Lost and starving polar bear seen scavenging in Russian city

dailymail.co.uk

By Will Stewart In Russia For Mailonline 09:07 18 Jun 2019, updated 09:44 18 Jun 2019

Lost and starving polar bear was spotted wandering in amongst traffic in Russia
Motorists in the nickel mining city of Norilsk watched as the beast dodged cars
Bear thought to have walked nearly 1,000 miles from Russian Arctic Ocean shore
Animal appeared too weak to attack humans and was seen scavenging for food

A starving polar bear has wandered into an industrial city in Russia after ‘walking almost 1,000 miles in the wrong direction’.

The lost beast headed south and inland from shore of the Arctic Ocean, far from its natural feeding habitat.

Motorists in the nickel mining city of Norilsk watched in amazement as the bear crossed busy roads.

The bear was scavenging for food and appeared too weak to attack people who were watching the wild animal – but local officials have warned of the threat to human life.

Locals said it is the first time a wild polar bear has been spotted in the city since the 1970s.

The animal is believed to have made a lonely trek of at least 950 miles crossing Arctic islands and frozen sea to reach Norilsk, according to reports.
The emaciated polar bear was seen on the streets of Norilsk dodging in and out of traffic and the animal scavenged for food
It is thought the polar bear walked nearly 1,000 miles from the Russian Arctic shore south to the mining city of Norilsk

Irina Yarinskaya, a photographer of Zapolyarnaya Pravda newspaper, snapped the bear dodging cars in the city’s traffic.

She told local media: ‘He is seriously hunger-bitten, he is hardly able to blink and keep his eyes open, almost unable to walk.

‘He was lying for a long time, having a rest, then he crossed the road and entered the industrial zone.

‘He went towards the gravel and sand factory. Then he crossed one more road and headed to a dump.’

Earlier, the same bear was spotted at Talnakh on the outskirts of Norilsk.

The animal has become a star attraction in a barren area normally populated by brown not polar bears, reported The Siberian Times.
The lost and starving wild animal appeared too weak to attack humans but was being monitored by the authorities as it still posed a threat to life
During the bear’s long walk it was pictured by residents of Norilsk and at one point was seen lying on the ground in the industrial city’s outskirts
The polar bear reportedly walked around 950 miles south from the Arctic shore to Norilsk

The bear had the ‘wrong compass settings’, and walked across the Taymyr Peninsula to reach the Soviet-era nickel city which is normally closed to foreign visitors.

Local police and emergency services are closely monitoring the bear – which poses a threat to residents.

But they are awaiting a decision from Moscow on whether to sedate the beast and return it to the Arctic shoreline – or move it to a zoo in Krasnoyarsk, the regional capital, come 950 miles further to the south.

Initially the local emergency services refused to believe there was a polar bear in the Talnakh district of the Arctic city which is some 350 miles inland.

Anatoly Nikolaychyuk, head of Taymyr department of state hunting control, said: ‘This is a unique and rare case.
The polar bear was seen wandering around industrial area of Norilsk and walking in busy roads looking for food
Norilsk is an industrial city in Krasnoyarsk Krai region above the Arctic Circle, east of the Yenisei River. It is what’s known as a ‘closed city’ as foreigners cannot visit and during the Soviet-era did not appear on maps, road signs or connect to public transport
Residents took videos and pictures of the emaciated polar bear as it made its long journey from its natural habitat over the Taymyr Peninsula

‘There are two options now – either to relocate him to the shore, or, perhaps, some zoo will take him.’

Local campaigners are demanding the bear is returned to its natural habitat.

Oleg Krashevsky – who specialises in tours to the remote Putorana Plateau – posted: ‘I don’t understand how the bear could have walked such distance, across Taymyr and not come across anyone.

‘He must have encountered many hunters. The same thing happened in 1970’s when a polar bear showed up at an explosives warehouse around the same place as this time.’

Polar bears are an endangered species in Russia’s Red Book.

The bear’s mammoth journey is believed to have started on islands deep in the Arctic either in Krasnoyarsk or Yakutia regions.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7153051/amp/Lost-starving-polar-bear-seen-scavenging-Russian-city-nearly-1-000-miles-natural-habitat.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ico=taboola_feed&__twitter_impression=true

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Breaking! Lawsuit Prompts U.S. Officials To Consider Protecting Giraffes Under The Endangered Species Act – World Animal News

By WAN –
April 25, 2019
After a push from a lawsuit filed by conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that giraffes may qualify for protection under America’s Endangered Species Act.
The 2018 lawsuit, brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society International, Humane Society of the United States, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, seeks a response to their April 2017 legal petition for Endangered Species Act protection for giraffes. The species is gravely imperiled by habitat loss and fragmentation, civil unrest and over hunting, as well as the international trade of bone carvings, skins, and trophies.

