tiny visitors soon!screen-shot-2020-04-08-at-1.17.17-pm

Spring vegetation across the United States as of April 8th

One way you can help attract these birds is by putting out a hummingbird feeder. These come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. An important detail is that you can make the nectar yourself! By heating up water and mixing in white sugar, you’re producing a perfect blend that can provide vital energy for these calorie-burning mini machines.

Avoid nectar that contains food coloring, as this could be harmful to hummingbirds. Change the nectar at least once a week in early spring and increase the frequency as temperatures start to increase.

hummingbird-feeder

An example of a hummingbird feeder just we don’t recommend having a cat close by

If you’re looking to replant a garden, another great way to attract these birds is to plant native flowering perennials that require little maintenance. Some examples include Wild Bergamot, Butterfly Weed, and Cardinal Flower.

Good luck spotting these awesome little birds!

“See the World From an Eagle Eye’s View | Super-powered Eagles | BBC Earth”

Live Panda Cam 🐼

Photographer captures beautiful images of polar bears playing in flower fields

When we think of polar bears, we automatically picture them in the Arctic, surrounded by snowy and icy landscapes. This image has been deeply ingrained in our minds that it’s hard to imagine these furry giants in any other environment.

Dennis Fast

The North experiences changing seasons, too. And as summer arrives, polar bears come out and start having their fun. Luckily, wildlife and nature photographer Dennis Fast captured these beautiful moments for the world to see. He was staying in the lodges operated by Churchill Wild in Manitoba, Canada, when he took the incredibly rare images.

In the pictures, the polar bears in Northern Canada’s Hudson Bay are seen rolling around the brightly colored fields of fireweed. When they’re not in the mood for play, the bears are content just lounging and napping in the pink fields, as if they, too, were savoring the warmth of the summer. Some of the most adorable shots feature one polar bear with his head poking out a sea of pink flowers!

Dennis Fast

It’s amazing to see the silly antics they get themselves into once the sun comes out. Their cute appearance almost makes us forget that they can attack humans when they’re approached the wrong way!

In an interview with Modern Met, Dennis shared why polar bears are his most beloved subjects.

“[I] t’s not just their color that makes them a favorite target of my camera,” he said. “They have a slow, ambling gait as they drift about looking for anything that moves. It looks like they don’t have a care in the world and that there is nothing they are afraid of. It’s not arrogance, exactly, but a quiet confidence that we often respect in humans, and that translates well to the polar bear.”

Dennis Fast

Once early autumn arrives, the polar bears will wait for the ice to reform in the bay so they can go back to their winter hunting grounds. In the meantime, they get the chance to enjoy the warmth of the sunshine and these blossoming fields!

Scroll through the gallery below to see more of this Canadian photographer’s rare shots of polar bears enjoying the summer.

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast

Dennis Fast
Check out Dennis Fast’s books Princess: A Special Polar Bear, Touch the Arctic, Wapusk: White Bear of the North, and The Land Where the Sky Begins to see more of his brilliant work.

https://mypositiveoutlooks.com/photographer-captures-polar-bears-playing-in-flower-fields/

Sign Petition: Illegal Tiger Trade Must End

thepetitionsite.com

by: Clara Lars
recipient: World Wildlife Federation

Illegal Tiger Trade Must End

Tigers may soon disappear from the wild unless more effective efforts are made to halt illegal trade. Tiger numbers have decreased dramatically in recent decades due to poaching to supply the illegal trade in tiger parts.

Tiger bones and other parts are used in traditional medicines to treat arthritis and other conditions. And the animals’ skins are used as clothing for certain cultural ceremonies and even as decorative objects such as rugs and wall hangings.

Fewer than 3,500-4,000 tigers are estimated to remain in the wild in Asia, the only region of the world where they exist. About 100 years ago, there were an estimated 100,000 tigers in the wild. The five existing tiger subspecies—the Amur, Bengal, Indochinese, South China, and Sumatran—all are critically endangered or endangered throughout their ranges. The Caspian tiger of southwest Asia, the Bali tiger and the Javan tiger all became extinct in the last 50 years of the 20th century.

