World’s last male northern white rhino dies
World’s last male northern white rhino dies
By Joshua Berlinger, CNN 8 hrs ago
5-6 minutes
TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY NICOLAS DELAUNAYA caregiver calms Sudan, the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies, on December 5, 2016, at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County — at the foot of Mount Kenya — that is home to the planet’s last-three northern white rhinoceros.As 2016 draws to an end, awareness of the devastation of poaching is greater than ever and countries have turned to high-tech warfare — drones, night-goggles and automatic weapons — to stop increasingly armed poachers. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), at the African Black market, rhino horn sells for up to 60,000 USD (57,000 euros) per kilogram — more than gold or cocaine — and in the last eight years alone roughly a quarter of the world population has been killed in South Africa, home to 80 percent of the remaining animals. / AFP / Tony KARUMBA (Photo credit should read TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images): A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya. © TONY KARUMBA/AFP/AFP/Getty Images A caregiver calms Sudan — the last known male of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies — in 2016 at the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Laikipia County, at the foot of Mount Kenya.
FILE PHOTO: The last surviving male northern white rhino named ‘Sudan’ is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia: The last surviving male northern white rhino named ‘Sudan’ is seen at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya, June 2017. The world�s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females of its subspecies alive in the world. World’s last male northern white rhino dies.

Gallery by Reuters

The world’s last male northern white rhino has died, leaving only two females left to save the subspecies from extinction.

The 45-year-old rhino named Sudan had been in poor health in recent days and was being treated for age-related issues and multiple infections.

A veterinary team made the decision to euthanize Sudan after his condition deteriorated significantly, the conservation group WildAid announced Tuesday.

Sudan lived in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, surrounded by armed guards in the days leading up to his death to protect him from poachers.

“He was a gentle giant, his personality was just amazing and given his size, a lot of people were afraid of him. But there was nothing mean about him,” said Elodie Sampere, a representative for Ol Pejeta.

Researchers were able to save some of Sudan’s genetic material in the hopes of successfully artificially inseminating one of the two females left, Sampere said.

“We can only hope that the world learns from the sad loss of Sudan and takes every measure to end all trade in rhino horn. While prices of rhino horn are falling in China and Vietnam, poaching for horn still threatens all rhino species,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.

Rhinos are targeted by poachers, fueled by the belief in Asia that their horns cure various ailments. Experts say the rhino horn is becoming more lucrative than drugs.

In addition to round-the-clock security, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy also put radio transmitters on the animals and dispatched incognito rangers into neighboring communities to gather intelligence on poaching.
Old and frail

At 45, Sudan was elderly in rhino years and suffered from problems associated with age.

During his final years, he was not able to naturally mount a female and suffered from a low sperm count, which made his ability to procreate difficult.

His daughter Najin, 28 and granddaughter, Fatu, considered young by comparison. Najin could conceive, but her hind legs are so weak she may be unable to support a mounted male.

Sudan made headlines last year when the Tinder dating app named him the “most eligible bachelor in the world” in a campaign to raise funds to save the subspecies.

The western black rhino was declared extinct seven years ago as a result of poaching. All five remaining rhino species worldwide are considered threatened, according to the conservation group Save the Rhino.


Wyoming Pushes For Grizzly Bear Hunt After Trump Administration Removes Their Endangered Species Protection – World Animal News


Wyoming Pushes For Grizzly Bear Hunt After Trump Administration Removes Their Endangered Species Protection – World Animal News