As per the lawsuit, the United States provides a large market for giraffe parts with more than 21,400 bone carvings, 3,000 skin pieces, and 3,700 hunting trophies having been imported over the past decade. Limiting U.S. import and trade would give giraffes important protections, and an ESA listing would also help provide critical funding for conservation work in Africa.
A full giraffe hide for sale at The African Market Trophy Room Collection, Myakka FL, March 2018.
“The U.S. on average imports more than one giraffe trophy a day, and thousands of giraffe parts are sold domestically each year,” said Anna Frostic, attorney for the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. “The federal government must now expeditiously take stock of the role we are playing in giraffe decline and how we can work to instead save these unique animals.”
Africa’s giraffe population has plunged nearly 40% in the past 30 years. It now stands at just over 97,000 individuals.
“This is a big step toward protecting giraffes from the growing use of their bones by U.S. gun and knife makers,” Tanya Sanerib, international legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in statement. “It’s disgusting that it took a lawsuit to prompt the Trump administration to act. Saving everyone’s favorite long-necked animal from extinction should have been the easiest call in the world.”
With fewer giraffes than elephants left in Africa, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature elevated the threat level to giraffes from “least concern” to “vulnerable” on its “Red List of Threatened Species” in 2016. That finding was confirmed in 2018 along with a critically endangered assessment of two giraffe subspecies and an endangered assessment for another.
“The United States has long been complicit in the trade of giraffe parts, so it’s time for the federal government to stick its neck out for this species,” said Elly Pepper with NRDC. “The United States has taken action to help limit the trade of numerous species in trouble. Sadly, now it is time to take action to ensure giraffes remain on the planet. They need Endangered Species Act protections and they need them now.”
Known for their six-foot-long necks, distinctive patterning and long eyelashes, giraffes have captured the human imagination for centuries. New research recently revealed that they live in complex societies, much like elephants, and have unique physiological traits, including the highest blood pressure of any land mammal.
The IUCN currently recognizes one species of giraffes and nine subspecies: West African, Kordofan, Nubian, reticulated, Masai, Thornicroft’s, Rothchild’s, Angolan and South African. The legal petition seeks an endangered listing for the whole species.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has 12 months to decide whether Endangered Species Act listing is warranted.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-lawsuit-prompts-u-s-officials-to-consider-protecting-giraffes-under-the-endangered-species-act/

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It’s Only April and We Already Have the Best Selfie of the Year

twistedsifter.com

gorilla selfie standing 4 Its Only April and We Already Have the Best Selfie of the Year

The official Instagram account for the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo recently shared this viral selfie of a park ranger and two orphaned gorillas named Ndakazi and Ndeze.

According to The BBC:

The image was taken at a gorilla orphanage where the animals were raised after poachers killed their parents. The park’s deputy director told BBC Newsday that they had learned to imitate their carers, who have looked after them since they were found.

The gorillas, he added, think of the rangers as their parents. The gorillas were just two and four months old at the time. Because they’ve grown up with the rangers who rescued them, Mr Mburanumwe added, “they are imitating the humans” – and standing on two legs is their way of “learning to be human beings”. But it “doesn’t happen normally”, he said.

Pictured above is Ranger Mathieu Shamavu. In the images below we see more gorilla selfies taken by another ranger, Patrick Sadiki Sadiki. Being a ranger is an incredibly dangerous job. Five rangers were killed in Virunga National Park last year in an ambush by suspected rebels, and more than 130 park rangers have been killed in Virunga since 1996.

The park also reminds people that this photo happened under exceptional circumstances and that it is never permitted to approach a gorilla in the wild. Donations to the park and their conservation efforts can be made here. https://twistedsifter.com/2019/04/gorilla-selfie-standing-story/#like-122594

Categories: ANIMALS, BEST OF, NATURE/SPACE, STORIES, TRAVEL
Tags: · animals, congo, conservation, gorillas, national park, rare, sanctuary, selfie

Trump Administration Wants More Wolves off Endangered Species List

The Trump administration is proposing to remove the remaining federal protections for wolves, just as it attempted to do with grizzlies in late 2018. In March, acting interior secretary David Bernhardt announced that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Lower 48. The move by the federal government is the latest in a long-standing battle among conservationists, hunters, and ranchers.

Tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Principal Deputy Director Everson: Gray wolves need Endangered Species protections to survive.

Since 1978, the FWS has actively managed three regional wolf populations for recovery: in the Northern Rockies, the Great Lakes region, and the Southwest, where the Mexican gray wolf subspecies resides. In 2003, the FWS deemed wolf populations healthy enough to change their ESA status from endangered to threatened, which sparked a 15-year-long legal battle between the agency and wildlife conservation groups. In 2011, Congress took the unusual step of delisting a nationally protected species in a single region—the gray wolves in the Northern Rockies—when it tacked a controversial rider on to the budget bill. That allowed states like Idaho and Montana to begin preparing their own management plans.

But almost every time the FWS has moved to drop wolves from the ESA, federal courts have struck down the proposals. For example, in 2013, the Obama administration proposed removing gray wolves’ endangered status across the contiguous United States, in all areas outside of designated Northern Rockies and western Great Lakes protected regions. A federal court reversed that decision in 2014. The ruling argued that the FWS failed to account for the impact of historical range loss, and also for how a partial delisting would impact the species nationwide. Then in 2017, the FWS stripped protections for Wyoming’s wolves, leading the state to adopt a notoriously lethal “predator management” plan, which has already resulted in a 25 percent decrease in the state’s wolf population.

In Montana and Idaho, wolf hunting has been on the rise in accordance with the new state management plans, although to a lesser degree than in Wyoming. According to Earthjustice, around 3,500 wolves have been killed since 2011 in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming following the loss of federal protections. Currently, gray wolves have been delisted in Idaho, Montana, eastern Oregon, north central Utah, eastern Washington, and Wyoming, while retaining threatened status in Minnesota.

In its latest proposal, the Trump administration’s Fish and Wildlife Service argues that, based on the best available science and commercial information, gray wolves have sufficiently recovered. “Thanks to the partnerships involving states, tribes, conservation organizations, and private landowners galvanized under the ESA, the service is now able to propose turning management of all gray wolves back to the states and tribes who have been so central to the species’ recovery,” reads a FWS statement.

The proposal argues that under the ESA, the FWS is not required to restore a species to its entire historical range but rather to establish the species viability in the wild; the agency states, “there is no uniform definition for recovery and how recovery must be achieved.” The proposal acknowledges that a rise in legal human-caused mortality will follow the delisting but argues that “the high reproductive potential of wolves, and the innate behavior of wolves to disperse and locate social openings, allows wolf populations to withstand relatively high rates of human-caused mortality.”

That claim is one that wildlife advocates fiercely dispute, and they will likely continue to do so in the coming weeks when, per departmental regulations, scientific peer review and public comment periods are underway.