Today, most wild tigers live in India; smaller populations exist in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian Federation, Thailand and Viet Nam. Tigers have become extinct in at least 10 other countries. At an International Tiger Symposium held in Kathmandu, Nepal, in April 2007, experts from around the world reported that tiger populations remain in decline nearly everywhere.

A Neverending Battle Wildlife officers in countries where tigers live fight a daily battle against poachers.

Recently in Nepal, a wildlife smuggler was sentenced to 15 years in prison and a fine of 100,000 Nepalese Rupees (US$ 1,591)—the maximum fine allowed for a wildlife crime in that country—after being caught in 2005 with five tiger skins, 36 leopard skins, 238 otter skins, and 123 kilograms of tiger bones.

The seizure, the largest of its kind ever made in Nepal, occurred thanks to the hard work and cooperation of two non-governmental organizations—Wildlife Conservation Nepal and the Wildlife Trust of India—and the wildlife authorities at Langtang National Park, Nepal, where the smuggler and his loot were found.

India, home to most of the world’s wild tigers, recorded 130 tigers poached between 1999 and 2004 (as compared to 82 known natural deaths), according to the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Sign Petition

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/995/554/495/6984646465464/?

Zimbabwe, Botswana vow to push for rights to trade in wildlife products

zimbabwevoice.com

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi have declared they will continue pushing for the right to trade in wildlife products, saying communities that have done well in conserving wildlife must be allowed to enjoy the benefits of such efforts.

Several Sadc countries have voiced their concern over the restrictive Convention of Trade in Endangered Species’ (CITES) provisions concerning live elephant and rhino trade, ivory and rhino horn trade bans and the contentious listing of the unthreatened giraffe population.

Speaking during the just ended Botswana-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC), leaders from the two countries said environmental conservation efforts, including wildlife, would not be fully realised given the restrictive conditions governing global trade in wildlife related products.

President Mnangagwa said wildlife resource rich countries like Zimbabwe and Botswana must be allowed to trade and realise benefits of their conservation efforts.

He commended Botswana and regional sister countries on the preservation and defence of the wildlife economy, whose full dividend has not been realised because of restrictions in wildlife trade.

“Let those who co-exist and help in the preservation of our wildlife enjoy benefits accruing from the effective wildlife management strategies they have adopted. We reiterated our common position of this very sensitive and emotive matter to have exclusive rights to trade in our wildlife products.”

Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi said the regional leadership was on the right direction in terms of environmental conservation and that such efforts need to be supported by enabling wildlife trade rules and regulations.

Last year in May, Botswana hosted the historic Elephant Summit in the Kasane area, which was followed by the Africa Wildlife Economy Summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, in June 2019.

“These will indeed go a long way in improving regional advancement for the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation area (Kaza). It will also contribute significantly towards sustainable economic and ecological benefit for local communities and Africa as a whole,” said President Masisi.

Speaking on the same issue, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Dr Sibusiso Moyo, said CITES “has done more harm than good” in terms of assisting developing nations on the conservation front.

“In 2019 that fraternal spirit was demonstrated as our two countries joined hands towards a common position at the CITES Cop 18 meeting where our two countries once again called for the review of the 1989 CITES ban on global ivory trade, which has done more harm than good to our elephant conservation efforts,” he said.

https://zimbabwevoice.com/2020/03/01/zimbabwe-botswana-vow-to-push-for-rights-to-trade-in-wildlife-products/amp/?fbclid=IwAR19mR88z4k87NH7Ly-OXu684CMqEovM9kan9LouEE5KeKRkQRx0HJe963U&__twitter_impression=true

Dog-Fighting Allowed in Nation’s Largest Coyote Killing Contest in Pennsylvania

Wolf Patrol

The Mosquito Creek Sportsman’s Club will be hosting its 29th Coyote Hunt on February 21-23rd in Frenchville, Pennsylvania. The annual coyote killing contest is the largest in the nation, not only because of the number of participants, but also because of the tens of thousands of dollars paid out for literally every coyote killed with hounds, guns or traps.