By WAN –
March 12, 2018

Less than one year after Yellowstone’s famed grizzly bears were stripped of Endangered Species Act protection, on Friday, the state of Wyoming started advocating to hunt grizzly bears beginning this fall. Under the regulations, the state will sell tags for 24 grizzlies in areas outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
“Wyoming’s reckless hunt ignores the fact that grizzly bears remain endangered in Yellowstone and across the West,” Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement. “It’s tragic that these imperiled animals will be shot and killed so trophy hunters can stick heads on their walls.”
Although grizzly bear numbers in the greater Yellowstone area increased with endangered species protection granted in 1975, the bears continue to be threatened by isolation from other Grizzly populations, loss of key food sources and human-caused mortalities including hunting. Overall grizzly bears occupy less than 4% of their historic range in the United States.
“Yellowstone’s amazing grizzly bears are loved by people around the world and they deserve a real shot at survival,” continued Santarsiere. “It’s horrific that Wyoming doesn’t see the intrinsic value that these bears bring to the state’s landscape.”
Millions of tourists from all over the world come to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Taton National Park every year in anticipation of seeing a grizzly bear and other rare wildlife. The tourism industry is a major economic drive for many towns in Wyoming and Montana. But the new regulations would provide no protection for Yellowstone’s famed bears, which could be shot if they leave the park boundaries.
Just last month, Montana State game agency took the opposite approach, recommending no grizzly bear hunt this year. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission adopted the recommendation on February 15th.
“Montana made the right decision to not allow grizzly bear hunting this year and hopefully in future years,” said Santarsiere. “Wyoming’s failure to follow suit is deeply disappointing.”
The appeal to allow hunting comes as key grizzly food sources in the heart of the Yellowstone ecosystem have been collapsing and grizzly mortality rates have been increasing. The dramatic decline of whitebark pine and Yellowstone cutthroat trout has prompted bears to eat more meat, such as big-game debt piles and livestock, resulting in increased grizzly bear mortality. Drought and climate change are likely to worsen these problems.
Yellowstone bears have long been isolated from other bear populations forcing the government to keep them on permanent life-support by trucking bears in to avoid inbreeding. This fact further argues the need for recovering grizzly populations in the U.S.

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

Exposing the Big Game

Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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Why Is This Northern Cardinal Yellow? | Audubon

Why Is This Northern Cardinal Yellow?

Yes, that is a cardinal. We asked experts how this redbird might have gotten its golden feathers.

By Purbita Saha
February 22, 2018

The bombshell yellow Northern Cardinal from Alabama (left) compared to a regular old Northern Cardinal (right). Photos: Jeremy Black Photography; Diane Wurzer/Audubon Photography Awards

“If you see one cardinal, you’ve seen them all,” said no one ever. As common as they are, Northern Cardinals rank among the most-loved birds in the eastern United States (unless you’re a Chicago Cubs fan). The National Audubon Society should know: Our Facebook followers can’t seem to get enough of them.

So, it’s no surprise when a cardinal turns heads—except in Charlie Stephenson’s case, where that double take may have resulted in some whiplash. Back in January, she found an impossibly bright male in her backyard in Alabaster, Alabama. But instead of the typical ruby-red color scheme, this Northern Cardinal looked like it had been dipped in a bucket of turmeric.

After hosting the oddball for weeks, Stephenson invited fellow Alabaman Jeremy Black over to photograph it. The resulting images hit the internet last weekend, and boy, were people psyched . . . and confused.

Thankfully, Stephenson had already consulted Geoffrey Hill, an ornithologist and coloration expert at Auburn University. He told her that the bird probably had a genetic mutation that renders the pigments it draws from foods yellow rather than red. The condition he cited, xanthochroism, has been seen in other cardinals, along with eastern House Finches and maybe Evening Grosbeaks.

But that’s just one theory behind the bird’s wardrobe malfunction. As Geoff LeBaron, Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count director, points out, the cardinal’s crest and wing feathers look frayed in photos. While wear and tear is a natural part of a bird’s life, it can be exacerbated by a poor diet or environmental stressors. These health issues could also lead to changes in how carotenoids—plant-based pigments that turn feathers red, orange, and yellow—are expressed.

Although this alternative theory is plausible, ultimately, LeBaron agrees that genetics could be the sole factor. But the only way to solve the case is to wait for the cardinal to swap its feathers. “Time will tell with this bird,” LeBaron says. If it sticks around Alabaster and is still yellow next winter, a mutation is the likeliest culprit. But if it comes out red after another molt, it means the bird somehow recalibrated its pigments.

As birds have shown over and over, there are always new plumage puzzles to investigate. Remember the half-female, half-male cardinal that made the news a few years ago? That turned out to be a an obscure type of hermaphroditism—a phenomenon that affects many types of animals.

For Stephenson’s yellow cardinal (not to be confused with a Yellow Cardinal), we’ll have to see if its look is permanent. Regardless, at least it wore its golden feathers boldly. “If I fly or if I fall, at least I can say I gave it all.” That one’s from RuPaul.