The FWS declined to be interviewed or respond to questions via email for this story. David Bernhardt, the former oil lobbyist currently leading the Interior Department and under fire for ties to industry, said in a press release, “The facts are clear and indisputable—the gray wolf no longer meets the definition of a threatened or endangered species. Today the wolf is thriving on its vast range, and it is reasonable to conclude it will continue to do so in the future.”

Conservation groups have balked at the Trump administration proposal, which, they say, would reverse wolves’ hard-won gains. Sylvia Fallon, senior director of the wildlife division at the National Resources Defense Council, says that the FWS has long resisted calls to implement a nationwide recovery plan, instead favoring piecemeal, regional management, even though the conservation community provided a road map to national recovery and management.

“I think [FWS wolf management] is a real truncated version of recovery and does not really bring the species to its full potential of recovery,” Fallon says. “For wolves to be recovered nationally, we would like to see them occupying the remaining available habitat in their historic range.” Fallon points to areas like Colorado, the Northeast, and parts of California as having ample suitable habitat for wolf rehabilitation.

At the time of European contact, there may have been as many as 2 million wolves inhabiting North America. After a centuries-long extermination campaign, wolf populations hit a nadir of around 1,000 animals, mostly living in the north woods of Minnesota, in the early 20th century. Today, an estimated 6,000 wolves are spread across the Lower 48. There are as many as 11,000 wolves in Alaska, where the species has never had ESA protection. According to Alaska Fish and Game, about 1,300 wolves are killed by hunters and trappers annually in the state, with up to 200 more taken by wildlife managers each year. Today, wolves occupy somewhere between 5 and 15 percent of their historical range across the Lower 48.

Colette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, agrees that more historical range could support wolves. Adkins sees this latest delisting effort as largely political, characteristic of a distinctly antiscience administration.

“We know from experience that states can’t be trusted to sustainably manage wolves,” Adkins says. “When they lose their federal protections, they get subjected to aggressive trophy hunting, trapping, killing at the behest of the agricultural [livestock] industry.” Adkins points to Wisconsin, where the predator management plan aims for 350 wolves, or less than half of the population of roughly 900. She acknowledges that some states offer strong protections, but that those tend to be in areas where the animal is scarce, such as California and Colorado.

To a large extent, wolves will always be a highly contentious issue. Many cattle ranchers and sheep herders have long opposed the presence of wolves on the landscape. Fallon has seen some encouraging dialogue between ranchers and wolf advocates and is hopeful that people and wolves can coexist. “We’ve actually seen a lot of progress in the Northern Rockies in the last couple of years with ranchers making some changes to their practices,” Fallon says. “I think there’s huge potential there—particularly if we can help provide resources to help ranchers implement these nonlethal practices, to prevent conflicts from happening in the first place.”

In some areas, compensation programs provide cash payments to ranchers if it’s confirmed that wolves killed their livestock. By providing reimbursement, conservationists and managers are hoping to ease the pressure from industry and help assuage vitriol against wolves. But while some programs have been hailed as successful, not everyone in pleased. In Oregon, critics fear that the program is being abused by ranchers, while ranchers counter that livestock kills and wolf populations are undercounted.

Adkins is skeptical about the prospect for reaching consensus with the livestock industry. She emphasizes that there’s ample public support for wolf conservation. “The first step is to try to make sure that this proposal is never finalized at all,” she says. “But if the Fish and Wildlife Service does go ahead with the final rule, absolutely we will bring them to court.”

Earthjustice has a useful timeline of the wolf saga here.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/trump-administration-wants-more-wolves-endangered-species-list

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

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

Continue reading here…

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

This Winter’s Top 5 Wildlife Webcams | Sierra Club

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

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

15 Fascinating Facts About Groundhogs | Care2 Causes

care2.com
15 Fascinating Facts About Groundhogs | Care2 Causes
5-6 minutes

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

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

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

1. They’re called whistle pigs

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

2. They’re essentially giant squirrels

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

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

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

4. …including separate “bathrooms”

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

5. They may build multiple burrows.

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

 

 

 

6. They’re climbers

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

7. They have good taste in food

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

8. Farmers aren’t major fans of groundhogs

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

9. Groundhogs are not social butterflies

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

 

 

 

 

10. They greet each other with Eskimo kisses

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

11. Groundhogs hibernate from late fall until early spring

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

12. Their mating season lasts only 10 days

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

13. The Groundhog Day tradition originated in Europe

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

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

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

15. A prior tragedy was fatal for a famous groundhog

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

 

 

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo credit: Getty Images.

#RallyForRangers – Rhino Protection Units in Java, Indonesia

The International Rhino Foundation Blog

Photo by Stephen Belcher

Rhino Protection Units in Java, Indonesia

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

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

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

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

By Karen Lane –
December 10, 2018

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

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

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

By WAN –
December 6, 2018

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Straight from the Horse's Heart

SOURCE:  Wild Horse Freedom Federation

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

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

NARA (ACRA)                         …

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

By Lauren Lewis –
November 12, 2018

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

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

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

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By Lauren Lewis –
November 6, 2018

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

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

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Breaking! Court Stops U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service From Jeopardizing Red Wolf Survival After The Department Violated Protection Acts – World Animal News

By WAN –
November 5, 2018
Today, a federal judge issued an order declaring that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act in its rollback of protections for the world’s only wild population of red wolves, who live in eastern North Carolina.
As reported by WAN last week, 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, had 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. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also spoke out in support of the continued recovery of the nation’s only wild population of endangered red wolves.
Fewer than 50 comments, with 13 of these coming from a single real estate developer, supported the USFWS’ proposal to restrict red wolves to federal lands in Dare County.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina Chief Judge Terrence W. Boyle also made the court’s September 29th, 2016 order stopping the USFWS from capturing and killing red wolves and authorizing private landowners to do the same, permanent.
In examining the USFWS’ previous decisions, Judge Boyle wrote that “taken together, these actions go beyond the agency’s discretion and operate to violate the USFWS mandate to recover this species in the wild.”
“For four years now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been dismantling one of the most successful predator reintroductions in United States history,” Sierra Weaver, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center said in a statement.
“The service knows how to protect and recover the red wolf in the wild, but it stopped listening to its scientists and started listening to bureaucrats instead,” continued the Center which, along with the Animal Welfare Institute, the Red Wolf Coalition, and Defenders of Wildlife, sued the USFWS. “The law doesn’t allow the agency to just walk away from species conservation, like it did here.”