CHECK IN Check-in time at the Mosquito Creek Coyote Hunt in 2019.

Last year, over 4,800 hunters were registered in the two day contest, with 225 coyotes tallied at the weigh-in. The largest cash prize of $9,624 was awarded to a hunter from Erie for the heaviest coyote killed during the contest. Each coyote killed gained the hunter $86, with a total of $48,120 being paid out to contest participants during the 2019 hunt.

MOSQUITO CREEK HUNT 2019 Not only the nation’s largest coyote hunt, but in the entire world?

Many of the participant’s in this year’s…

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If you live in the UK please call

Experts say hunters are killing eagles

“Southwest Florida Eagle Cam” started on February 15,2020

Look what I found!

Sign Petition: Stop the Wildlife Trade

thepetitionsite.com
by: Chrissy Henker
recipient: presse.botschaftchina@gmail.com,chinaembpress_us@mfa.gov.cn,china-embassy@bluewin.ch,info@cdu.de,pm@pm.gc.ca,europabuero.schulz@spd.de,more

Every year billions of animals are inhumanely captured and killed to provide for your entertainment, and to make products for you to buy here and around the world. It’s called the international wildlife trade, and you can help stop it by avoiding products and experiences that come from these abused animals.

African elephants are brutally slaughtered for their tusks, used to make expensive ivory trinkets.

Rhinos face the same fate – their horns are used in traditional medicine, even though it has no proven value. Polar bears and lions are shot in their tracks, only to become wall trophies and rugs.

Whales and dolphins are taken from the wild to perform tricks for humans, spending the rest of their lives in concrete pools or netted pens.

It’s tragic- You can help: don’t buy products that come from wild animals, or patronize establishments that exploit them.
Dont buy a ticket to Zoo, Animalcircus, Marinepark, Rodeo, Bullfighting , Horseracing!

https://www.thepetitionsite.com/546/469/725/?TAP=1732

Please Sign This Petition

Roadrunners

Rep. Lowey Reintroduces Bill To Ban Traps In Refuges

Exposing the Big Game

  NOV 17, 2019

New York Congresswoman Nita Lowey has reintroduced a bill that would prohibit body-gripping traps in the National Wildlife Refuge system.

Lowey, Democratic chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, reintroduced the Refuge From Cruel Trapping Act Friday, that would ban from public land traps where animal endure hours or even days of pain. Lowey says that, each year, thousands of bobcats, otters, foxes, beavers and other wild animals are trapped in this manner across the nation’s refuges. She says more than 50 percent of the 566 refuges allow trapping. Steel-jaw leghold traps; conibear traps: and neck snares would be banned if the measure is enacted. Lowey says it’s time to restore the true meaning of “refuge” to the National Wildlife Refuge system

https://www.wamc.org/post/rep-lowey-reintroduces-bill-ban-traps-refuges

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Breaking News

 

Photographer Documented The Friendship Between A Grey Wolf And A Brown Bear

whatzviral.com
By. Ran

Finnish photographer Lassi Rautiainen captured the amazing sight of a female grey wolf and a male brown bear. The unlikely friendship was documented over the course of ten days in 2013. The duo was captured walking everywhere together, hunting as a team and sharing their spoils.

Each evening after a hard of hunting the pair shared a convivial deer carcass meal together at the dusk in the wilderness.

Image Credit & More Info: kesava | wildfinland.org.

They hung out together for at least 10 days.

“It’s very unusual to see a bear and a wolf getting on like this” Finnish photographer Lassi Rautiainen, told the Daily Mail in 2013 when he took these surprising photos. “From what I could find, it’s actually the first time, at least in Europe, where such a friendship was developed.”