Today, March 3, is World Wildlife Day. Since 2013, the United Nations has set this day aside to celebrate Earth’s incredible biodiversity – and to call attention to the ongoing mass extinction (Ceballos, Ehrlich, & Dirzo, 2017). This year’s World Wildlife Day is all about big cats. As such, I have prepared a special post […]

via World Wildlife Day Spotlight: The Mountain Lion Foundation — The Jaguar

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Yesterday, On National Horse Protection Day, 60 Wild Horses’ Lives Were Spared From Being Hunted At Navajo Nation In AZ – World Animal News

By Lauren Lewis –
March 2, 2018
Last week, the lives of up to 60 wild horses in Arizona were threatened by a hunt to kill the “excess” feral animals in a local trophy hunting area.
Fortunately, on March 1st, which was National Horse Protection Day, the planned massacre was canceled and the horses are safe for now.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye acknowledged on Tuesday that while the growing population of feral horses on the Navajo Nation is a problem that has to be addressed, he determined it would not be resolved with a wild horse hunt.
“We understand the concerns of the people,” President Begaye said in a statement that was in part a response to the outrage expressed by animal advocates. “We know the issue of horses is an emotional one with strong feelings on all sides. My administration will not condone a horse hunt for controlling the overpopulation of feral horses. But we do need to implement a management plan to preserve and protect Navajo land for future generations.”
The president’s statement comes on the heels of a 2018 Horse Hunt Proclamation issued last week by the Navajo Department of Fish and Wildlife (DNR). Since that proclamation has been rescinded and the hunt will no longer take place, Fish and Wildlife now are working to pursue alternate methods of feral horse management.
Sadly, some of their alternative approaches such as trapping, castration and birth control, sill equate to inhumane methods to many animal advocates. Adoptions of the feral horses is a much more welcome plan.
“All of these methods, together, will address the problem of overpopulation that is causing extensive damage to our ecosystems,” President Begaye said. “If we don’t take action now, the overgrazing will have major impacts on drought conditions that we anticipate in both the short and long-term.”
The Navajo Nation Commission on Emergency Management on Monday approved a new State of Emergency Drought Declaration. The commission is anticipating large-scale drought conditions this summer, which will create a critical shortage of water and range feed for livestock, resulting in the poor physical condition of livestock and an increase in disease.

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TAGS: Horses,Navajo Nation,Wild Horses

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First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, Calls For New Ways To Combat Poaching & The Illegal Wildlife Trade by Utilizing Technology & Innovation – World Animal News

By WAN –
March 2, 2018

The First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, noted that one of the greatest challenges facing wildlife conservation was the sophistication of the methods used by wildlife traffickers around the world.
“These have impeded the gains we have made in breaking through this illegal industry,” the first lady said while speaking at the Kenya Airways Pride Centre at Embakasi in Nairobi yesterday. “We can no longer consider traditional or conservative solutions, we must look at new ways in this new age of technology and innovation.”

According to a statement posted on her office’s official Facebook page, the First Lady was also at the event to officially open an ‘awareness workshop on combating illegal wildlife trafficking’. The workshop was aimed at offering training to airport and airline staff on the perils of wildlife trafficking.
Acknowledging that wildlife conservation is becoming an increasingly prominent global issue, the First Lady stated that focused leadership, political goodwill, policies, and the imposition of bans have helped Kenya gain significant progress in combating the illegal wildlife trade.
Still, she emphasized the need for a collective approach that would harness the complementary capabilities of diverse sectors and groups, saying better intelligence and new methods must be applied because the pressure is building and countries continue to suffer huge losses.
“We must accelerate our efforts and increase our investments because our wildlife heritage and invaluable resource is under threat,” the First Lady said while noting that better and stronger networks must also be nurtured to seal the loopholes that have allowed the growth of the illegal trade.
“From my work in Hands Off Our Elephants, I have learned that wildlife populations of elephant, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, and zebra have been decreasing over the years due to illegal wildlife trafficking and trade,” she stated before expressing confidence that innovative measures including global transportation systems could help break the illegal chains of unlawful transport of endangered species. “We must ensure that we secure our heritage for our future and for our children’s future.”
Pledging her commitment to support all those who strive to secure the future of Kenya’s wildlife heritage, the First Lady commended Kenya Airways for being among the airlines that have signed the United for Wildlife International Transportation Taskforce, a declaration committing to zero tolerance against wildlife trade.