“The district court’s ruling today makes it clear that the USFWS’ recent management decisions have failed to protect the red wolf population,” said Johanna Hamburger, wildlife attorney for the Animal Welfare Institute. “Scientists have warned that if the USFWS continues to ignore the recovery needs of the red wolf, these animals may once again be extinct in the wild by 2024. The court has ruled that this is unacceptable and that the USFWS has a duty under the Endangered Species Act to implement proactive conservation measures to achieve species recovery.”
The USFWS attempted to avoid court action on the conservation groups’ lawsuit by proposing a new rule in June of 2018 to restrict wild red wolves to one National Wildlife Refuge and a bombing range in eastern North Carolina, while allowing the immediate killing of any wolves that live on or wander into nonfederal lands. Previously, these wolves could roam a designated 1.7 million-acre, five-county Red Wolf Recovery Area.
Before the USFWS began dismantling successful conservation actions, the red wolf recovery program served as a model for reintroduction efforts and was widely celebrated as a success for 25 years. Once common throughout the Southeast, intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat drove the red wolf to extinction in the wild in the late 1970s. In an attempt to recover the population, red wolves bred in captivity were reintroduced in the late 1980s on a North Carolina peninsula within their native range.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-court-stops-u-s-fish-wildlife-service-from-jeopardizing-red-wolf-survival-after-the-department-violated-protection-acts/

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

By WAN –
November 1, 2018

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

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

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This vacationer got quite a surprise when they looked out their window 🐘

 

 

 

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

By WAN –
October 22, 2018

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

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

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Breaking! New Lawsuit Seeks Online Access to Federal Elephant & Lion Trophy-Import Records – World Animal News

By WAN –
October 19, 2018

The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, Center for Biological Diversity, and Born Free USA sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday for violating the law by failing to post online elephant and lion trophy-permitting records on the Internet.
Under 1996 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, agencies are obligated to post their decisions — including orders, policies, and interpretations — online for public inspection. The same obligation applies to certain types of records that are frequently requested and have been released in the past. The Service’s FOIA log demonstrates that conservationists, journalists and others request elephant and lion trophy-import records often enough that this information should be posted online automatically as soon as the agency receives it.
Despite immense public interest in the government’s decision on whether to allow the import of hunting trophies from imperiled species, and despite repeated attempts by conservation organizations to shed light on this important conservation issue, the Fish and Wildlife Service is covertly conducting this Endangered Species Act permitting program.
“Although it is unlawful for an American to import an elephant or lion trophy without first obtaining a permit, the public has been systemically deprived of contributing relevant scientific information to influence the federal government’s implementation of these critical elephant and lion conservation measures,” Anna Frostic, managing wildlife attorney with the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement. “FWS is openly flouting its statutory mandate to proactively post frequently requested material online.”
The lawsuit asks a federal district court in Virginia to order the Fish and Wildlife Service to routinely post online elephant and lion trophy-permit applications, the agency’s permitting decisions, and related findings on the sustainability of hunting species threatened with extinction.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service needs to come clean and let the public know how many elephants and lions are killed to decorate rich Americans’ living rooms,” said Tanya Sanerib, legal director of the Center for Biological Diversity’s international program. “With huge threats facing Africa’s imperiled wildlife, the unlawful secrecy about these bloody imports is totally unacceptable.”
For most of the past decade, according to tallies from the CITES trade database, United States trophy hunters killed and imported the parts of approximately 500 African lions and 500 African elephants each year. Both species are now listed as threatened with extinction under the Endangered Species Act.
Since Ryan Zinke became interior secretary, the Service has approved elephant and lion trophy imports from countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa. President Trump, meanwhile, recently referred to trophy hunting as a “horror show” despite the fact that his sons participate in the so-called “sport.”
“We have seen an alarming increase of attacks on the Endangered Species Act and the imperiled species it protects from both Congress and this Administration,” said Angela Grimes, Born Free USA Acting CEO. “By conducting this permitting program under the veil of secrecy, the FWS is further attempting to weaken and degrade the effectiveness of the ESA. To fully understand the impacts to threatened African lions and elephants, this information must be accessible to the public. Only then can we effectively protect these animals and the integrity of the ESA.”
The new lawsuit follows a pending court case filed by the same plaintiffs contesting the merits of the administration’s decision last November to lift an import ban on Zimbabwe elephant trophy imports and to allow imports of lion trophies from Zimbabwe to the United States, and its March 1st decision to shift to a “case-by-case” process for making trophy import findings.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-lawsuit-seeks-online-access-to-federal-elephant-lion-trophy-import-records/

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

By WAN –
October 9, 2018

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

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Yellowstone Area Grizzlies Regain Endangered Species Protection

By Olivia Rosane

A grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. Jim Peaco / National Park Service

A federal judge restored endangered species protections for grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park on Monday, The Huffington Post reported, putting a permanent halt to plans by Wyoming and Idaho to launch the first Yellowstone-area grizzly hunt in four decades.

U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen had already placed a temporary restraining order on the hunts, which would have started Sept. 1 and allowed for the killing of up to 23 bears, while he considered the larger question of whether Endangered Species Act protections should be restored. The bears’ management will now return to the federal government.