“No-one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends,” Lassi continued. “I think that perhaps they were both alone and they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone…It is nice to share rare events in the wild that you would never expect to see.”

Lassi’s guess is as good as any, as there are no scientific studies on the matter, and it is very hard to find such cases – especially in the wild.

“It seems to me that they feel safe being together,” Lassi adds.

The duo comes from two species that are meant to scare everything the meet. However, this male bear and female wolf clearly see each other as friends, focusing on the softer side in one another and eat dinner together.

The two friends were also seeing playing!

The heart touching pictures of the unusual duo was captured by nature photographer Lassi Rautiainen, in the wilderness of northern Finland.

Rare pictures depict the bear and the wolf sharing a meal in leisure!

The friendship looks like something straight out of a Disney movie.

Nature never ceases to amaze us. While scientists are baffled by the unusual friendship, the pair seems to be enjoying each other’s company.

“No one can know exactly why or how the young wolf and bear became friends,” said Lassi. “I think that perhaps they were both alone and they were young and a bit unsure of how to survive alone”.

The friends were seen meeting up every night for 10 days straight.

https://whatzviral.com/photographer-documented-the-friendship-between-a-grey-wolf-and-a-brown-bear/

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…

View original post 2,602 more words

Planned Road would cut through Florida Panther Habitat

The Jaguar

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

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

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

rainforest-rescue.org

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

Call to action

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

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

Read letter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Excellency,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

German
Spanish
French
Portuguese

Trade in giraffes to be regulated for first time: CITES

reuters.com
Stephanie Nebehay
Thu Aug 22,2019

GENEVAGENEVA (Reuters) – Countries voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to regulate international trade in giraffes, an endangered species, and in their skins and other parts, overcoming objections by southern African states and drawing praise from conservationists.

The provisional decision, taken in a key committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), is expected to be endorsed at a plenary next week, officials said. The requirements would come into force 30 days later.

“The giraffe is in the wild much rarer than African elephants, much rarer,” Tom De Meulenaer, CITES’ scientific services chief, told a news briefing before the vote.

“We are talking about a few tens of thousands of giraffes, and we talk about a few hundreds of thousands of African elephants. So we need to be careful,” he said.

After heated debate, countries easily defeated a proposal by four southern African states – Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe – to allow controlled sales of their ivory stocks.

But in recognition of conservation efforts, countries rejected a motion that would have transferred southern African elephants to appendix I banning trade. The European Union was among those saying the move did not meet ‘biological criteria’.

“The decisions today … mean it’s status quo for elephants: No international commercial ivory trade is permitted and that is what needs to happen,” said Susan Lieberman of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Some 106 parties to the U.N.-backed treaty voted in favor of the giraffe motion, 21 voted against, with 7 abstentions.

Wildlife activists welcomed the move to list nine species of giraffes on CITES Appendix II that regulates trade. It came after the defeat of a motion by southern African countries to exclude their giraffe populations from any regulation.

Giraffes face “silent extinction”, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a conservation group, said in a statement.

“Thanks to today’s decision, the international trade in giraffe parts – which includes rugs and bone carvings – will be tracked in a manner that allows us to focus on problem trends in destructive trade, and fight for additional protections if necessary,” said Elly Pepper of the U.S.-based group.

Adam Peyman of Humane Society International said that it was a “huge win” for giraffes whose herds have shrunk.

“They have declined about 40 percent over the last 30 years and there are only about 68,000 mature individuals remaining in the world and they are really in trouble,” he told Reuters Television at the triennial talks.

Cassandra Koenen of World Animal Protection said: “This message is loud and clear: people care about wild animals and believe they should belong in the wild, not as a trophy in your office.”

https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1VC1JZ?__twitter_impression=true

(additional reporting by Cecile Mantovani in Geneva; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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