She appealed to other organizations and agencies to join the conservation effort by signing the declaration to halt illegal wildlife trading.
The U.S. Ambassador emphasized his government’s commitment to working closely with Kenya in tackling wildlife crimes.

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TAGS:Animal News,Animal Protection,Animal Welfare,Animal Welfare Organizations,Illegal Wildlife Trade,Kenya,Wildlife Trafficking

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These Birds Build Big Nests It Doesn’t End Well National Geographic

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

What’s Driving Tigers Toward Extinction? National Geographic

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Federal Court Could Save Yellowstone’s Grizzlies From the Trump Administration

Exposing the Big Game

Wednesday, January 10, 2018    By Mike Ludwig

A grizzly bear and cubs play in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, on June 3, 2017. (Photo: Wolverine 9 5)A grizzly bear and cubs play in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, on June 3, 2017. (Photo: Wolverine 9 5)

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe and a coalition of environmental groups are asking a federal court in Montana to throw out the Trump administration’s decision to remove grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park from the endangered species list — a move that has paved the way for trophy hunts of the iconic animals.

Delisting the Yellowstone bears opened the door for Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to allow grizzly bear hunting on vast areas of land.

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are endangered and qualify for special federal protection. However…

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The world’s oldest known wild bird is about to become a Mum at 67, baffling scientists (Midway atoll, USA)

The ocean update

January 8th, 2018. One Laysan albatross is brazenly defying the norms for her species. Wisdom, the world’s oldest known wild bird, has returned to home port and laid an egg – at the magnificent age of 67 years old.

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“Hundreds of Tiny Frogs Released on a Mission to Save Their Species” National Geographic

Tiny Paws Are No Match For Powdery Snow. Mama Polar Bear Has To Show Her Cubs A Thing Or Two On How To Get Through The Snow ❄

“Adorable Lemurs Roam Free on This Ancient Island”  Short Film Showcase National Geographic

Watch “Firefighter Saves Deer Stranded on Slippery Ice National Geographic” 

The Big Game killing field: Sickening bloodlust of trophy hunters who kill endangered animals for sport exposed – Mirror Online

Philip Glass shows No Remorse and even boast. “God says we have dominan over the animals.” That means we can do what we choose with them.

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

Lawsuit: Louisiana Black Bear’s Delisting as Endangered was Premature | Global Justice Ecology Project

Lawsuit: Louisiana Black Bear’s Delisting as Endangered was Premature

Posted on November 7, 2017 by GJEP staff

Washington, DC — Survival of the Louisiana black bear requires that it regain protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, according to a notice of intent to file suit released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The filing contends that the 2016 delisting of the Louisiana black bear was extremely premature, based on false premises, and flew in the face of a wealth of the best available science – the standard that is supposed to govern Endangered Species Act (ESA) decisions.
The bear was listed as threatened under the ESA back in 1992, but the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) declared it recovered last year and removed that designation. This decision came despite the fact that the Louisiana black bear has lost 99% of its historic population (with only an estimated 700 bears remaining in the wild) and more than 97% of its historic range.

The PEER notice is co-signed by the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper, the Delta (Louisiana) Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association-West, as well as by three eminent Louisiana black bear experts. It argues that the recovery plan relied upon by FWS in its delisting decision actually puts the bear in greater jeopardy, by –

Opening the subspecies up to hybridization with black bears introduced from Minnesota;
Increasing its mortality from vehicle collisions and poaching, the two leading causes of deaths; and
Ignoring habitat loss, especially climate change-induced inundation of bayou swamps, while identifying “recovery corridors” that are not even connecting.

“Delisting the Louisiana black bear was a badly misguided attempt to pull an Endangered Species Act success story out of the hat,” stated PEER Senior Counsel Paula Dinerstein, noting that if the FWS does not re-list the bear within 60 days, then PEER and its co-signers may sue FWS to force that action. “We do not believe stripping the Louisiana black bear of all federal protections withstands judicial scrutiny.”