Christensen wrote in his ruling that his decision was “not about the ethics of hunting.” Rather, he agreed with environmental and tribal groups that the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had not considered the genetic health of other lower-48 grizzly populations when it delisted the Yellowstone area bears in 2017.

“By delisting the Greater Yellowstone grizzly without analyzing how delisting would affect the remaining members of the lower-48 grizzly designation, the Service failed to consider how reduced protections in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem would impact the other grizzly populations,” Christensen wrote, according to The Huffington Post. “Thus, the Service ‘entirely failed to consider an important aspect of the problem.'”

Bear advocates said the Yellowstone population was growing large enough to merge with other populations, which would be a win-win for the genetic diversity of all bears involved.

A grizzly bear and cub in Yellowstone National ParkJohn Good / National Park Service

“The Service appropriately recognized that the population’s genetic health is a significant factor demanding consideration,” Christensen wrote. “However, it misread the scientific studies it relied upon, failing to recognize that all evidence suggests that the long-term viability of the Greater Yellowstone grizzly is far less certain absent new genetic material.”

Native American and environmental groups applauded the decision.

“We have a responsibility to speak for the bears, who cannot speak for themselves,” Northern Cheyenne Nation President Lawrence Killsback said in a statement Monday reported by The Huffington Post. “Today we celebrate this victory and will continue to advocate on behalf of the Yellowstone grizzly bears until the population is recovered, including within the Tribe’s ancestral homeland in Montana and other states.”

The FWS told The Washington Post it was reviewing the ruling.

“We stand behind our finding that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear is biologically recovered and no longer requires protection. . . . Our determination was based on our rigorous interpretation of the law and is supported by the best available science and a comprehensive conservation strategy developed with our federal, state, and tribal partners,” the FWS told The Washington Post.

The FWS first attempted to delist the bears in 2007, but that move was also blocked in federal court over concerns that one of the bears’ food sources, whitebark pine seeds, were threatened by climate change.

In its 2017 ruling, the FWS said that it had reviewed the case and found the decline of the whitebark pine seeds did not pose a major threat.

Grizzlies in the lower 48 states were first listed as endangered in 1975, when their historic range had been reduced by 98 percent.

The Yellowstone grizzlies numbered fewer than 140 at the time. The population has since rebounded to about 700, according to The Washington Post.

https://www.ecowatch.com/grizzly-bears-yellowstone-endangered-species-2607784220.html?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=17945923b5-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-17945923b5-86074753

One Of Our Least Favorite Members Of The U.S. Government, Secretary Zinke, Expands Hunting & Fishing at 30 National Wildlife Refuges in The United States – World Animal News

By WAN –
September 10, 2018
Sadly, one of our least favorite members of the U.S. government, Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, will open more than 251,000 acres of land to new or expanded hunting and fishing at 30 national wildlife refuges across the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System. This will shockingly bring the number of units where the public can hunt to 377, and the number for fishing to 312.
This will open more acres to the hunting and fishing of many threatened species, many of which are on the brink of extinction in the United States. These species need to be able to recover before they could be wiped out, not only by hunting, but by illegal poaching as well.
Zinke’s final rule outlines expanded hunting and fishing at 136 national wildlife refuges. The changes will be implemented in the 2018-2019 hunting seasons. This is an urgent matter that all U.S. citizens should be able to voice their opinions about.
A shocking quote comes from Cynthia Martinez, Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System: “Hunting and fishing are family activities that pass down from generation to generation. National wildlife refuges provide all Americans with places to hunt, fish, observe the natural world firsthand, and experience the great outdoors.” Really?
“Hunting and fishing are not family activities and should not be taught to children of any age. The last thing that this world needs is to teach children that killing and violence is acceptable. What we really need to be teaching our children is to have more compassion to save our planet and it’s species for future generations to come,” stated Katie Cleary, President of Peace 4 Animals & WAN.
Secretary Zinke, an avid hunter, said in a statement: “The last thing I want to see is hunting to become an elite sport, rather than a tradition passed on from generation to generation. Today’s announcement protects critical ‘CON-servation’ funding, and ensures sportsmen have access to public lands for generations to come.”
“This couldn’t be more false. Hunting is not a tradition and we are not living in the stone age. We are a progressive world that needs forward-thinking leaders who care about the welfare of the species of who it is our job to protect as the stewards of this planet,” continued Cleary.
The amount of funding brought in from eco-tourism and photo safari’s worldwide is much greater than that of what hunting brings in per year. A 2017 report, commissioned by Humane Society International and conducted by Economists at Large, found that the total economic contribution of hunters is at most an estimated 0.03 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, hunting brings in just 0.78 percent or less of the overall tourism spending and has only a marginal impact on employment in those countries, providing approximately 0.76 percent or less of overall tourism jobs. It is estimated that roughly 105.3 million U.S. travelers prioritize vacations dedicated to giving back to our environment, planet, and animals, than not.
Findings from the report include:

While overall tourism in the eight study countries is between 2.8 percent and 5.1 percent of GDP, the total economic contribution of trophy hunters is, at most, an estimated 0.03 percent of GDP. As the report’s author explains: “In terms of the wider tourism economy, which relies heavily on wildlife resources, trophy hunting is relatively insignificant.”
Trophy hunting brings in less than $132 million in tourism spending to the eight study countries out of $17 billion annual tourism spending, or just 0.78 percent. Safari Club International (SCI) wrongly alleged that trophy hunting-related tourism contributes $426 million annually.
Trophy hunting has only a marginal impact on employment in the eight countries, estimated between 7,500-15,500 jobs. Even when using inflated SCI estimates of direct employment contribution from trophy hunting (19,733 jobs), this is still only 0.76 percent of 2,589,000 average jobs generated by overall tourism.
Non-hunting tourism industry is growing much faster and has a much brighter future in Africa. Between 2000 and 2014, overall tourism spending in the eight study countries grew every four months by as much as the annual claimed direct value of the entire trophy hunting industry ($326 million).
Foreign trophy hunters make up less than 0.1 percent of tourists in the studied region.
Non-trophy hunting tourism employs 132 times more people than trophy hunting.
The average increase in tourist arrivals over 54 days in Namibia and 60 days in South Africa exceeded the total of annual foreign trophy hunter arrivals. The growth over a year in general tourist numbers is about six times larger than a year’s worth of hunting tourists.
Because trophy hunting is a tiny part of overall tourism sector, with little scope for sustained future growth, even a small effect of trophy hunting deterring growth in other tourism uses (like eco-tourism) may overwhelm its own economic benefits.

Facts:
As well as being cruel, trophy hunting is detrimental to conservation because:

Hunters kill the strongest animals that are critical to strengthening the gene pool.
Hunting quotas are frequently set without a solid scientific basis.
Age restrictions for hunted animals are ignored so that, for example, lions are killed as juveniles before they can contribute to the genetic pool.
Corruption prevents trophy hunting funds from making it to conservation.
U.S.-based SCI is one of world’s largest pro-trophy hunting organizations with 50,000 members. It keeps a record book of kills and offers awards in dozens of categories, such as Bears of the World, South American Indigenous Animals, and the World Hunter of the Year for which a hunter must kill more than 300 animals across the globe.
SCI’s 2017 convention featured more than 900 international hunting outfitters and auctioned off almost 1,000 mammals in global hunts valued at over US$5.3 million. In 2015, this convention brought in nearly US$14.4 million. Some of the most shocking SCI 2017 auction items offered up were a Canadian polar bear hunt (valued at USD $72,000) and two Namibian elephants hunts (valued at USD $25,000 and USD $35,000).

Sadly, per Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, hunting and/or fishing will expand or be opened on the following refuges:
Arkansas

Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird, upland game, and big game hunting.

California

San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird hunting, and open sport fishing for the first time.

Florida

Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge: Opens wild turkey hunting for the first time.

Illinois

Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting.

Illinois and Missouri

Great River National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting.

Illinois and Wisconsin

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge: Opens migratory game bird, upland game, and big game hunting to all legal species in the State of Illinois.

Indiana

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird, upland game, big game hunting, and sport fishing

Maine

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing white-tailed deer and wild turkey hunting.

Maine and New Hampshire

Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge: Opens wild turkey hunting for the first time, and expands existing migratory game bird, upland game, and big game hunting.

Maryland

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.
Patuxent Research Refuge: Expands existing white-tailed deer and wild turkey hunting.

Michigan

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge: Opens hunting of certain migratory bird, small game, and furbearers, and expands existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

Minnesota

Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge: Opens certain gamebird and small mammal hunting for the first time, and expands existing migratory game bird, upland game, and big game hunting.

Montana

Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing big game hunting.
Swan River National Wildlife Refuge: Opens big game hunting for the first time.

New Jersey

Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge: Opens wild turkey and squirrel hunting for the first time, and expands existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

New Jersey and New York

Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird hunting and sport fishing.

New Mexico

Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge: Opens Eurasian-collared dove and Gambel’s quail hunting, and expands existing migratory game bird hunting.

North Dakota

J. Clark Salyer National Wildlife Refuge: Opens moose hunting for the first time.
Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge: Opens moose hunting for the first time.

Ohio

Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge: Opens white-tailed deer hunting for the first time.
Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge: Opens hunting of certain gamebirds, small mammals, and furbearers for the first time, and expands existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

Oregon

Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird, upland game, and big game hunting.
Upper Klamath National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird hunting.
William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing sport fishing.

Pennsylvania

Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird, upland game and big game hunting.
John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum: Opens white-tailed deer hunting for the first time.

Utah

Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge: Expands existing migratory game bird and upland game hunting.

Wisconsin

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge: Opens hunting of certain gamebirds, small mammals, and furbearers for the first time, and expands existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

Please contact The U.S. Department of the Interior and tell them why you oppose opening up more National Wildlife Refuges to hunting and fishing.
Mailing Address:
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240
Contact Form HERE!
Phone (with employee directory): (202) 208-3100
National Parks Service
Office of Communications
1849 C St NW
Washington DC 20240
202-208-6843
Contact Form HERE!
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Office of Public Affairs
Office: (703) 358-2220
Fax: (703) 358-1930
5275 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA
22041-3803
Contact HERE!

https://worldanimalnews.com/one-of-our-least-favorite-members-of-the-u-s-government-secretary-zinke-expands-hunting-fishing-at-30-national-wildlife-refuges-in-the-united-states/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Beachgoers Kill Hundreds Of Birds For Volleyball Court

On the Fourth of July, a large group of visitors to tiny Sand Island off the coast of Alabama decided to play volleyball on the beach. But there was a problem: bird nests filled with eggs were in the way of where they wanted to play.

So, did the tourists look for another spot to create a volleyball court? Nope. They scooped up the unhatched eggs and scared away the adult birds. Then they “actually made a little dome of sand and placed the eggs around it to decorate it,” Andrew Haffenden, a wildlife researcher who was conducting a bird survey for Birmingham Audubon when he discovered the relocated eggs, told AL.com.

By removing the eggs from their nests, the tourists may have killed hundreds of federally protected least terns — small, white shorebirds with black caps that weigh no more than 1.5 ounces. They lay their grape-sized eggs inside shallow holes they make in the sand on a wide stretch of the beach. Female birds sit on these nests to keep the eggs cool and prevent them from literally baking in the hot summer sun.