The Louisiana black bear is one of 16 subspecies of the American black bear. Noted for its narrower and flatter skull, adult males can weigh more than 600 pounds. President Theodore Roosevelt once famously refused to shoot a treed Louisiana black bear because it would not be sporting. The incident went viral (in an early 20th century fashion) with the print press dubbing it “Teddy’s bear” – thus popularizing a stuffed animal bearing that moniker.

The notice also points out that even if the population levels relied upon in the delisting are taken at face value, the population densities are well below normal for well-managed black bear populations.

“Unlike its treed ancestor that received a reprieve, today’s Louisiana black bear is in imminent and deepening peril,” added Dinerstein. “We fear the Louisiana black bear, as a distinct subspecies, will not survive its so-called recovery.”
Category: Climate Justice, Featured, Social Media News Tags: black bear, Louisiana, peer

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November 3rd is National Bison Day! – Defenders of Wildlife Blog


03 November 2017

It’s National Bison Day!
Posted by: Caitlin Cattelino

National Bison Day has been observed annually on the first Saturday in November since 2012. In 2016, President Barack Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act, making the North American bison the national mammal of the United States.

The American bison has a long and varied history in the United States. About 150 years ago, millions of bison roamed the Great Plains until a mass slaughter began in the early 1800s. By the late 1880s, fewer than 1,000 bison remained. However, wild bison are making a comeback throughout the West, thanks to the work of Native American tribes, government agencies and conservation groups such as Defenders of Wildlife.

Bison, a keystone species, help create habitat on the Great Plains for a number of different wildlife species, including grassland birds and even many plant species. As bison forage, they aerate the soil with their hooves, which aids in plant growth, and disperse native seeds, helping to maintain a healthy and balanced ecosystem.

Northern Colorado is one location that added wild bison to the landscape, joining other grassland species like prairie dogs and endangered black-footed ferrets. In November 2015, 10 bison, descendants of wild Yellowstone National Park bison, were reintroduced to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, a city-owned property just north of Fort Collins, Colorado. Earlier that year, in June 2015, Defenders of Wildlife volunteers joined the City of Fort Collins and Larimer County to help ready the range for the bison’s return by pulling up old fence posts and removing dangerous barbed-wire fencing that once crisscrossed a section of Soapstone prairie. 

By August 2017, nearly two years after the reintroduction, the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd tripled in size and were in need of more space. Again, Defenders of Wildlife volunteers teamed up with volunteers from the City of Fort Collins to help. Volunteers worked in teams to remove 3 miles of interior barbed-wire fencing, fence posts and debris from an area that will soon become the bison’s expanded range. This newly opened area will give the bison herd, which is now over 35 animals, much more room to roam! 

Over the last decade, the conservation community has contributed significantly to bison conservation, helping to bring back America’s national mammal. While bison are no longer threatened by extinction, substantial work remains to fully restore the species to its ecological and cultural role throughout the Great Plains.
Connective landscapes and wildlife corridors are key to bison recovery. We are engaged in land and natural resource planning efforts with state federal agencies, as well as advocating for better consideration of bison as a species of concern on forest lands. Our partnerships with parks and natural resource agencies as well as with private landowners make a difference with connecting landscapes so bison can access suitable forage for grazing. Defenders’ collaborations with tribes have resulted in sustaining several cultural herds in Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana. Defenders and our partners are also paving the way for Yellowstone bison – the first wild herd recovered – to be available for conservation, with animals that can be translocated from the park to supplement other herds.

Caitlin Cattelino, Colorado Outreach Representative
Caitlin works across the state with diverse grassroots organizations and media outlets to increase public support and awareness for wildlife conservation and to mobilize citizen advocates.
Categories: American bison, Bison, bison, Fort Collins, Great Plains, Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd, Wildlife, Yellowstone National Park bison

A Path Forward for Wolves – Defenders of Wildlife Blog

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

Some birds use discarded cigarettes to fumigate their nests

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by: Mary Price | 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: James Marvin Phelps

Wild Jaguar in Arizona captured on remote sensor camera – Katzenworld

New Video Shows Wild Jaguar in Arizona TUCSON, Ariz.— The Center for Biological Diversity released a new video this week of a wild jaguar currently living in the United States, named “Sombra” by students of the Paolo… More

Source: Wild Jaguar in Arizona captured on remote sensor camera – Katzenworld