To protect their eggs from threats like big waves, larger birds, foxes and other predators, least terns nest in colonies of dozens to hundreds of pairs of birds. Their nests are only a foot or two apart.

“I always refer to them as the world’s best parents,” Katie Barnes, chief biologist for Birmingham Audubon’s Coastal Program, told the New York Times.
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While the Washington Post headline about this disturbing incident said the tourists “accidentally” killed the birds, there’s nothing at all accidental about it. They intentionally disturbed all those unhatched eggs, so they could selfishly play volleyball on the beach.

“It’s pretty nasty”: Beach volleyball players in Alabama accidentally kill hundreds of birds https://t.co/lCexdhL4RP

— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 9, 2018

“The thing about the eggs, people think, ‘Oh, they’re eggs,’ but they are also almost fully formed chicks inside. They can walk almost as soon as they hatch,” Haffenden told AL.com. “In that pile of eggs, there were a number that were about to hatch. In fact, if you look at the pictures of the pile you can see an egg that showed pipping [cracks where a chick is pecking its way out of the shell]. What the people did was take those eggs away from the protection of the parents from the sun. So we had dozens of functional chicks die by being baked. It’s pretty nasty.”

Haffenden said he’d seen “swirls of the birds” flying around the small island before he counted 17 boats docked there on the Fourth of July – “so I was pretty disturbed,” he told AL.com. He estimated that hundreds of birds, frightened by the onslaught of people, would have left their nests.

None of the people who moved the eggs have yet been identified. Least terns are included under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which was enacted 100 years ago to protect birds from people. The act makes it illegal for anyone to take their eggs without a federal permit. The penalty is $15,000 and up to a year in jail.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was immediately contacted and is investigating the case. The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources was also alerted and is patrolling the island.

To prevent more birds from being killed, Birmingham Audubon has roped off nesting areas on Sand Island and posted signs informing visitors about least terns and urging them to respect their nests. It seems to be working. “We have not seen a human footprint in the area,” Barnes told AL.com. “Boaters have not pulled up to that area.”

There is some good news for least terns on Sand Island: There was a population boom this year. In fact, according to Barnes, their colony might be the largest on record in Alabama. While it’s tragic that hundreds of birds were killed for a volleyball game, Barnes told AL.com the island “has still been a big success for these birds.”
Take Action

Please please sign and share this petition urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to charge the tourists not only with violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but with animal cruelty to the fullest extent of the law.

Want to make a difference on an issue you find deeply troubling? You, too, can create a Care2 petition, and use this handy guide to get started. You’ll find Care2’s vibrant community of activists ready to step up and help you.

https://www.care2.com/causes/beachgoers-kill-hundreds-of-birds-for-volleyball-court.html

Photo credit: Jane Ledwin/USFWS

Breaking! Colorado State University Withdraws From Plan With BLM To Conduct Surgical Sterilization Experiments On Wild Horses – World Animal News

By WAN –
August 9, 2018

Following substantial public outcry, Colorado State University (CSU) announced yesterday that it was withdrawing from a joint plan with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to conduct surgical sterilization experiments on wild horses.
More than 10,000 citizens, including numerous equine veterinarians, joined the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), and other humane and horse advocacy organizations in opposing the proposed mare sterilization research.
The withdrawal of CSU from the experiments strikes a major blow to the BLM’s plan to round up by helicopter all wild horses in the Warm Springs Herd Management Area, and then force 100 of the captured mares to undergo ovariectomies via colpotomy—a particularly dangerous surgical procedure in which a mare’s ovaries are severed and pulled out while the animal remains conscious.
Since the wild horses cannot be handled, they would not be provided with the required post-operative care, including restricted movement, adequate pain relief, and antibiotic treatment for infections. Shockingly, part of the stated experimental goal is to quantify how many pregnant mares would abort foals as a result of the procedure.
“CSU made the right decision to listen to veterinarians and the public and dissociate itself from these inhumane and barbaric wild horse sterilization experiments,” Brieanah Schwartz, AWHC government relations and policy council said in a statement. “There is a way to manage wild horses and removing the ovaries of wild mares is not it. It’s time for the BLM to stop wasting tax dollars and start following the advice of the National Academy of Sciences to manage horses humanely on the range using the proven PZP birth control vaccine.”
In 2016, the BLM proposed similar mare sterilization experiments in conjunction with Oregon State University, but canceled them after massive public opposition and a lawsuit filed by AWHC and The Cloud Foundation. This summer, the agency revived the proposal, partnering with CSU.
Last week, AWHC and AWI submitted extensive comments outlining the numerous ethical, constitutional, legal, and scientific problems with the new proposal. The groups notified the agency that they would pursue legal action if necessary to halt the experiments and protect these animals from abuse.
“We commend Colorado State University for reconsidering the decision to work with the BLM on this bizarre and barbaric plan that would subject wild horses to risky, inhumane and unnecessary sterilization surgeries,” said Dr. Joanna Grossman, AWI’s equine program manager. “Advocates across the country made it abundantly clear that using federally protected wild horses as test subjects is ethically and legally unjustifiable. Our hope is that the BLM will recognize that any effort to ovariectomize wild mares is toxic and must not move forward.”
AWI and AWHC are urging the BLM to permanently drop plans to conduct the ovariectomy via colpotomy procedure on wild mares.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-colorado-state-university-withdraws-from-plan-with-blm-to-conduct-surgical-sterilization-experiments-on-wild-horses/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! 95% of The World’s Lemur Population Is At Risk of Extinction, Making It The Most Endangered Mammal On The Planet! – World Animal News

By WAN –
August 7, 2018

A shocking report has come to light after 50 global experts in primate conservation evaluated the status of Lemurs.
Of the planet’s 111 known lemur species and subspecies, the disheartening results indicated that 105 might qualify as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable to extinction in the wild; making them the most endangered mammal on the planet.
As per the report, the primates that are unique to the island of Madagascar have been threatened due to habitat loss from agriculture, illegal logging, charcoal production and mining. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, besides habitat loss, hunting the animals for food, and capturing them as pets, has emerged as a new threat as well.
“This is, without a doubt, the highest percentage of threat for any large group of mammals and for any large group of vertebrates,” said Russ Mittermeier, Chief Conservation Officer for Global Wildlife Conservation and chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Primate Specialist Group (PSG) said in a statement. “This assessment not only highlights the very high extinction risk Madagascar’s unique lemurs face, but it is indicative of the grave threats to Madagascar’s biodiversity as a whole. Madagascar’s unique and wonderful species are its greatest asset, its most distinctive brand and the basis for a major ecotourism industry.”
The updated assessments resulting from the recent PSG-led workshop will require further validation through a review process, but provisionally find that primate experts consider a staggering 38 lemur species to be critically endangered, 44 endangered and 23 vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. This represents an increase of 12 threatened species from the last workshop conducted back in 2012.
Among the most spectacular species of lemurs up-listed from endangered to critically endangered in the assessment is the Indri, the largest of the living lemurs and a species of symbolic value comparable to that of China’s giant panda.
Another striking lemur is the critically endangered blue-eyed black lemur, one of the few primate species other than humans that has blue eyes. Probably the rarest lemur is the northern sportive lemur, also critically endangered, of which there are only about 50 known individuals left. All nine species of the sifakas subspecies have also now been listed as critically endangered.
The IUCN SSC Lemur Red List and Conservation Planning Workshop included more than 50 experts from the United States, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal and Madagascar.
All of these experts are working together to implement a major action plan for lemur conservation to update a very successful plan published in 2013 using information from the July workshop. That plan succeeded in raising more than $8 million for lemur conservation, which is now being disbursed to dozens of conservation projects around the world.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-95-of-the-worlds-lemur-population-is-at-risk-of-extinction-making-it-the-most-endangered-mammal-on-the-planet/

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TAGS Animal News,Animal Welfare,,Breaking News,Critically Endangered,Endangered Wildlife,
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© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Rescued, Blind Elephants Comforted by Piano Playing – FIREPAW, Inc.

 

 

Pianist and animal rights activists Paul Barton helps calm rescue elephants with classical music

check out the other music videos here

https://firepaw.org/2018/08/03/rescued-blind-elephants-comforted-by-piano-playing/

Here’s Why This Mama Merganser Has More Than 50 Ducklings

audubon.org
By Jillian Mock

Update, July 17: Brent Cizek, the photographer of the above image, says he has since spotted the mother with another two dozen ducklings, bringing her total up to 76.

Choppy waves bounced Brent Cizek’s small plastic boat as he headed for the shore of Lake Bemidji in Minnesota, hoping to beat a fast approaching summer storm. An amateur wildlife photographer, Cizek had decided to brave the late-afternoon winds to scope out the lakeshore for future shoots. He’d only brought one lens, thinking he might get a shot of a mallard he’d seen the day before, but wasn’t expecting to photograph anything special.

Then, as he motored toward the boat slip, Cizek saw something remarkable: a female Common Merganser surrounded by more than 50 little ducklings. While Cizek watched, the little mergansers formed a long, orderly line behind their mom and began swimming away. The scene was too good to pass up.

“I probably shot 50 pictures, and I was just praying that one was going to turn out sharp because the waves were so strong it was nearly impossible to even keep them in the frame,” Cizek says. To further complicate things, he had to alternate between maneuvering his little trolling motor and quickly snapping pictures. “Luckily enough, just one picture turned out.”

Cizek says he has been photographing wildlife in his spare time for about two years and only recently became interested in birds. Last year, he saw a Common Goldeneye with 20 ducklings in tow and thought that was extraordinary. He had no idea ducks could care for so many ducklings—much less 50.

While 50 is definitely on the high end, such big brood counts are actually pretty common, says Kenn Kaufman, field editor for Audubon. This is at least partly because ducks often lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks. In fact, Kaufman says a female duck will have a nest of her own and also make her way over to another nest or two to drop off a few eggs.
While 50 is definitely on the high end, such big brood counts are actually pretty common.

Most of the time ducks will lay their eggs in the nests of other ducks of the same species, but occasionally they are known to lay their eggs in the nests of other duck species. Redheads will even lay their eggs in bittern nests, says Kaufman.

Scientists aren’t sure exactly why ducks do this, but it could effectively serve as a reproductive insurance policy. If a raccoon invades a merganser nest and destroys all the eggs, the female still has more offspring being safely incubated in other nests. “One possibility would be, in a sense, not putting all their eggs in one basket,” Kaufman says.

This behavior doesn’t completely explain Cizek’s photograph, though, because there is a limit to how many eggs one duck can successfully incubate. Female ducks lay about a dozen eggs and can incubate as many as 20, says Kaufman. More than that, and the birds can’t keep all the eggs warm.

The merganser in this picture probably picked up several dozen ducklings that got separated from their mothers. Adult ducks can’t tell which birds are theirs, and lost young birds that have already imprinted on their own mothers will instinctively start following another Common Merganser because she looks like mom.

Since posting his picture online, Cizek says he’s been able to keep tracking the birds virtually, as other people in Bemidji, Minnesota, report seeing the giant brood make its way around town. This mother duck will tend to her ducklings for a couple more weeks, until the little birds are big enough to defend themselves. At that point, they will leave the group, and if they are females, one day potentially end up adopting a few dozens ducklings of their own.

https://www.audubon.org/news/heres-why-mama-merganser-has-more-50-ducklings?ms=digital-eng-email-ea-x-20180831_mersanger76ducklings_engagement_medium&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20180831_mersanger76ducklings_engagement&utm_content=medium